Solishairon, Sovereignty of
Capital: Port Solishairon (Metropolis, 51,445)
Solishairon (So-lih-shair'-on) is located north of Isryan, east of Kedaltol, and south of the Ogun in the Broken Lands. Solishairon is one of surviving nations from the Drowning and had one of many lasting monarchies from the time before the Drowning. Bordering the ogre lands to the north has allowed for the Oguna to travel into the lands, establishing their own towns there and answering to the crown of Solishairon. The men and women from Solishairon are known for their trading and sailing skills. Solishairon is also home of Brimstone, the dark Holy Lands of the red branch of the Tashrama, and the Red Elder Dragon Traxus.
Life and Society
The nation of Solishairon focuses itself on three pillars: trade, sword, and song.
The first pillar is primarily supported by a strong shoreline fishing industry. Trade was bolstered further by trade with the Hartdar in the west, the Corinesti in the east, the Oguna to the north, and the rest of the Midlands to the southwest. Major imports to Solishairon are antiques from before the Drowning recovered by the Corinesti. Many wealthier citizens have taken to purchasing and trading of these expensive relics.
With a decent amount of trade conducted with neighboring nations, Solishairon has a healthy economy even though it occasionally suffers hardships due to the war-bent red branch of the Tashrama having its Holy Land towards its southern border. After the Army of Brimstone attempted to seize control of Solishairon in 406 AD, the nation's leader Archduke Terstah Hendurg began to expand the standing army and navy. Citizens began to volunteer in record numbers.
Another major focus for the people of Solishairon is the arts. Many sculptors, painters, composers, chefs, and other artists of all sorts had come to this country to receive formal study. The city of Onster was founded as the new location of the Midland's premier bardic college, and many other cities have numerous museums and performance centers spread throughout.
The people of Solishairon believe in the importance of their pillars: trade to gain the funding to make society work, the sword to protect the lives from the evils outside of their country and from within, and song to give the defended and funded lives meaning and spirit.
Many faiths are welcome in Solishairon, which views itself as culturally diverse. Still there are always critics and even dangerous detractors regardless of the religion in question, especially the Tashrama. Only in the towns near Brimstone do supporters of the red branch staunchly defend their territory, preparing for an expected attack by the Sovereignties.
The Tao-Shin has found a small haven here in several towns and cities. Many are finding this "fresh new" religion as a source of inspiration for their art. This results in many people being open to the Tao-Shin, but not overly inclined to join it. A minority of the population does complain about the new religious sect, but in Solishairon there are always some willing to be a critic about anything.
Years the Starfall, Montegron deposed the ruling king of Solishairon on the grounds of incompetence, corruption, and treason. The dukes and guild heads appreciated the removal declared Montegron king. Unwilling to keep his goals focused on a single nation, he appointed Duke Stefan Hendurg to rule in his stead as Archduke, but officially Montegron is the king of Solishairon.
The position of archduke has tremendous influence on the nation, but both Stefan and his grandson Terstah don't often use this power to any great degree. Matters of military are handled by Batila Commander Strode. Matters of economy are handled by Trade Guildmaster Luccas Serannah. Even though the Guildmaster is not officially part of the government, his influence with the Archduke effectively makes his word on these matters law. During the twenty-six years of Stefan Hendurg rule, he acted to make sure aims were coordinated between those who were experts in their own fields, but otherwise he left most of the decision making to those who knew better than he. Even during the 406 AD attack from Brimstone, he left most of the decisions to Batila Commander Strode and Lord Montegron. After his retirement, his grandson became Archduke and began to use the position solely for the perks. However by neglecting his duties and continuing to allow those his grandfather trusted to run their various areas of Solishairon, so far the nation has been continuing to prosper.
The Runesheer is the joint army and naval forces of Solishairon. Originally formed as a group of soldiers and mages fighting in union during the Canon War, after the Drowning the Runsheer became the official defense of the nation after the original fighting force was destroyed. Since the Starfall, the number of spellcasters within the Runsheer had fallen off, but for the last few years some spellcasting refugees escaping the turmoil in Etlarn have come to Solishairon and chosen to join the local defense while others have joined the workforce.
The second largest military in Solishairon is the Army of Brimstone. The military minded branch of the Tashrama has been trying to rebuild its numbers since the devastating defeat in 406 AD. High Priest Pharon Blayda, who secretly is running the entire red branch of the Tashrama, leads the Army of Brimstone.
