Azluth Campaign Characters
Svatlia, A Land in Ruins
Once a great nation, Svatlia has slowly decayed to a husk of it's former glory. Leadership of several generations of grossly incompetent kings has led to the loss of any advantages the country once had. Now the country faces a myriad of problems as a direct result of under-qualified leadership. Usage of scorched earth tactics in quelling rebellions have led to adverse effects on the country's weather. Extensive over-farming has destroyed the land and devalued the nation's crops, directly leading to famine and poverty. Population declines further and further every year as citizens flee the wrecked country en masse or die due to poor living conditions. Increasingly more absurd laws are passed as a result of the mad king's whims. If these issues are not resolved, academics claim that Svatlia will cease to exist as a nation within three generations.
Despite a rapidly declining population, Svatlia claims to be the largest nation of Telaria, boasting a size of over six million square miles. This statistic mainly comes from lands of dubious ownership which past rulers of Svatlia have decided they own. Lands such as the Southern Wastes and the Ashlands are allegedly part of Svatlia, despite having little to no connection to the country itself. In spite of the skeptical nature of these claims, none have tried to contest Svatlia for these lands due their insignificance and lack of value.
The current head of the ruling family is Mad King Frederick IV. Blissfully unaware of the state of the rest of his country, Frederick IV lives in opulence at his castle in Svatlia. A well paid private army ensures that he is protected at all times and that none of the peasantry get any ideas about rebellion. Many of the poor decisions that have led to Svatlia's ruin can be traced back to his and his ancestors' poor decision making. Under Frederick IV's “leadership” Svatlia's laws now range from the death penalty for fashion faux pas to fines for possessing too much food. A common rumor among the peasantry is that the current ban on wheat is due to the king's allergic reactions to it.
Despite the sad state of the country, it is still quite possible to eke out a living there. Adventurers may find themselves tempted by the myriad historical sites scattered throughout the region. Official attempts to document said sites have always been rebuffed by the king, but the lax attitudes and rampant corruption in the country's peacekeepers means that the sites can be looted by any willing to take the risk. These same attitudes also mean that most of the king's laws are largely ignored by both the populace and the guards themselves. Most communities are able to survive and sometimes even thrive by paying off the guards to ignore their disregard for Svatlia's laws and provide protection against any who would threaten them. As the people themselves say, “when Svatlia falls, we will endure.”