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Old Nov 17, 2009, 12:49 PM   #2081
erez87
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All those small city states all around the map? I could try to do a Rome with one
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Old Nov 17, 2009, 12:51 PM   #2082
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All those small city states all around the map? I could try to do a Rome with one
I wouldn't get too excited until NK decides he's going to update.
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Old Nov 17, 2009, 12:55 PM   #2083
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I wouldn't get too excited until NK decides he's going to update.
Obviously...
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Old Nov 17, 2009, 01:16 PM   #2084
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NK has indicated his willingness to update Sometime Soon (tm). I would say, expect one or two updates sometime this winter.

Either way, NK wants cultures in this world to be richly detailed and not resemble any OTL counterparts too much, so take that as you will.
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 01:59 AM   #2085
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The Red Lady commeth and was it not said that her arrival would herald: 'the end of the falsities of the enemy and beginning of the Our great truth?' And did she not go on to say that: 'the blood of our enemies shall come our repentance and salvation?' To that, I say: forward children of the revenge and let us reap a harvest measured in blood and apportioned in heads; for from this shall grow the fruit of paradise; for are not the bowers of paradise built upon the blood of the tyrants!?

Alie's' Lord of the Revenge
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 01:39 PM   #2086
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Oy vey. Just let it GO already.
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 02:38 PM   #2087
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All participants in the blind revokation attempt of this NES must perish in eternal flames, since they gave me pain for each attempt of failure.
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The car's on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel. And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows. The government is corrupt, and we're on so many drugs with the radio on and the curtains drawn. We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death. The sun has fallen down, and the billboards are all leering, and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles. It went like this: The buildings tumbled in on themselves. Mothers clutching babies, picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair. The skyline was beautiful on fire, all twisted metal stretching upwards. Everything washed in a thin orange haze. I said; "Kiss me, you're beautiful - these are truly the last days." You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream or a fever. We woke up one morning and fell a little further down, for sure it's the valley of death. I open up my wallet and it's full of blood.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 10:15 PM   #2088
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I have been away a very long time. What has changed?

Empires have risen and fallen. Cities have been built and the same ones destroyed. Men make war with a thousand new devices, each more frightening than the last. And the world has burned.

What of the stars and mountains?

There is no change.

Then let the story begin again.


End of Empires - Update Eleven
New Dawn

c. Fifty years.
230 - 280 SR by the Seshweay Calendar
129 - 179 RM by the Satar Calendar



“and Our Lady replied, ‘you would deprive us of a home, for that thou shall not have a home’, to which not a single word sufficed but warning, ‘ware! thou art never safe, for our kin lie eternal, waiting’” ~ Words, I,V

I sing three songs of death today. One song low, for the full moon waning. Empires die, and so I mourn – empires of song, empires of trade, empires of war. That song, sung for the lowland tribe, betrayed by friend and friend alike.

I sing three songs of death today. One song high, for the last sun setting. Empires die, as perhaps they should. The lord of the sea, slain in battle. Shall his people build a nation anew, or will they succumb to new worlds of fear?

I sing three songs of death today. One last song, notes cold and cruel, for an empire we had long known dead. Burned on a pyre of its shattered foes, ruining the world, yet ruined in turn. Hear me sing of its final, slow song.

These three songs of death I sing. I bid you listen, for the world turns on the final chord.

* * * * * * * * *

The south of the cradle has long been less bloody than the north, though not for lack of effort. Krato, the strongest power since its toppling of Thearak in that long bygone era, has kept the peace only by sheer strength – no one can stand against them, and so there are no prolonged conflicts.

But the world is changed.

The great raid of the Silver Prince brought much ruin to the south. Krato’s reply was to raise the largest army men had seen since the ancient days, and to bring the Satar to their knees. Victory had come after a long, long fight, but at what cost?...

It was a shame, really, mused Tikaf of the Eso Sogo Uggor, that the storied lands and people of the Duroc had to end up like this. A thousand years ago, they had been the loyal allies of the Uggor, and they had fought side by side for generations. Everyone knew the stories of those ancient battles, though no one took the old rivalries seriously anymore. Only a decade ago, the Liealb, Uggor, and Duroc had all fought side by side against the Satar menace, and they had triumphed together on the fields of battle. One would think that would have been enough...

But now, after the Duroc had been hardest hit by the Satar raids of half a century ago, their lands were by far the worst-off of Krato. And Krato as a whole had been sliding into what seemed like an inexorable decline, sloughing off territories in the north and west like so much dead skin. It was perhaps no surprise that the Duroc had finally come to this point, to try and throw off the yoke, however light it had been, of Krato. He could not help but feel pity for them, walking through these devastated fields, from burned town to burned town.

Thus, he could not help but offer them peaceful solutions as Yeridur, his rival, barged headlong into their other flank. But he also quickly realized he was losing the initiative, and that there was the position of War-Chief at stake here. Thus had the Council decreed. Patience failed him, and he, too, plunged into battle.

