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This page contains all 15 turns of The Ascent of Man.

Turn 1: 0 to 500 AP (4000 to 3500 BCE)

AscentofManTurn1Map

Political map of Turn 1

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45072975&viewfull=1#post45072975


Turn tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KgkPFI6q5fE

Events of the years 0 to 500 AP:

-Copper working begins to spread throughout the near East.

-The wheel is invented in central Eurasia.

-The horse is domesticated in southwest Asia.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-The first society with evidence of complex social stratification, long distance trade, urban centres, and intensive agriculture in the Nile River Valley develops from an agglomeration of simple farming villages and towns.

-Around this time, the Egyptians develop the ability to smelt and shape copper into a variety of tools and weapons.

-There is evidence that during this era, a military caste formed. Burials of men with polished stone and copper axes spread rapidly along the valley, the skeletons showing signs of a violent death. The conflicts appear brutal.

-Mud brick tombs encase these warriors, giving rise to the first mythical figure that unified the upper valley of the Nile, making himself ruler of Nefere.

-Also noteworthy is that many houses are cleared to make way for markets and wide roads in towns, while large irrigation works are built throughout the valley, indicating a strengthening central authority.

-An early centre had a large hall built at this time, later developing into a temple or palatial complex within were statuettes, tools, and pottery discovered to have originated from several hundred kilometres away, all from a large tributary network.

-Also prominent is the rapid spread of special religious icons, implying a unitary religion taking root in the land.

AztlanFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The first true agrarian society appears in Mesoamerica at this time in the Mexico valley, evidenced by longterm storage of early corn cobs and increased sedentary living, with the first site at Tenochtitlán. Despite this, they still migrate and hunt big game, plus have no permanent dwellings or social stratification. Terror birds and large cats are their main worries save for humans.

-The Aztecah culture rapidly spread after the adoption of agriculture. They push out rival tribes in a series of brutal conflicts and rape the surviving women while murdering or enslaving the rest.

-Obsidian is also gradually adopted by the Aztecah during this time, with many conflicts being over sources of the volcanic glass.

-Also prominent is that some of these obsidian tools and weapons were found in caches in several non-Aztecah sites. The obsidian was seemingly used to buy support from other tribes, with control of the obsidian sources being vital to control. The Aztecah secured control early on in this period.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappi
Capital: Northern Scandinavia
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-The Lappish tribes begin to show signs of increasing social complexity and technological development. They adopt polished stone tools (without signs of chipping) for the first time, ground down to a desired shape. These axes are supremely efficient at cutting, with them widely adopted to clearcut forests.

-A military class of some form develops, with people belonging to the class buried with thick layered fur coats, and polished stone weapons. Those who died from violent means did so from blunt force trauma. Several prominent corpses are suspected to be chiefs.

-It is hypothesized that the Lapps migrated (following the reindeer and mammoth herds) as the climate changed, heading southeast as they domesticated reindeer and cleared forest to make grasslands for grazing.

-The first farming settlements in the far south of Scandinavia appear at this time, with heavy ramparts and mass graves found at them. Broken Lappish weapons betray that Lappish tribes heavily raided this area.

-Eventually over several centuries, they migrate southeast, later focusing entirely on domesticated herds of reindeer and abandoning mammoth hunting. After arrival at the new site, they quickly eliminate the other tribes.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Slavic Pantheon

-During the preceding Pleistocene, the ancestors of the Indo-Europeans migrated east, and were one of the first to cross to the Americas (hunting megafauna) after the extinction event, crossing via the ice.

-The Alyeska are also shown to have begun animal domestication at around this time. They tame and later breed reindeer, protecting them from attacks by birds and cats. The Alyeska also hunt various big game and fish to supplement the diet.

-The Alyeska quickly expand throughout Alaska, often through a mixture of violence and trade. Their characteristic burial sites (along with middens full of reindeer bones) spread into the Aleutian islands and throughout coastal and plains areas.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Totemism

-On the East coast of the continent, a tribal society begins to gradually make the transition towards practicing agriculture. Called the Hannikaewa culture, they are the first peoples here to domesticate a grass, which requires boiling to become edible.

-Relative to the other tribes (but not to any state) the Hannikaewa are less violent, only becoming violent towards trespassers on their land and unwilling to expand militarily. This includes smilodon roaming the area. Expansion is non-existent as other tribes are hostile towards any attempt to acquire more land.

-A central authority figure also slowly comes into prominence during this time, with chiefs buried with a lot of grave goods underneath their former home. While still migratory, the tribes here do bury bodies in permanent burial sites.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – De Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-In the southeast of Iberia, a new culture develops out of the simple subsistence villages, the most obvious change being the construction of fortifications and expansion of urban centres, along with abandonment of migration.

-The major reason for finally staying in one place is because two field crop rotation came into practice, allowing the soil to replenish as the land no longer was exhausted by intensive agriculture.

-Noteworthy is the gradual expansion of organized military activities to defend against raids by other farming towns and villages, especially as population pressures became stronger over this time.

-However, there is significant evidence of long distance trading networks. Amber is a relatively common find in the towns here, suggesting trade links extended as far as the Baltic. They were found in neighbouring villages too, presumably used to buy alliances.

Turn 2: 500 to 1000 AP (3500 to 3000 BCE)

AscentofManTurn2Map

Political map of Turn 2

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45085001&viewfull=1#post45085001


Turn tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jWp0icbJd4U

Events of the years 500 to 1000 AP:

-The wheel spreads rapidly throughout much of western Eurasia.

-Domestic horses begin to spread throughout the steppes of Eurasia. Beyond them they are exotic.

-The climate begins to gradually become wetter and warmer.

-Bronzeworking and simple writing develops in the Near East, along with sophisticated urban centres.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-With widespread copperworking in place, it doesn’t take long for the Egyptians to make the transition to Bronze. Bronze daggers and other weapons begin to appear as grave goods for the wealthy.

-Expanding control further, the first Kings of Nefere send expeditions to the oases in the desert to subjugate the people there and to establish forts. The slain have their ears cut off and warriors are granted control of these lands under the King. Many are former chiefs who form the backbone of the new administration.

-As the period comes to a close, evidence of increasing social complexity comes into play. The upper and lower valleys are unified by King Ivyhor sometime in the 8th century AP, who is credited with the unification and foundation of the oldest state in the world.

-The important bedrock of this state was slavery. Conquered tribes and villages regularly provide tribute, including slaves. Most are involved in agriculture, transport, and mining. Mines are opened in numbers during this period to extract and work metals, while barges ferry grain and trade goods along the Nile.

-King Ivyhor is the first in the line of Kings seen as a semi-religious figure. Adept in administration, these kings responded to food shortages by building larger and more complex irrigation networks and granaries to store food.

AztlanFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The first direct evidence of the bow and arrow surfaces here. A simple device, it is immensely useful as a projectile weapon in both hunting and war. An arms race quickly breaks out among the tribes of Mexico. Terror birds are no match for archers, and begin to be driven out.

-With control of much the obsidian trade, the Axtecah rapidly expand to secure other sites of the glass, securing control of the coastal areas in the process. These skirmishes are small but brutal, involving less than a few hundred participants, but usually wiping out entire communities.

-In these conflicts, the Aztecah tribes invent the “Sabretooth formation”. Supported by archers and other projectile throwers, they decimate opposing tribes and force them out before settling in their former areas, or extracting tribute.

-The moundbuilding phase in the valley begins. Megaliths are built on top of the mounds by multiple tribes and are the sole permanent structures from this time. The largest is at the site of Tenochtitlán, a semi-permanent settlement.

-Travellers begin to move between tribes, acting as a means of transferring tribute and other goods. They hold a high prestige for their ability to acquire resources and knowledge of the land and other tribes. Tribes have also begun to clear and maintain frequently used paths for this purpose.

-Early sports appear around this time. Paintings show a ball game where an inflated bladder is kicked around. Wrestling and other martial sports are also practiced often.

-While the tribes are effective at expanding their territory, some of the more isolated or further away groups of Aztecah are starting to gradually develop differently. Sooner or later, further expansion may start to cause some tribes to begin splitting up.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappi
Capital: Northern Scandinavia
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-The migratory Lappi, in contact with many peoples to the east, have imported or developed the wheel. Their first use is in simple pushcarts or wagons pulled by dogs or reindeer.

-Polished stone axes are now common among the Lappi, them no longer buried solely among the wealthy. Trade and raiding helps them to acquire more of these axes.

-The Lappi later migrate once more after bringing the local megafauna to extinction. Settling on the eastern Baltic, they seize control of amber deposits and once again kill off many of the peoples in the area. Enslavement begins to rise, with captured slaves referred to as “thralls”.

-Domestic horses are encountered later on during this period, and are kept for meat and milk, or sometimes to pull wagons.

-The Baltic farming villages respond to the raids by building on raised islands in marshy areas with timber stockades. The raiders are often unable to break into them all, and by the end of the period are slowly being pushed out by the farming societies.

-The religion undergoes several changes, as a cult of “bear slaying” emerges. Tribal elders try to peddle their faith, but many are driven out or murdered. Later, as the farmers organize, the Lappi begin to lose control of the amber trade.

-Eventually, the tribes are slowly pushed east by the farming peoples, simply due to weight of numbers. The pastoral and hunter-gatherer Lappi stand little chance, and the smaller bands are often driven away or killed.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-Possibly due to influence from other peoples, the Alyeskan people adopt the bow and arrow. With longer range and accuracy than a spear, it is an effective tool at bringing down megafauna and other humans. The Alyeskans use them extensively during expansion.

-With the Inuit and Aleutian tribes either exterminated or incorporated into the tribe, the Alyeskan religion comes under influence from the Inuit and Aleutian deities were incorporated. The Inuit deities Amaguq and Amarok became one deity called Amakuk, as well as becoming the leader of the Vucari. The Aleutian tradition of holding ceremonies in the winter was also incorporated.

-While the Alyeska expand rapidly, their ability to maintain cohesion begins to come under strain. The more isolated bands begin to develop differing cultures or see linguistic changes. Long travel times further make it difficult to transmit ideas over distance, and some may begin to split off entirely.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Totemism

-As the Hannikaewa develop agriculture, they have begun to collaborate on large scale irrigation projects. With effective drainage and water supply canals in place, intensive agriculture may now be practiced for the first time.

-The Hannikaewa begin expanding outwards, quickly wiping out smaller tribes or bullying others into providing assistance. The demand for more food and good sources of stone drives them on.

-Trade networks also begin to expand, while sedentary lifestyles have begun to emerge. Large grass seed pounders carved from rock appear in houses, some settled areas being maintained for an entire generation.

-Population pressures continue to force the Hannikaewa to expand. By the end of this period, they are starting to clear vast areas of land to make way for agriculture. Slash and burn is the most popular method.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – De Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-The chalcolithic begins in Iberia as copper working at high temperatures is slowly mastered here. While copper working is widespread now, only a few people are wealthy enough to own copper weapons or tools.

-In order to defend the growing towns, regular militias begin to appear. Armed with thick woven clothing, stone axes, spears, and bows, they are formidable in numbers.

-The town of Aurum begins to rapidly expand. While trade networks and communal construction works show some of this was voluntary, a mass grave of violent deaths betrays the true reason. One town was discovered from late in this period, which had burned down and was full of mangled skeletons.

-Males are expected to fight from an early age. Several graves with young bodies in them are discovered with weaponry, and many bodies are found with damage that subsequently healed. Violence was a part of life from a young age.

-Fortifications begin to grow large during this time as well, and the largest city of Aurum may have had as many as a thousand people living within its walls. The remains found here are often interpreted as the crucial transition stage between the Neolithic and the Bronze age.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-The Neolithic in the subcontinent begins with the advent of the Kannadan people. They are marked by semi-permanent dwellings on mounds, polished stone tools, simple agriculture, and pastoralism.

-Copper smelting is introduced to the area from the northwest, with the people here largely utilizing copper for ceremonial purposes. For practical purposes, most people use stone or wood tools however.

-These people migrate relatively often, searching for greener pastures for their herds of livestock and for any fertile land to grow crops upon. They come into conflict with some of the last Mesolithic tribes and some other pastoral or agrarian societies in the process. Mass graves and defensive structures start to appear, while the hunter-gathers vanish from the record entirely.

-However, this group places a high value on trusting foreigners (possibly the reason for attaining several Neolithic technologies earlier than their neighbours). Dipali-Esha is a semi-mythical figure from this time, to which the invention of agriculture and pottery is attributed. He was more likely an early chief who consolidated his people for the first time.

-The Kannadan people synthesize their beliefs and culture with whoever they come across. Intermarriage and child exchange is used to cement political relationships and to aid in economic transaction. The Kannadan people begin to quickly acquire social and intellectual capital, and by the end of the period they have already adopted weaving, pottery, and megalith construction.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-Sometime in the latter part of the first millennium, after the horse was domesticated and the wheel introduced, a number of farming villages began to gradually grow in size and stature. Their access to the steppe and sea made them a good trade intermediary.

-Copper working techniques spread to, and are refined here by the Veraki tribes. Villages have small smelters and metalworkers, which treat traded metals and barter them for horses or other goods.

-These villages are also militaristic, with a strong emphasis on violent conflict resolution learnt early on. The Veraki often quarrel with the pastoral tribes of the steppe, raiding one another for livestock and slaves.

-A system of sexual stratification is strongly upheld. Religion is largely reserved to women, while males are committed to warfare; this is a matriarchal society where inheritance and power is through the female line.

-Castes develop as well, largely in response to the capture of slaves from the steppe tribes. Some are sold further afield in return for horses or precious metals.

-These raids eventually take the Veraki throughout the peninsula, with several fortifications built at the narrow landbridge. Here raiding parties find it difficult to enter, but beyond upon the open plains the Veraki find it difficult to expand. For the time being that is.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan culture develops in the valley, marked by their adoption of garden agriculture and use of controlling burning.

-These tribes gradually adopt agricultural practices. Trees are cleared along with weeds, and desirable plants are planted and tended. Bones, charcoal, and other refuse are dumped in distinctive middens that would become the site for fertile “forest-gardens”.

-They are however a violent people. As with many other societies, graves are found full of mangled skeletons and shattered bones throughout the area. The Valsan people are fiercely territorial, patrolling their borders and randomly going across to murder or kidnap and rape somebody they don’t like.

-Due to the tribes’ fierce territorialism, the tribe is particularly poor at conducting trade and acquiring social and intellectual capital. It takes much longer for innovations among other tribes to spread here. However, being much more violent and expansionary, they quickly begin to spread throughout the valley.

-There is also evidence of construction of slightly more permanent housing, located nearby the gardens. Ramparts also appear nearby these areas, but for much of the year they are abandoned. The Valsan people frequently migrate between them, using them as temporary bases until the local food supply is diminished.

Turn 3: 1000 to 1500 AP (3000 to 2500 BCE)

Total War Rome 2 OST - Ptolemaic Egypt08:09

Total War Rome 2 OST - Ptolemaic Egypt

Turn music

AscentofManTurn3Map

Political map of Turn 3


Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45102760&viewfull=1#post45102760

Events of the years 1000 to 1500 AP:

-Copper working, weaving, and the wheel become widespread throughout Eurasia.

-The wheel is starting to become common throughout the Mediterranean and the Eurasian steppe.

-The sword and glass beads are invented in the Middle East.

-Writing is introduced in Mesopotamia and spreads rapidly throughout the Middle East.

-The Beaker culture begins to spread in Europe, along with Indo-Europeans.

-Complex stratified societies with a division of labour, intensive agriculture, urbanization, and knowledge of Bronzeworking are now established in Crete, Mesopotamia, and the Indus.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-The Kingdom of Nefere consolidates control of the Nile River and delta. A primitive bureaucracy begins to develop, while organized religion and writing also appears throughout the area. The economy also begins to develop more specialization, with agricultural goods being a major export. Copper and tin are major imports, as the Kingdom begins to adopt Bronze on a wider scale.

AztlanFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-Sometime during the early 11th century AP, the Aztecah began capturing and breeding peccaries after castrating them, raising them for meat and milk. A similar practice began to be done with herbivorous terror birds, with tame ones kept in pens and reared for their eggs and meat.

-With the adoption of domestic animals, the Aztecah are starting to stay in their settlements for longer and expand their population. Defensive fortifications begin to become more complex and organized warfare grows in scope and scale.

-The Aztecah tribe at Tenochtitlán develops a hereditary chiefdom, and one of their first ways of extracting tribute is to enslave children from other tribes to use in skirmishes. A ball game event is also held at the Chiefs main village once a year, where a large feast is given and political marriages arranged. The other Aztecah tribes begin to copy this system, and internal quarrelling is often mitigated through such games.

-The traders who travel around are at the forefront of expansion, although such expansion is slow and largely dependent on where people can farm. Marginal lands begin to be cultivated while big game is further squeezed out, putting increasing pressure onto agriculture to provide food for the growing population.

-Outside incursions are dealt with brutally, while traders are given a special status that leaves them free from being attacked. This only helps to cement politics in Tenochtitlán, as the chief slowly assumes a role whereby he is responsible for the protection of all the Aztecah.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappi
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-As copper working rapidly spreads over Europe, the Lappi are quick to adopt it. Although often far from sources of copper or other metals, they extract or import what they can (often with slave labour) and either work it into ornaments and ceremonial objects, or trade it further on.

-In response to the unjust increase of counter-aggressive activities by the Baltic farmers, the Lappi begin to escalate attacks. Murders intensify and fields are burned, while poorly defended villages are ransacked and the inhabitants exterminated. The women are raped and the survivors enslaved; put to work in the fields.

-After the genocide, the Lappi begin to settle down and subjugate the remaining survivors. A village at the site of Kiruna is established within the ruins of one Baltic hillfort, and the Lappi segregate their slaves outside. Thus the Lappi settle down and adopt the first trappings of civilization. This system spreads rapidly.

-Rule by chiefs begins as well, although the tribes are hardly centralized or unanimous. Many of these chiefs quarrel endlessly with one another, but they do begin to expand their borders and attack non-Lappi first.

-A cult system arises in the Finnic faith; the first and most legendary cult being dedicated to Bear slaying. Others revere Reindeer; some worship other animals while most prefer human god cults, including giants.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-In response to the difficulty of travelling to other islands and down coasts, the first proper boats are made. Rowed by multiple oarsmen and solidly built for fishing and whaling, they are also useful for hit and run attacks on undefended fishing villages.

-The expansion of the Alyeskan tribes inland slows down as they begin to look towards the sea instead. Some bands begin to subsist increasingly on fish, and have begun to set up traps in rivers to catch them. Herds of reindeer are also kept safe from attacks by other wild animals (such as smilodon), and the Alyeskans often clear forest to make room for hunting and pasture.

-Some Alyeskan fishermen and traders eventually find their way further down the coast, and manage to contact a people in a slightly more forgiving environment. These people tend some forest gardens, fish on an intensive scale, and build large wooden houses. Some of these ideas will be useful back home.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Totemism

-The Hannikaewa continue to expand, using reed and wooden boats to ply the rivers and coats of their lands. Sometime during this period they figure out to fix mats of reeds or cloth to upright poles on the boat and catch the wind, allowing them to “sail”. This extends their effective travel range massively and aids in trade and fishing.

-To defend themselves from wild animals and to aid in warfare, the Hannikaewa adopt slings around this time, largely to throw rocks or spears further than they normally would. A well placed rock can cripple a smilodon or human.

-Fish begins to gradually become more important as a protein source to these people. Tribes begin to collaborate on large scale projects by damming up rivers and putting down traps to catch fish. These projects tend to require leaders of some kind, resulting in the first “big men” or chiefs starting to appear.

-The structure of these early chiefdoms involves the chief selecting key members of the tribe to be his political allies, while distributing resources made by trade, fishing, and agriculture. He and his supporters come first of course.

-The Hannikaewa are always hungry, and search for more land to the north and west, particularly along the rivers and streams. Forests are cleared; rival tribes wiped out in a series of skirmishes and murders, fields planted and tended, and semi-permanent villages constructed. The population grows.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – De Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-These small coastal trading towns rely heavily on trade, especially in metals such as copper and tin. Shipwrecks recovered from the coast indicate they were not only growing in size, but adopted sails and sometimes banks of oars. Strongly built sailing ships are starting to move people and goods in bulk throughout the Mediterranean.

-Aided by traders and raiders, De Solis grows along the coastline, eventually reaching and conquering the Balearic Islands. Diplomacy and trade is considered more important however, and some towns agree to associate on the condition they retain their autonomy.

-Many smaller fishing villages and inland rural ones fall under the sway of nearby growing trading ports. Growing gradually wealthy upon trade, they can raise some military forces to not only defend the lands around them, but expand as well. The forerunner to the city state is appearing.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-The people who live here are being well inclined to trade, were recently introduced to a new invention called the wheel by traders and travellers to the north. Although these are crude and pulled by water buffalo (with yokes that choke them), they allow overland travel to be conducted much more effectively.

-As trade with the north expands, the Kannadan people begin to import or smelt copper on a wider scale. Spears and crude axes begin to appear, while practical objects like fishhooks and pickaxes become common. Evidence of traded furs, precious stones, metals, and ivory show that trade networks go a long way.

-The next semi-mythical figure of this area, the great strongman, Dipali-Ashoka, orders construction of a network of paths with his area of influence to connect his villages. While taking a lot of effort, his efforts centralized the early chiefdom further and allowed carts to carry goods easily from one place to another. Roads are bumpy, slow, and uncomfortable for cart riders, but its miles better than walking with a load on your back.

-As food production and trade expands, centralized granaries begin to appear in villages and towns, often controlled by the local chief. Used to buy political alliances and to alleviate famine, these granaries are strongly built strong, later used as supporting structures in defensive walls and towers.

-With an expansion of trade and military might, the chiefdoms here begin to push aggressively in all directions. They begin to blackmail smaller and weaker settlements into providing tribute, and later on clear roadways for carts. At least these villages are protected by their new masters from worse threats.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-As the Veraki live by the sea and make much of their living by fishing, they have started to develop sophisticated types of boat. Boats with woven cloth sails appear for the first time, and not only are they used to fish, but for trade as well.

-The Veraki farming communities continue to grow and become wealthier. Trade along the rivers and coasts grows to bring copper and amber through their lands. The militarily inclined are starting to adopt specialist weaponry that isn’t repurposed tools, sometimes including copper axes.

-Gradually chiefdoms form throughout the Veraki lands. They consist of a major male chief with a female priestess as second in command. These chiefdoms put a high value on these two individuals, elevating them to be godlike figures. One is found with a treasure trove of gold and pottery, although examination of the corpse revealed he was drowned as a human sacrifice.

-The Veraki continue to expand to the north into the plains of the Pontic steppe. It is still a puzzle why these villages began to become more militaristic and adopt a hierarchical system of governance. The division of labour intensified likewise and defensive structures suddenly grew in size and scale. Use of slaves became systematic.

-It is postulated that nomadic pastoral tribes rode from the steppes and devastated this culture. Riding on horseback, they decimate the peoples of the southwest steppe. Their neighbours quickly began to adopt their customs, and the Veraki were no exception. By the 15th century AP, they are aggressively expanding, having adopted many of the traits (cultural and genetic) of the steppe horsemen.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-In the warm valleys populated by the Valsari, populations of feral peccaries have become established in recent centuries, having migrated north. The Valsari capture and tame some of these animals before breeding the docile ones. Within a few decades, the Valsari effectively domesticate the feral peccaries, using them as a source of meat.

-The Valsari tribes begin to specialize further. Several tribesmen are selected from conquered tribes and from their own, largely to cement political ties. If any tribe happens to do something undesirable, the Valsari will be quick to punish them.

-During this however, these people, swapped between tribes, are also a valuable source of information about the wider world. They begin to bring back various ideas, including several peccaries brought in tribute (and techniques on breeding). Foreign people are gradually encouraged to visit increasingly again, although the odd murder and beating shows they have a while to go yet.

-A backlash against rape begins (although it is unpopular among the warriors), with some of the stronger tribal big men starting to castrate or execute them for this crime. Of course, if you happen to be related to the big man or prestigious enough, you can get away with it.

-Expansion within the valley slows down, especially as the tribes begin to transition towards a gradually more settled way of living. Pastoralism and forest gardens, along with fishing become increasingly important in the diet. Eggs are sometimes stolen from feral terrorbirds, although they have yet to be domesticated.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-Upon the plains of central Asia, the Kekgols come into existence. A nomadic and pastoral people, they are already well adapted to life in this harsh and unforgiving wilderness. They ride horses and eat raw meat, have squashed heads, slanted eyes, and frequently possess malformed legs. They raid and other tribes and sack farming towns. They cannot be truly considered human.

-The main reason for these people entering the record now is their increasing reliance on animal husbandry. Horses are now being ridden upon, used as a mobile platform for archers or scouts. Their speed and size terrify all before them, especially when the Kekgols ride upon them.

-By and large however they do little to expand their territories. Beyond pastoralism and hunting, they remain much the same throughout the period, occasionally adopting a new idea or technology every once in a while.

Turn 4: 1500 to 2000 AP (2500 to 2000 BCE)

Rome Total War Music "Lonely Strategos"03:10

Rome Total War Music "Lonely Strategos"

Turn music

AscentofManTurn4Map

Political map of Turn 4

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45125128&viewfull=1#post45125128


Turn quote: First person to denounce the institution of human sacrifice is himself sacrificed.

Events of the years 1500 to 2000 AP:

-Domestic and feral peccaries and terror birds begin to spread throughout the Americas.

-Bronze use and the loom begin to rapidly spread throughout Eurasia.

-World population hits 75 million.

-Megalith construction reaches a peak in Europe.

-The chariot is invented in central Asia.

-The Camel is domesticated.

-Several city states and empires rise and fall in Mesopotamia. The Akkadian Empire collapses after a major period of drought occurs.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-During the Old Kingdom period of Nefere, the people here begin to move away from building in mud brick and towards limestone. Up until this point, tombs were constructed out of a mound of mud bricks, but now large limestone bricks are used to build an artificial mountain called a “Pyramid”. They dazzle onlookers, and give architects here a lot of experience as they work on rebuilding cities, defensive structures, roads, and houses.

-It is written in the records that during this time, the first armies with ranks appear. The more experienced, better trained, and better equipped nobles are put in charge of the bulk peasant levies. While the nobles are responsible for maintaining their own equipment, the levies are provided bronze spears. Otherwise, they tend to wear a loincloth and a cap.

-This army is written as having marched to the east of the river Delta towards the copper and tin mining communities there in order to secure supplies of Bronze. Ten thousand were slain and had their noses cut off for counting, while another town was made devoid of life, down to the smallest child.

-The written language developed over the past thousand years crystallizes into a standardized script. Notoriously difficult to learn (a pictographic system with thousands of symbols), only a few people are able to read. They keep records for the King, and claim that he is a living deity that must be provided with the wealth of the country so as to bring favourable floods.

-Merchants are supported by the King, with many appointed to advise at his court. They advise him to send expeditions over the Mediterranean Sea, and these ships return with olive oil, bronze, wine, and many other goods. Marketplaces are set up in major urban centres, and the old Nomarchs who ran the countryside are now ruled over by royal governors, each based at a major city.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The Aztecah continue to settle down. By this point, they are becoming more agrarian, with evidence of permanent occupation at several sites. Masonry begins to be practiced by the end of the period, marked by the advent of rectangular stone buildings.

-As Aztecah raids intensify on other tribes and small settlements, they begin to gradually extract tribute from some places and to form stronger alliances with other tribes. The villages of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan all grow as large as a thousand people apiece, and form the “Mexihco” alliance, named after the valley.

-The first signs of education appear in the Aztecah. While we know little of what was taught, it seems as though the religious class became defined and institutionalized during this time. Separate religious structures became more elaborate, and the earliest pictograms appear within them. The roots of Aztecah philosophy begin here.

-There is also evidence that traders are going on longer missions. Aztecah manufactured items began to reach the Rio Grande and Yucatan peninsula by this time, while the first memory aids also appear to help traders keep track of where their goods are.

-While the raids continue expansion, it is now becoming nearly impossible to hold the Aztecah together. People on the borders rarely care for those further in the interior, and while decentralization helped, the three largest towns squabble constantly. Resources are often in short supply, and the land is exhausted quickly by farmers. Trees and marshes are slowly converted into farmland, at the cost of bringing diminishing returns.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappi
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-After the Lappi settle down, they have started to take advantage of the seaways. Building increasingly larger sailing ships, they are now trading over long distances. Copper and amber are prized goods, followed in turn by timber, wheat, livestock, salt, and pottery among other things. Trading ports with large ships are appearing.

-With copper being imported, the Lappi have begun to make intricate daggers and blunt hammers intended for melee out of them. Rarely used in actual battle as they are bent out of shape easily, they are still useful as prestige items.

-The Lappi begin to expand west, securing the coasts and valuable amber deposits. Defensive structures gradually become more elaborate, and some people have taken to building houses on stilts or small islands in lakes or off the coast for defence.

-The role of the slave is relaxed, to an extent. Slaves begin to be granted the ability to keep their own crops and run their own affairs to a degree, but must provide tribute to their overlord. They begin to slowly adopt the customs of the Lappi, and gradually evolve into workers tied to the land.

-As this remarkable transformation takes place, the Lappi seemed to have engaged in raiding less. The number of deaths from violence drops to a quarter of what it used to be, with trade and agrarian lifestyles quickly taking over. The Lappi finish settling down, while their cousins and ancestors remain or return to the steppes from whence they came.

-A system of centralized rule is finally established, a great chief become the final authority in all things relating to inside the Lappi. Over time, this institution gains the title “Paras”, and by the end of this period, large hillforts have begun to appear that rule over the local countryside. A landed aristocracy begins to develop, and slowly organized polities form.

-There is a downside of course. It costs more resources to expand than before, and as land is diminished by agricultural activities, the Lappi are forced to keep expanding in order to find new land. By the end of this period, expansion has slowed down, and there is evidence of marginal areas being cultivated and forests being cleared, leading to erosion.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Alyeskan people, with increasing population densities supported by the intensification of fishing and improved food storage methods, have started to open up large scale mining works. For the first time, not only are stones and precious gems being extracted, but native iron and copper as well. They are hammered into simple ornaments. Often they are traded with people to the south.

-One of the earliest signs of social stratification appears here, with a burial of a man adorned in a multitude of all sorts of precious stones and other materials. He wore fine clothing, and he had a good diet as well, unlike many of his peers skeletons found lying around. It is evidenced that these people also presumably began to practice ambilineality around this time, whereby the child can choose their own lineage from one of their parents.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-The Hannikaewa are looking for more reliable sources of protein to add to their diet. A rather amusing looking bird called the “Turkey” is domesticated at this time by the Hannikaewa, after they are captured and bred in special coops. Their eggs and meat provides a year round source of protein, and finally the Hannikaewa become more farmers than hunter-gatherers.

-The new farming system continues to quickly spread, most rapidly along rivers where the Hannikaewa trade and live. Settled farming villages are now common, but so too is organized violence. The Hannikaewa developed a reputation for hit and run raids conducted by raiders sailing up the rivers. They drive out opposing tribes and take over their fertile lands in this period, expanding more rapidly than ever before.

-As warriors begin to switch towards using boats, the position of boat drivers and builders becomes more respected. Special rituals and traditions form that bring these people and warriors together into a single dominant social class, with everybody else (the farmers) at the bottom of the heap.

-Not all expansion is that violent however. Mutual trade, intermarriage, strengthened social bonds, political manipulation, and the threat of violence is enough to help integrate several tribes and villages. Many of them still run affairs the same way, but are obliged to support their neighbours when it comes to territorial expansion.

-As the new warrior cult comes into being, this ushers in a new form of worship. This worship is that of the Smilodon, an endangered and dangerous feline. Often hunted for prestige or (rarely) tamed and kept by a chieftain, they come to help form the core of the new religion.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – Imperio Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-The people of this part of the Mediterranean begin to finally leave behind the Neolithic for good. Already experts at working with copper, due to trade and further innovation, they have begun to add arsenic or tin to copper to produce Bronze, a much stronger and more versatile metal.

-The city states begin to change as well. As they enter a new phase characterized by increasing urbanism and increasing social complexity, the populations of them rise into the thousands. These simple polities are collectively called “Imperio Solis”, and are named as such by the first literate civilization they come upon, of Nefere.

-Imperial Solis is recorded by Nefere as being ruled by a mixture of priestly classes and mercantile persons. They engage in organized warfare and diplomacy, using a mixture of both to coerce smaller towns and villages. They have a system of tribute, but no form of organized taxes. During this era they begin to expand into the interior, bringing lesser peoples under their rule and having them as client states.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-The people of Vijayanagar are adept with copper, but around this time they take it a step further. Alloying copper with arsenic or tin produces a stronger metal called bronze, and with it being more versatile than copper, leads to its speedy adoption within several decades of the first appearance of bronze smelters.

-The strongman Dipali-Abhay quickly exploits the opportunity presented and manufactures a large number of bronze spears and other weapons. After equipping his towns men with them, he goes on a series of brutal wars and military campaigns and unifies the Vijayanagar culture for the first time. He declares himself a great king and effectively establishes the first state in India.

-In domestic policy, Dipali-Abhay orders the construction of great stone walls around the major towns, and bars farmers from tending livestock and growing crops within the walls, so as to make room for buildings and roads and to reduce the rubbish within the walls. Great temples and palaces are constructed along with marketplaces.

- The scrolls of the Vedas begin to be created around this time. However, they are told and passed on orally, with their commitment down to writing in much later centuries when writing itself develops here. These scrolls mark the beginnings of Hinduism.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-The Veraki begin to show their first signs of entering the written record when Nefere traders refer to a people to the north that imported bronze. It is unknown if they were Veraki, but at several sites throughout the Southwest Pontic steppe we see the first evidence of bronze smelting and working.

-Men who defend the farming villages of Veraki (some of which are starting to grow in both size and sophistication) are starting to adopt bronze daggers, axes, and spears. Wearing padded cloth or fur with a simple wooden shield, they are starting to make specialist clothing and tools for military conflict.

-With their new weapons, the Veraki continue to expand rapidly throughout the Southwest steppe, particularly along the coastline and rivers. With strongly built defensive structures and the adoption of bronze, they drive back the pastoral nomads and often push out or conquer rival villages.

-Increasing trade also bring interesting new ideas. Pottery shards with pictograms on them were discovered dating to this time from Veraki settlements, some evidently having been used for basic arithmetic at some point as well. While not conclusive, they could be a forerunner to a later written language.

-However, agricultural output begins to diminish as farmers switch towards the more heavily sought after material of bronze. Working to manufacture them into weaponry that nobles can use, they begin to expend increasing resources on expansion and the production of bronze, albeit with diminishing returns.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan people continue to develop various new technologies. As cultural contacts from the north and south grow, the Valsan eventually come across the invention of the bow. This simple invention allows the user to fire missiles at various animals and people.

-With their new weapon, the Valsan quickly overrun and wipe out the peoples of the coast, supplanting their fishing villages and trade routes. In turn, this gives them access to the valuable resources of the sea, along with access to Obsidian and furs, among other items.

-Tribes also begin to form a crude form of legal system. Whenever a dispute arises, somebody from a neighbouring group (usually an important individual) is brought over to help listen to the case before deciding the case.

-This new system ends up causing Valsan groups to begin swapping gifts and trading among high-ranking individuals (so as to bring about more lenient result). Pre-emptive bribery and competition steadily rises, with gifts escalating. In order to maintain this system, the chiefs begin to organize their tribes towards the end of producing more resources, and with land disputes, some tribes end up becoming bankrupted and consumed by their neighbours.

-The number of peccary livestock explodes during this time, in part to pay for the bribery system. Populations swell and slaves now begin to be swapped between groups. Stratification arises with the chiefs living large and well.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-On the plains of Kekgolia, the nomads are starting to improve their ability to conduct war. A new type of bow made from bone and wood, glued together to be especially strong appears around this time. Small and powerful, it can be devastating when used by a skilled archer.

-Possibly due to climate change or population pressures, some Kekgol tribes move south, and upon arriving at a number of small settled agrarian communities, begin to raid them. These raids increase over time, with one major result being the widespread construction of defensive palisades and ramparts.

-The Kekgols extract tribute from many undefended places and ransack those that refuse to give tribute. However, they are unable to attack the larger forts that were constructed in the latter part of this period, largely because the Kekgols have few numbers and unarmoured on horses they are exposed to missile weaponry.

-The Kekgols do manage to terrorize the lands to the south of them, but they start to lose their grip over time as those being raided organize and start to adopt better weaponry. One of the weapons of the Kekgols is the element of surprise, and this tends to be quickly lost in a place that frequently experiences Kekgol incursions.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-Along the great river of the centre of the continent, a new cultural begins to slowly emerge out of obscurity and slowly into history. The Svea People are marked largely for their acquisition of foreign goods and their extensive trade and social networks. They replace the moundbuilding people.

-One of the main distinguishing features of the early Svea is their invention of a new type of boat. Solidly built and with a reed sail, it can sail up and down the rivers with ease to transport goods and people. Fishing is practiced often as well, with a large number of shell middens being the sites of their homes as well.

-The first site is called “Jaroldahlen”. The earliest settlement here shows that it was possibly one of the only few permanent settlements at the time, existing through trade. Preserved food, stone, bone, and furs are some of the items being traded.

-This new culture begins to expand throughout the river valley, making extensive use of their distinctive boats. However, their propensity for trading, and lack of agricultural techniques or domestic animals makes it difficult for them to produce enough food in one area to support a sedentary population.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Yamato
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Animism

-The Jomon people have lived in these islands for thousands of years, but now they have begun to adopt several technologies and ways of living that suggests gradually increasing contact with the mainland and increasing social complexity.

-Polished stone weaponry and tools start to become common here. A sophisticated and efficient type of weapon, it is also a valuable trade good. The Jomon are already settled and have relatively high population densities, and with these new tools have begun to build large wooden buildings.

-The Jomon are also expansionary, and a particular group of them have begun to expand over the largest island, using force to subjugate their neighbours. They not only used these new deadly polished stone axes, but built palisades and other defensive structures to protect their settlements and control territory.

-The Jomon people are also starting to increase contacts with the Jelmun on the nearby peninsula of Korea, mostly through trade. The Jelmun themselves are only just starting to shift towards agriculture themselves, but they are keen to pass on whatever comes from the west to the Jomon.

-Both the Jelmun and Jomon practice intensive fishing (especially collecting shellfish), gather plants, hunt, produce pottery, and have basic social institutions and chiefdoms. The Jomon focus more heavily on fishing, while the Jelmun have begun to gradually abandon it and move inland.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-Sometime in the Chalcolithic, the Xi culture develops from the preceding Longshan culture. During this period, the Xi start to develop the first cities in the valley, practice wet rice agriculture, build structures from timber, stone, and rammed earth, produce silk, and practice religious divination.

-One of the major telltale signs is their construction of major irrigation works, tended to and run by teams of labourers and simple machinery. People work on major projects to dig canals, build levees, drain ponds and marshes, flood areas, and generally have begun to control the flow of water, much to the benefit of agriculture and flood prevention.

-On the first site of Huangse, there is ample evidence for regular military service. Young men generally joined up and were armed with whatever they could find. Their graves litter the outside of the early towns, some buried where they fell. Those that survived would often go on to win land for themselves, and over the course of several centuries, this culture rapidly expanded.

-The city at Huangse is particularly important for its degree of central control. During this period it not only organized people to work on irrigation projects, but to construct roads, complex defensive fortifications, and piers on the river for boats. The city of several thousand made its living by sucking in food and raw materials from the countryside before turning it into manufactured goods for export.

-These projects also happened further afield. There is evidence to suggest that towns and villages often collaborated to build levees to control the flow of water in order to prevent flooding, as well as improving navigation. Mines for precious stones, building materials, and copper are established as well.

-While most expansion was conducted through brute force, there is room for trade. Boats sail the length of the river and bring back news from afar (some have goods from as far as Korea), while veteran soldiers often try to convince their neighbours to join Huangse instead of fighting. A demand for autonomy is the best of the replies, and a severed head the worst.

Turn 5: 2000 to 2500 AP (2000 to 1500 BCE)

AscentofManTurn5Map

Political map of Turn 5

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45147848&viewfull=1#post45147848


Turn quote: Cruel King proclaims: If I was somebody else, I’d really hate to be conquered by me.
Turn tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfcX7iCPKWE

Events of the years 2000 to 2500 AP:

-The Mesoamerican collapse happens around this time, characterized by a collapse of the urban centres and reversion to simpler forms of living. The old hunter-gatherer tribes meanwhile have vanished entirely, and in the Yucatan peninsula a patchwork of chieftains have begun to organize people on a large scale to build irrigation projects.

-The chariot spreads throughout Eurasia as the transition to the late Bronze Age is underway. Bronze usage is now common, and the world population shoots past 90 million. The domestic peach also spreads.

-Major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions devastate the Minoan civilization. They begin to expand aggressively into Greece after the collapse of the old culture, replaced by a more aggressively expansionist one.

-The Bantu begin to expand at the end of this period.

-The Hatti and Hurrians expand and develop their respective societies, eventually establishing control over large areas of Asia Minor during this period.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-The Neferians push into the Levant and drive out the inhabitants there and establish fortifications and rule by the God-King, whose invincible powers could not be stopped by any mortal. But he could not expand into the next valley, for they had chariots and wore clothing made of bronze.

-The Neferian state temporarily collapses and goes through a brutal regime change after the Hyskos invade the Kingdom after themselves being invaded. The Neferians soon adopt their chariots, and within a decade have driven them from the delta. The Middle Kingdom begins with the reconquest of the Levant.

-The reorganization of the army for chariots means other changes too. Soldiers begin to form blocks of spearmen to pin the enemy forces, while chariots and skirmishers flank them. The increasing adoption of bronze results in many soldiers starting to use a type of military sickle and making simple caps or helmets out of bronze and other material.

-The first King of the Middle Kingdom orders that the writing system be made simplified so his son may read it. It is reduced by having each symbol represent a syllable, with now 98 unique symbols existing. It is then used to codify his laws (If you kill, you will be buried alive), which are engraved on pillars set in the market of every major town.

-This new writing system is used to jot down notes by scribes, who have started to take wax tablets and a stylus with them for administrative purposes. Papyrus is used for longer term storage as clay tablets and stone carvings are gradually phased out.

-As trade continues to diversify, expand, and bring in more goods, the number of scribes and taxmen must also increase. A large bureaucracy grows; keeping details on everything that is sold, bought, and moved. Surviving records show merchants travelling to Greece, Arabia, and to Nubia. There is also an expansion of irrigation projects and more towns are recorded as being granted the right to hold markets.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-One of the most iconic images of the Aztecah begins to form around this time. The domestic terror bird, (also known as the Xokobo) has been kept by people for a long time for its meat, eggs, and feathers. However, the first evidence of people riding them comes from this time. It is notoriously difficult however, much like it was for the first people to ride horses a thousand years prior.

-The Aztecah continue to adapt and improve their weaponry in other ways. Peccary hides are used to make shields, while short obsidian stabbing spears are the primary weapon. The more elite soldiers tend to wear a jaguar skin cloak and wield a large wooden club with obsidian blades embedded in it, a cross between a sword and a club. -With their new weapons and the first mounts (Xokobo warriors are rare and ride bareback), the Aztecah invade the Yucatan peninsula. Unlike horses, the birds use their powerful beaks and clawed feet as well to tear apart or peck their victims. A lot of villages and smaller towns are subjugated and forced to provide tribute in the form of timber and obsidian.

-The three towns of the Aztecah grow, and are joined by even more urban areas. The first simple roads (packed dirt and used by traders and warriors) appear, while marketplaces start to become common. Trade after all, can be taxed.

-Of course, continued population growth and expansion continues to put a strain on the land. Food production hits a peak in the most developed areas. Supporting armies and the Xokobo birds becomes a serious drain on resources, and eventually the Aztecah are forced to stop expanding due to the sheer costs involved.

-The Aztecah find it harder to get food and resources from the outer parts of their nascent Empire. Transport costs are simply too high, and when the further parts develop; their own urban centres tend to consume the resources before it reaches Tenochtitlan. As forests are cleared to make way for farms, the exhausted soil erodes.

-At the end of this period, the Aztecah undergo a major societal collapse. The great monument building and use of large armies stops, although a new custom begins. Possibly to reduce the number of mouths to feed, large scale sacrifices of the poor and lazy begin. This only worsens matters by prompting rebellion and reducing the available labour pool.

-While the major institutions collapse and many developing settlements are abandoned, the people do not vanish. They revert to simpler lifestyles, living in small farming villages (often run by chiefs). The Aztecah return back to their homelands, and Tenochtitlan falls down to a few hundred residents. The residents of Yucatan adopt some of the Aztecah technologies however, and begin to slowly develop.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-The chariot spreads to Lappland during this time, brought by nomadic Lappi that did not settle down and have largely remained nomadic pastoralists. They are quickly adopted by the noble and military elite and used in warfare.

-While raiding and hit and run attacks die down, they are still endorsed from time to time as long as the Paras gets a share of the loot. However, these sea based attacks are mainly aimed at the villages blocking the Lappish mode of expansion, in the north and in the Baltic islands. Lappland later invades and subjugates Gotland, burning down several towns and instituting their authority there.

-Sensing the need to protect trade and monopolize it at the same time, the current Paras commissions a large ship, made oak wood. Its remains were discovered on the seafloor nearby Kiruna, with it being much smaller than the tales describe. It is also discovered to have sunken when it hit a rock.

-Over time, the name for these peoples changes. Shaking off the clan name Lappi, the polity in the Baltics eventually becomes known as Lappland. However, the royal family took on the surname 'Lappi'. Whenever a new family got into power, they ended up changing their name as well, making “Lappi” more of a title than a familial name.

-With the expansion of raids, trade, and organized warfare, a new way of making money becomes popular, human trafficking. Many captured during war are sold in open markets as slaves, and are often used by nobles to tend to their large estates or are sold abroad. Nobles take advantage by undercutting the serfs and buying up their land once impoverished, while using slaves to tend their large estates.

-To prevent land erosion, the Paras decrees that land should be fenced off and reused, while forests are kept maintained. Highly unpopular among the serfs, the nobles agree for it allows them to grab their lands under the guise of protecting it. As the population rises however, the demand for food continues to grow, and soon the soil begins to be exhausted.

-Great adventurers sail to new places along the coasts of Europe, and through the long rivers around the Baltic. One such adventurer sails west with his crew, and is blown off course, forcing him to land in the south. There, he finds a strange civilization, one that worships the sun and uses amber coloured strong weapons. Getting wind of this, Lappland dispatches emissaries to greet them, the most sophisticated peoples they have yet met.

-The Lappi begin to adopt Bronze in weaponry and armour, often importing it from abroad and paying for it with amber, furs, and slaves. One such place to import from is the Imperio Solis civilization. Priests have also travelled here and heard of their gods, though they are decreed false gods fit only for women, slaves, and dogs.

-Lappi expansion continues to feed the Kingdom and its nobles, slaves begin to become the main source of labour and what little surplus exists is spent on expansion or raiding. Per capita consumption of resources starts to decline as wealth flows upwards to the aristocracy.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-Around this time, the first pottery vessels appear in Alyeska. It is unknown as to where their ultimate origin was, for they share only superficial similarities with Valsan pottery. Sometime later, the pottery becomes more sophisticated and begins to be fired in small ovens.

-One cited reason for their appearance is due to increased cultural contacts. In the few centuries proceeding this period, pottery shards began to appear north through Aztecah and then Valsan trading routes. It is assumed that by the end of this period that the Alyeskan and Valsan peoples are at least vaguely aware of each other.

-Other evidence given to support the theory is the appearance of Alyeskan items in increasing quantity among the Valsan (such as ivory) and the increasing number of sunken boats off the northwest coast. These boats carried at least some goods intended for trade, for one was packed to the brim with pottery and baskets.

-Up north, the first peccaries appear in Alyeska. Up this far north they find it difficult due to the cold, but breeds resistant to the climate begin to slowly appear. Alyeskan people find the peccaries useful for their hides and meat, and can be fed on almost anything. They begin to slowly replace reindeer.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-With settled farming villages now occupied permanently (save for a raid or natural disaster), the Hannikaewa start to build larger and more comfortable houses. Using rocks and clay, they begin to build stone houses, and use timber or plaster to make floors and roofs.

-The warrior cult begins to expand, being more inclusive to conquered peoples by taking their children and training them as warriors. They also begin to more strongly admire the Smilodon as a god, and try to prevent people from going near them. In spite of this, many are captured and kept as tame pets by some chieftains, while the habitat of the animal itself is increasingly pushed back by human activities.

-Professional traders begin to appear, using sailing boats to ply the coasts and rivers, carrying goods from animals’ furs to salted meat. Supported by a growing network of fishing villages and ports, they begin to trade as far away as several hundred kilometres. They trade using informal currencies, from clay tokens to shells and beads.

-With trade, comes expansion and taxation. Various Hannik chiefs start to send out expeditions to attack rival villages and secure control of valuable trade routes. Some villages begin to ask some chiefs to protect them or otherwise not attack them in return for a form of tribute. Within a few decades a patchwork of chiefdoms extracting tribute from lesser chiefs and tribes develops.

