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The Principality of Draconia the Dark (9-11th cs.)
The 10th century on Rus is the time that has not and will not be compared to any other - the time for great changes in Europe, both on the state and religious arenas. The old powermongers fall into dust, new countries arise; the time of pagan religions comes to its end, people turn their backs on envious pagan deities, bowing their heads before the one and only Lord of the Legions. The vikings roam Europe in their longboats, oft visiting the Byzantine Empire, which is slowly coming to its senses after the assault of the Islam. In the lands of the Crescent, art and science flourish, radiating via Spain Lesser Asia towards Europe, which is being at the same time described by many moslem scholars and travelers. On the eastern borders of the German Empire, from amidst the chaos of pagan princedoms Poland emerges, having been baptized according to the Roman catholic ways. The nomads bring news and learning acroos the steppes from as far as Chorasan, wherefrom even India and China are not that far away... The ruins of Bulgar and Khazar states still spew forth smoke into the sky, their lands await the coming of new masters...
It is then when the beginnings of the Rus appear - the one to grow in almost an eyeblink into one of the contemporary Europe's greatest powers. Being situated on the trail "from the Varangians to the Greeks" joining the lands of the North with the sunny Constantinople, reaching with its western border up to the 'roman' Europe, on the East losing itself - lo, somewhere amidst the grasses of the immeasurable Steppe - a place truly magical it has been, the crossroads for all the possible trade and cultural routes of its time.
It is in that nigh-unbelievable place and time that the Principality of Draconia is set - the domain of our prince Wszebor, a lord wise and mighty. Draconia is a principality of considerable wealth, and we - our Pince's Subjects - are what the highest strata of Rus have been. The splendour of vestments in the Prince's courts has none equal to it; His warriors' arms and armour gleam and glitter like silver in the fire; around Him, all the women at th top of their wealth and beauty... Being given the chance - the first and the last in a lifetime - to be someone else, who would not choose to be the only one in the kind, rich, beautiful and valinat?...
Amidst our Prince's subjects you may find the Viking and the Rus, the Varangian (those who have served their years in the Emperor's service in the Golden City, now bent at finding their own fortune and luck) and the Norman from the far West, the byzantine Greek and those who toil their lives fighting against the wild nomads... Women of Rus, North, West and those from the southern lands of the Turk settled in the Trebizond - in one word, a court splendid and magnificent, opulent and rich, the noblest amid the courteous, resplendent amongst the best.
When we come to set our camp, beseeching the shade of our vast tents in the scorching rays of the summer sun, how much there is to be seen!... Seats round the tables heavy with food and drink (and everything prepared in accordance with the old ways of cooking, which is guaranteed by the Prince's Dapifer with his own beard), colourful fabrics glitter on wooden beds, the serfs carry water in wooden buckets, prepares the fire under an iron tripod. The Prince's warriors polish their armour until the whole world reflects in their surface - everything connected with warfare is the Voivode's part, the one who sees that all the arms and armour are as they should have been on the Rus, on which he reports to the Prince himself. And above all that the Prince hmself, the hoard of our knowledge, the one to tell and teach us of the old ways, of the vestment and the manners, the arms and the belief, the one who burns his midnight oil in libraries of the old in search of the forgotten lore for his Principalty to grow ever stronger in fame and might. And so it is - each and every one of us, be he or she a warrior or a craftsman, the master of the cuisine or manners, is also a scholar in some part, as our knowledge of the times we love we take from books worthy our trust and in-depth studies, for our Prince to be ever more glad with his people.
Is that not a beautiful world? Come closer, bywalker, sit with us together, let yourself be captivated by our tales and our world's vision. There's room aplenty in our lands, who knows - mayhap for you even one place there shall be?...
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