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  1. #1
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    Post [fan fiction] History of the Diraqine Empire

    Hello Folks!
    After a while of absence I'd like to provide you with a piece of ...well, technically fan fiction I just wrote. Actually it is meant as background information for my Warlords P&P RPG. Would be great to learn what you think about it, but if nothing else maybe it at least offers you some entertaining reading.
    I just hope the forum isn't too dead already

    OK, here it is:

    History of the Diraqine Empire (Part 1)

    The Tribe of the Falcon and the Fertile Plains
    When the Age of Dragons ended and the ancient beasts released their grip on the world, human tribes could begin to form and carve their own fates. Many tribes found a good home in the Fertile Plains, a vast marshland far in the West, crossed by numerous rivers and their subsidiaries, filled with wildlife and vegetation.
    One of the strongest tribes of the Fertile Plains were the K’Heri, the Tribe of the Falcon. They were honorable warriors, respecting of their peaceful neighbors, but unforgiving conquerors of those who threatened them or their allies. Two other tribes soon offered to join them, offering knowledge of settlement construction, irrigation and infrastructure in exchange for protection. Together with these tribes, the K’Iset, the Tribe of the Mother, and the K’Osir, the Tribe of the Reed, they formed the core of the Kheri-Empire.

    The Rise of the Kheri
    The Kheri quickly became a strong force within the Fertile Plains. Many other tribes joined them, but the Kheri never conquered peaceful neighbors, knowing that those will come to them eventually for greater protection against the more aggressive tribes. For the Kheri soon got many occasions to prove their martial prowess, against tribes that lusted for the Kheri’s riches or tribes that threatened more peaceful tribes which asked the Kheri for help. These belligerent tribes the Kheri conquered and subjugated, among them the K’Anubi, the Tribe of the Jackal, the K’Apep, the Tribe of the Serpent, and the K’Et, the Tribe of the Aardvark. Among other tribes who joined on their own accord were the K’Ot, the Tribe of the Ibis, the K’Athor, the Tribe of the Cow, and the K’Basti, the Tribe of the Cat, and all the accepted tribes’ tribal spirits became the gods of the Kheri religion.
    The emperor of the Kheri eventually even channeled Heris, the spirit of the falcon, into himself to act as the living incarnation of the Kheri’s highest god and named himself the Grand Pharaoh.
    Likewise did the leaders of the many provinces channel their respective tribal spirits into themselves to become the Lower Pharaohs, with the right to channel the ruler gods into their bodies passed onto the worthiest heirs of the rulers. For many centuries the Kheri empire expanded under the leadership of the god-emperors, and great discoveries were made in science, magic and warfare.

    The Genie Wars
    Because of the Fertile Plains’ vastness it took a long time for Kheri expeditions to finally reach the coastal area east of their homeland. Most of the region was already conquered by the warlike Tribe of the Scimitar, the K’Dirak. Not all conquered tribes resented the K’Dirak’s rulership, for their fighting prowess was the only thing standing between them and an enemy the Kheri had never seen before: Immortal beings, born of nature and the elements. These fey and their genie lords claimed sovereignty over the coastal area and hunted the humans for sport and enslavement. Therefore the K’Dirak welcomed an alliance with the powerful empire from the west, and, although severely challenged by the feys’ eldritch might, the Kheri could prove that, with their technological and magical inventions, they were able to withstand the fey in battle and even defeat the genies’ warriors. Seeing that, the K’Dirak were more than willing to join the Kheri empire.
    With a long campaign the Kheri marched against the genies, freeing the coastal area in the course. In exchange, the K’Dirak taught their new lords how to build vessels to travel the sea, turning the Kheri empire even into a naval power. Finally, with the ferocity of their warriors and the ingenuity of their sorcerers the Kheri overthrew the genie lords, and the genies were offered to be spared if they submitted under the lordship of the human empire. Many scornfully declined and were executed, but those who accepted were put under powerful permanent spells which ensured their obedience towards humans.
    The Kheri empire expanded further to the north, marching towards the Duskwood, conquering a lot of fey controlled territory on their way. At this point, the Kheri empire had reached its greatest extension, although internally it was already in decline, suffering from uneasiness and decadence.
    Still, a great army stood at the gates of Duskwood – when The Sundering struck…
    Formerly known as "Oakman"

