The History of Ralubia
The Kingdom of Ralubia was formed when the Ralubians invaded and conquered the Province of Reloria which had been left independent after the fall of the Maletrian Empire. Its peoples are a mixture of Ralub, Relorian, Phirean and Cazzirian nationalities, with a smattering of Saerish Goerthan.
The earliest human inhabitants of Anphirai were the Phireans. They worshipped the Three Sisters: Gavilet, Piajet, and Ansilet. These Sisters discovered the magical properties of the drueberry bush and became some of the earliest Madorian humans to achieve demigod status.
The Phireans were governed by a religious matriarchy. The Phirean Sisterhood was led by the Havilai Mother (who channeled Gavilet) and the two top-ranked Elder Havilai (responsible for channeling Ansilet and Piajet respectively). This same structure exists to this day, though the Havilai no longer exert overt influence.
The Cazzirians were a nomadic group from central Mouratta (and therefore descendants of the Roshibi), southeast of Hoshuk beyond the Chardrakesh. About four thousand years ago, the Cazzirians passed through the vale of Arenib and introduced the pelithyn — a bird-like war mount — to the Prulam. Under their warrior gods Param and Pelithozzel, the Cazzirians utilized the pelithyn to conquer the indigenous peoples of the Prulam and Anphirai.
The Cazzirians were savage and brutal; they were slavers and rapists who carried little for the niceties of civilization. They threatened to exterminate the Havilai. In response the sisterhood developed a mystical fighting art and formed a special subcult called the Blade Adepts to defend the common Phireans. For more information, see this excerpt from the Secret Histories of the Havilai.
Thanks to the Blade Adepts, the Phireans and Cazzirians learned to get along. In the War Temples, the Phireans would instruct the best Cazzirian warriors in their new mystical fighting arts. They did not teach the Cazzirians all of their secrets, however. The training was so hard that the numbers produced were very small. Nevertheless, the War Temples did produce fine warriors; most of these became officers who would go on to train and lead lesser troops (the Larhan Vili).
Under the kingship of the legendary Bezzaitor the Cazzirians established the ancient empire of Cazria. After a time, however, they softened and Cazria became a civilized country. They developed relationships with the Zulin to the southwest and the Goerthans to the north.
When the Big Flood devastated Goertha, an influx of people brought another change in the demographics of Anphirai. The Goerthan Saers settled in Cazria's northern communities and also built their own communities in the highlands of Somberwood. They brought with them their language and their religion. Eventually the Havilai would share the secrets of the drueberry to some of these Saers, and the period of Drue Lords in Goertha would begin.
So while northern Cazria developed a Goerthan-influenced civilization, southern Cazria grew attached to Zulin ways. The southern Cazrians built the city of Fenumbir on the Varhalet and became part of an extensive trade network that included the Carnelian Coast. However, about two thousand years ago a particularly lengthy period of drought forced many to abandon the Prulam. The influx of southern Cazrians into Anphirai caused internal conflicts which weakened the state enough to be conquered by the Relorians.
The Relorians were from a completely different nomadic peoples than the Cazzirians, and unlike the latter, they maintained their nomadic culture. Their lands extended from Samodania to the edge of the former Phirine Sea. Their religion centered around the cult of Maldai, Lord of the Sky, which followed a philosophy of complete servitude to the gods. This goal-oriented fanaticism proved quite infectious, though the worship of Param was so strongly rooted in the cities that the two joined forces to become Paramaldai.
The Relorians built an empire extending from Samodania to the Prulam, touching borders with the Cazziro-Zulin Kingdom of Malesh on the edge of the Kruthad Peninsula. They were little more than benevolent overseers, and did little to interfere with local culture except in regards to their cult of Maldai, mentioned above. As a result, native cults like the Havilai and institutions such as the War Temples survived and flourished.
The Kruthad Empire
The Relorians never truly adopted the trappings of civilization and their empire lasted little more than a century. The Prulam (including Malesh) and Anphirai were absorbed by the Kruthad Empire. The Krishari introduced a few dark cults into Anphirai (which later extended influence into Goertha), but otherwise had little effect on the region's culture. The Relorians still harbor great animosity toward the Krishari, since hundreds of them were executed when Kruthad sacked the Relorian capital of Sorel. All that remains of Sorel today is buried beneath the city of Vathir.
The truth behind this invasion was that the destruction of Sorel was a direct attack against the Phirean Sisterhood by Shinakari priests. The Havilai Mother and her Elders were killed, leaving the cult to be lead by less experienced. The Krishari sent their minions to hunt down and kill the Blade Adepts, leaving the cult very weak and forced underground. This situation persisted for some time even after the Kruthad Empire was conquered by the Maletrians.
The Maletrian Empire
The Kruthad Empire eventually succumbed to the might of Maleter and Anphirai came with the package. The Maletrians built roads across the Prulam and Anphirai and established a naval presence on the Phirine Sea. Anphirai became the province of Reloria; the Prulam was merely a fortified corridor linking Calarcaides (Ral. Caracand) to Delarnis (Ral. Delanthel).
Under the Maletrians, the Havilai Sisterhood became very weak, with only a handful of sisters carrying on the knowledge and protecting Glan Druich. The Blade Adepts were almost forgotten; the War Temples falling into ruin. Under the Maletrians there was peace, and few saw reason to turn to the Havilai for aid.
The Maletrian Empire lasted almost seven centuries in Anphirai, after which the Province of Reloria established autonomy under its king. During a long period of sovereignty, Reloria once again dominated Anphirai and the Prulam. Her armies enlisted Goerthans, Relorian tribesmen, and eastern Krishari. Her borders extended even into Goertha, where the Drue Lords were embroiled in conflicts between tiny kingdoms.
Long dominance under Maletria gave the Relorians their system of writing, introduced many arts, and provided a common language with which to conduct trade. A fairly pure descendent of the Relorian language was still spoken among the tribal groups, but died as a spoken tongue in the Relorian province.
In the 14th century E.E. an army of exiled nobles from the vicinity of Samodania invaded and ravaged the cities of Reloria. These noble warriors, the Ralub, spoke a language related to Relorian. They brought with them religion from baroque Makuria. Predominant within this was the cult of Maldai the Builder, the return of the sky god as a god of artifice. Maldai magically constructed the divine city of Vathir over the ruins of Sorel and the Ralubians established themselves as a ruling minority. Families of the ruling class, called Dalandriates, have remained pure for centuries by breeding among themselves and by receiving regular fresh blood from the city of Samodania. While the Ralubians have a self-centered culture, their subjects tend to follow the tenets of Relorianism.
Under the oppressive rule of the Dalandriates, the natives turned to the Havilai for hope. As the cult of Gavilet enjoyed a renewed popularity, the Ralubians began a program of persecution. According to legend, the Ralubian Maldai imprisoned Gavilet in a strong tower on the pretext that she never bore him children.
It was at this time that Rhivon was born. He created the cult of the Purple Seers to provide a male facade the strongly patriarchal Ralubians would find more acceptable. He encouraged the Havilai to revive the old martial arts, knowing the Ralubians would be intrigued by them. The Ralubians eventually restored a handful of War Temples to their old use.
See the Chronology of Recent Times for a history of the last century.