Irdárina

Home of the Honorbound

No nation is greater. No nation is stronger. We are the people of Irdar. We live, and we die, by the sword.

RadokHouse Vayantar at the founding of Irdárina

Dominating the southern Fields of Irdar, the Sovereign Principality of Irdárina is a nation of warrior clans serving under their high chieftain, known to them as the "bej'mako". Strong, capable and utterly without pity for the weak, the irdarian nation is one you do not want to make your enemy. Though unfortunately, they've probably made you their enemy already, simply due to your existance.

Born out of war

Irdárina is a rebellion nation, formed out of a dispute between the king of the kingdom of Khamad and a very popular noblewoman by the name of Keyla of House Vayantar in 120 ÞS (TS) (see Irdárian rebellion). This trial by fire really set the groundwork for what the Irdárian were to become.

The Honorbound

The soul and heart of Irdárina is the warrior culture and the clan-like structure. The nation is a shining example of Charos' ideals. Power is not given, it is earned or taken. Success is measured in won battles, kingdoms defeated, enemies slain and loot acquired. Everything in Irdárina is a contest of strength, power and honor and nothing is more important than one's honor. Without honor, you are better off dead.

"Honor" is, however, an insufficient descriptor of their concept. In their language of Qaj, the word is Ghoj and is much more than just a simple concept of honor. It encompasses your entire value as a person, be it your physical might, face, economic power or achievements in life.

Irdárians are a proud and noble people. To them, there is no greater currency than ghoj. Ghoj rules everything for them, and it is akin to nobility for other nations. The greater and grander your ghoj, the more political power you wield and the more respected you are. Upholding said ghoj is the highest priority for an Irdarian, for being dishonored is a great setback, and a great dishonor could well be a fate worse than death.

Mok'to'bar stood in the doorway, his hand tightly gripping the handle of his sword. The chieftains of the great houses were lined up at either side of the Road of Honor, the carpet leading up to the throne of the bej'mako.

"I am Mok'to'bar of the house of Gagh!" he proclaimed, barely holding his voice steady. "I have come before the bej'mako to reclaim my house's ghoj."

"Your son was found guilty of murder, Mok'to'bar." Aelanti, the high chieftain, studied the warrior as he strode up the carpet. "How is it that he yet lives? Do you not know that his life is forfeit?"

Mok'to'bar stopped in front of the throne and looked at the young bej'mako.

"I cannot kill my own son, bej'mako'wa." His voice was broken and lacked the usual presence and strength. "I am here to pay the price to restore my house's ghoj."

Aelanti of Vayantar leaned back. A marginally displeased scowl danced across her lips as she performed the traditional salute towards Mok'to'bar.

"So be it, chieftain. May Charos allow you redemption in the afterlife!"

Mok'to'bar saluted, turned around and faced the chieftains of the great houses as he drew his sword. Without much fanfare, he turned it on himself, fell to his knees and stabbed the sword right through his heart. Aelanti leapt forward from her throne, sword in hand, and decapitated him before he could even begin falling towards the ground.

She stood over his fallen body, raising the blade in front of her, tip slightly tilted towards the floor. The blood ran along the polished blade, dripping from the tip. She looked at the chieftains and proclaimed:

"The ghoj of the house of Gagh has been restored! The price, in blood, has been paid."

— An Irdárian legal matter

The Warriors of Irdar

From when children are old enough to stand and hold a weapon, they are taught the art of combat. All from personal combat with swords, axes, spears and shields up to group combat in formation as they age. In this way, Irdárina is much like its ancestral parent country of Khamad, but the Irdárians took it several steps further, being prouder and more aggressive than their comparatively tamer neighbours.

Irdárina is therefore something of a spanner in the works when it comes to arjinian politics as they tend to be boisterous and preferring to solve issues with, what they consider, a tasteful war rather than at the diplomatic table.

Political Structure

I am Vek, son of Kodar, of the house of Kavok. You have dishonored my house. Pick up your blade and defend yourself!

— Vek, when defending an accusation from Roranok.

The Houses of Irdárina

Irdárina is hierarchically structured in almost every level. The country is ruled by the high chieftain, locally known as the bej'mako.

Every citizen of Irdárina is part of a clan, but the irdárians refer to them as houses. Your house is your identity and your safety, and carries a lot of your political clout. Ghoj is something incredibly important among the irdárian people, and dishonoring your house is something that can at best lead to severe punishment and at worst to being put to death.

