MigratioNES: The Grandest Tale Ever Told

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Lord_Iggy, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    @Jehoshua
    you are, of course, free to do what you want. However, just so you are aware, one of the prime cultural tropes of the Epuan cultural complex is "no gods."
     
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  2. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Well, that`s not strictly speaking true. It's usually the case, but there are exceptions. Early on there was a split, between the Oypuao, who believe in an animate world filled with spiritual 'dreamways', and the Ebe, who have a dualistic faith, where they worship a Sun God and revile a Storm God. The Ebe gave rise to the Hebet and Heben, while strongly influencing the Ka'Pua'Ne while the Oypuao gave rise to every other Epuan culture, prior to the more recent invasions of the Apalans (Chepko and Htckt).

    The point that thomas brings up is important though! The people of the far west of Epua are of mostly Oypuao extraction with very little Ebe ancestry, and their traditional religions involve the Dreamway, a series of physical and spiritual paths where the mundane and supernatural intertwine, which as thomas noted are prominently lacking in deities. However, the idea that deities could make their way into the dreamway tradition is quite plausible and has happened before. The Yoytua, for example, incorporated some Heben and Tkt ideas into their faith, conceiving of the nightmare entity or ultimate taboo (comparable to the Ebe Storm or the Great All-Consuming Serpent).

    So with the Senshu'pa, the creation of holy mounds and sites is a very common meme among Epuans, as is the veneration of elders and ancestors, particularly in the Ka'Pua'Ne of the central jungles and the northern Yoytua. Social stratification also makes a lot of sense in a rich area like the coasts of Lake Huantwap'an. The Sun God and Moon God seem eerily similar to the Sun God and Storm God (good nature versus bad nature, as it were). Are they a novel development, or would you like it if they were ultimately derived from the old inland tradition of the dual gods, Jehoshua? It seems parsimonious and plausible to me that these ideas could have jumped through several cultures to ultimately flourish among the Senshu'pa.
     
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    All of the Tiryapic peoples on Epua have gods. Albeit most of them are snakes or other animals. So I'm sure the idea is floating around now.
     
  4. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    My thoughts are that as societies become more complex, they tend to develop more sophisticated religious forms with this including the emergence of distinct deities (apart from animism per se and the simple worship of natural phenomena). To reflect this, I indicated the emergence of two deities in the southern area I'm focussing on as its society grows more complex (late in the turnset chronologically speaking). However I tried to do so in a way that builds upon the spiritual foundations that were laid out. Hence why the gods outlined are very "transcendant" and reflect (And incarnate) the intertwining of mundane and spiritual forces in nature (generative and degenerative powers) with the ancestors remaining the prime intermediaries and vessels through which the living experience the spiritual and the divine.

    To put it simply, the two gods could be seen as emerging from how the people perceive the spiritual forces (the supernatural) that exist within the world within the existing paradigm (positive and negative spiritual forces, yin and yang and so forth). While ancestor worship and the deification of particularly exalted ancestors on the other hand I think is a natural consequence of a society growing more complex, and developing a concrete sense of identity (culture hero's and venerated figures are a part of that). This in particular I think is well underway in the are I chose to focus on already (one does not build artificial mountains for the dead if worshipful reverence is deficient).

    Finally, as Thlayli said the idea of deities is already floating around in Epua, so I thought it was reasonable that the idea would eventually find its way into the west via natural dispersion, albeit in a form more characteristic of the local cultural base.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  5. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    I don't think the emergence of deities is a guaranteed product of the growth of societal complexity, I could see a society continuing to grow without developing a belief in gods. But that's a discussion for another time and place!

    I'll be able to start updating Epua, I've got a lot of material to work with here, looking forward to seeing contributions from the west of you over the course of this week. :)
     
  6. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    For a bit of a sense of the scale of our game, I've put together a timeline of the NES so far, with significant events and when they happened.

    Timeline of MigratioNES

    Prehistory

    Formation of the universe, galaxy, stellar system and planet with water and active tectonics, evolution of unicellular then multicellular life, development of complex organisms punctuated by repeated mass extinctions, up to the point of the development of a highly intelligent tool using hominid around the Itaro Sea in the southern interior of the continent that will one day be named Apala.

    Update 1 (2.4 to 1.9 million years ago)

    Diversification of earliest Ku, Fumos, Mukus and Apalos.

    Mukus give rise to Tiryaps, Mukus and Apalos give rise to Amalyaps.

    First arrivals in the Gero Valley from the Itaro.

    Update 2 (1.9 to 1.4 million years ago)

    Apalos spread across the coastline and northern interior of Apala, even rafting across to Wabana.

    Tiryaps spread across southern Apala.

    Update 3 (1.4 to 0.9 million years ago)

    Massive seismic/volcanic event triggers global tsunami, blocks out sun and triggers 50 000 year cool period, wiping out most coastal life and the entire population of Wabana.

    Tiryap migration into Itaro devastates Fumos.

    Apalo migrations into depopulated Gero Valley give rise to Geros.

    Divergence of the Ku (Homo natans) from other human species.

    Earliest examples of human art found in Ikzil Caves, and indicators of religious belief include Tiryap bone fetishes and Ku carvings.

    Tiryaps migrate into Yakgu Rifts, mixing and fighting with native Amalyaps.

    Update 4 (860 to 360 thousand years ago)

    Complete peopling of the habitable regions of the continent of Apala. Coastal Apalo cultures (Wabaha) live all across northern Apala, Fumos live in arid interior, Mukus in the southwest, Amalyaps in the southeast, and Tiryaps across the south.

    Intense conflict in Itaro, Fumos continue to be devastated.

    Update 5 (360 to 160 thousand years ago)

    Wabaha raft people spread technology and genetics across Apala.

    Wabahn (re)discover Wabana after a million years' absence. Small founding population leads to distinctive traits such as brindled hair in women and unique high-pitched vocalization abilities.

    Divergence of Mnayakgu (Homo reptans) from other human species.

    Intense conflict in Itaro, Fumos continue to be devastated, mainland Ku start getting devastated.

    Anatomically modern humans arise in Gero Valley.

    Development of first hafted tools.

    Development of music.

    Update 6 (160 to 58 thousand years ago)

    An ice age begins, dramatically lowering sea levels and altering the climate.

    Northwestern Wabaha raft people (Webwayo) swept to sea become the first cross into the continent of Epua.

    Eastern Tiryaps from the Iki Desert/Great Sand Ocean settle the Tzpha Mountains, becoming the Akp.

    Southern Tiryaps domesticate the wolf.

    Divergence of Diryaj (Homo trux) from other human species.

    Mass migration of Tiryaps into Itaro, causing intense conflict, Fumos and Ku devastated by Diryaj, Diryaj and Tiryaps devastate each other.

    First simple buildings and complex burial rituals in Gero Valley.

    Update 7 (58 to 18 thousand years ago)

    Western Wabanans domesticate the wolf.

    Central Wabanans invent the dugout canoe.

    Apalans invent thrown and string-drawn weapons.

    A wave of anatomically modern humans from Apala (Weway) arrive in Wabana, establishing the Veyaj culture and spreading anatomically modern human traits and technologies onto the continent.

    Founding population of Epuans diverges into interior Ebe and coastal Oypuao branches.

    Mass migration of technologically sophisticated anatomically modern Geros to Itaro and Yakgu Rifts. Natives of the Itaro devastated as Geros extirpate Diryaj from the region, then turn on the other natives. Fumos devastated for the last time, Ku all but eliminated from the mainland, Tiryaps marginalized and displaced, leading to Zyuzak ethnogenesis.

    Domestication of the Agal Antelope.

    First gold metalworking by the Kippals of the Kogan Range.

    Update 8 (18 to 7.5 thousand years ago)

    Domestication of the sheep in central Wabana.

    Early agriculture in eastern Wabana (Wabban).

    Habitable regions of Wabana now entirely populated.

    Another wave of humans from Apala (Wabaha) arrive in Wabana, establishing the Gueba culture.

    Early agriculture in Gero Valley and surrounding rivers.

    Megalithic art created by the Akp people in the Tzpha Mountains.

    The Itaro, now dominated mostly by Geros and Zyuzaks, is more widely known as the Itap. Diryaj driven south.

    Update 9 (7.5 to 3.5 thousand years ago)

    Ice age ends, climate bands shift and sea levels rise, flooding lower Gero Valley in Apala and isolating the island of Boron in Wabana, dividing the Wabban cultures.

