Founded by the first Emperor, the mighty and just Paragon, first bearer of the Flame of the Host – Aelutia was a small but rich and fertile Kingdom in the far East of the continent of Elatreus that became an Empire expanding almost from coast to coast of the whole of the known world.
From humble origins, early regional wars with their aggressive neighbors to the East, the Cagbicians, saw them form an alliance that has lasted to this day with Tuath De and have expanded over many centuries to reach as far as the borders of the Westernmost city state of Silverleaf, which is one of three major vassal Suzerain states (the other, its westernmost neighbor, Pomedica).
Currently the innermost lands of the Empire itself, including the heart of the Empire and its glorious capital, Paragonia, are at peace – the greatest threats coming from intermittent, persistent small scale coastal raids by the wild Northmen.
But all is not well further afield, as the balance of power in the ongoing war with their age old enemy, the Escians, has recently shifted against them and they find themselves under heavy siege at the strategically important Windkeep Fortress.
Add to this a weak Imperial Family, a power mad, and quite possibly deranged 16 year old crown prince, attacks by Orcs on settlers far to the west in the New Territories expanding into what is left of the Kingdom of Thane, and said by many to be the most dangerous of all, the awakened Deathless Witch, and the existential threat posed by her flying fortress – Temple Nimbus – and it would seem that great Golden age of the last 600 years is coming to an end..
And now, after 1000 years of keeping the peace, the Empire is facing its most serious challenges yet..
Military: 10 Legions of 10,000 highly trained, professional soldiers, knights and skirmishers per legion (total army size approx 100,000). Able to double the size of the military with militias, auxiliaries and reservists (200,000). Currently training an additional 2 legions to deal with current recent events.
Racial Characteristics: The Aelutians have intermarried with almost all the major races of Elatreus. ‘Pure’ Aelutians, if there is such a thing, have dark brown or black hair with brown, grey or blue eyes and are relatively short – hailing originally from the extinct Kingdom of Parthania. Due to extensive interbreeding with their neighbors on the Kingdoms they absorbed into their territories, they can and do sometimes exhibit blonde, red, and occasionally even silver hair. The Empire does not discriminate on racial grounds, any peoples within previously conquered areas become full and equal citizens of the Empire regardless of ethnic background or race.
Language: Aelutian – widely spoken throughout Elatreus for trade purposes and spoken natively by the people of central Aelutia with eastern and northern regional dialects. Has influenced the languages of neighboring Tuath De and Pomedica to the extent that these two languages have become dialects of the Imperial tongue.
MAJOR TOWNS, CITIES AND PLACES OF INTEREST
THE OLD MINE: Now ruined and derelict, the old mine was the original source of the Empires early supply of the magical meteoric ore, Coronatite. A second, larger deposit was claimed in the lands formerly occupied by the aggressive Cagbicians – but both deposits were used up centuries ago to make the earliest versions of the of the Aelutian Gladius.
ROCKWIND: Once the major trading town for Coronatite, it was saved from becoming a ghost town once the original supply ran out when huge reserves of gold and copper deposits were found in the nearby hills and is still being mined to the present day.
CELNAER CASTLE: Naval Seaport and South Western road bastion. Directly connected via sea lanes with the Suzerain state, Pomedica.
PINEPORT: Primary Southern coastal city-port, has strong trade relations with Lhasa and a large and thriving Lhasian community.
LITTLEVALE: Land of the ‘Little People’ who migrated from Tuath De millennia ago after a disagreement with the Fairy Queen, this semi-autonomous region has and continues to be plagued by Northmen Bandits who establish bases in the forest to raid the surrounding lands. While the little people are not fighters, the Empire guarantees their protection and relations with humans are excellent.
MIDCREST: River city that serves as the major marketplace for river-fish and wheat processing, with barges going north and south.
CALSLEY FORTRESS: Major fortress along the great western road and home to the great Imperial Military Academy of Aelutia, which is currently at full capacity training new recruits into a well oiled fighting machine of 2 new legions to assist with recent events that have stretched the military beyond capacity.
