History of Xerut
10,000 - 1,000 BC
The history of the Xerutian nation goes back to the arrival of the earliest human being in what is now Xerut but, for the sake of convenience, we will start from here: in the earliest days of its history, Xerutian historians, scientists and archaeologists have gleaned that the simple 'Tavagi' people were the most significant tribe upon the island, making simple but intricate pottery and manipulating bronze for simple sword- and spear-type weapons which proved effective when used, whether upon animals or the enemies who threatened them. The Tavagi eventually lost their dominance over the island to the various other "subgroups" of Native Xerutian civilization but it can be said that their influence on the island has been centuries old. In fact, the subgroups that form the entirety of the Native peoples of Xerut are considered today to have been a mixture of the ancient Tavagi with the other tribes that inhabited the island, forming domains of varying sizes in which they hunted and fished and lived. For thousands of years these people lived throughout the land of Xerut across the nation in various clans. They hunted and fished and occasionally made war on each other. They also constructed burial mounds for their honoured dead, burying their fallen warriors with ceremonial swords that have ended up in museums nationwide. Seaside northern tribes began to construct barges and ships, crewed vessels for fishing and transport up and down coastlines; only simple coracle-type boats had been used previous to this advancement. The wheel was soon discovered and used to make better pottery and even chariots. Mounted warriors were known to have been used, primarily as a status symbol, though they also became devastatingly effective in combat. Religion was seen to hold a definte power over the tribes. Spirituality, Gods of the Elements and the 'death-world' are strong mystical beliefs. Tribes living in and migrating to Xerut in this period include the Tavag, Yahn, Zamani and Nevehim.
Circa 1000 BC (The Settlement Era)
All Xerutian historians ascertain that this was the era in which the wandering tribes of Xerut are finally shown to be ruled over by single Kings and lords around this time, settling onto the specific lands which would be treated as their ancestral domain, hence the name of the era in question. Each ancestral domain became the core foundation of the regional system, by which Xerut was divided into various regions for government administration. Each domain is the heart of the tribe in question. To lose it was to lose the dignity of a tribe. The Settlement Era was the culmination of ages of sociocultural, economic, and political development within the tribes, all of them having developed distinct, unique systems of economy, politics, and culture. The myriad of differing clans are merged and enveloped by the bigger, stronger and more influential ones. The more notable rulers of the time included the following:
King Tagor ruled over the foothills of the mountains as the King of the Zamani. His fierce, warlike, fur-clad people were the scourge of Southern Xerut, descending from their huts and caverns to rampage across the more fertile plains and lakeside. They had a reputation for weapon-making, the fires to warm their hearths soon adapted into smiths' furnaces to develop swords, which were used throughout the centuries as the standard weapon of Native infantry during conflict, albeit at first only within the army of the Zamani people.
With Lord Kurgan ruling the fertile South-Central valleys and plains, the Jhani had the mastery of the abundant horse population and as such were probably the most powerful clan at the time because of their martial strength through their cavalry. The figure of these men, called Octorok, -- clad in black kilt & black tunic, sporting headband embroidered with clan & lodge symbols, made fierce with red, gold and black face paint, armed with characteristic sword & dagger, and in most cases bravely eschewing armor-- has cut across centuries of Xerutian imagination to the present day. They painted themselves for war and dyed their hair a brilliant white with lime to call upon the powers of the gods in battle. The Octorok were free men of arms, self-sacrificing heroes, bound only by honor. In later times, with the rise of Jhani power over the island, the Octorok became immensely powerful and thus institutionalized, so that by the time of the Two Kingdoms ("The Women's War") the Octorok were professionalized, institutionalized and politicized. During this time "Octorok" meant as much "officer corps" as anything else and it also meant "ruling class." During the Medieval period, Octorok distinctiveness faded into the banal preoccupations with political power, trade and wealth, and preserving the status quo. There was nothing noble or heroic about them. and "Octorok" became a label for the aristocracy, so that finally the term ceased to have any real meaning. In the end, "Octorok" had become a term of historical relevance only. All Octorok looked to a book of aphorisms to guide them. This book was usually passed down from generation to generation.
