Urgolia

Urgolia

Overview

Urgolia is a complex tribal society whose peoples are closely tied to the land in which they live. The horse people are still largely nomadic, though many small permanent settlements have grown up around the banks of the Syramassa River. Highly skilled horsemen, the horsed warriors of Urgolia are a fearsome foe and under the unified banner of the Urgolian tribe, they have seen their empire consume much of the east and have begun to look west to Zaramal, Palanar and even Syrámä.

Wild shaman dominate the tribes. They are seen as a direct link to the forces of the natural world and who command the power of both re-birth and death. Tension between the shaman and tribal warlord is commonplace, but is regarded as healthy since this represents the tension that exists between man and nature.

All tribes pay tribute to the Great Nuhata of Urgolia in the form of a tribal tax. Each tribe is also required to give up two of its sons and daughters every year to be trained as warriors. Handpicked by the Shaman of Nuhata during the spring festivals, the children undergo a series of tasks to determine their fate within the tribe. To be chosen to become Urgolian warriors is considered a great honor.

The Urgolians are an aggressive people who exist in a state of almost constant war with their neighbors. Having conquered the lands of Hagaard and Farashar, and more recently Teschenia, the Urgolian's often raid deep into The Plains of Fenoria, where the battles can be fierce and bloody. Urgolian's are also now a common sight west of The Golden Peaks, often passing through the Great Pass of Cirin into Zaramal or through more treacherous paths into Syrámä. Small encampments have even began to spring up west of the mountains and the Urgolians have almost a permanent presence in many of the lands that border the mountains.

The lands of Urgolia are naturally abundant in resources and precious metals and the highly skilled craftsman are happy to trade with merchants of Syrámä who make the treacherous journey east on the Syramassa River, which has become the major gateway between the east and west. However, the Urgolians have yet to realize the full potential of the natural resources available to them, which have been left largely untapped.

Significant Trade Export

Gold: Alluvial gold deposits can be found along the banks of the Syramassa River, having been washed down from The Wretched Mountains. Gold deposits are especially abundant around the Yerrak Hills. Gold is well thought of by the Urgolians, who have shaped some magnificent objects out of it. In more recent times, the coming of the Syrámesse merchants has taught the Urgolians its worth and a considerable quantity of gold is now exported west.

Brief History

The lands of Urgolia and their neighbors were little more than vast plains traversed by nomadic tribes and occupied by humanoids before the Amman incursions, which initially met with little resistance. Vast swathes of the lands around the Syramassa soon found themselves under the banner of the Amman empire.

Although resistance to the Amman occupation slowly emerged, the tribal alliances were ill equipped to deal with the Amman cavalries and often bitter rivalries spilt over into bloodshed long before they ever met with their enemy. In this way, Amman spread its wings north, into what is now known as Hagaard and Farashar and deep into what is now known as Urgolia.

A great alliance of orcs, goblins and wild men under the fearsome and callous half-orc Olbad One Eye, which saw the gathering of an army of ten thousand or more, clashed with their Amman foes in the Great Battle of Gredoc. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the discipline of the Amman forces and the devastating impact of their cavalry saw the alliance totally overwhelmed and routed, in what ranked amongst one of Amman's finest hours. However, the heavy cost of casualties did have the consequence of seriously hampering their occupation of these wild lands.

One of those that fled the field of the Great Battle of Gredoc, where Olbad One Eye was slain and his corpse hung from a tree for all to see after the battle, was Ingden Nuhata, from one of the Urgolian tribes who had been driven east by the marauding Amman forces. Undaunted by the massive defeat of the alliance, Nuhata returned to the battlefield and removed the body of Olbad and buried it deep, to protect it from the carrion of the land.

Although in normal times, Olbad and Nuhata would have been mortal enemies, the bravery of the half-orc, even when the cavalry had swung towards his beleaguered camp, had greatly impressed Nuhata and taking Olbad's great sword as his own, he swore he would drive the Amman out of these lands and claim them as his own. Retreating east with what remained of the alliance - the orcs and goblins having dissolved back into the country, as had what remained of the wild men - Nuhata took with him one great image: that of the Amman cavalry cutting the allied lines to ribbons.

