The Reign Of Winter
The mighty empire of Taldor once stretched from the Arcadian ocean to the border of the Padishah empire of Kelesh.Taldor’s ancient armies of exploration established footholds for the empire throughout Golarion, and during the shining crusade, it’s mighty phlanxes marched for thousands of miles. Yet despite it’s many legacies, modern Taldor is a stunted remnant of it’s old glory, a declining empire that seems destined for little more than a footnote in the annals of history unless something can be done to reverse its fate.
The first half of the age of enthronement was the golden age of imperial Taldor. It was in this era that Taldor formed the first of it’s now legendary armies of exploration. Composed of thousands of soldiers, scholars, diplomats, surveyors, spies, and adventurers of all specialities, the armies of exploration were instrumental to Taldor’s expansionthroughout southern Avistan and the Sellen river, eventually reaching sevenarches in the river kingdoms. The second army used the success of the first as a stepping stone, extending west from te Sullen, up along the northern coastline of lake Encarthan, and finally reaching the orc hordes of Belkzen.
The third army met with the greatest success. Again starting at Oppara Taldor’s gilded capital, this army forged west along the southern coast of Avistan and met with one victory after another, until it extended all the way to the westernmost edge of the Inner Sea, where the army’s general Coren founded the city of corentyn and secured Taldor’s control of passage into and out of the Inner Sea. No other army of exploration would match the third army’s success.
The fourth and Fifth armies of exploration focused their attention on eastern Avistan-the fourth making a relatively short and unremarkable foray up through Andoran and into the five kings mountains, and the fifth further expanding Taldor’s influence in what would eventually come to be known as the River Kingdoms.
The disatrous sixth army set up the endthis costly journey into the Mwangi Expanse saw the defeat and loss of the fabled siege engine worldbreaker at the hands of that era’s Gorilla King.
Taldor’s affluence and success led to self-indulgence, and the Taldans became increasingly obsessed with ceremony, elaborate costuming, and jaded pleasures. Taldor’s culture became more decadent and detached from the outside world. Old rivals sought to take advantage of Taldor’s profligacy, culminating in a massive invasion of Taldor by Qadira in 4079, which triggered an invasion by Cheliax. Corrupt, weakened, and unable to fight a war on two fronts, Taldor focused its waning on it’s ancient enemy to the south. It successfully repelled the Qadiran invasion, but it in turn lost most of it’s colonial holdings to Cheliax.
Today, beneath a pretense of high society and avant-garde culture, Taldan society is short sighted, degenerate, and moribund. Thousands of noble houses claiming heritage back to the earliest days of the empire constantly jockey for position and control of the various departments of the nation’s complex bureaucracy. Greed and distrust characterize Taldan politics, and betrayal and assassination are the preferred methods of aristocracy to increase their stations, even Taldor’s monarch is not immune to such machinations. The emperor and many nobles protect themselves by employing fierce mercenaries from the Land Of The Linnorm Kings as personal bodyguards, the huscarls of the Ulfen guard have served in this capacity since ancient times.