| To Be Continued...|
Thedukeofnuke is still working on this article. The contents are incomplete and likely to undergo changes.
| Woldulaš |
|Major cities|| Barnaga |
|Languages|| Woltu Falla; |
Fallo na Mendia
Woldulaš is the kingdom occupying the Woltu valley in mediaeval times.
The fall of Huyfárah
By the early seventh century, the empire of Huyfárah was in a state of serious decline. The civil war of 547–584 had consumed a vast quantity of resources, depopulated towns and cities, and weakened the military and borders. The secession of Lewsfárah was a major contributor this: Miədu, Azbǽbu, and Mæmedéi were among the empire’s main ports, and commanded the plains to the west, so their loss was a major blow to both the empire’s navy and its cavalry.
With the central government no longer in a position to defend the frontiers, they were eaten away at by neighbouring peoples. Relations with Affalinnei broke down, and the Affanon clans quickly started launching raids against imperial agents. Affalinnei had also been a major force in suppressing pirate attacks, and raids by Takuña, Doroh, and even Kennan marauders were left unchecked.
As the years went on, several border provinces either seceded or were conquered by marauders. Čisse, after fighting off a brief Takuña occupation, established its independence and made peace with the Affanons. In the meantime, the Doroh rose to prominence in the lands between Čisse and the Kučil river, and started to make organised attacks on the heart ofthe empire. With the imperial cavalry greatly weakened, they were able to advance quickly through the hill country of the north, capturing Peimast, and weakening the Fáralo further. Barnágo fell in 702, and became the capital of a small Doroh state controlling the upper Oltu.
By the latter part of the eighth century the emperor controlled only the lower Oltu valley and a small part of the nearby coast, and did so only by playing off different factions of pirates and raiders against one another. However, in the year 786 one of these plans went wrong. A force of Doroh, paid to defend the city against Takuña reavers, had decided that they could do better: they co-opted the Takuña by a mixture of gold and threats, sent word to other Doroh bands, and over a period of months amassed a large force of men and enough boats to carry them all. They sailed into Ussor flying the imperial banner and proclaiming that they had come to defend the city from a coming pirate attack, quickly overwhelmed the city guard, and stormed the palace. When the emperor refused to cooperate, he was simply killed.
Anarchy broke out in the streets, but although they pillaged the city the Doroh lords eventually suppressed the rioters. The countryside was brought under Doroh control; the few estates that had remained under Fáralo control were confiscated from their lords and parcelled out to Doroh commanders. Huyfárah was no more.
Occupation and liberation
The following decades of Doroh rule became known as the Occupation (WF V-Ülān). The period went down as one of the worst periods in the history of Huyfárah, a time of oppression and cruelty, but a look past the damning words of later scribes and historians shows that the picture was more mixed. While the Doroh were brutal at the Sack of Ussor, they were hardly barbaric; they had ben civilised for a thousand years already, and patronised arts and learning as much as the Fáralo emperors had done. And while at times they levied heavy taxes on the peasants and merchants, the land was safe from piracy and brigandry (the Doroh knew all about how to deal with these from having been pirates and brigands before). It was also a time of unprecedented religious tolerance, and many new religions were introduced to the Woltu valley.
The part of society that did suffer was the nobility (nata). The Doroh, influenced by Affanon culture, considered matters in terms of clans; they held vendettas against every noble house (üšala) that had opposed them, and treated them with absolute contempt. A Fáralo lord defeated by the Doroh would have all his possessions seized, his estate taken from him, and would be left with nothing but the clothes on his back – if he survived to keep them. It was not uncommon for a Doroh clan to keep an entire Faralo house as captives and servants.
This treatment fostered bitter resentment amongst the nobility. For more than two generations they plotted and organised, and in 843, when the Doroh lords raised taxes to finance the construction of a fleet of new ships, they saw their chance. They incited the peasants in the area surrounding Ussor to revolt; Fáralo loyalists opened the gates and the riots spread into the city. In the chaos, the urban nobles and their supporters – many of whom already lived in the palace as hostages and servants – slew all the Doroh lords they could find. This time the riots took days to die down, but when they did, the Fáralo nobles had control of the city.
The nobles bided their time, consolidating their hold on the city and its institutions. They realised that to have any semblance of stability the new regime needed a leader, and chose to elect one in the Dāiadak fashion. The chosen candidate was Šermor em-üšala Gaččin, who was styled a king (čök) even though he ruled no more than the city. He proved his merit defending against a Doroh attempt to recapture the city, where he won a decisive victory. Before his death he had expanded Fáralo control eighty miles up the river, turning the rebellion into a nascent state; it was he who suggested the name Woldulaš, “land of (our) inheritance”.