Competition among the Uggor generals was counterproductive. Each one felt reluctant to support the other – at worst, they came close to actually sabotaging each other’s plans. But they had masses of men at their disposal, and the Duroc rebellion had never been terribly organized. The Order of the One were like shadows, and shadows cannot lead. To be fair, Krato only ever caught and killed a few of the Order itself, but the rest of the populace could be dealt with easily enough. Kill a few, march on, kill more. Eventually it got to the point where they were killing a whole slew of Iralliam followers to kill just one Oneist. But it sufficed for the task at hand.

In the end, though, Tikaf’s patience, however short-lived, ended up losing him the competition: he had killed fewer rebels than Yeridur. And so the man of the Swenit Jiressa Uggor became War-Chief, and Tikaf became his servant, washing his elephant.

And thus, Tikaf watched largely from the sidelines as Yeridur planned a great southern campaign. For the Great Council had decided that rather than be raided, they would raid others, and use the treasure and lands gained to prop up the struggling Kratoan government. Jipha had long been a somewhat annoying enclave in the middle of the Uggor territories. It was the perfect target. So the troops boarded their ships, and set sail for the peninsula.

Landing mostly unopposed, it quickly became apparent that they had taken the enemy by surprise. The ancient Liealb city of Piatrata was quickly taken and burnt to the ground, but by the time they moved on to besiege the fairly new city of Kea, considerable resistance had begun to flare up. The first Kratoan assault on that city was unable to take it despite heavy casualties, with the heroic efforts of the citizens there being praised in numerous songs that would later disseminate through the whole cradle.

By this time, the Jiphan War had drawn the attention of nearby nations. The news that Krato had focused their attentions on yet another of its tiny neighbors drew no small amount of concern from King Kuriguzulan of the Zyeshu. Many of his advisors clamored for war, pointing out that after Kardil, Burshan, and Jipha, Zyeshu would be inevitably next. Powerful arguments indeed, but Kuriguzulan knew that he could not contend alone against the mighty Empire of Krato.

And so the king sent a herald to his ally in Hanakahi, whom he had but recently assisted in war against the Trilui themselves. Could not the allies unite again in war, to bring down the mighty and far too aggressive nation? As descendants of Hamakua, could they really sit back and watch their brethren in exile torn to pieces? The King of Hanakahi considered these arguments, and in the end, agreed. So it was set; the fleets and armies of the nations advanced in concert against the Uggor.

By the time they arrived, their fleet over one hundred ships strong, and their armies almost three thousand, it was not a moment too soon. Kea, despite its heroic resistance, had finally fallen to the enemy and burnt to the ground; the tales of that siege would come entirely from those who had never been there. In the process, an untold cultural treasure was lost: Kea had been one of the largest and greatest of the refuges for the Hamakuans; the library there had been filled with manuscripts of ten thousand poems and songs. Now the Uggor marched on Leuce, capital of Jipha itself – if they were to take that, an entire chapter of civilization itself might be demolished.

But when the Uggor armies drew themselves up into battle formation at the word of a small force of enemies marching straight towards them, they were unpleasantly surprised to find an army three times stronger than they had expected. They still outnumbered the enemy force considerably, but not by nearly as much as they had wanted to. Tikaf could sense that this would be a difficult battle for the Uggor, but he could do nothing. He prepared Yeridur’s elephant battle, and Yeridur rode out confidently to smash the enemy.

And truthfully, it was an utter rout. Of a sort.

The allied forces, might have been fractious, but the brave leadership of King Kuriguzulan united them, and the Jiphans were fighting in their homeland. They lured the Uggor onto a patch of uneven ground, and as the levies’ formations broke up, the allies charged headlong into the mass and set the Uggor to flight. Though some of the professionals and elephants tried to resist still, they were terribly outnumbered and in the end had to retreat as well. Even as he tried to regroup his armies, Yeridur found a knife in his chest, an unwelcome last gift from the Oneists he had fought so hard to ruin.

Tikaf took charge in his place, the last man in the camp with any authority left, but while he inflicted a minor defeat on the allies around Piatrata and prevented them from capturing Thearak or the holy city of Opios, he could not stop many of his men from returning home. For the clans needed as many soldiers as they could get...

Krato’s armed forces were not quite crippled by the defeat at Leuce, but the shockwaves reverberated through the entire empire. Disputes, especially in the Great Council, had reached a fever pitch; a few clans openly began to raid one another’s territory.

More rapidly than anyone could have suspected, chaos reigned supreme. Krato had been on tenterhooks for a long time now, with internal dissent and economic problems evident since the Satar invasion a century prior. Repeated defeats, humiliating peace treaties, rebellion and assassination all conspired to destroy whatever order remained. The Chief of Chiefs in Moti tried to intervene to some degree, but it was difficult; all the clans claimed the legitimacy of the old empire.

