Morata's interior is dominated by narrow, winding v-shaped valleys covered in farmland at the base and floating Sun Rays between the flanking slopes. Snow-peaked mountains provided perfect cover for the peaceful Alfar for thousands of years. The long-lived race knew no wars, and internal peace were protected by Sun Knights of Feyus who roamed the land wearing brightly coloured feathered tunics and wielding weapons of obsidian stone.
The city of Nolaria was a sparse collection of villages that tripled in size between 900 and 1100. It was ruled by a High Cleric, as were the nearby towns of Lemiria, Osiria, Emeria, and Varia. They collected donations from the villages surrounding them to sustain the temples. Nolaria's size soon made it a de-facto capital and centre of trade and culture for the Alfar. The exception was gatherings of the High Clerics, which took place in the temple of Alfaria on the edge of Feba Rise. Here, a pointed pyramid served as the gathering place for followers of Feyus.
The Sungrass Raiders
The Sungrass to the south became populated by Ashanzu from Vasta who had mastered riding horseback to hunt with small bows. They were driven further north by a growing Zastillifar cult, and encountered the eastern edges of the Alfar civilization in 1152. The Ashanzu raiders easily dispatched of the poorly armed Sun Knights, and stole food, slaves, and other supplies around Fara Lake.
A summit of High Clerics was called in Nolaria that Akaken, when the raiders returned south. It was agreed that the Alfar would unite under regional Commissars led by a Supreme Commissar who would command the Kingdom in battle against the Ashanzu. Villages would elect High Clerics (with their clerics as electors) while the High Clerics would elect a Supreme Commissar. The first elected in 1153 was named Tualco, a fierce Sun Knight who had been veteran of several lost battles against the raiders.
Supreme Commissar Tualco dispatched merchants to trade for tin to make bronze weapons with distant merchants from Cella. Dyes, jadewood, paper, and glasswares were exchanged, and the new equipment was supplied to the Sun Knights. The Sun Knights modernized, trained together, and became guardians of the frontier as well as guardians of the interior. Raiders still arrived, but their small numbers could not completely overcome the defenders as they had in 1152.
The Sulphur Invasion
The summer of 1194 was dark in Morata. The sun burned blood-red overhead, and its light did not break the cold of winter. Crops failed, and famine struck near Vara Lake, starving thousands to death. Many refugees flocked to the temple of Alfaria, where they founded the city of Alfaria, build on raised steps carved into the side of the mountain and irrigated with water from the top of Feba Rise.
In 1195, canoes and small boats began to wash up along the north-western Morata coastline, between the Paral and Osha rivers. The empty boats were followed by bodies of dark-skinned humans. Next came war parties of male and female Ijhier humans wearing red and black paint and equipped with wood spears and bows. They attacked and drove off the Alfar who remained along the famine-scoured coastline. These invaders worshiped Darnus, and their victims were sacrificed in rituals to summon terrifying Demons of gargantuan size.
Supreme Commissar Tualco organized the Sun Knights, and conscripted one adult from every village to fight in his army. The army marched north and destroyed Darnus' followers, driving the humans back into the sea.
Kux Ati Attacks
The Tokai of the Fomros Steppes formed a large war party in the year 1228 and declared their intent to conquer the land of Morata. The Kux Ati Tribe were tall and equipped with bronze weapons and armour stolen from conquered peoples of the Sungrass and Vasta. The army intended to take the Alfar by surprise by pretending to be en route to raid the ashanzu tribes in the Sungrass. The Supreme Commissar ordered most of his soldiers to Alfaria to protect it from a mountain raid. Instead, the Tokai took the east coast near the White Sea. Their army of 6000 was faced by the small internal defence force of 500 Sun Knights and 1000 local militia led by Commissar Jayenas. The Tokai attempted to cross the Emerald River near Lemiria, but their crossings were thrown back time after time, until the Kux Ati retreated, leaving a bare 500 surviving Alfar warriors. Commissar Jayenas was struck in the chest, and died that night. In his honour, the great lake on the Feba Rise was named after him.