Marentia's lands were part of the Thaliban Empire until the year 842TH [309SA]. They were divided into 107 separate domains, from small baronies to large duchies, when the Thalibans freed their Empire. It remained divided until the year 1001TH [468SA]. From 1001-1047TH [468-514SA], sixty-three different domains were conquered by Malnon, Cholchara and Ba'rual to form their kingdoms. In the year 1047TH [514SA], Cholchara founded the city of Asichi as a base for its conquest of the Zen'da. From 1047-1052TH [514-519SA] she tried to pin down various Zen'da tribes and conquer them. In the year 1053TH [520SA] the Zen'da retaliated and carried the war into the Plains of Cholchara (after first sacking Asichi 1052TH [519SA]).
Until the year 1133TH [600SA], the Marentians suffered almost yearly raids by the Zen'da and Ba'rual. Many cities, Asichi (1052TH [519SA]), Cholchara (1053TH [520SA], 1055TH [522SA], 1065TH [532SA], 1075TH [542SA] and 1112TH [579SA]), Sivas (1079TH [546SA]), Malnon (1102TH [569SA] and 1124TH [591SA]) and Valeu (1120TH [587SA]) were sacked. After the last raid, two Zen'da tribes settled on the Plains of Cholchara and held its citizens in thrall for more than a century. During this period (601 - 1134-1264TH [601-731SA]), Sivas replaced Cholchara as the area's dominant city. In the year 1237TH [704SA], without the backing of Sivas, the Society of Malnon was formed. From 709 - 1242-1251TH [709-718SA] this society warred on the barbarians. As a result, the cities of Cholchara (1243TH [710SA] and 1251TH [718SA]), Malnon (713 and 715) and Valeu (716) were sacked. After the cities paid a crushing tribute, the war ended.
In the year 1251TH [718SA], the kingdoms took a loan from Sivas and hired mercenaries from Gom, Bhamotin and La'Ced. After a decade of defending against the barbarians, the mercenaries founded Fort Maren (1263TH [730SA]) to serve as their base of operations. For more than a century they maintained the balance of power and kept the barbarians in check. In time, they settled at Fort Maren and became permanent residents. During this period, the nation had four major power groups (the old kingdoms, Sivas, the barbarians and the mercenaries) and no single ruler. In the year 1386TH [853SA] this changed.
Jhamal Karestian took command of Fort Maren in the year 1386TH [853SA]. He was the bastard of a simple soldier who rose from the ranks to become the General of Fort Maren. During his first seven years in command Jhamal built friendly relations with the barbarians and Sivas. In the year 1394TH [861SA] he married the daughter of a barbarian chief and guaranteed Sivas a monopoly on grain sales to the south. In the year 1395TH [862SA] he crowned himself King of Marentia and ordered the nobility to swear fealty to him (earning the name Jhamal the Pretender). The Duke of Sivas immediately did so. By the year 1401TH [868SA] only Cholchara and Malnon still refused. In that year Jhamal attacked Cholchara, burned the city to the ground and annexed its lands into his kingdom as a duchy (which he gave to his brother). While he was fighting this war Malnon attacked Fort Maren and were held at bay until his main army could return. In the war that followed (1402-1404TH [869-871SA]) Malnon received the same treatment as Cholchara (and the commander of Jhamal's garrison became a Duke). King Jhamal I, now known as the Terrible, was in solid control of his kingdom by the year 1408TH [875SA].
In the year 1412TH [879SA] Jhamal was assassinated by friends of his son (who were all executed when his son took the throne). During the reign of Jhamal II (1412-1434TH [879-901SA]) the kingdom consolidated and expanded to the west. He died (1434TH [901SA]) breaking a rebellion in Valeu. For the next three years, various claimants sought the throne and the old nobility attempted to reassert its power. Finally (1437TH [904SA]) Jhamal's son Jha'ced won out and seized the throne. His reign (1437-1472TH [904-939SA]) saw major advances in Marentia. He formed the nation's first regular army, forcibly civilized the tribes, married into the ducal line of Sivas and abrogated the right of the nobility to field private armies. He is known to history as Jha'ced the Wise. On his death the Marentian church, whose growth he fostered throughout his reign, made him a saint.