Within a year or so, the entire empire was split by the five most powerful remaining clans: The Yensai Brosli, which consolidated around Cartugog, the Buci Sogo, which took hold of Asandar, the Cartu Coton of Goso, the Eso Sogo around Firidi and with a few men under Tikaf near Thearak, and the Swenit Jiressa north of the capital. It was enough to confuse any of the foreign ambassadors who might try to treat with the nation. The last holdout of the established order was in the city of Krato itself, but this besieged outcrop of the old order could not possibly be expected to try and bring government to the surrounding peoples.

And so the clan wars of the Krato plowed onwards. Famine set in, many peoples fled in terror for the safety of Moti or even the Dulama, and most concluded that these were the dying gasps of a empire whose time had finally come.

There were a few beneficiaries of the decay of Krato, of course, much as any corpse will benefit the vultures of the world. Jipha and Zyesh conquered some small territories, a move one part vengeance and one part greed. Isara, a land of monasteries and reclusive warriors that had been brutally annexed ages prior regained its independence. The city of Opios declared itself to be the secular power on earth that would defend the Church of Iralliam against all foes.

And as to the city of Triad... it fell to a completely new power, the grandchild of an ancient foe of the Uggor.

The burning of the Satar princes has yet to be sung of, but for the moment let it suffice to say that the Exatai was at its end. The mask of their lord was taken up by the Accan emperor... again, a song yet to come... The Satar princes knew that they had failed their god, and burned themselves. Only one survived, and he only because he was so very far from his comrades.

Hashaskor, prince of the Star, son of Atraxes, loyal to a fault even though many had tried to put him on the throne of the Exatai in place of Xetares. Would that he had succeeded, for he was not the type to burn the world; perhaps the Exatai would have survived. No matter.

His was a lonely exile, far from his people, receiving word of events many months after they happened. He learned Xetares had died long long after the blood washed into the Nakalani; he learned Magha fell long after the silver chains were taken down from the seven sided temple and melted to boost the Moti treasury. His fate was sealed long before he knew it.

Abandoned by the death of his people, far from home, Hashaskor could not hold Subal against many foes; he retired to the heart of the Kothai and burned as he went. He and his men became glorified scavengers, living off the detritus of civilization, pillaging the outlying Hu’ut and Kratoan lands. Hu’ut had not the money or the power to drive him away, and Krato, as we have seen, had other concerns.

The Kothari Exatai, as it came to be known, had carved out a niche for itself – literally, as their fortresses were cut into the rocks of the ancient mountains themselves – took Triad, and became the last holdout of the true Satar line. Its depredations were to continue, perhaps, until a greater power grew annoyed enough with it...

The pace of change is ever quickening. Maybe the call of battle is audible already. For in Palmyra, ever peaceful Palmyra, where time seems to stop at the borders, at last the great armies are marshaled into their ranks; at last they go to war.

Their target is a small and even more peaceful nation, nestled in the mountains. This latter land calls itself Doral, and they have never fought a war; only repelled small raids by merciless bandits from their mountain homes. No matter. The machinations of a king care not for the nature of the peasantry.

Inexperienced as they might have been, the armies of Doral fought gallantly to defend their homeland. The invading army, thrice their numbers and far better trained, had but one fatal weakness – they had no idea of the lay of the land, and could easily be lured into traps and ambushes. This happened twice in the campaign, the second time with the loss of nearly a third of the Palmyran armies.

But of course, any resistance was to be short-lived. Doral could not possibly stand up to its foes, numerous as they were, and potential allies in the south and north were occupied with their own troubles. The tiny mountain nation was conquered, though its people would remember their freedom for many years, with possibly disastrous consequences down the road...

Of the nations of Zyesh and Hanakahi, beyond their military exploits there would seem to be little to say. Yet small, subtle changes were evident. First and most dangerous was one which every nation in the world was noticing: the collapse of the maritime trade routes was sending revenues spiraling downwards, and whole nations seemed on the brink of collapse. But there were other changes, too – with the death of cultural centers to the north, many artists of all types were fleeing to the south, back to the original homeland of these traditions: Hanakahi. The Zyeshu also received some of this exodus, though not to the same extent.

The regenerated nation of Hu’ut had been nearly destroyed by the Satar invasion. Had Xetares not left, or had he won the day on the River Sesh, Hu’ut would likely be a mere Satrapy, a princedom, and not the most important one, at that.

But it had survived, somehow, and rebuilt as best it could. With the turmoil in the north, they were even able to grow under the successors of Shafay Fetosa, securing the city of Subal after Hashaskor left it be. There was still much to be done, of course – not even a tenth of the economic damage had been repaired, and raids from the Kothari to the south were proving a nuisance. But more important than either of those was the continuing decline in the economy as the fields fell fallow and trade revenues plummeted.

The new world order has brought many opportunities for Hu’ut, but no one knows what the end result will be...

* * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, far, far to the east, Leun entered a new period of prosperity even as the west seemed to enter into inexorable decline. Trade increased still more as products from the north became more viable than that from their counterparts in the far west. Timber for the Leunan ships was almost entirely bought from the north now. Grain, too, started to be imported from the north. At the same time, salt, precious, and cotton were shipped in the other direction.

