Pronel [pro ˈnɛl] is the region consisting of the valley of the Puro and its hinterland up to the mountains, sometimes as well including the valley of the Doju to its west. An eternal backwater, it is most notable for retaining its Wede:i character for the last three milennia.
The early urban centers of Wede:i Pronel were Na:iral, Yonpelu: and Yewor along the Puro, and Buruśi and Yeśela along the Doju. These were incorporated into the expanding empire of Yenine by about -600.
The main thrust of the Ezičimi invasion was the occupation of the rich Xengi valley (like many conquerors since then, they left the Puro for later). The early Inbamumakei empire, for instance, conquered the central Xengi (~ -350), but Yewor (and Saiśi on the upper Xengi) clung to independence for a few generations. The Wede:i later reconquered the middle Xengi, but similarly left the Puro in Ezičimi lands, under a nive based in Yompelu. The Doju, to the north, also remained out of Wede:i hands.
Around -50 the Doju valley asserted its independence under a dynasty native to Yeśela; in later centuries domination passed to the city of Buruśi. In the Puro valley, the local Wede:i rebelled c. 140 and organized the kingdom of Puroŋeli, which in 170 occupied the upper Xengi as well. The Ezičimi reconquered the Puro and the upper Xengi in the 440s, leaving only Raśakbori in Wede:i hands. Raśakbori retook the upper Xengi a century later.
The Jeori emperor Suma:un conquered Do:ju and Raśakbori in 731-5, incorporating them into an empire that spanned from the Čiqay to the eastern mountains. As the Jeori declined in the 800s, its place was taken by Axunai. Again, the new empire neglected to conquer the Puro.
By 870 the efforts of the paźiwan of Yewor succeeded in uniting Pronel and its hinterland as the kingdom of Puroŋeli. In the next century, the kingdom expanded east to conquer the Tei, a Čia-Ša people living on the shores of Lake Lenan.
Do:ju became independant from Puroŋeli around 1000. Over the next centuries there was frequent war with Axunai, focussed on the ancient capital of Buruśi which changed hands several times. Understandably, the safer Yeśela became the seat of the paźiwa.
A difficult reputation
Why were Pronel and Doju never conquered for good, as the Xengi valley was? To some extent they were protected by their remoteness, but even more by their low population, which made them slim pickings. The land here is more marginal; instead of the wide flat plains and slow water of the Xengi valley, perfect for canals, the valleys are narrower and the river more difficult.
To the Ezičimi all Wede:i were inferior beings, suitable only to be slaves. This feeling had largely passed by the time of the rise of Axunai, but Doju and Pronel were still disdained as a backwater of non-Axunemi, barely better than the illiterate Mei. Nonetheless they were doughty fighters, though they preferred to avoid direct confrontation with the huge Axunemi armies - melting instead into the hills and wreaking havoc on the back lines, or burning camps in the middle of the night. The nivewi eventually learned the lesson: the region was easy to march into, troublesome and unprofitable to remain in.
The dominion of the nomads
In 1525, the eastern portion of Puroŋeli was occupied by the Mei, newly united as the kingdom of Mei Ros. This activity from former non-players was a sign of things to come: the military initiative on Ereláe had shifted to the nomads. And Pronel was much more attractive to the nomads than to the Axunemi: it had towns to plunder, and its hilly hinterland was well suited for herding.
In 1623-6, the Kurundasti Tej - the Tžuro empire experiencing the revolution of Jippirasti - conquered the hinterland of Pronel, leaving only the Puro itself independent. The Puro was incorporated into the empire of Neirimi of Moun in 1636, availing himself of an alliance with Munkhâsh. Neirimi also took the southern portion of Do:ju, including Buruśi.
Around the same time, Do:ju's eastern portion was lost to the Kurundasti. It ventured to reoccupy its lands in the late 1640s, while the great atej Attafei was busy conquering Munkhâsh. This proved to be an intolerable provocation to the Tej: Munkhâsh defeated, the Kurundasti swallowed the little country whole in 1667.
Pronel now settled into a long period of Jippirasti rule. There was enormous pressure to convert, and it’s said that more than half the population did so. At the same time, the nomads never viewed native converts as equals, which discouraged assimilation.
Those who did not convert continued to worship the Wede:i gods— though these, now difficult to cast as great players on the cosmic stage, increasingly became minor godlings: bestowers of luck, curses, and visions. When philosophizing, the Proneli moved toward pantheism. Rather than gods, there were aspects of divine consciousness, warring in the world and in the mind: love, reason, justice, passion, creation, aggression, and so on.
Masters came and went with the tides of the times. In 1920 the local Kurundasti split off to form a tej of their own, the Naraji. In 2050 the Carhinnoi exploded onto the Lenani plateau; many Lenani fled into the hinterlands of the Naraji. When the tej tried to assert its authority over the newcomers, these revolted and destroyed its power. Pronel found itself independent for a time; then the Tokruji tej conquered it (2287-90), then the Sainor (2430-40).
The new empire of Xurno fought several wars with the Sainor, finally breaking their power in the 2600s. They pushed the Sainor out of Pronel in 2690-2720, and governed the country for the next century and a half.
- For the modern history of Pronel, see Cuoli.