Skellige the political entity encompasses the archipelago of the same name, composed of twenty individual isles. The largest of them are Ard Skellig, An Skellig, Undvik, Faroe, Spikeroog and Hindarsfjall. Originally these isles were inhabited by independent clans, but these later united to face the growing threat from barbarians as well as the rising powers of the Continent. Skellige then became an elective monarchy, ruled by a king chosen from among the jarls (clan chieftains). The present leader of the Skelligers is Bran of Clan Tuirseach.
It is worth noting that, in contrast to the situation in the kingdoms on the Continent, in Skellige each inhabitant is a citizen and enjoys equal rights, regardless of birth, trade or the property they possess.
On account of the rocky and often barren terrain and inhospitable climate, the inhabitants of Skellige gain their sustenance primarily from fishing, maritime trade and armed raiding. Though this last is primarily the work of men, female warriors are not unheard of, and they equal their fathers and brothers in courage and skill. For Skelligers believe that each is master of his or her own fate, and when Freya determines a man's or woman's destiny, she looks only to inner predispositions, and cares not for outward traits of status or sex.