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Under the Sweltering Sun


Rhava

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Chapter 1: The Queen

A woman dressed in armor, with her dark brown almost black hair tied into a pony tail behind her head walked into a courtyard, covered in brown bricks, surrounded by smaller roofed buildings overlooking the city surrounding it. The court in question was the Tâk Lāeb Pad, the seat of the Rha empire's government. As Linharansāri Khrōmiamūk, known more commonly as Linh, walked into the court, three guards stared at her, them clad in bright yellow armor, carrying broad swords with vibrant ribbons fluttering in the breeze off them. She unsheathed her blade, a thinner blade with one strand of red ribbon draping off, the sword having cloud Taptik Mōou on it. She leapt forward, slashing twice, knocking one of the two guards down. She side-kicked the other, and jumped running towards the end of the court. The crown was in sight, with only one guard standing between her and the object. The guard was tall, and burly, but she could take him. With her sword in hand, she darted towards him. The figure slashed with his sword, but she parried it with hers, and with her own sword stabbed him in the chest. A sick sound erupted from his throat as the metal hit his ribs, and fell to his knees, grunting in pain. She proceeded to crescent kick him out of the way as she climbed the stairs, a single drop of sweat dropping onto the ground. 

She grabbed the crown, sheathing her blade. Another group of guards ran from one of the nearest buildings surrounding Tâk Lāeb Pad. The entire force charged her. She ran right at them, and at the last second slid under the biggest and slashed at weak points. Turning around she punched one in the face, before kicking him away. She kicked another in the shins, the guard gasping for her breath as Linh passed her. She whipped out her sword from her sheath fluidly, throwing in some flower spins for extra pizazz, before finishing the other guard in an uppercut to the jaw.

She ran to the tiled house at the end of the court, its empty doors and closed windows gazing eerily. At the end of the court, she stopped, turned, and then bowed to the guards crawling on the ground behind her, all of them wheezing in agony. She chuckled, losing focus for a second, only to snap back to attention. An old man, with graying hair loosely falling to his shoulders, wearing a Yaophôuhōr, with Taptik Mōou patterns twirling into the hems of the navy blue robe, walked out of the dark doorway clapping.

"Well done, your highness," he said. "In only a short few months you have really improved greatly. Some might even compare your swordsmanship to that of our elite Anāk'ri." He patted her on the shoulder, and kindly handed her a towel. She smiled back, as she wiped sweat from her brow. 

"Thank you kindly Master Pāesnawiây," she said bowing. "This morning I brought over herbal medicines to your wife as well. I hope she becomes better, and offer my condolences." It was his turn to smile.

"You are too kind, mistress Linh."

Their moment of friendliness was interrupted by the pattering of steps. A little man, maybe in his late twenties climbed the 396 stairs to the Tâk Lāeb Pad, and gasped for air has he arrived in the courtyard. 

“I’m sorry to cut this short Master Pāesnawiây, but it seems that I am needed elsewhere.” 

“Of course your highness, Khoenāné Chuyȇnalôk” Pāesnawiây said to Linh, who was looking slightly disappointed for the lesson to be cut so short. 

Vawāy Kheông” Linh replied, before following the aid back down the staircase into the city. Nanhōurayāt stretched before Linh, its glistening towers, and smaller markets down below with vibrant blankets covering up bustling streets. Even from the temple, on the border of the city, you could smell the meat skewers and Shawānh vendors. It was only a couple blocks to the royal palace, but Linh was already tired, and she was only 234 steps down from Tâk Lāeb Pad. As she walked through the streets, people seemed to silence gazing as she walked through the semi crowded streets. Down in the city, light was produced by lanterns, as when the sun set there would be no light because of the large towers and in the day blankets over the market would protect people from the sweltering sun. The bustle continued when Linh finally arrived at the palace. The palace itself, known as Tâk Khum Hônamkrēs, or the Tiger’s Throne. As Linh walked into the palace, she like everytime was in awe, the sapphire colored floors, the golden framed windows in triangular shapes, looking off to the canal, and beyond that the green mountains. However a sense of dread also filled her stomach, as she made it to the main chambers. 

In traditional Rhavanese fashion she bowed, her hands together above her head in a circle, as she stepped back and bowed her back. 

