Ghost of Kalidria
“Behold an island of bounty, girded by peaks of stone and frost! ’Tis our home by birthright, founded in faith. Hear me Feduria, I avow my dedication to your woods and plains therein, that never shall they wither under the black shadow of wickedness whilst my immortal house endures…” ~ Kenthelous Feldus upon accepting the seat of the Supreme Chancellor of the Fedurian Council
In the First Age of Memory, when the Free Races first walked upon Kalidria, the Elves awoke in a forest beneath the stars. As they grew and learned, they discovered their home was an island, surrounded by insurmountable mountains and the waves of a sighing sea. Before long, the hearts of these elves yearned to wander and explore. Thus they learned to craft boats of wood and glass to indulge the voices in their hearts seeking freedom beyond the boundaries of their knowledge of the world. That was when the elves first landed in the mainland of Kendor, but they would always remember and love their first home, which they called Feduria.
Following the discovery of the mainland, and soon of other races, the elves were divided. Many wished to learn from the strange new peoples and share their secrets in return. Others amongst the elves wanted no part of this and urged to return to Feduria altogether. This formed the original families of Elvendom. Whilst some remained in Feduria, many more yet spread into the mainland and mingled their bloodlines with the other races. It was briefly afterwards that they first discovered the mystery of Death, and that of all the races Elves alone seemed untouched by the strange fate that held sway over Kalidria. Many elves who found lovers only to lose them to the glacial onset of Time resigned themselves to return to their homeland and forsake the companionship of their precious but fleeting friends.
During the Age of Wandering, a young elf named Halifaust rose to lead his people through wars with the neighboring races, establishing codes of chivalry for his kindred. He was joined by Addia, Father of the Forest and Fordwyn Greenleaf to found the capital of Avilende in the central plains of Feduria. The thirteen families joined to used their talents to build up the city as the heart of elven culture.
For generations the Thirteen Houses of Feduria prospered and established their respective livelihoods, including Agriculture, Masonry, Livestock, Metallurgy, Commerce, Theology, Magicka, and of course Art. Foremost among them were the Halifausti, Ethulia, Nillenus, Gerrildeth, Iscandar, and Thaelwelint. These six houses were famed for their clerics and artisans, ships and soldiers. The other families more often than not would follow their leads in matters of state save when their own interests were directly threatened.
A great deal of instability set into Fedurian society with the immigration of other races from the mainland. The Thirteen Houses had already in place a robust economy and social hierarchy, but with the inclusion of more races they found their delicate balance of nobility threatened by masses who didn’t share their cultural values. The unfortunate result was a institutionalized caste system starting with the foreign races of dwarves and gnomes at the bottom as servant races and ignoble merchants to be tolerated rising up to even the most impoverished elf, the sworn kinsmen of the Thirteen, clerics, warriors, religious leaders and finally the Heads of the Houses.
By this time, the Great Temple of Halifaust had already been constructed as the patriarch was deified by the Wyrms and had passed into legend. Deep in the nameless forest where elves first stirred, stones were carved and laid upon a glade within the deepest reaches of the wood and the Houses made it sacrosanct. To Fordwyn Greenleaf, a henge of stone was raised around the heart of the forest and in the center was a monolith of shimmering emerald. Here the Druids would make pilgrimage to commune with the voices of nature and through that devotion attain knowledge of the supernatural. Fordwyn herself would speak to her devoted and instruct them in the caretaking of Feduria and the world at large, allowing the elven nation to endure droughts and famine through their foresights and prophecy.
The island of Feduria stood encompassed by a shelf of jagged mountains whose sides made scaling untenable. The only means of access to the inland could be made via a cove at the southernmost region which hosted Feduria’s single massive port of Nimphelis a bustling city brimming with trade from all corners eager for Fedurian wares. As Feduria’s sole means of commerce and travel, a massive State Navy was constructed to at harbor within Nimphelis capable of shielding the nation from any intrusion by sea. Four of the Thirteen Houses made their homes there, earning their immense fortunes from shipbuilding and trade as well as with military commissions. They are Houses Berylthos, Kairios, Maetheglin, and Selevorn.
