Embyr: The Fifth Age
Shailia is located in Central Aurodei east of the Thunderspine Mountains. Shailia is surrounded on the north by Ruktur, to the west by Gormania, to the south by Roanwe, and to the east by the Sea of Silence
Shailia is extensively wooded, with nearly a third of the land covered in vast, ancient forests. The Thunderspine Mountians loom over all in the west with an elevation as high as 6,700 feet. In the south the Heru grasslands stretch some 300 miles from the foothills west of Breetai to the Shailian Peninsula.
Inland Shailia near the higher elevations can reach below freezing during the winters, with snow being common in the mountain areas. Eastern and Southern Shailia being regulated by the coastal winds, has a warmer, more temperate climate with a moderate but steady rainfall.
Shailia is a Commonwealth made up of three City States. The North-most of these is Verincourt, once a vassal to the northern kingdoms of Ruktur and now an independent free city. Verincourt holds domain over the lands as far west as the Thunderspine Mountains and as far south as the Ulfang River as well as the woodlands to the north.
South of Verincourt beyond the Bay of Whispers can be found the great Free City of Byrnaer and her matchless port of call located at the mouth of the Dyrunn River. Byrnaer is also the capitol of the Shailian Commonwealth and can rival any city of Talia in scope and splendor with soul exception of Sunia herself.
Southwest of The Dyruun within the rich grasslands of the Heru Plains sits the ancient fortress city of Breetai. Known as The City of 1000 Ghosts, Breetai is built upon ruins from the Second Age from a time before The War of Dragons. Her secrets are many, as are her perils to the unwary.
There is a ruling council of nine elders who sit as the highest authorities within the Commonwealth. These nine individuals each hold the title of Lord High Magistrate and it is they who authorize and execute the doctrines of the land by way of a simple, internal majority vote. Each of the three cities appoints three representatives to the ruling council seated at the citadel in Byrnaer. Traditionally these three individuals are a military leader, a merchant, and a priest.
The origins of The Great Commonwealth of Shailia can be attributed to the founding of what is today called the Free City of Byrnaer. Once known as The Witch Keep of Thorold, Byrnaer was the central ruling seat of a concave of wizards who siphoned vast arcane energies from a magical wellspring unrivaled by anything like it save the mystic pools within the ancient kingdom of Athea. Then, in 912cr, this sorcerous fountainhead inexplicably ceased. Though still powerful and fearful beings, the wizards of Thorold suddenly found themselves vulnerable, and a revolt of the people flared and pressed against them until 938cr when The Witch Keep was finally overthrown. In the 200 years since, Verincourt with her raw materials in the north and Breetai with her vast grasslands and matchless harvests in the southwest have united with Byrnaer so as to benefit from her harbor within the Bay of Whispers. While they still fly their respective banners, each has affixed three stars to their standards in representation of this unity.
It should be noted that citizens of The Commonwealth in the regions near Byrnaer still hold spellcasters in very low regard. While it cannot be said that magic users are out-and-out persecuted, they are certainly not encouraged and very rarely allowed to thrive.
Though nearly any walk of life can be found in Shailia, the population of The Commonwealth is largely Ardish. As is the case with much of Aurodei, this is a remnant from the conquests of King Uriath V earlier in The Fourth Age. As such, the official language of The Commonwealth is Ardish, though it is usually not too difficult to find someone who also speaks the common tongue of Talian.
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