Avars (TWA faction)
From the security of the Pannonian Basin, the Avars - having fled westward to escape the migrating Rouran Khaganate - have consolidated and now grow strong again once more.
Like their forebears, the Avar are nomadic horse warriors from the harsh, unforgiving Eurasian steppes. Much like the barbarians and nomads centuries earlier, the Avars - a confederation of displaced Rouran, Hephthal and Turkic people - find themselves in former Roman lands.
In 577 CE, they entreated with the Empire to take on their enemies in return for safe passage and a place to settle, incorporating any subjugated foes into their confederation. Imperial grace, however, is reliably fickle, and successive Emperors denied the Avars a home in the Balkans. Disgruntled, the nomads went to war, fighting to the very walls of Constantinople in 626 CE before finally being broken and driven back.
Much like the Huns before them, the Avars have no central government to build a nation around - the death of a particularly powerful leader could fatally destabilise their society. Civil strife has hastened their descent from power, as has the aggression of the tribal warlord, Samo. Since his death in 658 CE, the Avars have regained some of their strength and have extended their influence back into their former territories.
As the 8th century wanes, the Avar Khaganate, reduced in size but once again on its feet, has a solid grasp on its Pannonian powerbase. Although the tenacious Byzantine Romans endure in the east, the Frankish king Charlemagne's power grows in the west and he has vowed to convert all pagans to Christianity or put them to the sword! However, the Avars are well-placed to repel any threat that comes their way, to defend their way of life and their gods to the death!
Battle experience gain rate: +100% for cavalry units
No post-battle casualties for cavalry units which have routed or withdrawn from battle
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