|This article or section is in the process of an expansion or major restructuring. You are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well. If this article or section |
If you are the editor who added this template and you are actively editing, please be sure to replace this template with
- This article is part of Project Genesis.
- This article is about the geopolitical region of Western Assai. For the region east of the Korati mountains, see Grand Balisar and Eastern Assai. For the sovereign state of the same name, see Kingdom of Greater Assai. For the language of the same name, see Assai Language. For more uses, see Assai (Disambiguation).
|Part of Kai-Meridia|
Political Map of Contemporary Western Assai
Western Assai (Assai: Assai-Ekóru, Zhatsai: Etase n'egzi, Unghyar: Měrītsk' Zỳ'ńé, Krai: Chzevetas, Cadisian: Bajos Assai, Pashrani: Éte'óh, Khazhar: Iete'o, Emrit: ezh'Assi qhoru, Otcsi: Tcseve̋ete̋az, Metsian: Xᴢɪғᴇ́ᴛ) is a geopolitical region in the south-east of the continent of Kai-Meridia, forming the westernmost part of the Assai subcontinent. Bordered by Kaishuri to the west (across the Kai Sea), the Meridian Ocean to the north, Grand Balisar and Eastern Assai to the east, and Cadisia to the south-west, Western Assai consists of 36 sovereign states, of which the Sy Federation, the Persesi Federation, and the Republic of Krai are the largest. As the birthplace of the world's two largest religions, deeply influential global philosophies and cultural ideas, and a meeting point between numerous people groups and cultures, Western Assai has a long and rich history which makes it one of the most diverse regions on the planet of Sabel.
Western Assai has historically been divided into three major sub-regions: Greater Assai, being the temperate region along the east coast of the Kai Sea; The Korat and Syon, referring to the arid territories north of the Korati Mountain Range, including the Sy Desert and Korati Steppes; and Southern Assai, which includes all territories south of the Korati Mountains and the Republic of Pashran. With approximately 404 million inhabitants, Assai is the third largest region of Kaijin people in the world, behind only Aurionea and the Riden Peninsular, as well as being the largest region of ethnically Asahric people in the world.
The modern-day region of Western Assai was first inhabited by the Proto-Balo-Asahric People some 70,000 years ago, who migrated across the Meridian Ocean from Tersa. Centuries later, the Kaijin, under the Alawazi Empire, would invade Western Assai, resulting in a drastic change to the demographic make up of Western Assai. This immigration would lead to the ethnic, cultural, and ideological division of the Western Assai region into two - the Kaijin-dominated north and the Asahric-dominated south. Western Assai, in particular the Korat, was the birthplace of the Korati Religions, of which Ainism and Ramvokism would later develop into the world's two largest religions respectively. In Southern Assai, the rise of the Khazh-Pashrani Empire in 3629 Ʋ led to the solidification of Asahric culture in Southern Assai lasting up until the conquest of Khazh-Pashran by the Assai Empire and the end of ancient Assai in 4598 Ʋ. The development of the Kaijin Assai Empire in Greater Assai in around 4553 Ʋ led to the rapid expansion and spread of Assai Kaijin culture throughout much of southern Kai-Meridia, and its collapse following the invasion of Iskanderion of Balisar and the subsequent Third Assai Civil War marked the end of Classical Assai and the beginning of the Middle Ages circa 5008 Ʋ.
Following the intense political instability of Western Assai during the Middle Ages, Western Assai entered a Golden Age at the beginning of the 56th century following a renewed interest in classical art and culture and the discovery of valuable metal deposits in Upper Assai. The increased wealth and political stability of this period led to the solidification of numerous key continental powers in Western Assai, many of which developed colonial possessions in Ankuria and the Eastern Vespian Islands. The development of Estrian philosophy in Pashran led to the Pashrani Revolution in 5678 Ʋ which quickly resulted in the spread of wider Estrian and nationalist movements throughout Western Assai during the Years of Revolution lasting until roughly 5737 Ʋ and the onset of industrialisation.
In the early 59th century increased tensions between the various political powers of Assai sparked the Great Assai War of 5816 Ʋ with the invasion of Warczebs by Kolaz Reumán. The catastrophic war resulted in the radical redefinition of political power and national borders within Western Assai and its ideological division into two competing spheres of influence - the Kaijin Estrian Second Assai Empire and the Asahric Makrosist Kazhos of Metsia. The Sabel World War in TBC resulted in the establishment of a Pan-Kaijin Alliance between the nations of Riden and Western Assai, which would later develop into the Kaijin League of Nations and the development of the Menyar Union in the 60th century. The years following the war saw a decline in power for both Assai and Metsia with subsequent nationalist movements of various people in central Southern Assai establishing independence and a new sense of cultural identity among many long-oppressed Asahric people. Since then, Western Assai has continued to develop economically and remains a region of intense cultural and ethnic diversity within Kai-Meridia and a global center of culture and economic growth worldwide.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The word Assai is believed to have been derived from the Old Kai word asádžerÿ, meaning East of the Water. The use of asádžerÿ (asádže with the added locative marker -rÿ) to describe what is today the region of Assai first appears in the Analects of Rekär, a legal treatise coming from the Alawazi Empire in the late 38th century. Here, the author mentions trade agreements between the Alawazi and the nomadic Zhatsai of Western Assai:
|“||Ka, keredza áesute asádžerÿ räžetja, ïn šáberas tïdže kráutážda̋na ká sáždïna zežinika Kádžinižbedádžerÿ berja, šákasgho ne tïdžeš keže berja mitš šákasghp tïdžeš ošurytš-Žatsárÿ
Thus wheat has been traded with asádžerÿ (Assai), for across the Kai Sea is bountiful gold and amber which is nowhere better worked than in the homelands of the Zhatsai.
|— On Trade, from The Analects of Rekär (c. 3780 Ʋ).|
The word asádže later came into general use by the Old Kai people to refer to the lands across the Kai Sea, with the word eventually spreading to Assai itself in the invasion of the Kai people under the Alawazi Empire. Numerous phonological changes which occurred throughout the centuries lead to asádžerÿ being pronounced as assai (Modern Kai: asá), the term which is used to today to refer to the region of Kai-Meridia formally under control of the Assai Empire.
The names for Assai in the Asahric Languages (principally Zhatsai (Etas), Krai (Vetas), Pashrani (Éte), Khazhar (Iete), Otcsi (Ve̋ete̋az), and Metsian (Fyet) are believed to have come from the Proto-Asahric word Vietas, meaning 'Home'. The name for Assai in the Sy Language, Měrītsk' Zỳ, is believed to have come from the Proto-Asahric word Mairutshk', meaning 'Fire, Hearth, or Spit'. The word Zỳ is further believed to have meant 'us', 'our', or 'we' in Proto-Asahric, and thus Měrītsk' Zỳ comes to mean 'our hearth', or 'our fire'.
Definition[edit | edit source]
- See: Continental Borders of Sabel for more information.
Regions of Assai[edit | edit source]
At its most exact definition, the term Assai refers to all non-Kaijin majority regions of the Kai continent, itself being the southern region of Kai-Meridia. Under this definition, Assai refers to all land east of the Kai Sea and Cadisia that is part of Kai-Meridia, excluding the Assai Kaijin majority regions of Greater Assai. However, this definition is generally broadened to also include Greater Assai despite it being a Kaijin-majority region, with Greater Assai being considered part of the larger Assai subcontinent since the late middle ages. As such, Assai itself consists of all areas of Kai-Meridia east of the Kai Sea and Cadisia. Assai may also be defined as being surrounded by four major bodies of water - the Kai Sea in the west, the Meridia Sea in the north, the Tsekis Sea in the east, and the Southern Ocean in the south - connected to the broader Kai-Meridian continent through a small border with Cadisia.
Assai itself is, however, further subdivided into a number of regions based on culture, ethnicity, geography, or history. At its broadest level, Assai is divided into two - Western Assai (the subject of this article) and Eastern Assai, which are divided by the large Korati Mountain Range and the borders of the Desert of Syon (which is normally considered part of Western Assai). Hence, all land east of the Korati Mountains and desert of Syon up to the Tsekis Sea is considered Eastern Assai, whilst everything west of that up to the Kai Sea is normally defined as Western Assai.
