Su'ndarian History

The earliest Su'ndari history has been passed by word of mouth for too many generations to be entirely reliable or true; over time the facts have become legends, and those legends have slowly turned into myths, and now it is rare to find a Su'ndari who is familiar with those myths.

The Su'ndari were a wandering tribe of desert people. In the desert, only those with strength and innovative minds survived, and the Su'ndari were both the strongest and the most innovative of the tribes.

It was only relatively recently, about 600 years ago, that the Su'ndari stopped their wandering and settled in one of the desert's oases. There, they built an elaborate and massive capital city, like nothing that had been seen before. How a wandering tribe could undergo such drastic changes so quickly is a question that has led many of the smaller desert tribes to fear the Su'ndari, and some have come to believe that the Su'ndari must have the favor of the gods.

It was not unheard of for wandering tribes to establish strongholds that they could return to when needed, but the construction of a huge city like the Su'ndari capital city was something new. What could induce a tribe to turn from generations of wandering and suddenly settle down?

Many believe that it was the guidance of the Celestials that caused the Su'ndi people to change how they behaved for it is at about this time that the Celestials were discovered and the people learnt to change their ways from the flawed old ways to the enlightened new age of reason.

The ruler of the tribe at the time was a powerful woman named Sesinna. Ancient legend says that she assassinated her way to the top of the tribe by killing off, not only her husband, but also her brothers and father. The legend goes that Sesinna went out into the desert one night, and returned to tell her people that she now knew where they needed to go and what should be done. They followed her through the desert for seven days and seven nights, until Sesinna and her people reached an oasis in the heart of the desert. Sesinna began to draw plans for a new city in the sands of the oasis. It took 40 years, but Sesinna's plans became reality and the city people now call simply "Capital City" was built. According to those who know the legends, Sesinna is said to have died on the day the last building was completed.

The Capital City has grown beyond the bounds of Sesinna's original plans. New homes were built as the population of Capital City grew, but later buildings were always made with Sesinna's designs in mind.

Shortly after Sesinna's death, her son Tullian took the throne. He followed in her mother's footsteps, and introduced the next phase in the rapid evolution of the Su'ndari: he introduced a system of trade. The Capital City itself had been built with materials stolen from the weaker surrounding tribes, but Tullian changed the nature of both city and people, making them known throughout the desert for their new market system.

With the development of a market system came an increase in literacy, and a new reliance on currency. The Su'ndari slowly lost their warlike and wandering ways and became very proud of their newfound civilization.

Tullian lead the tribe into becoming a kingdom and he crafted the market system and set down many traditions and laws which further separated the Su'ndari from their long-established nomadic ways. The creation of this new era did not happen overnight, but proceeded steadily throughout Tullian's reign. And, like his mother, it was said that after the last great trade road was established, Tullian died peacefully in his sleep.

As those around the Su'ndari watched, they came to the conclusion that the advancement had to be the work of the Gods. Some tribes wished to share in what they saw as the Gods' gifts, and were assimilated into the Su'ndari but with each acquisition the other tribes. Over the years some tribes were eradicated from the desert, while others were assimilated into the Su'ndari until all the tribes in the Su'ndi region belonged to this great tribe. As the Su'ndi grew other tribes did their best to mimic the rising star of the soon to be Empire and other nations were birthed throughout the known world.

After Tullian's death, the Su'ndari fell into a period of chaos. He had done much to continue his mother's legacy, pushing to advance the Su'ndari, but he was rumored to be so paranoid that a wife or child might take over by force that he refused to give the people an heir. The ruler of the Su'ndari can be male or female, but they held firm to the belief that the right to rule is passed through the bloodlines of their past rulers.

Because Tullian left no heir, the upper level of citizens in the city began to eye the throne. Many families felt they had a claim to the throne as they had helped Sesinna and Tullian to build Capital City, and to establish the market system that had made some of them so wealthy. The wealthiest families fought for 10 long years in a bitter battle for the throne. Many of those families lost sons and husbands to the war but, as always, the less wealthy families were the most devastated by the violence.

Not all the wealthy families fought in the Civil War. A small group of families, whose more recent rise in status gave them no real claim to the throne, did their best to halt the war. This group which came to be known as the Blue Finch Party would eventually form the foundation of a change in power greater than any could have imagined.

