Lias, officially the Holy 5th Dynastic Empire of Glorious Lias, is a wealthy and powerful nation in the central plains region of the North Continent. Militarily advanced and extremely well organized, the Lian Empire’s history has been one of constant conflict- especially with it’s neighbor Inling
Western Lias was originally settled by Halflings long before the advent of humanity. Never organizing into a centrally governed nation, they cultivated the farmland and dotted the plains with small towns and villages.
Around 1000 EOM humans began to come west from what is now Inling and also settled in the region. The human farmers began to organize into small kingdoms controlled by wealthy families.
In the year 1243 EOM a wealthy noblewoman named Lia founded the city of Lias on the shores of the dwarf sea. Locals had been fishing the large inland sea for some time, and as the city was centrally located for trade with the dwarves and elves it grew in power and population.
In the spring of 1257 Lia recruited a sizable army of local men, equipped them with dwarf made weapons, and had them accompanied by holy men of Solculus on the field of battle. Traveling steadily south and east, she consolidated a large swath of territory through military conflict, negotiation, and intimidation. By that winter she had control of territory stretching to the southern tip of the Great North Rift.
The winter months allowed opposition to Lia’s conquest to solidify. Nobles sent healthy men and halflings to Halfdale to organize an army. Once the thaw began, this new army marched north and met a surprisingly small force, having early success. They regained several square miles of territory. Once the army was several days march away from Halfdale Lia struck, attacking the city via boat from the dwarf sea. They razed large portions of the city, and placed one of Lia’s close relatives in the seat of power in Halfdale. Cut off from their supplies and poorly equipped, the Halfdale army surrendered within a week.
With the last major opposition removed, Lia claimed all land east of the Hannede River and began to move further and further east. In the summer of 1259 she had herself crowned Empress Lia of Lias. She gathered the nobles who had succumbed to her peacefully and installed them as the Curia- a body of nobles that would give council to the Empire. These Curia members were guaranteed wealth and power within the state, but agreed to be subservient to the Empress and to deliver their eldest sons to the growing army.
Lia was succeeded by her son Travian in 1277. Travian continued to expand east, passing the edge of the Rift until he began to meet with fierce Wendellian opposition. He made the decision to offer them autonomy in exchange for allowing the army to pass, and wishing mainly to keep their way of the life the cat-folk agreed.
Travian died relatively young in 1285 and with no heir, thus ending the First Dynasty.
Rhea, the oldest daughter of the elderly Consul of Halfdale Armaius, Began a heavy campaign of currying favor among the Curia. In the turbulent months that followed she amassed a sizable vote count through bribery and intimidation- allowing her to eventually have her self crowned as empress in 1287. The Second Dynasty was a dangerous period, as the Curia members who disagreed split off, forming a small faction in the east that would constantly do battle for control of the empire. This constant squabbling over the east territory was the focus of the reigns of Rhea, her son Michelus, and her grandson Criomedus.
In 1402 the army of Inling decided to take advantage of a particularly bad skirmish, advancing into Lian territory for the first time. The Inlingian army had fast cavalry, a tactic that stunned the Lian forces. Both the rebel and imperial forces were nearly crushed- surrendering to King Phillip III of Lias. Criomedus himself was executed- his body hung in the border village nearby. King Phillip proclaimed himself the Emperor of Lias as well as King of Inling.
The Second Dynasty ended, and the empire in chaos, no real strong voice in the Curia came forward for decades. Phillip III returned to Esside that summer and sent a high ranking general named Alonso to Lias City to enforce Inlingian law. Alonso took a wife from among the Lian nobility, and ruled Lias as a puppet state until his death in 1429. Alonso’s oldest son Agustin claimed the governorship as his birthright. When Phillip IV in Inling disputed this claim and attempted to send his choice of governor- an elderly Generalissimo named Orlando- into the territory to remove the young man Agustin instead had himself crowned Emperor of the Third Dynasty and met Orlando in battle.
Orlando was wholly unprepared for real resistance, and was crushed by an ambush in the summer of 1430. Massacres and expulsions of occupying Inlingian troops followed, and the stage was set for another period of war.
The next millennium in Lias was filled with war with Inling, stopping for only a few decades at a time. By the time the current peace was settled in 2521 Lian society had become a largely war-faring one.
The current Lian Emperor Agustus IV rules from Lias City, where the Curia still resides. The military serves as the law enforcement within Lian borders, keeping the peace and employing a large portion of the young males. Halfdale serves as the center of agricultural trade for Lias, especially with nearby Hannede. The north and east are dotted with small villages and towns, operating under an exacting bureaucratic system of noble-owned estates called “latifundium”. The local estates are run by magistrates from their villas – the villas are often surrounded by villages or towns. These are connected by roads built and maintained by the army- the rule is the Emperor owns the road and everything 10 feet away from it.
The frontier of the treaty zone is fenced to the edges of the desert, and constantly patrolled. A sizable portion of the Lian military is at this border.
Economy and Demographics
Lias has around half a million humanoid citizens, with about 85% of these being human. Halflings and wendellians make up most of the remainder.
The Lian economy is largely based on tenant farming, with wheat and other grains being the largest crops.