Western Assai[edit | edit source]
As has been aforementioned, Assai as a larger subcontinental region is itself further divided into regions based on culture, ethnicity, geography, and history. Within Western Assai, there exist four principle subregions by modern definition, which are as follows:
- The Korat: The equatorial region to the north of the Korati Mountains and to the west of the Desert of Syon. The Korat is populated principally by Assai Kaijin people as well as the Zhatsai (themselves the last remaining Kaidic people group) in the Korati Highlands near the Korati Mountains. The Korat is a region of extreme political, cultural, and religious diversity, with its central position in the Meridia Sea making several of its cities important trade destinations and tax havens (including, most notably, Samatar and Ezh'Emrit). The Korat has also traditionally been a point of conflict between the Assai Kaijin people and the Vespians, who established a strong influence over Korati culture and ethnicity in their establishment of colonies on the north coast.
- Syon: The large hot desert located to the east and north of the Korati Mountains, west of Grand Balisar, and east of the Korat. Syon is a very arid region which is populated by the Sy People, a distinct ethnic group with a unique semi-nomadic culture that has been preserved into the 60th century. Due to the virtually impenetrable nature of the Syon Desert, Syon has remained largely unconquered by other peoples and nation states throughout its long history, and formed an important barrier that facilitated the development of individual cultures in both Eastern and Western Assai.
- Greater Assai: The temperate fertile coastal region between the Kai Sea and Korati Mountains, which has historically been the center of Assai Kaijin civilisation. Greater Assai was conquered by Kaijin emigrating from the Riden Peninsular during the late 38th century. Greater Assai is the center of the Ainist religion globally as well as the Kingdom of Greater Assai, which, under the former First and Second Assai Empires managed to both conquer all of Assai and establish a political background to contemporary Western Assai and its ideological conflicts respectively.
- Southern Assai: The cooler climate temperate region south of the Korati Mountains and Greater Assai, dominated by dense woodland in the east and made fertile by the Tchekek and Perses River watershed. Southern Assai is dominated by Asahric people of various types, largely divided into regions of ethnic nationalism which were established following the disintegration of Metsian and Assai power after the Great Assai War of the 59th century.
History[edit | edit source]
- Main Article: History of Western Assai.
Prehistory[edit | edit source]
- Main Article: Prehistory of Assai
The region known today as Western Assai was first settled by anatomically modern Humans emigrating from Tersa some 70,000 years ago. Crossing the Meridian Sea on a land bridge appearing during the most recent glacial period, these people, collectively referred to as the Proto-Balo-Asahric People by anthropologists, emigrated to what is today the Korat, where they later split into three migrating groups. The Balo-Asahrics that migrated to the east became what would later be the Balisarian Peoples of Eastern Assai and Grand Balisar, whilst those that migrated south into Greater Assai and later into Southern Assai became the Kaidic and Saitic People respectively. The Balo-Asahric people that remained in the Korat are commonly referred to as the Sy-Korati People by anthropologists today, with archaeological evidence suggesting that these groups had become culturally distinct from one another 30-50 thousand years ago. As the early Balo-Asahric peoples settled following the establishment of more permanent agricultural settlements in the fertile regions of Western Assai, particular ancient cultures and societies came to dominance which would form the foundations of the ethno-cultural divisions of Western Assai into the modern age.
The first major neolithic ethno-cultural group to establish itself in Western Assai was that of the equatorial Uoí'than Culture (sometimes spelled Yoi'tan, named after the village in the Sy Federation where evidence for its existence was first discovered), which first inhabited the fertile rivers of Upper Koran circa -6023 Ʋ. The Uoí-Tan created clothing out of wool and animal skins, produced a distinct brown pottery, and created extensive cave art in the caves of the Upper Korati Mountains, where they are believed to have potentially buried their dead. Concurrently, the Étan-Kulozh culture of Southern Assai established itself in the fertile watershed of the Tchekek and Persesi rivers, to whom remains of ornamental metalwork and jewelry, as well as neolithic stone monuments believed to have served religious purposes are attributed. The Qélan Circles in eastern Khazhar are some of Sabel's best preserved and largest neolithic monuments, and are believed to have been built by the Étan-Kulozh between 4000 to 3000 years ago.
Evidence for the development of other cultural groups in Western Assai has also been discovered, generally concurring with theories of pre-neolithic migration throughout Western Assai and southern Kai-Meridia. In the east of Southern Assai, the Eastern Saitic People settled, spreading the Proto-Tsomic Culture of animal domestication and obsidian-working east of the Tchekek River. Remains in the mountains of the western Ou Confederacy in Outer Assai suggest that the Eastern Saitic people regularly interacted with the Balisarians of Outer Assai, and were some of the first to domesticate mountain goats. Extensive archaeological digs in modern-day Tyrannia and South Metsia have discovered that the Eastern Saitic people often inhabited caves and developed clothing from wolf skin to withstand the harsh winter of the Southern Korati Mountains. Further west, the Middle Saitic people of the eastern Tchekek watershed established an extensive early irrigation system and tamed horses, potentially founding the central Assai cities of Rnov in Tcheskia and Zimenyetchka in Viet. Further west still, some of the Étan-Kulozh migrated to the Horn of Run, interacting with the Proto-Cadisians from the Marchlands to the south, where they established settlements along the River Ber and in The Valleys further north.
In the Korat, the Sy-Korati People began to diverge, with the Sy People migrating eastwards into the hot Desert of Sy, establishing a number of temporary nomadic tribal settlements throughout. The geographical nature of the Sy people's habitat lead to their estrangement from the other ethno-cultural groups of neolithic Assai, and as such they developed a highly individual and diverse culture over the following thousand years. Meanwhile, the people of the Korat settled along the Zhah and Aldur rivers in modern-day Zhatsai and Kora, establishing their own cultural groups demonstrated through archaeological remains found throughout the Korat today. Remains of a number of religious sites, including pagan mountain temples in Myotonos and near the Eye of the World indicate that the ancient Korati people practiced a pagan faith within a matriarchal society, from which Ramvokism (and later Ainism) would develop in subsequent centuries following the birth and proselytizing of Ram and Ematan of the Valley. Repeated invasion by the Vespians, beginning during the late Iron Period of 2100 Ʋ to 2900 Ʋ, led to high instability in the Korat during this period, resulting in the restricted development of an individual Korati culture as had been the case south of the Korati Mountains. Remains found throughout the Korat indicate that violent warfare and Vespian Imperialism devastated the region, resulting in massed genocides against the native Korati People and the establishment of the Vespian colony of ezh'Aldur, which would expand to occupy most of the eastern Korat by 2877 Ʋ. After the withdrawal of active Vespian invasion in the late 29th century, the Vespian colony, faced with increasing military pressure from its neighbors, balkanised into a number of smaller, weaker states. The Vespian influence on Korati culture and people, as well as the Emrit Language in years to come, remains obvious well into the modern age.
Separate to the development of the Saitic cultures of Southern Assai and the Sy-Korati of the Korat, the Kaidic People of Greater Assai also developed neolithic cultures before the 1st century. The development of the Old Assai Culture near the banks of the Assai River in what is today the Kingdom of Assai was the first major settlement of people in Ancient Greater Assai, developing agriculture and domesticating cows, as well as developing rudimentary pottery skills and metalworking. To the north of the Old Assai, the Zhatsai People of modern-day Euros and the River Rhente developed great metal-working skill, producing highly advanced decorative and protective artifacts of metal which have been found as far away as southern Kaishuri and Maras in modern-day Krai. The establishment of trade networks between the Zhatsai and other people in Western Assai around 1477 Ʋ became known as the Iron Road, a path linking amber and salt from Southern Assai with the metal of the Zhatsai. By 2677 Ʋ, sea-based trade-links between the Zhatsai, Old Assai, and the Alawazi People of Riden were established, which, whilst limited, resulted in a gradual increase in the influence of the Kaijin over the Kaidic People of Western Assai, later culminating in the Kaijin invasion of Assai in 3779 Ʋ.
Antiquity (3395 Ʋ-4509 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
- Main Article: History of Western Assai#Antiquity. See also: Kaijin Invasion of Assai, Korati Religions, Khazh-Pashrani Empire, The Rupturing, Vespian Invasions of the Korat, and Confederation of the Tchekek.
