Written and compiled by Ulcifer Montayn, Historian of the Library of Arn on Decembre 28th, 1016, Age of the Golden Sun.

 

Introduction

Azkon and the long-lost lands of Landeris were once one and the same. All lands were connected as one continent known as Pangaea. The birth of our world and the beginning of civilization on old Pangaea is recorded in various creation myths and stories, but is not the subject of this collection. This is the abridged history of the continent of Azkon, including the land’s original settlement, the Sundering, the rise, and the eventual decline of the Hazon Dynasty. For information regarding the first and second Dynasty wars, please refer to the appropriate documents penned by King Thorn’s Historian, Lady Kyra Varelond, and Empress Razkar’s Imperial Archivist, Hasan Al’Mehad Salim. The section on Jorrin’s Patrimony has recently been added to reflect current geo-political climates.

 

Settlement

Approximately one-thousand years ago, during the era known as the Age of the Newborn Sun, the first men from northern Pangaea wandered south across the deserts of old Arkatia into the southern half of the landmass that we now call Azkon. They colonized the lands there, declared a new age of prosperity, the Age of the Golden Sun, and restarted the calendar. As the Arkatian Empire in the north grew, so too did their colonies in the south. The greatest of these colonies became the Silver City of Hazon, known for being the largest and wealthiest metropolis throughout Arkatia. To protect its southern borders from barbarians and the like, the great Magi-Architect, Serod Shandaal, built a magic wall that was only four feet high, but prevented invaders from using teleportation magic to easily encroach north.

Many other races wandered south, either by their own volition, or brought by Arkatian slavers, but barbaric natives were noted to have lived further towards the south, away from the Empire’s civilization. Over time, as upper Arkatia was threatened with war by northern Kingdoms, its economy and military infrastructure began to crumble slowly, causing mass exoduses of people towards the still prominent Silver City some two hundred years after its founding. (Hazon: The Jewel of Arkatia, pp.27-458, Risha LeVanis, written year 235, Age of the Golden Sun)

 

Sundering

Just as the Silver City of Hazon reached what seemed to be the height of its power, a cataclysmic event shook the entire world in 301, Age of the Golden Sun, creating giant rifts that Ahmed Salam Rasaan witnessed firsthand and wrote of, describing them as

…Great gaping holes into other worlds and other places that shattered the earth, tore the sky in twain, and summoned storms of divine fury…” (The Sundering of Pangaea: An Account, pp.45, Ahmed Salam Rasaan, written year 302, Age of the Golden Sun).

The Sundering was such a devastating occurrence that it was said to have swallowed whole the top quarter of the Silver City as well as the entirety of the lands connecting what is now Landeris and Azkon, creating the aptly named Sundered Sea. In the wake of such destruction and the disconnection from the rest of Arkatia, the rulers of the Silver City, the Razkar family, who were then considered second in line from Arkatian royalty, built and sent ships up north to find the rest of their empire. None have ever returned (Aftermath of the Sundering, pp. 36-39, Vellor Kasinoth, written year 379, Age of the Gol Sun).

 

Rise of the Hazon Dynasty

Despite the immense chaos and wreckage caused by the Sundering, most of the Silver City of Hazon remained relatively unharmed as well as its smaller holdings towards the south, including the ancient Wall built to defend against barbarian aggressors. So when the Razkar family finally gave up on trying to reconnect with the rest of Arkatia, they began to take things into their own hands, thus establishing the Hazon Dynasty. Prior to the Sundering, there was very little expansion or development south of the Silver City, but now they had nowhere to go but across the Wall and into the wild (Aftermath of the Sundering, pp. 87-108, Vellor Kasinoth, written year 379, Age of the Golden Sun).

