Phaedros, or The Commonwealth of Phaedros, is a region of Orden situated on a peninsula south of Rioja. The climate is warm and temperate year-round and the land is rich with resources. Because only a narrow land-bridge connects the peninsula with the rest of the continent, the Commonwealth is easily defended and enjoyed hundreds of years of freedom from wars and foreign invaders.
Phaedrans are typically swarthy, with dark brown skin and thick black hair. They dress in sandals and simple white robes, often decorated with gold, in the style of the Moon Elves who once called the area home. The buildings and culture of the Moon Elves, though largely ruined, is in some places still well-preserved and the men of the Commonwealth actively seek to adopt the manners and culture of the Lunar Celestials, who they believe to be superior in learning and society to Men.
The Caelian Empire
The Caelian Empire, which ruled Orden for 1,300 years, was founded in Phaedros. The 5th Emperor instituted a decades-long program of repatriation, stealing an entire generation's children from their parents and resettling them with new parents in different parts of the world.
His goal was to break the individual cultures of each region and create a Caelian culture with one language and one way of life. It was a bloody and violent program.
Now, 500 years after the fall of that great empire, each region has once again developed its own culture; but almost everyone, everywhere, speaks the Caelian language, and there's no way to tell where someone was born from the colour of their skin or facial features.
Since the fall of the empire, the men of the Commonwealth have known peace and prosperity which they attribute to a new form of government still a secret outside their lands.
Philosophies are scientific models and personal belief systems. Peasants eschew philosophy, but most city dwellers and educated folk adhere to one of the Six Schools.
- Stoicism - Virtue through strength of will.
- Cynicism - Balance with Nature, Self-sufficiency.
- Materialism - Only this world is real. Death is the end of the body and the soul.
- Idealism - This world is a shadow of the world of ideals.
- Scepticism - Knowledge is illusory, nothing is ultimately knowable.
- Mysticism - Reality can only be known by participating in its contradictions.