The following is a brief history of the Cago region and its government as known by the players.
The Moragi Settlement
Prior to the founding of Cago proper, the area was settled by moragi homesteaders, establishing individual subsistence farms and small communities. While their physical prowess served them well in fending off wild animals and small bands of bandits, they were too few in number and too disorganized to do much more than hang on to their land, which was more than most ersatz communities could say. At this time, their livestock and supplies were sometimes raided by groups of kharaz riders from the south, whose use of horses and complete disregard for anyone’s personal safety (including their own) made life difficult.
Human Migration and Kharaz Diplomacy
Shortly thereafter, small groups of human refugees began entering the area from the east. They found common ground with the moragi in language and similarities in mytho-historical traditions and settled in. While weak by morag standards, the humans were numerous and had large families, and were just as willing to pick up a spear to defend their territory. The increased population meant that more of the land could be worked, and also that more targets appeared for the kharazai. After a number of conflicts that turned in the humans’ and moragi’s favor, the kharaz seemed willing to communicate, and a sort of understanding was reached (mostly the kharaz learning that wanton violence wasn’t as much fun for other species). An uneasy peace came into existence.
The Arrival of the Nats and the Establishment of Cago
When a small but well-armed group of Nats entered the area from the west, the humans thought they were the same species until some minor physical differences were explained. The Nats brought with them gunpowder, government, some medical knowledge, and political acumen. They quickly built a small fortification near the southern tip of the Clean Sea and began to trade their knowledge and engineering skills for food and labor… the beginning of the Nat aristocracy. At this time the kharazai remained in the wilderness, wary of the newcomers. The Nats also brought with them the grunties, who had taken shelter with the larger, smarter, better-equipped species.
The Cromen Invasion
Almost exactly one year after Thurston Royal I declared himself governor of the Cago territories, a large band of cromen invaded from the west, having pursued and harassed the Nats for years. However, the establishment of a fortification and the additional soldiers provided by the humans and moragi proved decisive, and the Nats were able to successfully lure the bulk of the cromen invaders directly into the palisades of Fort Cago, where organized volleys of musketfire killed hundreds and sent the few survivors back into the wilds across the Great River. After this, the Nat right to govern was cemented, and some of the noble houses began claiming territory, some with more cooperation from the residents than others.
The Growth of Cago and Contact with the Ess
A city began to grow around Fort Cago, and the Nats set up the city into districts where various species of humanoids remained largely segregated while the Nats remained largely inside the stronger fortifications of the original Fort Cago at its northern edge. Nat knowledge and human/morag/grunty labor helped improve the quality of life inside the city for all, and improved farming and ironworking techniques saw the outlying hamlets grow into something like proper towns. During this period, five slight and pale travellers arrived in Cago with no warning. These were ess diplomats, members of a species that existed as boogeymen and warlocks in morag children’s stories. The diplomats established a presence in Cago, set up trade between the city and their retreat Thelebar, and became less mythological, if not more cuddly. Ess diplomatic prowess and psionic talents indirectly led to a softening of tensions between the residents of Cago and the kharaz when the ess, who had dealings with kharaz before, were able to explain kharaz culture as a byproduct of their physiology.
Reforms and the Purity Knights (approximately ten years before campaign time)
After generations of species-centric rule, the native humans , grunties and, to a lesser extent, moragi, had exploded in numbers due to better agriculture. The Nats had not, and remained a very small group, and tensions swirled in society about their hereditary social contract. While some Nats seemed amenable to renegotiating the power structure, most wanted to maintain the status quo. A radical faction took on the mantle of the Purity Knights, an old clandestine group of Nat supremacist activists, and became somewhat less clandestine, waging a short but memorable campaign of terror through the territory. Revolution seemed likely until the Purity Knights suddenly disappeared from public view. It was rumored that most of their financing had come from the coffers of House Renssalear, an old and powerful noble house, and the sudden deaths or disappearances of the extremist Lord Criton and almost all of his children may have caused the Purity Knights to lose all of their backing. After this, efforts to appease the non-Nat species continued apace, with literacy programs and the slow integration of most sections of greater Cago, although the Fort remains the province of the inner noble houses.