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Sardivelia

A nation to the west of Gameth, this republic was founded by rogue merchants tired of Gameth’s restrictions on trade. Sardivelians have traded in every corner of the world, and with Paoli Piedmonte as the undisputed leader its reach has expanded even further in the late 800’s of the 4th Cycle.

Structure

For most of Sardivelia's history, the major noble families would form power-sharing coalitions to distribute resources and handle crises together rather than wasting time on petty feuds. Under Paoli Piedmonte's leadership, this system has been abandoned while many of the noble families become sidelined or outright eliminated.

Assets

  • Light armor and weapons forged in Trecce is considered as some of the best in all of Pescaliat
  • Ships crafted in the docks of Garavecchio have circumnavigated Pescaliat in record time and chartered expeditions around the world
  • Luxury items such as wine are jewelry from Sardivelia are unrivaled in quality
  • Leatherworking facilities in Petronius have produced inexpensive and lightweight armor for armies around the world
  • Cattle ranches on the border with Gameth produce high-quality steaks
  • Trading posts around the world provide Sardivelia with rare and exotic goods to buy and ship all over Pescaliat

History

Early, Prosperous Years

  The Dandolo (495 - 549) The Dandolo wasa figure so well-loved and popular in Sardivelia to the point where every noble family has claimed him as one of their own at some point or other. Recent scholars have theorized that letters from the 480’s indicate that he was the bastard son of a member of the Capaldi noble family, a minor house that never led a coalition of its own in Sardivelian history.   Regardless of his origin, The Dandolo was an inspiring figure that managed to unify the feuding families of western Gameth into a unified bloc opposing the kingdom’s expensive wars in Pescat. While King Constell II was laying the groundwork for an invasion of Rakka, The Dandolo met with every noble family in Sardivelia and forced them to swear loyalty to his cause or face certain certain death. An overwhelming majority of families chose to join, those who refused were found killed or poisoned down to the last man.   By the time of Constell II’s death in 493 and the Gamerian Civil War in 495, Gameth's government was unable to field a national army strong enough to tamp down the unified force of Sardivelian nobility. The Dandolo, fueled by several supernatural pacts and relics, lived for over a century and led Sardivelia into a golden age of expansion and prosperity. Nearly every coalition and era afterwards attempted to recreate this era of greatness, but only Paoli Piedmonte has come within striking distance of matching The Dandolo’s influence in the region.   The Age of Sardivelian Expansion Wealthy Sardivelian families financed shipping expeditions and the creation of trading posts all over Liat and Pescat. The Piedmontes, Grappas, Gentilonis, Rossos, and Vivaldis were the most prolific from this time and would have lasting influence in Sardivelia for centuries to come. Silvio (est. 523), Renzi (est. 526), and Craxi (est. 532) are the largest trading posts founded from this time period. Smaller trading colonies were either abandoned or attacked by suspicious locals, like in the Rel-Odar Massacre of Rakka in 528.   In 537 the families pooled their resources on an ambitious expedition east to establish trade relations with the kingdoms on the opposite side of the Largas Ocean. Only a handful of voyages had made it to the mysterious continent of Rana and back, and the Sardivelia fleet was supplied by more than 250 ships and a crew numbering in the thousands. A storm was believed to have destroyed the flotilla, bankrupting the families and sending Liat into an economic depression. The noble families threw around the blame, becoming suspicious of each other and initiating era of intrigue and distrust that would last for decades.   The Dandolo, losing his political acumen with age, failed to keep the noble families united and died in 548 at the age of 107. For the next few centuries Sardivelia would remain one of the wealthiest regions of Pescaliat, but the factional intrigues and power struggles of the rival families would diminish its political influence on the global stage.   The Vivaldi Question (549 - 588) Following the Dandolo’s death, the nation of Sardivelia fell into an era of suspicion and uncertainty that reached its low point in the Season of Slit Throats a few decades later. To their credit, the Vivaldi family managed to defend many of the kingdom's trading posts in Pescat through a combination of ruthless negotiations and wars. Several of the trade routes leading into the heart of Pescat had to be forfeited, but Sardivelia held onto the major trading posts of Craxi, Renzi, and Silvio.   An uneasy sense of stability held sway over the land for several years, but the Vivaldis played its hand too far in 585 when it tried to invade the Northern Territories and reclaim Mokouzai as part of its trading empire. The campaign backfired so horribly that the Kiri and Kawa clans collaborated for the first time in their history to repel a common enemy, laying the groundwork for the Kiri-Kawa Golden Age of the 590’s.   Members of every noble family saw an opening to seize control of Sardivelia in the wake of the campaign, igniting decades of violence and intrigue known as the Season of Slit Throats. Antonio Vivaldi (b. 519 - 588), longtime leader of the Vivaldi coalition, killed himself after breakfast one morning and ushered in the most violent period in Sardivelia’s history.  

