A Kingdom of Eastern Terath.
Leader: The Triumvirate: a council consisting of the Sovereign Ambassador, Sovereign General, and Sovereign Scholar
Princess Maria Pretia: Named Sovereign Ambassador, Maria is the second child of the late Queen Isme and her first husband Oswald and viewed as most likely to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Astute, wise and thoughtful, Maria is regularly found acting as a diplomat at the court in Rhoum. She was named the Keeper of Lists by High Queen Embla after the War of Kings, and acts as one of the Stewards Pro Tempore of the Broken City until a new Steward of Rhoum can be named.
Prince Hector Pretia: Oldest child of Isme and Oswald, Hector is the Sovereign General of Chindius. Fond of war games and weaponry, Hector keeps the royal army and navy in a state of constant readiness, though they are usually occupied with civic building projects. Hector has been known to hire adventuring parties to retrieve rare or famous weaponry for his personal collection. Hector is married to Yasmine of the Creon Noble Family of Myzentius, and has a young daughter and son, Quinna & Osvaldo, upon whom he dotes.
Prince Eben Pretia: Only son of the late Queen Isme and her second husband, Prince Eben is the Sovereign Scholar of Chindius. Educated at the (now underwater) University of Astreas near the Ethlinspire, Eben often finds himself responsible for smoothing over diplomatic hiccups between the two countries. He has little interest in anything but academia and is fiercely loyal to his half-siblings.
Lord Gabriel Veda: An uncle to Prince Eben, Gabriel was the youngest brother of Royal Consort Alvar Veda. His smooth talk and keen business sense make him invaluable to the royal family. Gabriel is very close to Princess Maria, though rumors of a romance between the two have not been confirmed. He is also known as a sponsor of the arts, and a true friend of the Travelling Folk.
Other Historic/Notable Figures
Late Queen Isme Pretia (Deceased): The Late Queen of Chindius, she died in the year 210 PB, when the royal palace was destroyed in by Dragon Fire during the Draconic Domination of Terath. Nearly five years after her death, a town bearing her name was founded, which has become a hub and bastion for the old-blood travelling folk in Chindius, who were known to think of her with great fondness. She was known for her great love of travel, having explored many of the Chindian Isles during her youth, and having taken to joining various travelling caravans once her children were of an age to govern the kingdom.
Rice, lumber, dyes, pipe-weed, glass, mushrooms, musical instruments
Relations with other nations
The Ethlin Isles: Chindius shares a unique relationship with the elves of the Ethlinspire. The two countries have been allies for hundreds of years, and continue to maintain close ties in spite of racism that runs rampant in the elven kingdom. Tensions are currently high due to Ethlin Spire’s habit of deporting “undesirables” (Troglodytes, Xelaque, humans, etc.) to Chindius. Meanwhile, the elves of the Ethlin Isle have often complained to the Sovereign General of Chindius of pirate raids upon their limited merchant ships.
Hadrianus: Chindius views Hadrians as somewhat wild and barbaric, but honorable. Open trade relations flourish between the two countries. Hadrian Longships and barbarian traders selling salt, wool, shellfish, & cheese are a common sight on the docks along the Chindian Coast. While Chindius has occasionally been the target of a barbaric raid originating in Hadrianus, the broadly shared opinion seems to be that this is balanced out by the infamous Chindian Pirates who target Hadrian Longships from time-to-time.
Myzentius: Chindius’ allegiance to the empire makes them wary of powerful mercenary groups. Political relations remain civil but generally the Chindians prefer to travel through the Queen’s Lands. Prince Hector’s marriage to Yasmine Creon has helped keep relations between these two kingdoms relatively stable, and while Chindius seems to lead the market in providing for-hire corsairs or privateers, it is relatively common for Myzentian Mercenaries to take post on deck as ship-board defenders.
