Karvinasstrad Organization in Pretheya | World Anvil
 

Karvinasstrad

Empire of the Conquering Children
Karvinasstrad, alternatively known as the Karvina Empire or Great Karvina Empire, was a large empire that originated in the Belyrian region. It was founded in the year XXX Re by its first ruler, Kroskaw of Velwend, after his successful unification of the Belyrian sub-continent. It was the first Pretheyan empire to be ruled by a dynasty of hereditary monarchs, rather than through some sort of meritocracy or theocracy as prior great states had been, and its conquests would contribute greatly to the establishment of feudalism throughout the continent.   At its height, the Karvina Empire controlled the entirety of the Belyrian sub-continent, the region of Seiforh, the Asutoan peninsula, and much of Ressengia, making it the second largest contiguous empire in history; smaller than only the Grannrormrlen prior to the secession of the Eastern Wyrmrealm. Karvina rule is credited with popularising the usage of a money-based economic system throughout the continent, as well as for the spread and adoption of the Shahru religion in southern and parts of western Pretheya. It was also the longest-lasting of any continental empire; existing for just under three centuries between its formation in XXX Re and its eventual destruction at the hands of the Intersedran Empire in the year XXX Re.  

Pre-History

More than a century before the creation of Karvinasstrad, in the 9th century Re, the Belyrian sub-continent was controlled by the Fyrstbairn of the Eastern Wyrmrealm. A faction of the Wyrms that had split away from the Grannrormrlen after Forfir's death, they sought to create their own state free of the domineering influence of the western half of the empire.   Immediately after its secession, the Eastern Wyrmrealm had become embroiled in a war with what remained of the Grannrormrlen. The Grannr Civil War, as it would come to be known, would quickly grind to a stalemate as both sides found themselves evenly matched in the conflict and unable to break through the opposition's defences. Scores of soldiers were thrown against impenetrable fortifications and died in droves for no tactical or strategic benefit, all the while cities began to starve.

1138 Re - 1425 Re

Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Alternative Names
Karvina Empire, Great Karvina Empire
Training Level
Professional
Veterancy Level
Veteran
Demonym
Karvina, Karvinas
Location
Related Species
The armies of both the Grannr and the Wyrmrealm were composed entirely of humans, and so it was they who had to fight and die on the battlefield for a war the reasons for which seemed to barely concern them; all the while their Wyrm masters remained safe and secure in their castles and palaces, not daring to come within a mile of the battlefield. This incensed the human population, and as the war went on, unrest continued to grow throughout both empires.   At the start of the 11th century Re, the Kingdom of Rastilo invaded the Grannrormrlen; sweeping their armies aside and conquering province after province from the Wyrms through the usage of Theos. In the year 1014 Re, a scant few years after their conquest of the region of Pasdjit, they declared the formation of the Blazing Empire: A nation born from the union of the religions of the Rastilan and Pasdjitan peoples and dedicated to the worship of the Firebird Rukhmar. The Blazing Empire promised liberation to the peoples of the continent who were oppressed under Wyrm rule, and proclaimed their intention to destroy both the Grannrormrlen and Eastern Wyrmrealm and bring human rule to Pretheya.   When the Blazing Empire invaded Belyria, it was to massive popular support from the Belyrian people. Towns and cities in the north of the country threw open their gates to the invaders, and the armies that did meet them were dispirited and easily broken in battle. This allowed the Ashborn forces to sweep through much of the sub-continent, deposing Wyrm after Wyrm and replacing them with human rulers for the first time in over a thousand years.   Before the Blazing Empire could even finish conquering Belyria, the remainder of the subcontinent rose up on its own. Local leaders embraced the Shahru faith and amassed armies of peasants, marching upon regional capitals and deposing the Fyrstbairn through the use of Theos. The most powerful of these groups took control of their local provinces and declared themselves the rulers of new kingdoms, pledging their allegiance to the Shahru faith and the Alight. The entire process took only a decade from the start of the Blazing Empire's invasion to the ousting of the final Wyrm from the subcontinent.  