Under the rule of the new Emporer, Capital City and the Su'ndari came to prosper. The people settled into their roles and their everyday lives. They became a center of trade for nearby desert tribes who did not fear them, an oasis into which the still-wandering tribes could come to get supplies.

Instead of marauding desert pirates, the Su'ndari became a tribe of merchants. As time progressed, the Su'ndari slipped slowly into a life of leisure. The nobility soon did little more then lounge all day and the middle class fell back on the poor to do the majority of the tasks. Their tastes did not become lazy, instead they would tire what they had and would start to cry for new exciting items - the next cloth, a new spice, a new fragrance or a new fruit from a foreign soil. The Su'ndari sent out scouts and established trade posts, their reach going further and further in search of a new item to delight their palettes.

This thirst for new things, wealth and luxury soon brought the Su'ndi Empire into contact with the other fledgling nations that had modeled themselves upon the Su'ndari model. With each trade that was thwarted and each diplomatic missive that was not obeyed the Su'ndi found their attention turned towards these neighbours and soon the question was raised by those who would later become known as the Red Vulture party "Why should we accept this from them when we are greater and should receive it as our due?" Thus began the next phase of Su'ndi history.

The first goal of the Su'ndi people was the control of the Davrini river and its estuary. The Davrini river links the Su'ndi region to the sea passing through both the Gyroa and Suroa regions. To start with the Su'ndi attempted to gain the other regions via trade and politics. This was partly successful and Gyroa eventually joined the Su'ndi as a protectorate state but Suroa had no intention of falling under the governorship of a Su'ndari emporer. A mere two years after Gyroa's surrender the Emperor ordered the building of the first conquest fleet ever known and set sail for Suroa. The Su'ndi marched on the Suroan capital with little warning and Suroa fell as quickly and effectively as a rival caught alone in a dark alley.

History speaks of Suroa as being a major agricultural area with little industry but the arrival of the Su'ndari changed that. They had plans for the rest of the world that required arms and armor, food and livestock, slaves and soldiers and the Suroan region was soon smothered in workshops and foundries as the Empire sought to supply all it could demand.

Once the length of the Davrini river was claimed the Su'ndarian peoples turned their eyes northwards to the floodplains of the Kavaen River. This people of Liminoa held out for a few years but almost inevitably they fell before the clever tacticians and superior equipment of the Su'ndi militaries.

With the river routes between Su'ndi and the ocean safely under the empires control the people turned their attention to exploration, trade and defense. Trade routes between Ajayoa and Tamoa were established and an outpost was established to trade with the desert tribes of the mainland. This outpost was known as Kihoa and it has slowly transformed into the capital city of the region that still carries that name today.

The addition of the Kihoan tribesmen into the Su'ndari empire happened more by stealth than plan. Emperors and Empresses alike tried and failed to take the region by force. Eventually an Emporer by the name of Havrian approached the region with a different style - He brought a large, highly mobile force of chariots to the region and began harrying the local forces. At the same time he made it easy and safe for the friendly tribes to trade and become rich. In the end the forces were not forced into surrender so much as bribed into compliance. Generations later the Nomadic Tribesmen of the Kihoan region consider themselves an important part of the Su'ndari empire.

Even with the now significant holdings of the Su'ndari Empire at her beck and call the Empress Haviana, Havrian's daughter found things entirely too small for her liking. She decided to make a name for herself, breaking decades of peace by making the entire northern side of the Su'ndi landmass the Empire's own.

Tamoa was a region with which the Su'ndari had been trading for more than a generation. It was wealthy, well defended and famed for the sharp tempered people that called the region home. The first invasion by the forces of Empress Haviana was soundly defeated. A combination of naval supremacy and size had been the deciding factor in the battles for the regions of Suroa and Liminoa but this Su'ndi strength was effectively nullified by a combination of Tamoan naval strength and the difficulty of the local waters. Unfortunately the latest innovation, Havian's chariots, were of limited use in the narrow river valleys where the Tamoan's chose to fight.

