Difference between revisions of "Leturia"

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Latest revision as of 20:41, 11 September 2019


The Kingdom of Leturia
Country Information
Capital: Telmenena
Language: Leturian
Ethnic Group: Human, Leturians
Religion: Lilism
Government: Constitutional Monarchy in name, Oligarchy in practice.
Current Ruler: The Great Honorable Nyizelepinda, Numaz of Leturia
Currency: Sequin, Asper, Deng, Kip, Karos, Rewop


Leturia is a nation of tailed people who originally lived in the foothills of the Lunit mountains. The matrilineal Leturians forged themselves a kingdom out of the eastern portion of the defunct human empire of Vallaria, and founded their capital of Telmenena in the year over a thousand years ago. Today, non-tailed individuals live as slaves, the property of the Leturians.

History

Earliest History of the Region

A Vallarian (non-tailed) family called the Soptibi is known to have ruled a part of Leturia, corresponding probably to East Leturia, around the years 1430-680 BT (Before Tagrana). It is from them that the Leturians borrowed the Lilist religion, which the Soptibi are also thought to have developed and introduced to all of Vallaria and, after the collapse of that kingdom, to Griffon's Aerie. The year 1090 BT is traditionally accepted as the date when Adrovos united the Vallarian kingdom, and Adrovos annexed the eastern parts of the Soptibi territory into the expanding new state. However, the Soptibi evidently retained their western territories (i.e., contemporary East Leturia) for another four hundred years.

There were two kingdoms on the territory of contemporary West Leturia as well. The north (Mazekena) was inhabited by a people called the Igmerinds (also called Gemarinds), and the south (Nyizkeni and Nodekveba) by the Mingits. Both were of considerable antiquity, and Ikmirin (i.e., Igmerind), a suburb of Telmenena, is thought to have been the site of the Igmerind capital city. Both peoples were virtually wiped out around the years 720-710 BT by the advance of a confederation of nomadic tribes from the far west. The Mingits who managed to escape fled into southern Vallaria and eastern Sardvimi, where their descendants live to the present day as a sort of lower caste among the rest of the human (non-tailed, non-Griffon) population. The Igmerinds, and some Mingits, flocked en masse into the Soptibi lands, where they were given refuge as the Soptibi managed to put a stop to the advance of the nomads. However, the enormous increase in population due to the refugees destabilized the fragile Soptibi state, which was also involved in supporting an unsuccessful rebellion in Vallaria at about the same time. The Igmerinds seized power in the Soptibi lands around 680 BT and established a Second Igmerind Kingdom there, which survived for about fifty years but never managed to become a stable country.

Origins of the Leturians

Until the 700s BT, the Leturians had inhabited only Lunitedvima in the foothills of the Lunit Mountains. After the flight of the Igmerinds and Mingits, however, they rapidly expanded southwards into the abandoned territories, occupying what is now West Leturia during the years 700-630 BT. The city of Telmenena is supposed to have been founded in the year 686 BT.

In the early 600s BT, the Leturians destroyed the Second Igmerind Kingdom (East Leturia) and absorbed its territory. This military action was led by the warrior-nyun Fornesvina, who then set about consolidating her realm. One of Fornesvina's daughters, the princess Durnyeli (Dirniel) married King Relandos IV of Vallaria (651-585 BT), who then established the city of Randegow in his lands to conduct land-based trade with the suddenly powerful state in the west. The descendants of the heroic Fornesvina ruled Leturia for the next several centuries and were elevated to a quasi-divine status. All major decisions were made by means of the nyun's consultation with ancestral spirits within the Grand Temple in Telmenena. This worked well as long as the realm was at peace, for the nyuns were in fact very wise. The same system applied throughout the country, which was divided into feudal holdings called lupirs (circles) under a hereditary female leadership.

Conflict with the Griffons

In 82-88, the ambitious Griffon King Karos I (67-126) conquered the provinces of Celdeumi, Fernesti and Rintenyela, and in 87 even besieged the city of Telmenena, though he was driven back. This humiliation sparked a revolution led by the Leturian bureaucratic and military elites, who attributed their defeat to the "backwards" state of their government, based on the "superstition" of the nyuns. They therefore forcibly retired the nyun and her family to a condition of house arrest, where the nyuns in fact continue, revered and consulted on religious matters as a source of legitimacy for the regime to this day. However, the Numaz, until then the chief male official of the Leturian bureaucratic administration, now took charge of all actual governing as a dictator, or perhaps as an "enlightened despot." For the next sixty years the entire state was governed around a single principle: to rebuild the Leturian army on a new, modern, non-traditional basis, and to avenge the Leturians' humiliating defeat at the hands of the Griffons once and for all.

