Saniel is the oldest nation still in existence on Terranis. Founded by Grand Admiral Renoir du Saniel, later King Renoir I, the people of Saniel were initially descended from the crews of the defense fleet that saved Terranis from utter destruction during the Fall, even at the cost of those same vessels and any capability of ever leaving Terranis or even contacting other worlds.
What was at first simply a large camp to launch operations from became the city of Varennes, still the capital of Saniel today. With a population of over half a million, Varennes is nestled against the Couronne Mountains, approachable only from the south, southwest, and southeast. This defensible position means it has never been successfully invaded, though two close calls occurred: one in AF 180, when a demon army of the lustlord Lucifon besieged the city. Saniel had been undergoing decades of moral and military decay at that time, leaving it extremely vulnerable to attack. Thankfully for the city, a lone champion was able to defeat Lucifon in single combat, causing the demon army to withdraw in confusion. The other was an army led by Aranok the Ravager during the Third Barbarian Wars, which was eventually driven back by a surprise flank attack of mercenary forces hired by the city of Jorandek.
Although Saniel underwent immediate reforms to improve its culture and military power following its near destruction in the 2nd century, it still fell prey to questionable acts at times. At the end of the Tritanium War in the 3rd century, the armies of Saniel razed the city of Kaldoris while most of its civilian population was still within the city, killing over 80,000 people in a single day. The city remained abandoned for centuries afterwards. It was only through intense political pressure from the other nations that Saniel began reparations to the survivors of the war, as well as sharing its newfound supply of tritanium with other nations.
Today, Saniel has become known as a land of culture and progress, maintaining open trade with all other nations and having the most open immigration policy, other than perhaps Saernis. However, in the last twenty years, tensions have begun to increase with the Weijin Empire to the north, to the point where military presences on the border have been continuously increased. The tensions began when several villages near the border were discovered ransacked and destroyed, although the Empire denies any involvement. The Empire itself having become increasingly insular likely hasn’t helped the situation either.
Saniel is run as a hereditary monarchy, with the throne typically passed to the eldest son. The current ruler is King Charles VII. Now aged 41, he is married to Queen Jun-Zhen, the eldest daughter of Emperor Wei, who was 18 at the time of their wedding. Although the marriage was ostensibly to foster improved political ties between the two nations, rumors abound that it was in fact to cover up Charles impregnating the young girl during a state visit several years ago. Less than a month after the wedding, they announced their first child was due, and prince Abelard was born soon after. Certainly, relations between the two countries haven’t improved as a result of the marriage.