Kingdom of D̨vatla
Spoiler: RulerPrince Zäklis (157-)
Prince Regent for Däfikä (c197-)
Attribute Roll 32 Current Diplomacy 1+0 +1 2 Military 2+1 +1 4 Economy 2+1 - 3 Intrigue 1+0 - 1 Faith 1+0 - 1
Attribute Roll 29 30 31 Current Diplomacy 1+2 +1 - +1 5 Military 2+2 +2 +3 +1 10 Economy 1+2 - - - 3 Intrigue 3+0 - - - 3 Faith 4+2 - - +1 7
Attribute Roll 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Final Diplomacy 1+2 +1 +1 - - - +1 +1 +2 +1 10 Military 1+2 +1 - +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 - +1 10 Economy 1+1 +1 +2 +1 - - - - +1 +1 8 Intrigue 2+0 - - - - - - - - - 2 Faith 3+1 - - +1 +2 +2 +1 - - - 10
Attribute Roll 17 18 19 Final Diplomacy 4+1 +1 +1 +1 8 Military 4+2 +1 +1 +2 10 Economy 4+1 - +1 - 6 Intrigue 1+0 - - - 1 Faith 1+2 +1 - - 4
Attribute Roll Final Diplomacy 1+2(+1) 4 Military 3+2(+1) 6 Economy 3+1 4 Intrigue 1+0 1 Faith 1+2(+1) 4
Attribute Roll 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Final Diplomacy 4+1 +1 - +1 +2 +1 - - 10 Military 4+2 +1 +2 +1 - - - - 10 Economy 3+1 - - - - - - - 4 Intrigue 1+0 - - - - - - - 1 Faith 3+2 - - - - +1 +2 +2 10
Attribute Roll 7 8 9 Final Diplomacy 4+1 - +1 +1 7 Military 2+2 +2 +1 +1 8 Economy 2+1 - - - 3 Intrigue 2+0 - - - 2 Faith 3+2 - - - 5
Spoiler: Region 12: D̨vatla (Capital)D̨vatla
Region 12Spoiler: TerrainIn the north and east stand the great northern mountains and their foothills, the first regions conquered by the Tëhlër̨khët. The highland region is dominated by moorland, bogs, and the numerous streams and minor rivers which eventually coalesce and join the two great rivers, Gakhus in the south and Tipëzvär in the north. In a mountain valley in the north lies the city of Hüpägh, the heart of the uprising against the Imperials and officially the capital of D̨vatla. The city is said to have been founded by the Tëhlër̨khët during their invasion, and consquently is young compared to the great lowland cities.
Towards the southwestern border the hills fade away and the land flattens out into wide plains. Here the ancient cities of the Ghëkigh grew and prospered in the fertile floodplains. In the far west, where Lake Zävghäki empties into Tipëzvär, is Khlıghat. The ancient city suffered during the wars between the Tëhlër̨khët and Imperials, but is now enjoying a renaissance under the patronage of Fëkälis. In the southeast, the most influential of Gakhus's cities is Këpääs, which historically suported the Imperials before defecting to the new kingdom when it became clear there was little choice.
Spoiler: HistoryThe fertile lands along the rivers show clear evidence of ancient civilization. Cities that claim thousands of years of history, ruins that the locals say may be older still. Legends from the old, conquered kingdoms of the Ghëkigh said that along the southern river Gakhus is where the true gods first taught civilization to humans. They also say that the first civilization became decadent and corrupt, and eventually the gods brought their ancestors out of the wilds and gave them the power to overthrow this first empire.
What is certain is that little more than a century and a half before Dejan's conquests, the Ghëkigh were finally conquered by the Tëhlër̨khët, foreign invaders who had been pushing in from beyond their borders for some time. Impressed by the grand majesty of the ancient temples, the conquerors embraced the true gods. Under the rule of the two powers of the old priesthood and the new, conquering nobility, a powerful kingdom was forged between the rivers. Until Dejan. The great conqueror destroyed the armies of the Tëhlër̨khët, sacked their cities, razed their temples, and cast down their gods.
The ancient priesthood was forced into hiding, preserving the old ways in secret. While many of the old elites adopted Imperial culture in an attempt to keep hold of some part of their former influence under the new order, some remained loyal to the old ways. Dejan's death and the division of the empire led to decades of struggle between the Imperials, with their supporters among the Tëhlër̨khët, and those who hoped to restore the old ways.
