Founded by the Magewives of Voranor after the Schism of the Voran Church in 1785, the Republic of Calead is to this day a matriarchal, magical meritocracy ruled by a council of eight women, called the Eight Mageriarchs, representing the eight schools of magic. Each Mageriarch has achieved the height of power in their respective school and are elected by the Magi of each Tower in Tarn, the City of Towers and the capital of Calead. As a rebuke to their former occupiers, the Caleadens have created a society that is considered the most egalitarian in all of Creacia, offering free education to all and the most advanced medical centers and scientific laboratories outside of the Acadeum. While positions as Mageriarchs are only held by females, they also foster a gender fluid culture, in which the entire spectrum of gender identity is honored and all sexual practices between consenting adults are permitted. Therefore, being male or female in Calead is a concept and a way of being rather than a sex, and a person of any species born with the male sex could theoretically become a Mageriarch. The society is stratified only in the sense that most national governing and military affairs are decided by the Mageriarchs in Tarn, while most economic and trade concerns are managed by the Consortium, a council of trading and production guilds located in the great port city of Tanos to the south on the Tanosi Sea. Despite the differences in jurisdiction and power, the Consortium is highly respected by the Mageriarchs, the opinions of the mostly male-dominated council given weight in the decisions of the realm. The structure of the bureaucracy and much of the rest of society is based on merit and testing, while heavily progressive taxation and effective social programs keep the disparity of wealth under control and equal opportunity the ethos of the land.
The history of Calead as a nation is tightly bound to that of their kinsmen in Voranor, although they represent vastly different iterations of the same people. In many senses, the current nation of Calead is a living refutation of the Voran Church, and indeed started that way with the Schism of the Voran Church of 1785 when the Magewives and those who followed them left the Plains of Nethereth and Golden Hills through the Teeth to finally cross the Rift and reach the Rising of their new homeland. The people of Calead, however, have been living along the Tanosi Sea and on the Blinding Plains beneath the Cathedral Peaks and Doomsky Mountains since before the First Ruination as three ancient, autonomous city-states: Cir, Tarn, and Tanos. Cir, the City of Temples and the oldest known non-Elven or Dwarven city, was dedicated to all the gods and filled with holy shrines; Tarn, the City of Towers, was the first open center of knowledge and the arcane outside the forbidden libraries of the High Elves, 1200 years before the Acadeum; and Tanos, the City of Ships, was the first great trading and seafaring culture, boasting a protected harbor that could dock a thousand vessels. These cities already comprised the first great cosmopolitan and diverse Human-majority civilization in 800 BFR while the barbarian tribes of what is now Voranor, Eshia and Eoland were still mainly hunter-gatherers tearing each other apart.
During the First Ruination, the Three Cities of Calead sent armies and goods to help the Elves defeat the Horde Orcs, even after Tanos was sacked and pillaged. After the war, the Three Cities remained relatively peaceful through the Age of Founding and well into the second millenium, establishing the Koemfer Halfling-dominated Laffing Hills as a protectorate country and the city of Orusal along the Scythe Coast. However, with the establishment of the Voran Church and the rule of the ambitious Priestkings, tolerant and decentralized Calead became the target of the Voran Empire’s expansionism and was besieged from the Ashlands of Urda during what is known as the Caleaden Crusades of 1770-1777. Although the Caleadens fought valiantly, they were overwhelmed by the Knights of Nethereth--leading Hobgoblin, Ogre, Orc and Human slave armies from Koth and Eshia numbering in the hundreds of thousands--and eventually annexed in 1777. The final battle became infamous as the Destruction of Cir, when the Priestking Kairic the Cruel designated the City of Temples as heretical and utterly devastated the entire city and population. The Magewives of the Knights of Nethereth, never having fully accepted the patriarchal and tyrannical Voran Church and condemning slavery, were so sickened by the Destruction of Cyr that, once the campaign was over and the devastation too horrifying to ignore, demanded the abdication of Kairic the Cruel and a fundamental reformation of the Church. The Church, backed by most of the Knights, refused and began to prosecute the Magewives as witches and heretics, beginning the Apostate Purge of 1780. However, Iasal Vorlon, Magewife to Highknight Arel Vorlon and a mighty sorceress, discovered the true nature of the “One God” as Asmodeus and attempted to reveal this damning truth to the Knights and all the people of Voranor. This precipitated the Schism of 1785 and the exodus of Isal, 1,000 Magewives, and around 100,000 soldiers, citizens, freed slaves, and even a few Knights to the recently devastated Calead, where they made peace with their former enemies and together founded the Republic of Calead in 1788. The Voran Empire, quickly crushing internal dissent and recovering from the Schism, assassinated Isal and attempted to recapture the land but were defeated at the Battle of Heltorm Hold, the newly constructed fortress guarding the entrance to Urda, in 1796.
