Monday, November 7, 2011

November is Druth History Month

This will be the first of a few entries on the history of Druthal.  Here we have the pre-history, early communities and the centuries as protectorates of the Kieran Empire.

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Various agricultural communities thrive throughout the central Druthalian area, particularly around what would be later called the Maradaine and Patyma River valleys .  These communities thrive and begin engaging in commerce and minor skirmishes.

Around 2300 BFE, a season of massive storms floods out the rivers, destroying many settlements. Several communities are forced to move to higher ground, and convene in one fertile, rich and isolated area.  After initial hardship and squabbling, they eventually integrate their communities to build a new city: Saranus.

After a few generations, Saranus becomes the most advanced culture in the area, progressive far beyond their neighbors in technology and mysticism.  The Sarani wall off their city, and isolate themselves, allowing no outsiders ("Kindrica" in the Sarani tongue) to come in or near their city.

Other communities in the area grow, but none reach the level of advancement of Saranus, as they would perennially raid and assault with one another.  Struggles for land, power and wealth ensue amongst the groups, and territories get carved out, each one typically ruled by the strongest, most vicious warriors.  This "War Prince" rule becomes the standard in the Kindric cities.

In approximately 2100 BFE one War Prince puts together a large army, gathered together from several communities, for the purpose of laying siege to Saranus.  Despite having the advantage of numbers, the siege was short, brutal, and ultimately a failure.  It did, however, increase the anti-outsider sentiment in Saranus.

The leaders in Saranus decide that the Kindrica must be handled somehow. Conquest and genocide are tried, but both tactics are abandoned; they lack the manpower to effectively slaughter their enemies, nor do they wish to devote resources to ruling the Kindric once conquered.  They then embark on a long-term plan of fear and misinformation, which most scholars believe is the earliest use of espionage in history.  The Sarani would go out amongst the other towns, disguised as "travelers", spreading rumors about Saranus designed to scare people away.  These spies would also keep an eye out for advancing technology and civilizations uniting together, and do what they could to quash it. 

This proved an effective strategy for the Sarani: most of the cultures stayed technologically and sociologically stagnant for centuries, never trusting each other enough to share technology or unite into stronger powers.  They each developed into small kingdoms led by a War Prince, which often made war on each other.  Also, they all gave Saranus a wide berth, fearing the wrath of the Sarani, and the legends of Saranus, over time, were enough to prevent any organized assault. Lastly, the kingdoms started to refer to themselves as "Kindric", not aware of the original meaning of the word.

Despite nearly constant warring with each other, the various Kindric kingdoms do manage to flourish to a degree, making improvements in farming and irrigation techniques, especially the cities of Inemar and Fencal. 

Around 1450 BFE, expedition parties from the Kieran Empire to the north start arriving and exploring the Kindric kingdoms.  Decades after that, the Kierans return, this time with full armies.  The kingdoms, divided and disorganized, fall one by one.  The leaders of Fencal try and organize an alliance, but the mistrust between the kingdoms is too strong, and some kingdoms make deals with the Kierans. 

The Kieran army marches across the Kindric nations, approaching Saranus.  They have heard the legends of the city, and prepare themselves for a massive battle.  However, the Sarani had long since grown decadent and weak. The city was decayed, with the mighty walls in disrepair, and the population was a fraction of what it once was.  The Kierans laid waste to the city entirely, only discovering the most mundane of the Saranic secrets.  The most useful secret the Kierans gained from Saranus were advanced techniques in ironworking.  Up until that point, the Kierans used primarily bronze weaponry.

Inemar and other western Kindric kingdoms, which had been hoping the Sarani would stop the Kierans, quickly surrendered to the Imperial Army.  Over the next centuries, the Kierans solidified their control over the Kindric territories, bringing in their own nobility to rule over the lands.  They also had roads built, and worked with Kindric irrigation techniques to make further improvements.  Under Kieran rule, the Kindric began to flourish, and the old divisions of the kingdoms began to be forgotten.

The Kierans expand southward to Futralia, and Kindric men are conscripted into that war.  The Kindric are allowed certain freedoms during this time, trained in using Kieran weapons.  The war with The Futralian Empire lasts for nearly a century, during which time the Kindric Territories provide not only soldiers, but also proves to be an invaluable resource in supplying food and metal to the war effort.

When the Kantari Imperial Dynasty ends (855 BFE), the Kieran nobles struggle for the throne. Duke Jutirio of Inemar, the most prosperous city in the Kindric territories, makes an attempt at the throne.  The Senate mostly ignores him since he is not an Archduke, and thus he is not eligible.   Still, Jutirio takes many of the legionnaires from his district with him to Vedix in an attempt to intimidate the Senate.  During this time, Inemar is almost ignored, and the populace stages a minor revolt, throwing the Kieran Lords in Inemar out of the city, and attacking merchant caravans coming in.  Legions quickly came and resumed order, and Jutirio was tried for treason.