In 57 Imperial Reckoning, a young and charismatic priest named Gëghzäk, who claimed descent from one of the most powerful families of the old kingdom, began a new uprising against the Imperials. He was finally successful in driving them out of the far north of D̨vatla in 70, and by then had also rose through the ranks to become high priest. Despite this victory, conflict with the Imperials and their supporters continued throughout his reign, as he expanded south and east from the foothills, while resisting attempts to reestablish Imperial power.
After his death in 91, his sons divided his powers between them. Gëghklëssäldzäf took over as High Priest, and crowned his brother Fëkälis as King of D̨vatla. In 98, Fëkälis conquered the ancient city of Khlıghat near the Tipëzvär River. In the years since he has begun major construction efforts in the city.
Spoiler: PeopleThe majority of the people are a mix of Ghëkigh and Tëhlër̨khët. Generally lightly tanned with dark hair but light eyes, more typically Tëhlër̨khët features are not uncommon. The old nobility resemble their invading ancestors even more, with pale skin and a greater variety of hair color: red being especially common. Before Dejan's conquest, the priesthood formed effectively a caste of their own, preferring to intermarry within the powerful priestly families. With less Tëhlër̨khët influence they tended to have darker skin. Imperial suppression of the old paganism ended this, as the priests lost their power and influence, and those who remained loyal to the old ways merged with the Tëhlër̨khët nobles.
Spoiler: ResourcesThe bogs in northern D̨vatla are a major source of iron.
Horses are not native to the region. After learning how useful they could be the hard way during Dejan's conquest, horses have become highly valued.
Spoiler: ReligionState Religion – Tëlir Geza
The Ghëkigh followed a polytheistic religion with a powerful priestly class closely tied to the rulers of the kingdoms and city-states. After the Tëhlër̨khët conquest, the invaders generally maintained and converted to the old religion, which they came to refer to as Tëlir Geza. The priesthood remained powerful, and became secretive, being granted freedom to manage religious matters with little meddling from the new rulers. After Dejan's conquest, the new conquerors suppressed the old ways. Forced into hiding, the followers of the old ways became even more secretive.
The primary role of the priesthood is in carrying out the various rituals and sacrifices that please the gods and keep them appeased. While the priests can relay the commands of the gods as well as interpret omens and prophesies, they consider this a minor and unimportant part of their duties. They only rarely direct requests or desires to the gods, who are seen as generally not caring due to having better things to concern themselves with.
Four main gods:
Nıznıklı: The king and judge of the gods. According to myth he created the first laws given to the ancient first civilization. He is portrayed as implacable and harsh, but utterly devoted to law and justice. One of the most important mythic epics tell of how he was deceived into believing that his wife Gë'täkid̨ was unfaithful. In retribution he murdered her, before discovering the deception.
Gë'täkid̨: The queen of the underworld, who was married to Nıznıklı before he murdered her. She took out her anger on the primordial spirits and demons in the underworld and declared herself queen. Later, she refused to return to and be reconciled with Nıznıklı. In addition to death and the dead, she is the goddess of truth, and uncovering secrets and hidden things. Despite refusing to return to Nıznıklı, she is often portrayed in myths as bringing him critical facts which help him to make the just decision when acting as the divine judge.
Räsëtnis: The trickster god who deceiverd Nıznıklı, leading to Gë'täkid̨'s death. He was exiled from the realm of the gods after the truth was discovered. In half the myths about him, he is using his trickery to solve problems for the gods, and in the other half he is causing the problems. Counterpart to the queen in that he is the god of hiding things and keeping secrets. Also the god of jealousy. He is seen as dangerous and unpredictable, but also useful. He can keep your secrets and destroy your enemies from within through jealousy and corruption, or sell your secrets and destroy you in the same way.
Nehın̨altlı: One of the few old Tëhlër̨khët gods to remain among the most important after their invasions were completed. Portrayed as a wandering musician who brings good fortune to those he meets.
