Territorial Claims: Name of Nation:
Surabhumi (Denonym: Surbahuma, non Surabhi inhabitants - Surakhya)Species:
Surabhi, Tu’mong, Sanghar, minorities of neighboring human peoples
Surabhi: One of Ishareth’s three children, the Surabhi are by far the most populous, inhabiting a vast stretch of land that comprises much of the Old Empire. Markedly different in phsyiology than the other two, the Surabhi have a sharply skewed sex ratio at birth - with approximately 4 females born for every male. What’s more, the females of the species are significantly larger than the males, averaging 190 cm and 110kg - compared to the average of 145 cm and 55kg for males. The females are noted to be physically powerful, and their predilection for fighting as heavy infantry or archers utilizing immensely strong war bows is a natural conclusion of this. Surabhi live to an average maximum of about 150 years, reaching adulthood at age twenty and remaining fit and able to work for well over a century - in their later years, decline is rapid and relentless.
Tu’mong: Notable Individuals:
Anushravati Phadatara Satakevelar - Raani: The elected monarch of Surabhumi.
Aasmi Achaerikar Sayyanvar - A rising military commander and aspiring politician, she has distinguished herself in many recent battles fought in the annexation of several small successor states.
Amilaja Shivavadakkar Devsherikaan - Head of Agriculture: Extremely adept administrator and organizer, responsible for timing of sowing and harvesting, as well as overseeing the distribution of water to farmland. Dresses plainly and sees no value in anything that cannot be quantified..
Khalya Maruk Dheminu - Head of Surabhumi’s blacksmithing industry: Pragmatic and unconcerned with subtleties.
Aaliyu Navamaba Mallayeh - Head of Finance:
Sujati Khvamahant Enazhal - A Surabhi Priestess of Ishareth, known for her playful demeanor and sharp wit.
Huyhn Tyet Ngau - A Tu’mong woman, seasoned negotiator.
Shridaveh Enheduana - Granddaughter of Ninshada Enheduana, the brilliant admiral who almost defeated Sanghara at sea. Her personal fleet, numbering 16 warships in total, is the only token naval force Surabhumi has been able to maintain in the long decades of humiliation at sea following their defeat outside Tel Belit. Shridaveh herself is intent on rebuilding the fleet of her grandmother’s legacy. A rare Sanghar among a nation predominantly populated first by Surabhi and secondly by Tu’mong.Culture and Society:
The vast nation of Surabhumi is host to an equally vast array of regional dialects, mannerisms, quirks, and Surabhi subraces. All of these separate groups are nevertheless united by a few commonalities - the faith of Ishareth, homage to the realm they all call home, and a firm belief in the righteousness of unity between the “Three Children of Ishareth” (the Surabhi, the Sanghar, and the Tu’mong).
Society among the Surabhi is inevitably heavily matriarchal - males among them, being small and making up only 20% of the population - are primarily occupied with general childcare, domestic duties, and other non strenuous tasks. There is dissention as to whether the males can handle mentally taxing jobs - but the general consensus is that in this they are equal to their female counterparts, as such, administrative and other ‘desk jobs’ do not discriminate on basis of sex. In the military, rice and wheat fields, and other taxing work however, they are rarely seen, and the women reign supreme.
The core social unit among the Surabhi is the dhutris - a group of anywhere between 5 to 50 individuals, with multiple females and males cohabiting - dhutrisi rarely have familial elements, as upon reaching adulthood children will join or form their own unit. A dhutris is best compared to a large polyamorous relationship or marriage. For the Surabhi, reproduction is a somewhat bureaucratic affair, with individual Surabhi choosing the mate of their choice within their dhustris and requesting sanction by the local priestess of Ishareth. Relationships for non reproductive purposes are laissez faire and come and go as easily as morning rains, as the dhutrisi are strictly non familial groups, excepting the raising of children, relationships are primarily found between their members. Inheritance is generally among the collective of the dhutris, excepting those items explicitly designated for special inheritance by the deceased. Inheritance of titles, landed or otherwise, is generally elective. Familial bonds, while strong, primarily exist between mother and child - and inheritance along these maternal lines is only practiced in special circumstances.