More importantly, concerned about their dependence on trade, the rulers of Leun began to build an economy of their own, encouraging the growth of cotton and other cash crops. The soil inland was discovered to be more favorable than expected, and local production of food soared – fortunately, as sources to the west, as we will see, dried up.

Perhaps most importantly of all, a royal marriage was concluded with the ruling family of a leading Acayan city-state. Here, perhaps, it is necessary to mention the discovery of the Acayans, which became known to the western powers around this time (at least, to those who were paying attention). The Acayans are a highly urbanized civilization on the edge of the great eastern continent, rather free, with a strong legal and political tradition of republicanism Of course, a few of the cities are still monarchies, as otherwise we could not talk of the royal marriage – importantly, the nearest one to Leun, Ischya, was ruled by a long line of kings.

In any case, the Acaya come from a civilizing tradition that is completely independent of the long line that was started in the Had and Sesh valleys. Maps of their lands have been jealously guarded by the Leunan kings, who refuse absolutely to allow any western ships to travel past the port of Leun itself, seizing any who attempt to make the journey.

* * * * * * * * *

A forest grew in what had been the world’s greatest city. Men had returned to Trovin after the sack and the earthquakes, and a few of the city’s quarters had been repopulated – mostly those on the north shore of the harbor. But in the south, trees grew, though the cobbles of the streets, poking through half-fallen roofs, reaching over the walls, bringing the land back to the wilderness it had once been claimed from.

It unsettled the emperor. To see this forest growing over what his future great capital seemed like a sort of final defeat, the death knell of his empire. In time, perhaps when he returned, Vol Jului would order the buildings pulled down, and the walls rebuilt in a smaller perimeter around the city. Even if the city had to be smaller, then it should be grand nonetheless, not lurking in what looked like half-ruin.

But there would be time for that later.

“We are the last of an ancient line. We are the last true men of the Trilui Empire.” Before him stood the assembled ranks of his last great army, twelve thousand strong. Then again, however great it was, it amounted to a greater risk. He pushed the thought aside.

“We have been betrayed by friend and foe, left to die as the last, struggling fragment of a once glorious empire. What the Satar did you all know well, far too well. We will not glorify their name by repeating the tale of their wretched deeds.

“The scum of the steppe have died – even we, stabbed in the back and given no hope, have outlived them – but their servants and allies live still.

“Yes, there remain friends of the Satar! For the horde went unopposed on their ride to Trovin. The ancient covenant, by which we rule the waves and the Faron rule the land, by which the one shields the other for all eternity, has been broken. We were betrayed by the Maeriouhau, may Hulos curse their name, who all but pointed the Satar on to the unwary homes of their erstwhile friends.

“And we remember this. We see that deed’s consequences all about us. The trees and ash and ruined homes that stand behind me – they would be a bustling city still if it were not for the Maeriouhau. They tried to destroy our empire, and now they think themselves secure.

“But they are not. For the empire is returning. The Trilui are returning! And Helsia shall know your name, and the world shall know your name. And they shall know we are not weak.

“Soldiers! You know my name, you know my lineage, you know your heritage! Fail or falter, and you betray all three! But fight for me, purge these traitors from the world, and your reward shall be limitless. The empire shall be renewed, and you shall be at its fore! Onward to victory!”

And there rose a great shout, and the army of the Trilui issued forth from the gates of Trovin. And the host rode north and then west, destroying the little armies that lay in its path, crushing the companies that dared to oppose it. The Maeriouhau were caught utterly by surprise; the thought that the great Empire of the Sea might attack them by land, and them exclusively, was shocking.

They sent a great army from Dremai to do battle at a town called Surai, but it was an army outnumbered more than three to one. The Maeriouhau looked at their foes and fled to the superior fortifications of their new capital. But the Trilui had new siege engines, and as soon as they began their assault on the city, it surrendered. Thus the greatest dynasty of Faron had ended without so much as a whimper, and the Trilui’s quest for vengeance was ostensibly over.

But it was not done.

Rapidly, it became clear the Vol Jului did not intend merely to punish the people who had let the Satar through to destroy his family, but instead to build the base for an entirely new empire. His army returned to Trovin, refitted and resupplied, and then marched on the reforged Faron state in the south and the Surubaida o Aramaia.

Again, the Faron armies were in no state to stand up to him – their allies in Hu’ut seemed rather indifferent to their struggles, and they had not yet rebuilt from the Satar menace, having been too concerned with internal troubles. Again, the Trilui army slammed through all opposition, reducing what minimal fortifications there were in the coastal plain.

The Faerouhaiaouan Highlanders had heretofore remained clear of the mess, not engaging with the Maeriouhau, but paying lip service to the Surubaidans. Their deal with the Surubaidans had given them the grain that they could not produce themselves, but as the latter were replaced by the Trilui, there was sudden panic and famine. Von Jului was demanding their utter submission, and that they give up their ancient autonomy.

