When the Cerenerian elves wished to expand their kingdom above the waters, they first landed the islands now known collectively as The Pallasian Republic, or Pallas. In the centuries that followed, the Cerenerians who settled there adapted to their new environment with the aid of magically assisted evolution, leading to the land elves we know today. During that time, the Pallasians successfully colonised all islands in the chain and pushed the original inhabitants to the fringes of their new territories, up into the mountains. There many of these original tribes and beasts still live despite seemingly regular attempts by Pallasian forces to completely remove them. Part of the reason for their survival is the continued expansion of Pallasian interests elsewhere in Caldera. Cerenerian cartographers had been mapping the coastlines of the continents for centuries, and when they finally had a territory above the waves, they were keen to expand it.
Pallasian elves made their way to all the lands they had mapped, establishing major colonies in Arakesh and Nektiri. Attempts to colonise the land which would become known as Arbor were initially met with ruin however, as were attempts at a landing in Kosh; the human inhabitants there saw the incursions as an invasion. Khadari settlements were initially successful, but were abandoned when forces were needed to fight in the War of Disentanglement. This 140 year conflict was the attempt of the Pallasian elves to throw off the rule of the Cerenerians, whom they had come to view as oppressive and alien. Whilst technically the war is called a victory for the Cerenerians, it was really a stalemate; Pallasian forces found it hard to manoeuvre through the oceans controlled by the Cerenerians, but the latter found battles on land difficult to endure. Only a sustained campaign of bombardment and blockades eventually brought the Pallasians to negotiations for peace. At the end of these talks, Pallas found themselves more-or-less autonomous, tithing a part of their wealth and spoils to the Cerenerians in return. The Pallasian Triarchy was established, with the leaders (or princepts) of Arbos and Leto being chosen from Pallasian elves, and that of Chiron appointed by the Cerenerian queen (the capital of Chiron was moved from Cassus to Aurillia to help facilitate this). The transition from one Pallasian princept to the next, called the dar’telum, involves years of campaigning, and eventual voting by the patricians (aristocrats) of Leto and Arbos. Officially, princepts serve 23 year terms, though there have been some falling on either side of this limit over the years.
This arrangement with the Cerenerians continues to this day, with the three princepts voting on all major decisions together, with a majority rule. In order to ensure that the Pallasian princepts didn’t always conspire among each other to win every vote, the Cerenerian delegate was given the power of auctoris; this is a reserve power they could invoke to win any vote put before the princepts, regardless of the majority. The use of this power is highly controversial, and has been used only twice in Pallasian history. The first was when, in 275AE, the then Cerenerian princept sought to impose a far higher tax on the Pallasian patricians; this almost led to another war, and eventually the Cerenerian princept was replaced and only a moderate tax increase was introduced. The second time the power of auctoris was invoked is what led to the current tensions. The former princept of Arbos, Aelia Ferro, had been threatening war with the Nektiri peoples for a decade. In order to prevent this, Eaulance Andié, the Cerenerian princept, called for Arbor’s dar’telum. It is law that the same person cannot be princept twice, and so the people of Arbos were forced to seek an alternative. Unfortunately, Ferro has proven to be unwilling to leave her post. To make matters more incendiary, the princept elect, Balbus Seneca, is seen by many to be too sympathetic to Cerenerian interests; this has led some to believe that the voting system was influenced in some way. The scism in Pallasian society, particularly on the island of Arbos, continues to grow, with many elves referring to themselves as Ferran or Senecan, depending on their allegiance. For the time being, Ferro has moved to the mountain city of Andol, but still enjoys a lot of support in the capital. Many fear she will soon return to the capital with an army at her back.
A note on Pallasian civics
More than anything else, Pallasian elves value community. Functioning as a competent member of the State and seeing its will manifest is of utmost importance. Perhaps for this reason, unlike Cerenerian custom which is almost strictly matriarchal, there is no discrimination based on gender in Pallas. Further, although class systems based on socio-economic realities exist, they are not the primary means by which society is structured. Instead, clear distinctions are made between the citizen (valorem), conquered peoples (socii), foreigner (morba’faré) and slave (illardi). All valorem, regardless of station, gender or other considerations, hold a prestige denied to the others. The automatic rights given to all valorem include the right to vote in the dar’telum, the right to hold office, the right to marry under Pallasian law, the right to own land in Pallas. One must generally be born to valorem parents to be granted the station. For this reason, all valorem are elves (though not all elves are valorem). It is possible for valorem to lose their citizenship if they act against the will of the state, though it is rare. Socii are those who administrate foreign Pallasian holdings. They are given as few rights as needed to facilitate this, including the right to own land outside of Pallas and the right to hold office and run businesses there. Morba’faré have no rights in Pallasian territories, though the tradition of propi’donum generally means that visitors are treated with dignity, given representative council, and are protected from outside threats (so long as they abide by all Pallasian directives). Illardi are not afforded any rights. Educated illardi may accountants or physicians, and may indeed draw a wage (though anything they buy belongs to their masters). Some may even earn enough to buy their freedom, or may be granted their freedom for services rendered by their masters. Slaves who are freed may live in Pallasian societies as morba’faré, or external territories as socii, but none have ever become citizens. Unskilled illardi are usually miners, farmhands and millers an d the like – more often than not their lives are brutal and short.