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Post by Squeaks on Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:13 pm

The People of Atakash are bound by a wrrior-code. They are honourable, motivated and highly organised. They are also most certainly not fools.

There is a relgious sentiment in their society. It is held that they were visited many times by angels. It was these angels that gave the nobility their rule, and their blood is said to run in the veins of the Atakash Noble Families. There is a rite that is held as truth, laid down in history at the dawn of man. It tells of dealings with angelic figures, who taught them many things, but, mor importantly, shared their blood with the greatest amongst the Atakash, as it imparted wisdom through shared memories. One hundred and twelve men formed the first tribe of the Atakash, and they are even now the 112 noble families of the Province; the AUtocracy of Atakash.

There are no singular titular heads of Atakash. The 112 families rule together, but all disputes are taken to a 'lowborn man', making there a hundred and thirteen members of the Autocratic Council. The last man, the lowborn, is given greater powers, and is the arbiter in any decision. He can veto edicts, given the support of a third of the Houses, but has a limit before he must resign. It's lands are divided into 113 'provinces', each under the lordship of a noble family, save the last, the City of Arakamesh, which is home to the ruling council, and the 'lowborn man'.

The land was never numerously populated, but the sheer ferocity of it's warriors allowed them to remain autonomous until the coming of Ulaya, the man who would become Valerian, first Emperor of the Dragonthrone.

Their culture was never stagnant, but, like the Atlaia under Valerian, they had no dreams of conquest. Trade was left to the lower born, and each person occupied a vital role in the community, from the weaver to the Akurai, or commander of the Guard - a general for want of a better word. There was no colopnial dream; warriors fought for dreams and ritual passage, only man versus man;battles were fought between Houses, but these were usually to bloody troops, to keep their abilities sharp and to rectify slights of honour. COmbat could be arranged by champions, or a house could go to war with another. SHould a war occur, no territory was conquered, and it was very rare that more than a few hundred fought. There were ancient alliances, but somehow, they invented an exceedingly complex system which prevented the slaughter of thousand for political power. The ruling classes trained their sons every day, and for little but combat expertise.

Early on they had fought various incursions, many of which were from Ashapur or even slavers from Telmior. The south was unconquered wilderness, inhabited by Fey folk and abnormal beasts. This they left to it's own devices.

The nobility always formed the core of any army, gathered by family in units known as the Atakash Angelbloods. They were known by this nomer due to their exalted bloodline and for the wings they wore to battle. These wings were an ancient gift that allowed the wearer to offset some of the burden of weight from heavy armour, aiding the wearer in burden or over harsh terrain. They are agile, swift and deadly.

Each family is made up from a Ashkarakai (a 'chieftain'), his immediate family, then a feudal grouping of lesser families that provided 1 noble Angelblood and 2 in every 5 people in their jurisdiction would be called as levies for war. The system certainly works. Many small nations rose and fell in the forming of the greater ones that consumed them. Atakash was never conquered or made subserviant, despite many attempts to conquer them.

When Valerian took his armies south to Atakash, he had taken Salidir and was fascinated by this new culture. He observed their society and gained great respect for them as a people. In all of this time, he never visited in state or armed for war, but is said to have made many journeys into their lands and settlements as a plain trader. His main observation lay in the gauging of the price of Conquest. He decided that it would be a long, bloody war that would have to break the back of a society he had come to like. Each and every Angelblood would have to die or be turned to his side, and he knew they would never betray their own, so it was murder to achieve domination of them. Each settlement was strong, down to single noble manses, and would be resistant, almost naievely, to air attack.

He entered the country with ten men. The favoured 'divide and conquer' apoproach was of no use, as was any direct assault, so he simply walked into the GRand Hall, where 86 of the Ruling Lords were debating, and announced himself. He talked quietly about the visions he had, of his view as to how the world should be and how he had won his battles. He gifted each House with a SPurhawk, and gave every word a song of humility. He was perfect. He promised protection from the enemies that Atakash already had, that the young ANgelbloods would have the change to test and improve their skills in war. He would only ask that he would maintain a sizeable force of Angelbloods permanently, and that the province would need to provide the levies in the way that the Atakash already had agreed culturally. There would be no foreign interference in their society and it's culture and no taxes. He would, however, require a gift each year to support him, but no amount was ever set, and he would payt the Houses for their soldiers in the field. As it stands, Atakash gives this 'gift' once per year, and it contains what they can afford, no more, no less.

He brought inm his air cavalries, showed their maneuvres and the Lords were greatly pleased. He then gave them 200 of his Spurhawk Riders as a force under their own control, and would train new legions to use the hawks for themselves, as well as train the lower castes into Legions should the Province be attacked. It was genuine, and the lords voted on becoming an almostly totally autonomous province of the Empire. It was unanimous. Atakash would become vassals of this great man, Ulaya, now become Valerian.

The first thing to change for the better was the agrarians of the Empire...they sent many farmers and even Old Ones to Atakash, and the arid soil was enhanced, allowing better crops, water was diverted, better wells made - many valuable 'modernising' methods were introduced, but none would impact on their beliefs, nor change the way they were. Valerian was in love with their world, and he kept the Angelbloods by his side through every campaign, relied on them for their utter loyalty, and their ability to be able to show him a foolish decision he would otherwise have made, when others may stay silent for fear of their heads.

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