The Holy See of Therezia is not the oldest kingdom on Torar, but even so, she possesses the most abundant stretch of territory in the known world. From the lush tracks of the Black Forest to the shimmering beaches of the Ivory Coast, her boundaries contain endless variations of terrain, and the kingdom’s rich lands have been coveted by others for as long as anyone can remember. Mercantile
and religious wealth abounds within the Holy See, but with such prosperity comes great danger. The Kingsgardian knights and local guard alike patrol the country’s rural roads hoping to deter bandits and thieves from crossing into Therezian domain. Despite facing growing enmity and furtive opposition from other nations in the Ivory Duchies, the Holy See is poised to remain a global powerhouse of both monetary and military strength.
The government of the Holy See of Therezia is straightforward and bureaucratic. The head of the chain of command is the Church of Saint Thera, headed by Vivienne Amiel, who dictates the laws and governance of the land. These commandments are sent down to the bishops and cardinals in charge of their territories, which in turn are given to the nobility responsible for the protection of their lands. City guards and local law enforcement are largely composed of pious individuals attempting to bring Thera's
grace into the territories they patrol. While this guarantees a certain level of loyalty, corruption is not unknown. Even so, there are few places of lawlessness within Therezia's borders, and a guard
patrol is rarely far away.
Therezia's history dates back to the time of the Legacy Wars. The Holy See came to be as refugees flocked to the protection of the Church of Meyne which was headed at that time by Hanatheratris Dawnwing, but their peace was not meant to last. Therezia fell to the expanding empire of Coryani to the east in a war ending with the conquering of Kingsgardt, the kingdom’s crown jewel. The Coryani government was kind in their dealings with the Therezians, however, and they offered the fledgling kingdom autonomy and freedom. For a length of time Therezia remained under Coryani control while the country expanded their territory to the south and west. The Coryani military overextended however and were thoroughly destroyed by the Infestation in the West.
The Therezian people fought admirably against the fiends and dragons throughout the Dragon War but lost a number of southern territories and northern reaches. The fighting ravaged the heartland of the country. A powerful fiend, Zenshir, launched an assault on Kingsgardt which was almost successful. A great militaristic effort was able to fend off Zenshir’s forces, but not without considerable sacrifice.
After the complete annihilation of the Cult of the Dragon at the end of the Dragon War, Therezia found herself flooded with refugees from every corner. The world turned to the Holy See expecting her to fill the empty void left by the cult's missing might. Therezia's populace rallied behind their religious leader with a fervor fed by grief, and a theocracy rose as the ruling party in the strife and flame left by the infernal armies. The Most High Vivienne Amiel became the leader of the nation.
Demography and Population
Therezia is a broad nation, and her land stretches for hundreds of miles east to west from the Bloodscale Sea to the Graypeak Mountains in the west. Her climate is quite diverse, though it appears to have flipped in recent years. The eastern end of the nation used to boast warm summers and light winters, but now experiences the opposite due to the presence of the spreading Dragonwaste Tundra. The east is now bombarded by winter storms in months that should not expect such weather. These drastic changes in the east have made it harder and harder to sustain Fiduc Castle, and every year miles of the stronghold’s surrounding fields turn barren.
Therezia rose after the Dragon War with one of the strongest and most robust militaries in the world. She inherited all of the indoctrination of Coryani before the empire's fall, and mixed dedication
with religious fervor to inspire the loyalty of soldiers. Fleets of warships patrol Therezia's sea lanes. Contingents of armed forces defend the kingdom’s borders, and counter-spies work fervently
throughout the nation to protect Therezia from the threat of stolen information. The duchy's military is now strictly volunteer- based after disbanding the conscription forces used during the Dragon War, and her current membership is bolstered by the worshippers of Thera's church. The majority of Therezian soldiers are defending the kingdom’s northern land from the icy threat of the Dragonwaste. Therezia also boasts a group known as the Lifebearers, whose ranks consist of divine soldiers willing to lay down their lives for the holy land.
Nearly all Therezian citizens have a fondness for the divine, regardless of where they were born. The majority of the nation worships their patron saint Thera, and her reverence has gone so far
that the kingdom has replaced their banner with the image of her Holy Spire. Besides being pious, those of Therezian birth have a strong drive to succeed, and they possess a firm belief in personal freedom. A number of Therezian citizens who survived the Dragon War either took part in active military service or know someone close to them who did. Memorials and monuments to those who fought bravely against the otherworldly terrors are commonplace throughout the kingdom. The respect given to those who served in the military is second only to the reverence given to the divine, and it is rare to see a veteran of the Dragon War struggling to find shelter or food. The cult pressed deeply into the Therezian heartland, and only a few small towns do not possess scars from the War.
Religion and worship—particularly of the goddess Thera—are an enormous part of the ingrained culture of Therezia. Churches dot the landscape as far as the eye can see, and religious motifs and icons are fixed themes in Therezian architecture. It is likely that the majority of citizens possess some form of Thera's ankh on their person at all times, and donations to the church replace much of the standard taxation that comes with having an organized government. However, even with widespread worship of Thera, churches of other deities are occasionally found. The god Meyne is granted particular regard as Thera's divine protector.
In the darkest places of Therezian cities, rituals and prayers to evil deities, particularly Venir, are not uncommon. Dark sects run amok in the deep reaches of the country, and evil cults operate
in bustling cities right under the nose of the Therian church. There is no holiday celebrated more than the holiday of Thera's Rebirth. Commemorated on the Yuletide, it is a widely decorated affair of evergreen trees, boughs of holly, and wonderful displays of colored lights. It is celebrated for a full week with gift-giving, parties, and songs ending in a single feast on the day of
the Yule. Kingsgardt is home to the greatest Yule celebration in the world, which takes place in the Grand Garden of the city located across from the Holy Spire. The other national holiday is the Day of Enlightenment, the day in which Therezia was granted independence under the church of Thera after the Dragon War.
There are a number of holy sites and locations spread across the Therezian plains. The largest and most impressive of these sights is the Holy Spire of Thera, located in the center of Kingsgardt. The spire itself is exactly one mile tall, with thirty-foot interior floors that amount to a total of one hundred and seventy-six individual floors. However, only the first fifty floors are accessible, and those above are reserved for the goddess herself and those special enough to gain passage from her. The spire is visited by all members of Therian clergy, and huge pilgrimages to the spire occur annually. The Grand Garden possesses another sixteen spires stretching only twelve-hundred feet in the air. Each one is dedicated to a god or goddess other than Thera, making the location a place of gathering for all religious clergies around the world.
Agriculture & Industry
Therezia is a world leader in crop growth and food production. The majority of the kingdom’s stored provisions are used to nourish the diverse population spread throughout the nation’s vast expanse of
territory. In addition to foodstuffs, enormous stretches of the Holy See’s western farmlands produce a variety of goods and livestock for trade. A portion of the food grown is also sold to various other
countries, surviving the long trips abroad in magical containers aboard air and sea vessels. Therezia's impressive industrial centers create most of the manufactured goods known to Lados. The duchy’s furnaces and forges fabricate a portion of the world’s armor and weaponry, which are considered to be of good quality, though not the finest in the world.
Therezia's stables and pastures still yield some of the world’s finest steeds on account of their storied lineage. Therezia's steeds are only second to the steeds in Waymarch. The largest powerhouse of both manpower and financial might is the Church of Meyne, which some may find surprising. A respectable number of Therezian businesses are founded and controlled by members of the church, and the
church’s will is done throughout the land.