The Scallywags of The Shackles
Infernal Cheliax (pronounced CHEL-ee-ax)1 remains, without a doubt, one of the most powerful nations on Golarion and it continues to maintain naval control over the profitable Inner Sea. Nevertheless, as important as the nation may be at the current time, it pales in comparison to its former Imperial glories. Today, in the eyes of most external observers in other parts of the Inner Sea, Cheliax suffers from extreme diabolism and a tyranny which prevent it from truly achieving its full potential. Internal observers, including the new nobility of Cheliax, firmly believe that Asmodeus and Hell serve Cheliax and assist in maintaining the power necessary for Cheliax to assume its rightful role among the leading nations of the Inner Sea.
Since the Thrune Ascendancy of 4640 AR, Cheliax has been ruled by House Thrune along with a new configuration of noble houses made up of those willing to follow the philosophy of Diabolism. Much of the power of House Thrune was gained through the initial bargain struck between Abrogail Thrune and the rulers of Hell although rumors abound that additional pacts have been made since that time in the quest for still greater power. Currently Queen Abrogail II rules Cheliax with the aid and support of her infernal regent General Gorthoklek.3
Governmental policy within Cheliax is focused upon maintaining order and quelling dissent. This is in direct response to the 30 years of internecine warfare and chaos that proceeded the Thrune Ascendancy as well as the absolute order inherent in the support of Hell. There is a great deal of physical peace and order which allows the lives of ordinary citizens to proceed normally, but it carries a high moral price. Cheliax is far from the abomination of twisted evil imagined by many outsiders, but it does not allow room for any dissent. Nationalistic feelings run deep and are practically required to avoid suspicion. Ambition causes normal citizens to turn in those that they suspect as traitors to Imperial Cheliax for the perceived promise of wealth and advancement. Organized secular and religious forces such as the Hellknights and the Inquisitors further strive to quell any organized dissent.4
The laws of Cheliax are based upon the Asmodean Disciplines which also serve as the primary religious text for the Church of Asmodeus. Many of these laws are not enforced, and may not even be enforceable, but they serve the purpose of the government by allowing the prompt removal of undesireable elements of society under some perceived or interpreted infraction.4
The capital of Cheliax is Egorian.
Three-quarters of Cheliax’s human population are ethnic Chelaxians 21, and the pale-skinned Chelish believe themselves superior to all other peoples. Their compact with great devils gives them power beyond measure, and no other nation of the Inner Sea can compete with their summoners and warlocks when it comes to trafficking with dark forces. These devils require payment for their service, often offered up in the form of tender flesh and boiled blood. Tieflings enjoy an unusual status in Cheliax, often seen as subordinate to humans by the Chelish diabolists.