Wars of Unification

After the Eastern Wyrmrealm was shattered and human rule was established in Belyria, the various Belyrian peoples found themselves living in a completely new world. In the span of a single lifetime, the Grannr-Leskeln war had ended; half of the Grannrormrlen had been toppled; and a new religion now reigned throughout much of the continent. For nearly a thousand years, humanity had existed to fight the Leskeln, and for the last hundred, they had existed to free themselves of the Wyrms' yoke. Now that they, at least, had succeeded; the Belyrian people were not sure what to do next.   After the end of the revolution, the subcontinent entered into a period of political listlessness. Efforts were directed to rebuilding what had been damaged during the rebellion, and establishing new institutions to replace those they had lost. The majority of the new human-lead kingdoms in the region were lead by the former Supervisors of their respective provinces; the men and women who had held the most power under both the Grannrormrlen and the Wyrmrealm. This sat ill with some people, but there was little to be done about it at present. More importantly, the people of these kingdoms hoped that they would finally see the restoration of civil rights for humans, and that this might prove to be the beginning of a better age for the common people.   Their hopes, however, would not come to pass. The new monarchs, rather than attempting to redistribute power into the hands of the people, set to work attempting to centralize it for themselves; much as the Fyrstbairn had done. The tiers of the bureaucracy were adapted to adhere to the new currency-based economic system that had been brought by the Blazing Empire, and social status continued to be decided by rank in the government. Instead of a labour tithe, villagers were forced to give a flat percent of their harvest each year to the crown as taxes; an amount that in many cases ended up being higher than what they had paid under the Wyrms. Not only this, but in many places, no measures were put in place to replace the centralised grain doll that had prevented starvation in times of bad harvests. For the first time in hundreds of year, famine became a regular occurrence for villages and small settlements in Belyria.   This state of affairs would continue for around 80 years. During that time, the various Belyrian kingdoms also began to go to war with each other. Each sought to unite the subcontinent and create an equivalent state to the Eastern Wyrmrealm, and so again, men and women found themselves drafted to fight in wars that they barely understood and would not benefit from. As ever, unrest began to rise among the peasantry; but this time there were no large uprisings as there had been during the Grannr or the Wyrmrealm. The people were exhausted, and not only that; but hungry as well. They now lacked the strength to oppose their rulers, and what revolts did happen were usually limited to a village or two at most. The only ones of any significance came from military generals defecting and attempting to oppose the monarch; an event that began to happen with alarming regularity as time went by.  

Kroskaw of Bulbasta

In the year XXX Re, a man named Kroskaw of Bulbasta began to rise to prominence among the Altosian Kingdom's army. The son of just such a general, he fought in his father's campaigns and was set to succeed him when his father eventually retired. Before this could happen, however, his father was slain during a battle against one of the kingdom's enemies; the Kingdom of Velwend. So it was that Kroskaw was given a field promotion to the rank of general at the age of only 18. While out on the Velwendian campaign, he won a series of stunning victories that cemented his role as the leader of the army, and earned him a formal generalship upon his return to Altosia.   Seven years later, through a complicated series of events, Kroskaw would go on to become the king of Altosia after successfully orchestrating a military coup against the country's former ruler. Once he had taken control of the kingdom, he set about finishing the Velwendian campaign which he had embarked on as a teenager, and several years successfully subjugated the rival kingdom. This was only the first of many conquests, however; as he would shortly embark on a great campaign to unite the entirety of Belyria. The many conquests that he would perform to this end would come to be known as the Belyrian Wars of Unification, and would occupy him for the next two decades of his life. In summary, Kroskaw was able to achieve victory primarily through luck, excellent tactical prowess, and most importantly; by exploiting the distraction of his neighbours to invade and conquer them while their armies were engaged elsewhere.  

History

By the time Kroskaw had conquered all of Belyria, he was 48 years old. His newly unified country was still deeply unstable, and plagued by unrest and factionalism in every corner. Throughout his conquests, he had become aware of a fundamental problem which faced any would-be unifier of the region: Although the Belyrian people had together all been part of one state for nearly a thousand years, with both the Grannr and the Eastern Wyrmrealm gone, the various culture groups that existed in Belyria actually had very little in common with each other. Although their regional derivative of Granbastin was still the language of the elite, more than a dozen major languages were spoken by the subcontinent's peasantry, and many people lived in completely different biomes across the region. Those in the eastern side of Belyria, for example, had virtually nothing in common with those in the west; save for the fact that they had both been part of the Wyrms' empire up until recently. As a result, attempts to unite them had thus far been based on military might, rather than any kind of patriotic or cultural appeal; and these had proven predictably fragile as a result.  