"Defend the temple, defend the clan, defend the weak," summarizes an ethos of loyalty and service that shaped generations of rulers and soldiers upon the island. This slogan has been quoted, cited, pondered, commented and elaborated upon, questioned, mocked, recited, revered, and sung over the centuries, probably as often as any other single phrase in the entire history of Xerut. Every Octorok warrior belonged to a lodge. The lodge house was the center of social and ceremonial life. Typically all the members of a lodge were of the same clan. The warrior attended ceremonies at the lodge house, and he could always seek shelter there. When war came, the men from a lodge all went to the same regiment.
In every respect the Octorok were organized along clan lines. Their schools, lodges and regiments were all organized according to clan affiliation. The clans were thus strengthened and given vitality by the Octorok organizations. In particular the clans derived vitality from the Octorok lodges. Many of the lodges could trace continuous lineages with lists that went back more than a thousand years, and form an important source of ancient genealogies. It was through the organization of the Octorok that clans became politically significant. For example, the men of one lodge house would remain connected and loyal to each other, wherever their individual careers might take them. Likewise, the men of one lodge collaborated with lodges of the same clan in neighboring cities and regions.
In armies, soldiers also organized along clan lines. It was common for platoons and squadrons to consist of men of the same clan, with a commander of the same clan. If not enough men of one clan were present to form a whole unit, they would be paired in a unit with men of one other clan In some case, whole regiments were formed of men from a single clan, and they boasted of it with boisterous singing and with flags bearing their clan signets. The philosophy of Foma was the ancient Xerutian etiquette for respectful conversation (sitting round a small tea table) between adverse and possibly hostile, possibly armed men (and women). This arose out of the ancient Octorok warrior ethos that required politeness, verbal restraint and etiquette, and ceremonial greetings and exchanges. One always kept his temper, until another man broke one of the rules, when then raging righteous indignation became appropriate. The Octorok code was not unlike the rules of Chivalry, somewhere between them and the colder Bushido that governed Samurai. One acted calmly, quietly and gentlemanly. One did not insult or molest women. One did not offend the sanctity of temples. One did not offend the Gods or the earth spirits and demons.
The education of the Octorok was that every Jhani child went through a clan initiation ceremony to mark the fourteenth birthday. Immediately after the initiation ceremony the select boys passed directly into the Octorok academy sponsored by their particular clan. There they learned the sword and dagger, how to move, parry and fight, how to wrestle and fight by hand, and how to survive and live in the field. Most students had attended temple school before their fourteenth birthday, and there they learned to read and write; in Octorok academy they were made to read the classic works of Jhani civilization. Priests visited the academies to give religious instruction in the religion of the Jhani, which had been the religion of Tarvuism.
The Tarvuist universe was an unstable, changing, churning place, with things birthing, growing, dying in a kaleidoscopic dance, all according to, and within, a grand harmonic structure. This universe was the realm of approximately 64 quarrelsome, pushing, shoving, loving and dancing gods and goddesses-- their interplay creates the dangerousness and randomness of change. But this universe was created by Tarvu & Icotesi, Lord God and Goddess, the parents & grandparents to all the other gods, and the architects of the grand structure of Creation. The aphorism of "too many cooks spoiling the cake," applies here, with too many Gods participating in the making of the first man and woman, resulting in imbalances and flaws in human nature, the result being pride, excessive desire, greed, frustration and anxiety. It was in every respect a religion of submission to greater power, acceptance of mystery, tragedy and suffering, thanksgiving for the blessings of life, and devotion to a righteous way of living, self-discipline and self-improvement, and ultimately a religion about union with God. The Prophet Ierecina founded the faith by reciting the stories of the Gods and how they created the world. If a Tarvuist priest were called upon to explain the faith, he would repeat Ierecina's version of the myths. Ierecina's telling described how each of the Gods came into being, and then how the Gods created the world, the oceans and earth and all the plants and animals, and then humankind-- with plenty of drama along the way. In this way, a Jhani typically answers a metaphysical inquiry with a story, a myth, a metaphor.
