Dao Huin

Dao Huin is a mountainous country, located on a peninsula on the mainland of Edelenn, and owns the islands just off the coast. It's divided into seven different provinces, each with a distinct dialect and culture. Dao Huin shares the southern border of Moriga, and shares the waters to the east with Muwaka. Jungles and bamboo forests dominate the islands, while rocky mountains crowd the main peninsula.

Fast Facts:

Demonym: Huin Jiar (People/Person of Huin)

Population: about 3,650,000

Motto: Tse Fao Ar Tsen Diu (The mind beats the arm)

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Capital: Zhuo Kao Viem (City of Towers) 

Languages: Huin Gen

Religion: Qia Bo (Crystal Form) 

Government: Dynastic Empire

Currency: Qian (Worth about 1 GP)

Military: Medium strength; Evenly mixed between navy and infantry. The army is called by conscript each region is responsible to maintain and civil defense.

Geography (to include location, major cities): Shares a border with Moriga, close to Muwaka. Temperatures are comfortable year-round, with the summer being a dry season and fall-winter being rain season. The whole country is fairly mountainous, encouraging step farming and narrower buildings on mountainsides. Zhuo Kao Viem, the capital, is nestled between the Jin Hao and Bie Wen Hong mountains at the southernmost tip of the peninsula.

Education: Most of the residents are farmers spread across the mountains with little education, whereas citizens in the cities are relatively richer, able to afford good schooling.

Culture (food, religion, contribution to arts/sciences, languages, ethnicity): The Huin Gen are a family-oriented people, teaching familial piety, respect for others, and appreciation for the simple things in life. A typical Huin Gen diet consists mainly of produce and a little meat (mostly Ju Fi, a dried salted fish patty). The dish for which Dao Huin is best known is Phi In, a strongly flavored but nutritious paste made from eel bladders, livers, and salt. It is traditionally smoked for 21 days in the stomach of a fish. The Huin Gen are known for their flowing, graceful art, and the elaborate characters that form its written language.

Economy: Mostly a standard market is seen in the cities. However, most people rely on trading goods.

History

Dao Huin's history comprises several distinct periods over the course of its existence.

Prehistory (0-3700 AoD)

The peninsula's prehistoric period spans 3,700 years, starting from the Sundering.

Confederacy (3700-3952 AoD)

The first recorded history of Dao Huin is preserved on a collection of extremely fragile wax tablets that are now displayed only on special occasions during the New Year festival. The movement known as Gen Ne Chu Hao (The Gathering of the Peoples) began in 3,700 AoD out of necessity during a period of intense pirate activity. Shortly before this year there seemed to have been a population explosion among the extremely loosely organized and ethnically diverse hordes of island-based raiders. Secure in their distributed strength, the pirates took to the seas, first attacking trade ships from ill-made boats and rafts. After a while, they began to realize it was much easier to land near a poorly defended settlement, overwhelm the defenders with swarms of attackers, and make off with whatever they could.

Things went against the people of Dao Huin for several years, until finally they decided to unite their strength against the sea rats. At last a loose collection of villages and port cities banded together, coming to each other's aid at the first sign of pirates on the horizon. As the years rolled by the system of mutual support became increasingly robust, with warriors from one village surging to a location, so that would-be plunderers found the shore bristling with weapons ready to repel them. After a couple years of fruitless thrusts and increasingly desperate attacks, the pirates at last conceded defeat and melted away, perhaps to pester Rahajmanath further to the north.

Toward the end of this period of mutual assistance, Qin Shido, a young and powerful noble who had hitherto shown no signs of personal motivation, rose to the challenge. He rallied the people, established a system of intricate fire pillars that improved how messages were passed up and down the coast, and even united them under a single name for the first time: Huin Gen (people of unity). As a result of his work to bolster his people against danger, Qin Shido earned for himself great respect and power. Due to his strength in the face of such great danger, he was made eternal ruler of Dao Huin in a unanimous vote after the pirate threat was eliminated. So pervasive is his influence that the latter dynasties have adopted the name Shido as a title.

