Born from the ashes of the Cavian empire, the Caneus Empire went from a lawless land where petty warlord fought each other for scraps of lands to a feudal society. The Kaga’s hand in the establishment of such a system is unclear, however it is recorded in the ancient chronicles that the Kaga provide some warlords knowledge that led to the establishment of the Empire.
The lands of Nas are cold and mountainous. The people hailing from there are strong, proud and brave, likening themselves to the mountains. Like many other locations on Exodus, the climate and the mountains are the result of ancient magic used that forever altered the landscape. Ancient tales dating back to the days of the First Ones’ Empire describe Nas as a pleasant and temperate land of rolling hills and wild hordes of horses and cattle.
The Caneus Empire, like most empires, was forged in blood. Baron Gregory Eland rose up against his lord in protest to the forced suicide of his betrothed. In a campaign that was both surprising and spectacular, the Baron smashed his opponents and crowned himself Emperor of the Caneus Empire. Following the conquest, a country priest appeared preaching the word of what was until then a fringe cult, the Sanguine Church.
Over the next centuries, the Empire consolidated itself to include all of Nas, most of Koryth and vast tracts of Sametia. The feudal system of the Caneus Empire allowed it to expand its borders and maintain them by rewarding members who pleased the Emperors.
Late entrants in the Twilight War, the Caneus Empire and the Reis Confederacy ground each other down. The highly-trained, well-armed, disciplined knights and soldiers of the empire fought and routed many of the hordes of unwashed, untrained, and ill-equipped Confederates. Yet, the final battle of the Twilight War, the Battle of Aremyhk where Imperial forces were blindsided by the janissaries and forced to sign the truce to end the decades-long war.
Six decades ago, the cavians, the rat-men who used to rule Nas, returned from a centuries-long exile to lands unknown. Their return caused consternation and many nations at first tried to exterminate them, but Emperor Desmond Eland made a deal with them, obtaining the loyalty of the cavians in return for citizenship. Though many still think this deal is more than it seems, the cavians have thus far served the Empire’s purpose as well as increase its armies and population.
The Ruling Family
The current ruler of the Caneus Empire is Empress Cassandra Eland. Third child (of four imperial siblings), she was destined to be married off to some duke or a foreign noble in return for political considerations. But fate has a strange way of changing the best laid plans. The ambitious princess made sure to help fate along the way.
Emperor Desmond II had four children: Prince Bial and Princesses Mercy, Cassandra and Sienna. Bial took his trials in the Confederacy where he became violently ill. Then the Emperor and his wife died suddenly. So the dukes crowned Princess Mercy as Empress. Then Empress Mercy was poisoned, with the blame pointing to Prince Bial. So the dukes crowned Empress Cassandra.
Prince Bial escaped the new Empress’s searches and is believed to be hiding in the Confederacy where he shares a love affair with the Imperatrix. Princess Sienna’ now serve as the executor of the Empire. She has proved to be a capable administrator and advisor to the Empress. The body of Empress Mercy is missing. Rumors abound about what happened (the book actually tells you what happened to Mercy’s body, its not pleasant).
The Caneus Empire is a feudal society that I like to think as something resembling 12th through 15th century Europe. It mixes elements of the Hundred-Year War (England and France) with some High Chivalry elements. These elements mix in a climate that is rugged, mountainous and cold, this reminds me of what I would expect in Finland, Norway, or Sweden.
Members of the lower classes, live in poverty in the harsh weather. The nobles frequently live among their people, sharing a common lot with them. Few nobles spend much time away from their people as bandits, wolves and other dangers constantly demand their attention.
While not given to the romantic ideas that led to the myths surrounding the Knights of the Round Table, the idea of quest and trials is one that permeates the entire society. Everyone, from slave to emperor, is expected participate in a number of trials throughout their lives. These trials vary depending on the position.
Young Canean nobles frequently leave their homes to test themselves, to explore the world and return with a wider world view. Many do not return.
The Empire has a long tradition of militarism. Every noble is expected to provide military service at the call of the Empress. There is a fair amount of competition in doing so and few nobles would refuse to serve if called upon, their honor demands it.Younger nobles, both male and female proudly serve the empire. As they grow older and have obligations to their lands and people many leave imperial service to retire to their lands. Many still have fond memories of service and frequently regale others with war stories by the fire.
Peasants are formed in large, undisciplined units who are frequently only expected to stand there and fly their lord’s banner. They are engaged in battle only to sweep the enemy off the field, once the knights have secured victory.