Founding of Karvinasstrad

To prevent his new kingdom from suffering a similar fate, Kroskaw sought a way to unite the Belyrian peoples culturally. If the only thing that they had in common was their shared experience of oppression under the Wyrms, then he would appeal to that to bind them together. In the year XXX Re, only two years after his conquest of the last independent Belyrian polity, Kroskaw summoned regional rulers from across the kingdom to a meeting place in the Altosian capital. There, he gave a speech in which he declared the founding of Karvinasstrad. He described the empire as the successor to the (ironically still extant) Blazing Empire, with a mission to succeed where they had failed; in ridding the rest of Pretheya of the Wyrms.   The Belyrian peoples' ire had been turned towards each other and the rulers of the various kingdoms who had fought amongst one-another for the last century. But with this move, Kroskaw presented the people of the continent with an outward enemy to turn their frustrations upon; one that they were all too familiar with. His manoeuvre was successful, and upon announcing a campaign into lower Belyria with the intent of marching on Seiforh and liberating it from its Ofirar rulers, he found that unrest in the kingdom started to subside; instead replaced with a patriotic desire to take up arms as their distant ancestors had done against the oppressive Wyrms.   The method through which these regions would be liberated, naturally, would be through the usage of Theos. Belyria had embraced the Rukhmarite faith in order to throw off the shackle of the Wyrms; trading faith in Rukhmar for the ability to call upon her divine power in the form of Theos. Now, they would wield it once again; but this time as the aggressors.  

South-Pretheyan Campaign

The Karvina invasion of Seiforh was a hard-fought battle. Even with the power of Theos on their side, the Ofirar of Seiforh proved a remarkably difficult opponent. Yet eventually, after several years of fighting, the empire emerged victorious. Karvinasstrad's victory came at a cost, however: During the final battle to secure the Seiforhan capital, misuse of Theos set the region's Cloudbough forest alight. The forest continued to burn long after the battle was finished; at first for days, then weeks, then months. In the end, the grove of Cloudboughs in central Seiforh would continue to burn for more than a century before the last tree was reduced to ashes; and this would have devastating effects on not just the region of Seiforh itself, but the continent of Pretheya at large.   In the present, however, the Karvinas knew little of this, and the burning of the forest seemed at worst a minor inconvenience. Of far greater significance was a tragic event that occurred just a few months after the end of the Karvina-Ofirar war: While on a tour of the country to celebrate his victory, Emperor Kroskaw - now in his sixties - fell ill of a local disease, and died promptly thereafter. This sent the empire into a period of mourning, and temporarily halted their expansion while the throne was transferred to his son.   Once the coronation ceremony was complete, Emperor Baradrim took command of the Karvina military. As his first act as emperor, he ordered the invasion of the Asutoan peninsula. Asutoa was the last country outside of the Western Grannrormrlen that was still ruled over by one of the Fyrstbairn, and so it was a natural next step to conquer. The Karvina-Asutoan war went similarly to the Seiforhan: The Asutoans had already committed much of their army to the defence of their ally Seiforh, and so were in a weakened state when the Karvinas invaded. In a first for any Fyrstbairn-lead nation in centuries, the Wyrm King of Asutoa joined his forces on the battlefield in an attempt to fight off the Karvinas, but it was ultimately for nothing. Despite a valiant defence, the Asutoan forces were wiped out utterly in the first major battle of the war, and the Fyrstbairn king of the peninsula was killed. Shortly after, the rest of Asutoa fell to the empire.  