The newly formed Republic of Calead only new peace for several decades before the darkness began to gather to the north in Urda. The simultaneous eruption of the Four Fiends covered nearly the entire area of Calead in a blanket of ash and marked the beginning of the Second Ruination. The unleashed armies of Urda flooded across the Valley of Fire to quickly overwhelm Heltorm Hold. Tanos and the smaller cities were once again sacked and ravaged, the Laffing Hills burned mostly to the ground with the Hearth Halflings fleeing to Toriel and Feldorn. Tarn protected itself in a vast plane shift weaved by the Mageriarchs, hiding the City of Towers in the Astral Plane until the Second Ruination came to an end after the Alliance narrowly won the monumental battles of Elfgate, the Skystones, and Torag’s Eye.
The Caleadens were betrayed, however, when the Voran Empire swept in to seize the newly desolated country, culminating in the Second Annexation of Calead, along with Eoland and the Vales. Calead suffered again at the hands of the Voran Church for over 200 years, though most Mageriarchs escaped and waged guerilla warfare from Galdeum, Arathis, and Toriel. However, it was not a Mageriarch who shook off the chains of the Voran Church: it was an immeasurably gifted slave girl from Volance named Sarthia who rose to great magical power early in life and managed to combine the ancient order of the Magewives with the powerful Consortium of Tanos to form a revolt that sparked the Great Rebellion and eventually ended the Voran Empire--if not the Church. Sarthia was eventually killed in a battle against Asmodeus himself during Iomadae’s War, but is revered along with Iasal Vorlon as the Saviors of Calead. For the last century, the Mageriarchs have managed the legal and military systems from Tarn while the Consortium controls the economic affairs in relative harmony, yet ever watchful of Urda to the north and Voranor to the northwest.
The current territory of Calead stretches from Heltorm Hold on the border of Urda and the Doomsky Mountains to the north, to the Rift and the Cathedrals to the west, to the river Torag's Tears in the south and the Tanosi Sea in the east. Most of the land is composed of the Blinding Plains, high plateaus of shining sand and ghostgrass cut by fecund gorges and speckled with bizarre rock formations. The Rising is a gigantic, steadily sloping plateau that lifts from the Ruins of Cir and the Dagger to stop abruptly at the colossal cliffs of the Rift.
The port city of Orusal on the Scythe Coast is independent but relies on the Caleaden navy to keep its waters safe. The Laffing Hills, although self-governing and otherwise autonomous, are under the military protection of both Calead and Toriel in exchange for the unparalleled food from the Hearth Halflings. Similarly, the Gear Gnomes of Mt. Uh Oh have an agreement with Calead to protect Cog Island and the entire Tanosi Sea from the chain of rocky islands called the Seven Sisters and Kaias Keep, and in return the accident-prone tinkers supply the Caleadens with Skyships and other inventions.
Calead sanctions the worship of all gods--even Asmodeus, but not as the "One God"-- except those of chaotic evil alignment (mainly Rovagug, Lamashtu, and Lloth), as long as the worshippers follow the laws of the land and do not interfere in the observance of other deities. Although there is no official religion, most of the Mageriarchs of Tarn follow either Nethys or Desna, while the merchants and traders of Tanos prefer Abadar or Gozreh.
Agriculture & Industry
While there are some farmlands around Tanos and Orusal (and despite the famous Hanging Gardens of Tarn), the vast majority of food consumed in Calead is produced by the Hearth Halflings of the lush Laffing Hills or imported through the port cities. There are numerous olive orchards and vineyards along the Dagger (known for the finest Whites in the Centerlands), but even the Magi of Transmuter Tower would never be able to feed the more than two million people of Calead from within its borders alone. The country does have salt and other ore mines, on the Blinding Plains and in the Cathedrals, and produce a good amount of metal and minerals, much of which they export to Mt. Uh Oh in exchange for precious Skyships and other mechanical wonders. Tanos is the greatest manufacturing and textile center of the entire Sea of Shards, rivaling even Horizontus of the Singing Coast to the west, importing many raw goods and producing all manner of finished products to trade.
All Gods, All Peoples
36% Human, 18% Halfling (12% Hearth/6% Wanderlust), 10% Hill Dwarf, 7% Elf (4% High Elf/3% Wood Elf), 6% Natyr, 5% Gnome (4% Gear/1% Forest), 5% Half-Elf, 3% Aven, 2% Tauren, 2% Goblin, 1% Tiefling, 1% Half-Orc, 2% varies
42% in Tanos, 29% in Tarn, 15% in other towns, 14% rural and coastal
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