"Royalty? Not five days ago, he was a thug in a tavern!" -Goldhoops, a sailor from Thu Vara seelomg information from a Calgarian slave
In the southeastern parts of En sits the Kingdom of Calgaria, a land ruled by warlords. It is bordered on the west by Silver Sands, the north by the Lands of Eald, and the east by the Champion's Crossing. To the south is the Basin of Viphia, where there are quite a few islands ruled by both Calgarian warlords and Thu Varan mages.
This descriptive text was written by The Exhumer in the year 751 IC, at the request of Fayruz Blue-Ink, High Scribe of Listria.
Calgaria is one of the youngest of the human territories to have surfaced. Not seven hundred years ago, it was inhabited by People of Eald. Then, more humans came from the western continent of Announ in boats, and usurped the land, distrustful of the natives and feeling entitled to a land of their own. The People of Eald to the north didn't take too kindly to this, and retaliated in the name of their fallen brothers and sisters. The elves of Silver Sands, allies with the People of Eald, aided in these assaults.
Despite being outnumbered, the newcomers managed to beat back both the People of Eald and the elves, thanks to the efforts of a warrior-queen named Calgaria. After the dust settled, Calgaria and her people - whose numbers swelled thanks to the Ealdic and elven slaves - began to build great cities.
Who to Rule? And Where? Edit
When Queen Calgaria herself died, her three sons began to fight over who should rule: Elegar argued that he was the oldest, and would be the best candidate due to his age and wisdom; Zelnaia's argument was that she was female, and that their mother favored women over men; Dagor insisted that he should rule, as he was the strongest, and of Ealdic blood -- the land was his, by right. Eventually, the three siblings came to an agreement after the eldest of Calgaria's suitors showed them her Will, which stated that rule should be split up between all three children.
Elegar inherited the southern coasts, while Zelnaia gained rule over the western reaches, which were the closest to her father's home in Silver Sands. Dagor received the greatest portion, which consisted of the northern and eastern sections. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the three began to quarrel over resources... Complicating matters, Dagor was usurped by his daughter Valrene before any agreement could be reached.
Valrene's mother was one of the Wærlogan, as were many of her subjects...as well as those of her aunt and uncle. Under her guidance, Valrene's people began to marry the sorcerous arts with those of warfare like never before, and in what seems like only months, established the first Warmage Academies. These fighting wizards all but decimated Elegar and Zelnaia's forces, especially when it was revealed that several of their own had telepathically betrayed their secrets to the Warmages. Elegar and Zelnaia eventually joined forces against their niece, but were quicker to surrender the minute they saw their dead rise to fight against them.
United But Briefly Edit
After months of negotiation, the three rulers came to an agreement over the distribution of resources...and the distribution of Warmages. There was relative peace within Calgaria for a time, and Zelnaia was able to mend some of the hurt feelings from the elves of Silver Sands. The Warmages withdrew from Calgarian politics, becoming independent political entities, though all openly favored Valrene. It is said that there was even talk of uniting Calgaria under one ruler, but whether or not this is true nothing came of it, as disputes between nobles resulted in a terrible civil war that tore the country apart.
As time went by, overpopulation become an issue in Calgaria, resulting in limits on how many children could be born to one parent based on social standing. The rulers, in a rare moment during which they did not clash with one another, resolved to solve their problem by expanding their territories beyond the swamps and hills they inhabited, and began to launch attacks on other nations. The people of Calgaria launched attacks against the Kingdom of Padan, to the northeast, and the Thu Varans who lived to the south. A few attempts were made on Themisyran city-boats, with predictable results.
The Padani and Thu Varans were taken by surprise, just as expected, but managed to defend themselves from the warriors and warmagi that were intent on taking their homes. Following their enemies back, the allies laid waste to the Calgarian borderlands, and reached as far as the Citadel of Calgaria itself before spitting on its gates and returning home with dire warnings on their lips.
Current Events Edit
After their defeat at the hands of the Padani and the Thu Varans, the people of Calgaria have learned a lesson in humility, and slightly revamped their foreign policies. Now, instead of attacking first and explaining their motives while their foes are on the ground, Calgarians will first ask, and then attack if they have not gotten their way. The same courtesies do not extend to one another, however, and warlords still launch attacks against one another with reckless abandon. Warmages launch attacks on whoever they are paid to.
Calgaria boasts the highest amount of battle-ready individuals per settlement of all the human kingdoms, with a staggering two thirds of its civillian population knowing how to defend themselves against attackers with some form of weaponry or hand-to-hand techniques. The most dangerous members of Calgaria's population are the trained combatants. Accordingly, mercenary Calgarians command the highest prices, and Warmagi in particular will never be talked below 95% of their asking prices. It is very rare to come across a Calgarian that does not bear some sort of scar on her or his body.
