The land of the Drakhi people is much like our own. I am chiefly concerned with the Riverview settlement of Drakhi, which in some ways mimics the conditions of the Great Plains of the United States. Some among the Drakhi are hunters, skilled with snares or with bow and arrow, but most meat is taken from domesticated livestock. These roam freely -- the Drakhi do not like fences, as a general rule. Beasts are marked according to their owner by a pattern of slits in one ear, or occasionally a crude inner-ear tattoo.
Other products are harvested from animals: milk, eggs, and leather are the most widely-recognized. It is important to note that to a Drakhi, there is a great difference between wearing leather and wearing fur. Leather tends to be taken from livestock, which would be humanely killed for their meat anyway. Fur, however, comes from wilder animals that are cruelly caged, or sometimes from the hunt. For this reason, all fur must pass through a sort of inspector, elected by the residents of each settlement. The fur may be kept only if the owner can prove that the animal was humanely killed. Hunters are also carefully regulated as to their number kills, although this generally is a non-issue.
With the exception of leather, most sources of clothing are plants, similar to cotton. The Drakhi do not possess the means to process synthetic fabrics, and most would not wear them anyway. Natural cloth is much better to these active people, since it “breathes” and often allows them more freedom of movement. Freedom is obviously important to the Drakhi.
The Drakhi way of life puts heavy emphasis on caring for their environment. They are very long-lived, meaning they witness the effects of their own actions in the world. Deliberate destruction of the environment can be looked upon with all the horror of infanticide. That's how important the earth is the Drakhi. Tales are told in hushed tones, tales of a people whose earth lost its value because they severely neglected its care. While these are sometimes regarded as stories to scare children into obedience, the vast majority of Drakhi are careful to sustain this vigilance, which has become a part of their unwritten code of justice.
Drakhi generally don't have written a legal code. Some area bars have basic rules of the town outlined in large print on their walls for travellers' benefit, but generally they simply live by the Wiccan's Rede: If it harm none, do what ye will. The final legal decision in all matters rests on the prince of the town, another official elected by the populace. In elections, all Drakhi who have been recognized as adults (age varies from spot to stripe) and who have lived in that locale for a length of time (which, again, varies) are eligible candidates -- except those caught campaigning. In Drakhi logic, anyone stupid enough to seek the post must wish to abuse the position. (My condolences to politicians everywhere.)
Drakhi tend to live in areas of rich soil, where plants grow very well. They also tend to settle not far from rivers, in case rains fail and water must be hauled to their gardens. Most Drakhi grow only enough to feed their household, in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Grains tend to be grown by specialists, who trade their crop for other foods. In this culture, it's easy to exist with no real income, but valuables are often needed to get other valuables. In this context, “valuables” can be a wide variety of things: an embroidered gown, jewelry (especially anything with a stone set in it), fine thread, tightly woven cloth, expertly made tools, or a fruit shaped like the head of Prince Wunce the Second of Thurt.
Drakhi lands include Weh's Triver (sometimes called Moriam, from Moriambonnar), Ea's Triver, and Riverview. Each elects its own king. In times of crisis, the kings meet in council to rule collectively, but otherwise each tends to mind his own.
Drakhi rulers are chosen from legitimate male-line descendants of the First King, who united the Drakhi people many generations ago. Nobles ineligible to rule nominate eligible candidates, and the people en masse vote on them. Succession is otherwise non-hereditary. Sons can inherit the rule from their fathers (and often do) but it is not assured; it hinges on the election.
Regents rule between the loss of a king and the election of his successor. Under usual circumstances, the regency falls to the queen, but there have been cases where the royal couple dies together or nearly so, in which case the regency falls to the late king's next of kin. If a king forfeits his rule, he may remain regent until a successor can be elected.
An aging king may call for election without rescinding his title, to assure a smooth succession upon the current rulers death. Generally this only occurs when the king is known to be in ill health.
The succession of Riverview:
Women may not rule except as regents, but the queen has various offices and duties of her own. There is virtually always a queen; a king must be wed to assume the throne. Should his wife die or part from him, he is permitted a period of grief, after which he must remarry to remain king. Royal marriage is very much a political arrangement, and both kings and queens often carry on affairs which are officially denied but commonly known.
Queens are often of royal descent, though the choice is the royal candidate's and he may choose the lowest commoner if he wishes.