Crisillyir is ruled by the hierarchs of the Clergy, the religion that freed the nation from demonic rule a millennium ago. Today, Crisillyir is a rich land, its fields bountiful, its coffers full of colonial gold. Centuries of divine rituals have turned its great cities into beacons of enlightenment and magical research, though this prosperity seems to attract attention from supernatural threats. Elaborate aqueducts feed water from the snowcapped Enfantes Mountains throughout the nation; it is said that each column in the aqueduct system is engraved with one chapter from the Clergy’s holy book, acting as a massive ward against the ancient evil that still lurks in the land.
In Crisillyir, the power of the church is supreme, but not unquestioned. While the grand summoners conjure forth tortured specters from the Bleak Gate to cow their flocks into piety, collegial arcanists debate conceptions of the cosmos that do not match church dogma. Fat merchant lords pay lip service to the faith, sell weapons and spell components to high elf assassins, then purchase indulgences to absolve themselves. And though the inquisitive gold-mantled geneu credetos (“spirits of belief,” or more commonly “godhands”) are tasked with guarding the nation from unholy, fey, and undead influences, criminal organizations nevertheless manage to smuggle in contraband and use resurrections to extort even the dead.
Cities and Colonies
The capital city Alais Primos is dominated by massive temples, sepulchers, and libraries, some so large they straddle the canals that run through the city. Since the Clergy views the godless tieflings of Danor as apostates, industry and technology are forbidden in Alais Primos. Confiscated items are ritually disposed of in a fiery rift of Enzyo Mons in the nearby mountains, symbolically casting back the tools of evil.
The island city of Sid Minos is site of the nation’s greatest naval yards and its military academies, which train paladins and warpriests to hunt unnatural beasts, as well as fight foreign armies. Tunnels and dungeons riddle the rocky island beneath the city, and undead horrors occasionally emerge from these dark lands, but their source is unknown. Because the hierarchs view Sid Minos as already somewhat tainted, they allow technology onto the island.
An isthmus connects Crisillyir and Elfaivar, and the city of Vendricce has grown fat from taxing trade through its gates, including the Avery Coast Railroad that feeds through the city and into Elfaivar.
After the high elf empire fell in the Second Victory, Crisillyir and the other conquering nations established garrisons within the collapsing high elf nation, and divided the land into several colonies. Despite the great wealth these colonies provide, they are a thorn in Crisillyir’s side; intermittent rebellions and acts of terrorism target the colonial governors and their allies in the homeland. At least once a decade, a spree of assassinations strikes, shaking the complacency of the nobility, and frightening the common folk.
Aasimar, Angels, and the Dead
The Second Victory ended with a legendary battle just outside the walls of Alais Primos, where legions of Clergy-blessed warriors faced an army led by the goddess Srasama herself. After hours of battle, Srasama was felled by a thousand cuts, and fire exploded from her body. The warriors closest to her were annihilated, but those who survived and were close enough to see the death of a god were marked by the experience.
Many of these veterans settled in the lands liberated by the high elf army’s retreat. In the years that followed, whenever one of them died, open flames would flicker for miles around, and somewhere within three days’ travel the man or woman would be reborn in the wilderness, returning to the world in an adult body. No longer quite human, these reincarnated souls took the name aasimar, from a high elf word for deity.
When an aasimar reincarnates, he recalls language, culture, and enough knowledge to make his way in the world, but usually possesses only vague recollections of his previous life. Acquaintances are unfamiliar, and expert skills like magic, craftsmanship, or swordplay fade, but usually the aasimar quickly slips into the same basic role he held before death.
Where aasimar are rare, one that dies is usually found quickly after reincarnation, and after a period of acclimation he will manage to continue as if nothing had happened at all. In Crisillyir, though, aasimar are common enough that they seldom manage to return to their previous lives. In either case, aasimar still fear death because it means an end to all they are. While a reincarnated aasimar might be able to continue the same mission, he’ll never recreate the emotions and memories that made him unique.
Many aasimar find a place in the Clergy, where through special training they can act as vessels for invoked celestial beings. Such angelic visitations never last long, and occasionally result in the death of the vessel, so they are only used in situations where the priesthood feels inadequate to answer questions of guilt or opine on matters of morality. In a similar way, on certain bleak holy days the priests of the Clergy will reach through the veil into the Bleak Gate and capture uneasy spirits, which they parade in front of crowds of worshipers. Compelled by magic, these undead specters wail about the sins they committed in life that left their souls trapped in “Purgatory.” The priests then offer absolution, and destroy the unholy beings.
One of the few chinks in the strong face the Clergy presents is a criminal organization known as the Family. Most people only know of them in rumors and hearsay, but it is said that they are behind most of the crime on both sides of the Avery Sea.