Aurian Empire

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Auria is the largest and most powerful nation on the Karadian continent. It runs from coast to coast in the modern day, has the largest army known and is run by an Emperor.

Geography

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Places

The Aurian Empire is the largest and most heavily populated country in Karandia. It is divided into Trading Areas and Protectorates. These areas are covered by the five military Protectorans.

Each Trading Area is covered in detail on its own page.

As well as the self-contained country of the Vormach.

Natural Geography

The climate is for the most part temperate. In the far south of the Empire where it borders Elygia it can get extremely warm in the summer months and they have very mild winters. In the mountainous areas the Wyvern Tail, the Kolaran Spear and the Gilgan Range temperatures and weather conditions in general are colder and harsher. The western coast of the Empire is known for a very wet climate most of the year round though this is by no means always torrential, indeed it is said that the weather in Kolaran is the Avatar’s joke on mankind because it changes so often an unpredictably.

Each area varies somewhat but the Empire is spanned by an extensive network of roads by 1900PE. Indeed the Empire has the best and most extensive transportation network outside of Rimic. This network fuels its tremendous trading power and is what enervates its huge armies the Protectorans.

There are several rivers some of which such as the Taran, which begins in the fog barrens and run west across the entire Empire to reach the sea at Gan Tarak, are extremely long and wide. Others such as the Scholar’s River, in the Vormach valley, are much smaller.

Imperial Organisations

There are various important organisations that apply to the whole Empire rather than to a particular town. The:

Important Characters

Economy

The Imperial Economy is the largest and most powerful economy in the known world. Under the nominal control of the Emperor as Head of Finance, but more directly controlled by the professionals of the Audit Corporation who form an official if unelected part of the government. They are Auria’s version of civil servants.

The economy has huge external markets and trades with every known nation including the elves of Karritan and Rimic and the Dwarves of Barkarin. Indeed, some enterprising merchants even trade with some of the Wargak tribes. Aurian’s love rarity and value courage in trade almost more than courage in war. It is said the blood of Auria is gold and it is more than its blood it is its love and its god as well.

Its exports are incredibly varied but typically they are in worked goods. Auria creates a lot of primary goods such as wheat, meats, raw ore etc but typically it trades these internally and only exports very profitable manufactured merchandise. Auria has often used its economic influence to assist it in conquering other states or making them into vassals. Many cities in Saracan, Errantlund, Danaspree and Elygia have significant loans with Aurian bankers. This is not a rare thing and the Aurian government deliberately encourage it.

Taxation
Taxation is recommended by the Audit Corporation but it is set by the Emperor and ratified by the Imperial Senate. Typically under a popular Emperor the Senate is blamed and under an unpopular one the Emperor is blamed. Taxation is very unpopular everywhere but in Auria it is far more complex than in many states. You are taxed on your standing wealth, your growth and on your use of government departments. However the Empire creates redistribution of taxes programmes to favoured merchants allowing them to pay full taxes but then receive large bursaries to ‘encourage growth’. This process is naturally totally corrupt and some merchants receive far more in bursaries than they ever pay in taxes.

Demographics

The demographics of an Empire as large and varied as Auria are beyond complex.

Humans dominate the Empire however many were from different subsets of humanity generations ago. A large variety in colouring of skin, hair and eyes can be found among a group of people who will all vehemently claim to be Aurian.

Still, it is a human Empire run by humans for humans. Though of course many other races live within its borders they can never be considered Aurian by human Aurians. Slavery is an important trade in the Empire and Visks are the predominant slave race, though there are many human slaves and at least some of almost every other race.

Religion

Almost all of Auria practices the state religion of Celer as an aspect of the Avatar of Knowledge. Celer was so widely worshiped and his church such an ingrained part of Auria before the restoration of the Avatars that it was easiest to simply attach the Celer aspect of Knowledge once the return was fully realised.