Karvina Golden Age

The Karvina golden age is said to have been between the years of XXXX Re and XXXX Re. With the conquest of Seiforh and Asutoa, wealth began flowing into the empire in the form of foreign trade goods and materials, as well as the labour provided by the empire's new subjects. This period saw the construction of roads connecting Belyria to Seiforh and Asutoa, as well as the establishment of the talvighs in the two countries. Thousands of missionaries were dispatched from Belyria to the two conquered countries to begin the process of converting them to Shahru, and laws began to be enacted slowly clamping down on the Ormr Tradition.   The empire spent several decades pacifying Seiforh and Asutoa while further building up their army. In order to prove himself his father's equal, Emperor Baradrim had a grand goal in mind for his reign: The conquest of Ressengia. The Western Grannrormrlen had become an ailing and sickly nation; barely able to hold its territory against rebellions and uprising, let alone invasion by a nation as powerful as Karvinasstrad. To be the ruler who struck a deathblow to the remainder of the Wyrms' empire would surely cement his name in the history books, and so in the year XXX Re, Baradrim gave the order to cross the sea and begin the invasion.   The Ressengian War, as it would come to be known, was a much more difficult conquest than any the Karvina empire had faced up to then. Where Asutoa had crumbled almost immediately, and Seiforh had resisted but ultimately capitulated; the Grannr fought with a ferocity the likes of which had not been seen in centuries. In decline as it was, the Grannrormrlen had not been idle: The flood of Ofirar refugees they had received from the fall of Seiforh had been put to work in their military, and now served as front-line fighters in the war against the Karvinas. These esoterikii proved devastating in combat, and were able to match the Theos wielded by the Karvinas; turning the war into much more of an even battle than Emperor Baradrim had expected.   This time, the war dragged on for over a decade. The Karvinas were forced to bleed for every inch of territory they took, and progress was terribly slow as they pushed through the hilly and uneven terrain of Ressengia. The Grannr army had learned from its mistakes against the Ashborn, and refused to engage the Karvinas in open battle where possible; instead repeatedly ambushing them with lightning strikes using Arcana, then retreating and falling back to safety. When pitched battle was made at cities, the Arcana-made fortifications proved enough of an equaliser to allow the Grannr esoterikii to fight back against the Rukhmarite priests.   When the Ressengian capitol fell in XXX Re, the region was lost. The Grannr army pulled back to the Silver Mountains, and the Karvinas were left to assume control over the remainder of the country. Yet after all of the work they had put in, Baradrim was reticent to stop there. He ordered the Karvina army to attempt to push on through the Silver Mountains and attempt an invasion of Heralya. Here, the Karvina forces put up a valiant fight; successfully pushing through the mountains and entering into eastern Heralya, but they were eventually ambushed and defeated by an army mustered by a regional captain. Defeated, the order was given to recall the Karvina army to Ressengia, and peace terms were signed a short time later; bringing an end to the Ressengian War.   Although falling short of his ultimate goal of destroying the Grannrormrlen, Emperor Baradrim was still victorious in conquering Ressengia, and was forced to settle for this lesser prize. He spent the rest of his reign building fortifications on the border with the Silver Mountains and pacifying revolts in the region, before eventually dying at the age of 52. For the next century, his successors would spend their time putting down revolts, and gradually expanding the empire's borders into areas that were formerly occupied by the Blazing Empire prior to its dissolution. Several minor skirmishes with the Grannrormrlen would occur, but no attempt at invasion would ever make it through the Silver Mountains.  

Broban's Reign

In the year XXXX Re, the Karvina emperor died, and his son Broban was crowned emperor. The emperors since Baradrim's death had been mediocre rulers, who achieved nothing great of note during their reigns, but Broban is said to have been a particularly inept emperor. He lost a minor war with the Grannrormrlen, and also failed miserably to crush a series of revolts in the north-west of the empire; resulting in areas around Pasdjit gaining independence. His reign became increasingly unpopular as a result, and in a desperate attempt to restore his reputation, he decided to mount an invasion of the Broken Continent.   The Intersedran Empire had been a rival to Karvinasstrad since its formation. They had sent forces to assist the Wyrm Kingdom of Asutoa during the Karvina-Asutoan war, and had executed Rukhmarite missionaries sent to the Broken Continent in attempts to spread Shahru. Legends of their successful defense against the Grannrormrlen were still spoken of throughout Karvinasstrad, and it could be argued that if Broban were to defeat them that it would be an even greater victory than overcoming the Grannr itself.   In order to manufacture a casus belli for invasion, in the year XXXX Re, Broban ordered settlers be sent to colonize a portion of the Intersedran coast; known as Tansitole. The Intersedran people had only a small presence on the Broken Continent's coast; supposedly owing to a cultural dislike of low-lying areas. This made it easy for the Karvinas to establish a foothold there, and they began to build up settlements in the region over the following half a decade.   Broban surmised that it would only be a matter of time before a conflict arose between the Karvina settlers and the native Intersedran population; and he was right. Ten years after the first Karvina settlers set foot on Tansitole, a small conflict broke out between the Tansitole Karvinas and an Intersedran village, and several Thousandforms were killed. The Intersedran Empire responded to this by demanding that the Karvinas leave the continent and sail back to Pretheya; which the local population refused. Hearing this, they dispatched an army to lay siege to the town, and eventually burned it to the ground.  

