From Lost Fables Wiki
Primary Author(s): Magnus
“The lands of Rehkara are rich in both metal and food, so during the peaceful interim years traders from all over flock to trade with the grand cities. It is so predictable that merchants call it the Rehkaran Cycle.” ~Rehkaran Wine Trader
Rehkara is a very storied continent with its own diverse cultures and people, all of whom have known both war and peace. Rehkara is home to a unique form of government, and has rather high freedom of the masses in certain areas. Currently, the lands of Rehkara are recoiling from a string of smaller wars that started a larger war, which led the people to demand rest. Trade is coming back to the island en masse as the rich lands are no longer being exploited for war, at least for a time.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Peoples
- 3 Religion
- 4 Nations
- 5 History
- 5.1 Prehistory
- 5.2 Early Civilization
- 5.3 Bronze and Gold Eras
- 5.4 The Great Desertification
- 5.5 Pre-Medieval Era
- 5.6 Early Medieval Period
- 5.7 Present Day
The lands of Rehkara are harsh; The summers are unbearably hot, and the winters are only slightly cooler. Kingdoms form themselves on the floodplains, which are the only good pieces of land for grazing meat producing animals. Resources are rich, the weather is volatile, and the lands are only truly developed in the grand cities.
Volidigon Imperial Region - Heart of Rehkara, where the longest-lasting dynasty, The Kingdom of Xerxes, reigns. Its flood plains are where the majority of food products and artisanal wines come from, allowing for the cities there to grow massively. The region is also famed for containing the Rehk-Ug cannonry university. This is the most developed region and has the largest city population on the continent.
Pasargadae Region - The largest mountainous region near the center-right of the continent. This region is rich in gold and marble and has been controlled by a collection of barons ever since its discovery. This region has the largest slave population of the entire continent.
Nicator Region - Nicator is known as the scarred lands, as it was host to the majority of the wars that occurred within the last forty ages. The land is scarred and has been torched multiple times by the greater powers surrounding it. Currently, it is host to many different warlords and tribal clans. Overall, this area contains the largest amount of highly religious Rehks.
Sargadid-Hessili Region - Sargadid Hessili is the second most inland region that is inhabited. It is mostly inhabited by tribal clans that organize themselves into small groups. This region changes hands constantly, giving able-bodied men to the powers that control them whenever the wars begin again.
Cossaea-North - Is the most developed of the two major coastal regions. Overall it has five cities, all of which have large ports. The majority of the resources from the three major kingdoms and all of the warlords are traded and exported from here. Control of this region and the Grand Republics that control it is the ambition of every wayward God King and warlord. Overall this region exports the most mercenaries, exotic goods, and wine on the continent.
Imperial Cossaea-East - This is the other major coastal region. This region is controlled entirely by The Kingdom of Xerxes. There is a mix of Grand Republics, imperial holdings, and warlords that make up the region. This region produces most of the weapons, armor, and steel products that are consumed by the Kingdom. This is also where The Rehkaran Freebooters operate. Overall, this region imports the most iron and coal, and exports the most armaments in the entire continent.
Me-Turnat Frontier Region - This frontier region is the most inland region that is inhabited. The region is dotted with hills and mountains. The people there have been ignored by the outside powers, and have become accustomed to their own way of life, which has caused this region to regularly revolt if they are subjugated. This region’s main export is a specially bred strain of tobacco that is grown in the lowlands and dried on the mountains before being smoked.
Opis Frontier Region - Opis is known as the “Fire-Touched Wastes” by the tribes that live near it. It is the furthest southward territory on the continent and it is almost entirely inhospitable. Claims on the region are not often challenged given the lack of use for the land. The region is often a haven for the most wretched of bandits and criminals; If one was to hide in this blistering hellscape no one would go looking for them.
Yog-Ir Swamps - Yog-Ir is known as a hellish swamp filled with Drakofrys, who are drawn to it for unknown reasons. Issues that come out of the region often plague the regions around it. The region produces nothing other than violence and has the highest ‘ruin’ density of any of the regions, with a lot of the structures built there dating back to the earliest stages of Rehk development.