The ruler of the Silver City after the Sundering was Prince Parthos Razkar, who was crowned the first Emperor of the Hazon Dynasty in 327, Age of the Golden Sun, once it was certain that their civilization was alone in a land that they barely knew. At the time, reconstruction of the damages done to the newly named City of Hazon were nearly complete, so Parthos Razkar’s first act as Emperor was to mobilize his army to march south across Serod’s Wall to conquer the wilds of Garretzia, now known as Garresh. The southern barbarian tribes had fought against Arkatian/Hazon soldiers before in small skirmishes or in attacks against the Wall, but had never before faced such a massive and disciplined force. Emboldened by the confidence and fearlessness of their new Emperor, the Hazon legions swept across Garretzia in a wave of Arkatian white and gold – the colors did not change to its modern black and gold standard until 466, Age of the Golden Sun (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume I: Early Empire, pp. 102-104, 317, 318, Wyrna Destrian, written year 721, Age of the Golden Sun).

Soon after Garretzia had been conquered, colonization began swiftly, starting with the construction of the city of Maribor, which was completed in 394, Age of the Golden Sun. By this time Emperor Parthos had died of extremely old age, but not before he had achieved a level of reverence and love from his people that outshined any other, even the old polytheistic pantheon of Arkatia. Thus began the centuries old worship of the Hazon Emperors as Gods, for in the minds of the old Hazonian people, no mere mortal could have led them out of the despair and confusion of the Sundering. Parthos Razkar had been ascended to Godhood, and every Hazon Temple to this day still revere the first Emperor as the savior of all civilization. It is widely suspected among scholars that Emperor Parthos’s unusually long life of 157 years – the cause of which is still unknown –  contributed to his legendary status (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume I: Early Empire, pp. 455-487, Wyrna Destrian, written year 721, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Mages’ Revolt and the Founding of the Inquisition

It was Emperor Dendrath Razkar, son to the first Emperor, who was the first one to face open resistance within the Dynasty from those who disagreed with the policies of militarization and expansion. The protesters were led by those in charge of the Hazon magi circles, as they did not want their talents and research devoted to violence and warfare, but also resisted the notion of the Emperor being a God in absolute control of the Empire. In addition, some of the rebel mages even courted alliance with barbarian tribes wary of the Dynasty’s power. To combat this inner struggle, Dendrath formed the Imperial Inquisition, a powerful group of warriors that specialized in fighting against magic users. In 406, Age of the Golden Sun, the resistance had been crushed, and the Inquisition secured a permanent position within the Dynasty. The mages who had remained were very much diminished, but were regarded highly by Emperor Dendrath due to their loyalty (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendency, pp. 26-78, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

Due to the inner turmoils of the Mage’s Revolt, there was not much more expansion into the rest of Azkon, but the Dynasty did solidify its hold on Garretzia and Hazon Prime. Emperor Dendrath was not as highly regarded as his father, but did not disappoint his followers. As Emperor Parthos is considered the father of the Empire of the Hazon Dynasty, his son Dendrath is considered to be the keeper of its integrity and representative of Hazon unity. Though Emperor Dendrath had crushed the rebellion, he understood that the position of the Emperor could not possibly rule the entire Dynasty himself without the counsel of another political body. Twenty-one men and women from the most influential Hazon families were selected to make up the newly established Hazon Senate to serve as advisors, legislators, military commanders, and heads of clergy. The Hazon church kept growing and even sent missionaries into the wild to convert foreigners, bringing them into the Dynasty’s fold (The Church of Hazon, pp. 240, Jonah Ziegler, written year 852, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Ten-Day Emperor

Emperor Markisius Razkar was the youngest son of Emperor Dendrath, who had sired twelve children, all male. Normally, the eldest son, who was Parthos Razkar II, would have inherited the throne, but the second youngest son, Tharnax Razkar, upon their father’s death in 462, Age of the Golden Sun, orchestrated the deaths of all of his older brothers so that he might take the throne for himself. The Hazon Senate learned of the brother’s treachery the day after Emperor Tharnax’s coronation and threw their support behind the wiser and mild-mannered Markisius, fearing that Tharnax might dissolve the Senate and rule unopposed. With their help, Markisius was able to win the Royal Guard over to his side and dethrone Tharnax, who was promptly executed. He ruled from Auguste 8th to Auguste 18th, 462, Age of the Golden Sun (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendancy, pp. 92-178, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Markisian Reforms

