A mostly arid country, Chandra has a very interesting history and situation. Being located just south of the most aggressive and powerful nation in Aatos doesn't bode well for Chandra, especially when there are rumors that the Achaemean Empire is looking into expanding southwards. The interaction of cultural groups inside the country has created a caste system stronger than anywhere else in the world. Chandra is a country that fears the peace being broken will ruin the small utopia that some believe has been built.

Regional History:
Chandra was originally inhabited by two rival ethnic groups: the Sassnids and the Carthakis. They warred throughout history without either side gaining an advantage. Then, a group known as the Aryans descended from the North and took over the government. They quickly instituted a caste system that is still in place to this day. Tensions continued to rise until, 300 years ago, the two ethnic groups united in overthrowing the port city of Surat and stealing a fleet of ships to flee to Harena. Of course, not all escaped, and the remnants of the two cultures continue to be subjugated under the Aryan rule. The Aryans have normalized this caste system more effectively since that event, and the country hasn't truly changed socially or politically in three centuries. That said, Chandra has experienced a long period of peace, which has allowed many great minds to work on problems involving philosophy, math, and the sciences. Roads were built, with large trees and oasis offering rest to travelers, and standardized money, language, and script. Chandra is a flourishing nation now, though it appears that war is once again on the horizon.

Creator's Note: I should note that Chandra is actually in no danger of being invaded at this point in time. The Achaemian Empire is actually planning on invading Elba. However, they have made it appear as though they were going to strike Chandra in order to catch Elba off guard. However, to the Chandran people, the threat of invasion is very real and potentially imminent.

Culture: Chandra is ruled by a complex caste system. People are born into the system, and while they can move up and down, it is extremely difficult and involves completely throwing away your past life and associates, as people do not interact with people outside of their caste unless it is required. At the top are the Kshatriyas, the rulers; then the Brahmins, the warriors and priests; then the Vaisyas, skilled traders and merchants; then the Sudras, unskilled workers; and finally the Pariahs, untouchables who work in horrendous jobs. The Pariahs are not allowed even to touch those of a higher class. This caste system rules all aspects of life - where you shop, who you see, what you do for a living. The Aryans make up the top three tiers of the caste system, while the vast majority of Carthaki's and Sassnid's dwell at the bottom two levels.

The people of Chandra, or those whose days aren't consumed by constant manual labor, place a high value on education, magic research, philosophy, astronomy, and other intellectual pursuits. Libraries abound in Chandra although they are available only to those with the caste status to enter. Generally only those with Aryan blood are educated. However, almost all Aryans have at least a basic education in the general subjects and a slightly more specialized knowledge in some field of study that interests them. Researchers are viewed as very valuable, and new literature is constantly being produced in Chandra.

Geography: An arid climate dominates Chandra, although it grows more temperate the further south one travels. As the second largest lake in Iussus, the Katihar is an extremely important geographical feature to Chandra, as it is used to irrigate the fields that Chandrans grow their food in. It also serves as a convenient way to transport goods internally. However, food can only be grown in the southern parts of the country, and northern cities must rely on hunting or shipments of food in order to survive. This is because the northern half of the country is dominated by the Sarajii Desert. As far as deserts go, the Sarajii is fairly calm, and a large network of roads lattice their way across the countryside. However, over the past several years, there have begun to be large geographical changes in the landscape of the desert. Large slabs of stone will suddenly burst through the sandy surface, jutting toward the sky, the ground will crack and cave in without warning to reveal large cave networks that snake deep below the surface. Many of these caves have been discovered to hold powerful magical items leftover from the fall of the Vardamir Empire, and cartographers and historians of Chandra theorize that there was once a great Vardamir city underneath the desert. However, these caves have dangerous pokemon lurking inside, and many are hard to find. These protrusions and crags have been occurring more and more commonly as time goes on, and the once smooth landscape of the Sarajii has become rough and broken. Many Chandrans are curious to discover why these large geological shifts are occurring, but none have put forth a satisfying answer yet.

Demographics The people of Chandra have deep ethnic rifts. Though the people look similar, they have deep cultural and religious differences enhanced by the caste system. Most of the Sassnid and Carthaki people have accepted their lower lot in life, and the Aryans are happily ruling from the top. Interactions between the groups are scarce however, and are almost always peaceful. Nobody wants to upset the balance and start a civil war, at least, most people don't. There are strong social pressures to conform to the societal norm, and few people deviate from this plan. Those who do are often killed quickly by the government or flee, leaving the country for good. To many this seems oppressive (and the government harshly punishes those who deviate from this system), but to many who live in it, it is simply the way of life. To the Aryans at the top, most of them don't interact enough with the lower classes to understand how different their lives are. Chandra has managed to operate this way for so long that most are simply operating in ignorance of what's happening in the other social realms.

