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== Overview ==
 
== Overview ==
Cartha is equal parts prairies, deserts, and jungles, divided up by steep mountain ranges. Though a continent-spanning empire flourished here centuries ago, decades of crises, weak regimes, and rebellions have reduced it to a few coastal cities, bordered by brushland swiftly surrendering to the desert. Antioch is the major hub of trade for the country and its de facto capital, exporting ivory, exotic spices, and guides used to the hard life of the desert. Though there are rumors of lush lands to the south, most of the northern continent of Cartha is harsh, rugged terrain. There iss little room there for expansion, and so most life is confined to the cities and towns along the northern coast. The population of these coastal settlements numbers around 1.5 million.
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[[File:Licia.jpg|thumb|365x365px|Artist credit: Magali Villeneuve]]
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Cartha is equal parts prairies, deserts, and jungles, divided up by steep mountain ranges. Though a continent-spanning empire flourished here centuries ago, decades of crises, weak regimes, and rebellions have reduced it to a few coastal cities, bordered by brushland swiftly surrendering to the desert. Antioch is the major hub of trade for the country and its de facto capital, exporting ivory, exotic spices, and guides used to the hard life of the desert.
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Though there are rumors of lush lands to the south, most of the northern continent of Cartha is harsh, rugged terrain. There is little room there for expansion, and so most life is confined to the cities and towns along the northern coast. The population of these coastal settlements numbers around 1.5 million.
 
==History==
 
==History==
 
Carthic history stretches back millennia. The nation that governed the southern continent of Erna has existed for so long that its calendar stretches back further than any surviving historical records, leaving its distant past the province of gods and monsters. However, for all its history, the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the continent has fostered fierce competition among its people. Nations in the north primarily stuck to the coasts, establishing complex systems of irrigation to push back the Saraha Desert and building trade networks with the peoples of Erna. Peoples to the south found magic more plentiful and powerful in the dense jungles, and built fleeting kingdoms led by powerful sorcerers.
 
Carthic history stretches back millennia. The nation that governed the southern continent of Erna has existed for so long that its calendar stretches back further than any surviving historical records, leaving its distant past the province of gods and monsters. However, for all its history, the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the continent has fostered fierce competition among its people. Nations in the north primarily stuck to the coasts, establishing complex systems of irrigation to push back the Saraha Desert and building trade networks with the peoples of Erna. Peoples to the south found magic more plentiful and powerful in the dense jungles, and built fleeting kingdoms led by powerful sorcerers.
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Cultural differences and the great distances involved made the first years of the empire extremely chaotic. The strong magics of the jungles of Cartha, which enabled their conquest, grew weaker the farther away from the homeland mages got, and became used mostly for communication and logistics. Several generations passed, with the empire's borders growing and shrinking, until Erna began to forget the time before Carthic rule, and things calmed down. Around a hundred years after their initial wars of conquest, empire began another slow, steady expansion that lasted until it controlled all the populated regions of the continent.
 
Cultural differences and the great distances involved made the first years of the empire extremely chaotic. The strong magics of the jungles of Cartha, which enabled their conquest, grew weaker the farther away from the homeland mages got, and became used mostly for communication and logistics. Several generations passed, with the empire's borders growing and shrinking, until Erna began to forget the time before Carthic rule, and things calmed down. Around a hundred years after their initial wars of conquest, empire began another slow, steady expansion that lasted until it controlled all the populated regions of the continent.
   
The golden age of the Carthic Empire lasted almost a thousand years. Powerful institutions were established which lasted to this day, and the language and letters of Cartha were spread so far and wide that they came to be known as "Common." Poor leaders, catastrophes, and wars came and went, but the strong organization and infrastructure of the empire endured. Though the people of Erna, especially those of the west, resented the seat of power lying so far away in foreign hands, the efficient management of the empire prevented large scale disruptions.
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The golden age of the Carthic Empire lasted almost a thousand years. Poor leaders, catastrophes, and wars came and went, but the strong organization and infrastructure of the empire endured. Though the people of Erna, especially those of the west, resented the seat of power lying so far away in foreign hands, the efficient management of the empire prevented large scale disruptions.
   
 
This golden age was followed by a period of decline, and the empire began to succumb to the same forces that claim all mortal governments. This culminated in a [[The Carthic Rebellions|series of rebellions]] which saw the people of Erna finally breaking free after a millennia of rule. Cut off from their vast network of resources, the empire crumbled, almost all contact was lost with the southern ancestral cities, and the vast imperial armies dissolved.
 
This golden age was followed by a period of decline, and the empire began to succumb to the same forces that claim all mortal governments. This culminated in a [[The Carthic Rebellions|series of rebellions]] which saw the people of Erna finally breaking free after a millennia of rule. Cut off from their vast network of resources, the empire crumbled, almost all contact was lost with the southern ancestral cities, and the vast imperial armies dissolved.
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==Demographics and Culture==
 
==Demographics and Culture==
Carthic culture (borrowing heavily from the ancient Romans)
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Carthic culture (borrowing heavily from the ancient Romans) can be found stamped on all of Erna due to its dominance of the land. Powerful institutions were established during its golden age which last to this day, and the language and letters of Cartha were spread so far and wide that they came to be known as "Common."
   