The houses are internally structured with an elder possessing the position of bej (chieftain) of the house. There are however no rules prescribed as to how houses should handle their internal politics, beyond the fact that the house (and ultimately its chieftain) is responsible for the actions of its members.

The Houseless

Without a house you are one of the "houseless" and while this does not in any way put you outside of society, you are looked upon with suspicion and often disgust. Houseless are commonly seen as dishonorable people that have been shunned by their own house. This, while often the case, isn't always true. There are several reasons why one would be houseless beyond having been excommunicated from one. There are legends of houseless warriors who have held great personal honor.

One major difference with being without a house is that you alone are responsible for your own honor and your actions. You cannot rely on your house's honor to protect you when you act dishonorably. The same applies when someone accuses you of dishonor, or tarnishes your honor. You have no one to lean on or back you up. You are on your own. Houseless are therefore often required to fight to defend their honor, as there really are no other records beyond reputation of their status and honor, than pure skill.

The Great Houses

The 40 greatest and most prestigious houses hold a special position called Great Houses. These 40 form the Ruling Council of Houses where the chieftains of the 40 convene and function as a government for the country. The bej'mako is always selected from one of those 40, so there is a competition among lower ranking houses to climb the social ladder and overtake one of the 40 and take a seat on the council, and perhaps even have the honor of being the house of the new bej'mako.

Assets

The Irdárians strive to be self-sufficient. It is not strange for a nation that believes so strongly in the teachings of Charos to strive to be without the help or support of foreigners.

There isn't a large amount of trade with other nations. Instead each house strives to provide something for the nation that it needs. There are entire houses devoted to the production of grains, vegetables, cattle etc. Houses will trade with each other for goods they need, rather than seeking trade abroad. As far as it's even possible, the Irdárians will trade amongst themselves for what they need, only turning to foreigners when it's absolutely necessary, such as the Khobon Federation for transport via sea.

The Iron Road

One of the things that Irdárina sorely lacks are ready access to weapons grade metals, such as iron. There are a couple of mines near the coast and in the northeastern hills, but they are not quite enough to fill the needs of the nation. Therefore, a major trade partner was found in the Khobon Federation. The khobonians certainly don't lack iron, seeing as their entire coast is rife with it in the Sah Maakh'wa. Irdárina trades grains and common foodstuffs with the Khob, who generally only have access to seafoods and fish due to their chilling climate, and in return the irdárians get enough iron to supplement their own mines.

The iron is delivered by sea to the port city of Kejol Mas and from there, it's transported by land across the trade road northwest to the bazaar of Toghul where it's traded off to whoever wants to buy. For this reason, the trading route has become something vital to the nation. Several inns and taverns line the route and it has become known as the "Iron Road".

History

Irdárina is a nation forged in war, quite literally. Born out of the Irdárian rebellion, the nation has been founded upon the idea that you must be willing, and capable, to defend yourself and what you believe in. Only then will you be successful in life.

This confrontational and brash viewpoint has led to Irdárina being almost constantly at war with its neighbours. Although not many outright battles are fought, there is still no peace to be had with a nation like Irdárina. At most they consider to be at an armistice with their neighbours, unless someone offers a very beneficial alliance.

The Chatalan Standoff

Irdárina has a very violent history, starting with the rebellion from Khamad, and after that having to defend itself from it's previous masters over the years. In addition, the growth of Khol-Chatal at Irdárinas northwestern border meant that settlers from Irdárina originally had to deal with frequent raids from chatalan brigands and even outright attacks from chatalan soldiers. This has died off in recent decades due to Khol-Chatal's more decadent rulers focusing their efforts towards political enemies rather than external ones.

Khol-Chatal and Irdárina have never officially made peace, or even declared an armistice. Technically, Irdárina lays claim to the same lands Khol-Chatal does and that puts them at odds. However, the conflict has never been resolved, and no grand battles have been fought. Khol-Chatal is far too busy with its internal struggles to really make an effort in driving the Irdárians out, and quite frankly would likely not stand a chance against a united Irdárina. The irdárians on the other hand, while strong, don't really want the frozen hellhole that is Khol-Chatal lands. So they sit on either side of their borders and glare at each other out of habit.

Demography

Irdárina houses a fairly even spread of species and the vast majority of people in Irdárina are Irdárians. There are pockets of other ethnicities here and there, usually near borders. However, if you are a foreigner, you'd do best in adopting the Irdárian's customs quickly. They are not a patient or understanding people. You either prove yourself worthy, or be cut down like grass.