-While expansion is underway, one of the main problems is keeping the chiefdoms from squabbling among each other. They frequently backstab each other and form temporary alliances, often willing to fight at the drop of a hat. There is little peace from the bandits and raiders.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – Imperio Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-Imperio Solis continues to expand, although their interests are increasingly turning towards trade. Various trading towns and cities are gradually brought under their influence or are otherwise conquered. Colonies are set up to mitigate overpopulation, while expansion inland also continues as a means of acquiring food to feed the growing cities. Of course, the decentralized structure is both a strength and weakness, and while it leaves the cities to squabble constantly, the overall system continues to grow and develop.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-Vijayanagara changes little during this time, although they do gradually develop into a large empire. The King expands the military, large cities are built, and bronze manufacture is widespread on a large scale. Literate bureaucrats administrate, the warriors and nobles defend and expand the Empire, while the other 90% of the population work the land. Unfortunately, their relatively simple agricultural system and demand on expansion impoverishes the peasants and causes degradation of the land. By the end of the period, the nascent Empire is raising taxes further to pay for armies to crush rebellions. In turn, the increased taxes causes more rebellion and impoverishment, and the last king at this time is murdered in a power struggle in 2498 AP.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-The Veraki continue to develop their bronzeworking technologies. They invent a special kind of furnace that can easily melt a lot of bronze and then pour it into moulds, allowing them to cast all sorts of objects.

-The Veraki settlements continue to spread, often on the end of a sharp and pointy object. The first organisation of warriors starts when chiefs give basic orders, such as bunching together and using shields and spears to make a barrier.

-More animals are being taken care of as well. Sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, horses, cattle, and cats are some of the few animals being raised and used by humans. Some sheep are specially bred to have a fleece suited for conversion into cloth, with looms and spindles now common in many houses.

-Many villages begin to turn towards the production of fine cloth and clothing for export south. The plains are a good place to raise livestock, and it is fairly easy to sail south to the Minoan or Neferian civilizations. Some specialist craftsmen begin to teach their children various trades as the concept of a profession comes into being, with it usually being passed down through the family.

-Following trade routes and areas of fertile land and pasture, they Veraki begin to move down the coast of the Black Sea towards the major river. Unfortunately, they come into conflict with many of the people who already live there, and a lot of bloodshed inevitably follows. Many sites have a layer of charcoal and skeletons.

-As expansion becomes more difficult, the chieftains raise increasingly larger armies and expend more resources to outfit their soldiers. Bronze weaponry is common, but at the price of eating up a lot of food and timber. Forests become thinner and take longer to travel to, while marginal areas begin to be cultivated. Some villages end up devoting themselves increasingly towards the end of supplying military endeavours.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan continue to trade with their neighbours and make use of the bountiful resources of the sea. That is probably why during this time they developed early sailing boats, allowing them to sail out to sea to fish, and to get to other people they may wish to kill or trade with easier.

-The Valsan use their new boats to sail north, whereupon they discover somewhat peaceful communities of fishers and toolmakers. They are deemed a threat and immediately driven out and their villages resettled. Enslavement is now used instead of killing, as generally killing all of your workers is a bad idea.

-There is a switch to the use of blunt weapons intended to cripple rather than kill. For some reason they even experiment with blunt arrows, which harmlessly bounce off people. Large cudgels are more effective, and warriors have taken to beating up their opponents with them.

-Realizing there is a lot of corruption, the chief’s train arbitrators for any and all potential issues. These arbitrators are to be raised from near birth and are taken from the unwanted children and those children who have no relatives left. The needs of these arbitrators are provided for with resources from the rest of the tribe. To make sure they don’t become corrupt, they have their testicles removed for good measure.

-This ends up with mixed results. While they do start to reduce the corruption involved and make life within the chiefdom easier, they inevitably represent the interests of their own polity. The patchwork of chiefdoms that make up Valsan end up warring anyways, for there is no strong unitary authority to unite them.

-Further expansion is strained when chiefs can hardly agree on anything. When the Aztecah to the south implode, trade begins to dry up along with the chiefs’ dependent upon it. The chiefs who can raise men and more agrarian resources start to rise, and begin to swallow up the impoverished ones who no longer can rely on the monopoly of obsidian imports.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-While horse and chariot riding has become popular, there is still the problem of mounted warriors being more exposed up on top. To overcome this, they begin to make pieces of hardened leather or bronze and tie them together to make a form of armour.

-The Kekgols chieftain (who is unique in that he controls the entire Kekgolian peoples because his bodyguard can travel rapidly) introduces several military reforms, a few based upon ones heard from the Xinese. Scouts and raiders frequently travel south and converse with merchants so as to pry out information and obtain weaponry and bronze.

-The Kekgols also continue to refine their methods of extracting resources. Setting up chieftains in agrarian settlements to watch over them, the Kekgols can put these peoples to the work of supporting the horde by producing weapons, supplies, and armour. In the case where the original ruler is dead, a Kekgol soldier is made ruler instead.

-While various villages rebel during this time, the Kekgols are quick to ransack one to keep the others on line. Unfortunately for the Kekgols, the villages grow as do the Kekgols, and they begin to construct pounded dirt walls to deter incursions.

-As going south leads only to fortified towns and angry people and since the Kekgols do not have the numbers or equipment to break into them, they decide to invade the less aggressive peoples to the east. They proceed to slaughter many and burn down a town (one pit was found full of skulls), before establishing their rule in the area.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-The Svean people are gradually transitioning towards agrarianism. There is now evidence of complex tools specially designed for use in agriculture. Sickles with stone blades have been made for collecting grasses, while new digging tools and simple ploughs have also appeared. Corn has recently begun to spread here along with Peccaries.

-Warriors and settlers are still expanding east. Several generations have passed, and the number of people has declined due to sickness and lack of food. Some groups are uncertain they can make it when they are often surrounded by hostile parties and sometimes are far from rivers.

-Trade with the south declines, with the relative prices of peccaries and manufactured stone tools suddenly rising and becoming quite valuable. Traders say that the people who made these things are now gone, along with their big huts and birds.

-A group of migrants during the expansion to the east decided to stay behind a while into the journey. Within a few generations a small village was set up, and was soon connected to Jaroldahlen by boat trade. Both settlements are the first two sites where the earliest forms of agriculture appeared.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Animism

-The Jomon people, being already well adapted to fishing and sailing, have recently invented a new kind of boat. By taking reeds or cloth and making a sail out of it, they can attach it to a boat and go anywhere through power of the wind. With this they have begun to sail along the coasts more often, further out, and take more frequent trips to Korea.

-Of course, expanding fishing grounds brings them into conflict with other people, but using their sailing boats they can force rival fishing boats out and dominate trade as well. Very quickly this particular tribe seizes control of much of the coastlines and begins to take advantage of it.

-On land, they expand down the coastline west, seizing villages in a series of brutal confrontations after making pincer attacks from multiple sides. Threat is useful as well, and several villages surrender without a fight. Tribute is sent, and the mandatory military alliance comes into play as well.

-Generally however, the tribe (which has begun to call itself Japan) is lenient on the conquered, and does not demand tribute from fishing villages and towns. In turn this leads to many of them being quite supportive of Japan and the military protection given, while trade begins to flourish as merchants seek to enrich themselves.

-Trade expands with the Korean peninsula, and now copper items (along with some early elements of Xinese culture) slowly start to appear in limited numbers. One of these is the gradual adoption of agriculture, and Japan starts to extract food surpluses in order to support their warriors.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-Pictograms have been written down on pottery shards and other objects for a long time, but by now they have become increasingly abstract and standardized to the point that they now constitute a written language. Priests and bureaucrats are the only people who can read and write, using their knowledge to write about their monarchs or for administration.

-The wise king of Huangse introduces the “tenth of a tenth” dictum. He is written as having decreed soldiers being divided into tens, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands (in spite of the fact armies at this time were tiny). Absolute loyalty to the commander is revered.

-The first chariots appear at the end of this period, and they are taken up by the Xinese. The nobles take to them and fight in spectacular battles wherein many thousands were driven off. The chieftain Xia Jie and the nine tribes are scattered, with Huangse winning control of the west.

-The city grows to a staggering population of 25,000, with major foundries to manufacture bronze objects, sucking in raw material and migrants from all over. The wise King Yu proclaims that all worship is to be tolerated, and that barbarians recently conquered must be treated leniently so that they do not harbour ill feelings and seek to undermine the kingdom.

-Lesser chieftains often manage their own affairs, sending basic tribute and military support when called upon. The chieftains develop their own houses and fiefs, growing into powerful families. Many people migrate to Xi to settle the wastelands and work in irrigation projects. Merchants are given support to meet and trade those from many thousands of li away. In this way the Kingdom is made wealthy and the people content.

-The population grows, the wastelands are cultivated, the chieftains do not quarrel, the merchants bring back what is necessary, and the houses are solid. Thus the wise monarch rules for the benefit of the people.

Turn 6: 2500 to 3000 AP (1500 to 1000 BCE)

AscentofManTurn6Map

Political map of Turn 6

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45169655&viewfull=1#post45169655


Turn quote: Iron age begins, so now you can iron your clothes.
Turn tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X_GE7BfK8g

Events of the years 2500 to 3000 AP:

-Ironworking is invented in the Near East and rapidly begins to spread in the last two centuries of this era.

-Several empires and kingdoms engage in major long term wars or disputes during this period, eventually wasting the resources of the state and harming trade. The arrival of migratory peoples to the Near East helps to topple these empires. The rise of iron plus the collapse of the bronze trade deals another hammer blow in an event called the Bronze Age collapse.

-Metal production and consumption decentralizes during this period, often with regional nobles declaring independence and arming their own smaller armies. The great cities shrink or are abandoned.

-Metals begin to be worked for the first time in the Americas.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-Seeking to project her naval power and expand trade, the Neferian Kings invest heavily into the construction of new ports and later colonies. Shipwrecks recovered from this time become more common and much larger, with military vessels starting to employ banks of rowers to propel the ship.

-Nefere expands aggressively into the Levant and secures control of the multitude of towns and cities, along with the valuable trade routes and agricultural production centres.

-With some areas starting to become overpopulated, a bold new policy is declared whereby people will be sent overseas to establish new towns, primarily to extract resources and export them back to Nefere. Many expeditions are sent overseas, although several attempts are stopped by the Minoans and simple logistics. The city of Bubastis is established to the far west, while the city of Nub is built far down the coast of the Red Sea to the south. Later, Oipe (on the coast of the Black Sea) and Hah (In Sicily) are founded. While supplying them with building materials and labour takes a while, they end up forming their own near-autonomous city states, which rely on Neferes existing power for protection.

-Minoa goes to war with Nefere over the colony of Oipe, angry at their projection of naval power into the area and the threat it poses. Due to the long distance involved, it saps away at the military and naval resources of Nefere in order to protect the city from occupation. Matters worsen in the 28th century when nomads storm Minoa and Oipe, later destroying a great deal of trade and causing a power vacuum.

-The collapse topples the Hatti and Hurrians, before slamming Nefere with heavy raids and warfare. The Kingdom loses a great deal of land in the Levant and control over Bubastis and Hah. A lot of decentralization occurs as well, with many regional nobles clawing back power and setting up private armies and iron foundries.

-The Neferians also replicate the bronze clothing of the people of the Levant and begin to equip their own nobles with it. The records state the battle plan of the King Akhenaten. He made his bulk of spearmen engage the enemy and pin them down, while heavy chariots and skirmishers and soldiers in heavy armour and weapons would flank them and batter the flanks and rear. Thus the Levantines were crushed and scattered.

-Under the centralizing tendency of Akhenaten, a great number of roads and bridges are ordered and constructed. Built with cobbles or gravel and timber, they are cleared of rubbish and built especially for military use, although traders and other travellers love them as well.

-As the task of governing society grows beyond one man, the King sets up a war council where generals may discuss and advise policy, while the civil council is dominated by merchants and townspeoples. The civil council later advises him to establish a council for the standardization of weights and measures, where payments of goods can be properly set and measured.

-Akhenaten, in a slightly odder fashion, orders a grand lighthouse constructed, to the equivalent of 118 cm. It is a proud model and sits in the capital with a small candle in it, intended to be seen from the sea. He is keen to show visiting foreign dignitaries the model, many coming from Asia Minor or Mesopotamia or Minoa. They agree that it is a fine model, and then quietly discuss matters of trade and policy with the respective councils.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Uto-Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-Sometime after the collapse, a new agricultural technique, pioneered in Yucatan and refined in the Mexico valley arrives. Called “Chimpampa”, it involves making artificial islands in lakes and rivers, along with small canals and diverting streams to irrigate fields. A major boon, very quickly the Aztecah set to work on building a huge number of fields around Tenochtitlán.

-The town, safe in the valley but weak, gradually grows from the wealth of agriculture and reclaimed land. Elite warriors are granted lands on the outskirts of the city state, held as hereditary possessions. Within a short period of time, while successful at defending the borders and by extension the small growing city, they hold much of the power.

-However, the developing city (which later starts to build stone buildings again at the end of this period) is itself ruled by a despot in collaboration with the priestly class. The religion is further centralized and given complex rituals, with the priestly class also establishing a civil government complete with a debating chamber.

-Pulque, an alcohol drink, is also invented. Made from fermented sap, it is usually enjoyed by the upper classes and retained as a sacred drink. The priests also oversee the professions and trades, usually maintaining control of special trades relating to the manufacture of pulque, weaponry, and luxury goods.

-The priests, with their new centralized religion, begin to fan outwards to ensure the local chiefs that the city nominally has control over follow the true faith. The chiefs ask why they should care, but it is discovered that they change their mind after a large jar of pulque appears in their house. Large pyramidal temples are constructed shortly afterwards.

-Messengers bearing gifts visit Yucatan, setting up diplomatic relations, bringing back new ideas and fashions. Pulque is one such drink used to help break the ice in diplomacy, and it seems as though the Mayan methods of agricultural practice are brought back. In turn, the Xokobo bird ends up making its way to the Yucatan, and soon various chiefdoms and towns there have begun to breed and even ride a few.

-Back home, the Xokobo birds have diverged into two distinct breeds. The military Xokobo has larger claws and beaks, powerful legs, is leaner, and is intended for riding on. The agrarian one has more meat on it and a smaller beak and claws, while it may be ridden on, it is often used instead for dragging heavy things around (including primitive ploughs) and for its meat and eggs.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-As marginal lands are cultivated, there is a need to turn up the soil and tear up roots often left behind in recently cleared forest. Some improvements begin to be made to the existing plough, the basic design of which has changed little in three thousand years. Wheels are added, along with a yoke that doesn’t choke the animal, plus a detachable bronze head on the plough.

-Lapplands agriculture begins to improve once more, with wealth increasing. Large areas of land are cleared (often driving out wild animals and peasants in the process) to make way for chariot racing grounds. These are very popular, and later become an ingrained tradition in Lappland.

-Armies become slightly more sophisticated as well, usually wearing padded cloth and leather armour, using bronze weaponry. The footsoldiers are led by charioteers, who usually flank enemy forces.

-Lappland expands southwards and begins to demand tribute from the surrounding villages and towns, taking tribute by force if necessary. Eventually, they are forced to give regular tribute and are obliged to adopt the customs of Lappland, in turn eventually being integrated into their political system.

-The old land reforms are abolished, especially as increasingly larger areas of land are held by the great noble houses. They begin to enact widespread projects such as marsh draining and forestry management. Half of the land is kept fallow for animals to graze on, their dung helping to fertilize the soil and give it time to replenish. While productivity is restored and grows, the peasantry is unhappy with the loss and land, and many of them end up falling into a state of servitude or abandoning the land to the larger landowners.

-Many peasants who have lost their lands migrate to Gotland, where there is still a lot of land left and its position for trade makes it relatively wealthy. It becomes a centre of slave trading, and helps to connect up the trading ports in the western Baltic as well into the network. The main port itself grows into having thousands of residents.

-The bronze trade is now widespread throughout Lappland, with a great deal of it manufactured at home or bought from abroad. Slaves and livestock are generally measured in ingots. As trade expands with Imperio Solis, many traders sail back and forth, often bringing back new ideas and technologies in the process. Ironworking eventually reaches Lappland by the end of this period.

-Unfortunately, at the end of this period, Imperio Solis undergoes a major societal collapse, in addition to the bronze trade. The landed nobility of Lappland begin to set up iron foundries and equip private armies. The decline of trade hurts the Lappish monarchy the most, and by the end of the period they effectively lose control over much of the nobility, some of them having started to declare themselves as independent polities.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-With Valsan fishermen and trader appearing off the shores of Alyeska, they tend to bring corn and various peccaries with them. While the Alyeskans cannot grow them very well (due to the climate), they nonetheless feed them to their new peccaries.

-The more southern parts of the Alyeskan lands tend to be better suited to agriculture. Since it is also closer to the Valsan trade routes, several chieftains begin to expand southwards, setting up fishing villages, herding peccaries, and growing maize. The southern Alyeskan people are widely different from those to the far north, who live a completely nomadic existence following reindeer herds.

-Contacts with the Valsan people increase and several chieftains are more than happy to trade with them. Native metals, stone tools (including rare pieces of obsidian), pottery, corn, furs, and ivory are commonly exchanged.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-With a settled agrarian society in place with long distance trading and extraction of minerals from mines, not to mention pottery manufacture, the first evidence of copper smelting and working dates to this time. It is largely used for ornaments and small items (such as fishhooks and needles).

-Warriors begin to use increasingly sophisticated weaponry. Based upon sickles, they glue or fix stone blades into a wooden or bone socket to make a kind of sword and club combined. Variants for spears, axes, javelins, and clubs start to appear. While not as effective as obsidian ones, they are still often deadly.

-A caste system strengthens during this time, with clear divisions between a warrior class and a farmer-worker one. Farmers begin to be tied to the land and prevented from practicing other trades or becoming a warrior, so as to provide enough food.

-Using blackmail and brute force, the Hannikaewa continue to expand, generally to the west and south. Priests travel out to help integrate villages and chiefdoms, usually by building temples and having anybody who disagrees with them killed.

-While the habitat of Smilodon continues to shrink due to deforestation and unofficial hunting (peasants often secretly murder them when nobody is looking), the priestly and warrior class continue to tame and sometimes breed them in captivity. The downside however is that they are not easy to breed, making them impossible to truly domesticate.

DeSolisFlag
Mr. Face – Imperio Solis
Capital: Aurum in urb
Culture: Sun culture people (Italo-Iberian)
State Religion: Sun worship

-The weakening confederation of cities begin to fracture when sea peoples raid and the bronze trade starts to collapse as several centres of bronze manufacture are overwhelmed. The northern and southern parts of Imperio Solis break away over time and form more militaristic kingdoms that depend less upon trade. They begin to switch to iron over time and a decentralized military and political system, allowing them to adapt to the incursions of the barbariabs.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-With land put under increasing pressure, but with little in the way to improve productivity, Vijayanagara is starting to struggle to grow enough food. The peasants and lords begin to notice that keeping one field fallow for a year and throwing animal manure on top helps to regain some of the fertility. While production suffers immensely in the short term, by the 29th century it has begun to grow again.

-The grand empire begins to rot from the inside out. The state becomes bankrupt and the army threatens to mutiny. Dipali-Bharata responds to this by introducing the “Panchayati Raj”. Under the system, nobles are granted a great deal of autonomy and the power to raise their own armies, provided they support their king.

-The decentralization of power severely weakens the Emperor himself, but we do see extensive evidence of people growing taller and having better diets. Food production recovered and later began to grow as well, along with other economic activities. To help maintain the empire, a pluralistic code of tolerance for religion is adopted, while a legal system is also introduced. Since feudal lords are the ones who actually enforce the laws, this only ends up with them attaining more power.

-After the period of heavy decentralization and weakening power of the royal house, the Emperor declares several wars of expansion to the south. The conquered lands are largely distributed among the lords, and while keeping them pleased, the Emperor only ends up diluting his power further.

-Eventually by the end of this period, with the advent of iron smelting and manufacture, the old monopolies on bronze and other metals begin to slowly lose their power, as now individual lords are starting to set up their own blacksmiths and forges to manufacture weaponry and armour. The Emperor ends up becoming little more than a titular head of state, with barely any power beyond the capital.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-During this time, the Veraki begin to shift towards iron manufacture. Unfortunately, their system weakens with the decline of the bronze trade. The Sarmatians sweep in through the plains and ransack multiple Veraki towns and enslave many of the inhabitants. They seize control of much of the steppe area, and only to the further south and on the peninsula are they stopped due to peculiarities of local geography or the resilience of the inhabitants.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan by this point, are almost entirely dependent on agriculture as they grow maize and rear peccaries (along with the occasional Xokobo bird). Villages have begun to build pottery kilns and set up clay pits for the manufacture of pottery, some for domestic use and some for export.

-The chiefdoms stop expanding, their attention now turned to the largest of villages (Valsari) where the chief has created a new threat. Using his wealth he has begun to form increasingly larger alliances and a small army of warriors, in turn subjugating his lesser. A bloody series of wars happens over this time, eventually ending with Valsari asserting dominion over all the Valsan chiefs and declaring himself a King. His “kingdom” however, largely consists of a network of farming villages run almost autonomously to his own.

-To further cement power, the Valsari chief has all of the rivals executed and bans slavery to win over the peasantry. They are all lined up and have their heads cleaved off before parts of the body are eaten or cremated. The Valsari chief then appoints somebody loyal to rule over a village, eventually setting up a crude form of governance.

-Under the new system, all existing traditions and laws are now to be centralized under the Valsan chief, with equality no matter the village. Of course, this leads to a lot of rebellions, with Valsan having to put down a great number of them before the rest of the Valsan people give in. To reduce rebellion, the chief cancels tribute collection on some places that were dependent on the slave trade.

-Finally, several expeditions are made north to contact the Alyeska, with whom the Valsan sometimes trade. Their multitude of villages is discovered, and existing ties are strengthened.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-The Kekgols continue to adapt their military stratagems, especially when confronted with new obstacles. They start to capture carpenters and other trained people in the construction of siege equipment, such as battering rams and towers. Taking these men along with them, they construct siege machinery on site and then batter down the puny walls or clamber over them. Pretty soon, the walls start to grow taller and wider.

-The Kekgols copy many ideas from the Xi, including military command structures (based upon powers of ten). They expand and improve on them to allow for units to break down into more flexible groups when needed, and continue to travel lightly, often surviving off mares milk and blood.

-Scouts travel throughout the lands north of Xi, scouting out villages and towns and often bringing back technological improvements or buy various goods. As the price of bronze declines, the Kekgols eventually import enough to outfit themselves with it on a large scale.

-The Kekgols, armed with bronze weapons and siege machinery, fall upon the last towns and villages that dared to defy them. The walls are turned to rubble and the inhabitants slaughtered like livestock.

-The Kekgols later decide to expand south, capturing weaker areas and blackmailing many lords. Of course, a lot of them also appeal to the Xi for protection, and by the end of this period a rough border forms between the Xi and Kekgols. The lords are generally more favourable of the Xi, especially as they can depend on the Xi for military assistance and this far away they don’t need follow the edicts of the Emperor.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-The Svea, now with access to crops and peccaries, have begun to adopt agriculture in its entirety. They grow maize, rear peccaries; occasionally happen across a Xokobo egg, and fish for subsistence. Hunting is still important, but less so now with farming becoming more important.

-With farmers growing surpluses of food, they can support chiefs and a class of warriors to conduct warfare. Farmers can also fight when the fields do not need tending (although dead farmers are a catastrophe), or work to produce weaponry. Jaroldahlens safety helps it to grow, eventually having hundreds of inhabitants.

-The Svean people also aren’t too keen on military expansion, focusing largely on defence and trade. Since food production and population closely follow each other, and since military conquest is the usual answer to solving resource problems, the Svean respond by developing increasing social complexity.

-The chiefs of Jaroldahlen gradually become crude despots. Although they are kleptocrats and primarily interested in their own family, they do reduce death rates due to violence by a factor of four. Jaroldahlen is unique in that warriors only generally protect it, further encouraging migration to it during conflict, although putting a strain on food.

-With overpopulation, the chief orders several groups of people (usually ones he doesn’t like) to head along the rivers, generally east and south. They occupy the places that the hunter-gatherer tribes do not care for, setting up fields and tilling the soil. When tame peccaries are killed by hunters however, bloody conflict tends to happen.

-Trade begins to funnel goods back and forth over the rivers, with Jaroldahlen becoming a large hub. Everything from crude pottery to polished stone tools swaps hands. While the settlements further afield are happy to trade with Jaroldahlen, they run their own affairs and often compete with neighbouring villages over land and resources.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Animism

-Increasing contacts with the Korean peninsula (and later the Xi state), along with expansion to the west leads to more transmission of culture and technologies. Towards the end of this period, the first rice farming communities are established in the westernmost island by a mixture of settlers from Korea and Xi (although largely independent from either). The first bronze artefacts appear in Japan in the last century of this period.

-The Jomon people are by nature a savage and brutish people, or so it is recorded by Xi. The Jomon drive out the tribes in the western part of the island, and secure control of the lucrative trade routes. The fishing villages are exempt from tribute collection. They often take advantage of this to build up their own settlements and to develop trade and incipient agriculture.

-A powerful central chief unifies several Jomon groups and declares himself an “Emperor”. His main qualification is being the apparent grandson of the sun goddess. He subjugates many villages and chiefs and orders them to pay tribute, with which he builds nice halls and a temple in his home village.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-With a complex society built upon long distance trade, intensive agriculture, and a large bureaucratic class, the Xinese begin to develop complex mathematics, mostly for use in astrology and administration. The first accurate records on population, production, taxation, and dates come from this time.

-The Xi state continues to expand. Huge foundries that mass produce bronze objects are constructed, with armies outfitted in bronze or leather armour, spears and swords. Battering rams are used to smash down pounded earth walls, while carpenters and other workshops are used to make chariots. The first iron products appear, but they are rare and few in number.

-Soldiers under direct control of the Emperor are drilled relentlessly, with the first rules of warfare being observed and often written down in the form of poetry centuries later. Over the course of several centuries, the Xi expands aggressively, setting up fiefdoms and distributing more land out to noble families. Most expansion is south and west, following the fertile areas.

-Chariots become widespread, often used by the growing noble families that administrate the rest of the Kingdom. Horses begin to be slowly bred to be more powerful and larger, and while people can ride them, chariots are still preferred. However, with incursions by the Kekgols, the northern Xi lords have begun to ride horses and conduct counter-raids to prevent Kekgol expansion.

-Intensive agricultural projects continue. Large rice paddies with complex irrigation systems and a division of labour help to produce not only food, but it can support a sizable scholarly and religious class, in conjunction with craftsmen and merchants. Markets develop, with monies made from imitation tools or cowrie shells.

-However, towards the end of the period, the monarchies power begins to dilute. The chiefdoms, city-states, and nobility that were allowed to run their own affairs have developed powerful regional governments that frequently contest the decisions of the Emperor. New political entities that join take advantage of the overlord’s protection without necessarily providing enough resources, while the Emperors resources become stretched thin.

Notes: Turns will now last 250 years each.

Turn 7: 3000 to 3250 AP (1000 to 750 BCE)

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Turn music

AscentofManTurn7Map

Political map of Turn 7

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45203905&viewfull=1#post45203905


Turn quote: Hope is the only good that is common to all men; those who have nothing else possess hope still. ~ Thales

Events of the years 3000 to 3250 AP:

-The Xokobo expansion begins. Many tribes and chiefdoms begin to breed captured or tame Xokobo birds, eventually spreading their use as far north past the Rio Grande and south past Panama. Some tribes adopt an entirely nomadic existence based around these animals, eventually securing control of the many large areas not settled by farmers. This generally tends to be large plains or marginal lands, for they stay away from the fertile valleys where fortified towns reside.

-Ironworking begins to be utilized on a wide scale in Eurasia for items ranging from farm tools to weaponry. Improvements in metallurgy and the decline of iron extraction and manufacture mean that they become favoured over bronze, even when readily available. By the end of this period, they become dominant, although bronze is still widely used in specialist purposes, including armour.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-With Nefere focusing ever more on naval expansion and power, they have built increasingly larger and more powerful ships. The bireme develops out of older galleys, utilizing sails and a double bank of rowers. On the front is a bronze ram to dash the hulls of enemy vessels in order to sink them.

-While the city states of Nefere effectively declare independence and run their own affairs, they do rely heavily on Neferes naval power to protect trade routes from pirates and other states, not to mention allying whenever a land based force threatens the city. Oipe and the other Mediterranean cities are the ones contested over, usually by Minoans and Phoenicians.

-The Minoan league quarrels with Nefere over the Aegean islands, with a number of several bloody campaigns for control of the Aegean. Crete and Rhodes are both eventually lost to the Neferians. The Minoans give up for a while when their league of cities fall apart and begin infighting, while numerous colonies begin sprouting up throughout the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians initially ally with Nefere to force the Minoans to back down, but now they have begun to fight over trade in the eastern Mediterranean.

-The Phoenicians however have allies, and usually call upon them whenever Nefere tries to solidify her power in the Levant. The response is a costly effort by Nefere to construct a vast number of fortifications and new walls around the major cities. Arish has one such major fort, headquarters of the navy and shipwrights. They are responsible for the coastguard the patrols the trade routes and coasts, usually to prevent piracy.

-The next King on the throne later rediscovers an antique model of a lighthouse equivalent to 118cm tall in a disused chamber. He orders a model a hundred times the size of the original to be constructed at the new port of Rhacotis near the capital, where it would burn a large brazier and light the way for shipping. It takes 34 years to be completed, equivalent in cost to a major fortification and going through numerous delays and design changes.

-The fishing village of Rhacotis begins to grow, slowly supplanting the old capital as their own navigation channels silts up. With good deep water access and the lighthouse, it quickly booms into a bustling trading port. It becomes a model city for the new generation of planners and architects who have risen to power, keen on developing infrastructure.

-Seeking to curtail the power of the nobility, the King begins to rely on the cities. Appointing craftsmen and merchants to administrative positions, he also empowers minor legislative bodies within towns to elect people into local government. You need to be male, over the age of thirty, with land, and not poor to vote, but it’s seen as representative enough.

-Eventually a dual system whereby cities manage their own affairs while the nobility manage theirs seems to work out well, for now the monarch can play them against each other whenever he needs taxes or support for a war. Royal officials are initially put in charge of projects out with the realm of nobles and cities (such as roads, irrigation, canals, and other public works), helping to promote the development of trade.

-Nefere is one of the first countries to adopt currency, largely since now trade is becoming a bit more complex and hard to do solely through barter. Early coinage is of a remarkably crude nature, consisting of gold weights with the Kings seal stamped on them. Their weight in metal determines the value, but the strength of Nefere itself makes these ingots more valuable than they actually are.

-A minor skirmish of little relevance happens outside the colony of Oipe, where some barbarians led by a schizophrenic madman tried to besiege the city. Oipe calls upon Nefere and other allies to drive away the barbarians, most of them being unable to break into the city of Oipe due to its large stone walls and significant naval forces.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-Now that the valley of Mexico has recovered from the collapse, trade is now expanding beyond the heights it attained at the prior peak of power. Bulk trade has begun to happen (even if there are no wheeled vehicles to move goods around), necessitating the development of a pictographic language to keep track. The priestly class also develops their own system for recording ritual and ceremony.

-A series of military campaigns sanctioned by the Aztecah priesthood are conducted. Young knights that aren't heir to benefice are to find Aztlán, the legendary ancestral home of the Aztecah, and liberate it from the heathens that inhabit it. In return they get lands they conquer and are to become one with Teotl upon death.

-Although uncommon, Xokobo warriors are starting to show signs of their future success, by bringing multiple birds in battles, either using this to quickly switch from a fatigued Xokobo to a rested bird in order to flank enemies or whipping birds to direct them to the enemy while riding on a different bird. Both warriors and birds are fed on drugs, with the birds often going insane and trying to tear at their handlers. They carry burning sticks as well to terrify the enemy.

-The city state begins to rapidly expand, ruled over by the despotic priests and Xokobo warriors. Breeding the birds (but keeping them to a tiny elite), they rule over and terrify lesser tribes and cities. Unfortunately, towards the end of this period, captured Xokobo birds and rogue warriors have led to an arms race throughout all of Mexico.

-The city states and chiefs fight bitterly, breeding large numbers of the birds and riding them into battle (in spite of having no saddles or stirrups). The lesser polities are wiped out completely and subjugated, while to the north on the plains the chiefdoms have begun aggressively expanding on the backs of these birds.

-The priests have also begun to revive and develop philosophy, with the main philosophical question on how to gain stability and balance in an ephemeral world. The first scholars (writing down astrology and history) are trained in temples to read and write, as well as how to administrate the growing city state.

-Enslavement of Teotl followers is banned, which is a step forwards I suppose. Curiously, a lot of Teotl temples are recorded as having been founded at this time in many towns conquered by the Aztecah.

-Monasteries appear for the first time within the Aztecah lands, usually built within old ruins so as to get away from people (many of which ironically later become the centre for major urban areas). They try to live by themselves with simple lives, and usually brew Pulque to give out in the form of a tribute to the local lord or major priest. These monks spread the art of Pulque production, and there is evidence that by the end of this period it has begun to be traded by common people.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-A crude form of writing develops in Lappland, developing possibly both from trade contacts and from the need to record information. Originally based off pictographs, it quickly evolves into an increasingly abstract writing system using straight lines (for it is easier to carve into objects).

-Iron usage increases, marked by the widespread adoption of iron weaponry by warriors. Spears and swords tend to be popular weapons, along with wooden shields and occasionally bronze helmets. The nobility tend to wear bronze armour sometimes, riding on horseback or using chariots. As horses continue to be bred, some of the nobility are starting to favour riding on horses instead of chariots.

-Militaristic expansion slows down during this period, presumably because of migrating tribes and internal rebellion. The nobility are hostile towards the renewed attempts by the King to centralize power, eventually sparking open revolt. The King responds by burning down half the country and slaughtering all of the people that defy him. He seizes all of the armouries and pulls down them before confiscating all of their weaponry and melting it down to make a bronze statue of the sky god Ukko.

-The lands of the rebellious nobility is divided up among the supporters of the King, and the iron weaponry is used to make a large throne. Much of the land is redistributed to the peasantry, who are much grateful and call him a benevolent ruler. Of course, history is written by the people who can write, and the dispossessed literate nobles write him as a tyrant.

-Of course, this does not detract from the Lapplanders two favourite activities; raiding and trading (often involving both in the form of human trafficking). By this point, traders have sailed down the Volga and discovered the primitive savages that call themselves the “Veraki”. They make for good slaves, with the Sarmatians capturing many and selling them to Lapplander merchants. Later on in the period, the Sarmatians are wiped out by the Veraki.

-The traders quickly switch to trading Sarmatian slaves as opposed to the Veraki, but continue with other goods such as bronze and amber. Slave raiding in Scandinavia is becoming more difficult now that some people are actually forming alliances and militaries capable of responding and chasing off the raiders. Some of them even began to raid back, prompting the construction of defensive fortifications in Lappish coastal areas.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Alyeskan people have been working with native metals for centuries, not to mention the art of firing pottery. It would take very little for the next logical step of putting copper ores inside a pottery oven and waiting to see what would happen. The ore is rendered down into pure copper, allowing the Alyeskan to not only manufacture their own copper, but work it easily and turn it into a variety of various tools, ornaments, and weaponry.

-Alyeska expands at a relatively rapid pace down the west coast of the continent, following the trade routes and searching for copper mines. They manage to do both with a lot of success, and boot out the old inhabitants in the quest to secure the valuable trade to the south. With the advantage of being able to manufacture their own copper, the Alyeska have begun exporting it to the Valsan in return for all sorts of goodies, who themselves have discovered how to work copper (but not necessarily to mine and refine it).

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-Crude and simple wagons begin to appear in Hannikaewa, based upon the earlier dog travois. While there are no large animals around to pull it, it does make the job much easier for humans or dogs to pull things around. Traders adopt them for overland routes, using teams of dogs and/or slaves to pull the wagons. The roads are in a terrible condition however, restricting their use.

-With the increasing spread of copperworking, spears and axes have begun to be made out of them. Of course they are initially made in the old way with glueing in stones, with people simply substituting the stone for copper. Pickaxes also are spreading, used primarily to liberate copper ores. Trade has often begun to be conducted using copper ingots or cowrie shells as a form of currency.

-Simple shields made of wood are used by the Hannikaewa, in conjunction with spears and axes. While there have been improvements in military hardware, the raiding tendencies of the Hannikaewa are starting to slow down as they continue to build their society more heavily around agriculture and trade. One major reason is usually cited as the increase in the cost of raiding, as now many villages and towns are starting to provide decent defences against raids.

-The end of raiding signifies a power shift as well. Now it is the landowners who control access to the trade routes, copper mines, and fertile land that have begun to attain power and prestige. They begin to raise tributes and maintain small military forces with them, usually for protection of their interests.

-A rise in internal conflicts is the result, as now many chiefs have begun to fight over the best lands within Hannikaewa. While some do manage to expand into marginal areas or otherwise drive out the original inhabitants in costly wars, the internal wars are bloody enough that a replacement eventually arrives.

-The tradition of the “Trial of the Cat” begins, whereby two people at dispute can battle to death in a duel and take all of what the loser had. Inevitably this causes problems when the family of the deceased is unwilling to give up, often with the elder son declaring war. The end result is the same however, as smaller chiefs are swallowed up by larger ones, even if the smaller won the duel fair and square, for he did not count on his enemy holding to his side of the bargain.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-With the passing of time and the expansion of populations and wealth, there is increased demand for good stonemasons to build the cities of Vijayanagara. The oldest guilds for masons date back to this time, along with the introduction of many new techniques ranging from plans to basic cartography and mathematics to figure out the dimensions of structures.

-Noticing that the quarrelling lords are starting to hold too much power, Dipali-Abhay II of Vijayanagara introduce the first standing army, composed of professional full time soldiers. Their downside however, is that they are incredibly expensive and require a lot of monies to function properly.

-To pay for and manage this growing army, a bureaucracy has been established with the intent of taxing people and managing the flow of monies to it. While the lords are obviously unhappy, they are won over with legislation that affirms their right to own land, serfs, and hold a private army.

-Dipali-Abhay II is also seen as a great builder, organizing the construction of many large temples and other public works, followed by early libraries and later the construction of a new city in Sraylon. Sraylon was invaded under Dipali-Abhay II’s reign, and added to the slowly growing Empire.

-Of course, the taxation needed to fund the army is quite a lot, especially due to the fact that the nobility can raise taxes and armies. Outmanoeuvring the inflexible bureaucracy, they benefit from the growth of trade to the west and improved agricultural yields, not to mention peace. Forming temporary alliances with the rest of the nobility (or even some cities) they can effectively block the edicts of the monarchy and use the threat of civil war. It reaches a stalemate, with the power of the sovereign and that of the great lords carefully balanced. The gradual increase in army sizes has begun to eat away at the resources of the state however.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-The introduction of ironworking has been of much benefit to the Veraki. One of their newest inventions is the iron sword. Based off older bronze swords, it is longer and made from fairly decent iron. New techniques improve weapon manufacture, making it less brittle but not soft either. Many warriors begin to be equipped with such swords, along with wooden shields reinforced with bronze or iron.

-After recovery from the incursions of the Sarmatians, one chief decides he has enough. Declaring himself “Emperor”, he drafts all farmers in addition to warriors for a major campaign against the Sarmatians. He drills them relentlessly and introduces new strategies and formations, although it is questioned if he ever came up with them.

-With a series of innovative new military reforms, plus conscripting everyone possible to fight a total war, the Emperor causes great calamity among the Sarmatians. They slaughter many and enslave the rest.

-Unfortunately, due to poor foresight, a lot of labour is not around to manage the fields. A widespread famine grips the land for several years, leading the Emperor to extreme desperation. They cannibalize the dead, eat bark, and steal all scraps of food they can from the Sarmatians. The conflict is effectively an act of genocide, wiping out this ethnic group for good.

-The Veraki then use the last of their strength to march south to the Neferian colony of Oipe (which has long since begun to develop into its own city state). Unlike the Sarmatians or even the Veraki, Oipe is the product of a long lasting complex civilization, and as such have large stone fortifications and allies to call upon. They drive away the barbarian savages and kill the pretentious “Emperor”, slathering his corpse in honey and hoisting it upon a spike on the battlements.

-Back home, it takes decades for the Veraki to recover, having collapsed back into a number of warring chiefdoms. Only in the 33rd century do they attain their former peak of power many centuries ago.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan are starting to pick up innovations from their neighbours to the north and south. Native working of copper and other metals has begun to happen here, used primarily for ornamentation. While the items are often crude and brittle, they do represent the earliest attempts to work metal. Towards the end of the period, they have figured out that heating the metal up makes it easier to work with, and have begun to import increasing quantities of it from Alyeska, allowing them to start using it in wider applications.

-With many villages subjugated and chiefs killed, the Great Chief of Valsan declares several wars on agrarian communities to the south, eventually securing control of a number of relatively developed villages with simple defensive fortifications and mud brick or stone houses.

-However, the Valsan are not the reason for the development of defensive walls. It appears as though around this time a number of tribes in Mesoamerica adopted a nomadic lifestyle entirely, riding upon Xokobos and spreading rapidly. They raided many settled villages, including the Valsan, where they mercilessly slaughter many and ransack the nascent towns. While the Valsan are safe within their fortified border villages, the Xokobo tribes spread rapidly north and into the plains, while terrorizing the borders of the Great Chief.

-The Great Chief responds by ordering warriors to be stationed in rotating shifts in the southern villages, with the wounded and injured to be brought back home for treatment. He also rules that the border farming villages (many of which lie on lucrative trading routes) must be spared from destruction in case of rebellion. A prudent man, he sees that killing your source of income is a bad idea.

-Trade routes continue to expand, aided partially by the growing adoption of Xokobo birds firstly among traders in Valsan (since there are no wheels, the birds drag two pieces of wood with a container attached). Goods such as obsidian, crops, eggs, copper, gemstones, pottery, and timber are all carried by simple sailing boats or bird travois. The routes have fully integrated the Alyeskan people in the process, allowing them to import goods from as far away as the Mexico valley and Yucatan.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-As the Kekgols have come increasingly into contact with literate peoples, some of their ideas have rubbed off onto them. The first variants of the Kekgol script appear at this time, based heavily upon on the old Xi writing system. It is initially used to record diplomatic exchange and record history.

-The Kekgols, with their emphasis on a strong communications system for their various chiefs, introduce a way of moving information quickly. They set up relay stations with fresh horses, so that riders may exchange them so as not to be slowed down. Taking written messages as well, they can bring back information from one end of the Kekgol plains to the other in short time.

-The traditional Kekgol festival of Naadam has its roots in this time. It is an annual event whereby all of the chieftains are obliged to observe a truce and send athletes to the festival. At this time the three major events were wrestling, horse racing, and archery.

-The Kekgols begin to expand southeast into the lands between the Xi and themselves, taking advantage of the weakening Xi state. They begin to put pressure on the northern lords too, to the point that they either begin to pay tribute to the Kekgols for protection, or raise their own military forces. Towards the end of the period, as the Xi state splinters, they begin to look increasingly towards their own defence, building fortifications and chariot armies.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-The Svea have started experimenting with various types of armour, so as to protect them during a fight. It is found that horizontal rods of bone or wood, sown into a fabric and padded out create a form of crude armour that offers a little protection.

-Despite the general expansion of the Svea, their activities, and increasing social complexity, life is much the same. Land has begun to be slowly viewed as a hereditary possession instead of communally owned by some people, leading to warriors and farmers starting to live and work the same plots throughout their lives. The warriors still hunt, although it’s pretty clear that they can only continue the old way of life on the borders. They migrate out when the farmers begin to become common.

-Food production is steadily increasing, with the diet improving marginally over this time (especially as peccaries become increasingly common and the first encounters with Xokobo birds are made) as farmers increase the amount of meat in their diet.

-The great chiefs of Jaroldahlen introduces a new policy, whereby citizens are not allowed to leave (presumably to tie them to the nearby fields). They also construct a large earthen rampart to protect the growing town, and to consolidate their personal lands. As agricultural surplus becomes ever more important, keeping people tied to the farms and trades is an important way of securing resources.

-For some strange reason, the chiefs are bitterly opposed to the activities of the traders, banning many from entering. They also manage to annoy the smaller villages in the process, and Jaroldahlen begins to decline as the centre of trade shifts away. This is presumably the reason for the edict banning people from leaving.

-The chieftains (towards the end of this period) become heavily inbred, with the current chief being a product of his sister and his father. He has several deformities and mental illnesses, with one of his odder policies being to cut relations with the eastern tribes that migrated centuries ago. He then declares that warfare is the only suitable method of expansion, and he declares war on his neighbours to grab their lands.

-His unpopularity and incompetence costs his life and a portion of his territories, with the Svea in general going into terminal decline as they lose control through their own ineptitude. Raids by tribes riding Xokobo birds begin towards the end of the period and gradually intensify as tribes compete in an arms race to acquire the birds.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Animism

-The Japanese begin to enter the realm of civilization and recorded history during this period, as the number of farming settlements throughout western (and later the rest of Japan) increases rapidly. The adoption of wet-rice agriculture can create huge food surpluses, in turn feeding a rapidly growing population.

-The Japanese use their increased population to expand their military forces and subjugate their neighbours, and by the end of the period they have formed a large state covering most of the island (not to mention a few smaller ones settled by traders or exiles).

-Piracy rapidly increases during this time, in part due to the weakness of the Japanese state to regulate trade and defend the seaways. When you can’t beat them, join them, which leads to the Japanese monarchy giving support to raiders and pirates as long as they get a share of the spoils (and don’t raid Japan). In turn this means attacking the weakened Xi state.

-The coastal lords begin to withhold tax revenues to the Xi in favour of paying off pirates (or funding their own military forces) as raids intensify. For the Japanese, this is a useful way to get more resources, especially metals such as bronze or iron which have begun to appear throughout Japan.

-With the increase in wealth and population back home, large markets and cultural centres are developing, with some towns becoming fairly large. Simple bureaucracies build up over time to regulate and develop these towns, along with building up shipyards to produce ships designed for raiding and trading.

-The Japanese Emperor becomes one of the most powerful men in the region, using the wealth of trade to enrich himself and his military, and to expand throughout the island. The low population density and the fact most people live near the coast makes control easier, although northward expansion is difficult due to the cooler climate and ferocity of the inhabitants.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-During this period, the Xi state begins to undergo severe degradation, with decentralization of power bases and loss of control to the nobility. Familial relations continue to weaken between lords and the monarchy, making them less willing to support alliances. Raids from nomadic tribes and pirates from Japanese only worsen matters by stretching the resources of the Xi extremely thin, eventually leading to the nobility raising their own armies.

-By the end of the Xi Empire, the Emperor is little more than a fancy title, with the actual monarch holding only limited control over the homeland of the Xi. The outer regions by this point have declared independence and begun warring among themselves, usually only using small feudal armies to settle disputes and then banding together whenever a large threat occurs. The greatness of the dynasty is much diminished, but the story is not yet over for the Xinese people.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-In the early Iron Age, the expansion of activities by Lappland (especially in slavery) naturally meant an expansion in the number of enemies they had, not to mention runaway slaves and dispossessed peoples. A number migrate to the Jutland peninsula, where they merge with the local populations and eventually give rise to the new polity of Diwasanum.

-The people here, having once been used to shifting cultivation and only scratching the top of the soil with weak tools, have benefitted from the introduction of new techniques and iron. The old Neolithic plough has an iron cap hammered on and wheels attached. Forests are cleared on an increasing scale to make way for larger fields. Man has made his mark on the land here, evidence by the rapid decline of the remaining Megafauna that survived from the Pleistocene. The last Cave lions in central Europe die around this time.

-The people of Diwasanum are unique in that they have formed a loose confederation of chiefdoms in order to rule more fairly. More of a large alliance than an actual political entity, they fight against common outside threats, ranging from migrating nomads to raiding Lapplanders. A council of chiefs is established, with each new chief being admitted to be given a seat.

-Over time as they expand (usually peacefully), the admission of new chiefs ends up diluting the council. When it comes to votes, bribes and gifts are the usual ways of getting power. Interestingly however, towards the end of the period the sizes of gifts and bribes starts began to decline, and even the most powerful chiefs find it increasingly difficult to get people to follow their way of thinking.

-Otherwise the people here are generally less inclined to war, most especially due to their past history. Agriculture develops in conjunction with trade, with large towns being constructed towards the end of the period. They do well as intermediaries between Lappland and the rest of Europe due to their position on the Baltic.

SPQRFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The Latin people, descendants of steppe nomads many centuries ago, migrated into Italy during the Bronze Age collapse, and settled down in Latium at the start of this period. They initially lived in hilltop fortified villages, farming in the exposed valleys below.

-On the banks of the river Tiber, a number of fortified villages atop some hills voluntary agree to elect a chief to provide protection for them all so that they may build a marketplace and farms down in the valley below. Two inbred chiefs (who were brothers) fought over the location of the new settlement, and after disputing the priest who advised them where to build. One is killed, and the other names the new city after himself and becomes the new chief. His name is Romulus.