Khazh-Pashrani Empire and the Confederation of the Tchekek[edit | edit source]
The period of history generally referred to as Antiquity in the context of Western Assai, or, more generally, as Ancient Assai, is generally said to begin with the development of the Timocracy of Pashran in 3395 Ʋ. The Pashrani People, a subgroup of the Western Saitics of Southern Assai, established a timocratic kingdom under the leadership of the semi-mythological Parsas of Ur, considered the founder of modern-day Pashran, Khazhar, and Perses in Western Saitic folklore. Through a number of sweeping military conquests in the central Persesi Plain, the Pashrani established a sizable ancient state centered around the fertile banks of the Perses River. Over time, and as the early kingdom grew, Pashran expanded its influence and social institutions, creating what many contemporary historians consider the first major civilisation outside of prehistory. The establishment of the city of Ast (later Astaban) as a center of government and military power in Southern Assai saw the creation of a complex social hierarchy within early Pashran, supported by the development of philosophy and rudimentary science by great thinkers such as Artreus and Dantochémentise. As Pashran refined its skills in metalwork and organised agriculture, its increasing military expansion led to political instability and the collapse of the corrupt timocratic system in favour of an imperial oligarchy. The Khazh Coup d'État of 3629 Ʋ led by General Alechar of Taban resulted in the establishment of the Pashrani Empire, which would later unify with the southern Azhos of Khazhar through personal union to form the formidable Khazh-Pashrani Empire in 3651 Ʋ. The Empire, which would continue to survive in various forms until its conquest by the First Assai Empire in 4598 Ʋ, asserted strong political and cultural influence over Southern Assai, and would remain its most powerful state until well into the Middle Period centuries later.
As the Khazh-Pashrani Empire grew in size and political power during the early 4th millennium, expanding south and westwards to conquer the Kasaidic peoples of the Horn of Run and north-eastern Cadisia, the Drycalic people of the Tchekek began to realise the extent of the military threat which the Khazh-Pashrani posed. Having existed as a number of disjointed tribal communities throughout eastern Southern Assai, the Drycalic people began a process of diplomatic unification at the threat of eminent Khazh-Pashrani invasion. Lead by the semi-legendary Mëitcsevrhas of Brrz, the leaders of the nine Drycalic Tribes (Otcsya, Tchekek, Viet, Kholen, Karhenfier, Silonia, Ushya, Rhur-Viet, and Krai) agreed to form a unitary federation of Drycalic peoples with the purpose of defending against the Khazh-Pashrani in the Confederation of the Tchekek of 3668 Ʋ. The Confederation, led by a council of Kurtsche from each of the nine tribes, proved a formidable foe against the Khazh-Pashrani Empire, which was never able to expand further east than the borders of the Confederation. Over time, the Confederation's unity waxed and waned, with a number of the tribes leaving during the 38th and 39th centuries. Eventually, however, political power came increasingly under the singular control of the leaders of the Krai, with the subsequent Rending of the Tchekek in 3894 Ʋ resulting in the Confederation's fracturing into numerous smaller states.
Fragmentation[edit | edit source]
As the east began to fragment, the Khazh-Pashrani Empire commenced a massed invasion into the increasingly instable and weak Alawazi Empire in Greater Assai. Faced with invasion from two sides, by the Korati Theocracy in the north and the Khazh-Pashrani Empire in the south, the Alawazi were forced to withdraw from Western Assai, resulting in the establishment of Pashrani homogeneity in Greater Assai with the seizure of Kyomandar in 4063 Ʋ. At the same time, Ainism was rapidly spreading throughout Southern Assai and led to increased religious tension within the empire between Ainists, Ramvokists, and the pagan Asahric religions. In the east, powerful mercantile states rose and fell from power within the confrontational remains of the Tchekek Confederation. Further east still, the Eastern Saitic coalesced into tiny city-states led by warlords and feudal lords. Along the Urkan in the lowlands of modern-day Metsia, the city-state of Ruszkovoi established itself as an increasingly powerful military power, conquering nearby lands and establishing a sizable kingdom in the north-east of Southern Assai.
As religious and political tension within the increasingly divided Khazh-Pashrani Empire peaked, civil war within the Empire broke out, resulting in its division into four at the Partitioning of the Blue Palace in 4143 Ʋ - Pasaria in the north, Khazh-Pashran in the east and south, Eldai and Run in the west, and Cadisia in the south-west. Within the span of a few decades, Pasaria succumbed to intense internal conflict and fragmentation into a number of tiny kingdoms, one of which, the Principality of Assai, would later develop into the First Assai Empire in 4499 Ʋ; and Cadisia was later conquered by the expanding Cadisian Empire in subsequent centuries. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Kraiviet, formed by a personal union between Dantosc the Fire and Anare of Viet, began expanding aggressively throughout eastern Southern Assai under the leadership of King Zlatva the Great, who, possessing one of the largest and best trained horse armies in Western Assai, established a massive kingdom as far east as Gdzinya, north as the Urkan and Ruszkovoi, and as far west as the Persesi River, effectively halving the land and population of Khazh-Pashran. Following the death of Zlatva in 4331 Ʋ, the kingdom was divided amongst his four sons into four smaller kingdoms - Metsi in the north, Kharadyr in the west and center of the kingdom, East Viet in the east, and Kraiviet in the south. Southern Assai would remain divided among these various fighting Asahric and Pashrani kingdoms and other small states for the following three centuries, until its conquest by the First Assai Empire in 4598 Ʋ and the beginnings of the Classical Age of Western Assai.
Kaijin Invasion of Assai[edit | edit source]
In 3779 Ʋ, the Kaijin Alawazi Empire, based on the east coast of Riden on the Kai Sea, launched a maritime invasion of Western Assai under the leadership of Takür the Wise. The subsequent conquest of territory on the coast of modern-day Assai and rapid expansion into Greater Assai led to a massive influx of ethnic Kaijin into Greater Assai, which began to colonise and settle these newly claimed lands on the fertile eastern coast of the Kai Sea. The native Kaidic People, themselves a branch of the Balo-Asahric People, where enslaved and/or killed by the invading Kaijin, resulting in their extermination in what has been called the greatest genocide in the history of Western Assai. The Zhatsai of modern-day Euros, well-established metallurgists and artisans, fled their ancestral homeland across the Korati Mountains, where they settled in the secluded semi-arid Zhar Steppes of the Korat. Meanwhile, the Kaijin began establishing large-scale settlements and trade networks from their newly conquered territories in modern-day Assai and Euros, building the foundations of the modern cities of Old Assai, Ria, Kyomandar, and Kanan, which would later become the capitals of Assai Kaijin culture and politics in centuries to come.
By 3921 Ʋ, the Alawazi, having established a stronghold in Greater Assai and having undergone massed immigration of ethnic Kaijin to the region, began to expand northwards into the Korat. Beginning with the conquest of the Nare People of the western Korat (modern-day Sysenas, Myotonos, and Meridia), the Kaijin continued further north and east to conquer most of the Korat, including the Vespian colony of ezh'Aldur. Unlike in Greater Assai, the Kaijin did not persecute the natives of the Korat, instead instigating a policy of rigid cultural and ethnic assimilation. The Zhatsai of the Zhar Steppes were granted special administrative status by the Alawazi and allowed to continue their own cultural and religious practices. As a result of this unique ethno-cultural arrangement, the people of the Korat today have their own unique cultural and ethnic identity, with the Korati Kaijin having a mixture of Vespian, Kaijin, and Asahric blood. The Zhatsai, whilst continuing to have their own culture, interbred with the Assai Kaijin resulting in a half-Kaijin, half-Asahric ethnicity proudly shared by the people of the Republic of Zhatsai to this day. As a result of all these aforementioned invasions, Greater Assai and the Korat became predominantly populated by Assai Kaijin People, contrasting themselves both culturally, historically, and ethnically with the Asahric People of Southern Assai.
In 4022 Ʋ, increased pressure from other military engagements in Riden coupled with increased domestic opposition within the Korat resulted in the retreat of the Alawazi Empire behind the Korati Mountains, freeing the Korati people from subjugation and facilitating their own independent cultural development. Alawazi occupation of Greater Assai continued for the following two centuries, with a near-constant influx of ethnic Riden Assai into the region, resulting in an ever-increasing Kaijin majority in northern Western Assai. A number of internal political structures within the Alawazi Empire in its homeland of Kaishuri resulted in increasing political and cultural disconnection between Western Assai and Riden, culminating in the withdrawal of Alawazi forces from Western Assai in 4140 Ʋ. The subsequent power vacuum saw Greater Assai quickly fragment into numerous small states run by warlords, which were in turn rapidly conquered by the much larger and more powerful Korati Theocracy in the north and Khazh-Pashrani Empire in the south. The Alawazi Empire's political influence over Western Assai had ended, but it left an enduring mark on the ethnic, social, and cultural makeup of Greater Assai and the Korat, ensuring its future de facto division from Southern Assai.