Religiously, the Surabhi have both public and private elements in their worship of Ishareth. Priestesses of the goddess are selected upon reaching adolesence, and will spend the next ten years of their lives studying and learning about the world, its nature, its politics, mathematics, science, and every scrap of religious scripture available. In doing so they come closer to understanding the world Ishareth’s flock inhabits, and her other children - and are more in tune with the mostly unspoken desires of the goddess. In olden times, before the fall of the old empire, priestesses served double duty as state sanctioned mages. Distinguished by plain robes and the symbols of their station - a sturdy silver inlaid blade in a distinctive pattern most commonly used by members of the clergy
, a heavy tome of religious scripture, and a finely wrought silver amulet bearing a symbol of Ishareth, the priestesses are a ubiquitous sight throughout Surabhumi. Every village has its priestess, a town likely has several, and a large city may have hundreds of them residing within. The priestesses are not only religious officials, but experts on law, medicine, and more. Many of the universities within Surabhumi are staffed almost entirely by priestesses of Ishareth.
Even outside the clergy, the Surabhi have a culture that prides intellectualism and artistic endeavor, and outside of martial prowess, education and intellectual pursuits are often one of the best ways to raise one’s standing in society.
Religion, while often conducted privately, has many public elements - and the Surabhi throw lavish festivals and celebrations throughout the year on auspicious dates and other holy days.
For non Surabhi subject peoples, the policy of the nation is for them to largely follow their own cultural practices - to an extent. Should a people come into the empire and find their ways anathema to the Surabhi they can expect to find those practices deemed most repellant clamped down on - a culture that is patriarchal in contrast to the Surabhi matriarchy can expect to find itself pushed strongly towards an egalitarian bent. There are strict laws mandating any interfaith or interpeople disputes and conflict be mediated by a Priestess of Ishareth, a member of the others’ clergy, and the local government of the region.
Surabhi generally have five names. Their first, given name. The second name is that of the dhutris they are born in. The third, the dhutris they join after reaching adulthood. The fourth History:
6,000 years ago:
Ashammai civilization kills itself. Most of the subcontinent is blasted back to the stone age or rendered outright uninhabitable.
5,000 years ago:
Wandering period, most of the entire subcontinent fucked up, small kingdoms emerge in the north, with the best most untainted land emerging in the south western side of the subcontinent, leading to a Tu'mong golden age.
A small Surabhi kingdom accepts population migration of Sanghar who had moved north from the Azure Empire of Tu'mong.
Surabhi-Sanghar kingdom grows powerful and begins annexing neighbours.
Surabhi-Sanghar kingdom conquers much of the Northwestern quarter of the subcontinent.
Surabhi-Sanghar conquers the Northeastern quarter and declares itself an empire, now remembered as the Old Empire.
The Old Empire pushes south and begins colonising and conquering lesser kingdoms, it joins horns with the Tu'mong Azure Empire which is still in its prime, resulting in intensely deadly wars with the Tu'mong which last for centuries.
The Azure Empire disintegrates under the Old Empire's pressure and is forced back to a rump state in the far south, this eventually falls centuries later. Meanwhile the Old Empire is near its maximum extent and only has a few more provinces to add.
War and conquest of southern Kuriso (New Nation Needed to continue this line of thought) possible situation where the Old Empire is repulsed after a few decades of occupation.
Shanrilaath begins to see limited settlement, and Sangharan pops migrate down the Eastern coastline to colonise the lands there, causing civil unrest with the Tu'mong who had claim to them originally.
Old Empire enters a cultural renaissance of peace, order, art, science, philosophy and prosperity. With no external conflicts to shape it's internal politics, and no contender to power in it's world, it chooses to trade and explore across Takanis. Most importantly however, largescale developments in magic begin to come to bear, and take central focus in state affairs.
The decline period comes into play, government becomes mired in corruption and factionalism, bureaucracy breaks down, and restrictions on magic become less meaningfully enforced. New ground is pushed but nobody acknowledges the limits of what they're doing. A potential civil war between the provinces breaks out leading to an unsteady position between the heartland and its provinces afterwards. Still nothing is big enough to topple a state of this size, power and raw wealth. During this time the inner plateau of Shanrilaath is explored and the cult of Ishareth discovered, new priests of both races begin promulgating the scriptures they discovered (might be Medusan originally, dunno) but are mostly shrugged off as crazies.
The cataclysm rips through the heartland of the old empire, millions die and hundreds of thousands are displaced. The Cult of Ishareth gains primacy and converts in droves as a result of their foresight of the disaster and preparations. Flight to the provinces shifts the population base towards what is now Surabhumi.
The Schism breaks what's left of the now immensely fragile Old Empire. The Sangharan's push south and colonise Shanrilaath, Surabhumi waxes in power and authority in the north, consuming the other fragmentary and independent states. Cool but mostly civil relations are maintained as both nations are focused on different spheres of power
Both Empires wax too powerful at the same time, the borders meet, a cold war develops. A dispute over taxes on merchant caravans breaks out between two groups of administrators and their soldiers at the Sangharan-Surabhumi border, the first Century War breaks out.
