Dragons of the East
History of Sazaro
Three-hundred years ago, this land was ruled by Tyrant Dust, a near mythical Lunar who controlled the whole of the Oleander Forest and the lands that compose the Duchy of Sazaro and the County of Temesne. No record states how long she ruled for, all that is known is that mortals suffered tremendously under her rule. Beastmen roamed the countryside, treating the people as livestock. 250 years ago, in R.Y. 505, a band of legendary Outcastes came to the land and, after a prolonged struggle, freed the people from the tyranny of the Lunar. The names of the Outcastes were Opaline Eye, Sagacious Arrow, Varmoth, Temesne, and Klaven. It was over a decade before the Lunar was slain and the last of her descendants driven out from the Oleander Forest, by that time all of the Outcastes but Klaven had given their lives for the struggle.
R.Y. 515 marks the day that the Duchy of Sazaro was formed, its sister-state, Temesne, also marks this year as their foundation date. Klaven ruled the Duchy of Sazaro and the son of Temesne, Duke Roudox, ruled the Duchy of Temesne in honor of his father. Peace finally arrived and while the blood of the Dragons flowed through his veins, neither Roudox nor his descendants ever Exalted. Still, prosperity spread throughout the lands, Temesne claimed much of the land in the forest surrounding the Green River while Sazaro stayed firmly in the open lands to the west, only claiming some territory in the Oleander Forest.
In R.Y. 530, nomadic tribes from the south, fleeing wars many hundreds of miles away, came to the Oleander Forest asking for sanctuary. They were granted leave to settle the lands that were distant from the river, and quickly became allies and trading partners of the two countries.
All was well until R.Y. 573, when Klaven disappeared while wandering the forest. For three months, the Dynasty waited for Klaven to return before appointing his daughter Minara Klaven as Steward. She remained as such for forty-five years, before the Dynasty finally gave up hope of its progenitor ever returning. Duchess Minara Klaven ruled Sazaro until R.Y 688, when she was succeeded by her daughter Erze Klaven.
Erze had not ruled for more than 2 years when disaster struck. The peace and prosperity of the land had softened the people and few were alive who remembered the ferocity of the Beastmen. At first, they came only in small raiding parties, pillaging communities far from the garrisons along the river. For some time, people did not even suspect that it was the Beastmen to blame, for when people came to the targeted settlements, they found only empty buildings. By the end of the first year, however, there could be no mistaking that the enemy from the past had returned.
The War of Crimson Petals lasted four years. Even with the combined forces of the nations of Sazaro and Temesne, the towers fell one by one along the Green River. A full third of the barbarian tribes, long allies with the two states, turned traitor, slaughtering their own people as they slaughtered the people of the west. So much blood was shed in the war that the Green River turned brown for weeks, while the foliage of the forest turned carnivorous and consumed all the flesh that the war had to give them. By the end of it, the great castles of the Temesne and all their settlements in the forest were in ruin, the few survivors of the peaceful nomadic tribes were once again refugees, and the Duchy of Sazaro was spent, half their Dynasty dead in the forest. It was feared throughout the kingdom that their time had come, but the beastmen and their allies never left the Forest.
It has been near 80 years since the War of Crimson Petals ended. Since that time, the Oleander Forest has become a dark and foul place. Wyld energies flow freely there and terrible beasts oftentimes emerge to terrorize the countryside. Still, it seemed that as long as people did not venture into the forest, no beastmen would attack. It was not until four years ago, when the Duchess Erza Klaven was patrolling the border, that anyone had seen beastmen outside of their home. The ambush and slaughter of their ruler horrified the nation, and her son, Lajos Klaven swore the next day as he was crowned that they would have their revenge.
Over the past four years, Lajos has brought the nation to a level of martial readiness that it had not seen since Klaven ruled. The people, buoyed by national pride and fear, pay the extra taxes and send their sons and daughters off to train for war. No one outside the Dynasty knows exactly when they will strike, but all know that the time will soon come for them to exact their revenge.