Sovereignty of Soren
The Sovereignty of Soren is the successor state with the most direct lineage to the Feloran Empire. The dynasties, regimes, and titles have changed and the power ebbed and flowed, but there has been a holder of the Sorenian Throne and bearer of the Steward's Scepter for the last 6800 years. This current iteration was founded by Crown Prince Aranrata Kaelbryn after the death of his father during the Sacking of Soren. Looking to the past in seeking to restore it's prestige, it is the most traditional of the Feloran Successor States, even reversing or weakening many Feloran Imperial instutitions in favor of more hereditary systems with the Sovereign as supreme lord. It has come into conflict with the Dotharan Alliance as the two compete for the political influence in order to shape the direction of the Feloran continent & people. The Sovereignty is the richest of the Successor States, though the Dotharan Alliance is growing at a faster rate economically due to its control of Feloran trade routes off-continent. Despite financial ruin during the collapse of the Empire, the personal wealth of the Imperial Family as well as many of the noble families was placed into the custodianship of the Treasurer of Soren, replenishing the coffers while also stripping the noblity of much of their independence. Much of the stolen wealth from the Treasury during the Sacking of Soren since made its way into the pockets of Dotharan merchants, contributing to some of the animosity between the Soren and Dotharan States. Silk, Cotton, and paper are the Sovereignty’s chief goods that it trades through Til Formen’ya to the rest of the world, with farming rounding out the domestic economy.
Demography and Population
Though the invasion and collapse depleted much of the population, Soren is the now the second largest of the Successor States. Most of the population lives in the twin cities of Soren (297,010) and Lumora (est. 800,000), each nestled in their namesake valleys. Soren was historically the financial center of the Empire while Lumora the political center, but with Crown Prince Kaelbryn's seat of power in Lumora and not Soren, the former capital has stagnated. Another estimated 500,000 live along the canals and navigable rivers in densely clustered villages and towns. Birthrates are stable, and steadily increasing, thanks to increased crop yields and generous grants of land and canal use by the Protector. The Sovereignty is the most homogenous of the successor states, with less than 5% of the population consisting of a roughly even division between Orcish people from the Northwestern and eastern tribes, and Half-elven peoples, mostly the descendants of Sorenian military and noble officials who ruled or lived in Galisea. The majority of Sorenians are of either Moon or Sun Elf descent (known in some circles as "high" elf). Sorenian culture is hostile to outsiders, and as such most do not settle in Soren as first choice or willingly. Those non-Felorans who do live in the Sovereignty are sequestered in urban compounds or manual laborers in the Soveriegnty's rural areas.
The Sovereignty’s reach stretches from the protected valleys of its cities and covered the many navigable rivers and aging canals, stopping halfway up the Finger Rivers. To the north through the Melitaesi Mountains is the Dotharan Alliance, and to the immediate west is the Kingdom of Daramar, with the Sarendian Trust on the other side. To the south and east is Lìrna, the abandoned Feloran interior, with the Conclave of Ekora beyond. In total, the Soren is roughly 153,930 square kilometers in landmass. Travel takes 3 days by the Grand Feloran Canal, on an almost 45 degree northeast-southwest axis. Approximately 1/2 of it's territory has been lost since it's foundation, due to a combination of factors. Foremost, the drastically reduced Feloran population consolidated into the remaining major cities of Lumora and Soren. Secondly, the weakened Feloran Court could not sustain the distant borders deep in the Feloran wilds, and was unable to mantain the infrastructure necesary to hold them. Some former territories along the Grand Feloran Canal have organised into independent states or been subsumed into the Dotharan Alliance and Sarendian Trust.
Soren is not quite the major military power the Feloran Empire was, and the Sovereignty has only in the last 100 years been able to field Fèlmörn of up to 3,000 subjects called into service from across the rural and urban settlements of the Sovereignty. Crown Princess Ravadi commands the Knights of Fèlʼörë, outmoded but well-armed Oyemörn, consisting of the remaining loyal officers from the Feloran Empire. Favoring the archaic forms of war that forged the Feloran Empire, military doctrine outright scorns gunpowder, Sorenian soldiers have not adopted firearms, and continue to use crossbows and cavalry. In the possesion of the Knights of Fèl'örë are six Feloran trebuchets, the oldest of which in particular are known for their destructive power and range, two of which are date to the Royal Era.
The Sovereignty has parity with the other Feloran successors, although the newest of advancements since the collapse of the Empire are lacking. Gunpowder is virtually unheard of. Soren and Lumora's imperial-era plumbing systems are still functional, however their reach has been truncated as major components break down. Broadly, infrastructure technology has suffered across the board, with only the Grand Feloran Canal being maintained at Imperial-quality and standards.
Like the Feloran Empire before it, the official state religion is Ëlhyaea. Sorenian shrines and temples are maintained by Custodians & Temple Stewards under the authority of the Conclave, more specifically it's advisor to the Royal Court, a position that has been reintroduced after a 150-year absence. Crown Prince Kaelbryn has been keen to be visible at shrines, and has taken to inviting newly appointed custodians to his Court for an honorary banquet. Sorenian practice is more centralised than in other Ëlhyaean communities, as the Ekoran advisor has been given the title of Bæslèlbrì, a role similar to the old Feloran Lèlbrìkèrn. The Bæ̯slèlbrì authors spiritual edicts, and issues proclamations based on their experiences and views that are disseminated throughout the Sovereignty. There is growing patronage of temples and shrines, and a corresponding increase in the spirituality of the population.
