The Raj of Mangalore
Mangalore was part of the Dragon Kingdoms until the cataclysm that destroyed the Golden Empire. When the world shuddered, the wise men of Mangalore realized that the Gods had turned their faces from the world, and that pleas to their mercy went unheeded. They rose up and killed the priests, or drove them out, and the warlords and monks too - Mangalore would be a Kingdom of the Wise, ruled by those with arcane power and arcane wisdom. The capital city of Bangal became a center for learning and spellcraft. The old temples were turned into colleges, and the treasures of the churches turned to making Mangalore an wealthy and independent place. In Mangalore, it is said that a man is too stern for Sorcery, and so those men whom find that they have the gift are not encouraged to use it. If they wish to become Sorcerers, they are banned from the Mageocracy - active male Sorcerers are against the law. Conversely, women are encouraged to learn sorcery, as their nature lends itself to the fury and passion of such magic. However, no woman will ever be admitted to the society of mages. It is held that a woman is not disciplined enough to master the secrets of the arcane, and so they are not allowed to learn. Female wizards are against the laws of the land, and any woman wishing to study the arcane must do so elsewhere. Little is forbidden here - Necromancy and Demonology are all embraced as part of the arcane, and indeed the Managalorians are known for raising armies of the dead and summoning fiends to fight alongside the famed Bangal Lancers. Perhaps because of this, or because of the suppression of religion, the Cult of the Red Hand is rampant here, despite all official efforts to stamp them out.
In 181, a band of Kingdom adventurers destroyed the Mangalorian government and threw down the Mage-Kings. Aruthien II appointed a Raj to govern Mangalore in his stead (Raj being a local term, roughly equivalent to a Grand Duke, or perhaps a Governor). One Aruthien Legion is assigned to Mangalore at all times. That principality recovered slowly from the upheaval, with considerable civil unrest occurring withing Mangalore's insular society. A pass was cut through the Dragon Spine Mountains by Feris bel-Sarn, allowing free trade across Rothgorod into the Kingdoms for the first time. An enterprising Barlozian established the town of Deakan's Watch at the western end of the pass, earning himself a Barony from the hand of Queen Saerilaith of Barloz in addition to a fortune for himself.
Raj Lynx Firewalker is said to enjoy enormous popularity with the Worker and Merchant castes, and is tolerated by most of the Warrior caste (the example of Baron Singh of Bangal, who, in becoming the right hand of the Raj, has become the wealthiest Warrior caste in all Mangalore has considerable effect there). The only troublesome caste is the Mage caste, once the highest caste in Magalore. In Aruthien, of course, Arcane casters are the servants of the people, a practice which is abhorrent to the Mangalorian wizards but delightful to the common folk.
Like much of the old Empire, female children are not highly valued in Mangalore. The region practiced a form of infanticide until the coming of the Raj; female children were only accepted into the family if they were born after a male child, unwanted children were abandoned to die of exposure. Raj Lynx Firewalker was horrified by this practice and acted to put a stop to it. The Raj now pays any woman five copper coins for any unwanted female infant; these orphans are then taken in by the Temple of Mishya. The Raj's order had unexpected consequences - within a year, the Raj had rescued over six thousand children. The Raj's personal resources were overwhelmed - but sources of funding and aid were found from within the Kingdoms. The fortress of Gawalpur had stood mostly empty since the fall of the Empire; the Raj ordered the entire fortress turned into a huge orphanage. Under the care of the Temple of Mishya, Gawalpur has become the seat of the Order of Anjali.
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