Nation Profile: Calderia

“It is a great irony of the age that the nation most concerned with their allegiance to a god would be responsible for the greatest sins of the age.” ~Jothan Blackkard, Gazetteer

Calderia sits in the western coast of Ere, separated from Te’ran to the east by the stretch of swampland called the Blackmire as well as the To’Rizen mountain range and bordering Callen on it northern edge and Rizen to the South.

Calderia is mostly open, rolling plain, dotted with forests; The northwestern portion that borders the sea gives way to craggy cliff faces and rocky coastline. The soil here is poor and must constantly be worked for eek out enough sustenance to support the nation.

Calderia split from the remnants of the Vishnari Empire in 3251CA by a Denaiian sect following the teachings of Oulmann Craise, a self proclaimed scholar of Denaii’s holy scripture. Craise’s sect had been driven from the newly founded nation of Callen after attempting to incite riots in Spinar.

Craise and his people were forced to settle in the infertile lands east of the Blackmire, building up their nation based on Craise’s interpretations of Denaiian scripture. Out of anger for their exile and zealotry, Calderia under Craise and those that would follow after him engaged in countless raids and attempts to undermine their neighbors in Callen, Te’ran and Rizen.

These escalations in Calderian aggression and the responses of those it attacked became known to history as the Western Wars. Eventually, new defenses stemmed the border wars Calderia waged and they turned their attention to the Great Green Expanse. The war on the races of the green culminated in the Ashing of the Green and marked a total cease in communications between that nation and all the others that endures to this day.

Little can be said for Calderian culture. Almost all of the citizens of the country are descended from Craise’s original sect and are the product of centuries of government enforced xenophobia and indoctrination.

Only humans, elves, and half-elves; the only ‘worthy’ people, according to Craise, are free citizens of Calderia. All other races are slaves, owned by Craise’s ‘worthy’ and forced to toil in order to keep the nation afloat.

Calderians take dim view to other nations and cultures, many knowing little more than the alleged wickedness of their neighbors. A fanatical form of nationalism and isolationism holds sway among Calderians. All forms of non-divine magic, machination, or alchemy are illegal and strictly taboo in any case. So anathema is magic that manifested inborns are killed on sight by angry mobs.

Industry is almost non-existent in Calderia, thanks to archaic laws against anything more than bartering. Essentially, all land belongs to the Church of Denaii and is controlled by one of the Regents. Those the Regents favor are given farms, slaves and homes on the land to work. The fruits of their efforts also belong to the Regents, who portion them out as they see fit.

Foreign trade is almost entirely out of the question except the occasional, tentative agreement with the Kimeian Isles for slaves and weapons. Most items that Calderians can’t make for themselves are made by imported slaves with that kind of expertise. These slaves are highly prized, but in Calderia, that only does not necessarily equate to kinder treatment.

Calderia is a theocracy, with the twenty Regents acting both as governors of the twenty regions of the nation, but as officers of the Church of Denaii. Holy writ is law with the Regents and their armies acting as enforcers.

The three most trusted vassals of each Regent and their families form the Calderian nobility, who literally each hold the right to say if a typical commoner lives or dies. In turn, any displeasure on the part of a Regent can end a noble’s life.

Organizations and People
The Denaiian Church at Denaiassus
The only sanctioned church in the nation, the Denaiian Church of Calderia is based solely on the works of its founder. At its core, the philosophy of the church is that utter loyalty and adherence to the Law of Denaii is the most important aspect of life. It also stipulates that non-humans and non-elves are worthy only as servants for ‘Denaii’s Worthy’.

The Denaiian Church at Denaiassus fields its own army in addition to those held by the Regents and uses it to continue fighting the decades long border war with Callen as well as to mount slaving raids into its neighbors.

The High Regents
Detailed below are the five most powerful Regents of Calderia, who control the day to day affairs of the nation. The other Regencies change hands often, by infighting, or by offending the High Regents, who have to power to declare even other Regents to be heretics.

Recotta Lovvarre (Female human Aristocrat 4) – Recotta may not be as powerful in other ways as her fellows, but she is part of the Lovvarre family, a bloodline that not only helped Craise take control of the region that is now Calderia, but also key architects of the laws surrounding Regency. As such, they have made themselves integral to the Regency itself.

Recotta is a devout believer in keeping Calderia as it is, fighting tooth and nail against any change in the laws or the policies of the nation.

Vogun Neverret (Male human Aristocrat 3/Cleric 6) – Vogun is a recent addition to High Regency, though he spent the past 30 years as a clerk for the previous man in his position.

In reality, Vogun doesn’t want to be a Regent, as if makes him a prime target for assassination. Thus, he does whatever he can to keep the eyes of the other Regents off him. This means he goes along with whatever the popular opinion is.

He still walks a fine line, however, employing a secret group of enslaved inborn casters imported from Mon Sulus Kime in research on how to better protect himself from his fellows.

Craise’so Ellit (Male half Elf Aristocrat 3/Intuitive 12) – Craise’so is not this Regent’s real name, but he began calling himself such shortly after becoming a High Regent, referring to himself as a the resurrection of Oulmann Craise, the founder of Calderia.

Not many put much stock in this claim, but his status means no one will dare argue with him. Craise’so concerns himself more with foreign affairs, fielding an impressive number of sleeper agents in the world at large. He fully intends to use what he learns to undermine the heretic civilizations in Denaii’s name.

Ungot Rova (Male elf Aristocrat 15) – The oldest High Regent, Ungot was present to witness the Ashing of the Green. While other Regents laud this as a victory against the heretics, Ungot is haunted by the viciousness of the act.

His faith shaken by what he saw in the Ashed Lands, it is all he can do not to go mad. Now, with the twilight of his life long overdue (Ungot does not know it, but a divinity spark has granted him the discarnate type and the immortality that comes with it), he finds himself constantly thinking of redemption for his sins. Eventually, he may have to do something radically against the spirit of his Regency.

Larrion Forte (Male elf Cleric 12) – The official head of the Denaiian Church of Calderia, Larrion has held his position for eighty years through feats of amazing backbiting. Ironically, despite being a cleric of Denaii, Larrion is one of the few Regents who don’t even try to justify his naked abuse of power to himself.

Whenever it even becomes possible that he may be challenged either in his position in the church, or in his Regency, he immediately accuses the threat to be a heretic and has them sentenced to death. Larrion’s only ambition in life is to maintain his position.

The Piercing Eye
Most of Calderia’s citizenry have been raised to believe that the Regents are infallible as are the writings of Oulmann Craise. Only the nobles realize that the writings can and have been changed to better maintain the status quo and the way people live their lives in other lands.

One of these nobles has decided that even his position of comfort and plenty is not worth enslaving a nation of people and living forever under the threat of being transformed into dos demane. Gage Infernus (Male human Combatant 5/Rogue 3) has renounced his family and name and now builds his forces on the edge of the Blackmire, waylaying slavers and adding their captives to his army of the willing.

This army, known as the Piercing Eye after one of the earliest symbols of Denaii wishes to one day tear down the Regents and install a new government. Thus far, undead warriors and poor terrain have limited their campaign to guerilla warfare, but it is only a matter of time before they muster a true for the march on Denaiassus.

Major Settlements
Denaiassus (City 50,000)
The capitol of Calderia is the heavily fortified city of Denaiassus, situated on the northeastern tip of the country, ten miles from the Calleni border. Inside the wall, it is half farmer’s market, half massive, rolling estate.

The western half of the city holds the offices, marketplaces and the rare inn. Here, buildings are usually only one or two stories, made without a scrap of magic and cobbled with dull grey stones. Collared and branded slaves shuffle sullenly along the often empty streets, doing errands for their masters.

The twenty Regents, both the religious and governing body of Calderia live on the eastern side of the city in grand villas built to huge proportions (often over six stories), situated atop artificial hills. These villas are constantly being expanded as the Regents constantly try to outdo each other.

Locations of Note
The Sinner’s Well
At the very center of Calderia stands the temple complex dedicated to Denaii as the sinner’s well, the place where rebellious slaves and dishonored nobles are sent as punishment. The population aside from the Regents and the actual attendants of the Well think that this is some sort of torturous prison, but the reality is much more sinister.

The Sinner’s well is a necrotic pit imbued with divine power that is used in the creation of the fearsome under Dos Demane. Rebellious slaves are ritually sacrificed to power the pit and the former nobles are transformed into the actual undead with this power.

The existance of the Well is hinted at in the world at large, though its location and the power level of the caretaker of the Well, Ludv Rudgel (Male human Intuitive 17) have kept these rumors from being confirmed.

Craise’s Wall
In his last years, Oulmann Craise, in a moment of lucidity realized Calderia’s vulnerability to the ‘heretics’ in Callen – especially since they had no problem employing arcane magic and machination.

To this end, he commissioned the building of a massive wall, stretching from the coast to the treacherous swampland that separates Calderia from Te’ran. Not only was this wall huge (thirty feet wide and made of reinforced stone), but it is heavily infused with divine magic, rendering the area within 10 ft of the wall an anti-magic field.

Adventurers in Calderia will run into many spirit beasts in the central hills and forests. These creatures flourish there despite the many purges the church leads against them. Spirit wolves, boars, hawks and monstrous insects are most common.

On the swampy borders with Te’ran, the black dragon nation Huld’en’slyth rules supreme, overseeing gatherings of lizardfolk and kobolds as well as fielding any number of reptilian minions, ranging from crocodiles to dinosaurs.

Calderian slave raiders and retrievers make constant circuits to and from the out lying settlements and to the border. Occasionally, a Kimeian raiding group prowls the coast.

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©Landon Porter