    Northeastern Wabbans (Agvan) first cross into Agvant.

    Akp migrate westwards down from the Tzpha Mountains, starting a long-lasting conflict with the coastal Wabaha raft people and establishing the Echp.

    Zyuzaks and Ziags give rise to the Ziyuzagh, who dominate the Itap.

    First walled cities form in the Gero Valley.

    Update 10 (3.5 to 1.5 thousand years ago)

    Wabbans give rise to the Ebon cultural complex, inventing beer, priesthoods, sails and copperworking in that order.

    Central Wabana experiences 'River King' period. Wabs thrive briefly and brightly then collapse utterly.

    Rise of first Ziyuzagh Shamanates.

    Invention of writing and wheel in the Itap.

    Development of the Poa system in Epua.

    Southwestern Epuans begin mummifying remains in cliffside tombs.

    Wabahas (Chepko) arrive from Apala, followed by Echp (Htckt).

    Update 11 (1.5 to 0.5 thousand years ago)

    First states encompassing multiple cities in the Ebon complex, along with string writing and mathematics.

    City states and allianecs in the Gero Valley and Yakgu Rifts.

    'Bead and Reed' writing in Webwayo.

    Massive expansion of recently-arrived Apalans on Epua.

    Habitable regions of Epua now entirely populated.

    Update 12 (500 years ago to Present)

    Stick mapmaking by the Agvanti.

    Conquests of Agagag briefly unify the Ebon complex.

    Veyaj slaver kings become the terror of central Wabana, and also cross back into Apala..

    Ziyuzagh and Gero (Gierhyep) cultures develop into Siyusayep, who invade the Gero Valley repeatedly.

    Tiryaps (Kayayana) and Mukus (Nekra) begin riding the Agal Antelope ('Efern), raiding and warring against their neighbours in southwestern Apala.

    Htckt spread further west in Epua, heavily disrupting the native peoples of the continent.
     
  7. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Very helpful, Iggy!
     
  8. North King

    North King blech

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    Yes, thank you Iggy! :)

    Agvanti thoughts to come.
     
  9. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    Very helpful.

    Also, we discussed this on chat yesterday but I thought i'd reiterate it here for interested parties reference.

    Senshwe and Hosenwe are not a sun god and moon god per se or even personal gods (for now, at present that definition would only apply to the ancestors who end up deified) in the sense of having personalities and stories associated with their actions. They are more numinous poles of spiritual power within the dreamway albeit still possessed of being and spiritual agency [thus being powers that respond and resonate to mortal acts (prayer, belief and magic) according to the Senshu'pa] and not being mere inanimate loci of energy or spiritual power. Likewise its not a cut and paste good vs evil system either, its more one "power" builds things up, and the other returns things to their original state.

    With this in mind the sun and moon are just "symbols" to the Senshu'pa. The sun as the progenitor of all life is a fitting icon for the divine numen that represents the "generative" supernatural power, while the moon as a reflection of the light of the sun, is a fitting icon for the divine numen that represents the de-generative supernatural power (which is itself a reflection of life, in that that which is generated eventually degenerates and returns to its original base parts). Finally as to their origins, as I noted earlier I think of it as a natural development within the Huantwap'an cultural complex myself, but I'm not averse to tropes being transmitted from the broader Epuan sphere [within reasonable parameters, cultural proximity and contact levels being kept in mind]
     
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  10. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Short orders, Iggy, but here ya go:



    The Ebon Complex:

    The two scripts, spread both by trade and by the reach of the Agagag, of the Ebon river complex coexist, the lyrical “string” alphabet used by storytellers and priests, and the phonetic script used by bureaucrats and record keepers, both tend to addorn the great circular mastabas of the river system.


    The Lyrical “string” alphabet of the priests, however, has created an interesting development, where a “printing press loom” of sorts was developed, allowing for the relatively quick spread of the “written word,” and easy reproduction of patterns. Though literacy isn’t the purview of everyone, it certainly has become more common, as the “strings” are easily transportable and relatively durable. The Phonetic “business” language, however, still remains isolated only to the bureaucratic class.


    In the rest of the Ebon Complex, particularly far to the south, where the string language remains mostly in use by traveling storytellers and ship owners, the phonetic language is used by both bureaucrats and priests.


    This has occurred in conjunction, or perhaps spurred the development of, a variety of very hardy and durable fibery cotton crops.


    Developing semi-independently along both rivers (as architectural evidence shows some distinctive features between the two,) the Ancient circular megalithic tombs of the region have given rise to large temple complexes, circular, but with a myriad of entrances, usually placed outside of cities on high points. These Temples serve both as a festival place as well as places of worship and apotheosis. In a sharp departure from the rest of the Ebon complex, however, the inhabitants of the Lower Togora River, namely within the unified Agagat of the cities of the Ethandal, have taken to burning their dead in the temples and taking the ashes to be sprinkled in bodies of water, to theoretically travel downriver and back into the cycle of the world.


    The Agagabaan live a lifestyle very similar to that of their distant cousins in Boron, herding sheep, travelling semi-nomadic lifestyles, resting and trading in cities. Most cities have a dedicated quarter for these nomads, who will often serve as a mercenary army, protecting... or raiding, rival cities. The main difference between the Agagabaan and the people of Boron and the rest of the Ebon, though, is that they worship the Agagag and his wife as divine figures, who they see instigators of the world cycle and existing outside it, entering it only to exert their power and change. The Agagabaan firmly believe themselves to be the chosen of the Agagag and his wife, and, indeed, often times it is one of their own who is reborn as the Agagag.


    And then, everything changed. Winter came instead of summer, one year, and stayed for a decade. Hordes of Upoh and Obo and Oh with their war dogs and mobile ancestor shrines and sky burials swarmed from the inlands, drawn by the relative warmth and fertility of the Ebon region, and the associated food.



    Edit: It'd be also cool to see some development with the Wabban. They are the interface between the intercontinental trade network and the Ebon trade network.
     
  11. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...st-tale-ever-told.566383/page-5#post-14254549



    Brief: The Vamalo adopt Wagon Trains and shift to a more North-South Axis. This economically and culturally catalyzes more complex societies along the Abhwal River Valley. If this causes a civilizational split between east-west and north-south Vamalo, the new North-South culture would be called Vakwela.



    Past:

    The Vamalo are caravan-nomads, traveling in large family groups across the Vama’taho Savanna. Originally, their trade axis was west to east, anchored on one side the Fumos-Kuku in the west and Geros people in the east. Their traditions were similar to other star-seeking tribes, but theirs focused more on the moon (and the planets). Specific Vamalo clan-caravans formed semi-spiritual partnerships withs specific Fumo and Gero tribes, performing great gift-exchanging rituals within sacred sites which symbolically united the two peoples as one, at least for a night.



    As the millennia passed on, the Vamalo changed, but not much. Their spirituality developed, their trading partners changed, the great Gero migration into the Itap was in large part assisted by Vamalo Clan-Caravans who were recruited to assist them in their time of need.



    Present: The Vamalo’s ancient east-west routes are threatened by the Siyusayep’s civilizational desire to conquer the gap between the Itap and the Gero. They also were astounded by the incredible benefit of the Chariot innovation. Finally, they were being out traded and welcomed by migratory Diafhe. Something had to give, and that was a breaking of millennia of tradition.



    The Vakwela, so called for their initial creation and teaching of the sacred sharing ceremonies with the Hakhak, now trade between the Abhwal river and the Tyrumru-upon-the-Fumo. (Fumo, an ancient word once denoting a confederation-building tribal people, now gives its name for the valley of the Tyrumu, who are the people who live by the River Fumo.)



    This soon expanded to other tribes, bringing greater contact between the ancient cultures of the Peninsula and the Itap cradle. For the various Itapic peoples, this trade lead to great herd-drives of exotic beasts to be given as gifts (or tribute, depending on one’s point of view). For the various cultures of the Abhwal River, this trade brings strange and delightful new technologies, especially to those deep inland from the hwabhwa, Gevera, and Hwetka, who were descendants of the Gero migrations and were connected to the Wabaha trade networks.



    It’s highly lightly that large ceremonial “arenas” marked with great mounds forming complex shapes from the sky would be formed around key trading partners amount the Hakhak, Vomma - or even Diafhe or Immah peoples.



    The other major innovation of the Vakwela is the Great Wagon. An innovation of the chariot that makes it more unwieldy, but able to carry and protect many more good and possessions for the Clan Caravan.



