All that is left of the Telman empire is found on the Island of Telma. The high Telman church also has its home in the ancient capital city of Telma. The city sprawls from horizon to horizon, made of stone construction with massive public-works projects for aqueducts and other constructions. The old Telman senate is one of the notable palace-like structures with forests of broad columns and a large auditorium for when the empire spanned most of Ra'niah.
Unfortunately, the government that once held sway over so much of Ra'niah is no more. After the Night of Screams, when the entire Imperial line was exterminated in a horrifying and short-lived coup, the Prelate of the High Telman church, Honorable II, declared martial law via his own Prelatal Guard. Two weeks later, Honorable backed a claimant to the throne, Gustus Esarhaddon, who was believed to be the closest relative to the Imperial line left alive. Unfortunately, with a tenuous claimant to the throne came challenge after challenge, the Telman military growing weaker as it lost more and more men to a multi-front civil war that lasted nearly five years.
Finally, Prelate Honorable, who could take no more wholesale butchery in the name of a secular government no one seemed able to lead, staged a coup of his own, once again locking down the island of Telma with his own Prelatal Guard, backed by a force of Sunrays from their far-off High Abbey at Beacon Reach. He then called an assembly of lictorii and other high officials in both the government and the church, and made what has come to be known as the Proclamatia Regencia.
In short, Honorable declared that he had received a personal visitation from Ysolte herself, the church's Lady Hope, and had a message to deliver. There was to be no successor to the Imperial Throne. Instead, the High Telman church would hold the throne in regency until such time as the gods saw fit to bring forth a true and unassailable successor--something which Ysolte had said would in fact come to pass, though no timeframe had been given.
Ever since the day of the Proclamatia Regencia, the church has controlled Telma in its entirety. Local priests (or lay leaders, when no priest was present) became the de facto mayors of their villages and towns, and the church heirarchy took over the entire political bureaucracy in a matter of weeks. The High Telman church remains in control of Telma to this day, the Imperial throne cared for and left carefully empty, awaiting the day that the gods will once again restore the monarchy.
The Holy City
While the city of Telma remains the nominal captial of the island, most of the city proper is at this point controlled by the High Telman church. The Prelate, his Ecclesiarchs, and the other official officers and functionaries of the church make their homes here, and Telma is effectively administered from within what has come to be called The Holy City.
Kept immaculate by its several thousand devoted inhabitants, Telma has moved away from the garish bombast of late Telma, and instead evolved into a sort of patrician grandeur. Indeed, the Prelate following Honorable II, Courageous IV, decreed that Telma should become "the city of the gods", and the citizens of the Holy City have taken that statement to heart.
Every god of the High Telman pantheon has a temple in Telma which is generally considered the seat of each deity's worship. While the church follows the entire pantheon, the staffs of the individual temples tend to specialize in the study of the deity to which they have been assigned.