“Winter Elves, in future, may be punished by their gods with a one way trip to the lands of Rehkara. The heat in that infernal hellscape is only put in slight relief when the winter season is pelting others with inches of snow.” ~ Human Merchant recalling the feeling of heat stroke in Rehkara
Rehkara is closer to the pole than the other continents, and is thus hotter year round. Only a truly cataclysmic event could bring snow to Rehkara, and Rehks often have a hard time dealing with the cold for the first time. In Rehkara the summers are usually blistering and the winters are usually warm. During the summers many of the coastal provinces flood, these provinces act as the agricultural bed of Rehkara. Inland Rehkara has some of the worst sandstorms known to the world, with some of them powerful enough to sweep up houses. The Rehkaran people have adapted to these harsh occurrences with pride, many of their floodplains being exploited for their fertility, and the inland tribal clans often build their small forts using techniques mastered over generations that keep their buildings planted.
Volidigon Delta & River - The Volidigon Imperial Region is imperial because of this feature. This delta feeds life into the soil around it, making the flood plains around it the effective breadbasket of Rehkara. The source of this feature is unknown to even the Rehks on Rehkara.
Cossaea River - This river comes from a waterfall in Mount Rae’llibad. It feeds into the Nicator Region, and makes the land somewhat fertile around the river.
Mount Rae’llibad - This is the largest mountain on the continent. It is within the Pasargadae Region. This mountain in particular had many crucial battles happen near the base of it due to the key fortress that stands there.
The Gilded Circle - The gilded circle lays atop Mount Rae’llibad. It is made up of many jet black pillars with gold wrapped around them like a spiral. It is said that all God-Kings must visit this place with twelve of their trusted companions to be deemed truly a God-King.
The City of Gold - Somewhere within Opis, the Gilder of Palaces, the Weaver of Gold, has built a city that can withstand all forces and is covered in gold. Opis is both large and incredibly hard to traverse given the heat, meaning that no one has found or confirmed the existence of the city of gold. The reason this is a major feature is that expeditions keep trying to find it, it takes countless lives every age.
Rehkara is a diverse place, filled with anything from a Thesolian administrator to an Ogolesse cataphract, you’ll find differences in ideas, social standards, and practices no matter where you go. These differences are what keeps the beating heart of Rehkara alive with war, trade, and to some extent, learning.
Thesolian - Thesolians make up the majority of the Rehks within the Volidigon region. This culture has a mix of old and new age practices that see the Rehks think of themselves as part of a greater nation while keeping some of the clan traditions that their more tribal brethren hold. Generally, people of this culture are only mildly aggressive and hold war in low regard. They also hold the family unit and the nations they inhabit in high importance, often being rather caring and patriotic to their clan and kingdom. These are the Rehks you don’t often see in Anoma, as they live complex lives within developed metropoli in Rehkara.
Zevxerk - The Zevxerk people, before the advent of the Empire of Xerxes, and then the Kingdom of Xerxes, were in control of the majority of the Cossaea regions. They have always valued pragmatism and clan organization, along with naval traditions that make them see ships as an extension of the prosperity of the region they come from. Now, given their regions are split between two powers, the half of the Zevxerk people are now minorities within their own land. This has caused quite a few of them to leave for the new world.
Imooran - The Imooran people also value honest, hard work. Their communities are often small and nearly tribal. Their clans make up the baronys within the Pasargadae Region. Their communities’ craft are legendary, with their people being known as good craftsmen and stoneshapers. They also have a long history of enslaving Rehk-Ugs and Ogris, alongside some more exotic slaves. Imooran people who come to the new world often come in groups with trading vessels to set up shop on Anoma.
Ogolesse - Clan and God-King is all that is important to those in the Nicator region. All they have known for the better part of the last four epochs is conflict and desperation, and thus have found themselves weathered to the struggles that more peaceful and mercantile people have avoided. Ogolesse hunters, warriors and blacksmiths are held in high regards in their communities.
Mur - The Mur people have laid claim to Opis since the dawn of the Rehk race. History holds special import to the Mur people, and antiquated history can often be learned from their renowned mystics. The history of the true God-Kings was taught to them, along with their teachings, and thus the majority of Rehk rituals come from these people.
Vevt - The Vevt people come from the Sargadid-Hessili region. They are quite storied given the first true God-King was a Vevt. They hold discipline and death in combat at high import, meaning that they make great warriors. The majority of Vevt men leave their frontier region to go serve in the current largest power. During their service, if they survive, they then go back to the frontier region to return to their clan. Vevts that come to Anoma often find mercenary work quite appealing.
Uogl - The Uogl people reside in the Me-Turnat region, inhabiting caves and the lowlands near the mountains. The peoples in this region come from a melting pot of lowlives and shunned peoples. Over time they grew to govern themselves, and thus, whenever a greater power would claim hegemony, they would fight to keep their independence. It usually didn’t end well, seeing the Uogl peoples fighting their better ages into their subjugation. Usually, Uogls come to Anoma to escape the situation back home, being more akin to refugees than colonizers.
