"The Eternal Empire, it was called, for it had existed longer than any had record of, and would surely continue beyond the current calendar. Its military might was unmatched, or at least no one wanted to ever have to match themselves against it, and its messaging and travel networks were the supporting infrastructure for all the world. Whether soldier, magician, or noble, only those trained and educated in Los Ciagnac were accepted to be the best in their fields. Beloved of the Lady of Death and boasting magics beyond imagining, it seemed impossible that any calamity should ever befall the nation of Talia Carte. Perhaps we should take the chaos following its end as a lesson: Nothing mortal is eternal, and only disaster waits for those who make the attempt."
-excerpt from the memoirs of Baras C'emkea, Head Archivist of the Emporium until 550 MTFor at least seven thousand years, the empire of Talia Carte stretched from the feet of the Ice Peaks to the Stormsurge Mountains. Aggressively progressive in some relations, staunchly conservative in its core tenets, and carefully moderate in its influence on its contemporaries, the nation was always the foremost topic of interest in any conversation. Talese seagoing vessels patrolled the seas to enforce international agreements and aggressively seek out slaving transports. Talese military forces guarded the Roadways, the interconnected teleportation network buildings in each major city, ensuring public access and safety. Diplomatic talks were hosted in the nation's cities, specialists of all kinds were trained in its borders, and the latest fashion elsewhere was always last year's fad in Talia Carte. As the vanished nation passes ever farther into history it becomes difficult to parse fact from legend and rumor, yet some few things are known about it.
The Shuffle AllianceNo discussion of Talia Carte would be complete without a primer on the four pillars of its government. Theories abound as to the origin of its nomenclature, the most popular suggesting a source in some ancient game of cards. Regardless, during the empire's height, none mistook the tattooed and emblem-wearing members of the Shuffle Alliance, and none would dare falsely represent themselves as a member.
The ClubsThe Clubs were Talia Carte's military force, handling all matters related to security. Escorts and patrols within the nation's borders, soldiers honoring alliances with other nations, and guards at the Roadways buildings all wore the three-leafed emblem obviously on their persons.
The DiamondsDiamonds handled the empire's information and management needs. The world-famous Archives, a publicly-accessible magical repository of every piece of information the Diamonds could get their hands on, was maintained by the group. Diamonds handled specifics of trade deals with other nations, balanced the books with regard to taxes, directed management of raw resources, and consulted on publicly-funded projects.
The HeartsHearts handled the meat of any governing body's work: the people. Administrators, healers, managers, and talent scouts all bore the distinctive magically-attuned tattoo of a red heart somewhere on their person. Traditionally, either the ruler or one of their close advisors spent more time with the Hearts than any other group before ascending to the throne (although this may be conjecture at this point.)
The SpadesThe Spades were a government-funded messenger service. For mere coppers, anyone who could get in touch with a Spade could have a message sent nearly anywhere. While this was certainly an invaluable service, modern scholars often question why it was considered so important as to be a separate group, rather than being incorporated into the Hearts or Diamonds. Unfortunately, we may never know.
- Geopolitical, Empire
- Los Ciagnac
- Alternative Names
- The Eternal Empire
- Government System
- Monarchy, Absolute
- Power Structure
- Economic System
- Mixed economy
- Official Languages
The RoadwaysPossibly the most internationally influential aspect of Talia Carte, the Roadways consisted of enclosed buildings in various locations with permanent networks of teleportation circles and gateways linked between them. The entire network ran in some manner through the enormous hub structure in Los Ciagnac; a caravan could roll a pair of large wagons or roughly forty individuals at a time into any of the structures and be stepping out of the desired destination building moments later. The remnant structures have been repurposed in those current cities who had one during the long years since the nation's disappearance.
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