In the days of the Kingdoms of Deceit, when the Father of Lies
ruled half the world, Syranthir Forefront went alone to Castle Blue,
and all that he did there we do not know, for he never returned. But
we know one thing that he did, and that was to sire a son. Out of
Castle Blue came Carmanos, the son of Syranthir and the goddess who
dwelt in Castle Blue.
Carmanos, son of Syranthir Forefront and Charmain, goddess of Lake
Oronin, grew to manhood and was trained in the arts of ruling by his
mother in her magical Castle Blue.
stories of life in the Lake: he learns of arms and virtue, courts
nymphs, and wins the Stone Tablets which set out the laws to be followed
by his Carmanians]
The Lion of Brass
In time Carmanos was ready to prove his manhood. In the Brass
Mountains there was a lion that had killed many horses and people.
He took a sword and went naked into the Brass Mountains, vowing to
eat nothing until he had killed the lion. He hunted it for six days
and nights and at dawn on the seventh day he found it and slew it
in a great struggle. He ate its heart so that he should never lack
courage and drank its blood so he would never lack strength and took
its skin so he should never lack respect, and wearing the lion's skin
Carmanos went back to his people. After this feat he became known
as the Lion of Brass.
Without leaders, the Ten Thousand had been easy prey for the wiles
of the Pelandans: they had agreed to accept whatever land might be given
them, but were dissatisfied when this turned out to be the stony slopes
of the Brass Mountains, a barren and broken land...
The grateful Pelandans pledged their fealty to Carmanos and
so the land became known as Carmania. He was crowned Carmanos, the
First Shah of Carmania. Carmanos built the Palace of the Magi near
Kitor and a temple for the poor in Kitor, and brought religion to
the poor people of the land. He appointed Satraps to govern the great
provinces of the country, and Sirdars to govern the many small valleys
and settlements, Viziers to advise them, and Hazars to guard them
from treacherous invaders. He wrote down the laws and he went among
the people to announce them. He built many temples. He built a palace
for his family and furnished it austerely as an example to the people.
When he reached his full maturity, he returned to his father's people.
The magi and captains, who had ruled under Komos' paternal guidance
after Syranthir had gone, recognised him and welcomed him with honour,
as they saw that he embodied their rule over a part of Peloria. He was
hailed as Shah, which is "King" in the Carmanian tongue: a title
his father had never possessed.
Glautorus was opposed by Carmanos, Son of the Lake, who was the
Prince of Brinnus, who laid seige to many cities and captured them.
He organised all the people anew, like Lendarshi had done, and gave
all worthwhile people new goals and shares. Soon people flocked to
his protection and laws and Glautorus was forced to come out and fight.
The Laws of Carmanos
Carmanos brought with him the laws he alone had received from the wise
judges of Castle Blue. These established the precedence of the two principles
by which the Carmanians were ever guided: the Laws of Light and Darkness.
He gathered around him a council of learned magi, and had them determine
which of their customs were most pleasing to the True Gods. In this
way the purity of the Carmanian religion was first established.
New laws to preserve the equal honours of the two great principles
were proclaimed: among the Carmanians, it has ever been deemed shameful
to slay another in the hours of darkness, or join together in love when
exposed to the light of day, for this stretches the parts of the world
to their limit, whereas the Creator set the world in a harmonious balance
of Day and Night, Life and Death. It was recognised by all that, as
the Shah is the source of all wealth and honour, beloved by his loyal
servants, so too is it just that he should be a terror in battle, feared
by his foes. The land of the Carmanians was declared the Land of Peace,
and those which adjoined it were the Abode of War - for existence is
ever a struggle, but the Carmanian way sought to regulate its parts,
placing that which was harmful among their foes and leaving that which
was of benefit for themselves and their allies.
Laws emphasized Right Action and rewarded or punished according to
the results of actions. In typical Carmanian fashion the Old Law has
two opposing aspects. The White Laws set out the socially beneficial
obligations which everyone has to perform for the good of the nation
-- military service, worship, tithes, obedience to nobles, and the
like. The Black Laws prohibit socially disruptive activities -- all
the usual criminal offenses and the religious ones too. In general
the punishments for infractions are severe, emphasizing the headsman's
sword, exile, and maiming.
Many Carmanians had already taken wives for themselves from among the
women of Peloria, but it was Carmanos who instituted the marriage rites
of his people when he wed the Priestess of the Land. Her name was *X,
and she had never before taken a husband who was not also a god in his
own right. It is worth mentioning here that Dara Happan scribes later
claimed fiery Yelm was the father of Carmanos, and dark Xentha his mother
- but this story will scarcely pass muster when arrayed against the
facts herein recounted.
The War With Spol
Carmanos was a mighty warrior and a wise and crafty strategist.
He led his loyal armies against the horrid Spolite Empire and triumphed
absolutely, freeing the Pelandan peasants from the stench of the sacrificial
fights battles against the Spolites under Glautor (son of Aegrastus):
he conquers/ liberates all of "carmania" (which is where the name
comes from!). Note that, following the success of Syranthir's mercenary
army against the oppressive Spolite Empire, the Pelandan cities will
at first welcome Carmanian rule. (NB: I know I keep calling the Spolite
Gloom "oppressive": this is deliberate, and I hope it will be followed
elsewhere in the book). The Carmanians are overtly fighting on their
behalf at this stage: this changes in the next reign.
Carmanos sanctifies Brinnus as his ancestral city. He takes the cities
of Hurvisos, Tawenos, Meglardinth, Mintinus, Keselia, Kendesos, and
Balovius (i.e: the shore of Lake Oronin, and half-way down the Oronin
valley). The surrounding tribes paid tribute to him. His realm now
abuts on that of Ulawar, making it the Abode of War for the next reign.
In his last battle (c.787 S.T.) he must defeat Glautor of Enthyr,
the Spolite Shadow Emperor.
of course, comes to a miserable end. His Gloom turns self-destructively
upon itself. Possibly even suicidal? His Empire survives him, just,
but is crumbling.
by Carmanos, Glautorus called all the Gloom to him. The remaining
Shadow Emperors came, and his ancestors who delighted in suffering.
But his army ran away, leaving the dark emperor alone. The Gloom chose
its own then. Glautorus committed suicide, falling upin his sword.
The next day a slave girl called Swan found the body and immediately
cut off the head, then hacked the body to pieces. His dismembered
body parts were fed to different beasts of prey.
Elmesiod's reign, rebellion broke out all across Pelanda against their
overlords, the Spolites. Sometimes these attacks were successful,
and sometimes not, but in either case the disaffected foreigners fell
upon their neighbours... Throughout the whole of his reign the people
avoided external warfare. He did not send help when the kings and
goddesses of Naveria came and begged for help against the invading
and his armies marched in every direction and conquered all the neighbouring