South of the L’npei were unable to maintain the bridge across the Vari and after it was no longer usable, they operated a ferry at the crossing point., the land is more open and had been cleared by the . The comes across the at the eastern end of the and then makes its way to a relatively easy bridging point where the is shallow and slow. Before the , the Wanderers had built a bridge here and had a small commercial settlement. When generals arrived, they named the place . The
of the was assigned the low river country south of the and west of the , but it did not occupy the upland country immediately east of the crossing. Gens Tripura did however, maintain inns all along the from to .
For many centuries, Gornarod, they precariously survived. During last campaigns to capture and penetrate the , these renegade Dumerai fought beside the Gornarod to stop M’Maoulek’s advance.in the north who wished to embrace the had fled to the rolling countryside at the foot of the . There, with help from the
Seven times, Rapani. Later, the entire area occupied by the Rapani became known as the .sent forces across the to clear these settlements. Seven times, the settlers burned their homes and crops, slaughtered their livestock and fled to the shelter of the foothills. Seven times, M’Maoulek failed to break the will of these fierce and independent people. Their rugged hill forts became known as the E’lanirapa (G-d’s Fortress) and these people, the
L’npei of recaptured the lands and destroyed it. Many of the survivors fled north across the to the hill country.ended with the defeat of his army at and the subsequent revolt of the . The battles for control of the are described in detail in the history of . What is important to the history of the is that M’Maoulek’s first campaign across the resulted in the destruction of and the establishment of a settlement on the west bank of the Vari at the old crossing. The colony flourished until the
The refugees were embraced by their Rapani kinfolk and their settlements sustained by contacts with the Gornarod of the and workings. Over time, priests of convinced these refugees to abandon their forbidden machines and to follow the .
As the wars continued, the lands in the L’npei of western and brokered an alliance between them and of the kingdom.foothills also became home to those dissatisfied with the increasingly machine driven and technological life in provinces. As across the were reaching their climax, the marches of and filled with a hardy population of yeoman farmers and herders. The priests of introduced the Rapani to the
In the climactic campaign, L’npei army at in the , along the route of the . M’Maoulek’s forces, although shaken, prevailed and drove the L’npei to where they regrouped. Five days later, the combined Rapani and Gornarod armies under the leadership of crossed the behind M’Maoulek’s forces and blocked their line of retreat. The L’npei counter-attacked M’Maoulek’s army and shattered it upon the anvil of Gaberowic’s army.forces fought a
The Selka, and .began soon after. Many , especially those on the frontiers, had found completeness in the . When they refused to join in the Great Revolt, they were brutally suppressed or expelled. In the north, these families fled to the , where they were welcomed. They settled the vacant lowlands east of the foothills and, in time these settlements grew into the marches of
Following the, army hurried south to defend in the . The forces established a defensible border on the east bank of the and defended it thinly, in order to focus to the south. With this respite, the Rapani settlements consolidated the lands in the triangle formed by the Vari and and the .
Geography and Population
Theoccupy the area due east of the on a triangle of land roughly bounded by the to the west, the to the north and the to the east. These lands are commonly referred to as The Elirapa (G-d’s Fortress).The Elirapa is divided into five independent but closely allied Marches.
The two oldest, Selka, which occupies the lands south of the Brissa and along the .and are nestled in the western foothills of the . East of them lie and , which are called the . All four of these Marches lie north of the . The newest and largest of the five Marches is
The total area of the Selka predominately lowland. The in the western part of Selka occupy about 14% of its total land area. This region is more rugged than the rest of the hill country and is sparsely settled.is 2,547,200 km². It is about evenly divided between hill country and lowlands, with predominately hills, and about even and and
The total population of the Selka. The overwhelming majority of the Rapani live in the countryside as farmers or ranchers. There are a scattering of market towns and a small capital in each March.is 6,314,000, of which almost half, or 2,874,000 live in
Three elements dominate the topography of. To the north lie the ; the are in the south; and the broad valley of the separates them in the center. The Rabkona Hills extend from the eastern front of the , parallel to the for almost 1340 km. The land is rugged and broken in the west but becomes more rolling as it descends to the Dunafolda and valleys. In the center of the hills is a high outcrop that was fortified by the Rapani in the early days of their settlement. This is the present day site of the town of . Further east, a large broken upland area dominates the tip of the Rabkona Hills. Much of the forest that covered the Rabkona has been logged, although large stands still exist between and and along the mountain edge.
The Banakur Forest, on the southern edge of Selka.are a northern extension of the , continuing northeasterly for 920 km beyond . The Doberai Hills are higher than the and are broken by steep ravines and hillsides to the north and south. The center of the Doberai is an area of lower relief, with a gentle climb from to the ridgeline and an equally easy descent to the . The traverses the Doberai Hills through this country. These hills were logged in times for many km either side of the Great Road. Forests still blanket the northern sector of the Doberai. In the south, isolated stands gradually merge to form the thick growth of the
is bounded, shaped, defended and nurtured by its rivers. The marks its northern boundary. The river is difficult to cross to the west of the , and it serves as Elirapa’s northern moat. It flows 2040 km from the to the point where the Vari joins it. A ferry crossing exists at , on the .