-The Romans are very keen on roads, which they build for the first time in the 33[SUP]rd[/SUP] century. Laid down as straight and flat as possible, they use simple but effective engineering techniques in their construction. These roads extend throughout the small Roman state, and aid in military endeavours and trade.

-Romulus is a wise monarch, and he does not expand Rome much beyond the Tiber for fear of pissing off somebody more powerful than them. Rome however is a good place for refugees and the landless to move to, swelling the size of the city and allowing the army to grow larger.

-Farmers are encouraged to grow crops for export, especially grapes and olives which are popular far and wide. Blacksmiths become increasingly common as the Iron Age progresses, while the city state becomes relatively wealthy. While representatives travel out to make allies and to help foster trade, they do not shirk back from calling on the ragtag army of Rome to push around smaller towns and villages. One village full of Sabine people is levelled and all of the women are enslaved and taken back as wives by the Romans.

Turn 8: 3250 to 3500 AP (750 to 500 BCE)

Musique de la Grèce antique52:35

Musique de la Grèce antique

Turn music

AscentofManTurn8Map

Political map of Turn 8

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45263412&viewfull=1#post45263412


Turn quote: Early Germans move into Central Europe in order to find “living space”.

Events of the years 3250 to 3500 AP:

-The Xokobo expansion begins to slow down, although in newer parts they are wreaking similar havoc on a scale much like that of the great American interchange nearly two million years prior. They have now reached the plains of North America, and many tribes there have adopted and begun to ride on them, often raiding each other and settled villages. They spread as far as the climate and terrain allows, eventually finishing nearby settled agrarian societies such as the Hannikaewa.

-The Xokobos also move south, although this takes much longer. By the end of this period they have reached the Amazon basin, where the cassava growers and peccary tenders are slow to adopt them. The people living there meanwhile have begun to manufacture pottery and cloth, and sometimes trade with people who trade with the Aztecah and Maya. One of the Xokobos major successes is the fact that their eggshells can be ground up for fertilizer.

-Several powerful kingdoms begin to develop in the Baltic, aided primarily by access to the bounty of sea resources, the many sea inlets and wide rivers, the bounty of cod fishing, and the development of agriculture.

-The Hurrian Kingdom becomes dominant in Anatolia, while the Hatti Empire expands to dominate much of Persia and Mesopotamia. The Minoans and Phoenicians expand their colonies and culture throughout the Mediterranean, with the Minoans starting to focus increasingly on Magna Minoa and the mainland, while the Phoenicians begin to base themselves in Sicily and Sardinia.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-A trend towards increasing ship sizes and builds is noted during this time, especially as Nefere invests heavily into their navy. The Trireme is introduced, and now as ships have begun to field hundreds of rowers and marines, naval battles are becoming serious affairs. Smaller Liburnian vessels are maintained for patrol and raids, on account of their speed.

-Some countries enter an age in which the glory of their society is solidified for centuries to come. Neferes 25th dynasty came to a bloody end in which the cities and nobility overthrew the monarchy and put a general in charge as head of the 26th dynasty. The nobles and wealthy of the cities form a senate at Rhacotis, originally as an extension to the former advisory council but now a power in its own right.

-The new King of Nefere introduces a series of incredibly radical military reforms (albeit after crushing several rebellions) for the time and place, equipping soldiers with a shield, double edged shortsword, and two throwing spears.

-Next, soldiers are divided into groups of 60 men led by officers, in turn attached to a larger group of 400 which includes auxiliary support forces (including chariots, although these are starting to become less common on the battlefields).

-Nefere first decides to end the rebellions of their colonies by sending a huge military force to the west, taking control of the coastline all the way up to and including Bubastis, which had declared independence before the monarchy was deposed. They subjugate many tribes, towns and cities along the way, and also capture many Minoan and Phoenician cities, bringing them into the next war.

-Phoenicia declares war in conjunction with Minoa and temporarily seized Rhodes before being driven off by the Nefere navy. The amount of wood required is a huge drain on Nefere, leading to several parts of the Mediterranean being deforested and Nefere importing vast quantities of timber from deep up the river Nile or clear-cutting the islands of Crete and Rhodes.

-Nefere allies with the Minoan cities for a short time (mainly the ones who lost out at home) to defeat the Phoenicians in a pincer attack by both land and sea. After the homeland fell, it took little to seize much of the rest of the Anatolian and North African coasts. Unfortunately, the expansionist Hatti Empire contests much of the Levant with Nefere. While they do not go to war yet (Hatti is busy elsewhere on weaker targets) the tension yet remains.

-The colonies (save for Nub) begin to expand, although Bubastis and Oipe eventually begin to fall under the increasing power of Nefere. They conduct their own military reforms and seize the land nearby. Unfortunately, Nefere is still in heavy competition with the Minoans. The colony on Sicily falls to the Phoenicians, who rename it Syraco after taking advantage of Nefere being busy during a long war.

-A university is built in the capital for the benefit of the wealthy, whereby they can educate their children in rhetoric and statecraft. Large foundries and shipwrights have also been built, although the supply of wood in Nefere is chronically short, always requiring imports from elsewhere. The senate suggests expanding into areas with timber and into Minoa and Minoa Italia to fuel military and naval expansion.

-Trade booms, especially as ports and major roads develop. Oipe and Bubastis end up developing into huge urban centres with tens of thousands of inhabitants, with traders and merchants going as far west as Iberia, north to Lappland, and east to Persia and India.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The Aztecah have come increasingly into contact with manufactured copper and copper items, and it didn’t take long for the secret of their origin to become apparent. For the first time, they begin to mine copper ores and smelt them, before manufacturing them into a variety of items. The properties of the metal (it is soft) and manufacturing costs means it won’t be widely adopted however, at least in its current form.

-The state continues to regrow, especially as the old city regains its former peaks and surpasses them, filling in the lake with refuse and reclaiming land for the city. Water shortages are mitigated by the digging of canals and crude aqueducts, while a type of currency has appeared. Cacao beans are valuable, so traders and ordinary people have begun using them in everyday transactions as a medium of exchange.

-Seeking to profit from trade (especially as they begin to extract and work copper and gold), the Aztecah open relations with the Maya city states more, giving various gifts and sending envoys. Eventually both parties agree to maintain an open public road between their respective areas, cutting down vegetation and allowing anybody to use it.

-In military matters, the Aztecah are primarily concerned with the activities of the nomadic tribes to the north, who constantly raid. To stop them, a number of large walls are built throughout the northern end of the valleys, beyond which the feudal dependents of the city rule (sometimes loosely). Their neighbours are deterred through similar mechanisms, although they are starting to build up their own armies of mounted Xokobo warriors. The Aztecah conduct sneak raids on their pens, shooting poison blowdarts in order to cripple their forces.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-The Lapplanders begin to finally move towards urbanization and the development of masonry structures as opposed to the timber and earth roundhouses and halls they used to dwell within. They fashion bricks from clay and fire them in kilns, before using them in construction. They have a distinctive orange colour, with which they begin to construct (initially) important buildings within larger settlements.

-Bands of dishevelled Sarmatians are given work as Lappish mercenaries. Sarmatian slaves meanwhile are conscripted as auxiliaries, and are given freedom after serving. Both mercenaries and freedmen are granted land as payment. Unfortunately, this means that Lappland quickly runs out of land to pay to their soldiers, meaning that further conquest is required to pay them.

-The Lapplanders push into Prussia and Estonia in a series of brutal and bloody campaigns, securing vast tracts of new land. Unfortunately, most of the gains to the monarchy are given away to either nobles or mercenaries in order to retain their loyalty, and the lands conquered aren’t exactly very wealthy. A series of warning beacons are built in strategic locations throughout the kingdom as well.

-The remaining Sarmatians eventually develop into a new ethnic group, having adopted many Lappish customs. They do however train as skilled horse archers and form the core of bodyguard units, using their mobility and firepower to decisive use on the field. Chariots begin to gradually fall out of popularity on the field.

-Trade continues to diversify, especially with Diwasanum and the Veraki. Amber is still important, flowing down the major rivers towards the Neferian Empire. However, the growth of population has put a stress on agriculture and fishing. Further expansion has been into relatively marginal areas, and now economic output is weakening.

-Despite Diwasanum's reluctance, the Lapps are keen to improve diplomatic relations by ending pirate activities, gifting jewellery and allowing merchants to practice freely. They attempt to form an alliance but are rebuffed, and later the people of Diwasanum adopt the runic alphabet after extensive cultural interchange.

-Germanic peoples unfortunately are a major headache for the Lapplanders. Spurred on by pressures at home and the wealth of Lappland, they sail over the Baltic and heavily raid the outer parts of the Kingdom. The costs of maintaining the military has outstripped the ability of the state to pay them. The average quality of the military begins to decline, eventually resulting in the loss of the outer islands. Finally, raids start to hammer the homeland, and the once powerful country begins to lose control. By the end of the period, the regional nobles are starting to challenge the monarchy on a regular basis and raise their own armies.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Alyeskan people begin to quickly adopt an invention that has begun spreading fairly quickly throughout the continent. Whenever or not they independently made it is another matter, but this marks the first time they have ever used wheels. They are used on small carts pulled by dogs or humans.

-As the agrarian societies of the southern parts of Alyeska continue southwards, they colonize the island of Vancouver. In the process, they boot out or enslave most of the original inhabitants, clear the land for agriculture and mining, and begin to trade with the neighbours.

-Tribes begin to build small shacks on the coast around this time, in order to provide shelter for fishermen and traders. While crap, they are better than nothing, and in general the Alyeskan people have begun to offer more hospitality towards travellers and by extension traders. Many of them buy increasing quantities of copper and sail south to sell it off. The Alyeskan people are the only ones with access to copper on the west coast, giving them quite an advantage.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-The Hannikaewa chiefs have begun to grow increasingly powerful, using their resources to fund religious matters as well. Some priests have begun to record down the tributes they are being given with simple symbols, later making these symbols increasingly abstract and standardized into a proper writing system. Most early records from this time concern themselves with what they happened to own and what they wrote about chiefs.

-The chiefs, partially in order to give an advance warning of military or bandit activities, begin erecting small outposts alongside the major trackways of the Hannikaewa (many of them having begun to see an increase in traffic now that wheeled vehicles exist). They help to protect traders and other travellers, in turn improving commerce and affluence.

-With increasing commerce, many chiefs are keen to take “tribute” from passing traders, using the resources to furnish their estates. They do however encourage the growing of crops for export, and the production of various resources (such as copper), shipping it by boat down south or west to where it is in heavy demand. Cotton clothing often flows back, being worn as fine clothing by the chiefs of the Hannikaewa.

-The Hannikaewa also expand further along the Hudson valley, following trade routes and fertile land. Of course, they have begun to increasingly contend with settled permanent farming villages instead of hunter-gatherer tribes, increasing the cost of expansion. At least the land is already somewhat developed, and full of labourers to work that land too. Sometimes the bordering villages are annexed by chiefs because they want protection too.

-The first groups of mounted Xokobo warriors have begun appearing on the borders, raiding smaller villages. Although the Hannik possess wheeled carts and have a good system of natural waterways (especially now that they have access to the great lakes and a new major river to the north that leads north towards the sea), travel is still slow and unreliable. Raids on the borders also gradually intensify and begin to prevent further expansion.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-You had a week! I log in at the internet café after sending you loads of messages to send it in and you didn’t! yOU DICK THIS IS SUCK YOU ARE THW ORST YOU ARE THE SMELL WHO STINK

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-Towards the latter part of the period, the blacksmiths of the Veraki begin to develop increasingly sophisticated forms of armour. The latest development is to take metal rings and to link them together to make a mesh, which in turn can be made into a simple tunic. Useful against piercing and slashing, it is immediately adopted by the Veraki nobility. The sundial is also invented around this time and is widely adopted, especially in cloudy areas.

-A somewhat more competent chief ends up reunifying the Veraki once more, and this time instead of calling up every possible man, he merely raises them for short campaigns to subjugate the neighbours. After this is completed, the Veraki go back to their goal of expanding down the Black Sea coastline, ransacking increasingly larger and better defended villages and towns. Eventually, they reach the stage where they come into conflict with Oipe on land, with frequent skirmishes on both sides.

-The great chief however, is remembered by history as an excessively greedy tax farmer. He sets taxes at an astronomical rate of 70% of all crops produced (about seven times the previous rate), and claims that the taxed goods will be used to “the benefit of the people”.

-The result of course is that most people revert back to subsistence and grow only enough to feed themselves, or often hide their crops (or eat them before the collector arrives). Even the nobility oppose the rates, and refuse to pay the chief, eventually rebelling and overthrowing the tyrant. A great famine occurred before the conclusion of the rebellion.

-After that, people begin to increasingly rear livestock, especially the new breeds of sheep with thick fleeces. After being shaved, the wool is spun and exported abroad as a high quality wool perfect for wearing. Cheese and other dairy products are produced as well, although largely for domestic consumption. Agriculture begins to recover, and the nobility discover methods of taxation that are much more subtle.

-Nearby the city state of Oipe, the Veraki attempt to set up a colony named Volkalo opposite it. Unfortunately, the powerful Neferian navy blocks all attempts to land (and to resupply the colony), driving back the pitiful small boats full of starving Slavs. Later, they attempt to set up a colony further down the coast to the south through the straits, and worse yet the colonists are driven off and enslaved by Nefere.

-In spite of the great hostility, the Veraki trade well (and being technically exempt from taxation since they do not produce anything, the merchants begin to rapidly accumulate wealth) with their neighbours, including Oipe. Wool, Baltic amber, grain, iron armour and weaponry, and preserved cherries are all popular exports.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan adopt usage of the wheel at this time. In conjunction with the number of tame Xokobo birds they have, it doesn’t take much for them to put a simple harness on one and have a number of the birds pull a wagon around. Thus the first trundling wagons appear among the Valsan.

-Raids slowly intensify along the south of the Valsan lands, brought mainly by the Xokobo bird riders doing hit and run attacks on the weaker settlements. Despite the great chiefs sending several thousand men to the area to defend, the inflexible footsoldiers are often too slow or unable to bring down the birds. Shooting them with bows or using long spears gives the best chances, although there is little organisation of either.

-They do manage to capture many tame birds however, and sure enough they breed them back at home and slowly begin to increase their numbers. By the end of the period, they have begun to appear in the early towns, pulling wagons. Sometimes they are also ridden upon.

-The Great Chief also declares that even the southern villages are due respect. The wounded are given the proper treatment (and burial if they die), helping to win him support and loyalty among the population. Unfortunately, he cannot expand due to the unorganized cluster of men he has for an army. Other villages are unwilling to join as protection is not deemed as sufficient.

-The lesser chiefs of Valsan begin to breed Xokobos in captivity and ride upon them. With increasing copper imports from the north, they have also begun to wield copper weaponry and ornaments. This is especially true in the northern parts of Valsan, where the birds have spread to and beyond.

-Fishermen and traders (aided by Alyeskan hospitality) travel north and then west, hugging the coast. They end up meeting a group of people similar to the Northern Alyeska, but with a different language and culture. They are friendly enough, trading for the pottery and copper the Valsan possess.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-During this age, philosophy has begun to truly flower. Unlike mythology and older systems of thought, philosophy says that many phenomena of nature are not actually the whims of gods, but can be explained through use of reason. The Kekgol philosopher claims that the world is entirely composed of different kinds of objects (rocks, people, water, fire) that all seek in the end to be with like objects. His argument for this is based on the fact that humans tend to live in groups, that rocks fall to the earth, rivers flow towards the sea, and fire rises towards the sun.

-Having become a nation of erudite warriors, the Kekgols travel east, subjugating the many poor towns and chiefs (or smaller lords in pretence of being great Xi lords) and imposing various taxes. They also tend not to go near the Yan border, instead keeping scouts there.

-However, due to a dispute over a ladies dowry, the states of Yan and Qin went to war. The Qin initially had the upper hand, leading the Kekgols to intervene in order to drive out their opponents and secure control of the area for themselves. Unfortunately, they did not count upon the Xi, who being ever more patient actually waited until the Kekgols had concluded the war that they decided to attack. The Kekgols had little choice but to cut most of their losses.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-The Svea develop copper metallurgy around this time, partly due to influence from the Hannik and partly due to the increase of trade in metal items. Unfortunately, sources of native copper are not as common as they are among the other civilizations of the Americas (save for the Valsan, who cannot mine it but trade for it instead), meaning that the few copper ornaments they can make are precious.

-The Svea stop expanding around this period, mostly due to small scale societal collapse. The Xokobo raids end up destroying many villages, while many take up the bird and ride away to live as nomads. The remaining agriculturalists of the Svea are pushed into fortified villages, with Jaroldahlen declining in importance due to the decentralization and depopulation.

-The new society is characterized not only by the settlement of isolated fortified villages, but also the increasing adoption of copper and Xokobo birds. While not used for any military purposes, the peasantry do occasionally ride them or use them to haul around heavy objects.

-In an attempt to prevent the escalation of inter-tribal warfare, the Jaroldahlen chief orders that wild Xokobos be hunted down and killed, although this does little to stop it. Other chiefs just keep them in captivity, breeding them and starting to form their own response forces composed of Xokobo birds.

-Since expansion into the plains is difficult, the farmers (now increasingly armed with obsidian, copper, and Xokobos) begin to slowly spread along the river and its tributaries, generally moving north. Fertile areas are worth the risk and effort of building in the open, with some villages building not only stone walls but towers as well and maintaining sizable numbers of warriors. The population continues to grow, putting more pressure on the Svea to either expand or extract more resources from the environment. The Xokobo does have one major use however, in that their eggshells make excellent fertilizer.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Buddhism

-Continuing to borrow from overland, the Japanese adopt inventions such as the chariot, iron, and the art of making small glass beads. Wet rice agriculture is now increasingly popular, and has begun to provide the lion’s share of calories in the diet. Small iron forges begin to be established throughout the west of the island in conjunction with bronze smelters, although the quality of domestic metal is quite poor.

-The Japanese rapidly expand throughout the southwest of the archipelago, although there is little done to settle or tame the north. Up north the climate is cooler and winters harsher, and the Japanese have yet to master agriculture there, although they do have a presence in the form of fishing villages and camps. The presence of hostile Jomon and Ainu tribes also barrs further expansion. Many chiefs in the southwest are happy enough to follow the emperor as long as they may run their own affairs.

-To further strengthen Japans grip on power, the increasingly larger navy is used to harass the trade routes and fishing grounds of lesser chiefs, eventually bringing much of the decent parts of the whole archipelago under their firm control. Only further inland, cold, or desolate areas remain out of their control by this stage. Ports have begun to produce boats that can hold dozens of men too, allowing the Japanese to drive away whole tribes with a single boatload of men or pillage a village.

-Of course, the Japanese pirate activities on the Xi continue, with official backing from the Emperor. Later on, many villages and towns begin to surrender sovereignty to the Japanese and receive various Japanese traders and sailors who are appointed to administrate them. Unfortunately, the pirates are later driven out by the Xi, who recently begun to build a large navy and reform their civilian government. While the pirates are gone, the administrators and merchants remain, often re-appointed by the Xi to manage the villages. Trade links nonetheless continue to develop and expand, with the Xi often exporting cultural, social, and technological capital.

-Palace economies develop within Japan as the economic system becomes slightly more sophisticated. A distributive system of sorts exists, whereby goods travel to the palace via porters, the quantity and quality of each of the goods record, before being sold to various merchants who then travel throughout the country or to Xi for resale.

-Envoys and traders in close contact with Korea have offered the various petty kingdoms and chieftains there to ally with the sovereign of Japan. Some are glad to take up the offer, seeing it as a way to secure vital backing to expand their own interests. Japanese incursions however are slight on the peninsula beyond trade or threatening coastal shipping (some chieftains later begin to pay tribute for open seaways).

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-Due to influence from the Kekgols (the master horsemen), the Xinese have come across a brilliant new invention that they can now begin to adopt. Putting a leather or cloth seat on horse’s backs makes it much easier and comfortable for both horse and rider, not to mention giving a good platform from which to spear an opponent. The innovation spreads to Xi before all of the Xinese states.

-The Xinese introduce various military reforms, often drafting soldiers from poorer areas and promising a fulfilling and profitable experience (a practice which continues to this day). Soldiers are largely garrisoned inside fortifications (and withdrawn from other states where they may have remained). There is also a move towards decentralized logistics and leadership, often under the feudal nobility.

-The first edict commands a restoration of order to the Kingdom, which means to secure the borders from raiding tribe and pirates. Many large fortifications are built and some of the lords there (who had become Japanese) are often blackmailed into supporting the Xi rather than pirates. The pirates are soon driven away and broken up, and later the development of a navy keeps them away for good.

-With the borders thus secure, the wise King of Xi constantly has problems with the feudal lords in the border regions. Following the example of the Japanese, he strips the nobility of their rank and titles, introducing instead a class of professional administrators. All of the ones who rebel are boiled alive in oil.

-The rest of the nobility later have their rights increasing curbed by the state, which slowly draws away their ability to command armies and instead demands they follow political duties. Although this results often in rebellion, by the end of this period, the Xi has effectively seized complete control of every scrap of land and every person in the kingdom.

-The Xi waits patiently. In 3359 AP, the Kekgols invaded the northern state of Yan, and the Xi chose not to intervene. Only when the Kekgols had defeated all of the Yan armies did the Xi move to reconquer the area using a large fresh army, driving out the Kekgols in the process. The Wu are also tricked in a similar matter, although this time they have become wise to it and call on their allies. A short but bloody war ends up ceding land to Xi in return that their navy drives off Japanese pirates from the Wu as well.

-The newly conquered area is not administrated as a separate area, but rather now as a part of Xi proper. Sympathizers are appointed to high positions, while courts of law are established to resolve dispute without use of force. Difference localities of culture are also tolerated under law, as a new school of thought now stresses equality before a strict and extensive legal system that applies to every peasant and noble.

-The Xi (and the other Xinese states) begins to recover and grow quite rapidly, especially as towards the end of the period they begin to master cast iron objects. Tools and weaponry can be mass-produced quite cheaply and now there are special ploughs to turn up the soil. There is a trend towards growing two crops of rice a year in irrigated paddies, and markets have begun to support trade on an increased scope and scale.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-The people of Diwasanum adopt writing at this time, aided by the spread of the runic alphabet from the Lappish. Used initially to record transactions, stores of goods, and for recording the epic poems of mythology and the great heroes, it finally brings Diwasanum out of prehistory. Some of the first records deal with the trade and diplomacy of Lappland and Diwasanum, both of them being favourable towards each other and becoming gradually more involved in trade.

-To help reduce the chance of violent conflict, warriors are encouraged to learn multiple languages and partake in the customs of the various parts of the kingdom, not to mention travelling often as some chiefs have introduced the custom of sending members from their bodyguard to another. Of course it has a more malicious purpose when it comes to spying and assassination too.

-The Kingdom is also unique in that it eschews violent expansion, largely because the chiefs who constitute it can’t agree on anywhere to invade. The result is a strangely stable society that only really responds to outside threats (most of which aren’t strong enough to threaten them). Of course this leads to the problem of many warriors having little experience and often leaving as mercenaries (often to Lappland).

-Towards the end of the period however, Germanic peoples begin to move out of Scandinavia into central Europe, prompted by both increasing Lappish incursion and population pressures. They heavily raid the coasts of Diwasanum and the Baltic coast, eventually becoming dominant in much of Jutland and the lands to the immediate east of Diwasanum. The Kingdom spends a great deal of time and energy (often with allied lesser chieftains and villages) in keeping the invaders away. Many of these allies later join Diwasanum in a confederation that slowly expands along the coastlines and to the south, usually chaining up areas threatened by the newcomers.

-Another problem is the lack of resources. Many chiefs have found that the land is generally poor, and have been forced to look for innovative solutions. A great deal turns to trade, as lowly as it may be, or encouraging the development of their land. Very quickly, almost all of the wild land is taken into cultivation or kept as managed forestry, and the problem of relying on the peasantry as a source of income is starting to dilute the chief’s power.

SPQRFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The Romans are keen builders, and they are very keen on a new architectural technique that while simple, is brilliant. Called an arch, it can take heavy loads without collapse by transferring the force down its sides into the ground. It is initially used in structures such as doorways and bridges, some of which are still standing today.

-The Roman Republic more or less comes into being after the king Romulus dies without an heir. Ruled by a senate of appointed aristocrats, it is a fairly efficient system of governance. Several military campaigns are conducted, although the Republic early on expands slowly. They eat away at other Etruscan city states nearby along with several regional tribes (such as the Samnites).

-Although military service is looked upon favourably and demanded of for most citizens, non-citizens may also practice military service in return for citizenship (which gives them a number of rights). In this manner they begin to integrate the regional tribes and towns they have conquered.

-An early form of welfare is introduced whereby artisans are given subsidies by the senate to teach the poor and vagrants essential skills. Generally most of these people do not really get much better, but at least have a place to stay and an occupation. They manufacture pottery, iron tools, weaponry, build houses, roads, and a number of other crafts and trades.

-The house building and arches couldn’t have come at a better time. Overcrowding is starting to affect Rome, and one such way of resolving the problem is to build up, with larger and more impressive stone buildings and roadways.

-Local towns and villages begin to develop as well, if only to maintain the infrastructure needed to keep the city alive. In return for protection, and the development of infrastructure and roads, the localities provide taxes and manpower for the army. By the end of the period, the Romans have ended up in a dominant position on the peninsula, securing the lands between Magna Graecia to the south, and Etruria to the north.

UnitedSlavicKingdomFlag
Griffster26 – United Slavic Kingdom
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Slavic Pantheon

-Upon the great Eurasian plains, a group of people known as the Slavs gradually rise from obscurity. Riding onto the edge of Central Europe as nomads, they conquer the peoples already living there and take control. They in turn gradually settle down and become agriculturalists, living in a number of hilltop forts and villages.

-While ironworking has been established for several centuries, the Slavs have taken several steps to refine the process further. They manage to rework the metal to be much stronger than before, and with less work, while also extracting it much more easily and using more efficient forges. By the end of the period, iron is even being used for farm tools on a wide scale, making this society the first in the world to widely use iron for everyday objects.

-Using their iron tools and weapons, the Slavs begin to spread throughout the river basin they call home, driving out rival tribes in the process. Interestingly, they wield both a type of long pike and a slightly curved shortsword originally used for cutting vegetation. Small militia-type forces are mustered whenever a hilltop fort is threatened, or when they have to go on war.

Turn 9: 3500 to 3750 AP (500 to 250 BCE)

Ancient Roman Music - Synaulia IX04:17

Ancient Roman Music - Synaulia IX

Turn music

AscentofManTurn9Map

Political map of Turn 9

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45342691&viewfull=1#post45342691


Turn quote: First philosophical school of thought espousing atheism later becomes basis for new religion.

Events of the years 3500 to 3750 AP:

-The preclassical Baltic period ends with the collapse of the Lappish Empire, general decline of urban centres and trade throughout the whole region, the continued German expansion, and the last vestiges of the preclassical northern and eastern European cultures coming to an end as the first classical ones develop as this sphere and the Mediterranean ones come into increasing contact.

-The second Xokobo expansion starts at the end of this period in South America, just as the first one concludes in the North continent. With the tribes there having adopted agriculture and permanent settlement, many are also able to both support trade and large numbers of the birds. They have also travelled south towards more arid and open areas, where now some peoples are starting to adapt them for a nomadic lifestyle.

-A new disease appears and rapidly spreads throughout the Americas. Initially carried by Xokobos, it spreads to humans as a most terrible ailment. The victim discharges phlegm from the nostrils, suffers from vomiting, and lethargy followed by a breakout in a painful rash that proceeds into necrosis of the flesh, blood in the vomit, and organ failure.

-Kingdoms and other variants of states begin to sprout up throughout South Asia, with now the lands to the south of Xi starting to develop significantly complex societies. Central Asia meanwhile is developing trade networks and towns that stretch from Nefere to Xi.

-The Bronze Age begins in Mesoamerica, marked by bronzeworking, increasing urbanization, the development of writing systems, and an increase in long distance trading. The residents of the Yucatan peninsula undergo similar developments like that of the Aztecah, but begin forming into a number of competing city states rather than a single centralized polity. They are also more interested in monumental construction than military conquest.

-The most complex civilizations existing yet (being Nefere, Xi, and the Hatti Empire), while significantly different in cultural, linguistic, political, and religious makeup, do share a great deal in common. They all possess large internal market economies largely out of the control of the state, long distance trading, a well-developed administration, a (relatively) large semi-literate population, standing armies, legal systems, regular taxation, and a multitude of sophisticated systems of philosophical thought.

-Primitive crossbows are invented independently in Minoa and Xi, along with a variety of other simple machines, making use of gears, levers, pulleys, and other mechanical devices only now starting to be exploited.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-The Neferians are excellent engineers, having developed not only complex and large ships, architecture, and irrigation systems, have now decided to improve siege equipment and create the first artillery pieces. Consisting of large slings on a wooden frame or a piece of wood jammed into twisted rope, they can create simple catapults powered by torsion or muscle power to throw projectiles. Given the small payloads, they tend to be inflammable objects or heavy stone or lead balls. They are unable to breach strong walls without having a long siege of course.

-The Nefere senate gives generals greater discretion, practically allowing them to become independent of oversight. They declare war on the Minoan city states, many of them having squabbled constantly among themselves and only now realizing the threat. Nefere also allies with Rome, giving them considerable assistance to conquer Magna Minoa.

-The Nefere navy arrives in Magna Minoa several months after the first Roman one was decimated at the battle of Brundisium. The new Roman ships are hardly seaworthy, but in combination with significant Nefere forces, they eventually break the Minoan armies and occupy the major cities.

-Turning their attention towards the Minoan homeland, Nefere begins an ambitious naval construction program, funded largely by the spoils of war gathered from the invasion of Magna Minoa. They import vast quantities of wood or build ships in the forested parts of the empire before setting sail to siege the coastal cities. With further Roman assistance, they invade the country and ransack it for its riches, with the triumphant generals returning home. Nefere grows more ambitious, and after tripling the military budget, prepares for more wars overseas.

-The nominally independent city of Oipe sees the arrival of Neferes navy and military in huge numbers. Although wealthy and with some power, the city becomes hostile after discovering it is to be granted as a fief to the King of the growing Veraki. The citizens of the city riot and pull down the statues of the Emperor before the city senate declares “The Republic of a hundred thousand” (alluding to the number of residents), were a short lived democratic republic exists for a few weeks. A brutal siege and the arrival of the Veraki army finally subjugate the city and turn it over to Veraki control, albeit with little administrative change thus yet, with the senate still acting in the same manner. Of course, the residents are still unhappy, and many of them renounce their ties to Nefere, promising that their grandchildren will not even say a prayer in the name of the royal house.

-Numerous construction projects are undertaken throughout the Empire to boost industry and agriculture as well. Large dams, drainage and irrigation networks, sanitation systems, and wells are dug or built, with huge areas of arid land reclaimed for productive use. The population continues to boom, hitting the tens of millions. The conquest of the Minoan city states aids in this as well, for now the once divided cities can have projects forced down on them. Large expanses of forest are cleared, the timber turned into housing, ships and charcoal and the land used for farming. Huge estates full of slaves till the soil to feed the mightiest empire on earth.

-To further improve relations with the Veraki, all of the enslaved Veraki are freed and taken home (some of them are annoyed that they have to leave civilization where they taught children in Minoan or managed their masters estates). The Veraki King then promises to turn a blind eye towards Neferes ambitions in the east, where with huge armies (many Minoans, Phoenicians, and others are conscripted as auxiliary forces) are assembled to attack the mighty Hatti Empire. The Veraki also assisted during the Minoan wars, raiding the countryside of the cities there and stealing a great deal of plunder.

-Nefere crushes the Hatti at the battle of Philadelphia, where they use their new catapults to force the Hatti Emperor to take refuge behind a hill. This demoralized his troops greatly, who thought he had died or was fleeing, and in combination with seeing the advancing ranks of the huge Neferian army, they are soon following the Emperor.

-The Hatti Empire collapses, with the eastern portion taken over by the nobles of Persia, led by King Xerxes. He founds a dynasty, and manages to halt Nefere by giving up claim to the lands west of Persia. Nefere then sets about swallowing up this land as well, before giving portions of it to the Hurrian Kingdom and the Babylonian Empire. With this goal complete, Nefere has completed the domination of much of the civilized world, using vast stores of loot to fund a huge (and growing military). They form strong alliances with most of the bordering states as well.

-Unfortunately, the generals are often disloyal, and several even try to run parts of the empire much like personal fiefdoms. The expansion of the military, while impressive and based on loot, is forced to borrow monies during the middle or later parts of a campaign when finding finances is somewhat difficult. Some Emperors also try debasing the currency to float through the temporary crises, (especially when a famine hits). The small landholders continue to lose their lands to the major ones with huge estates and the benefit of slave labour to force down costs. Many of these small farmers join the army and migrate abroad, partially the reason behind the success of the military. It is also noted that while loot funds the new armies, they will soon run out of it.

MexihcoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-In a logical development, the Aztecah have taken the copperworking technologies pioneered many centuries prior and begun to experiment with them. They have found that adding tin or arsenic to the copper makes it much stronger and worthwhile for practical uses, especially as they do not need to be constantly sharpened. In addition to an increasing extraction and refinement of gold and silver and their subsequent use, the advent of bronzeworking marks the arrival of the Bronze Age.

-The city-state of Tenochtitlán now boosts a population numbering 20,000 souls, easily the biggest in the whole of the continent. The priestly class has begun to build a simple civil service in order to administrate the city and the surrounding lands, and of course this brings the landed warriors and nobles into it. They demand some say in governance, and thus are granted a “cabinet” where they may direct war policy; it is a significant improvement in that war policy isn’t ad hoc anymore.

-The spread of bronze, gold, silver, and copper, plus an increase in their usage has led to some people starting to use them as an informal currency. While not a true currency (it is done with ingots or tools, and they are worth the sum of the parts making it up), it does make storing wealth much easier. Some warriors have begun to have the metals hammered into sheets or rings or wires, before threading or weaving it into a cotton tunic to make a simple form of armour.

-The city state, rather curiously, also build a central warehouse for the storage of all metal ingots (presumably to make them easier to tax). The ingots are protected within (along with other valuable objects), and occasionally the caretakers realize that letting people borrow the ingots (since not all of them are being used at once) is a good idea, for they can charge people and pocket the difference. Quite soon, the city state begins to acquire increasingly large stores of precious metals, and the city soon starts to tax this activity, using the monies to pay for the expansion of chimpampas.

-The old “football” games resurface in the written and archaeological record around this time, as a game among the common people. The cause for it being recorded is due to a large tournament being held between all the peoples in the city-state, with teams competing. The games later become a gradually more regular occurrence, eventually happening once per year at the city, which is starting to become rather impressive with its large stone architecture and huge population.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Uralic Pantheon

-Chainmail armour appears in war graves of various soldiers and nobles around this time, gradually becoming adopted as armour of choice (where available and if you have enough money). A fairly sophisticated thing, it uses metal rings bound together to create a flexible, but heavy form of clothing. It has few weaknesses, although a blunt force weapon will still shatter bones, and the weight of it severely restricts the user.

-The Lapplander state stops the payment of land in return for military service, instead adopting a new-fangled idea of currency by paying mercenaries with silver or gold tokens, and then presses their mercenaries to invade Gotland once more and to resume raiding. While initially successful, the island later falls to nobles that declare independence in later civil wars, and it is later made impossible to recover due to the impoverishment of the state.

-Financial worries begin to cut deep into Lappland, especially now that their large ad-hoc military system (dependent on mercenaries) is now paid with monies instead of land. To secure new finance, raiding is approved once more (aimed at Germanic tribes and towns), before being outright conducted by the state itself. Raids slowly intensify, and many captured or willing Germans are taken into the military and are resettled within Lappland.

-The counter raids ruin trade in the Baltic, with the few goods that do travel now being the loot from raids. Inflation initially kicks in as many people spend their monies before it is taxed or stolen, and since there is little else being traded, it is often on anything they can get their hands on. Foreigners rush in to buy up all of the gold and silver (such as the Veraki, Slavs, and Diwasani), and the opposite problem later becomes finding enough gold and silver to pay people in.

-The military continues to bloat in size as many serfs are encouraged to abandon the fields to go raid the Germanics, being promised land or loot. Taxes skyrocket to pay for the mercenaries, leading to a decline in productivity and peasants fleeing the land to avoid taxes. The nobles become infuriated and introduce harsher penalties for moving, keeping peasants tied to the land and to their own militaries. They begin to outright ignore the King and refuse to pay taxes.

-One of the few industries that do well is fishing (along with boatbuilding), for many who leave the land often tend to get experience on the sea. Of course, just as many of them are willing to become pirates on the seas.

-By the end of this period, Lappish society is disintegrating, and attempts to make peace with the Germanic tribes goes awry after the Germanics begin to push back Lappish raiders. The military becomes increasingly subject to pay shortages and rebelliousness, leading to the nobles declaring independence. Warfare not only ruins trade and ruins social capital built up over generations. The cities become abandoned or shrink in size, and the centre of trade moves towards Diwasanum or towards the Slavic lands.

=By the end, a failure to pay their mercenaries results in the collapse of any last semblance of order and the intensification of piracy throughout the Baltic. Lappland shrinks into a small feudal state after a series of monarchs are murdered and replaced by feuding noble familes. However, their cultural sphere is much wider and many other small states run by Lappish people exist throughout the Baltic. Writing is abandoned for a period of 30 years, but is picked up again.

-Some Lapps do end up migrating to interesting places. A group of mercenaries and dispossessed serfs travel to the west, where they settle in places that remind them of home. This consists of marshy swamps nobody else wants to live in. They bring back one thing from home, and that is the outdoor toilet.

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Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Xokobo bird has finally spread to the margins of the Alyeskan peoples land, and although the poor climate doesn’t help, these birds can survive with humans with in quite northerly latitudes. The Alyeskan people begin to domesticate and ride the birds at this time, using them in a transport revolution as now carts and chariots can be pulled by these majestic animals. They become increasingly common towards the end of the period, although dogs are still used to pull things around.

-Trade with the Valsan strengthens with the advent of carts and birds. Although overland travel is costly, many traders can drag carts full of goods by bird south even when the seas are rough to sell all a manner of goods. Copper ingots and pottery is common (partly responsible for the dissemination of these technologies towards the south), while special Xokobo breeds travel north.

-The varied chieftains of the Alyeskan people begin to breed and keep herds of Xokobos, for they are prized for both their eggs and their martial abilities. Initially kept by bodyguards, later whole tribes ride them into battle, which of course contributes to a large outburst in inter-tribal warfare within the Alyeskan lands and an increase in the area that an individual chief can control.

HannikaewaFlag
Zillamaster55 – Hannikaewa
Capital: Hannikaewa
Culture: Hannik (Algonquian)
State Religion: Takism

-The Hannikaewa go through a period of fragmentation, seeing many chiefs going to war with each other more often and political alliances breaking down. Warfare slowly intensifies and many people begin to flee towards the borderland regions, depopulating the interior and resulting in a steady drop in the amount of land under cultivation. The wars peter out after the population declines to a minimum and up to half of the land in some areas have reverted back to the wild. The chiefdoms eventually diverge, split on an east-west axis.

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Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-The state of Vijayanagara is among the first to introduce a proper currency. Composed of simple patterns on one side and the sovereigns head stamped on the inverse side, these gold coins are actually slightly more valuable than their gold content betrays, for now the might of a state may influence the value of a currency. The system spreads rapidly, before then the rest of the subcontinent quickly adopts currencies.

-The existing military bureaucracy is largely stripped back and taken apart. At this stage, it consists mostly of people whose job it is to procure supplies for the army or to pay wages. To save on money, the new government begins selling contracts for supplies to the highest bidding merchants. While it does save a great deal of monies, it does unfortunately have the problem of introducing a lot of disparities between regions due to the local manufacturers involved. Some people even begin to leave the army in some parts and migrate elsewhere in search of a better occupation.

-To control the nobility, the recent monarchs began a cunning policy of elevating loyal and competent men to hold lands in order to dilute the old nobilities. Unfortunately, this only has the effect of creating more nobles. The monarchy resorts to bribery instead, but with the appointment of all of these new nobles, the number of nobles to bribe likewise increases. Later the great dukedoms begin to break up, but instead of a single angry noble, there are now whole coalitions of them. Whenever or not they are easier or harder to control depends often on local peculiarities.

-To raise monies for the government (especially as raising taxes becomes more difficult as the nobles who oppose it are now in greater number and demand concessions in return), the state turns towards enterprise. Several port towns are granted licenses to trade and to hold markets, while it also becomes a tradition for the monarchy to finance trading expeditions (besides other great merchants and nobles, they can afford a loss). Many of them exploit the monsoon to travel to the Hatti Empire and Nefere and back, while some go as far east as the Malays.

-One expedition is blown south into an island group filled with savage peoples that attempt to drive the merchants off. The captain orders the construction of a fort and returns to the Kingdom to procure supplies and all of the vagrants and poor he can find to put to work in the islands. When he returns, they immediately set out conquering each island in turn and establishing farms. The islands are dubbed “Tropico”.

-However, the great expansion of trade and the increasing dissatisfaction of the nobility have worked to undermine the kingdom. The nobles (influenced by ideas from abroad) have begun to demand special privilege, including various rights on power distribution and decision making. The expansion of trade, while a boon to the state, only has resulting in a growing private market full of merchants with independent means. Pretty soon, these merchants have begun to harass the king with petitions for city rights, threatening to take away their business if they do not get them.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-The Veraki enter a new period in history, marked by an increasing interest in overseas trade and naval affairs. The more prominent chiefs and towns begin to construct shipyards to build biremes in the Minoan style, along with trading ships too. For the first time, Veraki traders are extending further afield (often deep along the great rivers) and also south and east. The small navies of the Chieftains follow shortly, and on more than one occasion deter pirates and make it harder for Nefere to expand their influence here.

-Military change is also starting to come about, partly influenced from the peoples of the steppe and from the collapsing Lappish Empire. Heavy cavalry, clothed in chainmail with mounted warriors bearing lances or swords are kept by chieftains initially as private bodyguards (the great expense of arming such warriors cripples many), before slowly coalescing into sizable armies as the smaller polities are swallowed up. Their mobility is a major advantage on the Pontic steppe.

-A great chieftain reunifies the Veraki again by not only employing such a powerful (but costly) cavalry force on a huge scale, but introducing a professional class of warriors. Named “Cossacks”, they tend to command units of soldiers (often pulled off the land and wielding any weapon they can find) as well as being the main constituent of an army themselves. After the wars are complete, this new King squashes all of the rebellions and drives out bands of mercenaries and soldiers from Lappland.

-The people in this land are also starting to improve agricultural productivity, feeding the growing towns and trade that are increasingly making this land wealthy. Ploughs all eventually have wheels and iron heads attached (although they are still considerably crude and little changed in design). Blacksmiths are also developing forging methods better, while deposits of open coal seams have begun to be worked, primarily to be burnt as fuel when there are shortages of wood. Unfortunately, coal is unsuitable for iron manufacture, given the impurities it gives off.

-The Veraki rapidly expand east, seizing valuables and land that can be used to fund further expansion. They expand into the Caucasus and much of the Danube River are added to the domain of the kingdom, although administration of it is difficult. The Lappish collapse brings mixed benefits too. While large scores of mutinous troops ravage the borders, they and the refugees created all settle within the underpopulated parts of the Kingdom, bringing many wastelands into cultivation. Veraki merchants also buy up vast quantities of Lappish gold and silver (and military equipment) to bring back home, helping to fund the continued expansion in trade and the military. The collapse of Lappland enriches the booming Kingdom, which grows from strength to strength as military expansion yields riches that can fund yet more expansion. The royal household’s budget quintuples after the acquisition of Oipe and nearby lands.

-A number of trading ships chart the Volga and Danube rivers, and trading outposts are established at Diazeam (at the mouth of the Volga) and Arkhangel (along the Northern end of the Danube). Both develop large agricultural estates (often staffed with slaves) established in them too, with Diazeam growing peaches and Arkhangel growing cherries. Preserved fruit are in extremely high demand by the wealthy of the Veraki, who often buy clay pots containing 60 litres worth at a time.

-With increased prominence, the monarchy also establishes formal diplomatic relations with the Hatti Empire and the Hurrian Kingdoms respectively, seemingly in order to counterbalance the expansion of Nefere and her varied allies into Asia and the Balkans. Later however, Nefere sees value in establishing Veraki as an ally, granting them control of the city of Oipe (after putting down a bloody rebellion there). The Veraki warriors arrive in the city, standing in amazement at the sheer size and wealth of the city, before setting up a tribute system. It seems as though the King is content to tax it for now, and allow the senate to continue civil administration. The Veraki warriors later assist Nefere in the war against Minoa.

-Later, when Nefere declares war against the Hatti, the Veraki turn a blind eye to their old friends, seemingly placated with their own gift of a city state and busy with expansion elsewhere. Of course, the city itself is still rebellious, and no fewer than 6 riots break out. Quite cunningly, before the city was captured, it created a “Democracy” and gave the vote to all free men, allowing them to vote representatives to the city senate. As only the senate has the power to tax, it effectively frustrates the Veraki taxmen.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan during this time have begun to copy some of the advanced architectural and agricultural methods of the people to the far south. The valleys which they inhabit tend to be dry and often suffer from water shortages, so some tribes and villages have begun cooperating on large scale projects to divert the flow of water towards settled areas and to build reservoirs to store water. The first urban areas begin to appear.

-The Valsan begin to slowly consolidate, often by the actions of chiefs who enact irrigation projects. A growing population growing a bigger food surplus can support some form of professional military force, and the first one does indeed start to form about this time. A tradition dates to this time where an empty valley was cleared and set aside for warriors to practice battle and other games on was introduced. Done for practice but also for fun and as a way of bringing some people together, many warriors travel here to do games every few years. These games also help to end up sharing vital technologies, military information, and now with increasing importance, the Xokobo.

-By this point, the Valsan have become well acquainted with the Xokobo, with sizable numbers of the birds and riders kept by chiefs and towns and used as rapid response forces toward raiders. A great chief brings the raiding period to a close by ordering a vast military campaign. He manages to collect all of the warriors together and cunningly sets ambushes, eventually killing many. The rest are hunted down by groups numbering in the hundreds, with the result being a wide area of land eventually cleared of the dreaded peoples and their once fearsome birds.

-The conquest of all these new lands, plus the introduction of irrigation, opens up vast new tracts of land for settlement. People migrate south and east, building up irrigation systems and villages, often following the river valleys and existing trade routes. The warriors defend the borders, but walls are also built around the villages in anticipation of later attack. Of course, to pay for this crude form of an early army, tribute collection has gradually become a regular occurrence.

-One of the other good things about expansion is increased access to metal and stone sources. Copper in particular is heavily prized, and when the Alyeskan people bring the knowledge of metalworking and pottery manufacture south, the Valsan are keen to take advantage of it. Pottery from this point on becomes regularly manufactured on pottery wheels, and some were discovered to carry crushed eggshell, useful for fertilizer. Copperworking is also common by this stage, along with gold and silver jewellery.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-The Kekgols adopt a reformed dating system, largely because the great Khan became embarrassed after he showed up to a battle on the wrong day. The new system corrects for the inaccuracies of the previous, and is soon widely adopted by the Kekgols.

-Unfortunately for the Kekgols, despite their focus on mounted nomadic warfare, have begun to slowly settle down. The varied smaller chiefs have started to build small palaces and comfortable homes within towns and villages they directly administer, while tribute collection has evolved into taxation. Many are starting to develop their own independent power bases too, with growing populations and land being brought into cultivation. Pretty soon, large groups of horse riders begin to fashion their swords into ploughshares, and have begun to take up agriculture, trades, administration, or religion. Despite efforts by the Khan to maintain the military and a nomadic lifestyle, he cannot stop population growth.

-The Khans come to butt heads with the rulers of Northern Korea, largely due to the Kekgols expansion into the area. While the Kekgols are extremely well prepared, sending in scouts and spies, not to mention using small skirmishing forces to draw out the Koreans, it is not working against the Koreans. The Koreans instead have opted to begin constructing a series of earth walls and forts along the northern border.

-The Kekgols do however manage to slowly encroach on Korea, swallowing up the poorly defended areas (generally plains) and forcing Koreans to leave the area. The hilly and uneven terrain of Northern Korea however is difficult to work past, especially due to the recently constructed fortifications, and the growing reluctance of the Kekgols military. Eventually the Kekgols raids begin to slacken, as many Kekgol lords are more willing to cut deals than to fight.

SveaFlag
Coyoteze – Svea
Capital: Jaroldahlen
Culture: Svean (Muskogean)
State Religion: Animism

-During this period, there is little political change, although there is significant demographic and economic recovery. The turbulence of the xokobo riders begins to subside, as several chiefs arrange for the suitable defence of the outer parts of their lands, and they manage to coax the farmers back onto the fields after making an example of several tribes. The population grows, and trade recovers, with there being evidence for an increased use of copper and xobobo birds, along with boats now regularly plying the major river and even wheeled vehicles have begun to appear.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Jomon (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-New types of interesting ships have begun to appear here now that the Japanese have started really applying themselves. By use of oars and sails, one is much more mobile in the field, and there is a trend towards increasing the number of rowers per boat. Small rams are also affixed to the front, to damage enemy vessels by ramming them. They become common in the middle part of this era.