Greater Assai now entered a historical period generally referred to as the 'Imperial Interim', when, for approximately 400 years, Greater Assai lacked any major political coherence and generally acted as a contested region between the northern Korati Theocracy and southern Khazh-Pashrani Empire and its associated daughter states until 4556 Ʋ, when the First Assai Empire became dominant in the region. Ainism spread throughout Greater Assai through the preaching of Ematan of the Valley during the early 43rd century, and the subsequent political dissidence in the Korati Theocracy resulted in its break-down and relinquishing of control in northern Greater Assai. Numerous petty kingdoms and states fought one another for the following few decades, with a number of religious conflicts (notably the incredibly violent Char Wars of 4259 Ʋ to 4278 Ʋ) dominating regional politics and military engagement. In 4509 Ʋ, a small city-state based around the city of Ashe (now Old Assai) began to coalesce control around a single war-king, resulting in the establishment of an effective military machine and government under the reforms of King Erunas I of Assai. This city state, through subsequent military conquests of neighbouring states, established the middle-sized Kingdom of Old Assai (then known simply as the 'Kingdom of Assai'). Under the leadership of Erunas I's son King Kade I of Assai (often 'Kade the Conqueror'), the Kingdom of Assai saw sweeping military conquests in Greater Assai, eventually conquering most of the region (culminating in the conquest of the Pashrani capital of Astaban) by 4556 Ʋ, at which it was declared the Great Empire of the Assai (or the First Assai Empire). The dominance of the First Assai Empire in the subsequent five hundred years ushered in the period of history known as 'Classical Assai', which saw the increased influence and power of the Assai Kaijin in the affairs of all of Assai under the empire's most extensive dominion, flourishing of culture and the arts, and the solidification of the identities of people and nation states in what is considered the 'Golden Age of the Assai Kaijin'.
Religious Conflict in the Korat[edit | edit source]
In the late 34th century, a prophet known as Ram appeared in the foothills of the Korati Mountains claiming to having had visions of the Four Goddesses - the deities which would form a central component to his new religious teachings and philosophy which would be coalesced into a formal religion known as Ramvokism. Believed to have been derived from traditional practices and religions of the Korat through prehistory, Ram began proselytising and preaching throughout the Korat, with Ramvoksim eventually becoming the dominant religion both there and beyond. In 3467 Ʋ, the adoption of Ramvokism by the Kings of Samatar lead to the creation of the Korati Theocracy, a religious and political institution which sought to bring Ramvokism to all people of the Korat and beyond by whatever means necessary. Through a serious of violent although short religious wars, the Korati Theocracy managed to effectively conquer most of the Korat (with the exception of parts of the Vespian colony of ezh'Aldur), and through trade agreements and the Theocracy's subsequent conquest by the Alawazi Empire Ramvokism was also brought to the Riden Peninsular, where it quickly became the dominant religion.
The Korati Theocracy, struggling with increased internal discordance and religious fracturing into the four sects of Ramvokism - the Rinakeshi, Sonderi, Andist, and Estasi, saw increased military aggression by the southern Alawazi Empire based in Greater Assai. The Alawazi invaded modern-day Sysenas in 3926 Ʋ, quickly conquering the much more weakened Korati Theocracy over the following two years and culminating in the Fall of Samatar in 3928 Ʋ. The Vespian colony of ezh'Aldur was also conquered by the Alawazi, which quickly began a large-scale ethnic cleansing of the region coupled with the massed-migration of ethnic Kaijin to the Korat. For the next hundred years, the Korat underwent a process of extreme cultural and demographic change as the Alawazi Kaijin established control. The upheaval of traditional matriarchal social structures in much of the Korat, along with the oppression of native languages and peoples left a lasting impact on the Korat which can be felt to this day. Wars with the remaining Vespians of ezh'Aldur as well as Tersans attempting to colonise the region were frequent but resulted in a largely unchanging hegemony of power in the hands of the Alawazi until the empire began to crumble in 4022 Ʋ.
As the Alawazi Empire retreated behind the Korati Mountains in 4022 Ʋ due to increased domestic and political pressure in Riden, the Korat found itself in a position of high political instability. In ezh'Qyo, a city south-west of Samatar, a new Korati Theocracy was established under the leadership of the King-Priest Hjaantar ezh'Kameen, whose brilliance as a military strategist and reputation as a ruthless and cruel warlord saw the Theocracy quickly reestablish itself as a significant regional power in the Korat. Elsewhere, other political powers including the Azhos of Samatar and Zhatsai Union emerged and frequently fought for regional supremacy throughout the mid 41st century. After the conquest of Samatar by ezh'Kameen in 4036 Ʋ, the Korati Theocracy secured firm control as a military power for the next two hundred years. The departure of the Alawazi from Western Assai entirely in 4140 Ʋ saw the division of Greater Assai into the control of the Korati Theocracy in the north, possessing modern-day Euros and north-western Assai and the Khazh-Pashrani Empire in the south.
In 4187 Ʋ, a young Kaijin from the village of Shahayish in north-western Zhatsai called Emhatan ezh'Shahir began to preach throughout Zhatsai and elsewhere in the central Korat of a new approach to understanding the teachings and metaphysics of Ram, arguing that there is in fact only one God (Ai or Aina) rather than the four of Ramvokism. Ematan, through his preaching and performance of miracles through his alleged manipulation of Fragments of Ai, established a large following throughout his preaching in the Korat, culminating in the Sermon of Ten Thousand in Samatar, where his teachings at the Pillar of Ram near the center of the city gathered a crowd of some supposed 10,000 people. The establishment of the new religion of Ainism by Ematan through his teachings, and its subsequent spread to Tersa, Riden, Southern Assai, and Cadisia resulted in it becoming one of the most popular religions in southern Kai-Meridia, often clashing with believers of Ramvokism which viewed Ematan's teachings as blasphemous. The Korat subsequently entered a period of intense religious fighting as the Korati Theocracy broke down into regions based on religious majority. This civil war, known as The Rupturing, saw massed executions, religious violence, war, starvation, and death, lasting from approximately 4201 Ʋ to 4240 Ʋ.
Golden Age and Second Vespian Invasion[edit | edit source]
As political and religious upheaval in the Korat began to settle, certain political bodies based around particular religious and/or ethnic groups began to coalesce as the Korat became steadily less fragmented. Of these, the Estasi Union, consisting of most of the Estasi Ramvokist majority areas of the south-eastern Korat, became one of the most prosperous, establishing and rebuilding the cities of ezh'Aldur and Mazhesh in modern-day Aldur and Kora respectively. For the following two-hundred years, the Korat remained relatively peaceful, albeit with frequent warfare between the various small states it possessed. Maritime trade between the various great ports of the Korat and elsewhere in Vesperia and Kai-Meridia flourished, with most sea-trade on the Meridia Sea going through the centrally-located cities of Samatar, Ves, ezh'Aldur, Kiradai, and Kaival, among others. The Korat became famous as a center for the exotic, with the Market City of Samatar spanning kilometers along the city's docks to accommodate all kinds of foreign goods. Many historians cite this period, from approximately 4259 Ʋ to 4568 Ʋ, as the Golden Age of the Korat in antiquity, as it saw an increased accumulation of wealth in many Korati states as well as the solidification of Korati culture and maritime tradition.
In 4568 Ʋ a second Vespian invasion of the Korat was launched, beginning with the reconquest of ezh'Aldur and followed by a quick and large-scale military invasion westwards into Zhatsai, Eos, and ezh'Emrit. After twelve years of fighting and bloodshed, the Vespian horde established total control of the Korat, re-instituting their policy of genocide, forced-labour, and radical religious destruction. Many of the formerly prosperous areas of the Korat entered a period of increased poverty and recession, with the Great Defacing of 4572 resulting in the massed burning and destruction of both Ramvokite and Ainist temples throughout the Vespian-controlled Korat. The Vespians would retain control of the Korat until their invasion by the First Assai Empire in 4582 Ʋ and defeat following the Wars of the Sun and Liberation of Aldur in 4596 Ʋ, resulting in the reestablishment of Kaijin hegemony in the Korat and flourishing of Korati culture, language, and people once again.
Classical Assai (4509 Ʋ-5019 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
- Main Article: First Assai Empire. See also: Wars of the Sun, War of the Three Circles, List of Assai Emperors, and Iskanderion of Balisar.