Politics and Government

Auria is an Empire run from the Capital City of Tor Honarik. Here is the Imperial Palace where lives the Head of State the Emperor of Auria. The Emperor is an absolute ruler, but rules through the civil service of the Audit Corporation and the Imperial Senate, who represent the various trading areas and holdings of the Empire. You are elected to the Senate but only someone of a significant measure of wealth may stand. In the old days when the Senate was still the Ro-Tier this measure was 1000 cellans, but it changes with the years.

Nobility is Auria is hereditary but mainly due to the fact that fathers pass on the majority of their wealth to their sons in what are called estates. If one can gather enough land and fortune, one is considered a member of the nobility in Auria.

The Emperor directly holds the title of Head of Finance and is considered the honorary head of the Imperial Bank. Through this he controls the value of the Cellan, taxation and bursaries from the State though he delegates this authority frequently to key Senators and members of the Audit Corporation.

The Emperor has a chief adviser who sits outside of the command structure of the government called his Royal Vizier. This person while not in the Senate sits on and chairs, in the absence of the Emperor himself, the Emperor himself the Select Councils. These are hand picked by the Emperor and may be Senators, Sarrifs, Protectoran Officers, Merchant nobles, Cellan Priests or even artisans. The Select Councils are not limited in number or size but most Emperors tend to run no more than 4 or 5. They usually have less than ten members and they typically only spend time discussing and managing Empire level decisions.

Military

The military of the Empire is huge and varied as one might imagine for such a monolithic nation. Centuries ago the large armies of Auria were organised into a regimented system called the Imperial Legions, but under the Emperor Alup, the Organiser, they were reorganised into the five Protectorans.

These five massive organisations are made up of legions of 1000 soldiers each and are typically far from full, but allow for massive, controlled expansion through conscription in times of war.

The Protectorans are the most organised and heavily regulated military force outside of the dwarven armies of Barkarin. Officers are regularly promoted for excellence but it is also possible and normal for one to buy a commission. Typically an Aurian noble who starts an army career will do so as an officer’s adjunct, not as a trooper.

Culture

Aurians have a culture as wide and a vast as the Empire itself. In Tatrak people are known as mean spirited and defensive, but they have wild feast days and the guest right is still practised as law there. Hillgrabbers or ‘Tors’ as the residents of the three largest cities are known are seen as arrogant and obsessed with money by the rest of the Empire. However those same cities contain the poorest and cleverest members of the nation.

In general Aurians extol great art especially in sculpture and stonework. Aurians adore the art of making money and consider it the noblest pursuit far above that of intellectual excellence, romantic or even military success. Indeed all those others should be used to attain it according to the Aurians for when was one has money all those other things will follow.

Aurians tend to be racist but not anti-social. Women can work and own property in Auria but they cannot vote or stand for office. Though it is well recognised that if a women is a powerful noble in her own right (Ie rich) she can sponsor any man to be her place holder in the Senate or other such position. Interestingly a woman can sit on the Select Councils at the request of the Emperor. it seems likely that this exception came about because of powerful female wizards and priestesses as well of course as the more influential Empresses and Princesses over the centuries.

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)

The Aurian Empire is now the largest in Karandia, though it was not always so. It was originally 34 different city states or more like 50-60 different countries if you count the different tribes, lone townships and beast men lands. However the Nation of Auria was, as far back as human records go, has always been one of the leading human nations in power and wealth.

Auria found its strengths early on trade, money, negotiation, organisation and profit. Money was and is and always will be its centre.

In 10BE a man rose to pre-eminence in Auria. He became so intrinsically involved and in control of the finances, markets and cash flow of Auria that his power and the respect paid him in that democratic society was as yet unheard of. He gained the new position and title of Head of Finance and for the first time ever, in their history, the Aurians had a single leader.