    Throughout all this, the Vakwela continue to follow other attributes of the ancient ways, observing the phases of the moon, ritualistically exchanging gifts in a manner that creates a trade route, and providing passage to esteemed individuals across the Vama’taho Savanna.





    Names:

    Vama’taho Savanna - Region - Name for Semi-Arid region of the Vamalo

    Vakwela - Vamalo who go North South instead of East West

    River Fumo - River of Tyumru development

    Itapic - Name for cultures around the Itap, especially those based off of Tiryapic culture. (Ityapic lol)
     
  12. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    The People of the Stars

    -

    The Ixyah and their cousins the Ikji and Ikip are traditionally nomadic peoples who revering the stars have sung the star-songs and the watched the signs written into the heavens for many ages. The nomads shall come to live in clans (Ixshwet) each of which is made up of distinct family groups who together constitute the whole clan, each of which is led by its chief (Enkal). A series of clans (Ixswheten) may recognise their kindred blood and bonds of obligation and assistance in the harshness of desert life to form a confederation, these confederations are the distinct ethnic identities of the Ixyah, Ikji and Ikip peoples.

    Desert society in time shall become divided into three castes, divided based on occupation. Each being of equal importance and value to their society

    -

    The Axshwai or starseers are the caste with the least numbers, for they are the priests and spiritual figures of the clans. It is they who read the signs of the stars and keep and remember the ancient stories and star-songs for posterity guiding their clans to water and to oases, and advising the warriors of when it is right to raid the lands of the mud-men who live in the soft lands around the desert, the women when it is time to store water in the shells of birds eggs for hard times ahead, the little makers of when it is time to make new tents and the clan when they are too numerous and it is time to make a new clan, sending forth men and women to new lands. So too is it the Axshwai who examine the newborn and determine whether they shall live or be sacrificed to the stars, for only strong children can endure in the desert and strengthen the people in turn.

    The Enekwai or warriors, are those who defend the clan and the people from their enemies, and hunt and gather in the desert. It is they who know the secret ways through the sands and who hunt the mud men when the war signs are clear in the heavens, be they Tiriyata, Apfal, Tyumru, Vamalo or Immah as the stars will claiming food and metal and cloth from the adversary before melting away into the sands where they dare not follow lest they perish, it is they as hunters, raider and gatherers who feed the people and keep the tribe alive in the harshness of the sand sea. Only the Imikyah and Ikyah peoples, as kin and trade partners, and the stone men of the mountains are forbidden to raid, although when the stars signs point to peace they will also trade with the Tiriyata and Tyumru, passing goods across the desert and trading them for metal and food and other goods.

    Third are the Inaghwai the little makers, who know the secrets of how to fashion trinkets from metal, bone, wood and cloth and create the tools necessary for desert survival. It is they who carve the short spears from stone and hard acacia wood with which the warriors hunt. So too is it they who with metal gifted by the stars, claimed from in raiding or acquired by trade with the mud-me, kindred men of the Apfal sea or the stone men, who fashion the daggers of the Enekwai and amulets of the Axshwai which the warriors rely upon when they raid or hunt. Likewise it is undoubtedly the little makers who with leather and cloth fashion the garments of the desert people with which they veil their faces from the sand-laden wind and their tents, and who with the feathers of birds and fur of the tamed desert dogs that accompany the people in their travels make shoes such that the desert knows not the peoples passing.
     
  13. North King

    North King blech

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    Here’s a rough outline for events in Agvant this turn. Some of the highlights:

    1) Continuing trade and prosperity from the transoceanic trade leads to early urban formation among the Agvanti, particularly in the forested lands around the Pagana River. Salmon fishing (alternating with gathering of forest products and seafood) provides plenty of food, and new styles of construction spring into existence, particularly the “breathing bridges,” multigenerational projects that start to become quite popular among the locals:



    Additional things of note include construction of longhouses, and a rise in sacred sites, particularly on high points surrounding population centers. Perhaps borrowing from the bridge methodologies, these consist of groves of strangely warped trees created over the generations by binding branches with tightly wound twine.

    2) Traders grow ever more daring, particularly with the development of newer and more durable clinker/outrigger constructions that allow vessels to survive for weeks at sea. As consequence, traders shave more and more time off of the trip by learning the ocean currents between the continents (and mapping them carefully) and skipping large chunks of the coast altogether.

    Stick maps at this time, it should be noted, start to be constructed out of cotton thread, allowing for almost infinite compressibility; they unfold when held from the top.

    3) Building off of that, Pagana traders start to circle around the south of the continent as well, forming long-term contacts with the peoples there.

    4) On the other end of the continent, the Jakkan (or as they start to call themselves, the “Jaka”) have started to make attempts to ride these strange “horse” creatures. Their mastery of new hunting techniques that allow them to track and kill the large herds of bison in the interior of the continent lead to a population expansion, and a consequent territorial expansion practically everywhere west, south, and east. To the north, the Aggan (now “Aggai”) trade more specialized taiga products with them.

    5) Their parallel to the south, the Kantihak, expand with their newly domesticated camelids. Together with the Jakka, they “fill in” the interior of the continent. Unlike them, they start to verge on the edge of the Pagana, and borrow heavily from them, creating “marker trees” by adopting the warping technologies of the north. These are essentially signposts on the vast plains.

    The mountains in between come to be termed the Valak.

    6) Another area of increasing density among the Hasavant centers around the new southern trade loop. Reliant on offshore fishing shoals, they cultivate cotton on a large scale to create their nets and lines; the partnership between land and sea allows for soaring numbers. They also begin to explore southwest across the islands. Theirs are mostly centered around megalithic structures including shaft tombs.

    7) The Gozvant (now Gozvai), as one end of the new southern trade loop, start to coalesce as well. They rise into the Zahak Mountains, creating a vertical economy that uses crops and animals from every elevation. It is a slow process, and it gets practically nowhere now, although the importation of longhouse construction helps.

    8) Colonists from Pagana start to push at the very edges of known land, actually leapfrogging the earlier settlers on the coast.

    9) Similarly, the Ongan, stymied in eastward expansion by the Kal—“the end”—start to explore up and down around it. A very, very few of them start to ascend higher into the mountains, adapting to life on the rim. They are called the “Kang.”
     
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  14. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    You guys really are a treat! I'm mostly done Epua (although if anyone wants to do something in the eastern portion of the continent they're welcome to), and I'll get started on Agvant and Wabana next.
     
  15. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Update 13: 500 Years

    Agvant

    In the far east, the Kang are a subgroup of Ongans live at the jagged edge of the world, the bitter wall of ice and rock known as the Kal- the 'End'. For these people, there surely can be nothing beyond, and they cling to a harsh existence between cold and unforgiving sea and glacial peaks.

    However, to the south, one group of Ongans have found a narrow set of passes across the Kal. Christening themselves the Yagakalanai, this hardy folk now begin to spread into an unpeopled new land.

    Animal domestication has become a major driver of human development in interior Agvant. The Jaka, descendants of the Jakkan, have begun to domesticate horses, one of the native animals of their arid grassland belt. Originally prized for their meat, the Jaka have found that they make fine draft beasts as well, and increasingly use them to carry goods and haul sledges. This useful domesticate has greatly increased their success, and while it hasn't given them much success surviving in the brutal deserts of the south, it has helped them to drive west against the inland Agvanti.

    The Jaka enjoy a healthy trading relationship with the Aggai, relatives of the more northerly Aggan. While the Jaka are a major threat to those living on their own latitude, they have little interest in the taiga, and are content to live and let live with the northerners.

    Further still to the north, the Tevanti have spread widely across the coast, growing increasingly adept as hunters of large aquatic mammals.

    South of the central desert, the Kantihak have begun to take advantage of another native organism, the camel. While by no means fully domesticated, camels have proven their use as pack animals, and their ability to survive in extreme arid conditions has allows the Kanithak to push further than any other culture into the dunes.

    Further still to the south, llamas, distant relatives of the camel, are coming to be used by the Gozvai, offshoots of the Gozvant who have migrated into the alpine valleys of the Zahak Mountains.

    Agvanti mariners have spread widely, establishing trading relationships and settlements with people all across the south coast. Off the coast of Hasavant, the Agvanti intermarry heavily with the locals, giving rise to the Uwanti, a maritime people who have come to dominate a volcanic island chain extending off the misty jungle tip of Agvant.

