Demonym: Calanish; of Calanshae. Calan; a person who is Calanish
Climate/biome: Mostly mild woodland, heavily cultivated
Population density: High
Common Inhabitants: Eladrin, elves
Uncommon Inhabitants: Abilen, elhan realm
Bordering on mighty Brandeis and fey-touched Deepwood, Calanshae is a nation established many ages ago by Soratami political exiles who subjugated the native elven population, and began to call themselves eladrin.
Calanshae is today small, but accomplished in the area of courtly intrigue; eladrin form the ruling class over a generally-exploited elven working class. Those elves who will not abide by eladrin rule often flee to Deepwood, which is too savage for most eladrin to enter.
Calanshae’s government uses a unique combination of hereditary and political succession. Its nobles may hold their positions for life, but are free to choose any eladrin they wish as their successor, rather than passing to a direct descendant. In practice, this often this means a favourite child anyway—but, thanks to the their lifespan making families large and rather distant, eladrin nobles just as often choose other individuals who win their favour. Bloodlines are important to them, but family less so.
On the topic of oppression, the Calanish government likes to point out that there are certainly no laws against selecting an elf or even some other creature as an heir. What can be done, if every noble still prefers an eladrin successor? Forcing them to pick an elf for its own sake, they say, would be as wrong as forcing them not to.
In the distant past, when the eladrin first arrived from Sorairo, the gnollish clans were unquestionably the dominant power on the mainland. The elves had resisted them for as long as anybody could remember, but they had no interest in conquering them. They were content to defend their forests, and otherwise let the beastkin do as they would.
This changed abruptly when the Calans went on the offensive, beginning the period history would call the War of Empires. With their advanced magical might, they took the gnoll clans by surprise and claimed huge amounts of territory, cementing themselves as the land’s second great power.
The War of Empires lasted centuries. The gnolls had numbers, ferocity, primal magic and bizarre wild beasts. The eladrin had their long lives, advanced knowledge and arcane prowess, and the aid of their elven allies. Territories changed hands dozens or hundreds of times, but neither empire managed to break the other.
The end of the War of Empires was truly the end of an age—and the end of the Calans’ empire. They lost almost all their territory, pushed back to one corner bordering the Brandish holdings.
The Calans rallied famously, however. They would go on the frame themselves not as losers but as masterminds; they decided on their own that the time of empires was past, and saw that they could safely draw back as long as the gnolls were also checked by the Brandish army. Truly, they must be nothing less than the forefathers of the modern world.
Persons of Note
Hailed as the founder of the Calanish nation, Lord Cinarion is credited with bringing the elves into eladrin society, and creating what the Calans call the first civilised nation on Alm. By all accounts a military mastermind, he presided over many successful campaigns, and dedicated much to the progression of arcane research and development.
An unparalleled master of the spear, Anyariel was an elven warrior of the Tuatha, the elves of Heartwood. She famously pledged her loyalty to Calanshae in the early days of the alliance, and was often depicted at Lord Cinarion’s side on his various campaigns.
However, her story took a tragic turn when her own people came into conflict with Calanshae. Calanish history holds that Heartwood began the violence, but many scholars think it more likely that hostilities were the result of Calanshae trying to assert its rule over the Tuatha.
Whatever the reason, Anyariel’s honour eventually forced her to raise her spear against her homeland—a decision so terrible, she is said to have taken her own life shortly after Heartwood fell.