The Centaur Concordat

By 47 BR, the Ystrian population had more than tripled, and the demand for lumber—for the construction of new islands and buildings, as well as ships—had slowly been pushing Ystria and the nearby centaur forest-tribes towards conflict. This conflict seemed all but inevitable, as the centaurs of the forest-tribes were united in 45 BR under Maimon the Fierce, and Ystria was ruled by King Dandolo the Fat (also called Dandolo the Wastrel). Despite these expectations, Dandolo and Maimon negotiated a secret treaty which was presented and publicly signed in 47 BR.

This treaty is known as the Centaur Concordat and altered the course of Ystrian-centaur relations forever. This treaty came as a surprise to the nobles of Ystria—for Dandolo had managed to keep it secret even from them—and is widely regarded as Dandolo’s only accomplishment of any worth whatsoever. Nevertheless, the Accord established Ystria’s borders as “Forever constrained by the Nicephori,” ensuring that the Ystrians would never settle on land. Additionally, the Ystrians were forbidden from “the harvesting of lumber, for commercial purposes or otherwise, forever”. In return, the forest centaurs promised to provide the Ystrians with all the lumber they needed—in exchange for a fair price—harvested according to centaur methods.

The Accord was hugely controversial at the time and nearly led to the downfall of House Lido. The nobles of Ystria, believing that Dandolo had sold them out, plotted to assassinate and replace him. In 48 BR, the event now known as the Night of the Wastrel took place: Under the leadership of House Iterari, several assassins made their way into the Lido Palace and cut Dandolo to ribbons. Dandolo’s two wives were also killed in this fashion, but his daughter, Dandola the Wise, escaped. When the assassins had been stopped and their connections to House Iterari established, Dandola’s vengeance was terrible. Every member of House Iterari was executed—and so it was snuffed out completely, and has been dead ever since—and all the other participatory nobles were imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

The rest of Dandola’s reign was a stark contrast to its bloody beginning: She ruled with an even and temperate hand, and stuck true to the terms of the Centaur Concordat. Once a year, however, those nobles imprisoned for the assassinations were brought out in cages and sailed around the islands of the city. Dandola ruled for 37 more years, and every year this event took place. As the prisoners began dying, they were replaced, in their cages, by hideous and malformed representations of themselves. This event became known as the Grotesquerie and is still celebrated to this day.

The Military Decree of the Lido Palace

The Centaur Concordat proved to be hugely beneficial for Ystria. Freed of the need to harvest lumber, Ystrian merchants turned their attention to other endeavors. The antagonism that had characterized Ystrian-centaur relations began to fade, and both sides began to profit from their arrangement. The constraints placed upon Ystria’s borders turned out to be meaningless, as there was still a great deal of area wherein new islands could be constructed. In 113 BR, House Jesolo struck a deal with the Maimon Centaurs and began importing centaur bows.

Widely regarded as the best bows in the known world, the centaur bows were quickly adopted by the Ystrian military. In 115 BR, Queen Dandola II began to implement a series of structural and institutional reforms within the Ystrian military, which culminated in the sweeping Military Decree of the Lido Palace in 117 BR, which reorganized the Ystrian armed forces entirely and placed the new and highly-elite Palace Bowmen at the center of Ystrian defenses. The Ystrian military has endured largely without alteration since then, though the Second Military Decree of the Lido Palace, issued in 303 BR, removed the numerical limits placed on the army and the navy in the first decree, and these limits have never been re-introduced.

Next: The Sorian Empire Arrives

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The Centaur Concordat

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