Nuhata soon had his troops mounted, though his early resistance to the Amman occupation drew little initial attention. Bad tactics, ill-discipline and untrained mounted soldiers meant that victories were scarce and life was short. However, over the period of a few years, Nuhata, learning from his mistakes, slowly saw his small force learn the skills of horsemanship and military discipline and his hit-and-run tactics soon began to succeed where before they had failed.

Slowly, Nuhata's armies swelled with his Urgolian tribal brothers, who had retreated east, until such a force had mustered that Nuhata and the Amman forces met in a bloody and terrible battle. Amman's cavalry drove into their enemy, anticipating the usual rout, but instead found themselves clashing with the mounted warriors of Nuhata. The meeting of the two cavalries was horrific, with both sides paying a heavy price. However, Nuhata's forces won the day, marking a turning point in Amman domination of the eastern lands. Nuhata himself was mortally wounded in this battle, but his son, Akha, proved an even more adept leader of the Urgolians.

For a prolonged period, the war between the Urgolian tribesmen and Amman was almost constant. Pitched battles were rare, the Urgolians more often than not suffering badly in such confined arenas. Their main tactic was with the swiftness of their horsemen, whose ability and reputation had outgrown even that of the Amman cavalry. These hit-and-run tactics caused havoc and Amman found itself embroiled in a igorilla warfare it had not anticipated.

With the growing troubles and rebellions of lands nearer to home, Amman was eventually forced to withdraw west of The Golden Peaks. Although it was regarded as a temporary measure until peace had been enforced in the other quarters of their empire, Amman was never again to march its forces east. However, the war between Amman and the Urgolians continued as the horsemen briefly passed into Zaramal, which was then occupied by a small Amman contingent. The Urgolians were eventually expelled and the border defended, but the sporadic fighting continued until the local tribesmen of Zaramal ended Amman's presence there.

In the vacuum, the Urgolians rapidly took control, quickly consuming the lands once occupied by Amman, and their way of life spread. All the lands between the Syramassa River and The Golden Peaks were declared Urgolia, beholding to the Urgolians. Battles between opposing tribes were common and several large pitched battles occurred between the Urgolians and the humanoids who had mustered their forces in loose alliances.

Despite this, the Urgolians slowly asserted their culture and strengths over the other tribes. Those that did not pay tribute were destroyed or forced to retreat north or east. Hagaard, Farashar, Teschenia and Fenoria emerged as rival nations, controlled by the powerful tribes driven out of Urgolia. The wars continued, with both Hagaard and Farashar eventually falling to their powerful neighbor. Teschenia became the focus of resistance, where one opposing tribes flocked and allied under its banner, but eventually the might of Urgolia was too much and Teschenia consumed into the Urgolian empire. The annexing of Teshcania, however, brought the Urgolians into contact with the elves of The Enldess Forest, but the Urgolians proved to be no much against the elven arches in the confined spaces of the forest, where their horses were useless for battle.

The Urgolians continue their struggle to control all of the east, sending raiding parties deep into the Plains of Fenoria, where Urgolian encampments are now common and clashes with the nomadics peoples common. To the west, the Urgolians have spread into Zaramal, Palanar and even Syrámä, where semi-permanent communities have appeared, making attacks more common all the year round.

The Major Towns and Cities

Urgolia: (pop: 2,500) An assortment of tents and wooden and stone buildings, with small plots of land where livestock wander freely and where those with businesses - smithies, carpenters, stone masons - usually base themselves, there is little else in Urgolia. The roads are little more than mud tracks and a long jetty juts out into Lake Urgo, which is an excellent source of fish. There is little here - not even a single inn or tavern - and when ships arrive from their long journey either to or from Syrámä, it is a significant event and there is general excitement, with most of the town turning out to celebrate.


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