The Empire of Ced
The Empire was founded 15 centuries ago by Ced A'caran. At its height it controlled Shiben, Ticasi, Nerid, Chiros, Iravoy, the Confederacy and parts of present day Zarun. During the reign of Sargon the Uncaring (634 - 652LA [251-269SA]) Iravoy and Western Zarun won their independence. Following this loss the Empire remained at peace until it was defeated by the Kingdom of Salaq (804 - 807LA [421-424SA]), resulting in the loss of Ticasi, Shiben and Chiros.
After the Salaq war, the Emperor began a naval program to answer the Climan threat. This weakened the army and angered its generals. In the year 887LA [504SA] Thesovius the Magnificent took the throne and ended this program. He instituted a rigid military code and, by decree, made the formation of an elite army the first priority of the state. During his reign (887 - 916LA [504-533SA]) the army prospered and the fleet died. The major events of his reign were an advance to the river Zara (905 - 913LA [522-530SA]) and a punitive raid into Iravoy (916LA [533SA]) that cost him his life. After his death, the nation suffered major reverses.
His successor, Thiebald the Demented (916 - 923LA [533-540SA]), lost the territorial gains in Zarun and was defeated by Xianese rebels when he tried to end their insurrection. In the year 923LA [540SA] the commanding generals of the army assassinated him. For the next 300 years, the army controlled a puppet Emperor and ruled the realm. From 1213 - 1222LA [830-839SA], the Empire was attacked by the Don Host. Aratad, Rhozad and Eured were lost and the Royal army was forced into the hills. During this period, the reigning Emperor, Mavinius, reasserted Imperial authority. Under his leadership the Empire sent monetary support and weapons to the forces of Silar of Rhozad and applied what pressure they could with their army. When the host was driven from the land (1222LA [839SA]) Mavinius acknowledged Silar's title of King and asked that he resume his fealty to the Empire. Silar refused. For twelve years, diplomatic means were used to force his return. Finally, with the death of Mavinius the Cunning (1207 - 1234LA [824-851SA]), the Empire of Ced invaded. During this war (1234 - 1240LA [851-857SA]), Rhozad (1236LA [853SA]) and A'iam (1239LA [856SA]) were sacked. Finally, to avert total defeat, Larestian the Loud (1234 - 1251LA [851-868SA]), recognized the three nations and granted them independence.
After this loss, the morale of the Empire was poor. It has continued to worsen in the last three centuries. The Ced have suffered major defeats at the hands of the Confederacy (1442 - 1461LA [1059-1078SA]) and Donara (1472 - 1475LA [1089-1092SA]). Under the current ruler, Ruverian II (1473LA [1090SA] - present), the Empire has begun to revitalize itself though they are a long way from returning to a position of power in the area.
The capital of the Empire is La'Ced (52,000). Its other city is A'iam (28,000). The total population of the nation is 325,000. The Royal Army of Ced is a highly-trained force of 4,000 footmen and 400 cavalry. The Royal Guard, 1,200 footmen and 400 archers is one of the finest foot units in the world. The Empire can also raise 16,000 militia in time of war. The total strength of the army is 22,000. The Empire's fleet contains 20 warships. Most of these vessels are outdated and in poor condition.
The fields of the Empire produce high quality flax. Ced craftsmen are noted for their ability as weavers, glassmakers and dyers. La'Ced is a major industrial center where high quality textiles and glassware are available at a reasonable price.
The Ced worship Elder Gods of War. Its citizens are religious and devout. In the lower classes, the worship of the Gods of War is not as prevalent as worship of gods of commerce, luck and other things important in day-to-day survival for the poor.
The Ced tend to be harsh, boorish and arrogant. They seldom accept defeat with any grace and have a long memory when they are wronged. Despite these traits, most citizens are honorable, honest and truthful in dealing with others. They will lie when their survival depends on it but are moral when they can be. Except for the military elite, the single thing of greatest importance to the people of Ced is personal survival. For the elite, honor and duty are more important.
Ced is ruled by a triumvirate. Its members are the Emperor, the commanding General of the Royal Guard and the Lord Marshal of the Royal Army. Both officers are appointed by the Emperor. His appointments are subject to approval by a Council of Nobility composed of the Empire's great nobles (Counts and up). The position of Emperor is hereditary. By law, he must be an army officer before he assumes the throne. Militarily, he is the Grand Marshal of Ced and commander of its armed forces.
All crimes in Ced have a fixed penalty set for them. Any person who is convicted suffers the set penalty. To be convicted in this nation a person must be caught in the act or three unrelated people (not personally affected by the crime) must testify that they saw the person commit the crime, giving particulars that prove the truth of their statements. In either case, the person is convicted and punished. The common penalties in this Empire are mutilation, imprisonment, banishment and death. The penalty for lying about another person's guilt is death by flaying. Criminal testimony is not given thoughtlessly in this land.
Nerid is the Empire's tributary ally.
The Confederacy, Clima and Donara hate the Empire of Ced. Any of them would try to conquer it if they could let down their defenses against the other long enough to do so.
Short Sword, Spear, Crossbows
These people are La'Cedi. Most have dark hair and dark complexions. They tend to be dexterous and agile.
Dirk, Broad Sword, Medium Spear
These people are of La'Cedi stock. Most have dark hair and dark complexions, but lighter than those of the Confederacy. They tend tobe dexterous and agile.
This calendar, used by the Empire of the Ced, the Confederacy of Aratad, Xian, Iravoy and Nerid, dates from the foundation of the Empire of the Ced. It is the year 1483 as they reckon time.