His name was Jomark and over the next three years he proceeded to reorganise Auria. He centred all power in an elite set of tradesmen and mathematicians called the Ro’Tier. From these he further specialised, calling specific men to lead a new reorganised military called the Aurian Legions (A precursor to the modern Protectorans) and others to form the Council of Speakers which would evolve into the modern Aurian Senate. All these organisation he tied to himself through the people he put in charge and through a growing set of laws.

During these initial three years the six neighbouring states became so dependent of Aurian commerce that they realised they might as well get all the benefits of being Aurian and petitioned Jomark and his elites to become part of Auria. Jomark accepted their allegiance. The Aurians had always believed themselves superior and now felt that they had proved it. No state was their equal and these lesser states knew it! Jomark’s popularity soared as Auria prospered a word of him being ‘Emperor’ of Auria began to surface.

Jomark himself was a God fearing man and began to worry when his popularity became such that some of his people called for his deification. This occurred after the First Commerce Wars (7 BE- 4 BE) when Auria used its military for the first time to force a state to join it. The campaign was a logistical triumph for Auria. It was said that ‘it was war not by sword, but by book!’

To counter this trend Jomark in 4 BE made a single country shaking decision.He changed Auria’s currency from the Mark (which they were saying was a prophetic symbol of his arrival and eventual godhood)to the Cellen in honour of Celer, god of learning, trade and money. This turned out to be a master stroke. In a single move he completely overcame two growing hotbeds of dissent.

The church, which had become increasingly uneasy, threw themselves into his personally chosen mission to disband his own cult of worship and his own public declaration of devotion to Celer. Instantly the church not only supported Jomark, but converted the nation to devotion to country (represented by Jomark) as second only to devotion to their god. Tor Celer is founded at this time and the church that would later be replaced by the Cellastinal Cathedral is built.

Those in the political scene who had been worried about Jomark’s singular level of control and the ethics of one man commanding everything lost their grounding. How could a man who was intent on hording power and dictating give up such an obvious advantage. The whole move stunk of humility and that was not something they could attack. Those snakes who were not won over outright found their fangs had been pulled. No one, no one wanted to hear a bad word about ‘Emperor’ Jomark.

A third and surely foreseen effect was that several other city states used the Cellan as their current currency. These states found it was almost too easy to simply become a state within Auria or as now it was coming to be known (though for a few more years ‘unofficially’) the Aurian Empire.

Anything Auria had lacked when Jomark came to power was now provided for or in reach. Massive population, far reaching currency and trade-links, a coast line, a large and organised military, horses and cattle herds. Jomark was crowned in great pomp and ceremony First Emperor of Auria. This year is the turning point of the date and timelines all across Karandia. Each year after this crowning and the official declaration of the creation of the Aurian Empire is called Post Empire (PE).

Some of the other 34 states looked on these proceedings with fear. Auria was becoming too powerful. Some handled this by capitulating quickly and getting on the winning side, others tried alliances, others put their heads in the sand and hoped Auria would never decide to swallow them. Torash is the only one of these states to still survive in the present day.

Torash decided to match Auria or at least try to. So whilst Auria grew Torash made a military bid to match them. They conquered several states and made themselves strong enough that when Auria did come knocking they were ready.

Free Country, which was not counted as one of the 34 city states at the time, at was geographically safe from Auria at this time. Even later as Auria grew and gobbled up the other city states Free Country managed through trickery, fast talk and extremely carefully-written treaties to give Auria enough reason to leave it be. Though it is thought more likely that the prolonged war with Torash and defeats in Saracan simply left Auria (And certainly Jomark) without the heart for it.

After its official creation in 0PE, Auria engaged in several wars to complete the subjugation of the other states. These are called the Unification Wars and run from 2 PE to about 22PE. This is because the final war was so different it stands alone. By 22PE the Empire was only fighting Torash.

The longest of these Unification Wars was the constant war against their eastern neighbour Torash. It lasted 29 years from 6PE to 34PE, in the end it was finished by Jomark who named it The War of Thorns for its bitterness and the hate and ruin it left on both sides. For this single act, Jomark is the only Emperor the Torans treat with any respect.

