THE TYTANYAN PACT:
SAESUN, SMOLDER, ALBYON, & NUAR
A century and a half ago, the Isle of Saesun was gripped in a civil war between human kings. Their ancestors had come to the peaceful paradise isle as refugees. Out of mercy, the iaurdin convinced the sylvanar and the metallic dragons to let the humans settle until they could return back to the east. The humans settled and were allowed to use the lands as they wished as long as they respected the sacred groves of the sylvanar. The elves and dragons managed to keep the peace between the settlements as they developed into kingdoms. But perhaps it is in the nature of humans to quarrel. The humans began fighting over valuable resources, bickering over petty misunderstandings and creating war out of nothing. The metallic dragons picked sides and, after thousands of years of peace on Saesun, war broke out.
The elves tried to broker peace, they tried to abstain, but the men of Saesun began burning down their forests, killing their sacred animals, and escalating the war to greater heights. The sylvanar tried to intervene out of self-defense but brought the war home. The death of the sylvanar king, Opheros, was the final injustice that the iaurdin could not bear. Something had to change.
Since the beginning of the world, Saesun and the elves had been protected by powerful celestial runes that not only prevented invasion but helped keep many dangerous extra-dimensional threats from entering the world of Narya by force. Among these forces, were the chromatic dragons trapped since the Creation War. Queen Tytanya used her knowledge of the arcane to change the runes so that Red Typhon and his tyrant lords could enter Sublanarya through a gate she opened in Ryn-Durazar.
The following war was swift: the dwarves of Ryn-Durazar first endured devastating natural disasters caused by the gate opening and then were forced to abandon their homes under threat of dragon fire, then the iaurdin and the chromatic dragons forced the human kingdoms into submission, and the metallic were exterminated.
Ryn-Durazar became Smolder, the home of the chromatic dragons, and Saesun became the heart of the iaurdin empire. Together, they formed the Tytanyan Pact and the Tytanyan Age began. Over the next hundred years, they took complete control of the western seas of Sublanarya, colonized the island chain off the coast of Tazlan, and conquered the western kingdoms of Thule. The islands became Nuar and the kingdoms became Albyon.
Together these regions form an empire that have shaped the events of the last century in Sublanarya. But this realm is not merely an army of elves and dragons; it is a place of incredible natural beauty and home to the millions of citizens of the empire.
The Isle of Saesun is a beautiful and varied archipelago.
The main island of Saerta, often just called Saesun or the Mainland, is a temperate island but particularly varied with snow cap mountains and dormant volcanoes in the northwest, foggy fjords along the west coastline, a crisis-cross of rivers and lakes across the map, dense forests of every variety throughout, and many unique geological features like the Rainbow Pools and the Bay of Stone Watchers.
The other islands are small and just as varied but the largest is Erubya, which is heavily populated and known for it's white sandy beaches.
While agriculture is not uncommon in Saesun, with a focus on fresh vegetables and fruit in the homeland, Albyon is the breadbasket of the empire and supplies it with all manner of grains.
The island chain is an extremely diverse region with jungle and temperate forest to arid and snow-capped mountainous regions. Seasonally, there is a dry season and a wet-season with small shifts throughout each. The most notable settlement is the port city of Daega that stands as an imperial outpost in opposition to dwarven pirate towns that also call the isle home.
WILDLIFE & MONSTERS
The region's wildlife is just as diverse as the geography:
Elves, specifically iaurdin and sylvanar, are the native humanoids of Saesun.
Gnomes and halflings are the native humanoids of Albyon.
It is important to remember that due to the proliferation of colonization, exploration and conquest by the empire in this region that there are a variety of peoples throughout. But each region has a distinct variety in their population that is determined by past, affects the present and will undoubtedly shape the future. These are really rough estimates so forgive me if I adjust them in the future.
