Once a monarchy under the hereditary ruler King Dramen Tareth III, after the cleansing the former king was deposed and Gildain became a theocracy under the rule of Pope Caligio I. Formerly a high priest of Savras, the god of fate, Caligio converted to Christianity and quickly consolidated power by invoking divine providence, a particularly strong sentiment following the cleansing, and pandering to the xenophobic tendencies of the largely human population of Gildain. Using the region's longstanding hostility toward The Lolande Confederation and its more racially diverse populace, Caligio gained enough of a following to put Dramen Tareth on trial for his tolerance of the Godless north. After the King was imprisoned, Caligio was named as first Pope of the Holy Gildainian Empire and took over leadership of all civic and military responsibilities.
Since the ascendancy of Papal rule, Gildain has become an increasingly difficult place for it's non-human residents to live, being the focus of both institutional and societal racism. The primary decree of the Papal Bull is “The Elimination of heretical persons and beliefs from the sanctified lands of Verum,” with “heresy” often serving as a dog-whistle for “non-human.” Dragonborn are a particular focus of Caligio's hatred. He has called their race “demons made flesh,” and has decreed that killing one such creature absolves any man of all his sins, past and future. It is widely believed that after rooting out heresy within Gildain, Caligio plans to assault Yarjerit in a bid to exterminate the Dragonborn from the face of Verum.
Gildain's economy is driven by a network of feudal lords who extract wealth and resources from their land and pay tribute to the capital city of Auriach. The ruler in Auriach in turn maintains trade relationships and organizes the region's defenses. While Gildain's relationship with The Lolande Confederation has been tenuous in the past, the most persistent threat to its people has traditionally come from the orcish tribes to the east. The mighty fortresses of Praetor Keep and Pedites Keep maintain watch over the Balukun Moor, where the greenskin hordes share a border with Gildain.