They fell back on what, a century previously, would have been the most unlikely of sources: Hu’ut. The fall of the Trilui’s trade empire had hit the farms along the Had hard, and the new market for grain was welcome. Conveniently, Hu’ut had seized Subal as Faron had fallen, and now a narrow thread of land connected the highlands to the river state. The Highlanders resisted every attempt to subjugate them, and so the last holdout of Faron remained free.

But Faron had been utterly ravaged by the attacks of Satar and now Trilui over the past half a century. They had been bled dry by repeated wars. The Highlands were free, yes, but it was a tired kind of freedom, an insular retreat from the world into mountain fastnesses.

The Beautiful Turns represented a culmination of centuries of advancements in geometrical and mathematical knowledge, but it was not the start of a new golden age. The Faerouhaiaouans were no longer the cultural capital of the world; they were a backwater.

As for the Trilui, triumphs on land were thoroughly overshadowed by losses at sea.

Everyone expected the decline of the Trilui would draw out the many opponents who they had acquired through the years. Even as the Trilui armies crashed into the Maeriouhau lands, the Nahari fought a quick war against Caon, and signed a secret treaty with the Opulensi. Within five years, they were ready.

The first blow came against Treha, as the Nahari advanced into the old lands of Stad Men. Drawing away much of the Trehan army and fleet, the Nahari Empire’s ploy set the trap that was sprung as the Opulensi sailed in and attacked their mutual foes from behind. While it was difficult at best to coordinate forces over such distances, the two fronts divided the meager Trehan land forces, and the allied navies combined to utterly destroy Treha’s.

Treha, for its part, seemed paralyzed by a serious lack of leadership at all levels, and the Opulensi quickly secured a foothold on the island itself and reduced the city from the landward side, bypassing the famed harbor defenses entirely.

With a year, the Opulensi were thus set to launch a campaign against the Hulinlui Peninsula and the cities guarding the entrances to the Lovi Sea. Trilui ships began to oppose them here, but they were still outnumbered by the six hundred strong Opulensi fleet, which was augmented even further by captured Trehan vessels and fleeing Faron ships who did not wish to swear allegiance to their betrayers.

The land campaigns went easily enough. The Trilui tried to issue a mass levy and fight off the enemy advance, bu the levies were unmotivated and horrendously underequipped. They could not hope to face the Opulensi in battle and were a liability in siege warfare as well. Within a month, the entirety of the eastern Trilui empire fell, with most of the regular troops away destroying Faron.

As for the fleet, the Trilui tried to stand fast in the straits and give battle to the Opulensi in treacherous waters. However, these waters had been the world’s greatest trade conduit for a millennium, and expecting there would be no former merchants in the Opulensi fleet who would know them was foolish. The Opulensi instead outwitted the Trilui fleet, drew it into open combat, and defeated it in a string of engagements. Though the Opulensi lost quite a few ships as well, they still easily had the upper hand.

The allied fleets were shattered. The Opulensi had complete control of the waves, and used it to great effect, taking Soui, Linlui, and Vinui in quick succession. They declined to invade the Helsian heartland, letting the Trilui proclaim their new empire there, and allowed Hanno and Kargan to declare themselves tiny independent states. Minor losses in light of the great new truth: the Opulensi were queen of the seas.

Thus did the Helsian empires fall. An empire of philosophy, drama, and music, an empire of trade and ships; either one finally wore to nothing under the sands of time. Only two pale images remained, reflections of an ancient glory, like the moon off the still, still waters of the blood-drenched seas.

It was the beginning.

* * * * * * * * *

The southern standard bearer of Maninism, Sira concluded a new set of treaties with the dying Trilui. It scarcely mattered, for as we have seen, the Trilui were fast in retreat, but it gave them uncontested claim to the northern coast of the Lovi Sea. They intended to press on across the waves to attack the isle of Hanno, but their ships were found to be nearly unseaworthy, attributed to poor engineering by their Seshweay designers (though of course it’s quite plausible that the Sirans were simply incompetent sailors). Similarly, the irrigation in the Peko valley proved to be much less of a boon than they were expecting.

However, the remaining Astrii city-states converted to Maninism after the Nahari conquest of Caon frightened them into accepting Siran protection. Under the guidance of their new overlord, Nali and Tadon united into a single state, Astria. At the same time, however, the new religion of Aitahism is starting to spread through the south, and only time will tell which of the great religions reigns supreme here.

Meanwhile, the political situation in the Lovi Sea grew considerably more complicated with the fall of the Trilui. Kargan declared its independence after a brief and surprising rule by the Accans, apparently feeling few bonds of friendship to an Emperor who was a native of their city. Hanno, too, managed to secure its freedom from any of the larger nations. However, whether they will be able to check the rampant piracy that this region has become known for is another question...
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 10:16 PM   #2089
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* * * * * * * * *

The death of Xetares led to a critically chaotic situation in the valley of the Sesh. This was not entirely unusual; the Sesh, as any historian will tell you, has always been chaotic. But the death of the third Redeemer did more than that. It led to a new order.

