The home of an ancient and fiercely intellectual people, the Imperial province of Eloesus is crossed by mountains and sea.
Early in recorded history, Eloesus had become crowded and overpopulated, with too little food to support the large and growing population. This dilemma forced many to set out in search of new land. Colonies were formed all along the Middle Sea.
The city-state of Thénai founded the most colonies, followed by Korthos. Many, if not most, cities on the Middle Sea have origins as Eloesian colonies. Some succeeded in retaining an Eloesian identity while others gradually became assimilated into the native cultures.
Kersepoli, though also overpopulated, took on a different strategy — expanding their territory at the expense of other Eloesian city-states. Many city-states were devoured and erased from history in the process. Others lived on as thralls of Kersepoli, shadows of their former selves.
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.