 
==Notable Organizations==
 
==Notable Organizations==
  +
* Royal Apothecary Society (headquartered here)

Revision as of 01:01, October 11, 2018

 Overview

Licia

Artist credit: Magali Villeneuve

Cartha is equal parts prairies, deserts, and jungles, divided up by steep mountain ranges. Though a continent-spanning empire flourished here centuries ago, decades of crises, weak regimes, and rebellions have reduced it to a few coastal cities, bordered by brushland swiftly surrendering to the desert. Antioch is the major hub of trade for the country and its de facto capital, exporting ivory, exotic spices, and guides used to the hard life of the desert. Though there are rumors of lush lands to the south, most of the northern continent of Cartha is harsh, rugged terrain. There is little room there for expansion, and so most life is confined to the cities and towns along the northern coast. The population of these coastal settlements numbers around 1.5 million.

History

Carthic history stretches back millennia. The nation that governed the southern continent of Erna has existed for so long that its calendar stretches back further than any surviving historical records, leaving its distant past the province of gods and monsters. However, for all its history, the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the continent has fostered fierce competition among its people. Nations in the north primarily stuck to the coasts, establishing complex systems of irrigation to push back the Saraha Desert and building trade networks with the peoples of Erna. Peoples to the south found magic more plentiful and powerful in the dense jungles, and built fleeting kingdoms led by powerful sorcerers.

Eventually, a powerful leader took advantage of the perfect circumstances to bring the south under one banner. The nomadic peoples of the north were quick to fall in line, and it is around the time that the whole continent was united that the Carthic Empire's calendar begins. For many hundreds of years, the empire was focused on internal consolidation and infrastructure, cutting great roads through the jungles, coordinating continent-wide peace and security, and establishing a national system of resource allocation. It is suspected that this time of internal focus was at the direction of a single, long-lived ruler.

After this time of consolidation, the empire's attention did turn outwards, and it began founding a series of colonies and outposts on the fringes of Erna. The people of the main continent were fragmented and unorganized, with no governments that could rival the size and power of Cartha, and it wasn't long before the drums of war and conquest sounded in the halls of the empire. The lands closest to Cartha were quick to fall, and within a century the majority of Erna was under their control.

Cultural differences and the great distances involved made the first years of the empire extremely chaotic. The strong magics of the jungles of Cartha, which enabled their conquest, grew weaker the farther away from the homeland mages got, and became used mostly for communication and logistics. Several generations passed, with the empire's borders growing and shrinking, until Erna began to forget the time before Carthic rule, and things calmed down. Around a hundred years after their initial wars of conquest, empire began another slow, steady expansion that lasted until it controlled all the populated regions of the continent.

The golden age of the Carthic Empire lasted almost a thousand years. Poor leaders, catastrophes, and wars came and went, but the strong organization and infrastructure of the empire endured. Though the people of Erna, especially those of the west, resented the seat of power lying so far away in foreign hands, the efficient management of the empire prevented large scale disruptions.

This golden age was followed by a period of decline, and the empire began to succumb to the same forces that claim all mortal governments. This culminated in a series of rebellions which saw the people of Erna finally breaking free after a millennia of rule. Cut off from their vast network of resources, the empire crumbled, almost all contact was lost with the southern ancestral cities, and the vast imperial armies dissolved.

Government

Present day Cartha is a loose oligarchy of ancient family houses, with the title of emperor largely symbolic. Instead of carrying any real weight, the title of emperor mainly represents the state of the balance of power between the major houses. The government mainly levies taxes to maintain a small military and the cities, providing few services to the people outside them beyond warding off the influence of other nations. In this power vacuum, towns, merchant guilds, and other organizations have formed a network of administration and security. While a particular family house might build relationships and command the fealty of traders or even whole settlements, these bonds are ever changing.

The current emperor is Titus, of House Pulo. The Pulos have done great work organizing and growing the spice trade from the southern jungles, and have reestablished relations with the tribes of the great Saraha Desert, but are also known for being incredibly corrupt and nepotistic.

Political Relations

Cartha retains few diplomatic or economical relationships with Erna beyond its immediate neighbors. As such, it has had little effect on recent world affairs. The Empire does have a formal alliance with Gastonia, the nation longest dominated and most integrated, culturally and demographically. However, it did not mobilize to Gastonia's aid in its recent war with Harkath.

Demographics and Culture

Carthic culture (borrowing heavily from the ancient Romans) can be found stamped on all of Erna due to its dominance of the land. Powerful institutions were established during its golden age which last to this day, and the language and letters of Cartha were spread so far and wide that they came to be known as "Common."

Notable Organizations

  • Royal Apothecary Society (headquartered here)
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