The Majority of Rehkarans believe that, one day, another true God-King will rise up from some unknown corner of Rehkara and unite the continent. It could be anyone, so reverence for leaders who are unproven is rare. The concept of the God-King is where the worship really takes off, Rehks sometimes pray to the sky to send them a God-King twice a day depending on how zealous they are.
Some Rehks will turn to cults. Rehkaran cults are different from the usual cults, they are much more tame. They are effectively religious organizations that act as the arbiters of worship to that specific past God-King. They have many different rituals they do to venerate their God-King, but generally they stick to one main annual or semi-annual one as their main well known one.
- There are cults for almost every Xerxes, but the largest two are for Xerxes I and II.
The Cult of Xerxes I
- The Cult of Xerxes I is a very open cult. Its numbers are massive, as the people who believe that Xerxes I was one of the only true God-Kings are also the people who make up the majority of the Kingdom of Xerxes. These people generally believe that Xerxes I, or Xerxes the Divine came to the Rehkaran realm to elevate its people to the heights that were seen during the Xerxes Empire, but the God-Kings that came after were unable to capture that same elevation or status as Xerxes I or II.
- Religious practices vary, but the Cult of Xerxes I is generally more shamanistic than any of the modern iterations of believers. Each Era the ceremony of mist is done, a secretive reenactment of Xerxes the Divine’s vanishing and then ascension to the heavens.
The Cult of Xerxes II
- The Cult of Xerxes II is a more exclusive religious cult. They believe that Xerxes I and II were the same people, but after that the Xerxes line would degrade as the lineage proved to be unworthy of God-King status. They are not popular, given they advocate for the overthrow of the current God-King, Xerxes VII and wish to replace him with their current high priest.
- They are also more shamanistic than their current modern counterparts. Every five Eras they break over a specially crafted tungsten sphere that represents the Empire, and repair it using an intricate ‘gold-gluing’ process where they seal the cracks with gold.
Modern Rehkaran belief generally lies in neither complete zealotry or complete cynicism. Both are prevalent in society, with the more religious places generally being less developed, closer (in Nicator’s Case) or farther (in Opis’s case). away from the civil war, and more focused around the clan identity Rehks have followed for the longest time. Cynicism as a concept developed in Cossaea and Volidigon, which is ironic given their position near the seat of every God-King’s power. This is due to the long time Imperial stagnation, the introduction of more populous styles of governance, and the close proximity to the wars that were a result of the God-King’s unending ambitions.
The Kingdom of Xerxes
The Kingdom of Xerxes is the oldest nation of Rehkara, and was, at one point, the controllers of the entire continent because of the tireless work of the first God-Kings in the subjugation of the tribes. This first God-King died childless, and thus a prominent clan took the reins and established the Xerxes Dynasty. The next six kings would lose their grip on the continent until, eventually, they only controlled one region, the Volidigon Imperial Region.
Recently, they have survived a massive revolt, known as the Yeulik Death, that saw the Cossaea-North, and Pasargadae region break off into its own nation. After the revolt they were effectively carved up and dismantled.
Currently, the ‘God-King’ Xerxes the VII has his eyes set on the vassalization of The Gold Barons and subsequently colonizing Nicator, who currently are in control of the continent’s gold and marble supply. Controlling them would bring them immense riches.
Grand Princedom of Cossaea
The Grand Princedom sits on the shores of Rehkara with the largest ports on the continent. The Princedom, in reality, is only a Princedom in name. The position of Grand Prince is controlled by a council of ‘Patrons’ that represent merchant families; These patrons are rotated every two years to reduce possible corruption. This quick rotation of public officials makes the Cossaea population the most politically involved, given it isn’t hard to get into a merchant family (Adoptions are very common for both merchant families and tribal clans.)
Recently, a Princely election was called to elect the new Grand Prince. Through political intrigue and skullduggery, Zethirok Yeulik was elected. They have shown their ambitions openly, wishing to retake Cossaea-East back to reunite the Zevxerk people. They are in a very good position to do so, logistically, but currently the majority of Rehkara is in a ‘Rehkaran Peace’, the time of Rehk mourning. People in most regions want to continue the Rehk peace, as recent wars have devastated the majority of smaller population centers.