Some students were taught special skills, such as the bow, poisons, mathematics, engineering, and map reading. The students typically graduated on their seventeenth birthday. Upon graduation they were tested on their fighting skills and rated. In ancient times, in the beginning, they valued speed, finesse and flexibility. They disdained battlefield formations. They generally believed that eighty superbly conditioned warriors could (a) cover long distances overland with light weapons and no armor, (b) approach with stealth and surprise, (c) attack with focus, skill and lightening speed, (d) if needed, withdraw with the same lightening speed and utterly disappear. This they called the "attack of the cat." Such a group of Octorok could overcome greatly superior numbers.
Typical Octorok carried a sword and dagger, though some of them were expected to attain proficiency with bow and arrow and serve as archers. In the early days of Xerutian history they had no metal other than bronze, but in later times iron came into common use. In fact, the pioneering use of iron in making weapons gave the empire building states the advantage that guaranteed victory. Some Octorok preferred the Itrak-- the Xerutian tomahawk or mace, a polished wooden club with bronze or iron blades imbedded in the end. Some specialized in the javelin, but the pike was always regarded as a pedestrian weapon suitable only for a common conscript.
The Octorok valued the honor that attached to one-to-one combat, and often paired up on the battlefield. They usually used the sword or other long weapon to disable their opponents, often by swinging low at the legs or high at the head, and then finished them off with the dagger, held in the left hand. The cockiest of them wore no armor, daring their opponents, but rarely did any of them wear any armor other than a round helmet, a leather jacket sewn with chain mail, and pieces of iron strapped to the forearm with leather straps.
In later centuries, with the rise of empires, the Octorok became the officer class for imperial armies (and for the armies of independent states who heroically resisted the empires). In this era they learned that stout forts and masses of soldiers (commoners trained and commanded by Octorok officers) gave effective defense against the "attack of the cat." The legions were very much like the armies of ancient Rome. They fought wars by engaging large armies in pitched battlefield fighting, with the fighting ending when one army either retreated or was destroyed. Here they had specializations, with the fighting force of heavy infantry, light infantry and archers receiving support from corps of engineers, cooks and stewards, scouts, intelligence officers, not to mention the battalions of auxiliaries, lightly armed men who served as porters for the remainder of the fore. The Octorok's amulet represented his power, and his heavenly warrant to use it. The amulet evoked the myth of the first warrior and recalled the founding of the warrior class. The original Octorok warrior was truly an all-purpose warrior, skilled in the use of the sword, dagger and bow, as well wrestling, scouting and tracking, and hunting.
Some Octorok became Qaanaqyya-- warriors specifically committed to avenging or punishing a sacrilege. In the days before Ierecina, the great prophet, there were many competing sects that engaged in desecration of each other's temples. The Qaanaqyya avenged such acts, and they avenged murders, rapes and other serious crimes. The mark of a Qaanaqyya is that he took a specific oath, that he never accepted compensation for his services, and he painted his face with warpaint as an emblem of the oath. After Ierecina wiped out all the religious differences, the term Qaanaqyya was applied to private revenge killers and romantic revolutionaries. As a practical matter, there were no real Qaanaqyya after the establishment of the Great Jhani State, with governments that discouraged private justice.
Gudazhes were the Xerutian version of Ninja. They even wore the same black clothing, for nighttime and shadow camouflage. They were assassins, masters of stealth, and prowling spies. They were know for their superb athletic conditioning. Their training typically included martial arts, stick fighting, throwing knives and stars, scaling walls, cat burglar skills, picking locks, scouting and surveillance, gymnastics, poisons, invisible inks, cryptography, tracking, forensics, dsguises, and the medical aspects of killing. A small number of Octorok became Octorok-scribes, who engaged in collecting information and other intelligence work, encrypting messages, and keeping records. some of these handled the carrier pigeons that the ancients in Xerut again and again tried to cultivate.
