To the west of the Akkyrian Empire is their long rival and ally Mayda. The Mayda Empire has long opposed the Empire of Maz-Torgoth since escaping his dominion over 1300 years ago. Here is a nation profile for the Mayda Empire,with entries for the Kingdom of Aparni and Kingdom of Makan next in line. These nations are the core of trade and travel between the Western Lands and Eastern Lands, and in one form or another, some of the oldest nations in the Veiled World.
Nations Name: Mayda Shahr
Form of Government: Imperial
National Symbol: 4 pointed star and sun
National Colors: Gold, purple, blue
Leader(s): Shahanshah Burzin
Population: 20 million
Military Strength: 200,000
State Religion(s): Polytheistic, with eight state supported gods.
Primary Products: Silk and textiles, metalworks, ceramics, horses, carpets and tapestries, pearls, coffee
Secondary Products: Dates, salt, hides and leather, pottery
Major Cities: Bandar Bakht, Abshourabad, Sihrudabad (Capitol)
Encounter Frequency: Low
The Mayda Empire was founded by Aran tribes, who profited from the rich trade routes that connected the Western and Eastern Lands. The Arans had been steadily moving east, accelerated following the fall of Vaksun. While they initially raided caravans, eventually they turned to hiring out as guards and caravan operators, ensuring trade goods from Tiāncháo and Tse’tah passed safely through Toichous to Akkyrian empire, safe from Askuzoi raiders. They cooperated and competed with the Kewert and Makan people, each trying to secure as much profit as possible. In 1460 BH, the Kingdom of Mayda was formed by the more settled Aran people, while to the north wild Aran tribes continued to wander around the former Hati lands. By 1244 BH, the Mayda are dominant in the lands west of the Akkyrian Empire, and refuse to pay tribute, leading to border clashes. The Maydans gain dominance over the Kingdom of Kewert and the Kingdom of Makan, as well as the Kingdom of Aparni, formed from disaffected elements from Mayda and Makan. Soon after the Maydans conquer the Kingdom of Kewert (relatively bloodless due to ties of marriage), the Akkyrians invade but neither side makes much progress. The Kingdom of Makan is the next to be absored a century later, though not as easily as Kewert. An attempt to add the Kingdom of Aparni is foiled by Arshek VI, and his allies in the Samskaran kingdom of Udaya (including many expatriot Makanese) riot, forcing the casting out of Maydan merchants there.
The War of the Gods and Desolate Ones results in much misfortune for the Maydans, with large hordes of voidspawn, widespread cultist activity, and outbreaks of disease and famine. After a century or turmoil, order is restored and Shanshah Gira moves to consolidate his rule, raising taxes on merchants to fund his construction projects. This results in the Makan Civil War, which is brutally crushed, followed by an invasion of the Kingdom of Aparni, which is defeated by Arshek XIV and Samskaran mercenaries. The Mayda begin to expand their trade with the Southlands, finding Ushe Tsaru a willing partner. The arrival of Maz-Torgoth, and his swift conquering of the Akkyrians spells disaster for the Maydans. Despite having several years to prepare, they are unable to match his skill at sorcery, turning the tide against their peerless cavalry. Many of the nobles and magi go into hiding and begin a war from the shadows. The magi are assisted by the arrival of Zéi Shèngrén, a great dragon mage from the distant west, who teaches them long forgotten spells of concealment.
The Occupation Period sees many Maydans killed or impressed into service by Maz-Torgoth, and after his assassination by his Warlords. After rebellion breaks out in the Akkyrian Empire, Warlord Damasias flees to a palace in Sihrudabad, but is not there when the palace is stormed by rebels. After forcing out Imperial troops, the Maydans form a pact of assistance with the Akkyrians, each promising to help the other if the Empire attacks. Mayda enlists fierce Gemmerai tribesmen from it’s western mountains to fight the Askuzoi and keep them at bay while it recovers it’s strength, but is unable to retain it’s hold over the Kingdom of Makan. The biggest change, and one that spreads over the known world is a rejection of chattel slavery. The Maydan’s have determined that a person in bondage, with no hope of better prospects is a easy recruit for the Desolate Ones. Slaves are freed, replaced with a feudal serf class, and an increase in means to become a freedman. The Akkyrians and many other nations adopt this, though others take longer and have to be convinced after Desolate One cultist led rebellions occur.