    The barrier between Agvant and Wabana has steadily eroded in the face of ever-increasing trade. Desire for Agvanti treasures, furs and other animal products in Wabana, and for refined Wabanan goods in Agvant fueled a highly competitive trade. On both sides of the sea, Agvans, Vannady and Nangvantis profited richly by controlling this trade, their coastal peoples growing in wealth and power as they served as middlemen between the Eban peoples to the west and the Agvanti proto-states around the Pagana River.

    Driven in pursuit of profits, and out of a desire to bypass these middlemen, Paganan traders dared further and further into the ocean. With outriggers and durable clinker ship designs, derived from those of the Eban, the Paganans pioneered open ocean trade routes. While dangerous and unreliable at first, the benefits proved to outweigh the risks, and within a few centuries regular direct trade was taking place between the Pagana and the Wabban. The Wabana to Agvant passage has proven to be much easier to make, as prevailing winds and currents allow vessels to skip along the coastline, but the reverse passage often involves a harrowing passage through the open waters of the Dalbaran Sea.


    Wabana

    Ongoing exchanges up and down the coast, and with the interior, make the Eban complex one of the most dynamic regions of the world. In the centuries following the initial expansion of the Agagabaan, the various Eban cultures, from the Agvans in the north to the edges of the Sueva jungles in the south, grew into closer and closer economic contact with each other.

    The spread of the writing loom, and the two writing systems of the region, helps to enable greater degrees of societal organization. Textile communication and literacy spread increasingly through priestly classes, and the rulership and their servants. Eban architecture grows steadily larger and more impressive, as the lower Togora River becomes a major center of textile manufacture, and thus a region of major wealth accumulation.

    On the island of Boron, the rapid expansion phase of the Habaan slows, and new cultures emerge from the milieu. Across the northern fringe of the island, the Obuus, isolated from their more urbanized southern neighbours and subject to significant Habaan influence, give rise to the Yobuu, largely a sea-focused culture and skilled fishermen. On the interior coast, the Obuus are heavily influenced by the Ebon colonies, coming to be known as the Buuson. The Ohbahn expanded their portion of the coast, holding the most densely developed section of the island, while the Obuus proper were largely confined to the southeastern corner of the isle.

    Meanwhile, the Habaan continued to dominate the interior, although the steady growth of the richer coastal regions saw their influence steadily wane throughout this period. Gradual splits also began to diverge their culture, as the more settled south and rustic north began to drift apart, giving rise to the southern Apa'an.

    On the Hashon River, the Agagabaan steadily continued to migrate in from the countrysides to the cities. As a result, Agagabaan power and influence steadily grew in the richest, central lands once dominated by the Ebon, dividing the Ebon between their coastal southern population, and an increasingly isolated north.

    Through warfare, city states and small kingdoms coalesce on the Togora, ultimately leading to the rise of the Agagat of Ethandal Cities. Overcoming their longtime rivals, the Obaram Corsair-Kings (descendants of the Ohbahns who settled on the coast during Agagag's invasions), Ethandal established a dynasty that ruled the lower Togora for nearly three centuries. However, this early empire would eventually begin to crumble back into its constituent parts, before being decisively ended by famine and invasion.

    The Obo 'Dog-People' of the Wabanan interior had lived with few material changes to their lives for countless thousands of years. However, the coming of a period of great cold and famine to this northerly people and their cousins, particularly the Hobok, prompted broad southerly migrations.

    The Hobot culture was one of the descendant cultures of this migration. Traveling the least far, they overwhelmed the Upoh, settling heavily in the uppermost reaches of the Eastern Wab River.

    The Oxok, meanwhile, were of mixed Hobok-Obo descent, and moved further to the east, interacting heavily with the Wabban and northern Ebon cultures. While the Oxok were not initially aggressive, their sudden arrival and additional strains on the natural resources of the region swiftly led to conflicts, as the natives fought to reject these new arrivals. The conflicts intensified in destructiveness, in some places even bringing down whole urban areas, and would continue to burn for centuries thereafter.

    It was the Oybat who were responsible for the downfall of the Ethandal Agagat. Perhaps the most well-led and organized of the three major migratory groups, the Oybat claim to hail from the northernmost mountains, and spent some time among the Hobot and Oxok lands before pressing further south, towards the greatest prize, the great cities of the lower Togora River. Deftly assessing the deteriorating situation in the Agagat, the Oybats aligned themselves with the Ahban cities which had not aligned themselves with the imperial effort, and with their settled allies struck a fatal blow to the Ethandal cities. This invasion presented a major disruption to the increasingly interconnected economy of the Eban complex, but in the greater scale of centuries the disruption was relatively short-lived. A short century after their initial migration, the Togora River was a collection of small, bickering polities once again. While the Oybat had come in search of food, and later, wealth, in time they became just another powerful element that became a part of the Eban complex, often jostling with the Agagabaan for position and prominence.

    In the southern rainforests, the Arpam are steadily diminished by the growth of the Sueva. Some particularly adventurous Agagabaan push a short distance into the region, but find little there that they could not more easily trade for. Further west, the Veyaba and Gueba continue to push back and forth, intermingling in the gulf at the southern cape of the continent.

    The Veyaj, Slaver-Kings and fearsome warriors, continue to dominate the lower Wab delta. A diverse land, the Kings continue to only grow in opulence and splendour, remaining in place in spite of regular spates of slave revolts. However, the raiding of the Vejaka, who draw in a great proportion of the captive slaves who power the Veyaj engine, have had a transformative impact on the Hoppa further upstream. Mobile 'Cattle Lords' have formed compacts with their fellow herders and the cities along the river, striking back in earnest against the hated Vejaka. As this militarization and stratification gradually spreads through Hoppa society, so too spreads a Bull Cult, emerging dominant over the traditional animal pantheon and nature reverence which remains common among the Wayha.

    With these developments, the Hoppa have grown into a significant isolated urban civilization, the largest and most populous west of the Wab delta. The other major cultures of the west, the Wobao and Wobaoh, continue to fend off the depredations of the Baoyaj, who steadily encroach further and further up the coast. Meanwhile, driven south by the same factors affecting the northeastern Obos and their kin, the Ap have migrated south into Wobao lands, forming the Oepao culture.


    Apala

    In the great rainforest of northern Apala, life continues apace. The Webwayo continue to thrive around their rich bay, enjoying the fruits of both the sea and the forest. Recently, they have begun trading in trinkets of metal too, as the Huepak of the mountains ship their wares downriver to the coast. This relationship has richly benefited both cultures, and have made the Webwayo into one of the most prominent of the equatorial civilizations.

    On the coast beyond the northern cape, the Voyahm and the Weway vie for control, with the aggressive Voyahm gradually driving back their native neighbours. In some areas, the absorption of a Voyahm overclass into the Weway substrate has led to the formation of the Vehar culture, who have become a populous force which now dominate the former southern reaches of Weway territory. The Wabaha remain dominant over the bulk of their great river. The Kptp, Apa'nuk and Avenec remain the dominant people of the hinterlands, with the former being the most dynamic. As the Kptp establish themselves on the upper branches of the Great River of the Wabaha, they intermingle increasingly with the eponymous Wabahas, giving rise to the Kopu.

    Further south, things also remain steady on the Abhwal river, with an equilibrium of power existing between its various peoples. It is beyond the edges of the vast, continent-spanning jungle that major changes have unfolded, largely driven by the interplay between the civilizations of the Itap and the Gero Valley.

    For countless millennia, the Vamalo have been a mobile people, traveling the Vama'taho Savanna, hunting, gathering and trading. Their role as middlemen, however, has recently been disrupted by the conquests of the Itap Ghuchagates, whose military campaigns have formed a much tighter link between these two cradles of civilization. In response, many Vamalo shifted their travel routes, now connecting the Abhwals and Hakhaks on the edge of the great rainforest with the Itap. This Vamalo subgroup, the Vakwela, have formed trade routes short-circuiting the lengthy and contested route down the rivers, across the coast and up the Gero Valley, bringing exotic jungle goods directly to the Itap. This has introduced yet more strange animal gods and fetishes to the Ghuchagh, and brought contemporary technologies to the rainforest backwaters. The great wealth this has brought to the Vakwela has been transformative to their culture, many of whom are able to make a living from merchantry alone, and now travel by antelope-drawn wagon, in great caravans. However, in spite of these material changes, they have remained true to their ancestral traditions of gift exchange and lunar observance.