One of the reforms instituted at this time was the abolition of serfdom throughout the Leturian lands. Until this time, the entire state had been subdivided into family holdings, each governed by a lupiresvera, who was in her own district equivalent to the nyun. These family holdings were now replaced by mukols, or townships, in which each tailed person had a voice in determining the affairs of the community and helped to elect the township's leaders. The rationale underlying this reform was a military consideration: up until then, each lupir — an area owned by a family — was to contribute one mounted soldier to the Leturian army in time of need; generally this was the husband of the lupiresvera. Henceforward each mukol was to produce a certain percentage of its population for the army when this was called for, thus raising the size of the army considerably. There was much talk of liberating the non-tailed population as well, which did remain the "possession" of the old lupir-owning families.

East and West

In 148-150 the Leturians recaptured the three lost provinces and led a counterattack deep into Griffon's Aerie, burning Randegow and Alamarkand to the ground. The human (non-tailed) population rose up to welcome the invaders, hoping to throw of the Griffon yoke; perhaps they had heard rumors of the plans to emancipate the non-tailed population of Leturia. Between 150 and 162 Randegow, Alamarkand and surroundings were incorporated into Leturia as a new province called Celfenti, the "Eastern March." But Leturian reforms seemed to have ground to a halt. The non-tailed population of Celfenti soon grew disillusioned, finding the Leturians harsher masters than the Griffons had been, and in 162 they carried out a bloody uprising, quickly inviting the Griffons back to protect them against the Leturians. The rebellion spilled over into the non-tailed population of Celdeumi and Rintenyela, but in those places the rebellion was successfully crushed.

It was this experience in large measure that led to the division of Leturia into Eastern and Western halves. From this point on the East Leturians had a deep mistrust of their human (non-tailed) population, fearing that they might attempt something similar to the "Celfenti massacre." Between 148 and 162 the new mukol system had been extended to the reconquered East Leturian territories, but after 162 the East Leturians re-implemented the old system in the hopes that it would deter future uprisings. The non-tailed inhabitants were divided up as "possessions" of their Leturian neighbors -- many of whose families had also been serfs prior to the reforms of 88. East Leturia thus reestablished a sort of feudalism directed solely against those persons without tails. West Leturia, however, retained its reformed, relatively democratic system of government. There was much wrangling back and forth between the two halves, which had rather different ideas about how the Leturian state should be governed. The united Leturian state might well have ceased to exist, and civil war could easily have ensued, but eventually a peaceful solution was reached: the Numaz remained the supreme leader of the country, in Telmenena, with a subsidiary governor of the East in Dunbicti who was answerable to the local leadership there.

Another war between Griffon's Aerie and Leturia raged between 230 and 244.

Recent History

As a token of peace and amity, Nucemail, the eldest daughter of the reigning nyun, was married to King Limbros II. of Griffon's Aerie (274-309) -- the closest thing possible to a Leturian dynastic marriage. She in fact became nyun herself in 288, but surviving Limbros she returned to Leturia on his death in 309. Her daughter and successor was half-griffon. A further treaty between Leturia and Griffon's Aerie was signed in 311, stating that if either land were attacked by another power, the other would send troops to help defend it. Although this treaty nearly broke down in 479 owing to political differences among the leaders of both nations, it somehow blossomed into a treaty of mutual cooperation and securities in late 480 during the ascension of King Karos V of Griffon's Aerie.

Geographical Features

Main Article: Leturian Provinces

Leturia and neighboring nations.

Leturia is bordered by Griffon's Aerie, Secca, and Elvendeep to the east, Zul Kiras to the north, and Ferluxebi to the west.

West Leturia is inhabited almost only by the Letur, the "tailed" ones, plural Miletur. (This is also the Leturian name for Leturia). It consists of five provinces: Mazekena, Nainfenti, Lunitedvima, Nyizkeni and Nodekveba; a sixth province, Sardvimi, is officially "shared" with East Leturia. The main arteries of transportation in West Leturia are the River Fercimi and two major highways running from Telmenena southwards towards the coast. West Leturia is divided into several principalities, each of which is called a dvim.

