There are three distinct areas of Shalador. The plains, the coast, the forested area, and each one has their own climate characteristics.
Along the coastal region you generally find a temperate climate, warm along the coast and generally colder the deeper you get within the territory towards Maritza Province. The rains are almost nonexistent except for along border with Maritza Province, who receives the most rainfall in the Territory.
Within Maritza Province the weather is generally cooler than along the coast. They have brief rain periods in the spring and summer that allow them to be the most agriculturally focused Province in the Territory. Mountains range along their border with the coastal Province, giving both sides equal opportunities to mine. That said, Maritza also has the most wooded and treed part of the Territory.
The Treaty lands, and the Anduviri Province, are usually warm, but have a very dry climate with long grasses, few trees, and little rainfall. Fires are common during the summer months within the Treaty lands and Anduviri Province. During the spring, dry lightening, or lightening while its not actually raining, they strike unpredictably with only the smell of ozone as a brief warning measure. Shaladorians may know horses, but ask a Shaladorian where to find the best horse traders and breeders and they will point you towards Province Anduviri.
Still the land is fertile and green. Along the coast fishing is a common employments, while within the heart of Shalador, its mostly farmers. Andurviri and the Treaty lands are known for their horseflesh and trade within the Territory provides for all three Provinces and the Territory as a whole.
Snowfall is common in all three regions during the winter months, though it is far less common towards the southern boarder that Shalador shares with Raej and Pruul.
Back before Shalador was considered civilized, at least among its own people there was a loose collection of warring tribes. That mentality is reflected in its people. Each District is bound together by Clan. The Clans are a mix of families, all related in a varying degree, from immediate family, to very distant relatives.
Each District remains under each Clan‘s Control. The ruler of the District is usually chosen by the Clan‘s matriarchal or patriarchal leader, a title usually passed along by blood and birth, or a Clan approved counsel of elders. The District Ruler, in turn usually appoints the Village Rulers beneath her. Each Province Ruler is appointed with consent of the Clans’s Rulers, and the District Ruler that will serve under them. The Rulership of Shalador is a complex and complicated system, but one that works for each of the twelve Clans.
The People of Shalador, both the Landens and the Blood, are hard workers. They are distrustful of outsiders, a rule that they have picked up in their dealings with other Territories. Part of that distrust, however, come from the fact that the strangers, the foreigners, are simply not Clan, and not Shaladorian.
The Shaladorian people are proud, some would say arrogant. Fights to defend their honor, the honor of their families, their Clan, and Territory are seen as expected. Similar to Askavi and Eyriens, all boys are trained to fight, from farmer to fishing boat. All are given training, usually in their teenage years while they are learning more about Protocol. Never let it be said that Shalador, filled with now peaceful, but once warring tribes, let their sons face the world unaware or untrained. Daughters are usually given lessons to strengthen their shields, and optional defense classes, though few parents encourage such measures.
While there are few that could be called aristocrats in Shalador, there are a few. Usually those that have the title are the Rulers of the Districts, Provinces, the Clan Leaders and their families, and those that are superbly rich. Most of Shalador's people are common, few poor because of the Clan structure, and few rich for the same reason. The good of the tribe, of the people outweigh personal wealth.
|The Territory Capital: Eyota|
| Eyota the captial city of Shalador. It lies within the treaty lands, near Shal’s Keep itself. A small city compared to Territories such as Hayll and Dhemlan, Eyota is still the largest city in Shalador. Most trade with outsiders takes place there. Since it is within the Treaty Lands, it is considered neutral ground and Clans are forbidden to fight there. They take it seriously, and also try to keep the peace from having outsiders fight within the lands.
Eyota has just about everything that a Shaladorian could be looking for. Clothes, dyes, herbs, poisons, weapons, horses, art, books, music. Even restaurants featuring foods from other Territories. There are plenty of inns and hotels for foreigners to stay at, and they are encouraged to do so.
Before Shalador was a Territory, it was only a loose collection of warring tribes. The land that would become Shalador was marked out jealously by the nomadic peoples. The plains were, and always would be, strictly Shaladorian. A strong Queen with infamous green eyes rose to the challenge of uniting the tribes, and formed her Court from among the strongest males and witches from each. Shalador became a Territory all her own, driving out the raiders that had plagued the people for centuries, and staking a place as a Territory worth noticing. This was centuries ago.