    History across the densely-populated southern band during this period was heavily impacted by the catastrophic eruption of Yerafram, a massive volcano previously only known to the Makyerf as a place of regular earthquakes and geothermal activity, which provided a much-desired source of hot water in their cold, southerly home.

    The initial Yerafram Eruption blew the top off of the mountain, flattening forests and raining molten debris hundreds of kilometers away from the epicentre. After the initial cataclysm, the ruined crater would belch a toxic, black cloud into the sky for several years, punctuated with further violent eruptions nearby. The Makyerf were devastated by this, but the impacts were felt much more widely than just in the Makayari Reach and surrounding lands. The black cloud rose high into the atmosphere, occluding sunlight across the southern hemisphere, and even spreading north of the equator, where it had climatic impacts as far away as Wabana, where it contributed to the collapse of Ethandal civilization.

    In the Reach, water became undrinkable and crops died off en masse. The northern Makyerf, who had not been directly hit by the eruption, starved alongside the other joined the other various peoples of the region in starving. The Kubako and Kiryaks were also harshly depopulated, as life became nigh-untenable in the region. The ocean and rivers, upon which they depended, became barren. Wracked by famine, the Kiryak population outright collapsed on the mainland. Offshore, the coastal Kiryaks suffered the same fate, and human life was maintained on their island only by the Huiet, the materially impoverished cousins of the Kiryaks who had lost out in the competition for prime fishing and hunting grounds, and instead subsisted on hunting small birds and mammals, and scavenging. Lacking the maritime tradition of the Kiryaks, the Huiet are now wholly isolated.

    Back to the mainland, not all people were wiped out immediately by this cataclysm. The Mkyaph, for example, were highly mobile. Alongside the Makyerf and Tiryats, they flooded north into the Timika Sea, bringing an additional complicating factor to an already contested and swiftly-degrading region. As crops failed, the Yana and Tiriyata were the first to suffer. The Kaya and the new southern arrivals were quick to depredate on the farmers, and warred intensely with each other for control over limited food resources. Rapidly recognizing that there was no future to be had in the region, the remaining powers in the region set their sights on areas that were less drastically impacted. Some tried to cross the Great Sand Ocean, but precious few made it across that expanse, often losing all of their possessions to the Ixyah. The clans of the desert, at this same time, were undergoing major societal developments, possibly influenced by the Ghughagates of the Itap, developing increasingly entrenched castes, a trend shared across all of the major Ikyp-derived nomadic cultures.

    Most southerners recognized the Great Sand Ocean for what it was, an impassable barrier, and knowing the south to be uninhabitable, were funneled either to the east or west. The mounted Mkyaph drove west through the Myakaps and Makyerfs, settling heavily among the lands of the Makapo and Wombax. These coastal cultures had already been long-threatened by inland Efern-riders, and with the collapse of oceanic resources had even less ability to resist than normal. Thus did the coast become a confused jumble of migrants resting atop a substrate of native Makapos and Wombax. In the midst of this great movement of humanity, the venerable Wabakos have disappeared altogether as a distinct group, through a mix of depopulation and loss of cultural distinctiveness and and unity in the face of this massive shift.

    Within a few decades, the Apalan southwest was on the mend, although the major demographic changes would continue to resolve themselves for centuries thereafter. Descendants of Makyerfs, the Mogiev, settled much of the old Kubako and northern Kiryak coast, and the Mkyaph-derived Megya repopulated the inland Makayari. The Turiga, last survivors of the old Tiriyata, carry on on the northern coast, while the Mkyaph establish themselves in the south once again. However, agriculture has almost entirely collapsed in the region, and urbanization has been dealt a major setback.

    Distinct from the westward exodus from the Timika Sea and Makayari Reach was the eastward flight of the Kaya Tiryats, who flooded up the Aptira, toward the Itap. The Kaya had few compunctions in slaughtering their eastern neighbours, Nekra, Ziag and Tiryap, particularly with their very survival on the line, allowing them to carve out a significant portion of land between the Iksiph and Ypta Mountains. The arrival of these westerners in the lands of the Ziyuzagh presented a major challenge for the Ghuchagh, whose decentralized structure was slow to adopt a coordinated response against a large and desperate outsider population of nomadic beast-riders.

    Further complicating matters was the ongoing famine ravaging the region due to declining agricultural yields. The nominally united Ghuchagh became clearly divided, as rivalries arose between different shamanic alliances. With hunger, growing warlordism and a failure of temporal authority, conflict broke out once again on the bloodstained sea. Now, various forces attempt to assert their broad, or at least local authority over the region, even as the Kaya continue to struggle to establish themselves in the southwest.

    While chaos befell the southwest, the north and east remained relatively more orderly throughout this lean period. The people of the water, resurgent with their restored alliances with drylanders, have begun to throw their weight around, aiding the long-beleaguered Coa people in re-establishing their right to exist on the eastern coast of Holy Itaro. Meanwhile, mixed Ku and Goa called 'Golo' have settled the Gero River, their fortunes waxing with those of the Siyusayep invaders in the region.

    Generations of Siyusayep migration and invasion into the western Gero Valley have gradually given rise to distinct Sierap and Dieruef cultures, which remain broadly affiliated with the Ghuchagate, such as it is. The same famine that is wracking many of the world's temperate and northern regions has also destabilized the Gero Valley. Faced with the persistent invasions by Siyusayep, many of the Dierhua city-states have forged alliances with their neighbours. However, grudges run deep on the Gero, and there are many who would be happy to see the Dierhua knocked from their position of preeminence. Various Gerdho alliances took advantage of the chaos and launched campaigns against the Dierhua on the eastern bank, in some cases aided by the Querhua of the northern coast. The Sierhua vaccillated between fighting and aiding the Dierhua cities, and defending their own lands against the Sierap. Meanwhile, the Diafo and Amalyo were broadly subjugated beneath the invaders, with very few of their polities remaining under their own rule. The Jero, for their part, remained largely aloof from the conflicts, thriving as their focus turned increasingly to the sea.

    In the far southeast of Apala, the situation has remained relatively stable in spite of the famine, which admittedly was not as severe in the Long Sea and Yakgu Rifts as it was elsewhere. On the outer coast, urbanization continues among the Aeger, Urbala and Surazal, who run a bustling trade with their counterparts across the rifts. The Sierda and Daryava maintain their longstanding conflict, but ultimately remain in a long-term stalemate with their hated rivals. The Nyamaba, meanwhile, look elsewhere, and spread steadily across the Aegal Plains to settle in the west, rubbing shoulders with the Orbal.

    In the far south, the climatic disruptions have put several people on the move, as the Omotog migrate northwards, much to the chagrin of the Matagya, while the Diryaj spread more widely westwards, into the depopulated lands of the Tiryats.


    Epua

    The Htckt and their kin butt heads with the Chepko and theirs. Broadly speaking, these more recent arrivals to Epua can be placed into four categories. First are the Wabaha-derived Chepko, Pueko and Tsebueh, who hunt and gather, staying mostly in coastal and riverine areas. Second are the Htckt and Otkt, derived from the Echp, who practice seasonal hunts and periodic burning. Third are the coastal raiders, Lptchp, Kachk and Khkchkt, who practice a somewhat more extreme variant of the Htckt faith of the all-consuming serpent. Finally are the Tkt, who retain significant aspects of their original Htckt faith, but have otherwise adopted the Epuan Poa system of land management, and do not live in a way that is fundamentally different from those that they displaced.

    Central Epua develops more advanced Poa practices, managing to use the land more intensely than ever before. The priestly class, whose rituals grow constantly in complexity and scale, are joined by a middleman 'storage' class, the Powayaba, who trade with the people practicing the seasonal rounds, serving a valuable role in making sure that different goods can be made available at all times. The wealth of the Poyaba provides the resources to support a stable warrior class, adopting the mantle of the Dream-Eagle, defender against the Eastern Serpent. Thus, for the first time, the Epuans are able to mount something resembling an orderly defense against the Khkchkt and other coastal raiding cultures. Mounting counteroffensives, Dream Eagles have turned the slaughter against these reavers, stunting their further growth and expansion through the continent.

    Little affects the Heben, as they carry on much as they have for millennia in the northern interior drylands. Meanwhile, the advanced Poa system of the central continent steadily makes its way into the southwest via the Yopuo. In the central western mountains, the Ka'Pua'Ne and Yoho have both crossed the high passes to find habitable plateaus, giving rise to the Kabwa and Yo Cho cultures respectively.

