Part VI: The Reign of Doxim (Asylon Supplement)
From D&D Wiki
A proper understanding the Fourth Era cannot be found without a proper understanding of the man who forged it: Valde Doxim. It is a long and glorious tale, and is recounted in more legends than any other figure of the Third and Fourth Eras, but my favorite version is actually the version I was told as a child. Befitting the noble ruler, it is straightforward but loving, short and to the point, but still capturing the almost fantastic legend of this great man. It follows here in its entirety.
First Emperor of Atralonia
Progenitor of the Doxim lineage
Hero and God-king of Mankind
Who is called
among the Geats of the North
Born to uncertain parents, FRAMIR was a Geatish orphan raised in the northern village of ORDONIA as a goatherd. He was fast friends with RUSIUS, the village swordsman and protector, and in between his time in the fields, FRAMIR enjoyed learning the basics of blade work.
One day, a foul orc leader from the mountains in the area captured the daughter of Ordonia's mayor, ILIA. Framir set out at once to rescue her, but was turned into a wolf by a dark sorceror who was controlling the orcs of the region. It was in this form that he was found by ASIPTA, that Draenic Prince of dusk and magic, though she came disguised as a dunmer child. Asipta agreed to help Framir rescue the girl, but only if Framir helped her in turn to recover a powerful artifact created by RAGDAR--Prince of Destruction--in the days before there was order.
After rescuing his childhood friend, Framir travelled to the land of his fathers, having heard tales of the Greybeards and their incredible power. Undaunted, he climbed their mountain and survived the power of their words. He was revealed to be the hero of prophecy, and went on to journey throughout the land, slaying monsters and helping everyone. His greatest accomplishment was in helping SEPALIA, the princess of the small southern kingdom of ORSUM to thwart the plans of the Draenic House of Woe to bring ultimate disorder into the world of Irte. Framir and Sepalia fell in love and were married, and the people rejoiced that Framir--who had only known 23 summers--was their king.
Framir was already courageous, and Sepalia's great wisdom made for a rule of unprecedented compassion. Without spilling a drop of human blood in conflict, but rather through diplomacy and chivalry, Framir and his armies united over two dozen small kingdoms under his rule over the course of twenty years. This vast new kingdom was named ATRALONIA, and the citizens named him VALDE DOXIM, Emperor. For the rest of his long life, Emperor Valde and his wife worked to secure and care for the land of Atralonia, and it flourished as a blossom in full sunlight.
A short tale full of levity, perhaps, for such a figure, but it has always been my favorite retelling. I think it works particularly well for the purposes of this Guide, considering the brevity with which we must be concerned. For an more in-depth look at the life of our first and greatest leader, I consider the more authoritative work to be Biography of the Wolf King written by Gaea Macro in 4e 168. Her scholarship and the richness of her text are nothing short of astounding.
The purpose of this guide is to explore the rich history of Aina as a whole rather than focusing on any one nation, so I will present details of Atralonia's rise and flourishing only as a means of exposition about other cultures. To learn about the history of it's rulers, military endeavors, and diplomatic alliances, seek out Brief History of the Empire by Cicero Duronia, a fascinating and comphrehensive record in four volumes. It is commonly studied in universities across the Empire, and the proctors would be only too delighted to inform the citizenry.
Of Mer and Geats
After Doxim had solidified his base of power in central Aina, his attention was turned outward to diplomacy. With more resources than any human had dreamed of before, the once-separate nations of Men could finally play an important role on the world stage. It took 83 years, but Doxim and his first descendants managed to engage in peaceful trade with both the Bosmer and the Altmer, utilizing the former's vast lumber resources and the latter's world-renowned capacity as tutors and craftsmen of magical goods.
At the time, the Bosmer had finally settled into the relaxed, friendly culture seen today. They still held their Oath as absolutely sacred, but possessed a joy for living that was unrivalled by all except perhaps the Geats during a feast. After more than 1000 years, the Bosmer were finally coming to terms with what it meant to use magic bestowed upon them from the gods. It was never considered a heresy, but most Bosmer were hesitant to use magic unless absolutely necessary. Perhaps a relaxation of this reticence was a major factor in the success of Doxim's negotiations with their culture: the first successful alliance with the Bosmer in history. The Bosmer finally realized that their divine magic could bring them into closer communion with nature, from allowing them passage into the depths of the ocean to harmlessly extracting wood from the trees for their tools and weapons. With such ease of living at their fingertips, they were free to turn their attention to the outside world, and this likely had an effect on diplomacy. At the very least, it is certain that the Bosmer tradition of Ho'omakua, a coming-of-age journey to experience the heights and depths of the wide world, began only a few years after their alliance with Atralonia.
The Altmer were also a surprisingly easy alliance to broker. The Altmer--eager to avoid as much relationship to their shameful ancestors as possible--all but refused contact with any other culture. To make alliances when they had such ease of living couldn't possibly be to their advantage, and thus could be considered superiority or even slavery. They lived quietly in isolated city-states in their land of rolling plains, content to let the indigenous population live free of interference. All the same, to ally with the Altmer would grant access to practically limitless opportunities and a rare chance to learn magic from the current masters of the art. Rather than plead with them as had many cultures in the past, Doxim resolved to remove their greatest threat: the Geats.