The Bronze Empire (4509 Ʋ-4676 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
Following the retreat of the Alawazi Empire from Greater Assai in 4140 Ʋ the Kaijin-majority regions of central Western Assai fractured into numerous small warring states as part of what historians generally refer to as the 'Imperial Interim' - a period of approximately four hundred years in which little social or cultural progression occurred within Greater Assai, instead being frequently fought over between the significantly larger regional powers of the Korati Theocracy and Khazh-Pashrani Empire. In 4509 Ʋ, the city-state of Ashe (now Old Assai) established an effective minor military presence on the coast of the Assai River in what is today the Kingdom of Assai under the leadership of King Erunas I of Assai. Under his leadership from 4509 Ʋ to 4524 Ʋ, Ashe saw the development of a strong and well-trained military force and effective economic reordering that would facilitate the relatively minor city-state's development into a large scale imperial power a generation later. Under the leadership of Erunas' son Kade I of Assai (often 'Kade the Conqueror'), Ashe, then renamed as Assai, quickly conquered the surrounding minor states of the region, establishing the first major hegemonic power in Greater Assai since the collapse of the Alawazi four hundred years earlier. By 4556 Ʋ, the First Assai Empire (as it came to be known) had conquered the jeweled city of Astaban, formerly the capital of the Khazh-Pashrani Empire, and in its subsequent political, cultural, and economic domination of Assai in the following five centuries, Western Assai was ushered into a new period of historical distinction - Classical Assai.
The relative disunity of Greater Assai in the 46th century meant that its conquest and forced unification under Kade I occurred with little military struggle or effort. The incorporated lands were redivided according to new administrative divisions based largely on the traditional warlord estates (called Atani) of the late Alawazi Empire and post-imperial Fragmentation. Loyal Atani to the Emperor were given particular privileges in Imperial politics (known as Imperial Privileges), thus giving more power to supportive Atani factions and unity to the imperial autocratic government. As the Empire expanded, the nature and role of these privileges changed, with many historians considering the increasingly confusing and disjointed Atani laws and powers being largely responsible for the collapse of the Empire and War of the Three Circles in 5008 Ʋ. Of particular interest is the role of the Atani in what is today the Republic of Euros, particularly in the Atani of Ria and Úro. Here, the Ainist church founded by Khameen ezh'Haraan, one of The Fourteen, had been established several centuries earlier and had grown to be the main center of Ainist power within Western Assai. Kade I, in his conquest and subsequent humbling before the Tsai (the leader of the Ainist church in Ria), was granted the official blessing of Ai, Ematan, and the Ainist Church in exchange for the Atanate of Ria gaining special powers. As such, two key changes occurred - the Assai Emperor became ordained by Ai and its expansion justified as religious, and the Riasian Tsai/Atar gained extreme political and religious power. Many contemporary historians consider the Humbling of Kade I in 4553 Ʋ to be the beginnings of what would become the Holy Unions of Euros and in an increase in the political power of Ainism that would culminate at the end of the First Assai Empire in the 51st century.
Conquest of Khazh-Pashran, Runic Wars, and the Culling of the Tchekek[edit | edit source]
The First Assai Empire had conquered all of Greater Assai by the year 4518 Ʋ under the leadership of Kade the Conqueror, who had by this time already established a reputation as a powerful leader and brilliant strategist. South of the Empire, the weakened Khazh-Pashrani Empire had fragmented into several smaller kingdoms following the Partitioning of the Blue Palace in 4143 Ʋ, with the disunity and frequent fighting between the various southern powers rendering southwards expansion by Kade I an attractive prospect. In 4555 Ʋ, Kade I begun the invasion of Khazh-Pashran, which culminated in the ultimate fall of Astaban to Assai and subsequent annexation of the kingdom by Kade I in 4556 Ʋ. Shortly after the fall of Khazh-Pashran, Kade I died and his son, Kade II, ascended to the throne. Seeing potential weakness within the empire, revolt broke out throughout Khazhar and Pashran. Kade II, no less strong willed than his father, led a brutal and bloody counterrevolution against the Pashrani insurgents and solidified control in the region for the following five centuries. For the first few years after Kade II's ascent, relative peace ensued throughout Assai as Kade II oversaw the reworking of the Atani system throughout his new territorial gains. In Southern Assai, the Ruszkovoi Horde established itself as a sizable regional power, besieging and razing much of the former Kraiviet state of Metsi. In 4559 Ʋ, having amassed significant wealth through the conquest of Khazh-Pashran, the Assai Empire began a second wave of expansion westwards into the Horn of Run, leading to the violent Runic Wars between the very proud and nomadic Berushi aligned under the Silver Talon, a coalition of Berushi and Runic states against the Assai Kaijin. At the Battle of the Nevaar in what is today the southern border of Run, Emperor Kade II himself was killed, resulting in the coronation of his son Ashar I (later 'Ashar the Magnificent') as Emperor of Assai. The death of Kade II, who was well loved in Greater Assai, meant that the Berushi were quickly conquered shortly after Ashar I's rise to power by a renewed desire for conquest and vengence. By January 4569 Ʋ, the Horn of Run and Eldai Riverlands had fallen to the Assai empire, which now spanned from what is today Meridia in the Korat to the city of Danash in north-eastern Cadisia.
. The reign of Ashar I saw the rapid and dramatic expansion of the Assai Empire eastwards into Southern Assai. At the time of the Runic Wars, the former states of Kraiviet had fragmented even further, with the only sizable state being the highly militant Ruszkovoi Horde, which had by this stage expanded as far west as the Tchekek River. It is this period of rapid expansion into the weakened east of Assai that Assai began to reach its full military potential and strength, launching several very quick and relatively bloodless invasions into modern-day Perses and Kraiviet. East of the Empire, Southern Assai was divided into numerous small and non-unified kingdoms that had mostly formed from the hulk of the Kingdom of Kraiviet in earlier centuries. These small states, in some cases, attempted to unify and/or expand in order to try and withstand the impending Assai invasion without much success, although in many cases these Classical Kingdoms formed what would be the predecessor to later Atani of the Assai Empire and subsequent individual states, particularly within the Drycalic Kingdoms. The Ruszkovoi Horde, based near the confluence of the Damon and Ruasz rivers in the city of Ruszko, from which the name Ruszkovoi is derived, had established a sizable state in north-eastern Southern Assai, extending as far east as modern-day Kadara and Hohendar in Eastern Assai. The Ruszkovoi had developed a reputation as being fierce, brutal, and cruel warriors who had, on numerous occasions, raided and razed borderland Atani along the Tchekek River. Led by Khazh Izcak Zcvarnov'koi (or Izcak the Black), the Ruszkovoi posed a serious threat to the stability of the Assai Empire, particularly as a result of the shared ethnic hatred of the Kaijin by the now subjugated Berushi and Pashrani with the Ruszkovoi themselves.
In early April 4575 Ʋ, several groups of Ruszkovoi soldiers from north-western Ruszkovoi raided and razed the small Assai city of Durmas located on the banks of the Tchekek River near the modern-day border between Khazhar and Kholendash, killing the majority of its inhabitants including Nivos b'Aʃe, the son and heir of Emperor Ashar I, in an event known as the Razing of Durmas. Upon hearing of the death of his son and destruction of the city, Ashar I ordered the immediate mobilisation of Assai forces in Southern Assai and an invasion of the Ruszkovoi Horde. The Ruszkovoi held a chain of well-fortified fortresses, castles, and cities along the banks of the Tchekek which had acted as the primary deterrent of earlier invasion by the Assai Empire. The size of the Ruszkovoi military population, as well as their geographical advantage, fierceness, and the volatile and deep nature of the Tchekek River itself meant that the invasion would have to be well planned and could be potentially devastating to the Assai army. The vicious war that followed, known is Assai as Satar-ɀis Ceker, or 'the Culling of the Tchekek', saw an immense amount of blood-shed centered around the northern Tchekek River and fought between the Assai Empire, facing increasing internal rebellion during the war in the Horn of Run and Perses, and the Ruszkovoi Hoarde.
After a year of violent warfare along the Tchekek Frontier, the Assai armies broke through Ruszkovoi defences near the modern-day city of Warczyrszczar in northern Kholendash in a battle known as the Reddening of the Tchekek (Assai: Reciár-tse Ceker), so called for the supposed 'reddening' of the river with blood that occurred. This battle broke the stalemate on the Tchekek and led to the rapid advancement of Assai forces into the lands east of the river. By 4578 Ʋ, the Assai had besieged and conquered the capital of Ruszko, ending Ruszkovoi hegemony in eastern Assai and quickly leading to the fall of all of southern Assai to the First Assai Empire in 4580 Ʋ with the final conquest of Zimenyetchka in the southern Korati Mountains of Upper Viet. Many historians consider this date following the end of the Satar with the conquest of Ruszko the beginnings of the High Classical Age of the Assai Empire, in which the military and economic capacity of the state flourished, Atani loyalties were secured, and Assai entered a period of extended cultural growth under the popular and extensive reign of Ashar I.