-The growing Japanese state seeks to grow at the continued expense of its neighbours. Increasingly larger ships in greater numbers are deployed (usually by private chiefs too) to help control or profit by trade. The Yellow and Korean seas are favourite targets, and although some enterprising people have begun to set up trading convoys to protect some fleets, by and large trade is under Japanese control.

-Japanese merchants and traders begin to become common in the Xi states, usually by acting as intermediaries. The Xinese people largely regard these foreigners as parasites who flaunt their wealth and earned it by dishonest means, although they do buy their goods. The Japanese, while not completely controlling coastal trade, do heavily influence it (especially moreso as time goes on). They are even subsidized by the Emperor, so as to continue their good work in Xi.

-Small fortified outposts pop up throughout the coast of Korea, rocky islets on the Xi coast, and any islands they happen across. Little more than a pier and a small wooden fort, they do provide an excellent location to ambush some poor Xi merchant from. The cost of maintaining these forts and the ships to control trade are often outsourced, but it is still a major drain on the Japanese state, as evidenced by the sale of royal lands to merchants on occasion or the raising of taxes on the peasantry to make ends meet.

-Japanese people begin to travel to Korea for the first time, although by and large the vast majority of migrants prefer Japan itself. The archipelago has a low population density, especially in the central and northern parts where hunter-gatherer tribes still predominate, especially due to the geography of the country. Agriculture is still somewhat basic, and most people largely live in tiny farming villages that have little to do with the complex society based around trade on the coasts. Whenever a ship does happen to be wrecked or the crew killed, it takes a while to drill up the numbers necessary. The south and west are the most highly developed, often with nobles who possess large agricultural estates and small armies.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-With iron manufacture now widespread, the Xi recently developed a most brilliant invention. In a huge step forwards, they manufacture ploughs with curved blade to cut through and turn over the soil. Not only is it efficient, but it turns up rich soil in the process as well. Double cropping of rice becomes more common as well, and by the end of the period most places in the country are growing at least two crops a year and are using these new heavy ploughs.

-The wise Emperor introduces a new agricultural policy. It is called “An edict to cultivate the wastelands”. Families are encouraged to settle untilled and virgin lands by being granted a measure of seed and tools (often made by state manufacturers once the unification wars ended) in combination with a cart and an ox. Many of these migrants travel west and south, building paddies, villages, and growing many things. The main problem however is that moving goods on the north-south axis is extremely costly, and coastal trade is often harassed by pirates.

-Building on earlier agricultural development, the Xi manages to bring about a boom in the population. Huge crop surpluses support increasingly larger armies, and now the new standing army can draft more men into its ranks to fight for its wars. There is evidence of similar activities among the other states too, with an intensification of warfare both in scope and scale.

-The remaining Xi states are conquered one by one, largely because of the sheer force of numbers and the economic base behind the power base of Huangse. The conquered territories are annexed and administrated as provinces rather than separate countries, while the legal reforms instituted at home are adopted on a large scale. Many of these introduce powerful courts and bureaucracies to force the rest of the country to submit to Xi rule.

-Large state manufactories were constructed during this time as well, mostly to manufacture weaponry on a huge scale. Swords, polearms, early crossbows, lances, etc are all found here. Of course, making all of these weapons is extremely costly, and thankfully the taxes and loot gathered during warfare (not to mention the expansion of agriculture) helps pay for it.

-The Xi Emperor is also well aware of their economic power. Both the other Xi states (and to a huge degree Japan as well) were heavily dependent on access to major waterways and consequently resources. One major embargo involved the Emperor putting all of the boats he could find over the Yellow river and constructing a fort on either side. The result was the monarch Qin being unable to pay his ally, resulting in him turning over to the Xi. The embargo also hurt Japan significantly, for Japans small population is heavily dependent on trade as a source of wealth.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-With development of the land and the growth of the trades underway, people are starting to afford gradually better homes. Houses used to have dirt floors, a single floor in which animals and humans were crammed together, and the small hovel would smell and be full of choking smoke. The houses around this time begin to adopt sturdier foundations made of slabs of stone and have strong support beams. The roof generally rises higher (allowing for an additional floor to come into being), and the roundhouse is abandoned in favour of box shaped houses. Separate areas for animals come into being, while insulation and ventilation also improves. These houses (and the associated architectural improvements) spread rapidly, and slowly the hillforts and towns begin to see houses built to this design.

-Some influence from abroad (particularly the Germans) begins to impact on the political system. With the chiefs now collecting monies by trade or agriculture, they begin to give concessions to the peasantry and merchants, for many of them are threatening to take their business elsewhere unless these are granted. The peasantry begin to form a democratic body called an “Althing”, where they vote on matters relevant to them and petition the lord as well. The council of nobles ends up conceding reforms until eventually most free men end up having some say in governance. Large scale votes between different areas are done as well (for instance, on how to settle a border dispute).

-The Germanic tribes keep pestering the area (although the imploding Lappish state takes most of their interest), and many villages vote to form a standing army paid for by their taxes. While not a very large, organized, or professional army (most of it is composed of part time farmers), it trains whenever possible and is bolstered by the local populations. The tribes are easily fended off, and the countries attitude towards expansion means it is often happy to allow the tribes to settle wastelands nobody else is interested in, and it even allows them to join the confederation if they so wish.

-The extremely decentralized but successful confederation slowly adds villages, chiefdoms, trading settlements and other random patches of land through a system that slowly develops in this period. All of the free-men in the area vote to join, and if the respective chiefs all agree, then the new area joins into the confederation and will receive military assistance. Unfortunately, the confederation isn’t especially wealthy or powerful, but at least it’s safe from collapse, and their enemies see the cost of invasion as too high for the gains they would receive.

-The collapse of Lappland however is a major loss for trade, and impoverishes many formerly dependent on it. The coastal towns and villages lose out badly, but at least their protection is assured. Many people move elsewhere within the confederation, often settling the wastelands or joining with the migrant German tribes who have started to be assimilated into the country.

SPQRFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The growing Republic introduces key military reforms, mostly in changes to new and existing equipment and how they are utilized. Copying Nefere (who they have improved their relations with), they adopt the pilum, large shields, short stabbing swords, chainmail hauberks, and have begun to standardize their equipment as well. Their allies are also keen to provide skilled craftsmen who can replicate these technologies at home too.

-More military reforms are introduced, especially as this growing city-state invests most of their resources into the army (which brings extremely high returns). New military reforms introduce the “legion”, a military unit of six thousand men, highly organized. Using the growing road network (often expanded by slaves and later as a punishment for soldiers), scouts can deliver messages in a timely fashion.

-With assistance from Nefere, Rome aggressively expands southwards, head of an alliance consisting of other Etruscan states it bullied together. Various tribes such as the Samnites are conquered before they come into conflict with the Minoan colonies, now a sizable collection of wealthy city states. Many of them form a temporary alliance with each other and the homeland on news that Nefere and Rome seek to conquer Magna Minoa.

-The Romans are immediately assaulted by the Minoan navies, and are routed at sea. The Romans do not give up however, and with Neferian craftsmen, start to construct a large navy of triremes, along with calling up a huge army to invade Magna Minoa.

-The Roman navy arrives, and as promised, Nefere brings their own naval forces. The Minoans struggle to muster enough ships before news arrives that the Romans also brought a large army (bolstered by mercenaries and several disgruntled traitorous Minoan cities) to the south to bear. Caught between the two, the Minoan league is broken apart and each city is occupied and ransacked in turn. The peninsula is unified, and the remaining peoples spread throughout the peninsula either quickly join Rome or are soon subdued.

-Continuing the same domestic policy, the city of Rome heavily encourages the expansion of agriculture. Romans travel out to settle and cultivate the marginal lands, while the various tribes are given aid to clear the countryside of bandits and defend them from foreigners (moreso the case in the north). The steady supply of slaves captured during the wars (the proportion of slaves in the population is growing steadily) is also accepted for their use in cultivating increasingly larger estates.

-The Senate votes for an alliance and trade agreement with Nefere, solidifying relations. Many of the senator’s benefit immensely from the deal, for many of them are wealthy enough to engage in the trade. The common people are less happy however. The slaves on the large estates allow senators to undercut small farmers and gradually force them into debt or off the land. The landless peasants are then either forced to migrate or join the military, while land becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few. The new (and productive lands that provide tithes for defence) are almost exclusively settled by migrants.

-Expansion north runs into a new problem when they encounter the Gallic peoples just south of the Alps. Unlike Romans, they still live in hilltop fortresses and do not build roads or large masonry buildings. Nonetheless, they are fierce in battle, and fight several bloody wars with the Romans who progressively colonize the region.

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Griffster26 – United Slavic Republic
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Slavic Pantheon

-The Slavs here continue to develop, borrowing or otherwise introducing technologies intended to make life easier, or at least harder for your enemies. The Slavs adopt the chainmail hauberks introduced several centuries ago (respectively in Veraki and Lappland), although they can afford to outfit slightly more warriors with them due to their pre-existing skills with ironworking and the expansion of economic activities. While still expensive, chained armour is becoming common among the wealthier foot soldiers rather than just cavalry, although it is always the first thing looted from a dead body.

-The Kingdom (having become prestigious enough to begin calling itself that) begins a campaign of both conquest and settlement, primarily westwards and north, seeking to control the Vistula. This is the easy part, for the scattered tribes of Germans who occupy the area offer little organized resistance. Unfortunately, most of the land is of terrible quality anyways. To secure control of these new lands, the king introduces a powerful personal guard composed of elite cavalrymen. Dressed in chain armour with heavy lances and swords, they wear distinctive “wings” fashioned to their backs.

-When the Lappish state begins to collapse, the position of the Slavs is further bolstered as many refugees flock to the country, seeking a better life. They settle in the wastelands recently acquired by the Kingdom, turning the area distinctively Lappish in the process. They also bring back the writing system as well, which the Kingdom readily adopts for the recording of history and to make administration and trade easier.

-The deluge of refugees, mercenaries, wandering tribes, and other vagabonds settle in and around the kingdom. They bring a great deal of loot captured from the Lapps with them, which the Slavs buy up in huge quantities, much to their own benefit in trade. The various Slav tribes hanging around nearby are also slowly annexed piecemeal by the Kingdom, which promises protection from the raiders who ruin the land around them. Eventually, the Kingdom comes to cover a large area of land, full of Lapps, Germans, Slavs, and Balts. A republic eventually forms after the King slowly loses power to the growing towns, which blackmail him with mercenaries, raised from the loot they acquired from the raiders who plundered Lappland.

Turn 10: 3750 to 4001 AP (250 BCE to 1 CE)

Ancient Roman Music (118 Minutes)01:17:43

Ancient Roman Music (118 Minutes)

Turn music

AscentofManTurn10Map

Political map of Turn 10

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45387458&viewfull=1#post45387458


Turn quote: But somehow there is nothing so absurd that some philosopher has not said it. ~ Cicero

Events of the years 3750 to 4001 AP (250 CE to 1 CE):

-The classical warm period begins. It is marked by increasing temperatures, a dramatic rise in populations, the shrinking of forests, a rise in agricultural productivity and the extinction of many wild animals in Europe, Mesoamerica, and the Far East. Dates are grown in Minoa and the south of the Roman Republic, while grapes are cultivated and made into wine as far north as the Breoton Kingdom or by Slavic peoples. The ice in Scandinavia, the uninhabited islands of the north Atlantic, Siberia, and North America recedes, while the tree line moves north.

-The use of bronze begins to rapidly spread throughout the New World, while urban civilizations have started to appear for the first time in the northwest, Amazonia, the Andes, and the rest of Mesoamerica. Writing is also spreading or being developed independently elsewhere too.

-In Afro-Eurasia, the Bantu expansion is well underway, with the Bantu moving south and displacing the older humans who have changed little since they first appeared here nearly 60,000 years prior. They bring ironworking and agriculture with them, plus a host of domesticated animals. A similar process is underway throughout Southeast Asia, where advanced agrarian societies are clearing wildlands and setting up sophisticated kingdoms too.

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Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-The advanced civilization here continues to go from strength to strength, especially in industry and technology. Some blacksmiths have figured out a revolutionary way to make ploughs. By making a large metal blade, it can cut through and overturn the soil, which makes cultivation of heavier soils easier and brings up a lot of nutrients to the surface. The invention spreads throughout the empire, and despite importing timber, the plough is used frequently in old growth forest, converting much of it into new farmland to support the growing population.

-There is a gradual transition towards the adoption of anti-cavalry tactics by the military. Soldiers are drilled to practice in square formations and practice shield walls, so as to prevent a cavalry charge breaking through. Military academies are also built to educate the growing class of professional officers (many of them starting to gain their position by merit) and generals, teaching the rules of war to their soldiers. The army also continues to swell slowly in size and become more professional as a result, plus in order to pacify new lands.

-Nefere continues with naval expansion once more, and proceeds to declare war on the various Phoenician republics, conquering Malta, Cyprus, and the rest of the southern Mediterranean in turn. Unfortunately, most of the new territories tended to be younger and less wealthy cities, and given their democratic system of governance, the population commits a great deal of resources to trying to prevent their conquest. Numbers and experience are on Neferes side, although they expend a lot of manpower and resources to do so. Later on, Berbers and other nomads begin to raid the southern borders, forcing Nefere to commit manpower to defend their new holdings. The Persians (in spite of major territorial losses to the Albanians) also skirmish on the eastern borders of Nefere.

-As the empire slowly transitions away from plundering, it realizes that monies must be gathered in some other way to feed the growing state. A large bureaucracy is built up, tasked with finding ways to make the running of the empire as efficient as possible. This usually means finding ways of cutting costs where possible and raising or reforming taxation policies.

-The first task of the bureaucracy is to conduct a census on the inhabitants of the empire. They discover that a grand total of 25 million persons live within the empire, with many of them eligible for taxation.

-With a lot of land left uncultivated, the empire makes strives to encourage the cultivation of new lands. Soldiers and civil servants are granted land for their service, while large-scale irrigation, drainage, and forestry management is conducted to improve the productivity of the land. Given that civil servants are more likely to be given land at the end of their tenure (they tend to die less and have the financial means to support them), there is a gradual increase in the amount of land being held by the civil servants. Many of these civil servants tend to manage their estates and pass it on down to their children, who also go on to make a name for themselves in the service. By this point, very little land is held by smallholders, with the rest being tenanted or workers otherwise engaging in urban industries growing on the outskirts of towns.

-Economies of scale result in a kind of consumerist culture, where even the less well-off persons can buy glassware and spices. Massive imports of timber build the growing navy and merchant marine, not to mention use as a building material and fuel. Towards the end of the period, prices of timber begin to steadily rise, due largely to the increasing problems of forestry industries in Veraki. The Empire has also begun to run a severe deficit of hard gold and silver supplies, due to both insufficient production relative to the growth of economies, and the export of it, especially towards the Veraki and Persia in return for goods such as timber, spices, silk, etc. This becomes a major problem as inflation in Veraki and the increasing problem of deforestation has caused timber prices to rise, in turn causing iron manufacture and merchant shipping to become more expensive. A great deal of the gold in Veraki or Persia soon flows on to the semi-mythical land of Xi. The empire is becoming costlier to supply, and tax revenues have begun to decline.

-The empire slowly increases the taxes on merchants and landed nobles to make up deficits in government spending, much to their annoyance. They are given further political power in return, which they eventually begin to abuse by reforming the senate and trying to raise wages for civil servants and military officers to make up for the loss of income via taxation. Local governments are also often resentful of the new bureaucracy trying to siphon off taxation revenues or otherwise interfering in their own affairs, particularly in Minoa.

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Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The Aztecah introduce an interesting new invention for their xokobo birds. By making a small harness out of cloth and wood, they can make a seat that a rider can comfortably sit in. It also provides a platform to shoot a bow from or spear an opponent, and makes it harder to fall off. People begin to ride the birds with lances now, while it also becomes easier for new riders to learn how to ride.

-The king of the country begins to introduce some new policies, especially as land comes under increasing intensive use. He slowly buys up land from the knights, instead giving them goods directly. Gold ingots and tokens tend to be used as a simple means of exchange along with cocoa beans. The king also constructs a type of military academy, where knights can be educated and pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

-The Aztec then proceeds to declare war on the Maya, sending a paid army controlled directly by the king to seize their valuables. Using their reformed xokobo birds, the Maya forces are routed when after engaging with the main Aztecah force, a group of lancers charged out from the forest and devastated the Maya. Many of the Maya were ripped to pieces by the birds as well, and forced to retreat. More riders armed with bows or bronze swords rode and cut down the rest. Bronze is being adopted on a wider scale, and the Aztecs ability to manufacture it and arm soldiers with it helps give a crucial edge. The defeated Maya give up not only their valuables, but have many of their monuments stripped down and carted off to Tenochtitlán to make new war monuments.

-The earliest form of a census is held on the continent, by the Aztecs. While it merely records the number of hearths and who owns what land, future historians can extrapolate figures from this to find out the true number of people living here. The best guesses so here estimate a population of five million, with possibly as much as a hundred thousand crammed into the capital city. The city itself is draining much of the lake to make way for farmland or buildings, using canals and roads for transportation.

-Several merchants travelling back and forth from lands to the far south encounter peoples that chew a leaf which gives them stimulation. After having tested it for themselves, the merchants bring back seeds and plant them, the plants leaves being praised by all who chew it. The monks are quick to capitalize on it by growing it in their gardens and selling it, followed in turn by the king taxing the monks. The monks are also slowly granted the sole monopolies over various industries, such as prostitution and later they are granted the right to collect taxes.

-The merchants become annoyed at the increased power of the religious class, especially as monasteries quickly bloat into money-making enterprises. They build temples that grow in size, and even begin to compete with local towns and nobles for control of land, using their considerable financial power to even fund warrior-monks and various expeditions. They are also slowly formalizing the liturgy of Teotl, standardizing rites and rituals. One way to show religious devotion is to plant beds of flowers, which become popular during this period and grace many roadsides and houses.

-The monasteries have also begun to secure control of mines, setting up bronze and gold smelters as well. Eventually the nobility and merchant’s rebel against the growing power of the state religion, and they are driven out of their former powerful positions or are otherwise made subject to the growing power of the monks. The merchants are often subsidized by the monasteries and given small forces to go conduct trade expeditions, increasingly to the north, where they have found farming peoples nearly as sophisticated as they are.

-Lands begin to pass under control of the monasteries, and some are starting to call for war against nonbelieving savages outside the borders of the empire. Some monasteries are already sending out missionaries, and are setting up more monasteries to spread the faith.

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Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-The Lapps offer an interesting new way of looking at the world. Influenced by foreign philosophers, they develop mathematics and look at ways of how to overcome simple problems. They eventually use this to calculate a rough size of the earth, by using simple trigonometry; they conclude that the earth has a circumference of about 40,000km.

-The shrivelled Lappish state completely abandons all older military reforms and instead adopts the Veraki system, hiring professional soldiers to be paid with regular wages. Land is no longer granted out, and the use of mercenaries and fickle feudal obligations are abandoned. The new standing army is carefully restrained relative to the king’s budget, and prudence is the watchword as he seeks to make his army more efficient.

-Seeking to now reunify their shattered and once glorious Empire, the Lappish monarch declares war on the Eestii, sending his army against them to take control of various hillforts and towns. Unfortunately, they call upon the other states once making up the Lappish Empire to prevent their dominance, and later force them to return back. In turn, the Lapps ally with the Slavs, the Slavs distracting the Prusai and Litva while the Lapps are able to turn the full force of their military on the old imperial province of Estonia. It is conquered in a series of three wars, the last being more of a major rebellion. Most of the old nobility are purged and have their titles taken, and the rebels are executed.

-To protect trade as well, several laws are passed which raise taxes on foreign goods and many guilds form to protect the varied trades. While the cost of some goods (notably iron manufactured ones) increase and it becomes more difficult to export others, it does win over many craftsmen and merchants who enjoy rent-seeking, helping to build a solid base of support in the towns. The fixing of prices by several laws and the self sufficiency of many agricultural estates also helps promise security for many, even if ones access to goods may be impaired.

-Later, feudalism is systematically abolished by the monarchy. Lands are seized directly and rebellions are brutally put down, while viceroys are sent out to give the minimum of administration necessary to keep the country functioning. The sovereign gradually evolves into a despot, holding most land directly, with some lucky nobles (mainly the royal family), towns, and religious figures holding the remaining lands.

-The Sarmatians become known as the Lappatians by this point, forming the core of the cavalry in the army. Skilled on horseback, they are indispensable to the monarchy, commanding high wages and seen as loyal. Of course, they do also have a reputation for quietly murdering several monarchs and replacing him with a more favourable relative.

-Under this gradual reconstituting period, the country re-establishes trade routes with the Slavs and the now booming Veraki Empire, and they still hold a monopoly on the amber trade (which makes up a large portion of the royal income). To help secure control of the trade, a small palace is built in the Slavic homeland that is granted extraterritorial status. Staffed by a viceroy and some guards, it is responsible for the safety of merchants and travellers, often raising forces and hunting down bandits and wild animals, not to mention maintaining the busy roadways.

-An indefinite alliance is signed with the Slavs, followed by many priests and traders travelling to the country, often spreading their own faith. The reverse happens as well, and the rulers of both countries are unusually friendly enough to support the creation of a fashionable new religion that takes the best of both religions and forms it into a brand new one. Written down in a formalized religious and legal text, they appoint a religious leader separate from both countries to manage all of the temples. The religion slowly spreads, mostly among the elite and middle classes, and many still prefer to worship ancestors or local figures.

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Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Alyeskan people begin to finally diverge into very strong culturally distinct zones based on a north/south axis. In the southern parts, an intensification of agriculture has led to the creation of growing fortified villages and towns, specialized crafts, long distance bulk trade, and new social classes. These innovations are numerous, but usually involve soil management, irrigation, slash and burn agriculture, terraforming, ploughs, and specialized tools for harvesting and preparing crops. The southern Alyeska are becoming more alike the Valsan, while the northern ones remain content to hunt and fish or forage as they always did.

-One of the more northerly chiefs orders an expedition to Kamchatka, where they find a number of simple hunter gatherers living violently as they always had for many years. They are slowly pushed out and replaced with fishermen and traders that come here in search of food and new trading materials. The native population is overjoyed to buy copper in return for specially crafted bone and stone tools, and some even begin to adopt their neighbour’s technologies (and sometimes use it against them). The chief eventually subjugates much of the area and demands tribute every few years, which he sends a portion of to his own master.

-One of the bigger chiefs of the Alyeska, supported by large agricultural surpluses and with a growing population, decides to finally just take over his neighbours. With bronzeworking spreading from the south (spread by the helpful Valsan), the Alyeskan Great Chief sets up several smelters and arms his soldiers with spears and axes, before going on several campaigns to bring all of Ayeska under his control. With the aid of sailing boats and xokobos, he can also abuse mobility to obtain his goals.

-After this, an early form of parliamentary monarchy is adopted, where the chiefs swearing allegiance to the king all form a council that can vote on common matters affecting them. This however excludes the many tribes in the far north, who do not care for politics and instead prefer to roam around in the never-ending search for food. This council votes to adopt copper ingots for use as a means of exchange, given its relatively high value and small size. Gold and silver have also appeared in small, but unpractical quantities for trade.

-To help facilitate communications, the wily king sets up wooden “bird houses” adjacent to the existing boat ones. These eventually develop into a network of royal inns, where passers-by can stop off to find hospitality and switch a tired bird for a fresh one. Not only does this speed up communications, but encourages travel as well, not to mention making it safer. These inns sometimes even leave out lights or organize locals to kill raiding bands or wild animals too.

-Coca leaves are declared illegal to own, on pain of death. This is declared after the very first sample is given to the King, who probably does not like the smell or look of the stuff. It is considered a grave affront by the Aztecah merchant, who travels home and grumbles about the savages being unappreciative of his gift.

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Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Vedic

-The people of Vijayanagara have grown rice for a long time, but now they have begun to improve on existing techniques as now knowledge of what certain peoples practice to the far northeast disseminate here. Redevelopment of the land and the introduction of new rice crops have made it possible to grow two crops of rice a year, a huge boon to agricultural productivity. Many paddies are constructed throughout the country or are otherwise expanded, with the population steadily rising on the large food surplus.

-The Kings of Vijayanagara then go on several wars of expansion, conquering many of the petty kingdoms and chiefdoms and eventually coming into contact with Nanda and Maurya. While cross-border raids are common, there is little in the way of full scale war.

-After an incident involving the King's treasury, the nobility decide to depose the king. The civil war is relatively quick and one-sided, since the nobles bribe the King's army to fight against him. The last King of the Dipali dynasty dies hiding in a toilet. The nobility then proceeds to establish a “senate” composed largely of themselves. With numerous offices and the cities being able to have a say in how power is distributed, the country effectively becomes a republic.

-The new republic then proceeds to go on a massive road building project, often demolishing buildings and natural obstacles that lay in the way of infrastructure. Marshes are drained, embankments built, and milestones put up to mark the relative distances of important locations.

-Contact is finally made with the first Xi traders and merchants to reach the subcontinent, most of them bringing luxurious textiles such as silk and other fine manufactured objects of considerable beauty. The merchants of Vijayanagara slowly begin to travel in the other direction, seeking to trade with the Xi. They often set up small forts and towns on the way, settling parts of the Burmese coast. Trade also moves in the opposite direction, with merchants now reliably travelling to Nefere where they sell many valuable goods. They are very keen on buying silk, and some merchants have begun resting on the coast of Yemen during expeditions.

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Telepethi – Veraki Empire
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-During this time, the Kings now declare themselves Emperors of a sprawling empire that stretches from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. Trade grows exponentially, with new massive merchant ships travelling up and down the great rivers and seas of Europe. The wealth of this empire is heavily based upon exporting bulk goods and their control of a portion of the Silk Road, not to mention a rapidly booming agricultural sector and population that swells in size.

-Losing land to the nobility (who are building up huge agricultural estates) or enticed by prospects elsewhere, the Empire supports a policy whereby farmers are granted land along the Danube, including free access to the forests there. The Danube portion of the Empire begins to rapidly grow, and the massive old-growth forests that have been untouched since the end of the ice age are all plundered. Chopped up and thrown into the mighty river, the logs travel down to the mouth where they are picked up by merchants that export it for domestic use or overseas, with up to half of all timber sold to Nefere alone. These logs not only fuel shipbuilding and construction, but are burned in the manufacture of iron as well, for there is an insatiable demand for charcoal. The remaining stumps are ploughed up and turned into new farmland, with thousands of new farms now clustered in the river basin. Bears and wolves among many other wild animals are hunted to localized extinction or are driven out into the wilder part of the continent.

-Tilsk becomes a boomtown, building a massive shipyard that supplies much of the Black Sea with merchant and military vessels. It even has a huge lumber mill with a crude form of conveyer system for moving ships along, while many subsidiary industries grow up along the river to make fittings for these ships. Gold and silver frequently passes hands, and the greed of many shipmasters and merchants puts them towards expanding production. The gold in turn is taxed by the Empire, which builds up huge reserves that can pay for a large professional military. Unfortunately, many people begin to buy fancy silks from the Far East or porcelains with all of the gold and silver lying around. The gold reserves stop growing.

-Oipe is granted independence (much to the happiness of the people there), with most of their internal politics unaffected. Of course, an election to the senate means that most senators have to at least nominally approve of the Empire, which annoys a few minor sections of society. By and large however, the city proceeds to do its own thing, building up and turning into a powerful economic and cultural powerhouse. Philosophers and religious cults prosper aplenty, with sometimes whole schools of thought being born in this city. Most of the middle and upper classes are usually literate, and take care to listen and read to the great ideas. Zoroastrianism and some branches of Judaism become exotic eastern imports, although the Zoroastrians tend to be more popular.

-The empire still needs to cultivate loyalty however, and they make efforts to promote Inarianism throughout all of their lands, especially in Oipe. They make a great expense in the construction of a major cathedral on top of some slums in Oipe, and convert a portion of the city’s population to it. The elite also tend to nominally believe or follow the religion, since it gives political privileges in doing so. The head priestess also makes the cathedral her seat, and makes efforts to convert people. Of course, the character of the city means that many often like to fuse their ideas with others, and some people have begun to not only take from Inarianism, but from the philosophers or eastern religions too.

-The Empire later allies with Albania, using them as a springboard to invade Persia and secure lands for Albania. In return, the Albanians agree to become dependents of the Empire, although the King of Albania himself is the only vassal in the Empire who still states that he owns a royal title. The invasion of Persia itself goes well, if not expensively. New territories are gained, but are mostly at Verakis expense. The Albanians tended to make the best out of the deal, although they are now also a buffer state and some of their independence has been constrained by their new ally.

-By the first year CE, huge economic, social, political, and ecological changes have transformed the empire and much of Europe. Rapid expansion up the Danube and Volga has resulted in widespread deforestation and the turnover of land to agriculture. The empire has many fine cities where a mere two centuries prior had been wastelands or thick forest. The cost of timber however has slowly risen towards the end of the period, and with the influx of gold, Nefere is finding it harder and harder to pay for timber. Domestic consumption is becoming stretched, with people switching to burning whatever they can get their hands on, and houses are becoming built out of turf or stone. Soil erosion is becoming a problem as well, with the navigable rivers becoming choked with silt and many farms starting to suffer from loose soil. The cost of shipping is also rising as timber costs more and river navigation getting harder, in turn causing the price of moving timber to increase and escalating the matter. Official price laws begin to be ignored. Existing forestry managed by villages and nobles come under increasing strain to provide enough for the swollen population.

-In Oipe, a philosopher makes a name for himself by criticizing many social and political institutions, and even embarrasses various Veraki administrators and clergymen by asking them to define concepts such as honour or beauty before making them confess they do not truly know what they are (as consolation, he says he does not know them either). He later then even begins to criticize the state religion and engages people in market places in public debate by identifying contradictions within a person’s beliefs, usually by criticizing poorly defined concepts. In the process, he ends up founding a school called “The thinkery”, which also invents a new unit of measurement based on how far a flea can jump, and postulates that gnats produce sound through a trumpet in the bum. In 1 CE he is in his late forties and has as many enemies as friends within the city.

-Towards the end of the period, administrative reforms are undertaken, with separate provinces created and based around the largest city in them. Five people from each may be elected by the people of a province, who then go on to represent their interests in a council under supervision of the emperor. The council is hardly secular or independent, for priestesses tend to have a lot of sway in these councils and they tend to be supervised by the emperor. Their small size also tends to make corruption more likely, and usually only the wealthy get voted in anyways.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The Valsan, famed for their love of pottery and small shiny looking items, discover a new way of making things shiny, especially pottery. Using a by-product from metalworking, they begin to glaze pottery and to make small beads out of silica. Later, they discover how to shape and colour this new material, with small ingots of glass and imitation precious stones and vessels later being made from the stuff. Specialized crafters manufacture them for use domestically by the elite, or for export abroad.

-The great chief of the Valsan orders that five hundred of the finest warriors be assembled to a new elite unit. Trained extensively in riding Xokobos, archery, hand to hand combat, and espionage; 20 are selected from them to form a small elite unit under direct control of the chief himself. They are a semi-secret organization of diehard loyalists that not only form his personal bodyguard, but are extremely useful for nefarious activities and forming the core of his intelligence network.

-The squad heads south, whereupon they simply kidnap random bronzeworkers from the Aztecah and often family members as well. While having little impact on the Aztecah (they have huge bronze smelters in large numbers throughout the country, and the kidnappers took a dozen at most), it does help to unlock the secret of bronzemaking to the Valsan. Their only problem now is to mine the stuff out of the ground and smelt it. Whenever captured of course, the members of the squad generally swig a small glass container of venom, killing themselves within minutes and preventing capture.

-With the secret of bronzeworking, the Valsan decide to expand to the south, where they meet many farming or semi-nomadic villages and towns that oddly enough are already starting to develop bronze themselves. They are subjugated by the Great Chiefs armies, armed with bronze spears and axes, with espionage providing a critical advantage in helping to understand the movements of warrior bands and raiding parties.

-The Valsan begin to finally acquire what their snobbish neighbours to the south would even be forced to recognize as “civilized”. The various chiefs have slowly formalized their titles and have by this point are usually required to do basic administrative functions. They dig long channels and small tunnels to transport water, build dams and small ponds for irrigation, and dig wells too. The chiefs unable to procure the manpower to do this are given assistance by the wife of the Great Chief, who travels out with some labourers and the earliest iteration of soil engineers to build these impressive projects. Agriculture steadily grows, especially in this extremely productive valley. The population rises and the first “true” cities begin to appear, utilizing plaster floors and masonry.

-Later, these growing towns begin to clear vegetation and rocks from public pathways, constructing basic roads made of compacted earth and laid with logs or stones in wet or unstable soil. Traders pull carts piled full of glass or bronze goods, while armies of labourers work to build and maintain the roadways and canals of this growing society. To further provide thanks to their friends to the far north, the Great Chief sends them a bronzeworker and some weaponry as a gift, allowing them to learn the craft. In turn, the Valsan have ended up breaking up the Aztecah monopoly on bronze, knowledge of how to work it having begun to spread a considerable distance.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-Taking advantage of the growing prosperity of Eurasia and the expansion of trade on the Silk Road, the Kekgols begin to issue their own coins and manage their own currency. Stamped on the coin is usually the face of the Great Khan, who is considerably wealthy and powerful.

-However, internal divisions among the Kekgols lead to them wishing to make a go of it elsewhere. Their people have become settled and lazy, and even have adopted the customs of the Xi to the south. After a major internal struggle and disputes over the right of way on several lands, the Kekgols split into two, with the eastern being a more settled and sedentary society that emulates the Xi, while the other Kekgols travel west further into central Asia where they seize control of the silk road.

-They arrive, although disorganized and infighting. There is little to threaten them (for the Xi are no longer around), and no singular targets. The land is sufficient for life, and the traders on the road provide a lot of tribute, but otherwise the Kekgols have yet to fully recover from the move. Worse yet, their habit of eating marmots have led to them catching some nasty diseases from them, although it has not mutated into a more dangerous strain. Living at the crossroads of the world suits the Kekgols for now.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yayoi (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-Unfortunately for the Japanese, while the population does slowly grow and agriculture becomes steadily more productive, they are unable to maintain their advantage at sea for long. The Xi has vastly more resources at their disposal, and in conjunction with several Korean states the Japanese control of the seas is slowly pushed back to their home waters. There is a gradual diminishment of their influence in Korea as well.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-The Xi improves on old siege weaponry, mainly by taking simple designs and scaling it up. Slings have existed for a long time, but the Xi has started putting them on large wooden frames and use people pulling on the opposite end to throw a projectile. The great advantage of this new machine is that it can be assembled from practically any material at nearly any location, it is lightweight, easy to repair and assemble, not to mention efficient in large numbers at reducing fortifications. They are widely adopted throughout the military.

-The military however, has massively scaled back after unification was concluded, for the Xi (sitting in their large basin) have few natural predators. Otherwise the military assumes a policing function, defending the borders from nomadic invasion and quelling rebellion. Knowing that the Japanese are a significant threat to their shipping lanes, military expenditure has instead been diverted to the shipyards. Fleets of vessels are constructed and sent out to clear seaways of pirates, while also protecting convoys.

-Continued legal and social reforms are underway, with a large civil service now administering much of the country instead of regional lords and nobles. Any existing lords left are quietly removed and replaced by appointed government bureaucrats, many who are trained to execute the law to the letter. Oddly enough, a form of democracy is introduced (some schools of philosophical thought eventually made their voice heard), where local villages may vote on matters pertaining to local affairs, and the regions are granted a degree of self-autonomy (on the provision they supply tax revenue).

-Many fishing villages and towns are granted charters allowing them to hold markets and engage in seaborne trade, while merchants continue to explore the coastlines and interior of Asia. The Silk Road has become well established by this point, with the Xi exporting silk (among other items) abroad. Some sailors have found a way to reach India itself, and begin to reap huge profits from the risky trade. To secure these trade routes, the Xi negotiates with several kingdoms and chiefdoms scattered along the coastal routes to cut down on piracy and to promote the flow of trade.

-Agricultural projects have built up significant food surpluses, to the point that a lot of specialist trades can be supported. Large mulberry plantations and silk craftshops support a growing silk textile industry, while potters and ironworkers make many of the common domestic goods. Travel overland is still difficult however, and there are calls for the construction of better canals and roads, as many of the existing ones are too small and short or inflexible. Otherwise, gold and silver from India (and in turn, Nefere, Persia, and slowly the Veraki) enrich the Xi coffers.

-A farmer travels to the court of the Emperor to present to him a most interesting person he caught when out chopping trees in the far southwest. Similar in build and size to an ordinary man, he has distinct facial features that mark him out as being repulsive. He is also somewhat hairy, and vocalizes in an unknown language. He is brought to the court of the Emperor where he is spotted marvelling at all of the riches and splendour of the middle kingdom. He can wear clothing, but must be taught to do so, having originally draped it over him. He poorly imitates the mother tongue and in broken Xinese, vocalizes that he wishes to return home to where the rest of his peers live.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-Improved forms of river and sea navigation continue to come about here, with the first of an innovative design of boats. By giving the vessel a shallow draft and giving it a sail and oars, one can move quickly through even shallow lakes and rivers. They are adapted for the sea as well, and are flexible enough to have a large crew for war or a small crew and a lot of room for goods for trade. They are widely adopted and built in significant numbers alongside rivers.

-Using these new boats, the country votes to establish a naval force to protect trade, patrol the rivers, and discourage the activities of pirates. A fund is set aside to pay for the provisions of supplies to these men that defend the coasts, and allow them to operate away from home. The varied chiefdoms and kingdoms to the south often hold this country in high regards, seeking to do trade with it usually. While many other do also declare war and try to invade, most attempts fail due to the lack of a polity powerful enough to take Diwasanum on. The Republic is opportunistic whenever it senses division, allowing neighbouring villages and towns to vote to join them, or otherwise join into the decentralized confederation. While popular, the model means many odd districts end up with disproportionate representation when populations grow or migrate over time, and it is difficult to get this loose collection of peoples to agree on much beyond common security. The increasing numbers of Germans (and later Slavs, Balts and Lapps) also tends to mix up the ethnic cluster and make administration or communications a pain at times.

SPQRFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-Rome innovates where it does so best, in engineering. Volcanic eruptions are common, leaving thick layers of ash and pumice after eruptions. However it is discovered that the ash and pumice can be ground up and mixed with quicklime to make a type of strong cement that has two major advantages over every other building material to precede it. The first is that it can be poured into almost shape, and the second is that it’s cheap and easy to manufacture and apply. Other advantages are more regional or limited, such as it being able to withstand earthquakes more easily and it also being flexible. Domes, arches, and vaulted rooms appear on a wide scale, allowing the Romans to construct magnificent buildings that are larger and more impressive than in Nefere or Veraki.

-The Republic allies with Nefere once more for a campaign against the Phoenicians, invading the islands of Sardinia, Corscia, and Sicily, in the process reducing the independence of the last Minoans and Phoenicians down to nothing. Subsidiary support is given to Nefere in North Africa, where they help to subdue the remaining Phoenicians. Military reforms improve the effectiveness of the Roman army, such as large “tower” shields, and the Testudo formation, intended against missile attacks. The Roman navy also protects marine shipping during these wars, and later sets to work on clearing out pirates and rebels. While Rome is not a major power as Nefere or even Veraki, they still do have a huge merchant fleet that is needed to keep the Republic functioning, often by importing a lot of goods.

-A major roadbuilding project happens during this time, with impressive highways built not only throughout all of the mainland, but on the smaller and recently conquered islands too. They are largely used to move the military rapidly, although traders and commoners also use the roads too. The major Celtic tribes (developing into urbanized societies) to the north are on strangely good relations with Rome, some of them quite happy to trade, wear togas, and build roads or drink wine. Otherwise they become near client states of the Republic.

-The senate becomes worried with the massive influx of slaves potentially impoverishing the common workers, and set an upper limit of slaves, with a landed aristocrat expected to keep one free worker for every slave he owned. Taxes are also generally higher on landowners who keep slaves, encouraging them to “free” their slave, but many get around it by putting them into a state of legal servitude where they remain tied to the estate and farm the land. The lives of the slaves marginally improves, and with slavery more frowned upon, there is a large scale transition towards something resembling serfdom. You can no longer kill your slave or prevent them from marrying another, plus they can hold a tenancy, but they are still unable to move to where they please.

-The senate, in another strange event where public pressure (mostly in Rome) forces their hands, they increase taxes on the wealthy and landed, while keeping it low for the poor. Many landed men respond by withdrawing from the money economy and using barter instead, or paying in depreciated currency. The poor in the massive city of Rome are meanwhile happy with reduced taxes, and now state ran or subsidized manufactories supply free cloth and food to the poor. The costs of running these welfare programs are huge, and the state responds by raising taxes further. Unfortunately, revenues are unable to make up the deficit, and currency depreciation or an increase of taxes is usually seen as the solution after the plunder from the new conquests run dry. Agriculture has been strained as well, as the peninsula itself is not very large and tends to have little area to cultivate.

-The Roman pantheon becomes increasingly influenced by Minoa, where many intellectuals are pressing for the adoption of a unitary pantheon where Jupiter/Zeus is seen as the pre-eminent god that ought to be worshipped ahead of all others. Most common people care little yet, and continue with many of their unofficial household gods.

-Rome expands trade towards Iberia in particular, where they sell manufactured goods (usually made of lead, leather, iron, olive oil, wine, etc) in return for agricultural produce (such as wheat). Roman cultural values (such as cosmopolitanism) spread to the peninsula, while the Cult of Sol (a refined version of the older religion) spreads back to Rome itself, finding many followers. However, all Romans are legally obligated to follow the new religion later, largely through a cunning taxation policy that helps make up part of the deficit, and converts people to the state religion. It is of course unpopular, and the legions are forced to put down several rebellions. Those that convert are granted the full rights of citizenship.

UnitedSlavicKingdomFlag
Griffster26 – United Slavic Republic
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-A new way of treating iron has been introduced, with the Slavs reaching the pinnacle of their abilities in ferrous metallurgy. By carefully working iron and quenching it in water, not to mention allowing for a tiny bit of carbon to be added, they can produce a strong alloy through a process called “steeling”. It makes some of the highest quality weaponry and armour in the world at the time, but being a specialist craft, only the very wealthy can afford such gear. Smaller arms such as daggers or shortswords made of steel tend to be more common.

-The Slavs expand east and south, subduing the tribes of Bohemia and coming into increasing contact with the massive Veraki Empire. Being snarky, representatives of the Republic refer to the Empire as illegitimate, and run by buffoons who follow “a cunt”. Several rude poems are also written with reference to the Emperor as being a man who takes it up the rear from his dominant advisors. Similar insulting messages are sent to the breakaway Lappish states. The Bohemian tribes are impressed and some even enter alliances with the Slavs for fear of Veraki incursion.

-The Slavs ally with the Lapps, and after the Lapps fail to reconquer Estonia due to intervention from the other countries in the area, the Slavs invade the Prusai from the south to distract them from assisting their allies, who lose to the Lapps. In turn, the Lapps regain control of Estonia and put down several rebellions in the process. The Slavs in turn are happy to allow the Lapps to establish a form of embassy and trading office in their capital, which is responsible for the protection of travellers and merchants passing through the Republic.

-The Republic ends eventually when one of the major noble houses decides to take power in a coup and declare a monarchy, although this time his powers have been curtailed by the rest of the nobility. After several seeming failures with both a monarchical and republican system, a union between the two is seen to be possibly the best for now. A council of nobles are elected and convened every once in a while to debate wars and taxes, and while the kingdom is not very grand (most people live in wooden houses in small farming communities, hillforts, or towns), it is proud of its political traditions.

-With solidifying relations between the Lapps and increasing cultural influence, a new religion is created out of a fusion of the Lappish and Slavic pantheons, called “Suomenik”. With a formalized liturgy and clear administration, it is initially quite popular among the upper classes, although the commoners do not care much for it. Some of them even borrow elements from Inarianism or the Germanic pantheon, or even further afield, and tend to worship personal deities as well.

-Despite hostility with the Veraki Empire, the Slavs are still happy to trade with them. The Veraki seem unusually hungry for timber, which the Slavs have begun to slowly exploit and sell to them, although demand is low exception the end of the era. Lands are cleared and tilled for agriculture, and marshes are drained for the first time. Although difficult and backbreaking work, the warming weather seems to help make it worthwhile, and unfortunately while better lands exist to the south, they are also defended by a massive army.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-In the year 3753 AP, while Germanics had migrated from the European mainland to this island for some centuries (mostly due to difficulties in going south), this is the first time they form a political unit. The Breoton Kingdom is based around the small town of Lunden, originally founded by traders but later becoming an important regional town. Breotons strove for peaceful relations with those they came in contact with, only wishing for the trade of goods and to develop the land for agriculture. Their initial foundation was less than peaceful, as many early Germanics had raided or fought as mercenaries here before the Kingdom was founded. By this point however, many Germanics have settled down and become integral here, with their presence in the southeast being strong enough to support the first polity in recorded history here.

-Otherwise the Kingdom is peaceful and unwilling to participate in conflict (possibly being heavily influenced by Diwasanum), and instead puts itself towards trade as the main form of communication with the outside world. Due to the recent warming, some of the farmers here even grow wine and sell it to the peoples of the Baltic, or otherwise tribute it to nearby chiefs to assist in coalition building. A network of alliances and trade networks strengthen throughout the southeast of the island, with the town growing sizable from its position on the large (but shallow and wide) river, which allows for access to shipping.

Turn 11: 1 CE to 250 CE

Caesar III - Rome 507:11

Caesar III - Rome 5

Turn music

AscentofManTurn11Map

Political map of Turn 11

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45439617&viewfull=1#post45439617


Turn quote: The history of empires is the history of human misery. ~ Edward Gibbon.

Events of the years 1 CE to 250 CE:

-Arriving from Central Asia via the Kekgols, a most terrible plague rips through the Veraki, Persian, and Nefere Empires, before scything through their allies and vassals. It has a smaller subsidiary effect in the Baltic and British isles, due to the lack of urbanisation there. A second wave of the disease hits India and Xi, but leaves Japan relatively unscathed. 20 million die throughout Eurasia from 192 to 204. The crisis causes a huge decline in trade and many Empires struggle through.

-In the Persian Empire, a man called Mani (born 154) develops a new religion out of ideas developed from philosophy and other existing religions. Called Manichaeism, it steadily grows in popularity in Persia, before spreading into Nefere, Veraki, and their vassal states. By the end of the period, it is uncommon and tolerated or persecuted, but has still many adherents. The main impetus for this change came during the plague, when Mani was reputed to perform miracles that could cure the plague. His followers begin to proliferate in the 3rd century. The Persian government expelled him early on and his followers before starting to crack down. They spread west into Europe or east into India to spread the faith there instead.

-Copper working begins to spread throughout South America, and is now widespread throughout North America. Soon behind them, Bronzeworking is starting to spread east in the Northern Continent, with the Svea adopting it during this time. Wheels, writing, urbanisation, and intensive agriculture are also becoming more widely adopted. The chariot is independently invented in several places throughout North and Mesoamerica.

-The chariot falls almost completely out of use in Eurasia. Pictorial languages (such as cuneiform) are also falling out of use in favour of more flexible alphabetical systems. The Lappish alphabet (and its descendants) predominates in Northern and Central Europe, while the Phoenician alphabet (and its descendants) largely spread through the rest of Eurasia.

-The Hurrian Kingdom, Empire of Babylon, Maurya, Persia, and several other political entities come under significant strain during this period, often due to economic, demographic, and political problems. Persia itself begins to collapse into civil war at the end of the period, with religious conflict escalating.

-Due to a combination of plagues, internal rebellion, and economic woes, the Maurya Empire begins to destabilize, with the country’s political and social institutions breaking down into a form of feudalism. A similar process begins to go underway in Persia, although their problems are mostly related to internal religious dissent.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-A new and interesting siege weapon comes about at this time. Taking the principle of the crossbow and making it much larger, you receive a deadly machine which can fire large bolts at various targets. Unlike older models, it uses a large iron or wood crossbar for torsion power instead of twisted ropes. They are built and kept in numbers by the military, with complex or smaller designs appearing as time goes on.

-The Emperor of Nefere receives the gift of an elephant from the far eastern land of Vijayanagara, complete with a very homesick mahout. Unfortunately, the elephant dies soon after arrival, and the mahout becomes very depressed as a result. The only other gift is a copy of the Vedic scrolls, detailing the beliefs of the residents of Vijayanagara.

-With Berber raids being often constant, Nefere launched a brutal campaign to subjugate and humiliate the tribes. While successful, such success has yet to be repeated. The campaign was successful in that the raids for halted for about 130 years, but by the 3rd century they have begun to return in force, and the army (starved for manpower after the plague) is finding it difficult to prevent these incursions.

