Terra Proibita (literally, forbidden land) is an archaic Arentan law forbidding both citizens and non citizens from entering a defined space without the emperor or senate’s express approval. This law was pursued extremely vigorously during both the republican and imperial periods and those caught entering these areas were regularly executed.
Terra Proibita is distinct from common trespass as it is generally applied to large geographic areas (or in the case of the Silent Shore, an entire continent) and in Caladia is always a capital offence.
Arentan and Caladian Usage
The Island of Exos. When Lucius Cornelius Mucianus and his lover Aspasia discovered the secret to hatching, raising and training dragons, the Arentan senate was quick to turn its collective mind to how the Arentan Empire might keep this great advantage to herself. As part of the raft of measures and edicts designed to protect this great secret, the first Terra Proibita law was passed and, in 1387 BCI, applied to the entire island of Exos. From that point on travel to and from the island was only possible with express approval from a consul or the island’s governor.
Although the last Caladian dragons died during the Blackwing Plague, this ancient law still remains in place. While wild rumours swirl of Caladian efforts to hatch a surviving dragon or raise a slumbering beast, these stories can probably be safely ignored. The Caladian judiciary moves incredibly slowly and a law that has stood for almost two millennia will take time to overturn.
The Ruins of Aratta. Soon after conquering Jaltania the Arentans became convinced that something ill lived on in the ruins of the once great city of Aratta. A number of expeditions to the city failed to return and in 1251 BCI when an entire cohort sent to investigate the city also disappeared, the senate declared the ruins Terra Proibita.
Like Exos, Arrata is still technically covered by this ancient ruling. However, the ferocity of the insurrection in the south of Jaltania means that the Caladians have little ability to enforce the law these days.
Levestar. The exact cause of their hatred has been lost or hidden, but from the moment the Arentans first came into contact with the native tribes that inhabited the islands of Levestar they despised them. While some argue that this hatred was only Arentan posturing to pave the way for their later invasion, surviving sources make it clear the Arentans loathed these tribes with an almost holy passion. Regardless of the truth, in 1112 BCI the senate was moved enough to declare the islands Terra Proibita.
In 963, after a savage fight, Publius Scarrus captured the islands and massacred the inhabitants. Not content with this slaughter, he physically gathered up all evidence of the local culture and had his dragons fly these relics out to sea and dump them into the ocean depths. The senate then lifted the Terra Proibita that covered Levestar. However, it was still more than a century before any Arentan dared settle these strategic islands.
The Silent Shore. In 741 BCI when a large Arentan colony on the Silent Shore was swallowed by that continent’s endless forest, the XXII Legion with a dragon in support was sent to investigate. When the legion and its attendant dragon also vanished the Emperor Gaius Scarrus promptly declared the entire continent Terra Proibita.
The Duchy of Andiel. In the chaos that followed the fall of the Duchy of Andiel and King Edmund the Rash’s death, the Realm’s surviving nobles gathered to decide what to do with the accursed duchy. As recovering the place was clearly beyond the nation’s strength, it was decided to resurrect the ancient Terra Proibita laws and apply them to Andiel. Subsequently the Camar Shiem became custodians of the duchy’s borders and threw up countless watchtowers and warning stones. Although the Realm’s nobles initially worried that a Druidic invasion might pass through the fallen land, it quickly became apparent they too avoided the place.
The Camar Shiem still guard the duchy, although lately they have been much troubled by a horde of treasure hunters and adventurers who have come slinking about the borders, drawn by rumours of vast riches to be found in Andiel’s long dark cities.
The Silent Shore. Like Caladia, the Realm has declared the Silent Shore Terra Proibita. Unlike Caladia, the Realm does not execute everyone who breaks this law, particularly in cases where sailors have been wrecked on that terrible coast. Lately the leniency of this course has been much debated, particularly after the case of the Drammond Castle, when a number of the ship’s crew were rescued and returned to the Realm, only for them all to be consumed by a murderous madness on next Mid-Winters Night.
Although only the Realm and Caladia use the term Terra Proibita, many other nations have their own equivalents. For example in the Republic of Dovinae citizens are banned from approaching both the necropolis at Oosterbeek in the eastern fens and the rocky island of Urr off her coast while further east in Taylach the rich copper mines at Piast were reccently closed and then sealed after the strange events of the winter of 629 to 630.