Ancient Land of Empire
Carnosca is a group of kingdoms to the south-east of the Westbearn, separated by the Southern Arm and the Sea of Serpents. It is a land of light forests and meadows, fertile and warm, and borders far to the south the sunny inland sea called Tychaendria.
Carnoscan history is a convoluted one; full of war, treachery, honor, and politics. One of the most ancient human kingdoms, it once spread across the known world, stopped only by the ancient Kellsh to the west and the Hindal tribes to the North. Today, Carnosca is a shadow of itself, fractured into multiple independent city-states.
The City-States are united in foreign affairs in the modern era, their great military generals of the Myrmidon Order making the necessary ambassadorial decisions. However, a great bureaucracy of noble families, a burgeoning merchant class, and a huge and turbulent lower class keep it from reaching its former glory.
However, of much concern to the surrounding kingdoms, Carnosca seems to be getting closer every day to truly uniting.
The origins of Carnosca lie steeped in the myth of ages. Like many human origin stories, it begins with the fall of the Duanda. When the ancient elves fell, human tribes migrated across the known world, settling where they could.
One such tribe settled along a river now called Mercanacae, referred to as the Mercaneans. Because of the fertile river valley, and the river that emptied into the Tychaendrian Sea, this tribe grew in power and influence in the region. Other tribes either joined them, or were conquered, and eventually the first Empire was formed.
At this time the old gods of men were still worshipped, but a new religion popped up, originating it is said from a conquered land to the east. A powerful prophet who is said to have gone east to the Holy Mountain that bridges Heaven and Earth founded the religion. His named was Mayarchae, and his influence and teachings were recorded in seven books, now called the Seven Books of the Mayarch. This new religion swept through the empire, affecting philosophy, ideology, and the very structure of government and rule.
Eventually the Mayarchic Church was founded, mirroring the government of the Empire with a Hierophant on top. Where the Emperor was the leader of earthly matters, the Hierophant was the leader of spiritual ones.
Many holy orders of knights were soon founded as well, dedicated to particular Saints, who were said to be blessed with supernatural power by the All Father, the one god of the Mayarchic religion.
At this point expansion began in earnest, as the Carnoscans sought not only to add more land to the empire, but more people into the fold of their faith. It expanded into the hot jungle nations to the south, the island nations the south-west, the Westbearn to the North-West, and the Hindala to the North.
The expansions to the south were more successful than those to the north, and the Carnoscan empire (named after the first Emperor, Carnoscos) claimed all of the lands that bordered the Tychaendria Sea.
They didn’t make much headway into the Hindala, finding the Orcs and Human barbarian tribes difficult to defeat among the rocks and mountains. In the Westbearn they settled the southern part of what is now Rhoenia. The conquest into the Hindala would have other consequences as well.
It was the great Hindal Migration that brought the Empire finally to it’s knees. Chieftan Beigwuff Himdall of the Horse Hindals united the various Hindal tribes, leading the tribes South and West, partly in retaliation to the expansion.
While the Carnoscan Empire had better military organization, the Hindals had much better steel and used horses and chariots to devastating effect. The Carnoscans rallied, using soldiers from the many conquered lands of the south to reinforce their ranks as their own military was reduced to minimal numbers, and were able to at least slow the Hindal advance into the Carnoscan heartland.
Emperor Anustus, now St. Anustus, used this opportunity to try and offer a truce, because the war was becoming bloody for both sides of the conflict. Chief Beigwuff Himdall, who at the time was said to have found great respect for Carnoscan organization, learning, and religion was swayed to accept. The treaty gave all lands in the Westbearn to the Hindal chief, allowing him to continue his campaign against the Kellsh.
He withdrew, but the aftermath of the war would have dire consequences. The Empire was permanently weakened, the many cities no longer being able to call on help from the now much shrunk military. Many of the cities began to operate independently, giving the Empire only a show of support.
Eventually, however, the many cities simply split, finding it easier to manage their own affairs. The modern city-states originated from these cities and their surrounding lands, and the earthly empire, at least, died with childless Emperor Ptomae.
The city-states were still loosely united by the Mayarchic Church, but the nobles of the city-states spent the next centuries squabbling, backstabbing, and forcing others into battle with each other.
They were united again, briefly, when Queen Avalynne of Rhoenia was sainted by the rogue Mayarchic Church in the city of Lavoise. Rhoenia had grown in power as a kingdom as Carnosca faltered, and the sainting without the support of the Hierophant of the time, Azorian, was enough to convince the city-state governors to unite to wage a holy war on Rhoenia in what is called the Second Subjugation War.
It was during this war that the Myrmidon Order was founded. Because the gigantic bureaucracy of the nobility, city government, and the church, the Carnoscans found that they could not react as quickly as the more simplified feudal government of Rhoenia. Hierophant Azorian therefore founded a new rank of military officer, replacing the generals with his Myrmidons. The Myrmidons were above the law of Carnosca and given complete free reign over their particular military force, having to coordinate only with each other to attain military victory. Because of their exemption from Carnoscan law, the Myrmidon Order were able to allow anyone into their ranks rather than just land-owning males. They sought only the most skilled tacticians and warriors, and quickly became a formidable force in Carnoscan politics.
While the war was long and bloody, eventually the animosity between the city-states became their undoing, and a well placed victory for Rhoenia was enough to end the subjugation war and return the Carnoscans back to infighting and petty politics.
Today the city-states exist in much the same way as they did in those days, the Myrmidon Order still being a powerful force in politics. However, the infighting has been much rarer in the modern era, and some have noticed the current Hierophant, Caiugalus, and the Myrmidons coordinating an effort to finally unite the states into an empire to rival the now old kingdom of Rhoenia.
The Carnoscan City-States are made up of a large number of ethnic groups, the most common of which (at least in the part of Carnosca bordering the Westbearn) being the dark skinned Mercaneans.