When the warrior formed armies, the Octorok split into a class of common warriors who would stand on the front line and a class of commanders. The common Octoroks command squads of non-Octorok soldiers recruited or conscripted from among the peasantry, leading into battle. In essence, the Octorok class evolved into the professional officer corps. The Jhani were also known for their box culture. They adeptly designed and constructed boxes of wood and wicker for all purposes. In classical times they placed manuscripts and documents in boxes. Boxes of course had compartments as the use dictated. Interior decorating and design accommodated the large number of boxes. The construction of boxes became an art form. Every woman had a toiletries box; every sorcerer had a box of charms; every priest and priestess had a worship box containing a copy of scripture, statuettes or figurines of the gods, and the paraphernalia for performing the rite of purification. Every scribe had a writing box, containing ink, blotters, paper and pens, and the box itself served as an impromptu desk, built with a writing surface. Priests serving as physicians carried their medicines, and occupations of all types had their own distinct boxes for storage of the tools of the trade. Warriors boasted that they were "men without boxes."
The Tavagi people lived in the land to the north and east of the Mountains, north of the Jhani. Their mostly agriculture-based lifestyle did not lend itself easily to war, but they were still the most numerous of the tribes in the land. They were known as the Fathers for being the supposed first people to walk upon Xerutian soil, but this did not stop them from being the targets of bandits who sought to plunder them for food and money. Ruled by King Yani and his council of warriors and mystics, they held the most land. They tattooed themselves heavily in all aspects of life, with later generations creating caste-specific tattoos that were seen as markings of one's station in life.
The Luqda were a far simpler people than the other tribes, seemingly wishing to merely fish the Great Lake, as they called it, and live in peace as lovers of the sea. Their Chieftain Shagatai was seemingly as powerful as a King, but used his influence to help his people, lending the Luqda an idyllic lakeside lifestyle, shielded as they were by the Jhani cavalry. Their religion believed in no revelation, no "personal savior" or anointed prophet, no chosen people, no promise of paradise, and no threat of hell. This religion is a "psychological religion" (like Buddhism) that concentrates on the process of self-improvement--"purifying" the bad stuff and cultivating the holiness within. The goal is to quiet the ego, "attain perfect vision," and become sentient to the holiness in the self, in the world, and beyond. Of the world's religions, it probably has most in common with Judaism, Sufism, Quakerism, "Universalist Unitarianism," Taoism. or Cao Dai. In feuds with Jhani priests, the supposed founder of the Luqda faith, Krathnami, countered belief in the afterlife by saying that that good behavior was its own reward, and any persons who felt motivated to good deeds or piety because of concerns about the afterlife would labor under gross delusions. He urged his disciples to piety and morality for their own sake and expect nothing in return from either life or God. Within the Luqda lands, the allegedly deviant religion of the Askani, a group of deistic mystics of Jhani origin who believed that the universe was indifferent if not completely hostile to humankind, It included a practice of sorcery and healing, since it assumed that parts of the very heterogeneous god-force could be pinched and exploited by crafty humans. They perceived the universe as a place where god-force swirled and flowed and manifested in a layer of capricious distant gods who descended from the creator, a layer of earthly sekelei (demons) and etelei (genies or earth-bound angels), and a layer of human and animal souls and spirits of place and plant life.
