Gadaene

Gadaene spends most of its time preparing for war. Its people are
indifferent sailors and a rather raucous bunch of soldiers, being entirely
too often undisciplined and unmanageable. On the other hand they have proven
superbly imaginative, albeit individualistic, fighters and their natural
instincts have often saved the day for them. Most other countries (with the
exception of Sostaeran) take little notice of the Gadaenes. The Sostaerani,
on the other hand, will gladly tell you that the only thing you can rely on a
Gadaene for is to be unreliable. They will tell you their neighbors are
lazy, frivolous and impulsive. None of these accusations will the Gadaene
deny — they merely call it living for the moment.

The Cities

GADAENE: The city of Gadaene was built along the coast many miles north of
the mouth of the Tothean. It is situated in what was once a wooded area, but
which is now a vast plain. The city grew following the whims of its
inhabitants, not following any set plan. Because of this, it is entirely
too common for people, especially strangers, to get lost in its twisting
streets. The proliferation of gilt and decorative work makes one street
very much like another. Learning a point of reference in the Gadaene mazes
is an accomplishment in itself. The city has a few structures of particular
note: the Royal Palace which sprawls in the center of the city and the Royal
Gadaene theater, a monument rivaling anything found in the larger cities
of the world. Gadaene also has many more smaller theaters, but none so
impressive as the Royal.

Appearance

The Gadaene style of dress follows the country's tastes in all ways. If the
cut of the clothes tend to be simple, even severe, they are on the other hand
a riot of colors. An outfit that does not include at least four colors is
immediately remarked upon and its wearer mercilessly teased. Gadaene men and
women all tend to wear a certain type of hat. This is a small round hat with
a flat top and a tassel emerging from it. Like the rest, these hats are of
course very colorful. Many strangers tend to find this custom absolutely
ridiculous and can't help commenting on the little object worn precariously
perched on the head at an angle. The Gadaenes either take no notice of this
or dismiss the comments good-naturedly.

History

The history of Gadaene and Sostaeran is unclear. According to the Gadaenes,
the two kingdoms were once an important province of the Empire of Greater
Cinera. Through subsequent wars and Cinera's declining might, the province
would have gained its independence. The Sostaerani scoff at such claims;
they state that they were indeed a protectorate of Tuchea in the past.
Broken oaths and diverging interests caused them to rebel. Aside from this
nebulous origin, they both agree on the reason this province or protectorate
again separated to create Gadaene and Sostaeran. The leaders of the newly
freed nation, whether it be from Cinera or Tuchea, were twins. The charisma
of one and the efficiency of the other guided their people as the fledgling
state took its first steps. Unfortunately, a bitter dispute, the details of
which none know or will reveal, drove the two brothers apart. The conflict
quickly took a life of its own and as the population took sides, civil war
broke out. This war took many years and many more victims, when finally the
two sides saw they were no closer to victory than on the first day. A truce
was signed and one brother agreed to take the city of Gadaene, while the
other twin took the not-so-far-off Sostaeran. The truce has never progressed
to a peace treaty, as both kingdoms continuously fight skirmishes against
one another even to this day.

Culture

Gadaenes are eccentrics, they tend to be loud but not arrogant, flashy but
not shocking. They are showmen and performers at heart. Their innate
exuberance makes them natural leaders. They tend to do nothing if not with
flair and each Gadaene prides himself on his personal style. For all these
reasons, the Gadaenes have embraced the arts. Musicians, poets, actors, all
have flourishing guilds in Gadaene. A national pastime is for the city to
cram the huge and very elaborately decorated theaters to attend various
artistic presentations. Gadaenes work all trades and crafts, but their work
is of questionable quality, if always incredibly made up. They will follow
any trade that brings to them constant change and challenges, for this
reason a surprising number become healers and herbalists. If the training
tends to be long and tedious, the trade keeps them going with constantly
changing goals, whether it be new plants or new remedies.

Many Gadaene youth fall in love with the arena at a very young age.
Relishing the thrill of the gladiator fights many flock to their training
halls. Whereas many gladiators, especially in the Republic of Iridine
and Cinera, are slaves, the fighters out of Gadaene are generally free men.

They enter the arena on their own terms and so often enjoy extraordinary
privileges. Many, indeed most, star gladiators tend to be Gadaene. They
also tend to be enormously popular with the public for their flair for
style and their taste for showmanship. Gadaenes are accomplished one-on-one
fighters.

Politics

In Gadaene the Aebens family rules. The head of the family bears the title
The Voice of Gadaene. The current Voice is Kimmisen Aebens, six times king.
Both nations count the reigns of their monarch in a similar way. The "six
times king" refers to the number of years the man has ruled the nation.
Both Gadaene and Sostaeran have patriarchal rules, passed down from father
to son. This custom is causing Kimmisen considerable trouble. He has so far
only fathered three daughters. Since they cannot inherit, the King must
marry them off to men who would make suitable rulers. To the great chagrin
of their father, Kimmisen's daughters are extremely willful and often refuse
to go their proper way, causing a number of scandals for the Voice.
Of course, the Aebens family is used to scandals of all sorts.

Kimmisen's chief advisor is his wife, Maes. Wicked tongues even suggest that
the true ruler of Gadaene is Queen Maes, an allegation the King can never
seem to quiet no matter what his effort to do so. Maes has allowed the coming
of the cult of Ereal in Gadaene since its powerful foothold in Sostaeran
became apparent. She is even rumored to be an important patron of their
shrines. Maes is a powerful woman who can intimidate simply by her presence.
Wicked tongues suggest she has held a life-long dream of becoming a gladiator.
Others agree that she could very well have been.

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