On the southern end of Westeros lies Dorne, the most culturally and ethnically diverse region in all of Westeros. The only kingdom to successfully resist the conquest of Aegon the Dragon, it has a storied history, one of war and tragedy and strife, but one of great beauty and glory as well.
Much of Dorne's cultural differences from the rest of Westeros comes from the influence of the Rhoynar, whose peoples settled in Dorne by the behest of their queen, Nymeria, and the Prince of House Martell. Through the centuries their customs and traditions have melded with those of Dorne, creating a region separated from the rest of Westeros by more than just mountains. Only here can elder daughters inherit before younger sons, and men may take paramours without shame. Bastards, too, are better received here than elsewhere - for in Dorne sexuality and love are far more open.
Though the people of Dorne can be seen as strange and dangerous, such terms apply to their land much better. Much of Dorne is desert, though enough water can be found to make it inhabitable even during long summers, and the coasts are rocky and jagged; poor anchorage for ships. In the northwest the Red Mountains keep Dorne separate from the rest of Westeros, it's two major passes guarded fiercely by ancient families such as Yronwood and Fowler. The Greenblood is the largest river in all of Dorne, and is plyed by barges and trade boats alike. It is home to the famous Plankytown, a floating city at the mouth of the river, and the Orphans of the Greenblood sail its waters on rafts.
For all the seeming strangeness of it's customs, Dorne has always played a major role in the politics of the Seven Kingdoms. Its warriors are fierce and loyal, and both it's men and women are renowned for their beauty and...skill. Its ruler still boasts the title of Prince or Princess - a singular honor in all the continent, won by the means of Dorne's incorporation into the realm. For all this, however, many still view the Dornish with suspicion and curiosity, for their way of life and the land from which they arise are often still seen as exotic and foreign.
For more information on recent events in Dorne, please see our State of the Realm page.