Sôrijan History 2 - The Early West
Roots of the Western Realms
The Empire of Katarka had a major impact on the Sôrijan map. During its existence, many Sôrijan, mostly peasants, flew over the Hatara mountains to start a new and independent life. They spread into the vast woodlands south of the Makruat mountains and the valleys of the large rivers Fengkar and Onkar.
At the same time, Sôr himself, still disguised as a magistrate of Tark, this time named Gaua, pretty much decided that the Eastern Realms had at this moment failed. The seven cities were too busy with fighting each other, which culminated in five of them frozen in the huge apparatus of the empire, Zarhoka too far south to add to his desire to learn more about the world outside Tark, leaving only Sirhapa the only academy that could lead ordered explorations into the wild. Of course Sôr was happy about the spreading of peasants into the west, but again he'd rather see the progress coordinated. Thus Gôrta was founded in 182bD.
The Sôrijan that were sent to build the city had learned from the mistakes in the East. The political system was a little more refined. Like the magistrate at the academy, the legate was supposed to be controlled by a council of twelve that had the right to overrule him. One of the members of the council was to be the magistrate himself.
Gôrta was supposed to be one first stepping stone of cities to lead into the western areas in the other side of the Hatara mountains. The legate was asked to control trade in his city in so far as the merchants were not supposed to interfere too much with local traders. The city should bring more wealth into the regions instead of exploiting the peasants, as it happened from the early days in the East on.
Gôrta prospered. It was trusted by the local villagers around and it sent explorers out to gather information from the settlers near and far, paying them well and thus making themselves even more welcome. They found even more new information on the way, quickly doing a rough mapping of the whole area south of the Makruat mountains. Also, there were no cities interfering between Gôrta and Tark. So, there was a rich exchange of knowledge between the two, meaning that Gôrta also benefited from all of the wisdom that reached Tark from the East.
The first fall of Gôrta
Gôrta's wealth soon attracted the envy of a few warlords from the East. With the collapse of the Empire of Katarka, the smaller protectorates had struggled to find a new identity. Among these, Ronk had proven to have the most aggressive one, while the others mostly licked their wounds and stayed by themselves. Even during its days as the most southern cities of the Empire, Ronk had been turned into a massive stronghold in the hills of the Hatara. Now it had turned into a slightly anarchic center for smaller barons and warlords. The academy still functioned, but was relatively small and made no greater progress.
While the local warlords made smaller raids of caravans and villages with most of the countryside not belonging to any protectorate at all, it took some time until they were united. The woman to do this was named Shejanna. She was able to win the loyalty of the scattered bands by cunning or brute force. In the end in 41bD. she proclaimed herself the legate of Ronk, a position that had not been filled since the first legate after the fall of the Empire of Katarka had been killed.
In the following seasons Shejanna made herself known in the East as an intelligent but hard bitten foe. She recreated the protectorate more with threats than promises. Then she aimed at Zarhoka, which, never having been involved with the Empire, had grown into the most powerful city in the East, at his time still surpassing Gôrta. But the legate of Zarhoka quickly formed a strong alliance with Tsorak, which had at least stabilized. Thus Ronk was caught between two sides. So, Shejanna aimed at Gôrta instead. Having lived in peace for long, the city was caught off guard and was completely burnt down and pillaged in 9bD.
The dynasty of Darto
The destruction of the city was not the end of Gôrta. On the contrary, it was rebuilt to be a bigger and more prosperous city than any before. The man who coordinated this was Darto, the young magistrate, after his predecessor had been killed by Shejanna herself. Darto was no unknown. He had done great research on the works of Shotarko, refining his calculations. Thus he had surpassed the greatness of one of the most famous Sôrijan scientists.
Nine seasons after its destruction, Gôrta stood again. Darto decided to start the reckoning anew in celebration of this event. It was thus dubbed the year 0. But Darto had more ideas to improve the city. Among them was his idea to bring more stability into the political system, by making the legate himself choose his successor himself in order to find someone who would continue his work in his spirit instead of changing everything around. Though neither the legate nor the two councils of the academy and the legate agreed to these plans, Darto was asked to take the office of the legate in 5pD. Slowly, by replacing the council's members one by one with devout followers, he was able to reform the political system the way he had planned to. His decisions were not greeted too enthusiastically by the council of he academy, but his deeds of the following seasons quickly made this forgotten.
Finally Darto named a successor: his own son Tirhot followed him as legate in 75pD. At the time of his death, Darto had become a beloved ruler, known for his foresight and wisdom. This was a hard gap for Tirhot to fill in. His first act was to finally abolish the legate's council, making the legate the supreme leader of Gôrta. He also made his office hereditary, thus forming a kind of royal dynasty, making him the first king of Gôrta.