The Eloran Empire
The borders of Elora are almost everywhere, except in the East, defined by low, but extremely rugged mountain ranges. A single major river system bisects the lands and creates a fertile strip on which the capital, Elora, and the largest harbour City, Sabia, are located. Most of the interior is dry, ranging from steppe around Haib and Yannut to outright desert around Jandar, and usually the presence of water holes defines where small homesteads scrape a living from the land. The exception are other fertile swaths of land close to Nornion and Lathion where large estates owned by the nobles of the empire dominate the scenery.
The Eloran Empire has emerged from what were formerly three provinces of the Arian empire, first, after the Arian retreat, as three independent nations, threatened by raids from Qatar, then, after a half-century of bloody unification wars, as a single nation under an emperor. Nominally the old nobility and titles mean nothing in the imperial administration, but in practice many of the noble families also end up with important administrative positions. Nevertheless, to an unusual degree the Empire is a meritocracy in which a capable administrator of common origin can rise far, and especially in the Eloran legions, anyone who aims for a command has to show his capability in the field.
Most of the riches of the empire is owned by the trader families and, to a lesser degree, by craftsmen, but little trickles down to the majority of the common people, who nevertheless can make a comfortable living and appreciate the clear-cut rules of imperial justice. Elorans can be found all across the world - predominantly in the lands of the Aznari which have been declared an Eloran protectorate, but also in harbours all across the inner sea. The Eloran Navy is always present and ready to defend the trade interests of the empire, and clashes with other seafaring empires such as Harantish are all too frequent. Of course, the Eloran coast itself is meticulously cleaned of pirates - with patrol boats out in force and war galleys more than a day away from the coast on the lookout, there is no shelter for a corsair anywhere close to Elora.
Being a people with both feet on the ground, as a rule the Elorans have little interest in tales of magic or in disciplins like alchemy which are so avidly studied in the Arian empire or the City States. But that does not mean that there would not be old and long-forgotten magic in the sands of the Great Desert, and tales tell of ancient temples sunken in the sands.
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