Talas Campaign Setting: Gazetteer Empire of Talas

Empire Of Talas

 

Talas,( Empire of)

Capital: Eternal

Government: Imperial Monarchy

Population: Human, Halfling, Dwarven, Lupin, Elven, Half Elven, Half Orc.

Import: Exotic Goods, Silk, Spices, Ores.

Export: Agriculture, Books, Coinage, Wines, Worked Goods.

Languages: Imperial Common, Shire Common, Dwarven, Lupin, High Elven, Old Arkand, Kivinaaite.

 

  The Empire of Talas is one of the largest and most powerful of the human nations on the continent of Kivinaa today.

 

  Centered with the capital city in the shadow of Mount Io and radiating out across the Talasian plains, the land covered by the empire stretches as far north as the coast of the Eternal Sea, and as far south as the coast of the Dragon Sea, The western border brushes up against the Sisters of Fire mountain range, while the eastern border is marked by the passage of the Merry river.

 

                                                    Life and Society

  

  There is no one common physical trait that stands out amongst the Talasians, for the majority of the people of the empire are descended from a mix of Arkand and Kivinaaite stock with a touch of some demi-human or other races blood found here and there. The empire is considered the great melting pot of the world of Ord.

  

  One of the things that make the people of the empire unique amongst the other human nations on the continent of Kivinaa is a strong sense of national pride that the citizens have It is this national pride along with their economic and military might that makes them a force to be reckoned with on the continent.

 

                                                    Government

  

  The Empire of Talas is built upon strong feudal traditions that have served it well for many centuries. At the top of the hierarchy sits the emperor who is advised by a council of lords, who are made up of members appointed by the noble houses.

  

  Each of the noble families holds a seat upon the council giving their appointed spokesperson the family Vrin (Old Arkand meaning noble's mask) as a sign of their authority. This person is not always a blood relative of the noble, as the head of the noble family may designate anyone as their speaker. It is more common for one of the nobles children, usually his first or second born to be appointed to the council, but sometimes a wise and trusted advisor is chosen for the position instead.

  

  The appointed speaker and his retinue for the council of lords live in the capital and hold meetings with each other at the Council Tower. The emperor will sometimes meet with the council during times of crisis at the council tower, but it is more common for the current emperor to summon them to the imperial palace.

  

  Once every five to ten years (depending on the current ruling emperor) as well as during times of great crisis, the emperor may call forth what is known as a true council. The head of each noble family comes forth instead of their appointed speaker, although the speaker is usually present standing behind and to the left of their lord.

  

  The Church of the Guardians also holds several key and powerful positions within the empire. They handle the minting and distribution of all imperial coinage, which is why imperial coinage has spread beyond the borders of the empire of Talas.

  

  While each noble is empowered to act as judge over the lands under his or her control , the Church of the Guardians has an order specifically dedicated to act as imperial judges. This sect is entirely made up of guardian clerics who follow Ryth god of judgment and death. This sometimes causes a rift between the local nobility and the church as a cleric of Ryth can overturn a local lords decision if his clerical rank is equal to or greater than the nobles effective rank of nobility. Some nobles see these clerics as a blessing, as it cuts down on the duties that are required of them and many nobles actively recruit these clerics to live within their lands. Let the cleric of Ryth be the feared judge, this gives the local populace one less reason to hate the local noble.

  

  The church of the guardians also handles a majority of the primary education that the average citizen of the empire receives, having schools scattered across the empire.

 

                                    Major Geographical Features

The empire of Talas controls a rich land of plains and forest that are the envy of her neighbors.

 

Archer Forest: This vast and ancient wood is home to a powerful sect of druids who still worship the primordial gods using the old traditions. The forest canopy covers many ancient ruins that have been hidden away for thousands of years.

 

Dragon Sea: The calm waters of the Dragon Sea in the south, have been home to pirates, raiders, and traders for centuries. It is the gateway to the Mourning Sea to the east, which is a heavily traveled route used by traders and travelers moving between the continent of Kivinaa and Longlu.