To the east of Banakur Forest and travels 2120 km north to the . The Vari is easily crossed along most of its length, with the best crossing point across from , where the bridge once stood.lies the , another great river. The Vari begins deep in the
The Selka from the other Marches. Its tributary, the pours out of the and cuts a narrow valley across western Elirapa, marking the eastern boundary and ancient moat of . The Brissa is difficult to bridge, with its main crossing point at , one additional point far upstream and the other about 180 km from the Vari.travels easterly across , bisecting it and dividing
Each March maintains an administrative capital that is the primary town of the March. Of them, only Selka March was settled.and exceed 10,000 inhabitants. Taglari owes its size to its central location and position on the trade route from to and to its role as the main commercial center of the north and ancient capital before
is the largest Rapani town, located on the where it crosses the . Although the bridge is long gone, in peaceful times Selka maintains a ferry service across the river and barges travel from Selka to and , in the .
The chartered city of Selka on the south bank of the , is a commercial center for the central Brissa valley. It is also a transshipment point for goods moving by water on the Brissa or by land to or ., located in
There are also 95 free towns in the.
There are two main road systems in the. The runs east to west, from to , connecting Korslik to the . The runs north from Selka City to , then across the to and from Tahir to on the north bank of the .
Secondary roads connect, and to . A military road runs from Zamegaber to the via the on the upper . A second mountain trail connects to via the .
Each of the Marches is an independent state within a loose confederation formed to meet the threat posed by the Selka is by far the largest and is the dominant member of the confederation..
Each March is ruled by a Duke, who is advised by a council comprised of theand the .
The economic and social life of the countryside is dominated by military organizations known as Rhydes. The basic purpose of the Rhyde is to raise, equip and train soldiers for the defense of . All of its ancillary economic and social functions are directed to that end.
All land outside of the towns is owned by the Rhydes. The land owned by a particular Rhyde is not contiguous but consists of farms spread throughout the March. Farms are assigned to members of the Rhyde who have completed military service. The proprietor has tenure to the land for life. In return, the proprietors provide the Rhyde with food and agriculture products to support the Rhyde’s military obligations.
Each fall, all 18 year old males gather outside the march capital for a Rhydes. Each Rhyde is obliged to fill a 1,200 man Battle with 18 year olds and any 18 year old who wishes to have a future must either join a Rhyde or seek his fortune in a town.held by the
The towns and cities operate independently of the Rhyde structure. By custom, the Rhydes control the sale of agricultural products within the towns and cities. All other town occupations are open to all citizens. Towns permit their citizens to buy and sell property freely and they are exempt from military service. Instead, each town maintains a town militia that performs policing and garrison responsibilities in peacetime and joins the regular army in wartime.
The Rapani follow the Battles fight in alliance with Gornarod or L’npei. Their soldiers fight predominantly as infantry with pikes, short chopping swords, and longbows. These fighters do not use either rifles or . Rapani armies include .and their
The basic operational unit of the Rhyde is called a Battle. Each Rhyde raises one Battle each year. The Battle serves together for 10 years and then it is disbanded. A small proportion of the men will be identified as officer candidates and, depending upon their success and skill, will serve for up to 27 years.
Upon induction a Battle consists of 1,200 recruits. For its first two years, the Battle spends its time in full time training. It may see active service, but usually only during the last six months of the training period.
After the training period, the Battle settles into a cycle of three months of active service, six months agricultural labor on farms owned by members of the Rhyde and three months of large unit training in the fall. This cycle lasts for three years.
Upon completion of the three year cycle, the Battle enters its final, five year cycle. It serves two months on active duty, eight months in agricultural labor and two months training with the other Battles.
Upon the completion of ten years of service, the soldiers of the Battle retire and are assigned farms owned by the Rhyde. Some will return to family farms that they will inherit as their fathers age. Others will be assigned to farms that are unassigned or that are held by elderly proprietors.
The Battle and they serve at his sufferance, although typically they serve for the full ten year life of the Battle. The Master of the Rhyde is appointed by the , however the active and retired Battle commanders of the Rhyde can vote “no confidence” in the Master of the Rhyde and remove him. The March Commander also appoints all brigade and army commanders. The March Commander is an elected officer and he serves a single term of twelve years. In each March, other than Selka, the Rhyde Masters elect the March Commander.appoints the two senior officers of each
In Selka, the procedure is slightly different. There, the selects three contenders from among the . Each Rhyde Master can vote for or against the slate. If the slate gets a majority of the votes, a second round of elections is held to select the from among the three candidates proposed. If the slate fails to get a majority of the votes, the Duke must propose a new slate. This process continues until a March Commander is elected. In wartime, the Duke of Selka, together with the can remove a March Commander and replace him with a temporary wartime commander.
The Battles of the Marches are almost exclusively infantry. They are organized along two forms. The older form, the has of pikes,swordsmen and archers. The newer has Prides of swordsmen and archers.
Selka also has one Rhyde that raises Battles of cavalry that have of lancers and archers. The is attended by a cavalry Battle of nine Prides. Five Prides are manned from the Rhydes (one from each of the Marches), one Pride is from the , one from the towns of the , one from the towns of the and one from the towns of Selka. The men of these Prides are 28-38 years old and frequently go on to become senior commanders and . All nine Prides are lancers.
Selka shoulder most of the burden of defending the border. Every three months, one garrisons the 24 with a mixed force of 100 warriors per tower. A second Rhyde garrisons , at the mouth of the . The Fifth Rhyde patrols the Banakur Forest. is fortified and heavily garrisoned with a town guard of 3,000, the and the . The other fifteen Rhydes occupy five training camps: , , , and .and
Rhydes between three camps: , and . The Varinde Camp is responsible for the garrison of and the four along the river. A town guard of 1,000 garrisons .divides its six
has two camps, the and the . North Camp is near the capital of and South Camp is located in the long southern tail of Usak, on the west bank of the . Zamegaber has a garrison of 700.
has one large in the and a guard of 1,400 in the capital of .
has one along the and a guard of 500 in the capital of .