It had practitioners, rather than believers. It had no scripture, no formal church, no doxology, no center whatsoever. But it had oral traditions, weird vivid myths, chants, prayers, charms, lamentations, and songs. Practitioners used a symbol of lightning, demonstrating the random, capricious power of life. A great deal of anger, forlornness and a sense of cosmic alienation infected Askani thought. The Askani world was a great wide open place with innumerable forces and entities, appearing, combining, conflicting and dying. A universe without a center, but a chaotic, swirling stew under the vast, far-removed umbrella of an ultimate, utterly indifferent creator. This great cold creator was not approachable, but humankind could approach many of "the little gods" who swept forth to dominate the creation, and some of them demanded human attention. Askani men and women had vastly varied, but inevitably ambivalent, feelings about the gods. Some people embraced a single god amongthe dispersed pantheon and gave all their devotion to it, ignoring the others, but most Askani believers propitiated a number of the Gods with sacrifices, charms and prayers. In the markets of all large cities one could buy Askani amulets, although the rulers often tried to outlaw them. Askani created the "angry prayer," where men and women challenged and spoke insultingly to the Gods. Askani believers commonly had an individual god to love and another god to hate. This world-view at its best, freed of superstition, engendered a noble stoicism, and a quasi-humanist sense that men and women had responsibility for their own lives within bounds set by fate. The most rarefied Askani attitude was one of profound thankfulness and appreciation for the slight gifts received, and a humble willingness to accept the ill with the good. The most revered Askani holy men and women had nothing to do with sorcery, amulets or curses, but rather meditated in thankfulness.
Though Askanism was born in the Luqda lands, it was created by wandering Jhani and, thus, it spread throughout Jhani Xerut, finding acceptance by disenfranchised, marginal people-- porters, homeless people, warehousemen, wine-house proprietors, prostitutes, gamblers and criminals. Tarvuism portrayed the world as a great harmonious system and encouraged priests and rulers to mirror the cosmic harmony in a well ordered society. Those on the fringes and at the bottom did not appreciate talk of harmony, since harmony was often achieved at their expense, and they found the world of their experience much more like the world portrayed by Askani belief.
Populated from many traders and seafarers, the Mahanja were the Northern-most tribe who lived by the sea. They plied the coastlines with trading ships and explored the seas. Sea-Lord Hanhamagran ruled over a large fleet and well-defended group of towns in the northern-most tips of the land, believing in Anranapral, who was portrayed with a beard, holding a trident, purple or blue in complexion, and associated with fishermen and the sea. He protected working people, the porters, slaves, women, children, animals. Somewhere he acquired a host of angelic servants and fighters.
A recognisable feudal society had emerged, particularly among the Jhani, who had documentation of all aspects of life. The course of Xerutian history can be said to have really begun at around 1,000 BC, with documented evidence of 746 BC as being the seventh year of Lord Kurgan's reign. It was at this time that the first recorded inter-tribe warfare took place. Tablets and scrolls point to general historical conflicts, but it is in the conflicts of the South that the first stories of battle are recounted. The Zamani clan were beginning to mount almost daily attacks on the Luqda. Knowing they were unable to stop the slaughters, Luqda Chieftain Shagatai sought out Lord Kurgan in an attempt to win protection by the Jhani warriors against the Zamani raids. A twenty-four-year-long conflict began as the Jhani defended the Luqda lands, and in turn their own, from Zamani raiders.
It was the supremacy of the Horsemen of Jhani that turned the tide. Even against the marauding ferociousness of a menacing, axe-wielding, sheild wall of Zaman, the speed, skill and devotion of the Jhani Cavalry broke them time and time again, forcing them back into the mountains. The Zamani as a military force were eventually destroyed by the Jhani in about 732 BC. A huge army of cavalry and armoured legions (some using newer, better-made iron weapons but mainly still with bronze arms) crushed them and forced the few remaining Zamani towns and villages to swear fealty to the Jhani. The aging Luqda Cheiftain Shagatai also pledged his people’s allegiance to Kurgan of the Jhani, giving the Jhani control over the entire southern-half of the land. Kurgan was now the most powerful man in the land. Migrating peoples began to settle in Xerut, bringing with them the knowledge of iron-working, among other things. They were soon swallowed up into the culture and the new iron tools and weapons made the tribes more powerful than ever before.
