The Short History of the Asteanic World

The Short History of the Asteanic World

Asteanic chronology divides the world’s history into four eras: the Mythic Age when Thefna (the Asteanic motherland) was home to the lost Azzurian civilization, the Age of Heroes when gods walked the earth and ancient heroes cleansed the world of all kinds of monsters, making it habitable, the Age of Kings when the first Asteanic kingdoms rose, marking the beginning of credible written sources, and the Age of Empires or the New Age, that marks the start of the Asteanic calendar.

Mythic Age

Little has survived from the Mythic Age, likely ending approximately 3000 to 4000 years ago. During this time, Thefna was home to the Azzurians, a completely extinct or assimilated people among the Asteans. The remnants of this era on Thefna include several ruined cities with massive necropolises and ziggurats. The largest among them are Urtari, Hatussa, and Mitanni, located away from the main civilization. Cities closer to civilization have largely been dismantled by the Asteans for their construction projects.

From the Azzurians, Asteans inherited something of immense significance: their gods. Asteans consider the Azzurian gods as deities of natural forces and continue to revere (mainly fear) them to this day. Azzurians identified themselves as the children of the sun god Azzur and worshipped and feared their gods fervently.

While some aspects of Azzurian writing have been deciphered, the absence of significant texts raises more questions than answers about their culture. Historians debate whether the Azzurians were aware of the Astral Projection magic school. What led to the demise of their culture and paved the way for the Asteans? Some signs suggest that the Azzurians harboured immense fear of otherworldly forces and death. Why, what was so different in that time?

Age of Heroes

The Age of Heroes marks the beginning of Asteanic mythology. The era commences with the tale of how the Asteans descended from the Eternal Waters (pocket of the Otherworld) to the human world. All stories of the deeds of Asteanic gods fall into this era.

The Age of Heroes also encompasses tales of various human heroes and the slaying of monsters and dangerous lesser gods.

There are no written sources from the Age of Heroes because the Asteans had not yet developed writing. All stories have been preserved as oral traditions and are therefore more myths than subjects for serious historical inquiry.

It is unclear whether the Azzurians lived alongside the Asteans during this time. Oral tradition is contradictory in this regard. In some tales, Asteanic heroes battle seemingly foreign nations, but these may also be kinfolk of the Asteans (Asteanic language only becomes standardized in the Age of Empires) or the Hattu peoples who lived in Northern Thefna. In other stories, the Asteans find Thefna seemingly empty, abandoned by its ancient inhabitants.

In some ways, the Age of Heroes has the most stories, being the core of Asteanic mythology, but it has the least credible historical information. Modern Asteans view these stories as what they are – myths. But certainly, some tales may contain a grain of truth.

Age of Kings

The Age of Kings is considered to span seven to eight centuries before the Age of Empires. During this period, writing emerges, providing ample opportunities for a more detailed study of this era. However, there are challenges in precisely dating events because it is nearly impossible to reconcile the different calendars used at that time with the contemporary one.

At different times, dozens of small kingdoms coexisted in Thefna.

This era also marks the first attempt at an empire building when Pyrdema, the sorceress queen of Niobe, compelled all the Southern Thefna kings to swear allegiance to her over her long life. Pyrdema’s grand empire lasted for several decades until her own grandchildren rebelled against her and dethroned her.

Age of Empires

The start of the Age of Empires is counted from the mythical moment when the grand Temple of Divine Ocean was erected in Oocnea, and the 12 kingdoms of Thefna forged the Eternal Peace, from which later sprang an alliance, then an empire ruled by an elected emperor, and finally, the Asteanic Empire known today. This moment occurred approximately 1500 years ago. It stands as one of the greatest points of contention among Asteanic historians, as the modern imperial calendar was actually adopted in the 7th century when the Asteanic Empire essentially came into being, and the start date of the calendar was agreed upon at that time, taking into account the earlier knowledge.

The Age of Empires is somewhat misleadingly named, as nearly half of this era, life in Thefna was much like during the Age of Kings. It is known that the Eternal Peace forged in year 1 actually lasted only 8 years, and its significance is more symbolic than real. The concept of Eternal Peace became an ideal that was always pursued, but it was only after hundreds of years that it led to the formation of the empire.

The early Age of Empires is characterized by a resurgence in foreign trade and the establishment of the first colonies beyond the Asteanic homeland – Southern Thefna. The initial colonies were established in Hattu lands in the North Thefna, then in the Tauric lands to the north and on the Sensionos Peninsula to the west. By the eleventh century, Asteanic colonization had even reached the Orenic Archipelago, a distance of 4000 km from Thefna as the crow flies. Initially, such distant colonies were not reached by ocean-going vessels, but instead relied on coastal navigation, making them particularly remote and fostering the development of distinctive Asteanic colonial cultures, best exemplified in the Asteanic pantheon, where central national gods like Menes, Geulades, Ezron, and others remained the same everywhere, but the earth, sky, sun, and other major nature gods varied by region.

Asteanic national major gods.

The establishment of colonies and foreign trade falling under Asteanic control was made possible by the invention of innovative ship types and navigation tools such as the kamal and the early compass, which ensured safer maritime travel. For centuries, the Asteans managed to conceal these maritime technologies from other coastal peoples, giving them a tremendous advantage and laying the foundation for the world as it is now – the Asteanic World.

The early colonies belonged to independent small Asteanic kingdoms and were therefore rather unprotected from the kingdoms of foreigners (locals). This vulnerability was a driving factor in the formation of the empire. During the early Age of Empires, Asteanic kingdoms constantly formed various alliances with each other to jointly protect their colonies from other peoples. And the more Asteanic kingdoms turned their gaze to the outside world, the more alliances they formed with each other to subdue other peoples and protect their colonies. The transition to an empire ruled by an elected monarch was quite organic.

The early Age of Empires also saw the subjugation and integration of the Hattu people in Northern Thefna into Asteanic culture. With the Hattu, there was a significant cultural exchange for the first time, and much of what later became characteristic of the Asteanic people was adopted. Today, the Hattu are fully integrated with the Asteans, having lost their language and forgotten their sharper distinctions, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between the two peoples. However, Northern Thefna looks significantly different from the southern grasslands. Northern Thefna is characterized by towering wooden architecture, unique names, samurai culture, and a high reverence for local nature gods. Many of these aspects are adopted by the Asteans and brought southward. Surprisingly, the most significant influences of Hattu culture architecture and naming conventions are in distant Orenic Archipelago. The reason for this is quite simple: the first Asteanic Great Houses and merchants to reach Orenic lands had Hattu roots.

Example of Hattu architecture.

The greatest influence of Hattu culture on the development of Asteanic culture is the adoption of Hattu samurai warrior culture and the integration of their main god, Tengu Jin, into the pantheon of Asteanic major gods.

The Creation and Expansion of Asteanic Empire

In the year 555, eight Asteanic kingdoms formed the Great Asteanic League, which established the title of an elected dictator. The kingdoms agreed that a dictator would only be elected when the Great Asteanic League went to war for one of its member kingdoms and would lead the League’s military activities. It quickly became apparent that one or more League participants were always at war, making the temporary position of dictator effectively lifelong.

The Asteanic kingdoms that formed the Great Asteanic League were:

  • Fentonistos, with its capital in Oocnea (the present-day Fentonistos-Fay with its own Asteanic Empire)
  • Scarta, with its capital in Tarentum (also founded a new Asteanic Empire, currently holding no lands in Thefna)
  • Niobe, with its capital in Nileen (destroyed by the la Delagrua great house in the 10th century)
  • Delagrua, the only kingdom in the League without access to the sea, with its capital in Delagrua Nill (today’s la Mepho-Delagrua, which also has its own Asteanic Empire)
  • Tartheus, with its capital in Perusa, later known as great house la Taratheus (destroyed during The Great War)
  • Algeon, with its capital in Ancona (surviving lineage has virtually no power or land)
  • Mephoclea kingdom, later known as the la Mephoclea great house, which has since merged with la Delagrua
  • Liguuria kingdom, covering the territory of present-day la Eldra (fallen during the wars of the 10th century)

By 600, the position of dictator was replaced by the lifelong title of emperor, and the foundations of the Eternal Empire began to be laid: imperial navies and a unified bureaucracy. An imperial calendar was introduced, and Oocnea, the city within Fentonistos’ territory, was established as the permanent capital of the empire. Asteanic scripts were standardized, and a unified Asteanic language evolved for all to understand. Simultaneously, the Asteanic great house system began to take shape, and the kingdoms were transformed into great houses with vaguely defined territorial jurisdictions within the empire. The wealth and power of royal dynasties had shifted to foreign trade and overseas colonies. The desire to monopolize trade for their own clan led to the smooth dispersion of power from one king to daimyos, daeguns, and other important relatives. The pieces of colonial kingdoms were far apart from each other, making it impossible for one person to rule them all. Fentonistos, Scarta, and Tartheus were the first to transform their kingdoms into great houses. Their decentralized form of governance made them more successful than the other League members, and throughout the empire’s history, most of the emperors have hailed from these three great houses. Through the great house system, these families permanently and closely integrated other important clans, creating a unique system that was the key to the Asteanic’s long-term success.

