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Benalia

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A Benalish coastal tower. Art by Don Hazeltine.
Benalia was a powerful nation on Aerona, on Dominaria, before the Phyrexian Invasion in which it was conquered in under a month and held for the duration of the war. A powerful military state influenced by the Churches of Serra and Gabriel Angelfire, Benalia was long Dominaria's preeminent white-aligned human nation, and was the birthplace of Gerrard Capashen.

Geography[edit]

Benalia was located on the west coast of Aerona, bordered to the east by the Hurloon Mountains, Kb'Brian Highlands, and Ironclaw Mountains and to the southeast by Llanowar Forest. To the north of Benalia lay the isle of Avenant, itself once part of Benalia.

To the south of Benalia lay Andros Bay, and to the north the Red Iron Mountains. Benalia City lay on the tip of a small, west reaching peninsula in the north. The Atrivak Mounds were Benalia's greatest penal colony.

History[edit]

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Shortly after the Ice Age, the Sheoltun Empire, a militaristic and expansionist nation, collapsed. From its ashes would rise Benalia. The knight Torsten von Ursus, in exile since an evil mage conquered his homeland of Wrenna, founded Benalia. After years spent among the Hurloon minotaurs, the knight stumbled upon the blighted city of Benfosa which he took to be a perfect place to implement his gathered wisdom and philosophies. He took up the reins of the great Horse Civilization and guided the ancestors of Benalia out of the ruins of the once-great Sheoltun Empire. Torsten chose the name Benalia, which meant "aspiration", proclaiming the new nation's intent to rule the world.

Using sometimes-brutal tactics, Torsten brought an entire nation into being using nothing more than the force of his will and the brutal charisma of a natural leader. After succeeding in much of his goal, he died at the age of seventy-two, leaving behind the legendary Lost Edict, proclaiming that none of his seven lieutenants would succeed him as sole ruler of Benalia. Instead, Benalia would be ruled via a complex system in which the seven clans of the country each clan bore a different responsibility.

(Weatherlight Saga goes here)

(Time Spiral/New Benalia goes here)

Culture[edit]

A hero of Benalia. Art by Douglas Shuler.
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Benalia had a complex caste system that changed with the lunar year; the only caste that could be attained by neither heredity or money was that of the Hero. Each year, the highest caste would then become the lowest and the process repeated. This system caused Noreen to visit Estark to become a hero in the Arena. The lowest caste of Benalish women had to submit to higher casted males on a whim. The capitol of Benalia was Benalia City. Like the castes of Benalia, the position of the clans changed annually as well.

Their belief in war is very akin to Greek Sparta, where both men and women were valued on military prowess.

The Clans of Benalia[edit]

Maps[edit]

Artist: Pete Venters