The Don Host entered the Plains of Salaq in the year 54DO [839SA]. For seven years (54 - 60DO [839-845SA]) they were battered by Salaq and Caldo. Finally, they were driven into the Kingdom of E'lici (southwest of Salaq). They lived in this kingdom, as raiders, brigands and mercenaries, for 35 years. In the year 95DO [880SA], Don, son of Don, reformed the host and turned it into an army. The site of his training camp is now the city of Xalanara.
After four years of training Don sent his army against the E'lici (99DO [884SA]) under the leadership of the war leader Pel. It shattered E'liciad (99 - 104DO [884-889SA]) and occupied its capital, which was named Pelara in honor of Pel. After this victory, Don began his next campaign. In the year 105DO [890SA], the host surprised Salaq and exploded into the plains. During the Second Salaq War (105 - 109DO [890-894SA]), the Donarans captured Xad, renamed Xadona, and most of the Plain of Salaq. After this victory, Don proclaimed himself Don I, King of Donara. Later (112DO [897SA]) he commissioned the construction of a royal capital. When it was completed (125DO [910SA]), he transferred the crown from Xalanara to the new city, Donara. He died soon after (128DO [913SA]) of jaundice.
In the reign of Don II (128 - 149DO [913-934SA]) Donara invaded the Wild Forest. Of 6,000 men sent, 400 returned alive. This debacle fixed the nation's attention on the east and gave many Donarans a burning hatred of the Sidh. In the year 147DO [932SA], the nation's Donan (heir to the throne) married a princess of Xian and Xian joined the Kingdom of Donara.
Under Don III (149 - 204DO [934-989SA]) Donara committed itself to the destruction of Salaq. In the early years of his reign he took lands to the north, meeting little resistance. Emboldened by this, he invaded Salaq in force. The war that followed (178 - 195DO [963-980SA]) was a bloody stalemate until Don's own error (195DO [980SA]) led to the rout of his army. After this debacle he was forced to sue for peace. It was granted when Don journeyed, alone and unarmed (in the robes of a penitent), to the city of Salaq and promised its king that he would never attack again. Don III's pride was shattered by this humiliation. In the year 204DO [989SA], an old and bitter man, he committed suicide.
The reign of Don IV (204 - 229DO [989-1014SA]) saw the defeat of Salaq through conniving and treachery. In the "Rape of Salaq" more than 60,000 Salaqi, including the entire royal family except for one girl, were killed or enslaved. The remainder of the population lived as exiles or became Donaran serfs. The victory was total and one of the bloodiest incidents in recorded history. On his deathbed, Don IV stated that his greatest accomplishment was the ruin of Salaq, which so successfully avenged his father's honor.
Seven Dons have reigned since Don IV died. Donara has lost wars to Caldo (296 - 299DO [1081-1084SA]) and the Confederacy (307 - 311DO [1092-1096SA]). They have defeated the Empire of the Ced (304 - 307DO [1089-1092SA]). Under the current Don, Don XII (307DO [1092SA] - present), the nation is dedicated to maintaining its hold on its subject peoples and expanding its boundaries to the east. They have had difficulties in this effort because Don XII is only a marginal general, though he is a talented administrator.
The city of Donara (36,000) is the nation's capital. The capitals of the five principalities of the realm are Pelara (42,000), Xadona (19,000), Xian (16,000), Samma (13,000) and Xalanara (11,000). Its other city, and the capital of a Duchy, is Salaqara (25,000) (the former royal city of Salaq). The total population of the nation is 870,000. Of this total, 440,000 are Donarans (located mostly in the north, west and south), 220,000 are Salaqi (primarily in the east), 110,000 are E'lici (in the south and west) and 100,000 are Xianese (the principality of Xian).
Each noble in Donara, except the Duke of Salaq, has the right to raise and command his own forces. The Duke of Salaq is restricted to a personal guard of 400 unarmored retainers and 1 warship. (He is descended from the Salaqi kings and Salin the Merciful of Pelara. The current Duke is a Donaran puppet. One of his sons, Vobal, leads the Sea Star Society which plays a leading role in the ongoing revolt against Donaran rule.)
The armies of Donara are:
|The Royal Army||4,000||2,000||6,000||12,000|
NOTE - Other Donaran noble's forces are included in the Militia raised by the King or the Princes. Seventy percent of the militia levied arefootmen, twenty percent are missile units and the remainder are cavalry. In Xalanara, 50% are footmen, 10% are missile units, 30% are cavalry and 10% are horse archers. In Xian and Samma, 60% are footmen, 35% are missile units and 5% are cavalry (In Xian the missile units favor slings, in Samma they use longbows).
In the Royal Army, 20% of the foot troops and 10% of the cavalry are elite. In other Donaran armies 10% of the total regular army strength, rounded to the closest 100, is elite. Militia is never elite.
IMPORTANT - The royal army has 400 footmen occupying Shiben and Ticasi. It also has 200 footmen and 200 cavalry garrisoning Salaqara. (In addition to this force there are 200 Pelaran footmen in Salaqara.) The total royal force committed in Shiben, Ticasi and Salaqara is 1,000 footmen and 200 cavalry. As a unit, they are known as the Eastern Legion.
The Royal Fleet is based in Pelara. It is composed of 40 warships, 15 of which are triremes. The Pelaran fleet has 20 warships, 5 trireme size or larger. Both of these fleets are commanded by Duke Actin of Pelara. Samma's fleet has 4 warships. Salaqara has 1. Other nobles in the realm have another 10 warships. The total strength of the Donaran fleet is 75 warships, 20 trireme size or larger.
