Kodiri Empire

Named for the founder, Kodir I, the Kodiri Empire started relatively small, a simple nation clustered around the capital of Lidaidi in the year 4027 of the Dawn Era. The Empire quickly rose to prominence, through warfare and diplomacy, until its fracturing and then final fall 2,774 years later, when the last Queen was assassinated in 1253 of the Dawn Era.

Structure

Initially, the ruler of the Kodiri Empire did not have absolute power. Kodir herself had been elected by a kameao-tumi, a great gathering of tribal chieftains and elders, and she later established a successor of the gathering as an advisory council in both military and domestic affairs. While she granted herself final say, she acknowledged that without the support of her council her rule would collapse. When she conquered Lidaidi and began building the empire that would bear her name, she expanded the council to include a representative from the farmers who had initially supported her and a representative from the city itself, viewing them as 'tribes' of their own. The council would continue to grow as her nation grew, mollifying the peoples somewhat, especially since all that was required to gain an extra seat was a successful petition from a group that they formed a 'tribe' unique from the larger populace.

History

Founding

  The Kodiri Empire started with the fragmentation of an earlier dynasty. The farmers around the city of Lidaidi carved out their own nation, and made peace with the nomadic herders and raiders of the Qadiya people - whose leader was none other than the charismatic Kodir, who quickly convinced the farmers to throw their full support behind her warriors. She taught them the ways of battle, and led a series of successful hit-and-run raids against the neighboring lands. She also turned out to have a talent for the organization and arithmetic needed to run a nation, and the farmers decided they trusted her more than the nobles who had long profited off their labor. She rode into Lidaidi at the head of a procession of horsemen and armed peasants, declaring herself Queen. The priest who had been ruling until that moment, a man capable of reading the changing winds, came out to meet her, bowing and declaring her clearly an emmissary from the gods themselves, the long-lost daughter of a previous dynasty. She accepted the fiction with amusement, and it became the official 'truth' of the nation.   She took no spouse during her rule, content with her son Halar, the only offspring from a previous marriage, as her successor.  

The Establishment of an Empire

  Kodir I waged war upon her neighbors, but mostly with an eye towards raiding for goods, and towards further establishing the prominence and borders of her new nation. She firmly secured its location within the narrow strip between the mountains to the south and the shallow sea to the north.   Kodir died in the year 3,925 of the Dawn Era, one hundred and two years after being declared Queen. Her son Halar took the throne uncontested. Halar had learned the art of warfare first on the steppes and then at his mother's side as she secured the fledgling nation, and an ambition stirred within his chest - to see all the peoples of the worlds united under a single banner.   He led a long series of military campaigns, rapidly growing the empire - somewhat past the administration's ability to handle the new influx of people.   He died in battle in the year 3,547 of the Dawn Era, having ruled for one hundred and seventy eight years.  

Consolidation

  Halar had chosen to follow his mother's lead, having only a single child by a single wife, so as to not risk a succession crisis upon his death.   Halar's sole daughter Rasir was born in the year 3,953 of the Dawn Era, and was young when her grandmother died. She excelled on the battlefield, rising through the military's ranks to serve as a top general, but retired from battle a century before her father's death to take on an administrative role. She'd objected to the rapid expansion, feeling that it was better to properly integrate each new conquered territory before moving on to the next.   Rasir presided over the Kodiri Peace, a time of artistic and scientific flourishing throughout the empire and beyond. She formalized many of her grandmother's laws, and summoned the largest kameao-tumi in history to advise her on further laws. Representatives from every 'tribe,' no matter how minor, throughout the empire were included, even from newly conquered peoples.   She then expanded upon her father's early mail system - which had been for solely military and official use - and opened it to the public, creating a surge in correspondence between even the farthest flung reaches of the empire.   Rasir opened the continent's first university in the ancient city of Nustei, modeling it after similar institutions in the Lokmei Empire, and made primary schooling mandatory. All citizens of the empire were to know how to read and write, how to calculate, how to engage in several art forms, the history of the empire, the laws they were to follow, the religion of their neighbors, and many other topics. An unprecedented level of class mobility began, with numerous great artists and engineers rising from the lower classes, leading to revolutions in science that served the common people.   Rasir's long rule - one of the longest in history - ended when she died of old age in the year 3,008 of the Dawn Era at the age of nine hundred and forty five, having ruled for five hundred and thirty nine years.  