During the Age of Formation in 2240 BC, when King Janus of Xephos proposed to institutionalize magical study, Feduria decided to host a school in Kemenistar, which became known as the Viridi Semitam; an academy renowned for mastery of the various tenets of Conjuration magic. Kemenistar’s population boomed as a newly international destination and markets for magical charms and appliances bolstered the economy. Three of the Thirteen Houses hail mostly from Kemenistar’s wooded expanse. They are Houses Vairion, Quaithe and Jexios
Two of Feduria’s most senior and accomplished mages proceeded to hold seats at the Founding Council of Magic in Xephos, Vexnil and Hymnial.
Vexnil currently holds the title of Grand Magus as the Gold Cloak of the Council.
For millennia of prosperity and devotion to the Gods, Feduria rose as a beacon of civilization and wisdom, but with a seed of corruption in the form of civil inequality. Many of the servant caste would remain in poverty and want whilst the immortal elite would amuse themselves with politics for indeed when money and time became no object, the elves would resort to petty games of intrigue lasting centuries long. Huge galas and ostentatious displays of the welfare of the Thirteen Houses became the norm whilst the mortals would be resigned to being neither seen nor heard, but always held responsible for their servile vocations. Whilst some of the Houses would refrain from the decadence and irreverence towards their fellow Kalidrians, the institution remained a unspoken tragedy marring the beauty of Feduria.
THE AGE OF STRIFE
“It falls to us, my brothers and sisters! We who are blessed with immortality must take up the mantle of responsibility for the welfare of Kalidria. In the name of Halifaust, we must use our gifts to nurture these lands that they may never suffer from idleness and ignorance, neglect and atrophy. How are we to trust this to the mortal, who can look no farther than their own meagre years? They can only be coerced into serving Halifaust’s purpose, and delegated his designs. It falls to us to save Kalidria from treachery and greed, the wrath and sloth of the impure. I can do no less than this…” – Aihros Halifausti to the Council of Thirteen following the assassination of Feldus Varfarrion.
Twelve hundred and forty seven years before the arrival of Calisto, Feldus Varfarrion held the seat of Supreme Chancellor over the Council of Thirteen. One morning, Feldus was discovered murdered in his chambers with a dagger in his back. Several days later, several nobles had provided accounts of a suspicious dwarven servant who had since gone missing. Within the week, the dwarf in question was arrested in the servant slums in the outskirts of Avilende, and after a speedy trial was formally executed as a political extremist.
Several of the Thirteen Houses took this tragedy as proof of the inherently treacherous nature of the mortal races, and declared a holy crusade to purge Feduria of impure blood. Any who resisted were slain and those who didn’t were taken as slaves from then on. Mass enslavement of dwarves and half-elves became institutionalized and gnomes native to Feduria were seemingly driven extinct. In reaction to this, Vyden Varfarrion, the son of Feldus addressed the Council of Thirteen in an attempt to dissuade them from their path, citing that Halifaust’s code of honor charged the elves to defend not only their own freedom but that of all races. Only the Houses of Nillenus and Gerildeth took up his cause, and eventually set off a civil war to protect all the oppressed Fedurians and at last stole one hundred ships to flee with as many souls as they could from their home.
In recognition of Vyden’s honor and courage protecting those of their race, the Dwarven nation of Durg named him a Brother of the Forge and sent their finest craftsmen to help him construct the city of Feldus in the Great Falls Forest. Houses Gerildeth and Nillenus joined Varfarrion in exile following their exodus.
Following Vyden’s Rebellion, Feduria was in a state of utter turmoil. Determined not to waste the opportunity, the Halifausti used the events as evidence of Feduria’s need to turn the radical High Elven values of isolation and racial purity. Aihros Halifausti began to lead the Council of Thirteen whilst his sister Makisha set her eyes upon the elderly King of Kendor in a political bid for colonial expansion into the mainland. Vyden’s second daughter Lysa abandoned him and her mother Adana, to remain with Aihros in control of Feduria.
Whilst they were reeling from the loss of life both in military strength and in laborers, Feduria was the first to submit to Calisto’s conquest when he set out in his flying fortress. Following Calisto’s fall, they reopened their borders for trade, desperately needing the resources but continued to treat all of their non-elven clients with undisguised scorn
Feduria now operates as a facist theocracy, tolerating only commerce and traffic from the Viridi Semitam, all other practices are subject to persecution in the holy name of Halifaust…