History of the Empire of Azhkar.
Age of MysteryEdit
A long time ago, during the Age of Mystery, a raider's band led by a half-giant called Inzhtan performed a raid on the humans of the Elaskari herds. They say that Inzhtan had four arms, and was capable in using two bows at the same time. The Elaskari, led by the angels, were shot from the skies as Inzhtan reloaded his arrows faster than he could shoot them. His band stole a large amount of humans, who were forced to pledge fealty to Inzthan and his underlings. Among the humans were two childhood friends, a boy named Ash and Amber. Together, they would often sneak away at night from Inzhtan's group to dance between the trees. One day, when Ash was sick, Amber set out to dance with a female. She told him about her god, a long-legged shadow named Yart. He was the kindest deity and watched over everyone from their shadows. After the dance, she showed Amber how to worship him, burning a piece of fruit as a sacrifice where her shadow was cast by the sun. Ash was appalled when he found out. The only god in his eyes was him who granted Inzhtan his strength, the giant god named Pimol. When Ash got better and the two resumed their dancing sessions, their quarrell grew in intensity.
While dancing, they attempted to strike eachother, each missing the other, both on purpose, fearing to actually hurt the other. It was then that a large flame burst inbetween them and sent them blasting into the trees. When they looked up, a bird had risen from the flames. It spread his flaming wings and urged the two men to come closer. It told them the existence of the all-endorsing god named Azh, he who was the Sun. The two men were not convinced by the phoenix, and attempted to attack it. The phoenix roared in anger and set the two on fire. Screaming in pain, the men turned to ashes, only to awake the next morning completely unscathed.
They felt a burning passion growing inside them whenever they looked at the sun as they continued the journey with Inzhtan's band, neither of them talking about what happened the night before. When they first danced again, a week later, they agreed to let their passion take control of them. They danced, and they summoned flames doing it. Thus, the first flamedancers were born. In secrecy, they showed their newly grown power to more and more humans of the band. Whenever they asked how it was possible, Ash and Amber preached the Will of Azh, for he, in return for his power, demanded to see the passion of the humans. The Yartian tradition of burning fruit and animals were taken over by the newly formed flamedancers, and soon no one sacrificed for Yart the Many-Legged anymore.
One day, Inzhtan found out about the power of his human servants to create and control the flames. Initially wanting to kill the humans who worshipped Azh in order to bring the group back into his own faith, Inzhtan allowed them to continue their religion if they aided him in battle. And so they did. With the power of fire, Inzhtan conquered surrounding kingdoms and settled in the largest city he conquered, which he renamed after Azh in order to enlargen trust from the flamedancers. However, no longer needing them for battle, Inzhtan invited Ash and Amber in his new palace for a feast. Halfway through the feast, Ash and Amber were attacked and slaughtered. Fires raged, warning the flamedancers of the treason, and so they fled. They appointed the strongest and most devout man to lead them. The unnamed man, called the Third Prophet, reformed the followers of Azh into an army, and with high morale he took the battle to Inzhtan and his vast army of brutes.
The war ended with the Third Prophet decapitating Inzthan under the setting sun and watching as his army burned their king's. The Third Prophet created a kingdom for Azh himself, and was appointed ruler of it. He marked the followers of Azh with bright red hair and eyes. They left Inzhtan's lands, however, and migrated towards a place the sun favoured more. A year later, after splitting up and searching far and wide, battling other established kingdoms along the way as they meandered through the continents, the Third Prophet agreed to settle on a small colony founded by flamedancers during Inzhtan's reign. The villagers were not with many, and most of them had some part in the worship of Azh, which they were very devout to. The large scarlet temple they built in the middle of their village was enormous compared to the wooden huts the villages lived in. The temple gave the village its name, however. And so the flamedancers settled in Azh Kayithi, the Sun's Sanctuary.
Age of BloomEdit
Azhkar continued to settle villages and cities and to grow. They colonised the island of Azh Tassuli and moved their political capital to Zemma in the south, leaving religious affairs in Azh Kayithi. The highest title in the nation was the Holy High Priest, followed by the council of High Priests. The lands were wealthy, and the Azhkari invented powerful magic. With the discovery of the island Azh Markam and its powerful chrysalli crystals, a new path to new magic opened up. When the Azhkari arrived at the island, first contact with Nunkish pioneers who arrived on the island at the same time was made. Their claims on the island led to the First War of Ice and Fire, narrowly won by the Nunkish.
Four more large scale wars were fought between Azhkar and Nunkhar over the island. The Second War ended in Azhkari hurting the Nunkish where they lived, by sacking and burning a large part of Lakshurna. In the Third War, the Nunkish took their revenge by sacking Azh Kayithi. The Fourth and Fifth were smaller feuds. The Azhkari and the Nunkish were of similar strength, and the island's internal borders would change every war. A permanent peace was made in the Fifth War of Ice and Fire, after both nations were grounded up terribly. The island was almost perfectly split in half.
Duel of the FlamesEdit
In 21 BMI, a crisis developed where not one, but three Holy High Priests were appointed. The three Holy High Priests declared a vicious and lethal war on eachother, almost decimating the population. One of the Holy High Priests, nicknamed Blackfire, used necromancy in his battles, ensuring large-scale victories. The two others begged the surrounding nations for help in their struggles. One of them ensured an alliance with Ricardia, the other managed to get Zultin to his side. This brought the war outside of the Azhkari continent.
