The protectorate of Celestria occupies almost the entire east side of the Dragon Tooth Mountains, which represents the western border of the kingdom. In the north the land is bordered by Arfordas, in the south by Mynad. In the east, the Silent Ocean offers a deceptive and often deadly frontier.
Who has crossed the border to the protectorate will quickly notice the kindness of its inhabitants, who seem to know no fear and only few threats. In general, every visitor will quickly notice the prosperity of the country, where even the poorest of the poor do not suffer from hunger.
Titles in Celestria
The current Queen of Celestria
, Her Majesty Chiara of Celestria
, is the absolute ruler at the head of the kingdom. Although Chiara rules unrestrictedly, she allows the Crown Council
a high degree of participation in the laws and refuses to tear down such intrusive practices as are customary in other kingdoms.
In the aristocratic hierarchy below the queen are the dukes, who each control a city and its province. There are currently six dukes who are selected according to their merits. The title of the Duke is not hereditary, but expires with the death of the title bearer. The Duke's children are usually trained in the castle and are given the opportunity to earn their own noble rank or at least a high rank in the military.
Below the dukes but above the rest of the high nobility stand the princes and princesses of the kingdom, i.e. the descendants of the queen and her husband. No distinction is made as to which child is older than another, especially since the succession to the throne is also determined on the basis of personal aptitude and achievements, and not on the basis of the order of births.
The Earls of the Kingdom usually control a smaller area within the Duchies. Their title, too, is not hereditary, but expires with the death of the title holder. The earl is social and equal in his rights to a High Priest, an Archmage, the High Bard or a High Paladin.
Within the counties, the barons control part of the country. The Baron's title usually passes to his oldest child, regardless of gender. Barons are equal to the High Wizards, Temple Priests, the Master of Lore, and the Temple Defenders, and have the same rights and duties.
The Baronets are equal in rank to the Magisters, Consecrated Priests, Consecrated Paladins and Songweavers. Usually the title passes to the oldest child and is accompanied by a small fief, for example two or three villages for which the baronet is responsible.
Knights only stand a small step below the Baronets and have no equivalent in the other branches. Their titles are not inherited and are awarded solely for military merit. A knight usually has control over a castle or fortress within the kingdom and is responsible for the inhabitants of the surrounding area and the villages belonging to the fortress. Knights are special because they are not accountable to any temple or academy, but only to the Queen.
Government in Celestria
The government of Celestria is headed by the Queen, who in theory holds absolute power. However, laws are usually passed by the Crown Council, which consists of 20 members. 10 of them come from the high nobility, 10 are elected representatives of the individual duchies and come from the middle or lower class. The laws enacted by the Council are not valid until they have been signed by the Queen, who has an absolute right of veto over laws enacted by the Council.
In the provinces or duchies, the work of government is carried out by an elected Provincial Council, presided over by the Duke. It may enact laws at provincial level as long as they do not conflict with applicable law in the Kingdom or massively disadvantage a social class. The Provincial Council usually includes representatives of all villages and towns within the Duchy.
In the individual towns, villages and communities, a municipal or city council provides for further regulations that apply at the level of this settlement and are subject to the same restrictions as the provincial laws. The municipal council also collects the taxes in the respective community and publishes the annual report on the use of the funds.
In Celestria there is a standardised tax rate for all residents which is based on social class and income. The upper and middle classes pay 5% of their annual income in taxes, the lower classes pay 1% of their income.
For guilds and religious communities, the tax rate of 15% of income applies uniformly. This can, however, be reduced by providing welfare for the poor and community services. The conditions for this reduction lie solely with the Crown Council and the Queen.
It is forbidden by law to impose additional taxes on the citizens of Celestria, such as a "prostitution fee" or the like, to levy additional taxes in excess of the statutory tax, or to otherwise extort additional funds from the citizens. Municipal tax resources are designed to cover all current expenses at this rate, so that further payments of money by citizens are considered unnecessary reprisals and are punishable by law.
Obligatory School Attendance
Every child in Celestria must attend school from the age of six to sixteen in order to be trained according to their inclinations and talents. In order to compensate the parents for the lack of help of the children in the houses and on the farms, it is ordered that each family be paid an amount of one Gold Dragon per quarter for each child. This amount is not counted against the taxable income and payment is made from the day of birth until the child reaches the age of 16.
Not sending a child to school will result in a monetary penalty of 100 Gold Dragons or a 50-day prison stay for the parents. This imprisonment is noted in the citizens' letter and the parents are to be excluded from all public offices in future.
Any youth at the age of 16, or the comparable age for long-lived races, has the obligation to complete a two-year military service. A quarter of this time is compulsory in a village or city guard, a quarter in a frontier garrison. The remaining time is spent in a Celestria military base.
During military service, the youth receives a payment of 750 Gold Dragons per year, free board and lodging. The equipment is provided to the recruit. On request, the military service can also be extended and converted into an employment in military service. The remuneration for military service is 1200 Gold Dragons per year with free board and lodging.
Same Payment for Same Work
It is forbidden, under threat of severe penalties, to make differences in payment based on social origin, sexual orientation, religious tendency or gender. The composition of salaries must be transparent and made available to workers at all times. Those who perform the same tasks must receive the same wages.
No Judgement without a Court of Law
It is punishable by law to mention names in crime investigation reports or to report in a manner that would identify certain individuals and cause serious harm to their reputations. A judgement must be made by a court chaired by a Riana devotee, not a newspaper, not a social group. Anyone who contravenes this regulation will face severe fines and banishment for repeated offences. Justice and judgment must be awaited before a resident of the country is branded with an act that he may not have committed.
The kingdom was founded by the Scalebearers of the Time of Heroes in 527 of the Time of Heroes, who unwittingly took possession of the ancient possessions of the Order of Light and Shadow. In the same year, the order was founded again by the said Scalebearers.
In the course of the first settlement of the country, mainly refugees from all corners of the continent and from all peoples were settled in Celestria, starting from Drachenruh, which was to function as the capital of the kingdom. In the course of 1000 years, Celestria's population grew to about half its current level.
The relative prosperity of the country, combined with the rare materials and diverse new developments that have taken place here, has often made Celestria a target for attacks and assassinations of all kinds throughout its nearly 10,000 year history, with which competing empires sought to appropriate the country's secrets and resources.
Since the beginning of the Time of Fate and the associated end of the Plague of the Undead, Celestria has experienced a time of tense peace in which knives are more diplomatic than steel. In recent centuries, the kingdom has increasingly formed stable trade alliances that have so far been quite effective in preventing wars. However, it is clear to all that this peace will not last, especially as Celestria's policy is clearly against slavery, abuse of magic and other atrocities that are common in other kingdoms.
While Celestria is extensive in forming trade alliances, it does not fundamentally accept defence alliances or non-aggression pacts. The Kingdom's neutral position is a thorn in the side of many other nations, especially as Celestria is also the largest and best organised military power on the continent.
Demography and Population
Celestria is a large kingdom with a total of 11.1 million inhabitants. Of these, 1% belong to the aristocracy and upper class, 50% to the middle class and 49% to the lower class. Unregistered criminals are estimated to account for around 10% of the total population.
Approximately 40% of the population live in cities, the remaining 60% are distributed among various villages, settlements and religious communities that do not belong to any urban area.