In 39PE Jomark died, originally to be buried in his own chosen tomb with the only decoration being his name written in gold. Since his death his resting place has been twice upgraded by later Emperors seeking to attach themselves to his glory. Now it is a national wonder that must be seen to be believed.

Since Jomark there have been many Emperors, but not all can be named here. Some have been war-like continuing what Jomark started; some had the dream of renaming the continent Auria and the Empire after himself! Never have they been successful in dominating the whole continent. Still, some points are worthy of note.

In 39 PE Jomark’s grandson Nicholas-Mark I was ‘elected’ by the Ro’Tier to be the new Emperor. Wishing to match his grandfather or at least be remembered for something other than being second he embarked on a campaign of trade and a military war of expansion. These are called the Second Commerce Wars. Several more states fell under the onslaught, but Torash was not attacked. Many believed that this state of warfare would simply continue until all eventually fell beneath Auria’s feet.

Yet in 50 PE when the Aurian armies struck north in the Forked Offensive towards the cities and countries that would later be called Saracan and the open plains of Alkan they ran into problems.The elves and dwarves who had fled the expanding human empire and its wars had come here and joined with their existing kin. The elves of Woodguard with the dwarves of Barkarin helping them rose up to face the invading army. The humans of the trade city Dusken marched as well, fully realising that this was their best chance to stop Aurian expansionism. The Aurians never knew what hit them. The elves and dwarves were well practised in war, and brought weapons and magics the humans had not considered. The trees themselves fought for the elves, and dwarves brought massed elite units such as the Splitters who simply carved through even the veteran Aurian legions. At the same time, the horselords surrounded and outflanked the slower more cumbersome imperial armies on the open plain. Without roads and coastline for resupply or cities to loot and hold for land control, they were ill suited to take Alkan either. The tide of expansionism was stopped, peace was sued for, and the Aurian Empire finally rested on its laurels.

In 92 PE Nicholas-Mark II was ‘elected’ by the Ro’Tier to be the new Emperor in place of his dead father. His reign was short and uneventful, but it did include one thing of note. Nicholas-Mark wished to honour certain military men above giving them more men to march with. He also suggested that in this time of peace such men still had a purpose to protect and be examples of honour and leadership. So he founded the KOE, the Order of the Knight of the Empire.

In 155PE under the leadership of the Vizier to the Emperor Cartazian, Thanolian, later known better as Whitefire, the wizards of the Empire officially organised themselves into a Guild, The Sapphire Wizards’ Guild. Their headquarters was to be in Tor Armakan and it is from this date that this town grown to become one of the three largest cities in Auria. It would take another 445 years before the planning and completion of the Blue Crystal Palace, their true headquarters, would be complete.

Crowned in 315PE Emperor Garath, known as ‘the Warrior’, ruled and completed the conquest of the eastern Empire. He devoted Yewdon to ship building, attacked the Torans, and struck at the elves in the Oakland (Previously Quintox) forest. His expansionism and aggression were violently curbed however when the Alkan plainsmen became the horselords. They fell upon the expanding Aurian settlements on the plains and destroyed them all. The Aurians tried under Garath’s leadership to punish them for this but, while the Alkan horselords showed no inclination to bring the fight beyond their borders, they crushed the Aurian infantry in lightning fast and devastating cavalry charges. Garath should have halted his campaigns, but he refused and the great warrior died in ignominy. Some to this day think that it was the Knight Stalkers or their unknown predecessors who did this.

During the 400-500PE years the rest of the West coast was absorbed into the Empire.

