The Twelfth Relic
Kingdom of Tokis
“Tokis is an unstable land. Their crops have failed year after year, their leaders have been saddled with a war they cannot win, and their cities lack the policing necessary to do good business. They were once a great people, but they have been asked to bear too great a load.
King Adoku I gained the throne through the backing of Emperor Kabori. His people are suffering for this, however, because of the war on Pekal. The armies are spent, and all the resources that should be going into developing and maintaining the kingdom are instead being thrown away to hire more mercenaries. The war will continue to go badly for Tokis as well, unless something can be done to slow or stop the aid Pekal receives.”
The Kingdom of Tokis (population 1,690,000) is the largest under the influence of Kalamar. Until fifteen years ago, three royal houses were involved in a deadly power struggle for the Tokite throne. This deadly contest, which lasted almost seventy years, continued because the ineffective and weak emperors of Kalamar were unable to stop it.
The emergence of Emperor Kabori changed the situation dramatically. As soon as he established his dominance over the dwarves of the Ka’Asa Mountains, Kabori turned his attention to the reunification of his Empire. Since the stabilization of Tokis was vital to reunification, Kabori decided to put an immediate end to the conflict. He marched the elite Imperial Guard into Tokis and after a few short, but decisive battles, re-established order. Kabori placed Adoku, head of the noble House of Soriba, on the throne and banished the other noble houses.
King Adoku I is now paying a high price for the Imperial aid he received. The Emperor has ordered the reacquisition of Pekal. This has proved most difficult due to the alliances between Pekal and Paru’Bor, Tharggy and the elven nation of the Cilorea. Tharggy provides Pekal with capital and military advisors, while Paru’Bor provides knights and the elves provide archers.
The economic stability of Tokis has declined rapidly over the last ten years. These financial woes began with the Pekalese wars and, over the last four years, mysterious locust migrations have brought the economy to near collapse. The acrididas have destroyed most of the Kingdom’s crops. It is rumored that the locusts were a deathbed curse from a surviving member of one of the noble houses banished by Emperor Kabori.
King Adoku is now faced with a starving populous and an illequipped army. Frequent assaults by Pekalese raiders have only served to worsen matters. Furthermore, he knows that another major military failure against Pekal will result in his removal from the Tokite throne. Adoku’s solution has apparently been to hire thousands of Zazahnii and Koraki mercenaries. He pays for these veterans with the Soriba family’s personal fortune and promises of Pekalese spoils. Adoku is also reportedly attempting to entice King Joto II of Shynabyth into attacking Paru’Bor, thus eliminating any Paruvian aid during his next assault upon Pekal.
The local lords who have been victimized by the locusts have openly defied Adoku by refusing to pay their taxes. King Adoku has allowed this to continue because he knows that they have no crops to spare. If the lords paid their tithing, their serfs would starve and there would be nobody to farm the land next year. Therefore, the lords whose crops were not devoured by locusts have been taxed mercilessly. Many of these lords talk of revolt, though the thought of angering Emperor Kabori has caused them to remain loyal thus far.
Few merchants frequent Tokis because there is no money to be gained. Those that come are usually just passing through. Some merchants can be found in the eastern lordships and along the Elos Bay, where the crops were not destroyed.
King Adoku’s army currently consists of 5,000 heavy footmen, 700 pikemen, 1,600 heavy horsemen, 500 light horsemen, 400 longbowmen and 800 crossbowmen. The navy consists of seven score of warships, although forty are Basiran vessels, ordered to patrol the northern Elos Bay.