Saesun: 35% iaurdin, 20% humans, 20% half-elves, 5% gnomes, 5% halflings, 5% sylvanar, 10% other
Albyon: 55% humans, 15% halflings, 10% gnomes, 10% half-elves, 5% iaurdin, 5% other
Smolder (excluding dragons and slaves): 90% kobolds, <10% dragonborn, <1% guivre
Smolder slave population: 70% humans, 15% dwarf, 10% half-elf, 5% iaurdin, 5% other
Nuar Colonists: 30% iaurdin, 30% humans, 20% half-elves, 10% dwarves, 10% other
GOVERNMENT & POLITICSThe Tytanyan Pact is formed of two political bodies:
The head of state in the Tytanyan Empire is, of course, Queen Tytanya. She was once a legendary fighter and spellcaster and, by all accounts, is still without compare. Her knowledge and experience has led her to position the iaurdin elves to become the most influential race in modern Sublanarya. It is her leadership that has made her name synonymous with power: she is an ageless, ancient and present deity who has led her people from slavery to gripping the reins of the world herself. Abroad, her words move nations to acts and, at home, her words are sacred law.
Those who break the law are given relatively modern punishment for most offenses: volunteer-work or enlistment, charitable donation, and prison sentences are preferred to execution for punishment of all but the worst criminals. Murderers, rapists and political criminals (rebels, dissidents, and terorrists) are all given the worst punishment imaginable, usually only reserved for captured enemies-- they are sent to work in the mines of Smolder. Often until death.
This is the greatest cruelty that many good peoples of the world find hard to forgive, a hypocrisy in an empire that plays the moral highground, and is controversial within the empire. But the queen is firm that such punishment is necessary not only to send a message to evil-doers but to maintain their alliance with the dragons. Law and order is maintained.
Especially among the bureacratic branches of state, the military's eldritch knights, the high academia, and the law-upholding justicars are held to the highest standards.
The Tytayan Pact is an extremely proactive empire.
The military might of the Tytanyan Pact is the most potent political force in Sublanarya: with the best trained and largest united military force, magical superiority, and the ultimate threat of draconic assistance in any battle on land, air, or sea, makes them a powerhouse that pound for pound has every other power tip-toeing to prevent becoming the next military target while, simultaneously, trying to curry favor of this superior power or find allies in an inevitable fight.
Other military organizations include the Half-Elf Corps, composed of half-elf and human volunteers, and the Imperial Fleet, which is made-up of elven and human sailors. The Half-Elf Corps make up the front lines of the empire's military action. They are well-trained in hand-to-hand combat, siege warfare, and sea-to-land incursion. They lack upper officers, relying upon serving under the command of eldritch knights, but when cut-off from high command have been known to show great ambition.
The iaurdin empire may well be the wealthiest nation in Sublanarya: from the wealth of natural resources with some of the best agricultural yields in the region to mines and mountains thick to the brim with gems and metals, precious and practical. The wealth of knowledge, both magical and mundane, also gives them a leg-up in their wide array of specialists. The best of the best, in all fields, come to Saesun looking for a better life. Usually, they come to one of the major cities of Saesun where there is fierce competition and a strong market. The marketplace of Grand Saefurra alone would put most nations to shame with both the dearth of variety of goods and the amount of money trading hands on a daily basis.
The only downside to all the opportunity: iaurdin tax collection.
For millennia, the culture of iaurdin was monolithic, static and peaceful. Cultural growth comes from conflict, both literal and of ideas, and with the elves only interacting with other elves there was little cultural clash. That wouldn't happen until the iaurdin and other elf tribes left Saesun and returned centuries later. Their experiences as wonder-builders, explorers, warriors, slaves and more allowed them to help build great beauty on top of the traditions of the sylvanar.
Since the addition of other races, of recent wars and of the acquisition of new territories the beauty and iaurdin culture has deepened and broadened.
