The Taraskath is the self-appelation used by the indigenous inhabitants of the Taraskovyan Empire, more precisely its metropolitan areas, to differentiate themselves from pretty much everybody else. The origins of the term are not clear, but it is widely accepted by the scientific community that it is an ancient Keth word meaning “dark folk”, referring to the dark-ashen skin colour of the ancient Cardinians.
The Taraskath are also known as Tarathians, stemming from the appellation used by the Ros to refer to their compatriots. This article shall use the latter while referring to the Taraskath.
Little is known of the Tarathian history before 44’215 Before Strife, the year when Lord Uidath of the Emerald Spire began his unification of the disparate Tarathian tribes and city states. Tarathian mythology also does not give any clues, as, according to it, the Tarathians have always been present. There is no creationism theory in Tarathian mythology. It is considered, however, that the more ancient of Tarathians were savage tribes, compared to the advanced civilizations that were their Amalori, Kethari and Sethari neighbours and dwelled primarily in the mountains of Cardinia and Dakathia, overlooked by the aforementioned coastal-leaning Kingdoms.
This began to change eventually, as some Tarathians migrated to the coast, where they began building Citadel Cities, following the old habit of regrouping the entire tribe or clan in a single compact area to defend better against armed aggression. Archeological evidence suggests that the very first properly Tarathian citadels were built in Cardinia, on the borders of the Kethari Kingdom, and were greatly inspired by Kethari architecture and building patterns, including the tall spires ancient Kethar was famous for.
Cardinians, thus, were the first to enter into relations with the three Great Kingdoms, and are, historically, the first “Taraskath”. It was, however, not long before Cardinians crossed the straits and seas and “colonized” their Dakathian brethren, bringing with them culture and enlightment, in the form of often adopted Kethari culture. This might have been the reason why Ancient Kethar at first support civilizing efforts amongst the Cardinian Tarathians, surely seeking to eventually annex the disparate city states and increase its power.
This was met with hostility by the Amalori, who saw the moves as infringement into their sphere of interests. A war ensued, in which Kethar defended the Tarathian city states against the Amalori. It was during this war that the warrior character Tarathians are famous for came to be forged, as they proved merciless and efficient soldiers, inflicting numerous defeats upon the Amalori. The war ended undecisively. Many Tarathian coastal city states were destroyed by the Amalori army. However, the Amalori fleet was totally annihilated and its army proved incapable of defeating the combined Kethari and Tarathian forces already present in Dakathia. In parallel, during the same period in the area of Dakathia known as Sethar, a kin related to the Tarathians and speaking a dialect close to the speeches of Cardinia and Dakathia came to be slowly unified under the Supreme Lord and Ruler of the Kin, Darash Tar Shakshar. The area was relatively far from the borders of ancient Amalor and, thus, attracted only minor attention. Considering the fact that Amalor was already at war, it had little resources to dedicate to any hypothetical threat coming from the South.
Spread of Tarathian InfluenceEdit
Tarathians quickly adopted Kethari culture as they “civilized”. Old dialects and speeches came to be replaced by the Keth language and writing, which in turn gave the Tarathian language spoken in Taraskovya today. The city states gained more momentum as more and more tribes civilized and built further citadels, including deep inland. Eventually, wars began to erupt in between the various Tarathian lords as they vied for power and reaches. After a while, Kethar and Amalor lost all control over the situation as Tarathians descended into full scale warfare against each other, razing numerous citadels and plundering others.
As a result of this war, the Tarathian population came to be severely depleted. The destruction and suffering led, however, to calls for unification, as has happened in Sethar. Over the following centuries, many warlords and leaders would seek to become rulers of one, single unified Tarathia.
Unification, however, came only with Lord Uidath of the Emerald Spire, a powerful city state located inland in Cardinia. Lord Uidath forged a strong coalition of city states and unfurled upon Cardinia and then Dakathia, converting many to his cause and showing no mercy for those who offered resistance. After a thousand years of warfare, he managed to unify the disparate city states and even tribes into a single High Unity and dubbed himself as Supreme Lord and Ruler of the Tarathian Kin, “borrowing” the title from the Sethari.
The Sethari, however, as well as the Amalori and Kethari, did not welcome the creation of a unified Tarathian state. Indeed, the latter proved to be fearsome warriors and, now that they no longer fought each other, it was only a matter of time before they turned against the three Great Kingdoms. The Kethari stroke first and invaded parts of Cardinia held by Tarathia, and there suffered a crushing defeat as their armies were butchered.
The Amalori and Sethari then joined on the side of the Kethari, leading to the Eternal Wars, which lasted for several thousand years and led to a full elimination of the three Great Kingdoms and their absorption into Tarathia. The Sethari, Amalori and Kethari kins were assimilated and their influence can still be seen today.
Tarathian Regional GroupsEdit
Tarathians do not present a single cultural and national entity, despite many similarities in between the various groups. The main groups are as follows:
- Cardinians – nowadays heavily interbred with the Ros and, thus, having genetically and physiologically little in common with ancient Tarathians. Nowadays they speak the Tarathian language.
- Dakathians – same as Cardinians, however in some more remote areas of Dakathia the presence of Ros and other “human” genes is less important. They also speak the Tarathian. In some parts, a clearly pronounced local accent can be observed, but the language remains the same.
- Setharians – products of a mixture in between the ancient Setharians and Tarathians. For the most part, they speak High Tarathian, an oral dialect of Tarathian which still follows Tarathian written grammar. However, many Setharians also speak the so-called Highest Tarathian, which has little in common with modern Tarathian language and descends from the ancient Tarathian language, before the Kethari influence.
- Handalarian Shakhtal – inhabitants of Handalar and descendants of Tarathians exiled during the Strife. Are the least influenced by human genes and are closest to ancient Tarathians. They are known to be very xenophobic, which means that the Handalar Lordships know no tourism and only minimal presence of non-Tarathians on the territory (namely military units and administrative Imperial personnel). They speak an oral language called Handalarian Shakhtal by Imperial scientific and linguistic circles, which is often considered a dialect of Tarathian and shares many similarities with the Upper Tarathian dialect. Written language follows Tarathian rules, albeit with some minuscule exceptions.
In addition, there is a number of kins which descend from the Tarathians. These are:
- Edduyab’Kerrudar – also known as the “desert elves” of Tavaroth. Descendants of Shakhtal exiles in the aftermath of the Strife, they were nonetheless radically changed through a process which for now remains a mystery, but which is described in many local myths and legends as involving very powerful magic. They are now only distantly related to the Tarathians, enjoy drastically shorter life spans and speak a number of dialects (their nomadic life style not helping forge a single language norm) which are not mutually intelligible with the High Tarathian or Handalarian Shakhtal languages.
- Tarsheath – inhabitants of the frozen reaches of Tarvalak, to the west of Dakathia. For countless millennia the barren snow and ice covered wastelands attracted people dissatisfied with their state. A mixture of Tarathians, Setharians and Amalori, as well as traces of now extinct local cultures, the Tarshenath are very distrustful of strangers and extremely xenophobic, recognizing only nominal Imperial authority. Their language is not mutually intelligible with modern Tarathian, albeit shares many similarities with the Highest Tarathian.
The Tarathian language is