Currently, Grand Prince Zethirok Yeulik plans on continuing the construction of their merchant fleet and trade empire, eventually pouring that money into the naval and military infrastructure required to establish hegemony over both of the Cossaea regions.
The Gold Barons
The Gold Barons reside in the most gold wealthy region of Rehkara. Their existence is secured this way as their supplies are needed by those around them, and they are dependent upon the trade to survive. They organize themselves as a collective of barons led by a ‘Master Gilder’ chosen from the most prominent barons. This gilder then leads the nations in matters of foreign affairs and war, while the barons continue to exploit the region for its vital gold deposits.
Recently, the barons got their freedoms during the ‘Yeulik Death’, the largest revolt on the continent since the height of Adom’s revolt. Had it not been for a string of pyrrhic victories on the side of the Xerxes dynasty, the Barons and Mercantile Princes might have ruled the entire continent. For now, they adhere to the ‘Rehkaran Peace’ and prepare for the continuation of the cycle of war and peace.
Currently, they have been building up a line of forts on their hilly border with the Volidigon Imperial Region and improving relations with the current Grand Prince Zethirok Yeulik. The plan is to, eventually, weaken the Xerxes to the point of irrelevance. They have no means of controlling the land, given their rather decentralized style of government, and would be likely to assist the Grand Prince in claiming it rather than taking it themselves.
The Clans of Nicator-Paerizan
The Clans of Nicator-Paerizan are the most diverse, often featuring both clans of Rehk-Urs, Rehk-Ugs, and integrated Rehk-Ogris. This is actually the only major nation that doesn’t automatically enslave Rehk-Ogris. The Clans have been united by a council of three ‘God-Kings’, which all believe they are the true God-King. The thought process being that they will unite for the time being, spreading out and fracturing once the threats around them are dealt with. At least, this is what the Rehk-Ur and Ug believe, the Rehk-Ogri believes that the other two are subservient to him. This nation is only major given their fervor and violence, on a continent that has already been racked by war.
Recently, this region was razed during the ten total battles within the region- given they weren’t involved in the war the population was abused and pillaged by most powers involved. The clans would get together, after the war, and swear vengeance upon those around them. The leaders of the two largest clans, and the smartest Ogri around were chosen to lead the hordes of angry peasants and religious zealots.
Currently, the trio, known as the ‘Warband’ has been razing and raiding towns on the border zones near them. Their armies are light and easy to maneuver, meaning that sluggish defense forces are often outran or routed via a flank. Their ambitions lay in the Pasargadae region, specifically the Gilded Circle atop Mount Rae’llibad. If they can break open the forts of the Barons, steal their gold, and make it up the Mountain, they can make it to the Gilded Circle. They believe that they will all become a True God-King there.
- Not a whole lot was written down during this period. The little that is known about this period is that Rehks organized themselves into tribes that were often nomadic, following exploitable resources. Conflicts between tribes were common, with stronger tribes taking in captured peoples from the tribes they conquered.
- The ‘largest’ tribes would often fluctuate in population depending upon the resources they exploited. The climate could easily, at any time, dry up a river or cause a horde of animals to migrate elsewhere.
- Near the end of Prehistory, developments in domestication and agriculture would see some of these tribes settle near the major rivers on the continent. These tribes would become clans, making their way into the next Era.
- Early Civilization was mostly limited to areas with good water and fertile land. Thus, the major civilizations would all find themselves located on the same set of rivers. These small clans would come together as a way to defend themselves from outside forces. Nomadic clans, that had yet to settle, would often act as the outside force, taking from these clans what was rightfully theirs.
- Villages during this time were even more susceptible to climate change, and often were abandoned during times of natural disaster or global temperature change. The only real surviving evidence of the cultures and peoples that inhabited these villages is found in the ruins of their failures.
Bronze and Gold Eras
- Advancements in mining, metal working, and material surveying would see a new material come to the forefront of Rehkaran life. Bronze was easy to work, and very versatile. Most weapons, tools, armor and even luxury items would be made out of the material.
- The defining events of the era would be powered by Bronze and eventually cause the era’s greatest collapse whenever the base material deposits were over exploited and eventually dried up.
Reign of God-King Xulraxis
- Xulraxis the Indomitable was the product of a nomadic upbringing and a curious gift. Rehk-Ogri are often dumb enough to be handled by trained professionals, Xulraxis was as intelligent as a Rehk-Ur, meaning they had the ability to have tangible ambition. This ambition would be realized when a pair of large hands, Xulraxis’ hands, would rip off the head of a prominent king. He would declare himself God-King, a manifestation of the divine on Rehkaran soil. This was an entirely new concept that would stick with the people of Rehkara due to the utter chaos Xulraxis caused.
