"Do not envy the Chaddamarians... though they
have wealth, they thirst for freedom. For they have laws and taxes enough to fill
three kingdoms. And lest you forget, it is by their blood that the Horde is kept
- Gremal Akish Koruene Galendal, Saridian Explorer
|Proper Name||The Chaddamar Theocracy|
|Ruler||Her Most Omnipotent Magnificence, Incomparable and Miraculous Light of the World, Queen Tavania Sadeish|
|Population Density||32 people per square kilometer
(84 people per square mile)
|Demographics||Human 75%, Saridian 12%, Vaullian 8%, Magrakkian 3%, Other 2%|
|Capital City||Illhekar (Population: 286,500)|
|National Colors||Black, grey and green|
|Year Founded||1305 CY|
|Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods||Rice, cotton, lumber, fish, seafood, mutton, potatoes, marble, silver, horses, iron ore, precious stones, wine|
|Government Stability||Very stable.|
|Enemies||Strained relations with all neighbor nations.|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages|
|Primary Religion||The Chaddamar (Official State Religion)|
|Other Religions||None. (Other religions outlawed).|
|Total Land Area||1,155,000 square kilometers
(446,000 square miles)
|Terrain||Broad Grasslands and hilly regions|
The Chaddamar Theocracy is a deeply religious nation based upon the Chaddamar, a tightly integrated pantheon of six chief gods. It is an oppressed land ruled by priestesses and holy law. The religious elite live a life of luxury while the commoners live with wretched poverty and crushing taxes.
While there is no central resistance group working against the government, there are many criminal organizations and underworld guilds that operate outside the law and oppose the Church on most matters.
It is a temperate region of broad grassland and gentle hills encircled by mountains to the south and west. The Theocracy encompasses and great forest in the east known as the Greenwood which supplies the nation with lumber and excellent hunting. The Desolation of Shidar lies to the north.
Chaddamar maintains an extensive network of paved roads through the nation. All major cities and towns are connected by roads.
The Chaddamar Theocracy has a variety of plant and animal life through the realm. However most of it is domesticated and benign. There are few dangerous animals within the heart of the Theocracy. At the edges of the realm, particular the Greenwood and the foothills of the Sucorro Badlands, caravans may encounter aggressive humanoid tribes or packs of wolves. Lions and wolves are a danger in the south of the realm.
Rice is an important crop throughout Chaddamar, especially in the south. It forms the basis of the typical Chaddamarian meal.
Undoubtedly, the most notable fauna and flora are the living monstrosities on the far side of Garreon's’ Wall. The region known as the Desolation of Shidar is rampant with a wide spectrum of plants and animals unlike anything else in the continent. And once each year, the most legendary creatures of all sweep the Desolation clean, the Horde.
The Chaddamar Theocracy is a very old nation with a long history. After the Sundering and the subsequent fall of the Great Kytohan Empire, the region was wild and uncivilized for many years.
The only major city left was Daetowa ruled by Duke Morgoth. According to legend, Lord Morgoth built a great underground fortress beneath his city. Perhaps to protect his people from the World Storm, the chaos that raged over the continent and the raiding bands of humanoids. It is said that the existing mining shafts were used and expanded and that the great halls beneath the ground were a marvel to behold. It supposedly held the wealth of the region.
In 155 CY, the city of Daetowa was overrun by the humanoid tribes. Within 50 years, nothing remained by ruins. Some years later, the humanoid tribes abandoned Daetowa and left the ruins to the weeds. Legends told that the ruins were haunted by the ghosts of the thousands that had died there. For this reason, local villages avoided the area and the ruins went untouched for centuries. Finally, in the ninth century, in the year 851 CY, Lord Daemus from the Theocracy of Bullar (a southern kingdom with heavy religious overtones) rebuilt the the ruins of Daetowa and founded the city of Shidar.
For two centuries, Shidar grew and developed into a major city. It became a shining center of culture, learning and magical power. The healers of Shidar were renowned for their skill.
In 1136 CY, miners quarrying stone uncovered a great iron door buried beneath rubble and dirt. They believed they had uncovered the entrance to the legendary Mines of Morgoth. The door was opened and the nobles of the city ordered the catacombs underneath explored. Shortly after opening the door, Shidar began to have problems. Unexplained murders in the night, strange creatures began hunting the nighttime alleys, horses and dogs began acting strangely and a variety of illnesses quickly spread through the city. As the weeks went by, these problems became worse. The local population protested the opening of the Mines of Morgoth saying that the old legends of ghosts and spectres were true... that the dead were punishing the city for disturbing their rest.
