Syrus

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Organisations Syric Union
About
Leadership getplayerhead.sh?Draglide12&16.png Draglide12
Headquarters Gran Syre
Founded 2014
Public? yes


Contents

Syrus

Syrus is the land populated by the Syric people, located south-east of Freedonia proper. Syrus refers largely to the land, but also sometimes refers to the government of the Syric state, more properly known as The Syric Union.

Geography

Syrus is composed mostly of two continents, and parts of a third, though some territory on the northern continent is contested by the House of Enderia as being a part of Enderia historically. The North is largely plains and forests, with one large mountain range near the Gulf of Syrus. The major shores of Syrus are on the Gulf of Syrus, the Gulf of Enderia, and the Sea of Hura. The Gulf of Syrus and the Sea of Hura were naturally separated by a narrow isthmus, though were later joined by the canals at Huralle. The south of Syrus is dominated by open plains and deserts, with a range of mountains around Gran Syre, and Halitalle.

Syres

Syrus is ruled by the Syric Union, which consists of eight powerful city states, known as Syres, their territories, and numerous lesser syres. The eight dominant syres are Huralle, Halitalle, Empirus, Caltath, Iralys, Amontein, Rivyr, and Gran Syre. A syre is a title, referring to a city state, but also to the individual who holds that title. While traditions of Syre selection vary between the syres, there are typically few or no restrictions regarding who may become a Syre, and in most cases the title is a meritocracy. Syres are known to be inherited, gained through subterfuge, elected, or even bought and sold. This is a reflection, and partial cause of the fiercely independent and individualistic Syric culture, which place high value on cunning and ambition, as well as most other natural talents.

History

The lands of Syrus were first settled many millennia ago by the Testificates, near the height of their civilization. The city now known as Gran Syre was once their greatest frontier city, a hub for nearly all trade on the outskirts of their empire. At the end of the Nether Wars the nether portals in the Testificate cities were sundered. With the fast travel and trade through the nether ended, the region was too far from the center of the empire to be effectively administered, and largely fell to ruin and depopulation.

While small Testificate towns were always maintained in the region, the lands of Syrus remained largely unpopulated until they were chosen by the semi-legendary Syrus hero Hura as the lands in which he and his followers would settle.

The Tale of Hura

Hura and most of his followers hailed from the far south, from the ancient Mandalorian Empire. Hura himself was a bastard of the House of Mando, and captain of the Royal Guard, the Lys-aut-Mando. Hura was an extremely astute and charismatic leader, and led the Lys-aut-Mando to numerous victories as the elite fighting force of the empire. His privileged position, and natural closeness with the Royal Dynasty however made him keenly aware of the growing corruption and apathy amongst the members of the House of Mando, especially amongst its future heir, a young and enthusiastic, but dull and easily manipulated boy.

Hura foresaw the impending decline of the empire and began to gather around him a core of friends and allies. Prominent nobles and the most loyal members of the Lys-aut-Mando made up the core of this group, which would eventually follow Hura on an exodus north. As the old emperor neared death, and the Empire's many enemies began to grow more aggressive in raids near the imperial borders, Hura suddenly gathered his followers and abandoned the empire, leading his followers north to found a new kingdom. As they left the empire they were joined by thousands of slaves and common folk, eventually swelling their number to nearly 13,000, though just over 10,000 would actually survive the journey north.

Hura led his followers for nearly a year before stopping at a narrow isthmus between two seas. He decided this would be the location of his new city, and the capital of his new kingdom. Legend states that upon reaching the site Hura said "From this virgin land, I shall sire a new empire!" and thus the land was named Syrus. The city would be called Huralle, believed to be based on the Mandolar language's word "aller" which roughly translates as exclave, thus being "Hura's exclave." This is beleived to be because Hura was accompanied by a majority of peasants and foreign slaves, who were forced to live in segregated districts in Mandalorian society.

Hura would have several sons in his lifetime. The eldest two were Hali and Luran. Though Luran would eventually rule Syrus quite capability, Hali is much more famous in Syrus legend and history. Hali often had disagreements with his father, and eventually would refuse to inherit the kingdom, and would set across the Sea of Hura with a group of his own followers to found the city Halitalle, along a range of mountains near the coast of the sea. Meanwhile the Mandalorian empire was in a state of accelerated decline, as Hura's departure with much of the Lys-aut-Mando emboldened the empire's enemies, who attacked with renewed vigor. Many refugees from the falling empire would travel north to settle in Syrus. Many of them would end their long journey in Halitalle, rather than travelling farther north all the way to Huralle. This would lead to Halitalle becoming a center of industry and mining, as gold, iron, and silver were found in abundance in the city's mountains.

The End of the Line of Hura and the Free Syres

The kingdom prospered for several centuries, seeing both growth of its initial settlements, and founding of new cities. This would continue for nearly 400 years, and would see the initial founding of Caltath, Empirus, and Iralys, and their growth into regional power cities.

This period did not last however. As the Mandolarian Empire collapsed many refugees from the empire would flee north to resettle. While many found their way to Syrus, many others settled the continent of Freedonia itself. As many of these refugees were slaves captured by the Mandolars from neighboring peoples, they bore strong resentment towards Hura and his lineage, who had claimed to be the successors and bearers of the mantle of Mandolar, as the Imperial dynasty was eventually executed, leaving Hura and his line the last blood descendants of the ancient house. Eventually nobles in the Kingdom of Gardopolis would marry into the Kingdom of Syrus, and assassinated its last Huraalic heirs, claiming their heir the new king. The Syres however refused to recognize the authority of a foreign ruler. The Gardopolitan heir was publicly executed, and a Gardopolitan military invasion defeated. After this brief conflict however, the kingdom collapsed without a Huraalic heir to lead it, and split into city states, with each of the major cities in the kingdom proclaiming themself a new "Syre" and selecting their own ruler locally.

