Literally translated as the Federation of Caroha, the Farubaida o Caroha is an alliance of several states, namely the Union of Aitah, Neruss, the Empire of Dremai, Faerouhaiaou, and the Empire of Helsia. The first three were collectively the heartland of orthodox Aitahism, who banded together in the wake of the War of the Three Gods in defense against future threats; after much diplomatic maneuvering the Empire of Helsia joined as well. These states retain an enormous degree of domestic autonomy, but share a unified foreign and military policy. As the name suggests, the Federation is based at the eponymous city of Caroha.
The Farubaida was formed by the union of multiple previously extant states, each of whom had a considerable historical heritage of their own.
The Union of Aitah was the last in a long line of Seshweay republics to occupy either the Sesh Delta or nearby territories, stretching all the way back to the Exile States, through the Union of Aya'se, then Mahid during the Satar occupation of their homeland, until finally reclaiming it after a series of rebellions and the War of the Three Gods. The Union itself germinated from several Aitahist states, namely the Seshweay in the Delta itself, the island kingdom of Hanno, and long-independent Mahid.
The Empire of Dremai had occupied northern Helsia almost since the Treda and resulting breakup of the Faronun state, but had only in the intervening centuries converted to the growing Aitahist faith, the result of heavy evangelism from the famed Hundred of Seshweay lore. Long content to trade in the waters of the Lovi Sea, it bought into the mythology of a golden Faronun age destroyed by Satar attacks in the War of the Crimson Elephant, and joined the alliance in the War of the Three Gods, contributing vital troops to the Kargan campaign. After much negotiation, the Emperor of Dremai agreed to join the Federation on the condition that he be allowed to keep his crown, even if it was in a rather ceremonial capacity.
The mountain state of the Faerouhaiaou had consciously avoided interfering in lowland affairs for centuries, preferring an arrangement of autonomy with nominal allegiance to its southern neighbor in the Empire of Helsia. They would contribute considerable forces to the War of the Three Gods, and subsequently agreed to join the Farubaida, on the condition that their military would only be mobilized under their own consent.
Smallest of the member states, Neruss had declined to join the Union of Aitah, and indeed its survival to this point seems to have been the product of historical accident. A tiny state on the periphery of the Ardavai Exatai, it was invaded by Satar Prince Nephrax-ta-Delphis, and its king desperately appealed to the Ayasi Fourth Gaci of the Holy Moti Empire for assistance. Despite having much of its farmland and infrastructure utterly destroyed in the War, most of its population had taken refuge on a series of islands off the city's shore, and it resisted the Satar until the enemy was forced to withdraw. Its heroic resistance ensured its existence, and it joined the Farubaida on its own terms, maintaining considerable domestic autonomy.
The Empire of Helsia, by contrast, was probably the most powerful of the states before joining the Federation. Descended from the long-dead Empire of the Trilui, which itself had fallen prey to the Satar during the Treda, it led the push of the former Faronun states to bring down the Ardavai Exatai. This Empire, in contrast to its northern neighbors, had converted to the southern-oriented faith of Iralliam, though considerable similarities existed between how the southern and northern Helsians practiced their respective religions. These common bonds, as well as those forged in the war (see below), would convince Helsia to join the Federation last, and cement it as one of the premier powers of the central seas.
The War of the Three Gods Edit
Triggered by Nephrax's invasion of Neruss, the War of the Three Gods would embroil half of the world. Its story has been told in many places; most relevant for the Farubaida would be the Kargan campaign and the resulting Feast of Kargan. Nephrax, Prince of the Scroll, launched his campaign against the tiny city-state in desultory fashion, only to be give word that a massive invasion force from the Uggor had struck at the Sesh Delta. Rushing west to defend the Exatai, he was blindsided by the allied army near the Parda Hills, and nearly killed on the battlefield, fleeing to his seat at the city of Kargan.
