Thuria and Beyond
One of the smaller Thurian kingdoms, Korunia is comprised of loosely allied city-states and is a somewhat mountainous land to the south of Brythunia and Nemedia, west of Zamara, east of Ophir, and north of Koth.
Although more civilised and peaceful than the wild, lawless land of Zamara, Korunia is rightly regarded as another unreliable partner in the Thurian alliance by the monarchs of the major powers such as Aquilonia and Nemedia. This is because while Korunia has a discrete and more-or-less stable unifying culture, the rulers of its many small city states have long resisted the notion of full subservience to a single ruler. The position of King of Korunia does exist, but both the monarch’s role and the system of royal succession is unique to this land. On the death of a Korunian king, the rulers of the numerous (mostly small) city states convene to decide which of their number will take on the role. Historically, these discussions have tended to proceed for many weeks, leaving a power vacuum each time, both at the the kingdom-wide level and in the individual city states while their kings (and queens) are locked in debate. It does not always follow that Korunia is “ruled” by the most dominating figure from among the leaders of the city states. Nor does it follow that the Korunian King tends to hail from one of the largest and wealthiest cities. This latter outcome, in fact, is usually dispreferred because the numerous kings fear it as a potential threat to their autonomy. Korunia, then, lacks a national capital city. Whoever is eventually chosen as king by his peers simply continues to reside in, and operate from, his home city.
All of this considered extremely frustrating by Korunia’s Thurian allies. Korunian kings are not respected by their fellow monarchs, being considered to be mere politicians rather than true rulers. There is always great concern, moreover, about the perilous state of vulnerability experienced by Korunia whenever the rulers of the city states spend weeks choosing a new king. The fear is that this period of paralysis leaves Thuria’s southern buffer open to the advances of invaders from the Settish land of Koth. More than once, in fact, forces from Aquilonia and Ophir have had to rush to the defence of Korunia during these periods of indecision over the succession of a new king.
Lately, there have been rumours that Aquilonia’s current king, the despotic and ambitious Acastus, is planning to alter quite fundamentally the relationship between Korunia and its allies. One theory is that he will attempt to station Aquilonian forces in Korunia and demand tribute for their upkeep. Others speculate that Acastus may even seek to invade an annexe Korunia as part of a putative Aquilonian empire. Other rumours contend that Korunia has more to fear from the northern neighbour, Nemedia, with which it actually shares a border.
Officially, as part of the Thurian alliance, Korunia is a Mitraic land. In practice, however, the matter of religious practice varies widely across the numerous city states. In some, the Church of Mitra is supreme to the point of the local ruler being highly intolerant of other faiths. In other city, Mitra worship coexists with one or more other cult. To the south and in more remote locations generally, worship local “city gods” (rather like the Zamaran model) or the worship of gods of the south (even Set!) can take precedence. This diversity is yet another complicating factor to be taken into account during the complex, lengthy succession process of Korunian kings. The rulers of the city states understand that the monarchs of the larger Thurian kingdoms will not easily accept diplomatic relations with a Korunian king suspected of less than sincere allegiance to Lord Mitra.
At present, the role of King of Korunia is played by the ruler of the city of Anuphar.
Most of the larger settlements are built along the Road of Kings. Away from the Road of Kings and along tributaries of the Red River, the settlements are smaller. The western parts of the kingdom contain rank after rank of forested ridges, extending to the westernmost sweep of the Karpash Mountains, which separate Korunia from Ophir.
The southern tip of Korunia is desert terrain, where the city states of Kamalla and Zahmahn are located. The northernmost part of the country is very different, with fertile rolling hills studded with productive farms and vineyards.
Of the numerous city states of Korunia, the larger and more important ones include:
- Khumar Rhun
As well as its human resident, Korunia is home to small communities of centaurs, satyrs and elves.