Tome of the End Times
The Republic of Caldor
The last great nation of Men, extending from the western range of the Drake’s Tail Mountains and bounded on three sides by the Eversea. Before the Great War, Caldor was among the many smaller city-states of men bordering the larger Kingdom of Arilon. When the Dark Host came from the south-east, Caldor’s distance from the fighting and defensible position behind the mountains made it the safest refuge for the many thousands fleeing before destruction.
Caldor is ruled by a Senate, comprised of 32 members. Of these 32, 27 Senate seats are filled by Men, and 5 by Eladrin. This number has risen over the centuries from the original eight noble families that were present when Caldor accepted refugees from Arilon into its political system (4 from Caldor, 2 from Arilon, and 2 from the Eladrin). The Senate is responsible for considering policy and passing legislation, which is then carried out by numerous Magistrates who oversee specific interests such as Agriculture, Trade, or Public Safety.
While technically a position available to any person who achieves enough public confidence to be put forth by the people, Senators have always been of the various Noble families barring some few exceptions. This is due in great part to the fact that the office confers no stipend to the Senator, and the expenses of the great city are enough to require a common man to be gainfully employed, never mind the cost associated with the life of a politician. Those common persons in history rich enough to bear the costs mobilizing the people to put forth his name to the Senate and to maintain solvency while fulfilling the duties thereof have most often been granted Noble status by the Senate soon afterward, to preserve the status quo. Unsurprisingly, the yearly allowance of a Magistrate is not enough to pay for a campaign for the Senate.
The capitol and namesake of the Republic sprawls between and upon the tops of three large hills occupying the central plains of the peninsula. Built in ancient times, Caldor began as a collective of profitable vineyards enjoying the rich soil fed by the river Semme. With two cultivation slopes abutting the waterfront and facing east to welcome the sun, travellers from the eastern highway are greeted by an explosion of color that rises above the terraced plantations. In the warm seasons the scent of pressed grapes surrounds the city from dawn to dusk, and music from the Noble districts echos into the valley that houses a thriving population of free citizens accustomed to a comfortable existence in the “last jewel of civilization”.
The richest rise of the city borders the southeast merchant’s district and climbs some three hundred feet over a quarter mile. Like it’s twin to the north, Patrician Hill’s eastern slope is given over entirely to vineyards and wineries. On the western side, facing toward the city proper, villas of the cities oldest and richest noble families dot an endless tangle of tirelessly maintained gardens and plazas. While several main roads wind aimlessly up the hill, the mazelike gardens provide avenues and shortcuts to numerous hidden copses where the elite can carry out their business (or pleasure) in privacy. Atop the grand summit lie two impressive structures; the Galo Baths and the Atrium where once stood a magnificent statue of the goddess of the harvest in the time before the Gods became silent, now serving as a theatre and hall for other noble entertainments.
Caldor’s northeast hill is devoted to the administration of the Republic. Large, imposing stone buildings featuring classical architecture of the ancient age house the various assemblies, councils, and offices that are the lifeblood of the beauracracy. Chief amongst these is the Vantage, a circular structure of heavily sculpted marble on the outside with an austere granite interior. Built on a shelf carved into the hill, the round dome covers thick walls that only surround three quarters of the building. The open section faces the valley, affording all those sitting within the three-tiered gallery a complete view of the entire city. It is from here that the Senate conducts its business, with the ancient podium of address centered against the backdrop of the Republic so that throughout history those who rule must always deliberate with the city gazing back upon them.
Home to the Arcanum’s Apprentice spire and the Eladrin Restoration Society’s Kunia Votal (a museum of recovered Eladrin artifacts) Sunfire Rise has a storied history, having been the site of both the greatest ages of Human-Eladrin cooperation as well as the darkest times of mistrust and secrecy. It was not but some one-hundred twenty years ago when both the Human Arcanum Magisterium and the Eladrin Restoration Society were forced to move the headquarters of their operations outside of the city in the wake of open violence that found it’s roots in the misgivings each order had for the motivations of the other. Tempers have cooled these days and cooperation is ascendant, making the rise a popular place for scholars of all sorts as well as common and noble citizens looking for an arcane solution to their troubles.