Emperor Markisius’s coronation in 462, Age of the Golden Sun, was a small one. Tharnax had spent immense sums of gold for his own, so Markisius thought to keep costs low and focus on building the Empire’s wealth. With the assistance of the Senate that had placed him there, Emperor Markisius developed a series of reforms for the Dynasty, introducing new laws for civil service, public finance, and sanitation. As various Senators campaigned to keep their political positions secured by conquering new lands in Lazora and the Dragon’s Peak mountains, which brought even more gold to the Empire’s coffers, Emperor Markisius mostly stayed within Hazon City to focus on building infrastructure, developing a stable banking system, and providing financial support for arts. He also devoted work towards gender equality, public education, and the promotion of good morals. In addition to these reforms, Markisius also changed the previously white and gold standards of Old Arkatia to what is now the Hazon black and gold in honor of his brothers that died by Tharnax’s hands (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendancy, pp. 180 – 212, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

Emperor Markisius is remembered as one of the most beloved and benevolent rulers of the Hazon Dynasty, but lived a short life as the Empire’s youngest sovereign, having only lived twenty-eight years from 445 to 473, Age of the Golden Sun. The Church of Hazon recognizes him as a symbol of wisdom and youth, and is often the preferred patron of women and children. He never married and thus never bore any legitimate heirs, but had a son with a priestess of the Church named Leilana Hallenesti. Due to his royal and religious parentage, Umbrath Hallenesti, as he was called, was legitimized by the Senate into a Razkar. However, Umbrath was considered far too young to take the throne upon the death of his father, so Qallanar Lendir, the high elven head of the Hazon Senate was elected the Lord-Regent of the Hazon Dynasty so that he would rule until Umbrath came of age in 496, Age of the Golden Sun (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendancy, pp. 215 – 250, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Tyranny of Lord-Regent Qallanar

The first ten years of Qallanar’s rule was much the same as Emperor Markisius’s. Yet, it only provided a false sense of security for Umbrath, for the day he turned sixteen, the Hazon age of manhood, a group of assassins sent by Qallanar attempted to take his life, but the heir was a talented warrior who managed to fight off and kill every single assassin, even as his royal escort was slaughtered. With the help of a few close friends, Umbrath escaped the public eye and fled to the wild marshes of Valzenn, during which time he allied himself with several local Valzennese tribes and was tutored in the art of dark magic. Prior to Umbrath, no other Emperor had ever dabbled with dark magic, and though it technically was not illegal, it was highly frowned upon. As Qallanar tightened his grip on the Empire, causing chaos and dissent, Umbrath rallied his supporters in Valzenn, eventually bringing the entire region under his control through ruthless actions and a survival-driven instinct. It was during this time that the military leaders opposed to Qallanar’s rule broke away from the Hazon military and went to the Dragon’s Peak mountains, founding the Knights of the Peak (Qallanar Lendir: A Biography, pp. 1-204, Vaius Veraxus, written year 531, Age of the Golden Sun).

Qallanar’s rule only worsened as he began to repeal many of Markisian’s reforms and attempted to eliminate the Hazon Church’s worship of the Razkar family, for Umbrath, widely thought to be dead, was the last of the Razkar bloodline. In its place Qallanar reintroduced the old Arkatian pantheon that venerated gods such as Aranayen, Enoth, and their ilk. Those distantly related to the Razkar’s were either imprisoned, executed, or enslaved by Qallanar and his agents. Though Qallanar had near total control of the Senate through methods of intimidation and blackmail, the general public hated him and rioted in the streets of Hazon City during final years of his rule. Even the soldiers who had sworn their oath to the Dynasty were hard-pressed to turn on their fellow citizens. The timing was perfect, so Umbrath forged allegiances with the newly formed Knights of the Peak and the Hazon dissenters to strike at Qallanar in the heart of Hazon City in 529, Age of the Golden Sun. However, Qallanar still possessed great magical power and commanded large armies to combat Umbrath and his forces. Yet once the people of Hazon City learned that Umbrath was truly alive and returning to take the throne, they milled into the streets and charged forth into the Imperial Palace as Umbrath’s army was fighting Qallanar’s in the field outside the city. The Palace was stormed and Qallanar was killed by the common people of Hazon even as the battle raged on, so in the middle of the fight, it was announced that Qallanar had been killed by the angry mobs and the violence ended (Qallanar Lendir: A Biography, pp.205-287, Vaius Veraxus, written year 531, Age of the Golden Sun).

