The World of Arith
Tearans tend to be slender and long-limbed, with a casual, willowy grace that shines from within. Their hair is often wavy and of medium length, allowed to hang free so as to shift naturally with their movements. Nearly all Tearans have dark hair, but a few are born with stark white locks—tradition states that such youths are to be encouraged to take up spellcasting, and most do show an aptitude for it.
Tearan clothing is highly diverse in cut and style, but most garments have long, flowing elements—the people like clothing that will catch even a small breeze and ripple with the air currents. Short cloaks are common, as are wide sleeves. The most noticeable element of traditional Tearan dress is gloves. Tearans favor short, sturdy gloves for work and fighting, and longer, beautifully tooled and decorated gloves for formal wear. Their hands are rarely exposed, and an ungloved handshake is a sign of special trust. Formal occasions are not identified by a change in clothing, but by a sharp increase in jewelry, and often the addition of masks. Festivals and balls always incorporate an element of costuming.
Tearans simply adore jewelry, and they collect all manner of pieces as their fortunes allow. Loose hanging necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, particularly those that include small bells or brightly colored feathers, are preferred. The most spectacular of these adornments are their headdresses—elaborate pieces that run from the brow, over the head and shoulders and well down the wearer’s back.
Elteare was the artistic and cultural cutting edge of Arvanor, with new trends constantly starting and spreading out of the nation. Tearans know how to enjoy life and the fruits of their labors. Art, music, fashion—there was no constant in Elteare, other than constant experimentation and change. The Tearans appreciate beauty and magic, and promote avant-garde and unconventional behavior in art and life in general.
Elteare was the artistic and cultural center of the Empire for many years. Fashions and artwork that had their origins in Elteare soon became vogue throughout the Empire, though by then, the Tearan’s had already moved on to the newest movement. Tearan artists worked in many mediums, but paint was their forte’. Portraits and paintings done in Elteare are still considered the finest pieces throughout the city-states, and many a noble would spend thousands of gold on Tearan art.
Magic was also considered an art form in Elteare, and it is said that magic flows in the blood of the Gendeau. Unlike other city-states, Tearans embrace sorcery as much as wizardry. When Elteare joined the empire, and the wizards of the Arcanum came to “train the wilders” they found a culture which had as much understanding of magic as themselves. Further efforts to train these people in proper wizardry had the opposite effect. Soon, sorcerers, bards, swordmages and “free” wizards began to gather and pull together to resist the efforts of the Arcanum. The conflict reached a head with the establishment of the Prismatic Order. In true Gendeau style, on Avandra’s Turning in the year 2049, almost two years after the induction of Elteare into the Empire, the wizards of the Arcanum awoke to hundreds of mages wearing the various colors of the Prismatic Orders. When they tried to round up these undocumented mages, the wizards of the Arcanum were driven out of Elteare, forcibly. Because there were no laws favoring he Arcanum, and no wizards were harmed, there was nothing the Arvanoran governor could do to suppress the “revolt”. The Arcanum wizards went back to the other city-states, and the Prismatic Order became entrenched in the city.
In war, Elteare is a defensive power, rarely making an aggressive moves against its neighbors. Those who assault the city find that a city of mages makes an extremely powerful enemy.
The Protectorate is the official government of Elteare. The chief officer of the Protectorate is the Mayor, who is responsible for overseeing the individual committees that govern the various aspects of the city as well as overseeing and assigning duties to the Captains of the Tearan military. The position of Mayor is for life, or until the individual chooses to step down. Most Mayors step down near their sixtieth year. The High Council appoints a new mayor from their ranks when necessary. By order of the High Council, the office of Mayor offers no compensation aside from living in the Mayor’s Mansion and must renounce any other affiliation upon taking that position, serving the community is the main reason to seek the position. The Mayor’s Mansion has an entire wing in which a retired Mayor and his immediate family may continue to live until his and his spouses passing. These people often become important advisors for the newly appointed Mayor.
Most decisions in Elteare come from the city’s various committees. Many committees are made up of volunteers from the city elders. They are responsible for studying the needs to the city and devising possible means to meet those needs. All committees report to the Mayor.
The High Council is the governing board of last resort in Elteare. Comprised of the elders of every family in Elteare, the body as a whole is dominated by the elders of the various noble houses. They meet as a whole only to appoint the next Mayor (or recommend the retirement of a sitting Mayor when necessary), or to respond to a threat to the entire city.
