The Kingdom of Daramar (deɪ̯'əmär)
The Kingdom of Daramar is one of the few states on the Feloran continent to rival the Feloran Successor States in the vastness and breadth of it’s historical lineage. It is located in Northern Felora, to the northwest of the Feloran Successor States. With it's natural barriers of the Vhaelhests and the Daraman Rainforest, the Kingdom avoided annexation by the Feloran Empire despite being bordered on three sides by it. The Kingdom's population is almost entirely made up of tortles, with a few tabaxi living in the frontier hills to it's north. Though Daramans have gone on World Pilgrimages for as long as their history, the current series of edicts by the Mad King prohibit travel by Daramans outside of the Kingdom (and by most foreigners into it). There was a steady flow of tortles across popular Feloran trade routes before this, and through this many inventions, beliefs, and ideas came into Daramar. Daramar was founded 785 years ago in order to unite the disparate Daramese clans defensively amid growing fears that the Feloran Empire's latest expansionary phase would include their rainforest homeland. An elective monarchy, the Kingdom has been under the steady and enlightened rule of it's various ruling families until relatively recently, with the current rule of the "Mad King Daramar" a stain and embarrasment for much of the other families.
The Kingdom is ruled by the self-styled Saviour-Immortal of Daramar, King Oréstund. Though his rule has lasted more than 6o years, the 156 year old King has become preoccupied with what he sees as the inevitable threat of “beings from beyond the fabric of life” coming to this realm. For the last 30 years, ever since his last world pilgrimage, he has instituted a series of odd rules, with draconian punishments for their violations, all in order to “prepare” the Kingdom for what comes. He styles himself the wise protector of his people and maybe even the world, and is rumoured to be searching for a mythical fountain of eternal life.
Traditionally, Daraman culture has placed great value on elderly wisdom and "worldliness". Knowledge, be it in the form of spiritual, cultural, historical, is traded like currency, and it was perhaps the most defining aspect of Daraman culture, although now this has become scorned by the current Daraman ruler. Daramans are rather liberal in their outlook towards others, and indeed many Daraman religious beliefs incorporate disparate (and at originally conflicting) mythologies and religions. Recently, Daraman culture has also become paranoid, due to the influence and actions of the "Saviour-Immortal". The World Pilgrimage was the most well known manifestation of Daraman culture outside of the Kingdom, when a Daraman would leave the Kingdom and go out into the world to live among other societies, learn all they can, and return to pass the knowledge on to their kin. This practice has become illegal under Daraman law, however the tradition lives on in Daramans living outside of the Kingdom.
What is now the Kingdom of Daramar remained undiscovered by the outside world until Tabaxi explorers sailing up the Darna scaled the Cliffs of Gever and encountered the small settlement of Jéchel. At the time, these Tabaxi where subjects of the Feloran Empire, as their ancestral outpost at the mouth of the Darna had been annexed since -314 EIE. Daraman Ayol Otünko welcomed the expedition in his jungle palace, and recounted to them his favourite myths. Exchanges were made, and the ancient Daramans began to venture down the Darna River, past the Yèruti Narrows, the ancient traditional boundary of what they considered the world. Founded 1460 LIE, the Kingdom emerged to counter growing fears of Feloran aggression by Daraman Ayol. Feloran envoys became fewer, and Tabaxi expeditions to the Kingdom's archaeological sites and unexplored forests ceased. The elder leaders of the various clans of Daraman people, who had enjoyed cordial but loose relations until that point, held counsel in the Dara'ama, the Clangathering. It was agreed to elect one of their own to serve as Ayol-cai, which roughly translates to King in common, to represent the clans and command the sum of their warriors. In 412 PE, Ayol-cai Oréstund returned from his World Pilgrimage a changed tortle, a weary leader sunken into their shell, but also paranoid. He set about ordering draconian laws, such as mandatory worship of the Sun and Moon, insisting that the two were going to otherwise abandon the people.
Demography and Population
The population of mostly tortles and a few tabaxi number around 160,048; 81,843 of which live in the capital of Dara'ama. There has been a steady exodus to the Feloran Canals in recent years. The Mad King has been steadily empting the border regions of people, and it is suspected that less than 100 people are living within a day's journey from the frontier. An estimated 4,000 tabaxi are also present in the Kingdom, concentrated in the north along the Darna River, who dominate the merchant class. Most Daramans are simple subsistence farmers, with many educated and skilled Daramans fleeing the Kingdom in the past decade. The emergent religion of the King has an emergent clerical class, mostly concentrated in the capital where they have immediate access to the King.
