Elven Empire, government
The Elven Empire is one of the three largest nations of elves in Scarterra. Centered around their capital on the island of Lunatus, the Elven Empire is a mercantile power with a powerful navy that is the nevertheless suffering a decline in fortunes of what their ancestors enjoyed. Elves make up a plurality in the Elven Empire, not a majority. They are a but a single elven generation away from being overtaken by humans in terms of numbers. Empire wide, the population is roughly 45% elves, 42% humans, 4% half elves, 6% gnomes, 3% other.
Demography and Population
Khemra is the state patron of the Elven Empire. The empress is rarely seen without a Keeper nearby to offer advice and many of her vassals follow suit. Because Khemra is the official keeper of the Divine Compact, all of the Nine are officially recognized and worshipped by the state though sometimes it’s clearly done reluctantly. While the Elven Empire is known for tight control, individual citizens are given a surprising amount of leeway to worship as they choose. The gnomes tend to worship Mera primarily as they commonly do in other nations. Humans in outlying colonies often assimilate the religious priorities and practices of nearby human dominated nations. Sometimes this assimilation even trickles upward as more than a few Elven nobles in the outlying colonies adopting religious practices at odds with their fellow nobles in the Island of Lunatus . This is not constant. More than a few minority elven leaders are reactionary hardliners. In the wake of the Empress’ social reforms, there has been an increase in humans and half-humans assimilating to Lunatus’ norms in their worship rather than trying to differentiate themselves from their “rabble” cousins by being extremely openly pious towards Khemra. The second most politically influential priesthood is that of Hallisan . Guardians are often consulted by rulers. They also are very influential in the military. Hallisan’s political influence is growing. Many of the newly promoted non-elves value Hallisan as a patron more than Khemra. Phidas is a close third, at least with the upper class. Masks are consulted in most matters of commerce and like in many other nations, their temples are the predominant lending institutions in the land. The rumor is they are buying their way into greater influence over the Imperial Throne. This has led to a mild backlash against Phidas in the more outlying colonies. Mera is widely respected but her priesthood wields little political power since she is considered mainly as a domestic goddess by the Imperial Throne. Still, Mera is probably prayed to more commonly on a daily basis by the citizenry as both the guardian of the hearth and the protector of people traveling at sea. Given that gnomes are gaining more prestige and influence and that Gnomes view Mera as their spiritual mother, its possible the Tenders will seek and/or receive greater influence in the near future. Korus has multiple festivals throughout the year normally tying into seasonal aspects of agriculture. Apart from that he is not worshipped often and is largely ignored. Sometimes Korus priesthood is consulted to mediate on disputes between different priests, but the Empire’s Stewards are often accused of being in the pocket of the Keepers. Greymoria has two officially recognized holy days in the Empire. One at the end of the year commemorating her role in the Rebellion and one in the summer celebrating her Gift of wizardry. Beyond that Greymoria worship is swept under the rug. Most observances and offerings to Greymoria are actually performed by Zenith caste members of Khemra’s priesthood. Greymoria’s priests tend to only reveal themselves openly during her summer festival. Nami and Zarthus priesthoods both claim that in the Second Age their priesthoods were welcome in the vibrant and free nation that was Lunatus. Now they are barely tolerated. The only times the state officially observes a holy day for either of them is during their respective zodiac years. Thus what usually is at least an annual festival has become an every nine year festival. That’s fine for long-lived Elves but most Humans don’t like that. Several outlying colonies have yearly festivals to Nami and Zarthus that are nominally tolerated by the elven nobles. Mutual oppression has forged tight bonds. Rovers and Lanterns to the point where some say they are hard to distinguish. Though Khemra is more opposed to Nami than Zarthus, the Elven Empire seems to crack down harder on misdeeds of the Lanterns. Zarthus inspired acts of rebellion often have moral underpinnings making them more dangerous from a propaganda point of view. Also there is worry that Imperial Half-Elves will use Zarthus worship as a rallying point to rebel much as they did in Apseldia. Also despite the fact that Greymoria gets more public respect, there are lot more priests of Zarthus and Nami than of Greymoria in the Empire. Maylar has no festivals. Simply an annual observance recognizing his contribution to the Rebellion and his Gift to civilization. This observance is carried out by Zenith caste priests of Khemra and takes less than two hours. Maylar worship outside of this is generally frowned upon. There are few Maylar priests in the Elven Empire and there are zero public priests of Maylar in the Empire. Once in a while Maylar worshipping brigands will attack an outlying colony or the Bearers of the Ill Wind will contact an “infect the Empire” scheme, but the real threat are the Decadents, particularly common among non-inheriting nobles who have lots of wealth but little responsibility or oversight. Government inquisitors work hard to prevent these subversives from poisoning the Empire from the top down.
Standard coinage. Minted coins have the empress's face on one side and the seal of the Elven Empire on the other.
Official State Religion