- This is the first time Rehkara would be anywhere near united. Xulraxis conquered and destroyed every kingdom and tribal confederacy that stood in his path. As he rose to power, he also fell. His fall would come whenever he decided to invade Yog-Ir. The Drakofrys (Brightscales) in the area would fight back. During a crucial battle, Xulraxis was wounded and then spat on by one of the Drakofrys to the point of lethality. Xulraxis didn’t know this, because he didn’t know pain and by the time he made it back to his camp he had been eaten away enough to fall dead on the ground.
- His fall would see the conquered territory be split amongst his generals and captains. They would end up fighting with each other after the fall of their God-King. These wars would be majorly destructive to the deposits of copper and tin that they could attain with current practices.
The Bronze Collapse
- The amount of base materials that primitive mining solutions allowed the Rehks to acquire is finite. Demand for these materials would skyrocket whenever wars started, and whenever warbands needed new weapons or repairs to their old ones.
- These materials ran out, causing a massive collapse in the economy of the majority of Rehkara. While this was happening, major climate changes would take place on the continent. These all culminated for the Great Desertification.
The Great Desertification
- The majority of Rehkara would warm up significantly while the Bronze Collapse was in full swing. The great desert to the north would expand significantly, swallowing up the entirety of Opis. Certain rivers that had, at one point, been vital for local communities, dried up entirely. New rivers would eventually replace these, but for a good few generations the lands were quite inhospitable.
- Development of civilization completely halted at this point, and power went back to the isolated clans that built themselves around exploitable resources. This state of affairs would go onward for multiple generations. Around two-hundred ages in all.
- This period of massive changes was marked with the formation of a great Rehkaran war that ended with the reign of the first true God-King. The Pre-Medieval Era was kicked off by the gradual recovery of the larger powers after the great desertification claimed the majority of Opis.
- Before the rise of Xerxes, power sat in the hands of groups of monarchs who all claimed to have God-King status. It was an attempt to culturally claim the same cunning and strength of Xulraxis the Indomitable.
Rise of Xerxes The Cunning
- God-King Xerxes, at the start of their journey, was completely unknown. They weren’t a royal, nor were they of noble birth. Xerxes was born a blacksmith son within the Vevt region. Other than their family and circumstances of their birth, little is known about the early years of Xerxes.
- They would become the chieftain of their village, before entering the wider realm of tribal politics. He’d lay down foundations by personally leading the males of his tribe off to the grand conquest of nearby tribes. Grand as in intimidating small familial clans with a group of sixty men. This was very effective in influencing the tribes around Xerxes’ tribe. Eventually, they would turn this group of intimidated tribes into tributaries, effectively doubling the size of Xerxes warband.
- Xerxes would begin punching above their weight by raiding nearby kingdoms while they were at war with other kingdoms, effectively bogging down their war efforts by slaughtering livestock and stealing precious materials. The first king that responded to this raiding in kind would meet Xerxes in battle and was swiftly killed by an arrow to the eye.
- From here, Xerxes would take the thrones of kings and chieftains for the next twelve ages, before the entire continent, save the frontier regions, was under Xerxes control.
Reign of God-King Xerxes The Divine
- Now in control of a dysfunctional realm filled with new and ambitious vassals, Xerxes would dub himself the first true ‘God-King’, laying out the process for new God-Kings to gain higher purpose. A God-King was to uplift the Rehks into a state of God-Hood, at least in comparison to the other races.
- Changes to the Rehkaran way of life would come slowly, as the focus was put to a few regions with the most compatible ethnic and cultural groups. These regions were: Pasargadae, Volidigon, and the Cossaea regions. These three regions would be built up with major cities being planned by a new class of people. Stoneshapers would be the structure builders under Xerxes the Divine, forming from the earth great works that still stand to this day.
- Influential clans would also hire these stoneshapers, using their talents to build up castles and sprawling villages around natural resource deposits and fertile land. These clans would be primarily located in the Nicator and Pasargadae.
- The result of this was the creation of two beacons of Rehkaran architecture. The Marble Fortress would be the seat of Xerxes’ authority within the Pasargadae region. Within Nicator the ‘Nicae Library’ would be built, serving as the region’s claim to fame. This would end up being the hub of the majority of Rehkaran thinkers.