Khāichao Amāe'' she said, glazing over at her mother, reclining over an ornate golden throne, with palm leaves spreading away from the seat, and bright flowers covering the arm rests. Queen Amirchuā Chhâumōuwåi, the Queen of the entire Rha empire, and Linh’s mother, lay gazing at her daughter. 

Khāichao Con, I have some news from the frontier, and I don’t believe you will like it.” Linh’s interest increased with the mention of the war. “ Five Anak'ri are dead, one battalion is gone and three more are reported missing. The enemy has taken 3 more Chhāti, and the city of Nhāyt.” It was probably bad for Linh to feel excited at this loss, but fighting from a young age had been more interesting than politics. 

“What do you want me to do Amāe.” 

“I’m sending you to the battle line with your own battalion, I have know doubt you’re ready for this and as it is we are losing more and more troops, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a victory on my reports.” Linh was shocked, and then exploded with joy. 

“THANK YOU SO MUCH AMĀE, I WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN.” Amirchuā gave her a look to silence her, and Linh fell deathly silent. 

“I have no doubt. Good luck my palm frond, may Yåmbinnȏk and the Lāeb Pad Ngô watch over you.” And with that Linh left with a hop in her step, knowing that this time tomorrow she would be on her way to the frontier.

  

Tâk Lāeb Pad - Tâk Lāeb Pad translated from Rha is ‘Council’s seat’, however the temple supposedly was used for all government officials and families. Located on the outskirts of the city, it was a huge rectangular beige tower, 8 stories high, and an engineering miracle, with a large courtyard located at the top. 

Linharansāri Khrōmiamūk - Linharansāri Khrōmiamūk known also as Linh Chi was a general, and then an empress of ancient Rhava. She was known for winning multiple wars, as well as being incredibly fierce, and is a symbol of Rhavanese nationalism and identity. 

Taptik Mōou - Taptik Mōou or Taptik is a pattern style from coastal Rhavanese and the Rha culture. 

Yaophôuhōr - Yaophôuhōr is a unisex dress from royal courts, popular among everyone and a symbol of Rha identity. It is extremely similar to the Áo Dài. 

Anāk'ri - Anāk'ri were an ancient warrior who served the royal court, and were the best of the best. Their skill was legendary among Southeast Alharun countries, and many poems and songs are written about them.

Master Pāesnawiây -  Nhōur Pāesnawiây trained the entire royal court and most Anāk'ri. 

Khoenāné Chuyȇnalôk - Rha for; “Safe travels”. 

Vawāy Kheông  - Rha for; “And to you”. 

Nanhōurayāt - Nanhōurayāt or Thanidȃt Phī Ng Nanhōurayāt was one of the many capitals during the Rha empire. Known for its golden roofed buildings, and huge pagodas, and beige rectangular towers it was one of the many wonders in pre-colonial Alharu. Nanhōurayāt is praised for being so well planned, with one central canal circling around it, and in the city multiple farms and steppe terraces. Nanhōurayāt was thought to be located near modern day Hrēhraxuân, in northern Rhava, but it is currently unknown.  

Shawānh - Shawānh is a kind of meat preparation, and in modern day a sandwich in Rhavanese cuisine.

Tâk Khum Hônamkrēs - The Tâk Khum Hônamkrēs is the Tiger’s Throne, and is the palace of the Empress of Rhava. 

Queen Amirchuā Chhâumōuwåi - Queen Amirchuā Chhâumōuwåi was the second queen of the Trânhrahāsåk dynasty.  

Chhāti - Chhāti means province in the Rha language. 

Yåmbinnȏk - The main deity in Rhavanese Bikåmmā, and rules over the other gods. He is the god of the sun, ocean, water, and light in Bikåmmā.  

Lāeb Pad Ngô - It is the ‘Jade Council’, the council that rules over all the other gods. The head of the council is Yåmbinnȏk.

Khāichao - Hello in Rha. 

Amāe - Mother in Rha. 

Con - Child in Rha.