The war ended after Blackfire and the Ricardia-aligned Holy High Priest were killed in a duel of flames witnessed by both armies. A fourth claimant of the title emerged afterwards, a half-airborn genius of a boy with the Floating Federation on his side. The airborn and more liberal Azhkari's joined together to cast their enemies down, ending the wars with one airborn-aligned Holy High Priest. He was assassinated not long after.
Maolik Invasion and Suncrown WarsEdit
At the start of the Castelmos timeline, the Maolik invaded the human realms. At the end of the year, in Black Winter, the Maolik brought upon a blizzard to Azhkar for the first time in the country's history. Azhkar was succumbed and annexed by spring the next year.
Maolik occupation was welcomed by some Azhkari, due to the similarities in magic, but opposed by the more religious citizens. The Holy High Priest was burned alive as a tribute from the Maolik to Azh, dividing the population even more. Some Azhkari aided the Maolik, and some joined the rebellions. When in 11 AMI, the Siege of Vahnz was broken by the Nunkish, the tides changed, and in 12 AMI, Azhkar was liberated by the Azhkari rebellion, led by Sinthar Sunstroken. In his honour, the Azhkari people crowned him, making Azhkar a kingdom. The Holy High Priest was made into a minor religious title, as most power went to the king in Zemma.
Tensions rose between loyalists of King Sinthar and the more religious of Azhkar led by the Holy High Priest. Eventually, through an incident called the First Comet, war was declared between both parties. The country fell into the chaos later known as the Suncrown Wars.
The Suncrown Wars ended when Sinthar sacked Azh Kayithi and burned the Holy High Priest alive. He died days afterwards, leading to the coronation of his son, Enthar the Great. He proclaimed himself emperor and made sure the still-rebellious Azh Tassuli succumbed under his newly formed empire with the help of Valontinese fleets.
War of the Milehigh PhoenixEdit
Anger at the priveteers of the airborn led to Azhkari aggression towards airborn merchants in 288 AMI. The stubborn King Menek decided to put an end to airborn piracy once and for all and ordered for a large fleet. One of his High Priests, nicknamed the Redmiral, led the attacks on Purnax and succeeded. The Azhkari fleet was converted for the skies, with an original Azhkari twist in how the ships were propelled. All Yerrims save for Soltharon answered Krumdar's call when the Azhkari invaded their islands. Enormous skynaval battles were fought, with the Azhkari more and more victorious.
The pirates of the sky joined the Yerr of Krumdar in his desperate efforts to get rid of the Azhkari, and prepared a trap. When the Redmiral saw through it, it was Laverna's fleets who payed for it. The most powerful Krumdari pirate, Captain Ed, took control of the Krumdari fleets and made a desperate attack on the Azhkari, failing to defeat them, but succeeding in killing the Redmiral. The Lavernans were furious to hear they were used as bait, even though they weren't, and sacked Krum di Kanavra. The Krumdari, utterly defeated, gave in to Azhkari demands. The rest of the airborn didn't stop there. They retook Parnux and launched sacks of Azh Tassuli and eastern coast villages. King Menek, not wanting to lose more gold, gave in to the rest of the airborn, and officially retreated out of airborn space. Azhkari pirates would continue to use the Azhkari airships until today.
Ninth War of Ice and FireEdit
Small feuds existed between Azhkar and Nunkhar over Azh Markam for a long time, but the first one in a long time to blow into a fullscale war was the Ninth War of Ice and Fire in 319 AMI. A diplomatic marriage brought Zultin to Azhkar's side, destroying Nunkish presence on the island. The Nunkish called for Ricardia to aid them, and so they did. This war was decisively won by Azhkar and Zultin, resulting in the first time the island was fully united under one flag and annexation of Ontilia by Zultin.
War of the Human RealmsEdit
This enormous war was the first one to directly involve Castelmos as a belligerent, and the first time Azhkar and the East fought against eachother. In 355 AMI, a Nunkish Prime Chah put through a policy that the island of Azh Markam would be gifted to Castelmos, in an attempt to put an end to the feuds over the island once and for all. All human realms save for Azhkar, Zultin, and, surprisingly, Nunkhar, were for.
Azhkar bulked up the island in preparation for war, and when the Council found out, they implored to put sanctions on the Empire. The Nunkish Prime Chah was murdered in Lakshurna on a diplomatic visit by Nunkish extremists, causing the appointment of an impatient Ricardian Chah that demanded the island, or military consequences would follow. This resulted in a joint invasion of the East, Valontini, the jungle states, the Ricardians and the airborn. Nunkhar, still opposing the idea of a neutral Azh Markam, surprisingly joined Azhkar's side and defended the island with them. It was here that the Nunkish population of Castelmos fleed back to Nunkhar after centuries, as they were continuously assaulted by the Castelmosi.
Azhkari fleets conquered Parnux for a second time, blocking the airborn off, then blockaded Valontini. Nunkish troops put a siege on Vahnz and sabotaged the East in their logistics. A blizzard was put over the island in the north, and a heatwave in the south, tiring all foreign armies. Eventually, the war ended diplomatically, when a new Chah was appointed and the invasion halted. Azhkar and Nunkhar, with newfound respect for eachother, decided to split the island between themselves. A status quo that still exists to this day.