With Qallanar and the majority of his supporters dead, Umbrath Razkar finally took his rightful place upon the Hazon throne, becoming Emperor at forty-nine years old. The Knights of the Peak ended their temporary alliance with Umbrath as they were highly opposed to his usage of dark magic, which also led to them following the old Arkatian religion, but they were still allowed to live and operate within Dragon’s Peak as token of gratitude for their aid. Valzenn was officially added to the Hazon Empire, and the city of Trimmond was built upon the grounds within which Umbrath spent many years in hiding. Only the Wild Plains, the Grey Mountains of the West, and the western coast of Azkon remained outside of Hazon control. Umbrath ruled for only two years before he committed suicide in 531, Age of the Golden Sun, having found no pleasure in winning back what he had lost, but not before he had a son and daughter. The Hazon Church had since accepted dark magic as a legitimate form of magic, for without it, most scholars agree that Umbrath would never have been able to take back the throne. However, the resurgence of the old Arkatian religion had begun to spread throughout the fringes of the Empire, finding much common ground with the minor religions of the native peoples and the other races. Little did they know that the gods they worshipped were one and the same (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendancy, pp. 216 – 317, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Height of the Empire

Umbrath Razkar’s children were Shaylana and Ormus Razkar, both born upon the same day as twins, the day before Umbrath took his own life. Instead of a Lord-Regent ruling in an Emperor’s place, the Senate shared the role amongst themselves to prevent another tyrant from stealing the throne as Qallanar had done. Though reconstruction was slow with the direction of a single person, stability was restored to the Empire. When Ormus came of age in 547, Age of the Golden Sun, he was crowned Emperor. Ormus ruled fairly and worked to help restore the Markisian reforms in addition to giving special attention to naval development and exploration. Though the old world of Landeris was still unable to be found, the Hazon navy first encountered ships from the Jade Empire lost at sea in 557, Age of the Golden Sun. The Hazon navy, normally dominant over any other force upon the water, found itself at a great disadvantage against the far superior Jade vessels.Over the course of three years the Hazon navy attempted to keep control over the Lazoran coast, but lost battles more often than not as the Jade Empire attempted to secure a foothold on Azkon. However, the Jade sailors had to travel much farther distances to reach their destination so eventually they signed a truce with Emperor Ormus that allowed them to carve out a tiny chunk of land upon Azkon’s western coast that became known as the Province of Jade. Over time, little by little, more Jade ships, many slavers included,  entered Azkonian waters and were redirected to their province where they lived in relative peace (The War of the Western Waters, pp. 1-245, Rafiq Al’Medan Lasaan, written year 670, Age of the Golden Sun).

Ormus died in 613, Age of the Golden Sun, having lived a long life of eighty-two years. His sister Shaylana became both the first royal Razkar and female to sit upon the Senate and lived eighty-seven years, dying in 618, Age of the Golden Sun. Ormus is recognized by the Church for his steady rule and relative peace in the Empire during his rule. Shaylana, though not an Empress and not worshipped, is still respected by the Hazon Church for her part in serving upon the Senate and the aid she offered her brother. It is often said by many scholars that Ormus’s rule would likely not have gone as well without his sister’s help (History of the Hazon Dynasty Volume II: Empire’s Ascendancy, pp. 325-372, Wyrna Destrian, written year 723, Age of the Golden Sun).

