“Empires are not maintained by timidity.”
“Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet”
Imperial Caladia is all that remains of the once continent spanning Arentan Empire. Although long burdened by internal strife and greatly weakened by the death of the last dragons, Caladia is still a great continental power.
A brief history of the Arentan Empire (1800 – 506 BCI) can be found here.
Caladia lies in the south of Circllia, primarily upon the fertile Caladian Peninsular. The majority of the Sunset Isles are also Caladian possessions, as are a smattering of islands in the Tenebrarum Sea. The Caladian emperors also claim to the entirety of Jaltania as their own, although recently the strength and ferocity of the insurrection is such that their legions rarely leave their coastal enclaves.
The Caladian Peninsular is temperate and warm. The southern coast faces the gentle, peacock blue Tenebrarum and is both heavily farmed and populated. The Asarenne Mountains run down the back of the peninsular. Since classical times this high and treacherous range has been home to brigands and bandits and even today the coastal dwellers view their inland cousins with grave suspicion. The northern shore of Calaida, while not as hot as the south, is still pleasant and densely populated.
16.5 million live within the borders of Imperial Caladia. (this number includes citizens, subjects and slaves).
The population of mainland Caladian are principally ethnic Caladian.
In Caladia’s overseas possessions, the urban centres generally have a high population of Caladian artisans, traders and soldiers, while the population in the countryside is generally indigenous.
Orthodox Samaryani. The Samaryani Church is extremely powerful and plays an active role in both politics and everyday life. The Church’s templars ensure heretics and pagans are ruthlessly purged. Members of the Isaladarian cult are still often persecuted.
A bastardised version of Classical Caladian is spoken by the common people. A Caladian more recognisable to the educated foreigner, is spoken by the clergy and aristocracy.
Traditionally the Emperors appointed senatorial Counts or Dukes to rule over their provinces. This system ceased to function long ago, now the great families are so powerful and so well entrenched in their ancestral lands that only the strongest, bravest or most foolhardy Emperor would attempt to dismiss a great magnate and replace him or her with an Imperial appointment.
The power of these great lords has proven extremely destabilising for Caladia at times. Many of these families covet the Imperial throne and no matter how successful and popular an Emperor has been, they always know they are potentially only one failure or defeat away from a coup or revolt.
The flag of the Caladia is golden cross, before a purple background.
For a long time the Caladia Emperors were viewed as rapacious schemers, eager to resurrect the Arentian Empire.
Years of civil war and rebellions in her provinces have weakened Caladia however, and she has become increasingly dependent on alliances and pacts with the ‘newer’ nations. The death of the last dragons in the Blackwing Plague weakened Caladia even further and now Caladia has formed a particularly close alliance with Auerswald. This alliance brought Caladia into armed conflict with the Realm and Dovinae who have traditionally tried to limit the power of any one continental nation.
Since the days of the Empire, Caladia has maintained a large army and navy. Since the death of the dragons, these forces have been forced to further expand in an effort to crush rebels, insurrectionists and foreign powers embolden by the dragon’s demise.
Army: 450,000 men serve in the army and militia. Approximately 250,000 are garrisoned around Imperial Caladia. 200,000 serve in a central, active army, generally commanded by the Emperor or a close relative. Wartime levies can quickly expand this force. The Caladian army is generally considered the second most powerful continental army – behind that of Auerswald.
Navy: Recently significant efforts have been made to modernise the Caladian Navy. Some progress has been made and her ships are numerous and very finely built and her officers gallant and her crews brave. However, the Caladian yards are still shockingly corrupt, victuals are often missing or have been stolen and gunpowder is commonly in short supply. It was these inadequacies that led to so many of our Navy’s victories over the Caladians in the last war. Accounts from the continent indicate that the emperor is taking personal steps to remedy these issues.
Of all the Circilia nations Caladia most comprehensively embraced the Great Hunts. These hunts were so successful that the taint is almost completely extinct in Caladia.
The almost complete absence of the taint from Caladia has done nothing to soften the Church’s heart however and her templars still ruthlessly seek out and execute the few surviving Tainted.
Situated as it is at the mouth of the Circilian Ocean a significant portion of Caladia’s wealth is generated by maritime trade. The ports of Caladia are a natural point for the exchange of the raw materials of the north for the produce and products of the south and many of the great families have grown rich from this trade.
Caladia is also one of the last slave owning nation in Circilia and the nation’s massive agricultural estates use enormous numbers of slaves to produce more than an enough grain, olives and wine to export.
While Caladia is justly famous for her fine metal work and glassware, the rest of her domestic manufacturing economy looks increasingly moribund when compared to her more vibrant northern rivals. Some scholars feel that this issue is so severe, that only the enormous volume of gold and silver extracted from the great mines at Tarek-Kesh in Jaltania is keeping the Caladian economy afloat. If this is the case, the emperor must be nervous. The ferocity of the insurrection in Jaltania is making access to the mines increasingly difficult.
Only a tiny amount of production takes place in Caladia’s overseas possession, in most cases the raw materials are transported to mainland Caladia to be used there. This imbalance of wealth, contributes to some of the ill feeling in Jaltania and the Sunset Isles.
The highest denomination of Caladian coin is the gold aureus. This coin is colloquially referred to as the ‘imperial’. This coin, which unlike most Circillian currency is still made of solid gold, is accepted as tender throughout most of the known world.
The next highest denomination is the silver denarius. This coin is worth a quarter of an ‘imperial’ and is generally referred to as a ‘dragon’. Like the aureus, the denarius is used as tender throughout Circillia.
Each ‘dragon’ is made up of 12 bronze ‘sesterce’.
Each sesterce is worth ten copper ‘tenths’.
A copper tenth is worth ten ‘as’.
Many Caladia banks print promissory notes and these are in regular use by merchants and great families. The middle and lower classes still generally use coins.
The laws of Caladia forbid the use or trade of foreign coins within the empire.
The Caladian currency system is somewhat complicated by the fact that many of the great families mint their own coins and the acceptance of these coins varies widely. On one hand is the great city of Misenum’s money. The duke of Misenum won the right to mint his own coins almost five hundred years ago and these coins are happily traded as legal currency throughout Caladia. On the other hand are the coins recently minted by the military governor of Jaltania to pay his troops. These are despised and avoided even in the province and are worthless outside of it.