After the fall of the Old Imperium a majority of the tribes who fought in the Divine Rebellion traveled east, across the Three Kings Sea and into what is sometimes referred to as Eddras; also known as the Land of Elves. During the Time of Suns, Eddras was the prosperous and rich lands of Daln Lithellaín, the largest of the Elven Kingdoms of the time. After the human and orcish tribes destroyed the Elven Kingdoms, Eddras would become an important province for the Old Imperium.
When the Old Imperium fell, come the Time of Ages and the Age of Divinity, Eddras was claimed and re-settled by a Nornish warlord and his people, who were to become the predecessors of the Kingdom of Aurlain's founding. Aurlain grew to become one of the most powerful nations of the time, and many new settlers flocked to the promising lands, away from the then chaotic Imperial provinces in the west.
Following the War of Houses, Aurlain was claimed by House Valaís, who then renamed the nation to the Kingdom of Valaís, to forever commemorate their conquest and victory. The new king established the Sacellum, and thus Valaís became the capital of the Divine Faith.
Valaís is first and foremost the birthplace of the Sacellum (later the Anorian Sacellum) and the rise of the Divine Faith. As a nation, Valaís is heavily influenced by its religion, and allows few Old Gods temples in its lands. Because of its past as a strict religious kingdom, the practices of magic were slowly pushed aside, and eventually led to mage hunts and exterminations. Conflicts between mages and Divine worshipers have often set the two groups against each other, and, at a majority of times, the mages would be on the losing side.
There was a time when the majority of mages in Avanor lived in the lands in and around Valaís, but the Sacellum has steadily made sure that the practice and study of magic are to be shunned and despised. The definite end of magical studies in Valaís occurred in the Age of Magic, during the Spellstorm, when mages in the city of Calastar summoned a great storm of magic that not only destroyed the city, but sent the lands around it crumbling into the sea.
As initiated by the Sacellum, Valaís has been the cause and largest supporter of the two Divine Marches that have occurred in the past. The first Divine March eliminated the elven Kingdom of Daln Ashelaan, whilst the second took on the invasion of Caldum and the extermination of mages throughout Avanor. As the spearheading nation during these Divine Marches, and because of its status as the home of the Anorian Sacellum, Valaís has grown to hold a lot of influence over its neighbouring nations.
Valaís as a culture and people is famed for its extravagant aristocracy, wealth and fashionable clothing. Valaísian silk and tailored merchandise is widely desired by other nations, and nobles of any kingdom who pay close attention to the fashion of the world will agree that the Valaísian know their stuff. As a wealthy nation, much thanks to its many ports and posts of trade throughout the world, and its many colonies, Valaís can safely be assumed to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world.
The nation is also home to great places of learning, particularly in its capital, where some of Avanor's most renowned universities find place. While in the past these universities were dominantly focused on the studies of magic, these days they are more inclined towards the general learning and gathering of knowledge. Foreigners, particularly of noble birth, often travel to Valaís to educate themselves and peruse the great libraries, where knowledge of a thousand years of history is safely kept and maintained by esteemed scholars and historians.
In terms of military, Valaís rivals the naval might of the Thalonian trade fleets and the armies of the Imperium. Valaís has been through many wars, some of which were civil wars, and it has seen its fair share of successful conquests. It holds several vassal kingdoms under its influence, as well as a handful of rich colonies throughout the New World. Its most prosperous colonies can be found in Ashanor, despite them being under a more or less constant threat of elven raids. The local elven natives of the northern forests have long been at odds with the Valaísian settlers of the land, as they believe the land to be sacred to their people, and thus do not appreciate the increasing settling of human towns.
Even so, Valaís finds most of its valuable minerals from its colonies, which are essential in supplying the homeland with valuables such as gold, silver and high quality iron ore. Attempts at settling the matters of conflict peacefully have proven difficult, but some progress is being made. Some elven tribes have subsided their hostile actions against the Valaísian colonies.
While the prospects of whoring is no unusual commodity throughout the world, the Valaísians have taken the idea to a classier and more esteemed level. Valaísian prostitutes of higher social standing, Blue Courtesans, are known for their extravagant techniques of seduction and sensual entertainment, and are typically only affordable to the most revered and wealthiest persons of the higher class. To have a Courtesan tend to a person's (or several persons') needs is considered to be a most valuable privilege that grants high stature amongst the nobility.
Unlike common whores Courtesans carry enough power in Valaísian society to have the choice of picking their customers, and not the other way around. As such attracting one of these ladies to one's bed is a matter of working diligently to earn her favour and interest.
There are several establishments dedicated to house and train these ladies of delicacy, most of which can be found in every major city within the Valaísian Empire. Each establishment is very careful in how they pick their girls, and while many women turn to the Blue Courtesans in the hopes of obtaining wealth and status, very few of these girls are able to impress to a exceptional degree where they can become one of the elite women of high class sensuality.
As of recently, Valaís has begun to strengthen its positions in the colonies and its homeland, due to the rising threat of war between itself and the Imperium. Additionally, rebels of unrest have begun to appear throughout the vassal kingdoms of Varanos and Rivaire, and are causing a lot of inconvenience for the Empire's economic strength. At the same time, Valaís has been forced to relocate some of its armies by its northern regions, to remedy the increasing barbarian activity along the mountain borders. While Thalaheim's clans and tribes have been docile for the past few decades, recent events have seen a new Barbarian Queen rise to power with the intention of raiding Valaís northern lands.
Valaísian politics are precarious at best. It is a dangerous game between the nobility that requires a great deal of cunning and intelligence, where an individual's ambitions often enough chew over more than he can handle. Losing at Valaísian politics can lead to the end of an individual's wealth, House, or even his life. Spies and assassins are typically employed to enable possibilities of bribery, blackmail or simple elimination of an opposing political power. Among several things, Valaís is quite renowned for its spies and assassins, and is home to several covert organizations. A majority of these organizations lend their skills to anyone who can afford it.
Valaís previously had a strong presence in eastern Norrhan, where it originally held a lot of power in the Kingdom of Rivana. However, after Rivana broke free and became independent, Valaís has actively been trying to reclaim its Norrhani territories through subterfuge and politics. So far they have been unsuccessful, but acts of rebellion have begun to rise throughout Rivana, and it is believed that Valaís has had an active hand in funding the rebels.
Because of its close border to the Ashenwood, and because of the First Divine March's conquest of the elven kingdom of Daln Ashelaan, many elves (mainly half-elves) now live in Valaís. However, a majority of these elves hold little actual power in the nation, and their stature as citizens are merely as servants or peasants. Many humans in Valaís look down upon elves, much because of the Ashlem elves who often raid the villages bordering the Ashenwood. In general, the Valaísians hold little respect for non-humans, and especially so when it comes to orcs and other members of the Pacts.
Valaís holds the second largest colonies throughout the world after the New Imperium. The nation has clashed several times with the Imperium regarding the control over colonial provinces, and on some occasions has managed to claim territories from the Imperium on the Ashanor continent. Additionally Valaís controls a few kingdoms as vassals, giving Valaís a fair amount of economical and military power.