Auria had already been split into trading areas. Now under the leadership of Emperor Aluap, known universally as the Organiser, new Trading Areas were founded. Specifically, those of 504PE – the border areas of Rak Danning and Tor Zeric. The Organiser, also in 502PE, reformed the Ro’Tier and defined their powers. Clearly, they did not ‘elect’ an Emperor and that myth needed to be put away with. However, new clarification was given as to what powers they did have to balance and assist the Emperor in law making and governing. The Ro’Tier were officially renamed the Imperial Senate. Some of the Ro’Tier objected that they were not law-makers but men of buisness, and these split off under direction from Aldour, the Vizier of the time, to create the Audit Corporation.

During the reign of Emperor Aluap, the first recorded major Wargak invasion of Auria occurred. In various raids and engagements between 505-507PE, the Imperial army – now organised by trading areas – backed by Sarrifs from the Sapphire Guild threw back the invading hordes. The Wizards’ contribution was such that the Emperor personally thanked them and recognised them as the key influence in saving the Empire. The Blue Crystal Palace was planned and started from this date, though it did not open, fully finished, for another 95 years.

In 520PE, due to the increased effectiveness of the reorganised area-legions, the Organiser’s descendants went further and under his son Peter I the Five Protectorans of the Empire were officially organised and given Tor Kalash, the third largest city in the Empire, as their base of power. Black for their Mounted Legions, Blue- Navy Legions, Yellow-Border Legions, Red- Capital and Elite Foot Legions Green- Ranger and Woodsmen Legions.

During 23PE -29PE, under Peter I ’s reorganised structure, the Empire embarked on several controlled campaigns to take the city state Zeric, the Duchy of Tholis Mesa and Cthol Tatrak, which had been a vassal to the defeated kingdom of Tatrak. Kolaran joined the empire during this time, realising all the advantages of so doing and the likely consequence of refusing.

Aluap and his son after him are certainly considered historically as some of the most successful of all the Imperial Monarchs. Virtually no defeats and dozens of decisions that have stood the test of time.

600 PE – The Blue Crystal Palace completed.

650PE: The Knight Stalkers become unofficially official as the Highest Ranks of Imperial Command. They are used to decapitate (in many ways literally) the First Protectoran Mutiny. Tor Kalash, military centre of the Empire, is their headquarters.

662-676 PE The reign of Peter II. Peter is credited with a lot of political victories and particularly for organising the interaction between Senate, Sarrifs, Church of Celer and the Protectorans.

662-676 PE Peter writes up his life’s memories and publishes them whilst sponsoring the creation of the three great libraries at Tor Armakan, Tor Honarik and Tor Celer.

674-675 PE – The successful campaign against the Danoran Mountain clans and the founding of Dardon Point.

687PE: Emperor Horus embarks on a campaign to take southern Saracan. He is prevented by the combined forces of the Seven-Colour Army. However the ensuing peace treaty is favourable, allowing him to expand Auria’s borders right up to Free Country, as the Saracanites have no single negotiator and different ideas of what they want.

775PE: Renis the Pious bows to church pressure and allows the Vormach to be created, a Valley outside of Senate and any other imperial control save the Emperor’s own royal influence. The wizards are furious as the Cellan Guard, a military group under the church’s influence and outside of Tor Kalash control, is created. This started a rivalry between the church and the wizards of the Sapphire Guild which rages to this day.

1050-1102PE: The extended reign of Peter IV, the boy king who became known as the Seafarer. Massive overseas trade routes and naval ports were set up during this reign. Imperial holdings on Eltirian created through Fourth Commerce Wars.

1184-1193PE: The reign of Carlson, the Waymaker. Carlson realised that the Empire was stagnating as both his father and grandfather had been unable to expand the Empire’s influence overseas, building on his ancestor Peter IV’s successes. Without financial or military successes the Empire began to flounder a little. Internal strife bubbled and then erupted in a rebellion and attempted succession from the Empire first by a powerful Lord in Tor Zeric and then by a partial Blue Protectoran Mutiny in Tatrak.

