Council of Thieves
Imperial Cheliax dominated Avistan for more than 600 years after Chelish King Aspex the Even-Tongued broke from Taldor, diplomatically absorbed Andoran, and conquered both Isger and Galt. These events launched a centuries-long tradition of expansion and glory, propelling Cheliax to the height of human civilization. The nation soon dominated and subsumed many native peoples and cultures, so that many regions had a ruling elite or caste of Chelish origin, or with a strong Chelish heritage and blood ties running back to the empire. The empire continued to expand, and with the expected return of Aroden, patron god of Cheliax, none of the Chelish people had any doubt that it would eventually attain the power (and riches) of ancient Azlant
Then the inexplicable occurred. Instead of returning, Aroden died, and a part of Cheliax died with him. With the emperor stripped of his divine mandate, certain powerful noble houses rose up, plunging the imperial heartland into civil war. Anarchy and war plagued Cheliax for more than 30
years, until House Thrune and its allies took and held the throne. Queen Abrogail I, Infernal Majestrix of Cheliax, placed among her armies bound devils from the depths of Hell. She quelled dissent in the empire’s heartland and in so doing gained her new regime a measure of respect and legitimacy. Few among the gods-fearing citizens of Cheliax approved of the diabolists’ fearsome methods, but wherever they installed themselves, the opportunistic savagery of the last generation soon ceased, and a dark peace embraced the kingdom. Shortly after taking control of
the nation, the new government moved its administrative center to the inland port city of Egorian and wasted little time in demanding subservience from Imperial Cheliax’s many holdings. For several months, the new regime not only maintained the borders of Imperial Cheliax but also stood
poised to expand beyond them. Unfortunately for the Egorian government, though, the infernal blasphemies of House Thrune turned public opinion against Cheliax. The people of Galt and Andoran rose up and threw off Cheliax’s imperial shackles. Reluctantly, House Thrune allowed these vassals to secede, focusing its attentions on the lucrative colonies of Sargava in Garund and Anchor’s End in distant Arcadia. Despite losing almost half its holdings, Cheliax remains one of the largest nations on Golarion. The far-reaching inf luence of Cheliax stretches north to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, south to the nation of Sargava in Garund, and east into Taldor and Qadira. Elements of Chelish culture appear in all those places and more, mostly in the
ports and trading cities of dozens of nations—indeed, art, theater, and music (particularly the opera) have seen a striking explosion in popularity in modern Cheliax, if only because the nation’s beleaguered citizens increasingly need an escape from reality.