In the center of the empire, the Kaylron Dynasty begins.  Most of this Dynasty is concerned with better defining this now vast empire, to better control the populace.  The original territories are referred to as the Imperial States of the Empire, and their nobility, the Archdukes, are the Great Houses of Kieran.  The Senate specifically represents the Imperial States.  Kelther, Kindrica, Arengi and Futralia are now called the four "Protectorates", which are broken down into Provinces.  The Dukes who rule over the Provinces are Kieran nobility, Lesser Houses, but these people come from families from the Imperial States. 

The next two dynasties, which are the First Vatali and the Second Luciex, are both short lived, but it is under these rules that the Protectorates are encouraged to thrive in their own terms, with the Kierans mostly ruling in an advisory method.  At this time, Kieran culture is considered to be at its peak, as all the Protectorates thrive under relative freedom.  Roadways are improved throughout the whole of the Empire.  Kindrica thrives immensely, as the citizens are given many freedoms, and advances in agricultural techniques are made. 

In 751 BFE, the Nenevar Dynasty takes control in the Empire.  Lasting 142 years, it is an extremely long dynasty, and is also one of the most brutal.  Nenevar I began his reign by promoting the idea, which flourished throughout the Imperial States, that the people of the Protectorates were not true citizens of the Empire.  Laws were drafted referring to them as "civilians", with very few rights or privileges.  "Kieran Purity" became a major driving concept during this time. 

It was in 696 BFE that Nenevar V, obsessive over the fact that the Kieran language now had many words of Kelther, Kindric and Futralian origins, began The First War of the Tongues.  The purpose of this "war" was to eradicate the non-Kieran languages, forcing the Protectorates to speak the Kieran tongue.  The first one was mostly concentrated on the Kindric Protectorates, where texts in Kindric were destroyed, children were separated from the parents and taught Kieran, and those heard speaking Kindric in public were arrested and executed.  By the time Nenevar VII took power, the Kindric language was all but wiped out.  The Emperor was satisfied with these results, and the war stopped.  He did, however, think that the Protectorates had too much of their old identity, and had the Senate redraw the maps.  From here on, the Kindric Protectorates were referred to as the Druthalian Protectorates.  Many provinces within "Druthal"  (named after the mapmaker's eldest son) also were renamed.

In the Province of Jarechna, the first sailing ships are developed.  The Kierans take full advantage of this development and put the Jarechnans to work building sailed ships to explore the western seas.  The Napolic islands, Bardin√¶ and the island of Corvia (which was completely uninhabited) were all discovered.

The Kierans start a war against the Hletrans on their eastern border, and during this time food supplies and other goods that are produced in Druthal are taken by Kierans and used in the war effort.  As a result, many in the Druthalian Protectorates go hungry.  Some try and organize a revolt, but the Druth morale is far too low for it to go anywhere.

Kieran control continues to be tested through the Miedikar Dynasty and the Third Kantari Dynasty.  This mostly takes the form of small revolts and uprising in single cities, or involving one Waish Clan.  While each one is dealt with, the Kieran military feels the strain of having to run all over the Empire putting out fires of unrest.  Stricter laws are passed on the civilians of the Protectorates, limiting their ability to meet and assemble.  Corvia is established as a penal colony for dissenters and rebels.

Near the end of the Third Kantari Dynasty, the Empire is visited by a delegation from the Tsouljan Regime, who are there to learn all that can be learned about the Kieran culture.  Kantari XVI welcomes these strangers with open arms, hoping to use it to further establish the empire in the east.  The Tsouljans have a profound influence over his son, and when Kantari XVII becomes Emperor, he uses his power to try and ease tensions in the Protectorates, by giving a way for civilians that demonstrate loyalty to be rewarded.  In doing so, he starts the practice of Civilian Governors in the Protectorates, whose main purpose is to ease the burden of day-to-day ruling of the civilians from the Kieran lords, and to show the civilians that they have a voice.  The Civilian Governors are, for the most part, puppets of the empire.  Also, he forms the Warlords and Vanguard, Orders for loyal civilians to learn fighting skills that they can use to defend the Empire and Protectorates.

The Dreciem Dynasty tries to hold down the unrest in all the Protectorates, which is growing greater and greater.  The nobles leave it to the military and Senate, who decide to enforce drafting all able bodied citizens into a number of years of military service.  They even offer citizenship to Protectorate civilians who swear allegiance and serve the Empire in the military.  Every city in the Protectorates becomes a military outpost. Domination from the military over all Protectorate provinces increases during the Anipar Dynasty, as civilians are often arrested and executed on minor charges, and many people flee to the forests, to form bands of rebels.  Civilian Governors and the Orders are called upon to hold the order together.

The last dynasty of emperors, the Second Gelmin Dynasty, ends in 35 BFE, when at a New Spring Festival held by Gelmin V ends in disaster, as a mass poisoning results in the deaths of not only the Emperor and all his heirs, but all the Archdukes of the Imperial States, almost all of the Legion Generals and most of the Senate.  The entire government structure of the Empire is thrown into chaos.

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