Second Vespian Invasion of the Korat and Wars of the Sun[edit | edit source]
While the First Assai Empire embroiled itself in conflicts in Southern Assai, the Godrealm of Vespia began a second maritime invasion and attempted colonisation of the Korat in 4568 Ʋ. Beginning with the Black Landings in ezh'Sy and modern-day Khütyruoí in the north-western Sy Federation, the Vespians launched a reconquest of their former colony of ezh'Aldur, as was their religious mission according to Zheaniism. Meeting powerful resistance in the form of the wealthy equatorial merchant-states of Samatar and ezh'Qyo (among others), the Vespians began a long but relentless march westwards, initiating policies of genocide, enslavement, and religious persecution in all their conquered territories. The 'Black Scourge' (or ezh'Zhaan in Emrit), as the Vespians came to be known, had conquered most of the Korat by 4579 Ʋ, having reduced the formerly wealthy states of the western Korat to extreme poverty and enforced subordination as part of the new colony of Aynatakan.
In the winter of 4582 Ʋ, the ezh'Zhaan launched an invasion of the First Assai Empire in an attempt to expand their colony further south. The unprepared Assai quickly lost several of their frontier Atani to the Vespian Hoarde, which managed to conquer as far as the city of Iɀemo in north-western Euros before the Assai military could mobilise and move from Southern Assai to their Greater Assai homelands. Faced with the threat of an imminent and potentially disastrous invasion by the Vespians, the Assai under Ashar I began what was known as the Wars of the Sun, so named for the two insignia of its belligerents - the skull-sun of Aynatakan and the sun of the First Assai Empire. The war, which saw the deaths of an estimated million Assai Kaijin and Asahric people, was the third most deadly relative to population size in the history of Western Assai (after the Great Assai War and the Metisan Civil War). By 4590 Ʋ however, the First Assai Empire had managed to reconquer much of the western Korat, aided by internal revolution within Aynatakan, and culminated in the Liberations of Samatar and Aldur in 4596 Ʋ and subsequent expulsion of the Vespian horde.
The Second Vespian Invasion of the Korat, whilst only lasting 28 years from 4568 Ʋ to 4596 Ʋ, has had a profound impact on the culture and subsequent history of the Korat as a whole. The introduction of some thousand Vespian loan words into the Emrit Language, as well as the razing of many of the regions oldest cities (including Samatar and Zhyanadar) and the massed genocide of the native Assai Kaijin people meant that the demographics and geography of the Korat changed drastically by the beginnings of the period of history termed High Classical Assai by historians. Anti-Vespianism as a form a racism became deeply ingrained into the psyches of modern day Assai Kaijin and Asahric people, to the point that many despective idioms are derived from Vespian terms, including "vespe" in modern Emrit as a term of extreme insult. Similarly, the Vespians as a people group became one of the most hated in Western Assai, with unjustified Vespian executions and lynchings being ubiquitous even into the present day. Following the liberation of the Korat however, what was Aynatakan was subjected to extreme political restructuring, beginning with the massed execution and/or exile of Vespians and the subsequent division of the Korat into Atani (termed Kashaar in Emrit). By the death of Ashar I in 4599 Ʋ, all of what is modern-day Western Assai was under control of the powerful, stable, and highly centralised First Assai Empire. It is at this time, beginning with the ascendance of Kade III as Emperor, that what historians termed the "Bronze Empire" became the "Golden Empire" of Assai, which would dominate Kai-Meridia for centuries as a political behemoth until its eventual collapse in 5019 Ʋ.
The Golden Empire (4676 Ʋ-4958 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
Following the death of Ashar I and the subsequent coronation of Emperor Kade III of Assai, the First Assai Empire entered a period generally referred to as the "Golden Empire" by historians, differentiated from the preceding "Bronze Empire" by its further military expansion outside of Western Assai, increased political stability, flourishing of the arts and culture, and political reforms. This period of history, lasting from 4676 Ʋ to the beginnings of the Second Assai Civil War in 4958 Ʋ, is also sometimes referred to as the Assai Golden Age, as it is at this point in time that Assai Kaijin culture truly comes to dominate Assai (both its Western and Eastern counterparts) and define Western Assai as a historically and culturally unified geopolitical entity.
The years immediately following Kade III's ascendance were marked by significant political turmoil. The continued raising of Atani levies since the Runic Wars in 4559 Ʋ led to the rebellion of many key Atani within Greater and Southern Assai which desired a period of military recovery and peace. Forced by an uncooperative bureaucracy, Kade III passed a number of fundamental military laws known as the Kade III Charter which drastically reorganised the military of the Assai Empire and resulted in the diminishing of the Assai standing army. For the following few decades, the Assai Empire did not expand militarily, instead engaging in a number of diplomatic and political reforms which stabilised the already very large empire and later facilitated its further expansion. These include, most notably, the establishment of the system of Erunasism by Emperor Erunas II, which saw the creation of a new political hierarchy and the modification of the Atani system. Atani were now grouped into larger administrative divisions called Útarani (or Qhaarate in the Korat), which were to be administered by favoured Atani according to the system of Imperial Privileges. Erunasism, which initially streamlined bureaucratic administration of the Assai Empire, would later become more and more complex under future incompetent rulers, ultimately facilitating the fragmentation of the Empire during the Third Assai Civil War in 5008 Ʋ.
The subsequent years following the establishment of Erunasism saw a slowing of expansionism within the First Assai Empire. Under Emperor Nivos I, the Assai began an invasion of the arid desert region of Syon (now the Sy Federation) as a means of establishing further coastal settlements on the Meridian Ocean. The harsh nature of Syon's geography, as well as the intense pride and guerrilla warfare of its native Sy-Korati tribes meant that the invasion took over a decade until complete control of the region could be established. With the final subjugation of the Ur and Unghyar Peoples in 4635 Ʋ, Syon was divided into Atani and Útarani with the city of Ókar (today 'Uoíkhatür') as its regional capital.
During the early Golden Empire period, the Assai Empire saw itself coalescing wealth and political power. Under the reign of Ashar II from 4650 Ʋ to 4672 Ʋ, the Assai Empire saw itself developing increasingly illustrious international maritime connections in the form of the burgeoning Meridian Ocean Trade Network, which would continue to connect various cities and goods within the relatively proximal locations of the western Meridian Ocean well into the modern age and the beginnings of the Age of Discovery. Goods were traded from the northern Assai ports of Samatar, ezh'Aldur, Ves, Kiradai, and Kaival with lands as far as Tersa, northern Riden and Kaishuri, the Kanosphere, and Wittland. The increased income that spawned as a result of this growing international maritime trade network led to increased patronage of the arts and architecture in the capitals of the Assai Empire. It was during this period that the capital of Ashe (now known as Old Assai) came to be known as the "City of Light and Gold" - the construction of gigantic monuments and imperial buildings using marble, gold, and precious metals sourced from the Korati Mountains and funded by international investment and the strong imperial economy led to Ashe becoming the center of culture, intellectualism, and politics within southern Kai-Meridia.
Assai War of Succession[edit | edit source]
The First Assai Empire had been ruled by the House of be Ashe since its official inception in 4556 Ʋ under the rule of Emperor Kade I, and under their leadership had seen expansion into all of Western Assai and the solidification of wealth and power within southern Kai-Meridia as a result of the Meridan Ocean Trade Network and political influence from Ashe. However, the sudden death of Ashar II's son Emperor Nivos II, sometimes referred to as 'Nivos the Unready', led to the throne of the Empire becoming contested between a number of potential successors in what would later be referred to as the Assai War of Succession. Due to the relative ambiguity of inheritance law within the Empire and the lack of children reared by Nivos II, four competing political factions emerged within the Empire which each sponsored their own future Emperor - Kaikúras Iánato, the Tsai of Ria; Atsu be Tare, the Útar of Eó; Kolaɀ III Astaban, the Útar of Astaban; and Eru be Aʃe, the Atan of Riánako.
