Galt – Eternal Revolution
Galt at a glance:
- Alignment: CN
- Capital: Isarn (18,300)
- Notable Settlements: Edme (13,600), Litran (4,900), Woodsedge (14,200)
- Ruler: Citizen Goss, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council
- Government: Revolutionary Anarchy
- Languages: Common, Hallit
- Religion: Calistria, Caiden Caylean, Erastil, Shelyn, Norgorber, Iomedae
Galt has a long and colorful history filled with brilliant artists, romantic brigands, and philosophers whose unorthodox ideas have changed modern political thought. Even after falling to Cheliax in the Even-Tongued Conquest, the people of Galt retained their passion and lust for life. Throughout six centuries of Chelaxian rule, Galt drew freethinkers and idealists to its universities and clever rogues and scoundrels to its woods.
Today, only one color comes to mind when people think of Galt: the bitter crimson of blood. The Red Revolution has gripped the land for more than 40 years, and it shows no signs of ending.
The seeds of the Revolution were sown when House Thrune rose to power in Cheliax. The poet Darl Jubannich issued the broadsheet series On Government, which used Thrune practices as the foundation to undermine the basic principle of the divine right of kings. The half-elf philosopher Hosetter took things even further. His Imperial Betrayal urged the common folk to take arms to defend their shared ideals. These fiery words spread swiftly across the land, and the tales of Abrogail’s cruelty added fuel to the flames. Rebellion and dissent soon burst into full revolt. Tens of thousands answered Hosetter’s call, coming together in rowdy mobs to shatter any remnant of Chelaxian rule and drag the decadent nobles from their manors. Together with other heroes of the people, Hosetter and Jubannich formed the Revolutionary Council. One of their first acts was the creation of the final blades. Citizen Margaery San Trayne was the architect of these mystical guillotines; she called for a tool that would bring “a swift and humane end, offering no escape through the magics of resurrection — and furthermore, keep even the vilest Galtan soul from falling into the clutches of a Chelaxian devil.”
The final blade has become a symbol of Galt and the bloody excesses of the Red Revolution, but it was built to serve the cause of justice. The blades are designed to provide a swift and painless death, but beyond this, they prevent the resurrection of the victim by trapping the soul upon execution. It is possible to release a soul from a final blade, but the ritual involved is a closely guarded secret known only to the Gray Gardeners.
The final blades are both revered and infamous among the people of Galt. Every blade has a unique appearance and citizens speak of them as if they are people. In speaking of a condemned prisoner, a man might say “He’ll lie with Bloody Jaine before the sun falls.”
Hosetter and Jubannich acted with the best of intentions, but the child they brought into the world was a monster. The love of life that once characterized Galt became an endless thirst for blood. Those who criticized the Revolutionary Council found themselves branded as Chelaxian sympathizers and set upon the tumbrel to face the final blade. The united front of the revolutionary leaders soon shattered into paranoia and infighting, with new demagogues rising to challenge the established leaders. Collapse of social order exacerbated these problems, and mobs turned to new leaders in the hopes of miraculous change. Just 5 years after chairing the first session of the Revolutionary Council, Hosetter was executed in his home town of Edme. Darl Jubannich fled to Andoran, and with his departure the last voice of reason was drowned out by the hungry mob.
Galt has seen more than a dozen governments rise and fall since Hosetter’s death, and all they have shared is bloodshed, chaos, and eventual collapse. The beautiful galleries and lofty universities of Galt have been destroyed, and its people are driven by paranoia, fury, and a bitter refusal to recognize the cause of their troubles. The collapse of any organized army has allowed brigands and savage beasts to thrive in the wilds. At the same time, Galt’s neighbors fear that the rhetoric of Korran Goss might send the bloodthirsty Galtan mobs spilling out across the borders. In the early days of the revolution, neighboring Andoran offered shelter to refugees from all walks of life; today it fears the growing darkness, and soldiers spread throughout the Verduran Wood and the Five Kings Valley turn back any Galtan who seeks passage into their land. A handful of Galtan nobles have taken refuge in the River Kingdoms. There, the “Revenant Princes” amass mercenary armies and dream of reclaiming their homeland. Lord Halidan Tarne regularly leads raiding parties into Galt, while his cousin Casal and the Lady Dela Morgayn prefer to bide their time and build their forces, waiting for the day when they can overthrow the Revolutionary Council once and for all.
Galt is a dangerous place for strangers. The mobs are always search for new victims for the final blades. There are many reasons an adventurer might risk his neck, though. When the revolution began, people from all walks of life — from nobles and merchants to wizards and clerics — were forced to flee in great haste. Some left behind priceless treasures, irreplaceable heirlooms, or half-finished research; others have been separated from friends or relatives; and a few seek to reclaim the souls of loved ones from the final blades. Adventurers might offer their aid in exchange for gold or to simply see justice done. Or perhaps they seek to claim these lost treasures as their own. Many opportunities wait in the chaos of the endless revolution — and just as many dangers.
Citizen Korran Goss is the current chairmen of the Revolutionary Council. Goss rose to power by revealing the activities of the Cabinet of Skulls, a previous revolutionary government. He is a gifted demagogue talented at redirecting the rage of the mob, making the masses blame their neighbors for their hunger and poverty: “Why should Andoran prosper when Galt lies fallow?” Nonetheless, the government of Galt is anything but predictable, and a new leader could rise to power in the space of a single day.
Previous incarnations of the Revolutionary Council give a sense of just how odd things can get in Galt. The Cailean Council believed that absolute change was the key to prosperity; it changed everything from the alphabet of the Common language to the names of the days of the week. Chairman Durgan Rane enforced martial law and mandatory conscription, only to be slaughtered by the newly disciplined soldiers. The Common Council asserted that no one with any political background was qualified to lead and elevated farmhands and beggars to the council. This was followed by the disastrous Eye of Law, when a hag coven led by the annis witch Traxyla became the leader of the Revolution.
While the Revolutionary Council is wildly unstable, Galt has a reliable force in the Gray Gardeners. The members of this order conceal their identities behind hoods and veils of gray silk. The Gardeners serve as justices and executioners, and they maintain the final blades. As the anonymous face of bloody justice, the Gray Gardeners are wildly popular among the mobs. The leaders of the order have repeatedly refused to unveil and join the Revolutionary Council, however, recognizing that anonymous security is the best one can hope for in blood-soaked Galt.
Sources: Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting