Kav

Capital: Kvod (pop. 25,000)

Kav is the central kingdom and heartland for an ethnic group called the Domviroi — a group which includes the Palaks and the Wallachirs.

SOCIETY

The Kavan people are ruled by a grand prince, not a king. The last king, Ivannor, disappeared with his army after embarking on a holy war against the elves. He is presumed dead, having vanished in 50 Y.B.E. but even now, more than 1,000 years later, the priests insist he will return.

The Kavan royalty has long been divided. Two Great Houses, the Ivanovs and the Xanderovs, have schemed against each other for centuries even as the throne has passed between them.

The power of the Grand Princes is checked by the Duma, a council of nobles, priests, and Kavan knights.

MILITARY

Kavan Knights form the backbone of the principality’s military. They ride on hardy horses, wear suits of mail and pointed iron caps, and bear swords and spears. They give the Zarube knights and Almanian landswehr a formidable challenge. They are reinforced by vast numbers of crossbowmen and infantrymen, together with peasant soldiers.

In Kav, magic most commonly manifests in females. These “babas” are feared by all but are said to have powers of conjuring and undeath, spiritual possession and bloodthirst. They have been variously tolerated and persecuted throughout history.

The rarest of warriors in the Kavan army are the werewolves — magically gifted men who can transform into half-beasts. Unlike the babas, they are revered by all and given prestigious commands. A werewolf is accorded honor and is viewed as an incarnation of the god Tur (Tyr).

HISTORY

Legend states that Kav was overrun and controlled by a group of monstrous beings called the Anuroks. The frog-like Anuroks supposedly worshipped the demon prince Bub and viewed humans as vermin.

Around 300 Y.B.E., the babas convened a secret council; together they decided to revolt. The Duma consented and secretly smuggled arms and armor from Getica into the hands of unarmed Kavans. The babas raised an army of the living dead and struck the Anuroks with curses of pain and crippling. Vastly outnumbered by the now-superiorly armed Kavans, the Anuroks were unable to resist; they were killed and driven away. Some say the Anuroks remain alive in a far-off land, still sacrificing humans to Bub.

Years later, after the horrors of the Anurok occupation had been forgotten, the newly formed Duma turned against the babas. Having seen their powers of undeath and hexing, the priests and nobility gradually took the view that the babas were evil. The chief baba was sentenced to death and the babas as a whole were forced into hiding.

THE ‘WALLED KINGDOM’

Kav has expended great resources fighting defensive wars against the Almanians. The Almanians and Dorenzians both hold xenophobic views against the Kavans and Palaks, considering them “worthy only of slavery.”

In 1130 Y.E. the Kavan grand prince completed a wall which enclosed the entire principality. Since then, no one has gone in or out.

RELIGION

The Kavans worship a god they call Hurod. He is identified as Alabaster, king of the gods. The Kavans say Hurod was once mortal but ascended to godhood after slaying a demon. This was called blasphemy by an elven passerby, thus sparking the holy war by which King Ivannor perished.

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