He was born in 2879, son of Zolcalto, marquis of Dalmaž. This was once a bustling town, but during the Dark Years was reduced to little more than a village nestled amid extensive Caďinorian ruins. As a boy Bura loved to play in the ruins, and this developed into a fascination with the history of Caďinas. As he later wrote, "I was dumbfounded to learn, once I was ten years old, that we, the heirs of Keadau, Ervëa and Irun, were now ruled by barbarians. I saw them myself-- dirty, leering half animals. Why did we simply not rise up?" In preparation, Bura trained himself and his retainers in the arts of war.
In 2911 Zolcalto died; the Curiyans required that nobles travel to their capital, Kulža, to be confirmed in their titles. Bura went, "objecting to their arrogance," as he insisted, but "anxious to observe our enemies in their nest." His bafflement and indignation only grew: Kulža was little more than a sprawl of adobe huts; the drabon or emperor, Ecuz, lived in a rough stone house that Ervëa wouldn't have used as a barn. He had been told that the Curiyans were formidable horseriders, but Ecuz struck him as young and weak-- his father had died only two years before. It was time, Bura felt, to reestablish Caďinorian glory.
He sought out Oporo, the heir of the Dascoro dynasty, hoping to exhort him to fulfil his destiny-- but Oporo was dull and middle-aged, happy on his estates on the Isiza, more interested in growing wine than in toppling barbarians. On the other hand, his daughter Mélnite was charming and enjoyed Bura's lectures on Caďinorian history; they were married in 2913. His son Ertala was born the next year.
He began talking quietly to other nobles, and mortgaged his own estate in order to raise money to pay soldiers. His enthusiasm and confidence were contagious-- and the new shiny uniforms of his troops suggested that he meant business. In late 2916, however, cont Tulimër revealed his plans to the Curiyans. Ecuz mobilized his army, forcing Bura's hand. He assembled his forces and those of his allies as quickly as he could and waited for Ecuz's army-- in the hills around Dalmaž, which he knew well and where Ecuz's cavalry would be at a disadvantage.
Ecuz was overconfident; seeing Bura's tiny army, he rushed right at it; when he was fully engaged, Bura brought in two more battalions that had been hidden in the hills. Ecuz found himself surrounded; half his forces managed to escape, but he was killed in the battle.
Bura immediately marched on Žésifo, where he was received as a conquering hero. The Konselora, the assemblage of the city's nobles, took little prodding to proclaim him atabo or emperor, in reli of 2917. The next month Ecuz's brother Sočole marched north; Bura was ready, and defeated him not far from the battlefield where he had crushed Ecuz.
He spent the next couple of years on a triumphal tour of central Eretald-- receiving congratulations and gifts and, where he could get them, declarations of fealty. Quite a few kings and lords were willing to offer these, but few had any intention of honoring them; the regions where his power was respected amount to modern Ctésifon, Solhai, Guaya, and Bažra.
As emperor, he did his best to revive Caďinorian pride and majesty. He referred to his realm as Caďinas, rebuilt ruined palaces and temples, and even dressed as an ancient emperor. He tried to revive ancient institutions as well, notably Caďinorian law with its insistence on the power of the emperor, as well as the Konselora, which began to operate as a legislature. His notion of power was, however, rather superficial: he was fascinated, even obsessed, with protocol, fine architecture and dress, and receiving deferential petitions; he was less interested in actually telling people what to do. This was easy enough for the nobles and merchants to live with.
He doted on his son Ertala, impressing the boy with the loftiness of his position. As he stated on a monument, "Where I grew up in a country oppressed by foreigners, my son will be lord of Eretald, the worthy heir of the emperors." He died in 2941, certain that he was a second Irun, having reestablished the Caďinorian Empire.
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| Bura |
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