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Gishik

The blood of our mothers courses through us once again! Let all the world know that the storm of the Gish has returned!   -Mira Tarkazh IV, upon the official formation of the Queendom of Gishik. Circa 347 AW
The Queendom of Gishik is a newcomer to the stage of northern Reish, but it is a land with a storied history. As the ancestral homeland of the Gish, Gishik is home to many famous landmarks, such as the great Fortress of Clay in the capital city of Rezhita, the vast and beautiful Gish Plains, and the city of Redeko, the birthplace of Wind Worship and the religion's main seat of power.   After repeated attacks from rebellious lords, bandits, and Shiv conquerors, the Gish have regained their long-lost might and begun to reform their once-lost empire. Despite all the odds, Gishik has returned, and the odds are that it is here to stay.

Structure

Gishik is ruled by a queen, who is always of the Tarkazh family line. The queen technically has the highest authority, but power in Gishik is very decentralized. Various nobles hold much of the land and much of the true political power, forming a complex bureaucratic web of debts and alliances that quite often looks absolutely mind-melting to an outsider looking in.   At its most basic level, the Tarkazh monarchy gives land to various nobles in exchange for loyalty to the throne. Quite often, lesser nobles will be gifted land by nobles that got it directly from the queen, and these nobles will often be the ones owning and taxing the peasants that produce goods.

Public Agenda

Another Okrif attack. Any more of these raids and we'll have to abandon the settlement. I say we give it one last hurrah and attack the damn bastards ourselves. That'll show them!   -Journal of Ushak Ingtop, Lady of Recheb. Circa 409 AW
As of the current era, Gishik mostly desires stability, as the feudal agreement between the Tarkazh family and their nobles is still somewhat shaky, and the conquered Church of Wind Worship continuously vies for independence. Various Chebknir and Okrif raiding parties barrage the eastern and western borders as well, which provides an added threat to the cohesiveness of Gishik's feudal system.

Assets

Gishik owns several cities along the Gish Sea, providing several ports that give access to the vast trade network within the sea. The hilly plains in the south provide ample protection from Shiv invaders, although the vast Gish Plains beyond provide the Okrif raiders in the east with an easy entry point.   The Tarkazh family possesses vast amounts of wealth, having access to the vast treasuries of Rezhita as well as a well-oiled feudal system providing even more gold. Vast apple orchards dot the countryside, who's exports are then exported as far as the Betlao Empire in the far east, providing an easy source of revenue. The southern hills are also home to many Zhuptik, both wild and domesticated. These powerful, goat-like beasts work as great mounts for both travel and battle, and the Gish make ready use of them.

History

Bandits attack from all sides. Our leaders, once thought infallible, turn tail at the slightest sign of trouble. Any semblance of unity among the Gish has been thoroughly desecrated. I fear for the future.   -Journal from an unknown author, sometime after the Siege of Rezhita in 249 AW and the beginning of the Crimson Years
The history of modern Gishik begins with the fall of the Gish Empire in 249 AW. After successfully deterring a massive Shiv invasion force from conquering Gishik, General Sanapik Goksarsta returned to Rezhita, only to betray the ruling Tama family and sack the city, exiling the Imperial family. Most scholars agree that this marks the end of the Gish Empire. The Tama family fled to the city of Redeko and, for the most part, remained there until the line eventually fizzled out.   Sanapik herself ruled Rezhita for seven years, fighting for control of the city on a political stage even longer than she fought for it on a military one. And Sanapik was no politician. To help her with that, she had the help of her second in command, a lesser noblewoman from southern Gishik named Pralim Marpid Tarkazh. Pralim successfully assisted Sanapik in keeping a hold on Rezhita, but she had ambitions of her own.   In the year 255 AW, Sanapik sent Pralim on a diplomatic mission to Redeko to convince the Church of Wind Worship to legitimize Sanapik's rule, mostly through the means of excessive gifts. During her stay in Rezhita, Pralim grew close with a woman named Zhemitk Tama, the youngest daughter of the Tama family. Eventually, Pralim approached the High Priest of Wind Worship at the time, Bdinshar Ergtop, with a proposal. Pralim would wed Zhemitk and be given the right to rule Rezhita instead of Sanapik, and in return, she would oust Sanapik from her throne and ally Rezhita with Redeko.   Bdinshar agreed, and Pralim returned to Rezhita with a sizable army, taking the city from the aging Sanapik, who fled the city and escaped to the south. With the Church's blessing, Pralim ascended as queen of Rezhita, establishing it as an independent city-state.
"We surrender"   -Message from the Queendom of Jaypali to Rezhita, upon hearing of the Rezhitan army heading towards their territory.
As the years went by, the Tarkazh dynasty slowly expanded outwards, forming alliances and taking more and more territory. The process was slow and often bloody, but the Tarkazh family cannibalized much of the smaller Queendoms in Gishik and became one of the more powerful groups in the region. By the early 300s AW, there were four major Gish territories - The Queendom of Rezhita, the Churchland, The Queendom of Eshanev, and Janoar, a state mostly ruled by merchants and bandits.   The inherent instability of a bandit state caused Janoar to weaken around the mid-310s AW, and the Rezhitan forces invaded the territory and conquered it in the name of the reigning queen, Mira Tarkazh III. Eshanev was roughly matched with Rezhita, so Mira III had to take a more subtle approach to its demise. In 329 AW, Mira III married her younger daughter, Mira IV, to Prince Asabdin Eshanev, under the pretense of a truce between the two kingdoms. Slowly but surely, Mira IV had the various heirs to the Eshanev throne eliminated in secret, until only she remained. She then poisoned her husband and became Queen of Eshanev in 346 AW.   Mira III expected the merge of Rezhita and Eshanev to take years, if not decades, but a year after Queen Mira IV's rise to power, the current Queen of Rezhita, Mira IV's sister Zhrimav Tarkazh died of an illness, leaving Mira IV as the only heir to the throne. As such, Rezhita and Eshanev were merged, and Mira IV declared the Queendom of Gishik to be founded.
The queen betrays our alliance! She has lost the blessing of the Winds! Come, my brothers and sisters, and let us enact holy vengeance upon the traitor-queen!   -Agushkar Ingtop, leader of the Zephyr Callers from 311 AW to 340 AW
After uniting most of Gishik - barring some smaller, unimportant western territories - Mira Tarkazh IV turned her eyes on the final piece of her family's ancient and bloody puzzle. The city of Redeko and the Churchland. Since the fall of the Gish Empire, the Church of Wind Worship had become a sort of governmental body in eastern Gishik, ruling as a theocratic monarchy of sorts. Mira IV sought to conquer the Churchland and take the fertile lands for herself.   The Churchlands were nowhere near as large as Gishik had become, and the Church's army was small and relatively untrained - nobody would ever dream of attacking the Church, of course. But they did have a secret weapon. The Windspeaker, Gikzha Tama, constructed twelve Voidstone artifacts, each containing a powerful storm Elemental. The mere act of touching these artifacts gave someone a powerful, if very specific, magical ability. The Church owned most of the artifacts, and had a secret group of assassins called the Zephyr Callers that wielded them. As such, they provided an ample challenge for Mira IV's armies, as they were some of the only people in Gishik to wield Magic since Sanapik Goksarsta's siege of Rezhita, where much magical knowledge was lost. But, through a combination of overwhelming force and excellent military strategy from both Mira IV and her top general, Ergtop Zharim, the Gish forces managed to defeat the church. Mira IV even managed to fell two of the Zephyr Callers, and in 340 AW the Gish army stormed Redeko and forced the High Priest, Hadat Ushakar, to surrender.   And with that, Gishik was truly unified for the first time in centuries.

