Primary Race: High elves, slaves of other races
Aldasia stands alongside Eni as one of the two oldest nations of Chaerosh. In the earliest known historical records, Aldasia was already a significant power, and they claim they were the first nation to rise, soon after the gods created the world. Whether that's true or not, it's impossible to ignore Aldasia's place in history, or the power and influence the Empire has in the world today.
Aldasia is matriarchal – men are not excluded from any profession or most positions of power, but bloodlines are traced through the maternal line, women hold the most authority in their families, and Aldasia's throne may only be held by an empress. Its government is a complicated bureaucracy in which positions are largely granted based on family ties, and at this point most chambers of government are almost entirely run by single noble families.
At the core of Aldasian society is an obsession with hierarchy and authority – Aldasians want to know at all times who's superior to whom, who has the power to do what, the specific chain of command in any group of people. Clothing is designed to reflect a person's exact rank in Aldasian society, and all social interaction is full of small niceties and appropriate deference to one's superiors. Even physical contact has odd rules and restrictions about it, with public physical contact considered somewhere between obscene to simply unseemly, depending on the rank of the people involved. Strangers to Aldasia have a very difficult time here, and Aldasians tend to be deeply confused and mildly horrified by foreigners, who have no place within the hierarchy and, worse, seem completely oblivious to it.
Attitudes toward non-elves may vary from one person to another, but most range from fond patronage to outright contempt. Only elves may be citizens of the Aldasian Empire, and all non-elves within the empire are enslaved. For this reason, almost no one who's not an elf would willingly set foot in Aldasia – without special protection from the empress, granted to some few traders, they would be fair game for any elf who wanted to claim them. Most of the slave population of Aldasia is human, but there's a small minority of smallfolk and orcs; dwarven slaves are almost unheard of.
Aldasia's original territory was farther south than it stands today, in what is now western Arinvaa and Tyaena. The humans hadn't even established true countries when the elves began pushing eastward – at that time, they were still scattered tribes squabbling over territorial boundaries, which made it all too easy for the elves to sweep in, claim the land for their own, and enslave its people. That invasion set the pattern for Aldasia's conquests, and eventually the empire had laid claim to nearly half the continent, along the entire southern coast and most of the east.
This expansion only stalled when the wood elves rebelled against Aldasian nobility, razed southern cities to the ground, and declared themselves a free people and sovereign nation, now called Arinvaa. The division of the empire broke the back of any further attempts at conquest, especially as wood elves had made up the bulk of Aldasia's army. In the subsequent chaos, humans even managed to reclaim some land from Aldasia in the north – that border has been a contested region ever since, but Aldasia has never been able to recover all that was lost, nor hold it for long.
More recently, Aldasia suffered another upheaval, this time due to an inheritance conflict. The rebels failed to depose the newly crowned empress, and instead fled west to establish Iskaraya. Soon after (soon, at least, in elven time), arcane magic broke down, shaking the foundations of a nation that had always relied heavily on magic. Aldasia survived, and adapted, but those disasters are still recent to them. The empire is not at its full strength now, and a fraction of the size it once was, but ask an Aldasian and most will tell you that they're still the greatest nation in the world, and it's their destiny to bring all of it under their rule.