Some Tidbits About the Upcoming Cirsova Book

Who?
This going to be the story of a young desert woman, Aeryn, who is a member of one of the tribes of ancient Paelnor. The people of Paelnor are sometimes known as the Children of the Eye or the People of the Eye, because of their myths that they are watched over by a great eye in the deserts.

What
Aeryn has been taken by the Northmen (the Tyuravelinai, though they have not yet come to be called that) along with a number of others from her tribe. They are part of a recurring system of tribute to the great northern kingdom.

Where
While the story takes place in a city called Polaris, it is Old Polaris, a truly Polar city, far to the north of Gatlia and Ungoza, perhaps farther north from Elefloe or Jorgora than those ruins are from Solaris. The Polaris known to the modern Cirsovans is named for this great lost city.

When
This story takes place in the distant, almost mythic past, long before the ice, long before the migration of the Akhirs, and very long before the foundation of the Cirsovan Empire. As such, while some names and places may be familiar, they may also be different from what may be found in the Encyclopedia. For instance, the Sabrio valley is still heavily jungled.
Why
Because I needed to actually write something that has something to do with Cirsova and can be published. Besides, why not?

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Paelnor

Paelnor is a land of contrast: where there is no Jungle, there is only desert. And the desert grows year by year. Before the migration of the Akhirs, Paelnor was likely covered entirely in Jungle, save for the rocky wastes of the western province. Deforestation and changes in weather, however, have impacted the climate and enviroment, and for many hundred years, Paelnor has been a land of sands. With the exception of Gazee, built in the Sabrio Valley, and Diirdec on the coast, the large towns of Paelnor are built around desert oases.

Traders are frequently met crossing the deserts of Paelnor. Caravans bring strange goods from the Ortian lands, as well as those things brought in from beyond the seas. The Karkuran horses are often unsuited for making the journey across the badlands of the southern empire. Instead, Camels bred in the provinces of Ortia and Paelnor are used by those making the long trek between Gazee and Solaris.

While Paelnor is part of the Cirsovan empire, it is only scantly administered. Taxes and tariffs from the province are imposed on goods exiting the province from Gazee or Diirdec, and a governor is in place in Kieab, located between Gazee and the Aiki crossroads, whose primary function is to ensure that trade continues on the road. Frolna and Xeln, which are located far to the west of Kieab, within the wastes, are under no governance from the Empire. Goods travel there and emerge from there, and so long as they do, the Empire and the Governor are satisfied. Beyond Frolna and Xeln, it is said, that there are unknowable and unspeakable monuments to the forgotten time, predating by countless centuries even the arrival of the seafaring proto-Akhirs.

 

Diirdec

Diirdec is a Dawnsea port town at the mouth of the Sabrio River. Established originally as a supply depot by the imperial fleet’s marine detachment sent to fight against the Kingdom of Sabrio, the city of Diirdec is now one of the premier ports of the Empire and Paelnor’s only harbor.

Some less scrupulous historians have claimed that the city was built on the ruins of another Sabrian city that had been at the mouth of the river. While it is true that the Kingdom of Sabrio did have an established settlement in the delta, that community was largely on the north side of the river in modern Karkuras. The original depot, though now long gone, was established along a beachhead many miles south of the Sabrio. Extensive jungles still covered much of the region at that time, which have since been clear-cut, so the original site must have been exceptionally isolated in respect to the old Sabrian port town.

From this base of operations, the imperial forces were able to receive a steady supply food, weapons, troops and money from Korsha, which were crucial for the war effort against the Sabrians. The legions stationed in Diirdec in coordination with the legions and forces of Prince Athdaelda in Karkuras served as hammer and anvil, crushing the Kingdom of Sabrio and isolating them from any succor to be found from the caravans of Kieab. Adding to this the naval blocade set up between Diirdec and Korsha, no outside aide could reach Sabrio or be sent for. Divers today often vainly search for sunken treasure near the river’s mouth; most notable wrecks, however, would surely be found deeper in the bay, off the coast.