The war was the first of myriad bloody clashes between the two powers. Almost a full third of Sangharan domains on the mainland were annexed by the rising land power of Surabhumi. The armies of the ascendent empire were only halted from complete conquest in the brutal fighting of the Battle of the Akadarian Plains that saw over two hundred thousand dead on the side of Surabhi at the expense of some thirty thousand Sanghar. Pinned against a river and outnumbered by the concentrated force of their enemy - enabled by the superior Sangharan navy - Surabhumi’s southern invasion force was utterly crushed and stalemate ensued.
The peace that followed suited neither side, with Sanghara bitter over the loss of mainland holdings, and Surabhumi eyeing the remaining Sangharan imperial domains and seeking to avenge their humiliating defeat at the Akadarian Plains.
The loss of much of its core regions had left the Sangharan Republic economic and militarily weakened but not decisively beaten, and Akadarian Plains had proven that the Surabhi could be defeated and driven back, leaving the prospect of further war a lingering question in the minds of the Sangharan elites. Whilst the government descended into infighting in how to retaliate to this blow, the general Asurbaal Urgathil-Esh, who had distinguished himself in the Century War, used this moment of weakness to depose the republic. Under the guise of restoring order, he used his armies and soldiers to install him as the First Prince - having his predecessor garroted - and seized control of the nation from the ruling families. After a few years of consolidating his position, he launches ends the fragile peace by declaring open war upon Surabhumi.
1605-1493 (1605-1562) (1556-1507) (1507-1498)
The sudden invasion of the contested territories took the Surabhumi government by surprise, who had assumed that the Sangharans would take much longer to launch a counterattack. As such there was little resistance for the first years of the war, which saw Sangharan reconquest of much of the occupied territory. Urgathil-Esh, buoyed by his success, used his newfound prestige to declare himself the first emperor of the Sangharan Empire. However, as soon as the Surabhumi were able to rally they return with renewed force and vigor. What once seemed to be an easy victory is soon reduced to defeat after defeat as the Surabhi inflict humiliating and brutal victories over the Sangharans in battle. By the turn of 1594 this reached its head where two main armies of the Sangharan military consisting of 200,000 soldiers, are obliterated almost completely in the Battle of the Red Rivers by a Surabhi force half its size. This disgrace proved too much for the disgruntled and disillusioned merchant-dynasties, and combined with Urgathil-Esh’s increasing megalomania resulted in his brutal assassination by a large bloc of conspirators whilst he relaxed in his private bathhouse. It is said that the waters ran as red as those of the battle, and that Urgathil-Esh had been stabbed over two hundred times, each wound representing one thousand Sangharan’s killed by his arrogance.
With the republic restored under capable leadership, Sangharan military defeats lessened greatly. The republic was however, forced to abandon their northern provinces as territorially indefensible. Pulling into the south, they managed to halt the Surabhi advance in Muhtava, beating back invasion after invasion, although suffering heavy losses. Eventually however, the full might of the Surabhumi’s military is summoned to the field, and after a number of defeats and pyrrhic victories, the Sanghar are forced to retreat further and further south. By 1563 the Sangharan Republic has lost all but the southern tip of its continental empire, with the Surabhi even marching across Tsang-Mah under numerous experienced and veteran generals. The final battle of this chapter of the war takes place in 1562, as the Sangharans desperately tried to evacuate the majority of their forces from the mainland back to Shanrilaath. A core of 50,000 are left behind to protect the rear against a force ten times that number, engaging in the Battle of Sabal-Mut. They achieve their goal, holding off the Surabhi for four hours, but are eventually forced to surrender. 30,000 die and the remaining 20,000 are lead into captivity by the victorious Surabhi armies. The only survivor of the Sangharan continental empire becomes Tel-Belit, a massive citadelic port on the southernmost tip of the continent, which proved too hard a nut to crack for even Surabhumi’s forces, no matter the size of the armies they threw at it - its vast port keeping the city supplied for a siege that would stretch on over ten years before an eventual peace treaty. Although all voices counseled to have the port blockaded, the Surabhumi navy had not recovered fully enough from the prior century war to ensure that this could be done, leaving a dangerous door open for eventual Sangharan recovery on the continent.