-After the campaign against the Berbers, Nefere invades Massalia, looting nearby villages and towns in the process. Unfortunately, this country has become a well-developed kingdom by this stage, and it doesn’t give up easily. The borders are difficult to secure after the conquest as well, and many people in the countryside were generally hostile for many years afterwards. The main purpose of taking over the country was to secure valuable trade and timber, especially as the capital there was a major trading port.

-The province of Massalia is granted in perpetuity to the Nefere navy and merchants, who set about deforesting the land and using it to construct trading ships. This has a secondary effect of reducing dependence on Veraki timber, albeit at the expense of the Veraki, who start to feel increasing gold and silver shortages as timber exports slacken. Nefere also introduces new tariffs on various luxury goods (such as silk), further reducing the outflow of gold and silver to the Veraki. During this time, the heavy plough and aqueduct construction techniques spread to the Veraki, while the Veraki export new weapon and ship designs.

-Sensing numerous problems, the government introduces a policy of decentralization and the expansion of powers of the local governments and councils. The franchise is slowly expanded to include more men, and increasing democratic urban movements’ help to elect new officials into the senate that aren’t from the same old landed class. The nobility are rather annoyed, but they are unable to do much about this. They begin retreating back to their estates, and reluctantly give up some income to the cities, which prefer allocating them to civil works projects as opposed to military endeavours. The great days of warfare are over for the Empire, and the nobility have lost the skills of war, having become accustomed to living off land rents.

-The state opens a vast new number of mines in Minoa and Nubia, where they extract precious metals such as gold and silver. Nefere is once more interested in the old colony of Nub too, now a busy trading town on the east coast of Africa. They send prospectors and miners to begin looking for gold, and manage to set up several mines. The metals are then kept by the government in reserve, although the temptation to spend is always there and often it is spent. At least the outflow of gold and silver has been stopped (although some argue that the new tariffs and decline of Veraki trade is the bigger culprit).

-In the late 2nd century, a prophet by the name of Mani begins to preach in the Persian Empire. His influence and students begin to travel into Nefere shortly afterwards, mainly winning converts among the poor and dispossessed. His influence is relatively small until a plague hits the Empire, killing nearly a third of the population, after which the number of converts begins to exponentially increase in the 3rd century. By 250, perhaps a million people within the whole empire follow this new faith.

-The plague which does arrive, originated from the Kekgols, spreading into the Veraki Empire before Nefere proper. The disease cripples administration, trade, and daily life for several years, coming and going in phases throughout the Empire. The policies in place afterwards however, were more conductive to recovery. With a large stock of gold and silver built up, there is heavy deflation afterwards (with rural wages rising due to labour shortages too), resulting in somewhat improving living conditions for the survivors. The institution of slavery begins to break down as well, with many people leaving estates as their owners perish or are unable to bring legal aid. Freeholding becomes much more common, and the large estates break up, often with the great manor houses breaking up too. The cities are also depopulated by the plague, and many begin to shrink in size. Land often goes uncultivated too.

-Military fortifications are built throughout Mesopotamia to defend the borders from Persians, who have been warring with the Veraki and Albania. Raids are common in the area, and slowly the towns begin to resign towards building walls instead of relying on the army. Similar activities are undertaken when the Berbers renew raiding and the tribes and chiefdoms around Massalia frequently declare war or raid the borders, with Massalia becoming heavily depopulated as time goes on. Often it is unable to sustain the army with local recruits, and the province begins to lose control over the depopulated and overgrown areas that were once timber reserves.

MexicoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The Aztecs are becoming slowly more interested in taking to the seas, if only marginally. Trade with the Yucatan peninsula has been rapidly increasing, not to mention that merchants now sail to the Svea and Cuba. The small and fragile wooden boats have grown larger to carry big cargoes, while the first specialized military vessels (consisting of very large canoes rowed by banks of oarsmen and fightings) appear. The Aztec proceed to begin visiting the peninsula to the Northwest and Cuba frequently, eventually setting up some colonies in each as a means of getting rid of unwanted young people and sending them overseas. These new towns resemble the old ones as much as possible, although they tend to be extremely autonomous. The exploitation of resources on Cuba helps to encourage more to migrate to Cuba, and their technologies have begun to influence the native residents as well.

-The Aztecs pioneer a new method of archery as well. Instead of using three actions to withdraw an arrow, draw the string, and fire, they use a single one to simply fire many arrows one after the other. Trained well, a skilled archer can deliver many well aimed shots from Xokobo back. The arrows are mass produced from cast bronze, and although experiments with poisoned arrows have been done, they are preferred by those who snipe targets instead of firing many shots.

-The priesthood overthrows the Aztec despot and declares a theocracy that must spread the Teotl religion far and wide, even by militant force. The priests put several generals in charge of reforming the army along the lines of a massive Xokobo force, with mounted archers, lancers, and swordsmen. Older formations take advantage of technical improvements, and many brutal campaigns are led north as far as the Rio Grande. Several growing city states fall or are otherwise made subject to the authority of the Theocracy. The Rio Grande itself also sees an interesting development to keep out the raiding tribes (and potentially the Valsan) to the north. By building a massive dyke and rampart, they patrol the border and help protect merchants on business, for merchants often uphold the wealth and espionage of the country.

-A mass statewide education system gradually crystallizes, where all children must be taught basic skills, especially with the hope they go into trades (such as fletching, weaving, masonry, agriculture, and metalwork), or into the military. Schooling is irregular before the teenage years, whereupon students regularly go until they are fit for military service or childbearing. These schools help to disseminate useful technologies, such as the plough, useful for farming. Cartwrights are also increasingly common, and now chariots have begun to appear in the Empire.

-The Aztec merchants don’t just involve themselves in trade with the Svea, or the colonies, but they also head to the Yucatan peninsula and south towards the cassava farmers living there. These farmers are keen to trade with the merchants, especially for manufactured goods, and also tell them of several advanced peoples living far to the south, split separately into mountain dwelling and river dwelling societies. The Maya meanwhile are divided internally, and the city state of Mayapan offers an alliance in return for assistance in unifying the Maya, and permission to establish monasteries.

-The number of monasteries grows rapidly during this time, and is a major drive behind internal colonization (especially of the new territories). The monks are indeed the driving force behind the settlement of the Baja and Cuba, setting up monasteries there and taking efforts to convert the native rulers and peoples to the true faith. They also sponsor commercial activities, growing various crops and selling it, using the funds raised to construct more monasteries or to support the poor. Soon, even the natives of these areas begin to like the idea, and one Cuban chief grants a parcel of land to the monks in return for bronze and other nice goods imported, not to mention Xokobos.

-Finally, a number of spies attempt to seize the secret of Glassmaking from the Valsan, but they are caught by the Valsan, who are rather annoyed that they weren’t given a new breed of Xokobo birds and saddles in a diplomatic treaty in return for some glassmakers.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-Hillforts begin to fall out of use as their often defensible positions are difficult to live in as well. A trend begins whereby the local lord will build a small wooden fort atop a hill, with a small enclosure around it. Intended as both a residence by the nobility and a military base, these structures begin to spread throughout Lappland, with hillforts being replaced by them entirely by the end of the period. They are named “castles”, and generally are made of timber and earth.

-The Lapps declare war on the Litva and Prusai again, receiving allied assistance from the Slavs to the south. Unfortunately, it is a particularly exhausting war, especially as in order to secure control of the new acquisitions, the Lapps go on to build a great number of castles to control the lands around them. The soldiers are increasingly adopting the tactics of the further off empires, noted by the use of “Testudo” formations and the harrying tactics of mounted archers to break up formations. A plague hits in the middle of these wars, and both sides agree to peace, although on considerably lenient terms. While the Lapps become overlords of the Prusai and Litva once more, their vassals are still effectively autonomous.

-A smaller series of campaigns are made to also reconquer the islands lost several centuries ago when the old Empire collapsed, these campaigns being moderately successful under the new government, which not only possesses new military tactics, but new legal and social reforms.

-These reforms include the granting of self-determination to many smaller towns and villages, so that they can run their own affairs (although the local nobility are annoyed somewhat). A codified and standard legal system begins to be written, with the intention of enforcing the same laws throughout the realm (although these are difficult to enforce with the granting of self-autonomy, especially the ones relating to taxation). A major religious campaign is also underway to convert the peasantry to Suomenik, which has begun to filter down into the commoners. This usually takes the form of constructing churches and erecting statues in many towns and villages, and towards the end of the period the old rituals and customs of the peasantry begin to slowly erode.

-With the country once more reunified, and now a new religion having started to spread throughout the country, the artisans are focusing on the manufacture of beautiful works of art, sometimes as sacred religious objects. Glassware, pottery, jewellery, fine cloth, metalwork, and the coveted use of amber all assist in the creation of many fine works of art from this time period. Some are sold or exported abroad, given to many as political gifts or used in a religious setting. Trade expands down the Volga in this period, with religious men following closely behind.

-Unfortunately, a major plague hits towards the end of this period. While not as devastating here as it was elsewhere, many still do die, especially in the urban centres. The fine works of art are continued by artisans in the countryside, while the power of the towns declines in favour of the nobles in their “castles” and some religious institutions (the church is starting to acquire the lands of the dead), but the overall mortality is awful to say the least. One of the few winners is the Suomenik church, which not only is starting to win over many converts in the Slav lands, but has made inroads into the Veraki for the first time.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The Alyeska continue to work with the bronzeworking techniques they have received from the south. Mines are being frequently opened, while smelters set to work on casting and shaping the new material. Swords, axes, spears, hats, and bronze replacements for all sorts of items become common, although they are largely held for military or prestige purposes. The Alyeska are also keen to trade their bronze, travelling into the wilderness or west, hoping to find peoples with valuable items.

-The Alyeska made several expeditions through the rough seas west, especially as they are keen to trade with the peoples of Kamchatka. Oddly however, they sail south to discover strange peoples who have built a huge house on an island. They also farm themselves, and some wear woven clothing of much higher quality than that of even the best dressed Alyeskan chief. They also possess hard metal tools and weapons, made of an unknown silvery-grey material. Small trinkets and tokens are exchanged before the Alyeskan traders sail home to present a parcel of fine cloth to their lord. He dons it immediately, before being told it was made by insects that lived in trees.

VijayanagaraFlag
Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Hinduism

-While Elephants have been used for thousands of years in agriculture and war, and while their native habitats have been reduced significantly in Xi and Mesopotamia, Vijayanagara has decided to make a go at trying to integrate them more into their society and use them extensively in warfare. At considerable expense, elephants are trained and given better living conditions, while their mahouts are recruited into the state army. With this huge force of well-tamed and trained elephants and riders, Vijayanagara declares war on Nanda.

-Before the war, an alliance is signed with the Maurya to avoid them getting involved (and seemingly the Maurya are interested in expanding into Persia, although they suffer from severe internal problems). The campaign sees the subjugation of the country by Vijayanagara, where use of the elephants deployed in large numbers terrified the Nanda. Vijayanagaras reliance on trade and their size meant the ability to deploy a much large force as well, eventually resulting in the conquest of Nanda. The country is renamed “Nandos” and is swallowed up as a province within the Empire.

-In celebration of the unification of all of these lands, the Emperor of Vijayanagara sends a gift to the supposed great Emperors who inhabit the opposite sides of the world. There are only two great Emperors according to Vijayanagara, so they decide to send an elephant to Nefere and one to the Xi, along with copies of the Vedic scrolls. Unfortunately, they die several weeks after arrival, but the bones are impressive and the gift is appreciated. Trade continues to expand between the three respective empires, linking up the west and east and in the process enriching the port cities and towns of Vijayanagara. Nandos receives a great number of new construction works, most of them aimed at the development of trade and sea travel.

-The older Vedic religion develops into “Hinduism” around this time, marked especially by the writing down of many religious texts for posterity. It spreads slowly and haphazardly, especially as the distinction between it and the older faith is pretty blurred. Other religion communities (such as Zoroastrians and Manicheans) begin to move into the country during this time too, some influencing or being influenced by the Hindus.

-The Empire, at considerable expense, begins to subsidize and support several military campaigns and settlement activities along the Thai coast. They have mixed success, and slowly bring the coastline under their control. A small town is also built on the Arabian Peninsula. Unfortunately, during the early 3rd century, a plague hits that causes an extreme calamity.

-Several million people die in the subcontinent alone, irreversibly destroying many skills and institutions that took years to develop. The disease originated from the Maurya, though in turn it was said to come from Persia. The settlements on the Thai land begin to be raided or otherwise attacked by the chiefdoms there, and the Empire is often unable to muster the manpower to defend them. The Arabian town is abandoned by Vijayanagara, who leave the inhabitants to their own protection. Tax revenues and trade collapse into freefall, while the population struggles to recover.

-The last emperor to rule during this period introduces several crucial (and rushed) reforms hoping to stabilize the Empire and to restore the prosperity of his people after this most awful disease. Tariffs are slashed in general, helping to encourage merchants to trade more, while a commission is established to redistribute out lands in the wake of all of their former owners dying. Many peasants and freed slaves are elated to receive these new parcels of land, agreeing to military service and to pay some funds towards the repair (once more) of the major roads and infrastructure projects. Land has also been set aside for forestry. While much is preserved, the Empire is generally much poorer and weaker than it was fifty years ago, barely hanging onto the Thai lands and having to contend with an increasingly unstable Maurya next door. Nandos is also starting to see internal dissent as well, especially with the arrival of new religious groups expelled from Persia.

VerakiFlag
Telepethi – Veraki Empire
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-With further advances in engineering and knowledge of how to work the elements, the Veraki have begun build wheels with paddles attached and putting them in rivers. Driven by the water flow, the wheels can power various mechanical devices from saws to grindstones. They are considerably weak and have limited applications initially, and they are somewhat rare into the 2nd century. By the mid-3rd century however, they are starting to become increasingly common in response to labour shortages.

-In the early part of this period, the Veraki (and their Albanian allies) begin to war with the Persians again, although at considerable expense. The Persians use a mixture of heavily armoured and missile cavalry to devastate the primarily infantry based armies of the Veraki, and soon afterwards the arrival of the Kekgols eventually force them and the Albanians to leave. The Veraki respond by adopting similar cavalry of their own and increasing the size of the army in the area, not to mention sending instructors to reform the Albanian military and to ensure they follow correct military strategies. A second costly campaign wins portions of the Persian Empire for Albania, although both countries are exhausted in the conflict, and soon hunker down and build a chain of forts along the border.

-The Philosopher of Oipe is persecuted under new laws introduced in the city (some unpopular). Among laws that begin to tax non-worshippers and fine them for criticism in the public forum, some of the fines have the legal power to remove a man’s freedom by putting him into debt bondage. The philosopher only increases the criticism, and is put on public trial for his crime. He then refuses to pay the fine, and instead demands the city give him free meals and a house for his work. The enraged Veraki judge orders him to be flogged, whereupon the man is taken out and flogged in public. He dies from his wounds. A riot happens afterwards, damaging many properties.

-The Veraki slowly increase their grip on the Empire by introducing a new organized state bureaucracy for the first time. Tasked with finding taxes or doing land surveys and censuses, they obediently seek out where all of the monies may be hidden. Oipe falls under their sway, providing a huge amount of taxation income. The more recently settled parts of the Empire (particularly the Danube) also begin to receive the taxmen, who send vast stores of new money to the Emperor to be spend. The state budget doubles.

-This additional money is used to fund military expansion, with the army growing in size as the Emperors are keen to expand into Persia and elsewhere. Unfortunately, halfway throughout the period the Kekgols begin to raid the outer borders of the Empire, often prompting a harsh response whenever the Kekgols are caught. Unfortunately for the Empire, the Kekgols live off the land, and do small scale raids rather than full scale invasions. They also control much of the Silk Road, and levy taxes on many angry Veraki merchants in particular. The Empires inability to respond is frustrated by the constant and costly campaigns into Persia, not to mention raids on other borders, such as from Bohemia, many burning crops and houses.

-The heavy plough and aqueduct construction spreads to the Veraki via trading links from Nefere, whereas merchant ships and weaponry move in the other direction. The plough is not yet widely used, with the exception of areas with heavier soils (it tends to worsen erosion elsewhere), while aqueducts are built in many of the major Veraki urban centres. Unfortunately, many of them fall into disuse after the plague due to reduced numbers, and the need to cut corners when the bureaucracy finds budget shortfalls. Even the timber industry suffers, as now Nefere begins to stop buying Veraki timber and look towards importing it from Massalia.

-The worst problem yet arrives from the Kekgols. Brought along horseback, the Kekgols besiege a small border outpost and leave piles of plague victims lying around. The defenders fall ill and soon spread the disease, which hits the densely populated and ecologically damaged Empire. As many as a third of the population dies, and as the country breaks down into fear, the Kekgols ride throughout the countryside of the Volga provinces looting and killing and spreading the disease further. The Kekgols stop due to succumbing to the disease themselves, but the disease spreads later into the rest of the Classical world. Many flee the cities, leaving many buildings unmaintained and a lot of underemployment.

-The plague devastates the Empire and destroys a huge tax and manpower base. Many of the Danube farmers are hard pressed to maintain the land, and ironically the forests begin to recover (and with them the wild animals). To boost manpower for the wars with the Persians and to defend the borders against raiding tribes, taxes rise and conscription is expanded. Roads and fortresses are built in greater numbers, while the bureaucracy swells in size to deal with all of the new administration and corruption. Corrupt officials are publically stripped of their titles and flogged, and many of their grand homes and estates are often seized by the government.

-A public schooling system is introduced, although at considerable expense. Taxation revenue has begun to decline, and the reduced numbers of people makes statewide education (and religion) difficult. While many smaller schools are indeed established and literacy is maintained, the costs of it are incurred by the central government. Many people have begun to turn towards the new religion of Manichaeism after the plague, although they make up a tiny proportion of the total population. Oipe is a hotbed for this new faith, where the philosophers latch onto it. Another weird religion comes from the Slavs and Lapps, called Suomenik, spread by priests who travel down the Volga and the Danube.

-The crisis of the plague profoundly alters the Empire. With severe labour shortages now common, the number of watermills explodes in the years after the plague. Many towns and cities begin to shrink in size as the population struggles to recover. The uncertainty of these years means many towns also start to build defensive walls instead of relying on the army, while regional nobles who own vast estates are starting to switch to agrarian self-sufficiency, partly in order to avoid paying taxes. Eventually, tax revenue declines and land begins to go uncultivated, often becoming overgrown. Naval trade has yet to recover as well, due in part to increased self-sufficiency, but also due to increased exports of hard gold and silver to Xi or Nefere in return for luxury goods.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-A new invention appears here, seemingly stimulated by the need to cultivate heavier soils more easily. By taking an ordinary simple plough and putting a bronze cap on the end along with wheels, one makes a plough that can be pulled more easily and pierce the earth without as much difficulty. The invention spreads throughout the Valsan, with bronze workers and carpenters now working together to manufacture agricultural tools with bronze whenever the cost justifies it.

-Twenty new men are added to the Great Chief's elite squad. These men are chosen for their skill in reading people and their charisma. Their training consists of the same as the others but with more emphasis on civil espionage. Of course to manage them, a small government office grows built largely around espionage. One of the first state-run spy services thus begins, with it being an effective tool by the state for gathering and using discreet information to their advantage. What they know is a secret to the Chief.

-The civil service also gradually expands, largely so as to organize the activities of the people better. The first census is held, roads and irrigation canals are expanded and rebuilt, while taxes begin to be standardized and expanded so as to gather more monies for the state. While corruption happens, the old punishment of execution is abandoned in favour of long term imprisonment.

-The Great Chief tries to improve relations with the aggressive and expansionist Aztecs by offering them glassworkers in return for some Xokobo birds and the new saddles they have. Unfortunately, the Aztec simply sends spies to take the glassworkers themselves. The highly effective counter-espionage service easily catches them and imprisons the spies, which somewhat sours relations.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Keken plains
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-The Kekgols have philosophers of their own, many having started to develop existing ideas about optics further. The “emission theory” becomes popular, whereby it is assumed that light either is sourced from or bounces off an item before entering the eye. These ideas are gradually developed, although with little practical purpose yet. Once such use is to grind and polish gemstones or glass into a large lens, that when laid atop a flat surface (such as writing), makes it bigger and thus easier to see.

-The Kekgols soon have knowledge of a wealthy and powerful civilization to the west that could be plundered. Arriving in small groups, the Kekgols initially raid the smaller villages and outposts, before sending increasingly larger expeditions. The inflexible and strained Veraki respond, often too slowly. The Kekgols ability to live off the land and their mastery of the horse means they can hit a location and then run away before the Veraki arrive. The Kekgols repeat this trick constantly, often raiding trading outposts and pillaging merchants. One such place is the subject of biological warfare after the Kekgols begin to succumb to a mysterious ailment, whereupon they decide to infect the residents of the fort. The disease soon spreads throughout the Veraki Empire and causes a lot of death, among other problems.

-During and after the plague, the Kekgols continue to raid the Veraki, taking advantage of the numerous undefended villages and the army weakened by disease. Although the Kekgols suffer themselves, their type of society does not tend to have large urban centres riddled with disease. They recover quickly, and frequently raid the border areas until many of the residents there build defensive structures or move to other (safer) locations. Thankfully for the Veraki, the Kekgols do not try to impose authority on the parts of the country that they attack.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yayoi (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-The Japanese focus on naval matters (what a surprise) has paid off, with the construction of some of the most sophisticated vessels in the world, rivalling those in the great empires of the far west. Utilizing banks of rowers, sails, reinforced prows, and rudders, one can sail and steer these vessels easily and move rapidly from one location to another. These galleys however are largely used for inland or coastal areas, and only really “junks”, a new type of seagoing vessel, are starting to appear. These can sail as far as India, and some merchants begin to exactly do that.

-The Japanese unfortunately, suffer greatly from the Xi, who eventually dominate over trade and force the Japanese out. The Japanese instead focus towards settling people in various islands that the Xi have little to no interest in. Formosa, Karafuto, and more interestingly, Hokkaido, for another group of sailors once appeared there. They wear woven clothes (unlike the other tribes), and come on well-built boats, and claim that they came from the Far East. They wield bronze weaponry, and are given a gift of silk to take home.

-The Japanese later suffer from, but not as badly from, a mysterious plague that cripples their mainland neighbours. Japan has yet to become heavily or densely populated, especially in the middle and northern parts of the country, which are only just starting to intensify agriculture. When the plague hits, while many on the mainland die, the Japanese flee into the countryside and only a few major towns suffer. Their weak navy by this stage is unable to spread the disease far, but in the aftermath, the Japanese are quick to pounce on the weakness of the Xi and begin to rapidly expand trade and exploration activities. While they become aware of the Southeast Asian chiefdoms and kingdoms, they are unable to expand into the area, especially as trade collapses in the wake of the plague and pirate activities explode.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-In the Xi state, the first slow stumbling moves towards mechanization are seen. With a great number of canals, streams, lakes, and rivers often controlled by engineering works, it makes sense to extract energy from the water too. Horizontal (and later vertical) wooden wheels with paddles attached are invented, and are initially used to grind grain. Later on, they begin to be adopted for bellows to power furnaces.

-The Xi focuses ever more resources into naval expansion, somewhat to the detriment of the army. To avoid this problem, they simply begin to transfer soldiers over to the navy to train as a new type of soldier known as “marines”. These men can fight on both land and sea, their flexibility being considerably useful. Unfortunately, this does not apply to cavalry, and slowly but surely the large bodies of cavalry begin to fall into disuse throughout this time, in favour of a volunteer infantry.

-Work begins on a vast canal system in the heartland of Xi, to link up all of the internal provinces by water and thus connect them to the sea. It is built in sections and upgraded over time, and by the 3rd century it is being extensively used to move crops, manufactured goods, and people around, boosting trade and industry. To protect Xi from the pestering Xiongnu to the north, work begins on a vast masonry wall stretching from one end of the country to the other. Soldiers are sent to protect the men working on this wall, for the tribes often enjoy raiding and killing the construction workers.

-However, the government does not rely on its own efforts entirely. Many independent contractors throughout the country are hired to maintain ample forestry stocks, and then sell the timber on to the navy. Unlike other countries, these contractors view trees as another form of crop (albeit long term), and make efforts to invest into the long term. At the peak of the dynasty, the Xi have the largest navy on earth, protecting trade vessels throughout the east and helping to maintain trade routes as far away as India.

-The Silk Road is also seeing significant investment, as now western gold and silver (and some glass manufactured goods) are popular in Xi. In return they export increasing quantities of silk and porcelain, and many thousands of villages in Xi have turned over their efforts to their manufacture. The Xi Emperor even receives the gift of an elephant and a copy of the “Vedic scrolls”, a priceless religious text. Unfortunately the elephant soon dies, and the scrolls are pretty heavy reading. All is going considerably well until the end of the 2rd century, when a devastating plague arrives.

-The plague kills millions of Xi residents and cripples trade, not to mention causing the navy and army to suffer from internal collapse. It is known that the plague originated from the west via the Xiongnu, but it is anyone’s guess where it came from before that. The state budget dries up, as it turns out that India and the far west also suffered from this most horrible calamity, and thus trade was extinguished. The navy suffers from severe manpower shortages, with many ships being beached and broken up or kept in port. Heavy deflation makes people unwilling to buy very much anyways, and many edicts go unenforced. Only the great wall, staffed by local garrisons and what remains of the army, manages to keep out the Xiongnu tribes. To the south, it is a bigger problem, for the tribes there are relentless in trying to seize areas and raid the undefended villages and towns.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-Improved agricultural techniques come about during this time, mostly relating to soil management, tools, and irrigation. The heavier soils have begun to be cultivated, and slowly the country is clearing more forestry, with small pockets becoming larger and connecting to each other, with open spaces existing as a result. The population steadily rises, and the first true masonry structures begin to proliferate in the middle part of this period. Trade also expands along the major rivers.

-The Diwasanum navy has finally begun to push back the pirates and raiders who plague the coasts, having now established regular patrols to catch them. Ships are also on the lookout for lands with few to no people, so as to colonize them. They come up with a few suggestions, saying that some areas in Scandinavia and the land of the Britons are suitable for settlement, although the land is of considerably poor quality.

-Several reforms are undertaken by the council, which establishes a group whose job it is to divide up districts that become too large, redraw their boundaries, or otherwise merge smaller ones. While the opportunity for corruption always remains, the German people are less inclined towards nepotism than their neighbours. The districts tend to follow demographic shifts, including the biggest yet to come.

-In the early 3rd century, a plague from the east arrives in Diwasanum and kills many people in the country, crippling trade and mutual defence in the process. Several areas refuse to join or otherwise submit to the authority of stronger authority figures during this time, but the country is usually able to defend their possessions from most foreign sovereigns. The ethnic makeup of the country is also steadily changing too, with Germanic people being in a clear majority after the plague. One of their demands is a revision to marriage laws.

-To better shift to the transition, the upper classes are starting to learn the Germanic tongue, and sometimes the Slavic one as well. While the ancestral language of the Lapps is well respected, it is slowly starting to die out, a process accelerated by the plague. On the upside however, a shared language means that the Germans in the rest of Central Europe are more amicable towards joining Diwasanum, which they start to do in increasing numbers as Slavic incursions begin to occur.

SPQRFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-An interesting new series of mechanical devices based around water appears. By making a large “screw” and spinning it, one can elevate water with little effort. These screws are attached to existing aqueducts and may be often driven by animals, helping to provide vast amounts of water for urban areas.

-The Romans declare war on the tribes to the north, and in two decisive campaigns they subjugate and take control of them, in the process unifying the entire peninsula. Their allied clients in the area are sometimes happy to assist the Romans, and happily partake in the spoils of war. The Romans then proceed to set up new towns and cities up there, in addition to roads and new lands for agriculture. Much of these lands are granted to freemen, and with the discouragement of slavery and control of major landed estates, smaller landholders increasingly gain influence and power as a collective body. The large landed aristocrats are starting to feel the pressure, especially after the plagues.

-The senate, influenced increasingly by the plebeians, votes to raise taxes on large agricultural estates in order to force them to break up, but at the same time reduce taxes on industries and trade. Soon, the nobles begin to migrate towards the cities and dirty their hands in “common trades” by investing into various industries such as potters, furniture manufacture, glassworks, masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc.

-At the turn of the 2nd century, a most devastating plague arrives from the east via the Veraki Empire. It kills a great many Romans, not to mention that the less Romanized parts of Cisalpine Gaul suffers too. Besides the severe loss of human life, there are several huge social and economic changes. Manicheism becomes slowly more popular throughout the Roman Republic, while deflation causes prices to rise (and wages also start to rise due to labour shortages). The institution of slavery completely breaks down, with many dying or impotent, they are unable to prevent their slaves escaping or otherwise blackmailing their masters. Labour saving devices (such as the new water screws or rotary querns) explode in popularity, and the Roman nobility have started to invest more into trade and manufacturing, accumulating a lot of monies as a result.

UnitedSlavicKingdomFlag
Griffster26 – United Slavic Republic
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-Although medicine has been practiced since the Palaeolithic, there are gradual attempts towards systemizing and improving on the folk medicines practiced since. They are codified into several books, with some of the more obviously strange treatments being omitted. Various doctors and physicians also struggle to understand anatomy (usually by cutting up dead bodies). Surgery becomes a bit better, although it’s still a considerably painful procedure. The lack of sterile equipment makes it difficult to prevent infection as well. Many of these basic problems remained unsolved for centuries.

-The Slavs invade Bohemia, driving out the Celtic inhabitants in the process and forming a steadily larger confederation of hillforts, towns, and other important locations. Unfortunately, the Germans have also begun increasing in complexity, numbers, and organisation, with the result that the tribes are now led by powerful chieftains that often ally to beat back Slav incursions. The focus is now largely on the residents of Bohemia, increasingly isolated and hemmed in by their neighbours.

-The Slavs invade the Prusai and Litva to assist their Lappish allies, although at considerable cost. A deadly plague spreads from the east, killing many in the towns and crippling the armies of both combatants. In response, the Litva and Prusai agree to peace with the Lapps, where they are annexed under considerably lenient terms. The Slavs however are barely able to maintain their borders, and are saved only by their heavily decentralized system as it currently stands.

-After the plague, the Slavs begin to stabilize and recover by the mid third century, having established relations with a “King of the Breotons” and Diwasanum, in particular for trade. While trade is taking a long time to recovery, the Slavs do enjoy the high profits fetched from exporting highly valued steel weaponry to the Breotons. A literacy program is started, whereby children are encouraged to read and write in the alphabet, but due to a lack of organisation it’s largely left up to local peoples to educate their children. The number of written records diminishes for a long while, with a recovery only much later.

-The Slavs also attempt to establish “colonies” in various areas around the Baltic. They fail to get the manpower or incentive besides the island of Bornholm, which was conquered by a chief who then decided to then move his court there and start charging tolls on people who went nearby.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-While writing has been around for thousands of years, and alphabets for many centuries, the Breoton people have hit upon an extremely clever idea. Scrolls are cumbersome to scan for information and are fragile. By arranging the information on sheets of vellum and then gluing them together at one edge before putting a leather cover over them, you can not only store and protect and transport written information more easily, but find specific information on a page whenever you need to. The system is quickly adopted throughout the Kingdom, where scholars diligently use crushed wasps eggs and other ingredients to make an ink that “burns” a mark onto the vellum.

-The Kingdom also slowly introduces a series of military reforms, moving away from the traditional “tribal war bands” and moving towards having organized professional soldiers dedicated towards protecting the interests of the Kingdom with lethal force. Barracks are constructed in several of the larger towns, with a training field for soldiers to practice their craft. Blacksmiths provide an ample supply of metal weaponry and sometimes armour.

-The Kingdom then proceeds to not use this military for much useful at all (save defence), largely forming political alliances and conducting diplomacy. Intermarriage, inheritance, mutual treaties, and such eventually result in the Kingdom securing control of most of the island worth bothering with. The Southeast is well suited to agriculture, with the west and north either having poorer soils or hostile chiefdoms and petty kings. While Lunden is a hub of trade, one of the few places that are considered valuable on this island is the far southwest, where mining is ample. To the far north live what may be considered near-brutes, many of them living in artificial islands or stone towers for protection.

-Trade slowly expands, although the Kingdom is hit by a mysterious plague that comes from overseas during this period. While devastating, the kingdom quickly recovers, mainly because few large urban centres yet exist. Lunden however was badly affected, losing half of their residents. It takes decades for recovery, and it will take longer for trade to do so as well. There is ample evidence to suggest that life is not all hard though, for the King seems important enough to mint his own coins, and to encourage the construction of “schools” in each populated area, the intention of which is to help pass on the knowledge of writing. Despite his efforts, it has a limited impact. The first manufactured objects from Nefere appear.

KalandFlag
Dromlexer – Kaland
Capital: Kaland
Culture: Kalandian (Germanic)
State Religion: Germanic Pantheon (Norse)

-The Germanic tribes and chiefdoms slowly begin to form into larger political groupings at this time, with Kaland being but one of the few which predominates and subjugates the other tribes.

-The Southern residents of Scandinavia have a crucial advantage compared with their more northerly neighbours in that they can practice much more intensive agriculture. Large iron ploughs designed to cut through the soil are useful in a climate like this, and make short work of rocky soil full of stones or marshlands. This land is exceptionally forested and wet, with many areas open to the sea or covered in lakes, although there is knowledge that the land is either slowly rising or the sea is falling.

-The chief of Kaland expands his influence throughout the southern end of the peninsula, conquering several lesser tribes and imposing tribute collection on them. The population (and by extension trading activities) gradually grows, with the forests starting to recede and marginal lands being cultivated. Hillforts are also starting to be abandoned as centres of economic activity in favour of larger towns in more convenient locations, for the chief of Kaland has enough warriors competent enough to defend their lands. The hillforts are still used by warriors however, who use it as a base of operations.

-Besides general expansion, scouts and emissaries travel throughout the peninsula and abroad, establishing to Diwasanum, the Slavs, and Lapps that the chief is somebody to be reckoned with. To boost his support, the chief often travels around his country to meet his subjects and to help legitimize his rule (in the process he gathers a few volunteers for his bodyguard). Unfortunately, the government is strapped for cash often, and besides levying taxes on trade or agriculture, can gather little in the way of monies to support military endeavours on a larger scale. A plague later hits the country near the end of the period, but the effects were much diminished by the low population density of the country and the lack of any complex social institutions. People continue to farm as they always have, and sometimes trade, while the chief watches over them as their protector.

Turn 12: 250 CE to 500 CE

Chants de l'Eglise Milanaise (Ambrosian Chant) - Tecum Principium (5th century)10:00

Chants de l'Eglise Milanaise (Ambrosian Chant) - Tecum Principium (5th century)

Turn music

AscentofManTurn12Map

Political map of Turn 12

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45439617&viewfull=1#post45439617


Turn quote: The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. ~ Edward Gibbon

Events of the years 250 CE to 500 CE:

-In the later part of this period, a slight change in the earth’s orbit leads to gradual cooling worldwide. The great rivers of Europe freeze over several times, while the glaciers move down the mountains of Scandinavia and Switzerland. Xi suffers from cold droughts, while treelines move south or down hills. Oaks slowly recede. The cooling weather forces many peoples to migrate or otherwise turn to clever solutions to problems. Reinventing society is one, enslaving your neighbour is another. Several Empires begin to disintegrate in this period, mostly in Eastern Europe, the Near East, and India, with some replaced by new ones.

-Silk manufacture is smuggled out of Xi to the Indian subcontinent (with production heavily centred in the Gupta Empire) and also to Japan, and Indoxina. Indoxina itself receives a great many innovations from both India and Xi, presumably due to its location between the two, although it does not become especially great for silk manufacture.

-The age of Xokobo caravans begins. With Xokobos now common and long distance trade established in the Americas, there are now merchants (particularly among the Valsan and Aztec but rarely among the Svea) who assemble caravans of birds to carry sacks of all sorts of goods from one end of the earth to the other. Coastal trade is also on a rise, and for the first time the small tentative links between the Andes and Mesoamerica are made, with merchants from both societies starting to meet and travel by land or sea for the first time. The Xokobo chariot is invented probably in the American west by roaming tribes, where it then begins to quickly spread.

-Xokobo birds are also coming close to the conclusion of their second major expansion, having been adopted by tribes throughout Patagonia and become a part of everyday life. The chiefdoms of the lands between these plains and the Aztec are also discovering copper, pottery, and intensive agriculture (or have begun to apply them on a bigger scale), entering a transitionary period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.

-Persia and Mesopotamia collapse as the authority of their respective governments are eroded by economic calamity, war, religious dissent, and invasion. The Persians reconstitute themselves with a Manichean state church, and begin to gradually refine and define their core beliefs before purging the country of heretics. This includes the Christians, who flee to China. Mesopotamia itself suffers a bloody civil war and their effective alliance with Nefere comes to a close, with Persia later invading and conquering the country before starting to attack Nefere.

-The Hurrian Kingdom begins to become more hostile towards the Veraki Empire and Nefere, seeking to expand its own territories and influence. Many of their peoples have started to follow Manicheism, and the political elite constantly fight over the matter as they are traditionally Zoroastrian. They sign an alliance with Persia and declare war on Mesopotamia, followed by the Veraki. After seizing the Asian part of Oipe, they declare war on Albania, but the Kekgols send an army to reinforce the Albanians, decisively defeating the Persians and Hurrians

-The Allemanni migrate into northern Gaul and conquer much of it, founding the Kingdom of Alleman. The Helvetii also form as a major political power, making itself an ally of the growing Roman state in the Alps. The Kingdoms of Navarra and Lusitania also form as an outgrowth of the consolidation of Basque and Iberian peoples respectively. The decrepit remains of Imperio Solis are all later reunified by the Sedantani, who proclaim themselves Emperors of a reformed “Empire of Sol”.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-Seeking to improve the quality of iron weaponry and tools, a new process is introduced whereby wrought and cast iron is melted together to form a type of steel. Of course, such a process is extremely expensive in terms of the wood required, so lumber imports increase and forestry is again pushed to its edge by the hunger of the Empire. Unlucky areas without much protection of the land sees them being plundered for timber. This technology spreads to the Veraki, and in turn they receive a type of harvesting machine intended to cut crops.

-The army is broken up into several provincial bodies, as the empire sets to offset costs and reduce complexity. Generals are appointed to head them, and only soldiers from one province may be allowed to join that particular army. Conscription is conducted so as to retain a regular pool for warfare, and at the end of service the soldiers are granted land. The state has by this stage managed to seize most of the land left behind by plague victims, and distributes it accordingly to these soldiers. Of course, generals demand or receive lands as well, and as decentralization slowly takes place these generals begin to view these armies and provinces as their own. Loyalty to the central government declines with soldiers feeling more attached to their home province.

-To encourage agriculture, Nefere puts a high tariff on the import of crops and other foods, while reducing or trying to eliminate internal taxes and trade barriers or duties. While making the domestic market stronger and keeping much of the agricultural base going, external trade goes into decline. The Minoan and Anatolian cities slowly shrink as both the Veraki decline and more people move back to the countryside to farm. The old municipal governments lose their power to the gentry and often to the generals.

-To secure timber, ever more reserves are set up, often on abandoned land, although there are often instances where the peasants are cleared to make way for forestry. Tariffs on the import of Veraki timber are also slashed, although their ability to trade is diminishing. Massalia becomes an even bigger drain on the Imperial treasury, forcing them to pull back to the fortified city and abandon the rest of land to the consolidating Gallic Kingdom. While the city still exports lumber, it is costly to hold onto. Massive fortifications are built throughout the city and the nearby land to protect the port, with the defenders consisting largely of volunteers.

-With Manicheians, Zoroastrians follows of Aten and even a few Christians populating the Empire, an imperial edict is launched that promotes tolerance of all faiths. While pragmatic, it leads to the gradual expansion of Manicheism, an aggressively expanding and popular religion. They set up churches and increasing organisation, and attend the meetings of those in Persia to ensure the proper observance of rites and liturgy standardized. From their base, the Veraki Empire and the Hurrian Kingdoms suffer the onslaught of missionaries with the freedom to do as they please. Nefere does little to curb their activities, where they convert many people dissatisfied with the current conditions.

-An emergency fund is created for times of extreme emergency for the state. Like all emergency funds, a succession struggle or invasion constitutes this, and when the Persians begin to attack Nefere it’s usually emptied. Berber raids continue to annoy the far west of the Empire, and in combination with the Persians it causes the borders to begin receding, especially as soldiers granted free land tend to move to safe areas, leaving the outer parts dangerously underpopulated and with weakening supply lines, forcing them to move closer over time.

MexicoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The people of Aztlán know that while building fortifications is something they understand very well, reducing them is another, especially in a military context. During the Maya unification wars, the Mexicans develop several early siege weapons as a means of bypassing or reducing fortifications. This includes battering rams, climbing ladders, sapping tunnels, and large slings used to drive defenders from the walls or throw incendiary objects. One city is captured when a tunnel is dug under the walls and stuffed with cotton and the fat of forty peccaries. The smoke drove off the defenders while the cavity caused the wall to collapse, followed by the Aztecs swarming into the city and massacring the defenders.

-The Aztecs don’t just meddle with the Yucatan peninsula, but also to the north. The Rio Grande is well suited to agriculture and transport, and the Aztec decides to construct a port at the mouth of the river along with a fort, so as to control trade and build a number of galleys for the navy. With this in place, they begin to sail up the Rio Grande, helping to link up farming communities and give them a way to ship exports inexpensively by water. Very slowly, the coasts are becoming more important. Navigation and intensive agriculture is difficult if not nearly impossible beyond areas of existing control, due to the lack of water, irrigation, and travel difficult once you near the canyons. The small port slowly grows into a city of several thousand named “Matamoros”.

-Promising to aid their allies in Yucatan, the priests order several armies to the country, so as to subjugate the major cities and elevate the position of their ally there. Of course by this point, the towns and cities there have begun to build large masonry fortifications, requiring intensive siege warfare. While many simple tools or cunning tactics are employed in new ways, starving them out always works. The last city to fall does so when all of the aqueducts into the city are demolished and the causeways occupied, followed by a gradual progression inwards as the inhabitants began eating one another and drinking dirty water and dying from disease.

-With an alliance secured to the east, the Aztecah begin to focus on consolidation of their territories and to increase control of their colonies in Cuba and the western peninsula. A secret service of “inquisitors” is founded, who are tasked with rooting out enemy spies and heretics before having them burned alive for their misdeeds. A terrifyingly new and cruel punishment never seen before in Mexico, they are charged with rooting out enemies of the state, wherever they may dwell. Local and foreign religions are purged with the sword, and they even travel to the Maya capital and blackmail the ruler into building a temple to the Teotl faith.

-As central government control over the Rio Grande and the colonies increases, administrators are sent out to organize productive activities in these areas. After setting themselves high wages and building fine palaces, they busy themselves directing people to direct the construction of small irrigation channels and tunnels, bringing much needed water. Reservoirs are constructed as well, while attempts at improving river navigation are made, with boats gradually snaking their way north-westwards, in the process they sell saddles to Valsan merchants to make riding more comfortable, while in return they are given slaves trained in glassworking. In the opposite direction, traders have started to make contact with a people who possess a peculiar fluffy animal that carries heavy loads well, but does not take a rider.

-In the cities of Mexico Valley (which are starting to fill in the lake and import food and water), there is much movement towards the establishment of many large industries. Bronze smelters, glassworkers, potters, toolmakers, weavers, and masons all begin to establish guilds and take on apprentices, with the hopes of passing on down skills of their special crafts and improving their own quality of life. These guilds tend to be supported by the priests, and while they control much of the country and look down on traders with contempt, they do find them a bulwark of the state. In the great market of the city, one can buy anything their heart desires, including sensitive information or humans. And where there is trade, it can be taxed, going towards something useful instead of useless baubles for a merchant’s fat frumpy wife.

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Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-While masonry and mastery of the brick is well established and old here, the Lapps have also encountered the architectural technique of the arch, and by extension, the vaulted chamber and dome. Building wood scaffolding and laying bricks or stones in an arch shape reinforces the structure immensely, and allows it to bear greater weights. A Suomenik temple is the first to receive this new technique on a large scale, with the structure having a vaulted chamber and a dome in the middle with a small hole to allow in light. The rest of the structure however has thick stone walls and possesses a few narrow slits for windows, making it a gloomy structure on the inside, even when the sun is shining through the oculus. Mathematics is essential to building such structures, and their Slavic friends were kind enough to send over architects.

-With the Kingdom re-established and in a new era, the monarchy sets to work on consolidating their lands. Regular border patrols are set up, with instructions to turn away any unscrupulous looking fellows and infected persons. Toll gates are also established on the major roads (often to the annoyance of the peasantry) and small blockhouses built to house soldiers and warning beacons.

-There is also a change in military tactics, especially with the Kekgols and other nomads hammering the civilized world. The nobles switch to riding light cavalry, donning lances and leather armour to provide them mobility. They practice shooting from horseback, and copy the tactics of their new neighbours currently ransacking the Veraki Empire. Old schools are rebuilt for the purpose of training nobles in the proper skills that a gentleman trained for war should possess.

-With Kaland a rising power, the Lappish King immediately feels threatened and declares a ban on trade with the country. He changes his mind about five weeks later when a courtier tells him that sending an emissary first would be a good idea. He sends one and discovers the other ruler is keen to establish relations anyways. The tension dissipates and business is back as usual, although the Lappish King orders that missionaries should travel to the country to convert the heathens residing there. These priests are convinced that proper religious ritual is the secret to good health, along with poultices to reduce swellings and inflammation. They treat a Kaland noble, who is thankful.

-Despite plague and war disrupting trade and life in the east, missionaries and traders still travel down the major rivers to the Veraki, Albania, and the Kekgols. Unfortunately, it is not as active or productive as beforehand and often they are captured as slaves or arrested by the governments in those areas. Those in the Veraki Empire are often executed, but a few manage to find adherents there.

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Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-In Alyeska, the reliance of people on sea travel has correspondingly led to the need for being able to not only knows your way around, but to also to record this information for posterity. Writing is underdeveloped here, so oral tradition or pictographs are used instead, or occasionally pieces of pottery or clay tablets. Simple observation of the stars above is also a big aid in navigating. Through this knowledge, the route to Kamchatka is made easier and more reliable, and soon there are multiple sailing craft heading each year. Some travel further on, in search of the prized goods they have recently discovered.

-The Alyeska have discovered a civilization of advanced peoples that call themselves the Japanese. They are fascinated by their many items, buildings, clothing, and technologies, and after trading (the Japanese locals like ivory, glassware, copper, and bronze, and of course gold and silver) they are able to bring some of these objects back home. They largely consist of iron, silk, and a new prized beverage called “alcohol”. The Alyeska are excited by the product made from rice, and buy it along with their other trade goods. Back home these are largely luxury goods. Silk becomes a royal item, with only members of the royal family permitted to wear it, while alcohol is costly enough that only people closely connected to the trade can get it. Iron axes are also popular, with a special “multipurpose” type usually being the sole iron possession of an Alyeskan.

-Seeking to discover the source of this famed silk, several travels to the land of “Xi” where they are informed that silk is made. They do not return, but the traders are informed that their friends were executed for a grievous insult to the Xi Emperor. In another set of bad news, the tribes of the interior have all but lost political connection to the Alyeska proper, having gone off in their own ways. The interior remains an unsettled and wild land hostile to settled agrarian civilizations.

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Mallow234 – Vijayanagara
Capital: Vijayanagar
Culture: Kannadan (Dravidian)
State Religion: Hinduism

-The Gupta Empire invades during the firth century, and in a series of campaigns secures much of the northern territories. Buddhism becomes common, while several Catholics and Zoroastrians migrate here seeking freedom from oppression. The colonies and dependencies to the east later form their own Kingdom, albeit with the same religion and culture.

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Telepethi – Veraki Empire
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Inarianism

-With major labour shortages, there is an increased investment on the part of landed nobles and the Veraki state into labour saving machinery. Watermills become most common during this period, while a new way of harvesting crops comes about. By taking a cart and affixing many blades to the front, one may push it through a field and harvest crops more easily than with a sickle. It of course, requires trained blacksmiths to make and repair, and these blacksmiths have also figured out how to manufacture steel, albeit through a lot of labour and charcoal.

-The Veraki Empire sends a large portion of the military to the Volga, along with the dreaded Cossacks. Unfortunately, the Kekgols do not fight fairly. They retreat into the steppe whenever a Veraki force arrives, forcing the Cossacks to give chase to a small Kekgol force while the main one splits up and does hit and run attacks on the minor towns and cities. The brutality gradually escalates, and as the climate worsens and the lands are strained even more, people begin to migrate, leaving the Volga desperately underpopulated and in turn more vulnerable to Kekgol and other nomads incursions.

-These early battles in the third and early fourth centuries are not the biggest problems for the ailing Empire. Manicheism is outlawed, much to the extreme detriment of the commoners, and following the religion is punishable by enslavement. Restrictions on other religions gradually tighten as the formerly relaxed and tolerant attitude of the Veraki hardens. Riots are common in Oipe, and some of the major ports have regular state-sanctioned pogroms against the Manichean minorities. While it could be effective, their efforts are ruined by the Empire of Nefere allowing such missionaries to operate freely, where they proliferate and then spread from. The explosion in the number of merchants, traders, and preachers led to the trading port cities of the Veraki becoming troublesome hotspots of dissent as this is where preachers and foreigners mostly come. The Kekgols actively encourage this as well by capturing Manichean missionaries and allowing them to live on the condition they spread their faith among their enemies. The towns shrink and many Manicheians and priests flee into the countryside as they descend into chaos.

