|Established||26 Temporal 1111|
The Naurghar republic was founded by the storm giants of Bastleid bay. These giants had been living along the aforementioned bay since the Dawn Era - with nearly all of them claiming to have heritage to soldiers that served under Talos in the Creation War. Before becoming an empire, they were a free-booting people that preyed on the coastal settlements and ships of Erethor. When encountering another ship, the target could pay them not to attack - "the Bastleid Toll" or made to suffer attack by a longship of storm giants. These ships and their crews were easily a match for most ships they came across. Before the rise of the Khazarkar Empire and Shounejo, they were the most feared group in Gunaegail. Thy challenged small independent holds and even those under the flag of the largest and mightiest naval powers of Midrêth. For as long as anyone can remember, Bastleid's giants had been demanding tolls for passage of Erethor - with you either paying the toll or suffering attack on your shipping and raids on coastal settlements. This practice began to end with a agreement among the regional powers, except Naurghar, called the Bastleid Trade Act. In simple terms, this treaty said that no power could charge tolls on the open seas and that each signing nation can claim up to ten miles of sea from their coastal settlements as territory. The Khazarkar Emprie, Shouengo and others enforced this act by a blockade of Bastleid which sparked a war that led to the sacking of many storm giant holds. The giants were defeated for a time, but out of this defeat was born the Naurghar empire. They unified their towns and cities solely to meet the rising power of Erethor's younger nations.
The Bastleid Trade Act ended the Bastleid Toll but did not end the giant's penchant for pirating. For many living on the Bastleid Bay, pirating was a job. With it came a fair redistrubution of wealth - "empires like Zeymah'kein (600 HE - 1600 HE) and Mir'piamauza contribute some of their great wealth to the needy."
Some of Bastleid's storm giants had the distinction of earning their pirate's beret from a game of chance. This happened when a Piamauza pirate, former naval commander of the Mir'piamauza navy, hired on four storm giants as his crew. This was done out of necessity since he needed them to crew a recently won prize - a sailing ship built to accommodate the great size of giants. This ship was going back to Kel'gah, to be scraped, yet as fate would have it they had an encounter along the coasts of Arghild. In this dangerous area plagued with pirates, the storm giants proved so valuable in an engagement with three pirate ships that they sunk one ship, captured another, and sent another fleeing away. Thus began the history of giant pirates. They could often stand their ground against several pirate ships, while a single ship often surrendered rather than be pulverized with boulder and lighting bolts of such strength that they would make many arcanists tremble. When their captain was lost in a storm, the crew continued to pirate and over time were joined by others. The wealth and stories of high adventure led to generations of Bastleid's storm giants taking up free-booting as a trade.
Bastleid's storm giants have suffered set-backs and even brought to the brink of ruin from reprisals by Erethor's greatest empires. Their coastal towns have been attacked and burned, and their navy defeated by the like of the Khazarkar Empire and city-states like Azrunâth, yet the pursuit to rid the area of them in their sea cave redoubts and fjord strongholds has always ended in disaster.
An assault on the Naurghar is usually done by gaining naval supremacy in the Bastleid bay and then sending in the troop transport ships. Once ashore, after suffering heavy bombardment and missile fire from storm giants and whatever forces they have on hand. Over the next few hours, the skies will grow dark with angry clouds and the rains begin, followed by lighting strikes that will shear a mast, and then come the winds. All of this being generated by clusters of druidic storm giants. The storm ends several days later with any ship that could not leave, ending up wrecked on the coasts, sunk, loss of masts and rigging, and in no way fit for sea. During this storm, the ground forces are attacked by the Naurghar and their minions and unable to get succor, shore bombardment support, or evacuate the wounded. After the storm, the ground forces are usually scattered in a maze of fortifications and trenches that start about a hundred feet back from the coasts and ring the enemy settlements and strongholds. Those attempting to skirt the tops of these trenches come under heavy missile fire from giants as they fling lighting bolts and hurl boulders buzzing with electricity. The effects of these in an area wet from the storm and much standing water are painful to those in the trenches and likely a kill for any taking a direct hit. All of this can be overcome with what takes the time of siege, using bridging gear to span the trenches, backfilling, and using hardened mantlets that can take the impact of giant-sized boulders. These mantlets are heavy and cumbersome requiring the crew of a heavy catapult to move. Saying all this, punitive expeditions are still made against the Naurghar which cost more than simply paying them off.
- Nâmar-Nathân, Githân naval historian - "Engaging the Naurghar"
Naurghar became an empire in the Second Epoch. The empire's formation came from a bit of trickery with voting cast by each settlement based on population. It required a 2/3 vote for centralization but all expected the decision to be split, keeping Bastleid's holds decentralized with rule by petty governors. The storm giants seeking unification secretly agreed to free their slaves and bonded-men, legally making them citizens of their hold. This added citizenry resulted in unification and the beginning of the Naurghar empire. It also resulted in a multi-cultural population with Shou, Khazarkars, kobolds, and non-giants acquiring citizenship.
Naurghar's population has broadened with former hostages gaining freedom by paying off their masters, or those freed for good service, or by outsiders coming to Bastleid and her Naurghar pirate towns seeking fortune and glory.
The formation of the empire has not stopped their pirate tradition, leading to other states accusing them of sponsoring them.
The people of Naurghar continue their tradition of charging sea tolls to foreign vessels and the necessary pirating and raiding to collect debts.
- Phoslomor, cartographer of the Third Epoch, excerpt from the book - "Phoslomor's Survey of Midrêth, Ch. 13"