|Ruler||Queen Abrogail II|
|Government||Imperial bureaucracy of noble families|
|Religions||Abadar, Asmodeus, Erastil, Iomedae, Zon-Kuthon|
Infernal Cheliax (pronounced CHEL-ee-ax) remains, without a doubt, one of the most powerful nations on Golarion and it continues to maintain naval control over the profitable Inner Sea. Nevertheless, as important as the nation may be at the current time, it pales in comparison to its former Imperial glories. Today, in the eyes of most external observers in other parts of the Inner Sea, Cheliax suffers from extreme diabolism and a tyranny which prevent it from truly achieving its full potential. Internal observers, including the new nobility of Cheliax, firmly believe that Asmodeus and Hell serve Cheliax and assist in maintaining the power necessary for Cheliax to assume its rightful role among the leading nations of the Inner Sea.
Since the Thrune Ascendancy of 4640 AR, Cheliax has been ruled by House Thrune along with a new configuration of noble houses made up of those willing to follow the philosophy of Diabolism. Much of the power of House Thrune was gained through the initial bargain struck between Abrogail Thrune and the rulers of Hell although rumors abound that additional pacts have been made since that time in the quest for still greater power. Currently Queen Abrogail II rules Cheliax with the aid and support of her infernal regent General Gorthoklek.
Governmental policy within Cheliax is focused upon maintaining order and quelling dissent. This is in direct response to the 30 years of internecine warfare and chaos that proceeded the Thrune Ascendancy as well as the absolute order inherent in the support of Hell. There is a great deal of physical peace and order which allows the lives of ordinary citizens to proceed normally, but it carries a high moral price. Cheliax is far from the abomination of twisted evil imagined by many outsiders, but it does not allow room for any dissent. Nationalistic feelings run deep and are practically required to avoid suspicion. Ambition causes normal citizens to turn in those that they suspect as traitors to Imperial Cheliax for the perceived promise of wealth and advancement. Organized secular and religious forces such as the Hellknights and the Inquisitors further strive to quell any organized dissent.
The laws of Cheliax are based upon the Asmodean Disciplines which also serve as the primary religious text for the Church of Asmodeus. Many of these laws are not enforced, and may not even be enforceable, but they serve the purpose of the government by allowing the prompt removal of undesireable elements of society under some perceived or interpreted infraction.
House Thrune may currently be the most powerful of the noble houses, but it is certainly not the only one. Some of the other powerful houses are:
- House Arionne: This minor house is a den of slavery.
- House Charthagnion: This house made a supernatural pact with infernal powers giving their members superhuman wisdom. Because of this, House Charthagnion can look forward to centuries of servitude to the powers of Hell.
- House Henderthane: The house of Henderthane has been supplying and manufacturing weapons for a thousand years, and currently is the chief weapon supplier to House Thrune.
- House Jeggare: The Jeggare family is one of the wealthiest not just in Cheliax, but in all of of Avistan. Member of the house, for instance, are one of the ruling families of the Varisian city of Korvosa, where there are rivers and streets named after them.
- House Leroung: A house of prominent academics and arcanists, House Leroung is widely respected for their impartial and unbiased pursuit of knowledge.
- House Narikopolus: This family is known for their superb archers who are trained from an early age.
- House Sarini: A family of cruel jesters, this house is sometimes referred to as the "Fools of Thrune", or the "Lapdogs of Hell".
Imperial Cheliax covers a large part of southwestern Avistan and, although currently less than half its former size, it is still one of the largest countries in the Inner Sea region. Cheliax can be roughly divided into six main areas of similar society and outlook.
- The West: The hills of Devil's Perch and the settlement of Pezzack are the home of the Strix, a race of winged humanoids. These fliers protect their homeland diligently although more from a dislike of any foreign rule as much as distaste for the current House of Thrune and its organized devil worship.
- The Northwest: The Ravounel Forest, the North Plains and the settlement of Kintargo in the northwest are the least insular areas of Cheliax and therefore subject to the most outside influence and contact.
- The North: The Menador Mountains are the religious homeland of Cheliax. It is also the home to scores of Hellknights prepared for a life of unending servitude by the unforgiving nature of the land they inhabit.
- The Heartland: The Whisperwood, the Barrowood and the Central Plains are the heartland of Cheliax.
- The East: The Aspodell Mountains and the River Keld form a natural eastern border to Cheliax.
- The South: The Inner Sea forms the southern border of Cheliax and port cities built upon bluffs dot the coast.
The current capital, Egorian, rests near the center of the nation on the banks of Lake Sorrow. North of the lake stands the Barrowood, and the River Adivian flows south from the lake, past Westpool and East Rikkan, into Gemcrown Bay past Westcrown. Cheliax maintains a foothold in Garund as well, holding the southern end of the Arch of Aroden (the province of Kharijite) and thus controlling access to the Inner Sea. Some of its Imperial holdings remain under Chelaxian control as well, including Nidal. It's more distant holdings are the Garundi colony of Sargava (although Sargava has escaped from Chelaxian rule, at least for the moment) and Anchor's End in far-off Arcadia.