Magha, one of the great cities of the world, remained under siege by a force from Moti. The possibility of continuing rule by Ishalia quickly vanished with her assassination, however, and the Moti seemed amiable enough towards their former foes. The city surrendered, with its great citadel intact, though Third-Gaci was unable to prevent his soldiers from looting the great silver chains of the seven-sided temple (nor was he particularly concerned with a heathen city’s temples).

However, even with most of the former Satar bureaucracy intact, serious problems still remained. The Sesh Delta was in the hands of the Satar, and there were still signs that they might fight any attempt to establish Moti hegemony over the region. Third-Gaci agreed to an alliance with representatives of the Empress Aitah, a Seshweay who rebelled against the Satar rule early in the period. Her control gradually grew, and it seemed like the region might peacefully coalesce into a vassal of the great world-empire ruled from Gaci.

Then, everything changed.

The highest Censoratta of the Accan Empire, Macrinus, forged a golden mask and claimed the mantle of the Exatai of the Satar. It was a move that caught nearly everyone by complete surprise, but he played the part well. Macrinus rode at the head of the bulk of the Accan armed forces south, deep into the heart of the steppe, calling for warriors.

And they came.

The new horde was too slow to stop Aitah’s rebellion from getting off the ground, but the latter wasn’t too well established by the time the forces of the rebranded Accan Exatai arrived. Third-Gaci quickly sent some assistance as he could, but his Kratoan allies were more concerned with events in the south. Suddenly it seemed like the Satar threat had completely revived, only this time without any alliances against them.

Two thousand men crossed the Delta and marched through Jania, which had only recently been ceded by the Trilui to the new Seshite rebellion, burning and pillaging, and finally arriving at the great city of Kargan. Largely abandoned by its owners, the Trilui, it fell easily to the horde, and was rapidly stripped of any valuables. Supplies proved too tight to actually attempt a long-term occupation of the city, however, and the Accans abandoned it to its fate (which was, eventually, independence).

Another six thousand continued the struggle against the Aitahist rebellion, by which point the Moti finally began to realize the threat was serious, and sent forth a force of two thousand to do battle. It was, however, rather outnumbered, and unsurprisingly, lost a couple of battles before retiring southwards.

Yet if there was one thing that the Accans had underestimated, it was the tenacity of the Seshite population. Having lived through one rather odious occupation by Satar hordes, they were not very eager to live through another, and exiles from around the world came back to attempt to free their homeland.

Ultimately, it was not enough. Aitah escaped, as might have been expected, and her new religion grew with staggering speed. Aitahism combined the best (well, the most liked) qualities of nearly every religion in the region with rabid evangelicalism. It was wildly popular. News of new flocks came from every corner: from far-off Oscadia, from the Exiled cities, from deep south in the Sesh valley, from Kargan, from the isles of the Lovi to Helsia. Seis was taken as Macrinus’ de facto capital, so the prophet sought refuge in Mahid and Hanno, but she was perfectly able to preach from there.

As for the nascent Seshite state, it still managed to establish itself in the Parda Hills and in Mahid, but it had lost its homeland – again. It was more than a minor psychological blow.

Macrinus pushed southwards. The sheer size of his advance caught the Moti off-guard. They had been fairly convinced that any kind of assault would have been small in scale, but there were still a good seven thousand Accans under arms. Moreover, their Kratoan allies were even more embroiled in the south, and it looked rather likely that they would collapse entirely as time went on. Help from any sector seemed unlikely.

The simple fact of the matter was that Moti was utterly unprepared for any revival in Satar fortunes, whatever the form. Outnumbered at every turn, they lost the battle of Tisatar, the battle of Magha, and were unable to prevent an internal rising under High Oracle Tephas Ta-Shaim from expelling the garrison and returning the city to the forces of Exatas. By the end of the campaign, the whole of Bahra had been secured once again for the Exatai.

At this point, it is fair to say that all of the sides involved were completely exhausted. More importantly, Third-Gaci was rather focused on the reformation of Iralliam, rebuilding of Bisria, and making sense of the Kratoan situation, and also finding solutions to his problem of an utter lack of soldiers, while Macrinus and his successors had to consolidate their new-found conquests – they were determined not to repeat Xetares’ mistakes. Also, declining government revenues and the continuing Seshite resistance sapped the ability of either party to make war, though cross border raids were a constant reality.

As for Third-Gaci, he managed to, somewhere in the above mess, achieve his long awaited dream of reforming Iralliam in a massive ecumenical council at Moti-city. This was largely overshadowed by political events, but was quite important in ensuring the religion would have any chance against the rising faiths of Aitahism and Maninism, and the ever popular Indagahor. It solidified the religion’s hold on Bisria and Moti, reconciling it quite nicely with the local pantheon; they were accepted as legitimate tales of the saints, angels and demons of Iralliam. After his death, the brief conquest of Bahra was overshadowed by these other events, with effects ranging far into the future...

* * * * * * * * *

Gallat saw a fairly uneventful period. Missionary activity to the north was quite successful, converting Seadol, much of Ederru, and even some of the Stetin tribes. At the same time, support for the Tarasat war allowed the latter to make considerable military gains against their longtime barbarian foes.

