Rise of the Runelords
Once the seat of the greatest empire on the continent of Avistan and the center of worship for Aroden, the patron god of humanity, Cheliax today is but a shell of its former self, its proud imperial banners now just a sullen shroud for lost glory and discarded virtue. In its heyday, the empire was the crowning achievement of Chelish culture, spreading civilization and justice in every direction (whether it was wanted or not).
Aroden’s death a hundred years ago and the breaking of his prophecy, together with the cataclysms that followed, tore Cheliax apart. Outlying provinces split away or were abandoned while civil war ravaged the heart of the empire. Ultimately, the throne of the shrunken realm was claimed by the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune, diabolists whose infernal alliances paved their way to victory.
Her Imperial Magestrix Abrogail II of Thrune presently reigns over a realm cowed in fear and pledged to the worship of Asmodeus, Prince of the Nine Hells. While the Thrunes and their supporters pretend that a new day has dawned for the empire, a chilling oppression has settled upon the land. Hellknights patrol the streets by day, while darker things gyre about the skies at night. The Thrunes claim that in their dark dealings they are merely using Hell’s tools to advance Chelaxian interests in this new Age of Lost Omens, but it remains to be seen who is manipulating who.
The empire’s slide into darkness has been one of the most troubling developments on the already troubled world of Golarion. Although shrunken, Cheliax remains a great power on Avistan and is slowly but surely regaining its lost strength, amid murderous intrigues and ever more complex infernal dealings.