The home of an ancient and venerable people, the Imperial province of Eloesus is crossed by mountains and sea.
The First Golden Age
The land now called Eloesus was among the last kingdoms to fall into the Dark Age. At that time, a people called the Danaans lived in a number of cities on its coast, the greatest of which were Pythia and Stygidos. For more than a century, the light and civilization of the Old Dominion lingered among the Danaans, but in the span of a year disaster fell upon them. Major earthquakes were noted, and then, finally, a warlike people called the Sons of Eloe descended from the north. These Sons of Eloe would call themselves the Eloesians and their land Eloesus. But they knew little of the Old Dominion or civilization, and after their conquest the land fell into the Dark Age, from which it would emerge only hundreds of years later.
The Age of Heroes
The now-mythical Age of Heroes is said to have stretched from approximately 650 YBE to 1 YE. In the early part of the era, Eloesus became overcrowded and unable to feed its burgeoning population. Eloesian cities founded overseas colonies throughout the Middle Sea and beyond.
This age saw the rise of heroes such as Phillipidēs and Theron, as well as lesser known heroes like Ionis and Helēmon. The age ended with a gradual return to autocratic monarchy as democracies throughout Eloesus failed. By 100 Y.E., all cities of Eloesus were ruled by kings and queens, though the ideal of democracy spread and took root in the nascent Empire.
The Age of Conquest
The Eloesian kingdoms spread far and wide, with the Korthian Kingdom conquering Khazidea and pressing deep into Fharas, at one point slaying the padisha emperor in battle; the Thenoan Kingdom with the aid of its colonies Bregantion and Floridion conquering Gad; and the Kersican Kingdom seizing Kheroe and various islands. Untold wealth poured into Eloesus and it became the richest nation in the world. Throughout this period, the cities largely agreed to a set of rules whereby no one would fight in the motherland, but battles and skirmishes between Eloesian kingdoms were allowed abroad. As the Eloesian kingdoms expanded, they were also changed, and southron religion and culture began to permeate the nation. Some monarchs took titles such as King of Kings and Padisha, while religions fused together or new ones were created. Temples of Athra and Issa began to appear in Eloesian cities, especially in Tharta.
The Empire steadily gained power in these centuries, eventually completing their conquest of Dys in the 200s YE, naming it Anthania after Grand Legate Anthanius. That conquest caused them to run into conflict with the Thartan Kingdom.
Eloesians began to fall backward as the Empire initiated its march through the world. The Thartan Kingdom’s attempts to defend its colonies in Dys (Anthania) brought them and the Empire into a state of constant war. The Korthian Kingdom eventually lost its overseas dominions to a resurgent Fharas. The Thenoan Kingdom was the last to fall, surrendering Gad to the Empire in 395. Eventually, the Empire occupied Eloesus, declaring a province in 461 with the seat of government in Thénai. The failed rebellion of Heidathra sealed Eloesus’ fate as an important and respected, but defenseless thrall of the Empire. The riches that Eloesus acquired were plundered and made Imperial City the wealthiest place in the world.
Eloesus has dry, very hot summers and cool, wet winters. In the land of Themuria, deep snow falls each winter thanks to its high altitude.
THE FOUR CITIES
Olives, grapes and wheat are the main crops grown in Thénai. Thénai became known for its high quality olive oil, delivered in ornate amphorae. Its skill at sea is unmatched in Eloesus; its sailors claimed to have visited every island in the Middle Sea and even penetrated deep into the rough waters of the ocean.
Korthos is known for its delicious wines. Its inventors are the best in Eloesus and the city is credited with opening the first Academy in 45 Y.B.E. Their inventions include the torsion catapult, the astrolabe, and the dreaded colossus, among many others.
In ancient days, Kersepoli’s war machine had an unending appetite for bronze and iron and sold slaves in exchange.
Tharta (Imperiopoli), once the wealthiest city in Eloesus, was mostly an importer, having seemingly endless wealth to purchase purple cloth, jewelry, Fharese carpets, ivory, spices and exotic goods from all over Varda. Their army was the greatest in the Eloesian world, aided by Kheroan and Khazidean auxiliaries, but they rarely employed it.
The chiton, a knee-length sleeveless shirt, is the traditional attire of Eloesus. Now, tunics and breeches are commonly worn, similar to the rest of the Empire.
Traditionally, Eloesians worshipped five gods above all: Tyros, lord of war; Amara, virgin queen of motherhood and battle; Alabastros, king of the gods; Nix, Queen of Sorcery; and Arephon lord of lightning and thunder. They created elaborate story lines and a twisted family tree. These scandalous details of the gods’ personal lives were condemned in the Magisterium’s White Synod Council of 301, which reaffirmed the position that the gods are uncreated and perfect in character. Folk beliefs persist, however, and are collected in books throughout Eloesus.