Narovo: Chindians have differing views of the denizens of Narovo. Because the racial make-up of Chindius is very mixed, Chindians tend to deal well with the varied citizenry of their northern neighbor. However, Chindius is a very old kingdom with a relatively large population, and the barren landscape and nomadic traditions of Narovo make them uncomfortable. In recent years, savage Parthan Prides from Narovo have ventured into Chindian territories to raid and pillage, further increasing political tensions.
Queen’s Lands: Culturally, most Chindians believe in the concept of imperial Terath. Maria Pretia and a significant population of the Chindian Noble Court spend much of their time in the Broken City, the capital of the Queen’s Lands. And most treat the word of the near-mythical Rhouman Emperor of Verath with significant reverence. Although monarchs may have their differences, citizens of Queen’s Lands know that they have a staunch, steadfast ally in Chindius.
Brief summary of culture
To Chindians, family is the most important aspect of life. People rarely stray from their extended family groups as they age, and an old bloodline is a badge of pride in any town or island port. Political marriages are common amongst more well-to-do family groups for this reason, but romantic stories dominate Chindian theaters, taverns and written tales. The caravans of the old-blood human travelling folk are a common sight throughout the inland portion of the kingdom, while small family-owned trading ships and fishing vessels dominate the seaside horizon.
Chindian meals almost always feature rice prominently, often flavored with various spices which ships bring in from Narovo, Hadrianus and the Queen’s Lands. Lamb and goat’s cheese are also common foods, and shellfish are a rare and prized delicacy which are often imported from Hadrianus.
The weather in Chindius is hot and humid, with a long rainy season in the early spring that allows for the growth of the staple crop, rice. Chindians often dress in loose-fitting, often brightly colored clothes that are designed to be pulled up and out of mud. Notably, the fashions of Chindius can be somewhat confounding to outsiders, especially those from Kingdoms such as Ebrus, as Chindian fashion frequently ignores classical ideas of gender-based adornment entirely. Raised heels are common for all regardless of gender due to the tendency of puddles to form in the streets during the rainy season, though some claim the fashion hails back to old traditions of ship-board dancing whence tall boots were utilized to thump out a rhythm upon the ship’s deck.
Brief known history
The family Pretia has ruled Chindius almost as long as the nation has existed. According to ancient records, Chindius began as a series of outer-island colonies under the control of the elves of the Ethlinspire, and in the centuries which followed this elven control continued to spread further and further inland. Chindius became a home for the various disenfranchised or entrepreneurial souls from the elven lands and eventually desired to govern independently, and while Chindius was leveraged by the elves for the export of it’s natural resources, as the colony grew the elves also imposed a heavy tax on land holdings in the Chindian Territory. In fact, the somewhat strange tax laws in current-day Chindus are the result of the colonial origins of the kingdom, as substantial property taxes are the primary form of taxation in Chindius. While there are a number of tarrifs on imports, and while a variety of taxes and fees which apply to certain guilds, taxation on the value of land holdings is the number one method of filling the royal coffers. This tradition has made Chindius a financially advantageous location for travelling caravans, which are often found on major roads throughout the inland terrirtories of the kingdom.
The dawn of Chindius as a realm in it’s own right occurred many centuries ago. Legend states that the man who would become the first king of Chindius, Ordu Pretia, engaged in what is often referred to as the War of Wits in Chindius. During a week-long diplomatic row with the elven king of the Ethlinspire, Ordu managed to convince the elven nation of the logic in granting Chindius independence. Trade relations and embassies were immediately opened and relations between the two countries have been relatively good ever since, though the Elves (along with other nations) still denounce Chindian traditions of imprisonment to be deeply inhumane.
Over the past several decades various groups have arisen for the sole purpose of deposing the Pretian line, especially originating from the more independent outer-islanders, who have never forgotten ancient (and perhaps exaggerated) tales of elven oppression. The most troublesome group, to the ruling family, has been the Seekers of Exarch, who managed once to successfully assassinate Late Queen Isme in her younger days. During the last decade, a newer group that once supported Falion The Red of Ebrus has come to the forefront. Following an enigmatic leader known only as “The Last” who claims not to recognize the authority of the official government, this loosely organized group has been dubbed the Black Coterie for their support of the code of the Black Knight, and are said to move from island to island in the dead of night in order to avoid capture by agents of the throne.