Politics and judicial matters

The Council of Houses is a political body made up of the 40 strongest and most prestigious houses. These 40 houses have traditionally written the law of the land that governs it. The bej'mako must ratify every law, but there's generally little resistance as the 40 tend to end up in agreement one way or the other.

Chieftains are required to uphold the law within their own house, and if they are unable or unwilling to do so, they themselves must bear the punishment. Usually this is considered extremely dishonorable and will almost always, without fail, result in ritual suicide to preserve the ghoj of the house.

It is believed that when a chieftain carries great dishonor he will bear that dishonor into the afterlife, and thus if he kills himself he brings that dishonor with him away from the house, effectively restoring the ghoj of the house, and gains a chance to redeem himself in the afterlife.

Religion

While faith isn't something that is overtly spoken about in Irdárina, or anywhere in the Morvátian Pensinsula, most everyone are followers of Charos and the Honorbound faith, Ghoj'Sap Tah. There are a smattering of smaller faiths and other deities followed, but even these minor dieties are subservient to Charos.

Territory and military

Plains
Plains by Eli Ring

The Irdárian Principality holds the lands south of Khamad and southeast of Khol-Chatal, an area colloquially called the Fields of Irdar. Specifically when talking about irdárian lands, one refers to them as the southern Fields of Irdar.

Irdárina also holds an outpost on Celenia called Vogh Darek in the Hilly Heaths.

Irdárina is a very militant nation and when threatened by an outside foe it can raise an absolutely stunning amount of warriors in almost no time. Almost every single citizen is a capable warrior, aside from the elderly and children.

As such, Idárina houses the theoretically largest army in the world. However it has been many years since Irdárina was involved in active conflict, in spite of their hostility towards their neighbours. Large parts of Khol-Chatal is a stinking, frozen wasteland that Irdárina has miniscule interest in, and Khamad is strong enough to actually pose a threat if openly declared war on.

The annexation of Fodjan

That left the small kingdom of Fodjan as a target for the Irdárians. The houses of Gagh, Voghul, Roms and Tokha' banded together and laid claim to large areas of Fodjan's western fields and went in. Fodjan, being a mostly peaceful nation, didn't put up much of a resistance. Irdárina conquered large portions of their southern arable fields before Khamad caught wind of the conquest and offered Fodjan the position of protectorate. Fodjan was without hope at this point and accepted. With the Khamadian army moving in to fortify the front, the Irdárian soldiers were stopped and fell back to their conquered lands.

It is no secret why Khamad did this, as the small nation of Fodjan is Khamad's only access to the coast, with Irdárina controlling the entire south. While Khamad used Fodjan's ports before the war through trade, they now directly control them.

Irdárina retains the conquered lands to this day, but they've been stopped from moving any further.

Economy

Irdárina is largely self-sufficent, trading internally for everything it needs. However, there are things that are traded externally as well, primarily iron imported from the Khobon Federation in exchange for grains and wholefoods and plainswolves and plainswolf furs export to affluent people in the Gimroan Basin.

Ghoj vatlh dah!
(Strength and Honor!)

Maps

  • Hilly Heaths
Type
Geopolitical, Country
Capital
Alternative Names
Irdar
Demonym
Irdárian, Irian
Leader
Leader Title
Head of Government
Government System
Plutocracy
Power Structure
Feudal state
Economic System
Barter system
Currency
Official Languages
Related Ranks & Titles
Neighboring Nations
Related Items
Related Ethnicities

Articles under Irdárina


Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Master Rantourus
Zenon Morgan
9 Aug, 2018 20:53

I really enjoyed this article. It paints a very clear picture of who these people are and what their lives are like. The use of links and the fact they give little clues to what the words or names as they are, making it where I can take the information in quicker and come back to the links that interested me most rather than having to click each and every link to understand what I am reading.   The only points I can see is personally some formatting is odd to me at least from a visual standpoint. Like the quote over the sidebar. I could see the translation of the foreign text no need to be the same size and format as the words and just having it underneath the phrase. The bolding of the spoken words in the longer quote box kept pulling my attention to that rather than allowing me to read it fluidly. I had to read it several times to stop myself from missing things, and even then I may have missed things. Lastly in the Demonym section in the sidebar, is irian suppose to be lower case?   But all in all its a really lovely article, thank you so much for the read.