Territories

Gishik is a roughly average-sized country in northern Reish. Most of the lands in Gishik, even if they've been recently conquered, always belonged to a group that at some level considered themselves Gish. The only exception to this would be the Okrif Frontier, a vast plainsland in the north that many Gish are settling into as the population booms and people are looking for more places to live. Gishik also claims dominion on several islands in the Gish Sea, which are often used for mining rare materials.   The terrain of Gishik consists mainly of plains and forests, but in the south there's a vast expanse of hills that mark the border with Shivish. The Redekpi Peninsula to the east is a bit wetter and swampier, but for the most part is shares its geographical features with the rest of Gishik.

Military

Based in Rezhita, the Gish military is well-armed and always ready to fight. The army is usually overseen by members of the Lipran noble family, which owns little territory in exchange for the aforementioned military influence. The forces themselves consist mostly of male spear crews and female cavalry units that ride armored zhuptik. Any gender can attempt to join any rank in the army, but these are the common roles. Archery crews are considered a gender-neutral troop, but archers are culturally considered "weaker" than melee fighters by the Gish.   Along with fighting in battles, members of the Gish army also work as city guards for Rezhita and surrounding cities, modeling themselves after the Redeko City Guard that was founded around the beginning of the Crimson Years.

Foreign Relations

Gishik is on mostly shaky ground with regards to foreign relations. It's stuck in a bitter rivalry with Shivish, and the various Okrif and Chebknir tribes raid the northern border on both fronts somewhat consistently. The only nation it has any good relations with is the merchant republic of Uddat to Shivish's northeast. The two countries trade quite often.   Gishik also trades with the distant Betlao Empire, but mostly through Udda merchants, and the two nations don't have extensive contact with one another, despite the Betlao having conquered Gishik many centuries prior.

Agriculture & Industry

Most of Gishik's economy comes from agriculture, specifically of wheat and apples. With vast and fertile plains, these crops grow in abundance, and are sold in many places. The Gish also breed and sell zhuptik and Basu, although other countries have a greater monopoly on that front. In the north, mining is how most nobles make their riches, digging up gold and iron in the deep cave systems that pepper the lands of the Nevavi.

Founding Date
347 AW
Type
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Capital
Rezhita
Demonym
Gish
Head of State
Pralim Tarkazh VI
Power Structure
Feudal state
Economic System
Market economy
Currency
The Gish make use of Ozhan, which are simple gold coins usually marked with religious iconography.
Legislative Body
Most laws are drafted by the nobles, and each territory has a slightly different legal code as a result. Most Gish law comes from interpretations of The Prikanon, the holy book of Wind Worship, as well as lifting policy from Imperial law during the times of the Gish Empire. The law can be changed at the whims of the reigning noble.
Judicial Body
When a crime is committed, the local priest takes on the role of the judge, with a jury consisting of the ruling noble and the two wealthiest peasants in the territory. The person who committed the crime is usually forced to testify alone, although on occasion another priest will take the role of an attorney of sorts.
Official State Religion
Wind Worship
Official Languages
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities

Demographics

Populations

Total Citizens: 6,500,000   Gish Citizens: 6,240,000   Nevavi Citizens: 227,500   Okrif Citizens: 20,000   Chebknir Citizens: 13,000  

Languages

  1. Gish (official language)
  2. Nevavi
  3. Okrif
  4. Chebknir
  5. Udda

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