Kargan itself had formidable fortifications, and with the bulk of the alliance's attention devoted towards the Satar capital at Magha, looked to be quite defensible, with only an allied Faronun and Seshweay army bearing down on it. Unfortunately, the siege dragged on for some time; the allied commander, Folunlui Aramsayafa, refusing to risk decimating his army in a costly assault. The Satar, running low on food, systematically slaughtered the Aitahist population of the city, converting them into a considerable (if not particularly balanced) source of food for the garrison, which held out until betrayal by a group of Aitahist Opulensi merchants opened the gates of the city and brought it down from the inside.
Even after the leveling of the city and the execution of Nephrax, the horror of the Feast and resulting slaughter of the garrison had an enormous cultural impact: the war clearly defined the entire region into two distinct time periods -- before and after the infamous Feast.
The Faronun in particular were determined to rebuild after the destruction, and resolved to do so on the very grave of the more innocent time before -- Kargan. They proposed building a free city, controlling the Straits of Kargan once more, but more importantly housing every people in the known world, where anyone could mingle freely -- aside, of course, from the hated Satar.
Formation and Development Edit
The refounding of Kargan as Caroha was the centerpiece of the new Federation, which, as recounted above, required numerous concessions and tricky negotiations to convince all the various member states to join. Nonetheless, even before the war was over, a new government along ancient Seshweay lines had been set up, and the Farubaida was opened for business.
Its first actions would be to attempt to rebuild the shattered western part of its domain, which it accomplished through the use of enormous new funds raised by levying taxes on the many goods flowing through the trade arteries of the Lovi Sea. This done, they turned their attention to the still-surviving Satar in their newly formed Karapeshai Exatai in the north. Launching an enormous expedition of ships and men against the center of Karapeshai power in Acca, the expedition, led by the Seshweay, was a complete debacle. Thousands of men and hundreds of ships were lost in the Battle of the Bays, and though songs would be sung of the March of the Shipwrecked (the trek of survivors fighting their way from that battle to the Exatai's frontier), the disaster led to a permanent shift of power in the young Federation: the Faronun would hold most of the Federation's respect now.
That setback aside, however, the Federation blossomed, instigating a new Helsian and Seshweay golden age, with enormous trade profits, heavily patronized fine arts, and a startling outburst of scientific inquiries unlike any the world had seen before (see the Culture section below).
After peace with the Karapeshai, the Farubaida came into conflict with its biggest rival in the maritime sphere -- the Opulensi Empire. The Opulensi, attempting to regain some of their losses from the past naval war, timed their revanchist war poorly, and fell to invaders from nearly every side. Indeed, the only real effect on the Farubaida was to reconquer the old Trilui lands of the Hulinui, and to become peerless on the sea.
Conflicts with the Satar Edit
The first serious challenge to the Farubaida would come from the traditional enemies of the Faronun -- the Kothari to the south. Fighting a long and bloody war over the second half of the sixth century SR, neither side gained much traction, but the Carohans sapped at their opponents' strength by supporting numerous slave revolts in Kothari territory. Eventually, at the behest of the Moti, the war was ended on broadly generous terms to the Farubaida, who reclaimed the ancient Faronun city of Subal, and secured the autonomy of the valuable Palmyran region from their opponents.
Nevertheless, the continued successes of the Farubaida did not ease the minds of the Senate, who soon allied with the Ayasi in a third great war against the Satar Karapeshai in 603 SR.
The alliance marched north in great numbers, but would meet with defeat at the Battle of Vesadevas, and the Karapeshai secured a peace with the Moti that left the Farubaida reeling. Worse still, the Moti Empire began to enter a free-fall with the invasion of the Vithanama Empire and the sack of Gaci. With their greatest ally in shambles, the Farubaida began a period of rapprochement with one of their oldest enemies, the Kothari, and forged a new alliance against the possible collapse of the Moti (and, therefore, the world's political order).
Modeled on the old Seshweay republics, much of the Farubaida fell under the umbrella of the Union of Aitah, which would be governed by an Assembly of elected senators. Neruss, the Faerouhaiaou, and the Empires, on the other hand, were governed as independent monarchies. However, the main decision-making body for the federation would be the Pentapartite Council composed of representatives from each of the constituent states, one that would direct the foreign and military policy of the Federation, while leaving much of domestic affairs to the various states -- though this, too, would eventually be somewhat centralized.