There were those that scoffed at such notions. But then, matters quickly got out of hand. Strange demonic creatures began attacking in broad daylight. The illnesses became a plaque and the dead themselves arose and stalked the living. These horrors quickly convinced everyone that the shaft had to be sealed and it had to be done quickly. The spellcasters of the city united under their most talented sorcerer, a mage named Adezar. They combined their talents with city engineers and quickly constructed "Death's Door" - a great stone building with a single massive iron door. These massive construction was built upon the shaft, effectively sealing the hole.
Death's Door was built with a single purpose... to seal the hole and to never open it again. It's construction and enchantment were designed to resist any and all tamperings. At that, they have succeeded. Death's Door, the actual iron door, weighs 80 tons. The entire door and stonework around it are covered in enchanted glyphs and sigils that foil the flow of magic. Spell casters who try to magick open the door will find their spells useless.
Amidst great controversy, Adezar created a key that could open Death's Door. Some politicians were horrified that such a security breach was allowed. Others wanted the option of some day opening the door and slaying the demons of the underworld. The device that could open the door was magical and needed only be touched to the door to open it. Hence, this device could have been made in any form. But Adezar decided to fashion it into the likeness of a key. This choice was artistic, nothing more. The key is fashioned of bronze and is 18" long. It is heavy and highly decorative. The key was intended only to be used in ceremonies. An ornate oaken box was fashioned to house the key.
Those who feared the opening of the Door assaulted the Town Hall and, during the battle, the Key was shattered into 3 pieces. - the circular handle, the shaft and the teeth. (these three pieces later became known as the Ring, the Rod and the Teeth).
Although the construction of Death's Door was complete and the great shaft was sealed, the problems in the city of Shidar did not stop. The dead arose with alarming frequency to stalk the living. Animals began to mutate into horrible monstrosities. Strange creatures continued to appear. The plague that held the city slew hundreds. The flow of people leaving the city turned into a flood of terrified refugees fleeing for their lives. Within days the city and the surrounding towns were utterly abandoned.
Refugees from Shidar fled south by the thousands, carrying tales of woe and despair with them. It is this migration of misery and fear that sowed the seeds of the Chaddamar Theocracy. The refugees settled into the lands in the south and mixed with the indigenous people there. The nobles and armies of Shidar quickly took control of the towns in the south and began to rebuild. Much of Shidaran culture was transplanted in this way. In 1152 CY, the Shidaran nobles elected a king, a noble lord named Kurnon, and formerly declared themselves the Kingdom of Shidar. They began organizing a system of government, taxing the towns and quelling civil unrest in the region who balked at this sudden shift in political climate.
Over the next few decades, as the Kingdom of Shidar was forming, the entire peninsula was slowly abandoned as the horrors stalking the peninsula grew worse and worse. Refugees from the peninsula continued to flow into the Kingdom. The peninsula became an uninhabited wilderness region where monsters roamed. Most civilized people left the region alone.
In 1207 CY, the first sighting of Horde creatures occurred. The next year, dozens of these creatures were sighted. In 1209 CY, the first Horde hit. Several towns were attacked by a large group of these creatures. Various town militias patrolled the northern lands near the mouth of the peninsula and hunted the creatures down. From then on, each year, these creatures would come south, out of the peninsula. Each year, the town militias and King's Guard were harder pressed to hold them back. During this time, a religion formed from the fusion of six different faiths from Shidar and the south, was forming. This faith began to grow in favor among the commoners. These six combined faiths were known as the Chaddamar.
In order to isolate the peninsula from the rest of the kingdom, King Kurnon ordered that a great wall be constructed over the entrance to the peninsula. Even with thousands of conscripted workers and dozens of wizards aiding with magic, the monumental construction would still take 50 years. During the decades while the Wall was built, the Horde came every year. Each year it was larger and more dangerous. The people began turning to the priestesses of the Chaddamar to save them. Before the Wall was finished, the priests and the King were directly opposed. By 1242 CY, Chaddamar was the dominant religion throughout the east.
In 1296 CY, a civil war erupted between those faithful to the crown and those faithful to the growing Church of the Chaddamar. The war raged for nine years. Finally, the rebellion was successful in the Battle of Illhekar and the Church usurped control of the kingdom in 1305 Common Year. The priestesses took control of and finished construction of the Wall. Within a century, the Chaddamarian Church had a firm control of the nation and converted it into a true theocracy. The Wall was finished in 1339 CY. The ruling Priestess, High Priestess Garreon, foresaw that the Horde would eventually overcome the wall. She ordered a second, larger wall, be built. Construction began in 1341 CY.