Today, Diirdec remains a minor center of trade, largely receiving goods on their way to Athdaelda that were sent neither overland nor to Corineaus or from the heart of Paelnor to the Riverlands. Most Ortian traders opt to sail directly to Korsha if shipping to Cirsova. Deforestation of Sabrio Valley has proven problematic, as little timber is nearby for construction, though some of the primal forests remain further upriver; these, when felled, may be sent down the river as barges, where they are sold for assorted purposes in Diirdec. The people of Diirdec, however, often bemoan the mistakes of deforestation and building too closely to the river-banks, especially during the rainy seasons. Though there are no historical documents or artifacts to prove the claim, citizens bandy about the idea that the old Sabrian city just north of the river never suffered the same floods, as it was built on higher ground. The imperial decree stating that no settlements be built on Sabrian ruins is pointed to as particularly unfair in this case.

 

(The first actual Cirsova post in like a month.  Yes, you were  all breathlessly awaiting this day, I know.)

Sabrio, The Kingdom of

Though no written records exist of the Kingdom of Sabrio, it is thought that it originated much the same way as early Cirsovan culture.  The Kingdom of Sabrio originally consisted of communities along the Sabrio River valley which were at some point unified under a single king.  Despite the dense rainforest growing around much of the valley, the communities were well connected by the river. Large swathes of forest were clear-cut along the banks, and in those clearings the cities of the old kingdom flourished.  Indeed, by the time of the Second War of Unification, very little of the original forests remained, so many had been cleared away.  Not content to remain a solely riparian power, the Kingdom of Sabrio pushed outward from the valley, displacing less settled peoples and encroaching on the territories of more civilized inhabitants.

During the war that destroyed the Kingdom of Sabrio, Orwen Akana saw to it that every city was thoroughly eradicated.  The Imperial Legion moved up the river valley, from its mouth at the Dawnsea to its distant headwaters south of Brebea, a great cleansing fire through the land.  The people of the Sabrio valley were, by the written accounts of the legion, wholly committed to evil, vice, debauchery and human sacrifice.  The Empire today benefits greatly from their extermination.

Parts of the modern province of Karkuras, as well as large portions of Paelnor, were parts of the Sabrio Kingdom prior to the treaties of annexation which created those provinces.

Second Great War of Unification

The Second Great War of Unification refers to the period roughly 100 years after the founding of Gatia, during the Reign of Orwen Akana, Fifth Emperor of Cirsova, during which Paelnor and Karkuras were added to the Imperial Dominion.

Late in the Reign of Orwen Akana’s father, the hostile Kingdom of Sabrio sought to expand their domains, challenging the young kingdoms that had taken seed in the future provinces of Karkuras and Paelnor. The nomadic horsemen of Karkuras, find their ranges threatened, both fought against the incurring Paelnorans, and moved their roaming grounds north, into southern Cirsova, and west, into the more settled parts of Karkuras.

Cirsova responded first by building up Daaln and Skitis to act as a ‘borderwatch’ against  the encroachment from Karkuras. Orwen Akana raised the imperial legions and marched south. The Emperor quickly realized that the problem lay further south, not with the horsemen, but with those who had attacked and threatened to displace them. The Prince of Athdaelda sent word to the Cirsovans that he was willing to commit arms against the neighboring horsemen, if the Emperor could but aid him in his defense against the expanding Kingdom of Sabrio.

Orwen Akana agreed and managed to travel quickly by the old roads from Skitis to the Orshiano valley. In Korsha, he raised a great fleet, which landed at the mouth of the Sabrio River (the eventual site of Diirdec). As he lead a force of marines up the Sabrio valley, the southern legions pushed back against the nomadic horsemen before joining with the Prince’s standing armies. The horsemen were eventually contained to the eastern plains against the Legion to the north, Athdaelda to the west, the Sabrio river (and the Emperor’s marine force) to the south, and the Dawnsea to the east. The flotilla from Korsha eventually laid waste to the entire kingdom of Sabrio, of which nothing remains today.

Almost a decade of relentless campaigning utterly destroyed Cirsova’s first true rival to primacy, secured the alliance by marriage to the most powerful surviving state (which would eventually become the Seat of the newly annexed province of Karkuras), established a new port from which the Empire could exert naval dominance of the Dawnsea, and so cowed the princes of Kieab and Xeln, that both abdicated their seats, lest they face the fate of the Kingdom of Sabrio. In time, the empire would be able to appoint autocrats to oversee the full annexation of Paelnor. The events of the Second Great War of Unification would ultimately double the size of the Cirsovan Empire by adding her first two provinces and secure Orwen Akana’s divinity in the eyes of the people, lesser only to the majestic Ga Akana.