The military division of the Protectorate answers to the Mayor. The Captains of the Protectorate have nearly limitless autonomy in the execution of their duties. Each Captain has elite squads of soldiers armed to their specifications. All soldiers report to one of the Captains, who in turn report to the Mayor. The officers are subject to a yearly review for their actions and those of their soldiers. Policing the city is a relatively dull duty left to rank and file soldiers, while dealing with threats beyond the walls most often falls to the elite squads. Many of the Captains are mages of the Prismatic Order, and mages seeking service receive a starting rank of sergeant regardless of background.
While the Protectorate appears to be an independent entity, the influence of the Prismatic Order on the city is deep and profound. The entire Prism Council is on the High Council of the Protectorate, and many of the elders on the High Council are or were members of the Order. In addition, Order Mages permeate the committees of the Protectorate and the military as well. The past three mayors have been former members of the Order. If the Prismatic Order wishes something done in Elteare, it is done.
Tearans are not, as a rule, overly religious. Elteare possesses the largest percentage of atheists in the Empire. Those who worship favor the gods of magic. Ruornil, the human face of Corellon, has a powerful following both as God of magic and art. Ioun is another favorite of Tearans, who understand that some knowledge takes time and study to uncover. Although no one would ever admit it, Vecna is also worshipped by the Tearans, who believe that the God started his ascent as a Wizard-King and eventually Lich-Lord of the Gendeau people centuries before the refugees of Khepnefera left that realm to found the Empire.
The backbone of Elteare’s economy is magic. Exporting common magical items, potions and residuum to other cities less rich in these resources. Tearans vineyards are known throughout the Empire for producing the finest grapes outside Calastan, and the two city states compete for the wine business. In general, most connoisseurs consider Calastani reds to be superior to Tearan Reds, while Tearan whites are superior to Calastani whites. With so much pitting the two cities against one another, it is fortunate that they exist on opposite sides of the former Empire.
Relations with Others
Elteare has enjoyed excellent relations with all city-states but Calastan. They consider the Sarts as something of second cousins, and the two cities always ended up standing side-by-side in council. The Tearan focus on magic rather than politics or war made it an easy ally, and its fame as the cultural capital of the Empire further enhanced relations with the various cities.
And then there’s Calastan. Calastan’s dislike and distrust of magic often put the city-state at odds with Elteare. The fact that Elteare has and accepts atheists in its midst as well as a respect for Vecna and the relatively small population of Pelorites further drives a wedge between the two cities. The two cities cut off diplomatic relations with one another years before the fracturing of the Empire, and would often take opposing views in council just to spite one another. The Tearan ambassadors used to make a game out of baiting the Calastani ambassadors. When the Empire fractured, Calastan sent a large army against Elteare which was wiped out in a great conflagration of magic before ever reaching the walls of the city.
Elteare never tried to take the throne, nor did it ever back a claimant. It protected itself through the fracturing and never felt the need to hire from the humanoids. Though Elteare survived the war relatively intact, it makes no move to assert its authority on the other city-states. It goes on as always, protecting its lands and exploring the limits of magic.
Tearan Heritage: Your family originated in Elteare. Did your family leave to continue its studies of magic? Is your family without magical ability and left to get away from the City of Mages? Are you a member of the Prismatic Order? Are you searching for something that you discovered in an ancient or magical text?
Associated Skills: Arcana, Insight
Common Male Names
Abel, Absolon, Adrien, Alain, Alphonse, Ambroise, Aristide, Armand, Aurele, Baltasar, Basile, Bastien, Bernard, Betrand, Blaise, Cedric, Celestin, Cesaire, Claude, Clement, Corin, Damien, Dion, Dorien, Edgard, Edmond, E,ilien, Etienne, Evrard, Fabrice, Fernand, Florent, Gaetan, Gaston, Geraud, Gervais, Gilles, Guillame, Guy, Hercule, Hilaire, Hugues, Ignace, Julien, Juste, Killian, Laurent, Lazare, Leonce, Loic, Luc, Mael, Marcel, Marius, Matteo, Noe, Odilion, Paschal, Pierre, Rainier, Regis, Renard, Severin, Theirn, Thibaud, Thierry, Tristan, Urbain, Valere, Yves
Common Female Names
Adele, Adoree, Aline, Amarante, Anais, Angele, Apolline, Arianne, Axelle, Beatrice, Berthe, Brigitte, Camille, Cassandra, Cecile, Celeste, Cloe, Coralie, Delphine, Dominique, Eleorne, Elodie, Esmee, Estelle, Fabienne, Fleur, Gabrielle, Ghislain, Isabeau, Jacinthe, Joelle, Lea, Lisette, Luce, Lucinde, Maelle, Marielle, Myriam, Oriane, Perrine, Reine, Romane, Sybelle, Sylvie, Vienne, Vivienne, Yseault
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