Regnos was an ancient civilization situated in what is now Lendosa. It was the largest culture in Lendosa prior to the arrival of settlers from northern Longerath, and although few obvious traces of it survive today, it had a significant impact on Lendosa's early development.
Regnos possessed what can be described as a caste system. Each person was placed in one of six castes based on their birth, and although it was possible to move from one caste to another, it was both difficult and rare. Caste was an important factor in Regnosian society, and there was little mixing between people of significantly different caste. The caste system paid considerable attention to one's status with regards to a noble house (see Politics) — those who had sworn service to a house ranked above those who had not, even if they did the same jobs and had the same standard of life.
- Atakapa — members of the imperial family.
- Atasano — nobility and senior priests.
- Atamana — senior but non-noble followers of a noble house, or senior members of the Emperor's staff.
- Atakhoni — junior members of a noble House, such as servants and warriors sworn to its service.
- Atajenu — people with no connection to a noble fouse.
- Atazoda — peasants and serfs (usually treated little better than slaves, although technically not "owned").
Honour was an extremely important concept in the culture of Regnos. Traditional codes of honour were treated very seriously, and to behave in a way deemed dishonourable brought great shame.
The Regnosian concept of honour seems to have been based on conduct and integrity. It required you to pay strict attention to your social position, showing proper respect for your superiors. In terms of politics, lords were expected to behave honestly with other lords, and if conflict should arise, fight fairly. Honour could also be lost by lack of composure on behalf of a lord, or even by one of the lord's followers. If a lord or lady lost their temper, shouted, or resorted to insults, their honour would be lowered. Similarly, if one of their advisors or generals behaved dishonourably, it reflected upon the house as a whole.
In practice, however, it appears the prevailing attitude in the Empire was that anything was acceptable just so long as nothing could be proved. A lord might arrange for the murder of all his opponents, but if nobody could offer no solid proof of his involvement, his honour remained intact, and it would actualy be a dishonourable attack on his personal honour to accuse him. However, the moment his involvment can be proved, he would be ruined.
Challenging the honour of another house was a grave thing to do. It only ended when the offender withdrew and apologised, or until one house was destroyed. If the attack on honour was genuine, the defender would recieve much help from other houses, and the attacker's former allies would distance themselves from them.
The religion practised in the Regnosian Empire was polytheistic, containing thirty officially recognised deities. Each was believed to control a specific aspect of the world, and they were worshiped in order to influence them. The gods were not (for the most part) considered to be superior to humans in any moral sense — they were not almighty, and did not deserve respect as a matter of course.
The five most important deities of the Regnosian religion, and the only ones accepted as being "better" than humanity, were Doas, Arcindar, and Lithas, who controled the afterlife, destiny, and time, respectively. Doas was said to tend the souls of the dead before their eventual reincarnation, applying rewards or punishments based on the person's "most recent" life. Arcindar was said to shape the course of a person's life, deciding what they would do and who they would become. Lithas was said to ensure the passage of time, the changing of the seasons, and growth of both people and crops.
According to their own records, Regnos was first united in 3660 BP when a warlord named Irno proclaimed himself tauma (generally translated as "emperor", although "king" would probably be an equally valid translation). The Emperor was supposedly the supreme authority of Regnos, given mandate directly by the gods — to challenge the Emperor was publicly considered unthinkable (although powerful nobles might attempt it secretly). The throne was hereditary, passed on to the eldest child.
The Emperor was supposed to be above petty politics, not becoming involved in disputes between the noble houses. Rather, the Emperor was expected to focus on issues relating to the good of Regnos, such as peace, trade, roads, and religion. The Emperor collected a levy of troops from each of the noble Houses to carry out his policies, although it was considered unthinkable that he would have to make use of them.
The noble Houses of Regnos were, in many ways, were the true politics of Regnos was played out — the Emperor was supposed to be neutral, but the houses were constantly vying for power, wealth, and glory. It was the Houses that controlled most of the land in Regnos, and therefore had the greatest effect on ordinary citizens, since ownership of land conferred the ability to make laws governing the people who lived on it.
Each house was controlled by a Lord (or, more rarely, a Lady). They were largely autonomous, governing their own lands and maintaining their own military force. Open warfare between houses was possible, although if the Emperor believed that the fighting posed a threat to the security of the Empire, they were theoretically obliged to cease.
