The Great Horde
Form of Government: Khanate
Capital: The City of Bones
Leader: Khal Dre Khan, since 1868
Beginning as a loose association of tribes on the Kazakh steppe, the khanate began to form after a power vacuum left by the collapse of the four Mongol khanates. A chieftain by the name of Drogo Khan, a descendant of the great Genghis Khan, began subjugating rival tribes in the region through both violence and diplomacy. His legend developed to god-like status, and upon his death he was deified as the god of the ever-growing Khanate. Under the leadership of his son, Khal Drogon Khan, The Great Horde subsumed all tribes on the Kazakh steppe.
For the next 100 years, the horde roamed freely on the steppe. No permanent settlements sprang except the City of Bones, which was home to Khal Drogo's body and where all other Khals were buried. Each year, members of the Horde (which divided itself into multiple factions, all under the leadership of the acting Khal) would spend 1/3 of their time protecting and building the city. They would save bones from the animals they hunted to construct temples and other buildings. It was here that the Palace of the Khals was constructed around 1603.
The Great Horde is considered one of the most brutal and fearsome cultures. They are large people with a taste for war. Despite the seeming barbarism of the khanate, however, its social customs were ahead of its time, with women rising to the highest ranks in the khanate (although no female Khals) and gender fluid priests who served as Khal Drogo's messengers to the people and full-time defenders of the City of Bones.
Following extensive contact with Eastern Europeans, the khanate attempted to define its borders. Originally they stretched beyond the Kazakh steppe, but a series of ineffectual Khals and difficulties defending such a large swath of open land led to consolidation back to the original lands of their ancestors. However, in 1861, Khal Drou Khan received a message from the priests of Khal Drogo: the khanate was favored once more, and was to subjugate the earth.
Khal Dre Khan, the 21st Khal of the The Great Horde, rose to power in 1868 at the age of only 18. Inspired by his ancestor, Khal Drogo, to innovate and modernize The Great Horde, Khal Dre Khan began to implement new laws and governing policies to strengthen the khanate against the ever increasing threat from the modern world. An intelligent and cunning leader, he implemented many social changes and began trade relationships with surrounding settlements, specifically those to the south. The relationships were tenuous, but it allowed for the khanate to build two highways through the steppe: one east/west, one north/south, with the interstection at the City of Bones. It also saw the rise of several small settlements along the borders of what was considered Khanate land, mainly as outposts to defend against intruders. Lastly, the Khal created compulsory education courses for all children that included reading, writing, warfare, and trade.
Khal Dre Khan is called "The Great One" for his reforms that have strengthed The Great Horde. Over thirty years into his rule, he has appointed his successor and instructed that upon his death, the next Khal is to begin the work instructed by Khal Drogo in 1861: subjugate the earth.
Culture and Customs:
Appointed Successor (Khanians): Each Khal chooses his successor (khalian), who is adopted into the official Khan lineage and given a name that begins with "Dr-". At any point, the current Khal can change his mind and appoint a new successor. Any khalian who does not become Khal is banished from the City of Bones and forced to wander the steppe alone.
Priests of Khal Drogo: genderfluid and celibate, the priests are chosen in infancy from among any orphaned children in the khanate. It is considered the greatest honor to be chosen, and the priests are trained to communicate with Khal Drogo and as guardians of the City of Bones. Traditionally, they were some of the few who could read and write, and still serve as pseudo-governmental officials as well.
Burial Rituals: All soldiers who fall in battle are buried with their horses. All Khals are buried at the Palace of the Khals, which is made entirely of bones. It is where Khal Drogo was buried.
War: Primarily fighting on horseback, every member of The Great Horde is involved in the war efforts. Women take care of the horses, smith armor, and tend to wounded; children assist both the women and the male soldiers. Able bodied women are trained to fight, and may rise up the ranks to command men. Children learn to ride and shoot bows at an early age, and receive their first swords at the age of 12.
Culture: Men do not shave their beards or cut their hair unless they have been defeated in battle. Back tattoos are received for heroism in battle. It is customary for children to receive the names with the same initial sound as their father, I.e. Drogo having kids that start with 'dr'. The traditional currency of the khanate is bone, but that has given way to coins in the recent years.
Stats: Economy (1-10): Education (1-10): Military Power Overall (1-10): Land Power (1-10): Sea Power (1-10): Air Power (1-10): Technology (1-10): Health (1-10): Infrastructure (1-10): Population:
Location (City of Bones is located just south of the non-purple part in the middle, near the river there)