Her successor, High Priestess Yvrin, who took control of the Church in 1384 CY upon the death of Garreon, ordered the second wall be torn down just as it was nearing completion. The second wall was in the process of being dismantled when the Horde, now numbering in the millions, hit the original wall and overcame it. The Horde swept past and obliterated everything. Garreon's Wall, partially built and in the process of being taking down, saved the nation. It was hastily finished even as thousands of soldiers gave their lives protecting the nation. Many horde creatures got through. All were eventually killed, but the cost was high. These horrors were later studied and much was learned about the Horde.
The nation now exists in a precarious state. The Horde is confined to the peninsula, now known as the Desolation of Shidar. Garreon's Wall, which is the largest architectural structure in the world, isolates the Desolation. Each year, in the later summer, the Horde comes. The Wall and thousands of soldiers, keep the Horde at bay and keep the Chaddamar Theocracy safe.
In 2085 CY, a great plague swept through the Chaddamar Theocracy. The sick were rounded up and sent into exile on Lerobar Island. Plague camps were set up and later made into permanent communities. Over decades, Lerobar Island served the Church as a useful place to send any who opposed them, not just the sick. Dissidents, heretics and political prisoners all were sent to Lerobar. A revolt on Lerobar in 2247 led to a full rebellion in which the people of Lerobar threw of the shackles of the oppressive government. At the bloody battle of Shaker Bay, the Church was taught a hard lesson. The people of Lerobar obtained their freedom and grudging respect from the Church. Lerobar is now something of an oddity - not a separate nation, but certainly a fiercely independent province with ties to Chaddamar.
As indicated by its official name, this nation is a true theocracy. It is a nation ruled completely by the Church. Priestesses and learned scholars rule beneath a Queen. The Queen has absolute power and is believed to be divine. Her word is law. She is perfect. She is immortal. She is ageless and wields great power. To harm her is to defy the Chaddamar. The spirit of the Queen is immortal as she is reincarnated into her first daughter.
The legal system is intimately tied to the religion. Citizens of the state that walk that straight and narrow will find life easy. But offenses against the nation are, in effect, acts of heresy against the Church and are dealt with severely. Public flogging, maiming and all forms of torture and physical abuse are strictly prohibited by the belief of this Church. Therefore, heavy fines, imprisonment and banishment are used commonly.
The female guards that guard the shrines and temples in the Chaddamar Theocracy highly proficient warriors - well trained and well armed. Their traditional weapon is a long staff with a metallic core running through the length of it. The head of this weapon is also metal. A central hand grip twists between two positions. When you twist the hand grip, it releases an electrical discharge down the barrel of the staff and into the head of the weapon. These weapons are non-magical and have a primitive battery - an acid filled reservoir. Guards are trained extensively in the use of this weapon - in releasing the electrical charge at the exact moment of contact with the enemy. The electrical discharge causes additional damage and creates a sudden numbing sensation that stuns the target momentarily. A fully charged stave is good for about 4 electrical discharges before it must be recharged.
The Chaddamar Theocracy has been forced to develop better weapons to deal with the monsters in the Desolation. As a result, the Theocracy has developed crude rocket technology which has been implemented into a variety of weapons. Rocket technology came about through the inspired work made by several gifted men. However, the same religious beliefs that inspired such weaponry also limits their use. These weapons are seen as a gift from the Chaddamar to fight the Horde. Because of this religious overtone, rocket technology is seen as acceptable, but only on the Wall against the Horde. The troops that man Garreon's Wall are the only soldiers authorized to use these weapons. It is forbidden to use rocket weaponry any where else. To do so would be an insult to the Chaddamar and is an act of heresy, punishable by death. Therefore, these weapons are never sold. Very rarely, a rocket-based weapon may be sold on the black market. On the Wall, however, rocket technology is continuously improved.