Dlas̨ma Hömd̨zä – Tëlir Geza
Originally a shine established by early Tëhlër̨khët invaders near the future location of Hüpägh, the site was continously expanded. Eventually becoming a massive temple complex and one of the most important holy sites for the old Tëhlër̨khët kingdoms. It was almost entirely destroyed in the Imperial purges, but has returned to prominence as the center of D̨vatla's restored priesthood.
Lake Zävghäki – Abhidi
Commonly known as "the Mirror," Zävghäki drains into the nearby Tipëzvär River at Khlıghat. Its name is said to have been what originally attracted the followers of Abhidi, who constructed a number of shrines around the lake. Eventually, Khlıghat became a major center of the Abhidi community in the region.
Dlas̨mahev Pas̨ıtthev Kköhöv Khäkhähs̨ä – Abhidi
A major Abhidi monastery and temple in Këpääs, founded by Abhidi soldiers who followed Dejan.
Spoiler: More Regions...
Spoiler: Tëlir Geza and Religion in D̨vatlaReligion in D̨vatla
The region roughly bounded by the two rivers Gakhus and Tipëzvär (though extending northwest to include Region 10) was historically dominated by the Ghëkigh people. They were eventually conquered by the Tëhlër̨khët people, who settled and largely assimilated into the more sophisticated, agricultural and urbanized Ghëkigh culture, becoming a new ruling elite. As part of this assimilation, they adopted the Ghëkigh religion. The most significant change was the addition of a number of old Tëhlër̨khët gods, often merging with a similar Ghëkigh god.
The Ghëkigh civilization was divided into city-states, mostly clustered around the major rivers and their tributaries. Though they shared the same religion and worshipped the same gods, each city had its own patron god, which was held above the others. After the Tëhlër̨khët invasion the region coalesced into a number of petty kingdoms. The kings would generally take a patron god, after the fashion of the Ghëkigh and usually the patron of the city they made their capital. The nobility in other cities had less connection to their city's patron, and were more likely to take their king's patron as their own instead. This caused a small number of gods to become much more important, as the patrons of the petty kingdoms.
The aftermath of Dejan's conquest saw the widespread destruction of the old religion. The priesthood never accepted Avakonian rule, and the local successor state heavily suppressed their religion, forcing it to go underground. The now secretive faith survived better on the fringes of imperial rule, especially in the mountainous northeast and northwest, and D̨vatla was founded by members of the cult.
"Tëlir Geza" (or simply "Tëlir") is the shortened form of a D̨vatlan language corruption of a Ghëkigh term meaning, more or less, "the hidden teachings of those who came before." Involvement in the faith is held to be important for the political elite (who perform sacrifices and rituals on behalf of the entire polity) but less so for the majority of the population.
Tëlir Geza is polytheistic, with generally distant and aloof gods. Though some limited (and generally passive) magic can be obtained through proper rituals, the main focus of the faith is in appeasing the gods and ensuring they remain distant. Only rarely are they seen to directly intervene in mortal affairs, and such intervention is usually spectacular. [[OOC note: in the idea proposed early on that varieties of magic should choose one of three options (cheap, common, or powerful), Tëlir Geza was intended to be all-in on "powerful." So the logic was the gods don't usually bother to get involved, but when they do it's best to just get as far away as possible until things blow over.]]
Tëlir Geza places a central importance on Law. Human law is considered to be the foundation of human society: without it the human world would collapse into chaos and humans would become no better than animals. The same is held to be true of Divine Law, with the divine "world" being the entire physical world. Just as without human law civilization could not exist, without the Divine Law the world could not exist. The creation myth describes the origin of the world as a matter of the creation of Divine Law, leading also to the emergence of the god Nıznıklı. Sometimes described as the physical embodiment of Divine Law itself, his primary role is that of the Divine Judge. He is also the king of the gods, representing the old Ghëkigh conception of the role of a king as the ultimate arbiter and enforcer of law.
The mythic story continues with Nıznıklı being tricked into believing that his wife, Gë'täkid̨, had been unfaithful and was plotting against him. He executes her, making her the first being to die. She eventually became the ruler of the underworld, and finding herself enjoying her new, more powerful role, she embraced the position. When Nıznıklı realized how he had been tricked and tried to make amends she refused to return, preferring to remain queen in the underworld. In the underworld she also became the goddess of truth and of uncovering secrets and hidden things. She is strange and otherworldly, and often the most distant and aloof of the gods, with little interest or concern for the living world since everything will come to her eventually anyway.
