gestaltist wrote: ↑13 Jan 2019 14:07
I was thinking about one thing recently. Auntimoany feels like it's kinda your "Europe" or "England" from the way you describe it, but geographically, it is your China. I have two questions:
1) do you have any culture that is actually based on China or similar to China in The World?
2) how is your "actual Europe" like?
1. There are no cultures based on China, no China analogue. Though many aspects of Chinese culture find their way into other cultures. The Chinese bureaucratic culture -- the Examinations, something of the Confucian state-culture -- is to be found in Auntimoany itself. You'll find a number of culinary references and visual aesthetics are diffused generally throughout the Eastlands.
If any country takes the place of China, it would probably be one (or more) of the somewhat amorphous "Realms of the Warlords", those quintessentially expansionistic yet eternally revolutionary countries in the midlands of the continent. I guess the represent more the modern militaristic-imperial aspects of Chinese culture (vis-a-vis Tibet, etc).
2. These lands are, of course, from our usual perspective the "Uttermost West". It main, mythhistorical, regions are Wespera (the northwest), Atelante (the western seaboard), Heropea & Phazzanea (the northern & southern midlands respectively) and Demeteia (what from their perspective is the "East"). The Uttermost West is currently a hot mess. It has never really been a peaceful country. When the Daine first awoke in the region, it was already the earthly realm of an evil Power. Being Daine, they joined the right side, but the war ended very badly. The world ended being quite broken in those regions, with quite a lot of it sinking into the Ocean. The resulting tsunamis wiped out everyone along the coasts.
After those ancient tumults, history went along until the arrival of Men. Daine themselves were still quite a young race, and not overly wise. As the Teyor had patiently taught them in their early youth, so they thought they could teach Men. They taught them not only how to hunt and plant and husband, but how to manage the natural world; not only how to make letters, but how to write and sing poetically; not only how to craft weapons and tools, but how to fight gracefully and how to make with elegance.
And Men were eager learners! They were come up out of the South and were eager for lebensraum. And they secretly didn't really care who was in the way. Eventually Daine learned how to mistrust and how to fear and how to hate, for Men quickly forgot all the lessons on grace & artistry & compassion and balance, turning their new skills into brutally effective and ugly means of killing. Daine, of course, were their first targets, but they became pretty effective at killing each other too.
They slowly pushed the Daine north and away from the Midworld Sea, where they lost their most beautiful cities and countries. Eventually, they built up their own empires (these are called by modern mistoriographers the "archaic empires" and we are now about 15 to 20 thousand years before the present age) and promptly forgot about the Daine and the Teyor, who they never had much use for, turning them into myths and began focusing on jockeying for supremacy within the world of Men.
There were archaic empires in the Eastlands (and you have heard mention of old Hoopelle and Ania and Oriata); but in the Westlands, there was mighty Atelante, the Sea Kings, and they roamed the Ocean of Sunset and controlled the Midworld Sea; there was Punt (which I'm sure you've heard of, as they are the ancestors of the Arya and the Shams (i.e., Aryans & Semites) among others and they controlled the Hospitable Sea; and beyond them were the Shumuur and the Harraph.
Their histories are filled with long ages of war and strife. Eventually Harraph fell and was laid waste; Shumuur was weakened and Atelante had fallen and their homeland sank beneath the waves. But their colonial empire remained strong and Qimet assumed the mantle of such imperial majesty as remained. This period culminated around six thousand years ago, or so, when a great War between the powers consumed them all. It was a war of armies and also of magic: the Sea and the navies of Aimet against the Land and the armies of Punt and above them the magic of Shumuur.
In the end, in a pyrrhic kind of way, Punt won the day. They managed to defeat the Sea King's navy, but in the end wasted their army. Shumuur's mages contrived to destroy Punt by agitating the great Spirits that dwell beneath the earth, and split open the land, thus flooding the Hospitable Sea and creating a much larger Midworld Sea. But in so doing, they caused tremors that brought down their own kingdom.
In the aftermath, the Atelanteans were largely reduced to a realm of past-glory-worshippers of half-wise priests who have long forgotten the meanings of their chants and how their ancestors' actually built anything. They would eventually gain back some of their former majesty and their Pharaohs would rule over a powerful neo-kingdom for many centuries. And even now, though considerably Hellenised, Qimet of the Remans is still ruled by a Pharaoh.
The various kindreds of the Punt were scattered utterly, their homeland being washed away. Of the Arya: The Helladians remained in the immediate west, in the regions of the ancient Daine land of Ibisant; the Remen and the Illurioi moved further west, pushing the Daine further away, up out of Heropea and into Wespera and Hercanea. The Slowonos moved north and inhabited the hinterlands between northern Punt and the realms of the Fay. The Anatolians moved south into the uplands where the proto-Talarians split from the proto-Hittites. The Thiets (Germanic folk) wandered into the southeast. Of the Shams: The Puniqi went south and settled along the eastern shores of the Midworld Sea. The Aqqad went east and south, becoming subsumed by the neo-Shumuurian kingdoms while others went into the east and disappear from occidental history. The Shava went south and settled the lands along the sea opposite Qimet and Axiom. The Salapayu wandered into the south, and are believed to have ended up along the Sea of Sandh. The Habiru remained in southern Punt for some time before going down into Shumuur; they would eventually emigrate through Neffu and into Qimet; and then out of Qimet and into Saba; and then out of Saba and through Neffu and into Yehudea.
In time, the Helladians, the Ehrraneans, the Remen and the Slowonoi all raise up their own empires and begin the great wars all over again...
