Tales of Legend
West of the Marsh Kingdoms is the Suzull Kingdom, renown for its exceptional military strength. In addition to the famous fighting schools and martial arts monasteries, this kingdom also hosts top-tier weapons and armor. Such high quality troops make up for the relatively small size of the nation; each of the Marsh Kingdoms is larger than the Suzull Kingdom. Because of this military prowess, the Suzull Kingdom can fight on par with even the Tamor Empire and it has been cited by many historians the deciding factor in the defeat of the Tamor Kingdom in the Yaharl War.
The Suzull Kingdom is an absolute monarchy headed by a king, but it is not a hereditary monarchy. Instead, once the Council of Crones has decided that a king is no longer fit to rule, they organize a large tournament to determine the new king. Any male Sorzian is eligible to participate, including the current king. One-on-one fights last until one side surrenders at which point the defeated man is at the mercy of the winner. Normally the winner accepts his victory, but it’s possible for the winner to kill or humiliate the loser. The winner of the tournament is the king. While the kingdom technically isn’t hereditary, it is more common for one of the sons of the previous king to win due to the resources the king has to train his sons.
The king has total control of the kingdom, but more often than not he has the Council of Crones deal with the quotidian affairs, create and enforce laws, and pass judgement. This council is made up of older women chosen by another member of the council to fill her place. They serve for life, or until the king removes them. There is no fixed number of Crones as the council itself invites Crones and only the king can remove them. It is unclear how many Crones there are as well, but most agree that the number sits between 12 and 24. The queen heads the council and will tell them what needs to be done and in what way, but she does not have the same power to actually enact anything. There have been instances where the king would remove several Crones at once as well as a few times where he removed the entire council. While most people accepted the removal of some Crones, there was large civil unrest with the entire council gone, so most kings let the council be.
Land is divided among a group of elite chosen by the king or previous kings. These parcels of land are not organized in any way other than however the lord of that land sees fit. As such, life in one part of the kingdom can by far different from another. Some places are free and safe from orcs while others are authoritarian or lawless. As long as the lord does as the king says and gives the king what he wants, the lord’s land is his.
The current king is Shulzan Gaog who is famous for ending the Seugos dynasty in the last tournament. He is currently caught in a scandal where he is accused with having an affair with one of the Crones, a huge cultural taboo.
The foundation of the Kingdom of Suzull starts with the hero Hallom Saar. His fortress, Hallom Fortress, was initially a training camp and arena combined. There he would train and fight with others looking to improve their skills. Once the divine powers ceased their attacks and other figures founded kingdoms, Hallom’s followers encouraged him to found his own kingdom in 1,372. Initially he was reluctant, but he soon realized that being a king made stronger fighters want to attack him. The kingdom’s legendary status as the home for the fiercest fighters took off almost from day one.
To further cement the legacy of the power of Sorzian fighting skill, the kingdom’s role in the Yaharl War in 1,377 shifted the tides from assured Tamorian victory, to a decisive loss. Tamor may have had the impressive numbers, but they didn’t have the same love of combat like the Suzull. The elves provided the extra support for the Sorzians and together the two sides beat the Tamorians back to their capital. Suzull had no part of the agreements after the fighting and the kingdom did not care for conquest of the lands they captured. However, some of the Sorzian men did decide to settle down in the places they helped conquer, explaining the high number of minor nobles of Sorzian descent in Tamor.
The actual structure and area of modern Suzull didn’t take shape until 1,433 under the leadership of Borothed Bahur. Unlike previous rulers, Borothed enjoyed conquest. He was the king to establish the Council of the Crones and to give land to his best fighters to encourage his army. He quickly took over neighboring villages and kingdoms until he had enough land to satisfy his closest followers. The borders of the kingdom have changed very little from this time.
A society so willing to fight welcomes the orc attacks as a way to gain more experience on the battlefield. Sorzians have a better chance of surviving an orc attack and they have fewer moral problems letting younger men fight. As such, the mortalities from orc attack are very low in the Suzull Kingdom. They have lost little land in the invasions. However, while the death count from orc attacks is low, starvation is on the rise as less trade circulates on the continent. Unfortunately for the poor, the upper levels of Sorizan society have yet to be affected by the shortages, so they have little motivation to act.