Solaria is a prosperous empire in the southeast quadrant of Senestria, culturally and spiritually devoted to reverence of Aurigol, Father of Gods. Solaria has a large and ethnically distinct native population, but as a hub of travel and trade for other nations of the continent, it has significant minorities of other races and cultures, and these tend to get along with mutual peace and respect while within the empire's borders.
Solaria controls all of the fertile southeastern plains of the Senestrian continent, including the huge delta of the Telmarhan River, and the important coastline to which it leads. To its southwest is the fringe of the forest containing Arlyrion and Myllae; to the north are the Telmarhan Valley and the deserts of Geridia.
The climate in Solaria is temperate but warmer than average, with dry conditions in the north, and nearly oppressive humidity to the south and nearer the coast.
Solaria is ruled technically by an autocratic emperor. Each time an emperor leaves the throne, a Council of Augury meets to choose a successor, by consulting directly with Aurigol himself. The new emperor — typically himself a high-ranking priest, knight, or other holy figure — is then installed to the throne.
In practice, however, the emperor acts only as an executive in a constitutional republic, in which a Senate legislates laws, and the Judges of Holy Light preside over legal proceedings.
The elite vanguard of the Solarian military are the Order of Aurigol — knights, paladins, cavaliers, and other warriors devoted to honorable defense of the empire. The remaining bulk of ground forces are arranged into phalanxes of highly-organized infantrymen trained in the use of tower shields and polearms.
The Solarian navy maintains patrols along the nation's long coastline, and occasionally provides armed escorts for important fleets from other nations, but has not participated in a major conflict since the blockade of Geridia during the Grid War.
Solaria is one of the "bread baskets" of Caraonis, producing much of the world's supply of wheat, barley, and other grains, as well as potatoes, cotton, citrus and other fruits, olives, and wine. Their most significant trading partners are Arlyrion, from whom they import silk and wood products, and Geridia, which supplies them with ore, stone, metal and metalwork, and technological devices. The northern city of Shyrgaard hosts the only foreign spur of the Geridian rail system, and serves as both sea and overland port for trade with the desert nation.
History and Culture
According to legend, Solaria was settled by part of the same wave of human colonists who established Andelgia and Tyrillia, which had set out from northern Takharas in the earliest days of expansion across Caraonis. This explains some of the ethnic and linguistic similarities between the humans of those three nations. This particular country was established in the fertile plains of southeastern Senestria in honor of the god Aurigol.
As Geridia's command of higher technologies grew, its rapid southward expansion threw it into conflict with Solaria over the territory at the edge of the eastern deserts, sparking the Grid War. The two nations suffered a devastatingly costly campaign against each other before coming to a negotiated truce. The trade agreements laid out in the peace treaty solved the original conflict of the war and established trade relations which have stabilized into one of the most lucrative international alliances on Caraonis. Still, this war was bitterly fought, and cost both sides dearly, leading to lurking prejudices which have survived long after the last blood was spilled on the battlefield.
Solarian culture celebrates its devotion to the sun god Aurigol with gleaming sculptures of gold and brass, as well as a distinctive, lofty architectural style based on sturdy stone edifices and gleaming rotundas. Marble, mined and imported from the eastern Telmarhan Mountains, also figures prominently in both art and architecture. Buildings in Solaria have as many windows as possible, either glassed or completely open as local climate and air quality allow, and many also include skylights or windowed domes.
With its warm and pleasant climage, Solarian dress is light, consisting of togas, tunics, loose shirts, skirts, and short breeches. Jewelry and prints of sun motifs figure prominently in Solarian fashion, which is predominantly colored with white, red, orange, yellow, dark blue, and purple.