Economy: Chandra's most valuable export are spices. The arid climate is perfect for growing things that aren't grown anywhere else, and spice merchants get paid good money for their products. The country imports wheat, as the desert isn't amiable to farming efforts and the southern farmlands can't produce enough food to feed the people. They also like to import gold from Kush, as the Aryan people have an affinity for the metal. The Chandrans would like to be self sufficient, but, with their country's climate, this won't be occurring anytime soon. There simply isn't enough arable land to support their population, especially since many of the Sassnid people are vegetarians, refusing to engage in the otherwise flourishing meat market and requiring more grain and vegetables than others (not harming pokemon is part of the tenants of the Sassnid Church of the Void).

Politics and Government: Chandra is led by a Maharajah, an Aryan who is elected from among the Kshatrivas in an election in which only the Kshatrivas may vote. The Majaraja has supreme military command, but is beholden to the ancient laws written in the beginning of the Chandran government. These laws have been in place for centuries and form the centerpiece of Chandran Culture. In the end, the Kshatrivas can hold the Maharajah in check if they truly wish to, yet he remains a very powerful man. Like in many other nation, power struggles abound, but the pseudo-democratic nature of Chandra's upper echelons makes political alliances very important. There are few assassinations in Chandra, as the Kshatriva would rather outmaneuver each other politically and socially to gain the upper hand than kill an enemy outright.

The Chandran govenrment relies on social pressures to keep things under control. Those who break the rules of the caste system are banished or killed. They rely on a relatively small military, though in recent years they have been attempting to increase its size due to the Achaemian Empire's imminent threat to their peace. These actions have begun to rekindle discontent among the Sassnids and Carthakis, though it remains a spark. However, this has been the first real resistance at all to the notion of the Caste system for hundreds of years, and it could be an indication of change in the future of a nation that prides itself on being unchanging.

Pokemon, and pokemon goods, are tightly controlled in Chandra. Neither the untouchables nor the Sudras are permitted to have a pokemon in their possession at any time, or to touch any piece of pokemon merchandise. Pokemon battling is less common in Chandra than in other areas, as the upper levels of the caste system usually are too busy occupying themselves with other affairs to train pokemon. However, contests are quite popular among the Aryan people, as they require less effort and time to train and evolve pokemon, provide 'high class' entertainment, and don't create a culture of violence that could inspire the lower classes to rebel. Those who do choose to seriously train pokemon tend to favor rock, steel, and water type pokemon. Rock and steel due to their steadfast and unchanging nature, and water due to its inherent importance to life in such an arid land. The roggenrola line is particularly popular among young Aryan warriors.

Important People:
Seth: A Sudra who has been slowly kindling discontent among the lowest classes. He's half Sassnid, and half Carthaki, which allows him to coexist with both groups easily. He's managed to send missives off to the Carthaki empire requesting assistance, though the Carthaki government has not deigned to reply at this point in time. He has plans to overthrow the status quo and eliminate the caste system. However Seth hasn't made much progress, and has struggled to break down the barriers that have been solidified over centuries of oppression.

Important Areas:
Durma: The capital of Chandra, Durma is relatively small for a capital. The streets are filled with hand carts and guards on fearows as a constant sign of the watchful eye of the government. The city is separated into five different sections, or wards, delineated by the Caste system. One may only enter an upper level ward if they have business there. Rising over the city from the Brahmin Ward is a tall tower, built using the latest techniques in architecture researched in Chandra. This is The Tower, perhaps the largest library in all of Aatos. It holds millions of volumes and has a host of dedicated librarians and scholars who prowl the shelves and attend classes in a nearby university of scholarship and magic. The Tower is representative of the intellectual pursuits of the Chandra people.
Surat: Surat is a thriving port town that connects Chandra to the rest of the world. Since most of Chandra's trade is by sea, nearly every single export from the country passes through Surat's ports at some point. It is a messy and disorganized city full of bazaars, marketplaces, and screeching wild pokemon living on rooftops. It isn't nearly as pristine as Durma, though it also lacks the ward system that Durma has created, instead merely relying on clothing to delineate between those of different castes. It also marks the spot where the great exodus of the Sassnids and Carthakis occurred, although the Aryan government has done their best to erase that event from the people's memories (and they've been largely successful).

Chandra in your Campaign
In my experience, most people tend to forget about Chandra, and it sees little play time. However, for those who would like visit Chandra, there are a variety of reasons that can be easily provided. First and foremost, Chandra has the best library in the world, and PCs looking for information on corrupted pokemon, Vardamir History, magical theory, or any other number of subjects may be forced to visit this country in order to carry out their research. Perhaps the PCs are interested in the geological changes that have been occurring across Aatos in recent years, in which case they would be well served paying a visit to Chandra, where the newly reanimated Regirocks are making major changes to the landscape underneath the desert, which would have serious implications for Chandra. If your players are interested in starting a revolution from scratch instead of contributing to an already agitated situation, they find Chandra an engaging challenge as they struggle against the social norms that constrain the country.

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