Slowly cities developed and some of the people chose to live in one place rather than the nomadic lifestyle, and as this change came about slowly Shalador changed to become what she is today. While many aspects of that old land still exist in the modern Shalador, outside influences are not unheard of. When war broke out, the warrior people of Shalador fought with skill and passion, and thousands of lives were lost. Much of Shalador became a battlefield, and Shalador suffered perhaps the highest loss of life and land of any Territory in Terreille. When the Blood fight, it is the land who bleeds. Few Queens and Warlord Princes survived the great war, and the land was left without the leadership it had once had.
One must realize that while the war raged, two great clans rose above the rest. They were the strongest, the wisest, and the best suited to lead the Territory in times of war. Raul Desore became Warlord Prince of Shalador during the last sixty years of the war. He was a strong Warlord Prince, and an excellent leader. His guidance saved Shalador many lives, and his clan were proud and strong. The clan of Tajari. Raul was a man gifted in many ways, but not in progeny. He had but one child, a daughter who was also a Queen: Rayenne. Rayenne was to be his heir. No one knows the true story of what happened. Clan Tajari believes that a son of Clan Wolfe seduced her and killed her. Clan Wolfe tell the tale that she died in battle; a sad but unfortunate turn of events. Regardless, at the end of the war, Raul Desore was dead without an heir. The only strong Queen left in Shalador was of Clan Wolfe. Her name was Kaila and she ruled well enough, rebuilding a nearly decimated Shalador.
Her ascension to the throne caused civil war to break out in Shalador, between Clan Tajari and Clan Wolfe. This war would continue, on and off, until present day and the treaty that brought Alenna Faretheni and Joel Grayson to the throne as co-rulers of Shalador.
To avert a continuing war between the two Great Clans, a peace treaty was struck by the elders of both. A Queen and a Warlord Prince were chosen to be co-rulers of Shalador, one from each clan. By acting in tandem, neither clan would be left out of the position of power, and having a Queen and Warlord Prince side by side broke the fewest laws of Protocol, by the best reckoning of the elders. Many see this advent as positive and a sign of healing for the Territory; it has, after all, been wartorn for many generations and has suffered badly for it.
The treachery boiling just beneath the surface of the Clans was ready to be put into motion, despite the stalling of Prince Grayson, Clan Tajari made their move and Alenna was assassinated, her death attributed in an assassination plot by the Warlord Prince of Askavi.
With the very public assassination of Aleena, Joel Grayson worried that the death of his co-ruler would start a civil war among the Clans for the power the position held. Acting quickly to avoid such action he appointed Celeste Rancaya, a Healer Queen from the Rancaya Clan as his co-ruler.
However, all is far from well. Many problems plague Shalador already, and it will take more than a gesture of good faith to fix them. Raiders from the southern and western mountains have become more and more bold every passing season; this last, they have struck all the way to the region that houses Shal's Keep itself. They kill and burn, but also capture and sell the prisoners. It is suspected that they now have a strong leader. The raiders were dangerous enough without someone guiding their actions.
Furthermore, a highly contagious plague has been reported in the northwest of the Territory, along the border with Dena Nehele. While the number of the deceased yet remains low, concern is high enough that the Queen and Warlord Prince have heard reports of it. Most disturbingly, the plague seems to be immune to the workings of a Healer.
With a new Queen having been appointed to replace Alenna, the Clans are grumbling over the war, already divided over the death of Alenna and Celeste taking her place. For now the war is being fought by a temporarily united Shalador against Askavi and Challiot, but the Clans are too divided against the other issues to remain strong, and civil war looms on the horizon.
The unfortunate death of Joel Grayson only promises more chaos in the time ahead, especially among the Clans. The original pact between Clan Wolfe and Clan Tajari is destroyed with the death of not one, but both of their chosen Rulers. Most Clans respect Queen Rancaya for searching for a new Warlord Prince, and for enforcing the treaty that Clan Wolfe and Clan Tajari agreed to, but there are still some dissenters.
Celeste Rancaya pleads with all the Clans, not just the two powerhouses of Wolfe and Tajari to yield to wisdom that a civil war will destroy Shalador. Temporary peace is accomplished while the new Queen of Shalador searches among the Clans for a Warlord Prince to fill the very empty place of the Warlord Prince of Shalador, hoping to find a co-Ruler she can sit beside, and rule beside, proudly, one that will hopefully share her vision of peace and a United Shalador, hoping against hope that her homeland will one day be an undisputed power and land of a peace in the Realm of Light.
|The Territory Court|
Celeste Rancaya, Ruler of Shalador