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HURAN, LAND OF THREE RIVERS

In the ancient land of Huran, men first settled in villages, developed agriculture, domesticated cattle, learned to fish from boats, invented the wheel, writing and all the skills and crafts of civilization. A thousand centuries of seasonal floods made the land fertile and the rivers provided water for irrigation during drought. So, the population expanded and civilization spread. Soon, there were mud brick towns scattered from the southern marshlands to the mountain foothills of the north. War was invented, too, as local chieftains became petty kings, seeking to expand their domains and seize land from their neighbors. Towns became walled cities and bronze-clad soldiers marched to battle along the rivers, not only between the city-kings, but against desert raiders from the west. Fifteen hundred years before the rise of the Empire of the Inner Sea, a king from the north, Sardak of Ashuran, conquered all the cities of Huran and founded the First Empire. There was relative peace for 500 years before the Empire shattered, and chaos reigned for another five centuries until the rise of two great city-kingdoms - Nm and Nr. The War of Two Cities lasted for a generation as the kings of Nm and Nr fought for supremacy. Armies numbering in the tens of thousands surged back and forth across the river plains of Huran, grain barges became war barges, terrible engines of destruction were invented and magic-hurling Wizards joined the fray. City after city fell, pounded to rubble or blasted into oblivion, their inhabitants slaughtered or driven into the wild. The tale of what followed is one of the great legends of antiquity ...

There arose in the city of Nr the first woman to hold the throne in centuries and one of great beauty, poise and intelligence. Burdened with the legacy of her predecessors, Queen Duanna Ishar-hadua struggled to maintain the war against her hated rival, King Manasser Nardu-ilisar. After so long at war, both cities were near exhaustion and, in one last thrust at victory, Nm marshaled its forces, calling upon every ally and mercenary within reach - armies from every city of Northern Huran, barbaric hillmen from the Zamaran Highlands, nomadic horsemen from the Great Desert, even gangs of ogres from the high Karas far to the north. This was to be the last desperate battle, with a hundred thousand warriors on either side gathered for slaughter. It is recorded that Queen Duanna stood upon her palace balcony looking out at the enormous host arrayed on the plain to the north and wept, knowing in her heart that even the mighty army of Nr, behind its massive defenses and bolstered by well-payed mercenaries, could not withstand the enemy's assault. She fell upon a desperate plan and sent emissaries to King Manasser, requesting parlay. The King agreed and the two met in a silken pavilion outside the city walls. There, the Queen - the most regal, powerful and beautiful woman in all of Huran - knelt before her enemy and offered her own slim neck if he would but forgo the coming bloodshed and destruction. So taken was Manasser that he swore to leave the city untouched if she would consent to become his Queen. She agreed upon the condition that Nr remain hers, ruled by her descendants in perpetuity and equal in status to the city of Nm. The twin capitols of Huran remain so to this day, with the descendants of Manasser ruling from Nm in the north and those of Duanna from Nr in the south ...


Huranian Heavy Infantry CULTURE:          Civilized
RESOURCES:     Typical
WEALTH:           Prosperous
POPULATION:    Dense

GOVERNMENT: The monarchy of Huran remains a co-kingship, with the King ruling northern Huran from the city of Nm and the Queen ruling the south from Nr*. They are absolute monarchs of their respective domains, each with their own Royal Councils, Treasuries and military forces. The laws of government were codified long ago, establishing the powers of the monarchy and firmly entrenching the aristocracy in the administration of government. The nobles rule cities in the monarch's name, but with their own hereditary claims. Local forces are limited, by law, to militias and personal guards

*The Player may chose either Nm or Nr as his or her domain. It's possible that two Players will chose Huran and that will be worked out in game play. Huranian City

Heavily populated, the Land of Three Rivers can, potentially, field vast armies of armored infantry, spear-headed by professional cavalry troops and mercenaries from the surrounding lands - barbaric warriors, desert nomads and humanoid troops from the mountains. Professional Engineers and Wizards have always been available. What the kingdom lacks in naval power may be made up for in an alliance with the Alays who are the greatest mariners of the age. They come eagerly to Huran's river ports to trade.

CHALLENGES: Unity is the greatest challenge for Huran. One city, either Nm or Nr, has always been dominant and there have been conflicts since the kingdom was unified long ago. Huran's shrinking borders must be secured against her neighbors who, like vultures, seem to be circling an aged and wounded prey. Huran's wealth is great and with proper leadership, she may be able to enter a new era of prosperity and influence. Having never born the yoke of the Inner Sea Empire, she has an advantage over the other kingdoms. Whatever wealth has been looted was simply moved from one city to another. A monarch must concentrate on trade as well as defense. Alone among the great kingdoms, Huran is situated to benefit from distant trade - with Mezoparaan, the Alays and the semi-mythical Far East. The old caravan routes with the East pass through the passes of Kazmir and Kandar but the mountains are perilous with barbarians, ogres and eastern orcish kind.

Huranian Heavy Infantry Three peoples upon Huran's borders present immediate challenges to any ruler wishing to maintain the status quo or expand: In the north, the barbaric hillfolk of the rugged Zamara Highlands bend grudgingly to the overlordship of Nm. It is perhaps fortunate that they are so often engaged in defending themselves against attack from mountain humanoids. But, they are a ready source of mercenary troops. In the south, the people of Kawarazan have a less antagonistic relationship with Nr. A foreign race who migrated from the mountainous East centuries ago seeking a land where they could mine iron and raise shaggy sheep in the hills, they have settle as vassals of the Queen of Huran. The are tough, ax-and-spear wielding warriors who have proven their dependability against desert raiders and city-borne infantry alike. As reward, and to maintain a bond of loyalty with the hillfolk, the Queens of Nr have long employed Kawari warriors as their elite Royal Bodyguard ... Westward are the desert tribes and the young but growing kingdom of Sharaaz, always a threat as raiders and some-time conquerers. Huran's obvious tactic is to play the tribal factions one against the other through careful alliance and trade (the northern Kazir remain violently opposed to the Kaliphate). Farther west and north, the city-state of Hadesh is growing in power as well, set to dominate trade and travel overland between the Land of Three Rivers and the Inner Sea.

The lands east of the Hykaras and Karkaras ranges are little known (or completely unknown) - except for Mezoparaan which is frequently contacted by Alay merchants. It is a lush, hot, exotic country of strange customs, alien gods and warring city-states. It is also a potential source of wealth as a land of silks, spices and other exotic goods ...



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