Semela has a rather checkered past and is the youngest of all the nations, having been unified only about 200 years prior. The island has always been a stopping off point for various navies, pirates, settlers and refugees. It's been used as a redoubt and staging point to fight the Nagarst Hegemony, a trademeet for almost every seafaring nation, and place of neutral lawlessness for centuries. Everyone in some form of another had a hand in the island. However, that changed drastically about 500 years ago when the first trade routes to the east were plotted. Most of the permanent freebooters relocated to the eastern islands as powerful mercenary groups and merchants tamed the coast and solidified its cities into more stable settlements. 200 years ago, a charismatic fighter from one of the mercenary companies led a campaign to unite the island into a single country, and managed to do so with mixed results. Unfortunately, the legacy didn't provide for a stable Monarchy, even 200 years later. Most of the political, economic and military power is held by the nobility and merchant class, and today the King of Semela has almost become a puppet regime. Fortunately, the politics tend to not be overtly wicked or exploitive, but tend to leave the cities and provinces to their own devices.
Despite being a popular haven for so many centuries, much of the interior of the island has yet to be properly explored. The proximity of so many raiders and potential hostile powers made settlements chancy at best, but the past 200 years has helped explore the interior which is even rumored to have a ziggurat built by the old Carnac Empire somewhere deep in the mountains.
The Kingdom of Semela is as diverse as any country can get. Virtually all of the races are represented here, from the most dour and suspicious Sylvan Elf to the most friendly and freewheeling Halfling. As such, the cities boast numerous quarters in their cities catering to every racial demographic; creating a veritable home away from home wherever the person might originate from. The loose political structure has caused the cities to rely more heavily on mercenaries to patrol and protect the cities and any mustering of local soldiers is bound to create a mishmash of different fighting ability and equipment.
On the whole, most of the coastal cities are fairly cosmopolitan from the sheer amount of traffic that passes through them, and boast some of the best markets in the region. Although the Kingdom has a policy against slavery, it doesn't have any policy against the sale of slaves, so a trade market does exist much to the anger of more high-minded individuals. The belief that everything can be bought and sold in these markets holds truth; even if that involves the sale of other sentient beings.
The Kingdom of Semela is largely neutral with everyone. Every nation would like to have a greater involvement with the country, but it isn't usually the site of conquest or conflict on a large scale. The Nagarst do most of their business in Semela to take advantage of the country's overall tolerance, and ironically, Semela's largest conflicts arise from the Kollias who at times chase pirates a little too zealously to Semelan settlements. More than one Faralden mercenary troupe has retired here, and even the elephants of the Namaran tribes are sometimes imported to fight off bandits or scare away overeager pirates.