5 things you should know
1) Chindians are very fond of music, and can often be heard emanating from ships if you stand upon the shoreline. The Travelling Folk are welcomed to specific outdoor performing amphitheaters and it is not uncommon for Chindians to know several variants of most common dances. Lyric poetry is also experiencing a resurgence of popularity. In fact, each year a great extended gathering of Gypsy Families takes place around the recently established town of Isme (named after the late queen), in which musical performances take center stage. This gathering is an opportunity to address issues of importance to the Travelling Folk, acknowledge new family patriarchs or matriarchs, and most importantly, to celebrate being of Gypsy Heritage. Although no one other than those of truly of The Old Blood may attend the first night of this celebration, all of those who are considered friends of their people are invited to join in the frivolity. The one exception is for the Fey, who are denied participation outright.
2) Legend has it that the late Queen Isme once offered each of her children one-third of the forests of Chindius. When asked what they would like to do with their part, Hector announced he would create war machines and great naval fleets out of the lumber in his section and walls to defend the borders. Eben said he would create a library to rival the greatest ones of the Ethlinspire and fill it with all the books he could have scribed. Maria, hearing her brothers’ answers, announced she would leave her part as it stood, so that there would still be forests in Chindius. For this, she has gained the nickname “The Wise.”
3) The most famous romance in Chindius is that of Jack and Helena, a famously lucky soldier and gambler and a sheltered noblewoman, respectively. Helena’s father had Jack sent to a prison-ship for attempting to court her. Jack, through his luck, wit, and charm, not only escaped from the ship but infiltrated the court in Pretia to meet with his love. When his ruse was discovered, Helena’s father demanded he be put to death for his deception. Jack pleaded his passion for Helena to the royal family and the courtiers, and it was decided that he would bet his future a roll of the dice. If he rolled well, he would not only have Helena but a proper title and land as well. If he threw poorly, he would spend the rest of his years in a lumber camp. Jack rolled straight sixes, although some stories have Helena replacing the dice with rigged ones at the last moment. The family Cassaro, who trace their bloodline through Jack and Helena, are particularly fond of the story. The famous, now dead, playwright Nelson Cassaro wrote a commonly performed variant involving cards instead of dice.
4) The largest racial group in Chindius is human, but surprisingly, populations of fairly civilized Troglodytes also exist in the forests. There are a few Xelaque elven families in the south of the country but many have migrated to the Kingdom of Haven. Orcs and elves are few and far between, and Parthan are relatively rare although they are sometimes found in some of the northern towns. Races intermingle freely in most cities, except for the island township of Tralga’s Glade, which is made up almost entirely of Fey.
5) Lumber from Chindius is a highly sought after commodity. Throughout the last century, criminals have been resigned to lumber camps chopping wood for export, which is viewed by most kingdoms as terrible injustice, as the other nations of Terath largely avoid lengthy imprisonment. Lumber camps are notoriously miserable, and Chindians often argue that they serve both to save money on prisons and deter potential thieves and other criminal elements.
The Future of Chindius
Chindius remained sidelined during the war between Kajorelle and Falion due to internal strife over a decade ago, but was not spared in the subsequent dragon attack. Queen Isme was obliterated and the Sovereign General took a death. Pretia’s royal quarter was almost leveled, but the Sovereign General, Scholar and Ambassador have thrown their combined energies into rebuilding. With Queen Isme gone, the Triumvirate reigns supreme, and the Sovereign Ambassador does not, for now at least, seem inclined to claim the title of Queen for herself, even though it is generally accepted that she was anointed to rule after her mother’s passing.