There are a number of differences between the nations of Fanolania and Slothjemia. In fact there are more differences than there are similarities. On the surface the two might seem quite a bit alike and yet anyone from Fanolania that visits Slothjemia will immediately realize that they aren’t in Avondace anymore. So stunning are the differences that anyone accustomed to life in the kingdom of elves and humans will wonder just what sort of cesspool they’ve bumbled into.
The overall makeup of society is the biggest and most obvious difference. Whereas Fanolania is a strict feudal society governed by traditions hundreds of years old, Slothjemia is a relatively new society that tends to reward deeds more than birthright. While both are monarchies the similarities end there; Fanolania is built on an old-school vassal system and Slothjemia continues to push a more enlightened merit-based hierarchy.
This leads to the differences in economies. Fanolania is perhaps the largest country in Partum and yet it is able to generate little more than the income that Slothjemia produces due to differing approaches in how the economy is structured. In Fanolania the nobility operate their estates using peasants that are themselves bound to the land upon which they are born. In Slothjemia anyone can start a business if they can figure out a means to do so which results in a terribly creative and zealous workforce. While taxes are collected in roughly the same manner, Fanolania tends to spend money on grand schemes to keep the people happy and make the nobility more impressive. Slothjemia spends the lion share of its tax revenue on the standing professional military and in keeping the bureaucracy running smoothly. There are precious few festivals in Slothjemia for which the Queen picks up the bill, but in Fanolania such holidays are a monthly occurrence (and sometimes more frequently).
Lastly the most noteworthy difference between the two countries is their Military capability. Slothjemia can’t field as large an army as the Fanolanians can (in point of fact there isn’t a nation in Partum that can rival the sheer number of troops that Fanolania can mobilize). But the quality of the troops that Slothjemia does have far exceeds that of the Fanolanians. Slothjemia can also activate its soldiers faster because it keeps standing armies at all times and has them bivouacked all across their territory. Fanolania can take upwards of a month or more to rally an army for a battle or campaign and the quality of these troops is marginal at best, relying on well-trained knights and nobility to lead them into a fight. In that same time frame Slothjemia can drop professional, highly trained soldiers into action most anywhere they want led by the finest martial leaders the realm has to offer. While the Slothjemian force may only be half the size of that which Fanolania can field the quality of the Slothjemian force is easily five times greater if not more.
There haven’t been many occasions for the two states to interact, but such happenings are beginning to occur with more and more frequency. As such things as parties, conferences, and even joint military excercises take place between the two states more of the differences will become evident. For all of the values the two countries share it is yet to be seen if they can overcome the multiple differences that separate them.