176: skeptic broge alsanawen (padora)

[taken from a skeptic’s lecture on 3 qivik, 1492]

tersus as you know it was founded in the year 908. two warring empires, the terusi and the galdor, waged war for over fifty years to take control of the bothwan narrow. the terusi empire was created from a variety of tribes as a way to overthrow the galdorians, who had primary control of the narrow, as well as the northern taiga and the esterlands. the terusi lived on the atalian peninsula, primarily in the mountains, though there were a significant number of western tribes on the islands there.

the galdorians were a mighty empire at this point in history, controlling most of oswor, other than atalia. they were hellbent on attacking the terusi, but could not penetrate their mountainous homesteads. the galdor had enough men to send through the narrow time and time again, and time and time again they were thwarted by a two-pronged attack: first, they could not breach the mountains, and their numbers would be decimated by the terusi armies; and second, when they retreated back through the narrow, the island terusi would be waiting, with their specialized cannon-boats, ready to destroy the rest of the army before they could even make it home. thrice did galdor send troops this way, as they did not have a navy sizable enough to take on the terusi ships. on the third push, the terusi beat them so badly that they began a slow steady march up the narrow, heading toward the galdor city of ironhorn, which they sacked within two weeks in the sweltering summer of 894. this began the rise of the terusi, a rise that did not end until the galdor empress herself abdicated her throne in 907, escaping to exile in the east. the terusi took over and the tersus empire was born as part of a pact between the terusi and the galdor. in exchange for their lives, the galdor gave the terusi the knowledge and literature the galdor had been cultivating over their 500-year reign. what started as a war ended with a peace that spans to this day.

the galdorians also gave the terusi their religion, the peaceful breath of padora’s grace. the terusi worshiped barbaric false gods they believed lived on the top of the high mountains, but the galdorians had the wherewithal to actually take the terusi to the top of their mountains and show them that no gods existed, only strange dragon creatures and whatnot. the terusi found padora’s grace to be more fulfilling than the murderous backstabbing stories of their gods, and so they sort of sloughed off their old religion and turned to padorism. that was the real beginning of the tersus empire, as the two sides were now united through a single religion, and ever since we have done nothing but grow and prosper, in what many historians would consider a 500 year peace.

now you have all likely heard about the peacekeeper’s recent skirmishes against the barbarians across the sea. unfortunately we do not know precisely what the queen is planning, though rumor abounds that she is setting the chess pieces in place for when her son becomes old enough to rule. we have had issues with the southerners since before we united as tersusi but never have they waged mass war against us, and we even trade with them. so who’s to say why we’re sending warships to them. we have no historical record of war against the southerners, nor is there a motive that we can decipher. it may be pure imperialistic takeover, to give the prince something else to rule. who knows? what we do know is that the queen is definitely creating history right now, and so it is our job to write it down, so that future generations may learn and understand us now. which is why i have you all signed onto the *coltovair*, a midsize ship containing provisions for the warships currently anchored around the island of manatok. your job once you arrive is to interrogate the captains of these warships and find out what is going on. i know you’re greenlings and so you’re probably crapping your pants right now, but trust me, this is for the greater good. if the queen is amping up to war then everyone in tersus needs to know before we all get cornered into fighting for her. padora’s primary will is for us to not harm one another, which is why the ‘keepers exist, but it won’t be long before the queen strips us of our devotion to padora just to fulfill her desires.

the queen’s bloodline is galdorian and has been since the galdorians devised a monarchy. she is by divine right the breath of padora. but she is also a galdorian, and her ways are wily. so i ask for your help in discerning what she wants now, because, to be frank, i do not trust her. i have your orders written on these scrolls, please take them with you and show them to no one. my terusi ancestry did not fight for me to be exhaled from padora’s grace 500 years later. now go!

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