Aspexia is not physically imposing. She is a young woman, maybe around twenty, short and slight of build. However, she carries herself with an imperious confidence. Her crimson hair is pinned back in a meticulous weave, and her irises are a deep, cold grey that is scarcely distinguishable from her pupils.
"Ah, you have a meeting with Venture Captain Valsin in 23 minutes? I'm afraid, then, that I will only be able to provide you with a glimpse of the history of the greatest nation on Golarion. It would not do for you to disrespect your superiors with tardiness. "
"I have with me a copy of the History of Cheliax. The most important rule as a scholar of Chelish history is to beware counterfeits. Other nations, jealous of the success of Cheliax, have taken to publishing lies.First, all official histories are titled History of Cheliax. Any book with any other title, including The History of Cheliax, is inauthentic. Second, official histories are only published in Infernal and Chelish. The Infernal version carry more nuance, so I recommend it if you are fluent in Infernal. Third, ensure that your copy has the Imperial Seal, a non-expired Order of the Rack authorization signature, and a presentation of the laws of Cheliax relevant to historical records. Finally, verify that your copy has not been altered after printing."
She opens the book to its inside cover, revealing a seal, a signature, and a block of fine print. The seal reads "Imperial Printing House, Egorian".
The signature authorizes the statement "This book is the most up-to date edition of History of Cheliax, as certified by the Order of the Rack. This certification will remain valid until 1 Abadius 4714."
The fine print is a dense bit of legalize, beginning with "Uncertified or out-of-date editions are to be burned privately or turned over to the Order of the Rack for destruction. Distribution of uncertified editions is a criminal offense..." and ending with a list of various punishments for different degrees of distribution and different levels of "uncertified".
"As I explain some of the touchstones of Chelish history, I will show you where in the History of Cheliax that each touchstone features most prominently.
"In the year 4079 AR, the Great Aspex the Even-Tounged was the governor of the Taldan province of Cheliax. In that year, Taldor began what Taldans call the Great Campaign against Qadira to conceal its disastrous effects, a 534 year debacle that resulted only in vast losses of Taldan life and resources. Aspex the Even-Tounged recognized that Taldor was not in a stable position to enter the war, but his attempts to advise the Taldan Emperor that this was a foolish course of action fell on deaf ears. Aspex recognized that he was the superior ruler, and declared himself King Aspex of the independent nation of Cheliax. King Aspex marched his armies through the provinces of Galt, Isger,and Andoran and the people bloodlessly and gratefully recognized him as their new leader. In 4081 AR, Taldor formally recognized the independence of Cheliax.
"Cheliax expanded into an empire far greater than the Taldan empire out of which it had emerged, spreading colonies and expanding its borders across Avistan and Garund. Cheliax controlled key trade routes in the Inner Sea, and its cities grew and flourished. The Everwar marched onward, a continuous stream
of success that validated Chelish superiority. Nation after nation came to realize that their own leaders could not provide the cultural and economic prosperity that the Chelish people enjoyed.
"However, the Chelish kings made one grave mistake. They placed too much trust in Aroden as the patron of Cheliax, too much faith that he would create a golden age even greater than what they already enjoyed. When Aroden vanished, abandoning the country, many Chelaxians reeled at the loss, unable to contemplate life without their god. The country fell into civil war, and Chaos, the force of destruction that the Chelish kings had so long kept at bay, snuck in. As chaos is wont to do when it is tolerated in the least, it pushed boundaries until they cracked, tearing brave men and women asunder, leaving children starving in the streets, spitting in the face of art, culture, civility and everything that makes us better than a pack of orcs raiding across the countryside.
"The Civil War was a blight. For thirty years, Cheliax stumbled about in the darkness. The nation needed someone wise, powerful, and fair, someone well-versed in what it takes to make an orderly society, and unflinching under the most onerous of duties. That person was Queen Abrogail I. Using Hell as an inspiration and devils as her servants, she brought order to Cheliax once more. She gave us a new example, a new deity and lawgiver to look to for guidance. Asmodeus, the Prince of Law, greatest and most powerful of all divine beings, and primary creator of the universe, became our new patron. "
Aspexia bows her head, pausing for a prayer.
"Hail Asmodeus! Deliver us from chaos, that we may shape ourselves into more effective instruments of order. Help us to always recognize our place in every hierarchy to which we belong. Help us guide those beneath us with unbending justice and to teach them of the value of servitude, and help us to be better
servants to those above us, that we may rise to the power that we deserve in accordance with our worth."
She raises her eyes to you again and continues.
"With the powers of Hell behind her, Queen Abrogail Thrune, now known as Abrogail I, made decisive strides toward the restoration of Cheliax. While most of the people gratefully swore their loyalty to her, there were others who had been so corrupted by the forces of chaos that they lost sight of reason completely. Her Infernal Majestrix decided to focus her efforts on her obedient subjects first, and condemned Galt, Isger, and Andoran to experience the consequences of their lust for disorder.As a part of the nation of Cheliax, Galt, Isger, and Andoran had flourished. I pity the people of those nations now, to have lost so much, and forgotten who they are, at the hands of selfish, chaotic, and destructive forces, who have corrupted their minds and manipulated their wills."
"The nation of Cheliax grows more powerful and prosperous with each passing day. I encourage you to read up on the rules of Antonius, Terthule, Carellia, and Infrexus, for while their contributions are quite significant, they are in matters more complex than I can explain in such a short time. Today, Queen Abrogail II is the greatest leader that Cheliax has ever known. Her Infernal Magestrix altered the original contract
that Abrogail I made with the pit fiend Gorthoklek to gain more power at less cost. Gortholek thought that he could gain more influence over her, but with each passing year, it becomes more and more clear that he serves the Queen's whims, and that he is right to fear her. As are we all. She is an awe-inspiring leader, and the fear and adoration she leaves in her wake are palpable."
"Ah, it seems that you only have six more minutes to get to your meeting. You had best be off."
--Aspexia Thrune, 43rd in line to the Throne of Cheliax, Signifier of the Order of the Rack, Pathfinder Agent