First Shido Dynasty (3952-4106 AoD)

In 3952 AoD, Qin Shido took the throne of the growing kingdom. During his 52 year reign Qin eventually expanded the empire to include 42 villages and cities, a figure that represents approximately one third of the current country's extent. Toward the end of his reign he promoted his son, Dau Shido, to co-regent, a position they shared for four years.

When he succeeded fully to the throne in 4004 AoD, Dau celebrated the occasion by marrying Kinne Hasu, daughter of the chief of the People of the Noble Coast, another loose confederation living along the coast of modern-day Moriga. The union expanded Dau Shido's domain. Together the royal couple had 17 children together. Notable among these was the oldest, their daughter Hi Su Shido. She died just after her fifth birthday. It is still common among Huin Gen to pray to Hi Su when they mark a child's fifth birthday. Dau served as sole ruler over his growing kingdom for 40 years, then named his own son, Wun Shido, as co-regent, a position they shared until his own death four years later. It was during this second co-regency that Dau Shido established the four year period of training as a law among the Huin Gen, a sensible arrangement that persists to this day.

When Wun Shido acceded to the throne in 4044 AoD, he continued his father's work of expanding the empire, pushing it to its current size, with the exception of one troublesome island that was home to the warlike Maha Maha tribe. Wun Shido used his broad learning to improve many facets of life, to include trade. It was through his agency that the government introduced standardized scale weights for use in each trading port. He also pushed for the establishment of an impressive capital city, founding Su Jiao Fi in the northeastern part of the country. Unfortunately, his reign would be brief; in 4051 AoD, the seventh year of his rule, Wun contracted a fungal disease in his feet which inexorably led to a full paralysis. When the course of the disease became clear, Wun felt compelled to abdicate. Although he had a son, Ki Shido, his nephew Onsu Me sowed seeds of discord between father and son. This resulted in Wun Shido naming Onsu Me as the next king in 4052 AoD. Thus ended the first Shido dynasty.

Me Reign (4052-4086 AoD)

Onsu Me held a grand ceremony in his home city of Tuo Nue. There he marked his ascension to the throne in a lavish wedding as he took to wife his aunt Mai Shido. Together they had a single son, Omu Me. Onsu never left his home in Tuo Nue, and spent his time in a variety of diversions, mostly frivolous. His most notable achievement was his hand in designing and commissioning the building of a new capital, the elaborate Zhuo Kao Viem some distance to the south. Onsu also ordered a history of the Me family which has, regrettably, been lost to time. Onsu's reign lasted a total of 34 years; in the final year of his reign he and his family were murdered by Ki Shido, youngest son of Wun Shido, thus ending the Me family's rule.

Second Shido Dynasty (4086-4540 AoD)

Ki Shido's rise to power was as swift as it was shocking. From the outset his fiery temper drove his actions, filling every deed and scheme with a sense of urgency. He felt as though the honor of his family had been compromised, and that it was his duty to restore it. Though the brief Me family interregnum could have been expunged, Ki Shido felt he needed to make a distinction between the father he deemed ineffectual and himself, so he named his reign the beginning of the second Shido Dynasty, a monarchy that would aspire to the greatness of the illustrious Qin Shido.

Ki ruled for 54 years, laboring diligently to restore the Shido family to full power. Such was his ardor and lack of scruple in this pursuit that his people gave him the title of the "Blood King," a name gained from his first act as king. After consolidating power and establishing a palace in Zhuo Kao Viem, he ordered the extirpation of his entire family and distant relatives. The message of absolute power was clear, and none dared oppose him outwardly during the first part of his reign.

The sword not only hung heavy in his own house; Ki Shido carried it to other troublesome areas. He invaded On Shao, the island home of the Maha Maha island. Each of the five attempts ended in defeat, however. Only in the final of five naval operations in three years did he find a measure of success, but the Maha Maha called upon the ever-present pirates who swept in at the last moment and sank many of his ships. unsuccessfully 5 times in 3 years.

