Torash

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Torash, the city state, still claims to be just that, a city state. Dating from the early days of human emergence when individual cities first began to form governments and wage wars Torash was an early rival to Auria. Whereas Auria used wealth, religion and only later war to widen her borders Torash was a military power from the outset. Torash also has the distinction of being the first city state to realise that Auria and its charismatic leader Jomark would start an expansionist campaign, growing ceaselessly, until all, willing and unwilling, were consumed.

As military Torash saw different city states absorbed and Auria begin to exercise a new found military might to gain more, they knew they had to step up their own preparations or simply face the inevitable. One day Auria would come for them. They were rivals and they were on Auria’s eastern doorstep. So the percursor to the Council of Swords was founded, as advisors to the then King of Toash, to lead a Toran solution. They decided to invade other city states, hoping to gain enough additional resources and troops to hold off the Aurians when they came.

The Aurians did come and in a war so long, so bloody and so bitter it has been recorded as the War of Thorns the Torans held them off. Key to Toran survival was the resources they pulled from their own conquered territories, the border forts, Redwatch which was finished before the border forts were broken through allowing the Council to relocater there and hold out a seige to prevent Auria from engaging fully into the job as strikinjg at Torash itself. When peace was eventually declared only the outer wall had been pierced, five more stood unbowed before the Aurian dreadnought and Redwatch had been renamed Bloodwatch.

The councillors of the king eventually replaced him as the Council of Swords and have never relinquished their command since. They had been right about Auria and so when they said that Auria would be back and next time much stronger and maybe without an Emperor like Jomark to call an end to the war next time. Thus they have enforced a nation into constant preparation for what each and every citizen believes is another inevitable war. The only hope is that they will survive it. This has forged the Torans into a hard and unforgiving people. They rule by fear because they themselves are ruled by it.

Geography
Torash.png

Key to Torash’s continued survival were the successful campaigns to conquer the states of Arcen, Djohlan (Silent ‘h’), Corven and Telholm.

The Council also demanded the creation of the greatest fortress men could conceive of, and so Redwatch was begun, one of the Three Mighty Fortresses of Karandia.

In Torash itself

The conquered kingdoms:

Key Organisations

There are various important organisations within Torash.

Important Characters

Torash has trade links but it fails to make the excellent links that Saracan or Auria manage to achieve. Torash lacks both the expertise, the sheer numbers of tradesmen, the raw money and raw/manufactured materials with which to trade as effectively as its rivals. Still, it has links with Alkar, Auria, Saracan, Vash’kar and Elygia especially. Indeed, the Torans also trade with the wood elves of Quintox or Oakland as they ignore the Empire’s ban on arming the freedom fighters.

Corven was particularly useful for its trade networking and its Elygian alliances allowing trade, money and supplies to filter into Torash even when they were completely cut off by Auria to the north.

Telholm was useful for its arable land and reserves of men, food and supplies. They conduct some limited trade with the Aquati in the south.

Torash taxation is heavy, especially in the city itself and the conquered territories which are still given poor-relation status within the supposed city state. Tax wise the best place to live is in the Red Plains between the Border Forts and the Inner Forts. This is because the government incentivise families to live there and farm the land in hopes of boosting the population and filling the land rather than the overflowing city itself.

Demographics

Humans dominate Troash but all races are welcomed to visit. Like many human cultures they are more xenophobic in proportion to how long you try and stay, how much you want and if you inconvenience them personally. Slavery is perfectly acceptable and many Torans have Visk slaves. Visks used to live over a lot of what is modern day Torash but they have been enslaved for centuries.

Culture and Language

Toran culture has always been limited. They are a highly militaristic people and rate survival and physical strength very highly. They are somewhat defined in the minds of others by their hatred/fear of Auria and their aggressiveness in general.

The addition of the conquered territories changed Torash forever but hasn’t shaken this view of them in the outside world. Still Arcen added the idea of heavy cavalry in the form of knights and importantly the idea of a professional military elite rather than a whole scale state army. Arcen channeled Torash’s war propensity and refined it making it truly deadly. Djohlan was and is the greatest centre of culture in Torash and much of what is considered culture in Torash is actually Djohlan. Schools, musical academies and the study of both the massive and intricate sciences are all ideas Torash built up because of absorbing Djohlan into their state.

Corven and Telholm are seen as quite rural and are the only places in current Torash were the way of the warrior is not utterly dominant. They have been protected somewhat by their location so far from the aggressive and war torn Aurian border. This leads these people to sbe seen as overly relaxed rustic peasants by other Torans and as somewhat cowardly as well.

Politics and Government
Torash is run by the military Council of Swords who achieve their status through promotion not election or birth. As the people who promote people to that level have to be, by definition that level themselves the Council work as a self sustaining oligarchy and patronage is the most important factor in being chosen to sit among them.

Torash itself has a Governor but he is secondary to its military governor who is one of the Council.