Having been proven a poor general Haviana retreated back to the safety of capital city only to strike again at the Tamoa region two decades later. This time it was her son, the famous general Havan who led the forces. Havan employed an impressive force made up of lines of shield wielding spear-men backed up with swordsmen, axeman, archers, very heavy cavalry and nimble chariot archers. Naval technologies had also advanced at such a pace that the Tamoan vessels could no longer take on the Su'ndi vessels with any level of success. Under such military supremacy the Tamoan's more individualistic forces crumbled until Havan managed to gain a humiliating victory over the local royals. In the typical Su'ndari tradition the royal family was killed except for those young enough to be intermarried with the Su'ndarian royal family itself giving the new Tamoan nobles some measure of legitimacy in their new reign.

Havan proved unhappy with the wife, fame and wealth he had gained on the Tamoan campaigns and soon returned to Capital City. There it is said that his fierce Tamoan wife tried to take revenge upon the Su'ndari royals by attempting to stage a surprisingly effective coup. Her coup was bloody but brief. Haviana was killed along with many of the more influential members of the Su'ndi royal family. It is said that Havan stepped over his mothers bloody corpse to calmly take his seat on his mothers vacant throne even as the guards restrained his struggling wife and his first words were that the fleets should be prepared for war. In the three years of preparatory time that followed Elsia, Havan's wife, was locked in the famed golden tower. Three children were sired upon her before she threw herself to her death mere days before the Emperors departure.

Ajayoa was unprepared for the battle that ensued. By this point the Su'ndari empire could raise massive numbers of men, horses and ships and Havan is famed for his military strategy. A mere three years later the raven haired goddess-queen of Ajayoa was forced into a marriage which was held over the eviscerated remains of her husband on the terraced hillsides overlooking her citadel. With his appetite for bloodshed unquenchable even by the addition of the Ajoyan jewel into the empire, Havan then turned his eyes to the east - leaving his new wife to continue her rule within the occupied city. Ajayoa is one of the few places in the empire capable of producing the wood required for the massive ocean going battleships which have provided much of the empires recent strength.

Havan split his forces between Arloa and Elsijoa, attacking both at different times over the remainder of his life, but it was Elsijoa that suffered most, pinned as they were between the naval might of Havan's navy and the relentless raids of the Kihoan people. Havan would have defeated both if he had not been injured by a Arloan girl. Havan was a violent and insatiable man and this time he encountered more than he expected. Forced to return to Su'ndi, the armies were passed into the hands of his less skilled sibling, and Havan's appetites turned inwards. Under the burden of financing both his appetites and a major war the empire started to crumble.

Before long the military was recalled to deal with unrest within the borders of the Su'ndari Empire itself and the war effort was effectively over but for a military outpost maintained in the Elsijoa region. Many marriages were forged between the different royal lines during this time and this marriage strengthened alliances proved vitally important once Havan died and his eldest son, a youth said to be even crueler than his sire, took over.

It was two generations before the Su'ndari royal family threw another general of worth - a girl with blood from both the Tamoan and Elsijoan bloodlines which had been introduced during this time. Dorla's first act was to forge an alliance with Arloa that allowed them to retain their royal family in exchange for swearing allegiance and providing a royal wife for the Emperor himself.

With Arloa quiet, Dorla was able to focus on Elsijoa, systematically taking the defenses apart until they were forced to surrender. Dorla's first act was to make herself queen by marrying a young cousin of the king and killing all who had a better claim. Elsijoa is considered to be a poor region these days as the wells that once made it fertile have mostly dried up. If it wasn't for the important strategic value of the naval port in the area it might have been abandoned entirely.

Years passed and the Su'ndari settled into inter-provincial squabbles and civil unrest. At one point, when the nobility is said to have been the most corrupt and the people to have been the most oppressed the Blue Finch party is said to have begun a civil movement that resulted in a change of government. The change seems little when taken alone; it merely granted any family that met the requirements regardless of bloodline to form a House yet it had a tremendous effect upon the structure of the Su'ndari empire. Groups of people began to band together to raise the funds needed to become citizens and thus gain a seat on the council and the Blue Finch party supported many who could not support themselves. With the noble Houses outnumbered on the council government effectively moved into the hands of its citizens. Soon civilization was split not by nobility or commoners but by citizen and non-citizen. The entire concept of nobility was soon abolished by those who had no claim of royal blood and gradually nobility started to matter less than power, wealth and personal prowess.