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Note: This information refers to the Third Imperium Age. As of the 2200s, the Crullathian Empire has become a proper state in its own right. See: Fourth Imperium Age
Current Lord: Emperor Revel Crullath II
Fief Alignment: Lawful Evil
Major Faiths: Valok, Toran
Trade: Exports: Slaves, Grain
Trade: Imports: Iron, Weaponry, Horses, Lumber
Trading Partners/Alliances: Brekon, Dubunat, Drotid
Army: 390,000 + Brekonese Infanty (80,000)
Naval Forces: 62 Ships of the Line, 78 Frigates
Other Military Notes: The figure above represents Crullath's standing army. In times of war, conscription and additional support from Brekon will cause this to increase drastically.
The Crullathian Empire technically ceased to exist after the Third Tri-Fief War as the Imperial territories it held in Eastern Kurathene were lost to the Loyalists of Servator. However, it retains both the name and nominal title of Emperor, both as a result of its great strength amongst the powers and the prestige offered by its diplomatic recognition by both the nation of Brekon and the Kingdom of Dubunat.
Though Crullath did not gain any territory during the Third Tri-Fief War (in fact in addition to Servator, it lost a small amount of territory to Arvanos), overall it has come through the conflict as a more powerful entity, as it has managed to rebuild much of the naval force that it had lost during the war thanks to protection from Brekon, and has increased the sheer volume of its slave trade with Brekon, Dubunat and Drotid. Further where once the Loyalists ruled the entire western quarter of the old Empire, Crullath has managed to oust the puppet regime installed in Caliaze and instead has managed to put a more neutral form of governance through the Bloodsaik regime of Calazeria.
Overall Crullath is still considered the most powerful of the fiefs, given by virtue of the immense political, economic and military support that it receives from Brekon and more recently from Dubunat. Though its nobles and clergy are often derided by the Loyalists for being usurpers and rabble, they have slowly gained more support amongst the other Kurathene fiefs as the traditional families have been replaced by upstarts with no more lineage than the Crullath family has claim for the Empire.
Consolidating its influence under Emperor Revel II, the Crullathian Empire has become a proper state in its own right. With an influence stretching from the Medec Basin into the Hammerfist Rift, the Crullathian Empire is the largest of the Kurathene successor states. Migrants from Brekon and Dubunat round out the Empire, and combined with its territory it is capable of rivaling Brekon in size and population.
Based on the northern bank of the Methran River, Tarlione is known for its towering spires, centralized aristocratic regions and rather squalid living conditions in its slums. Currently the capital of the Crullathian Empire, the city of Tarlione much like its owner has undergone tremendous growth in terms of influence and importance over the past two centuries.
Much of the rapid growth of the city can be seen in its architecture. The city is something of an odd mixture between traditional Kurathene building techniques based primarily on marble and pillar construction and something closer to the vast, stonework utilized by the orcish architects in Brekon. In many respects this gives the city a very odd patchwork appearance, almost as if the outer area had moved in to engulf the Kurathene inspired core.
The city in its most basic form can be split into three regions: core, inner rim and outer rim. The core is essentially a large fortification, reinforced through years of warfare and paranoia on behalf of the Crullath family. It is largely closed to outsiders and all but the most loyal of Crullath’s followers, but the basic construction in terms of outer walls is similar to the walls which grace Kuras and Kalion. The fortification is vast and immaculately carved, with among the largest statues to Valok on Negaria adorning the outer walls.
The inner rim is largely Kurathene in appearance, though faded from years of neglect and misuse, and is often populated by the lowest rung of the social classes. Partially this is a result of the nature of Crullathian city life, much of the affluence is from the close association with Brekon and the merchants from the orcish nation have taken over the vast majority of well paying jobs in exchange for high military tithes to Crullath. At the same time the squalor within the inner rim is also partly due to its origins as a simple farming settlement. The simple life of peasantry slowly has eroded into a subsistence level servitude to the merchants, leaving the general area underdeveloped and dirty.
The outer rim in contrast is known for its rich, grandiose architecture, largely orcish in its appearance and lavishly constructed. Much of Crullath’s wealth is concentrated in this area, and this can be seen in the various high quality clubs, brothels and slave markets to found spaced among grand housing constructed for visiting Brekonese nobility and merchants.