 

Eternal Sea: These northern waters are cold and somewhat rough. The abundant fishing and whaling opportunities that can be found here are second to none.

 

Merry River: This is a major trade river that begins far in the north in the mountainous region of the nation of Kymaria and empties out into the Dragon Sea to the south. The river has a long history of river pirates who accost trading vessels that use the waterway. The Merry River marks the empires eastern boundary.

 

Mount Io: This is the fifth highest peak on the continent of Kivinaa, centered in the heart of the empire. In ancient draconic legends it is believed that the mountain was formed from a tooth that the draconic god Io lost in a battle with the elven gods. Dragons see this as a holy site and many of their number have lairs within the mountain.

 

Shadow Bay: This deep water bay is able to handle the largest of sailing vessels found in Ord. The mouth of the Shadow Bay opens up into the rich fishing grounds of the Eternal Sea.

 

Silver Lake: Fed by the snowmelt from Mount Io and the Talas, Steel and Merry Rivers. Silver Lake protects the tomb of the High King of the north Orius Talas. This lake is also the main water source for the capital city of the empire.

 

Steel River: This waterway flows along the western border of the empire and is fed by the hill country that borders the Sisters of Fire Mountain range. The Steel river is home to many cataracts and is very poor for use by traders and travelers.

 

Talas River: This river flows from the Shadow Bay in the north to Silver Lake in the south. The original Kivinaaite name for the river was Tal (meaning deep water), but it was renamed to the Talas river by King Myos II when he set his brother Julian Talas upon the throne of the Kingdom of Talas in the south as the river linked their two kingdoms.

 

Talasian Plains: These plains surround and radiate out from Mount Io. The Talasian plains are some of the best arable land on the continent of Kivinaa, which is why the empire is the bread basket of the continent.

 

                                                    Important Sites

 

Bellrod (Small Town 1,400): This is the empires furthest western civilian town. It sits precariously close to the great Ebon Gate of Gothica.

 

Crusader Cathedral: Is not only one of the holiest sites to those who worship the guardians, but is also one of the few structures that survived the terrible destruction wrought upon the Eternal City during the Slayer Wars.

 

Dragon Temple: Found within the heart of Mount Io, the dragon temple is one of the holiest sites in the draconic religion.

 

Eternal (Metropolis 275,000): Built along the shores of the Silver Lake, Eternal is the capital city of the empire and home to the Emperor's palace. This is the second city to be built upon the site as the first city was destroyed by chromatic dragons during the Slayer War around 815 AC.

 

Griffons Gate (Large City, 25,000): Built along a trade route that cuts across the Sisters of Fire, the city of Griffons Gate watches over some of the wildest lands under the empires control.

 

Knights Hold: This is a grand fortress maintained by several knightly orders along the empires north-eastern border.

 

Mythlore University: Is the most prestigious center of learning in the entire world of Ord. The professors of Mythlore University present a large range of courses that are not taught by the traditional schools run by the church. This often leads to strained relations between the university and the church.

 

Shadows: (Metropolis, 500,000) Built upon the ruins of many past cities, Shadows is built along the shore of the Shadow Bay and was once the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Omek. Today the city of Shadows is the largest city on the continent of Kivinaa and is home to the imperial navies sky ship base. The city is also the center of power for many merchant guilds as it forms the nexus for trade routes across the world.

 

The Twin Light Houses: These Ancient structures were built at the mouth of Shadow Bay to protect Arkand fishing vessels from crashing into the high cliffs that line the coast of the Eternal Sea. The Twin Light Houses are considered one of the great wonders of the world of Ord.

 

                                                     Early History

  

  In days long past, a major portion of the lands now covered by the empire of Talas were once ruled over by the tyrannical Orc kingdoms of old.

