|Religions||Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Erastil, Iomedae, Norgorber, Shelyn|
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 70ff.
Galt (pronounced GALT) is a land where once high ideals have been laid low and mob rule has led to chaos. Galt was once a vassal nation of Cheliax, but also known for its free thinkers, poets, and artists. After the death of Aroden and the rise of House Thrune in Cheliax, the people of Galt decided to throw off their foreign rulers, along with their own nobles who had colluded with them. A bloody revolution followed in which many, many nobles lost their heads. The problem was the executions did not end the bloodshed and within five years, the severed heads of the ministers of the first government rolled down the steps of the guillotine. In the 50 years since, over a dozen governments have ruled Galt, rising and falling like the waves of a stormy sea.
Galt has always been a nation of free thinkers and radicals renowned for brilliant poets, artists, and philosophers whose ideas shaped the politics of the whole of Avistan. Even when conquered by Cheliax during the Even-Tongued Conquest, which began in 4081 AR following Cheliax's declaration of independence during the Taldan war with Qadira, Galt still maintained this reputation and attracted free-thinkers to its renowned universities and rogues to its pristine woodlands.
Galt's tumultuous fall into mob anarchy began with the ascension of House Thrune in Cheliax in 4640 AR. With the blatant devilry and capricious cruelty of their new masters, dissent began to bubble up in Galt. One of the most elegant expressions of this was by the half-elf philosopher Hosetter, who wrote the scathing political essays Imperial Betrayal. These essays helped increase the dislike of Imperial Cheliax and they spread dissent across Andoran and even into the heartland of Cheliax itself. Then Darl Jubannich, the poet of Woodsedge, capitalised on this by publishing his own attack on Cheliax and the very concept of the divine right of kings called On Government. This created further hatred of the new government of Cheliax which quickly blossomed into all-out rebellion. Mobs tore down all the symbols of Chelish oppression and executed those they felt were sympathisers, predominantly the nobility. Queen Abrogail I responded heavy-handedly to these rebellions, which only served to further incite the polity. Soon Hosetter and Jubannich, along with other heroes of the revolution, formed the Revolutionary Council to rule the newly-independent nation of Galt. One of the council's first decrees was the creation of the Final Blades, Galt's feared guillotines. Little did they understand the beast they had created, for within five years the first Revolutionary Council had been overthrown by another set of bloodthirsty revolutionaries who wanted change. And so began the cycle of bloodshed and revolution after revolution that has lead to Galt's decline into a nation inhabited by mobs of paranoid, revolutionary fanatics.
Since the death of Hosetter, there have been over a dozen governments in Galt, none able to govern effectively. Galt's cities, formerly centers of art and learning, have fallen into ruin. Without a strong central government, Galt's armed forces have collapsed, allowing brigands and fell beasts to flourish in the wilds. The current Revolutionary Council replaced the Cabinet of Skulls, and previous incarnations included the Cailean Council, the Common Council, the Eye of Law, and the Galtcreed Pact.
Government is a fickle thing in Galt and few who claim power keep their heads for more than a few years. The Revolutionary Council that rules Galt changes leadership with shocking regularity as a new group of bloodthirsty revolutionaries claim power. The current chairman of the Revolutionary Council is Korran Goss, a talented demagogue whose primary tactic for manipulating the angry mobs is redirecting their hatred. He is currently trying to shift the blames for all of Galt's woes to neighboring nations, particular Andoran. Andoran has been cautious of Galt ever since the revolution broke down into bloody mayhem, as Andoran was founded on many of the same principles as the original Galtan revolution. Despite Goss's talent as a demagogue, his government could collapse at any time, should a new faction gain the people's trust and come to power.
Even though the Revolutionary Council makes most of the decisions in Galt, a legislature of elected senators exists, and is supposed to look after the interest of the common citizens. Originally composed of 300 representatives, their number has dwindled down to around 100 thanks to the Gray Gardeners. New elections are supposed to happen every eight years, but have been continuously postponed due to internal conflicts for decades. Because there is therefore no practical way of replacing these senators, their presence provides a small modicum of stability in the otherwise anarchic nation. Even though their power is largely ceremonial, the senators still meet monthly for week-long sessions of posturing, demagoguery, and debate, and no one achieves political power in Galt without their support.
The only stability in the government of Galt are the Gray Gardeners, the executioners of Galt. They maintain their power and safety through anonymity, as no Gray Gardener has ever unmasked himself. The Gray Gardeners are based in the city of Litran, rather than the capital Isarn where the Revolutionary Council is based.
Because of Citizen Goss' xenophobic rhetoric, Galt's neighbors are on edge, worried that he will send bloodthirsty mobs over his borders. Andoran, once sympathetic to Galt's anti-aristocratic ideals, has closed its borders in the Verduran Forest to Galtan refugees in recent years, afraid that the chaos might spread.
A few exiled members of Galt's nobility fled to the River Kingdoms, where they have been amassing armies of mercenaries to eventually take back their homeland. The two most prominent of these Revenant Princes are Lord Halidan Tarne and his cousin, Casal Tarne. While Halidan leads regular raids into Galt, Casal prefers to wait and bide his time and gather his forces, waiting for the perfect time to strike and bring down the Revolutionary Council.
Galt is located on the easternmost edge of Avistan, and is bordered by the River Kingdoms to the north, Kyonin to the west, and Taldor to the south; to the east lie the vast Whistling Plains of Casmaron. Galt is a fertile area of predominantly plains but also boasts several large forests within its boarders, such as the Verduran Forest and the Boarwood. It contains several beautiful cities, and before the revolution, the capital of Isarn was renowned as a city that bordered on a work of art..
Galtans were once renowned for their free-thinking and lust for life, but during the long years of revolution this has slowly turned to bloodlust. They have become fanatical, revolutionary zealots, and their lust for life has turned into a bloodlust towards those they perceive as responsible for the terrible conditions now prevalent in their land. All too often, the residents of Galt are forced into homelessness, as the infrastructure of Galt has long since collapsed and food has become a scarce commodity. The people of Galt are generally distrustful of strangers, which is not helped by Citizen Goss's fiery rhetoric which blames all of Galt's problems on outsiders. As such, few foreigners visit Galt and those who do, have to be very careful that their neck does not end up meeting one of the feared guillotines of Galt, the Final Blades.
Since the revolution, the worship of the demon lord of traps, Andirifkhu, has been on the rise across Galt. Her worshippers tend to focus on Andirifkhu's mastery of mechanised forms of execution and torture. While Andirifkhu worshippers are usually lone fanatics, those operating in Galt tend to form small cells of up to half a dozen followers. Luckily for the people of Galt, these cells still remain isolated and have shown little interest in cooperation with each other.
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