    The swirling milieu of cultures in southwestern Epua are recombining and emerging into distinct new iterations, combining ideas old and new in the rich basin of the Huntwap'an.

    In the fertile mountain valleys on the fringes of the Huntwap'an basin, the cultivation of tubers leads to a significant increase in food production. This has led to significant leaps in population density, and subsequent increases in conflict between neighbouring groups, some of whom have developed lasting feuds with one another. The Akhaba became highly influential during this time, spreading cliff tomb culture across the whole region, as far afield as the northern Yoho. Religious ideas spread along with them, involving mummification and varying degrees of ancestor worship, as well as the construction of monolithic monuments to the dead. On the fringes of the region, the Orepo people syncretize their traditional dreamways with the ancestral shrines of the southwesterners, taking these man-made monuments to be loci and gates anchoring the dreamway.

    Meanwhile, on the inner rim of the basin, the Kha'kpa and Hwapa begin to fish increasingly intensively, achieving a similar growth in population. At their intersection arise the Senshu'pa. As their population soars, the Senshu'pa experience increasing social stratification, and their burial mounds grow increasingly grandiose. The Senshu'pa have to view the dreamways as being in tension between two supernatural forces, one constructive and the other degenerative.

    The Senshu'pa have thrived on the northern shore of the Huntwap'an Sea, largely at the expense of the Orepo and Yoyepuo. However, the Senshu'pa have not expanded far beyond the coastline and the lower reaches of the rivers, as their cousins have come to adopt Poa practices, which gives them a highly effective system system for managing the resources of the jungle away from the major waterways.

    Spoiler :


     
  16. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Even as the Veyaba encroach upon the ancestral lands of the Gueba, the latter have learned to husband the abundant floral resources of their native rainforests. They are semi-nomadic, travelling yearly to manage the fruit that grow in large wealth, gradually developing an orchard-based agricultural system, where trees are tended in large groves. These include many varietals of berries, lychee, jackfruit, and, especially, Mangoes, which have been bred into dozens of different species, including large, crunchy, starchy, carbohydrate-rich fruit, as well as soft, juicy, sweet ones with edible rinds, filling many culinary niches, and, on the coast, the Salt-mango, grown on a mango tree that has become a mangrove, filtering salt out into the leaves and into the fruit. Citrus also plays a large role in the agricultural environment of the Gueba.


    These fruits, nutritious as they are, spread relatively quickly, from the agricultural “slave plantations” of the Veyaj (and possibly even across the sea) to the Ebon complex, though they do not prevent the Gueba from being slowly encroached upon and pushed back from their ancestral lands. The Gueba have also begun to domesticate the small, flightless chicken that lives in their forest, breeding them to be plumper, with larger eggs.


    The Gueba also bury their dead within the groves of fruits they tend, placing above them carved stone figurines which are often quickly overgrown by trees, creating eerie sights.





    The Hobot, in the north, have taken strongly to the sedentary lifestyle, integrating themselves effortlessly into the upper Upoh river, bringing their dogs and religious practices, and relegating many Upoh beliefs into a substrate. They have begun to build large mausoleums with high stone slabs, an evolution of the sky burials they practised as nomads: The bodies are placed upon the stone slabs to rot away/ be consumed by carrion, after which the skulls are placed within the mausoleum itself. Theologically, their beliefs have evolved from an "ancestor cult" into one where it is believed that souls of the dead, if the bodies are properly given a sky burial, "ascend" into a greater gestalt that it the souls of all who have come before, a being that is composed of all that the individual parts have learned and experienced.


    Agriculturally, the Hobot and Upoh have domesticated the wild hogs that live in the area, in many places elevating the mythic-pig into a high position in whatever pantheons exist, serving as a representation of plenty and wealth, since so much delicious meat comes from Pork.


    The domesticated pig likely spread from the Hobot down the Wab river and into the Ebon complex, and possibly, again, overseas.


    The Ebon Complex itself remains both unchanged and radically changing. Bronze is now common throughout the complex, likely as far as the Wabban and Agvan in the north, and traded with the Arpam and Sueva. Worked gold with Gemstones and turquoise is common along the rivers and on Boron, and, while the various city-republics are fractious, rarely is warfare used to resolve situations, preferring to hire Agagabaan and Oybaan to raid rivals, and imposing sanctions. The mobility of the people of the area has remained largely unchanged, and it is not uncommon for an individual, in their youth, to sign up with a trader crew and eventually settle a few years later in a new city. Indeed, perhaps inspired by stories of the rich trade with distant Agvant, a popular mythic figure of the time is Erhu the Wanderer, who supposedly sailed to the edge of the world and lived many adventures, before returning home rich, and settling fat and content in a coastal mansion, where he entertains the friends he made from all over the world. This tale has inspired any number of young, brave, foolish captains, to sail from the last ports on Boron and out into the empty ocean.


    The Oyabaan are quickly assimilating, filling a niche similar to that of the Agagagabaan, though remaining violently independent culturally from the later. The two groups, rarely, if ever, interact, unless it is violently. However, While the Oyabaan have likely lost much of who they once were, they retained the mobile ancestor shrines, moving them as they move. This practice has infected to some level most of the other people of the cities, many of whom will take an ancestor’s bone (usually something small like a finger or a toe) with them as they travel, hoping for luck.


    Politically, occasional alliances of cities or Kings unite portions of the river under their rule, though none has as of yet matched the might of the Agagag. None, that is, until The Boryu (a likely semi-mythic figure, who many identify as a reborn Agagag, though doctrine differs on that matter, as another “reborn Agagag” was written to be on Boron.) Ethnically a Oxok, The Boryu had extensively travelled throughout the Hashon River with his pack of dogs, building relationships and friendships with different leaders and traders and farmers and Agagabaan and Oyabaan. It was said that there was no tongue that he did not speak, and no city he had not seen, and no people he did not love. That is why, one night, when he dreamed of a great wave of destruction sweeping over the disunited river, he chose to destroy it all to save it: He would unite the river under one rule so that it could stand united against the destruction to come. The Boryu returned home to his people, and taught them how to forge weapons of Iron, which he had himself learned in a dream, before sweeping down with hordes of dogs and Oshokabaan barbarians, pushing clean to the mouth of the river and establishing his capital there, a grand city which still stands. To mark his victory, and the safety of the River against all who encroached, he built a great tower, with a fire eternally lite, and lined with polished bronze, to serve as a beacon. This tale is likely a mythic interpretation of the conquest of the Hashon by the Boryu tribe of Oxok, a people which had gradually learned to smelt iron, giving them an edge over the Bronze weapons of the Hashon. The united rule over the river lasted a few generations at least.


    It is is unlikely that ultimately life changed all that much under a united river. The cities continued to jostle for prestige and power, and trade and ideas flowed, perhaps even more smoothly than it ever had. Culturally, the Oxok ascendancy brought the “Dog Cult’ to prominence, a belief which claimed that the Dog was integral to the human life cycle, and that dogs were the souls of the dead in an in-between stage before being reborn as humans, or vice-versa, that humans were the in-between stage for dogs. As such, many dog temples were built, places where dogs are fed and taken care of by a priestly class.


    Additionally, a small agricultural revolution boomed as the (even freer) free flow of ideas allowed the spread of a number of agricultural developments, the most important being the screw, which both allowed water to be spread further from the rivers, irrigating large expanses of land, AND, when used in reverse, extracting energy from moving water. This allowed for a small level of mechanization in such processes as grinding grain and in hotter forge fires spurred by mechanical bellows.





    These ideas, and others, flow also to the Hashon River complex, though they remain ununified, the ancestral federations and republics still vying for control.


    The cyclical nature of the beliefs of the Ebon Complex has also spurred the development of mummification for the Yobuu and Obuus. They have developed a series of “brine pools” where salt water is evaporated until a thick brine remains, in which the bodies of the dead are placed until they are desiccated and preserved. They are then painted with the likeness of the dead, and adorned with ornaments, and placed in high cliffside caves to wait until such time as the dead may need their bodies back.


    Edit and Addition:
    Certain groups along the ebon river complex have lived for many centuries in close proximity to groups of otters along the river. This has led to certain groups nearing to domesticating otters, using them as "hunting dogs" to herd fish into nets and wiers, and as companions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  17. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    In the desert
    The Great Kaya:

    The Kaya tribes, long-disturbed from their region, swarm into the Itap on horseback. With the Ghuchagates of the region predominantly focused north and eastward, and the uniting of the Kaya tribals under two elected kings of war and peace (elected by the gods in their rhapsodic ecstasies, of course) they manage to conquer the Ziyuzagh, although the Siyusayep resist them, for now.

