Infernal Cheliax (pronounced CHEL-ee-ax) remains one of the most powerful nations militarily in the Inner Sea region. Its control of the Arch of Aroden, the passage between the Inner Sea and the Arcadian Ocean, also gives it a vital role in much of the region’s trade. Nevertheless, as important as the nation may be today, 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.
The empire runs on the backs of fiends now, a perfect machine of hellfire and blood, where morality surrenders to the needs of law and order. It’s easy to curse Cheliax as a nation of devil-lovers, but few can argue with the results of their fiend-binding craft. House Thrune, the greatest of its diabolic noble families, has brought the empire under control once more. Cheliax rises like a dark star, as strong as ever, despite the losses of Galt and Andoran to rebellious forces.
Asmodeus proves as powerful a divine patron as Aroden ever did, shepherding his people toward glory and dominance of the Inner Sea. His plans reach eons into the future, and the minor setbacks of yesterday are all factored into the cost of doing a devil’s business. The Chelish always plan for a long campaign, and never trifle over today’s skirmishes. In the end, all will burn in hellfire. It is only a matter of time and calculated conquest.
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, the great-granddaughter of Abrogail I, rules Cheliax with the aid and support of Gorthoklek, her pit fiend advisor.
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 preceded 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.
The laws of Cheliax are based upon the Asmodean Disciplines, which also serve as the primary religious text for the Church of Asmodeus. These laws are expansive and intrusive, and attempt to regulate nearly every element of a citizen’s public and private life. Because of this, many of them are not enforced, and may not even be enforceable, but they nevertheless serve the purpose of the government by allowing the prompt removal of undesirable elements of society under some perceived or interpreted infraction, or as incentive for citizens to spy on one another.