The Remen and the Puniqi came to dominate the Midworld Sea. The Puniqi destroyed the Helladians in a series of dashing and romantic wars and the Remen mopped up after. Those Helladians who wouldn't remain captive to Reme, went into the east where, along the coasts of the Puntish Sea, they still had free colonies. Reme captured Qimet and thus assumed the ancient mantle of racial imperium (when the archmage Agustas married Pharaoh Clewopataar). Ehrran and Reme constantly fought over the hegemony of the flagging Helladian colonies in the Levant, over Yehudea, over Shumuurea. The Axiomatics allied with Saba and its satellites, thus protecting that region from the wars. Eventually, the Remen, realising that protracted war with Ehrran was only going to lead to stalemate, turned its attention to the Puntish Sea where the Slowonic realms proved to be easier pickings. Plus, they finally got round to mopping up those pesky Helladians left over from the last series of war.
The Helladians finally decided they had enough and trekked eastwards, along the Highway of Silk and Spice, where they met up with some old friends --- the Helladians that were left over from the Alexandrian Empire in the east and they largely all became either Buddhists or Philosophers and set up a number of Helladic kigndoms in the region. The wars between the Puniqi and the Remen continued unabated, with Ehrran cheering on both sides and poor Yehudea and the Decapoleis and all the other little countries playing the pawns. Poor Neffu suffers the fate of many and disappears entirely.
Jump up to modern times and we find that Reme is flagging, unable to maintain its control over a too spread out realm. Ehrran and it Shumurian toadies make their move, striking by sea at the Imperial City (Imbisandion). Reme is saved at the last minute by an ancient enemy no one (except for the few remaining Daine in the region) even knew about. That Dragon. The Dragon is not a creature, but the name of a mountain of volcanic nature. Possibly a super volcano. It had long ago exploded, collapsing into the sea beyond the Pillars of Heracles; but had now exploded again. It rapidly filled in the strait, cutting off the Sea from the Ocean beyond, and caused some pretty severe weather and climactic shifts across Phazzanea and Demeteia and even caused problems across the wider world. As the water levels in the Sea dropped, Reme's maritime power diminished, which Cartadas (the principle Puniqeian realm) much appreciated, though it did occur to them that they, too, are a maritime power...
Eventually the dust settled and the normal climate returned, but Reme was in a much more precarious situation. Fighting land wars with Cartadas and Puniqeia were not so difficult, and those countries have been pretty well tamed. What Reme did not count on was a bunch of mythological Daine come howling down out of the north, seizing the opportunity to take back their own lands lost to the first Men so long ago. As weakened as they were, Reme had no choice but to abandon continent. They transfered the imperial seat from Imbisandion to Alexandria in Qimet; but the trouncing meant hundreds of thousands of migrant homeless taking refuge wherever they landed --- some along the shores of Phazzanea, be it in the half-Remanised Merecun or else in Cartadas itself or Remen Anatolia. The semi-independent countries around the Puntish Sea thought it would be a good time to assert their independence from Alexandria, while still proclaiming their Remanity. Just in case the Ehrraneans woke up and decided to continue their invastion. The Slewonic realms had long ago sent their occupying Remen legions packing.
And now, just a few years ago, to add to the misery of war and natural disaster, the Reman pharaoh, in an effort to rehydrate her sea and thus reinvigorate her maritime economy, engaged with a Yehudian mage to come up with a Cunning Plan. This mage, Iaso Zionico (Jason Zionicus) by name did indeed come up with a rather cunning plan indeed. He constructed a large number of bronze oliphants (cleverly built int the shape of gleaming bronze pachyderms) and set them along a special highway cut between Berenice and Rhinocorura. Upon energising the oliphants, the plan called for a slight agitation of the great Spirits of the Earth Below, such that they would shift uncomfortably, thus causing a small rift in the land, allowing for a flow of water from the Sea of Sandh to fill up the draining Midworld Sea.
What he got was a gealogical disaster of the first rate. First of all, Jason was no gealoger and had no idea what was underlying the land. And quite probably even if he had heard of the Great Demeteian Rift System, it wouldn't have stopped him. After all, he's a wizard, and what can possibly go wrong? Well, Pharaoh got her refilled Midworld Sea, all right! The great Spirits of the Earth Below were so agitated by the hyper-sub-sonic blasts from the great oliphants that they quite definitively shook the whole place up. Earthquakes felt from Cartadas in the west to Ymmallea in the east rocked the land. The Jordan Valley cracked open, revealing a great maw of brilliant red heat-light and all the lands on either side slipped right down into the maw. The rift turned to the west in the region of the Decapolies, whose once lovely cities were now levelled. The great Axiomatic Rift Valley widened by several miles and the waters of the Sea of Sandh rushed merrily to fill them both. Even now the Levant is a dead nomans land: stinking sulphur pits and heaps of slag and ash and steam volcanoes and noxious vaopour fill the land between eastern Qimet and the Quiritic Kingdoms of southern Anatolia. It is now said to be home only to Demons and Djinns and Orcs and other foul creatures. (Though to be honest, there are probably no actual Orcs there...) Gone is Yehudeia; gone is Puniceia; gone is the Decapoleis; gone are all the western Shumurian realms. Laid waste is Shumur and Ehrran proper. The Twin Rivers have changed their courses and no longer flow through the once densely populated mesopotamian provinces. They now flow through the Dead Lands.
As of right now, Ehrran and Shumur and hopping mad and ready for war, once they figure out how to march through or around the Dead Lands. Cartadas and the realms of Anatolia are mad, too. But it's usually taciturn and sleeping dog Axiom that is absolutely bat-shit furious. After all, eastern and western Demeteia have now shifted ten to twelve miles apart and quite a lot of that territory actually exists in Axiom! And the Daine of Heropea and Wespera are still not done venting their own frustrations on the Remen!
So yeah: natural disasters; interspecies warfare; unnatural thaumic disasters; political and intra-racial strife. The Uttermost West is a hot mess!