- After these great works were made, a treaty was made to line out the rights and protections that vassals of the Divine could expect. This lined out a hierarchy of taxes; At the top of the hierarchy was the God-King, Xerxes, below him were the grand cities who would be ruled by an elected count. Below the grand cities were the feudal vassals, who controlled 1-4 castles and their surrounding villages. At the bottom of the hierarchy were the tribal vassals. These vassals were usually tucked on the edges of the empire, and thus weren’t focused on. They would pay their tax by giving men to expand Xerxes’ hammer’s, his elite core of heavy infantry.
Implementation of Rehkaran Feudalism
- The vast majority of the documents that shaped Rehkaran law weren’t written by Xerxes. During his time conquering, he would take ideas and most importantly people from the groups he conquered. One of these people would end up becoming immensely influential in the formation of Rehkara as it is now. Immin Qeslat would hold the position of ‘Imperial Scholar’, and would be tasked with the writing of the systems that would govern the Rehkaran people forevermore. The first would be the hierarchy, which is listed out above. The second would be the Rites of Ascension, which lays out the rules for succession. Five grand champions from the Hammer’s ranks would be chosen and brought to fight to the death. The winner of this fight would go on to being the next God-King upon the death of the current one. This would be put into effect because of Xerxes’ discovered sterility. The third and final writing would be a great blackened leather book, which contained a massive amount of taxation and kin or kind laws. This book would standardize tax collection for all vassals and cities, with it drawing the ire of the clans that are under the Empire. Kin or Kind laws would require clans that didn’t use the Empire’s currency, to hand over a set amount of male Rehk-Urs for the God-King’s personal army.
Xerxes The Divine Vanishes
- After his conquest of the Rehkaran realms, Xerxes looked outwards. With his new empire working to achieve his will, he ordered for an armada to be constructed within an age alongside sixty thousand able bodied Rehk-Urs to accompany him on a voyage to conquer new lands. His will was made manifest whenever the largest navy ever seen in the realm was created, and was put out to water.
- The ritual that was supposed to pit the warriors in one on one combat to decide who gained the title of Xerxes II wouldn’t happen. The provincial generals from each of the Empire’s regions would begin mustering armies from their local populations…
The Empire Breaks
- With how fast the Empire came to be, it was no suprise that when Xerxes the ‘Divine’ left, the lesser men of his court and general staff would start plotting to fulfill their own ambitions. Each region would end up having their own warlord, causing the empire to disintegrate almost as quickly as it had come into being.
- The following wars are known as the ‘33 Ages of War’ and would see the major regions become as defined as they currently are in Rehkaran history.
- Notably, Cossaea would be ruled by a tribunal of governors, a far cry from the warlords of old. They would end up forging a new identity out of the chaos. Nicator would find itself in a great position, connecting the outer coastal regions to the inner mineral-rich regions, effectively controlling trade with their own dragon’s horde of trade routes.
- Opis would be united under a great warchief, who would protect their independence for the rest of the war, and far into the Empire’s rebuilding. Their tribal identity would remain, while others switched to a feudal power structure, Opis remained controlled by the chieftains.
The Empire is Retaken
- The 33 Ages of War would see the majority of Imperial land retaken by a group of warbands serving under the new Xerxes, Timur Anjin. In the end, all of the regions except Opis and Yog-Ir were now under imperial control. Timur Anjin, now Xerxes II, had used asymmetrical combat styles and immense tactical prowess to take the Empire, now they faced their first threat from within.
- Adom was fairly ordinary Rehk-Ogri in The Xerxes Empire. There was, however, one difference about him relative to his enslaved kindred: he was an eloquent, persuasive speaker; at least by Rehk-Ogri standards. In other words, he could string multiple words together to form a cohesive sentence. Using his skills, and a bit of luck, he managed to stage an Ogri slave revolt the likes of which have never been seen in Rehkarran history. Thousands upon thousands of Ogri joined under his banner, forming a raving mob that devoured, looted, pillaged, and killed everything in its path, travelling up and down the continent with impunity. The band eventually all perished, not due to the actions of any God-king, but because they chased a deer off a cliff and died, which is why, in some places in the world, the tale is told for laughs.
- In Rehkarra, however, the bloody memory of the devastatio and chaos reaped by Adom and his horde will likely never be forgotten, and as a direct result of it the brutality and harshness of the Ogri’s enslavement has increased a hundredfold.