Though she refused to return to Nıznıklı, Gë'täkid̨ is often depicted as playing a key role in his judgement since he does not have the same knowledge of hidden things she does. She is also a karmic figure, ensuring that people get what they truly deserve in the afterlife.
The third figure in the story is Räsëtnis, who was the one who tricked Nıznıklı into killing Gë'täkid̨. A trickster god and a bringer of chaos and disorder, he was exiled from the realm of the gods after his deception was discovered. Fickle and unpredictable, half of the time he is depicted using his trickery to help the gods, and the other half using it to cause problems. He is partially a counterpart to Gë'täkid̨, acting as a patron of hiding things and keeping secrets. Also the god of using jealousy and corruption to manipulate your enemies into destroying themselves from within, he is dangerous and unreliable: very likely to turn on you and use your secrets to destroy you rather than continue to hide them for you. Though a bringer of chaos, he is almost never depicted as unthinking or purposeless. Instead he is seen as the master manipulator, carefully guiding and using the chaos he brings to achieve his own, usually mysterious and unknowable, goals. [[OOC note: he's supposed to basically be the cliche of a villain presented as a master manipulator, but whose carefully constructed plan could not possibly have actually been purposefully constructed: relying way too much on pure luck and random chances that the villain couldn't have actually predicted. He's supposed to leave you struggling to figure out whether he is really that lucky or really that clever (or both).]]
Some Other Important Gods
"The Lady of the Fires" was the Tëhlër̨khët goddess of fire, also sometimes associated with the sun or lightning. She became associated with the wife of the Ghëkigh god of smiths Khëgilis, merging with and replacing her. Eventually Khëgilis's importance began to decline and Haslutlu took on the role of goddess of smiths, representing the fire used in smelting and forging. She is seen as the source of much that has improved human life, but is prone to outbursts of destructive anger and is also the source of much that is dangerous to human life. Thus she is sometimes seen as fulfilling the combined role of creator and destroyer.
Haslutlu has several children, the gods and goddesses of various things related to fire and light. Not all were always considered her children, developing that association over time.
Was still afforded his full respect in only a few cities before Dejan's conquest. The D̨vatlan cult did not follow that particular thought.
An important god of war among the Ghëkigh, he represents the ordered and disciplined nature of a well trained army. The patron of war as a means to impose one's own order and law on others, he has little association with the more chaotic and destructive elements of war which were often associated with Räsëtnis or other gods of chaos.
One of the most powerful and important Tëhlër̨khët gods, he was the god of kings and of war as the Tëhlër̨khët understood it before their invasion of the Ghëkigh. The patron of war as a means to acquire loot and personal glory, the Ghëkigh saw him as a chaotic and destructive figure. In the period before Dejan's conquest, the perception of Latgha N̨övslö varied from one region to another. Some saw him as the representation of the chaos of war, of personal greed and lust for glory. Others had a more positive view, considering him the patron of personal heroics and the chance to prove yourself and improve your position in society through bravery on the battlefield. The D̨vatlans follow the more favorable view of him.
An important goddess of agriculture. Since much of the region tends to be dry and arid, agriculture is intimately connected to the major rivers. Ghazanllıd is associated generally with water and rain, but also plays an important role as the mother of the rivers. The Giver of Life, she is the goddess of birth and motherhood in addition to being the source of the life-giving power of agriculture.
The son of the gods of the two main rivers, Tipëzvär and Gakhus, Psëräkrä is a patron of agriculture. While Ghazanllıd is connected with it in a more mystical way, as the source of the power of birth and growth, Psëräkrä is more associated with farming as a profession and the more mundane, day-to-day realities of being a farmer. He is also the teacher, having been the one who instructed the First People in the secrets of farming while Nıznıklı taught them law.
An old Tëhlër̨khët god, and one of the very few to not become associated with or merge with a Ghëkigh god. An enigmatic figure, he is portrayed as a wandering musician who brings good fortune to those he meets. As the patron of wandering and wanderlust, he was more important when the Tëhlër̨khët were less tied to the land they inhabited and more prone to movement and migration. Now is he largely seen as a reminder of the old ways, and represents what still distinguishes them from the Ghëkigh and other, more distant sedentary cultures.