Carlson struggled to bring these under control and it is said he only managed it with the help of the Nightstriders.However historians also point out his understanding of internal political realities and his diplomatic savvy contributed to his success. Carlson managed to play the Protectoran Marix together and against each other in order to secure his position.

1187 PE – Carlson agrees to the creation of the Imperial Road Planning Committee. He then directs immense funds into the project distracting the typical Aurians from rebellion and isolating his enemies. The road building creates unlimited work across Auria and generates a huge economic boom in the country.

1188 PE – Attacked from the sea and land simultaneously Tatrak falls, Nightstrider involvement suspected. However before their defeat the rebels carry out their threat and kill their royal hostage the heir to the throne. When Tatrak was taken Carlson allowed the city to be sacked in retribution. This is notable in comparison with his very lenient approach later with Tor Zeric. A new Grand Admiral is appointed. Blue Protectoran headquarters was moved from Tatrak to Gan Tarak after this event.

1190 PE – Using the newly build road head Red and Yellow Protectoran troops move into the Tor Zeric Trading Area and are not repulsed. Within the year they lay siege to Tor Zeric itself. Early the following year the rebel Lord (Called the Desert Snake) is slain and the gates opened to Emperor Carlson’s forces.

1189-1193 PE – Road building all over the Empire creates a new era of fast internal trade and allows for the fast moving of the armies of the Empire.

1193-1221 PE – The reign of Gerard the Waywalker. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Carlson Emperor Gerard aggressively pursues the building schemes planned in previous decades. He also travels extensively, visiting every major city in the Empire personally and going to nine other countries around Karandia and overseas. He is the first Emperor that historians can confirm visited Derioch. Gerard also set up the beginnings of the Imperial Post, when he agreed to the founding of the Royal Messengers Service. Whereas in the previous decade the roads had been focused on a sparse east to west and north to south line, Gerard envisioned a network to assist with all major internal trade and campaign routes. It is only due to this that the Warmaker and the Bleeder were able to carry out their own aggressive reigns.

1234-1271PE: Reign of the Warmaker, Anarik, and specifically during 1240-50 PE a decade of invasion including the Northport War and the Sandwall War. Significant land gains to the south of the Empire.

1300-1400 PE – Peace?

1486-1491PE: Emperor Kavad, known as the Bleeder, takes the Empire into the War of Vengeance with Torash. The entire Council of Swords is assassinated by the Knight Stalkers. His eldest son, Spencer, gains the title ‘Prince of War’ for victories over the Torans. In the end Torash itself cannot be taken and Auria withdraws whilst the treaty gives them increased land holdings. Kavad never gets over it and dies angry and frustrated four years later.

1512-14PE: First Dragon Army Invasion from Vash’Kar. Torash is ravaged and it is the might of Auria that finally defeats the invasion and forces the Dragonites back. The huge might of the Aurian legions is brought to bear under the Princes of War, Spencer now Emperor, as well as the much younger son of Kavad, nowMarshal of the Empire Prince Jack. Between the two of them the ‘Princes of War’ push back the tide of dragons and dragonites.

1643- 1677 PE – The Imperial Road system sees a renaissance. Under the reign of Royan I and his son Royan II, the system is overhauled, fixed and improved. it is thought by most commentators that this was to mask political damage from the failed invasion of Vash’Kar and the waning of imperial approval among the nobility. Similarly, as it had done for Carlson the road building created a bubble of trade and working prosperity which proved very popular. Thousands of peasants joined the ‘Roving Villages’ as they were called which moved along with the massive work crews. It is during this time that a lot of the untamed land in the Empire was settled especially in the central protectorates.

1761-1779PE: Regin of Elfslayer, Elves of Oakland forest driven and smitten at King Victor’s order. Bounty put on any elven kills. Battle of Oakhome fought, resulting in a massive elfish defeat. Most elves withdraw into Alkan side of the forest.

1898-1900PE:Second Dragon Army Invasion The War of the Stars of Destiny.

Return to Karandia.

Aurian Empire

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