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Elmo Polis

Located in the distant northern mountains, the Elmo Polis is a weak city-state with a small population and few resources. Their worship of the Xenobeats is widely considered bizarre, and has generally been disdained by other kingdoms.
Their ancestors came from the Andalou Plain and possessed a fairly sophisticated civilization, but were forced to flee their homes to escape invading barbarians, and thus struggled to develop further.  Only in the latter half of the first century CE, long after other peoples had established themselves and begun to thrive, did they finally end their wanderings at the foot of Mt. Elmo and build their city-state there under the leadership of King Tigla.
The distance separating them from the rest of the kingdoms caused them to become insular in their thinking,  with little interaction with the outside world.
For generations the royal family married close kin. Few of the children born to such unions survived to adulthood; many of those who did were frail and sickly, even mentally unsound.

Over the course of a century, the royal family produced multiple mad kings whose eccentricity and perverse behavior terrified the people of the polis. During these periods, many people were taken into the royal palace by force, never to be seen again.
It was rumored that the mad kings heard ceaseless whispering in their ears, as if someone was calling their name from underground. Several of the mad kings killed themselves, while others began frenzied excavation under the city, years of which eventually hollowed out half of Mt. Elmo.
This massive expenditure of labor and resources was finally rewarded with the discovery not of blue crystal mines or ancient ruins, but rather massive fossils with armored backs like trilobites and abdomens covered in sensory hairs.
Though these fossils were dead things, their enormous size was still stunning. The mad kings, who saw them as holy relics, had the workers involved executed, then sealed up the fossils for safekeeping.
Not long after, the entire polis began to worship gigantic images of insect-like creatures. Thus began the cult of the Xenobeats.
The Elmo Polis’ insularity lasted into the early 3rd century CE, when a group of women from the Principality of Omar introduced new ideas that slowly changed the Elmite mindset.
These women referred to themselves as a coven of witches. After their audience with the king, they settled down in the palace to educate the princes and princesses, taking them on trips to other kingdoms to show them the rest of the world.

Thereafter the Elmo Polis became increasingly connected to the outside world; scholarly exchanges and intermarriage became common.
King Hilda, known among the Vecks as Hilda the Clever, set about forming a closer relationship with the Elmite king, leading to the establishment of the Villeau Alliance. As a result, Elmo's army later suffered heavy casualties in the Battle of Four Kings.
More than a century of relative quiet later, the current king Susa X took the throne. Once again those mysterious voices began to call, though it was impossible to tell from where—from deep beneath the earth or from the blue moon Caeruluna. He could not help but order the Elmites to begin digging. Perhaps he was indeed guided by some mysterious power, for this time they finally discovered ancient ruins holding esoteric knowledge impossible to put into words. This led to a dramatic technological leap forward, which enabled the construction of the Sacred Theater, Lunar Observatory, and other advanced creations.
Even more unbelievably, the king found a baby girl amid the ancient ruins, as if the Xenobeats had seen fit to bestow a child upon him.
Not long after, Omar's Caerulunist coven paid another visit to the Elmo Polis to spread the ancient knowledge they had received.

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