Edited by Rhava
bolding and rephrasing (see edit history)
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Chapter 2: The Journey

The ride to Diwångaraya was long, with Linh questioning her thoughts every inch of the way. When the crossed the canals, it was about leaving to home had ever known behind, when they crossed through the surrounding forests and hills, it was about how Master Pāesnawiây’s wife was doing, when they passed the Duôi Ngå Sisūrông Mountains, she thought about her team, and what they would be liked, when they passed the ‘Yellow Plains’ she thought about her mother, and when she passed through the Kháng Jungle, she thought about her death, and how perhaps this is where she would die. 

As they pulled out of the jungle they emerged on top of a hill looking down on the port city, Diwångaraya, and beyond that a sea of tents. For as long as Linh could remember, the frontier had been here. Whether it was 100 years ago when the Ngocluatians invaded, or 20 years ago when the Huang had invaded. Both times, Diwångaraya had always been the city to hold them back. It’s walled city had seen thousands of battles. Three layers of walls protected an impenetrable city, perhaps one of the largest in the empire. Each wall had ballistas, and holes for archers to shoot through, and in the center sat the largest temple Linh had ever seen, with blue pagodas stretching down, lined with gold nagas, dragons, and tigers, all pointing into the stunning gardens below filled with fruit trees, bright neatly cut grass, and a multitude of temples and ponds. The palace in question was the Nhāyt Khum Mulāk, built half a century ago by King Jidaywarman II

“Mistress Linharansāri Chhâu-Thi Khrōmiamūk…state your business” said an annoyed looking soldier, probably just back from his lunch shift. He was dressed in armor, with a sword strapped to his back, and he was holding a scroll writing down peoples names. 

“Um yes, that is me. I…um…Linh am here on royal duty for my country?” Linh stammered, quite off guard by the questions, she hadn’t thought of this. 

“Mhm” he grunted looking up to see the empress's daughter and was taken aback, almost dropping his scroll. 

He bowed saying “Khāichao Mulāyk Khum Tôikhā!” In a poor Northern Rha accent, and gestured to the city. “Please, right this way, have a good trip!” It was his turn to stammer as the entourage started moving towards Diwångaraya. And as they passed through the Namhēt Gate she finally was able to relax. She had made it to Diwångaraya, she was at the frontier. 

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Ruins of the Namhēt Gate at Diwångat City

Diwångaraya - Diwångaraya or in modern day Diwångat City, was the seat of power for multiple dynasties including the great king, Jidaywarman II. It is a major tourist attraction because of it’s beautiful architecture, and rich history of Huang invasion. 

Duôi Ngå Sisūrông Mountains - The Duôi Ngå Sisūrông Mountains, or Dragon’s Tail Mountains are located in North-Central Rhava, and host the nations tallest peaks, where snow can sometimes be found at high altitudes. 

Kháng Jungle - The Kháng Jungle is also known as the White Jungle, and is one of the largest jungles in all of Alharu. It is known for helping Rhava produce one of the largest amounts of Palm oil on Eurth. 

Nhāyt Khum Mulāk - The Nhāyt Khum Mulāk, know as the ‘House of Kings’ was built by Jidaywarman II, and was originally the seat of power for Diwångaraya, though later it would become a temple to the Ngȏ Lāeb Pad, specifically the god Thānhthū, the god of victory against foreign invasions. His Nalinese equivalent is Thánh Gióng.

King Jidaywarman II - King Jidaywarman II known also as Mulākidāyn was a king who lived from ???-??? And was known for defending off multiple invasions from the Huang and Ngocluatian empires, and for building the Nhāyt Khum Mulāk. 

Namhēt Gate - Namhēt Gate was one of two gates leading into Diwångaraya, the other being Bakhēt gate, Namhēt translating to Southern, and Bakhēt translating to Northern. 

Khāichao Mulāyk Khum Tôikhā! - ‘greetings your majesty’ respectfully in Rha.

Edited by Rhava (see edit history)
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Chapter 3: The Team

The state of Chôkanēei Mulāk lay on the coastline, and controlled the city of Diwångaraya, as well as the surrounding lands, and the islands of Khao Chhoā, Khao Samâway, Khao Luā-Luā, with Luā-Luā under Huang occupation. The state was home to its own ethnic people, the Jarang. They also spoke a Jarang Rha dialect, known as Jarhai. Modern day historians believe that the Jarang, and closely related Rawang migrated with other !Austronesian peoples from Alharu and settled in Rhava. Either way, the state lived as part of the Rha Empire, with only a century ago the kingdom hosting the capital during the reign of King Ngå Thūhk. As power shifted into the center of the empire, to adjust to the annexation of Upper Khōrasif, forces invaded the Rha Empire, capturing the southernmost city of Sūmåtāndarayā. The invasion however was finally stopped at the battle of ‘Thāwleh Santhāu’, outside of Diwångaraya. 