Donara is one of the richest agricultural regions in the west. They are noted horse breeders, especially in Xalanara, and the land yields grain, usable metals and fruit in abundance. The Mordaran Iron Field, discovered in the year 988, is one of the world's largest deposits of quality iron. Donara is a wealthy land whose produce and raw materials are of great value.
The Donarans are lawful and warlike. Their gods are Ashur, Inanna and Enki. Especially in the worship of Inanna, they are devout and somewhat fanatical. Most Salaqi refuse to worship the Donaran gods (one reason for their continued persecution). They worship Elder gods of war and the sea. Their gods are Manannan, Morrigan and Epona. The E'lici give lip service to the Donaran gods while continuing to worship their own. The E'lici gods are Girra, Domiel and Dionysius. Their religion is Elder. The Xianese accept the Donaran faith and practice it in conjunction with their own. They worship their gods as the masters of day-to-day life and the Donaran gods as the masters of fate. Their gods are Sarameya, Cedalion and Bes.
Donarans tend to be violent. In the upper classes, they often have a taste for cruelty and an ability to deceive others when necessary. (In extreme cases Donarans, especially nobles, emphasize the bad points of the culture and ignore its other traits. People of this ilk are amoral sadists whose goal in life is to acquire wealth and/or power. A good example of this type of Donaran is Duke Salin of Pelara. Another was Don IV.)
Except for these tendencies, and the rare exceptions, Donarans are honorable and moral. They make faithful friends and try to do what is right. All Donarans enjoy wealth and power. Most control their desires when immoral actions is the only way to their goal. Donarans without wealth or power are bribable, if the bribe is enough to assuage their guilt. (Few Donarans can be bribed to do something totally immoral or that betrays a friend.)
The Salaqi are a resentful people who despise Donarans. They are dependable, honest and courageous, when they must be. With outsiders, especially Donarans, they are conniving and treacherous. As a rule, the Salaqi are an obstinate, proud and emotional people. They have a deep tie tothe old ways and stubbornly refuse to accept the new. Those among them who have accepted Donaran ways are pariahs to their people.
The E'lici are a strange folk. They have a stoic and patient culture, noted for its perseverance and tolerance. Moral conduct, family loyalty, religious devotion and freedom are very important to the E'lici. They make good subjects and kind rulers.
The Xianese are proud, tenacious and brave gamblers. They are noted for taking incredible risks and fighting through to victory despite the odds against them. Many of them are nearly berserk killers when they are angered. Other than this terrible temper, they are a kind and patient people. It is very difficult to make them mad, but once you do you are in trouble. All Xianese have a great love for their families and the land. They can become angry if either is defiled or injured.
Donara is a feudal kingdom. Theoretically, they have a strong king. In fact the power of the king depends on the support that he receives from the Princes of Pelara, Xalanara, Xian and Samma (in order of importance). Where they support him, he is strong. If they don't, he is weak.
NOTE - Xadona is not included in the list because its ruler is either the Queen Mother or the Donan, i.e., the kind's eldest son and heir. Salaqara is not listed because the Duke has little real power and the people are always disloyal. Of the Princes listed, the most important is the Prince of Pelara. No king can be strong without his support.
Donara only convicts felons who confess their guilt. Torture is often employed to extract confessions. In enlightened areas, such as Xadona, wizards are used to find the truth in criminal cases. The standard punishments in Donara are civil fines, mutilation, imprisonment and death. Only mass murder, treason and heresy call for the death penalty. In Salaqara, crime is treated much more harshly. Mutilation is the minimum penalty and the death penalty is common.
NOTE - The severity of the torture inflicted in questioning may not exceed the seriousness of the crime that a person is suspected of. In most places, light tortures are used until the authorities are reasonably sure that the suspect is guilty. When they are sure, he is tortured until he confesses or is proven innocent.
Ticasi, Shiben and Chiros pay tribute to Donara. Of the three, only Chiros is a dependable ally. All of them are former holdings of the Kingdom of Salaq.
Clima, the Confederacy and the Empire of the Ced are enemies of Donara. Caldo dislikes the Donarans but remains neutral.
Swords, Maces, Bows
Most Donarans are a mixture of Zen'da and La'Cedi stock. Though dark hair and average features dominate, there is considerable variation in appearance.
The Salaqi & The E'lici
Fighting Dagger, Sword, Spear
These people are of La'Cedi stock. Most have dark hair and dark complexions, but lighter than those of the Confederacy. They tend to be dexterous and agile.
Bows, Axes, Spears
These people date from barbarians who lived in the area before the Ced conquered it. They are a robust, heavy-boned, red-haired people who tend toward stockiness.
The Donaran calendar was created by Xalan Horse-Brother. It begins with the arrival of the holy Don in the Bra'mani hills. According to legend, Don came through infinity riding on the tail of a comet. With him were the lady Sam and the evil one. When they were discovered among the fires of their landing, the evil one killed many warriors with lightning bolts. To preserve the people, Don slew the evil one and, with his Lady Sam behind him, asked forgiveness for the deaths. Impressed by his honor, and the ominous portents of his arrival, Xalan took him under his wing and the Cult of Don was born. It is the year 315 in Donara. Since the civilization of the Host, the memory of Don is revered but he is no longer worshipped.
The Salaqi calendar dates from the finding of the Sea-star, a powerful special item that was the gift of Dylan to the Salaqi kings. It is used in Salaqara, Ticasi and Shiben. By its reckoning, it is the year 1100.
Donara is supported by 18 towns, Pelara by 29 towns, Xadona by 13 towns, Xian by 10 towns, Samma by 7 towns, Xalanara by 5 towns and Salaqara by 14 towns (average population of 1,560). Total town population is 164,000.
There are 3,590 villages distributed about the land (average population of 150). Total villiage population is 544,000.
Donara has 9 fortress towns (average population of 1,820 - included in total above).