The most common rocket used on Garreon's Wall is the Wrath Cannon. It is a large, portable, single shot, self-propelled rocket which is fired from the shoulder. The rocket head is packed with explosive powder and detonates on impact. Both the firing tube and the rocket itself are ornate and decorated with the likeness of a fierce beast, usually a dragon. These weapons are sometimes called Dragonmaw Cannons. It can be fired only once and then must be reloaded with a new rocket which takes about 15 seconds. Typically, these weapons are used by two men - a gunner and a reloader. The Wrath Cannons are extremely powerful weapons. At close range, a direct hit from a wrath cannon will blow an armored knight to pieces. Wrath Cannons are usually fired from the Wall down into the Desolation when the Horde comes in force. These cannons are usually saved for the larger monsters.
Other Rocket Weaponry
The same rocket technology has been used to develop a number of other weapons - arrow launchers and spear launchers use gunpowder explosions to launch multiple projectiles simultaneously. Catapults hurl "God Bombs", barrels packed with explosive powder with flammable coatings that, when lit and hurled, detonate on impact. Firewire refers to braided cord which is coated in a resin in which explosive powder is mixed. Firewire burns along its length very rapidly and cannot put out with water. Tower cannons are huge cannons stationed on top of the main towers. These tremendous weapons weigh over eight tons each and can fire different kinds of ammo: multiple godbombs, oiled filled barrels, spiked balls, chains, heavy iron spheres and rocks.
The Marauders are a special subdivision of the Chaddamarian military. On occasion, the Church of Chaddamar sends a soldier into the Desolation to "do battle with the forces of chaos" directly. These soldiers are Marauders - highly trained, heavily armored, fanatical and merciless. The Church sends in about 4 Marauders each year. This is more symbolic than actually effective at wiping out the infestation of monsters. Being sent into the Desolation is a huge honor. The competition to join the Marauders is fierce. Only the very best join and that is by invitation only. Once in, competition to be the next in line to be sent in is equally fierce. The Marauders train constantly and have a reputation as being absolutely fearless. They are often called upon for suicidal missions. Whenever a monster manages to make it out of the Desolation, which does happen from time to time, it's up to the Marauders to hunt it down and kill it quickly.
Blessed with a favorable climate, rich black soil, abundant rain, excellent fishing waters, mild seasons and a variety of precious stones, gems and valuable woods, the Theocracy is one of the wealthiest nations in all of Aggradar. An excellent system of well-maintained roads, large well protected towns and a sizeable merchant class contribute to a thriving economy.
Despite all this, the commoners live in squalid poverty because the nobles tax them so heavily. Chaddamarians endure crushing taxes which are extracted by church employed tax lords under the guise of "tithes" to the Church. Failure to pay these taxes is seen as a crime against the Church and warrants imprisonment. Every conceivable facet of life and trade is subject to Church tax - port taxes, import/export tariffs, sales tax, road tax, property tax, land and title taxes and education taxes are but a few. Travelers visiting Chaddamar will find their purses lightened by the local taxes before they leave.
Chaddamar has a surprising level of technology. Much of the innovative advances were spawned by the need for more advanced weaponry and defenses to keep the Horde at bay. Most notable is rocketry. There are numerous laws and traditions that limit the sale and transport of advanced Chaddamarian technology. For example, the advanced weaponry used to guard the Wall is considered a gift from the Chaddamar. Transporting those weapons to other regions (or merely possessing those weapons outside of the Wall region) is considered an act of heresy and is punishable by death.
Much of social life is centered about the church. Mass is required for all citizens each morning. In addition, six different prayers are said throughout the day at specific times, one to each god. With each prayer, one of the day's six meals is taken. Many businesses close their doors during a prayer time. Marriages must be approved and conducted by the clergy. All business ventures are so heavily taxed and monitored by the church that they are practically business partners with the Church.
All festivals and many recreational activities have a religious bent to them. The Church is heavily involved in most day to day activities. This is seen as a caring and loyal government/church rather than an oppressive militant state.
Chaddamar rocket technology has been adapted to fireworks in the north. These fireworks are manufactured throughout the year right along side the rocket based weaponry. After Horde season, a great celebration is held in all towns and villages along the Wall. Fire works are the main attraction and these are launched from atop the Wall. Explosions of red, yellow, orange and green light up the sky. Many thousands of Chaddamarians will trek north at this time of year to see the spectacle. Priestesses of Chaddamar give speeches before the assembled throngs as they stand atop the Wall. The History of the Desolation and the tale of the Fall of Shidar are told and retold. The priestesses are treated as celebrities at this celebration. It is a time when even the highest ranking priestesses mingle and converse with the common people.