For the most part, the Seshweay and Faronun dominated the early Council in equal parts. The fiasco of the Accan Expedition, however, forced the Seshweay into some disgrace, and the Faronun assumed a more prominent leadership role in the following years.
The Faronun and Seshweay have a long and deserved reputation as some of the most culturally diverse and impressive peoples in the known world. The Farubaida was only too happy to patronize a wide array of fine arts, most notably the long tradition of Faronun theater, but also music, architecture (particularly religious in nature), sculpture, and so on.
Owing to its location in the center of the known world, the Farubaida would draw from several artistic traditions -- undoubtedly mostly from the Faronun and the Seshweay, but also from their Uggor neighbors to the south, the Savirai to the north, the Opulensi to the east, and even, though they would never acknowledge it, from the Satar, particularly those in the Kothari Exatai to the south.
Faronun theater has its own long traditions, most of which continued through the foundation of the Farubaida with much encouragement from the Council. Particularly popular, even in the more Seshweay parts of the Farubaida, was the Raethaea School. Much of the theatrical work of the early Farubaida focused on the utopian possibilities of the new state, but there were exceptions. In particular, a play by the title of Dahaiao o Haiao marked a more nuanced, introspective exploration of the stage, depicting a Faronun and Satar side-by-side, each of them products of their own civilizations, with understandable and sympathetic motives.
Both the "Utopian" and the so-called "Carohan Apologist" school, however, floundered soon after. The northern War of the Empty Throne rekindled the fear of the Satar, and art shifted to reflect the concerns of the time. Martial themes, and historical dramas centered around the Treda and its Seshweay equivalent, flourished, and much of the older subtlety was thrown out the window.
Driven by the pursuit of the knowledge of Haiao's perfection, Faronun scientists during this golden age made a great number of discoveries into the physics of the universe, and imported much of the astronomical techniques and knowledge that had already been explored in the Kothari Exatai. Likewise, the Farubaida engaged in the first real study of pure, theoretical mathematics, with similar religious motivations. Great strides resulted, especially in the realms of irrational numbers and three-dimensional geometry. Other studies commenced as well -- including investigations of biology and anatomy, notably under the knife of one Aluoda Railief. Both of these, however, faltered when they could not match the initial successes of their more concrete counterparts. Nevertheless, Railief's investigations into medicine was far ahead of any others in the known world.
Unsurprisingly, the Farubaida is almost overwhelmingly Aitahist, with the exception of the Iralliamite Empire of Helsia. This simple overarching classification hides quite a lot of diversity among the member states. Aitahism as practiced in the Union of Aitah differs considerably from Aitahism in Dremai, where it is strongly influenced by remnants of the cosmology-oriented native Faronun cult of Haiao. Similarly, Iralliam in southern Helsia derives many of its practices from Haiao itself, leading to a pair of faiths which, while quite different in theory, shared quite a bit in practice.
In addition, a small Ardavani religious minority persisted at least into the early seventh century SR in the Sesh Delta and near Kargan and Cyre despite much intolerance from the Farubaidan government.
Heavy religious patronage by the Aitahist states in particular led to an explosion in temple construction across the Lovi Sea, ranging from fairly simple, unadorned, one roomed temples in the northern foothills of Helsia, to a pair of grand temples in Kargan and Dremai, modeled on Savirai examples from the Peko, with large windows and silken red hangings to suffuse their places of worship with gentle reddish light.
The syncretic nature of local Iralliam, and the dominance of Aitahism in the region, led to a massive religious dispute with the firmly orthodox Iralliamite Grandpatriarch Aisen in the late sixth century SR. The dispute quickly threatened to boil over, with many Iralliamite churchgoers in southern Helsia declaring a set of Independent Conclaves, refusing to recognize the Grandpatriarch's authority. Indeed, it would only be put on hold with the resumption of the Farubaida's war against the hated Satar.