The crown jewel of Eloesus, the second-largest city in the Empire, is as rich in history as it is in gold.
Early on, Thénai distinguished itself among the city-states of Eloesus. Its intrepid sailors and merchants ensured a prosperous civic economy. A popular revolt against the ruling class allowed a flourishing of culture in what was known as the Golden Age of Eloesus (ca. 200 YBE to ca. 5 YBE) before it fell back into despotism and eventually, Imperial rule.
Early in its history, Thénai became associated with the practice of theurgy. All forms of the art were allowed, until an incident in 101 YBE, when a practitioner of black theurgy—Kakior the Wicked—burned down half the city with hellfire. At that point, the College of Theurges was formed to root out those deemed “consorters with Hell.”
In the First Eloesian-Imperial War from 361 YE to 371 YE, Arestides the Good (of the Lekko family) — Thenoan king — invaded Anthania and captured the city of Anthans. His fleet of triremes were overcome by aggressive boarding tactics of Admiral Lucius, and destroyed. Stranded, Arestides had no escape and his army was destroyed in 371 YE; the emperor Gabolus executed him.
In the Second Eloesian-Imperial War from 390 to 395 YE, Arestochos the Divine (also of the Lekko family) — Thenoan king and initiated theurge — won several victories against the Imperials and temporarily ceded the province of Gad. At Battle of Brilium, his archon servants refused to help him. As recorded in annals:
The angelic servitor Danariel to Arestochos said: ‘The winds of fortune have changed. The Empire is destined to prevail, and I cannot go against the wishes of the gods. I will not help you in this fight.’ And so Danariel departed, and so the Imperials fell upon them, and slaughtered them apace.
The Imperial legate Marius had Arestochos executed. A treaty was signed, forcing Eloesus into peace with the Empire.
The Third Eloesian-Imperial War began in 451 YE. The emperor, Anthanius III (posthumously, “the Expansionist”), invaded Eloesus with the intention of ceding it as a province. The king of Thénai formed an alliance with the two other prominent city-states (Kersepoli and Tharta) to halt the Imperials.
However, in 460 YE, after an extended siege, the king of Thénai surrendered to the Imperials. His hopes for mercy were dashed when the commanding legate, Felix, ordered the entire royal family executed. The city was plundered, and Felix was made governor of the new province of Eloesus.
In 480 YE, the self-proclaimed God-King Heidathra rose to power. In a coordinated strike, the Eloesians rose up against the Imperials. The rioters killed Felix and all the soldiers in Thénai. For a while, thanks to distractions at home, the Empire did not immediately respond. However, the Empire—under the command of Grand Legate Caro—sent a massive force to quell the rebellion. A thirty-year long struggle ensued in what was known as the Last Eloesian-Imperial War. In 508 YE, the tide seemed to have turned against Heidathra. The new king of Thénai—after a protracted siege—made an agreement with Caro that no harm would come to either the city or himself. Once again, they surrendered. Thénai was spared; other cities were not as lucky. The royal family was abolished.
Thénai is 26 square miles, built on the shore of the Inlet of Thénai. The surrounding lands are collectively called Thenoa. It is the second largest city in the Empire, and the capital of Eloesus.
- The Lion’s Gate: The ancient gate of Thénai which has stood since forgotten times. It is named for the leonine figures carved into the stone.
- The House of Andereon: The sprawling home of an Imperial sympathizer family.
- The Governor’s Mansion: The Eloesian center of government, converted from the ancient House of Lekko.
- The Temple to Amara the Watchful: One of the largest temples in the known world. The burial-place of Thenoan kings and, more recently, the Governors of Eloesus.
- The College of Theurges: An academy for theurgy and the sacred knowledge of the gods.
- The Temple of All Gods: A large temple devoted to all known deities.
- The Arena of Felix: A gladiatorial arena begun in 461 YE and — due to the distractions of war — completed in 515 YE. It is the home of the Eloesian gladiatorial team (the Sacred Band of Eloesus).