Sostaeran

The Sostaerani follow the same warlike path as the Gadaenes. Unlike Gadaenes
though, they are very adequate sailors and disciplined soldiers. They pride
themselves on the fact that their forces have never been completely routed.
While the Gadene are imaginative and individualistic, the Sostas almost
totally lack flexibility and adaptability. But just like their perennial
enemy, mention of the country usually draws a blank with foreigners. Those
who do take notice consider the Sostaerani much the same as the Gadaenes. At
this the Gadaenes will never fail to point out that the Sostaerani are dour,
serious, and have no sense of humor. The Sostaerani claim they are simply
being practical and organized.

The Cities

SOSTAERAN: The city of Sostaeran is also built along the coast, this time
halfway between Gadaene and the borders of Tuchea. Much like the more
southern city, the Sostaerani have gradually pushed back the limits of the
forest so that much of the land is now a sprawling plain. Sostaeran is like
its people: practical, predictable and without any fancy touches. From its
harbor, the streets race outwards, arrow straight, on a east-west axis.
These main branches are periodically cut by north-south streets to form a
linear plan. The central-most avenue, the Processional Way, is bordered by
most of the public buildings and civic maintenance buildings. The sector
east of the Processional Way is occupied by the homes of the nobility, the
Royal palace, and the establishments reserved for visiting dignitaries. The
west side is built with the homes of the populace, its waterfront area
housing what buildings are dedicated to strangers and travelers.

Appearance

Sostaerani style of dress follows Gadaene customs, minus the riotous colors.
They tend to prefer colors that will permit them to blend in with their
surroundings and each other. A Sostaerani that sticks out of the crowd is a
Gadaene, or so the saying goes. They also wear the peculiar round and flat
hat with one distinction. The Sostaerani use the tassel on the headwear to
identify units in the military, or families and trade organizations for
the civilians.

Culture

The Sostaerani value discipline above all else. It is their very deep belief
that Gadaene will fall before Sostaeran because of the former's chaotic
nature and their own very precise organization. Sostaerani are polite to a
fault and serious to a fault. Although they can take a remark made in jest
they will seldom, if ever, respond with one in turn. Just like their
neighbors they follow all arts and crafts to various degrees of success.
Their work is quick and simple, completely unadorned and eminently practical.
A Sostaerani workman would never for instance create an elaborate piece, for
they would see no use in doing so. This lack of imagination have made others
consider them and their work dull, if not outright boring at times. The
Sostaerani couldn't care less about the opinions of others, to use their own
words, "Giving thought to something one has no control over is wasted effort."

To contrast with Gadaene, Sostaerani youth take great pride in their legion-
like fighting force. Sostaerani soldiers are drilled continuously and their
ability to follow orders promptly and skillfully has made even seasoned
Iridine centurions envious. The cooperation between members men and units
make this army, modest by the standards of many other nations, a force to
respect. The Sostaerani military has one major flaw: When faced with an
unusual enemy or one that refuses to follow known common strategies, they can
sometimes be caught flat-footed. To their credit however, Sostaerani will
rarely, if ever panic, a reputation which is the source of no small amount
of national pride.

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.

Politics

The Sostaeran ruling family is the Kaemon family. The head of the family,
the king, is called the Holder. The current Holder of Sostaeran is Dusae
Kaemon, twenty-five times king. He is also known as Dusae the Pious. In his
old age, he has relied more and more on the help of one counselor in
particular, a priest named Pasavius Tarnius. Dusae is well-liked and of
course, respected, in all of Sostaeran. He has been widowed for a number of
years now, ever since the coming of Pasavius, and has been ruling by decrees
rather then presence. He has four strong sons to assure the kingship, the
eldest of which, Gaed, is heir apparent.

Since the coming of father Tarnius in the Royal household as advisor,
Sostaeran has been slowly transforming from a military state to something
approaching a theocracy. He has convinced the Holder and other nobles to
pursue strict obedience to the laws of the cult of Ereal, and regular worship
is now an integral part of all Sostaerani lives. Recently, Tarnius has been
appearing in public more frequently in an attempt to assure the populace that
all will remain well as the Holder withers away. Gaed Kaemon seems to hold
Pasavius in the same esteem as his father did.

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