PARAGONIA: The great walled capital of the Empire, all roads lead to Paragonia.. Home to the Imperial Palace, the Temple of the All Father, and the great market which sells goods from all over the continent (if you cannot buy something in the great market, you cannot get it anywhere). Population approx 500,000 souls.. The walls are over 300ft high, 60 feet thick and are rimmed by 200 defensive towers. Paragonia’s defences have never been impregnated in its 2,500 year history and have been further bolstered in recent years with strategically placed magical pylons that destabilize the flying fortress of Temple Nimbus.
SHADOWDALE: Despite its sinister name, Shadowdale is a major coastal hub town for the lands immediately North East of the capital and has a large population of residents originally from Tuath De.
EAGLEVIEW STRONGHOLD: Originally positioned firmly in ancient Cagbicio while warring against the Empire and the Tuath De, it has been maintained for over 1000 years and is now primarily used these days to protect against Northman and Pirate raiders.
MYTHBURY: Nexus point for the regions production of wheat crops. Has a major shrine to the Paragon, who was raised in this large and significant agricultural town.
WOLFHALL: Primary supplier of the best quality lumber used to make the ships of the Imperial navy.
CALIBICIA: The old capital of the former Kingdom of Cagbicia that was defeated over 2,500 years ago, it has been wholly absorbed into the Aeutian Empire and nowadays virtually indistinguishable from any other major Aelutian city. Its primary resources are timber, seafoods and produce from the surrounding farmlands, and has strong trade ties with Lhasa to the south.
ICEMEET: Perched high in the mountains, Icemeet is an isolated but large town heavily involved in gold and silver mining.
GREAT WESTERN TIMBERLAND: Was once mostly open plains and the location of several now ruined Cagbician fortresses and huge monuments to the aggressive and expansionist former Kingdom, it is now overgrown with wild and haunted forests..
LAMBRIDGE CITADEL: Is the last standing remnant of the Cagbician civilization, though has been heavily modified over the millennia and is still in use to this day with its own garrison of Imperial troops that use it as a central point to defend against occasional, but fierce raids by the Northmen.
HADRIANI: An eclectic town with a mix of peoples from Aelutia, Lhasa and Tuath De, it is famous for its higher than average population of extremely attractive men and women with fine features, almond eyes and luxuriant hair.
IMOSI: A large hub town with a heavy emphasis on grain production and trade, it is in many ways the ‘bread basket’ of Aelutia and its bakeries are well known for producing some of the most delicious pies, pasties, cakes and buns, making it a popular destination for wealthy travelers.
SALTWOOD CITADEL: A major fortification that protects the road between the North and Central Aelutia and is currently being outfitted with cannon emplacements by Pomedica. Has access to the sea from a tributary of the Windshire river. Was built originally by the Pomedicans, it has classic Pomedican architecture.
THE MYSTIC TOWER: Magically constructed by the sorcerer city of Notarikon during its time as an independent city state before it was absorbed by the Aeultian Empire, this fortress is the old demarcation point of the early Notarikon border and emulates the style of the spire which dominates the city far to the north.
NOTARIKON: Founded nearly 2000 years ago, the Sorcerer city of Notarikon rivals the capital Paragonia in both size, scale and magnificence and is the historical home to the Council of Archmages. A strange mix of technology and magic, Notarikon attracts would be mages from all over Eletreus. It is also famous for its magical harnessing of the power of electricity in a unique, city wide grid that has been attempted by other major cities in Eletreus, but to date unsuccessful due to the rare minerals used to create it.
WHISPERING WOODS: A largely untamed wilderness area, the whispering woods are home to a few isolated tribes of territorial wood elves, but is most famous for its hidden supplies of various magical herbs, plants and animals that are sought after by mages as material components in their spells, potions and to create powerful magical artifacts.
MORTLING HOLD: A critical fortification for the Aelutian Empire, Mortling hold has been a bastion for the Empire against Northmen, Thanes and Escians and is said to be impregnable.
