The May’Kar Dominion – Faedrun – OLD WORLD
The May’Kar Dominion is a small nation to the north of Vandregon and near the center of the continent of Faedrun. A smaller kingdom, the May’Kar Dominion is home to a large religious faction called the Mahsai. The Mahsai religion is unique in that it does not have a definite structure or doctrine in how its worshippers are expected to follow their faith. The core basis of the Mahsai is that it does not matter what you believe, only that you do. The Mahsai are open about their religion and with how it can be interpreted through various forms and mediums, and are more concerned about overall spirituality. To aid in their expression, the May’Kar culture has developed a very unique stance on art. Much like two artists can be handed a paintbrush and a set of paints and make two completely different paintings, religion can be expressed differently. The cities of the May’Kar are usually decorated with more art than the other human kingdoms and involve paintings, sculptures, gardens, and creations of expression. This view had both earned the respect of other groups and nations because of their welcoming and open stance on religion but has also put them at odds with the strictly organized religions that exist. The Dominion itself features a much larger percentage of Syndar as well as the beliefs of both races are not as much of a difference in an open-religion environment.
The May’Kar Dominion is led by a government that is a mixture of clerics and politicians that are the religious, militant, and governing power behind the entire nation. Their banner colors are light and dark blue, representing both water and mana, and their crest is a white sun.
The May’Kar Dominion is also home to a small group of insular nomads, the Kae’Rim. Seemingly separate from the larger society, they tend to wander from place to place, and have an absolute prohibition on violence against any living thing.
The May’Kar Dominion has maintained good relations with all the human kingdoms and also several of the Syndar nations. They were not involved in the Battle of Grayfield; at that time, the May’Kar Dominion was small and still growing. The Syndar were always welcomed into the Dominion and their teachings on magic and mana were accepted into their studies. Of all the human nations, the May’Kar were the most critical in bridging the gap between humans and Syndar.
The geography of May’Kar is fairly harsh as most of the territory is desert. The heart of the May’Kar Dominion and their capitol lies centered around the enormous Sareshian Oasis. This nation could never sustain the numbers that Vandregon could due to the climate and the size of its lands, but has done very well adapting to the different oasis locations and areas that can sustain cities and life. The capitol of Saresh is said to be one of the most beautiful and spiritual places in the world, a real world paradise in the middle of a harsh wasteland.
Only once has a military force tried to conquer May’Kar and they failed; the desert terrain and climate too difficult to traverse while also combating a nation centered around healing arts. The May’Kar army thrived in this attrition oriented fight; they knew how to fight in the desert and with strong healing and protection powers they could withstand overwhelming attacks. The May’Kar also have a very strict code of honor and regard all life as sacred. When attacking soldiers surrendered and the May’Kar treated them very well and gave them healing, shelter, food, and water the attacking army disbanded quickly.
The Undead Plague – Faedrun
When the undead arrived on Faedrun, May’Kar went untouched for quite some time. They pledged powerful warrior clerics and paladins to Vandregon’s cause and helped keep numerous soldiers alive and used divine power to destroy the undead, but they did not have the numbers to turn the tide of major battles. After years of fighting , the undead finally reached the borders of May’Kar and moved troops to conquer it. The desert climate was extremely harsh on the ill equipped Penitent but proved to be useless against the undead. If it were not for their powerful divine magic, the May’Kar Dominion would have fallen immediately. For a nation prepared to wait out any attackers, they were finally challenged by an enemy with infinite patience and no need for food, water, shelter or sleep. This stalemate continue for the next 35 years, with almost the entire border of May’Kar surrounded by the undead. If not for the support of Vandregon, the entire nation would have been encircled by the undead.
The Bishop-King that ruled when the war began had a son who lived and grew during a time of constant war. The prince was well liked and benevolent. When the Bishop-King passed away of old age, the Prince took the throne and continued his father’s legacy. He was well liked, fair, and genuine. The May’Kar Dominion had never before been ruled by such a great ruler and the people supported him at every turn. He ruled from the age of 16 until he was 40 years old, until he suddenly passed away. The nation was crushed at his untimely death and mourned him. He was the shining light to their entire nation and now he was gone. With no heir to assume the throne, the Bishops of the Dominion tried to keep the nation together, but some say the people’s faith in the Bishop-King was the only thing keeping the Dominion together.
Nobody knows exactly what happened next. The May’Kar Dominion was on the brink of collapse when suddenly the soldiers were renewed with amazing vigor and turned on the forces of Vandregon. May’Kar warrior clerics, embedded or supporting Vandregon infantry, suddenly turned on their allies in a series of brutal and bloody attacks. Rumors from the captured May’Kar soldiers said that the benevolent King had risen from the dead and enlightened his people about the true purpose of the undead. When the King welcomed penitent and undead forces alike into May’Kar borders and the people were spared, the populace was shocked. With the return of their beloved king, the people rallied around him. The penitent numbers grew as an entire nation swelled its ranks.
The Vandregonian Army was split and the northern army besieged the May’Kar Dominion. A route through the desert and along the oasis could lead the penitent and undead army straight into the heart of Vandregon. This would cut the entire Kingdom in half and divine its people and failing to deal with it could be the downfall of Vandregon. For years, the two armies clashed; Vandregon’s superior numbers unable to be utilized fully in the desert climate. Without the help of May’Karian defectors aiding Vandregon, the Dominion may have survived the assault. Even with the help of the penitent and undead, the May’Kar Dominion was eventually overrun by Vandregon. With the populace turned into zealots for the cause, Vandregon had no option but to kill almost everyone in the entire nation. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers and civilians alike were put to death and burned on funeral pyres. The phrase “There is nothing more chilling than a desert funeral pyre” became a grim saying of the time. The May’Kar Dominion was annihilated almost to a man. The “Risen King” had retreated into the heart of the undead army and was never destroyed.
The undead could have committed enough soldiers to defend May’Kar, but it was at this time that the majority of the undead and penitent army moved into Aldoria and crushed the nation. It was a combination of the splitting of the Vandregonian army, the betrayal of the May’Kar dominion, and the fall of Aldoria that was the turning point in the war.
True May’Kar – Mardrun Colony
After the destruction of their homeland, the May’Kar were all but wiped out. The few remaining soldiers that survived stayed and fought with the army of Vandregon. They were ashamed and mortified that their nation would betray the rest of the world, yet they retained their colors and fought on. They called themselves the Mahsai of the True May’Kar and continued to uphold the ideals of their once proud nation.
Continuous fighting and the distance from the coast meant that few very May’Kar ever made it onto the boats to Mardrun. The handful of soldiers that may be present in the colony were probably assigned to Vandregon units away from the nation years ago and escaped when those units were displaced. Any remaining May’Kar warriors are still very proud of their heritage and continue to wear their nation’s colors, even if they have a dual meaning. To some, the colors represent honorable holy warriors that carried on through the worst disaster of their people. To others, it represents mankind’s largest and most horrible betrayal that started The Fall.