- See also: Timeline of Cheliax
Cheliax was founded as the westernmost frontier prefecture of the Taldan Empire in 3007 AR. It would remain a part of the Taldan Empire for more than a thousand years, until two years after the massive invasion of Taldor by Qadiri forces in 4079 AR, Aspex the Even-Tongued, the Taldan governor, declared independence in 4081 AR. Knowing Taldor would remain focused on its titanic struggle with Qadira, King Aspex of the new Empire of Cheliax incorporated the Taldan territories of Galt and Isger by force and Andoran and the winged men of Devil's Perch by diplomacy in what became known as the Even-Tongued Conquest.
By 4081 AR ongoing friction between Absalom and Cheliax over control of trade in the Inner Sea area led King Haliad I to lay siege of Absalom. Although the siege was unsuccessful, Cheliax was left the major naval power in the Inner Sea and gained control of both sides of the Arch of Aroden. In the following year, 4138 AR, Cheliax also establish a new colony in Western Garund at Sargava.
Chelish expansion to the north continued in 4305 AR with the launch of the Everwar. Over the following century the empire annexed lands in Molthune and Varisia, completing its conquest of Nidal in 4338 AR. Shortly before the Everwar ended in 4410 AR with Cheliax renouncing all territorial ambitions in Varisia and Belkzen, Chelish forces founded Fort Korvosa in 4407 AR.
In the last decades of the Age of Enthronement, many of the seeds of Cheliax's present were laid. The first Hellknight order, the Order of the Rack, was founded in 4576 AR in the capital, Westcrown. In 4605 AR, King Gaspodar began the preparations for the reappearance of the god Aroden, which had been prophesied in the Starfall Doctrine.
Instead, in 4606 AR their patron deity Aroden died. Cheliax descended into three decades of civil war, as the various noble houses fought for supremacy. Molthune took the opportunity to declare independence in 4632 AR.
Baron Grallus of Sargava backed House Davian in the war, but Davian’s ambitions were shattered by House Thrune at the Battle of a Hundred Kings. House Thrune eventually won the war in 4640 AR.
A Cheliax fleet sent by House Thrune for revenge on Sargava was sunk in Desperation Bay by the Shackles Pirates in 4643 AR. A second fleet sent in 4660 AR fared little better and Sargava has so far managed to cling on to its fragile independence.
The empire runs on the backs of fiends now, a perfect machine of hellfire and blood, where morality surrenders to the needs of law and order. It's easy to curse Cheliax as a nation of devil-lovers, but few can argue with the results of their fiend-binding craft. House Thrune, the greatest of its diabolic noble families, has brought the empire under control once more. Cheliax rises like a dark star, as strong as ever, despite the recent losses of Galt and Andoran to rebellious forces.Asmodeus proves as powerful a divine patron as Aroden ever did, shepherding his people toward glory and dominance of the Inner Sea. His plans reach eons into the future, and the minor setbacks of yesterday are all factored into the cost of doing a devil's business. The Chelish always plan for a long campaign, and never trifle over today's skirmishes. In the end all will burn in hellfire. It is only a matter of time and calculated conquest.
Three-quarters of Cheliax's human population are ethnic Chelaxians , and the pale-skinned Chelish believe themselves superior to all other peoples. Their compact with great devils gives them power beyond measure, and no other nation of the Inner Sea can compete with their summoners and warlocks when it comes to trafficking with dark forces. These devils require payment for their service, often offered up in the form of tender flesh and boiled blood. Tieflings enjoy an unusual status in Cheliax, often seen as subordinate to humans by the Chelish diabolists. Slaves are an important resource of the Chelish as are artifacts of ancient power whose secrets are revealed to them by their timeless patrons. Even as Andoran revels in its newfound freedom, the tendrils of Cheliax's empire continue to expand. Arcadia lays open before them and Sargava is ready to fall under their hellish sway.
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- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott. (2009). Cheliax, Empire of Devils, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott. (2009). Cheliax, Empire of Devils, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 68-70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ Christopher Self. (2008). Eye of the Crocodile King, p. 14. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ Tito Leati. (2008). Crown of Fangs. Crown of Fangs, p. Inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-109-1
- ↑ James Jacobs, & Mike McArtor. (2008). Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide, p. Inside back cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-087-2
- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 69. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ James Jacobs, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber Scott, Hank Woon. (2009). Council of Thieves Player's Guide, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 68. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 202. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 20. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
- ↑ Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 203. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott. (2009). Cheliax, Empire of Devils, p. 2. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 37. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- ↑ James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 166. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- ↑ JD Wiker. (2010). Sargava, The Lost Colony, p. 5-6. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 James Jacobs, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber Scott, Hank Woon. (2009). Council of Thieves Player's Guide, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- ↑ Joshua J. Frost & Nicolas Logue. (June 5, 2008). Exploring Paizo's Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part 2, Paizo Blog.
|Nations of Avistan|
Absalom • Andoran • Hold of Belkzen • Brevoy • Cheliax • Druma • Five Kings Mountains • Galt • Hermea • Irrisen • Isger • Kyonin • Lastwall • Lands of the Linnorm Kings • Realm of the Mammoth Lords • Mendev • Molthune • Nidal • Nirmathas • Numeria • Qadira • Razmiran • The River Kingdoms • Taldor • Ustalav • Varisia • Worldwound