QUENHARI MOUNTAINS: A series of impenetrable mountain ranges that were once home to several sub tribes of the ancient Sakkala spider riders, these mountains are now pure wilderness and the nesting place of many legendary beasts such as Griffin, Wyvern and, so the legends go, the resting place of unknown dragons.
BOLDERSHIRE: Home to the finest marble in all of Eletreus, this large town supplies the Empire with marble, transporting it across the skies in huge lighter than air zeppelins.
WINDSHIRE CASTLE: This massive fortified castle both keeps the supply lines in the Escian War open and protects the lands to the East from any armies that are not stopped or routed by the massive Imperial presence stationed at Windkeep Fortress to the West. It is the home of Duke Balin Ingraham, a powerful military leader and devout follower of the Church of the Paragon.
WINDKEEP FORTRESS: The largest fortification in all of Eletreus and the most important strategically, it is claimed by both the Escians and the Aelutians and is currently under heavy siege by the Escian army with no end in sight to the escalating conflict. Currently has over half of the entire Aelutian army stationed there, receiving supplies by air and by land.
STARMINSTER FORT: Nominally belonging to the Empire, but manned largely by the elites of the Pomedican royal army, this fortress bristles with cannons, ballista, catapults and other advanced weapons including a powerful burning lens (focused sunlight) that can destroy airships and slow moving ground troops.
THE DEAD HIGHLANDS: A massive mountain range whose cliffs tower above the seas below and serves as an impenetrable barrier separating Escia from Pomedica. It is entirely depopulated and while small armies have tried to cross from both sides in the past, none have succeeded and have either turned back or been lost.
DEMON SNAKE INN: The last Inn on the Old Thane Road, this institution for adventurers, strangers, travelers, colonists, outcasts and outlaws has been a feature of Western Aelutia for 300 years and survives by word of the fearsome reputation of its patrons.
COAL LABYRINTH: A ghost town and abandoned coal mine chronically infested with Troggs and long since abandoned, miners also found an incredible network of natural and excavated tunnels and the place is a lure for foolhardy adventurers seeking gold and glory. Only a short distance from the demon snake inn – entering the labyrinth is considered foolhardy.
ARMATHAIN FORTRESS: Armathain stands firmly to on the Old Thane Road and was the scene of many a battle in the Catalysmic Wars. It holds the road to the new territories open and was recently, but unsuccessfully, attacked by the Escians.
CROGLAND CASTLE: Another critical part of the network that keeps the road to the New Terrirtories of the Colonists open and historically was the first bastion of Aelutia against Thanish incursions. It is now in a state of disrepair and the current Lord is said to be irrevocably insane.
THE OBLIVION LANDS: Too close to the Monster of the Inland Sea of Thane and surrounded by swamps and wetlands, the Obliviion Lands are uninhabited.
LIZARD PEOPLE MIGRATORY ROUTE: The Lizard People are a nomadic race of ancient humanoids who once traveled all the way from the Forbidden Desert in the Lands of the Dead up to the Demonsteeth Mountains. Now they follow a migratory route that crosses the Old Thane Road, spending the summer months in the Demonsteeth and moving into the deserts and wastelands during the winter to escape the cold weather. Relations between the Lizard People and the Empire are hostile.
SAKKALA: Here, nestled in the valleys of the Demonsteeth mountains are the remnants of the ancient spider riding peoples known as the Sakkala. While few in number, and largely keeping to themselves, the Sakkala once ruled all of these lands and defended Eletreus against the first incursions of the fierce Northmen. Now shy and reclusive, the Sakkala and their monstrous spider mounts still hunt their ancestral lands and trade with some brave and open minded merchants for gossamer and are considered semi-autonomous by the Aelutians, who maintain good if distant relations.
ORION: Orion is a small but wealthy mining town sitting close to some of the highest quality iron deposits in Eletreus. The town has within it the workshop and forge of one of the most skilled Smiths of this age, Ion O Meidheir the half elf, who set up shop there some 140 years prior.
THE OVERGROWN TEMPLE: Built by the Lizard People soon after the War in Heaven finally came to an end, its purpose and its gods are unknown by men.