Kurand
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Capitol: Nakata (population: 158,000)
Population: 5,276,000 (95% Daroon, 4% Hakeen, 1% other)
Demi-humans: 145,000 (87% dwarves, 1% elves, 5% halflings, 7% gnomes)
Humanoids: few
Government: Tyrannical Monarchy
Current Leader: Khan Zhou-Zhang
Coat of Arms: a yellow sunburst on a dark blue field
Exports: silk, rice, tea, jade, silver, gold, ceramics

Little is known about this strange and exotic Far Eastern nation, except the undeniable fact that Kurand is a land separated not only by immense geography, but by culture, race, and religion.


The realm of Kurand is bordered on the west by the Direwood and the far eastern region of Morgoth along the Olgara River, and its western border is the vast sandy coast of the Vhan Myr. Kurand’s northern border is the arctic coast of the Sea of Adar, and its southern border is the vast prairies of the Vakara Grasslands. Kurand’s capitol is the large and exotic city of Nakata, located on the Vhan Myr coast.


Kurand is quite militaristic, and has a standing army of over 40,000 troops, and a large navy of 75 warships, but in times of war can field nearly 300,000 troops through conscription. In addition to its human population, a malevolent race of Grey-Dwarves lives in the Forbidden Hills region, just north of the realm, along the Adar seacoast.

The Kurandians are also a great, seafaring people. Kurandian junks are easily identifiable by their richly lacquered because of their square, dark blue hulls, and their triangular sails of bright yellow silk. Kurand’s military constantly raids the scattered civilizations of the Vakara Grasslands for slaves and booty, competing with Üthrari slavers from the west.

The three most well-known Kurandian cities are: Fang, Shang-Ti, and Zhengys.

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Life & Society


The folk of the Far East live a very different lifestyle than those in the other regions of Corwyn. Most are simple peasants and serfs, totally loyal and dependant upon their noble lords who hold all lands and power in the region. The landed nobility answer directly to the Khan, for if they wish to keep their lands, they will give obedience and loyalty or find their land and lives forfeit. Magic is rare in the realm of Kurand, but monks are prevalent, with many followers. The long study and devotion to a strict discipline appeals to many Kurandians, thus its wide appeal. Kurandian society is ordered, with a detailed set of coded laws that are strictly enforced. The rulers keep order and are not overly cruel, yet demand heavy taxes and complete loyalty. Death is the penalty for many minor offenses in Kurand and its population is well aware of that fact.

Geography


The realm of Kurand has rolling hills, but few mountains. There are enormous grasslands that stretch hundreds of miles, with the only civilized areas being secluded villages of peasants, grain farmers, and sheep herders. The large grassy areas make livestock and grain the most widely exported materials. The few mountains do yield some excellent metals that are sold by Kurandian merchants as well.

Important Sites


Fang: Fang is a small rural city of no small wealth ruled over by the powerful local Baron named Sukumvit Charavask. The city is located in the province of Chiang-Mai in far northwestern Kurand. The city always made a convenient stopover for river traders and passengers throughout most of the year and brought a steady source of trade income to Fang. However, the city's current wealth and infamy is due to its prized Deathtrap Dungeon; attracting interest across the Continent of Corwyn, and even the entire world of Oris.

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Nakata: (population: 158,000) capitol city of the kingdom of Kurand, and a strangely beautiful city of the Far East, The city of Nakata is accessible by sea or via the Kurand Road, which connects it to the city of Sirilath.

Forbidden Hills: a desolate region of small craggy mountains, rocky valleys and volcanic wasteland, located in the northern Kurand. Little is known of the region, except that most Daroon shun the area and seldom travel there. The region is primarily populated by a surface variety of Duergar, a type of Grey-Dwarf usually only found underground.

Shang-ti: (pop:71,000) Large city within the southern region of the realm of Kurand.

Zhengys: (pop: 25,000) Zhengys is a large human city, located in the far-western region of Kurand. It was once the capitol of the ancient empire of Shang-Zhou.

Local History


The history of the Far East region of Corwyn is long and rich with detail. It can be broken into four distinct periods; the era of the Three Sovereigns, the era of the Empire of Shang-Zhou, the Age of Chaos, and the modern era; which includes the formation of the current nation of Kurand.

Era of the Three Sovereigns


In the beginning, this region was ruled by three great kings; known to history as the Three Sovereigns. All three rulers were greedy, and constantly fought wars to expand their territory; causing much suffering and misery among their people. One of the was the Three Sovereigns controlled the local Daroon people was by allowing flooding of the Yellow River Valleys. This dark time continued for many centuries until the rise of the first Hero; young Zhou Xiang-ha. Zhou first came to prominence as the leader of the Xiang Tribe. As tribal leader, he devised a way to stop the flooding, making him a heroic figure. The three rulers of the region became afraid of his prominence and sent assassins to murder him. Zhou escaped their plots and became ever more popular with the common folk. Eventually, a rebellion broke out against the all three rulers, led by Zhou. Zhou manged to defeat all three Sovereigns and bring the region under his control. He then created the Empire of Shang-Zhou, and brought about 3,000 years of peace and prosperity to the peoples of the Far East.

Era of Shang-Zhou


Shang-Zhou was an ancient nation of ethnic Daroon peoples that existed long before Kurand. The ancient Far East Empire collapsed many centuries ago, after the long and terrible War of the Three Rings. Out of its ashes grew the modern nation of Kurand.

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Age of Chaos


After War of the Three Rings ended, the region literally collapsed, with no centralized government structure. The former lands of Shang-Zhou were broken into dozens of competing fiefdoms ruled by petty, tyrannical warlords. For nearly 1,000 years the Far East was in a constant state of chaos and misery for its peoples. Very few reords exist of this period, other than tales from the Temple of the Oracles and various Monk Journals, telling tales of savage slaughter, poverty, and misery.

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Modern Era


Sages agree that the modern nation of Kurand was founded in the year 509/5 by a powerful Warlord named Kriang-Krai. Little is known of the history of modern-day Kurand, other than it was once part of a great Daroon civilization of the East called Shang-Zhou. Many thousands of years ago, certain tribes of Daroon migrated from the mainland and formed a new society on the Island of Yamada. The mainland dwellers who remained, eventually formed the Empire of Shang-Zhou. It is known that these two great nations have warred against each other many times over the centuries, and that the Daroon race is spread throughout the realms of Yamada, Kurand, and the northern regions of the Vakara Grasslands. The Kurandians traded with the Xholar Empire until it was destroyed by the Üthrari. Over the millennia, the Kurandian people of the Far East have led a completely separate existence from the West. In time of war, local warlords have historically sent vast mercenary armies of Kurand to assist both Alokkair and Sorimmar, but otherwise the easterners have stayed out of western politics and have had little impact upon Corwyn’s history.