Throughout the Fourth Era, the Geats have always been raiders abroad and squabblers at home. They rise in the morning from their beds in communal longhouses, pillage riverfront communities until the sun sets, then feast and revel well into the night. Almost as frequently, one chieftan or king will determine that his Geatish neighbor is a coward or a tyrant or worse and will lay seige to their lands for months. Mercurial tempers abound amongst their entire culture, but an attitude not unlike cordiality has arisen after such constant warfare. It is a hard life with more than its share of sorrow, but the Geats seem to collectively understand that battle is battle, nothing more or less.
That said, they are also a culture of braggarts, where honor and glory is more important to them than life itself. Doxim, himself from the Geatish stock, understood this well, and marched in full battle regalia with 100 of his finest troops into the lands of Geatahem. Using their tested military strategies, they easily fended off all number of poorly organized raiders, making their way in turn to each of the clan chieftans and regional kings. He related the tale of his deeds (though he certainly didn't need to), and in time each of the rulers sweared their allegiance to his name. Doxim had become the first figure in history to unite the entire population of the Geats, and thus made quick work of an alliance with the Altmer. True, not long after Valde passed into godhood the Geats resumed their violent ways, but by that time Atralonia had become too great a nation to ignore, and the Altmer had no reason to back out of their alliance.
The Dunmer during the Fourth Era finally began to retract their strict isolationism policies to take place in world politics and culture. Since their official "birth" as a nation in 3e 1331, they refused all contact with the outside world, preferring instead to worship their queer Princes in secret. Their empire very obviously thrived, as Altmer frontier outposts were regularly sacked and annexed, and Geat exploration parties found it harder and harder to return to their old routes over the last millennia of the 3rd age. By 3e 2109, the Dunmer had erected the impressive Girunasaru, the Fireguard, a mighty wall stretching from their northern coasts to their capital, Ayyakku, and containing almost the entirety of the ashlands surrounding Durgu Giru, their sacred volcano. It is an impenetrable bulwark 100 feet in height, with walls 60 feet thick and their base, and protected by powerful Dunmer magics. If the rest of Aina were to fall to some outside force, mark my words as I write that the Girunasaru will be the last stronghold of the people of this land.
Despite this incredible barrier, the Dunmer have expanded out from their ashlands, almost doubling their territory into the surrounding countryside. They hold grazelands almost as far North as the shores of Reisemun Bay, and exotic forests and marshlands stretching to the northern reaches of the Shrouded Peaks in the South. Their culture is remarkably unique amongst Men and Mer due to its exclusion, and focuses heavily on the worship of the Draenic Princes. Somewhat paradoxically, they have developed a code of strict laws and customs despite their worship of the very embodiments of Chaos. Honor, tradition, and ceremony are absolutely vital to the Dunmer, and it is speculated that this has caused countless moral dilemmas amongst the culture when they are called to perform devious acts by their gods (it is impossible to tell for certain due to the native secrecy of the Dunmer); it is very likely the reason for the creation of the Kabatu Nertu: the only government-sanctioned assassin's guild in the breadth of Aina.
Concisely put, Doxim was raised near the southern border of Krôn, and knew better than to interfere with the people of that land. His descendants, however, seemed to lose that wisdom for a time. In 4e 96, Emperor Cephorus Doxim I began construction of Ultonis, an outpost in the extreme south of Krôn. It was intended as a staging point for further exploration and possible expansion of mining operations, but the plan never came to fruition. Before the settlement was completed the combined might of the Krônian hordes descended on Ultonis, murdering almost everyone inside after only a two day siege. Those Atralonians that escaped were pursued as they fled south, and only one, a scribe named Allian Hanotepelus, survived to tell the tale of slaughter. Atralonia began assembling an army to retaliate, but Krônians surged across Atralonia's northern borders, annihilating the army before it could muster its full strength at the Battle of the Alessian Highlands. Since then, Atralonia has maintained a strict nonincursion policy with Krôn; the Empire tries to defend its frontier cities and villages from infrequent Krônian raids, but will not under any circumstances cross the Krônian border in force. With that in mind, Krônians are suspicious and terse but tolerant of foreigners in small numbers. Southern Krônian tribes have even been known to trade weapons in exchange for food goods.
Among the beast races, all that can be said of the Hressh is that they live in anarchy, with no more racial cohesion than is found among the beasts of the field. Their latent magical affinity is considerable, and they have a sort of culture that has developed through the pursuit of greater magical power, but they could never be said to be unified.
The Ra'Virr, who recently ceased armed conflict with the Empire in our recent southern expansion, have a culture that has changed remarkably little in the past 2000 years. They live in tribal societies ranging from a handful of souls in their mountain fortress at Snowcrest to well over 900 in the sprawling Theran ruins in their capital of Jungleheart. They are a culture focused on honor and the hunt above all other things, traits which are both glorified and exploited by the wide world. Rather than a life lived in concert with other nations, there existence has been one of struggle against and harmony with the jungles of Virrah. They have longstanding traditions in the realms of tracking, stealth, and ritual sacrifice, and are passionate and formidable combatants.
Things have remained much the same for the past 100 years. Politics is obviously not without its intricacies, and the Virran Territory Conflict began just 11 years ago at the hands of the despicable Lucanus the Mad; echoes of regret still ring in the ears of the Empire today, but things seem to have settled down. Atralonia's new Golden Age may be over after the death of our beloved Emperor Cephorus III, but his granddaughter, Empress Camilla IV, rules with wisdom and fearlessness beyond her years. Under her guidance, Atralonia and the whole of Aina will continue to see prosperity long after this humble scribe has passed into the halls of the Divines.