Muat "the Great", Muat "The Conqueror"
Muat Rafil was the second son born to Doga Gorn Rafil II of Ghidovia in cold month of Akaken, in the year 186. He lived in the city of Old Ghidovia with his mother and older brother, Fomros Rafil. When his father was made Zarod, Muat began to study at the Blood Academy and serve his brother as an arcane adviser (similar to the modern Mana Seeker). Fomros, destined to be Zarod Fomros II, was captured and killed by Ashanzu warlords in the Retu Hills not long after 230, leaving the wizard Muat as heir to his failing father's Zarodom.
Gorn II passed away some months later after a sudden disease believed to have spread through contaminated water. Muat was already in the palace, and was given the ritual of the Augment that same night, and then another on the Coronation Day of 230.
Ghidovia was a young city-state, and still the first city to ever touch Altus' face. Nestled at the edge of the Kryus Peak, it had natural copper mines that were so abundant that one could scrape most of the material from the mountain's surface. Trade with the other Ghido tribes had made Ghidovia wealthy, but it still lacked proper defenses, fortifications, or an army. Its buildings were improvised, scattered without order, and prone to fire.
To improve the situation, Muat created new districts of the city to be built over many years using the Ghido architects from southern mountain tribes to create stone foundations. He dismissed the entry tax, and tariffs to encourage the city's population to grow when tribes settled within its borders. He instituted a tax on copper and regional defense tax to support a group of Ghido militia to ward off raiders.
Muat's specialty was in the arcane, and he enacted more reforms to the way the Arcva ruled to encourage their use of arcane magic rather than traditional (and limited) divine magic. He also invited the first young Ghido student, the human named Liv (tribal name unknown) to the blood academy in hopes that she could learn alongside the Arcva. This student would apparently flee with stolen knowledge, much to Muat's disappointment. Not deterrer, Muat would continue to teach the Humans everything he knew about the world to help prepare them for his departure.
- "It is my dream that one day we will return to the peaks knowing our Ghido children have outgrown our keep."
Muat I believed his dream could come true in his lifetime, or within a few generations. He could not have imagined the hatred that the coming centuries would fester between Arcva and Ghido. Still, though Muat's children would come to rule after his death, the Zarod's use of the phrase "our Ghido children" suggests to me that he did feel as though his legacy was not children of Akatu, but his children of Zarodossa. It is this legacy, I will argue, that has been misinterpreted since his death.
Cause for Conquest
The legacy of Muat is inseperable from his conquest of Donoughen. Despite his view on the joining of all Ghido people together, many view this as an invasion or enslavement. This misjudges Muat's motivation for the conquest and misinterprets the relationships between the Ghido and the Arcva at this time because it uses the modern lens of 'slavery'.
Muat was always aware of the threats facing his city. Rendiols eyed any settlement along the Storm Peaks, and the thieving ashanzu could show up in one day to take the honest work of a month from Ghidovia City. Though his agents repulsed these pressures with substantial effort, the rest of the Donoughen tribes were vulnerable to exploitation. Muat could not find solace.
The Norsoms claim he was driven to villainous conquest by the desire to enslave the Ghido race. In the year 240, Muat and his following of four archmages set out into the black pines of Donoughen with the intent to add the entire region to Ghidovia. A decade (and several battles) later, the entire basin was reorganized under the archmages and new villages emerged along the main waterways. Armies destroyed, and people enslaved, or so claims the current dynasty. I do not support this claim. Muat's methods were firm, but his motive was purely altruistic.
- "The trials of all Ghido, all civilized races, must be the trials of the Zarod. When law and blood are spoiled by agents of chaos, Alnasia weeps."
His words are written on stone tablets throughout Donoughen Forest and obelisks at the heart of many old villages founded in the subsequent ten years after Muat spoke those words in 240. The wizard-Zarod knew loss to the ashanzu of the north - his own brother was slain in adolescence by the vasten, and he likely sympathized with the stories he heard of the wars in Donoughen between Ghido and ashanzu. Moreover, the quality of life improved dramatically for the Donoughites after Muat's arrival now that the people could travel without fear of robbery, and the waterways became primitive roads clear of any ashanzu for centuries to come.
Also consider the significance of Alnasia rather than Zarodossa in his lament. Muat knew his position was created by Zarodossa, yet he chose the titan mother as his inspiration. Under Zarodossa, the Arcva were united. Under Lesellia, humans were united. He de-legitimized his own title in order to include the Ghido in his plight. Muat saw himself as an agent of Zarodossa serving the entire cosmos rather than a wealthy demigod as the Empai of Werex does now.
Muat's life showed several things for modern Sora to learn.
First, despite how welcomed the Arcva were to Ghidovia, the 'conquest' of Donoughen was whittled into the charge of 'enslavement' to justify the Norsom dynasty.
Second, Muat showed how well trained arcanists could easily overpower vastly superior conventional armies - something modern Millile Leaders forget until they are left burning in the sand.
Third, he indicated he believed his role was not to rule, but to guide the Ghido to a place where they no longer needed him.
Muat "the Great" died believing he had failed to unite the Ghido in spirit as he had by conquest. It was not until after his death that his sacrifices were appreciated and he became known as "the Great" or "the Conqueror" depending on what agenda his successors wished to push. Muat I had a vision for Altus perverted by both Ghido and Arcva since his death to serve the selfish monarch seeking self-glorification.
- - Zarod Andurian Rafil