Early Medieval Period
- This long period would define the events that have happened most recently. Many generations would pass with the stability of the Empire being paramount. Sadly, it would end up for nought. This era would end up setting up the end of the Rehkaran Empire.
Xerxes II Begins Their Reign
- Xerxes II had taken over the continent, his gaze now had to shift inward as the concessions he had made to get his position now turned into pains.
- Their first few reforms would be to the military. The imperial guard, remnants of Xerxes the ‘Divines’ Hammers, into a trained conscript guard. Conscription into the Imperial guard would start very early on into his reign, adding insult to injury for those who were ready to begin a peaceful life.
- Investment in marble and gold brought from the Gold Barons (Who were vassalized during Xerxes II’s rise) would be put to public works projects. Riches would be concentrated in the Volidigon Region, Which was now dubbed the Volidigon Imperial Region.
- Power would be consolidated in the God-King, and the Imperial court, which was made up of Bureaucrats (from the major trading cities), Warlords (from the major castled regions), and tribal vassals (from the major frontier regions.) Generally, the Bureaucrats had the most power with the tribal vassals being the weakest in the hierarchy.
Great Cities Develop
- Because of the Investments into the large trading areas within the empire, the populations of the Cossaea Regions would explode. The populations of these regions would become increasingly diverse, as trading vessels brought not only new ideas but new people to the continent. These people would come from all walks of life, but were majority human.
- These cities would be run outside of the standard systems of governance. The governor of the city would be elected by a group of electors coming from prominent citizens of the town. This meant that the merchant class stayed in power as long as the cities were profitable, as this governmental system would be seen as successful.
- Over the course of Xerxes II’s reign, the governors of these cities would increasingly demand more autonomy, and given their position as the true money makers of the empire, the God-King had to oblige.
- The Position of the god-king started mattering less and less as time went on. The Wheels of the empire continued turning with or without the figure head. This was a time of peace and prosperity, a figurehead that was there to declare war and smite all in their path was ultimately unneeded. Xerxes II would secure his bloodline with a stable marriage with a massive merchant family from Cossaea. The next generations of Xerxes wouldn’t be decided by blood combat, they would be decided by lineage, meaning there would be no ‘quality’ control on who got the crown.
- Many the next few generations of God-Kings would be from the same blood-line, educated in the art of conflict as their forefathers. They would cement their position as figure heads and leaders of warbands as the growing merchant class started to dominate all things intrigue and money.
Development of Merchant Families and Trading Princes
- Children that are born in the imperial family, but are so far down the list of inheritors that they will, probably, never get anywhere near the crown, will usually get a boatload of gold and be sent off to make something of their lives.
- The Children of Tevis Yeulik, a distant relative of Xerxes IV, would come together and form the Yeulik ‘Family’, which acted as a political entity within a few great cities initially. They would slowly expand their influence, effectively becoming Trading princes of their cities. These trading princes had both popular support (usually) and imperial ties which made them more powerful politically.
- Present day Rehkara is a pale shadow of what it once was. What was the Great Empire of Xerxes would become diminished to the Kingdom of Xerxes over the course of a handful of eras. The short lives of Rehks mean that their ambition usually outweighs their respect for the creations of the past, meaning it is justifiable to dismantle all that was to create something new.
- During this period, 2.1 Million Rehk-Urs would be killed during the Yeulik Death, a civil war between the Blood-King and the Trade Princes. More than half of these deaths would be civilians. Near the present day, the Rehkaran Peace would be declared unilaterally by all citizens of Rehkara. There was to be no more war, for the people wouldn’t support any continuation of conflict. This would clash with the ambition of nobility and warlords alike.
Trade Prince Hegemony
- The Trade Princes would eventually come to control the entirety of Cossaea as Imperial Bureaucrats/Merchants. Their title of Trade Princes would be made legitimate. They were still under the God-King in standing, but raw power wise they now controlled the majority of the population, the majority of the weapons, and the majority of the ships.
- What they didn’t have was allies, or competent generals. The lack of conventional land warfare made for a lack of generals who weren’t tied to a fiefdom or tribal vassal.
- At the same time as the Trade Princes became the controllers of Cossaea, they would effectively organize their own hierarchy in secret. Jaleh Yuelik would be named the Mother of the Yuelik Princes, put in place to act as a figure head and diplomatic envoy.
Gold Barons Ally With Trade Princes
- Nicator had been a pain in the sides of both the Gold Barons and the Trade Princes, effectively controlling the trade routes between the two. Given gold generally flowed between the Great Cities and the Realm of Gold Barrons, it was only natural that the two would come closer diplomatically.