-By the late fourth century, the Empire begins to cannibalize itself as it organizes all activities towards one goal; survival of the state. The growing numbers of Manicheans dominate the lands around the Black sea and the south Balkans, where enslavement has given way to new laws which begin to tie these slaves to the professions of their fathers so as to ensure that enough resources are obtained to keep the system going. In spite of growing labour shortages, huge mines are constructed to obtain gold and silver to pay the armies, along with iron for weaponry. Watermills are also incredibly common by this point; with one preserved example being a complex of 24 mills to grind grain and cut timber on the Danube (there is evidence that they stretched the flour with sawdust). These watermills also crush ores, drive bellows, and are increasingly relied upon as a source of energy.

-Cremation becomes popular as a means of preventing the spread of disease, but it is all to naught. People continue to leave the cities, and many municipal laws continue to go unenforced, often with buildings collapsing or decaying, before being cannibalized in the new building works ongoing. A new type of mortar has begun to be widely used, presumably because it can be recycled from old buildings. The number of roads and fortifications swells immensely, especially along the Volga and the borderlands with the Slavs. Large numbers of soldiers are needed to maintain the security of the Empire, sucking up manpower from the farms and towns. Peasants continue to leave many lands uncultivated, often joining the growing estates of landed nobles for protection from impressment by the state. Many of these nobles are happy to receive free labourers, and permit worship of Manicheism within their lands. Some are starting to raise private armies of mercenaries or levy their tenants as well. Their income is shady, and many are reported as having received gifts from foreign dignitaries that they use to fund their militaries.

-In the mid fifth century, the Empire has ended up morphing into a near self-sufficient economy, albeit one under severe stresses and greatly reduced living standards. Export is largely utilized to acquire monies to fund the military and bureaucracy. The greatly reduced amount of land under cultivation and the weakening supply lines has led to the armies often mutinying and pulling off several coups to replace the Emperor with another family member. The Slavic Empire to the Northwest declares itself overlord of all Slavs, and promptly expand near the borders and force the peoples living there to invade the Veraki and settle within the empire. The Kekgols and these tribes push inwards slowly, causing the Empire to contract. The final blow happens in the mid fifth century after a trading dispute.

-A Veraki unit happens upon a trade caravan, and promptly murders all of the people in it and defiles their bodies before looting it. The Kekgol khan was much displeased, and declared a total war of annihilation against the Veraki. He initially marches down the Volga, gathering up the peasantry and using them as human shields when assaulting cities. Rivers are diverted and supply lines are diverted to starve out the cities, while the crops are burned and the farm workers are unable to work the fields. The starving people eat bark, reeds, and each other. After the Volga cities are looted, the Kekgols march against the main Veraki army. When the Veraki garrisons leave the Balkans, the Macedonians invade, under pretence of lifting the people from the burdens of their oppressors, although it is said that the King was encouraged to invade by a third party.

-In the night before the battle, the Kekgols light several fires per men, creating the illusion of a major force, and in turn causing several Veraki to desert from fear during the night. At the battle itself, the Kekgols tie branches to their horse’s tails to intimidate them further. The Kekgols then split up into several groups and outflank the opposing army. While the Cossacks fight valiantly, the infantry body of the Veraki is slaughtered and broken up and routed. The emperor is killed in the battle, and the Kekgols are only halted by a loose confederation of nobles that manage to use their private armies to slow down and harass the Kekgols before finally halting them at the capital city, whereupon the Khan is forced to hold off an invasion by the Persians and the Hurrians. The damage has been done however, with the central governments control reduced to largely the ancestral homeland. Beyond that, regional nobles run their own affairs while the towns pay the minimum of lip service. Oipe breaks down into civil war between the followers of Inara and Mani, while Albania declares their new overlord to be the Kekgols.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-A new type of weapon and by extension a new type of warfare comes into being. While bows have been used for thousands of years, the Valsan have started to make bows as tall as a man. In the hands of a well-trained user, one has a weapon capable of inflicting a lot of damage at long range. It takes a long while to find enough people who know how to use these bows, but in formation they are devastating.

-To better protect their borders from the people to the east and south (who ride upon Xokobos), the change in weaponry to longbows is followed by the construction of defensive masonry and earthworks throughout the trouble spots of the empire. These may be as simple as ditches and ramparts, or may also consist of planted thorn bushes or wooden stakes. Stone or earth outpost towers are built as well for the benefit of border patrols, whose job it is to harry and slow down invading clans until reinforcements arrive, and to collect tolls and taxes from traders. Other military reforms are also primarily focused around anti-Xokobo tactics. Men are armed with long pikes and are drilled to hold a formation with them, while being supported by skirmishing units armed with bows or slings.

-In order to maintain the monopoly on glass manufacture, a number of secretive guilds are established and only permitted within major military towns, so as to avoid losing the secret. The spy network catches out those who would steal it. However, it is not too valuable for trade, and the Valsan eventually send glassworkers to Mexico, in return for saddlemakers for the Xokobos in the Valsan army. The result is that the restrictive monopoly on glass soon becomes pointless, and many workers begin to shift towards increasing production or otherwise trying to better those to the south.

-Natural born rights are also established for all citizens of the empire by the emperor, wishing to uphold the loyalty of his people. People are not to be spied upon without probable cause, and the citizenry may be allowed to criticize the government for real or perceived failings. When this happens, all of the peasants begin sending hundreds of petitions to their ruler, demanding lower taxes, land disputes resolved, the arbitrary whims of the nobles curbed, and fairness in judgement, since for a long time it was the duty of the chief to judge over disputes.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Eurasian Steppe
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-The Astronomers of the Kekgols have begun taking in various lessons about the skies above, and have adopted this knowledge for navigation around the steppe and even have a guess at what the weather may be like. Simple wooden instruments help guide their efforts, although they are as much religious as they are practical as well.

-The great Khan of the Kekgols sends scouts throughout the weakening Veraki Empire, and discovers to his satisfaction that they are unable to resist invasion and could be easily made to submit. For a short time he calls off the raids and sends a trade delegation to the new Emperor, wishing to make amends with him. Unfortunately, the delegation is murdered halfway there, and the bodies were smeared in faeces and their limbs hacked off. The Khan is a bit hacked off about this, and decides invasion is a better idea.

-He marches into the Volga and lays siege to several cities after rounding up thousands of peasants and using them as fodder when assaulting the walls, or as food. The defenders are terrified by such a sight, and call upon their false god Inara to protect them. When the Khan enters each city, he immediately orders the temple dedicated to Inara to be torn down. Many Manichean missionaries and followers are discovered as well, several being willing to aid the Kekgols or wishing to convert them. He sends them back to the Empire and tells them to convert the people there, for Inara is now considered a useless god.

-The Khan conquers several cities, and defeats the demoralized Veraki armies through before forcing the other cities and lords to surrender to him. Seeing sense, the Albanians abandon their old allies and ally with the Kekgols, willing to aid them in return for fending off the Persians and Hurrians. The Khan marches towards the homeland, whereupon he meets the major army of the Veraki, hastily assembled to defend the Empire. Hit and run attacks tease out the Cossacks and weaken the infantry, before they swarm the Veraki army and annihilate it.

-A token scouting force marches on the capital, hoping to find easy pickings, however they are halted at a river by the local Veraki nobility, who have raised mercenaries, foreign settlers, and levies to defend their homes, and during the heat of battle as they wound the general present. The scouting force returns home, but not before ravaging the rest of the country. The main force however is made to concern itself with the Persians and Hurrians, who invade Albania and are later forced out of the country after a bloody campaign. The new Empire is somewhat consolidated along the Volga basin, although several rebellions, succession struggles, and their needy Albanian allies take up much of their attention. Frequent raids are still conducted into the Veraki homeland for slaves and plunder.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yamato (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-New agricultural techniques from the mainland spread to Japan, with the promise that they will boost yields and by extension the wealth to be gained by agriculture. Interplanting new strains of rice in well-tended paddies will result in two large harvests a year with good weather. The varied landed gentry and peasantry throughout the country begin to adopt this system wholesale. The fourth century sees a major population boom and the relative wealth of land increases, leading to many gentry starting to concern themselves with the land instead of dangerous sea exploration and trade.

-The Japanese state however, continues to blow vast amounts of money on explorers with crackpot schemes for travel in any direction. The ones who survive and return report the existence of tropical islands, some inhabited, others uninhabited, and some being volcanoes. The explorers who follow the trade routes have more luck, reporting lands suitable for settlement, albeit filled with natives. The explorers who head north continue to set up trading posts and forts throughout Karafuto and the Kurils, before finding that the climate is too poor to sustain long term settlement. Nonetheless, an important trading post is established to conduct trade with the Alyeskan peoples, who come occasionally to exchange trinkets.

-Closer to home, settlement is going poorly on Formosa and the Ryuku islands. The natives frequently quarrel with the newcomer Japanese, and both sides attack each other’s settlements. Formosa is especially difficult, and by the fifth century most coastal areas are secure with increasing deforestation and the expansion of shipbuilding, but the highlands are out with imperial control. Indeed, tax collectors who leave the safety of a town wall are frequently murdered, and not just by the natives.

-There is also a great deal of conscription by the state to provide enough men for the Imperial Navy (the army is much diminished and largely used only for internal policing), with the additional costs entailed. The state bureaucracy slowly grows in size and expands tax collection in order to find enough monies to fund both itself and the ambition of the Japanese state. The rising gentry however are annoyed by taxes, and often dodge conscription by joining the imperial bureaucracy. The peasantry meanwhile have riots whenever the issue is pressed in their country.

-Hearing the news of the collapse of the Xi, the Japanese Emperor orders his navy to the country to take advantage of the situation. They steal the secret of silk manufacture and bribe or blackmail many nobles to give Japanese traders an advantage. As bad money drives out good, the Japanese begin to abuse exchange rates and buy Xi goods at knock down prices. The natives become bitter towards the Japanese merchants, and in one incident they riot and throw a merchant down a well along with hundreds of useless coins.

-Many of the towns and ports in the western end of Japan (which is considerably developed and wealthy) are opening up to become the major go to places for trade and commerce in Asia as the Xi fall apart. Sericulture is established in the home islands, and the first bolts of silk begin to leave (with a few of them going to the Alyeska, along with iron tools). Many of the gentry see the potential of this new substance, and set up their estates to grow much of it and use the money to slowly increase their own influence and power, with many administrative positions gradually becoming informally hereditary.

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Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-Chemistry is an old science, and was preceded by the works of alchemists. Up until this point in time, there was little in the way of theory to help guide the alchemist, but now there is. A new way of looking at nature has come about, where it is theorized that all matter slowly converts from one form into another through reaction, eventually reaching the most stable substance (gold). By experimentation, one can speed up or reverse the process with material objects so as to produce anything one wishes. This begins in Xi with many new discoveries, one among them being the discovery that saltpetre burns with a purple flame and it may be purified further.

-The Xi government decides that due to the plague, the best course of action is to expand the size of the military and navies by recruiting many people. Unfortunately, they get out less money than they put in, and the Xi is forced to deflate the currency and increase taxes. The next step they undertook was to retrofit naval ships for trade and manage a state-run trading enterprise so as to keep trade going, in spite of increasing Japanese competition. Fortunately for Xi, domestic trade is still functioning, and thus they continue ferrying grain, iron, timber, salt, and other goods around.

-The bloating military adds major numbers of cavalry to their forces so as to fight the Xiongnu, although at a great cost. The additional numbers of horses forces the conversion of many lands to pastures and forcing the peasantry to move into areas abandoned during the plague. The increasing money shortages eventually forces the government to try a new experiment; the state bank. It raises money by buying loans from the nobility, merchants, and oftentimes the peasantry. Although it promises to repay its loans, their ability to do so is severely restrained by the increasing conflict with the Xiongnu and expansion of the army and the decrease of tax funds available.

-Branches of this bank are established throughout the countryside, and the government proceeds to reduce the copper content of coins so as to create more monies. Unfortunately, inflation weakens the country and few people in a near subsistence economy are willing to involve themselves in such risky ventures. Many even start to turn towards barter, and as bad money drives out good, taxes are often returned in depreciated currency. The government then assumes the farmers and merchants are overtaxed, and promptly cut them.

-The Xi state goes into insolvency and the army mutinies when their meagre and depreciated wages fail to arrive. The Xiongnu leap on this moment of weakness and ravage the countryside, with many rebellious soldiers joining their ranks. The peasantry to the south (unaware of this but happy with reduced taxes) form a peasants battalion to restore honour to their emperor. They march on the Xiongnu but are slaughtered and their bodies left to lie in the fields. The grand capital city is ransacked and the emperor is killed along with many of his heirs, leaving a succession crisis.

-The Xi loses control over the northern part of their empire, much of it to the Xiongnu and now to a rival dynasty established as the Wei. The Qi then invade the south during this time of troubles and secure much land as well. Buddhists and Christians persecuted by Manicheans reach the Xi around this time, and become well established in the area. The presence of all these groups is tolerated for now, but they are very keen in expanding and find many converts among the lowly. They could be useful for a wise monarch.

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Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germano-Uralic)
State Religion: Natenum

-The old timber and straw houses that people live in are becoming quickly unsuitable for use in cities, so the people in urban areas begin to slowly build out of stone or brick. For now however, their use is largely restricted to religious or political structures, or sometimes the foundations of a house. This is then followed by the gradual improvement of military structures with stone, and the appearance of the first skilled masons throughout the country. They are frequently hired by wealthier or powerful sorts to build impressive houses, and some have started to build fine houses in the countryside from which to run their farming estates.

-As the coastguard grows in scale and scope, they naturally begin to build larger boats, sometimes able to carry up to forty men. When docking with pirates and other ruffians (who are on a decline as order grows in the Baltic and North Sea), they commit to hand to hand combat as though it were a land battle. These coastguards are also travelling further out along with the traders, and have started to frequently winter on the Scandinavian coast and in Northern Brytenwalda. They establish several farmsteads in these areas during the fourth and fifth centuries, eventually securing control by the construction of small forts in these areas. The communities here make their living from fishing, and find that the cod in the North Sea is most bountiful, although the Baltic is also considerably useful as well.

-As the loosely held together confederation stumbles along, it is clear that the German are expanding from the inside out. The Germans usually move into various districts and often change marriage laws that favour a later marriage, and prefer that their eldest child inherits. The result is a gradual concentration of land and power towards the Germans, who assimilate the Lapps into their society. By the sixth century, the Lapps are rapidly diminishing into a minority, especially as many intermarry with the Germans. Land has also started to concentrate among families of increasing power and influence, with them even starting to keep private armies and having started to use blackmail to acquire lands for themselves. The increasing German nature of the country has led to many more places joining, often with chiefs joining wholesale and being rather pleased with their autonomy. By the end of the period, most of the German peoples live here.

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TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-A new type of armour is introduced to the Roman soldiery, named “Lorica Segmentata”. Consisting of plates of iron with mild steel, they are arranged to create a breast and back plate along with protective shoulder pads. Brass fastenings hold the armour together, although their cost and complexity later leads to their replacement with rivets instead. While a strong armour that helps to deflect most blows and is much lighter than chainmail armour, it is also more difficult to build and maintain, so initially only officers and other higher ranking soldiers wear it.

-In response to the major loss of life in the plague (and consequent loss of labour), the Roman begins to put soldiers to work in the fields when they aren’t on active military duty. Somewhat annoying to them of course, for farming is a long exhausting activity, and it detracts from their military duties. The government later decides that putting the army to work on engineering projects would be better, considering that the army has a lot of skilled engineers in it. They rebuild roads and aqueducts, along with repairing critical buildings and ensuring that good order is kept.

-During this time a rather prominent Roman doctor promotes urine as being able to stave off the plague. Soldiers are encouraged to soak a cloth in urine before wrapping it around the face to prevent ill health. The idea becomes popular for some reason, with the vats of stale urine that are a by-product from the textile industry being collected and left in jars around people’s homes, so as to drive out disease. Sewers are also rebuilt, but this time municipal governments send down unfortunate workers (usually criminals) to dig out the filth that collects in there, before selling it as manure.

-Another interesting consequence of the plague was the senate becoming interested in trying to halt the spread of contagious disease and perhaps even treat it. Unfortunately, nobody really comes close, beyond a crude theory that smells are responsible. One philosopher suggests it could be the work of invisible agents, while another claims it was by divine mandate. Everybody agrees that to quarantine the afflicted individual is probably the best way though, yet there are few ways of predicting or identifying a disease or how it spreads.

-Religious problems begin to abound in this time, partially due to internal politics and partially due to increasing outside influences. One senator had a dream where he saw Jupiter casting down lightning on a temple gilded in gold. He took this as a sign that the priests were too wealthy, so he went on a campaign to rid the temples of their wealth, usually through trying to push through laws on taxation. The priests were considerably annoyed, and several riots broke out when politicians began to send in soldiers to confiscate the wealth of the temples directly. In addition, this isn’t the only headache. Followers of Mani have arrived in the Roman Republic, and have begun to set up churches. Popular among the lower orders (slavery has largely gone extinct in the Republic); it eventually converts nearly a quarter of the population. Many are dissatisfied with the old religion, and have been converted as the religion gains traction in the east. Some set up monasteries in the countryside as well, so as to contemplate existence more thoroughly there.

-Even with the plague, the Romans numbers begin recovering quite quickly, and by the fifth century they have started to send out colonies and soldiers to Dalmatia and the far west of Iberia, where they encounter both empty lands and lands filled with people. The wars in Dalmatia force many tribes to migrate, with many moving through the Verakis porous and undefended borders. The growing Germanic and Celtic chiefdoms and kingdoms outside of Cisalpine Gaul meanwhile are allied with and trade routes are established, thus providing a convenient buffer around the Alpine mountains that makes invasion difficult by land. To promote trade and travel, there is significant investment into the roads and ports, while tariffs and duties on all sorts of goods are slashed. Unfortunately, this means a reduction of income to the state, and for a while the looting of the temples provides a quick injection of cash, until the temples run out of monies.

MihaylovFlag
Griffster26 – Mihaylov Empire
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Solnechnaya Khram)

-Taking from innovations elsewhere, a new type of weapon has appeared among the common Slavs who live here. By taking a shortbow and more or less affixing it to a piece of wood and using a notch to hold the string in place (before pushing it up with a wooden peg through a hole), one has produced a simple but effective weapon. The first models are considerably weak however, and are largely only used for what they were originally invented for; hunting. It takes nearly two centuries for peasants to begin using them in large numbers, for their main advantage is that they are inexpensive and easy to train with.

-A military general who fought in the wars with the Prusai recounts his experiences in his memoirs, some of them relating to military principles and how to make effective use of terrain, the men and equipment available, and how to create problems for your enemies. It becomes popular among the nobility and learned, with many seeking to apply his ideas. They begin to reform their personal retainers and levies, usually organizing them into specific groups such as heavy infantry, cavalry, or supporting skirmishers such as archers and slingers.

-Unfortunately for expansion southwards, the Veraki have heavily fortified the border areas, apprehending the various raiding groups and cutting up their bodies as a show of force. The Slavs decide to instead expand elsewhere, especially towards the Roman Republic and covering the borders with the Veraki. In the process, they drive out the tribes living there, who are forced to migrate into the husk of the Veraki Empire. There, they begin to settle within the borders and pledge allegiance to various nobles there.

-Internal political changes conspire to bring an end to the republic during the chaos leftover from the plague and raiding tribes to the east. A charismatic individual called Mihaylov comes to the fore, using his personal demesne to create and fund a powerful private army that bullies the other nobles into forcing the dissolution of the Republic and the creation of an Empire. Among his titles is “Emperor of all Slavs”, implying that the Veraki are indeed subjects of Mihaylov. He founds a dynasty (named after him), and enacts an edict to support the arts, philosophers, and the scholars (Iskusstvo, Nauka , Literatura). One of the first things done is to call a meeting of all the physicians to one spot to discuss things. About five people show up, with a Roman physician suggesting they wash in urine.

-The dynasty also introduces a new state religion named Solnechnaya Khram. It resembles Suomenik in all but a few key areas, with it the liturgy and organisation run for the benefit of the Slavic people and state, whereas Suomenik becomes the Lappish branch. Both religions are close enough that they do not consider the other to be heretics or otherwise enemies. Missionaries from both travel into the Veraki Empire, with some being executed and others hide underground. Later as the empires borders shrink, the Slavs of Bohemia cry out for protection, and thus do they come in. The abandoned Veraki forts are no barrier to expansion.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-The Breotons continue to improve their knowledge of the heavens above. There is evidence of codex’s from this time with detailed observations of the major planets and stars. To aid in this, they create astronomical instruments out of wood and metal, and have made much use of it in aiding navigation for sailors and religious observance.

-During this time, the various Briton (and some smaller Germanic) kingdoms quarrel over these Emerald isles. Breoton, having a predominant advantage with their major agricultural base and ties to the continent, begins to slowly expand west and north, pushing out the weaker kings and following the major rivers. Wooden bridges are built for the first time over the Thames, while basic road networks spread throughout the kingdom. Improved agricultural techniques and methods spread from the continent, and by the end of this period the Kingdom has a plethora of foreign coins and currencies flowing throughout it as the lack of an official mint has led to traders using those from the continent.

-There is also an increased focus on artistic expression as the materials available that craftsmen have to work with become wider. Glass, gold, silver, bronze, amber, and even silk and marble are all imported (in small quantities usually) or manufactured at home, often imported materials being refined. Small statues are made in the large wooden halls of the great kings of Breoton (who have yet to subjugate the entire island), some of them having started to apply plaster to the walls and have paintings made upon them. Of course this is no reality for the vast majority of people, who live in hovels made from branches and pig shit.

KalandFlag
Dromlexer – Kaland
Capital: Kaland
Culture: Kalandian (Germanic)
State Religion: Germanic Pantheon (Norse)

-In Kaland, the Kingdom has attained enough prominence that it has begun to start minting its own coins. Extremely useful for the growing trade in the Baltic and for taxation, gold and silver coins with the face of the ruler appear throughout Scandinavia, their origin attributed to the monarch of Kaland. Slowly there is a partial transition away from a barter economy, but by and large most people live through subsistence agriculture. One major industry is in herring fishing, a fish most plentiful in the Baltic.

-As hillforts lose their old significance, they often fall into disrepair and shrink. A new policy is cunningly pushed forward by the nobility and king. By building fortified homes with a small military attachment, one can create an easily defendable location that projects power over the surrounding countryside. From these bases, a force may ride out to meet any threats to the peasants working the fields below. Many of these wooden fortifications are built throughout the country, often in imitation of the ones in Lappland. They take on the name of “castles”.

-Accompanying this are several political reforms, mostly involved with decentralization and the reduction of costs. Those who are friendly with the monarch are granted lands and are given permission to erect or improve castles, and manage local administration and affairs. In return, they must serve the monarch in war, or otherwise send a form of material tribute. As this system comes into being during the rule of the first “King”, he also reforms inheritance laws to allow daughters to inherit when a male heir is lacking. Thus when he dies, he is shortly followed by the first Queen of Kaland. She gives the highest ranking nobles the title of “Duke”, and often appoints them to a council.

-One of the decisions of said council is to reduce taxes throughout the whole board. Something that the nobles and by extension the peasantry are very keen on. The nobles set to work using their monies to build up their own militaries and castles. The tax decrease on the peasantry is not as noticeable however, due to the lack of a money economy and trade (not to mention the local lord taxing as much as he can). However there are enough peasants who have started to involve themselves in trades and crafts more, while the towns slowly grow. The merchants are so pleased that at one stage they present a gift to the Queen, a captured mammoth from the far north.

-The Dukes in the border provinces, separated from the Queen by distance and with growing military power, go on campaigns against the less well organized tribes and chiefdoms to the north. Kaland extends northwards in the process, and some chieftains willingly submit to the Queen, in return for protection and enticed by the lenient taxes (not to mention they can abuse the system to conquer their neighbours). The Duke of Scania also manages to raise the funds to establish a castle at either end of Öland and thus helping to secure trade.

TembagaFlag
YogiTheWise – Tembaga
Capital: Suva
Culture: Tembagi (Polynesian)
State Religion: Polynesian Pantheon

-Sometime around 2500 AP the Polynesian Tembagi people mingled with or otherwise displaced the indigenous Melanesian peoples of Fiji, forming a sort of polity ruled by a Tribal Council with an elected Chief. Since then, they've learned how to build small, fast and manoeuvrable boats and developed excellent navigational skills, being able to easily find their way around the Pacific without a compass or astrolabe. This in turn stimulated trade, as Fiji has relatively plenty of natural resources to export. Fiji is also home to abundant copper deposits, although metalworking had yet to develop. Cowrie shells are used as a medium of exchange. A form of proto-writing exists, though it is pictographic and does not represent phonemes. Simple pieces of wood and shells arranged in a frame form abstracted maps.

-In the middle of the 3rd century CE, Chief Anuenue came to the realization that his tribe was better able to navigate and travel than those of most surrounding isles and sought to expand the control of Tembaga over them. The growing population was starting to live in larger wooden villages and manufacture specialized stone weaponry around this time too. However, the Tribal Council was content to live on the island, and try to avoid more than once a few years. In order to achieve his goals, charismatic Anuenue rallied his supporters and staged a coup, dismantling the Council and declaring himself the first Hari (king) of Tembaga, thus instituting hereditary rule.

-These political changes happened around the time that these islands discovered how to extract and work copper, among other simple metals. The ability to manufacture copper tools and weaponry led to the intensification and importance of mining, along with the need to secure timber for use as fuel. The political changes soon came as a powerful individual with the ability to secure both copper mines and timber reserves would have found him considerably wealthy, and of course have forced him to expand in order to secure more scarce resources.

-In a series of bloody skirmishes, dissension is put down on Fiji, and a number of sailing craft are constructed to sail along existing trade routes in order to find and vassalize other tribes and chieftains that happen to live on Pacific islands. Slowly but surely, Tembaga extends its political and economic sphere, often happening on uninhabited islands and settling in them. By the end of late Antiquity, the Hari have managed to secure control of a great number of islands, although his power over them is weak. With islands generally being small and having low populations practicing un-intensive agriculture, it is difficult to really conquer another place. Instead these islands send tributes, and usually when they refuse to (often at the change of a ruler), a force must be sent out to remind them. They travel on fast boats intended to attack a rebelling settlement at night, so as to attain the element of surprise and maintain communications.

Turn 13: 500 CE to 625 CE

Old Roman chant - Dominus dixit ad me06:13

Old Roman chant - Dominus dixit ad me

Turn music

AscentofManTurn13Map

Political map of Turn 13

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45537807&viewfull=1#post45537807


Turn quote: Throughout history many nations have suffered a physical defeat, but that has never marked the end of a nation. But when a nation has become the victim of a psychological defeat, then that marks the end of a nation. ~ Ibn Khaldun

Events of the years 500 CE to 625 CE:

-This period is perhaps one in which for many in Eurasia, things hit rock bottom. The decline and fall of the Veraki is matched only by the bloody wars in India and Xi. From 535 to 545 there are systematic crop failures, with cooling leading to snowfall in August. Drought, large dense dry fogs, and crop failure are all common. When the worst is over by 540, a plague arrives and kills another third of the population of Eurasia.

-A new terrifying disease called “Xokobo Cough” appears to plague the residents of the New World. Originating in Valsan, it causes Xokobos to bleed from the eyes and nose before expiring, with a survival rate of 60-70%. It rapidly spreads throughout societies that keep large numbers of the birds, being especially damaging to the Valsari and Aztecah.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Atenism

-New architectural techniques appear in Nefere, partly due to influence from overseas but also as the result of experimentation in structural engineering over thousands of years. While arches have existed for centuries, the people here have started to build increasingly taller structures with more room inside, leading to the development of vaulted chambers. Intersections in these chambers are developed as well, and large supporting walls are built up to help provide a solid foundation for these buildings. These techniques also spread to Rome, and from Rome comes the art of building sewers effectively. Of course many cities in Nefere are ancient and require many buildings pulled down to make way for the new sewers, yielding many interesting ancient artefacts from as far back as the Neolithic.

-The Empire continues to go into long term decline, with trade in a steady decline and territories on the borders becoming harder to hold onto or becoming more heavily contested. The armies of North Africa are reorganized into a single military unit managed by a single council at the capital. Conscription is slowly abandoned, with levies or mercenaries becoming more prominent within the army. The senate still appoints generals to command the army however, after having made sure the generals are loyal and well-educated.

-The Empire goes through slow administrative decentralization and weakening control of the outer provinces, with much of Minoa, Anatolia, and the Mesopotamian provinces falling to regional nobles and towns. This process is finally formalized when the Empire is split into two, with the emperor decreeing that a separate Emperor shall rule in the north, while he rules in the south. Unfortunately, assailed on all sides and unable to bring together enough resources to defend their lands, the northern Emperors progressively lose Minoa, Anatolia, and most of the Fertile Crescent, having been reduced to a small rump state. They convert to the Manichean faith and rely increasingly more on the religious head of the faith.

-The Southern Empire refocuses on the continent they inhabit, and begin by building a network of fortifications throughout the Sinai to deter invaders. Next, they raise several armies and head into the interior of the continent or westwards, progressively pushing back the Berbers and conquering Nubia as well. The new administration is heavily feudal in nature, allowing the emperor to maintain if but a modicum of control in these new lands. Laws on land ownership are revised so as to allow people to have as large estates as they please, leading to the nobles quickly seizing or blackmailing people into building up larger estates and increasing the number of serfs and tenants they possess.

-This has the slight effect of encouraging some people to move to the towns and cities again, mainly because the landless do not have very many career opportunities. Several municipal laws allow for the establishment of new industries on the outskirts of the cities, and fuelled by new watermills they begin to grow once more. Tariffs are cut to encourage the resurgence of trade, but it does little to bolster such activities in the Mediterranean. Instead, the Indian Ocean is becoming progressively wealthier as merchants from India become increasingly common. Monies are set aside to rebuild the most important roads and irrigation systems, while diplomacy is pursued with Rome and many attempts at bringing back the old world are made. While these efforts may be said to be in vain (especially as the population is still slow to recover and trade declines with many Mediterranean empires weakening), there are signs of improvement by the early seventh century. The senate, central government, and emperor have lost much of their old power however, with most of it held by the nobility or a few major cities. The Manichean church has also acquired a lot of land too, and is slowly starting to entrench itself.

MexicoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-In central Mexico, the arts of herbalism and preparing mixtures have been long established, but recently they have begun to be written down and recorded for posterity. One of the newest advances involves dyes, with cotton cloth being now dyed in a multitude of fantastic colours and then crafted into beautiful clothing. In turn, a type of ink has also been developed, allowing people to write upon an appropriate surface. Carving messages out of stone or using clay tablets has thus started falling out of use, as lighter writing materials such as reed paper, animal skins, and tree bark become more widely used.

-The Theocracy sends a new army to Cuba to bolster the growing city there, and declares war on the various chiefdoms there, slowly expanding their influence in a series of bloody wars. On the Baja, another expeditionary force is requested by the regional administrator, whom immediately puts it to work on constructing a massive fortress out of stone and an adjacent port to receive supplies from and to anchor ships. The Aztec navy is not particularly strong, but it is growing rapidly and is starting to push the influence of the country into the seas. The ships are often sheathed with copper or bronze rams and fittings, with the usual strategy involving ramming an opponent before boarding.

-In the Rio Grande, the religious administrators have started setting up huge plantations (they are taxed less for growing cotton) to grow cotton in, which is then packed and sailed south towards the Yucatan or Mexican port cities, where the cotton is then processed into cloth and either dyed or hardened into a form of padded armour. Small villages sprout nearby ports and plantations as well, with people using simple floor looms and spinning whorls to produce cotton. These “cottage industries” form the backbone of the industrial economy, producing everything from cotton cloth to carved gems or bronzeware.

-The new wealth of this empire is of course taxed by the priestly elite, who are often the patrons of many fine projects and cultural activities. Not only are they expected to hold lavish festivals to please the gods and impress the common people, but they also have to build large stadiums to host ball games, while theatres are also built to put on plays. Plays are a relatively new invention, and tend to be of a largely religious nature. They often tend to be bloody and rely heavily on mythology as well, not to mention that plays are passed down orally and are often distorted or lost.

-At the height of its power, the theocracy is powerful and confident enough to send large numbers of missionaries north along Rio Grande along with settlers, although navigation on it has become increasingly difficult the further north one goes. Ships now frequently sail down the coast, although one expedition that tries to head west vanishes. By the seventh century, these ships are becoming large enough to go on voyages for multiple months.

-The infamous “Xokobo cough” spreads to Mexico in 611, felling a great number of people. The cities are abandoned and many flee to the countryside seeking safety. Much of the priestly class is decimated, and their attempts to call for salvation by means of many sacrifices and prayers to the gods go unheard. The merchants instigate riots in several cities against the priests for failing to stop the spread of the disease, and many buildings fall into disrepair. The army suffers for want of manpower and resources, and many fields go uncultivated. A third of all people die.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik

-With influence from abroad here, plus the proliferation of well-built stone or brick defensive fortifications, there is also a pressing need to design weaponry to reduce such structures. While simple rams and slings have existed for countless centuries, a new generation has recently come along. By putting slings onto a large wooden frame and having many men pull on the end, you provide a simple but effective piece of light siege artillery. It is of considerable use when the Lapps invade the Veraki.

-The Veraki send several skirmishing armies to the country, besieging several towns and cities and forcing the inhabitants into surrender. The nobles of the Veraki by this point however have taken control of much of the Veraki de facto, and have built themselves a new power base in the core homelands. The Lapps do manage to kidnap several engineers and other skilled persons, and extract tribute from the weaker parts. On their return, they bring several technologies with them, including heavy ploughs and watermills.

-The Lappish Emperor reorganizes the monetary system of the country and sets up a number of royal mints to manufacture gold and silver coins. These standardized coins are approved by the royal administration, and forgeries are harshly punished. Thus with high standards the coinage of the Empire begins to become increasingly common throughout the Baltic. High gold and silver contents aid in their use in transactions as well.

-As fishing expands in the Baltic, royal permits are granted to fishermen to operate in the seas here, which although less saline than the North Sea, can still support many types of wildlife crucial to the fishing industry. The many lakes and fjords are still open to the Baltic as well, allowing boats to travel a distance inland. Another major boon is the very slow decline of the shipworm, with it taking increasingly longer lengths of time for wood to decay in the water. A royal navy is also formed, although it largely consists of small fast moving wooden boats operated by banks of rowers.

-Realizing that invading the Veraki may have been a poor idea, the empire begins to extend protection towards merchants on the Volga, including Veraki and Kekgol ones, so as to rebuild trade links (and get access to the valuable silks and wealth of the Far East). A cautious foreign policy is pursued, and with the new coinage system, helps to build up foreign and domestic trade. New territories are opened up as well, with many forests cleared, marshes drained, and farms set up. Units similar to the Veraki Cossacks spread throughout the east, helping to secure these lands and make the various petty chiefs promise not to annoy the Lapps.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-Copying their neighbours to the south, the Alyeskan people have started writing things down, usually on pieces of wood, clay tablets, and stone. While largely reserved for the purpose of recording history and keeping track of goods, most people know enough to scratch their name onto items ranging from pots to axe heads and gravestones.

-By this point, the Alyeskan monarchs have decided to start focusing on expanding south and east, usually along major rivers and in search of prime agricultural lands. Unfortunately, a lot of people already live there, necessitating a series of bloody wars that ultimately results in victory for the Alyeska. The warriors here have managed to import increasing numbers of Japanese iron weaponry and sometimes even armour, allowing them a decisive edge when it comes to battle. A great deal of pasture is captured and used to rear peccaries and Xokobos for meat and eggs, providing yet more food and allowing the population to grow and expand.

-Unfortunately, a most horrible disease spreads north to the Alyeska from the Valsari, in which the sufferers bleed from the nose, develop a rash, and expire. While peccaries are unaffected, humans and Xokobos die in heaps, but the already low population densities here mean that overall few people die and it does not spread far. One trader even sailed to Japan after having caught it, but thankfully it did not spread. The bad news for his crew however is that he was the only one who knew the way back, and when the crew attempts to sail back they land in the land of the Xi instead. Several years later, they sail back to Japan and contact an Alyeska trader who manages to get them back home; in the process they bring many fine luxuries and other exotic goods from the Xi, including pieces of paper and lacquer ware.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-A new type of sailing ship comes about as sea trade has become integral to holding together the Valsan economy. Large wooden ships are built with two banks of oarsmen to propel them through the water, while one or more sails provide additional speed. Bronze rams are constructed on the front to pierce enemy vessels, while towers are used as firing platforms for archers. Also notable is the merchant ships, built with large and strong hulls to hold goods and using wind power alone for propulsion. The Valsan are focusing on their navy much more now, having started to train professionals to command these ships and conducting mock battles where manoeuvre is practiced.

-The Empire begins to expand eastwards now, seeking to control the lush rivers and forests throughout the valleys in conjunction to the major trade routes. Such expansion is not without its difficulties, for they encounter many nomadic tribes and settled urban communities, some using bronze weaponry and stone defensive works. These violent wars are usually successful, although administration of the new territories is more difficult than before. Xokobo messengers help to keep the western parts of the Empire well informed, but rebellions still often break out. what the hell is this shit

-The Emperor passes judgement on two Aztec spies that had been caught several centuries ago, deeming them worthy enough to be sent home after being kept under arrest for two years. Their skeletons are exhumed and are kept locked in a room for two years before being sent back home to be buried. Understandably the Emperor is not well suited to passing judgement, so after several complaints from his council he introduces a royal court of judges. These men are to travel throughout the countryside and judge people to determine if they committed a crime or not. To aid, a number of his peers are selected to vouch for the man on behalf of his goodwill. Of course in this regard it’s a direct infringement on the rights of the local nobles, and after several rebellions and much bloodshed, the nobility is subjugated. They may now only hold a title and lands held by their ancestors.

-Of course the new Emperor realizes that they will rebel one day again, and so he introduces several more political reforms. The new administrative provinces are allowed to vote for their own leader. To no one’s surprise, this means the old chiefs quickly fall back into their old positions of power, although due to the new administrative reforms some chiefs are more powerful while others are weaker. To control them, the Emperor sets their wages to be paid from the central government, and allows them to only rule over their own local province. Within several decades, most of the administrative regions are nearly hereditary fiefs in which one particularly family predominates.

-In a rather morbid way of finding out more about anatomy, the Emperor decrees that animals and criminals must be cut up to find out more about the body. Although he allows it to be done on live subjects, nobody really does this since the complications of such give any additional benefit. Cutting up corpses is sufficient enough. Monkeys are preferred for their resemblance to humans, although the occasional other odd animal is cut up as well. Much is learned about the body, mostly involving bone and muscle structure. These experiments are done in the utmost secret, and it is rumoured the Emperor frequently has intercourse with some of the bodies.

-A fleet of ships is sent west in search of the land told of by the Alyeskan people. It never returns. The Emperor then decides to look east instead, and orders some scouts to head east until they find the edge of the world, along with a suitable site for settlement. They discover the Svea, a loose confederation of chiefs based heavily on agriculture and trade along the great river. They are told that the land continues indefinitely to the east, although there are many rivers and coastlines that can be followed in such a direction.

-A new most dreadful disease appears for the first time the Empire. Originating among captive Xokobo birds, it causes them to develop a rash and bleed from the eyes and nose before expiring. The handlers of one stables noticed unusual behaviour among the birds, before succumbing to the disease themselves and dying. The starving birds broke out and spread it among the coastal towns, before it rapidly starting spreading. It sweeps and devastates the Empire, killing the Emperor and many of his subjects, and causing trade to shut down. It then spreads south into Mexico and north into Alyeska, and has caused devastation among the nomadic tribes. The disease later continued by spreading east and killing many there. Riots break out frequently, with targets being ineffective authorities and perceived sources of the outbreak. By the time it has mutated into a more benign form, it has killed potentially a third of all people.

KekgolFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Eurasian Steppe
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-With the Kekgols controlling many of the wealthy (albeit diminished) towns of the Veraki, they begin to try finding ways to rebuild trade there. One such way is to introduce the concept of fraternal organisations called “guilds”. By giving legal protections to a group of master artisans, they can share information and train apprentices in a way that protects and allows social capital to grow. Although useful for preserving vital skills used in the manufacture of many items, they stifle a great deal of trade. These guilds spread throughout towns under Kekgol rule and help arrest the loss of skills, not to mention that the men running these guilds tend to support the regime.

-With the Veraki state finally collapsing and leaving behind a rump of quarrelling nobles living in poor wooden forts and lording over peasants, the Mihaylovs move in to plunder the remains. After they win a war to secure the Danube and surrounding territories, the Kekgols move in using similar tactics they played against the Veraki. This time they use their knowledge of the terrain and their existing numbers against the Mihaylovs, ultimately cutting off the rearguard and baggage trains from the rest of the army. The Slavs rally and are forced to steal supplies from the peasantry (who aren’t happy at all) before the Kekgols break apart their forces and push the borders. The Veraki pledge allegiance to the Kekgols in return for being spared, and manage to secure most of the old homeland.

-Peace is made with the Persians and Hurrians, and just in time too, for the Hurrians have collapsed due to a series of bloody internal civil wars and invasion from the Macedonians. The Kekgols are happy enough to sign a simple peace treaty that leaves the Albanians in peace, while they concentrate on the wars with the Mihaylovs. A succession law is also introduced to the Kekgols, whereby the successor is elected on basis of merit. In practice this means the strongest and fastest general, leading to bloody civil wars every few decades. Control loosens over several lands, notably in the east and near the borders with the Mihaylovs.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yamato (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-Taking inspiration from their neighbours overseas, alchemists in Japan have discovered a most interesting new compound and how to manufacture it. By fermenting urine, faecal matter, straw, and other organic materials, one can produce a form of white crystals which burn with a purple flame. What’s more, they can be purified and used for fertilizing crops, and are often used in religious settings or by tricksters to produce purple flames. Around the same time, the Japanese start heating green vitriol to produce a corrosive substance that so far has only been used to clean rust from iron objects.

-The Japanese continue their relentless expansion, funding more ships and soldiers to claim lands and control trade in the name of the Emperor. Several new islands are charted and have fortifications built on them, but the natives are usually hostile and respond violently. Putting down rebellions on these islands has become a difficult and time consuming process that sucks up manpower and funding from elsewhere. Most of these islands don’t even have much in the way of resources, and those that do are uneconomically viable to develop, as the cost of exporting is high. Better luck is had to the west, which are not only easier to colonize and have more to offer in the way of resources and land, but also are close by to existing trade routes. From Xi, the first Christian and Buddhist missionaries arrive along these trade routes, and begin to set up shop in Japan.

-Conscription requirements are slashed when the Emperor realizes that his subjects have started grumbling, although now a new problem has come with finding enough soldiers to man his expensive navy. Some are happy enough to go west, although tropical diseases tend to decimate immigrants, leading to the Japanese administrators living in separate ventilated towns while the local populations act as de facto slaves. Formosa is much better suited to ordinary people, with the natives being gradually pushed into the interior as their farms expand and frequent skirmishes tend to be bloody.

-With trade firmly under Japanese control and their influence expanding, the royal court in Silla allies with Japan and sends a petition to help them in unifying the peninsula, especially as many Japanese merchants now live there and wield some political influence. The Alyeskan traders are becoming gradually more common, and are now buying larger and larger quantities of iron, silk, and other goods from Japan (although at inflated prices). The monopoly is partially broken when the Alyeskans establish trade contacts in Xi and Korea throughout the sixth century, forcing prices to come down and in turn increasing the number of traders and goods travelling. Unfortunately, one such trader contracted a disease that caused him to bleed from the eyes and nose before expiring. Fortunately, he is the sole representative case.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-Although paper has existed for centuries along with ink, the idea of trying to speed up the meticulous process of copying down information has taken a bit longer. It comes in the form of woodblock printing. By carving a piece of wood to hold a negative of a piece of text or imagery, one can quickly reproduce something one initially carved. The growing adoption of paper and improving production methods has led to the Xi starting to set up artisan workshops for the manufacture of these blocks and their use in printing materials. It is incredibly useful for government officials, reducing the burden of their work.

-The military is slashed in size, with a new edict proclaiming that the number of soldiers shall not exceed half a hundredth of the total number of people, so as to prevent the army bloating. A new philosophy also comes around this time to justify new military reforms, promoting the concept that soldiers ought to be of the utmost standard and not merely peasants. To this end, entrance exams are even adopted for soldiers, and generals are encouraged to not needlessly waste lives. The great ancient authors are studied extensively and biographies are made of the great generals and their campaigns, with knowledge of these books being essential to passing the examinations. While the army is much smaller, it is also much more resourceful and intelligent as well, having started to also make frequent use of spies.

-War is declared upon the Xiongnu, who have since grown fat and lazy with their control of the wealthy lands of Xi. The new Xi army learns of the locations of many Xiongnu garrisons and consequently attack the weakest city. The Xiongnu panic and raise their respective armies, but the Xi move quickly and attack each army being raised before it can rally. The remaining half of the Xiongnu then move on the tiny Xi army, while the Xi raise rebellions in the rear and burn down the royal treasury. The Xiongnu armies’ mutiny and the Emperor is forced to flee before being captured and held for random. The Xi thus reconquers their homeland and to put a stop to more nomads, they repair the great wall.

-To raise taxes for the repair of the great wall, the Emperor finds an unlikely aid in the newcomers to his country. Calling a meeting with the major Christians and Buddhists, he establishes two separate state sanctioned religious institutions that are responsible for their respective followers throughout the country. In return, the respective heads must contribute a tax for the upkeep of the country and also pray in the good health of the Emperor, which is accepted in return for free religious expression. The Christian church is also permitted to marry people at a younger age, which leads to larger (and younger) families. The Christians and Buddhists quickly swallow up the uncultivated wastelands and recolonize many abandoned areas, albeit with their particular religions predominating. The structure of the Buddhist and Christian religions allows them to found monasteries as well,

-To try and boost population recovery, the state introduces the “Equal field system” whereby all land is owned by the state, but is lent out to people on the basis of how much labour they provide. Being that the state theoretically owns all land, they can easily seize the lands of dead people and distribute it to new families, thus encouraging both migration into depopulated areas and the development of agriculture. The monasteries and nobility also have some lands, but the new reforms make it difficult for large untaxable estates to develop (unless the central government loses control and weakens). Peasants slowly migrate outwards to take advantage, and recovery begins. The monasteries and branches of the Buddhists and Christians also expand into Asia, and some even begin to preach in Korea and Japan.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germanic)
State Religion: Natenum

-With urbanization finally becoming relatively common, many streams and rivers are becoming heavily polluted with human and animal waste. The need for clean water leads to the expansion of sanitation in the towns. Wells are now being built in greater numbers and are lined with stone blocks or clay bricks. Wooden structures on top provide a frame for buckets of water, while numerous channels are dug or extended to divert sewage away from the towns. Many open sewers begin to have stone slabs laid atop them, while gong farmers are employed to keep these sewers clean and use the filth to fertilize fields. While all of these improvements are small, they do help significantly towards improving basic sanitation. Some Germans are even copying the English habitat of washing the genitals and body regularly instead of just the hands and face.

-With trade and fishing areas slowly expanding, the Germans (by this point, the original Lappish culture is nearing extinction) are now travelling regularly to the north of Brytenwalda and along the western coasts of Scandinavia, following the Fjords and lakes. Unfortunately, many areas are already populated with people already and conflict regularly flares up. Unlike on the continent, these peoples are hostile to the idea of becoming subjects, and often attack the forts constructed there. During this time, the forts slowly begin to be built out of stone, and very few houses are built outside of them. Breoton by this stage is a major trading partner, with tin being an important import from them. Trade must be well defended from the Picts however, who frequently come down and attack merchants. The coastguard has expanded its activities increasingly north as pirate activity slowly diminishes in the south.

-The country of Diwasanum begins to slowly morph internally as the increasing power of families grows. In many regional parts, families of increasing power and fortune are having a greater influence on politics and now have started conducting internal small-scale wars within Diwasanum. Loosely integrated chiefs have also started building up their own power bases, although they have started to take on fancier titles. The influence of the Veraki and Romans has led to several calling themselves dukes and building large fortified homes and small armies heavily based around cavalry. The incredibly decentralized country has always had a weak central government, but by now it has started to fall into irrelevance as many nobles do not even bother attending it. The country is only largely held together through shared ethnic and political ties between the major families and cities which hold most of the land, many of which start to skirmish with the Helvetii and Allemanni. The first Manichean missionaries appear.

RomaFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The Romans have begun building one of the things they are famous for. By digging tunnels underneath towns and cities, and connecting toilets to it, you can get rid of waste very easily. One definition of civilization is the distance put between a man and his shit, and if the Romans are to be believed then the Romans are considered civilized indeed. These sewers require skilled engineers and a lot of money to build them, not to mention water sources and constant maintenance. The payoff however is huge, with some of the better off towns and cities of Rome having clean streets and houses and during the summer no longer the strong smell of fermenting faecal matter, but only the smell of decaying food and sweat.