The river port is among the largest fresh water ports on Negaria, comparable with the ones in both Kuras and Medec, though the flow of goods tends to be restricted more towards simple military shipments and slaves. The latter is an immense source of wealth for much of the city’s nobility and it can be plainly seen in the number of large storehouses near the river which house the vast number of men and women that are traded to both orcs and Shaashek.
Among the current prefectural capitals, Tarlione is in fact the newest to attain both capital and city status. The original keep was established around 7 P.O.D. as a secondary castle in the southern territories, meant to keep out the orcs. It was of relatively high importance in that it was regarded as a cohort command, and the first commander in the region, Sevirin Crullath was made Marquess of the region with the establishment of the Imperial Republic in 15 O.D. It did however wane in importance during the same period, as the arguments of Crullath to shift the military focus from the widely dispersed plains of Brescant to the better defended Tarlione largely went unheeded. This is in fact one of the main starting points of the historic animosity between the inhabitants of Tarlione and Brescant.
Spending the majority of the Imperial Era as an outpost in southern Kurathene to guard against potential orcish incursions and a minor trade route between Brekon and Brescant, Tarlione remained a sleepy, if very well maintained and defended keep till the end of the Imperial Era.
The rise of Crullath in the mid-19th century as a formidable power to displace the Illian monarchy which had ruled for little more than twenty years gave Tarlione a vastly renewed importance, both as the staging point for Crullath’s growing army, and as an entry point into Kurathene for much of the business coming from Crullath’s supporters in Brekon.
The legalization of slavery in 1877 by Devon Crullath made the city an immensely important hub in terms of both collection of slaves (primarily prisoners of war captured by Crullathian armies during this period) and a military garrison for galleys which were to prevent the interference of Imperial Navy patrols.
Much of Tarlione’s modern infrastructure however, is actually the result of the Forty Years War fought between Arvanos and Crullath between 1930 and 1972. The Battle of Tarlione fought in 1936 between Crullath’s Imperial Guard and Arvanos’ 3rd Legion resulted in the destruction of nearly a third of the city’s infrastructure. Both sides have blamed the other for this rather gross misconduct of warfare, though most current records indicate that in fact the destruction wrought was intentional on behalf of Crullath’s guard and that the subsequent rebuilding of the city as a more heavily fortified citadel had in fact been planned prior to the battle, with Arvanos being utilized as a convenient demolish tool.
During the recent Third Tri-Fief War, Tarlione underwent intense close blockade by the Imperial Navy’s South Sea fleet until relieved towards the tail end of the conflict by naval forces belonging to Brekon. Currently the city is garrisoned by elements of the Brekonese Navy intended to maintain the armed “neutrality�? of the Methran River.
Crullath has not long emerged from a transitional period, in which several factions vied to control the next generation of Crullathian politics. True to their Valokian roots, the machinations and maneuvering by each of the factions was both complex and intricate, as each curried favor with Crullath’s traditional allies, the Church of Valok in Brekon and the monarchy of Dubunat, to increase their voice in national affairs. Largely divided these were: the old human Kurathene nobility, the new orcish slave-owning nobility, the military and the Church of Valok. The former Emperor Devon Crullath III had been incapacitated since the late fall of 2158, and in his absence his sons Severin Crullath and Revel Crullath secretly fought over the regency of the Crullathian Empire. Severin holding the most influence amongst the old nobility and the military, while Revel had support from the new nobility, and with the Church of Valok as his wildcard, he wielded most of the actual power in the fiefdom.
The size to which the Empire has grown has its disadvantages. The most recent succession crisis while short of a civil war, had created cleavages between competing segments of the Crullathian population. It is difficult to know who holds the power within the greater Crullathian government, although the Emperor and his supporters make daily strides in reestablishing their primacy.
The military in particular is in a state of flux. Many of the veteran military leaders had sided with the defeated Prince Severin, and there has been a number of purges intended to bring more loyal members into positions of power. Internally the military struggles to regain the prominence it once had in Crullathian society, with the army and navy competing openly for the position of prominence.
The Crullathian Navy and the merchants who back it are attempting to take a position of prominence within world affairs, if not displacing the Imperial Navy than at least being mentioned in the same breath. With support from the wealthiest members of Crullathian society, the navy has been rebuilt with extensive numbers of ships and a large set of fortified island ports off the western coast, but remains poorly manned with low morale.
