The War of Night
Caliphas is deemed to be the centre of civilisation. A feudal society, ruled by the monarchy and nobility, they see only the glory of themselves, missing the squalor many of the city states residents live in.
Trade, war, growth and power all govern how Caliphas is led. The city is full and the boundaries can no longer be extended and the people are forced to hunker together in any way they can. Even the wealthy families are beginning to build upwards to ensure they still have their own space.
The home of the famous Couriers, they claim them as their own, even though The Couriers themselves beholden themselves to no city state. The largest enclave of Couriers is frequently put to work searching for new ways to protect the city and allowing it to expand, but the loss of earlier knowledge and lack of understanding of runes has hampered this endeavour.
Instead, the rulers of Caliphas have been forced to acquire surrounding settlements and send people to live there so that the city itself doesn’t get over crowded.
Human craftsmen are known for making anything, but they have a limited skill in crafting items with any true power. There is the odd dwarven and gnomish craftsman in the city providing higher quality items, but the cost can be prohibitive.
The army of Caliphas is large and primed for war. Lepidstadt is considered a grave threat to the Caliphas way of life, and battles over territory are both common and bitter. Specialising in heavily armoured troops, knights and the occasional battalion of crossbowmen, they tend to be slow and hard to kill, and this has saved them time after time.
Caliphas has a current population of somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000 people.
Taldans (pronounced TAL-dans) are renowned as possessing great skill, intellegence and sophistication. They are the creators of one of the greatest empires Avistan has ever known and many modern nations owe their existance to the conquests of empire of Taldor. However this period of greatness is now a thing of the past and the Taldan people know they are now just as well renowned for their decadent indulgences as their empire crumbles around them.
Taldans are naturally gifted and generally possess a pleasant appearance. Their skin is a natural bronze tone and their hair is normally dark brown and naturally flowing. They gain their natural appearance from their mixed ancestry of ancient Azlanti and Keleshite blood, though between the two they are proudest of their Azlanti heritage. Taldans always cloth themselves in only the latest and most fashionable clothes they can afford. The Taldan style is imitated across the inner sea but few can match the Taldan flair for high fashion. Men normally sport a well trimmed, nicely groomed beard while Taldan women within Taldor wear large, elaborate wigs passed down the generations as family heirlooms.
The history of the Taldans is long and illustrious. Taldor was originally created by refugee Azlanti as a place to easily trade with what is now modern day Qadira. From these beginnings Taldor grew well beyond its current borders. Through exploration and conquest it brought civilisation to much of the Inner Sea and at one time the nations of Andoran, Cheliax, Galt and Lastwall were all under the banner of the empire of Taldor. This is all a distant memory now. Taldor no longer has any holdings or vassal states outside of its borders. Still the Taldan people dwell on their past, as proud and arrogant today as ever they were at Taldor’s height.
Taldan culture is obsessed with only one thing—Taldor. Taldan culture is incredibly insular and is only interested in events within Taldor as they view all events outside of Taldor as inherently dull and uninteresting. They have a similar view of anyone who isn’t Taldan, seeing them as inescapably provincial and inferior in breeding, education and interest. There is however a reason for this cultural arrogance. As one of the oldest, longest-lasting civilizations in Avistan, Taldor has had millenia to perfect its crafts and artistry, making it a desirable place to learn one’s trade.
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