To the West of Geldbane is the country of Erdak. I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post about Geldbane. It plays a very important role in the primary conflict of my novel. To start Zammela owes half her linage to the country. Her mother, Elise, is a pure-blooded Erdaki. Her father is a pure-blooded Gelban. While one would assume because they two countries do not share elements (Erdak is Wind and Earth, while Geldbane is Fire and Water) it makes sense that she can use all forms of magic. That however is completely unrelated.
By blood it actually works against Zammela. The mixture of magics have known to cause poor constitutions exceptionally poor magical ability and in some cases ‘False Dimanaguls’ called Fauxdims. These individuals have such poor magical affiliation that it could be assumed they are unable to use it. Naturally it caused witch hunts of sorts.
For this reason, it is fairly uncommon for people to marry outside their countrymen. Erdakians tend to be a glowing exception. While the rest of the world of Pange suffers from low birth rates the Erdaki are notoriously fertile and had one of the largest populations in Pange.
However in the recent past Erdak suffered tragic losses. Like Geldbane, they worship the Goddess of Fortune but they interpret her as a goddess of wealth. Erdak was run by a Hereditary Czar that ruled for generations. During the golden ages of Pange, Geldbane and Erdak traded openly and disregarded some of Erdak’s evils.
Erdak is a country built on the back of indentured servants, effectively slaves. Once an individual amasses enough debt they lose their rights as citizens. At this point it was nearly impossible to bounce back and reclaim their freedoms. However Erdak is a country rich in resources and opulence. No man woman or child went hungry in Erdak… given they were willing to submit to the system.
When peace came to a grinding halt, Erdak set its sights on Geldbane during the rule of King Solace the First and a great war began. Without the support of Dendarg, Erdak amassed a great army and prepared to steamroll over Geldbane. They intended to expand their empire and convert the largely undefended western portion of Geldbane now known as the Sea of People to their cause. Their primary force, the Royal Erdaki Army amassed in the city of Rovosisk along with the entirety of the royal family and most of the nobility. Only a skeleton crew remained in the capital far to the south.
Things looked grim for Geldbane. Despite their reliance on soft metals such as bronze, Erdak had staggering numbers and better training to offset it.
Then something happened.
Pange itself seemed to protest the kingdom’s reign. Poisonous gas vented itself from its underground springs. The hearty Erdaki survived for a time but eventually they were no match for its effects.
The soldiers stationed in Rovosisk started to go mad and turned their blades on each other. Violence and bedlam ravaged the city as the standing army tore itself apart. The royalty and noblemen were slain, with only a handful successfully fleeing into Geldbane. Those that went elsewhere perished from the same madness that took the capital.
Geldbane had been saved. A twist of misfortune claimed Erdak’s spine: One that seemed directly related to the Goddess of Luck’s ‘disdain’ for the nation. There is some truth to this suspicion of course.
Without the Czar’s influence, Erdak fell apart and was left no choice but to surrender to King Solace. It was through his guidance that the surviving nobility establish the Republic of Erdak, electing craftsmen to office to help support the country.
Its legacy of slavery was broken, but with it, many of their traditions good and bad. The part of the country poisoned by the mists was annexed by Gelbane and methods were devised to secure its vast resources for the good of Geldbane and Erdak alike. “Old Erdak” was no longer the seat of power for the nation, but instead a glorified resource hub.
Refugees from Erdaki, often stamped as traitors by loyalists, would make runs into Old Erdak to collect supplies under the Geldbane banner. As long as the exposures to the mists were limited, the heartiness brought by their earth and wind magic coursing through their blood allowed them to survive for a week.
No one has set foot in Rovosisk because of the natural Mountain stronghold surrounding it. Only twisted survivors of the foul poison, hardly human anymore, make their home there. Even those that could make their way to the fallen city would likely fall prey to their cannibalistic urges.