Magic and Mysticism
Both arcane and divine magic is generally welcome in Solishairon, although divine magic has had more detractors due to the country's history with the red branch of the Tashrama. With the slowly growing Tao-Shin offering a 'new' source of divine casting, many citizens are becoming more open to it.
Although magic is usually not feared in Solishairon, a majority of the population is vastly ignorant or misinformed about the capabilities each type of magic has, how they works, and what each can do. Many artists also write stories, operas, and songs that exaggerate and over aggrandize things for the purpose of making their works appear more epic. As such, what wonders many spellcasters are capable of tend to disappoint most people, even if they had never seen magic in use before. This has resulted in the minority of available spellcasters to be taken for granted even though their abilities are becoming vital in the further development of towns and cities.
Major Geographical Features and Locations
Brimstone: On the southern shore of Solishairon, close to the Isryan border, a fifty square-mile circle of black smoke covers the region. No light source is able to operate within, and nobody's eyesight whether natural or magical can see through this cursed darkness, with the exception of a few devout. Brimstone is one of the Holy Lands of the Tashrama and home to Traxus, the Red Elder Dragon. Although impossible to see in this land, the interior is a hellish inferno. Even for a good distance outside of Brimstone's borders, the air is thick with the smell of sulfur. Rents in the land emit smoke and superheated black flames. All of the rocks on the ground are scalding to the touch. Nothing grows in these lands, and rarely will any enter to visit. Even High Priest of the Tashrama Pharon Blayda rarely enters, and does so only to keep up appearances that he is receiving instruction from the Elder Dragon within.
The Domed Towers of Ampyer: Near the tip of Cape Prayer in southeastern Solishairon this is a large gray dome made from unknown material rising up from out of the ground. Partway-up one side of the smooth surface is a small crack just large enough for a man to crawl through. On the inside towards the middle of a flat tiled surface of brown, orange, and yellow shapes, are six towers. Each tower stands at least three hundred feet tall and is connected three-quarters up by arcing bridge-ways, forming a hexagon with each tower at an apex. There are no doors or opening at ground level to any of the towers, but some figure there must be openings higher up where the bridges connect. The dome is gigantic enough that the tower tops are only halfway up to the curved ceiling above.
All magic appears to fail both inside the dome and within ten feet of the exterior. No one has yet been able to climb up the highly polished towers to get to the bridge level in order to investigate the tower interiors. Since the opening on the exterior is jagged, sharp, and difficult to climb to, few ever venture inside.
To the best of everyone's knowledge, the dome was first seen after the Drowning. There are no records of any such structure existing prior to the Drowning.
Solishairon has a long history as one of the oldest nations in the Midlands. When the now lost magocracy of Shyrsa collapsed thousands of years ago, pockets of civilization clung together. One of these fragments became the nation of Solishairon. The ruling family of Joaneir began a rule that would make it the longest chain of generations ruling uninterrupted for a single family anywhere in the Midlands, and possibly Adlatum. The first king, Franko Joaneir, began his reign after leading armies against the armies of a power red dragon (many now theorize the red to had been the Elder Dragon Traxus) during the Dragon Wars of ancient history.
Over the years, as the rival Kingdom of Isryan grew in the south, animosity between the powers similarly grew. War and peace broke out between them sporadically as centuries passed. Many times the reasons for the war were as foolish as an insult given at a gathering of nobles, and some times the reasons were as intricate as a conspiracy in which money was laundered through false trade agreements from one nations treasury to the other. Once around 1498 PD, when Isryan joined the power of a growing theocracy, Solishairon was attacked as part of a declaration of the country's excommunication.
Then in 1250 PD, Solishairon turned its focus against the minotaurs when a border dispute turned into a full scale conflict known as the Midland-Etlarn War (Etlarn joined the fight on the side of the Midlands, against the minotaurs).
Things returned to normal in 1032 PD, when Isryan broke off from the theocracy by ignoring church decrees and attacking Solishairon on its own, simply to show itself as an independent state. The Premier of Isryan ended the war quickly and paid Solishairon for damages done, but hard-feelings lasted for centuries.
Conflict between the empires ended when the Canon War began in 100 PD. The animosity remained, but rulers from both nations recognized the greater threat and joined forces against the minotaurs. Both nations' had their borders drastically altered as fighting fronts shifted. One of the largest battles in the Canon War was the continuous seven-year siege against the Joanucian, the capital of the Solishairon Empire. Towards the end of the siege, , the minotaurs took a lance named Megonue, the star metal weapon of Solishairon, from the corpse of King Ranze. Two days later, one the day before the capital was predicted to finally fall to the minotaurs, one wielding the dead king's own lance, the Drowning ended the war and the city.