9 Aug, 2018 21:26

Thanks! It's still a work interview progress and with ADHD a lot of things keep slipping through and end up weird.   I also don't like the bold speak. It's actually only supposed to be italicised, but it came out weird. I'll have to check it out later. Same with their motto. I'll see if I can edit that to be more sensible.   Thanks for the feedback! <3

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
9 Aug, 2018 22:56

Absolutely love the detail in this!   The nation's history, the links to different rebellions, characters, currency and so forth all are fantastic. It adds tremendous depth to the article and the nation in question due to that.   I especially enjoy the quotes that are spotted throughout the article, it adds a vivid image of their culture and beliefs that the basic information I don't think would get across nearly as well.   Just an side-note from a design perspective, inputting some images into the sidebar and the banner would add a very nice look to the article. Similarly, the "Strength and Honor" quote could be separated so the translation is under it and still centered, so that it may look a bit neater?   Either way, I love the article. Can't wait to read more, you've earned yourself a follower!

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
10 Aug, 2018 12:07

Thanks for the suggestion on the quote. I didn't actually consider that I could use tags in that box. That looks much neater, thanks!

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
10 Aug, 2018 01:56

I love that little scene with Mok'to'bar, really adds life to what is a good article that depicts Irdrina as a society very well.

10 Aug, 2018 11:27

I really enjoyed reading this. what was your inspiration for the nation, the Vikings or the Samurai?

10 Aug, 2018 11:59

Neither, and both sort of. The primary inspiration is actually a medievalized version of the Klingons, but with some viking and japanese influence. On of my other culture spheres is more heavily inspired by the old norse.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
11 Aug, 2018 12:43

Hey, you got some pictures in too! Awesome stuff! :D

11 Aug, 2018 18:01

Yep! Placeholders for now, but they help break up the flow. I'm kinda using this article as a "template" for how I want the rest of the countries' articles to be, so I figured I should "finish" this one before I move on.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
11 Aug, 2018 19:13

Yeah, I always advice to add pictures for breaking up blocks of text. They look awesome, really make the article pop! <3

Tohshi
Tohshi Ydithe
11 Aug, 2018 23:36

So I reviewed this in video form...you can find it here

Master Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
26 May, 2020 16:29

Ahh militaristic empires! What is not to like about them in fiction?   Moving on from the initial load of awesomeness and how you seem to pull off the impossible feat of making an article realistic and epic and awesome at the same time, I think that overall, this article was beautiful and amazing in all ways, particularly the aesthetics. I could feel the theme inside my very veins and the scene with the seppuku like honour suicide was truly immersive. I felt like I was part of that court myself   Another thing I really loved was the history aspect. History is a thing I really love and it was very interesting and amazing to see how you manage to make the history both concise whilst also making it amazingly interesting. I do think tho that a timeline would help to make this article a bit more “shiny” of sorts   Now onto the feedback part! I’ll try my best to be unbiased and give objective feedback :)   1) What is the actual process of selecting the Bej”mako? Is there any specific qualifications one requires? Do they need to be strong and capable and able to lead the nation properly and have good educational skills?   2) Is conscription a thing here? How does it work? Is it more like the US style draft or the conscription model used by Sweden and Norway?   3) Can a Houseless be taken into a certain house if the chieftain(s) agree?   4) What’s daily life like for various people including noblemen and commonfolk here? What jobs do they do?   I admit that I usually have the same general set of questions when I’m critiquing a geopolitical entity but I’m trying my best to improve on it! I hope you found it useful! Congrats tobs and keep on rocking!

26 May, 2020 20:53

1) The Bej'mako is automatically chosen to be the house leader of the most powerful and influential house of the 40. No qualifications required beyond having to be the leader of the grandest house, that's all :)   2) No conscription, per se, but everyone is trained in combat from childhood and if your house is attacked, you fight for it. If an ally house is attacked, you defend them. If the nation is under attack, you fight back. So...it both is and isn't conscription. It's more of an honor thing. You're expected to fight for your house, your friend and your nation.   3) Yes, a houseless who proves their worth and is honored by a house can be taken into a house and adopt its name.   4) Pretty much the same jobs as everyone else. Farming, trading, administration, training, education. The "nobles", usually the core family of a house, are generally administrators, while the lessers in the house are actual workers, but also soldiers.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
29 Sep, 2021 13:29

Nice article! I like especially the quote with the ritual suicide that is very well written.

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
7 Oct, 2021 11:16

Such a detailed and well thought out article. You really emphasise what makes them unique and what they hold important. I really like the extract dealing with the father taking the death penalty in his son's place to restore his house's ghoj.

Powered by World Anvil