Backgrounds of the SouthrealmEdit
An overview of the situation in the Southrealm and its capital city Ostian
by Talon Isdur
Government, Religion and Ideology
To the uninitiated observer, the Southrealm looks like a pure theocracy that pays homage to the seven divine and the Creator. This false impression is intended by the government; in fact, a lot of the population don't even know that they aren't being ruled by the temple. The real government is using the temple as as disguise and protective shield, and for intimidation purposes, in order to conceal itself.
The real government consists of three templars who determine the fate of the realm together. The temple is their mouthpiece - no proclamation, vote or propaganda is spoken directly from these templars. They act in concealment.
The people are granted an apparent right of co-determination: everyone from the Southrealm from the age of twenty-one can take part in the election for a so called year priest. A year priest is, as the name says, the public leader of the temple for one year. The goverment often presents this year priest as a regent for the Southrealm, but in reality he is only their straw puppet.
Religion is therefore a compelling factor in the Southrealm. The temple shows itself to the people as an omnipotent power and thus hides the doings of the true government.
The temple represents the idea that man is a corrupt creature from birth onwards who has no possibility to discard his despicable nature in this world. Only in the netherworld does man have the chance to cleanse his soul and thus step into the light of the Creator.
Since human should not be granted luck or happiness in life (for that is blasphemy towards the Creator from the temple's point of view), the temple (and behind it the government actually) controls every area of life of the population, from everyday life to work. Officially, not more than a small dwelling is due to every person which in no way is allowed to seem "better" than that of a fellow man. Whoever publicly asks why the High People of the temple and the wealthy owners of businesses live in such larger houses than the common folk, is denounced as a "dangerous element in the population" by the temple and soon ends up in the "care" of the temple dungeon, or hung to act as a public deterrence.
History and important events of the Southrealm
Only a few of the events listed here are officially recognized by the government of the Southrealm and are found in their history books. All the others can be found mainly in the great library in Erothin.
The seizure of power by the temple and "Purity Night"
There are indeed no records or scripts that were written down before the Southrealm was ruled by the temple. That is why it is not clear what kind of government the Southrealm had at that time or what it looked like in general.
The government is behind the temple (see also "Government"), consisting of three templars who act in concealment. They seized the power; how that happened exactly is not known because, as has been said, there are no records about it any more. The ideology of the temple was re-established (see also "Religion").
Revolts should be prevented from the start by all available means. The chapter of history that derived from that is the most terrible and most inhuman that ever existed in Nehrim or any other known world. There is only one single document that proves this terrible deed of the government: the Darius Tome. Darius is the only man who survived the "Purity Night", as he sarcastically called it. In this night, every citizen of the Southrealm who was over the age of fifty was forcefully taken from their huts and brought to the large temple complex. Only the young and the strong were to live under this new government, and nobody was to remember the old government in the next half a century. Everyone wrested from their homes that night was executed.
Darius was able to flee through the pass to the Middlerealm that was still open at that time, and reached Erothin where he put his terrible experience to paper. Unfortunately he did not hold forth about the earlier government of the Southrealm at all.
The public outrage from the Middlerealm about the "Purity Night" was big, however the rulers abstained from commenting. The Southrealm closed its borders and only traded by sea. The first twenty years under the rule of the new government was a reign of terror beyond compare, and the goverment did indeed manage to prevent any person or any messages from leaving the Southrealm without permission. There were no revolts or rebellions, for the fear after the "Purity Night" was deep in their minds even decades after it happened.
The War of the Pass
The War of the Pass is one of the most drastic events in the history of the Southrealm. It was fought out between the Middlerealm and the Southrealm for the rule over the pass to Faltrindtal. The pass was a threat for either side, for through it, troops could quickly march from the Southrealm into the Middlerealm or vice versa.
It is remarkable that neither side announced a declaration of war and that the war was only found in a few chronicles afterwards, even though it claimed many more lives than any other war before.
The temple has since refused to acknowledge the fact that the war took place and although hundreds of men and sons did not return to their wives and mothers and hundreds more returned injured and crippled, everyday life in the Southrealm officially continued as normal. As the only consequence, the temple had the daily newspaper of the Southrealm banned, the only one back then and up until today.
The war itself had no winner. The temple officially didn't have anything to do with the war, but behind its veils decided that the pass should be rendered unusable. As soon as the war was in the hands of the Southrealm for a short time, large pieces of rock on both sides of the mountain slopes were loosened and, together with the debris that was carried with them, they completely buried the pass and destroyed any chance of clearance due to their size.
Today, the ruins of the fortifications, half rotted war machinery and countless rusted weapons and armour bear witness of this war as a silent monument. These proliferations were spread over nearly the whole northern plain as well as the western desert of the Southrealm.