Houses were identified by, and made great use of, their unique colours. Older houses tended to be represented by a single colour, while more newly-formed houses had two or three colours. However, no house could use black, as that was the Emperor's colour, or white, as that was a religious colour. Modern historians do not have complete lists of all the houses or their colours, although a number of more important houses are known.
Most Regnosians did not own land, instead living and working on the estates of the noble houses (see Politics). Together, the houses were by far the largest land-owners, and had a great deal of autonomy in their territory. Many towns and villages in Regnos were actually built on land belonging to an estate — only in larger cities were people likely to own their own homes. In addition, the Emperor himself owned a considerable amount of land, including estates, most undeveloped lands, and all major roads.
The Regnosians were a Tanurai people, ethnically distinct from the settlers who later arrived in the islands (and who form the basis of the modern Lendosan population). Their initial homeland was in the west of Piolsa, in the modern regions of Lavaia and Arcosta. The earliest archaeological evidence of Regnosian civilization dates to approximately 3750 BP, although most believe that the culture existed before that time.
Regnos expanded remarkably rapidly, moving along the northern coast of Piolsa and colonising Ranha. In 3554 BP, Regnosian settlers even began to establish communities on the southern coast of Lendia, although these lands were later conquered by Paspalhis, another ancient Tanurai culture, in 3543 BP. These colonies would be the spark of the first known major war in Lendosan history — in 3505 BP, they attempted to rebel against the Paspalhites, prompting a desire in Regnos to aid their fellow Regnosians. Three years later, the first of the Paspalhite Wars began.
The Paspalhite Wars were to have a significant impact on Regnos. Their eventual victory, and the resulting conquest of both Paspalhis and its ally Loltha, made them the most powerful nation in the Western Isles, but also of importance was the effect on Regnosian politics — in order to fight the Paspalhites, Regnos needed to centralise its political structure, making Regnos a true empire rather than a confederation of noble houses. The petty wars between houses virtually ended, enabling trade to flourish, and arts and literature soon followed suit. Victory in the Paspalhite Wars began what is generally regarded as the golden age of Regnos.
Regnosian territorial expansion continued through until the 22nd Century AP, when almost all of modern Lendosa was in some way subject to Regnos. The actual control that Regnos had over its territories was variable, however — some areas, particularly in the east, were Regnosian in name only, with local tribes mostly free to run their own affairs. In 2130 BP, settlers from the kingdoms of ancient Estontetso began arriving in what was theoretically Regnosian territory — Regnos, not particularly concerned (and lacking any real ability to prevent it) did not object.
In 2119 BP, Regnos fell into civil war over a disputed succession to the imperial throne. The conflict soon broadened, with rivalries between different noble Houses breaking out into outright conflict. Regnosian control over its outer territories, weak in the best of times, became virtually non-existent except in a few larger cities. In the east, colonists continued to arrive from Longerath, paying little attention to the nominal Regnosian claim to their new home.
The problems in Regnos continued, having long since outgrown their original causes — even after the succession dispute had been rendered void by the death of both claimants, each House still sought to seize the throne for itself. Occasional periods of calm were established, but never lasted more than ten years. Regnos did, however, notice the growing strength of the settlers in the east — during one of the periods of calm, in 2034 BP, Regnosian troops joined forces with one of the colonial states, Alembida in order to force the other more aggressive state, Micholerdia, from the islands. This was only partly successful — Micholerdia was forced from Piolsa, but not from Lendia. A descent back into civil war prevented a second attempt.
Regnos continued to decline, gradually losing control of its remaining territories. The colonies in the east continued to expand, and their combined power came to outmatch that which Regnos could still muster. In 1664 BP, Regnos lost control of its last territories in Lendia, leaving it confined to its original homeland in western Piolsa. In 1521 BP, the country split into three regions, Segloso, Imbrentra, and Chaura, over another disputed succession to the throne — Segloso and Imbrentra both claimed to be the true Regnosian Empire, but as part of the peace treaty between them in 1441 BP, they agreed to surrender that claim, marking the final end of Regnos as a united state.
Initially, Segloso, Imbrentra, and Chaura continued as the inheritors of Regnosian tradition, but over time, interaction with the settler states eroded their distinct cultural heritage. Over the course of the 14th Century BP, all three were defeated and annexed by neighbouring states, further speeding the assimilation process. By the 10th Century BP, little trace of the old Regnosian culture remained, and settlement and intermarriage had also diluted the physical differences between settlers and Regnosians. Today, there is no obvious trace of Regnosian culture surviving.