Succession law within the First Assai Empire mandated that the eldest son of the previous ruler would inherit the throne and all associated titles, a system of Mometicism first introduced by Erunas I in the establishment of the early Kingdom of Ashe in 4509 Ʋ (momo in Assai meaning ‘one’ or ‘first’). In the event of no sons being born by the ruler, inheritance would be passed on to the next eldest brother of the ruler, as had occurred in 4622 Ʋ with the ascendance of Nivos I, the brother of Erunas II, as emperor. At the death of Nivos II, however, his only brother Kade, the Útan of Kyomandar, had died. As such, multiple potential heirs existed, each of which desired the throne. Immediately after the death of Nivos II, an Imperial Sétar (that is, an Imperial Council) was established to address the issue of succession. The Sétar, which consisted primarily of members of House be Aʃe, appointed Eru be Aʃe, a minor Atan of the eastern Assai Atani of Riánako, as their chosen successor. Eru, however, was by this point very old and, many historians would argue, unfit for the rule of the Empire, particularly in the unstable period it now found itself in. At the same time, the Tsai of Ria Kaikúras Iánato, who was the brother-in-law of Nivos II, made a claim on the throne on the basis of divine ordination. The Tsai was ambitious and had accumulated much power over the centuries since the Humbling of Kade I as both a religious and political power within Euros. Similarly, the Útar of Eó in southern Euros, Atsu be Tare, made a claim on the basis of being the grandson of Emperor Kade IV; as did Kolaɀ III Astaban, the Útan of Astaban in Pashran and the uncle of Nivos II. The ensuing confrontations between these various competing successors resulted in a short but brutal conflict known as the Assai War of Succession, in which the Assai Empire fragmented into factions based on their loyalty to the various houses of succession.
Eru be Aʃe was assassinated on his journey to the capital of Ashe from his home in Riánako after having being declared the legal successor of Nivos III by the Imperial Sétar. His assassination, which is now believed to have been orchestrated by associates of Atsu be Tare, led to the accusation of Tsai Kaikúras Iánato as being a traitor by the Sétar. This act, which aggregated not only the Tsai but also his loyal Ainist followers, further incited aggression from other competitors for the succession, which saw the Sétar as only being interested in the preservation of the reign of the be Aʃe dynasty. Open conflict broke out soon thereafter, with the first major conflict of forces occurring between Aʃist loyalists and the Tsai. The regions in Greater Assai quickly became divided into competing succession factions, each of which waged war against one another as the conflict intensified and became more complex. Ultimately, however, the war would end when Atsu of the House be Tare seized Ashe and declared himself monarch, having defeated the armies of both Kolaɀ III Astaban and the Tsai. With the end of the war in 4678 Ʋ, almost 200 years of be Aʃe dominion had come to a close, as the Empire now entered the period of its greatest expansion and success under Emperor Atsu I and his successors.
Conquest of Eastern Assai[edit | edit source]
With the ascendance of Emperor Atsu I be Tare in 4678 Ʋ the Assai Empire began to expand rapidly as new military and economy reforms were introduced to stabilise the empire and secure its potential for further expansion eastwards. Having conquered Syon in 4635 Ʋ, the new empire had the distinct geographical advantage of now being able to launch an invasion of Eastern Assai without needing to cross the dangerous Korati Mountains that had formed a natural barrier between the two regions for millennia. In 4684 Ʋ, Atsu I began the conquest of Eastern Assai, rapidly conquering the relatively undeveloped semi-arid regions of Outer Assai (modern day Abara, western Grand Balisar, Kadara, Hohendar, and Dinahashaunee). With the conquest of these new lands came the exploitation of their natural resources, particularly metal deposits, and the establishment of new cities and settlements, including Eryr (which would become the center of Assai power in Eastern Assai and is now the capital of Kadara), Asharia (now in northern Ou), and Kítan (now Khishhaan in western Dinahashaunee).
It would be under the reign of Emperor Kade V however that total control of Outer Assai would be achieved in 4717 Ʋ. The Assai organised the construction of roads, new infrastructure, and greater technological innovations within Eastern Assai that saw the rapid redevelopment of the region and the Assainisation of its culture. Local Balisarian People were demoted to positions of low social standing, largely forming the ʃintu (peasant) class of the population and serving in the growing military of the Empire. Meanwhile, trade in the Meridian Sea continued to flourish and brought extensive wealth to the Empire at large. It would be in the later half of the 48th century that Assai saw some of its greatest thinkers - Edo of Ria, Saiʃiru be Nakaʃi, and the Ainist reformer and philosopher Áto of Run - all of whom would contribute greatly to intellectual and cultural life within the Golden Empire. In Ria the first modern university and institution of science was established, The Ákadiras, in 4771 Ʋ, which ushered in a period of intense scientific development and innovation under the patronage of the Tsais of Ria and the Ainist Church.
By the beginning of the 49th century, only one major threat remained to complete Assai hegemony of the Assai subcontinent, that of Grand Balisar. In 4806 Ʋ, under the leadership of Emperor Atsu VI be Tire, a large scale invasion of the numerous small city states of the disorganised Balisar region resulted in the relatively fast conquest of the remaining regions of Assai. Fierce resistance followed the ultimate fall of Ardemirus to the First Assai Empire, resistance which was met with unusual tyranny and violence by Atsu VI and his successor Kaikúras III. This violence, which involved the suppression of local religion, execution and public torture of insurgency leaders, and the burning of Balisarian culture icons created an atmosphere of extreme tension in the region that would ultimately erupt in violence a century later, resulting in the division of the Empire following the Treaty of Ókar and its ultimate descent in civil war following the invasion of Iskanderion of Balisar.
Fall of the Assai Empire (4958 Ʋ-5019 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
Internal tensions, administrative problems, and socio-political issues peaked within the First Assai Empire in the year 4958 Ʋ, during which the Empire was divided into three smaller, semi-autonomous empires following the Uprisings of 4957 and subsequent Treaty of Ókar. It is this critical juncture of the political history of the Assai Empire that many contemporary historians now consider to be the beginning of its ultimate collapse in 5019 Ʋ, however the ultimate causes of the Uprisings of 4957 Ʋ (sometimes referred to as the Second Assai Civil War and of the division of the Empire may be found much earlier. The Assai Empire had, by the late 50th century, developed several major economic, social, and political problems which would later prove to be fatal for its continued survival.
Since the end of the First Assai Wars of Succession in 4678 Ʋ, the Erunasist system of government had steadily become more complex and diluted. Regional privileges, particularly in the outermost parts of the Empire (specifically in Grand Balisar and in the captured lands of Kaishuri), altered the traditional administrative division of the Empire into Atani and Útarani, thereby confounding centralisation of power and political organisation. This had been further emphasised by the legalisation of Factions, organisations which allowed Atani of similar political goals to meet and legally oppose Imperial commands as an Imperial Privilege. These political changes meant that the Assai Empire, becoming increasingly overstretched as a result of its sheer size and ongoing war in Riden, was put in a position of increased political instability. Furthermore, widespread demographic issues and differences within the massive Empire accentuated political divisions and instability, particularly between the historically divided Balisarian and the Asahric People, as well as more subtly between the Asahric and Assai Kaijin People. Collectively, it is these widespread political and social issues which, through their slowly increasing severity since the 47th century, would provide the basis on which the Uprisings of 4957 Ʋ and subsequent fracturing of the Empire would occur.
One further cause for the division of the Assai Empire was the disastrous Kai-Assai War beginning in 4938 Ʋ. The war, which required a large scale maritime invasion of the highly fortified Kaishurian coast, came at a great expense to the Assai Empire in terms of both manpower and money. The large-scale failure of the Assai military to secure a strong base in the south-east of Kaishuri prolonged invasion and resulted in the rapid loss of any military advantage possessed by the tactics of Assai military leaders, thus eventuating in the lengthening of the war beyond what the Assai economy could support, which itself had been weakened by a reduction in tax as a result of the Imperial Privileges of the Atani. By 4957 Ʋ, the war had become exceptionally unpopular, with many factions wanting to secede from the Empire seeing the war as an opportunity to do such. As a result, uprisings occurred throughout the Empire in the spring of 4957 Ʋ, most strongly in Grand Balisar, the Drycalic States of Southern Assai, and Syon.
Emperor Kade IX be Tire was thus faced with both an increasingly disastrous war in the Riden Peninsular and internal rebellion. A peace agreement was signed with Erazi of Kaishuri at the Treaty of Akyáz, ending the war after 19 years of stagnate fighting on the coast of the Kai Sea. The Empire became divided into several large Factions based on their loyalties, of which the largest became the independent Balisarian Faction. Using the remaining loyal military returned from Riden, Kade IX managed to suppress wide spread revolution on the basis of new agreements to greater autonomy. The Treaty of Ókar was signed in the capital of the Sy Faction, which saw the division of the Empire into three regions, each of which would have its own government ultimately loyal to the Emperor - Greater Assai, Eastern Assai, and Southern Assai. Grand Balisar was granted independence in its eastern most regions whilst most of Outer Assai remained under control of Eastern Assai, as did the Desert of Sy. The First Assai Empire had, in effect, ended; replaced by three smaller, disjoint, and unstable empires, which would continue to diminish until the ultimate, official collapse of the First Assai Empire in 5019 Ʋ.
