Sallariz defined the western dominion of the ancient Telman empire. It's lands are varied, warm and sunny in the north, colder and harsher in the south, and maintain a rugged beauty all their own. Sallariz was only ever under nominal Telman control, however, being as far as it was from the Imperial center.
Sallariz provided a variety of exotic wares to the courts of Telma and other Imperial territories: spices, grains, woods, and a variety of precious metals and gemstones all flowed from Sallariz. This ready supply of materials to exploit drove settlement (and corrupt local government), but this settlement faced a pair of significant problems:
First, Sallariz was so remote that few wanted to actually go. The sea lanes from Telma as far as Conant were well patrolled, but those between the "Telman Ring" and Sallariz were much less traveled. The Aboleth of Lonborrain preyed on Telman shipping, and few peasant farmers wished to take the risks involved in starting a new life in Sallariz. Accordingly, many of the original settlers were criminals, fortune hunters, or mercenaries--not the sorts of people best equipped to run a government. Fortunately, they were precisely the right people to establish a hold on Sallariz in the face of the second problem: goblins. Sallariz has the largest goblin population on Ra'niah, and their tribes skirmished with the Telman settlers from the start. Still, settlement continued.
When the Telman Empire began to decline, the most noticable effect on Sallariz was a weakening of the forces guarding both the sea lanes and the settlements. The Aboleth of Lonborrain and their Sahuagin lackeys increased their attacks, and within a year all Telman shipping to Sallariz had ceased, it being too costly to continue to run through such dangerous waters. The people of Sallariz, rather than collectively rejoicing at the removal of Telman influence, simply shrugged and kept their grain for themselves, hunkering down against goblin incursion and simply going about the business of survival. Their leaders made a great deal of building Sallariz an army to defend itself from future invaders, but the people themselves have seen no significant changes in their lifestyle for hundreds of years.
The Plague decimated Sallariz, and the remaining population spread wide across the land to avoid contact and contagion. To this day, there are no "cities" in Sallariz--even those communities called cities are only the size of a large town. This also means that many towns are only a couple days' walk from one another, making travel across Sallariz comparatively comfortable and easy.
The people of Sallariz are generally smiling and pleasant, and so long as they have enough to eat, and time for both work and play, are content to life their lives without bothering their neighbors. Invariably, one leader or another will rise and make to lead people in one ambitious direction or another. Unfortunately, the general lack of motivation on the part of the Sallariz populace to do much more than make their own lives comfortable means that such plans are eventually frustrated.
For themselves, the goblin population has settled into a sort of stalemate with the humans. Occasional raids still happen on both sides, but the goblins occupy the interior and the humans occupy the coastal areas, and a certain population equilibrium has been reached that keeps either side from genuinely seeking the destruction of the other. Opinion on goblins varies among the humans--most people of Sallariz think of themselves as more cosmopolitan and are willing to treat with the goblins when possible, while others see them as savages in need of extermination.
Due to generations of starting and stopping in the government of Sallariz, all manner of projects were either never finished, or never capitalized on once complete. As a result, nearly every community has some sort of half-finished (or ruined) keep, aqueduct, dam, canal system, mine, palace, or other such public work. These projects generally lie fallow, but many also carry with them some local legend of either haunting, curses, or buried treasure left by the original planner and never recovered.
Sallariz has never had a stable central government. Even the Telman administrators were notoriously corrupt in the face of the resource wealth flowing out of the province, and this sort of ruling greed has never really abated in the ruling class. Sallariz's nobility grew out of leftover Telman administrative families, as well as the guild leaders of the old merchant interests and captains of the old mercenary companies.
It was only a matter of time before someone attempted to claim a wider throne, and Sallariz has a King, but this position is largely powerless. Today, local nobles control their provinces with almost total authority, though they theoretically owe fealty to one of three seats of power.
The first of these, controlling the northeastern section of Sallariz, is His Majesty King Leolid V of the house of Torrejo. His family has managed to hold onto the throne for nearly a century, and Leolid is extremely proud of that fact. He nominally represents Sallariz to other leaders of Ra'niah and beyond, and surrounds himself with the pomp he feels he deserves.
In the southeastern section, power shifts to His Excellency, Ecclesiarch Rubio Favar. The highest High Telman church authority in Sallariz, the Ecclesiarch has publicly declared the opinion that Sallariz should have no king just as Telma has no emperor. Privately, he wields his clerical office like a bludgeon, quietly threatening those who would stand in his way with excommunication or imprisonment. He and the King jockey continually for control of the spice islands to the east of Sallariz, and constantly sign privateers to prey on one another shipments to the rest of Ra'niah.
The Ecclesiarch's position is stronger than the King's, and he could conceivably overrun King Leolid and take control of most of Sallariz, but he dares not do so, for the effort involved would leave him vulnerable to the wily Duke of Aja, Erme Virense, who controls much of Sallariz's western coast. Aja is an enormously wealthy man, and has the best relationship with the goblins of the interior of any human ruler. Through these contacts, both the King and the Ecclesiarch fear that Aja could wage a private and anonymous war that would place him in control, so neither choose to openly engage the other, and all three would-be potentates continue to eye one another suspiciously.
Muddying the political waters further, several communities along the northwestern coasts of Sallariz (often villages or towns located near large ruins of one sort or another) have fallen under the sway of local pirate kings. These pirates tend to strike into (and indeed recruit from) the Falo and Jade Isles, as far west as Tansho, and even into Anaan or Liir. They skirmish with the merfolk of Anderlee and the navies of Conant and Veromani, and are generally the bane of the seas in the region. The presence of pirate bands operating along the coast gives rise to many of the stories of buried treasure in the region. Occasionally one of the three would-be rulers makes a show of taking on the pirates, but these efforts have never produced lasting effect.
The goblins on the interior operate in a loose confederation of tribes. Few humans venture into the Sallariz heartland, though a few hardy trappers and explorers occasionally build relationships with the tribes and delve into these mysterious lands. These brave souls invariably return with stories of ancient ruins that predate Telma, and monsters that beggar belief.
The people of Sallariz follow the High Telman church almost exclusively. Local priests can come to wield tremendous power, especially in the lands "ruled" by the Ecclesiarch, and many villages across the land give the opinion of their priest great weight. The nobility make great shows of piety, and every church in Telma is stocked with valuables of one sort or another, from a set of gilded sacramental plates all the way to enormous frescoes inset with real gemstones.
This widespread faith, however, is tempered with some definitely non-Telman influences. Chief among these is the weird Mauloo practiced by the Falo, imported to Sallariz decades ago by Falo pirate crewmen bivouacking in the lawless northwest. It has now percolated through most the western half of the land, and in these regions it is not uncommon for a village to have both a priest and a curandera, or Mauloo witch-woman. While the High Telman priests rail against it, the common people continue to practice certain Mauloo superstitions, hedging their theological bets.
Inland, toward the mountains, goblin shamanic druidism begins to influence the faith of the common folk. While few humans genuinely adhere to goblin theologies, certain basic superstitions have nevertheless crept into general inland culture. While the Ecclesiarch and his lackeys persecute these superstitions whenever possible, the King and Duke tend to leave it alone, perhaps as a sop to the local goblin tribes.