This period, the period of the Free Syres dominates most of Syric history. During this time, the Syres would continue to grow, with the new Syres Amontein and Rivyr also rising to prominence.

This period lasted nearly two millenia. It was very formative in Syric culture. As control of the new Syres changed hands frequently the general culture of the people in the Syres came to value individual accomplishment above all. It was also during this period that each syre began to develop its own character. The typical leadership of each Syre reflected its origins, with Huralle often being ruled by aristocrats descended from Hura's original followers, or bankers and industrialists often gaining power in Halitalle.

Though it was not uncommon for a powerful individual or group to come to control several Syres, the Syres were never reunited for any considerable amount of time. The Machiavellian nature of this period also led to the Syric phrase "High tower politics" referring to the tendency of Syres or potential Syres to "fall" from high places.

The Rise of The Drey'leide and the Formation of the Syric Union

The end of the Free Syres period began with the rise of the Drey'leide. With a nickname meaning in the syric tongue "One who lays with serpents" it is not hard to imagine how the Drey'leide rose to power. Born Altrus Devorya, a poor boy in a family living in a slum ruin in what would eventually become Gran Syre, the Drey'leide would first gain notice as a shrewd and and increasingly wealthy merchant. It is believed Altrus came into money originally as a master thief, though little is known of his early life.

What is known is that Altrus would become a very well known and respected man in Syric society, outside of Huralle, where the ruling aristocracy largely viewed him wit disdain, as he hailed from lands on the fringe of Hurallic rule, which residents were often seen as lower class citizens. This would lead to a long lasting, and ultimately bloody and infamous enmity between Huralle's nobility and the Drey'leide.

Altrus would eventually marry into the Syre of Iralys, and form an alliance with the syre Rivyr, who like him despised the arrogance of Huralle. Importantly both Iralys and Rivyr had proud military traditions, the former on land, the latter on sea, and between them controlled most of the military might of Syrus.

The Rivyrian War

During this time conflict was also brewing between Rivyr and Empirus, who were regional rivals and competed for trade in the Gulf of Enderia. Eventually a group of Syric sea raiders, allegedly under the direct command of the Syre of Rivyr, and supplied by the Drey'leide launched a small raid on a new dock under construction in Empirus. Empirus immediately responded with a raid of their own, burning and destroying much of Rivyr's vassal lands and infrastructure.

The Rivyrians at this point decided to openly declare war on Empirus. Altrus, their only close ally was asked if he would assist in the war, and agreed without hesitation. Altrus along with the generals of Rivyr and Iralys quickly began to draw up battle plans. The largest problem was that Empirus was bordered by mountains to the north, and the only pass large enough to accommodate a large military force passed through Amontein's territory, which would have refused the Iralys armies access through their lands. Thus Empirus could only be besieged from the south, approaching from Rivyr to the east, this however would have left the besieging force vulnerable to a Huraalic attack from the south. Huralle had to be handled before an attack could be launched against Empirus, but it had legendary walls which had been built under the order of Hura, and finished nearly one hundred years later, and had never fallen to assault or siege in all its history.

The Drey'leide however had a contact within the Huraalic aristocracy, who agreed to assure there was a minimal sentry and guarding force along Huralle's canals, on condition he be made Syre of Huralle when the city was taken. This opened the city up to attack from the sea, a role which ideally suited the notoriously vicious Rivyrian sea raiders.

The Rivyrian navy set out in force, making legendary time around Enderia and northern Syrus. The Rivyrians arrived in the Gulf of Syrus only a few days after leaving their ports, much faster than Huralle believed possible. With small craft sent ahead to dispatch the sentries posted on the approach to the city the Rivyrians were able to sneak up on Huralle undetected in the night. The raiders entered the city by the canals, quickly dispatching the minimal guards there, as per the Drey'leide's agreement with the future Syre of Huralle.

What followed is the most infamous military action in Syric history. With all organize opposition essentially crushed before it could assemble, the bloodthirsty raiders turned their blades on the city's aristocracy. Rampaging through the noble quarter of Huralle, the Rivyrians rounded up and butchered thousands of nobles, ending scores of bloodlines entirely overnight. The captured were taken to the top of the city's walls, and decapitated, with their head thrown over the walls into the sea. The next morning the usually bright brass plated walls of Huralle ran stained with blood, and the Gulf of Syrus was said to be red for dozens of kilometers.

With Huralle defeated for the first time in its history, at almost no cost to the Rivyrian and Iralysian forces, Empirus surrendered unconditionally, and the war was over.

Foundation of the Union

Coming from his victory in the Rivyrian War the Drey'leide was in direct control of two Syres, Iralys and Empirus, and allied to another. The other Syres were horrified by the methods of his victory, and thus obeyed when Altrus commanded all of the Syres to assemble in Huralle and sign the Treaty of Union, which bound all of the unions under the power of a single high Syre. The treaty included mostly provisos for free trade and mutual defence among the syres.

Alrus would also use the wealth no longer needed by the largely deceased Huraalic aristocracy to restore the ruins he was born in, and expand them into a new Syre, which he named Gran Syre, the administrative Capital of the Union.

The union would continue long after the Drey'leide's death, mostly being passed by hereditary amongst his heirs. Eventually it would centralize, as federations are wont to do, and the capital would be moved north, to Iralys.


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