-With the final collapse of the Veraki, the Roman legions march to Oipe, a troublesome city having recently won a conflict against Inaran and Veraki nobles and priests who struggled to hold onto power. There, the Romans find a city hostile to their presence and refusing to let the Romans in. The Romans respond by battering down the walls with onagers and swarming into the city, slaughtering many of the inhabitants and taking control of the whole of Oipe. The old lumber mills and granaries are seized by the state, and much of the loot of the city is distributed to Romes allies. The Manichean inhabitants of the city continue to worship under Roman rule. The Slavs originally invited the Romans to help, although there is grim news. The Kekgols declared war, and devastated both the Slavic army and the Roman reinforcements. The general who lost against the Kekgols is lynched by rioters, angry at the loss of thousands of men.

-Manichean priests and worshippers are spreading west, by this stage having converted much of not only the former Veraki Empire, but now the Roman Republic itself. In response, the state starts taxing Manichean followers in return for allowing them to practice their religion. Unfortunately, the religion is aggressively expansionist and most of the adherents tend to be poor anyways. Missionaries spread into Gaul and Germany from their base in Italy, and later into Iberia where they are often persecuted by the Cult of Sol. Manichean followers become increasingly common and have started building impressive stone churches, while many move to the countryside to live as hermits or as monks to better contemplate on their faith. New architectural techniques are introduced from Nefere, allowing these churches to be built with vaulted rooms and make significant use of arches.

-With the Roman army starting to cost ever more (legionaries are now being granted larger wages and have food and housing costs subsidized), the Roman state has started taking many industries and lands into public ownership. Iron mines, forestry, along with many other businesses and lands are nationalized. Slavery is formally abolished, although by this point in time it has already been long since replaced with serfdom and tenancy. Taxes increase on the rich as well, which has the effect of starting to drive out the merchants, especially in Oipe which is already hostile to Roman rule.

-An alliance is signed with the Slavs, while assurances are given by both sides that merchants will not be harassed in their travels. Import taxes are adopted to raise more money for the state, while tolls are levied on ships that pass by Oipe, which has the further unintentional effect of diminishing trade. Similar tariffs are levied on Romes neighbours, and with the exception of trade with the Slavs, general production goes into decline. The state owned industries frequently suffer from lack of labour too as many peasants find better wages in small artisan crafts or the countryside, leading to watermills being built or repaired to save on labour.

MihaylovFlag
Griffster26 – Mihaylov Empire
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Solnechnaya Khram)

-A new way of reproducing information inexpensively is developed in this Empire, presumably as literacy rises slowly and the need to copy writing becomes important. Taking a piece of wood and carving it to have a set phrase or image on the reverse is a simple but time consuming way to produce a negative for printing something. You merely need apply the ink and have a ready source of material to print onto. Unfortunately, manufacturing parchment is costly as well, meaning that these blocks (which take a long time to make) are rarely used.

-As the Veraki Empire finally ceases to exist not just de facto but de jure as well, the Mihaylovs raise several armies and march on the empire to seize the most valuable lands. In the process, they begin to be elevated to a higher position of being viewed as a defender of all Slavs, and the many Inarian priests and clergy flee as the armies advance. All those following Inara are put to the sword, making a very convincing argument for the merits of Solnechnaya Khram. Vast portions of the former Veraki are secured, and an alliance is signed with the Romans. Much of the old infrastructure however falls into ruin, and several coalitions of Veraki nobility form a feudal state, which swells with refugees and other people fleeing from the invasion.

-However, the Kekgols are quick to pounce on the next target; the Mihaylovs. The Kekgols devastate the Slavs in a series of battles almost immediately after the subjugation of the Veraki, allowing many Veraki nobles time to escape and flee to the homeland where they quickly sign an alliance with the Kekgols for protection. Even the Roman reinforcements are slaughtered and routed from the field, badly damaging the prestige of the army. The Kekgols then proceed to take all of the gains of the Slavs and push them back before the Khan dies and a small succession war halts expansion.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-The people on these islands have come across a development unlike ever before seen with the exception of the peoples of Xi and India. By taking old rags, hemp, shredded bark, and other such materials, and pulping them, one can produce a most wonderful material to write upon. It is bit cheaper than parchment and easier to acquire, but it is still an intensively laborious process and takes a good deal of time to make. In the end however, it is still a superior material, and within a century every self-respecting town or nobleman has at least one building set aside for paper manufacture.

-Continuing their expansion, the Breotons use both diplomatic blackmail and military might to subjugate and ultimately incorporate their neighbours. The Welsh are still elusive, running into the hills and using their famed longbows to kill many of their foes in volleys of arrows. The Breotons respond by digging a big ditch along the border and focusing their efforts on going north and into Cornwall instead, where the extensive tin mines are prized throughout Europe. After securing these mines, the Breotons sign a trade agreement with several Diwasanum towns, exporting tin and other metals to them in return for continental goods. Merchants have begun insisting their children become learned in the literate ways so as to conduct trade with their German brethren more easily, and the Lappish alphabet becomes common here via such networks.

-While the Breotons by and large live in wooden housing and have small settlements rarely exceeding several thousand, they have started to adopt the finer techniques employed in sanitation. Open sewers are banned in the streets, and now large cesspits are constructed throughout villages and towns to collect and store waste. This is then collected and deposited in farms for manure, with much effort made to clean up every towns “Shitebrooke”. Some of the wealthiest nobles begin to buy lead pipes for the purpose of pumping in water to heated baths, and the peasants likewise copy them. Unlike the disgusting Romans who rub themselves with oil and scrape it off, the Breotons have hot baths whenever possible, although most of the time they wash their hands and faces and feet with cold water daily.

KalandFlag
Dromlexer – Kaland
Capital: Kaland
Culture: Kalandian (Germanic)
State Religion: Germanic Pantheon (Norse)

-In the cooling climate of this period, many call to the gods to deliver them from hunger and misery, often observing the skies to better understand how events might unfold. While most developments are usually astrological in nature and claim that by calculating the arrangement of planets you can predict the future, there are a few ones that in the future would precede the developments of modern astronomy. One of them is a strange small crystal that allows you to detect where the sun is when the sky is overcast. It is most useful tool for navigators and astrologers indeed.

-In the small and often uncomfortable wooden castles scattered throughout the countryside, the various warriors who fight for their lord are often dissatisfied, especially with the quality of their food. Thus a new law was passed, which mandated that all retainers of a noblemen must be given ample supplies of beer and meat, with the King meant to set an example in this. After giving out generous rations, not only does the soldiers’ health improve slightly, but they are much more loyal as well.

-Economic activities expand as the monarchy attempts to make monies from the resources of his country. The southern parts of Scania are discovered to be wealthy in iron ore, and a fort is established called Malmo to protect the mines and port there. Several forestry operations are established as well, with several forests coming under a royal monopoly. The timber is not only used domestically for shipbuilding and housing or fuel, but also for export abroad as well to Diwasanum in semi-processed form.

-Many towns are also granted the right to hold markets and festivals, giving them a great deal of local autonomy from the nobility (and by extension the queen who grants these). While helping to build up her influence among the tiny numbers of urban craftworkers and merchants that have begun appearing, it is annoying among the nobility. When the Germans and Lapps begin to build increasingly out of stone once more during this period, the Kalandians also begin setting up quarries to take advantage.

-By the seventh century, while the Kingdom is still a small and rather periphery agrarian society, there are glimpses of a move towards increasing wealth and sophistication. The nobles expand further north, seeking fishing grounds and deposits and iron and copper ores. Trade expands with Lappland, with merchants and nobles becoming steadily more literate in the Lappish alphabet. Finally, the religious begin to set up schoolhouses in villages and towns with the purpose of educating children how to write and read. While only 10% of the population in rural areas becomes literate enough to read and write, most males are able to at least recognize their own name on legal parchments and sign contracts. In the towns, this figure is much higher.

TembagaFlag
YogiTheWise – Tembaga
Capital: Suva
Culture: Tembagi (Polynesian)
State Religion: Polynesian Pantheon

-The Tembega have always built their houses out of wood until around now, when there is a sudden change towards construction in masonry. The most commonly believed reason is due to shortages of trees, a perennial problem in the Pacific islands. To alleviate this, the chief thus demanded that housing be constructed from materials other than wood when possible. Stone is of course readily available, along with clay and sand. They soon develop skilled ways of cutting and dressing stone for use in construction, along with making sun-dried bricks and mortar, and begin to build small stone villages. The houses are only accessible from the top, through either ladder or rope.

-To hold together this informal country, the rulers are advocates of a new decentralized power system resembling feudalism. Outside of personal possessions of the ruling house, independent chiefs and tribes are granted a great deal of self-autonomy, while in return they must send tribute in the form of resources or warriors when requested. In theory, this system should provide protection for all and distribution of resources to where it is most needed. In reality, it largely results in most wealth and power flowing to the top to be used at their discretion.

-One day, while observing peasants working on a vegetable garden, Hari Loakaaka thought to himself, that if he had much larger gardens, he would be able to have many more warriors. Alas, the size of the islands did not allow for such great gardens, but then inspiration struck him. The big lands to the west, Aotearoa (New Zealand), had been recently sighted; if he had been able to get at least a small portion of that land for the Tembagi and set up large-scale agriculture, it would secure a great future for his house. As such, Hari gathered his prominent vassals and set out to land on these large islands. They land in the northwest, and discover no sign of human habitation. In fact, they are among the first mammals to return here.

-Along with their settlement of Aotearoa, several more island chains to the north have been expanded into, usually more by conquest than by actual settlement. However, the biggest gains are made on Aotearoa, which to the knowledge of the Tembagi, is covered in dense and lush forest. They immediately begin clearcutting from the north, constructing their distinctive boats and small farming communities. However, they also encounter two strange and scary birds. The first is a herbivore three metres tall and unable to fly, while the other is a giant eagle that hunts these. The herbivore is somewhat docile and may be captured or killed easily, while the other can kill humans.

-Near the end of this period, so as to formalize relations between tribes and the scattered peoples of this informal empire (along with imposing the authority of the rulers), the first form of a legal code appears. Carved in stone or clay tablets, it consists of a list of basic laws which advocate harsh punishments to deter crimes and improve the morality of the populace. Copies appear throughout the Empire, with the first one in Aotearoa in 623.

Turn 14: 625 CE to 750 CE

Chinese Instrumental Music - Imperial Dancing Music Of Tang Dynasty (HIGH QUALITY)07:17

Chinese Instrumental Music - Imperial Dancing Music Of Tang Dynasty (HIGH QUALITY)

Turn music

AscentofManTurn14Map

Political map of Turn 14

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45695315&viewfull=1#post45695315


Turn quote: Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard. ~ Genghis Khan

Events of the years 625 CE to 750 CE:

-Manichean missionaries are common throughout Gaul, Iberia, and Germania, where they have varying degrees of success and failure. The strengthening of institutions in Nefere and Macedonia allows for missionaries to gather financial subsidies from home, and the growing power of the Manichean church has led to the faith beginning to sprout up in the British Isles too. The Gallic Kingdom, Helvetica, and Alemania convert to the faith. In Iberia the missionary have much greater difficulty, as the already centralized and powerful Cult of Sol rules supreme and represses the faith, often calling on the Iberian kingdoms to defend the peninsula from foreigners. The Suomenik church spreads into the remaining parts of the Veraki and gains a powerful foothold, but struggles with Manicheans in both the Kekgol and Veraki lands. In return, Manicheans begin to spread into the Mihaylov Empire, and in Diwasanum they have become powerful enough to begin dismantling the old religion there.

-Sugar refining develops in India, where it is used in cooking for a wide variety of uses. Highly popular, it is sold as far afield as Nefere and Xi, and the art of growing and processing the cane is introduced to both respective countries as well.

-The Danube basin becomes thoroughly depopulated, reaching its lowest population and levels of economic, social, and political complexity at this time on levels comparable to a thousand years prior. Most people live in fortified villages or are attached to clans and chieftains. Hillforts are repopulated and rebuilt due to hills being much safer than the plains, while trade falls to an absolute low. The rapid regrowth of the forests also leads to the recovery of bears and wolves, which roam in the ruins of the former great cities and savage any peasants they come across.

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Manichaeism

-The alchemists and tinkerers of Nefere have come up with an ingenious anti-personnel weapon for use in naval warfare, although it comes at some cost. By mixing natural oil with pine tar and animal fats, one can produce an inflammable liquid that can be sprayed or thrown in a pot at something, before igniting easily. A complex mechanical device utilizing bellows, a nozzle, and a heated tank allows for an easy method of squirting this foul liquid onto hapless persons below, while catapults throw pots of it at targets.

-Several more campaigns are conducted in Nubia in spite of losses to disease and the rebelliousness of the population there. Although considered subjugated and pacified, the sparsely populated areas of the lands between the Nile and the Red Sea take many more years to fully assert control over, usually through the construction of forts and deals made with the local political figures. Several ports are built on the coastline, and much investment is made into the expansion of the Red Sea fleet.

-With the position of the Northern Empire ever precarious, Nefere often has to send significant reinforcements to bolster their position in the area. Long term, this leads to the gradual weakening of the Northern Empire to the point it becomes a puppet and buffer state of Nefere. Although possessing wealthy agricultural and mineral capabilities it often fails to pay for an army of suitable size and quality to defend their borders.

-Hearing of the war with the Kekgols, the Nefere fleet mobilizes their fleet to assist the Romans, and having superior naval capabilities, arrive early to the Kekgol shores. On arrival however, they find that the towns have been abandoned, and so seeking to get some loot at least, they raid several settlements in the area before Veraki soldiers arrive. They then received news of Macedonia and Assuwa joining the war, to which Nefere responds by bringing their navy to assist the Romans. Despite having a superior navy, they are unable to break through on account of poor morale and supplies, but do manage to set many Macedonian ships alight and destroy most of them. The Nefere navy surrenders after running out of supplies however, taking care to throw the Greek fire machines overboard before capture. Assuwa also invades the Anatolian territories of the northern empire, with Persia and her allies also getting involved. The war becomes a drain on Nefere and leads to the abandonment of claims on those lands.

-In response to the growing popularity of the Manichean faith and an unwillingness to reform Atenism, the Emperor formally converts to Manicheism and declares it the state religion of the Empire. This move not only secured the position of this faith (allowing it to spread deeper into Europe), but elevated the power of the patriarch of Alexandria considerably and started the process of integrating church and state. By the middle of the eighth century, bishops make up a large proportion of the upper house of the senate in conjunction with the nobility, forming one of the three major estates. The lower house consists largely of everybody else, usually merchants and artisans from the much diminished urban centres.

-The Emperor makes a number of reforms to reverse the stagnation and decline of the empire while also strengthening his own power base. Tax collection is once again brought back under control of the central government, while new building codes are enacted and the position of regional administrators is strengthened. Unfortunately this is an uphill battle, and outside of the urban centres the bureaucrats and civil servants hold little to no power and are made impotent by bishops and nobles. Tax collection is difficult as well, with revenue shortfalls frequent and corrupt officials often skimming from the treasury. One of the few achievements is the reintroduction of the census, which while successful, is held irregularly and usually at the start of a reign as opposed to regular intervals. At least the information within is useful for revising tax policies.

-Another major achievement is the repair and expansion of the small canals linking the Nile to the Red Sea, the growing prominence of ports to service Indian shipping, and the establishment of toll roads. Altogether these help to improve the flow of goods somewhat between India and Europe, with silk now regularly coming through such ports (in addition to other goods). Merchants and their guilds fund expeditions to go to India often as well, breaking into new markets and siphoning up all of the tasteful luxuries of the east in return for precious metals and manufactured goods (such as glass and mechanical devices). Spices now regularly flow back to Nefere, along with a wonderful new foodstuff called “Saccharum“. The strange bamboo-like plants which are the source for this sweet powder are also introduced for the first time to Nefere.

MexicoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-The Aztec search for new labour saving devices and in this endeavour they are successful. Old querns and pounders for processing maize have been around for ages, but now somebody has the bright idea of carefully making two large stone wheels and resting them atop one another. By then rotating them and feeding in grains of corn or other such things, one may mill fine flour. The invention quickly spreads, and is later adapted for use with peccaries to drive the millstone.

-In spite of demographic decline and problems at home, the military gears up for a major campaign to the east, carefully constructing a line of forts along the Rio Grande to defend against nomads. On their campaign east, they are successful in bringing many towns and petty kingdoms to heel, but are forced to return when they receive news that the Valsan had invaded and plundered many towns along the valley.

-On their return, the towns are discovered in ruins, but many of the civilians are in good shape and appear to have their possessions with them. They were told to bring a message to the commander to inform him that expansion in the area was unacceptable to the Valsan and they were forced to retaliate. What’s worse, is that many priest dead bodies were discovered having suffered from grotesque injuries and having gone insane from being forcefed peyote. The few who survived and can speak coherently say that they were tortured while being given peyote. The army covers the movement of their peoples to the southern side of the river, but is forced to send support to the east to maintain the loyalty of their vassals there.

-The Teotl holy book is composed and published in its modern (or near modern) form for the first time, serving to both impose a common tongue and a common faith for all denizens of the empire. It is simply referred to as “Teotl”, promoting a will to power and dualism. Within a century, nearly every temple possesses one, and the religious are encouraged to make copies and read from them frequently so as to ensure strict adherence to the new faith. One of the major results of this is the death of the Old Mexican language, with Middle Mexican coming to replace it and spreading throughout the empire. Although regional dialects will persist for centuries, the nations they once represented are falling into obscurity.

-The Aztec government continues to swell in size, mostly in response to new problems. The citizenry are rioting frequently over the inability to stop disease, and there is a spate of hospital construction and general improvement of sanitation and water supplies to the major urban centres, after their neglect during the diseases of past centuries. Even the old universities and schools are expanded, and are filled with scholars to copy the Teotl holy book and preserve important philosophical works as well. Unfortunately, the costs of maintaining all this competes with the Aztec military expansion overseas, and many public services suffer from lack of funds. Many buildings are cannibalized by the urban poor, while fields slowly start to go uncultivated. Peasant rebellions are on the increase, angry at the imposition of the standardized holy book and demanding an end to conscription. They are brutally put down and the ringleaders exiled.

-Besides expansion to the northeast, it seems as though the Aztec are hungry for land, anywhere. Merchants and explorers are given generous subsidies to chart out new lands (many do not return), and one attempts to sail west of the Baja. He vanishes from the record. On the peninsula to the west, more administrators are appointed and monasteries established to help cement control and to convert the heathens of the area. On the mouth of the Mississippi, a trading town is set up, although very quickly the residents complain and demand local autonomy, and refuse to take in the prisoners sent there. The administrator responds by sending the prisoners to a swampy and desolate land east, where most of them die from disease or hunger, and the rest escape anyways after a mutiny.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Classical)

-With the Lappish Empire once again fostering the growth and development of trade throughout the Baltic and further overseas, the earliest financial institutions for lending begin to appear and be regulated around this time. Given the major risks involved in usury in this time, the interest rates tend to be high and loans generally only made for those in the wealthier classes. Debtor prisons help to make sure people pay back their debts and usually little money passes through their hands or goes into investment. In spite of these shortcomings, they contribute towards general prosperity.

-The fishermen expand eastwards along the coasts of the Baltic, following the fur traders and in turn being followed by merchants and eventually farmers and lords. A small hamlet quickly grows into a crowded town made of wood and straw located by Lake Ilmen. It becomes a hub for trade in the area (despite being frozen over during winter) and a centre for trade with the Uralic peoples in the general area. From here, merchants often travel into the Kekgol lands, where they sell barrels of salted herring, a major backbone of the Lappish economy. Salt is of course a major import, with much of it bought from the Germans or Slavs.

-As watermill and heavy plough technologies developed or refined in the old Veraki Empire spread here, the nobles and townspeople along with monasteries take to them readily. Several towns and cities build their own structures for the milling of corn, while nobles usually build one for their estate and rent it out for a fee to their tenants. Heavy ploughs with a refined horse collar are also introduced, their main advantage being that they don’t cut into the windpipe of the horse whenever it pulls the plough. Although ploughing fields is still hard and troublesome work, there is a very slow and gradual replacement of oxen by horses as a beast of burden that begins in this period.

-Around the same time, the state church has managed to acquire a near monopoly over the literate within the country, using its vast economic resources to support a literate and educated clergy. Of course, it needs people to read out the holy texts to the people and copy them down for posterity, meaning that a large number of charitable and religious schools are founded during this time. Most rural people (save for unfree serfs) and townspeople can send their children to these for one day a week, where they learn a few phrases and songs, along with the ability to understand legal texts.

-In the capital itself meanwhile, there are additional investments into the royal palace and associated buildings held by the crown. An innovative underfloor heating system is built to keep the residents warm during the winter, while the stables, tax offices, armouries, guildhalls, and barracks are rebuilt and refurbished. The city defences are also expanded and more stone walls are built, with large towers sometimes having siege artillery. The city guard is also reformed, with a special detachment for defence of the royal palace. Earthen ramparts surround outlying areas, while the sewers and streams that carry away refuse are dredged and re-laid once more, making the city look outwardly clean and healthy.

-On hearing news that their allies were to go to war with the Kekgols, the Lapps reluctantly raised an army for war, although their advantage of having a large cavalry force and tradition helped significantly when it came to replicating Kekgol strategies and tactics. Before the Slavs and Romans even marched into the Danube, the Lapps would frequently send out skirmishing forces of cavalry to harass and pick away at Kekgol forces, especially in the lands north of the Veraki homeland. While they do manage to send reinforcements to assist the Romans and Slavs, a surprise entry into the war on behalf of the Macedonians effectively cripples Rome and by extension the war effort. The Lapps are helpless as they watch their allies forces slowly wither away, and eventually they focus their efforts on the main invasion force heading east.

-Heading east and south along the Volga watershed, the Lapps seize control over many tribes and chiefdoms that used to pay tribute to the Kekgols, and harry with the Kekgols, pushing some of them back towards the homeland. However, as the Romans and Slavs fall out of the war, the Lapps are eventually forced to return. They did succeed to gain control of a fair deal of land in the process however, and have learned that perhaps the best way to stop a Kekgol is to hire one, for many Kekgol soldiers now reside within the Lappish army.

-In the aftermath of the war, the Lapps seem happy enough to seek peace and trade with the Kekgols (in fact they had been wishing to do this before the war as well), and they set up a great number of trading stations in an attempt to latch onto the wealth of the silk road. They also manage to secure control of much of the Don and Volga, allowing merchants free access to the Black Sea and Oipe along with the Silk Road. In the west, trade with Breoton and the other countries continues to strengthen, based on goods ranging from timber, iron, herring, wool, salt, silk, and animal furs. The powerful Suomenik church follows close behind, setting up a large number of missionary efforts in countries that Manicheans have yet to control. In some instances this turns to violence, with gangs of monks often rushing into a rival monastery and beating the residents for preaching in their part of the town.

-After many years of peaceful trade and fruitful diplomacy, Kalands new queen holds a royal visit to Lappland, where she is kept under armed guard and treated to a delightful meal and allowed to observe the wealth and power of Lappland for herself. She returns, commended for having ensured peace among her people and neighbours. In Lappland itself the visit is well received by townspeople and peasants alike, who travel from far for a chance to glimpse royalty. Both monarchs give out gifts as well, and a festival was held concurrently, with many religious plays and roadside entertainers playing music and doing magic tricks for the crowds of many tens of thousands that flocked to the city.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-The influence from Japan is becoming steadily more evident here. In addition to a proliferation of iron tools and weaponry (resulting in the replacement of bronze), the people here are now wearing Japanese inspired clothing whenever possible, speak the language, and travel frequently from one to the other. Several Japanese traders settle down here, and bring with them yet another technology. By heating up pieces of iron enough and hammering it, one can shape iron into all sorts of useful things. The result is that Alyeskan ironworkers begin to operate independently, and switch towards working imported iron ingots instead of finished iron tools and weaponry.

-The result is a complete change of trade between the two peoples. With the price of ironware declining, there is a greater focus on the import of luxurious silks. The Japanese are only willing to buy animal furs in return, and so the Alyeska begin to travel deeper inland and set up cabins to hunt from, and to make deals with the locals. This trade results in the spread of iron throughout the continent slowly, especially among fur-trading routes, and leads to the expansion of the Alyeska. Japanese ships now regularly ply these treacherous seas, bringing silk and iron and stuffed to the brim with furs on the return journey.

-As trade expands, the Alyeska travel increasingly further distances in search of a profit. Some acquire rides on Japanese or Xi ships (or buy a few themselves). Contact is established with Funan, and the Silk Road by this stage is now considered to reach east into the new world. The long term results of this may take a while to manifest, but already it is starting to influence of fate of peoples on both sides of the vast ocean.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-The first buildings in a new architectural style appear at this time in the Valsan, looking completely unlike anything seen more. The Alyeska had such buildings, brought over by Japanese merchants, but only now has it permeated Valsan society. Buildings are now being made from wood whenever possible, utilizing a post and beam construction to achieve buildings with a spacy and light interior as opposed to thick masonry walls. Tomb burial practice falls out of favour, in favour of cremations. Most interestingly, is the adoption of iron nails, showing that the material had become available. Silk is also becoming available, although both materials are uncommon at present and must be imported from Alyeska.

-A group of settlers and soldiers are sent east to look for new lands, following trade routes. After a scuffle with Aztec merchants, they are later massacred by a tribe of nomads. In response to the Aztec expanding their activities north and threatening trade routes, the Valsan blame the massacre on the Aztec, declare war and invade. Although the Aztec possesses a long and grand history behind them, several Valsan soldiers have something special to assist them, something Japanese.

-Arriving at the area, the Aztec forts and outposts alert the regional soldiers to the threat, and rally out to meet in the field. The battle opens with volleys of arrow fire from the Valsan, but the archers are driven off by Xokobo cavalry, who ride down many. However, they are unable to break through the main Valsan lines, filled with soldiers who use Japanese swords and polearms to hack down the birds or pull the riders off them. The cream of the local elite is eliminated by this method, forcing the Aztec to retreat to find reinforcements. The Valsan proceed to loot and burn all of the settlements north of the Rio Grande. Unfortunately they are unable to reduce the forts in the area, and when the Aztec brings in reinforcements they are forced to pull back. As a consolation to the Aztec, the Valsan send back all of the prisoners with their possessions.

-Although they were unable to secure these lands, the Valsan did secure all of the lands along the Rio Grande up to the old Aztec borders, forcing many of the peoples there to swear allegiance to the Emperor. To help secure these new lands, he decrees that all conquered peoples are now granted the rights of citizenship (and all of the duties thus implied). The new provinces are granted autonomy too, as long as they pay taxes. However, the chiefs are made to have maximum term lengths of two years before giving up their title. They respond by simply electing a close family member instead.

-A new grim chapter in medical history begins here. Building on the previous experience of cutting up cadavers, some of these “physicians” begin getting help to acquire especially fresh specimens. The spy network frequently roots out Aztec priests, and turns them over to the medical schools. There, they are forcefed peyote (and other things) and operated on while still alive, so as to deter-mine the effectiveness of it at sedation. Many medical compounds are tested on these priests, many of which die a painful and prolonged death from poisoning or shock. Surgery is conducted on them as well, and all of the results are quietly noted down and incorporated into the body of medical knowledge.

-A new law is passed which decrees that all practicing physicians in the empire must know the in-formation from these experiments by heart. Although shockingly unethical and many of which have no scientific or medical basis or merit, these experiments do help to improve medical knowledge a great deal. One important discovery is that swiping a surgical instrument through a flame or alcohol will make it much less likely for a patient to die. This is incorporated by physicians, who practice the strange ritual of holding a candle to a scalpel or dipping it in alcohol before and after use.

KekianFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Eurasian Steppe
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism

-The Kekgols, in spite of being an often destructive nomadic horde, do manage to steal and retain many of the skills from the civilizations they invaded. One of these is modern engineering, after several of their major cities began to fall into serious disrepair and decay. Seeking to alleviate this, the great Khan ordered his vassals to capture many skilled masons, architects, painters, sculptors, and other assorted persons. In this they were successful, and they managed to not only rebuild his splendid palaces and many public works, but improved upon them as well.

-The Great Khan receives news at this time of a great alliance of nations setting out to destroy him and his people, and so he orders a bold but wise strategy for dealing with the matter. He firstly calls upon his horde to withdraw from the Danube basin, burning down many houses and making sure the land is worthless to the occupying forces. Many farming tools including peasants are broken, forcing the invaders to get new ones. The Kekgols also pay off Assuwa and the varied tribes and clans throughout their empire to raid supply lines whenever they fancy, all leading up to the bold grand strategy.

-When the Kekgols return to their homelands around the Volga, they constantly raid and harass the Roman and Mihaylov forces, not to mention the Veraki as well. The entry of the Macedonians soon cripples the invasion force as well, leaving the homelands (which is where all the important stuff is) safe and secure. Soon after, the Kekgols begin to push back the invaders after winter attrition takes its toll, and quite shortly afterwards the entire military force collapses and retreats home. The Kekgols manage to expand north and west into the vacuum, but still frequently skirmish with all of their neighbours, especially the Lapps, who are the best adapted for dealing with steppe nomads.

-After the conclusion of the war, the Kekgols slowly continue to settle down, adopting a new civil administration, complete with strict entrance examinations and a demand to meticulous detail and involvement in the organisation and development of the economic capabilities of provinces. As such, many of these civil servants work towards the building of new toll roads, customs houses, the development of farms, and ensuring merchants, artisans, and rural labourers and farmers have smooth business. They are also responsible for importing foreign books and working on their translations, in addition to compiling them for practical use. Manichean and some Suomenik missionaries begin to sneak in alongside these books.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yamato (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-A number of alchemists are ordered to produce a strange mixture desired by the Emperor. They grind up sulphur, herbs and saltpetre to make a most disgusting medical concoction that is said to confer immortality. Some of it is set ablaze, where it produces a thick and horrible smelling smoke that blinds people who happen to be near it. Given the limited options of this strange powder, the very first military use is recorded as having been it stuffed into a pot and lit, before being thrown into enemy ranks. The smoke thus created is an effective demoralizing weapon and is best suited in siege warfare.

-The Japanese begin to slow down colonization efforts, focusing more on internal consolidation and stability. Formosa rapidly develops, while the more southerly colonies in the Malays also start to grow as populations resistant to the tropical diseases there develop. At home, there is adoption of Xi and Korean agricultural techniques and engineering, to the point that the landed gentry are starting to become major players in their own right. Several large families begin to jostle for power likewise. Trade convoys are sent with armed guards subsidized for by the state, helping to prevent pirate attacks and allowing the Japanese to now regularly trade with the people of India. Ships are now also sailing in the other direction, selling iron and silk to the Alyeska.

-Regulation of trade is made to ensure the monarchy keeps its fair share of the profits of the merchants. Numerous levies and taxes are made upon various industries, while state-sanctioned guilds are introduced to control the trades within urban centres and to curb the powers of the merchants. Trade fleets are now regularly funded by the state, with the Alyeska trade eventually becoming a royal monopoly. Korean and Xi (and Alyeska) vessels frequently flout this whenever possible, especially as the Alyeska have progressed technologically to the point where they can build their own cargo ships. Some Japanese merchants report of a rich and sophisticated empire to the south of Alyeska.

-As Christians and Buddhists spread in Japan, new taxes are introduced to encourage them to stick to the state sanctioned Shinto faith. The numerous institutions of the existing state religion are also reformed in face of this potential threat, whereby they are integrated with the state and monarchy to be one and the same. The monarch becomes the head of both religion and state, and religion is made to permeate all aspects of life. Finally, the alliance with Silla weakens after a deal is made with Xi to unify the Korean peninsula, eventually resulting in the creation of a regional power allied to Xi. They expel the Japanese envoys at Xi’s behest, which was much quicker to gain Silla’s loyalty through promising immediate military intervention.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-With the new dynasty now rapidly growing in power, there are numerous advances made in the development of engineering and mechanical technologies. Watermills are not only common, but are used for all sorts of tasks from sawing to grinding to pounding and even powering entire mechanical puppet theatres. The first escapement mechanism is invented at the end of this period, and the first clocks (powered by water) appear as a result. A new book which outlines new laws on the construction of buildings is also published, resulting in numerous improvements to quality.

-The Xi contacts Silla through a number of diplomatic envoys, jostling with the Japanese for influence within the country. The Xi decides the best way around this is to simply conquer the rest of Korea and assist Silla in the unification of their country. A large army, armed with the latest in crossbows, metal armour, heavy cavalry, and numerous catapults and other siege weaponry, joins up with Silla and engages in several campaigns to unite the country. Baekje and Goguryeo are conquered after numerous cities are reduced through siege and bloody warfare. In 668, Silla finally unifies Korea, and declares itself to be the Kingdom of Korea, albeit one subservient to the Xi Emperor. The Japanese envoys are expelled.

-The Koreans (after putting down numerous bloody rebellions and increasing the power of the central state and monarchy) send their own soldiers to Xi, where they make progress in conquering the western breakaway states and securing control of the north as well. By the middle of the eighth century, all of the west and north had been reclaimed and the borders reinforced and given patrols once more, keeping away the dangerous nomads and making sure their neighbours to the south do not attempt to invade. Trade flourishes with the suppression of banditry and removal of internal trade barriers, which at the same time encourages the spread of Christian and Buddhist communities, many of which are starting to become powerful in their own right as major landholders. Occasionally even a synagogue will appear.

-The west is administered in the old style and regionalism suppressed to ensure the strength of the state, and numerous printers are funded to print pamphlets and proclamations that denounce the rebels and traitors. Since barely a tenth of the population can read (little helped by the writing system), scholars and bureaucrats read out these statements to the peasantry and townspeople. They all begin to stress not only loyalty to the dynasty, but loyalty to the “nation” as well.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germanic)
State Religion: Natenum

-As Diwasanum towns and cities swell in size and swallow up outlying settlements or build on top of old structures, the municipal authorities often find many problems with the layout of these cities and the structural integrity of many buildings. During this period, they legislate to put minimum widths for public thoroughfares, lay out buildings in an orderly manner, keep industrial, commercial, and residential districts separated, to ensure all buildings have a stone and solid stone foundation base, and finally to tear down and rebuild the old walls protecting many of these towns and cities. Many of these walls are typically made of stone and are filled with rubble, with armouries full of spears and crossbows kept at hand.

-The government of Diwasanum finally begins to enact centralizing reforms, although at a cost. The various chiefs and towns feel their rights to be infringed upon when the central government begins to make its presence felt. The coastguard and border patrol are both taken over by the state, with taxes imposed to pay for them, while a standardized legal system is introduced for the first time. Unfortunately, it does not come without enemies, and numerous landed houses and towns actively join together in coalitions to oppose these moves. The reforms are largely ineffective outside of the core homeland, and the intrusions of Manichean missionaries have converted enough people to the point it has become a dangerous force.

-Slowly but surely, the outer parts of Diwasanum begin to fragment and weaken as what little control was had is lost completely. The pledge of allegiance to the state is but a token gesture, intended by those in the borders to prevent annexation by their neighbour; the only time when Diwasanum is united is when invasion threatens and all are called to arms. Outside of that, the central government has progressively become impoverished and weakened to the point that nobles stop attending councils and it de facto fails to function. A nobleman seizes the remaining administration and declares himself Emperor, and although he has control over much of the core lands, the rest of the Empire is beholden to powerful regional interests (some of who are now Manichean) that dictate most politics, and often engage in bloody internal wars.

-Trade continues with Breoton and many of Diwasanums neighbours throughout all of the strife, even as the coastguard and navy falls apart and fails to function. Local communities now look to their own defence much of the time, and some peasants have decided that turning to piracy themselves is more profitable than farming. Serfdom comes into being as many peasants seek protection from the mercenaries and bandits, who proliferate through the countryside and bring much calamity. In the colonies to the north in Britain and Scandinavia, the places become de facto independent, and as such begin to expand their own power bases in a series of bloody wars with the native populations there, especially with the advent of Alt Clud, which wars for the eastern seaboard Diwasanum controls.

RomaFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The Romans continue to make several advancements in technological and military technology, leading to the development of the traction trebuchet. A large wooden frame with a large arm for throwing projectiles (powered by men pulling on one end) is both a simple and effective piece of siege artillery, although notoriously restricted at a short range. This weapon is also able to be packed up and rebuilt on campaign or from locally available materials for little cost, making it especially useful. These weapons are used for the first time in the great Kekgol wars.

-The Roman senate, infuriated at the loss of many fine legions to these “barbarians”, orders a complete drive towards total war to revenge their losses and also to expand into the still valuable territories of the former Veraki Empire. The first edict hastily voted in calls for the shipwrights to build a massive fleet (unlike Nefere, Rome did not possess a war ready standing navy), complete with firing platforms for ballistae and other siege artillery. Pots of oil are brought to be ignited and thrown against their enemy’s vessels. While the preparations were ongoing, the Romans raised their existing standing army and marched to meet the Kekgols.

-On the march to the Kekgol lands, the Macedonians refuse to aid them, forcing the Romans to march through the troubled tribal parts of Illyria. The various chieftains there often harass the Romans and slow down their march, and when the Romans finally arrive in the Danube basin, they discover the country completely abandoned and the fields burned. On marching to the major cities, they discover only devastation and abandonment, with the land swarmed with refugees. These refugees slowly mill towards Rome, or join the armies. Civil authority gradually breaks down in the Danube basin, putting a strain on the Roman supply lines as they march eastwards.

-By the time the Romans meet up with their Slavic allies, the invasion fleet is ready at great expense. The fleet takes the remaining Roman forces to Oipe, where they camp for a short while before leaving. However, when half of the fleet had gotten ready to leave, a massive Macedonian army arrived in Oipe and devastated the local countryside before putting the city under siege. The Macedonian fleet then quickly arrived from both sides of the straits, catching the Romans in a pincer movement (along with additional Nefere reinforcements). The result was the bloodiest and most desperate naval battle of the middle Ages, with over 900 vessels and 200,000 men involved, with major additional action on land. The Romans, being completely unprepared and without sufficient supplies, were reduced to eating leather and candles. The Kingdom of Assuwa gets involved on the side of the Macedonians and Kekgols after being promised territories and major payments of gold and war loot.

-The battle lasts for two months, with tens of thousands dying and the bay becoming full of wrecked ships. The citizens of the city begin to rebel shortly after several butchers begin to sell human flesh. The Roman soldiers begin to mutiny, and eventually the general is forced to surrender after the complete collapse of the outer defences of the grand city. The humiliated Romans are captured and many are enslaved or are sent home after heavy ransoms are paid. On marching into the city, the Macedonians find a city completely incapable of functioning. Corpses and rubbish were strewn about the streets, while the former police had turned into a number of bandit gangs swelled with mutinous soldiers. The drains were clogged and the water unsafe to drink, and the city’s population reduced by half. Thus began the period of Macedonian domination of Oipe.

-During the bloody battle of Oipe, the Roman senate put out conscription orders, and ordered a rebuilding of major defensive works around the major towns and cities. Every first son is drafted into the army, every second son into the navy, and every third into agriculture and industry. The major forests are felled to make timber for the ships, but at the cost of heavy erosion and later flooding when the loose topsoil crumbles down hillsides. Saplings are replanted to arrest this with little success. When the senate next realizes that the war won’t produce enough land to give away to legionaries, they put a suspension to granting out lands so as to hold onto the revenues from them. A mutiny results from the soldiers, many of them angered at the losses in the war. Rioters later crippled several Roman cities until order is restored several weeks after the order is carried through. A senator gets in a fight with one rioter, and before the senator throws him from atop the senate stairs, he says "Don't fuck with this senator".

-As the Roman army marches into the Kekgol heartland, their Slavic allies are increasingly frustrated by an inability to find battle to do with the Kekgols and constant skirmishes, leading to loss of morale and a slow march. Weakening supply lines make matters worse, especially with the Macedonian entry into the war and their navy being crushed. This army finally meets with the Veraki and head eastwards, but with the onset of winter they are forced to slow and scrabble for whatever food they can find. As the months pass, the exhausted Veraki territories are stripped to the bone for supplies, made worse by the Kekgols frequently raiding supply lines. A complete collapse is avoided by Lappish assistance, which sends their own forces to skirmish with the Kekgols and push them back in some cases, while helping to keep some supply lines often. By the time they reach the Volga, soldiers begin to regularly desert.

-Eventually, the allied army is forced to begin returning after most of their horses die during the campaign and their men starve, making a further advance eastwards impossible (compounded by the Kekgols burning everything). On the painful and slow march back, they are constantly harassed and picked off by Kekgol forces, until on arrival back home a mere four thousand Romans returned. Additional armies sent to reinforce them or wage war with Macedon are crippled or destroyed through already poor morale, supplies, and experience. By the time the Macedonians finish their campaign, the Roman army had lost over 200,000 men. The massively costly war ends up causing the Roman state to become insolvent, several major rebellions to break out, and collapse of civil authority in many areas. A civil war broke out, with order only restored after 12 years and by which point any former semblance of prosperity had vanished. The middling shopkeepers and craftsmen are impoverished and return to agriculture, while the landlords revert to self-sufficiency. Eventually, the central government loses much authority to the cities and major landlords, made worse by the Macedonians squeezing out Roman traders and progressively pushing them back.

-Manicheism is also rapidly becoming popular, with the Senate acknowledging this through a series of reforms granting worshippers more freedom and effectively more power. By the eighth century, the religion of Mani has de facto become the state religion, although it is not yet legally recognized as such. A law is also passed to grant poor people’s free food if there happened to be a surplus of it available. In reality this is rarely the case, and is mostly a token measure at best, especially with diminished agricultural output and an exodus of people from the cities.

MihaylovFlag
Griffster26 – Mihaylov Empire
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Solnechnaya Khram)

-With a long and proud history of metalworking of excellent quality, there have been many recent improvements to the armour of soldiers. By taking iron plates and wrapping them around a body, one can produce somewhat strong armour for little expenditure in labour. The soldiers of the Mihaylovs adopt it over a period of several decades, aided by the need to find armour that arrows and sword blows can glance off of. Such armour will help in battle against the dreaded Kekgols to the east.

-With their reputation and dynasties power slighted by those nomadic savages on horseback to the east, the Mihaylov Emperor creates an alliance with the Romans, Lapps, Veraki, and Nefere, all with the goal of invading and slaughtering all those who dare defy the will of the civilized peoples. The battle plan is initially laid out to be the Mihaylovs and Romans meeting up with the Veraki while steadily pushing inland, starting in the Danube basin and working eastwards while the main Roman force lands in Albania and invades through the south, hoping to present multiple fronts. These plans would be foiled by the intervention of another power.

-Knowing of the stratagems of the Kekgols in the past, the generals were careful to study the numerous strategic mistakes made by the inept and inexperienced Veraki commanders. They conclude that the best strategy is to deny following them into traps, and focus instead on capturing major cities and encouraging the Kekgols to come to their defended positions. Unfortunately, the Kekgols tried something completely different.

-As the Mihaylovs eventually meet up with their Roman allies, the news comes that the entire Danube had been razed and the cities ransacked with the people forced out of them, with refugees clogging up the roads and putting a strain on supply lines. Struggling to make much use of this, the allies march to meet with the Veraki, who also report movements of the Kekgols and that they had destroyed everything they could before leaving. The allies march east; until news comes that the main Roman invasion force had been tied down and crippled in Oipe by Macedonians, while reinforcements were tied down defending the supply lines and rear from the other Macedonians. The official response is to continue marching in the search for supplies, with Lappish forces screening ahead and skirmishing with the Kekgols.

-Eventually, the allied army is forced to stop for the winter, with attrition and the death of many horses from poor weather mounting up. Eventually, further scouting and spies reports that the land for many hundreds of kilometres had been laid to waste by the Kekgols, whom had retreated to their remaining cities in the east. Demoralized, the allies begin to return home to try and recoup their losses. The Lapps suffer the least, but the Mihaylov and Roman armies are practically annihilated by the end of the campaign, and the Kekgols later return to assert sovereignty over the ruined land. Only scattered outposts staffed full of crossbowmen can hold off Kekgol horsemen, leading to many such outposts spreading in the villages and the peasantry often taking up arms.

-The surviving Mihaylov forces then commit a brutal act, whereby they commit genocide of Inarist worshippers and kill every Kekgol and spy they can find and root out. The Veraki state is helpless to resist outside of the homeland, and by the time the Mihaylovs are routed by Kekgol forces, the damage is complete. The Danube basin has been utterly cleared of the followers of Inara, with much of the area now full of a mixture of roaming pagan tribes, and fortified Manichean communities that struggle in this lawless area. Manichean missionaries become strangely common (many seem to have foreign backing), and try to convert the peasantry, with a degree of success, especially as time passes on.

-The great watermills and farming estates rot and fall into disuse, while forests and plains reclaim and grow over the last remnants of the civilization there. The Mihaylov Empire is not faring much better, with internal dissension and rebellion growing, the increasing loss of outer territories to lawless banditry and Kekgol raiders, and the general ruin of war. During this time many communities begin looking towards their own defence as central authority wanes, and the crossbow becomes a prolific weapon by the end of the period.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-From their wars with the Welsh, the Britons have ended up becoming experienced with being at the receiving end of an arrow shot. This changed with the capture of many Welsh prisoners and longbow practice disseminating among the Britons, eventually leading to the raising of levies with professional longbowmen. In sufficient numbers, these men can provide excellent support to an attacking or defending force, with their powerful bows being able to penetrate armour and flesh from a significant distance.

-The Kingdom of Breoton continues to wage war against the Welsh of the west and north. Using their new longbow and the practice of building defensive structures in conjunction with shrewd diplomacy, they eventually extend into the northern parts of the island, having starting to come into conflict with the Picts and Scots. The Welsh are increasingly pushed back into the hills, with the Britons securing control of the southern parts of Wales and beginning a policy of Germanization. The Kingdom of Alt Clud grows in the north, which gains control over much of the northern parts and Hibernia. It is also known as the “Kingdom of the Rock”, after the rock the capital is built on in the middle of the sea.

-Closer to home and away from the dangerous border regions, many towns are steadily growing wealthier and busier, especially as trade recovers in the North Sea. Merchants are literate by this stage in the Lappish alphabet, and perhaps a third of the population of the towns are becoming able to read and write on a basic level. Rural schoolhouses pop out throughout the countryside to help train a class of scholars, while the legal system gradually begins to be written down and systemized. The first Manichean missionaries arrive and begin to preach. Their presence is tolerated.

KalandFlag
Dromlexer – Kaland
Capital: Kaland
Culture: Kalandian (Germanic)
State Religion: Germanic Pantheon (Norse)

-Trade and population growth has led to many towns becoming wealthy and much larger. The owners of these towns tend to benefit as well, until the capital burns down due to a bakers accident. In response, there is a large spurt of construction out of stone and brick, requiring the hiring of many professional masons and stonecarvers. After the rebuilding of the city and the replacement of the old timber and earth dyke with a low stone wall, the nobility begins to hire these masons to renovate their awful wooden castles. Since stone is still expensive and the techniques are brand new, these castles consist of replacing the wooden keep with a stone one, while still retaining wooden and earth outer walls and ditches. The walls inside are plastered and the roofs are made of timber.

-In the bustling towns, the monarchy funds and expands the number of festivals held, keen to show their peasantry their appreciation of fun and commerce. In fact it becomes a custom of the monarchy to frequently tour the country and observe the common people at work, examining them in the new quarries and ensuring that their lords are treating them well. The monarchy even helps pay for the expense of building these new stone castles, helping to ensure the loyalty of the nobility (despite the proliferation of castles). With internal warfare strictly controlled, it has become something of a fashion to build castles instead in a pseudo-competition.

-These castles and their nobles spread into Zealand and north deeper into Scandinavia, although making sure not to intrude on Diwasanum possessions. The monarchy seems as though it wishes to build up strong relations with its neighbours, and to this end one of the new queens holds a royal visit to Lappland, where she is kept under armed guard and treated to a delightful meal and allowed to observe the wealth and power of Lappland for herself. She returns, commended for having ensured peace among her people and neighbours.

TembagaFlag
YogiTheWise – Tembaga
Capital: Suva
Culture: Tembagi (Polynesian)
State Religion: Polynesian Pantheon

-Drawing on earlier developments, the Tembagi are definitely starting to write down things by this date, with a script that can be deciphered and understood by later historians. On pieces of wood, metal, bone, or pottery one generally finds everyday names or notes, whereas on large stone steles you tend to find the chronologies of the great kings and their deeds. The first ones, in combination with archaeological evidence record the following:

-Around the seventh century, one sees records of men using bows and arrows to hunt the large birds, and many are recorded as having been granted titles and positions of honour. This is corroborated by their graves, which have grown steadily richer and tend to have arrowheads in them. Towards the middle part of the eighth century, these predatory birds begin to vanish from the records, and paleontological evidence shows their range shrinking rapidly.