A Second Push

  Rasir's only child, her daughter Dalir, was of a less domestic temperament, having heard stories of her grandfather's many victories. She wished to continue his dream of the world united under one banner, and after her mother's death she began pushing outwards once more. She met with some success on land, bringing the Kodiri Empire to its greatest historic extent, but was foiled by water, unable to conquer more than a few outlying islands, and completely unable to reach the other two continents.   She was already in her later life when she took the throne at the age of five hundred and seventeen, having been born in the year 3,525 of the Dawn Era - a mere two decades after her grandfather's death. She did not rule for long, as elven rulers go, dying forty years into her rule in the year 2,968 of the Dawn Era.   The rulers for the next millennium would be largely unremarkable, refining the legal system and occasionally making attempts to recapture the early advance of Kodiri's borders.  

An End to All Things

  However, troubles came in quick succession towards the end, with the King Emperor Dimesemada dying of a plague in the year 1659 of the Dawn Era, along with a good fourth of his empire's population. His children died soon after, and a cousin, who had been spared the plague due to her rural abode, took the throne. Queen Empress Hiwumoko ruled unofficially for three years as the Empire fell into chaos, only achieving her coronation in Dawn Era 1656. She was an unpopular and unskilled leader, ill prepared to take the throne - after all, she'd never expected to inherit anything greater than a country estate. Succession movements began to rapidly pick up steam, with peoples fracturing largely along ethnic and religious lines.   Kodiri formally fractured in the year 1488 of the Dawn Era, when three provinces declared their succession. The other five followed within a few moons. Hiwumoko waged a futile war to keep the empire together. She turned out to have a keen mind for battlefield strategy, successfully leading campaign after campaign despite the defection of several major generals, but it was to no avail.   The last Queen of Kodiri was Maiqa, who took the throne in 1309 of the Dawn Era after her mother's death in battle. Maiqa reversed her mother's policies, laying claim only to her small nation, and refusing the title of Empress. For the first time in nearly two centuries, Kodiri knew peace - but it was not to last. Forty two years later, a civil war broke out, which would rage for fourteen years until her death. Her infant son was spirited away by a maid, and vanished into the desert beyond the mountains - their final fate unknown, with rumors ranging from a horrid death to finding a portal to another world.

Demography and Population

At its greatest extent, the empire held nearly a fourth of the world's population - around a hundred and fifty million people.

Territories

Outside Lidaidi

by Simohnt

  A view of a village shortly outside of Lidaidi   At its height, the Kodiri Empire stretched across the super continent of Mereiose (comprising the northern continent of Ederiuda and the southern continent of Koromi), covering well over six million square miles, although it remained centered around the city of Lidaidi as it rose and fell. Its borders fluctuated frequently, with war and political alliances securing rapid advances before unrest undid much of the progress. Still, the stable borders slowly crept outwards.   It took a few years for the empire to spread past the plains and hills around Lidaidi, for the settlement was cradled to the south east and south west by high mountains. Initial forays were actually northward, into the part of Ederiuda across the shallow sea that separates the two. It would be Kodir I's son, Halar, who would begin the empire's rapid expansion across the two continents.   Halar's daughter, Rasir (Kodir's granddaughter) organized the empire into nine administrative provinces, based largely on ethno-cultural factors, and put locals in charge of local law and organization. This was in contrast to her father's policies, who had often rewarded loyal generals - many from the central province around Lidaidi or from the Qadiya horse people - with land.   The empire remained largely bound to continuous land, as the Kodorim had little skill with ships, failing repeatedly to conquer the nearby islands under the ruler-ship of Rasir's daughter Dalir (Kodir I's great-granddaughter).

Military

Kodiri's military have always been highly skilled, from the nomadic Qadiya horse warriors who formed her first soldiers to the excellently trained guards who formed her last. Entrance into the prestigious ranks of the military proper was difficult to obtain, with competitions being held every year to recruit the best archers, riders, and martial artists into the ranks.  

Archery practice 2

Two images of Kodiri horse archery competitions, from a province in the northern continent of Ederiuda and the central province around Lidaidi respectively
Archery Practice
The Kodiri Empire remained famous for its horse archers even as successive leaders shifted towards more conventional troops, though her troops were equally skilled in all horseback weapons. The horse soldiers gave the empire a tremendous advantage upon the open plains of the northern continent of Ederiuda, and upon the southern desert plains of Koromi, once the empire managed to spread past the mountain range to Lidaidi's south.   Kodiri's leaders preferred, as a matter of general policy, emphasizing mobility and speed over endurance or strength. They did have a corps of engineers and bombardiers that enabled them to engage in siege warfare, especially after its expansion under Kodir I's son Halar. Halar brought the preference for mobility to sieges, often constructing siege weapons out of local materials after reaching the target city, so that his troops wouldn't be slowed down by such cumbersome weapons.   Despite Kodir's great-granddaughter Dalir's efforts, the Kodiri Empire never commanded any significant or skilled naval force.