Ormus’s son Umbrath II ruled much the same way as his father, but rather than make large steps towards improvements, spent most of his time maintaining what the Dynasty already had. Though during Umbrath II’s rule, he realized that he needed to place a governor in Trimmond to rule the distant lands of Valzenn effectively, thus leading to House Dranir, a powerful family based in Trimmond, gaining power in the region. Relative peace and prosperity continued for many decades, save for Ormus’s grandson Emperor Dendrath II’s crackdown on religions that did not adhere to the Hazon worship of the Razkars, causing him to march his armies upon Dragon’s Peak in a reconquering that eliminated the Knights of the Peak as well as increased hostility towards native tribes and enslaved races that still followed their own religions. This occurred between 737 and 750, Age of the Golden Sun. Dendrath II’s heir, Parthos III was born with powerful magical abilities unrivaled by any of his predecessors save for Umbrath I, introducing the summoning and controlling of demons to perform various tasks. Many of the Hazon magi, including the Emperor’s own tutor were unhappy with this development, but Parthos III was understanding of their concerns and granted them a place deep in the Wild Plains for them to study and practice their magic. It became known as the Library of Arn named after the Archmage who had taught Parthos III, Keran Arn (The Founding of the Factions of Azkon, pp. 13-27, 45-82, Balmor Zendahl, written year 979, Age of the Golden Sun).

 

The Empire in Decline

The exact year that the decline of the Hazon Dynasty’s hold over Azkon began is debated by many, but it is largely agreed that the Empire began to lose its control and stability roughly ten years before the first Dynasty War. Emperor Drax, son of Emperor Parthos III, was raised to become a conqueror, as his father wished for him to take the Wild Plains and continue on to establish total dominance over all of Azkon. However, Drax  was very rarely educated in matters of statecraft or public policy, so when he became Emperor, Drax poured most of the nation’s budget into its military, but without providing suitable regulations or limitations, which allowed the families of the most influential military leaders to take the bulk of the finances meant to go towards recruiting and training new soldiers. The pay for each Hazon regular had been decreased in order to allow room for more troops, but not many more soldiers had been recruited and those already in the military suffered under low wages, leading to a breakdown in discipline. This breakdown caused disorder among the ranks and led to looting, rioting, and disobedient behavior. Emperor Drax attempted to repair the damage by shoring up his numbers with conscripts from every province and heavily increased taxes in preparation for an invasion that nobody else wanted (Prelude to the First Dynasty War, pp. 1-78, Balmor Zendahl, written year 1016, Age of the Golden Sun).

This series of mishaps, miscalculations, and misunderstandings should have been curbed by the Senate, but they primarily consisted of military generals at the time, and they took the opportunity to gain as much wealth as possible for themselves rather than fund a war they were not interested in.  The result was Olmir Thorn’s rebellion, which blew into a full scale war. With enemies on all sides and most of the military leadership pulling their support,  Emperor Drax was forced to personally lead his army into a final battle in which he was assassinated. The Dynasty was crippled, reduced to the same size it had been shortly after the Sundering. Despite the implementation of progressive policies, including the banning of slavery, by Drax’s grandson Suledin, he was drawn into another war to reclaim the lost territories by the same military aristocracy that showed Drax so little support. Though he had won many initial victories against Lord Jorrin Thorn, his sudden assassination put the war on hold, which was promptly ended by his sister, the newly crowned Empress Zynnera Razkar, first female ruler of the Hazon Dynasty.

 

Jorrin’ Patrimony

Following the second Dynasty war, Jorrin Thorn declared himself King of Garresh, but his country has been devastated by the war, especially the city of Maribor. Empress Zynnera provided aid as a sign of good faith as well as ten thousand Hazon citizens to settle the lands immediately south of the Wall as new Garreshians. This is known as Jorrin’s Patrimony.

“Whereas the recent conflict has left the lands immediately south of The Wall unpeopled, we, King Jorrin Thorn, have entered into a concordat with Empress Razkar of the Hazon Dynasty that ten-thousand of her neediest people will be allowed to settle in this region, henceforth to be called ‘Jorrin’s Patrimony.’ The people of this region will swear their loyalty to us, King Thorn, however the entirety of their harvest taxes (paid in foodstuffs) will be sent to Empress Razkar for the next twenty years. The people of this region shall bear no armors nor armor for the next two generations in order to ensure peaceful and demilitarized relations with our kin to the north. May Aravel’s light bless their crops. -Jorrin Thorn, King of Garresh”