East Leturia, unlike the West, is inhabited largely by ordinary human beings, the non-tailed Yitur, but these do not possess the rights of citizens and have a status very similar to that of human beings in Griffon's Aerie. The religion of East Leturia is the same as that in the Aerie; that is, Lilism, and East Leturia is distinguished from the west largely by its use of human slaves. Its legal system is therefore rather different from that in West Leturia, which as we have seen is based on the local mukol unit, its leaders democratically elected by the population. East Leturia, on the other hand, is divided into "spheres" or "circles" (the Leturian term is lupur or (East Leturian) lupir). These are in the possession of Leturian families, which reckon descent in the female line, and each family "owns" the non-tailed Yitur population of its lands. East Leturian cities are similarly organized, except that the citizens of a given city are legally deemed a single "family" in collective ownership of the human population. The leadership of the lupir is held by the lupiresvera, a female title passed down in matrilineal fashion.

The East Leturian "central court" is located in Dunbicti (pronounced Dunbishti) and is presided over by the Celsniri (pronounced Shell-sneery), the "Eastern governor," a male office, appointed by the Numaz. The individual provinces,except Sardeumi, are controlled by subsidiary (female) leaders which have the title leur. If a majority of the three leurs (i.e., two of them) demand the recall of the Celsniri, he must be recalled and a new one appointed. The title of leur is rotated annually among the various lupiresveras in each province, of whom a list is kept.

Government and Politics

The Leturians traditionally reckon descent through the female line and then through primogeniture. The earliest leaders of the Leturians were given the title nyun, which was passed down from mother to daughter. These governed the Leturians in civic affairs and also performed religious rituals.

The highest authority in contemporary Leturia is the Numaz, the "ruler", who resides in Telmenena, the capital city. Leturia is divided into two halves for the purposes of government: West Leturia (which contains the capital) and East Leturia, where a subsidary governor rules from the city of Dunbicti on behalf of the Numaz. Each half has a "central court" (kenmodi), which administers justice to its region, collects and disburses taxes, and is responsible for defense and so forth.

Since the settlement between east and west, the Numaz has retreated out of the public eye and became essentially a figurehead, living in extraordinary luxury. Legendary was the institution of the yilain, the Numaz's concubines who had all had their tongues removed in order that they might not speak. Legendary too is his collection of wild animals from the western plains, which he is free to turn against each other to watch them fight, or, if he wishes to see the havoc they might cause, to let loose on the streets of Telmenena (this happened once in 398). In short, absolute power turned this position into a potential tyranny. Luckily, however, the Numaz has rarely taken an interest in public affairs. Since his retreat into privacy, Leturia has been governed in effect by a council of representatives from the six provinces meeting in Telmenena (in the West) and by the Celsniri or Eastern Governor (in the East). The title of Numaz is not hereditary and is generally bestowed on an overly-powerful councilor to get him out of the public sphere. It is a potentially, but not actually, very powerful title.

Military

The nufent, or "frontier raider" is much esteemed among Leturians; their order, the Munufent, pays no taxes and instead receives subsidies in money and goods from the central authorities to keep watch in its settlements and fortresses along the frontier. The brave nufent is the stuff of legend: mounted upon the back of a horned animal called a rint (rather a homely beast, though a sturdy one, resembling a gaunt ox) the munufent gallop on regular routes about the countryside clad in thick leather and simple armor made of brightly-painted bronze sheets called sekka because they are imported from the mercantile city of Secca on the southern coast (under the jurisdiction of Griffon's Aerie)

Religion

Main Article: Lilism

The people of Leturia are Lilists. As in Griffon's Aerie, translation of the Lil from ancient Vallarian into modern Leturian has resulted in several distortions that justify the supremacy of the tailed population over the untailed.

Society and Peoples

Leturian society is divided between the tailed and un-tailed populations. The Letur, the "tailed" ones (plural Miletur) are the ruling class and hold all political, religious, and military power. Ordinary human beings, the non-tailed Yitur, do not possess the rights of citizens and have a status very similar to that of human beings in Griffon's Aerie.

Language

Main Article: Leturian Language