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The Koros Union

History files for Kell.

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The Koros Union

Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 08 Aug 2010, 15:06

Here is a partial history of the Koros Union which I began today. The file will of course continue to be worked on, but as of this time is incomplete. I think I wrote enough today though to show some background.

Koros Union, History and Lore

1.0 Beginnings
Unlike some of it’s neighboring countries to the south, the Koros Union is considerably older. Older in fact than the ancient Cammorian empire, which had it’s peak about two hundred years after the Union was founded.
The original indigenous peoples were descendants of Karn, a minor son of Kezmar who of course was the first of Kellina’s sons to rebel and who also founded Cammoria.
Karn of course was heavily influenced by his father, but his mother Aerdnae managed to embed a sense of practicality within him. Karn and his peoples settled around the modern area of Müg-baraz. This is somewhat north of modern Ül-banthar in the northeast of the Union. This land Karn named Aerdnae after his mother. Over time the peoples of Aerdnae dispersed throughout the area, Karn eventually died. In their dispersion the cohesion of the peoples as one broke up and by the time the first settlers arrived in Azet-mahn they had split into seven identifiable cultures.
The first non-indigenous settlers were Byzmin explorers. Their composition was the typical Byzmin exploratory force., undistinguished soldiers or conscripts pushed along by rabid priests and priesteses of Byzera. These were followed by the usual main body of Byzmin undesirables; those given a choice of being executed outright or a questionable chance of survival on the frontier.
These settlers moved in to the Azet-mahn and after surveying the area and finding much natural wealth elected to settle the area. A small detachment of priests were sent back to Byzmir to inform the home country of the find. Those, as it turned out later, never made it back home. Thus, it took some time for Byzmir to realize that one of it’s settler forces had staked land in their name. By that point, however, Byzmir has it’s own problems dealing with Kezmar’s madmen.
The remaining priests and priesteses immediately took possession of the Azet-mahn (and named it that) for Byzmir and established themselves as the local “church.” After doing so they put the settlers to work settling the area. The soldiers were turned in to militiamen and their former leaders were given title and land. Thus a government was formed – with the “church” having ultimate authority. Thus, the Byzmin exploratory force followed their standard, historical method of exploration, settlement, and establishment of government and religion in the areas they claimed.
2.0 Settlement, Government, Expansion and Conflict
Of course the settlers were soon bound to encounter the indigenous peoples of the area, those descendents of Karn. Their first contact was with the Eaern people who inhabited the lower valley of the Azet-mahn. The Eaern it was soon discovered referred to the area as Müg-dar. And the Eaern of course didn’t like the new arrivals. Unfortunately for the Eaern, they were ill-equipped to fight what was then modern weaponry and tactics. The ex-soldiers and conscripts although not highly trained by the standards of the day had quite a bit of combat experience and as a militia force found themselves bored and unruly. Their commandeers soon found an easy outlet to purge their considerable pent up energy upon by directing it at the Eaern.
The Eaern, used to single-combat, solitude, and small-family living found themselves facing multiple foes bent on wiping them out. Armed with shortbows, slings, hatchets and axes the Eaern were completely outmatched by the Byzmin militia which came with longswords, tebujes, maces, battleaxes and warhammers and knew how to use them effectively in groups. However, the Eaern did have one thing going for them and it effectively saved them from extinction. Many of the Eaern people had some form of magic ability. This they eventually learned to use effectively against the militia. The militia, of course, having combat experience was used to magic being used in combat by their opponents. However, that was predicated on what they knew of their enemies. The magic the Eaern were using was completely foreign to them and they were unable to defend against it.
When the tide began to slow and the militia began to suffer some losses, the commanders (nobles) began to appeal to the church for help. This had the unfortunate effect of the Eaern quickly being conquered. The church captured many of the Eaern and in the typical Bymin fashion assimilated them. Byzmir did not take slaves or kill captives. They made them citizens, indoctrinated them and integrated them into society. This had the effect of influencing Byzmin society with the newer culture but also had the effect of completely destroying a people.
This same scenario continued and over time the Ñor, the Maeluk, the Treil and the Saaer were assimilated in to Byzmin culture. This left only encounters with the Thüll and the Karn. Both of these cultures would give the new country fits for a long time until they were ultimately ground under. The Karn became distinguished as being the first and only indigineous culture that the Byzmins did not assimilate – they were slain to the last man outright, every last man, woman and child.