First Shido Revolt

Back in the cities of Dao Huin, discontent rose rapidly, and many blamed the impetuous king for the tens of thousands of seemingly needless deaths incurred at On Shao. Within days of the news about the final defeat, the nobles rose to oppose Ki Shido in the First Shido Revolt. It ended badly for the rebels. Though unsuccessful away from home, Ki Shido brooked no competition and put down the revolt with extreme force. At least 10,000 are recorded as casualties, not to mention the families Ki gathered and punished through torture and land seizure. Though courtly records only mention the action as an unnamed and condign reprisal, Huin Gen at large refer to it as the Night of Burning Tears.

Second Shido Revolt

Sickened by his father's unflinching ferocity, Jimmu Shido, Ki's youngest son, felt he had to put a stop to the bloodshed. His only option, he felt, was to put an end to his father. After several months of careful planning, he gathered another army drawn from among the resentful people and attempted to bring an end to Ki's bloody reign in the Second Shido Revolt. Ki again proved a formidable foe, and slew his own son in personal battle. In all, more than 14,000 died in this second revolt.

Sensing the strong shift in the mood of the Huin Gen, Ki fled to the newly constructed Jin Tower, where he locked himself. The only one to have direct access to him was his servant, Kissei, who enabled Ki to continue his leadership by missive. In Ki's final year of power, he finally fatally overstepped his bounds when, in a fit of depressed anxiety, he insulted his faithful servant Kissei. This slight pushed Kissei to turn to Ki's last remaining son, A Ri Su. Together they hatched a plan to poison the emperor, and shortly thereafter brought it to fruition. In spite of the prevailing sentiment, both conspirators feared the people's reaction to the news, so they kept it secret for a few years, still producing royal edicts ostensibly from Ki's hand.

Sometime during this transitional period, Kissei, who seems to have been rather thin-skinned, apparently took exception to something A Ri Su said, and threatened to reveal the entire plot. When he became aware, A Ri Su spoke first, denouncing Kissei for his involvement in Ki's murder, and the servant was swiftly executed.

Scion's Rise

Determined to make amends for the atrocities his father had committed, A Ri Su's first act as king was to meet with opposition leaders and work with them to rebuild trust between the monarch and his people. Together they drafted Edo Ani Su (literally, Chains between crown and people), thus crafting the first constitutionally arranged monarchy. To symbolize its binding nature, A Ri Su decreed that it be carved into the base of Mount Ju-do-re, the peak on whose slopes Zhuo Kao Viem rests. The auspicious beginning was no fluke; A Ri Su continued to serve Dao Huin faithfully, and the Huin Gen sincerely mourned his death at the end of a 77 year reign.

Achievements

Most notably, it was during A Ri Su's reign that he conceptualized and began the first government-sponsored bank. This innovation allowed traders and merchants to deposit gold for safe keeping and exchange the receipts for goods or pay taxes. It became a significant shift in the safety and security of market accounts, and Dao Huin's economy blossomed as a result.

A Ri Su Shido also commissioned several important buildings. The most well-known is Ar Ka Ku Sen (the Tower of Bone). This grisly tower was built entirely of the bones of the enemies of Dao Huin. As a symbolic finishing touch, he had Kissei's skull mounted at the pinnacle. The tower's height (400 feet tall, with each side measuring 100 feet) ensured it was visible from anywhere in Zhuo Kao Viem. It served as a grim reminder of the fate awaiting all who dare oppose Dao Huin's might. The grounds around the base are a burial ground for the most faithful servants of the kingdom, however, with Jimmu and his wife Nisua the closest to the tower's base. Together the tower and cemetery form a contrasting garden of remembrance.

A Ri Su also commissioned the Jade tower, a building that has long since become intimately associated with the People's Council, the Wood Tower (home of the Chief General), the Nu Tower (exceptional because it is the world's only inverted tower, which runs eight stories underground), and the Ki Ni Chi tower (home of the trade commission and central bank).

