Until recent years, King Neletus was regarded as an incompetent ruler. However, suddenly, he changed. His advisers noted that he suddenly began to smell like rotten flesh, and he presumed it was a curse set upon him. He accused the head archmage of treason (punishable by death, the fate of the archmage) and banished magic from the realm, expelling all spellcasters and ordering killed those who would not leave. These spellcasters went on to raise an island in Wide Lake in Border Canyon out of the lake and found their own city, Fordown, which gave its name to the island. King Neletus accepted this, and allowed the spellcasters to maintain their own independent state.
Meanwhile, he reformed the Fringe Kingdom. He reformed several aspects of the government and severely altered the feudalistic structure of government to accept the opinions of the people. He is still a monarch (and therefore the ultimate arbiter of the kingdom), but he now has a means by which the common people can make suggestions for legislation – petitions, per se. If these petitions get enough signatures, they can be presented directly to the king without any side routes to local lords, etc. This legislation, as well as his total economic recovery from the kingdom’s prior sad state, brought the king immense popularity.
Politically, the country is quite stable. The people have made several petitions, all but one of which the king signed into law after finding them quite reasonable. The only petition he did not sign was one to allow healers back into the kingdom, but instead revised it such that there became state-trained “healers” that could heal as per any other healer, but could only use healing magic and were therefore “safe from corruption.”
The country’s military is fairly weak, as it has no spellcasters and few men. This is fine, however, because it does not have to defend itself – it safeguards the coffers of The Empire and Elfwood, as well as several of the tribes of the Yellow Plains, most importantly the extra gold (above and beyond what the tribe needs) of the Ventosi and all the gold of the Lustra. As the Fringe Kingdom controls its money, The Empire does not touch it (and it is across Border Canyon anyway, not that that would stop The Empire if they wanted to conquer the Fringe Kingdom).