Past-times include duelling, watching slaves fight, and hunting. It has been remarked by dwarves that Calgarians treat the wild beasts around their holdings better than each other, with strict regulations on when certain animals may be hunted, and how many may be slain per hunter or hunting party. Fishing also plays a large part in Calgarian society, and many affluent outsiders risk brief visits to the otherwise region country for a taste of their fare. They usually end up as slaves.
The presence of cults in Calgaria depends entirely upon the preferences of whatever warlord has taken over any given territory. Few temples there are older than a couple of centuries at best, as they are usually the first buildings to be destroyed after a successful raid -- how better to break morale?
In the Warmage Academy cities, gods such as Riknaan and Listria are worshipped, as is Danabris. Titan cults are relatively scarce in Calgaria, and The Way, a Huikan faith, is almost unheard of.
Each part of Calgaria is ruled by a warlord, who considers itself royalty. The rules of these "Kings" and "Queens" tend to be short, lasting only for a couple of years (at the least) to generations (at the most) before other, more powerful warlords usurp the throne. As a result, the governments in these regions are unstable at best, "changing like socks in the morning" as one dwarven mercenary pointed out to me.
The exception to this rule applies to the cities built around Warmage Academies, which are ruled by the most powerful (usually retired) warmage, known as the High Warmage(ss). Second to the High Warmage(ss) are those who work at the academies, even the lowliest of apprentices being considered lesser nobility. These cities are more or less independent, and the power of their inhabitants ensure that they stay that way.
Warlords (or "royalty") frequently bid for the assistance of these Warmage Academies, as do foreign powers. Their loyalty lasts only as long as their pay, and the second money stops coming in, the Warmages typically refuse any more help and leave, with their power ensuring that nobody complains, or if so, not for long.
Females enjoy the same rights as males in the Warmage Academy cities, as well as in regions ruled by female warlords or particularly sympathetic male warlords (at present, none of the latter exist).
Slavery is legal in Calgaria, and it is not uncommon to see even the poorest of citizens owning one to two slaves. "Kinder" rulers have made an effort to enact bans, or limitations, on slavery, but these have been largely unsuccessful. The only law that has been passed in favor of prospects was added to the lawbooks by the King Elegar of the Ironclad Tower, who stated that only Calgarian citizens and enemy soldiers on Calgarian ground were candidates for slavery in most of Calgaria. This has had a fortunate side-effect of other countries viewing us in an at least somewhat better light, as in my grandfather's time there were a lot of hard and hurt feelings towards Calgarians because of the way they took slaves.
A few slaves meet untimely ends in arenas, where they fight with one another, or with captured animals from around Amlöst. Those slaves who are slain are carted off to the warmage academies. Either way, the slave's master benefits financially. Exceptionally promising slaves and their masters enjoy status as lesser nobility.
There are unsubstantiated rumors of slavers kidnapping non-Calgarians outside of Calgarian grounds.
Whether as individuals or as groups, Calgarians prefer to take the offensive in battles, hoping to take their enemies by surprise or overpower them. Nothing is sacred or beneath a Calgarian when it comes time to draw steel: archers will fire poison-tipped arrows at horses and men, and siege parties will launch missiles consisting of exhumed (or fresh) bodies.
In engagements in which Warmagi are present, sturdy walls can theoretically be laid to waste in seconds. The dead from either side will rise to serve Warmagi, and it is not uncommon for these fearsome soldiers to bring magical bags filled with anywhere from one to five corpses to be animated. Second in power to the Warmagi are the golems that they employ, usually of the iron variety. Flesh golems are also a common sight, and made out of the corpses of soldiers and slaves. There seem to be little laws regarding the gathering of components for these foul constructs, and as such necromancers thrive in Calgaria.
Calgaria is a hilly land, with forested wetlands to the northwest.
Major Settlements Edit
Of note in Calgaria are the Warmage Academies along the coasts, around which grand cities and shipyards are built. While they are technically just as likely to be attacked by warlords as any other settlement in Calgaria, none dare attack, for stories of invading armies always end in great loss. As such, Warmage Academy cities are actually considered by some to be the safest and most stable parts of the region.
Noteworthy Individuals Edit
- Calgaria (Queen), the first ruler of Calgaria, and its namesake.
- Arlen Dyveria, an archmagess from Calgaria who has opened an academy in northern Ivria.
- Jakov the Bloodletter, a blacksmith who developed many wicked torture devices for the warlords of Calgaria. His cruelty was legendary, and his family left him out of fear as much as disgust. He met his end on one of his own devices, which he demonstrated at a banquet.
- Elegar was a son of Calgaria, who passed a law on slavery as it pertains to outsiders that stands to this very day.