She dragged her boat up onto the beach, her boots sinking into the foul, black sand. She had to move quickly, she would die if they found her. She heard a crunch behind her, terrified. Nothing. She sighed.
A crossbow bolt shot into her shoulder, going two inches deep and puncturing skin and flesh. Screaming with agony, she drew her dagger. Too late. Another sailed into her throat. She fell backwards and slipped into unconsciousness. She never saw those that fired the bolts.
The Syndalal Empire is a nation that rules most of Syndal
, the continent after which the nation was named, and the island of Tekam
, the homeland of the Orcs
. Its capital is Volka, on the west coast of Syndal.
Historically, the land was ruled by emperor Baul Carnago
, who was the first and last emperor for 1300 years. After Baul's death, rulership fell to his advisors, known as the Targulst, who ruled for the year since, before one of his advisors, Kara Sedri, took power in a coup, becoming Empress of the Syndalan Empire, and the second head of state of the nation overall.
Since every citizen undergoes conscription, every citizen has a rank, and this largely dictates social status, and it can affect the outcome of employment and even legal battles.
The nation started as a tribe in Tekam, where a human child arrived at one of the tribes. The child was Baul Carnago. The orcs nurtured him and brought him up, not realising how powerful he was, or who he was. He forced the tribe to conquer the others, aided by his magical ability, and soon he ruled the entire island. He then set his sights on the continent of Syndal, expelling the elves and setting that as his home.
Syndal had something of a downfall in 1587, with the death of its Emperor at the hands of Jay Spinner
. At the same time, many of the True Orcs
, who already held land on the eastern coast of Syndal, became far more militant, and Syndal's territory shrank.
Around 75% of the inhabitents are orcs, while the remainder are Native Syndalan Elves from the continent's annexation, serving as a slave class.
Syndal is in control of most of the continent of the same name, the island of Tekam, and various forcefully held colonies around the world, particularly in Kirine.
The nation is very highly militarized, with a two-year conscription service for all citizens (although not technically conscription, Syndalan law bars people who have never been in the military from higher-level employment and discriminates them on various fronts).
Some of the greatest soldiers of Syndal are the Curi, constructs formed from the soul of an orc, human, or otherwise, bound to a reanimated corpse, which has undergone a specific preservation process. They wear steel masks to hide their desiccated faces, and wield double-ended glaives. They are used both as elite soldiers and as the Royal Guard of the Emperor.
Syndalan medical knowledge has little regard to pain or infection, owing to the orcish anatomy's natural resilience to such things, but is surprisingly advanced. Cauterisation is a common solution to blood loss, and tar is often used. Burns from cauterisation are often worn as a mark of pride, showing courage and ferocity in battle.
Syndal is very secular, with an active effort to make traditional Orcish beliefs a lesser part of people's lives, or otherwise distort it to be more in line with the state. There is a small minority of elves who still practice the Native Syndalan beliefs that eventually became Supradia, but these are banned by the state.
Syndal has historically been very antagonistic towards other nations, starting the Syndalan-Orlendian war
through its expansionist actions, and taking an active role in the War of Eserae
. More recently, it appears to have taken a back seat in many international affairs, likely a mix between the death of Emperor Carnago and the subsequent coup by Kara Sedri, and the increasing threat of True Orc