Fragmentation and Intrigue

  The Season of Slit Throats (588-615) Scholars have determined that the Rosso family was technically in power for most of this era, but the period was marked by so much violence and intrigue that the fact was virtually meaningless. Still racked by staggering war debts and failed investments in ocean expeditions, the noble families fought tooth and nail over every remaining gold piece in the national coffers. The Temple of Rexfur, a minor religion not even recognized by the Ageless One in Dhamma, began forming a large following in this era as noblemen donned dual identities: gentlemen in the daylight, assassins in the nighttime.   The season of violence reached its zenith in 615 when the rulers of Gameth, Avicenna, and Sardivelia were all killed during the same Temple of Drachma festival in Garavecchio. The episode threatened to plunge the entire continent into war and chaos, but cooler heads prevailed once the worst offenders were tried and executed and replaced by a more stable Gentiloni coalition. This era, now obscured by three centuries, has proven to be a fertile setting for intriguing plays and novels.   The Gentiloni Coaliton (615-637) Although tragic in hindsight, the Gentiloni noble family managed to consolidate power with near-unanimous support from the other noble families after the Temple of Drachma Massacre of 615. Still wracked by uncertainty after the total disappearance of the Largas expedition several years prior, the Gentilonis focused on internal growth and development to boost the nation’s morale. These projects led to technological breakthroughs such as the first ship to circumnavigate Pescaliat in 633, developed in Catorce and manned by representatives from every noble family.   But these scientific advances masked a deep sense of unrest and violence in Sardevelia, a time when no merchant felt safe traveling the countryside without an entire battalion of armed guards. The Grappas family understood this discontent the best and silently amassed a following among the nation’s underclass, culminating in a coup in 637 where many of the nation’s servant class looked the other way when the Gentilonis were mercilessly killed. The Gentilonis had to go into hiding for several years in Oakengaard before returning to Sardivelian politics as an influential force in the late 690's.   The Grappas Disaster (637-648) A minor snub at an annual ball led to one of the most successful coups in Sardivelian history when the Grappas family managed to kill every member of the ruling coalition in a brunchtime massacre. The Piedmonte and Vivaldi families quickly fell in line to avoid a similar fate, but despite such a successful coup the young members of the Grappas family were totally unprepared to lead a nation of millions.   Refusing to heed the advice of advisers spared from the previous coalition, figures such as Salvini Grappas (b. 605 - d. 649) led ill-fated campaigns to regain land from Gameth and taxed most of the nation’s populace into total poverty to fund the war effort. A devastating famine killed nearly one in ten Sardivlians, and the war ended only after Gameth was given most of the farmland north of Catorce as penance. The combined humiliation and disaster left the Grappas a disgraced and unpopular family, forced to become a minor coalition partner in every government for decades to come.   The Rosso Coalition (649-689) This period of Sardivelian history is remarkable as the only time in the nation’s 400-year existence when the Rosso family led a successful coalition. After a failed campaign against the Kiri clan in 658 to expand Craxi’s borders and trading routes, the family turned inwards and curried favor with the peasant population by funding a religious revival. The Rossos generously donated to the Temples of Rexfur and Drachma, watching the peasants argue over which deity was supreme while reaping massive profits from the tithes and religious festival days.   This era, known as the Drachma Awakening, led to the Temple of Drachma’s supremacy over Sardivelian society for several centuries while Rexfur and his devotees fell out of favor all over Liat. This religious fervor backfired in the 680’s, however, when a series of plagues and famines were interpreted as signs from Drachma that the Rosso family had disobeyed the deity’s wishes. Fearful of a religious culling, the Rossos quickly disappeared from the public spotlight and voted for the Vivaldi family to lead Sardivelian politics for the next several decades.   The Vivaldi Coalition (689-741) Riding a wave of religious fervor in the wake of multiple of plagues and recessions, the Vivaldi family came to power in a power-sharing agreement with the Grappas and Rosso families. A merchant family that made its money from sleek sailing vessels that criss-crossed the seas of Pescaliat, the Vivaldis were exposed to a number of religious cults and arcane forces that they believed would help Sardivelia become the most powerful nation in the world. Members of the Vivaldi family like Mando (b. 666 - d. 725) and Victoria (b. 693 - d. 740) filled the noble courts of Garavecchio with mystics from far-off regions in Rakka and the Campanel Desert.   The coalition nearly collapsed in 721 when it was revealed that one of Mando’s economic advisers was really a yuan-ti in disguise, but it continued to hobble on for another couple of decades. Disease and poverty began to ravage the kingdom, and conspiracy theories emerged of a court of undying liches running the highest echelons of Sardivelian government.   The Piedmonte family, with funding from foreign governments like the Elflands, managed to run a successful whisper campaign that led to the assassination of Victoria Vivaldi and the collapse of its coaltion. The Rosso family, the tie-breaking vote in many a coalition, switched sides in 741 and agreed to join the Gentilonis and Piedmontes in a new era of prosperity and reform.   The Piedmonte Coaliton (741-809) After a long period of economic recession and famine, the Piedmonte noble family was able to seize power in an alliance with the Gentiloni and Rosso families. Investment in the Sixth Elflands-Rakkan War on behalf of the Elflands paid off huge dividends, securing a treaty officially recognizing the colony of Silvio as a possession of the Sardivelian government. The Piedmontes were able to use this money to invest heavily in Sardivelian infrastructure, remaking entire industries and modernizing the kindgom’s aging agricultural practices. The investments were so successful that the coalition lasted for three successive generations under Pasquale, Buonoparte, and Luigi Piedmonte.   The ninth century (4th cycle), proved to be a difficult time for the coalition when Grappas-led forces assassinated Luigi Piedmonte in 805 on a routine visit to Catorce. Sardivelia was consumed by factional vendettas and feuds for the next four years until the Piedmonte family agreed to become a minority partner in a Gentiloni-led coalition with Rosso family support. Paoli Piedmonte, Luigi’s great-grandson, never forgot his family’s humiliation on a national level and vowed to seek vengeance against the nobles who precipitated its downfall.   The Gentiloni Coalition (809-836) The Gentiloni noble family was able to consolidate power in the early 800’s and lead the nation of Sardivelia for a couple of decades. Led by young reformers fighting to revive the nation’s glory days of the 500’s, the Gentiloni family invested heavily into foreign campaigns in the Northern Territories and the Campanel Desert. Sardivelian influence led to a Kawa clan victory at the battle of Eld in 814, and the port city of Craxi became a cultural hotspot for all races in the decades following.   The Campanel campaign proved more disastrous for the Gentiloni family, leading to a failed conquest of the independent city-state of Anthep in 822. Crippled by war debts and a ruined reputation, the Gentiloni coalition was no match for the Redpox plague when it hit Sardivelian territory in the 830’s. The Grappas family, a longtime rival and constant gadfly arguing for isolationism, managed to execute a successful coup in 836 and form a new government with the Rosso and Vivaldi families.  