The Maydans and Toichous soon become rivals, as the Toichousi enact taxes on trade coming through their expanded territory. The Maydans attempt a military resolution, but the Touchousi are able to use their remoteness and bribed Askuzoi to keep them at bay. Mayda looks to sea routes to Samskara as a way to bypass the problem, leading to a greater engagement with the various Samskaran nations. In 472 BH, the Kingdom of Makan and Kingdom of Aparni negotiate a new relationship with the Maydans, guaranteeing their freedom in exchange for trade concessions and pacts of support. Several centuries later border skirmishes between the Maydans and Akkyrians breakout, the result of hot headed young noble scions. A program of exchange is enacted, with each side serving in the others northern fortresses along the Empire border. In 154 BH the Kingdom of Urartu is conquered by Mayda Empire, the Shahanshah exploiting a succession crisis to claim the throne through a somewhat dubious line of proclaimed “relations” The Urartu exist today as one of the great warrior peoples of the empire, and defend the northern border with Maz-Torgoth, as well as having a reputation for skill in the mercantile trades.
The decade before the arrival of the Host of the Void sees Mayda racked by assassinations, rebellion, and the mysterious fire that burns the Royal Magi College to the ground. Agents of the Empire are suspected. The arrival of the Host results in the collapse of Zelenipolya, resulting in many thousands of Slowani refugees pouring into Mayda, Makan, and Aparni. Many of those trying to enter Mayda are instead turned toward Makan or escorted to Yaksum, but the Shahanshah is convinced to let in as many children as possible, donating money for their feeding and upbringing. The so called “Void Orphans” become imperial loyalists, and their descendants are heavily represented in the Mayda military. Orodesk VIII of Aparni works to rally a coalition of Maydan, Akkyrian and Makan nobles to support a grand coalition. Eventually he succeeds, the opening of the southern front saving the League and other northern nations. This coalition is represented at the Battle Of Burning Woods and after the war works to contain the Empire and the Desolate Lands.
The next few centuries see the Empire and Mayda engage in a series of raids, assassinations, covert operations and magical attacks. The Maydans also come under attack by the newly risen Magocracy, and are forced to hunt down vampire covens, Desolate One cultists, and necromancer cults. The arrival of the Dark Death in 201 AH decimates the Maydans, killing over 30 percent of the populace. Mayda assist in containing the Cult of Dem-Nuda, sending troops to Dala to assist and expands it’s relationships with Southern Lands nations. In 358 AH, the Empire invades the Maydan north, but is repelled after assistance arrives from the Akkyrians, Makan, and Aparni. In 418 AH, Maydan troops are sent north to help Tarjanhely resist the Vampire Principalities, followed by engineers to help build fortifications. Mayda and the Akkyrians have a minor involvement in the 2nd Void war, serving to force an Empire withdrawal after they attack the Empire’s southern border.