There is a separate and distinct language associated with each deity. This has integrated itself into Chaddamarian culture. The people of Chaddamar speak all 6 languages fluently and will switch from language to language based on context and the content of their speech. Angry thoughts are expressed with one language, love with another, logical deductions with a third, etc. This fluid speaking style can be very difficult for outsiders to deal with. It makes translation very difficult. All six languages are based on a single alphabet and a single writing system. Collectively, these six languages are casually referred to as "chaddi". However, each language has a specific name as well - chaddi parel, chaddi tunar, chaddi ebel, etc.
This separation into six categories based on the six gods goes beyond languages. Every profession within Chaddamar can be placed in one of six categories. Each "service" is recognizable by garb, equipment and symbol.
The Chaddamarians are greatly concerned with cleanliness and physical appearance. For instance, clothing is always kept very clean. It is law to bathe oneself before entering a temple. Guests at a house bathe their feet before entering. Likewise, there are certain garments which are appropriate for certain situations. And regardless of the social situation or garment, jewelry is always worn. You aren't dressed until you have donned your jewelry. Most such trinkets are silver and bejeweled. This is true for both men and women, rich and poor. although the poor often have jewelry which only has a thin coating of blended silver alloy over a base metal. Noble women of Chaddamar, in particular, are very fond of sporting all types of jewelry. Although not the most valuable of jewels, razor gems are considered quite fashionable.
Wizards in Chaddamar are called "spell binders" regardless of rank or title. It is a general label that categorizes them as separate from the priestesses of the Church. In general, the Church greatly curtails the freedom of mages and places strict limits on what mages can do. Some areas of magical research are strictly off limits. Necromancy in any form is outright forbidden as is any healing magic. Both are punishable by death.
There is only one great magic school in Chaddamar... the Conservatory of Spellbinding.
Her Eminence, Queen Tavania Sadeish
Her Eminence, Queen Tavania Sadeish is the supreme political and religious leader of Chaddamar. She rules as the mediator between the six demi-gods of this land and the people. She is the link between the mortal and spirit realms. Serving her is a staff of thousands. Queen Tavania has an obsession with fantastic jewelry and enjoys wearing elaborate necklaces and head dresses which are worth millions, quite literally.
General Morg Arkus
While the woman rule the church, the men rule the military. Ruling over the armies and navies of Chaddamar is a highly decorated military officer named Arkus. This giant of a man stands 7 foot 2 and weighs 300 pounds. Easily recognized by his steel blue armor chest plate and bear cloak. General Arkus fights with a great black spear.
Tomag Kedarran, Chief Magical Authority
Ruler of the Conservatory of Spell Binding. Great strain exists between the Church and the mages of the land. The mages must constantly walk a fine line and not cross into "church matters". There are certain types of magic which are forbidden.
Saramuthak, Greatest Wizard/Necromancer, Imprisoned
A brilliant mage that served the government/church for years before his radical ideas eventually labeled him a heretic. Had numerous troubles with the Church. Was finally accused of necromancy, imprisoned, later escaped and later imprisoned. He is, without a doubt, the most talented and most famous wizard in Chaddamar. But now, he is imprisoned, entombed forever in the dungeons of the town of Soleth. He is often made an example of when the Church speaks of the dangers of necromancy and dark magic. His tower stands abandoned on the north shore, declared off limits by the Church.
Ithan Renark, Commander of the Wall Guard
A well known and trusted military officer given the most highly respected military post in the land... the command of the defense of the Great Wall.
|Allune||28,500||Largest town outside of Illhekar.|
|Soleth||19,700||The city that guards the Wall. Soleth is a major military center. It is known for the dozens of massive kilns throughout the city that manufactured (and still manufacture) the bricks for the wall.|
|Janeek||14,200||Major agricultural center surrounded by hundreds of square kilometers of farmland. Much grain is shipped from Janeek to Illhekar by river barge along Sharlyn's Weeping.|
|Hansuse||11,500||Notable for excellent vineyards and wineries. Also has an excellent museum, library and a few other cultural treasures.|
|Heimar||8,600||Lots of windmills that grind the wheat and rice from the local fields. Large, flat region. Good wind here.|
|Qutav||5,900||Somewhat more tolerant of other races and cultures.|
Amonths, Arbor Crest, Brakis, Celecru, Dejraun, Ekru, Fellor, Furgin, Gaedrius, Gruber, Harrington, Hesson, Karn, Kraegur, Lemass, Mallegun, Mulharek, Norose, Rowley, Shelmar, Taer, Vanzan, Volkmar, Waking Field, Wandering, Woursen
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.