Athdaelda, IV Legion Fort of

Just a few miles east of Athdaelda is a small military complex which acts as base for the IV Imperial Legion.  This fort is a major force in the region, both militarily and economically.  The Empire is able to exert its influence militarily by maintaining the largest standing army in the region, whose direct line to the Empire both subverts the Prince’s influence while maintaining it by perpetuating his family’s rule through treaty and force.

The men stationed here are nominally guarding against potential uprisings by the horsetribes and act as deterrent against those who might practice highwaymanry on the road to Gazee and Diirdec.  They serve a more immediate function in maintaining leverage for both Cirsova and Athdaelda’s position in the region.  While no one would consider Karkuras occupied, it is notable that both Gatlia and Ungoza are “protected” by a lone legion stationed in Davou while otherwise being left to their own.

The economic impact of the IV Legion has a twofold effect.  While the land itself is taxed to feed & mount the soldiers, many supplies and dry goods originate from outside Karkuras, thus bringing traders & merchants from the Heartlands and from Paelnor to keep the troops equipped.  The merchants who created the community of Doan at the crossroads have benefited the most, though some farmers around Athdaelda are aggrieved, as they are most impacted by food tax, a burden not shared with Karkuras’ other citizens.

The Athdaeldan monarchy and IV Legion keep unrest in check, though many Karkurans, not just farmers, have begun demanding more voice in the matter of the fort and legion.  Hence, the Gatian nobles have their worries about the example set by Gatlia’s experiment in republican governance.

One of the primary responsibilities of the Legion was the deforestation of the Sabrio Valley north of the river, along with the razing and total demolition of the bastions of the Kingdom of Sabrio.  At the outset, this created a great surplus of timber for the Empire, however this act is ultimately responsible for the dearth of construction lumber within the province, which today relies heavily on Cirsova and Paelnor’s logging industries.

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Athdaelda, City/Principality of

Athdaelda is the seat of political power in Karkuras, its ruling family considered “cousin” (though only sometimes by marriage) to the Imperial family of Cirsova.  Though well respected (principally in the heartlands) the Princes and their kin command very littly authority outside of Karkuras (and some would say Athdaelda itself).  Still, the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trappings of royalty can be felt in the city which once stood alongside a divine king bringing low a dangerous foe in Sabrio.

The city stretches and sprawls for miles upon the plain, far beyond the old city’s walls.  The old city, at Athdaelda’s core, is built upon and around a small butte which has been formed into a stable earthwork.  The old city is divided from the rest of the city by an octagonal outer wall, which surrounds the old city and the “upper city” (really the inner citadel), a walled diamond with each point a gatehouse oriented to a cardinal direction. The paths from each gateway spiral down the rocky perch of the citadel to the lower portion of the old city.

In the walled section of the “lower city”, which surrounds the base of the butte, one may find the old guildhouses, public halls, temples and houses of wealthy patricians. Here, all manner of business public & politic is conducted.

Within the walls of the “upper city”, the cardinal lanes lead to the palace keep, residence of the Prince and immediate royal family of Athdaelda.  Though during the period of unification this keep was hardened and prepared for long sieges, the palace has long since been retrofitted for creature comforts.  Armories are now dining halls & museums and barracks are ballrooms.

The palace itself is an imposing structure of sublime symmetry.  Each cardinal path leads to a heavy wooden door carved with intricate details recounting the deeds of past Princes.  Each corner of the palace is adorned with a vine-trellised tower, and a great central spire rises up from which the Princes can gaze over the plains.

The rest of the “upper city” has largely been converted to gardens.  A few of the old barracks remain to house the palace guards, groundskeepers and other palace staff who do not reside within the keep.

 

Of a somewhat exciting note, as of this post, the Brief Guide to the Imperial Provinces now exceeds over 20,000 words!  The average length of a Campaign Mastery post.  

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.