Technological Level

The various leaders of Kodiri knew well the importance of advanced technology - in medicine, architecture, and military science especially - to a nation's health, and they recruited polymaths, artisans, and inventors from all over the known world, leading to a flourishing in scientific knowledge, to the empire's great benefit. Metalworking was refined until it could occur on an unprecedented scale, and a variety of new weapons - ranging from practical to outlandish - were trialed, such as fireworks targeted at enemy ships and an early canon more prone to exploding than battering walls.  

Art and Architecture

 

Kodiri horse archer

by Muhammad ibn Mahmudshah al-Khayyam

  Kodir I's granddaughter Rasir established the world's first artistic workshops for mass production of textiles and images, especially those in books. Drawings like the one above would be traced onto paper, then numerous holes would be punched along the lines, and fine charcoal powder blown through. The process greatly sped up the copying of books.   Under Kodir I and her son Halar, the primary motif in royal art had been horses. (Indeed, more portraits of Kodir's many horses survive than portraits of her, for she reportedly disliked sitting for them). Other motifs were common game animals and various predators of the steppes, following traditional Qadiya art.   Rasir first began to mix motifs from across the empire, delighting in images of phoenixes and dragons, of trees of life and flowers, and of clever geometric shapes and calligraphy. The bulk of the ornamentation in the buildings around the Courtyard of Horses in the Golden Palace was added during her reign, for she found the plain designs favored by her predecessors uninspiring. All of the buildings she commissioned were similarly ornately decorated, a trend that would last through the history of the Kodiri Empire until its fall.   Rasir believed that each province or even city should have its own architecture, unique to the soul of the land, but united under a common Kodiri form, to reflect the varied but united nature of her empire.

Religion

Kodiri had the greatest extent of religious freedom in the world at the time. The rulers kept to their original shamanistic, land-based beliefs. Religions of all sorts were tolerated and even encouraged, on one condition - the individual must owe greater allegiance to the empire and the land than to the gods.

Foreign Relations

Kodiri's relationships with their immediate neighbors were often terse at best, given their expansionist habits, though they enjoyed beneficial trade and occasionally diplomatic relationships with farther flung nations.

Shahnama Folio 86v

by 'Abd al-'Aziz

An illustration of a scene from the court of Dimesemada.
Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Capital
Lidaidi
Demonym
Kodiri (adjective), Kodirim (noun)
Leader
Queen Maiqa
Head of State
Queen Maiqa
Head of Government
Queen Maiqa
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Currency
The main unit of currency was the koru, a small silver coin stamped with a floral design. Nine koru made one dema, the largest denomination coin in circulation, and a koru divided into nine copper mida. The koru was first established during the reign of Kodir I's son Halar, who introduced minted coinage to the world. (Unminted coinage had already existed for quite some time). The dema and mida wouldn't be introduced until the reign of Halar's daughter Rasir.
Controlled Territories
Notable Members
Related Myths

Comments

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5 Jul, 2018 23:25

'a good fourth of his empire's population' -- gadzooks! Nasty. This is an incredibly detailed article, and I really enjoyed the visuals you laid out. This article certainly left me wanting to know more, which in my book is what you always want people to feel after reading. Keep up the good work!

5 Jul, 2018 23:29

It's tragic how so many people died (including the leader) in a plague, I am bit curious about this plague. I would love to know about the history of the empire itself since it lasted so long! Great article!^^

5 Jul, 2018 23:42

It's interesting that the last queen actually refused the title of Empress and only wanted to rule her nation. What motivated her towards doing that? It's also neat that to enter the military you had to succeed in a competition. It makes sense, though, since that means you're more likely to have the best of the best fighting on your side. All in all, an interesting read.

5 Jul, 2018 23:49

It was more appeasement than anything - she'd grown up with the fragmentation war, recognized that the empire wasn't going to be reunited anytime soon, not without a tremendous cost in lives, and chose to sue for peace rather than continuing a futile war. Of course, surrendering was hardly a popular move

6 Jul, 2018 00:01

Ah, understandable motivation, then. Better to try for peace than to waste lives pursuing something that wouldn't be guaranteed to succeed. And yeah, that makes sense. Surrendering doesn't tend to be terribly popular.

5 Jul, 2018 23:49

A solid nation article with more than enough threads to keep hashing out elsewhere. We'll done, once again, Chaos!