The Grand Protectorate of the Rower’s Alliances of the Bindun, Ordun and the Reaches of Siering sometimes The Siernal Grand Protectorate or just The Grand Protectorate is a large country in Masson’s east, harbouring the majority of the Siernal people since its inception in 1364, but has since expanded to the point were it includes at least four major ethnicities.
The Protectorate is a collection of regions possessing different degrees of autonomy. They can roughly be divided into 17 Riverkingdoms, 21 Sworn lands, also with the status of kingdom, and 6 Sworn lands without. They are bound to each other by the Rower’s Alliance and share a common administration to which they’re all subjects to, ensuring mutual control. This administration is the office of the Protector, which is a position elected for life by all those Siernal nobles with voting rights.
It’s capital is Tulming.
The history of the Grand Protectorate starts with the Rower’s Council 1364, and its immediate prelude can be traced back to 1288. For Siernal history prior to this, refer to the main article Siernal ancient history.
Prelude to the Protectorate: The Yamorezen Colonisation
Main Article: The Yamorezen Colonisation
The Yamorezen territory across the Kol lake appeared to be prime territory for expansion of influence for the nations of western Masson, particularly the expansion hungry Emilia. However, a hard winter and Siernal interference prevented the majority of the migrants reaching the Yamorezen territory, which meant temporary stays in the northern Riverkingdoms and eastern Sternia, whereby the living essentials of the colonists were acquired mostly by marauding. In order to prevent the raiding Sterns and Emilians from ravaging the already struggling land, the Siernals banded together to form an alliance, which, contrary to the many Siernal alliances before, strove to include all Siernal kingdoms, rather than merely those of a geographically distinct region. Each member of the alliance agreed to send a contingency of soldiers to defeat the colonists and the supporting forces that their home countries had sent them, but virtually every Riverkingdom sent fewer men than necessary, every king thinking the alliance big enough for his smaller contribution not to be relevant. They promptly lost the only significant battle of the colonization, and in the spring, the colonists traveled onwards, leaving behind ravaged northern Riverkingdoms.
The Rower’s Council and the Wars of Protection
Despite the failing of its initial goal, in light of the economical advantages it posed and the clear inability of the singular kingdoms to defend against the budding Empires of Emilia and Chranizast this temporary alliance was solidified in 1364IH with the First Rower’s Council, in which it was agreed that free trade was to be had between the kingdoms, that they were to support each other in wars that threatened the union and that a collection of rights that would enable one kingdom to become a danger to the others were to be ceded to a newly established office of the Protector. A number of kingdoms refused to join, however and, following attempts of bribery and coercion, the Rower’s alliance declared war onto all Siernal kingdoms unwilling to join them, which was successful in bringing many Siernals into the Protectorate. In the north and east the Fen and other rebellious kingdoms, particularely the Blackwood Siernals, managed to keep themselves out of the fledgling Grand Protectorate. The Blackwood Siernals, in order to protect themselves, allied with a powerful Chernawood kingdom, Estna, which immediately vassalised the kingdoms in return for military protection. The Protectorate lost a few kiingdoms of its own in the Marches and gathered together by declaring war on the Blackwood Siernals which pulled into the war Estna and the Fen. A lack of commitment by many of the Protectorate Kingdoms meant that the Fen escaped any real damage and solidified its independence. All kingdoms without either Estna or Fen in their direct support were assimilated into the Union however. After the war, the Blackwood Siernals were absorbed fully into the Estna as occupied territory.
The office of the Protector and the Decrowning
After the wars of Protection, resulting in an Empire-like union along the river Bindun and the river Ordun, the awarding of office of the Protector posed a problem. After the first Protector had been decided at the First Rower’s Council by all kings that were in favor of the establishing of the Protectorate, the vague rules of voting were largely ignored for the election of his immediate successors. This resulted in the assassination of the second Protector and an uprising against the election of the third, in which he was killed.
Seeing a Protectorate threatening to buckle under its birthing pains, the king of Tarmuncain then proposed a noble from Oblances for the position of Protector that was renowned as a pious and single minded man. Through political influence of his benefactor and good standing with the church, he was made Protector in 1392, and immediately instated reforms, changing the office of Protector from the adherence to a number of contracts to a well defined position with multiple secondary offices and clear rights and duties. Some of these gave the Protector less of an Emperor-like status and put limits on the demands he could make towards the king, while others put more limits on the kings as the rights they had to give up were made more explicit.
Symbolic for this new course was the Decrowning. All kings within the Protectorate had to give up their crowns as a symbolic deposit that they would adhere to laws and contract of the Protectorate. This was met with dismay throughout the Protectorate and an army had to be raised as a show of power, but ultimately no civil war broke out, after concessions were made to weaken the planned power of the Protector.
So at the second Rower’s Council, the king’s crowns were locked away in Tulming, the capital. To show to the dismayed kings that this was in service of the Union, rather than the Protector, each king was to choose a single man to guard the crown box. That way every king felt he had his own man guarding his own crown while everyone was guarding everyone’s crowns.
Thee end result is the stronger union and weaker river individuals we have right now, and a bunch of myrals and statues that were made of the Protector were done without a face to show that it was not the deed of the man, but of the office. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, and it’s not like his name is lost in history.