About 50 years after settlement most of the original soldiers, priests and priesteses had died off, either by natural cause or old age. That left those who had been born in the Azet-mahn. They considered themselves more or less to be Azet-mahni (or at least that is what they called themselves). Their fathers and mothers had done their best to indoctrinate them with Byzmin culture, but with a lack of communication or further arrival of settlers from Byzmir this second generation had considerably less loyalty to Bymir. Byzmir was far away and it certainly wasn’t here helping or fighting and dying. Thus, this generation was the first to break away from the alliegance to Byzmir.
The second generation began to find their own way. In defeating their enemy and assimilating them much work had been done in the creation of society and government. The nobles were now well established. Kaarz-dorr was founded in 29587 and Maath-Eslar in 29585. Both would become large cities. Baal-maran, the “Dark City” was founded in 29580 as the home for the church. Major war was fought in the area of Baal-maran from 29579 to 28443 against the Karn who inhabited it. The Karn referred to the area as Korvan. The Azet-mahni killed them all at the end of the war and renamed the area Müg-basra. Müg-basra being the ancient name of of Müg-baraz, what the area is called now.
In the west of modern Koros was the area inhabited by the Thüll. These people had received the greater part of Karn’s practicality. Realizing the writing on the wall they assembled themselves as one large people and journeyed to Maath-Eslar in 28439. Here they presented themselves openhanded and sued for peace with the Azet-mahni. Gzenn Ulzar was the Duke of Maath at the time. An experience soldier who had a famously long and bloody career in the Baal-maran campaigns (as did his father) and recognized superior warriors when he saw them. He immediately agreed to terms with the Thüll, in particular to two points which the Thüll were unbending on. One, the only society the Thüll would allow themselves to be assimilated in to was the military. And two, the leaders of the Thüll would be granted land, title, and miliary rank based on their current standings in Thüll society.
Duke Ulzar reasoned that this being his area he had the authority without the blessing of the church to accept the surrender of the Thüll and agree to their terms. The Thüll for their part would immediately relinguish their land (which would be parceled back to them according to their rank, as agreed). Duke Ulzar quickly assembled a settler force and sent them out forthwith with his son Izze in charge. Izze’s reward would be to become Baron valThüll as soon as he arrived within the surrendered territory. Duke Ulzar sent him with a large force and many Thüll to take charge. Further, Duke Ulzar chose not to notify the church.
That last fact became a very sore point with the church when they at last learned of this fait accompli about six months later. A large force was sent to arrest Duke Ulzar. This became the first test of the Thüll loyalty and they passed it with incredible honour. Duke Ulzar’s own troops combined with the troops of the Thüll defeated the church forces. Most notable was that the Thüll guard company of 100 men that were assigned to personally protect the Duke died to the last man in defending the Duke’s life. This company was to become known later as the Men of Doom. In doing their job the Duke was saved and the force attacking the company was also killed (savagely) to the last man.
For this reason those of Thüll descent are greatly feared and respected in Koros society. And the church is deathly afraid of them. They have an unbending sense of loyalty to those whom they served and this one act has earned them to everlasting loyalty in return of the Duchy of Ulzar. When Izze heard of how it came to be that his father was unharmed in this attack, he immediately declared that the Thüll within the boundaries of his new barony were free men. The Thüll however, having already pledged their surrender and loyalty refused to set free from their commitments. This so amazed Izze that he declared a special class within his barony for the Thüll. From this point on and forevermore they would be called Thanes. Landowners, set apart from society and governed by their own laws. Izze further extended this to the duchy of Ulzar as a whole upon succeeding his father to the Duchy.
The church of course completely disagreed with this. However, given more than 100 years of war they were in no position to enforce their traditional authority. It should be mentioned that although Duke Ulzar served in these church battles he did so as a soldier of his country and not because he respected and loved the church.
It is this entire incident that led to the church losing it’s iron grip upon the government. Unfortunately for the church the bad tidings were to continue.
At this time, the Azet-mahni had become a loose organization of duchys and fiefdoms. The Duchy of Ulzar existed from the central part of Azet-mahn to the current western border of the Union where they ran into the Elves of Ehlovar. The Duchy of Cael existed to the south, the Duchy of Bezl to the North and the Outrider Duchy to the east. Baal-maran exists as a separate entitity to itself within the Barony of Maerolar which is in the northeast of the Duchy of Bezl. This area is now known as of Müg-baraz.
The Outrider Duchy is a special case. It exists to the east and to this day settlement force still proceed east. They have yet to run into any other country or it’s forces. The Outrider peoples (as they are called) are loyal to the Union by are considered by many of the Union proper to be somewhat strange in custom.
3.0 Unification, Rise of the Thanes, Descent of the Church