Yet ambitious members of Crullathian society hope to cement the Empire’s status as a growing power. The clergy have lobbied strongly for more influence in the Church of Valok, while the trading houses have aimed to penetrate the markets of Eastern Negaria, once avoided by most western nations. Indeed one of the next candidates for the Patriarch of Brekon is a Crullathian.
Traditional Human Nobility (Nobility of the Blade)
These are the loyalists who stayed with Crullath during his rise to power, and are relatively entrenched. Most are, however, not Valokian but lean towards the LE spectrum of Toranism. Their primary outlook is that the ends justifies the means, and they see Crullath as the best chance of uniting the Empire due to his ambition (something they feel is lacking in some of the Imperial hold-out fiefs) and his backing, which they feel no one else has. Over the past 300 years, the rulers of Crullath have done their best to strip this class of actual power, and most are now little more than figureheads. At the same time they themselves don't like the subordinate position they seem to be taking to the Nobility of the Coin (term originally coined by Trenish Prefect Julius Tochi'larian, it's stuck to mean mercantile classes obtaining noble titles or bureaucrats who have a lot of power) and religiously they're uncomfortable being under Valokian rule, though none dare do anything, lest they wind up like the victims of the purge two centuries earlier.
Orcish Nobility of the Sword
These nobles occupy an odd strata in Crullathian society. They are the original core of Crullath's support base, and they hold about 3/5ths of the major military commands within Crullath's Empire. Decended primarily from the warrior classes of Brekon, they have no particular love of the church itself (which had been stiffling their opportunities) but are still Valokians. They have however gradually lost power through the past century, as military matters have taken a second line to the issues of trade and religion. In terms of influence they are still only second to the Church, but are slowly waning in terms of money and economic influence. Most are in debt as their primary influence is land holding and/or military titles, which they can't maintain with their income. They are somewhat bitter because they feel as though they have sacrificed the most, yet the prestige and money seem to be going more towards the Church and the slave-owning classes, but are uncertain how to correct the power imbalance. This group primarily supports the elder Crown Prince Severin Crullath, who's known for his military prowess and support for the military over the church.
Trader/Slaver Aristocracy (Nobility of the Chain/Coin)
Referred to by two names due to the fact that they usually have different sources of income, but are generally treated the same way. The Nobility of the Chain, primarily from Dubunat are a mix of Dubunati Orcs and Humans who profit heavily by the Crullathian slave trade, while the Nobility of the Coin are primarily Brekonese Orcs who ply the slave trade, but also the vast resources of Brekon and connections within the Church and Red Gate to make vast fortunes. They make up the vast majority of the current Crullathian bureaucracy, particularly in tax collection and finances, and while known to be efficient are also the ones driving the traditional military families out of high ranking posts through the use of buying commissions by purchasing land or helping to relieve debt on heavily indebted noble families. While powerful, the Nobility of the Chain seeks to dislodge the Church as the primary influence, partly because the Church is still the ones sucking up most of their profit margins through tithes and taxes, and because their origin as Dubunati put them naturally at odds with Brekon. The current regent (and younger son) Prince Revel Crullath is heavily influenced and supported by this group, and has a substantial The'tonite influence due to the Dubunati support. This is perhaps the single most dangerous segment of Crullathian society because it wields a lot of soft power, but not necessarily hard power, and is willing to go to great lengths to obtain it. Some rumor that the Nobility of the Chain, lead by Lord Vaskoth al-Sudri is actually behind the recent illness of the emperor.
Church of Valok
The single most powerful of the social classes is the Church of Valok. Supported by the emperor (and nominally by the regent) as well as the main Church in Brekon, this is essentially the bastion of all of the government's power. They have their own self-contained military force in the form of the Holy Army of Crullath, their own judicary in the form of the Holy Inquisitors of Valok, and a vast treasury acquired through religious tithes and the confiscation of Toranite church property and income during the Dracon Purge. In many respects the Church is their own self-contained fief within a fief, though the Crullath family itself seems to have some sort of hold over the church influences. The Church understands that this status is something Crullath in theory could be rid of, and thus they make their support of Crullath very open, even if the ruler on occassion goes against Brekon's public policy. This is the leverage that keeps them from outright taking control, and they are afterall a bit wary that perhaps the public Valokian sentiment isn't quite strong enough to save them if the emperor were to grow displeased. That said they're the closest thing to an extended royal family that exists at the moment, as High Priest Khalid Al-Shakar's daughter is one of Devon II's concubines (and is the mother of Revel II).