As Linh tried to remember all the history, the sanpan she was on quietly glided over the clear morning lake. Linh had stayed the night in Diwångaraya, before leaving early in the morning. The sky was a painting of orange and dark blue hues, crossed by translucent clouds. The water was a nice light blue, with the lakefloor hidden, and the moving of the sanpan causing ripples.  

“That’ll be 2 Khiên” said the captain as she steered the boat into the sandy shore, the lights of Diwångaraya barely a speck on the horizon. As Linh handed her the money, she gazed at the long grass swaying in the breeze as she headed to the camp. It was still early in the morning when she arrived at the sea of tents, but she was told her squad was already waiting. She entered a particularly large tent to 5 other people, looking up from their conversations. 

“Um…hi” she said, definitely not prepared and way too tired for this. They all offered their greetings, and began to bow: “please, you don’t need to bow” she said, gaining a voice. “Could you all please introduce yourselves. They looked between each other, before a man with darker skin and dark brown hair stepped up, and began to introduce himself. 

“Khāichao” he said, in a thick Sōkhaos accent, “I am from Medouahē, in Amōujwt. My Rha name is Baôkh, though my birth name is Khibzāeik Al’Khamsē.” He muttered something under his breath in what Linh thought was Sōkhaos, but didn’t question. 

“How bout you” Linh said, pointing to a younger woman, with tan skin and jet black hair, a monolid, and a purple ribbon in her hair, a sign of government position. 

Namchao” she said, most definitely in Nhāi. “My name is Hatvinh Sotsanhchoi, and I am from Nokōur Nhāi.” Linh knew she recognized the name, she was Governor Hônamseu Sotsanhchoi’s daughter. Linh nodded for the next person, a short man who seemed the closest to a standard Rha person, hazel eyes, olive skin, and brown hair. 

“Khāichao” . He was most definitely Rha. “My name is Likhām Khōkôn, and I am from Khu Måndaraya.” Linh recognized his first name as the Rha word for Likhām (meaning glass). She nodded to the next person to come up. 

“Xin Chào'' said the woman in Nalinese, “My name is Hoáng Thi Pham, and I am from Ba Chó.” She nodded to the last person, who came up hesitantly. 

“Khāichao” said a young man, “my name is Chumaslôk, and I am from Khamdông.” He was definitely Rha, his name meaning ‘string’, an extremely traditional name. 

“Well, that's everyone. Khāichaokhōn, I am Linh, and I am your new captain.” She almost squealed in happiness at that statement, but then controlled herself. “Who would like to find out our first assignment!” That time she definitely squealed. 

Chôkanēei Mulāk - It was the southeastern most state under Queen Amirchuā, it's capital being Diwångaraya. 

Khao Chhoā, Khao Samâway, Khao Luā-Luā - Islands located off the coast of Rhava, most Rhavanese people visit these for vacation.

Jarang / Jarhai - The Jarang people are an Austronesian people native to Rhava, and they speak the fusion language of Jarhai. 

Rawang - The Rawang are an Austronesian people native to Rhava. 

King Ngå Thūhk - King Ngå Thūhk's name means ’of eternal’, and he was the king who lost most of the Rha territory to the south. 

Upper Khōrasif - A kingdom located on the Ngô river, and had a majority Sokhaos population. 

Sūmåtāndarayā - A city located outside modern day Khōkôn Khā and is the namesake of Lāng Khim Ng Sūmåt International Airport. 

Thāwleh Santhāu - A decisive battle known as the 'battle of two hills'. 

Sōkhaos - An ethnic group native to northwestern Rhava, they speak the Sōkhaos language.

Khiên - Ancient Rha currency.

Namchao Hello in the Nhai.

Khāichaokhōn - Hello Everyone in Rha.

Edited by Rhava (see edit history)
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