It was at this time, that Izze Ulzar, Duke of Ulzar proposed unification of the Azet-mahni. He invited all nobles to a meeting in Maath-Eslar in 28433. Many answered his invitation. The church was noticeably excluded. This further angered the church when they discovered the meeting. However, as Izze surrounded Maath-Eslar with a very large army of Thanes (Thüll) the church could only utter verbal protest. This they did vehemently, although it fell on deaf ears.
For the entire spring and into late summer the nobles of the Azet-mahni discussed and argued on Izze’s great idea of unification. Although they were all Azet-mahni and the rulers agreed on much and often acted in agreement, there had never been a common agreement of union between all. This Izze argued would be a good thing to have between them as the country was growing. And united they could all push back against the church. Differences were hammered out, feuds and scores settled and ultimately the Accord of the Maath-Eslar was reached and agreed to. The document united all in a union. This union would have it’s capitol at Koros.
Koros, at this time, was a small sleepy village about 100 miles north of Maath-Eslar. It was acceptable as a capitol for all concerned because it was centrally located and road access could be easily built to it. But even more so was the fact that Koros was a battleground. It was the first site that Duke Gzenn Ulzar’s army had met the force from the church – and garnered some measure of victory. Thus it was a symbol of independence from the church.
The Accord of Maath-Eslar became known as the Koros Union. And it is from this that the current nation gets it’s name.
Now of course the church was terribly upset about this. However, the church had it’s own problems. With the defeat of it’s forces at Maath-Eslar the church was seriously weakened in politcal power as it was in military power. Internal forces that had begun years back to listen to the doctrines of Vaaln, who was a high priest in the order of Lorn. A lot of what this priest said made more sense to them when applied to the church of Byzera and they began to try and change things within the church. Of course the older priesthood held to the old doctrine and resisted the younger priesthood.
With the defeat of the forces at Maath-Eslar it was the deathknell for the older priesthood. Acting quickly when news of the defeat reached Baal-maran the young priesthood rose up against their elders. Known as the Dark Night of Blood the older priesthood was exterminated within a nine hour period of time. At the end of it all, Father Jzain Grahl was raised as Pontiff Baal-Navrok I and the former church of Byzera as one converted alliegance to Lorn. Vaaln became Navrok’s right-hand and instituted a very efficient and vicious uprooting of the old doctrine.
After the Dark Night of Blood came the Shaking in which Father Vaaln (as he was simply known) gained considerable power and “shook-out” the old doctrine of the church in an unholy reign of utter terror that lasted for about 30 years.
During this time the new church of Lorn also began plans and a foundation was laid for Pandar Mothruur, which would become the second unholy, demonic gate in the Pandar axis going from Cammoria to the Union, to Byzmir and back to Cammoria. Shadain Baal-lor was also planned and began to be built around the Pandar Mothruur.
Other church facilities also began to be built as the church recovered and gathered recruits. Shadar Azran (the main church) and several abbeys: Darmaad, Othlaic, Cael, Alzey, Asaaben, Nzgeirth, Battle, Peizers Ruins. Not all were built at this time, nor did they exist as the abbeys and churches they would later become as part of the Cammorian Dominion, but they were planned at this phase.
The next notable thing that Pontiff Navrok did was to make peace between the church and the rest of the Azet-mahni. They acknowledged the government and even proposed a ruler. This of course was a plan by Navrok to regain control of the government by influencing the ruler and Navrok did gain some power back, but never as much as the church once held.
In 28430 the government and the church recognized and swore fealty to Azrel ValErich. He was declared King and Lord Preceptor (his church title). The position was declared hereditary and it governs both the country and the church. The Kings Council seats the Dukes of the Union and the Cardinal of the Church (second to the Pontiff and his mouthpiece). The Council does not have veto authority over the King, but it is difficult for the King to act without their support. Later the title of the King would be renamed to Imperator during the rise of the Cammorian Dominion. It was not later changed back as it reflected the influence of the church.
The last major event of this time period was the rise of the Thanes. By this time the Thülls had integrated (not assimilated) in to society. They had land, title, and business interests. These were men (and women) profficient with sword, wit and quill. The had the respect of society and went about freely. The new church gave them little heed at this time. Thus the Thanes continued to accrue power and wealth. However, it must be said that the title of the Thanes was not hereditary. That had not been in the official agreement with Duke Ulzar and it was an error on the Thüll’s simply because they did not understand the Azet-mahni society at that time. Thus, the Thanes while they had title, could not pass it on. Eventually this had the effect of creating a powerful military-oriented merchant class that had no titles because they could not be passed on and tended to be taken back and awarded to non-Thanes. But as of this time that had not happened yet. A period of peace settled in (except for enemies of the church) with the Thane a dominant force at this time.
4.0 Fall of the Thanes

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