Kingdom of Hulra
|Kingdom of Hulra|
|1151 BEKE–274 AEKE|
Extent of Hulra
|Common languages||1151-800 BEKE:|
200 BEKE - 274 AEKE:
• From 1151 BEKE
|Willem I (first)|
• Until 274 AEKE
|Gerulf IX (last)|
• Annexed by Etrand
|Today part of||Etrancoast|
The Kingdom of Hulra was a state on North-Eastern Artograch, compromising of the territories of today's Etrancoast. During it's lifespan, it has lived a very stable existence with next to no shifting of borders. In addition to that, during the period in which the Classical Hulran language language was spoken, Hulra also had a flourishing literate culture in sharp contrast with the illiterate Etrand right next door.
While never a great power, Hulra enjoyed wide recognition as the barbaric and illiterate humankind's more civilized and literate representatives in Froturn and Dragoc before the Kingdom of Etrand came along, setting a time bomb for Hulra.
After an almost-succeeding but ultimately failed invasion of Etrand, Etrand invaded Hulra and annexed it.
In 1151 BEKE the human tribes of Hulra, in order to put an end to all the wars between smaller tribes, elected a king from one of the clan leaders near the estuary of the River Yvr. From that point on, when a king died, a new one was elected.
The first election is witnessed and recorded by a traveler from Froturn], which is why we accurately know the dates of the first king's reign (calculated from how many full moon rises or even years passed though the king's reign). The first king of Hulra was Willem the First.
Rise and Stability (1100 BEKE - 0 BEKE/AEKE)
The fall of Hulra's rival, Fathred's Confederation in 1106 BEKE may not have had any effects on Hulra from the looks, but in reality, it did partially affect the mindset of Hulra.
Some people were rejoicing that a unified threat to Hulra's existence was removed, while others were filled with anti-High Elven sentiment and saw the High Elven invasion of Western Etrand as a threat to their religion.
The Kingdom of Hulra strengthened her borders, and geared up for defense, however, no wars would come to Hulra's doorsteps at all.
Around 800 BEKE, Hulran literature began flourishing, and Hulra became a literate state. Hulran poets produced works that are still recited today, architects created monuments many of which still exist today. A trade route was established between Hulra and Froturn, bringing much wealth to the kingdom, as well as recognition by both Dragoc and Froturn as a legitimate civilized kingdom rather than a barbarian warlord's domain.
During this golden age of stability, Hulrans had high standards of living. Hulrans traded with Froturn and Dragoc not just overland, but also overseas - Hulran ships sailed that far. Hulran envoys were well-received in the royal courts of Froturn and Dragoc, and Hulra also gladly received their envoys. Hulra also took part in the great maritime trade between East and West.
Stagnation and Decline (0 BEKE/AEKE - 273 AEKE)
During Corlagon's Wars of Unification, Hulra provided material support to the losing side - the Pagans. This would be one of the things that ended up provoking the hostility of the newly founded Kingdom of Etrand.
After the war was concluded, thousands of pagan refugees flocked to Hulra. A few of them were pagan tribal leaders that Corlagon wanted in chains or beheaded.
No actual war broke out between Etrand and Hulra yet at this time. An equilibrium of powers came to exist between the two sides - Etrand having the superior land army, Hulra having the superior navy - that prevented any petty conflicts between the two from escalating into all-out wars.
Nevertheless, the emergence of Etrand did in fact mean the end of Hulra's Golden Age. Envoys from Etrand in Dragoc's and Froturn's courts would outnumber envoys from Hulra. Froturn would stop sending envoys to Hulra altogether, and even Dragoc limited the diplomatic contact, both great powers prioritizing relations with Etrand instead of Hulra.
Etrand's new policies also meant the heavy taxation of Hulran merchants moving through Etrand, meaning that overseas trade remained the only choice - however, Froturn was reluctant to send caravans overseas. The fact that the Etrandish city of Copperport became a trade center and the kings of Etrand were constantly working on their efforts to break Hulra's naval supremacy did not help things either.
The fact that the Eastern trade that Hulra depended on so much suddenly ended made matters even worse for Hulra - for Hulra, the collapse of the Jing Empire meant an economic depression. Hulra was no longer a trade hub and an active agent in the flow of goods between East and West, because said flow was stopped by the collapse of the greatest Eastern Empire. As a result, Hulra's economy got wrecked, living standards fell, and Hulra went from being a semi-industrial nation of trade to being an agricultural society like it was before the Eastern trade.
Some theorize that Hulra intended to invade Etrand in the first century, but the sudden economical depression meant that they could no longer afford a costly invasion. It would take at least a century for Hulra's economy to recover, but by that time, it was too late - Etrand was too strong... therefore, no war would break out until 273 AEKE, when the ruler of Hulra saw Etrand's weaknened state, and couldn't resist the temptation to launch the long-overdue Hulran invasion of Etrand.
Fall (273-274 AEKE)
- See also: Hulran Invasion of Etrand
After the conclusion of the Demonic Invasions ending in 270 - during which Hulra lost its king but did not suffer high casualties - King Willem V of Hulra has decided to jump at the opportunity to attack the war-exhausted Kingdom of Etrand which was at the time also being ravaged by mountain tribes from the south (see The Long Raid) in 273 AEKE..
After a failed attempt to capture Grandolk, the exhausted and starving troops of King Willem began retreating, but in a surprise attack, the Hulran army found itself decimates - even King Willem himself died on the battlefield.
What remained of the Hulran after after this defeat probably fell victim to starvation or the cold, as records do not indicate them being taken as prisoners and/or executed or enslaved.
In 274 AEKE, Etrandish troops entered Hulra and occupied it. Amidst this turn of events, Hulra's last king, Gerulf IX disappeared without a trace, never to be heard of again. The new conquerors immediately began imposing their religion on the pagan population at the point of the sword.
Etrand annexed Hulra and renamed the region to Etrancoast. For 159 years, Etrancoast was ruled like any other province of Etrand, with the language and religion being imposed upon the population - it wasn't until 433 AEKE that Etrancoast was given autonomy.
The Kingdom of Hulra was the first - for two decades only - state of the Humans that was recognized by the other powers as a legitimate state. It outlived a rival attempt to advance humanity beyond the tribal ways, as such, the people of Hulra always had a separate identity from that of Etrand.
Hulra was also the only source of human literature until the Kingdom of Etrand was founded, and being a beacon of Human Paganism meant that even after it annexed by Etrand, the pagan element remained strong.
Between 274 AEKE and 433 AEKE, there was constant turmoil in Etrancoast, and in 431 AEKE, the nobility of Etrancoast made one final attempt at a desperate rebellion to break from the Etrandish yoke. While the King of Etrand ultimately suppressed the revolt, he would still realize that negotions and compromises are necessary.
In 433 AEKE, the Earldom of Etrancoast was given autonomy, being a vassal of Etrand rather than considered an outright part of Etrand. However, even after that, there was still grumbling: the pagan revolts of 497, 514 and the most vicious one, of 563-576 all meant that the Church of Titanius has not yet managed to completely make the people of Etrancoast their own, and would not for several more centuries.