Dascoro

From Almeopedia

The Dascoro [da ˈsko ro] was a dynasty of Caďinorian emperors ruling 188 years, from 2610 to 2792. It’s considered the last dynasty of the Caďinorian Empire, though some give that dubious honor to the Dalmaž dynasty.

By this period, the written language was increasingly a form of Old Verdurian rather than classical Caďinor. Names are therefore given in Verdurian (in modern spelling).

Rise

Dascoro dynasty
2610-2637 Malia Mália
2637-2651 Miurazonnos Murazón
2651-2672 Mieradul II Mëradul 2e
2672-2695 Medroriĥ Medric
2695-2728 Melisuertos Melisör 2e
2728-2742 Mieranac Mëranac
2742-2785 Medroriĥ II Medric 2e
2785-2792 Melisuertos III Melisör 3e

The dynasty was begun by Mália, not the first soldier to take the sash, but the first female one and the only one of nomadic descent— she was commander of the Naviu auxiliaries attached to the Southern Army. She succeeded to the command of this army when its general died at the defense of Aránicer, and the emperor Aertund II sent her first to fight the Somoyi and then back south to recapture Aránicer when it was lost to the Gelyet in her absence. Aertund’s military incompetence was the last straw for Mália and other soldiers; she marched on Ctesifon in 2609 with two other generals and, after a decent interval, allowed the nobles to offer her the sash.

As empress, Mália tried to be as Caďinorian as possible, supporting the arts and temples, restoring and building public works, and above all marrying a solid Caďinorian, Fantiosu Dascoro, whose name was given to the dynasty. Such things may not have directly strengthened the state, but they were the standard prescription for a great emperor and a standard criticism of the last centuries of weak rulers, and they did prop up morale.

She also recaptured the upper Svetla, and her son Murazón pushed the Somoyi out of Šerian. Her grandson Medric won a great victory over the Gelyet in 2680; Eretald was now largely cleared of barbarians, and the Gelyet predominance over the Naviu collapsed. (It was Murazón, by the way, who introduced the convention of giving heirs names beginning with M.)

Centrifugal forces

However, even vigorous emperors could not overcome the increasing autonomy of the provinces. Nobles expected to be sovereign within their estates, and the easiest way to retain their support was to largely leave them alone. The lower population and wrecked economy of the Dark Years made the nobles see little gain and much annoyance from centralized rule. Ctesifon was now seen largely as a military protector, and even in this role it had often failed, leaving nobles to develop their own armed forces.

Even the six imperial armies were not the universal resources they had been. Each had a home region, and resented being moved out of it; as Mália’s examples showed, generals could also get the idea that they would make better rulers than the emperor. Both officers and soldiers were often rewarded with land, and this also tied them to their estates and made them disinclined to long campaigns. The imperial prerogative to raise armies was increasingly resented, and politically it became more and more necessary to ask (or attempt to compel) nobles to provide their own forces for campaigns.

The upper Svetla, once recovered from the Gelyet, was ruled by the military. Murazón’s son Mëradul 2e made the military governors into nobles; this was an old Caďinorian practice and supposed to build a strong civilian state— and it did, a thousand years ago, but no longer. Two generations on, however, the nobles felt no loyalty to Melisör 2e— quite the opposite; they revolted in 2712, taking the Southern Army and the best barbarian auxiliaries with them.

Melisör’s nephew Mëranac received them back— that is, he signed a treaty that declared them loyal subjects and accorded them complete autonomy, which preserved the niceties but meant nothing.

Mëranac’s son Medric 2e came to the throne full of projects to restore central authority: a new law code; a parliament; a campaign to recapture Sereor. None of these came to anything;

Ironically, perhaps, Eretald was beginning an agricultural revolution, founded on the introduction of the heavy plow, the horse collar and thus the use of horses in agriculture, and the proliferation of water mills. Progress was barely visible, however, and it certainly wasn’t yet enough to regenerate a strong central state— indeed, the first effects were to strengthen the nobles— they were the ones who built the mills and benefitted the most from the increased productivity of the peasants. Market towns began to grow, but they were not yet large or rich enough for the merchants to be exploitable by the state.

The fall of Ctesifon

Melisör 3e was still a teenager when Medric died (2785). He had no rapport with what remained of the army, and no idea how to raise troops. When the Curiyans under king Meugi invaded, he simply trusted that the situation would be taken care of. But the army was defeated, and simply melted away; Melisör was captured in his palace and slain. (Meugi was not a cruel man, just a prudent one. It’s not wise to leave a claimant to the throne around.)

At this point the nobles were startled awake, and there was some attempt to organize a resistance. The first nobles who managed to engage the usurper were massacred. This put the rest in a mood to listen to Meugi's reassurances; they found that, as a practical matter, they could live without having an emperor.

What Meugi couldn’t or wouldn’t do was to become a Caďinorian emperor. He wore the right clothes in Ctesifon, forebade his troops to loot the city, and patronized the arts and temples; but he governed from Kulža and he and his successors were seen as Curiyans. The Caďinorian empire, after nearly two thousand years, was over. The provinces unconquered by the Curiyans simply drifted away, without great regret. Bura would eventually liberate Ctesifon and claim to have restored the empire; but the utter defeat of his son Ertala made the claim seem grandiose; Ctesifon would simply be another post-Caďinorian kingdom.

Dynasties of Caďinas
Preceded by:
Cteranei d.
Dascoro d.
2610-2792
Succeeded by:
Curiyan rule