The Terruk-Mal, also known by varying sources as the Golden Terruk State, The Confederate Terruk Clans, or the Terruk-Mal Horde, is a large state located in central Galisea, that has steadily expanded over the course of the past 300 years. Things have stabilized for the Terruk-Mal recently as they have encountered powerful states to the on most of their borders, and the dangerous and enigmatic giant communities to their north. As the wars of conquest have started to come to an end, the Terruk have slowly begaun to evolve from an extensive warlordom to a viable imperial state. The Terruk-Mal are governed by a council of cooperating, and competing Khans, Canobi, and Mizras, all of whom submit to the final authority of the Khagan. In real terms however, organization of the Terruk-Mal is very loose outside of a few key population centers, and the day to day operations of the Terruk State are largely run locally by the various lords of Terruk-Mal. The Terruk-Mal, due to its massive size, and central location, have established a monopoly on the overland trade routes in Galisea, and they use this position to extract taxes from the various traders unfortunate enough not to have access to maritime trade lanes. This has allowed the Terruk, or at least the nobility, and more static urban populations to become extremely wealthy, profiting massively on trade from Guandao in particular.
There is a myriad of distinct cultures living within territory ruled by the Terruks, including a number of non-Orcish peoples with lives vastly different from the Orcish Terruk. This makes the Terruk-Mal one of the most multicultural regions in Galisea. The most defining feature of Terruk's own ethnic culture is system and code of honor that most relationships and professions are organized around, one which favors strength and force of arms, tempered by a relatively strong sense for fair play. The Terruk often establishing status primarily through merit, either by battlefield bravery or by hunting large and dangerous animals and taking trophies from that. For many of the other nomadic cultures, such as the Garugans, Ughans, Tangrae, the few remaining Aarumites in their territory, and to a lesser extent the Huri, the traditions are similar valuing strength, a certain amount of self-reliance, and strong survival skills, though to these are variable in their influence over other nomadic cultures. Settled cultures, primarily the Fuí, but also the the settled Tangre, the Kyndric, and mountain goblins have their own distinctive cultures, with the Fuí being a similarly martial culture, but with the Kyndric and settled Tangrae being radically different from the Terruk in their own ways, and the mountain goblins being only tangentially connected to the Terruk society.
The Terruk Steppes were long host to a fair number of competing tribal groups that fought over prime grazing land for their herds, or sometimes raiding into the lands of the settled peoples. Occasionally tribal confederacies would arise, generally upon ethnic lines that would become a more serious threat to their neighbors, capable of devastating attacks even on the settled nations. These confederacies however, were generally short lived, falling apart within a few generations of their foundation. Coming out of the Tamoya region, a specific tribe was unified under Naranbaatar Temür of the Naru Clan, dubbed Chingis Terru by his tribe, Naranbaatar would go on to unify the whole of the Terruk people under their banner. Chingis Terru would go on to lead the confederated Terruk tribes into conquest of the Garugans, Ughans, and the Tangrae. After his death, the Terruk would be slower to conquer more land, eventually stabilizing their conquests into the Great Terruk state, led by a Khagan, nominally modeled after the land of Guandao, but functionally retaining its very loose organizational structure as a confederated tribe of mostly nomadic peoples. In the nearly three centuries following the death of the Great Chingis, the Great Terruk State has steadily continued to expand, taking all of the Terruk Steppe, and healthy chunks of Huria, North Indhara, among others. Recently their conquests included the realm of Fuíguo, which has become the crown jewel of the Terruk Empire. In recent years they have also begun to properly centralize, with the office of the Khagan using an itinerant court to more directly govern the realms held by territorial governors, formalizing the courier system, and beginning to open trade with those states that the Terruk State doesn't have immediate designs for.
Demography and Population
Hard, centralized demographic data is hard to find among the Terruk, though efforts have been made to unify the few various scribes, scholars, and bureaucrats that exist in Terruk territory to take down, and collect the available data. According to best estimates, mostly relying on recent information, or from the records of the more settled people there are 5,927,000 people living under the banner of the Khagan. Of these, half are nomadic or semi-nomadic groups living in the north and center of the country, with most of the remaining population living in small agricultural settlements, and in string of trading communities on the Terruk overland trade routes. About 15% live in major cities, almost entirely in Fuíguo. Orcs of the three main nomadic groups of the Terruk-Mal make up a slight plurality of the land, with Goblinoids, humans, and gnomes making most up the rest. There are no enslaved persons in Terruk land, though the Orcish people, and Terruk specifically hold a privileged position over the others.
The territory of the Terruk-Mal is vast, stretching over nearly a third of Galisea's width and a fifth of its total area, with a total territorial area of roughly 4,904,200 square kilometers. This territory can be divided into nine distinct regions. To the north lies the Tamoya Taiga, the Guregem plains, and the Harusan forest. Centrally located are the Ughan plains, and Hurien desert. The Tamoya Taiga is the ancestral homeland of the Terruk peoples, from which they have expanded out of. The nomadic lifestyle of most Terruk clans also gives them longstanding heritage to the Guregem plans and Harusan forest, which was, until the past few hundred, perhaps a thousand years, a plain similar to the Guregem region, and most oldest conquered territory includes historical migration routes for individual Terruk clans. Conquered territories include western Fuíguo, the ancestral homeland of the goblinoid Fuírén, and the Hurian desert, home to the human Huri peoples; as well as the generally half-orcish Aarumites who have been driven into the Nabari Plateau since. Conquered peoples include the Huri, the Fuírén, the Garugans (mostly humans, with some gnomish Garugans as well), the closely related orcish and half-orcish Ughans (who have lost much of their cultural identity, and nearly assimilated into the Terruk ruling ethnicity, and the gnomish Harusans. Small numbers of other groups have been subsumed into the Greater Terruk state as well.