The Paoli Years

  Grappas Coalition (836 - 875) Notoriously corrupt, the Grappas family oversaw a period of economic stagnation in Sardivelia while the nobility enriched itself off the backs of the lower classes. The corruption reached its natural conclusion in the 870's when Grappas family members openly patronized and met with evil liches and representatives of the Court of the Undying.   Holding a deep-seated grudge against the Grappas, Paoli Piedmonte recruited the assistance of a band of Gamerian adventurers to discredit the Grappas and enable his rise to power. The first phase of the plan worked perfectly when the adventurers crashed a Grappas-led party and revealed their dealings with the Court of the Undying. The second phase 875 proved more challenging after Paoli's naval reinforcements were sunk in a tragedy known as Blue Monday, but the Royal Knights Brigade tracked down the person responsible for betraying him and saved Paoli from Fairouz's assassination attempt.   Paoli Capitalized on this success and convinced the Gentilonis and Rossos to unite behind him in a Piedmonte-led coalition. As Paoli one of the last surviving members of his noble family, this effectively granted Paoli sole control of Sardivelian government for the forseeable future. He supported Gameth during the Avicennan War of the mid-870's, and after Avicenna fell into ruins during the Fairouz Terror he helped it rebuild and establish lucrative trade deals with the recovering kingdom.   Red Monday Exactly six years after the events of Blue Monday, in 881 Paoli got his revenge on all the royal families who bet against him in. He invited all the royal families of Sardivelia to a banquet at his Trecce estate where he demanded that all the noble families surrender ¾ of their wealth to Paoli in recognition of his authority and leadership of Sardivelia.   Most of the nobility balked, and those who refused to pay were poisoned by the banquet’s wine. Only the ones who agreed to Paoli’s terms were given the antidote. Flush with funds and without any major political rivals, Paoli was able to steer the Sardivelian state in his own image. This included considerable investment in the trading posts of Pescat, the redevelopment of Avicenna, and even well-funded surveying expeditions of the Arrayas and Largas Oceans.

Demography and Population

  • 81% Human
  • 6% Elven
  • 6% Gnomish
  • 2% Half-Elf
  • 5% Other Races

Territories

Rulers of Sardivelia  
  • The Dandolo (495 - 549)
  • The Vivaldi Question (549 - 588)
  • Season of Slit Throats (588 - 615)
  • Gentiloni-led Coalition (615 - 637)
  • The Grappas Disaster (637 - 648)
  • Rosso-led Coalition (648 - 689)
  • Vivaldi-led Coalition (689 - 741)
  • Piedmonte-led Coalition (741 - 809)
  • Second Gentiloni-led Coalition (809 - 836)
  • Second Grappas-led Coalition (836 - 875)
  • Paoli Piedmonte (875 - Present)

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