However, the great house system was also the empire’s weakest point and ultimately led to its downfall. Powerful houses formed the highest governing body of the empire, the Inner Circle, which selected one of the great house leaders (nillwring) from amongst them as the lifelong emperor. After the emperor’s death, the Inner Circle would select a new one. The constant shifting of power from one house to another prevented any single house from becoming dominant, but the frequent civil wars between equally powerful houses were equally devastating.

Over time, all Thefna states joined the Asteanic Empire, either through conquest or voluntarily. At its peak, the Inner Circle consisted of 25 great houses. However, within the empire itself, there were thousands of houses, large and small.

Despite setbacks and frequent civil wars, the empire lasted for 700 years.

The Fall of the Empire

In 1317, the formidable emperor Meledor la Fentonistos took a step that sparked yet another civil war – he attempted to establish the emperor’s throne as hereditary. This civil war saw the clash of three factions in its initial years: la Fentonistos, la Taratheus, which was completely destroyed in the civil war, and la Scarta.

However, the Asteanic people had overlooked the rise of power among their neighboring nations. While the Getae Amoorian Empire would have stood no chance against the unified Asteanic Empire, it was the divided empire resulting from civil wars that left them vulnerable and Geteedics attacted.

In 1335, the Asteanic Empire, weakened by the prolonged civil war, was attacked by the distant Getae Amoorian Empire. Thus began a 100-year war between the two empires, which ended with the fall of both. The Flandrians and Gothians, who had recently adopted a new invention – firearms, in the form of cannons – played a part in the collapse of the Asteanic Empire. These firearms provided them with a significant advantage over the previously invincible Asteanic fleet in naval battles. Many subjugated peoples rose up against individual great houses, and without the empire’s support, the houses were unable to defend themselves.

The whole known world was filled with chaos for a hundred years.

In 1413, Oocnea fell into the hands of the Amoorian forces and was razed to the ground. This event marked the official end of the empire.

The Era of Housestates

The remaining Asteanic houses could no longer organize themselves into a unified empire, and the 15th century was characterized by constant local struggles for survival. Technological and cultural development stagnated, and there were regions where literacy was forgotten. Entire archipelagos were left uninhabited, such as the Kaliba archipelago, which is almost half the size of Thefna. Many Asteanic cities were burned, and the Asteans were driven out of their colonial holdings. The entire western part of the ocean fell out of Asteanic influence, and the Mederea and Paradise Islands fell to the hands of Farwesterners. On several occasions, it seemed that Sensionos, the powerful base of la Scarta, would also fall to the Holy Empire of the Gothians. However, la Scarta managed to survive.

Formally, the empire never disappeared. After the Great War, the two largest Thefna great houses claimed the title: la Mepho-Delagrua and la Fentonistos-Fey (also known as the Cursed House). The houses waged long wars over the title and lands without either side prevailing. Thus, the Thefna archipelago was divided into two Asteanic empires, each of which refused to recognize the other. Of course, no one outside Thefna recognized either. The Thefna has been in this stalemate for almost a century now.

One of the most significant changes during this period is the disappearance of Asteanic technological superiority. During the civil wars and the subsequent era of house states, the Farwesterners surpassed the Asteans in technological development. Their inventions, such as firearms and new production methods, gradually spread to Asteanic lands. But, by the time a Farwestern invention had become prevalent in Asteanic World, the Farwesterners had already adopted a newer one. Firearms are a prime example. Today, common firearms (flintlock musket, carbine, pistol) are quite widespread in Asteanic World, but the Farwesterners have already introduced new firearms that can shoot farther and more accurately.

It is the year 1512. after the foundation of Great Oocnean Temple when players step into this world. The three Asteanic empires are again occupied with civil wars and wars among themselves, and the world is more fractured than ever. It’s a great time for all sorts of adventurers and kingdom builders to make their own power plays.

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