|Religions||Vidric variations of the worship of Abadar, Gozreh, Iomedae, Sarenrae, and Shelyn; Grandmother Spider; Kalekot; Lubaiko|
|Images of Vidrian|
Source: Lost Omens World Guide, pg(s). 84
- See also: Sargava
Vidrian is an ex-colonial nation located in the southwestern Mwangi Expanse. Previously a colony of Cheliax known as Sargava, Vidrian's native peoples only earned freedom for themselves in 4717 AR, and the country is still burdened by the scars of colonialism.
In addition to the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, much of Vidrian is the lush but sparsely settled grasslands of the M'neri Plains. The Laughing Jungle dominates much of its southern border, while the northern border stretches through parts of the jungle known as the Kaava Lands. The Lower Korir River and the Lake of Vanished Armies mark Vidrian's southern border. The River of Lost Tears flows along much of the eastern border. A section of the Bandu Hills runs just north of the country's centre.
Government and international relations
Vidrian is ruled by a council consisting of representatives from disparate groups. While all are aware that their new nation could easily be reconquered and that they need to take steps to rebuild their economy and prevent any future conquests, different groups often disagree with each other on small details, sometimes leading to gridlock. Vidrian's alliance with Senghor remains untested; other allies, like Nurvatcha, are unwilling to commit militarily; and although Vidric ambassadors have been welcomed in Absalom, Andoran, Osirion, and Ravounel, other Mwangi city-states have been reluctant to respond to diplomatic overtures, having no desire to give up their complete independence. Mzali, Vidrian's nearest neighbour, is inclined to view it as an enemy, as is Cheliax, which would want to retake its former colony.
Vidrian's council is made up of many different organizations. The Combined Mercantile Interests is ironically effectively a council in and of itself, comprised of many different trade guilds that are often at odds with each other. The Field Unions represent Vidrian's agricultural affairs. The Independent Banks of Vidrian recall how debt was used to ensnare Mwangi and instead give work that only takes a small portion of the earnings of those without the means to repay them. The Represented Theologies lobby for the the various churches of the nation. The Vane serves as Vidrian's intelligence network. In addition, there are many smaller organizations such as The Briars (which represent Vidrian's criminals), The Coalition of Medicine, and The United Laborers.
Since the beginning of the Age of Lost Omens, Sargava faced many hardships, from isolation from Cheliax to racketeering by the Free Captains of the Shackles. In 4715 AR, the native Mwangi folk decided that change was needed and enacted a revolt against their colonial overlords. They were joined by some colonists who no longer felt any loyalty to Cheliax and disdained how their fellow colonists were running Sargava to the ground. The rebels soon took over the capital of Eleder (now renamed Anthusis) and overthrew Baron Utilinus. On success, they renamed their new country Vidrian and returned it to local rule.
One of the first acts of the new Vidric government was to stop paying protection money to the Free Captains. Unwilling to lose an easy source of income, the Free Captains invaded Vidrian. After signing a quick alliance with Senghor, Vidrian managed to drive away the Free Captains and established itself as a new nation in 4717 AR.
The people of Vidrian have different livelihoods depending on whether or not they reside in urban or more remote areas. Residents of the port cities focus on commerce so the nation can repay the debts that were incurred during the revolution. In addition to a unique blend of colonial and Mwangi economic practices, Vidrian oversees adventurers who explore the Expanse. While many residents of Vidrian perceive this as distasteful, it is seen as a necessary source of income. Vidric leaders carefully choose guides to ensure that items of cultural significance are returned to their rightful hands. The Pathfinder Society has regained influence within the area due to their oversight of their own and willingness to apprehend looters who thoughtlessly procure artifacts. Vidrian is also allied with the Alijae, Ekujae, Song'o and other protectors within the Expanse who serve as a last line of defense against looters. Many residents of Vidrian call for a larger naval presence, as the Free Captains have disrupted trade routes in retaliation for not paying their protection fees.
The jungle plantations of Sargava are now under the control of the workers. To the farmers of these more rural areas, foreign powers and the Free Captains remain a distant threat. With the aid of the government of the capital Anthusis, their grains and luxury foods have become one of Vidrian's greatest strengths.
While some criminals have been reincorporated into more legitimate enterprises, others continue to thrive in Vidrian. In order to ensure economic stability, the government has agreed to sanction crime as long as it does not threaten Vidrian's security. In exchange, thieves' guilds disallow stealing essential goods such as food and medicine, along with those of certain companies. Smugglers and fences prefer to turn in any cultural artifacts they find to the government so they can receive a fee. Even guides that have not been approved by the government ask if their clients have visited the local Pathfinder lodge before going on their hyperbolic tirades. Like any other enterprise, criminal proceeds are taxed to ensure Vidrian's financial stability. More than one effort to destabilize the region has been disrupted by the willingness of Vidrian's criminals to turn in potential saboteurs.
In addition to the native Mwangi peoples who make up a majority of the population, Vidrian is also home to a sizable population of former colonists, who earned their citizenship and protection by law after aiding in the overthrow of Sargava and the in the new country's battles against the Free Captains. They work hard to take advantage of the resources that originally drew Cheliax's attention to stabilise Vidrian's economy, and some enact trade along the western coast of Garund with the ships seized from the Free Captains. However, the stark change between Sargavan and Vidric culture has become a new source of conflict between the Mwangi natives and Chelish colonists. Vidrian's people agree that the Mwangi must be free, but each has their own idea of freedom. Some focus on removing diabolism from the nation, while others wish to return to a time before Cheliax colonized the region. There is also debate as to whether Vidrian should keep to itself.
Religion in Vidrian is a highly individualized affair. In the larger cities, one can find faiths from throughout the Inner Sea region, while more remote areas share the faiths of their neighbors. The most prominent faiths within Vidrian are variations of the worship of Abadar, Gozreh, Iomedae, Sarenrae, and Shelyn that have been syncretized with the gods of the Mwangi Expanse and modified to suit local affairs. For example, worshippers of Abadar in Vidrian prefer to take sides as his dedication to neutrality is scorned. By contrast, Sarenrae became popular due to the aid her Church provided during the revolution. She is depicted as a motherly figure with streaks of grey-blonde hair, similar to the matriarchs revered by other Mwangi. These are not the only deities that are worshipped in Vidrian. Diabolism and the worship of Asmodeus is still practiced behind closed doors by deceitful colonists, while priests of many different gods of the Expanse have flocked to Vidrian in pursuit of opportunities. The revolution even catapulted some obscure gods of the Mwangi to the mainstream, such as Lubaiko.
In addition to local festivals and colonial holidays, Vidrian celebrates some holidays of its own. On 19 Sarenith, Vidrics celebrate the Day of Remembrance of Mwangi Sovereignty, marking the day in 4717 AR when the last of Sargava's colonial government was removed from Vidrian. Founders' Day on 7 Calistril recognizes when the Mwangi tribes first came together to form Anthusis, although the year in which this occurred is a source of debate. Tides' Changing is celebrated near the end of Gozran: coinciding with the departure of many merchant vessels for the year, it is a rowdy festival that was initially intended to distract pirates, but which now marks the alliance between legitimate and criminal enterprises in Vidrian.
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