Feature: Jhani Cavalry
- Armed with a bronze sword and heavy bronze-tipped spear, armoured with a circular wood, leather and metal shield; both horse and rider covered in bronze-studded leather. The combination of mobility, armour and weaponry proved to be a winning blend, especially when added to the innate horsemanship and martial prowess of the Jhani. The Jhani still dyed their hair a brilliant white with lime to call upon the powers of the gods in battle, making them a fearsome sight on the battlefield.
The Unification Era
1536 to 1570 AD
Xerutian historians believe that the Unification Era was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that roughly began in 1536 AD with the rise of the Warring States who will fight each other in their belief that they alone should be responsible for Xerut's unification. The strongest of the powers being the Jhani dominion, many historians have taken a Jhani-centric approach to the study of this particular period, which was widely controversial due to the supposed indifference that such an approach "carried" concerning the other subgroups of Native Xerutian civilization. When the Jhani dominion, once united, fractured, the upheaval resulted in the further weakening of central authority, and throughout Xerut would regional lords rise to fill the vacuum. The concept of tribal dominions became obsolete with the growth of expansionism, wherein each faction would take whatever land they wanted, without any slight belief in tribal affliation. The Jhani dominion still survived, but had become crippled by the loss of land.
1536 AD was the beginning of the Unification Era with the skirmish at Torfan, one of the independent villages that were not claimed by any faction. This skirmish sparked the beginning of the a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of Xerut, fought for between the various factions across the island. They were fought in several spasmodic episodes between 1455 and 1485, although there was related fighting both before and after this period. But it all "officially" begun at Torfan. The Jhani attempted to claim the village along with the Tavagi warlord, Aresh Kanin, who believed the village was nothing but his own. Although the mayor had attempted to retain independence, Kanin had him banished, fortifying the village for the impending Jhani attack that was soon to happen. Torfan sat upon a small hill which offered Kanin an extensive defensive position. Although Kanin lost, he was able to recoup at a larger town, securing the start of these conflicts, which would last for decades at the cost of thousands of lives and much destruction. The power that triumphed had been the Jhani dominion. They had unified the island and the many affluential families under them. The marriage of Ava Chandrasekhar to the Jhani monarch, Ysin'mal, has been seen as the creation of the royal family of the Xerutian nation, which traced its ancestry to the marriage of Ysin'mal and Ava in the temple at Akta. When the Europeans arrived to trade with the Xerutian man, they were employed immediately by the Jhani, whose southern domain benefitted immensely from the acquitision of European technology and military support. Ysin'mal allowed European merchants to establish trading posts across the coastal cities, which allowed for the creation of the Eurasian community when European men fraternized too much with Xerutian women. Ysin'mal's use of European soldiers allowed him to quickly finish off whatever opponents remained.
The years following the first major conflict between the powers inhabiting the island amounted to decade upon decade spent tearing at the throats of every faction, with factions rising and falling and then rising again, with leaders new and old leading and retreating, and with cities new and old burning down to the ground or expanding to become esteemed sites of civilization and religion. The Jhani were able to withstand the brutality of the violence, etching out control over the entirety of the south after the final defeat of rogue barons who had their last stand in a ring of castles on the southeast of the island. Lords in the North grumbled when the Europeans were given further benefits for their help in defeating the stubborn baronies such as letting them buy and live off Xerutian lands and permitting further marriages with Xerutian women. While the Northern lords had closed off their ports to Europeans, they viewed the South as willingly being sinful and corrupt, allowing foreigners to occupy and take Xerutian land and women without any opposition. Southern folk were much more accomodating to the European but it would prove to be a fateful altruism.
