The Vailian Republics, is a confederation of sovereign city-states along the south coast of the Eastern Reach. It consists of fourteen cities, among them are the five great cities (cuiteti beli, Vallian), represented by the five stars on their coat of arms. Natives of the Vailian Republics are known as Vailians.
The Vailian Republics were originally colonies of the now-defunct Grand Empire of Vailia. When the Grand Empire of Vailia (now called Old Vailia) started to collapse (2641 AI), the Vailian colonies conspired to establish financial and military resources that were separate from the empire's. When it was impossible for the Grand Empire to do anything about it, the colonies declared their independence. Though there were limited loyalist uprisings within the republics, there was nothing widespread and there was no formal military campaign from the empire against them.
In 2708, seeking to consolidate their economic influence and reaffirm their independence, the ruling ducs chartered the Vailian Trading Company. The goals were to justify the new form of government and reinforce the fledgling national identity through commerce and economic success. The Company's initial capital represented a conglomerate of banking and shipping interests with only one goal: Bring wealth and power to the Republics by any means necessary. As long as it represented a return on the investment, the Company would be free from any legal interference on part of the Republics. The executives of the VTC took that principle to heart and expanded rapidly through a combination of cruelty, embezzlement, manipulation, and hostile takeovers, to name a few of the actions taken in the name of the homeland. Economic intimidation and currency manipulation were also common, allowing the VTC to buying out, supplanting, or otherwise overpowering existing trade interests, then filling in the manufactured gap with their own services and goods.
Regions reliant on bittersquash, svef, or saltpeter experienced few interruptions as a result of VTC's takeovers. The Company's reach grew constantly, with every trading post delivering indispensable resources to economies across much of the known world, expanding the Republics' trade reach globally. By 2720 AI, the VTC had a global reach with outposts from the crumbling Grand Vailia to Ixamitl Plains, including Rauatai and Aedyr Empire. Although the powers bristled at this domination, there was little they could do to counter the Vailian economic might, bolstered by the crumbling of the Vailian empire and the Republics' takeover of its orphaned trade routes and treaties.
The expansion of the Republics did not omit Deadfire. In 2750 AI, after relentless hammering at the Huana to accept their trade, the Republics succeeded and established a colony on Maje Island. Although Port Maje was a small outpost on the southern edge of the archipelago, it was the first step towards establishing a broader presence in the archipelago, acting as waystation for subsequent expeditions. The Republics were followed by the Rauatai and the Royal Deadfire Company in 2758 AI, though their expansion took the form of colonial invasion, rather than takeovers by way of economic hegemony. Competition continued for the next decades, rarely taking the form of outright military confrontation, especially in the wake of the reemergence of the Watershapers Guild as a major force in the Deadfire.
The key turn for the Republics took place in 2819 AI, when a novice animancer by the name of Irassa discovered the unique properties of luminous adra. A seemingly benign shard of the material damaged her instruments with the energy stored within. After confirming the properties of the material in a series of subsequent experiment, Irassa sought to publish the work together with a footnote describing the effects of liquefied luminous adra on humans. The ducs of the Republics took note of the findings and forced Irassa to expunge these findings for adequate compensation, while they studied the economic impact of this discovery. After numerous evaluations determined that trade in luminous adra would generate more money than the economists could estimate, the ducs bankrolled a massive investment into the Vailian Trading Company, refocusing their entire economy towards cornering the market on the adra, from excavation, through processing, to distribution. Banks previously not allied to the company bought their way into it as the trade exploded and turned Deadfire from a side operation into the hub of the Republics' economy.
Vailian culture is concerned with practical matter of the world as wells as their own particular standard behavior.
- Vailian virtues: success, shrewdness, restraint, wit, polymathism.
- Vailian vices: failure, bad style (i.e. doing something not in the "Vailian way"), bluntness, dullness, mercilessness.
Dueling is a popular pastime in the Republics, with Colligia me Definsia Mutio being one of the most prestigious societies. It exemplified the standards of the club: A standard duel for members of equal standing was single blade against single blade, fought until first blood was drawn. The duelists typically wear leather armor, padded doublets, and masks - enough to prevent a minor strike from becoming a lethal blow - but personal modifications are permitted and even encouraged, making each duel a potentially terrifying challenge.
Notably, animancy is more accepted in the Vailian Republics than in any other nation, with the exception of the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood. It is a dynamic and respected field and even the Baelreach Incident failed to slow its development. Traditional Vailian virtues seem to have played a key role in this: The combination of increased acceptance of risk, less superstition, and readiness to tackle challenges that show promise. As such, the republics and the Dyrwood are leading nations in animancy research, although the Vailians' is less focused on the public good and more on the needs of wealthy patrons.
Government and politics
Vailian Republics are rooted in what we would call a Renaissance culture, closely resembling the Italian city-states.. The land is divided among fourteen republics, each ruled by duc or ducess, and has voting rights on the sengretta ducala ("ducal congress" in Vallian) Among them five "great cities" (cuiteti beli), considered "grand" republics, and have greater voting power in their electoral council; these cities are Ancenze, Ozia, Revua, Selona, and Spirento. The leaders of these republics are known as the ducs bels, or "great ducs", and form the leading force of the ducal congress. The confederation does little to regulate day to day operations of its member republics, but they do govern aspects of international trade and responsible for the republic defense. As such, local laws and customs can vary greatly from province to province.
It is considered the most powerful mercantile force in the southern hemisphere, partially due to the access it has to most major commodities of the world, including slaves. Its reputation is colored by its habit of abducting foreigners and enslaving them to work on Vailian naval vessels. 
- Gamebanshee Social Round-up 08.5.2013
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire encyclopedia: "Grand Vailia was a sprawling and culturally rich empire with Vailian colonies settling far north and south of Eir Glanfath. However, problems with the empire's Aedyran expansion efforts, along with a steep economic decline, led the Vailian colonies to secede in 2641 AI, establishing themselves the Vailian Republics, a confederacy of allied city-states. For the next century, Grand Vailia collapsed into Old Vailia as more and more nobles and their retainers fled the empire, many of them immigrating to the Deadfire. Initially trying to survive as merchant ships, these immigrants eventually descend into piracy as their trade networks decayed and were taken over by nascent Vailian and Rauataian colonies."
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