  2. #2
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    History of the Diraqine Empire (Part 2)

    Internal decline and The Sundering

    Even generations before they reached the K’Dirak, the god-emperors of the Kheri had to struggle with weakness, since the noble houses, to provide their gods with perfect vessels, picked their mates carefully and with great restrictions to ensure pure blood. Unfortunately, this meticulousness about royal procreation inevitably led to more and more inbreeding and thus to vessels frail in body, mind or spirit. Although a god channeled into a feeble body is still a fearsome power, it is not as powerful as a god in a strong body. At some point, many of the god-pharaohs began to refuse leaving their vessels as long as they are still relatively strong and demanded the preservation of their current bodies instead. Since it had become tradition to embalm and preserve the deceased vessels of the gods long before – and many citizens of import, seeing this practice as a special honor, demanded the same procedure for themselves after death – the priests of the Kheri saw no troubles in fulfilling their gods’ wishes. But even an embalmed body is not utterly save from decay, and with time the Kheri empire was ruled by rigid mummy lords with desiccated minds and shriveled spirits, their gods, although still powerful, only withered shadows of themselves.
    That was the state of the Kheri empire when the Sundering struck.
    Soon after the global shaking of the world which made rivers change their courses, made the ground spew ashes which darkened the sky and toppled many of the Kheri’s splendid cities and palaces into the seething marshes, a furious and hungry terror came upon the Fertile Plains: Lord Melkor had arrived.
    The insectile horror raised the insects from the marshes and brought scourges of mosquitos, flies, locusts and scorpions upon the empire, even starting to transform some of those creatures into soldiers which could stand even to the Kheri’s brave heroes who tried to stop him. The incarnate gods, however, should be his own. The weaker ones were easy prey to him, and many he devoured with body and essence, becoming even stronger in the process, so that even the stronger ones were no match for him. Still, most of those managed to rescue their essence onto the higher planes before being devoured, probably banished forever from this worldly realm.
    Finally, Melkor faced mighty Heris himself, but even the falcon god was to weakened from his voluntary imprisonment in a decaying mortal shell. So his battle against Melkor resulted in nothing but the destruction of the Kheri’s capital and his own banishment.
    Having defeated all who would oppose him, Melkor turned the Fertile Planes into his new home, drying up the rich marshes, devastated the fields and turned the rivers into dust. More insect creatures were turned into monsters to hunt down all living beings without a chitinous shell. And even the emaciated remains of Kherian piety were awakened as cunning and obedient servants to the Lord of Hunger.
    It is said that some of the Kheri gods, especially those who had reason to begrudge Heris, even allied with Melkor in exchange for keeping rulership of their provinces, now ruling insect folk, scorpion people and mummified undead. Thus, in a way, the Kheri culture still lives on among their sun bleached ruins, albeit in a sick mockery, adopted by the carapaced servants of Melkor whom he granted sentience, revering Melkor now as the Grand Pharaoh of the Realm of Hunger…

