Ruler: Ilene Eldesta, Queen
Government: Hereditary Limited Monarchy
Primary Race: Human
Primary Language: Imperial Common
Regional Bonus: Life on the Frontier - No part of life in Eldesta isn’t connected to the culture of adventure and endeavor in some way, giving you a +2 racial bonus to Perception and Survival.
Regional Feat:Bred for Adventure
A frontier nation, Eldesta rests at the edge of the vast wilderness known as the Killing Lands, unsettled and unexplored because of the powerful monsters that inhabit it. They live in the shadow of dragon aeries high in the mountains while deep caverns filled with monsters tunnel through the earth beneath their feet. Scattered through both Eldesta and the wilderness it borders are the ruins of a civilization that predates even the Orodravian--the ultimate goal of many an adventurer and the final resting place of most of them.
Queen Ilene Eldesta is a rough-and-tumble woman without the polish of most nobles, though age and motherhood have mellowed her considerably. Once a force of nature that would inspire her citizens and terrify foreigners unfamiliar with how royalty behaved on the frontier, she was tempered by the horrors of the Sunset War, gave up an eye battling the monstrous pit fiends of the Courts of the Damned, and almost lost her future husband Tavin Gavrilari. Her days of adventure are behind her and she tries now to govern her people responsibly and raise her daughters to be strong and responsible...but those who know her best can see the melancholy that seizes her when the queen remembers her youthful days of high adventure.
The country's economy is powered by forays into the Killing Lands, which makes it the world's premiere supplier of exotic materials. They "produce" griffon feathers, treant bark, manticore quills, troll's blood, purple worm ichor, chimera hide, and every part of a dragon that could conceivably be used in quantities no other nation can rival. All of that is in addition to the rare-but-rewarding successful sortie into one of the numerous unexplored ruins that fill the wilderness.
Like most things in Eldestan history, their country began with an adventure. In Tower Age 896, Maskar Onning, the second son of the Governor-Noble of Rosebrad, hatched an ambitious plot as part of his plan to outshine his brother. He would led an expedition into the one unmastered wilderness in the world: the Killing Lands. Quickly gathering support not only in his home country, but in Xain as well, he assembled a fleet of two dozen great ships filled with over two thousand men and women who hungered for wealth and new horizons.
They landed in AG 907 and disaster soon followed. The initial group split into two antagonistic factions that ended with the smaller group moving inland to set up their own settlement. After a harsh year had nearly destroyed both groups, they reunited at the inland settlement, where Nyels Eldesta--a commoner and soldier--took control in a bloody coup, killing the incompetent nobility that were going to get them killed. She brought her people through the Black Winter of AG 908 and set the groundwork for the country's future.
Upon Nyels's death, her son Artrand was raised by acclaim to the Kingship, their city rechristened Elding and the country itself named Eldesta, all in honor of the commoner guard captain who had saved a dream that has survived to the present day.
Eldesta remains one of Faengleis' most active importers of food, raw materials, and finished goods, paying with valuable luxury items or magical reagents unavailable anywhere else in the world in quantity. Additionally, their location means they are not a military threat to any other nation and their naval presence is extremely limited compared to their size. Between being a goldmine for foreign powers and not threatening them militarily, they have a lot of friends.
Unfortunately, since the Sunset War, foreign markets have begun to dry up except for two distasteful options: the Empyrean Alliance and Xain. While Eldesta pays out a great deal to Xain in return for desperately needed foodstuffs, the queen has begun major operations to convert portions of the country's interior into a breadbasket so as to ween her people off foreign grain. As time passes, Ilene also grows more and more concerned that the Empyreans may prove to be the lesser of two evils and the wealth she is pouring out will only go to make the world a darker place.
With the passing of Empress Sendeyvrian, relations between the Empire of the Sun and Eldesta have cooled somewhat, though the two countries are still on very good terms, while the Ascendancy's need for reagents and other raw materials only Eldesta can provide keep the two nations bound strongly to one-another.
Additionally, the increased activity of thePirate Lords has become a concern because of how much of Eldesta's shipping passes through the Valdahat Ocean and Wide Ankara, both of which the Lords have claimed as their own. Effort Eldesta cannot afford may have to be turned to producing and training a navy powerful enough to deal with the new threat.