In 624 AH civil war breaks out as Shahanshah Kurus XI faces a revolt from his brother Merdad. Eventually Merdad is exposed to be influenced by the Empire and the Magi intervene and end the war. Relations with Tarjanhely expand after the creation of the Folyoso (Corridor) between the two nations, formed when Askuzoi tribes related to King Csaba II of Tarjanhely are convinced to allow the Mayda passage. Valagash IV of Aparni responds by establishing stronger ties with the Tsarumani, who seek to balance the growing power of Tarjanhely. The Kingdom of Makan increases merchant ties with both. The outbreak of the 3rd Void War in 705 AH sees the Maydans heavily involved, attacking the Empire, assisting the Samskaran efforts to contain Gui Go, and hunting down the Black Banner fleets in the Gulf of Spices. In 711 AH, Shahanshah Burzin himself leads an attack, drawing many Empire troops into a elaborate trap. He is eventually forced to retreat, but only after heavily damaging the Skullfort. Four years later in 715 AH, Maydan vessels assist in the Battle of Buzzard Bay, breaking the back of the Black Banner fleet. The Maydans and Akkyrians end the war ravaging the Empire southern coastline, including the sacking of Abandonment Bay before being forced to return to their original borders as the war winds down. Mayda now has emerged from the war in relatively good shape, with some minor cultist and vampire activity to eliminate, but overall very healthy.
The Mayda empire, like it’s neighbor to the east is a multicultured land. While the Aran people are the majority, there are enclaves of Akkhyrians, large Kewert enclaves in the west, settled Askuzoi and Hazari in the western steppes, Gemmerai hillmen, and Kasi along the border with Yaksum. The Mayda Empire is an ancient empire, once larger but never able to project it’s power after being conquered by Maz-Torgoth. After freeing itself, it has mostly cooperated with the neighboring Akkyrians to provide a southern check on the Empire. It has used it’s ports of Bandar Bakht and Abshourabad on the Gulf of Spices to control much of the trade in exotic goods that head to the Eastlands, with the Akkyrians again profiting as well.
Very few religions or gods are forbidden in Mayda, but The Eight are the state supported gods of the Mayda people. They include Pitar (Kembros), Asha (Tassein), Vitham (Weiksla), Purama, Magush (Magos), Baêshaza (Bagula), Dãmi (Goban), and Tkaêsha (Leisana). Many “evil” gods are allowed but watched, but no Desolate One worshipers are allowed, under penalty of death. Sihrudabad has an extensive Foreign Quarter, where many temples to foreign gods (or versions of the Eight foreign to the Mayda) are located.
The Mayda are very fond of the arts, especially singing, dancing and music, as well as investing heavily in education. Besides the Royal College of Magi, several other imperial funded universities exists, and the Shahanshah is renowned for his patronage of artists and scholars.
The Mayda Empire has a powerful army, used by the Shahanshah to keep his regional governors (the Xsacapavan) under control. A mixed force, it is most famous for the quality of it’s cavalry. Large numbers of heavily armored lancers are supplemented by squadrons of swift horse archers. Regular raids from the Askuzoi keep the Maydeans sharp and battle tested. The Imperial Magi are also a key component of the army, recruited as orphaned girls and boys and raised since a young age to serve the Shahanshah. The Anûšiya (Companions) are the personal guards of the royal family, protecting them at all times. Mayda also has a very strong navy, which works with the Kingdom of Makan to patrol the Gulf of Spices.
Shahanshah Burzin: Shahanshah Burzin is in the twilight years of his reign, having sat on the throne for five decades. He is grooming his son, the Shahzada to take over for him, and focuses much of his time on educating him on the finer points of ruling. He is also famous for his love of music, and his patronage of the arts.
Shahzada Adarkhurshid: As heir to the throne, Adarkhurshid has been trained since an early age in the sciences, politics, diplomacy and war. A young man in his mid twenties, he has overcome an earlier period of rash behavior and now serves as his fathers right hand, as well as commander of the imperial armies. He has already fathered several children with his wives, and spends three months of the year in Darband, watching the Empire. He is good friends with the Sharrum of the Akkyrian Empire.
Xsacapavan Nikrad, Governor of Sihrudabad: Nikrad is the Xsacapavan (Governor) who rules the province that the capitol resides in. Because of this, he is seen as the most powerful of the Xsacapavan, and is also one of the most ambitious. His grandmother was an aunt of the Shahanshah, which has been very useful in his advancement. He is a collector of fine horses and often races them in wagers.