The kingdom of Woldulaš
Šermor’s successors continued the reconquest of the Woltu valley, capturing Barnaga in 869 after a two-month siege. The coast was retaken and defences put in place to protect against pirate raids. The Doroh who had ruled during the occupation were either driven out or simply absorbed – many of them had adopted Fáralo language and customs to such an extent that they were indistinguishable from the locals.
The tenth century was a period of prosperity for Woldulaš. With the realm’s security assured, the nobles set about rebuilding the glory of Ussor. Public buildings, in particular the (badly neglected) great temple of Etúgə, were rebuilt in finely cut stone; new schools and almshouses were built, financed by urban lords and merchants; the lords built luxurious manses in the cities, and keeps and castles to defend their rural estates.
Nonetheless, Woldulaš lagged behind as an economic power. Trade in the region was dominated by the city-states of the former Lewsfárah federation – Mīdu, Azzabu, and Mande – and the nobility turned their attention southwards. Despite the kingdom’s significant military power, they believed (with good reason) that it was pointless to try and take any of the city-states by force, as even if one were to be captured the others would unite to defeat such aggression. Instead, they planned to annex Mande through peaceful means.
Envoys were sent to the ruling council of Mande, inviting them to join Woldulaš. At first they met with derision, but as time went on, the council warmed to the idea. The merchants knew that they could grow rich from the Woltu river trade if they were free from the heavy tarriffs that were levied on foreigners; it was also felt that as part of Woldulaš the city would be better able to compete with the more powerful city-states of Mīdu and Azzabu. (It also helped that the nobles would have a hand in the choosing of each king. Perhaps, too, they thought of the civil war of the late empire and recalled that Mande had supported Ussor until it was captured by the rebels.) After more than a decade of negotiation, Mande joined the kingdom of Woldulaš in 1019 YP.
Following the acquisition of Mande, Woldulaš has begun to establish itself as a maritime power. Rapakebla em-üšala Hīmo, elected king in 1037, was a key figure in this process: he supported the study of navigation and astronomy in the schools and seminaries of Ussor, and sponsored naval expeditions to rival and exceed the voyages of the classical mariners.
The majority religion in Woldulaš is Etúgə (WF Etuga), inherited from imperial Huyfárah. It is rooted in Mûtsinamtsys and Takuña philosophy, and centres on the principle that knowledge is an illusion (sagga), and only belief (muššuta) and action (etuga) are real. Once a believer attains true enlightenment (nubazi), their spirit is free to live in the spiritual world, or heaven (issān).
However, a number of other, competing faiths have established themselves in Woldulaš. The two most significant are Epɨmya (WF Epüña) and Pa’en (WF Paen).
Epɨmya is the monotheistic religion of the Toło (WF Tala), the descendants of the Talo and Epuónim, religious dissidents of the early fourth century. Originally they lived in Huyfárah as slaves and indentured servants, but later gained their freedom and became an established minority in urban areas of the empire. By the early mediaeval period the centre of the Toło culture was the city-state of Mɨdu, but several thousand remained in Ussor. Epɨmya was originally practised only by the Toło, but since the ninth century has been accepting converts.
Pa’en is a derivative of Etúge, founded in classical times by the Mûtsinamtsys philosopher Kuusunmam. Its followers believe that they should act not merely for survival or comfort, but for the benefit of their own spirits (ku). Ultimately they hope to transcend into the spirit world, and acheive god-like status. Pa’en is the main religion of the Takuña minority, and is also followed by some of the Doroh and Affanons.
Other religions with a presence in Woldulaš include the polytheistic beliefs of the Affanons (Teyengrüya) and those of the Doroh. A few people in urban areas also practice the Dāiadak religion, Anaitism.
The large number of competing faiths introduced by non-Fáralo peoples has caused sonething of a conservative backlash amongst the nobility. The fact that the Doroh conquerors of Ussor adhered to either Pa’en or paganism (or a syncretic mixture of the two) is a major factor in the ruling class’ distrust of foreign religions. Consequently, the king must be a follower of orthodox (Fáralo) Etúgə, and only Etúgə nobles may vote in the election of a new king. This has at times led to persecution of the non-Etúgə population, with varying restrictions on profession, legal rights, and clothing at different times in the country's history. However, since the annexation of Mande – where Epɨmya is followed by more than a quarter of the population – the nobles have realised that harrassing “heathens” is counter-productive, and the Epɨmya at least are increasingly accepted as part of national culture.
|Fallo na Mendia||Woldulaš||[ˈwɔɫ.du.lɐʃ]||← Woltu Falla Woldulaš (borrowed)|