Dark Days in Sion
Size: Approx 5,500 square miles
Allegiance: Independent Sovereign
Government: Vul Monarchy
Power Center Alignment: LE
Technology Base: Crusades
Population: (Mixed) Approx 110,000, 20 persons per square mile;
Population Demographics: 50% Urban Dwellers, 45% Rural Dwellers, 5% Abroad
Racial Demographics: 70% Humans, 20% Demihumans, 8% Humanoids, 2% Vul
Class Demographics: 10% Military, 5% Clergy, 5% Upper Class, 20% Middle Class 30% Lower Class, 20% Slaves
Law Rank: 6
Transitions: 100+ Years of Order
Legal Code: Old legal code, Laws of Vulkh
Law Enforcement: Moderate
Social Standing: Usually Matters
|Sites and Landmarks|
|Thayamar Desert||Al Hana Lake||Al Chal Forest|
|Al Cori Wood||Susa River||Arosis River|
|Skull Mountain Hegemony||Elven Kingdom of Seillon||Torgrimm Dwarfholds||Kingdom of Maharatha|
|Kingdom of Nefer||Emirate of Khorasa|
|Kingdom of Barossa|
The Kingdom of Vulkh is the sole kingdom on Sion ruled by the Vul. They seized power a thousand years ago and have ruled very harshly ever since. A large portion of the population are slaves.
The Expedition – 1,000 Years Ago
The founding of Praetoria started with an expeditionary force of the Thyatian Empire tasked to settle and explore the dangerous Argyr Continental Region, west of Furia. A region of ancient dangers and untold mysteries.
Even in the best of times this was a monumental undertaking. Emperor Eshilmagne ordered this expedition as the great civil war with his cousin Ashoka the pretender ushered in the very worst of times. The timing couldn’t have been worse to plan or prepare for such an expedition while most believed it was a waste of military resources. None of his sitting generals agreed to volunteer or lend any of their soldiers.
Thus the emperor entrusted command of the 5th reserve legion (1,000 heavy infantry) to retired general Gaius GulKosa instead, circumventing military decorum and raising many eyebrows in the process. This apparent disrespect towards the military establishment caused quite a stir, threatening further unrest among the military elite.
Gaius GulKosa had a checkered military career before his forced retirement a few years prior. His final disgrace was his refusal to act on orders to attack a fellow Thyatian legion. Other generals already despised him as a slave-lover and refused to fight with him. Common soldiers on the other hand revered him as a commander who fought alongside his men and never lost a battle.
Gaius’ unpopularity didn’t make it any easier to garner support for the expedition among the rich and powerful, but in a way this was its own blessing. Some saw the expedition as an opportunity to achieve something for themselves away from their rivals who considered the venture foolhardy and beneath their interests.
Lesser nobles and officials volunteered to accompany the legion (either seeking glory for themselves or accepting ignominous exile) as an alternative to hard times in the Empire. (Volunteers were merely adjuncts with no status or command over the legion.)
A fleet of fifteen ships carried the bulk of the legion and supplies to the small fortified port of Orikos at the mouth of the river Scaros. Orikos was an ancient port built by a mysterious and long-since vanished society. Thyatian sailors claimed Orikos in the name of the Empire centuries ago, recognizing its value as the only available deep water port on the southern coast of the Argyr peninsula.
Preparations and plans to use the port as a staging area for an expidition into the interior were hastily arranged by some of the most experienced explorers and scouts employed by the Empire. And yet, as the Argyr peninsula had never been properly explored before, most of those plans were hopeful speculation at best.
The legion arrived to camp at Orikos in the harsh months of winter, as bitterly cold and hostile as anywhere else in the Empire. Already the expedition was off to a bad start. Provisions and preparations were poorly managed, it was clear there was no hope of setting off until spring.
Meanwhile news from the Empire grew ever more grim and unreliable. Rumors and conjecture spread through the camp about the fate of the Empire until one last Thyatian ship arrived, over-burdened by refugees, barely floating and badly-damaged. Those aboard spoke of castrophe that defied belief. Plague, volcanic erruptions, enemy invasions… the reign of the Empire was evidently in its final days.
Many in camp clammored to abandon the expedition and return to defend the empire, but general Gaius refused stating his mandate for command could only be lifted by the emperor himself who may yet have survived.
This argument seemed highly unlikely given recent accounts by so many eye-witnesses but for the critical final days of winter it allowed him to maintain order while he secretely convinced leaders among his own ranks who would support him outside the manadate of military regulations and Thyatian law.
As the last snows fell, panic began to seize hold. No further word of their homeland was forthcoming and the weather now allowed for the possibility of travel. Some of the nobles prompted dissent in the ranks, promising lands and riches for soldiers brave enough to defy orders and escort them back to the empire.
Gaius could not permit that. Given the choice, he expected the nobles would choose to rule over the ruins of what they always lusted after, rather than work to create something from nothing. He feared they had the charisma to split his army in half, or worse. Gaius opted to take the option away by sinking what few remaining ships they had left and publically executing anyone speaking of desertion.
He then revealed to everyone a secret scroll of orders scrawled in the emperors own hand describing a legendary lost city, Athura, that must be claimed for the survival of the empire, whatever the cost.
The words of the scroll were ominously haunting, as thogh the emperor forsaw a great doom at the onset of the civil war. Gaius elaborated on the legend of Athura as he heard from the Emperor himself, explaining how it was built by the same ancient culture that constructed the port of Orikos so long ago.
Gaius suggested it as a worthy new home with all the heart he could muster hoping to convince everyone to carry on with the expedition as planned. This new side to the otherwise iron-disciplined persona of the general was surprisingly persuasive. His pride in his fellow Thyatians and desire to serve and protect their legacy had the desired effect of motivating a desperate throng of normally disciplined soldiers to pull back from the brink of insurrection.
Under Gaius’ leadership, the expedition moved inland, up-river, the source of which (according to legend) was Athura itself. Together they pressed into the wilderness.
The Founding of Praetoria – 950 Years Ago
- – 999 Years Ago
|Customs, Kinship, and Marriage|