Despite the relatively loose governance of the Terruk State, in military matters they are quite well organized as an army. Each warlord of note is expected to contribute at least a single hundred fighter strong, Zuun to be raised into the field armies of the Terruk. According to the most recent reccords of the state, there are 1,121 of these Zuuns, meaning that the Terruk State can, theoretically count on 112,100 armed warriors who can be called into any given campaign, though in practice rivalries between various warlords, lack of food and cash for payment, and logitsical concerns means that no Terruk Army reliably stands stronger than about 10,000 souls. The Terruk are generally deceptively well organized and disciplined with members of the Zuun are often drilled and trained to be able to react quickly to various battlefield conditions. Terruk soldiers are often equipped with light lamellar armor, and are given bows or lances, and sabres. Terruk Warriors are overwhelmingly cavalry, particularly among the core Terruk Orcs, but a growing number of infantry, often drawn from client races, have been seen in the expanded Terruk state. The Terruk-Mal, having only fairly recently taken coastal territory and utterly lacking a substantive maritime tradition, do not have any formalized navy, or any warships at its call. Instead, if the Terruk need ships they'll typically contract merchant boats, or hire pirates to do their bidding for them.
Terruk-Mal, in spite of its lack of development does possess a lot of potent technology, thanks to their conquest of wealthier, more technologically advanced states, and the frequent looting of others, the Terruk people have access to a number of skilled smiths, artisans, and engineers that produce everything from consumer goods, to metal work in quantities enough to support themselves and their Terruk overlords. Looting provides much of the rest. One notable weak spot however, comes from the fact that the Terruk have never captured a gunsmith, and as such have, at best, limited access to gunpowder weaponry, particularly cannons which would serve them well in future conquests.
The Terruk-Mal is a religiously heterogenous state thanks in large part to the many conquered peoples who make up the territory. The Terruk people themselves follow a loose, animistic faith with a focus on deities of the sun and sky. This faith, known locally as Saanism, is has been adopted by the many of the other nomadic cultures, or has otherwise absorbed those faiths. The Fuí peoples have their own faith that serves as the second most prominent, and many other minority faiths can be seen amongst the other conquered peoples. In spite of the usual favoring of Terruk culture, the Terruk-Mal has no official religion and has a relative religious tolerance, allowing conquered peoples to worship freely.
The Terruk-Mal is fairly hostile to most of its neighbors. With the Terruk seeking ever greater territories, and the khagan wanting greater tribute for his own coffers, many nations fall victim to raids and attempts at conquest on a regular basis. Open warfare is however, relatively rare in the modern day, as the Terruk find themselves against organized states capable of opposing them, and as the Terruk-Mal increasingly becomes a necessary route for overland trade, enriching the Terruk state and building trans-realm networks beyond violence and warfare.
Agriculture & Industry
Much of the Terruk's territory is predominantly dominated by nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples from its north, and indeed most of Terruk territory is given over to grazing land for nomadic bands. These nomadic communities are largely operating at a subsistence level relying on, and using their animal herds to their fullest extent, with only small scale manufacturing capabilities. These nomadic groups primarily rely on pillage to provide manufactured goods that aren't producible with animal parts. In the more settled south central regions simple subsistence agriculture can be found, and in Fuíguo more advanced agriculture has taken root. In these settled regions, a more extensive industrial base, though still largely reliant on the individual efforts of skilled professionals, exists.
Trade & Transport
Terruk-Mal's trade is primarily conducted overland through the southern part of the the Terruk-Mal's territory, with secondary lines travling north and south into Goarchenya, Aeilla, Fuiguo, and other developed lands. Though by the standards of the settled realms, a underdeveloped, transit manages to occur at a rapid pace within Terruk territory. This is in large part due to the well managed and maintained courier network, with thousands of waystations, fully stocked with fresh horses and couriers that allows messages to travel extremely quickly, exceptional security run on the Terruk-Mal's trade lanes keeps trade safe, and allows for increased speeds.
Terruk-Mal is not especially well developed except inside Fuí territory. Much of the Terruk Steppes are open land, with few signs of sentient habitation and even most of the settled lands are relatively sparse, mostly consisting of isolated homesteads and small villages. As a result, most infrastructure is nonexistent, or highly localized.
The Majestic Terruk Horde, The Great Terruk State
Related Ranks & Titles
There is an uneasy peace between Cyrenica and Terruk-Mal as Cyrenica recognizes Aarum as a greater threat.
Low Intensity War
The Terruk frequently raid into Aeillan territory, and the northern Aeillan states frequently abduct people into slavery from the Terruk.
There is sporadic raiding from Terruks in Nabari territory.