Maros I, called Fire-arm, succeeded Jha'ced I. Maros was an active and militant man. During his reign (1472-1487TH [939-954SA]) the kingdom expanded into the eastern hills, rebuilt Asichi (1478TH [945SA]) and invaded Thaliba (1483-1487TH [950-954SA]). After a four-year siege of Thalib, Maros dies of cholera at its gates. With his death the army accepted a yearly tribute and retired from Thaliba.
Jha'ced II succeeded Maros Fire-arm. During his reign (1487-1519TH [954-986SA]) Marentia discovered a major enemy to the east - L'p'nth. Most of Jha'ced's reign was spent fighting this nation (1494-1499TH [961-966SA] and from 1511TH [978SA] until his death at the hands of a demon in the year 1519TH [986SA]). His successor Jhal I continued to prosecute this war until the year 1524TH [991SA].
Jhal I was a depraved, sadistic and brilliant man. In the year 1523TH [990SA] he encouraged his army to loot Ba'rual, forcing them to become Marentia's tributary ally. In 1525TH [992SA] he put down revolts in Scortsi and Valeu and, as a penalty, executed every tenth man and enslaved every tenth woman. Elsewhere in the realm, he tripled taxes and made a mockery of the rites of the Marentian church. In 1525TH [992SA] the nation revolted. The civil war that followed nearly destroyed the kingdom. In the year 1529TH [996SA] Jhal was slain by his brother Jha'baras at the Battle of Malnon and the war ended.
Jha'baras I, called Brother-slayer, reigned from 1529-1559TH [996-1026SA]. He was a stolid, uncompromising man with great experience in combat. He instituted the doctrine of "King by Right." Under this edict, heirs to the crown were required to serve as private soldiers in the army. By proving their ability to survive at this low station, they proved their right to rule. This doctrine remained in force during the reigns of Jha'ced III (1559-1576TH [1026-1043SA]), Jha'baras II (1576-1605TH [1043-1072SA]) and Jhal II (1605-1627TH [1072-1094SA]).
All of these rulers obeyed the law and were good soldiers. The heir of Jhal, Prince Maros, took to it as well. However, after a few years, he became bored with routine drudgery and demanded a better assignment. After he was flogged for his presumption, he deserted and left Marentia (1609TH [1076SA]. He was 547 years old at the time.). Over the next 18 years Maros earned fame as a swordsman, pirate and thief. In the year 1619TH [1086SA] he was captured by a Rogizini warship. He spent the next five years as a slave in the salt mines of the Rogizini Empire. In the year 1623TH [1090SA] he escaped and made his way to Dechat. There, within two years, he became a Captain of the city and (1626TH [1093SA]) married a cousin of the Emir. In all ways, he was a respectable pirate with great expectations.
Back in Marentia, Jhal took ill (1627TH [1094SA]) and ordered his agents to find his son. They found him in Dechat but he refused to return. After months of argument, and an under-the-table deal with his wife, he was convinced to take the crown. In the year 1628TH [1095SA] Maros II, called the Reaver, became the King of Marentia. Thus far in his reign he has annulled the King by Right doctrine, improved the Marentian army and worked to better the living conditions of the poor. He is an active and talented monarch with a subtly hidden streak of generous kindness and almost overwhelming charisma.
The capital of Marentia is the city of Maren (30,000). The nation's other cities are Sivas (41,000), Malnon (25,000), Cholchara (22,000), Valeu (15,000), Scortsi (9,000) and Asichi (6,000). The total population is 900,000.
Marentia's army is divided into three groups. The King's Guard is composed of 2,400 footmen and 800 cavalry, all heavily-armed and elite. The royal Army contains 12,000 footmen and 4,800 cavalry. The militia is organized, by county, into a levy of 16,000 footmen and 4,000 cavalry. The total strength of Marentia's army is 40,000 men.
