Tandrice is a volatile nation defined most strongly by its most precious natural resource: Ironwood trees, whose wood is as hard and durable as steel, as resistant to fire as stone, and can grow nowhere else in Erna. Years ago, the control and use of Ironwood split the country in two, and since then the North and South have maintained an uneasy alliance.
When Carthic armies first marched across Erna, the Ironwood Groves and its guardians were already ancient. Local emissaries quickly surrendered to and complied with Carthic generals, ensuring a light occupying presence for the duration of the Empire's reign. When Hale Harkath started his rebellion, Tandrice's expulsion of those occupying forces was similarly quick and coordinated.
Tandrice maintained a careful, controlled, but profitable trade with the rest of Erna for centuries until 258AE. The guardians, known as the Ironwood Prophets, foresaw a mortal threat that would approach from lands beyond the ocean and lay waste to the Ironwood Groves. The most fervent followers of the Prophets conceived of the Great Discovery Project: massive, self-sustaining Ironwood ships sent on journeys to find these lands before they became a threat. Many more scoffed at this campaign: no landmasses other than Cartha had ever been discovered beyond the supercontinent of Erna, and it would soak up most of Tandrice's valuable Ironwood resources.
This conflict simmered for two years until it boiled over into a civil war in 260AE. For seven years, vicious fighting raged over control of the groves until a treaty was forged. Control over most of the groves went go to the Prophet's followers in the south, who had to supply enough ironwood to the north to sustain trade. With the war ended, the faithful began building, enchanting, crewing, and deploying their World Ships.
South Tandrice is a theocracy centered around reverence of the Ironwood Groves, which grow nowhere else on Erna. The Ironwood Prophets themselves have never shown any interest in governing, instead protecting and regulating access to the groves. However, a government embodying their ideals grew up around them, carrying out the terms of the civil war treaty and the Great Discovery Project.
North Tandrice has a parliamentary republic, with a legislature and an executive body. It is inherently unstable, as its economic livelihood depends on the cooperation of the south, and power changes hands frequently in backroom dealings and, occasionally, minor internal coups.
South Tandrice has almost no relationship with any foreign nation on Erna besides strict border enforcement. Any wishing to visit those lands must work through Northern Tandrice, whose trade network and political alliances stretch across the known world.
Demographics and Culture
Population: five million
The racial majority of South Tandrice is elven. The other races were either expelled or sidelined for their "short term perspective" on the impending doom facing Tandrice, the Ironwood groves, and all of Erna. Southern Tandrici believe the growth of the Ironwood trees prove their territory is the favored land of the gods, and their culture revolves around gratitude, reverence, and fierce guardianship of that land.
North Tandrice is significantly more diverse, both from its extensive interaction with Erna and because the more radical Tandrici all migrated south.
The Ironwood Prophets- Mysterious humans and elves who replace their eyes with enchanted knots of Ironwood. Though they don't practice druidism or pray to any gods, they have an unnatural command of the lands near their sanctuaries, and boast the ability to foretell the future as it relates to the groves. They live in and around the Ironwood trees, closely regulating their harvest to fuel the industry of Tandrice.