Exalted: The Legend of Denandsor
Targutai is a rich, well-fed nation on the Eastern border of the Hundred Kingdoms. They have adapted well to living among the rivers, marshes and flood plains of the southeast, and have become wealthy because of their “floating rice”, a system that allows highland peasants to switch to a faster-growing but less glutinous rice when the lowlands flood too much to be agriculturally productive.
Targutai was once quite powerful and proud, a nation to compete with Great Forks, Lookshy and other great powers of the Hundred Kingdoms. They use their abundance of rice crops to their advantage in trade, and for hundreds of years Tarugutai foreign policy could be described as “acquiesce or starve”. Every nation knew they might need Targutai’s rice stores in times of drought or blight, so nobody dared oppose them.
However, eventually, the Guild decided that these activities created a golden opportunity for them. The next time that Targutai tried flexing it’s economic muscles, the Guild swooped in and sold their own grain stories at an only slightly inflated price. Eager for independence from Targutai influence, many of the Hundred Kingdoms jumped at the offer, simultaneously depleting Targutai’s power and increasing the Guild’s.
Targutai has yet to fully recover from their fall from grace, although that has just as much to do with their domestic policy as outside factors. Targutai hasn’t tried anything else, only keeps producing vast quantities of rice and is shocked whenever prices falls as soon as they try leveraging their neighbors. It doesn’t help that Targutai is semi-meritocratic. Whenever a king dies, nobles from all across the kingdom gather to determine who is sufficiently accomplished to hold the crown. These meet-ups are very rarely bloodless, and many have devolved into rioting, battles, or even civil war. Many kings have tried reforming this practice, but nobody has succeeded since that would rely on people following their orders after they are dead.
Every Targutai noble is, ostensibly, a warrior and commander. As normal, some are more effective at this than others. Targutai also lacks career soldiers or a proper warrior class. Outside of the growing season, peasant levies are drawn up to form the Targutai military. Otherwise, they rely upon mercenaries.
Recently, Targutai has claimed that Denandsor has been infringing on land that was considered to be part of Targutai.