|The Great Kingdom of the South|
The Celestial Banner of the Great Kingdom
|Motto:||Reaching Heaven with Greater Science|
Map of Great Kingdom of the South
- Pharaoh: Sekhemkare-Nefer, 11th King of the Neo-Gozen Dynasty
|Legislature:||- The Ministries|
|State religion:||Beast Gods, Lunar and Solar Worship|
|Formation:||approx. 12,900 B.S.R.|
|Dissolved:||approx. 1800 B.S.R.|
|Geography & Demographics|
|Population:||Unknown, believed to be tens to hundreds of millions at its apex.|
|Ethnic groups:||Baalori, Gibbori, Jardoun, Marami, Ngyrran, Quelosqi, Solani, Zardezi|
|National minorities:||Aelfe-Blooded, Dwarf, Krotem, Mumuye, Obon, Orc, Talvyr|
|Core industries:||barley, dates, figs, fish, gold, iron, marble, olives, pearls, pecans, salt, silver, wheat|
|Primary imports:||livestock, rice, slaves, wine|
Work In Progress
This article is still being written. Please consult the other authors working on this project before editing.
The Great Kingdom was once the greatest nation in The Shining South. Its able leaders pursued knowledge and applied it with great mastery: alchemy, mysticism, and natural law were all bent to the good of the land and its people. It progressed while Cathargalis stagnated in darkness and bafflement, and lasted for ages beyond the ambitions of the Altean Empire. Then it all went horribly wrong, the last pharaoh died, his court murdered, his vassals turned on each other in open warfare. Calamity piled upon calamity, until most of its incredible works lay in ruin.
Legacy of the Great KingdomEdit
When the Kingdom collapsed and fell into chaos, the ministries responsible for managing its logistical and organisational needs died. Fortresses were abandoned, the great stone highway were plundered for building materials and to stymie the march of armies, stored grain was lost or stolen, slaves fled, the carefully managed weather faltered, satraps fought each other and put entire towns to the torch. All was beset by war, famine, and disease and many of the greatest works of the kingdom crumbled away, leaving primarily the great cities which had preceded it. Not all was lost though.
The Border FortsEdit
The Great Kingdom capped its east and westward expansion at the Talvas River and the Bay of Baishii in the respective directions. To safeguard the interior of the kingdom from foreign aggression, successive Dynasties raised and expanded great stone fortresses and kept them garrisoned year round. Starting from the north coast, the forts were built between 16 and 17 km apart. The original Gozen through El=Ram forts were quite modest, built from a combination of wood, Hakeshar brick, and Arpak granite. However well before the Neo-Gozen period, the fortresses had been rebuilt and expanded to be giant complexes of Arpak granite and limestone. These later-day forts were nearly self sufficient and communicated with each other through a system of smoke and fire signals, and carrier birds.
The Crook of KingsEdit
Towards the western end of the Arpak Mountains was a valley which housed a great desert, called the Valley of Dust since ancient times. When the Pharaohs claimed it for their purposes and built the complexes of Akar-Mera and Sadar, it became known as the Crook of Kings.
The capital of the Great Kingdom, Akar-Mera was a sprawling palace complex standing guard at the entrance to the Valley of Dust. It showcased the architectural and engineering prowess of the Great Kingdom, as well as its incalculable wealth and vast magical prowess. Few dare to visit in modern times, but daring explorers report that the exterior walls have resisted the passage of time and that colorful forest birds still take wing overhead. From these accounts, it is known that there are two walls surrounding the palace complex, with the interior wall being the taller of the two. The outer wall appears to be made of tremendous slabs of Arpak Granite, so tightly fitted that not even a grain of sand can squeeze between them. The interior wall looks to be a solid sheet of white marble, but this is likely draped over granite slabs. The outer gate is of black iron, with reliefs portraying a scene featuring a cast of men and gods. The interior gate is likely gilt, but possibly a solid gold door also bearing reliefs.