The Sovereignty is the most forthright of the Successor States in its desire to re-establish the Feloran Empire and reconquer the North. To this end, the Soveriegnty has continued Feloran noble practices, sending envoys to the noble houses in the Sarendian Trust, Jolli Steppes, and the independent canal settlement of Yèu̯traŋ'a and maintaining Ekoran control over the assignment of Sorenian and Lumoran Shrine Custodians. It has not been able to exert influence over the Formeni House, which has become itself an influential merchant family in the Dotharan Alliance. The Sorenians continue to allow trade along their segment of the Grand Feloran Canal, and as such has trading relations with the other Inner Feloran nations. The Sovereignty has also been accused by the Dotharan Alliance and some critical voices in the Sarendian Trust for usurping and undermining the military, economic, and political authorities in some of the other Elven states through spies believed to be working directly for the Protector of the Realms. Several Sorenian garrisons protect Ekoran settlements, and some feel the Sovereignty is attempting to create a de facto protectorate out of the Conclave's lands. Outside of Inner Felora, the Soveriegnty is an unknown, especially in comparison to the Feloran Empire. The Tcharsst'ai Pact, a former ally of the Empire, maintains no diplomacy with Soren, although several Tcharsst'ai clans continue to train with the Sorenian Oyemörn. Despite the availability of Sorenian goods in Galisea, this is due to the extensive trade networks of Dotharan and Qua'daran merchants. Relations with southern Felora are in the utmost stages of infancy, as the Sovereignty has only recently received envoys from the Kingdom of Western Hegla and the Allied Caliphate of Hurgan in the past year.
Agriculture & Industry
The Sorenian Sovereignty has become increasingly agrarian, with up to 84% of the population working in agriculture in some capacity. The Stewardship, as the Royal Court is referred to when discussing economics in the Sovereignty, manages land and there are strict quotas for agricultural output, a legacy of the emergency measures put in place by the Prince to pull Soren out of famine. Today, the Soveriegnty produces enough food to sustain it's population, and even the poorest in Soren eat well in comparison to their counterparts around the world. Non-agricultural worker engage in skilled trades, producing goods and services for local consumption and use. These professionals are becoming increasingly inaccessible to those not born to a parent in the field. Professional merchants serve mostly as brokers for the wealthier Sarendian and Dotharan merchants, but there is a drain on mercantile talent as they themselves often relocate to Dothara or Saren. Also notable is a class of quasi-noble bureaucrats and administrators, positions which have also become hereditary in the absence of an imperial training school.
Trade & Transport
Soren is home to the Grand Feloran Canal's central segments, and as such controls all east-west trade between the Dotharan Alliance in the east and the Sarendian Trust in the west. Trade is almost exclusively conducted over water routes, due to the extensive canal network connecting the Feloran states. Land trade is limited, as the roads are through unorganised territory that was once part of the Empire but has sense become desolate and devoid of settlements. The Sovereignty extracts a sizeable income from tariffs for the use of it's canals from the Sarendian League of Canal Merchants. Sorenians trade for everyday tools for farming. Sorenian silk is a notable commodity sought abroad by many well-to-do people.
Soren used to be the home of the Imperial Bureacracy, the system of scholars and civil servants that maintained the daily political functions of the Empire. Soren has maintained this bureaucracy in a limited way, but has not re-opened any of colleges that educated future Chilëkus, and instead bureaucrats have taken to appointing a successor, often adopting them into their family, preparing them for the Civil Examination, retiring upon their heir's passing it.
Roads between Soren and Til Formen’ya are generally paved and safe enough, and the road to the Conclave of Ekora is paved until the frontier of the Sovereignty, when it’s condition deteriorates as it enters the desolate Lìrna region, passing through the Forest of Lost Souls where it is imperative one remains on the path or risk getting lost chasing phantasms that prey on traveler’s fears. Soren has maintained the basic functioning of the Feloran Canals. Situated in the inland portion of the network, the canals crisscross the numerous rivers in the immensely wide Palm Rivers Valley. Since restoration of the canals to their former glory would require the collaboration of Dotharan engineers, Sarendian Architects, Ekoran conjurers/transmuters, and Sorenian labor along with financial investments from all four Successor States, no new construction or heavy repairs have been made to the canals within the Sovereignty, and as such its borders have gradually receded down the Finger Rivers in the past 400 years. Travel from Sarendia to Til Formen’ya has necessitated some repairs of the main canals leading through the Sovereignty, however those have been financed sporadically and inconsistently by different interests.
Head of State
Head of Government
Imperial Rëtrìrëkà, Rëkà
Official State Religion
Diplomatic Recognition & Permanent Embassy
Relations between the Conclave and Soveriegnty are cordial. The Soveriegnty has sent militias and arms to Ekoran communities struggling to fend off the unchecked raiders and bandits that have swept across the Jolli steppes, and the Conclave maintains a permanent presence in the Royal Court as it continues to advise the monarchy on spiritual matters.
The Trust and Sovereignty have a stable, if cold relationship. Trust members have their individual opinions of the Sovereignty, and the Sovereignty cultivates material and martial connections with some of them. Their is no permanent mission between them, but envoys are common between the Sovereign Court and various Trust Guilds.
Declared Rivalry & Trade Mission
Despite the declared rivalry, the Sorenian Soveriegnty continues it's trade relationship with the Dotharan Alliance, allowing Dotharan use of the canal through it's territory at exorbitant rates. The two are competitors for influence however, and tensions have been steadily rising.
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