    Diraq from the Ashes
    The coastal areas of the Kheri empire alone were spared from Melkor’s onslaught, but they had to suffer hard as well. The tidal waves of The Sundering devastated the coast, shattered the fleets, made fertile land useless and killed the greatest part of the Kherian armed forces, which was stationed right south from the fey lands of the Duskwood, when this area was turned into the landscape today known as the Wild Coast.
    Also, The Sundering folded up a mountain range, dividing the coastal area from the Fertile Plains even physically, facilitating Melkors work to turn the area into a dust bowl. The mountains cut off the rivers’ courses which joined the sea on the Dirakine coast, providing the K’Dirak’s homeland with moisture. The province of Dirak had to go through a era of lack and hardship. But the god-spirit of the K’Dirak tribe was still there, bound into the body of a young and strong prince. And although the coastal area had succumbed in great parts to fear, chaos and barbarism, Dirak, now calling himself “Al-Diraq”, managed to gather an ever growing group of followers, who saw a spark of new hope in him. He let them out of the desert to fresh springs and green pastures, which slowly grew again where moisture from the ocean caught itself on the slopes of the newly formed mountains.
    He sought out the scattered genies and reminded them of their old pledges, and with their help cities soon rose anew from the flayed land. When his body came to old age, he declared that his rule would not continue with his blood, but that he would pick his new host among all of Diraq’s citizens, choosing one who would be worthy in mind, body and spirit, regardless of blood, declaring him his highest prophet and Caliph.
    His Caliphate grew, brave warriors and wise magi flocked to its banner, and the Diraqine Caliphate began to restore order in the coastal areas, fighting bands of degenerates, marauders and insect creature creeping over the mountains out of the Realm of Hunger. Today the Northern provinces are almost completely reclaimed, and expeditions are launched into the now again mainly fey controlled Wild Coast – but this time in diplomatic mission to gain the fey as possible allies. The fleet has been rebuild and efforts are made to secure the monster- and pirate-infested Dragon Maze for the Caliphate, and Diraqine vessels have landed at Khazdul’s coast and started trade relations with the dark dwarves, with mutual respect rising from both nations’ haggling abilities.
    Since the Sundering, Al-Diraq is now in his 32nd incarnation, providing longevity to his host, which nonetheless has grown old now and is ready to be released to his ancestors’ realms. Thus, he is searching for his new Caliph.
    Being a vengeful ancestor spirit himself, Al-Diraq’s greatest goal is avenging the gods of Kheri, which he had come to see as his sisters and brothers, and to vanquish Melkor from this world.
    But before that, another thing has caught his attention. Wasn’t there a realm to the east which quite shortly had suffered a similar fate than his? Which was destroyed by an unstoppable force and now lies mostly in ruins? A land ripe for picking for anyone who can restore order and security, as he has successfully done before? In any case, vanguard expeditions to Lysea are already on their way…
    Formerly known as "Oakman"

  3. #3
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    Many months later, some of this lore may be getting merged into The Protectors!

    (and a new name in the credits list!)

  4. #4
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    Uh, nice!
    Will that go with according design adjustments? The Swarm getting an (even more) ancient Egyptian look? Mummies as units?
    Could a specific playable Diraqines race be a possibility? (If so I would happen to have some suggestions for that )
    Formerly known as "Oakman"

  5. #5
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    Yes to all!

    I went on a lore-finding spree to help introduce the Warlords universe for TPC, trying to dig up as much as I could from every Warlords game made (checking each and every campaign object in Warlords 2 & 3, puzzle quest playthroughs - even bought the game and am playing through it whilst writing stuff down!). After a while, I did find the earliest Wild Coast map made - it used to be called 'Isladia', a campaign in Warlords 2! That map was insanely useful because it dug up a lot of lore which was missing from the Warlords universe up to this point. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly useful in determining who the Diraqines were at all - so there is almost no official canon for them sadly. Diraq was called 'Mercania', which may have rose up from the cat-worshipping 'Felinorian Empire'. The Felinorians may reference the future Diraqine empire, but I don't think it was very developed at the time (I suspect the Mercanians were changed into the Diraqines). All in all, the only information retrieved from it were a couple city names - the rest was about other places on the Wild Coast. A new map of Etheria has been drafted up, including every major province, area and settlement and all the details that it left out, all dug up from past and future Warlords games and their details have been written up in a big story & lore doc, which also includes some unofficial lore too.

    At some point, most factions will be playable in the game - including Diraq! Each faction will have its own unique bonuses, some even being new productions! Suggestions are always welcome

  6. #6
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    OK, cool. I sent you a private message with a dropbox link.
    And does that mean you have some more detailed maps of Etheria!? If so, could it be possible for me to get them somehow? They'd be very useful for my Warlords setting for Dungeonslayers.
    Formerly known as "Oakman"

  7. #7
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    Maps sent via PM.

  8. #8
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    Found them! Thank you
    And my ideas for a Gharedlun faction I sent to you via PM, too.
    Formerly known as "Oakman"

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