Religion

All human religions are available and freely followed in Torash. Followers of warlike gods and those who understand and console in times of suffering, pain and death and revered the most and their temples are seen most often. Barrik is the official patron of Torash. Barrik of course as a god of war is represented by the Avatar of Death though some in Djohlan worship the Avatar of Knowledge as a war god and some in Arcen Justice under the same heading.

Culture and Language

Torans tend to have a fatalistic approach to life and their endeavors. They work continually, but traditionally expect little to work out. They enjoy hating Aurians and refer to history often without really studying or learning from it. They are suspicious and unforgiving of slights, perceived and real. They are hard to cheat and quick to punish offenders. They are oddly knit together in their own peculiar way and determined to resist any harm to them or their country (even though they will inform you such resistance is futile) to the utmost cost of their lives without a thought. In many ways they are the truest patriots and like many such idealists have the least reason to be so.

Military

An important development in Torash’s Military was the advent of the Council of Swords who as military generals took control of the country as well as the army. Another was the conquering of the four powerful states below it. These each added different things to the Toran war machine.

Arcen’s contribution to the military was its knightly tradition and military strategic thought and education. The idea of a trained military elite over that of the massed state soldiery and the use of heavy cavalry all originated here for Torash.

Djohlan’s focus on scholarship led them to be easily conquered by Torash but later it led to powerful advancements in civilisation for the relatively cultureless Torans. Of course the military-minded Torans soon militarised the Djohlans and they applied their minds to the modernisation and adaption of military techniques. The crossbow is a Djohlan invention and modern siege weapons were also been designed there.

Telholm and Corven add huge population masses from which Torash conscripts and they are the bread basket through which Torash feeds its campaign armies.

As it stands today the Toran military is the Toran people. Military service is required of every male born Toran from the ages of 16-20. Many, not to say most, continue in the military afterwards as it is the best fed and most secure work offered in the country. Many women join the military also and unless a woman can meet one of a specified list of criteria (The main ones being married, pregnant or preferably both) they too are expected to serve a military service of two years from 20-22. This age ensures that most child bearing women never enter service and so are not wasted.

The structure of the full time military is as follows:

The Council of Swords are the ultimate commanders in chief.

High Blades work as Generals and are placed in direct command of one of Torash’s armies.

Lances are high ranking officers the direct subordinates of the High Blades.

Shields are division commanders.

Axes are unit leaders.

Officers can be trained directly to purpose (only possible by gaining entry into the officer’s school of the military academy and graduating) OR they can be promoted from the ranks (usually occurring during war time).

Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) are called Knives of Knifers.

Four Knives- work as right hand men to Axes. (Some are promoted into the officer corps)
Three Knives – work as low level squad leaders on the ground.
Two Knives- support three knives and are usually senior versions of new knives or one knife NCOs.

History

Time on Karandia and for simplicity on Tal is determined by the existence of the dominant human Empire or Auria. So years from before the Empire are annotated BE those after it or Post Empire are annotated PE. (eg ‘Jomark came to power in 10BE’ means Jomark gained his power 10 years before the founding of the Empire).

Pre-3000 BE: Elves present in continent wide forest.

2620-2570BE: Humans under the tutelage of the elves and dwarves mature and go from simply building huts and villages to towns and founding their own civilisation. Humans start using wheels, farming and crowning kings.

1950BE: Dwarves share the secrets of metal working and alloys with the humans. Importantly they share the working of iron and steel allowing the humans to make weapons and armour to match (or come close to matching) those of the other civilised races. They learn very fast and make in mass quantities.

1400BE: Elves believing humans evolved enough to use magic share its secrets with them in hopes of helping them further their studies. The elves had already shared the secrets of languages, sciences and mathematics with them. Human adapt to this power just as they did the crafting skills of the dwarves and immediately found organisations on magic and develop the power independently.

1000-100BE The Wars of Betrayal. The humans now populous and very strong, force the dwarves and elves back. They cut down the forests to build and do not replant, hunt heavily to feed their huge populations and soldiers. By the time the elves and dwarves are warned enough to object forcefully it is too late. Though they can win individual engagements they simply cannot stand the loss of life that the humans are capable of inflicting. The humans, unconcerned about loss of life, which seems to ease their own burdens of feeding their constantly growing population, rather than hinder or sadden them, continue their wars unabated. Elves flee to the woods and seas and dwarves to the mountains.

700BE: The ancestors of the Torans form the crux of the armies that drive the Aquati south and are killed during ‘the Reckoning’

160BE: The city of Torash founded, soon to become the city state of Torash.

50BE: Auria has risen to be first among the various human states. Torash among others is jealous, but also cautious.

20BE: In response to the danger posed by their powerful neighbour, Auria, Torash begins to construct forts along their borders. Later these will become the Border Forts that now surround the Toran nation.

10-7BE: Jomark rises in Auria and the fist seven states join Auria. Amusingly it is Torash that first names Auria as an empire.

