Blood and Thunder
Kyros enjoys an excellent position in the center of the Dominions as a gateway between south and north, and east and west. It is an ancient land with imposing palaces and well tended gardens. In days of yore, before the Iron Empire, Kyros was ruled by an Autarch, a monarch with absolute power.
Sadly, those times are long gone and now very few war elephants survive in Kyros. The central government has been fighting an eternal war of attrition against the Ivory Savannah Tribes. All the Kyrosian rulers, first the Autarchs and then the Imperial Governors, have coveted the rich lands south of the Buffalo River, as they are the most fertile, but the Savannah tribes have always fought back to retain control over them.
The Kyrosian army constantly patrols the disputed lands, where fortified farming villages exist, but the Ivory Savannah Tribes’ clever guerrilla warfare seems to be unbeatable. Most likely, if Kyros had surrendered these lands to the nomads and focused on trade, it would now be the wealthiest kingdom in the world. But, as
things stand today, profit from trade and farming is barely enough to support the great Kyrosian army and numerous mercenary forces.
A Psychotic King
The Autarchate was restored when Kyros became independent from the Empire. The first rulers of the second dynasty of Autarchs were men of worth. Sadly, Ganymedes II of Kyros, the current Autarch, isn’t. He is quite young, not older than thirty summers, yet he is as mad as a hatter. He murdered his three older brothers to seize the throne and barely escaped an attempted poisoning in the troubled times before he took power. Since then Ganymedes has become paranoid. He thinks that the merchant princes of Syranthia have launched a secret trade war to impoverish and conquer his lands. He also believes that Kyros’s border will be attacked by King Eku of Ekul although Eku is an agonizing ninety-year-old man. But his worst fear is the White King, the legendary ruler of the
Savannah Tribes. Ganymedes is convinced that the Tribes will invade Kyros, raze his city and kill him. He constantly babbles about removing that threat somehow. In the mouth of a common madman, these words would be of no interest. But, spoken by the king of one of the strongest states in the world, they mean only one thing: impending doom on the horizon.
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657