Tales of Legend
The largest human nation is the Tamor Empire. It is also the second largest country in Katholos, barely behind the orckish holdings. The Empire is an absolute monarchy; however, there is a council of representatives known as Yahal Orbos (“Peoples’ Voice in Ancient Tongue) that proposes laws and voices concerns of the constituents they represent. These representatives are normally elected by the people of an administrative region and serve until they are too old or until the people decide to elect a new representative. While the rulers of Tamor do not need to follow the will of the Yahal Orbos, historically, the kings of Tamor have listened to the representatives, only ignoring the most extreme and dividing laws, so the average Tamorian citizen typically feel as though she has some sort of voice in the government.
The current ruler of the Empire is Emperor Vrath Hamal. He is a well respected sorcerer, famous for his charge on the frontlines of the orc battles the first year of his reign. He is a major supporter of the Targhof School of Magic and he pushes continually for more magical research to better fight orcs. So far under his 12 year rule, rights for magic users and the religious have increased, but he has yet to address the economic concerns of the people. Certain goods are still scarce and the emperor has stopped guaranteeing government protection of trade caravans. His wife is Empress Migai Hamal and they have two sons, Valhom and Wolth.
The Empire is divided in two types of administration zones, the kingdom and the states. The kingdom is the area of land directly under the control of the Tamor rulers. Archdukes, dukes, and so on may govern the area, but they all report to the Tamor king. These areas are considered “True Tamor” and they are principally made up of humans with Tamorians being the largest group, followed by Gakorians. Half-elves make up the largest non-human group with halflings being behind them. There are eight administrative regions in the kingdom.
The states represent the land held by political entities that have sworn eternal fealty to the Empire. The Tamorian king technically is still the absolute ruler of these lands, but in most normal cases he will default to the rule of state leader. The states have a different hierarchical structure than the rest of the kingdom. For example, the halfling commonwealth, Akari-heung Ko, is broken into villages with mayors who also serve on a council and then there are representatives who serve on a separate council. How these governments and their hierarchies compare to the Tamorian nobility has never been clear and has caused some tension. There are three states: the Akari-heung Ko halfling commonwealth, the Southlands, and the Seaboard.
The origins of the Tamor Empire start with the foundation of the Tamor Kingdom by Valshak Tamor in 1,368 . In founding the kingdom, Valshak already controlled the most land compared to the other kingdoms, but he still sought to expand his rule. He quickly captured a handful of smaller neighboring kingdoms and would frequently send troops to an area and proclaim his rule. Most of the smaller villages agreed to this sudden annexation and even those that resisted were quickly quelled. This rapid expansion provoked a string of conflicts that ultimately led to the Yaharl War in 1,377 resulting in the end of western expansion for the Tamor Kingdom in 1,381.
The war and the death of Valshak in 1,414 may have stopped military expansion, but Varom Tamor expanded the kingdom south and east with pioneers. In order to deal with wartime refugees, overcrowding in cities, and promises of land to soldiers and officials for their service in the war, Varom sent the soldiers as new nobles and the poorer people to work the land. Initially, this sort of expansion worked, but as more settlers were sent out, the boundaries of the Tamor Kingdom began to overlap with other kingdoms, which led to a revision of the agreements of the Yaharl War.
After much debate, it was decided that the offending settlements would be given to the respective kingdoms. In response, Varom sent more settlers into the Southlands and the Seaboard to flood the kingdoms with Tamorians. By the time that the leaders of each kingdom realized what was happening, hundreds of “ex-Tamorians” were demanding that the kingdoms integrate with Tamor. The council that upheld the war agreements demanded that Varom stop sending Tamorians and he acquiesced, but the conditions of the Southlands and the Seaboard were worse than that of the Tamor Kingdom. In 1,538 enough Southerners of Tamorian descent gained legitimate power and submitted the kingdom to Tamor. The Seaboard followed suit in 1,541 and Farshok Tamor declared the nation an empire.
The halfling genocide by the orcs caused many halflings to flee to the Tamor Empire. They tried to integrate into the human-dominant society, but physical and cultural differences resulted in large halfling slums throughout the empire. A movement sprung up to retake the lands fallen to the orcs and the first halfling crusade was in 1,599. The sudden attack surprised the orcs and the halflings were able to reclaim a sizeable portion of their original land. But by 1,604 the orcs regained control. This prompted the second halfling crusade of 1,606, which was brutal, but the halflings gained a foothold in their homeland in 1,608. The Empire realized the potential of the halflings and sent military aid. The halflings reclaimed their homeland in 1,612 and for the help from the Empire, the new Akari-heung Ko Commonwealth swore eternal fealty.
The second halfling crusade and establishment of Akari-heung Ko stopped orckish invasions until 1,634. For hundreds of years the Tamor Empire defeated the vast majority of the raiders. Occasionally border towns and outposts would be captured, but they were always retaken. In 1,855 the orc invasions occurred so frequently that the military couldn’t supply enough fresh troops. Slowly, the borders of the Tamor Empire were eaten away at with each new orc raid. The Southlands were nearly lost and the Rolrock Plains were entirely under orc control by 1,903. With resources running thin, the Empire finally enlisted the help of magic users and the devout, promising new protections and establishing academies and temples. The use of magic flipped the tides of battle and the orcs were removed from the core areas of the Empire in 1,912.
Since then, the fighting has largely come to a stalemate. Certain border areas, like the Ropari Hills, change back and forth every few years on who controls them. The orcs put enough strain on the Empire that rationing has been in effect since 1,988 with no signs of changing. Magical research is almost exclusive for wartime usage and most prayers are for the soldiers on the front lines. Currently the orc attacks are extremely regular to the point that most military advisers can predict an attack within a few weeks.