  

The power of the Orc kingdoms were built upon the backs of the enslaved native human population of Kivinaaites. There was little that the elder races could do to effect the situation at that time, because they were still recovering from the recent and terrible events of the Darastrix Vaecasin War.

  

  The Salvation of the enslaved Kivinaaites would not occur for several thousand years. It was the coming of the Arkand and the loss of the Arkand home world, that would change the balance of power on the continent.

  

  The Arkand built several loosely allied city states along the northern coastline of the continent of Kivinaa. The survival of these colonies and their ability to repulse orc raids was due in large part to the resources that the Orc kingdoms had to devote against the Minotaur's of the Phoenix Isles in the Dragon Sea.

  

  Over the next several centuries the Arkand city states in the north evolved into independent kingdoms. It was from one of these independent kingdoms that the Arkand champion known as Orius Talas arose.

  

  Orius Talas was the founder and grand master of the knightly order that would come to be known as the Knights of the Ring. It was the participation of this order in the search for and forging of the True Ring, that led to the unification of the primordial and titan churches into their current form (The church of the Guardians).

  

  Before his death King Myos I of the Arkand kingdom of Omek (in the vicinity of the modern day city of Shadows) named Orius Talas as his heir as he had no children of his own. It was from this base, once he had ascended to the throne, that Orius Talas was able to cobble together an alliance of demi-human and human nations (along with the backing of the new church) to wage a Crusade against the Orc Kingdoms of the central plains region of Kivinaa.

  

  The Crusades lasted a staggering two decades with both sides gaining and losing the advantage at different points of time.

  

  The First Crusade is generally considered to have ended at the conclusion of the Battle of Mount Io, were High King Orius Talas defeated the mightiest of the orc kings in single combat. Orius alas would not survive the day fore he was felled by the arrows of orc assassins.

  

  The end of the First Crusade reshaped the political landscape of the entire continent and at last freed the enslaved Kivinaaites.

  

  Myos II son of Orius Talas succeeded his father upon the throne of the kingdom of Omek, while Orius's youngest son Julian was set up by his brother as the king of a new nation formed from a large parcel of land that encompassed the area surrounding Mount Io.

  

  Young Julian Talas spent most of the young nation's treasury building an elaborate under water tomb for his father beneath Silver Lake. If not for key members of the Knights of the Ring and the help of several of the demi-human nations who had participated in the crusade, the new nation would have surely gone bankrupt.

  

  As time passed Silver Lake became a pilgrimage point for those who wished to honor the sacrifice made by Orius and all who had fought to free the people of Kivinaa from the orc kingdoms during the crusade.

  

  The treasury of the new kingdom (as well as that of the church of the Guardians and the Knights of the Ring who protected the pilgrimage routes) was soon full of coin, as more and more people made the journey to Silver Lake.

  

  There were those who looked upon the new nation's good fortune with jealous eyes, including the eyes of King Myos II.

 

  Greed soon led to war as several member nations who had participated in the crusade began to began to act upon their covetous desires. Excuses were made and armies once more marched across the plains.

  

  Julian had come to the throne of the Kingdom of Talas at a very young age and many underestimated him due to his age, this would be an often fatal mistake made by his enemies.

  

  There is a legend that the Ghost of Orius Talas visited each of his old comrades in the Knights of the Ring and ordered them to defend his young son and the new kingdom. All but one of these knight commanders refused orders to return home to their respective kingdoms and placed themselves and the men under their command under Julian's banner.

 

 For seven years the war dragged on concluding with King Julian's final victory over his brother King Myos II at the battle of Three Rivers.

 

  With the Brothers War concluded the Church of the Guardians anointed the kingdom of Talas as the Empire of Talas and crowned Julian as its first Emperor, a title no Arkand had held since the fall of the Olde World.

  

  Today the empire stands as a torch bearer against the darkness, fighting enemies external and within. Mighty alliances have been forged and mighty enemies have been made, but what the future holds only time will tell.

 

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