Descendants

A Ri Su's legacy lived on through a long line of descendants. In order, these were Shi Fa, Shi Ki, Shi Qi the poet, Ling, Ping, Ju Si, Gun Po Ka the Lesser, A Chiun the Short, Gun Po Ka the Greater, Kao (Builder of the Realm), Roha, his wife Nia Nau Sa Pho (who ruled until her son Dia Ru was of age), Dia Ru, Suizui (who wore a prosthesis in place of a missing arm), Itoku, Itoka, and A Chiun the Tall. The last ruler in the long Shido Dynasty, the latter A Chiun produced no children and there were no other male children in the royal family. During the 27th meeting of the People's Council, that august body appointed Bar On Nu Jiar as king, thus ending the Second Shido dynasty after 454 years in power.

Nu Jiar Reign (4540-4544 AoD)

Bar On Nu Jiar ruled for four short years. Toward the end of this time a great famine settled on the land. Though signs of the impending disaster were obvious, Bar On Nu Jiar did next to nothing to prepare. As hunger and disease grew through his kingdom, the king attempted to flee Zhuo Kao Viem in fear for his life. The People's Council acted quickly, sending armed guards to seize and execute the king. Bar On Nu Jiar managed to escape by ship to the On Shao, the Maha Maha kingdom. From there the deposed king tried to raise an army but could not get support. He faded into irrelevance, and was presumably killed by the Maha Maha when it became evident he had nothing to offer them.

People's Council (4544-4576 AoD)

The People's Council ruled in place of a king for 32 years. During this time the Council took on many of the king's duties, to include waging war. Since the actual status of Bar On Nu Jiar was not confirmed, the Council sent Ki Son Ar Ma Tiao, a competent and reliable general, to invade On Shao and verify whether or not the former king still lived. Many Huin Gen, to include the general's sons, died on the beaches in yet another fruitless attempt to subjugate this fierce island people, but Ki Son Ar Ma Tiao pressed on, at last bringing Dao Huin's rule over On Shao. Shortly after this victory, the elated People's Council drafted Bu Zhiun Fao Shiur, the accord that ended the war and united Huin Gen and Maha Maha as one people. On his return, Ki Son Ar Ma Tiao accepted the People's Council's will to become the ruler of this new nation. He chose to change his name to Gi Hu Se (Father of Sorrows), and became the first Emperor over the newly expanded domain.

Se Dynasty (4576-5079 AoD)

Gi Hu Se added to the splendor of the new empire's capital. He ordered the building of the Emerald Towers, a pair of structures that was to match. One stands at the peak of Jin Hao and the other was supposed to stand at Bie Wen Hong. The plan never came to be, however, since funding and external events prevented work on the latter tower from ever beginning.

Achievements

Gi Hu Se ruled for 21 years and write extensively. Among his most treasured works are The History of Magical Fish and Where to Find Them, A History of Musical Foods: The Singing Banana Trees of Jin Hao, and The Magical Order of Music. The first two books are preserved in Gua Huang's Monastery, but the third has long since been lost.

Descendants

Gi Hu Se's line lasted a long time. In order, these were Ki Se, Lue Si (father of 113 children but only 2 sons), Ah Die, Ju Ra, Uni the Blind (who died when he fell from a window on to a tent stake), Ki Qen, Du Fu (the first known half elf), Qi An (the first crafter of coins), Qi Un (who reigned for one month), and Qi An Na.

This last member of the Se Dynasty began the Great Purge, a in which the Huin Gen began the systematic murder of all non-humans. As a result of the Purge, there was a mass exodus of the non-human races. To its credit the People's Council resisted participating and worked against the emperor at peril of its members' lives. The Council even ordered Qi An Na's death. It was quite by accident that Ki Shu Da, servant of the emperor's closest friend Ki Su, accidentally give the Emperor poisonous sicior berry wine during the annual tribute.

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