Much of the lands that were either still under Solishairon's control or had been taken by the minotaurs during the war were sent beneath the waves of the newly formed Sargassi Sea. The royal family of Joaneir survived only due to a young Prince Jeorg venturing through a mountain for a magical legend meant to insure his country's survival and the end to the minotaur threat. He found nothing, but while in the caves, the rock buffeted the impact of the water. He was knocked unconscious, but when he came to, he left the mountain to discover himself on a small island surrounded by water. It would take him a year before he was able to rescue himself and find the mainland that was the remainder of his country. The small port village, which was not a port over a year before, took their prince in and nursed him to health. Upon coming too, he made the village, Port Solishairon, his home and the new capital.
The people of Solishairon quickly adapted. They were no longer the Empire they were before, but they were not as bad as many other locations in Adlatum. Still King Jeorg Joaneir had much to do to keep his surviving nation from ruin. In 14 AD, Isryan began to lay claim to mines on the edge of the Afanstein Mountains that had been under the control of Solishairon. The Drowning had vastly shifted the path of a river that had marked the border of the nations under a treaty written in 108 PD. King Jeorg knew the mines were an important resource to Solishairon, especially during this period of reconstruction. In 15 AD, the two nations went to war with each other for the first time in 125 years. In 23 AD Solishairon surrendered, allowing Isryan to move its control further into what was Solishairon lands.
King Jeorg was able to keep his nation alive, but it would be his son Benedek who would get Solishairon back up on its feet. The economy of Solishairon turned primarily to fishing and sailing, an odd shift for a country that had been landlocked. He also met with the Corinesti traders and lured many into comprehensive deals, keeping their business close to Solishairon shores. Benedek proved himself to be a crafty and ingenious businessman who could out-deal even the shrewdest of Corinesti traders. Often many walked away from talks with Benedek certain they had come away with a great advantage, only to discover they were given a small pittance for a component in a much larger deal involving other agreements they weren't even aware of.
In 141 AD, King Andras welcomed the priests of the newly founded Tashramadic church. Five years later, Andras became a mid-ranking priest of the church. Good relations between Brimstone and Port Solishairon only late one more year when Andras' decisions displease the Tashramadic Council and the king refuses to change the laws of Solishairon to meet the needs of the church. Andras dies at sea in 148 AD. Although Andras' death is an accident, Andras' son Petre takes steps to try to keep the Tashrama isolated to the areas around Brimstone.
In 300 AD, the Corinesti Trade Wars hit Solishairon hard. With a vast number of trade agreements being unfulfilled as Corinesti businesses continued to go bankrupt. To keep some degree of wealth stored, King Partrick hired free-lance adventurers to go into the deep waters that used to be the center of Solishairon's civilization and find ancient relics not yet collected by the Corinesti. With the help of spell casters, enough of the ventures proved to be successful enough for Solishairon to make it through the economic depression that followed.
Several generations later, the large "church guard" gathering around Brimstone attracts the attention of Port Solishairon. King Hanos meets with Premier Eleah Dayne of Isryan to talk about the threat he sees in Brimstone. Premier Eleah Dayne publicly supports the church to Hanos' dismay. In 351 AD, Eleah Dayne is assassinated. Her successor, Premier Yulii Nelens, is a cleric of Erraii in the Tao-Shin. He works with Hanos to publicly speak out against the Tashrama. For the first time in centuries, the two nations work together in an alliance.
The ancient rule of the Joaneir family ends soon after the Starfall. The Days of Darkness left Solishairon in rubble, and Hanos' successor, his nephew Fered, used the state of his country to pull what money the citizens of Solishairon had left to build his own fortune. As his country starved, King Fered and his closest friends became fat and slothful. In 391 AD, Lord Montegron came to Solishairon and found the weakened state of the country. Disease and starvation was rampant. Farmers could not afford to seed their lands. Oguna were traveling across the border from the north freely to join the Army of Brimstone. With no legal authority, Montegron deposed Fered on grounds of corruption and treason. The people were so happy to have a real leader within their country, the dukes outside of Fered's graces handed Montegron the crown. Montegron tried to refuse the title, but the people of Solishairon would not hear of it. Eventually Montegron appointed Duke Stefan Hendurg as Archduke of Solishairon. The Archduke would rule in King Montegron's place, while he fought to rebuild the entire Midlands.