The Kingdom is deep beyond the Daraman Rainforest, part of the Vhaelhest Regions, a difficult to traverse geography that kept outsiders such as the Felorans from discovering it until the end of the Early Imperial. It is bounded to the north by the Tealest hills, to the east and south Vhaelhest Mountains, and to the west by the Júr wastes and Yulani Coast. It occupies a massive interior portion of Northwestern Felora, with approximately 1.4 million square kilometers of land within these bounds. In the southwest, organised resistance keeps these lands beyond the Kingdom's complete grasp. Its southwestern border has some of the highest peaks of the Vhaelhest. There are ruins resembling Daraman architecture in the Daraman Rainforest, beyond the Kingdom's present-day borders, suggesting an ancestral connection to these lands, supported by their name.
Historically, the Kingdom has relied first on it's isolation and then on a combination of it's natural defenses and diplomacy with Tabaxi expeditions. After the collapse of the Empire, the Kingdom invested in a frontier watch, constructing towers along most of its roads leading into the Kingdom stafing them with paid volunteers. In recent years, pockets of rebellion have sprung up, most recently in the southwest region bordering Sarendia. This lead to the establishment of the Guardians of the Realm, zealous followers of the Mad King sworn to defend him or die. This small but growing standing professional army of 15, well trained but not battle-experienced due to being less than 5 years old, has struggled to lead any successful efforts to bring the Kingdom back in line.
The Kingdom is not a gunpowder state, and is relatively behind the Tealastrian powerhouses. However, one notable contribution to the ancient world is the beverage of coffee. Dararamans first cultivated the Darusak bean for use in the brewing of Kafi, and the roasting process has been desseminated across the Tealastrian, becoming known in the common trade pidgin as "coffee". Most Daramans are familiar with smiths, artisans, and engineers, however many of them have fled the Kingdom, and due to the Kingdom's closure to the outside world, there are not many foreign ones. This closure is also increasing the Kingdom's stagnation with the rest of the Known World, especially as the Tealastrian trading economy grows.
King Oréstund has attempted to cultivate a sort of Church around his leadership, with himself as the so-called "saviour" of the Daraman people. He claims to have been given foresight of an approaching doom from "a far realm" and it is his duty to the Daramans to ensure their survival into the coming dark age. It is not a well followed religion in the populace, aside from Daraman youths, who have known nothing else and indeed many of them have taken to it zealously. All other religions are legally forbidden, if not culturally taboo in most of the older population.
The Kingdom has become increasingly closed off and secretive, in direct correlation with the Daraman King's deteriorating mental health, but with which nothing can be done without risking a charge of treason. It does, however, maintain a special trading and defensive relationship with the Tabaxi settlement of Hira't under a treaty dating to Monarch Kesa's reign. All other travel in or out of the Kingdom, by foreigner or Daraman, is punishable by death as per the Mad King's orders.
Agriculture & Industry
Coffee was first cultivated in Daramar, and today is still one of it's principle crops. It's staple foods are its many species of freshwater fish that swim in the Darna and other rivers across the rainforest, along with Feloran rice imported and grown in the flat wetlands to the south of the Daraman Rainforest. Common fruits cultivated are bananas and patula berries.
Trade & Transport
The Daraman economy is largely self sufficient. Due to a lack of cultural value placed upon personal items, and the slightly-nomadic nature of Tortles, the Tabaxi have created a steady trade of Daraman Artifacts that they have scavenged from historical and ancient Tortle settlements. Astute collectors of arcane tools, and archeologists from all over the known world come to Daramar for these expeditions, which have become a major source of income for the King. There was also a time when people of all walks of life came to seek the knowledge of many elderly Daramans, but this has become difficult due to the actions of the Kingdom’s ruler. Coffee was long traded out of Daramar, and has since been cultivated elsewhere in similar climates or suitable temperatures, however the scarcity of true Daraman beans has made them a lucrative, if dangerous trade commodity for intrepid adventurers and merchants.
Daraman architecture is expansive and ancient, as elaborate stone edifices morph into moss-covered rocks. Daramar is a reclusive state and therefore is less developed than it could be given it’s wisdom and history. There are ancient but still paved roads linking most of the cities, towns, and settlements, as well as a Tabaxi-controlled route through the rainforest to Miral. Some expert navigators have also plotted routes south to the Feloran canals. The cities are however, lacking in many of the conveniences of Feloran life, and most live simple lives with increasing frustration towards their mad king.
The Mad King's Domain
- Daram Urik; rik
- Gold; Silver, Copper