From Consolidation to Revolution (1610 to 1868)
Following the victory of the Jhani and their subsequent unification of the island, the administration of the country was shared by over two hundred lords in a federation governed by the Jhani monarch. The polysynody employed had been based upon the concessions given to the defeated Northern elders who had employed this very system. Every inch of land was divided among the lords who were prevented from rebelling by the kings having required them to maintain lavish residences in the capital of Olyan and live at these residences on a rotating schedule; carry out expensive processions to and from their domains; contribute to the upkeep of shrines, temples, and roads; and seek permission before repairing their castles. Rather than rely upon seclusion, a la Japan, despite their belief in the early part of the 17th century, that foreign traders and missionaries were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers, the Xerutians decided to exploit their access to the boons of a foreign civilization. Christianity had spread in Xerut, especially among the peasants of the kingdom, but it did not recieve any persecution save from local and provincial governors who disobeyed the indifference of their own monarch upon the matter of this particular religion. Christianity would not become a force to be reckoned with for a few more decades, in fact.
Under monarchs following the Unification Era, Xerut was substantially influenced, significantly modernized in the hopes of acquiring the perfect resistance to the waves of European colonization already widespread around the world. Renewed contact with the West precipitated a profound alteration of Xerutian society. The Xerutians invited missionaries to their thrones, permitted European merchants to buy and sell goods in the market, and did not mind when Xerutian women had children with them. Rather than isolate themselves in seclusion a la Japan, the Xerutians exploited the knowledge of the European to better their nation. This helped Xerut undertake political, economic, and cultural reforms, leading to it emerging as a unified and centralized state known as the Kingdom of Xerut. Through the European influence, Xerut learned many aspects of the scientific and technological revolution occurring in Europe at that time, helping the country build up the beginnings of a theoretical and technological scientific base. Initially, a small group of hereditary Xerutian-French translators labored in Olyan to smooth communication with the foreigners and transmit bits of Western novelties to the Xerutian kingdom. The Xerutians sent emissaries to Paris and London, being regarded as equals on par with the European civilization in that their nation was strong enough to fight even the most powerful European kingdom. Renaissance Europeans were quite admiring of the country. Xerut was considered as a country immensely rich in precious metals and was also perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and a strong pre-industrial technology. Xerutian military prowess was also well noted. European settlers were even invited, leading to the creation of cities like Rosewood, Quinnstown, and Port Hope although these were seen as the property of the Xerutian kingdom as the settlers were immigrants rather than colonists in the common perception. Guns also became popularized, leading to a revolution in the military.
In the late 1600s, King Vahyazdâta came to the throne at the age of thirteen. His reign had probably the single most profound impact on Xerutian culture since the nation was established. Vahyazdâta's palace, centuries old, was suddenly abuzz with foreign ambassadors, exotic spices, and new fashions while he consorted with the emissaries of the powers European, encouraging co-operation between both sides. As a child, Vahyazdâta was so taken with this new wave that he developed a disdain for the old Xerutian way of doing things and sought to become more like a European. When Vahyazdâta proclaimed himself an adult, his first task was to send ambassadors to the courts of Europe. He ordered that Xerutians sailors adopt European navigation techniques so that they could actually find their way through the great ocean around their island and into the open seas, establishing trade routes. He was amazed at the sketches of styles and fashions from the French court of Versailles, and hired French architects to redesign the Royal Court. He created a dazzling court, and was determined that he should be dazzling to match - imported French master painters depicted him as various gods of Ancient Rome. Vahyazdâta was determined to be seen as a modern monarch, not an archaic traditionalist holding onto the past for dear life. Vahyazdâta, thus, was deeply unpopular among the more traditionally minded for his zealous attempt at modernization, while those below the elders, such as aristocrats and the common man, loved the modernization, believing it would strengthen the realm. Vahyazdâta was also the monarch who allowed James Francis Edward Stuart, the exiled son of the deposed James II of England, to live within Xerut, marrying his only child, Princess Sarafraz, who was known as Sara to her European husband. Under James I of Xerut's reign, following the death of Sarafraz's father, Xerut was never converted to the Catholicism that James I believed in, due to James I's belief that his personal beliefs may endanger his personal safety if forced upon the populace. From 1719 onward, from when James married Sarafraz, they had two sons and were eventually seen as the rightful King and Queen of the British, who were ironically going to feature prominently within Xerutian history.