The Foolhardy War

This was the excuse that Broban had been looking for. He gave the order to muster the soldiers, and the Karvina army set sail in the early months of XXXX Re for the Broken Continent. The thousand-ship-strong navy docked at the coast of Tansitole unopposed a few weeks later, and more than a hundred thousand Karvina soldiers disembarked onto the foreign continent, prepared for war. The initial Karvina offensive into the lowlands went largely unopposed. The empire's forces were able to capture the coastline with only a small level of resistance, and soon set up footholds in preparation for invading the mountains.   As the army began climbing the slopes of the Kuntis mountains, however, they began to run into difficulties. The Karvina forces were assailed by ambushes the entire way up, and they found the Intersedran fortifications to be far better made than what they had expected. The real difficulties, however, began when they reached around 2,000 metres of height. The Karvinas found themselves growing short of breath, and frequent rest breaks were necessitated due to the low oxygen level. Despite this they pressed on, and eventually arrived at the first Intersedran city.   The walls of this city were unlike anything the Pretheyans had ever seen, and they were shocked by their resemblance to those made by the Wyrms using Arcana. They found that their own arcanums were ineffective at damaging them, and even the white-hot flames of their Theos was not enough to break through. At first, the generals deemed the battle a stalemate, and so simply gave the order to their troops to withdraw, so that they could regroup at camp and try to prepare a new strategy. However, unbeknownst to them, the invasion had already ended. As the Karvina forces began to withdraw, the ground around them began to rumble. Rocks began to fall from the cliffsides around them; first small pebbles, then boulders, and then a landslide.   The falling mountain face wiped out more than a third of the Karvina army in an instant. Shortly afterwards, Intersedran forces began to descend from the mountaintops - where they had hidden unseen - on giant armoured beetles that they used as mounts. They cut off the army's escape and surrounded them, funneling them into a canyon that rapidly became a killing field. Slingers took position on the cliffs once the earth had stabilized and began pelting the Karvinas with rocks; each as deadly as an arrow. The slaughter that followed lasted for hours, and by the end of it; all 100,000 men of the Karvina army were dead.   In the aftermath of the battle, the Intersedran army were able to retake control of Tansitole uncontested. The one silver lining was that the Karvina navy had been able to retreat to the homeland, and the Thousandforms did not possess a navy of their own; so they were unable to follow. This was only temporary, however, as the Intersedrans would immediately begin construction of a fleet of ships to transport their army across the Wretched Expanse.   Two years later, the Intersedran army disembarked on the east Belyrian coast. They would meet the recreated Karvina army in battle multiple times, but would eventually shatter it, and then march upon the capital in Altosia. There, they would sack the city and haul Emperor Broban from his palace, before executing him in the town square.  

Aftermath

The Intersedran forces remained to pillage the Belyrian countryside for 3 more years; razing villages and plundering towns virtually unopposed. Eventually, with their ships filled with cargo and their bloodthirst sated, they returned to Intersedra with all that they had taken; leaving more than 300,000 Belyrians dead.   The Karvina empire would not survive the Foolhardy War. Although Broban's son was crowned the new Karvina Emperor after the Intersedrans retreated, his dynasty had lost all popular support. He was assassinated after only three years on the throne and his siblings and extended family also murdered, triggering a civil war between the remaining noble families in the empire. The empire's conquered territories would take advantage of this chaos to secede, and one by one; Ressengia, Seiforh, and then Asutoa broke away from the empire. Shortly afterwards, provinces in Belyria also started to revolt, and it was only a short time before the Karvina empire itself crumbled into pieces. It would take a total of 37 years after the end of the Foolhardy War, but in XXXX Re, Karvinasstrad was reduced to its original Altosian holdings; and ceased to be an empire.

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