There are differing accounts as to what lay beyond the walls, and attempting to breach them is not something casually done. Many have scaled the walls, only to never be seen again. There is however, a surviving account of an envoy of the Altean Empire discovered in Luddovicco:
|“||...the second wall were gardens even grander than those outside. The songs of birds and the perfume of flowers saturated the senses and made one giddy with drunkenness. The way forward was a path of jade and onyx tiles that turned and twisted, such that we beheld every vista the Pharaohs had created for their guests delight. Statues of their daemon beasts, all in gold with ivory and precious gems, stood watchful in each grove. There were four great palaces, each dedicated to one of the heavenly bodies. Our guides led us to the central palace, a vision of white and pink marble, with a mighty gilt dome. Yet...||”|
After the demise of Sekhemkare-Nefer, the ministers and generals assembled to determine the specifics of his will, for the old Pharaoh had not publicized his choice of heir. However something happened, and Akar-Mera went silent, leading to the Satraps acting out and the eventual destruction of the Great Kingdom.
Sadar is the massive necropolis where the pharaohs interred their dead. Untold generations lay buried here with their wealth, guarded by all time by the reanimated corpses of their servants and retinues. Few have entered the complex and have lived to tell of it, but the promise of untold riches, mystical knowledge, and magical artifacts is too tempting for some to resist.
Rulers of the Great Kingdom of the SouthEdit
Little documentation survived the disintegration of the Great Kingdom, listed below is what has survived in tattered scrolls and worn tablets.
- Inkhnaton: The first of the known pharaohs, there seems to be an unaccounted gap between Autesion and Inkhnaton.
- Sekhemib: Accounted in ancient scrolls as Cup Bearer to Autesion.
- Sobekneferu: The first woman known to rule the Great Kingdom.
- Sekhemib II
- Inkhnaton II
Merenre-Nefer lost his children to the Montaran Pox and was himself afflicted. He appointed his vizier Merykare as heir.
- Merykare: Vizier and appointed heir of Merenre-Nefer.
- Seth-Menkaura II
- Sobekneferu II
- Nitocris II
- Ikhnaton III
- Sankhkare II
Nimaatre el-Ram was a powerful general and landowner who thought himself most fit to rule. He led his armies of slaves to victory in a coup against Sankhare II.
- Nimaatre II
A growing faction of magicians within the ministries were not satisfied with the arcane accomplishments of the Ram-El Clan. Citing assorted astrological and mythical reasons, they elected to stage their coup after the passing of Nimaatre II.
- Sekhemib III
- Inkhnaton IV
- Mereneith II
- Seth-Menkaura III
- Sobekneferu III
- Merykare II
- Mentuhotep II
- Nebhetepre II
- Unknown 10th Ipqu Pharaoh
- Sekhemib IV
Following some opaque theory of "karmic symmetry," the faction responsible for the Ipqu Dynasty enshrined the whispered Curse of Eleven Pharaohs and phased themselves out of power. The popular Philopator was chosen by the ministers to appease assorted factions in Akar-Mera.
- Philopater II
- Antipater II
Antipater II had no issue, and appointed his minister Shoshenq as his heir.
- Unknown 3rd - 11th Osorkon Pharaohs
The Five Lost DynastiesEdit
Between the Manticore takeover and the final destruction of the Great Kingdom, the history of some 55 Pharaohs has been lost.
In 3000 B.S.R. Eshu passed so near to the Known Lands that dreadful Manticores were able to traverse the distance between the moon and earth. They were able to usurp the throne of the Great Kingdom and installed a dynasty of figurehead Pharaohs. This state of affairs lasted until Pharaoh Zabaia, who was a rebel infiltrator. She used her position to help the rebels achieve a final victory, driving the Manticores away.
The childless Emisum used the vast genealogical data collected by the ministries over the centuries to locate the last, most distant descendant of Merenre-Nefer, a minor Bey in Gozenram. He appoints this lesser aristocrat as his heir, with the trifling condition that he assume the name Merenre-Nefer II.
- Merenre-Nefer II
- Unknown 2nd - 10th Neo-Gozen Pharaohs.
The 14th DynastyEdit
Jardoun lore states that the destruction of the Great Kingdom came when the Ministers and Generals arrogantly refused to honor Sekhemkare-Nefer's choice of heir, a Jardoun Minister. The rulers of the Jardoun under-city of Achashveros claim descent from this Minister and claim to be the rightful rulers of all the territories of the Great Kingdom. Among the Jardoun this is disputed by the leader of every other community of the ratfolk, though many concede that whoever holds Achashveros has the strongest claim. All of this is routinely ignored by everyone else, who simply scoff at the notion of the "vermin" ruling anyone else.