- In secret, a plan would be drawn up to carve the sections around the two largest trade routes up between the two regions, effectively blocking Nicator from legally taxing their trade. This plan would come with a defensive pact and mutual enemies clause all tied into it, meaning that any conflict the Trade Princes got into, the Gold Barons would support militarily and financially.
Xerxes VI Triggers Awe Inspiring Revolt
- Xerxes VI was well known for being a poor leader. In reality, they were born with a disability and put into their position by Xerxes V. A complete genetic dead-end, they were a paranoid schizophrenic among other things, dubbed the “Mad King” and “Final Emperor” even before the civil war started.
- They, rightfully, suspected that the Trade Princes were plotting his downfall. This was because everyone was doing it at the time. The difference here is that the Trade Princes were in a position to effectively take over if they got one of their Imperial Guard candidates onto the roster, given Xerxes VI wasn’t going to be having any kids given their infertility. To stop this plot, the “Mad King” would launch an investigation into the recent happenings within the great cities. Jaleh Yeulik would be implicated for treason and assassinated.
- At the same time as this, in Opis, a Withered had been gaining traction. Xerius, the ‘Blood-King’ wanted the crown via one on one combat. The Mad-King could have, under any other circumstances, simply sicked an entire army of the continent’s most disciplined soldiers on the beast and it would have probably sorted itself out, but instead, they took the challenge and were brutally murdered.
- Xerius would take the Empire, and its Crown for a staggering ten ages. During this time, his enemies, effectively all of his vassals outside of the Imperial Regions, would prepare for a large scale revolt.
- In the hell-hole that is Yog-Ir, the Drakofrys that reside there would eventually start getting an influx of refugees from some of the terrorized sections of Xerius’ empire. These refugees wouldn’t stay long, but would tell of a Withered that had been tainting the land with their foul presence. An Envoy from the Trade Princes would eventually invite them in the dismantling of this evil empire. The Drakofrys would accept, trying to minimize unaffiliated civilians dying in the process of dethroning Xerius.
- All at once, the majority of the Empire would revolt against Xerius. Xerius had complete control of the Imperial Regions, Nicator, and Opis with Cossaea, Pasargadae, Me-Turnat, and Yog-Ir being controlled by the revolting forces.
- This war, known as the ‘Yeulik Death’ by the Trade Princes, would be long and protracted as the forces clashed against each other on almost every front. Neither side was able to spare civilians, as riots happened quite often in captured territory on both sides. Xerius was known to butcher his own population and the populations of cities he captured.
- This disregard for civilian life would be seen both in Nicator and Cossaea. When the great city of Kasghan was taken by Xerius after a long siege, the entire population of the city was sacrificed, their flesh torn from their bodies and made to repair the walls as a form of gruesome tapestry. Their meat would be fed to Xerius’ personal Rehk-Ogri ‘guard’.
- This was the war that took 2.1 Million lives over the course of thirty ages of war. In the end Xerius would be captured and executed.
- The Empire would be shredded into multiple pieces, with everyone effectively becoming independent. The Xerxes Empire would then become the Kingdom of Xerxes with it only retaining one region.
Nicator Region Left Empty
- During the war, Nicator took the brunt of battle locations. The entire region would be razed, causing it to become a no-man’s land. The Great Library there wouldn’t be spared, its knowledge having been burned into the ground during the war.
Rehkaran Peace Declared
- After the war, absolutely none of the populations wanted to continue the wars and destruction seen in the Yeulik Death. Quite a few of the warriors who left the war were unable to cope with civilian life, along with disabled veterans being unable to continue working afterwards. The horrors of war had been made apparent.
- The Kingdom of Xerxes was kept around, staying alive in one region. The next in line was to be chosen by combat, but given the state of affairs that wasn’t going to happen. A prominent general, content with their position, would be thrust into the position of ‘God-King’. Xerxes VII would be crowned inheritor of the Kingdom of Xerxes, holder of the titular title of ‘God-King of the Xerxes Empire’ with it only becoming a legitimate title if he ever reclaimed the continent.
- The first order of business would be reconstruction. Immediately, Xerxes VII would send out a decree, calling for the ‘Rehkaran Peace’, a multi-generation spanding declaration of non-aggression with all the major powers on the continent. This had overwhelming support from the war fatigued people, and thus the other major powers would, one by one, make the same decrees. The Rehkaran Peace was started, and hasn’t been broken to this day.