Epistorium

Epistorium was the most notable political entity on the Eastern continent of Otep up until the Devastation that wiped it from the planet. It was the largest and most powerful of three major entities, the others being geographically small but densely populated Kagamaro Shogunate to the East and the Ogre Tribelands to the south.

Epistorium wasn't an empire or country in the strictest sense, but rather a confederation of three powerful entities, membership determined by a caste system of sub-races of the Carelllius species (known abroad by their vulgar name, elves).

Epistorium is now part of Gra.

The Magisterium

The Magisterium was lead by a ten membered counsel of mages-one for each school, a generalist, and the Field Marshal of the Adeptus Centurius. The Magisterium was composed almost entirely of Carellius Arcanum, or Gray Elves. Their society was primarily a meritocracy, with magical talent providing an opportunity for advancement within the schools of magic and the ability to blend magic with martial skill forming the basis of advancement within the Adeptus Centurius (in game terms, the schools were largely composed of specialist Wizards, the generalist path by generalist wizards and Wu Jen imported from Kagamaro, and the Adeptus Centurius with Hexblades, Duskblades, and multiclass Fighter/Wizards). Members of the council served until death or resignation, usually staying in power for hundreds of years (especially in the case of Necromancers, who were frequently Liches). The Magisterium maintained power through raw power-as the only wielders of powerful arcane magic in the continent, when the council members were aligned against a foe they could combine their arts to turn an enemy force into a burnt, reanimated husk in almost no time.

The Magisterium is also known to have frequent contact with the human organization known as the Mages of the Arcane Order. While the Magisterium was able to contribute individual spells of great power to the communal Spell Pool, the humans capacity for learning steered the wizards of the Magisterium down new paths of discovery.

The Ecclesiarchy

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The Ecclesiarchy represented the spiritual aspect of Epistorian culture, having long established a stranglehold on Epistorian religion. The Five Gods of the Ecclesiarchy were the only legitimate religion in Epistorium-and Ecclesiarchy kept it that way, sometimes through propaganda, other times through brute force. The Ecclesiarchy was officially ruled by the Pontifex, but nearly all actions performed by the Pontifex required validation from the College of Cardinals, who also elected the Pontifex from within their own ranks. Unlike the Magisterium, the Ecclesiarchy was largely composed of two sub-species, Carellius Gelidus ("Blue" or "Frost" elves in common) and Carellius Borealis ("Green" or "Wood" elves), with Gelidus being mostly dedicated to Carellius Larethius, the God of War and Patron God of Epistorium, and Borealis venerating Elonia, Goddess of the Wilds. (The Eccelesiarchy breaks down into a faction populated by Clerics, Paladins, and Shugenja, with another full of Druids and Rangers, with some Favored Souls scattered through each). The Five Gods of the Eccelesiarchy are:

Carellius Larethius: The God of war and the patron god of Epistorium proper. Carellius' war aspect was more strongly tied to honorable and unrelenting defense than active conquest, though his name was certainly invoked in more than one crusade. Carellius was usually interpreted as the leader of the Five Gods (or King of the Five Gods in earlier incarnations) Carellius survives in a bastardized form to modern times, as Corellon Larethian, "God of the Elves."
Elonia: The Goddess of nature and balance. Elonia was sometimes portrayed as Carellius' sister, sometimes as his consort. Elonia is believed to be an incarnation of the mainland Goddess Elonna, though it is unclear which version existed first.
Noctus: Translates literally into "Night" in common. Noctus was the god of death, magic, and night, and the Patron God of Illusionist and Necromancers. Noctus was portrayed as an incarnation of Death as stage of life. It is believed that Noctus may share an origin with the now-marginalized goddess Wee Jas.
Athenara: The Goddess of Love, Marriage, and Knowledge. Athenara was frequently portrayed as Carellius' consort, although she was later demoted to his sister in favor Elonia to promote unity between the branches of Eccelesiarchy.
Hephaestaes: The God of the Forge, Creation, and Learning, Hephaestaes was Carellius' younger brother. Unlike the other gods, Hephaestaes is portrayed as being a Red Elf. Hephaestaes is the Patron God of the Laxo Normo.
The Ecclesiarchy maintained power via propaganda and sheer numbers-it's estimated that as much as 90% of Epistorium could be influenced by Ecclesiarchy at the time of the Devastation. Dissenters were dealt with by varying doctrines of reeducation or elimination, depending on the heresy and the regime.

Unlike the Magisterium or the Laxo Normo, the Ecclesiarchy was an insular organization that did not attempt to spread outside of Epistorium and Kagamaro. One of the implicit beliefs of the Ecclesiarchy's creation myth was that elves were first intelligent beings to walk Otep, and all other forms of sentient life represented mockeries of elvenkind at worst, poor copies at best. As a result, after Epistorium's destruction, little of the Ecclesiarchy's religion remained.

The Laxo Normo

The last major organization was the Laxo Normo Trading Guild, a massive consortium of commerce. The only technically bound caste to the Guild were the Carellius Vendere ("Red" or "Wild" elves), but the Guild welcomed all comers of significant merit, and was also the only one of the three factions in which Carellius Drowenia ("Black" or "Dark" elves, now known as "Drow) could expect a fair chance at legitimate social standing. While lacking the numbers of the Ecclesiarchy or the powers of the Magisterium, the Guild had a stranglehold on most of the commerce in Epistorium and Kagamaro, as well as the most formidable navy on the continent. Cities that ran afoul of the Guild found themselves suddenly without incoming supplies or a market for their wares. The Guild was run by a Guildmaster, usually achieving power through a mixture of personal charisma and combat expertise (The Laxo Normo was chiefly composed of nonmagical classes, but had an above-average number of Rogues, Swashbucklers, Fighters, and Factotums).

Of the three factions of Epistorium, the Laxo Normo mixed most with other cultures-it is believed that an early Laxo Normo-facilitated exodus is responsible for the Drow civilization of Otep. During the Devastation, the Laxo Normo faired best of the three factions, owing largely to their relatively high mobility and diaspora around the globe. It is possible that the Sea Bulls trace at least part of their lineage to the Laxo Normo, but these rumors (like most historical accounts pertaining to the Sea Bulls) are unverified.

Epistorium as a Whole

The three major factions found themselves in a constant state of equilibrium, as none could muster the strength to defeat the other two, and any attempt to eliminate a single foe would result in retribution from both other factions as they fought to keep the balance of power from tipping out of their favor. The factions remained united against the Ogres to the South, who lacked the elves' intelligence but more than made up for it in strength and numbers. Epistorium remained mostly united against the smaller but more disciplined realm of Kagamaro, itself populated by a separate Elven sub-species, Carellius Redundus ("Gold" or "High" elves).

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