In 406 AD, the Army of Brimstone attempted to depose the Archduke and claim Solishairon as its own. However Montegron somehow knew the attack was coming and assembled the armies of Solishairon, Guiteger, and Isryan. This period of time has so far been the only time Lord Montegron used his title as King of Solishairon to rule its people since he was crowned in 391 AD. Montegron predicted each of the tactics the Army of Brimstone tried to implement, and what could had become the start of a long destructive war was ended in a day. This win convinced several other Midland nations to agree to Montegron's proposal for a central Midland government under his control.
Since this victory, Solishairon has become soft. Some of the population are convinced that the Tashrama can be easily handled and have no concern about the rebuilding army. They believe they are in a period of prosperity, and they do everything they can to better the arts and appearance of their cities.
Charnod (Large City 24,503): A sizable city just outside of Brimstone, High Priest Pharon Blayda runs the affairs of the red branch of the Tashrama here. The Scalebound "holy man" pretends to carry out the orders of the Elder Dragon Traxus, but in truth Blayda runs the branch from his offices and temples in Charnod. Most who living in Charnod and the surrounding towns are either loyalists to the military wing of the church here, or mercenaries and thugs believing that the growing Army of Brimstone will eventually become a power strong enough to rival Montegron for the riches of the Midlands. Construction of Charnod began in 385 AD during the initial build up to the Battle of 406 AD. Charnod was burned to the ground after that disastrous campaign, but Blayda had it rebuilt to show that "his" church would not be so easily defeated in the long run.
Charnod has few if any of the marks of beauty held by the cities and towns under the Archduke's rule. Enjoying a soft life is not Blayda's aims, and he makes sure his growing army remembers that. Almost every building in Charnod can double for a barracks, and many are forced to live in shared residences "so the faithful will know whom they are fighting along side." Streets are relatively straight lines running parallel and perpendicular to each other. Most buildings are made from wooden planks or logs with the larger ones having stone foundations. Since the Elder Dragon were exposed, Blayda is often seen in public without any illusion guising his Scalebound appearance. "The time for deception has ended."
Onster (Large City 15,222): Founded as a college town for the Onster Academy of the Arts, the town of Onster grew in population over the years as many graduates constructed their own studios, restaurants, museums, theaters, and other places of business nearby. The city's three and four floor structures are stylized with statues and relief images. Most are made of marble, sometimes of varying colors. The beauty of the campus and the rest of the city are maintained with great diligence and rival the beauty of Port Solishairon. The school itself now houses over three thousand five hundred students and two hundred staff.
Port Solishairon (Metropolis 51,445): The capital of Solishairon is a vast city with many ornate buildings over four stories in height. The city has ten miles worth of shoreline, some of it dedicated to the ports, and the rest to assist the Corinesti in their trade with the mainland. On both ends of the city, wide tunnels formed by magic out of the rocky ground lead down under the water, allowing air-breathers to venture under the sea to Seaview, an underwater extension to the capital. This is one more example of the further development the city has been implementing over the years. A major development twenty-years ago was the construction of a new sewer system built to lead waste a far distance away in order to keep the waters used by the Corinesti nearby cleaner.
The city has a large number of palaces and manors, with a multitude of fountains at each intersection. Ever street is paved with white cobblestone. Three city parks are spread out to different parts of Port Solishairon, each with a number of trees from different locations of Adlatum. The only part of the city not kept up to the prestige of the rest of the capital is the "Oguna Hovel," a sizable district where the poorer citizens must live since they cannot afford the high-class style of the rest of the city. Due to recent tax hikes, the population of the Oguna Hovel has gone up by 25%.
Seaview (Small City 5,032): By hiring a number of spellcasters from both the Midlands and Etlarn, an underwater district was constructed at the bottom of the sea a mile out from Port Solishairon. Two major tunnels connect Seaview to the capital. Mainly these tunnels are covered in rock, but as visitors close in on Seaview, rock turned translucent by magic allow the air-breathers to safely see into the underwater landscape around them. Most of Seaview is filled with buildings and roadways similar to that of Port Solishairon's style, but with much more of the Corinesti flare. Several of the buildings on the outer edge of the clear cavern at the bottom of the sea have pools that open up into underwater passages to allow Corinesti visitors and citizens entry. The city of Seaview was founded in 405 AD, and is seen by many outside of Solishairon as an engineering and magical marvel. To most in Solishairon, the general opinion is that it is simply one more thing the "better society" can produce.