-However another group of birds seem to have done well out of human contact. Moa are initially hunted, but some hunters have taken back eggs and allowed them to hatch in captivity, keeping them in pens before killing them after reaching adulthood. Nearly two centuries after this practice began, they are starting to be reared for their eggs and the Tembagi have become better at keeping them. The wild ones however are progressively pushed back, and with them, their predatory Harpagornis.

-Aotearoa steadily grows in population, accelerated by the adoption of large scale agriculture and domestic Moa. There are numerous remains of irrigation ditches and ploughed fields, while many settlements spread rapidly throughout the archipelago. By the middle part of the eighth century, nearly all of it is settled and collectively holds more people than the rest of the Tembagi combined. On one of the more northerly islands, some flotsam washes up, along with several pots and bloated corpses. The bodies appear to be Mesoamerican in origin.

-The result of this is a dramatic increase in trade, with many specialized craftsmen now being supported on Aotearoa through intensive agriculture. Specialized boats are produced in numerous quantities on Aotearoa, mostly for trade or transport. People have also managed to migrate to several other islands in the Pacific, although many of these islands are small and offer little in the way of natural resources. What seems to be worse is that power is quickly moving towards Aotearoa, the chiefs of which are starting to become considerably powerful in contrast to the King of the smaller scattered islands.

VerFlag
Telepethi – Kingdom of Ver
Capital: Valdok
Culture: Veraki (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Inarianism)

-With multiple incursions from their Slavic neighbours and the need for various feudal lords to arm their serfs with hasty weaponry that require little training, the crossbow has come into prominence here. A simple short bow affixed to a wooden stock and using a crude trigger can shoot wooden bolts that used en masse are extremely effective. They begin to be slowly adopted towards the end of this period, often for use in hunting and by peasants.

-The feudal lords also begin to demand their peasant levies keep suitable supplies of new weaponry apparently designed for dealing with cavalry based forces. Long pikes are used by peasants, and drills are held when possible, but the existing poverty of the country and the lack of standing armies means that these ad hoc levies are little better than holding lines against cavalry charges maybe once or twice. Men aged 16 to 24 tend to make up the majority of these levies, and are poorly experienced. The retainers of the nobility tend to be better equipped and trained, and thus are relied upon for the brunt of fighting in war.

-For the first time since the end of the Empire, the Veraki reintroduce several efforts to rework mineral deposits, mostly relating to the manufacture of iron and precious metals. These small scale efforts tend to be focused on exposed veins or abandoned ancient mines, but the loss of the skills to travel through and drain them have been lost, meaning quite a number of mining networks are too flooded to consider exploitation. Artisans work these metals in the small wooden towns and cities scattered throughout the Veraki, where imports of marble, slate and other stone begin to arrive at the first time. By this point, many of the old masonry structures have collapsed and have been recycled, and some are starting to build houses out of clay bricks and mortar in the Lappish style.

-Diplomats are received from the Mihaylovs and Romans, requesting Veraki assistance in the way to oust the land of Kekgols and potentially reclaim large portions of land from their former empire. The growing influence of Suomenik missionaries and political advantages to be gained leads to an official reform of Inarianism as part of an alliance with the Mihaylovs and Romans, as the pantheon of Inara becomes a Suomenik denomination. Unfortunately, there are a large number of peasant rebellions, many of which have to be put down and divert the monarchies attention as the Kekgols slowly withdraw and raid the borders. Eventually, the Kekgols withdraw completely when the Romans and Mihaylovs arrive (late). Low on supplies and harassed by tribes, they march east on the Kekgol homeland. The promised Roman reinforcements fail to materialize when it is heard that the Macedonians and Assuwa entered the war, leading to the gradual collapse of the war effort. The Veraki manage to take control of some old territories, but the majority of them are worthless and full of starving peasants.

-Demoralized and suffering from major losses with attrition mounting, the Romans and Mihaylovs are forced to withdraw from the war and retreat home. The Veraki are left practically defenceless, but the Kekgols focus their resources and energies on the Lapps and Mihaylovs for the time being, both of which are not only retreating and suffering from major losses, but are also the only places with much worth bothering to steal. The peasant rebellions continue to flare up for decades as many old believers refuse to give up the old faith, which they see as little more than an extension of Suomenik. The remaining old believers eventually begin to migrate elsewhere, especially as the old alphabet falls out of use and the Lappish one becomes increasingly popular, leading to many being unable to read the old religious texts (some of which are banned for heresy).

MacedonianFlag
Salricci – Macedonian Empire
Capital: Pella
Culture: Macedonian (Hellenic)
State Religion: Manichaeism

-The Macedonians have prided themselves on their advanced civilization that had adopted many aspects of Minoan society and culture into their own. When Macedonia began to expand, especially in the middle and latter part of this period, they had to administrate a great new number of territories. Thus around this time, the first true civil service is formed, complete with a rigorous entrance examination. Thus an efficient and strong administration is maintained and expanded, responsible for duties ranging from taxation to the decennial census.

-On hearing news of the Romans and Slavs going to war with the Kekgols, the Macedonians immediately put out calls for the construction and expansion of their naval forces, along with the raising of a vast new army. Many new recruits volunteer willingly, although a few have to be conscripted in some of the major cities. Knowing the loyalty of conscripts, quite a few training regimens have to be updated to prevent their lines breaking in battle. Allied tribes and petty kings in and around their borders are also called to war, while an alliance is signed with Assuwa in return for the acquisition of new territories and monies. The Kekgols seem willing as well, providing additional incentives to the King of Assuwa.

-The Roman fleet lands at Oipe, where they camp for a short while before leaving. However, when half of the fleet had gotten ready to leave, the Macedonians decided that the time to act was then, and marched in with a huge army of many tens of thousands and besieged the city. The Macedonian fleet soon followed, catching the Romans in a pincer movement (along with additional Nefere reinforcements). The result was the bloodiest and most desperate naval battle of the middle Ages, with over 900 vessels and 200,000 men involved, with major additional action on land. The Romans, being completely unprepared and without sufficient supplies, were reduced to eating leather and candles. The entry of Assuwa resulted in the choking of both the city and army, leading to multiple desperate attempts at a breakout by the defenders.

-The battle lasts for two months, with tens of thousands dying and the bay becoming full of wrecked ships. The citizens of the city begin to rebel shortly after several butchers begin to sell human flesh. The Roman soldiers soon mutiny, and eventually the general is forced to surrender after the complete collapse of the outer defences of the grand city. The humiliated Romans are captured and many are enslaved or are sent home after heavy ransoms are paid. On marching into the city, the Macedonians find a city completely incapable of functioning. Corpses and rubbish were strewn about the streets, while the former police had turned into a number of bandit gangs swelled with mutinous soldiers. The drains were clogged and the water unsafe to drink, and the city’s population reduced by half. Thus begins the Macedonian period of the city, which by this stage is so far removed from its height under the Veraki that the population is a mere tenth of the original and many parts had been abandoned.

-After the conquest of Oipe (the citizenry are hostile and riot several times during the occupation), the Macedonians then turn their attention west and north, seeking to curtail Roman influence and check them for good. While their allies in the area were already harassing the Romans, the advent of the Macedonians completely destroys the supply lines and reinforcements allowing the Romans to continue their campaign east. Split in two, the Romano-Slavic forces crumble, while the Adriatic provinces face panic. Roman reinforcements and local resistance slows down the Macedonians until they reach the north of Italy, where they stop and effectively annex these territories. While Rome has lost significant control and power, Macedonia hasn’t come off especially lightly either, with heavy losses in the siege of Oipe and near destruction of their own navy by Nefere.

Turn 15: 750 CE to 875 CE

Germany Anon. 9th c06:59

Germany Anon. 9th c. - Adducentur

Turn music

AscentofManTurn15PoliticalMap

Political map of Turn 15

AscentofManTurn15ReligiousMap

Religious map for Turn 15:
Red = Manichaeism
Pink = Suomenik and all its derivatives
Yellow = Cult of Sol
Dark Red = Hinduism
Blue = Abrahamic
Grey = Paganism

Post link: http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1400455&p=45969785&viewfull=1#post45969785


Turn quote: Without loyalty
Honour is sold at market:
A ghost on the wind.

Events of the years 750 CE to 875 CE:

Europe

-The Manichean Church becomes effectively the most powerful international institution in the world, with respective national patriarchs being among the most powerful individuals. Collectively they are generally opposed to the Cult of Sol, Suomenik, and Gnostic faiths, but infighting is something that happens as well, especially as now the Persians assert the Patriarch of Persia to be superior to all others Patriarchs.

LappFlag
Pezgod1 – Lappland
Capital: Kiruna
Culture: Lappish (Uralic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Classical)

-A most interesting new way of building ships has come about for the first time in the Baltic, utilizing a design and construction method in opposition to that used by the peoples of the Mediterranean. Called a “Knarr”, it is a vessel with an extremely low draft (allowing it to move over shallow waters) yet has a great deal of storage space and is suitable for seas as well as internal waters. Possessing a single large sail and occasionally a small tower at each end, it is versatile for both transport and military use. On these new “Knarrs”, the Lapps begin to sail around Breoton, looking for new places to trade with and seas good for fishing. After a tricky circumnavigation, they discover the Scots and Cumbric peoples, living within Alt Clud. Finding them happy to trade with the Lapps, a new profitable opportunity is discovered, although annoyingly they have discovered Manicheans there as well.

-A new directive comes from the monarchy, seemingly in response to poor conduct of soldiers in the war. From now on, annual trips must be made by the professional soldiers to the land of the Finns, so that they may gain experience when campaigning in the winter. Unfortunately this plan goes awry when on the first expedition, the loose Finnish tribes take the opportunity to steal from the soldiers and overcharge them for food, while also looting the bodies of those who died from cold and disease. The trip is deemed a pointless move, and after spending a few months marching around in the snow and forest the group leaves and the project is quickly shelved.

-About a decade later, the son of the commander from this expedition decides to set out to simply subjugate the tribes and secure the land for the Empire. After gathering a number of both infantry and cavalry, they sail to a hunting camp on the southern coast and land, where they construct a fort and name it “Helsinki”. After this, they use the base to terrorize the nearby tribes into accepting Suomenik missionaries and the overlordship of Helsinki. After several more decades, it becomes calm enough and the Finns settled enough that they begin to live in permanent locations, making them much easier to track and control. The new religion is useful for bringing them together as well, and soon many of the major chiefs of the south have converted to Suomenik and accept the governor of Helsinki, who organizes the territory as “Suomi”.

-During the same time in the recently annexed eastern territories, the Suomenik church becomes a major driver of settlement and conversion of the peoples there. Starting with the establishment of fortified monasteries and encouraging the leaders of the more nomadic peoples to settle down, the next steps are usually the settlement of landless people in the new territories, clearing of forests, and draining of marshes. Churches are constructed in the more coherent communities, while priests and monks soon start to seek people to educate in the way of theology and the liberal arts. While many old customs are still frequently practiced and the native languages still used in everyday conversation, the Lappish grip on the land is strengthening as the borders of settlement move eastwards.

-One of the major places targeted for settlement is around Lake Ilmen, where several “towns” are established, usually as an outgrowth of a monastery, fortification, or tribal holding. The most important of these is a hunting lodge that is later rebuilt and fortified, in addition to being expanded into a royal palace that is occupied several times throughout the year. Much of the land around this palace has been modified to look much like Kiruna, although cleverly designed to keep peasants separated from the palace. This city is named “Novgrodii”. Since these lands here are still often dangerous, it’s not uncommon for peasants to own a crossbow and live inside walled towns or forts.

-The city of Kiruna is seeing some attention paid to it as well, as individual districts of the city gradually specialize (either in trades or for certain events). Much of the city is quite crowded as well, and after clearing out a few hundred people from their slums, they set up a large square for holding festivals and other major events. One such of these is usually a biannual visit between Lappland and Kaland, where nobles from both countries meet in the square to hold festivities and curry support among the population. This has an important secondary purpose in it being useful for meeting with the heads of the major trades and the merchants. In the meantime it usually becomes crowded over with market stalls, while the sidestreets tend to have brothels.

-In the much reduced Kingdom of Ver, the Lappish make strong inroads with the spread of the church into the country. Under the protection and patronage of the nobility, most of the Veraki peoples are finally brought into the Suomenik faith by the church, which also takes control of many land developments. Granted vast tracts of land, the monastic orders are soon becoming profitable enterprises with logging camps, watermills, granaries, and mines. New “understandings” are reached with the Kekgols and other foreign powers, allowing merchants to travel unmolested and trade with no restrictions on their persons. Eventually, the Kingdom of Ver is annexed by the Kekgols, who seem to tolerate the Suomenik church for now.

KekianFlag
Ruskie – Kekgols
Capital: Eurasian Steppe
Culture: Kekgolian (Altaic)
State Religion: Tengrism (Reformed)

-The Kekgols continue to gradually settle down, and after finding their religion under threat from Manichean and Suomenik missionaries, finally create not only a coherent religious text, but theology as well. By determining that religious belief can be based in reason and may be subject to study, a new academic discipline is created and professionalized. Soon enough, the “Reformed” Tengri faith is introduced widely and a new class of scholarly priests rises, often making up a great deal of local and regional administration.

-The Kekgols push into the shrunken Kingdom of Ver, and after putting pressure on the Lappish Emperor, annex the country. A few rebellions break out, but are put down by conscript armies of peasants armed with crossbows. The last old Inarianist temples are burned down and demolished, while the last of the old believers are dragged out of hiding and hacked to pieces in public, before bits of their bodies are displayed at the entrances to towns. With this, the war is concluded and the grand Kekgol Horde slowly settles down.

-Towards the end of the period, the population slowly recovers in addition to industry and trade. However, the general wealth of the land is quite poor, and the porous borders are difficult to control. Many of the peasantry have also been taken into a system of serfdom, and many of the remaining Veraki nobles who joined the Kekgols must bend down and kiss the floor in front of their superiors. Technological development is slow and piecemeal (indeed, most people use wooden tools and oxen), although the crossbow has become increasingly common and translated Persian philosophical works enter via Albania. Raids on the borders are an especially big problem, as many Uralic and Turkic peoples are always migrating for new lands to live in.

DiwasanumFlag
Matt000024 – Diwasanum
Capital: Amburgum
Culture: Diwasani (Germanic)
State Religion: Natenum

-A new architectural style becomes popular in Diwasanum, partly in response to increasing decentralization and political instability. Churches and fortifications now possess thick walls filled with rubble, and have generally small windows in the lower floors. They are strongly built, and with good reason. They are intended to withstand attack (peasants often flood into churches when trouble comes) on a regular basis, and many have wells and storage for supplies in the case of prolonged siege. The nobility begin to build their own fortified residences called “castles” at this time too, although most of them are small and unassuming stone towers or wooden forts, built on elevated ground (often on the sites of old hilltop fortresses from the Iron age).

-Another major problem comes with the Emperors increasing impotence at being unable to stop the decentralization and collapse of his Empire. He denounces rebellious nobles, and says they will not receive military support. Without strong action or wise centralizing reform, his complaints fall on deaf ears and the Diwasanum Imperium effectively dissolves. Rather strangely, many factions and alliances constantly shift within the country, and whenever threatened by an external force, the nobility generally tends to band together to oust invaders (as happened in 784, 823, 825, and 870). The various institutions (such as the Hoftag) of the Empire still exist, and indeed many nobles attend them, but it is effectively a near powerless institution. Manichean missionaries abuse this to spread rapidly into the country to convert swathes of the population, until eventually large internal religious wars ravage the country. The Emperor is called upon to convert himself, lest he lose his head.

-However, this time is also one of significant growth and development. The spread of the Manicheans has resulted in a large institution that takes care of welfare and provides disaster relief whenever it is needed. Heavy ploughs and horse collars are increasingly adopted, while three field rotation is adopted. Crop yields increase in addition to the population, while the new monasteries are a repository of information. Trade continues whenever possible, especially with Breoton and the Baltic countries. The Patriarch of Diwasanum (who lives under the protection of one of the Manichean dukes) has made an offer to the Emperor that the church will support him in return for conversion.

RomaFlag
TheDestroyerOfall – SPQR
Capital: Rome
Culture: Latin (Italic)
State Religion: Roman Pantheon

-The old idea of two field rotation, long in use since the Neolithic, is finally passing. Many Romans have recently discovered the benefits of keeping three fields, with one for grain, one for legumes, and a final to be left fallow for a year. By rotating these and working with the land carefully, it is possible to extract two harvests a year. In addition, legumes are an excellent source of protein, something lacking among the peasantry. Of course, rearranging land to work in this new system takes some time, not to mention political change as well, something that coincides with wider changes and movements in the Roman world.

-With the wars of the eighth century having caused many problems, the Senate gradually becomes more despotic and ridden with aristocratic interests, especially as the cities go into relative decline. Italy itself is broken up into three duchies; each ran by a council of nobles that manages most of their own regional affairs. The Senate itself increasingly loses a great deal of power to the aristocrats of Latium, and eventually its purpose shrinks to appointing the head of state, who himself barely has any power. However, he still has enough power to maintain a navy, which is a for profit institution by this stage, making money from looting pirate bases and escorting merchant convoys. The military itself is composed of weak militias hastily assembled in cities, although they have been heavily eclipsed by the mercenaries that roam Italy, who are paid retainers of various nobles. Conscription falls out of widespread use at this time, on account of the weakened central government. Attempts are made to revive this, but the breakdown of the money economy, trade, and few resources means that these efforts are in vain.

-The further away “colonies” effectively become self-ruling during this period, developing all of the functions of government and possessing only tangential links to Rome. However, their importance in global trade is not to be underestimated, and many pay the Roman navy to protect their vessels, a system which slowly spreads throughout the Mediterranean. Agriculture however still takes up the bulk of economic activity, especially moreso when these “Nobles councils” effectively abolish all taxes on themselves and indirectly cause a disintegration of what remained of the money economy. Becoming much more self-sufficient, aristocrats begin to rule like petty kings, with some building large stone towers to live in, in addition to raising levies of their “subjects” whenever a conflict threatens. The central government makes many attempts to try rebuilding or expanding the road networks, digging canals, and constructing many other public works, but ultimately they fail when their efforts are impeded by powerful nobles. The urban centres reach their smallest size at this time, some of which are no more than glorified villages full of masonry. The Manichean church effectively eradicates the last of the old Roman religion at this time too.

UnitedSlavicKingdomFlag
Griffster26 – Mihaylov Empire
Capital: Warsaw
Culture: Masurian (Slavic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Solnechnaya Khram)

-Many new agricultural inventions spread into the Empire from the west and south, and although many are already somewhat well known, now marks the first time they are becoming widespread. Heavy ploughs, scythes, three field rotation, and watermills are becoming common throughout the country. Agricultural output inevitably increases, and in turn so does the population. Settlers subsequently begin to migrate southwards into the Danube basin, where they fill up many of the old abandoned villages and estates ruined by pestilence and war. They plough up the remains of the ancient Veraki towns and cities, using the rubble to build their homes.

-Prezmo Mihaylov committed suicide after loss of the war with the Kekgols made him feel unbearable shame, leaving the crown to his eight year old son. After the regency, they make attempts to subdue some Finnish tribes, invading the west of the country and bringing several parts under their control. They also send settlers to the country to develop it for agriculture, although the cold weather hampers this extensively. Conversion of the natives is difficult as well.

BreotonFlag
Mr. Face – Breoton
Capital: Lunden
Culture: Breoton (Germanic)
State Religion: Nerthus

-With agriculture heavily developed in the southeast of Breoton, the nobility there can afford to draw off enough of a surplus to make several investments into their estates that seem worthwhile. Thus the first watermills (built on tidal rivers and using large mill ponds) appear, with their cost usually paid for by the locals who use the mill to grind their grain. While the rates tend to be high (plus the local lord tends to have a monopoly), they do help to reduce the number of hours spent on milling considerably, and allow many lords to get an extra source of revenue.

-Further expansion is halted by the hostile Welsh and Alt Clut, both of whom conduct regular raids into Breoton and attack the undefended farming settlements. The response of the monarchy is lacklustre at best, leaving many of these outer parts to their own fate, often with the people there living in desperate poverty. The northern lords also tend to be more autonomous and hostile as a result, and have started to build their own wooden hillforts on top of the old ones populated centuries ago. The breakdown of order in Diwasanum made matters worse, with the northern borders becoming frequently lawless and full of bandits.

-Down in the southeast however, the people here seem to care little, and busy themselves with agriculture and trade on the side. Despite being subsistence farmers, they do tend to be safer and slightly better off than their ancestors two or three centuries prior, and most are now starting to raise sheep as a secondary occupation, as wool is desired by townspeople. The Manichean church has also managed to make several inroads, and have begun to take up the mantle of charity and education in many parts, with several churches and monasteries becoming responsible for caretaking of the poor and teaching children how to read and write. Very soon it becomes extremely popular, and spreads rapidly, with the native faith being quickly undermined. They press the Phoenician script strongly, wishing to retain ties to the Mediterranean world. For now, their presence is tolerated, with the monarchy distancing itself from intervention in religious matters.

KalandFlag
Dromlexer – Kaland
Capital: Phönixstein
Culture: Kalandian (Germanic)
State Religion: Suomenik (Kalandian)

-Adopting and refining some of the older technologies of the classical world, the ballista (an oversized crossbow) makes an appearance in the country. Requiring skilled carpenters to manufacture along with a crew to operate this piece of light artillery, it is only really adopted for siege warfare, with important towns (with the sufficient defensive works) having several emplacements. A few smaller ones are also made for ships, with some limited effectiveness.

-In response to the ongoing decentralization and loss of authority in Diwasanum, the nobility and monarchy of Kaland faced increasing problems from pirates, raiders, and bandits, who often tended to kill the peasantry and steal their material possessions. In response to this, the ad hoc collections of warriors that comprised the military forces of Diwasanum undergo several (unpopular) but effective reforms. Firstly, they begin to be trained as professionals, leading to the loss of those who do not have landed estates to back up a military lifestyle. The remaining warriors become elite, armed in heavy chainmail armour, with swords and crossbows, and generally tend to be either heavy infantry or cavalry. They are retainers to a local lord, and usually ride out to respond to raids when the time demands.

-Despite an impressive recovery and expansion of the capital, there are still fears about the problems of using wood and straw to build houses in the city. To remedy this, the first construction law is introduced, which bans the use of wood to construct public buildings and mandates a minimum space to allow passage for traffic and enough room for firebreaks in the event of such. The castle in the centre of the city is rebuilt in addition to the markets and defensive works, with the first iteration of a guildhall also built as a place for shipwrights to meet.

-While the city heavily bases itself off of trade, there are growing problems for shipping. The sea passage into the area is becoming steadily shallower and narrower, meaning the larger ships are finding it increasingly difficult to reach the capital, due to the bay shrinking and becoming shallower. Much of the city harbour also seems to be inexplicably getting shallower as well, and the defences must be frequently rebuilt as the sea mysteriously retreats. Fishing in the nearby waters is also getting poorer, with freshwater species slowly driving out saltwater ones. Around the end of this period, the population of Phönixstein (as the city has been renamed) peaks at around six thousand.

-The Lappish religion is gradually adopted, with some local beliefs synthesized into the new Suomenik faith. The reasons being somewhat unclear, it comes as a huge blow to the Manichean missionaries, who have founded small communities in the southern and eastern parts of the country. Nonetheless, the nobility readily adopt the Suomenik faith, although the peasantry still hold onto many old traditions. The other effect of this conversion was to secure a marriage with the royal house of Lappland, thus enshrining a strong alliance between the two nations.

MacedonianFlag
Salricci – Macedonian Empire
Capital: Pella
Culture: Macedonian (Hellenic)
State Religion: Manichaeism

-A new development in agriculture begins at this time, partly due to migration northwards and the cultivation of old farmlands in the Danube basin. For approximately several thousand years, most practicing farmers have split their fields into two and cultivated one while leaving the other fallow and alternating. A new system introduces legumes (beans, pea, etc) into the cycle, where now two thirds of the field are now producing food while leaving much of the soil intact. Legumes also provide protein as well, which is especially vital for peasants without much meat in their diet. This three field system begins to spread in the latter part of the period.

-In military affairs, the Macedonians are keen to revive an old idea from the ancient world as a way of deterring cavalry charges and to defend cities. Experimenting with increasingly longer spears (some up to seven metres long), they find that pikes deployed by drilled soldiers can be used aggressively, as long as the formation sticks together and the soldiers either have support against missiles or armour. At the same time, there is a move towards rebuilding a fleet capable of defending merchants and to take out pirates as well. However, unlike the great wars of centuries past, maintaining a massive standing naval force is well out of their reach.

-Despite Macedonian power, they are unable to prevent economic and social control slipping from their grasp, and in spite of being winners of many a war, the feuding nobility and migrating peasantry badly weaken the central government, not to mention the problem of holding Oipe as well. The grand city by this stage has collapsed to having a fraction of the old population, and eventually is granted almost complete autonomy in return for paying taxes. Several wealthy merchant families end up coming into power and ruling over Oipe themselves, making use of this period of lawlessness to effectively do as they please.

-The northern parts of the Empire (in addition to the newly gained territories) begin to be progressively brought into the civilized world. While the Romans were content with simply settling in and around the tribes already living there, now marks the first attempts at forcing them to settle down and become good Manicheans. Missionaries flock to the Balkans to educate and convert the peoples here, as well as to set up monasteries and to seize many of the sparsely populated lands for the church itself. Following in their footsteps are migrant peasants seeking land to set up their own homesteads and less restrictions on their lives. Of course, while many lords attempt to halt this, they are ultimately unable to prevent the loss of labourers, and many also dispute these new lands with the church heavily. It is not uncommon for gangs of roving monks to break into a great lord’s house and to smash his limbs as a warning to stay away.

-In these recently conquered lands, many mass graves are discovered of soldiers who died in the war, and wherever possible, they are dug up and the skeletons sent home for burial. In one location, it is said a body was found looking remarkably preserved, with the body identified to be that of a famous holy man. On the site a great cathedral and later town was built, named after a nearby ruined Veraki city named Aquincum (from which masonry was pillaged). A fort is also built as well to protect the locals, as many of the lords who have new territories here have been obliged to construct fortifications in order to protect their assets here. Some actually prefer to live up here, since the reach of the central government much weaker, allowing some to actually go to war with their neighbours and push dynastic or legal claims on titles.

-Down further south, the cities of old Minoa are still somewhat powerful, some with enough wealth to allow for the construction of many magnificent cathedrals (often on the top of old pagan sites) and to rebuild many fortifications as well (often recycling old buildings in the process). The church itself is becoming extremely powerful too, it often monopolizing the construction of monuments and other important buildings in cities in addition to taking over the provision of welfare, healthcare, and education throughout the empire. The Macedonian patriarch is also becoming angry with the conduct of the Persian church, which recently has been trying to accrue more power. They often undermine the nobility and monarchy in the process, and end up influencing foreign policy by sending mercenaries and faithful warriors to unruly pagan areas to put a stop to them killing missionaries.

Afro-Asia

NefereFlag
Mackalda2k6 – Nefere
Capital: Atenia
Culture: Egyptian (Afro-Asiatic)
State Religion: Manichaeism

-With new types of armour and weaponry continuing to evolve over time, one of the more notable trends is the adoption of more flexible armour. This usually takes the form of lamellar or chainmail reinforced extensively and intended to prevent slashing (as swords have grown longer and have focused more on slashing the opponent than stabbing). They also tend to be padded with cloth, although they are vulnerable to crossbows and crushing weapons (which are thankfully uncommon among their enemies).

-Seeking to regain control of the lucrative trade routes once more, Nefere quickly rebuilds their navy at some considerable expense, with which they quickly reduce the remaining islands and territories of the “Northern Emperor” and reunify the Empire. Soldiers are also sent to help restore order in Oipe after the conclusion of the war, and when the Macedonians finally grant it independence, the merchants of Oipe put pressure on the Nefere military to leave. Relations between the two begin to sour after merchant fleets are rebuilt and begin to operate once more, with competition between the city state and Nefere becoming considerable.

-Around this time, trade and commerce had reached its lowest point in the Empire, with many of the cities badly depopulated and much poorer in contrast to a thousand years prior. Thankfully, a series of prudent Emperors managed to introduce several reforms that finally got the ball moving again, and contributed immensely to recovery. Firstly, all of the major trades in the cities are granted numerous rights to organize and form together into “guilds” that regulate commerce and industry concerning their area. To gain such rights, the town must firstly hold a royal charter, many of which are sold by the monarchy and help to raise considerable amounts of cash. With this additional power and freedom to follow their own interests, the towns and cities begin to recover, and with it, so too do their populations and power.

-Another key reform made in this time was the advent of a separate financial office. Since many nobles don’t like mathematics, the Emperor could appoint lowborn men to keep a track of his finances, and when the treasury began to develop as a result, it became dependent on the monarchy and thus began to strengthen it as well. Over the next century, the increasing financial independence of the crown begins to make itself felt in the countryside. Many of the old privileges are attacked, and rebellions are brutally put down while other opponents are bought off. The fortified houses of the nobility are slighted, and regional administrators are appointed to also manage taxation within the provinces.

-This effect is felt among the peasantry too, with the first migration to the cities starting to force an upward pressure on wages, in addition to a decline in the institution of serfdom. Peddlers begin to travel inland for the first time, to sell snacks, manufactured wares, and other goods. The Manichean church however is able to keep ahead of these changes, and it profits immensely from the curbing of the nobility, as it moves towards establishing local schoolhouses and taking control of welfare services. Increasingly confident, the clergy begin to take over from the nobility by expanding their own court system (which is preferred as it gives more lenient sentences) and demanding that clergy should be appointed directly by the members of the church without secular influence.

-Against this backdrop, there is a noticeable economic revival, with the expansion of trade to the east and Europe. Sugar is grown for the first time in large quantities, while the growing stability of the currency (the mint has been privatized and the dishonest are beheaded) gives it a crucial edge over many other nations. Unfortunately, the powerful Manichean church is distrustworthy of commerce, especially when trading with the heretic Christians of Arabia and Aethiopia or the Hindoos further afield. The Patriarch of Nefere is also becoming hostile towards the Persian one over perceived arrogance and elevation of himself to be the “head” Patriarch.

YamatoFlag
[Seed Eater] – Japan
Capital: Tokyo
Culture: Yamato (Japonic)
State Religion: Shintoism

-With sea trade and navigation so important to the Japanese, the need for ships to sail overseas is critical to the future success of the country. Not only are sternpost rudders adopted on a wide scale, but bulkhead partitions are invented, so that if one part of the ship is holed, only a small section floods. New pumps for bailing water are also introduced as well. The move towards mass production of salt by the Xi also means most mariners can preserve their food for long distances, making sailing overseas a much more comfortable (although still painful) affair.

-With Xi effectively having seized control of much of the former Korean kingdoms, the Japanese opt to instead curry favour with the tribes to their north on the coast, where they discover a petty king has been organizing raids on Japanese shipping. The response is brutal, culminating in an invasion by several thousand well-armed Japanese and the construction of a multitude of forts. To solidify control further, the Japanese also encourage peasants to migrate here on account of good lands for cultivation. Many also turn to fishing, and some to becoming middlemen with the numerous tribes throughout the area, setting up fur trapping and exporting furs to the Xi and for domestic use. These links slowly pull the Japanese in, until eventually they end up settling a good portion of the coast and asserting dominance, much to the annoyance of the neighbouring Koreans.

-With Christians and Buddhists becoming a painful thorn in the states side, an edict is introduced that affirms the official status of Shinto and demands the renouncement of “gaijin” practices. A tax is introduced on Christians and Buddhists as well, although the peasantry quickly begin to synthesize their views with that of the foreigners. A number of rebellions tend to be started by people who claim to be a prophet of either faith, but these are quickly crushed and do not hold any widespread influence. Missionaries continue to stream in from the Xi, although many are imprisoned. The Japanese government condemns the Xi for their involvement in Korea, and lack of authority in removing heathen faiths.

-Religion is not the biggest threat to Japan however; instead it is much less obvious and subtle. The Xi are to indirectly blame for a hammer blow to royal authority when they move to a money economy, leading to great quantities of silver being exported and the heavy deflation of prices throughout Japan. The merchants win out, but many impoverished farmers become tied to the land in a form of debt bondage, and now these aristocrats are getting hungry for power. The Emperor becomes increasingly unable to find sufficient revenues and finds the royal army and navy going into relative decline. However, the Xi are willing to pay for furs, and especially silver and copper, and as it turns out, the barbarians from the east appear to have them. One ship returns with a prized Xokobo bird too from the Valsan Empire, but many in the crew die from a strange disease that causes them to bleed, and believing the ship to be cursed, a local official orders the ship and its cargo burned. Not all ships visit regulated ports.

XiFlag
Crossu88 – Xi
Capital: Huangse
Culture: Xinese (Sinitic)
State Religion: Zongjiao

-In Xi, a group of alchemists begin to look for new medical treatments and elixirs intended to promote health and a long life. Around this time, they mix charcoal dust, sulphur, and saltpetre together, to produce a strange powder that burns quickly and produces a great deal of foul smelling smoke. It ignites easily as well, unless damp, and tends to leave a grimy residue too. Unsure of what to do with it, the first use (after attempting to eat it) is to stuff it into bamboo and throw them on fires, where they explode and produce a loud noise. Some alchemists specialize in adding dyes that change the colour of the smoke produced too.

-Military expansion continues once more, seemingly because of the increasing incidence of conflicts on the borders with Minyue and their neighbours’ steady rise to power. The adoption of a new form of agriculture has resulted in the southern parts becoming vastly more valuable as output rises and the population begins to grow much faster there than in other parts. Eventually, this begins to become a problem when Minyue develops a powerful army of their own, forcing the Xi to strike first.

-Declaring war on Minyue, the Xi call upon their Korean allies to help provide assistance in the conquest of the country. In perhaps one of the largest wars in human history yet, several hundred thousand combatants engage in a bloody war for supremacy in the east. The Koreans provide much needed naval assistance, and throughout the course of several years, the combined Xi and Korean navies manage to gradually seize control of the major rivers and waterways along with the coasts. On land, the war goes much more slowly, becoming a bloody and drawn out affair. Raising conscripts becomes much more of a problem when rebellious peasants demand their sons and husbands to return, while regional administrators find it difficult to keep track of population movements and land distribution.

-The war finally concludes in the year 822 with the sacking of Dongye and dissolution of the once great empire. The new provinces are quickly swallowed up and recovery soon begins, but the stresses of war have left a permanent mark on the Celestial Empire. The sheer size of the population and its movements leads to the equal-field system becoming effectively defunct within fifty years. The outer parts of the country have gained more autonomy, while the increasing strength of markets erodes the bureaucrat’s ability to regulate trade. Some cities are becoming huge, and merchants have begun to accept paper receipts as a form of money. The cash economy has also become much more widespread, and direct services paid for in either labour or kind have begun to die out, in turn leading to an increasing dependence upon money by the emperors.

-The response on behalf of the government is with a mixture of confusion and worry. Seeking to encourage silk production, the imperial government abolishes all duties and tributes of it to the emperor, in favour of indirect taxes paid to local officials. Salt manufacture explodes as well, fuelled by the development of evaporation pools and coal-fed saltworks. Most people in Xi now have ready access to salt, and a new tax is established on it, which quickly comes to account for half of imperial revenues. Reforms are made to encourage farmers to grow more rice, but many prefer to raise livestock and mulberry plantations and sell the proceeds for profit. There are a few attempts made with sugar, but only the furthest southern parts are suitable, and suffer from lack of expertise and high manufacturing costs.

-Christians and Buddhists have acquired many lands over time and have become powerful in their own right, having also established schools to teach future civil servants. The longterm result is the increase of bickering among government officials and the decline of direct control, leading to estates growing larger and the peasantry losing their farms, with many moving to urban centres or migrating. The census reports a doubling of the population from 36 million in 755, to 72 million in 855 (primarily due to the acquisition of the southern half of the country). To resolve this, a state-run education system is established for the first time, intended to teach children the correct moral and technical skills required of them. In practice, this consists largely of reciting quotes by the great philosophers and emperors, while also showing them how to read and write basic phrases too.

-The growing diversity of the economy has of course meant that the Xi must protect trade and their merchants if they are to grow and prosper. They establish a number of embassies in Korea and gradually put more pressure on them to become more like Xi, culminating in the establishment of more ports for trading with Alyeska. The barbarians to the east offer little but animal furs, which thankfully are desired anyways, especially as new fashions sweep the empire and the wealthy middling townspeople buy many. In the opposite direction travels mass produced iron weaponry and silk, deliberately side-lining Japanese artisans, although the appetite for furs has become so huge that now merchants sail directly there in large junks to buy up whatever is on offer, including silver and copper, of which there are chronic shortages in Xi for money.

America and the Pacific

-The North American collapse begins; marked by increased political instability, decline of urban centres, declining or stagnant populations, and the adoption of iron. Economic activity generally becomes more decentralized, with central governments becoming ineffective at distributing resources and manpower, with their role being increasingly taken up by private bodies. The Asian countries are also bringing this continent into the global network of commerce, with huge consequences as a result. The ecological ramifications may take longer.

MexicoFlag
Satansick – Aztlán
Capital: Tenochtitlán
Culture: Aztecah (Aztecan)
State Religion: Teotl

-Despite being far enough from Japan that the first Japanese merchants only appear during this time, and that even the best educated know little about the place, the people of Mexico have already indirectly felt much of their influence, especially in the field of technology. Iron weaponry and tools had appeared by the middle part of the eighth century, and another century later the techniques of ironworking had also spread. However, manufacture of ores into processed iron is something that happens little, and the Aztec are still heavily reliant upon importing iron and reusing every scrap they can find.

-The government, finding that further military expansion is not very profitable, instead opts to decrease the size of their army and focus more on internal policing and the navy. Trade with Alyeska and by extension Japan picks up significantly throughout this period, and several fleets of large wooden galleys and junks are constructed to help defend these trade routes and transport valuable goods. One thing in especially high demand is silver and copper, which the Japanese are very fond of. Mines begin to open up in large numbers, while old bronze weaponry is melted down and sold off. Peasants even start to use iron tools themselves, although by the end of this period they are still uncommon.

-Agriculture also receives a bit of a boost as some estates move towards specialization and invest into new iron tools and begin to sell their produce to travelling merchants. Unfortunately, new diseases sweep the populated towns and cities too, and while there is no sudden population collapse, there is still migration towards the countryside and a decline in birth rates. Faced with a lack of demand in the towns and cities, many agricultural estates either focus on exporting to Japan or self-sufficiency, and the core of economic activity begins to migrate west to the ports with access to Japanese merchants. The longterm result is a steady decline of the eastern parts of the empire, especially when the priestly rulers begin to lose control.

-The Valsan, angered by the Aztecs increasing focus and reliance on sea trade threatening their own interests, try to raid Aztec shipping and coastal areas. The massive investment on behalf of the Aztec into their own navy and increased size means the conflict is largely one-sided however, with the Valsan soon losing control of the seas and being forced into a humiliating treaty that affirms Aztec dominance of the seas. Of course, it offers little relief to the political elite of the Aztec, who have to contend with increasing challenges to their authority from the newly enriched western part by merchants and landed aristocrats. The depopulation of the old core towns and cities also helps to undermine them, and by the time the Seven Fires Confederacy rolls along, the Aztec are unable to stop them.

-A great warlord was rumoured to have united the tribes of the plains under his flag, and to have routed the Valsan armies, but such initial good news becomes quickly a cause for concern when it turns out that this horde is also bent on securing the wealth and power held by their great civilization. The inflexible heavy Xokobo and heavy infantry based Aztec is overwhelmed by mounted archers that flank them and smash through brittle lines of infantry. Only fortifications and the terrain slow them down, and eventually the horde stops expanding once they become happy with the territories seized and tributes collected. Their dominance of land trade now also further impoverishes many older towns and merchants, and within a few decades large parts of the eastern Aztec begin breaking down, exacerbated by the collapse of central government and demographic decline, while many regional generals and nobles fill the vacuum.

-During the outbreaks of major disease, the temples are turned over to the treatment of the sick. While many people are given rest, fluids, food, and warmth, many still do not recover, and most treatments are ineffective. Given this, the commoners tend to believe that even their religious elites cannot save them, and in desperation they turn towards unorthodox methods. Widespread sacrifices, self-injury, and following self-proclaimed prophets are all such ones, and many further weaken the government and make their job more difficult. The Japanese are also blamed for bringing this disease, and merchants are often the target of angry mobs. Peasant rebellions eventually cripple the east until warlords begin taking control into their own hands there.

AlyeskanFlag
Damian0358 – Alyeska
Capital: Nulat
Culture: Alyeskan (Slavo-Eskaleut)
State Religion: Alyeskan Pantheon

-Increasing influence from the Japanese has manifested itself in Alyeskan society in multiple forms, including technology and culture. While the Japanese have been making paper for a long time, now marks the first appearance of it outside of Asia. By mashing up rags and pressing the pulp into a sheet, one can produce a durable and relatively cheap material to write on. Superior to tree bark and animal skins, it quickly becomes common throughout Alyeska, and in accordance with Japanese architecture, is also used for internal walls inside the wealthier homes. Japanese merchants spread paper further, and encourage literacy along with the Japanese method of writing further.

-This increasing contact with Asia is brought on by their insatiable demand for silk, and reciprocated in kind by the Japanese demand for furs. Trading posts continue to spread rapidly throughout the interior, while sometimes entire tribes go to hunt entire populations of fur bearing animals, trading them in return for iron manufactures. The Kamchatka territories begin to develop a cluster of forts, fishing villages, and ports to help support this trade, especially as now sources of fur are now being readily exploited in Siberia. The Alyeskan government draws most of its revenue from animal furs now, and has managed to buy a great number of Japanese junks and weaponry for its own personal use. Control over these territories is tenuous at best, and most expansion is conducted by powerful families who are given free reign, provided they pay some tribute to their sovereign. Xi ships also start appearing regularly, competing fiercely with the Japanese.

-Of course, trade on this scale is setting off changes that seem to be out with the control of the merchants and monarchs. Many merchants have grown wealthy enough to the point they effectively run small fortified towns and small fleets of ships, while the widespread use of iron is causing the breakdown of bronze monopolies (copper is in high demand among the Japanese however). The tribes to the east and south are now raiding trading routes as well, and in the plains areas, have started to form into large nomadic confederations. Silver is also flowing in and out of Alyeska too, as now the people to the far south are reported as having a massive appetite for iron and silk as well, and offer silver as one tradable good. The country fragments as power dissipates into the hands of the merchants, while Japanese influence causes much dissent among the commoners. Buddhist and Christian missionaries start appearing too, and cause even more problems. Frequent outbreaks of disease also ravage the coastal towns, and soon a mixed Japanese-Alyeskan population begins to increase in number.

TexasFlag
Darkrei9n – Valsan
Capital: Valsari
Culture: Valsan (Penutian)
State Religion: Warrior cult

-With Japanese ironwork now common, it would make sense to have native blacksmiths that can modify weaponry and tools closer to home. After several Japanese merchants do some favourable deals, there are now many forges throughout the empire, working iron ingots into tools and wea-ponry (production of raw iron itself is poor at this stage however). Another interesting military re-form is carried out when large bodies of pikemen begin to be raised, drilled extensively and trained to form defensive formations, along with an ability to push an offensive. The peasantry meanwhile are appreciative of iron tools, and set to work on clearing large swathes of land and using imported ploughs as well. Several Asian livestock are imported too, and by the end of this period it is possible to see peasants with oxen pulling crude ploughs.

-These changes are radically reshaping Valsan society too, causing several headaches for their rulers. The local aristocracy who run many provinces are becoming impoverished by their expensive lifestyles as they try to pay for imported Japanese goods. Their peasants are being pushed harder for increased tithes, leading to the outbreak of several rebellions in many provinces. Another major problem is the breakdown of the existing economic system as former monopolies on bronze and obsidian effectively stop generating income. Merchants have also formed powerful cliques that undermine royal administrators, while outbreaks of several new diseases devastate the population, which declines throughout the period. Smallpox is one such disease, and while many die, the Empire limps along.

-A rather embarrassing war breaks out with the Aztec over a trade dispute. With Japanese and Alyeskan merchants now travelling to both empires on a regular basis, it was only a matter of time before a conflict of some scale would break out. The Valsan, greedy for Japanese weaponry and silks, try to send out their navy to attack Aztec ships. This fails catastrophically when it turns out that the Aztec began to shift increasingly towards naval expansion, with a large fleet being built to protect their shipping. The raiders are not only easily dispatched, but the Valsan fleet is destroyed and their ports raided, forcing the Valsan to sue for peace and contribute indemnities.

-The Emperor responds through the old method of military expansion. Calling on all able bodied males, he raises several large armies to go on campaigns to the east where he battles with the increasingly restless nomads. To stop them, and the Aztecs from entering his empire, he creates a network of pyres to alert his army to any incursions, which are effective for some years until perhaps one of the most pivotal events in history occurs.

-In 834, a powerful warlord calling himself Waŋblí Ǧí declares he has united all of the peoples who live on the plains, which he then follows up by declaring war on the Valsan. Swarming into the Rio Grande valley, his force of warriors on Xokobos are armed with new bows and iron weaponry introduced in the past century by the Japanese. The Valsan and Aztec, weakened by internal problems and war, are unable to provide any means of effectively halting them, and lose vast tracts of land when highly mobile armies run circles around the primarily heavy infantry and Xokobo based armies, which also have long supply trains slowing them down. This new empire (calling itself the Seven Fires Confederacy) effectively takes control of much of the Aztec and Valsan lands, stopping only after their ruler died from smallpox. One of the main results was the monopolisation of several trade routes, and after discovering the Japanese liked silver and copper, this confederacy jumped on the trade and began to open many new mines, forcing peasants to work in them.

-Losing a great deal of land, the Valsan pull back to their homeland and quickly erect or rebuild a number of forts and walls in chokepoints such as valleys or river crossings. To contend with the dead and wounded on such a scale (in addition to many injured civilians); all of the physicians possible are conscripted to establish temporary hospitals and train some soldiers to conduct basic surgical methods. Impressed, the Emperor forms a special unit of physicians, with their wages paid for by the state and their job being to provide medical help in times of war. Unfortunately, while the institution lasts long, the Emperor does not. After his premature death, his weak son takes the throne, whose poor physical state results in him being incapable of ruling and being “looked after” by a regent.

-A chief physician is also appointed to take care of healthcare in the Empire, with his official duties to include management of the physicians in the army and ensuring all practicing physicians are properly accredited and licensed. These men are expected to be fully literate and contribute towards the body of medical knowledge, which largely consists of plagiarizing somebody else. Japanese and Xinese medical knowledge begins to enter around this time too, as many merchants from both countries are obliged to sell copies to port authorities.

TembagaFlag
YogiTheWise – Tembaga
Capital: Panamu
Culture: Tembagi (Polynesian)
State Religion: Polynesian Pantheon

-With steady population growth and increasing divisions of labour, the copper smelters are starting to become fairly important figures in their communities, especially as they now discover a new technique to strengthen metal tools. By adding arsenic or tin to copper, one can produce the alloy bronze, which is much harder and does not wear away or bend as easily. Over the course of the ninth century, the Tembaga slowly adopt bronze tools and weaponry, although flint, bone, and other materials are still commonly used.

-As Aotearoa becomes the new centre of the Tembaga, Hari Hatarei moves his court to Aotearoa, to the town of Pamanu, which begins to quickly blossom and attracts several thousand persons. Large scale monuments are built in addition to a crude stone and earth rampart, protecting the residents. Several large plazas are also created to hold markets, distribute resources, and allow warriors to assemble in case of conflict. The harbour also has a number of boats purpose built for war, with warriors able to sail rapidly and do hit and run attacks on undefended coastal villages. Besides the occasional small rebellion, Aotearoa is quickly settled and within a century the majority of the archipelago is settled, with a population exceeding twenty thousand, of which two thousand live at the capital.

-This new town (which dwarfs every other settlement in Hari Hatareis domain), is also an excellent place to trade all sorts of goods and move them overseas. The Moa birds are brought along when possible, and are let loose on several islands. The lack of any predators (save for humans) allows their numbers to boom, and they come to be relied upon for eggs and meat. Eventually, by the late ninth century, they have spread to most parts of the Pacific that the Tembagi have settled.

-On some of these new settled islands, the first tenuous contacts with the Japanese are made, usually through fishermen and the occasional trader. Unfortunately, trade is small in scale and the islands do not offer much in the way of natural resources or economies of scale. Aotearoa is too far from the Japanese mainland and too small to be of much value to traders, and the vast majority of items traded are trinkets. Moa eggs are an exception, as they become a delicacy among the Japanese elite and the eggshells are also prized by artisans. Aborigines also are fond of these eggs, often coming to the beaches to barter with traders for them (in addition to bronze trinkets).

-Despite the move to Aotearoa and the establishment of a royal seat of power and first urban community, the islands further afield are only loosely held. Some attempts at holding onto them (such as the establishment of relay posts for transmitting messages) prove to be barely effective, and starting in the eighth century, the islands further afield end up developing into autonomous feudal entities. They still pay some token respect to Aotearoa (which is rapidly developing), and share the same linguistic and cultural ties, along with some small scale trade, but offer little else.

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