Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Locales: Tarsus

Tarsus is the mountainous petty kingdom in the northeastern region of Evandar. It borders Dakon-Bar on the south, the kingdom of Ranyth on the east, and the petty Evandari kingdom of Aelethmer on the west. Tarsus is the home of the city of Tor Caldri, known as the White City. Tor Caldri is the ancient site of the ruling high king's palace and the council of the ruling clans of the seven kingdoms. Tor Caldri is one of the oldest cities in the entire kingdom of Evandar.

Tarsus's rule is matrilinal. The current monarch is the nephew of the previous queen, who continues to reside in the royal palace with her husband. They serve as advisors to the present king and stand above the privy council in their status. The ruling family of Tarsus hails from a clan descendant from the hero Wulfgar the Black. He is the founder of clan Morwulfen (Black Wolf) and of the clan Svart-Ulfr (also Black Wolf). The division between clans Morwulfen and Svart-Ulfr came when Wulfgar's legitimate children came into conflict with his illegitimate children. The legitimate descendants became Svart-Ulfr and the illegitimate descendants became Morwulfen.

The Svart-Ulfr are more heavily influenced by their common ancestry with the Kordid then Morwulfen. They hold the throne of Tarsus by force of arms. A tenuous truce was brokered between Morwulfen (who are more closely tied to the original Evandari who lived in the region prior to the Great Flight of the Kordid in the era not long before the Great War of the last Age) and Svart-Ulfr where in Morwulfen's chief is honored as one of the high dukes of the realm. In theory, they could have a claim to the throne of Tarsus as one of the dukes but it would only be accepted if the ruling dynasty died out.

When Askemb ascended to the seat of chief of Morwulfen following the death of his father (under suspicious circumstances), relations between the two clans chilled considerably. Askemb retains his holdings in Tarsus following his capture of Dakon-Bar. The ruling king of Tarsus has yet to decide if he will move to divest Askemb of his holdings in that kingdom. Askemb, when asked, will state he holds a legitimate claim upon the throne of Tarsus. He will state nothing more beyond this.

Within the Svart-Ulfr clan, there is a faction that is pushing for patrilinial rule. They are descendants of a branch of the ruling family that is viewed with some suspicion because of their cordial ties with clan Morwulfen. Their push for patrilinial rule is justified by the fact that Morwulfen has ruled in this fashion since the last age and this was supposedly the way the rulers of the last Age handled such matters, thus the argument is that it is what Wulfgar would have recognized. The present king of Tarsus is childless and has made no statements on the matter, leaving many to guess what his position is.

The Svart-Ulfr clan is tied to the Talisid clan that had been rulers of Dakon-Bar until their overthrow by Askemb of Morwulfen. The ties are of indirect kinship and intermarrying by highly placed families in both clans. Erian of Talisid, the High King of Evandar that was elected by the council of nine and true born king of Dakon-Bar, fostered with the previous king of Tarsus. From this came a fast friendship with the prince who was then forced into exile at the beginning of the war with the Kordid as they stormed into Evandar by way of eastern Tarsus and the no-man's land of the peaks of the Dragon's Spine, the mountain range that forms the border between Evandar and Ranyth.

The colors of Svart-Ulfr crimson and ash grey. The standard bears two spears crossed with their points upward on a field of crimson. This is in honor of Wulfgar's legendary prowess with this weapon. The colors of Morwulfen are black and gold. The standard bears a black wolf's head upon a gold field. The wolf is for Wulfgar and the gold reflects Morwulfen's continued stance that they are the legitimate claimants to the throne of Tarsus. Wulfgar the Black's personal standard was a field of gold and crimson divided upon the right and left. Upon that field, there was a black wolf's head and crossed spears behind it.

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