Razurea

Razurea is an Udarissan continent that lies north of Hasrukia. Its landscapes range from the pine-forests and sheer cliffs of the highlands, through arid deserts, to tropical grasslands and mangrove swamps. Much of Razurea’s history has been shaped by Ruzenathra, who ruled the Janakezan empire in the west, and by Liralian, who ruled the Tuyaz-Oan empire in the east.

A map of Razurea made with CC3 and Adobe Photoshop.

Geography

Two great mountain ranges run down the length of Razurea – the Tahakon and the Akthazan. Between them winds the Iyuan river, which has its source in the remote northern lake of Dhaozan.

Since ancient times, merchants have used the Iyuan as a trade-route, exchanging pearls, cotton, cocoa and weapons for furs, gold and timber. The great cities along the river include Hayauba, Naquisawa and Yhara-uza.

In contrast, northern Razurea is sparsely populated. A wilderness of firs, redwoods and sequoias spreads from Thanchut in the east to the Narekian Isles in the west. The humans of this region are hunter-gatherers who have no interest in trade and are seldom met by travelers.

The volcanic Quanch Zaka islands and the cliffs of the north coast are home to the Yek-radu yuyarni tribe, who drive away any ships that attempt to land there. It is rumored that the Yek-radu guard a fabulous hoard of pirate treasure, but few sailors have dared to seek it.

Other inhospitable regions of Razurea include the desert of Xebreth, where cacti and brittlebush grow, and the swampland of Aozanghra to the far south. A Gateway is said to lie hidden in the swamp, its location known only to the tribes that dwell there.

Ancient History

Razurea’s first civilization arose among the Wayaiquan Islands, where the people grew corn, fished and crafted fine pottery. They built stone-walled cities along the mainland coast and traded their goods as far north as Danyubao – a land of hunter-gatherers ruled by Lady Liralian.

In 1021 BEA, the Wayaiquans were conquered by a band of Gabakaruan exiles who arrived with iron weapons, warships and chariots. They were assisted by the yuyarni of the Osa Ungra Yatho clan, who had been promised new hunting-grounds. The Gabakaruan leader, Lord Narbak Ene-Jargekua, founded the kingdom of Hakayaz and granted the island of Taloqua to his yuyarni allies.

Once Narbak had subdued the islands, his charioteers swept across Razurea’s plains, carving out a territory that spread to the Auchaca river. Those settlements that refused to surrender were put to the torch. The memory of this traumatic time is preserved in epic Tale of Yailaro, which tells of a Wayaiquan prince who fought alongside the Aruha tribe and slew one of Narbak’s sons.

Driven from their homes, the Hayau plains-people fled to their stronghold at Hayauba. They sent envoys to Danyubao to beg Liralian’s aid, for they did not know how to counter the power of the Hakayazan wizards. Horrified by the violence they had suffered, Liralian taught them combat spells.

The kingdom of Hakayaz endured until 938 BEA, when a quarrel between Narbak’s descendants divided its territories into the kingdom of Nahakau (based around the Yanbacho river basin) and the kingdom of Kakoraz. The king of Nahakau married a Hayau princess and established peace treaties with the local tribes. However, the Kakorazans sorely oppressed the Wayaiquans, who defeated their foreign overlords in 582 BEA.

The Janakezan Empire

As the eastern ‘kingdoms of the exiles’ fell into decline, settlers from Gabakarua were pouring through the Gateway at Quayhan to farm the shores of Lake Onzaqu. They were led by Banhak Ene-Korega, an ambitious nobleman who founded the city of Janakeza.

Banhak’s descendants continued to conquer new lands for Ruzenathra, and in 274 BEA, she decreed that they should no longer have to pay homage to the emperor in Gabakarua, but where emperors in their own right.

For the next 700 years the Janakezans ruled the lands around the Shauyen Sea, trading their fine wines, horses and hounds for Gabakaruan gems. The harbor-city of Yakaba was their greatest center of commerce. However, the native people never forgot how Lord Banhak had seized their lands, and there were frequent uprisings within the empire.

The Janakezans defeated the kingdom of Maeon in 585 EA, burning down its crown city, Sanoam. The last survivor of the Maeon royal family was Prince Chayen Beva, who fled to Danyubao for sanctuary. He begged Liralian to free his homeland, and in the end she agreed, for she mistakenly believed that he would grant his allegiance to her.

Chayen’s victories inspired Janakeza’s other subject peoples to revolt. In 610 EA, his sons marched into the crumbling heartland of the empire, seized the crown city and slaughtered its nobility. Thousands more were massacred as the great cities of the west were sacked by rebels. Liralian was horrified by the carnage, while Ruzenathra was furious at the fall of her empire.

The Tuyaz-Oan Empire

In 982 EA, Liralian came to rule her own empire, Tuyaz-Oa. It was founded by her mortal beloved, Farauquan Ghaz Ahzaya, who united the lands of Bakoqua, Hatsiaka, Jaruona, Caruak and Danyubao with the aid of his brother, Raquias. The cities of inland Razurea had been in decline since the 7th century, as the northern gold mines became exhausted, drought afflicted the cattle-herding plainsmen and the Iyuan lost its importance as a trade-route. However, they now began to revive.

When the ambitious ruler of Tan Anguha invaded Nawoyaz – a kingdom on Tuyaz-Oa’s border – its people turned to Liralian for help. Seeing that he could not withstand her armies, the Tan Anguhan king Songatya promised his allegiance to the Vanotaquan empire. The result was a long and harrowing war.

Both Nawoyaz and Tan Anguha became provinces of Tuyaz-Oa in the end, but King Songatya fled to the Gahuzan islands, where he raised a fresh army to reconquer his homeland. After years of brutal fighting, Tuyaz-Oa emerged triumphant again. Its influence spread across the devastated Gahuzan islands, from Wayaiqua to Gaowath, where it clashed with the Ukuzechan fleet.

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An epic fantasy saga