NOTE - The members of the guard are hand-picked veterans and mercenaries who owe fealty only to the King. Some were his friends in his days as a pirate and are loyal to him, not the nation.
The Marentian fleet has two groups. The Ocean fleet, based in Maren, Sivas and Malnon contains 40 warships, 15 trireme size or larger. The Lake fleet, based in Cholchara, Asichi and Ba'rual has 10 warships, one of which is a trireme.
The Plains of Cholchara support fine herds and crops. Maren and Sivas are industrial centers. Maren specializes in fine weapons and luxury goods. Sivas produces large quantities of common goods. The other cities in the nation are poor places with very little industry. Marentia has a central position in land trade from east to west. They import gems, precious metals and textiles (much of which is crafted into luxury goods). Other than these imports the nation is self-sufficient.
Marentia is a lawful land with undercurrents of both Elder and Chaos traditions. The state religion worships Ashur, Vahagn and Inanna. It suppresses all other faiths.
Marentians combine the qualities of a mercenary with those of many barbarian warriors. They are aggressive, easy to anger, disposed to seek violent solutions to their problems and loyal to those whom they choose to serve, if treated well. When they are not angry, Marentians are hospitable, compassionate and generous. When angered, they are tenacious and violent.
Marentia is a feudal kingdom with a strong king and weak nobles. Its military is powerful. Most soldiers, especially the guard, are loyal to Maros the Reaver above all else. What he orders, they do (often without question). Marentia's legal system has two tiers. Minor cases are heard by local magistrates. Penalties are fines and imprisonment for not more than five years. Major crimes are heard in the Royal Court at the closest city of fortress. No sentence for a major crime may be appealed unless the judge, the ranking officer present, the local priest or the noble of the area directs that an appeal be allowed. The sentences possible for major crimes are imprisonment for more than five years and death. (Unless the evidence is damning, felons are usually allowed to appeal. The King hears all appellate cases.)
NOTE - Marentia has one of the best run justice systems in the world. No corruption is allowed. The penalty for official corruption is death.
Maros reads the transcripts of all major trials. He takes great pains to assure that only the guilty suffer and that any punishment given fits the crime. Maros, an ex-convict himself, demands this. He has gone to great lengths to improve the Marentian penal system.
Major cities are administered by Dukes (Maros's full title is "King Maros, Duke of Maren"), with the smaller cities of Valeu, Scortsi and Asichi administered by Counts. Each township is administered by a Baron.
Marentia is allies with Ba'rual and has a treaty of neutrality with Thaliba. They are friendly toward Bhamotin. Maros, personally, has the respect of the Zen'da and is a close friend of Karistos Sierva (see the Zen'da).
L'p'nth is Marentia's major enemy. Maros hates Clima, would attack the Rogizini Empire if he could and has no love for Fomorians.
Broad Sword, Swords, Spears
Most of these people are descended from Thaliba and the Zen'da. They are tall, well-built people with dark hair and high cheekbones. Many of their citizens have aquiline noses and exceptional strength.
The Thaliban calendar is used in Marentia. By its reckoning, it is the year 1633.
Marentia has an urban population of 148,000 in seven cities.
Maren (Capital) has a population of 30,000 and is supported by 7 towns:
Sivas has a population of 41,000 and is supported by 15 towns:
Malnon has a population of 25,000 and is supported by 7 towns:
Cholchara has a population of 22,000 and is supported by 7 towns:
Valeu has a population of 15,000 and is supported by 5 towns:
Scortsi has a population of 9,000 and is supported by 3 towns:
Asichi has a population of 6,000 and is supported by 2 towns:
In addition, there are nine fortress towns:
The remaining population is broken into 3,660 villages with an average population of 190 each.
Total population is 900,000.
NOTE - - This information assumes that each "fort" is a fortress town.