This loosely describes the political situation in Anise; of the three kingdoms the first arc of my campaign will follow, Anise is the centerpiece (so far) as three of the four characters based their character background there (the fourth has ties to Aubade). Anise is ruled by a hereditary arisocracy of panhumans-- these Alphas are their own species, & are known as "The Flower Gentry." The Flowery Gentry were once part of a much larger kingdom, but the Pearl Queen they followed vanished. Since then, the Licorice Duke has held the regency. It is worth noting that as regent the Licorice Duke-- Black Bear in Black Cedars-- has at least nominal authority over all the areas on the map; this is true to a greater or lesser extent depending on a number of factors. It is also of some interest that Anise is devoid of cities; rather its population is distributed; some clump around the many castles & palaces of the Gentry or rove in nomadic bands called mobs.
The areas marked "Licorce Duke" are areas within the Duchy of Licorice, & are thus under his direct & (largely) undisputed control. The other Dukedoms are Saltwater, ruled by the eccentric & enigmatic pauper Duke, Slumbering Heart Dwells on Hill (a player character) & Duchy Marshmallow, overseen by Duchess Rise Up With Fists, whose swampy lands are home to vast worms. The Sugar Plum Barons are merchant princes, rising up to fill an available economic niche. Theoretically the Sugar Plum Duchy, the wealthy barons positioned themselves as advisers & Electors & when the Duke Sugar Plum died they simply...couldn't come to a decision regarding his hair, leaving the post vacant until that vacancy became something taken for granted. The status quo. Now the Sugar Plum Barons have their own systems of leadership, their own syndicates of economic democracy. The Hungry Templars are similarly semi-independent. They are the military groups, each insular but linked through ideals of brotherhood. There is an infernal cast over the Hungry Templars, bleed from their antagonism with the neighboring nation of Antiphon. The Duchess of the Hungry Templars is more properly The Spice Drop Duchess, & is the wife of the Licorice Duke-- the Licorice Duke who has notably garnered a reputation for killing his concubines. The Abaia Mind Control Zone is just that-- a region of the country where other forces have encroached on Anise, a place no one goes without...slipping away. To go into the Mind Control Zone is lose yourself, sooner rather than later.