Third Century War - Indecisive, Sangharan Military Victory, Surabhi political Victory
Fourth Century War - Sangharan Decisive Victory
Fifth Century War - Indecisive, Surabhi semi-restoration
Sixth Century War - Ultimately indecisive - annihilation of Surabhuma fleet, Surabhuma nevertheless achieves supremacy on land.Economy:
The economy of Surabhumi rests upon six great pillars. Foodstuffs, steel, silver, spices, sugar, and soldiers. The economy of the nation has been at a low ebb for some time, their utter defeat at sea against the Sangharans forcing them to rely exclusively upon overland trade - and their economy has suffered greatly as such. Nevertheless it is a powerful force by sheer size.
Surabhumi occupies some of the most fertile land in the world - much of its area making up the agricultural heartland of the old empire, where bountiful monsoon rains give rise to vast bumper crops, and myriad rivers snake across the land, bringing life giving water and even more fertile soil. The nation rarely if ever knows famine, and a great aqueduct snakes across the entire stretch of the empire - a vast work of civil engineering that ferries water for thousands of kilometers to the cities and farms of Surabhumi.
Surabhumi plays host to abundant resources of iron and other useful metals. The Surabhi are well known metalworkers - and they are famed for a steel stronger than almost any other. Dubbed Ukkaya by the Surabhi, it is a steel that is both fabulously hard and immensely strong - some merchants claim an Ukkaya blade can bisect another lesser blade in a single stroke, or cut a hair falling across its razor edge. While hyperbole, this steel, common throughout Surabhumi and exported across the land, is a closely guarded secret and all attempts to replicate it have failed. Some speculate there is something in the Surabhi that enables its creation, an intrinsic magical spark that operates within the low ebb of the land that, combined with carefully refined and jealously guarded metallurgical techniques, gives rise to the coveted material.
Like the Sanghar and Tu’mong, the Surabhi prize silver over gold - and their land is rich with the precious metal. Mines bring forth the land’s bounty in the metal, famed for its purifying qualities and sought after for its lustrous sheen.
Situated in the perfect region for cultivating many exotic spices, Surabhumi - while strangled at sea by remorseless Sangharan raiding - grows even more rare and valuable spices than their great rival. Saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, and more - all are grown in the fertile farmlands of Surabhumi, and exported to any nation easier accessed by land than by sea and more favorable to Surabhumi than Sanghara.
Like with spices, Surabhumi sits in the perfect climate for sugar growing - and the sweet crystals that come from sugar cane make for a tidy profit.
Soldiers - every nation needs them, whether it embraces that need or not. Many Surabhi, ill content to wait for a proper land war to be waged by their own nation, go abroad in great mercenary companies, signing on to fight in foreign wars in the style of the heavy infantry and foot archers that have made them a potent force in their own home region. The majority of these mercenary companies are based in Surabhumi, and cooperate closely with the government, receiving aid in training and equipment - and paying sizeable taxes in return.Army:Crude attempt at a generic Surabhi heavy infantrywoman.Crude attempt at a Surabhi veteran archer.
The army of Surabhumi is a powerful force. The mainstay of the army is the archers and heavy infantry that make up the majority of fighters, with the Tu’mong serving as skilled light infantry and light cavalry.
The Surabhi themselves almost exclusively fight either as infantry or archers. The infantry, heavily armed and armored, are often fully bedecked in chain and lamellar armor, carrying spears, swords and axes, javelins, and heavy shields. Both the professional soldiers and civilians levied to fight are well trained and disciplined soldiers. The archers wield fearsome war bows with draw weights sometimes exceeding 300 pounds, and are likewise a mixture of professional and levied civilian fighters. After extensive contact with Kera-Bijan to the northwest, a small force of heavy shock cavalry was raised. Riding large bulls bred for war, both rider and mount are completely encased in Ukkayan steel armor. Navy:
Surabhumi effectively has no navy. Ships come and go at their ports if they can slip by the Sangharan patrols, but after their humilating naval defeat in the most recent Century War, the nation has been unable to build up a proper fleet without Sanghara destroying it.Traits:
Ukkayan Steel: The soldiers and civilians of Surabhumi almost universally use the superior steel produced in the forges of Surabhi blacksmiths. A major component of their economy, the steel is ubiquitous throught the enormous nation. Weapons and armor as well as mundane tools are harder and stronger.Foreign Relations:
Sanghara: Arch rival
Kera-Bijan: Tentative Ally
Arcana: Trade partner and sometimes ally.Rolls:
Land Area: 20(19+1)
Land Fertility: 20
Land Power: 20(13+7)
Naval Power: 2(9-7)
Magical Reserves: 15(13+2)
Magical Sophistication: (1)2-1Other: