The Holy Empire of Averistra Edit
Geography and Climate Edit
The Empire of Averistra is the largest and most cultured realm in all of Nyrondie. From the Great Sea in the west to the shores of Lake Savros in the east, the Empire stands, albeit much reduced from its once vast size.
The terrain features large forests, rolling plains, and abundant fields. The temperature differs widely from south to north, although it is relatively temperate throughout. The Serra Peninsula is a major exception, being semi-tropical.
Political System Edit
Averistra is not actually one kingdom, but a collection of smaller kingdoms, counties, provinces, and city-states all united under the rule of the Holy Empire of Averistra. The local principalities are overseen by governors appointed by the Empress herself. The Imperial City of Istrata is the center of the Empire, both physically, spiritually, and economically.
The Empress herself is divinely appointed as the firstborn daughter of the previous Empress. If an Empress has no daughter, a daughter is chosen from among those of her closest kin. Men are expressly forbidden from ruling as Emperor, although they can receive the title of Divine Consort. The Empress is said to communicate directly with Istra's servant, the Solar Ihasha, although only in times of great need.
The Empire is kept under the governance of the Imperial City through three primary means: the economic power of the capital, the Church of Istra, and the Paladins of Istrata, an order of holy warriors devoted to upholding the Empire and driving out evil. Without these three pillars, the Empire would collapse, regardless of the faith of the common folk.
History of the Realm Edit
Averistra was the first kingdom to be founded by Daelish men coming from across the Great Sea. Finding the Scalelands a harsh and barren place, they sailed further down the coast and found the fertile shores of Averistra, or Raeland, as they called it then. Settling across the realm, they had subdued and tamed it within two hundred years. Small kingdoms began to spring up, and the men began to spread north and east. The crossed the Great River and settled in Theyonwy. Those who traveled north found Bernic men in Dyan, and quickly overawed them, establishing tributaries among them.
The Empire itself formed when a group of city-states and small kingdoms founded the Lycosian League. This League, over time, began to exert its influence over the rest of the realms, and established itself as an empire in the year 486 after the finding of Nyrondie. Once the League had established dominance of Averistra, it exerted itself across the great river, and north to Dyan, and soon covered most of the mainland of Nyrondie, with the Grand March as the main exception.
The Empire lasted for several hundred years, putting down rebellions in Dyan, repelling raiders along its border with the Grand March, and living a rich life. However, this all changed when Dyanese rebels managed to destroy a large Averistran army sent to quell the latest uprising. The Emperor's only son was killed along with this army, and the lack of clear succession tore the Empire apart. Pieces began to split off, and finally it all collapsed. What followed was two hundred years of darkness and chaos, as various contenders battled one another for dominance.
From the ashes of the Imperial City rose a young girl, appointed by Istra herself to lead her people to light and order once again. This girl's name was Ellisania, and she became the First Empress of the Holy Empire of Averistra. Within seventy-five years the realm was united, and began to become prosperous again. Since that time, the power of the Empire has only grown, its influence once again beginning to spread into Theyonwy and Dyan.
The People of Averistra Edit
The number of city-dwellers in Averistra is quite high, for there are several major cities in the realm, the largest being the capital city of Istrata. However, like the other civilized realms, most people are farmers and herdsmen.
Slavery was legal in the old Averistran Empire, but was abolished by the Empress Ellisania. However, the practice is not completely unheard of. The number of servants in the large cities is quite high. Many leave their lives on the farm and travel to the centers of culture and wealth, finding work in the households of the many lords, ladies, and Church leaders.
The common people are very devout, centering their lives around Istra and her worship. Temples devoted to the worship of the other Divines are rare, only permitted in the larger cities. The worship of Ungit is expressly forbidden, although there are many cults dedicated to her spread throughout the land. The Paladins of Istrata and other organizations are vigilant, striving to wipe out these dark cults.
Magic is viewed as a danger, and those who use it are kept under tight control by the Church of Istra. Wizards must be trained under the supervision of the Church, and anyone caught using magic without Church sanction is arrested or simply killed. The common people see magic users as quasi-demonic, assuming that they must receive their powers from dark sources.