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Taldor

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Taldor
Taldor symbol
(Nation)
Alignment Neutral
Capital Oppara
Ruler Grand Prince Stavian III
Government Decayed bureaucratic empire

Knights, fair maidens, heroic adventures, and righteous quests—these are the legends of old Taldor (pronounced TAL-door)[1]. But the once powerful empire has fallen from its former glory. Now rival nobles battle each other with bitter knights and proxy armies for personal power rather than honor. A smoldering truce with Qadira again threatens to ignite into war, and Taldor's daughter states look down upon her with contempt. Yet there is still greatness in Taldor, a stone foundation under the flaking gold adornments. Sons and daughters of forgotten royal bloodlines hear change on the wind—but is it the whisper of greatness to come, or the death rattle of an empire long past its prime?[2]

History Edit

Founded in -1281 AR, Taldor once claimed numerous nations that have now grown to become powerful forces of their own within the Inner Sea region; Taldan explorers absorbed Galt into the empire and founded both Molthune and Lastwall. Other explorers founded Andoran in 1707 AR, Isger in 2133 AR, and Cheliax in 3007 AR. This empire dominated the Inner Sea and southern Avistan, but its government soon bloated to the point where its rulers numbered in the tens of thousands. Over time the nation grew to a size that Taldor was unable to control; corruption spread throughout the government and those furthest from the capital city of Oppara began to revolt. Taldor’s military responded with brute force to quell the uprisings.[3][4]

War and secession Edit

As Taldor’s military focused on crushing internal revolts, the long-time rival nation of Qadira took advantage of the situation and invaded in 4079 AR. Taldor, with Qadira’s army at the footsteps of its capital, recalled its armies from the outlaying provinces in order to protect the nation. The resulting war, dubbed the Grand Campaign, lasted 524 years. It was during this conflict that the province of Cheliax, under Aspex the Even-Tongued, declared its independence in 4081 AR. In what became known as the Even-Tongued Conquest, Aspex proceeded in annexing Andoran, Galt, and Isger. Unable to halt these secessions, Taldor signed a treaty recognizing Cheliax as an independent empire.[4]

The loss of Cheliax and the war with Qadira severely affected the empire, and Taldor remains in decline even several generations after these events took place; corruption runs rampant through its bureaucracy, and its lower class has been stricken by poverty. Taldor’s vast wealth is the only thing keeping the empire alive.[4]

Religious upheaval Edit

The church of Aroden, in response to corruption present in the Taldan ruling class during the years of the Grand Campaign, moved its center of worship from Taldor to Cheliax. Later during the same conflict, Grand Prince Stavian I began what is known as the Great Purge; believing Qadira's invasion of Taldor had been assisted by members of the Cult of the Dawnflower, Stavian I outlawed the worship of Sarenrae in 4528 AR.[4]

Geography Edit

Taldor was once a land filled with lush forests. However, all that remains of the original landscape is the druid-protected Verduran Forest, located in the nation's northern region. Elsewhere the natural trees have been replaced by grasslands and low scrub growth. During the height of the empire much of this expanse was populated by small settlements, each interconnected by a series of roads and canals. With Taldor's decline, however, many of these small communities have been abandoned. Roads have been reclaimed by nature, and the canal system has fallen into disrepair.[5]

Major geographical features act as natural boundaries between the empire and its neighbors; to the north the Fog Peaks serve to divide Taldor from the nation of Galt. The Sellen River flows through the Verduran Forest, along the boundary of the empire and its western neighbor, Andoran. To the east, the World's Edge Mountains and the Whistling Plains provide a buffer between the failing Taldan empire and the empire of Kelesh. Finally, Taldor is separated from its long-time enemy to the south, the nation of Qadira, by the Jalrune River and the Zimar Scrublands.[5]

Major cities Edit


Geographical features Edit


Mountains

Rivers and waterways

Forests

Other features

Government Edit

Taldor is ruled by the grand prince, a hereditary title. The current Grand Prince Stavian III has only one heir, his daughter, Princess Eutropia. Taldor has a decadent royalty class, bloated with titles and obsessed with the arcane arts. Taldor’s bureaucracy is headed by the senatorial class.[6] Much of the government management is left in the hands of the senatorial class, who constantly argue over jurisdiction.[3]

Status for both royalty and senate is distinguished by their lavish beards, which by law only they can legally grow (leading to them being called "The Bearded"). Greater, more extravagant beards are a sign of a higher status of that individual.[6]

It is possible for those of lower class to be raised to a higher class; the easiest way is through civil service with the government, and through recognition being raised to the senate.[3]

People Edit

The Taldan people are a mixture of Keleshite and Azlanti blood. Taldans, by and large, have light brown hair and bronzed skin. Men of noble birth favor beards, while women commonly wear elaborate wigs; both beards and wigs are often extravagantly decorated. The common language of Taldans is Taldane.[7]

Taldans are decadent bon vivants, favoring rich foods, ornate attire, and jeweled accoutrements for even the most minor of casual affairs. To a Taldan, appearance is an expression of power, and a keen sense of fashion represents a keen mind. Their appreciation for the arts extends beyond fashion and painting, many inhabitants dabbling in sorcery, dueling, and the murky strategies of politics and war. A Taldan mind, when raised to ire, is a dangerous thing, and the rest of the Inner Sea is about to receive a painful reminder of this timeless fact.[8]

The Falcata is the traditional weapon of Taldor.

ReferencesEdit



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