Situated in a dry, rocky region bordering the Hills of Brann-Galedd, Melin is probably the poorest nation in all of the Freeholds. This kingdom of thin soil nestled in the shadows of the uncivilized hills was expanded from a small rump dominion to its current borders stretching from the Tinnsaker in the north to the Pencarn in the south and even extending deep into the hills to the west as the result of a prolonged forty-three year war began by the current ruler's grandfather over one hundred years ago. Because the domain of King Œngus borders and extends into the Hills of Brann-Galedd, it is plagued by many raiding parties of bandits, tribes of hostile humanoids, and incursions by bands of giants.
What little wealth Melin has accumulated is due to a handful of tin mines in the southern part of the kingdom in the hills just north of the Pencarn River, and an economy based upon potato farming and sheep herding. The soil is very poor and rocky and there are few other natural mineral resources of any kind. Most of the east to west trade routes mostly bypass Melin, passing either north to intersect with the Tinnsaker River, or south to join the Pencarn River.
The warriors from Melin are frequently ill-equipped but make up for that with their ferocity and their black painted shields are well-known throughout the Freeholds. The longbow is used infrequently in this land, and the short sword is the most common blade. The most common weapons used by warriors from Melin are the leaf spear and longspear, but the signature weapon of the highland warriors is the vicious belly spear, a heavy barbed spear used exclusively for melee combat.
Ruler: Œngus Lairdsonne of House Fionn
Œngus is an older man in his middle fifties who is likely in the twilight of his life. Although his once red hair and beard have turned white he is rash and can be quite violent. Œngus has been known to respond to incursions into his lands with harsh, retributive strikes against the perceived offender without first checking to find out if his choice of target was the correct one. As might be expected, Œngus spends much of his time on battlefields in the Hills of Brann-Galedd hunting down bandit gangs, orc tribes, and giants.
Œngus has eleven sons and one daughter, all by his faithful wife Cæra. His sons all share his temper, and serve as his captains when he goes to war. His eldest son, Iaian Œngussonne, is likely to inherit the reigns of power once his father passes on. Both Œngus and Iaian have been critical of the High Council in the past as it has done little to help them repel raids from the troublesome wilderness of hills that borders their land.