There was concern that Evyn might break the peace treaty, and the coasts were guarded extremely carefully. It turned out that Evyn was doing the exact same thing; neither nation had anything to fear. Resettlement of northern Ferman also continued apace, while the southern was left to be reclaimed slowly by the sands of the desert.

Late in the period, word reached Gallat of a new nation to the east of Abirae, though whether they would be able to contact them in any meaningful way, or whether they would even want to, was an open question.

Newly raised levies proved decisive in the war for Ederrot, which managed to hold out against still more Stetin warriors coming ashore. They were unable to dislodge the foothold that their foes had made, but they were able to restrict its growth. There is some word of peace overtures being made; it would seem that the Stetin, too, are tiring of the endless war. Meanwhile, missionaries from the south have been spreading the Maninist faith in this far northern land; it has been steadily eroding the traditional Ederru religion.

Luskan managed to conquer their neighbors in Darrowmire, and also launched several raids southwards. It was not a particularly active period, though they managed to make quite a bit of money selling goods to both sides of the various wars that were raging. At the same time, the king of Luskan made the unusual move of patronizing court artists, and while he got no one of the caliber of the great courts of the south, it did bring quite a bit of grandeur to his northern golden hall.

Ateuma saw considerable expansion, though they also got off to a bad start in regional diplomacy when they alienated what appears to be the preeminent regional power, Evyn. Whether they will attempt to either patch up whatever strained relations in the first place, or simply continue antagonizing them and rely on their small size and relatively worthless lands to avoid getting attack for it is entirely up to their leaders.

The far-off Goths did little of note, attacking a few of the tribes around them and expanding slightly as a result. Trade was starting to run through their little valley to both the east and west, though as to what lay on the other end of the routes, few believed the merchants’ tales of men riding moose, or of a war over a vast, floating golden island...

* * * * * * * * *

Snow fell thin on the frost-hardened ground. It moved with the slightest breeze or the smallest step, a column of white swirling and outlining the wind’s every subtle grace. It had been a hard winter, but grain had been stockpiled many years in advance for this moment. The army moved without fear of starvation.

Áyrise had died years before, the beloved mother of the king of the Thorsdryn drowned in a stream as he looked on, cold. Adayn had risen that year, greatest advisor of the Thorsdryn, cunning and ambitious, and determined to eradicate the enemies of the faith. For him, there was one, great, obvious thorn in the side of the Evyni, and it needed to be removed. And so he had told the Thorsdryn, and so the armies marched.

The winter was cruelly cold, with a strange wind blowing off the northern sea. It froze the rivers solid, and it was then that the Evyni made their crossing, pouring across the rivers like wolves of the wild, a shivering white fury that plowed into the allied armies of the Ming.

Shu had seen the attack coming, had rallied the Ming armies together, but it was Cho that saw the brunt of the fighting at first, and Cho that fell first. Even the combined Ming were only equal to the Evyni, whose superior organization and equipment told even against the numbers and ferocity of the Ming. Worse still, the Cotisi had joined their brethren, attacking deep into Liang itself and necessitating the recall of some of the Duchy’s troops.

With this subtle weakening of the Ming armies, fortunes began to fade, fast. The heartland of Shu fell to the onrushing armies of the massed Evyni, and soon only the northernmost was still standing. Evyn, for its part, pressed the attack into Liang itself, but with the oncoming cold of winter, had to pause for a moment to catch their breath.

In a single campaign, much of the north had fallen under the sway of the still rising empire, and it looked as though at least two of the Ming states were meeting their end here...

Maps:


Political

Religious

OOC:

Stories by the last count:

Faron 5* - well, they weren’t completely ruined. It’s hard to find a way to reward a dying empire; I think the stats of the successor state will be boosted a little.
Satar 3 - Kothari survived and the Accan Exatai went off rather smoothly.
Uggor 1 - Consider that the first draft of the update had removed Krato from the face of the planet.
Ateuma 2 - doing fairly well for a new nation who pissed off the preeminent regional power. There’ll be some bonuses, probably.
Palmyra 1 - Invasion of Doral didn’t crash and burn like I thought it would.
Leun 1* - Stat boost to be determined when stat format is determined.
Evyni 1 - I’d say they’re doing swimmingly.
Hu’ut 1* - Them as well.
Trilui 1 - Not so much them, but they did win the wars they focused on...
Seshweay 1 - Oh look at that, they’re back. Bonus enough.

I’m eliminating story bonuses after this update, but the “mod bias” in favor of nations who generally write stories will still be very up front. You are warned.

Things that need names:

Other branches of the Weinan/Rhon (looking at Theige, alex, or Dark)
River near Oscadia (Azale!)
Straits between Sinsar and Yadyevu (Cuivienen?)
Northern Ocean (tuxedohamm, emu, Circuit, etc.)
Islands of Sarrukh (emu)
Sea near Zyeshu (foolish icarus?)
Home Island of Opulensi (anyone on or near it)
Other large Island in Kbrilma Sea (Abaddon/star)
Landmass south of Leunan Sea (Matt)
Cape south of Acaya (Matt)
Desert in Katdhi lands (Thlayli)

Farean cities (Iggy)
Outpost near Katdhi (das)

I need word from everyone who is still playing. That you’re playing. Duh.