    The Kaya bring a stronger culture of plains-riding beasts from the Makayari Reach, into the Itap, and the increased mobility of these warriors, who also have superior bows that can outfire the slings and javelins of many regional actors, make them formidable. Although they do not often fight mounted, their mobility allows them to carve deep into the region. They ultimately become an entrenched warrior caste, ruling over a 'Ziya' commoner caste. These are 'Kayaziya.'

    The Kayaziya worship the great rock-cut tombs of the Ikzil Valley, and create a new megalithic capital site there, including a number of the strange spherical rock domes cut from larger rock formations and then partially hollowed, a common practice adopted from the Siyusayep who practice it on a grand scale. As the Kaya enter the Itap, this in turn pushes a massive exodus of Ziyuzagh and Tyumru out of the Itap, who will spill into the reaches of northern Apala.

    The Kayaziya follow a largely dualistic faith, surrounding an Elk God of war and the dry season, and a Fish God of peace, and the rainy season. During the dry season, they range far into the plains to hunt prisoners to glorify the gods for sacrifices in the Ikzil Valley. During the wet season, they return to a sedentary lifestyle around the Itap and the valleys. Their government largely meets in theatrical role-playing sessions, whereby the masked representatives of the Two Great Gods and their children debate various courses of action, and they rely on the feel of the crowd as well as their own drug-induced visions to come to a consensus on courses of action.

    It is super stable.

    The Ziyuzagh and Tyumru exiles, with their organized shamanic caste leaders, knowledge of chariots and the Itap tradition of constant warfare, are driven by relentless Kaya pursuers across what they call the Vamatagh, to crash into the Abhwal River and its southern neighbor, desperate for land and safety north of the river. (Which they, of course, call Apwal.) These 'Zyuzaru' hybrids will make a concerted attempt to conquer the entirety of the Abhwal and drive its previous inhabitants north as well.

    Although the jungle is new to them, they know the river, and are unafraid to clear cut large sections of trees for their timber-walled cities, importing southern crops and urbanization practices as well.

    For the most part, the mass displacements from the Itap are directed north into Apala, rather than the Gero like the previous waves. Pressure is increasing on the Siyusayep as the depopulation from Kaya raiding accelerates, and small bands continue to trickle east. But it is nothing compared to what is to come.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  18. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    The Kaya Eruption:

    In addition to the legendary tales of fire raining from the sky and the loss of a distant paradise that filtered into many of the cultures of this region's origin myths, the Kaya Eruption was named by later archaeologists and historians as a bit of a play on words; both the great volcanic eruption that pushed the Kaya peoples out of the Makayari Reach (collapsing its nascent agriculture for centuries,) and the eruption of peoples from the Itap Sea, leading to a chain reaction of domino displacement that would be noted in layers of ash found in archaeological excavations of settlements as far north as the Apwal, and as far east as the Akgar Range.

    However, the time also brought new innovations, especially with the emergence of the tri-species alliance under the Ghuchagates that arrived in the southern Yakgu Rift, and the adaptation of Ku and Diryaj to the rich seas...and soft humans, of that region. In the Itap, while the Kayaziya Diarchy wouldn't yet equal the building prowess of the Siyusayep whose sphere-tombs they destroyed, and then imitated, their best days are ahead of them.

    (Thanks to the widespread regional destruction, Kaya Collapse is an alternative term preferred by many, but this is critiqued for being both historically revisionist and perhaps even anti-migrant.)

    Spoiler :




    Phase 0: The Makayari Reach is devastated by volcanic eruptions. Agriculture and hunting collapses. The Kaya ride east through the region now known as the Kaya Gap and enter the Itap Basin.

    Phase 1: The Kaya ally with itinerant Ziag to overthrow the lesser Ziyuzagh Ghuchagates, and conquer the Ikzil Valley. Ghuchag bands are pushed north into Tyumru territory. Siyusayep resistance holds at the river, for the moment.

    Phase 2: The Kaya swarm into the Fumo, destroying Tyumru settlements, and pushing now-allied 'Zyuzaru' and 'Tuzagh' hybrids north. Crossing the plains, they enter the Abhwal. (See above.)

    Phase 3: Sensing weakness, the now-united and centralized Kayaziya invade the Siyusayep. The Siyusayep, increasingly ossified with a complex bureaucracy and priestly caste, are unable to resist Kayaziya armies. The Great Kayaziya Diarchy now controls most of the western Itap. Mass starvation and collapse occurs in the old Siyusayep heartland, what will be called the Ziyu River. Many ancient temples are destroyed, and many Ghuchag lines are killed, while others flee with their retainer Diryaj and Ku in giant pots.

    With the collapse of the complex Siyusayep irrigation system, and the mass famines that follow, tens of thousands of Itapic peoples begin marching further east, seeking fertile river or coast lands to replant their crops and water their holy Ku slaves.

    Phase 4: The fragmented Siyusayep groups take many new cultural names. Sishyep are the northern branch. Ziucheph is a central branch, and Chuchayeph and Siyusip are southern branches. All have the similar common elements: A priestly caste of humans with Diryaj and Ku retainers. The gods they specifically follow may vary, but the Endless Flower Ghaghar, a woman with a flower for a head and the body of a deer who is a goddess of love and death, is popular, as is Ruj, a large muscular giant made out of stone, a popular war god among Diryaj.

    Some groups, the Sishyep especially, migrate to their kin groups in the Gero, and assist the Sierap in conquering their way to the sea. But the Gero is too crowded to accomodate most of the migrants, so they swarm south, their chariots and wagon-caravans splitting around the Amalya, crossing the Kicca.

    They will reach the Long Sea, and begin a furious assault on the Daryav. A combination of chariot warfare tactics, Diryaj berserkers and marine ambushes using Ku soldiers will help seize their islands. Larger, rowed watercraft, big versions of ancient Ku Itap Sea designs, will be used to gain naval dominance of the Long Sea, and crush and expel the natives with unexpected multi-species attacks.

    Phase 5: Pushed out of their homeland by the onslaught of the Ziucheph, Chuchayeph and Siyusip, along with the terrifying monsters they have brought to destroy civilization, the shattered Daryav flee through the rifts, seeking a new land away from the beast-men.

    Phase ???: The Tiryap watch the burning of the Itap from their hidden caves in the Ypta and praise the Antlered God. Destruction will always come from beyond. The realm of the gods is the realm of nightmare.
    Ia! Ia!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  19. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,240
    Bigger is Better

    As population density increases demand for food the Senshu'pa and later the Lake Hwapa develop a sedentary adaptation of the poa principle in the advancement of agriculture. This results in two distinct farming variations emerging in the region. The first is a low maintenance gardening and agroforestry system derived from the local ecosystem, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables of utility to the community intercropped together. This development greatly improved the food security for the local population while developing a human environment that is fairly harmonious with the local ecosystem and the spiritual thoughtscape of the dream ways. This system proliferated further from the lake shore and was interspersed with the undisturbed sacred groves that were dotted throughout the jungle and likewise abutted the temples that sat at each key point on the dream ways. The second system was a high intensity gardening system in which plots of land were staked out in the shallows of the lake and built up with lake-soil, mud and aquatic plants and periodically replenished. The resulting fields upon which cereals, vegetables and fruits were grown is highly fertile and supports the high density population of the lake shore and its fishermen.

    These developments also facilitated the rise of political authority amongst the two lake peoples as the priestly caste coalesced into a single, loosely confederated [for each temple is functionally independent] authority under the hereditary 'Huwan'dan', high priest of Senshwe and his ritual wife, the elective Ul'satna high priestess of Hosenwe. This priestly caste, in addition to their custom of building ever bigger and more elaborate pyramid-temples of carved stones and brick and their rituals functioned as the bureaucratic engine of society and the means for organising community projects. It was the priests who organised the development of canals linking the local waterways and the Huntwap'an serving as both irrigation, drainage and transport for the developing agricultural complex. It was also they also encouraged the construction of towns around the major temple-complexes where came to abide a craftsmen class originally derived from the ever more sophisticated artists responsible for building the pyramids, which came to include those who fashioned necessities such as pots from lake mud and other goods as well as artistic and ritual artifacts. A warrior class, derived from temple guardsmen also developed to defend these independent towns and their subordinate settlements, which in addition to serving in a military role has begun to form a parallel nobility under the priesthood which acts as an intermediary between the aloof temple hierarchy and the farming class. The resulting political and social integration over the centuries results in the lakeside Hwapa merging in to the Senshu'pa identity.