Religion & Traditions
The elves of Saesun worship the Elven pantheon and/or follow the druidic faith. The elven pantheon is made up of their patron god Iaur and his family. Elven religious texts deal with elven history, especially of the Iaur Pantheon and their familial/external conflict. They emphasize the elven dieties struggle against evil gods, demons and devils, and the way that those struggles reflect elven history. For example, the creation of the dark elves is associated with betrayal within Iaur's family. Two of Iaur's consorts became jealous of his queen-wife Anara and plotted her demise. When Iaur discovered the treachery, he exiled them to never lay eyes upon the sun or the moon, and they descended into the bowels of the abyss. It is there that she became twisted into the demonic spider queens, Chaldra the White Spider and Aranaea the Black Spider. Aranae's descendants that had worshiped her were punished by being transformed into the dark elves by the giant slavers during the Dark Ages and Chalra's worshipers were transformed into the wicked arachnid-like chitine and choldrith that are only found in the most horrid corners of the Naryan underworld.
That being said, most citizens of Saesun and Albyon combine the traditions and mythos of various religions, paying tribute to a variety of gods. A farmer might ask a storm god to bring him rain or beg the god of nature's forgiveness for cutting down a nearby woodland. This variety of faiths and pantheons cooperate to administer basic services to the poorest residence of the realm from performing sermons and rites to caring for the sick and elderly. Most religions, including the Holy Imperium's One Church and the twin gods worshiped by Jalatians, are welcome in these lands as long as they don't stir up too much trouble.
The only way an architect in Saesun could become bored is if they didn't like beautiful buildings.
Albyon's architecture matches that of Thule, with grim castles and huddled villages built around the needs of local farmers, though with the wealth and cultural impact of the elves they've begun to put an emphasis on the beautification of their own settlements and new buildings are often built in imitation of Saesun architecture.
Both regions are populated by cozy villages and towns that are renowned for their combination of garden features into their firmament, often lining streets with trees and building flower beds into every window box. Gardens are something of particular pride in these two regions and competitions between towns for the most impressive flower festival are intense rivalries held over generations.
Most of the architecture in Smolder is built atop the dwarven ruins of Ryn-Durazar in the form of great keeps, palaces and castles that serve as both lairs for each dragon lord, a vault for their treasure hoards and housing for their servants.
In Saesun and Alybon, all forms of entertainment from the tumblers of the Blue Elephant Circus to the Trick-Riders horse tricks are imported from abroad to enrich the masses by wealthy merchants looking to profit off of these enterprises and generous nobility seeking to keep the populous pleased. That doesn't mean they lack in their own entertainment industry.
Not to be outdone by foreign entertainers, the elves share their own rich history by song in beautiful operas and ballets that are popular among elite societies throughout Sublanarya. Nor the gnomes or halflings, renowned for their talented bards that are beyond compare and are welcome on street corners and in taverns across the realm. Travelling bards serve a dual purpose as both entertainers and story-tellers, spreading news and keeping lore alive, and are often hired for a short while to impart their knowledge to the youth of whatever town they visit. Other traveling entertainers are troupes of actors who perform their own takes on traditional stories and news of the day.
While luxurious and exotic food are all the rage in the cities of Saesun, comfort food is the bread and butter of the culinary scene throughout the realm. Elven food is particularly healthy and nourishing, with an abundance of fresh grains, fruit and vegetables, but lacks in the variety of other cuisine. The most popular and iconic export of the halflings, reflective of their culture, is their food.
Halflings in good times use every excuse, from birthdays to family reunions to anniversaries to harvests to seasonal changes, to throw feasts that would make the most gluttonous king of Thule jealous. While a wide-spread of bread and meat is expected, alongside comfort foods like potatos cooked in every variety, are the halfling cheeses and their alcoholic beverages. Cheeses of every hue are paired with elven-styled wine, frothy stout and humbling cider that are popular among the citizens of the empire.
And that is my overview of the regions that form the Tytanyan Pact. What do you guys think? Any questions? Comments? Suggestions? I really enjoyed filling this out and hope to really develop this further. What region should I cover next?