I am also going to be changing the rules and stats. This is to facilitate faster updates, and to remove unnecessary fluff that hasn’t really served its purpose and mostly just confused people all game long (like manpower). I would like some feedback on what does and doesn’t work from people, as well as any and all suggestions.


I apologize, obviously, for the length of time it took to resuscitate this; I’m hoping to get it on a much faster and much more regular schedule for 2010. In fact, that is my only New Years’ Resolution.

Also sorry for the quality near the end.




If you have any questions or would like to join, let me know.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 02:57 AM   #2090
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Excellent update. My work here is officially done. Azale, you're welcome.

If anyone wants to take the Kothari Exatai, PM me and I'll think about it.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 03:07 AM   #2091
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Yeah, so definitely worth the wait. And, for me, at least, the quality was superb .

The Law-Giver of the Evyn, in his mercy, offers the Duke of Liang the following submission: accept him as your better, and renounce all claims to any territory under his domain. Accept his authority over the Ming, and accept your place as his vassal. Submit troops to his calls, pay your share of his taxes, and obey his laws. In return, he will accept your continued rule in his name, and will allow your heresy to continue in peace. Your unwillingness to accept his generous offer will result in the continued destruction of your peoples.

The Thorsrdyn of Evyn demands the surrender of the Duke of Shu. His refusal will see the destruction of his people and their end in their homes.

The Thorsrdyn of Evyn sends word to the the fools of Ateuma: echoes of the cries of your people have reached the ears of our great Law-Giver, particularly those that insult the nature of our state. Your people have called us enemies; we take this almost as a declaration of war. As an offering of peace, the Thorsrdyn offers you the chance to submit to Evyn: accept your place as his vassal, contribute men to his armies, and pay your share of his taxes. In return, he will accept your continued rule in his name, and will allow your heresy to continue in peace. Failure to accept his mercy will not necessarily place our states at war, but will do nothing to ease his anger with your state.

The Thorsrdyn of Evyn sends word to the leaders of Gallat: we have clashed in the past, in the arenas of thought and war. However, the Law-Giver does not wish for this to continue. He seeks friendship with those worthy, and offers your people a most generous offer. The island of Rito will be opened to your merchants once more, and there they may trade freely. He will turn a blind eye to the island's population, and will allow them to worship your idols, if they must. That right will be extended to the northern territories (Taudo), in exchange for a tax levied upon those believers. In return, all he asks is that your people be respectful of our traditions, do not interfere in our politics, and do not seek to spread your heresy within our core territories. Most generous, no?

The Thorsrdyn of Evyn sends word to the Accans: we have seen how the winds blown in your favor, and we have taken notice. Your people are mighty descendants from those that contribute to our armies, and as such we sense a common bond. The Thorsrdyn has taken your people to be of great stock, and as such considers them worthy of his friendship. He offers your traders rights in Rito, and the right to preach your faith amongst those people. In return, all he asks is that your traders be respectful of our traditions. Do not attempt to preach among the mainland, and do not interfere in our politics. Generous, no?
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 03:11 AM   #2092
Lord_Iggy
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Beautiful update! The fall of Helsia from its grace... a tragic poem of two brothers, destroyed side by side and turning upon one another, the great light of their lands bein extinguished...
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 03:19 AM   #2093
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Chinese Fanatic at your service!
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 03:32 AM   #2094
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fu*k yeah! Success!

Spoiler:
This turn:
Last turn:

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Old Jan 03, 2010, 03:41 AM   #2095
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Two things before I go to sleep:

One, the front page desperately needs a religion summary. I'll volunteer one for Ardavan.

Second, it's successor states: Farea still survives...
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 04:12 AM   #2096
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Well I got what I wanted This whole Satar revival is a little troubling though >_>
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 04:41 AM   #2097
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The car's on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel. And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows. The government is corrupt, and we're on so many drugs with the radio on and the curtains drawn. We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death. The sun has fallen down, and the billboards are all leering, and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles. It went like this: The buildings tumbled in on themselves. Mothers clutching babies, picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair. The skyline was beautiful on fire, all twisted metal stretching upwards. Everything washed in a thin orange haze. I said; "Kiss me, you're beautiful - these are truly the last days." You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream or a fever. We woke up one morning and fell a little further down, for sure it's the valley of death. I open up my wallet and it's full of blood.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 06:56 AM   #2098
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Very nice update
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 07:46 AM   #2099
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Simply holding our gains is more than I expected. Wunderbar.
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Old Jan 03, 2010, 08:32 AM   #2100
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Bravo NK! The quality throughout the update was top-notch.

And with four paragraphs of mention, depending on the stats, maybe I should upgrade to, the Leunan Empire.

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