    Elsewhere in the region, the Akhaba and Coastal Hwapa develop quite differently. For here in the mountain lands the population increase and resulting conflicts effected by the development of terrace farming and high yield tubers together with the deification of the ancestors has resulted in the establishment of a polytheistic and animistic faith centred upon the clan ancestors and local spirits and their shrines. The shrine fortresses, patronal religious beliefs, and the attendant clan system perpetuate the honour culture and tribalism of the area and encourage the rise of a militant nobility. These nobles serve the function of protecting and leading their clan, as well as raiding other clans in the endless blood feuds that echo through the mountains. This nobility supports a population of farmers and craftsmen who as clients in this proto-feudal system pay for their protection in tribute and likewise support the noble class by fashioning weapons and other tools of trade and life. While the constant warfare hinders the development of broader hierarchies such as in the lake civilisation, it results in a fiercely independent and adaptable people. It is here for example that the avian "Atjena" were first tamed originally for food and feathers for clothing, but which were later utilised as mounts for the nobles and warriors. Likewise it was here that stonemasonry diversified from simple fortifications and pyramid building into higher forms, as the clans began to build towers, which over time grew ever higher, and Cliffside outposts from stone as refuges from the ever present feuds and improved the fortress shrines into strikingly carved and engraved manifestations of clan power and reverence for the ancestors.


    The Orepo on the other hand fused characteristics of both the mountain and lake peoples as well as the peoples to the north. Building pyramids over the original primitive shrines served by a priestly class of their own distinct from that of the Senshu'pa to honour and worship the ancestors and spirits they believe to inhabit the mystic dreamway as well as fortify the spiritual geography of their land. The Orepo developed these nexi and ritual centres within the context of their migratory poa system, and their development supported and emphasised the ritual and symbolical aspects of the cycle of Orepo life. The result was the establishment of a highly religious national character which emphasised their lifestyle and the poa system as having mystical resonance within the dreamway and spiritual significance both in their lives as they act out the mythic stories of the ancestor-gods writ large across their land as well as in the world as a whole due to a belief that ritual sustains the cyclical order of creation. In this context the temples reinforced orepo self identity and provided a source of constancy within the ritual framework enabling cultural transmission and development. They also served as storehouses for food and resources gathered in times of plenty protecting the local people from droughts and famine, and centres for craftsmen and transient traders who traded between the Senshu'pa and the northern peoples as well as the Akhaba. The resulting permanent population of these temples led to the adoption of forest gardening in their vicinity in the Senshu'pa fashion, albeit the poa system remained normative. Their existence likewise enabled the transmission of knowledge between north and south within western Epua via trade and cyclical pilgrimages.

    -

    Sand People

    Elsewhere the disturbances in the Itap Basin had a great impact upon the peoples of the sand sea. The volcanic eruption far to the south has brought famine to the Vama'taho as the environmental impact reverberates across the years. Likewise the migration of Itapic peoples north has disrupted the Vakwela traders and the plains Diafhe and broken the order that has prevailed in that region for many generations. The Axshwai and Enkai of the Ikji confederation, reading signs in the stars and hearing the voice of the mysterious star gods of their ancestors in these events set forth from the desert en masse to slay and pillage the soft mercantile Vakwela and the migrating peoples.

    Fewer in number than their targets, the desert hardened and warlike Ikji, guided by their Axshwai at first attack only at night seeming to appear and disappear almost at will, melting back into the plains leaving broken chariots and the corpses of men, women and children in their wake bereft of metal and other resources useful to their people. In time with typical desert cunning they adapt to the plains by learning from captured slaves the arts of riding the antelope and other secrets of the natives, and increasing in number from the fruits of their labours in this more fertile land they begin raiding with impunity even in broad daylight and conquering territory for their own.

    In time tempted by this new land and pushed east by the expanding Ixyah confederacy whose number has increased and filled the void their eastern focus has left in the desert, the greater whole of the Ikji population moves to the western Vaheomo [Vama'taho] Savannah, becoming nomadic raiders and pastoralists tending to antelope and gathering what they need from the land and from the proceeds of their expeditions against their neighbours. The Daifhe and Vakwela are pushed north and east respectively causing yet further reverberations and conflict in the Abhwal basin and the Vaheomo. Furthermore, by the end of this period the expanding Ixyah confederacy in the desert overtakes most of the former Ikji lands in the great sand sea, and the Ikji nation begins more aggressive raiding against the Vamalo, Gierho, at times even the Kayaziya Diarchy in addition to the displaced Vakwela adding to the turmoil of conflict and migration in this region.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  20. TheMeanestGuest

    TheMeanestGuest Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Itaro's Waters are Warm

    and warm blood runs upon the fields of the landsmen, and trickles down into the rivers, and is a drink for our sleeping father. This blood gives him knowledge, and so he sends it on to us in dream. The Kayaza have come - killers, like the Ziyusep before them, and the Garoa before them, and on and on unto the first coming of the landsmen. And though it is a burdensome fate, the Ku too have become great killers with time's slow unwinding. All things we endure. The newcomers say they know Itaro's peace in their hearts, and perhaps it is so; but we have yet to see it in their action. There shall be no more tribute from Kulao, from Rytu or from Goam and the people and the lords and the coaghas of those islands shall owe no longer. No more shall our sons and daughters be sent to live in bondage. The Kayaza are fierce, it is true, but their horses cannot run upon the water, and they shall not compel us. We shall be friends, if we are able. But we watch with careful eye, in waking and in dreaming.

    With our wealth first shall we protect Kulao, for the whole of Itaro's shores depend upon us for goods and transport, and favourable terms shall be granted to those who assent to our friendship. With their constant fighting the landsmen now have hardly enough to eat, and our great stores of food shall be given in turn for fair recompense and treaty. If need be, we may pay one aggressor to fight another. But these measures alone cannot be trusted, and so the coaghas and lords have built many swift war platforms from which to fight, our swimsmen and warriors protected by wooden and woven bulwark cladding on our floating towers. From these we cast swarms of darts and spears and stones, or close with a crash on the boats of the landsmen, knocking them into the water and disgorging our fighters upon them.

    Free from tribute, we shall use our bounty to honour Itaro, and we shall raise a shining temple garbed in nacre upon stone steps in the harbour at Immo - rising above the boats, its feet sunk to the very bottom, touching Itaro throughout. This, so that we might better come to know him. Let us celebrate the sea.

    - Far away on the young rivers Garos the Golo have made themselves a home, and slowly have fit themselves into place. They adapt, as they must, so far from their father Itaro. But Itaro's elder beckons to the Golo, sending forceful dreams as his-her waves crash upon the shores. And so some Golo have come to greet the Ocean, and fearfully they come to know it. It is a hard place, but there are havens on the shore - places overlooked by the landsmen, as they are always wont to do. But these swamps and marshes are good places for us, and we learn the ways of Ocean with great care, just as we did those of the young twin maidens. The bounty of Ocean is strange, and there are many dangers, but there is so much, and the great schools of fish near dance into our hands. Perhaps there can be homes here, too. We shall honour Ocean as we honour its son Itaro.

    - Others of our people have been taken with their masters as they have fled and journeyed, and only Itaro knows what shall become of them.

    The Great Bull Wanders

    In Hoppaland it has been good. Our cows grow fat, and they are eaten. Our cows are milked, and sweet butter is churned from the cream. Grain grows beside the river. The cowtowns are powerful and rich, and they raise temple-halls up and down the river. This has been the prosperity granted to us by the Bull, and so we are bound to do his work. His name is great, he says, and so we are bound to spread it with a shout.

    As their numbers grow our herds wander further and further afield in search of good grazing, and so we have heard of rivers running down to the sea, and many grasses rich for feeding. The Hoppa come down to the sea, and meet the people who are its namesake. We wish no quarrel with these Oh, only to tell them of the power of the Bull and his many servants. If they will not hear us, their ears shall be opened by the clash of arms and the cries of battle.

    Of the servants of the Bull, it is the Goat who is most brazen, and the champions of this Brazen Goat test themselves against the hated Vejaka, driving the slavers even so far as the furthest bounds of the desert, until nothing should be left of them. Never again shall a Hoppa man or woman be dragged in chains to the odious and sinful cities of the south.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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