0BE: Jomark crowned first Emperor of Auria at Tor Honarik.

7BE-5PE: The King of Torash and his advisers realise that Auria will not stop growing and will decide to extend its military influence into rulership of Torash. To protect themselves they decide Torash must take over the four smaller states/kingdoms below it.

5BE-5PE: The Kingdoms of Arcen, Djohlan, Corven and Telholm become part of Torash. The Aurian Empire now covers the majority of the previous eastern city states other than Torash. During this period the Border Forts are constructed.

6-34PE: War of Thorns. Torash resists the inevitable Aurian invasion. Border Forts gain the nickname ‘Death Pits’.

4 PE: Redwatch is begun in preparation for the inevitable Aurian invasion.

19 PE: The Toran king is killed before he can surrender to Auria (Or at least that is the claim. A Council of Swords is organised to replace him as the ultimate authority. Both Corbet Wyntyrs and Sentinal Smythe are on the Council of Swords.

20PE: Redwatch is finished, the ultimate Toran Fortress. The Council of Swords now uses this as their headquarters. It has one Great Wall and five inner walls.

28-34PE: Seige of Redwatch. One wall was breached the other five still holding when Jomark finished the war. (Redwatch had been renamed Bloodwatch by her defenders).

60PE: The resistance movements that began in secret in Arcen, Djoholm come into co-ordinated contact for the first time. Later this semi-united movement becomes known as the Knights of the Sky.

60-70PE: Torash attempts to further its influence and power with some skirmishes and half-hearted attempts to invade and exert influence over the Elygian border towns. These fail as the army is still too weak from the War of Thorns.

180PE: Slavery grows hugely in Torash and laws are made to protect the trade. Human slavery made legal in cases of Prisoners of War.

315-325PE: Toran settlers driven out of Alkan plains. Most go to Torra city and fortify it. A brief battle is fought but the Horselords back down.

500-505PE: As Auria battled against invaders from Wargak, Torash attacked its borders and extended its own borders in the north. These events prompted the forming of the Aurian Protectoran armies.

650-present: From their very founding the imperial assassins called Knight Stalkers are a bane to any Toran leader. Several Toran generals are assassinated, High Blades and even members of the Council of Swords.

700-1000PE: During this time several small wars were fought between Auria and Torash.

836PE: Elygian invasion through old Arcen bypasses the border forts and Redwatch but is held at the Inner Forts. The Renegade raises a final army called the Last or the ‘Last of the Last’ and matches to their relief. A huge battle is fought, lasting until the Elygians broke, as they were the only ones who had that luxury. Most of those who fled made it to Elygia as no Torans had any energy left.

1034PE: Commemoration of the end of the War of Thorns and celebration of Torash’s freedom. Recruitment goes up. Women are now recruited at age of 20 if unmarried and not bearing children.

1050PE: The Staging Forts on the southern border with Rimic are built.

1240PE: Toran invasion of Rimic. They concentrate their strength and pierce the military border heading for the supposedly soft heart of Rimic.

1241PE: An Aquati army aided by Blue Dragons and led by Kalasti the warmarshal and king throw the Torans out of Rimic and destroy staging forts.

1380PE: Torra City with its own King reaffirms its possition as an ally and collony of Torash after a demonstration by the Toran army.

1475PE: The Knight Stalkers assassinate the entire Council of Swords.

1486-91PE: War of Vengence with Auria. Torash looses and surrenders some territory but Auria does not suceed in sacking Torash or toppling Redwatch.

1520-22PE: 1st Invasion of the Dragon Armies. Torash fights for its life. The four conquered kingdoms suffer terribly and Torash itself is sacked.

1522PE: Mercenaries from most countries fought in this war, but to Torash’s chagrin it was Auria who truly won the battles that sent the dragonites back home and thus liberated Torash. Luckily Auria either didn’t have the stomach, didn’t want to be percieved as the same as their recent enemy or were just too fatigued to continue and take Torash while they had the chance.

1601PE: After the Horselords raise several Imperial towns Torash swiftly recognises them and makes a truce through Torra City with them. Torra City is now independent and large, so has more equal footing with Torash. The Empire provides it with a buffer between Torash’s control and it.

1650-1700PE: Some Torans join the Quinkorin revolt as mercenaries but not many. This is the last time these elves will work with humans.

1775PE: Elves forced to retreat from near Oakhome and take terrible losses, human traitors in the ranks.

1785: The Darkness of Magic: Torra City, the Empire, the Quintoxian elves and the supposed Varikol have talks overseen by the Sapphire Wizards’ Guild. These break down.

1824PE: Tathallan king of Torra City is betrayed by his son and his city is laid to waste.

1898-1900PE: Second Invasion of the Dragon Armies turned back by the Stars of Destiny.

1924PE: Rise of The Avenger.

Return to Karandia.

Torash

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