Rebellion in Balisar and Battle of Eryr[edit | edit source]
The oppression and cruelty endured by the people of Eastern Assai under the control of the First Assai Empire had seen the development of a deep and potent resentment of the Assai Empire in the east. Although independence had been achieved at the Treaty of Ókar in 4958 Ʋ, many within the various eastern Assai states desired to further press westwards to both remove the potential for further invasion by the Assai Empire and to take advantage of its political and military weakness. In 4996 Ʋ, a near-mythological military figure appeared in southern Balisar known as "The Erakai of Wrath", a mysterious general who came to be legendary within the various states of far Eastern Assai. This figure, called Iskanderion by name, launched what would be a fatal invasion of the Assai Empire in the year 5005 Ʋ. Invading what is now Dinadinshounay, Iskanderion led a brutal and ingenious military advancement towards the city of Eryr, which formed the capital of the Eastern Assai Empire. It would be at the culmination of this war, the Battle of Eryr in 5008 Ʋ, that the legend of Iskanderion and of the spirit of Balisar would be solidified, and the fate of the Empire would be sealed.
In the late spring of 5008 Ʋ, the armies of Iskanderion, having decimated the countryside of modern-day Dinadihshounay and Lopawnachee, gathered outside the heavily fortified city of Eryr, where the forces of Emperor Kaikúras of Eastern Assai had been concentrated. According to modern military estimates and accounts from the time, some forty thousand men faced one another at the battle, which represented the last hold out of the Eastern Assai empire beyond the Desert of Syon. The siege, which lasted nearly four months, culminated in the breaching of the walls of the city. Thousands of Eastern Assai soldiers, led by Iskanderion herself, spilled into the city where they began ruthlessly killing civilians and soldiers alike. According to legend, Iskanderion, who was supposedly heavily pregnant by this point in the siege (this is now believed to be untrue, although nevertheless remains a part of the legend told to the people of Eastern Assai when learning of the battle), made her way to the Grey Tower in the center of the Royal Palace where she killed the Emperor, thus ending the be Tire Dynasty in Eastern Assai. According to a documented account by one of her soldiers involved in the battle recorded years later:
|“||...[Iskanderion] led her people through the great walls of the City, and, having slaughtered those who had tortured her people ... and still being with child, she climbed the greatest tower in the greatest palace of the dry flatlands of the Kadaar ... and there she found the cowering Emperor, who begged not as a king but as a dog does for food ... [and] bearing the sacred knife of the Balis, she cut his throat so that blood poured down the tower and foretold of the End of the Empire, and there, she too, did die, crying out for glory to the East.||”|
|— From the Scrolls of Daemundius, c.5036 Ʋ.|
The razing of Eryr effectively ended any possibility for reaffirming control of Eastern Assai by the Assai Empire. The Eastern Assai renewed offences south and north to conquer remaining isolated outposts of Assai soldiers and Atani throughout Outer Assai, and the sudden reduction in size of the empire sparked further tension in Western Assai, where belief in the ineffectiveness of the Empire had already begun to peak with the renewed formation of Factions around 4974 Ʋ. The subsequent civil war that occurred, generally referred to as the War of the Four Circles for the sigils of its three key belligerents, saw the ultimate end of the First Assai Empire in its entirety by 5019 Ʋ and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Assai.
War of the Four Circles and Fragmentation[edit | edit source]
The fall of the Eastern Assai Empire following the razing of Eryr under Iskanderion in 5008 Ʋ proved to be the final straw in a long series of events that pushed the Assai Empire towards a third and far more devastating civil war which would ultimately see the fragmentation of the Assai Empire and the end of Classical Assai. The Treaty of Ókar in 4958 Ʋ and its subsequent division of the empire into three ultimately resulted in the decentralisation of authority and the management of both the economy and social tensions, ultimately weakening the unity (and thus strength) of the empire. Almost immediately afterwards, groups with independent values and interests began to emerge within the increasingly disorganised governments of the various Assai states, particularly in Southern Assai, where ethnic and cultural differences were most stark. The control of Emperor Atsu of Southern Assai over his more distant Atani decreased significantly, particularly in the fringes of the Empire. This effect was further increased by the existence of powerful independent magnate families (called szatar in Metsian, where they were most present) within Southern Assai since the 48th century, including many of the families that would later come to dominate the Middle Assai Kingdoms, such as House Bolasztoi and House Rys. As such, the ultimate collapse of authority in Eastern Assai and the example set by Iskanderion of rebellion, many of these wealthy szatar mustered their armies and fought a number of relatively bloodless wars for independence from the Assai Empire. Atsu, not having the resources, power, or diplomatic prowess to negotiate the szatar, thus lost much of his territory in Southern Assai, which had effectively collapsed in all but name by 5013 Ʋ. The Southern Assai Empire did, however, continue to survive as a small collection of independent atani in what is today Pashran and Khazhar until 5294 Ʋ before officially becoming part of the Kingdom of Pashran through personal union of the last Assai Emperor Matan II of Southern Assai and Vara of Pashran.
The true civil war, in the strictest historical definition of the war, thus was isolated largely to Greater Assai, where political tension was most rampant. Whilst in Eastern and Southern Assai fragmentation had largely occurred as a result of non-cooperative ethno-cultural groups vying for independence within the overextended empire, in Greater Assai, which had always been both the political and cultural center of the ruling Assai Kaijin, fighting occurred from internal political turmoil, personal intrigue, and attempted coup d'état. Two years after the signing of the Treaty of Ókar, Emperor Kade IX be Tire was assassinated by members of a secret atani faction called the Reciðarus (or the 'Red Circle'), which believed Kade IX had betrayed the true mission of the empire by submitting to Balisarian demands for independence. Kade IX's successor, Ashar V, was significantly better at managing diplomacy between the increasingly cantankerous atani. Concurrently, developments in philosophy within the Ainist schools of The Ákadiras and other such academies saw a general change in the belief of the ordination of the Emperor by Ai, as had supposedly occurred during the Humbling of Kade I, which was further backed up by the Tsai of Ria Marakar IV. This increasingly strained relationship between the Tsai and Emperor saw a dramatic loss of belief in the legitimacy of the Assai Emperor, which, when coupled with the perceived ineffectiveness of the Emperor to deal with the issue of the empire's collapse and severe economic depression created an environment of extreme tension, one which would ultimately erupt in 5009 Ʋ.
By the time of the collapse of Eastern Assai it had become clear within the empire's capital that a change was needed, however, what exactly that change was varied significantly between individuals. In accordance to the tradition of forming Factions as an Imperial Liberty, three key atani factions emerged within Greater Assai that hoped for a change to the empire's fundamental structure. Of these, the aforementioned Reciðarus formed the most conservative, which aimed to replace Emperor Kade XI be Tire with his cousin and renown military leader Sainar be Tire. The Reciðarus was based largely in the north-east of the country, where they frequently raided metal transport chains between the Korati Mountains and Ashe. The Reciðarus also built the imposing (and later infamous) fort of e'Ðarus south-west of the city of Kyomandar in what is now Upper Assai, and it would be the kidnapping and execution of Kade XI's only son at this fort that would ultimately spark the War of the Four Circles. In Euros, the Tsai of Ria amassed a large following and the support of many of the atani neighbouring Ria. Under the tsaial ensign of the blue circle, the Tsai fought to overthrow the weak imperial government and establish an Imperial Theocracy akin to the Korati Theocracy of earlier centuries. Finally, in the south, those Atani which wished to see their own separation from the chaos of northern politics and establish a southern Assai Kaijin kingdom united under the banner of the Akar, a traditional symbol of the Akar River Valley depicting a wreath of holly leaves which came to represent the independent Kingdom of Karan.
After the collapse of Eastern Assai, renewed anger at the perceived incapability of Emperor Kade XI by the Reciðarus saw an attempt at overthrow by kidnapping Kade XI's only son as ransom for Kade XI's abdication. This of course sparked intense retaliation by the Emperor, whose royal ensign - a black circle on white - became a symbol for the loyalist military in the brewing civil war. Seeing opportunity, the forces of both the Tsai and the southern Karani forces began to march towards Ashe, hoping to capture the city and enforce a coup d'état while the Emperor was distracted in the east. Massed violence ensued, as the civil war became a complex four-front war between the four key belligerents, each of whose circular sidgils gave the Third Assai Civil War the name "War of the Four Circles". Fighting lasted for ten years, finally ending in 5019 Ʋ with the official end of the Assai Empire at the Treaty of Ashe being declared. The various Atani would now join whichever nation they had been aligned with in the war (with some exceptions), resulting in the radical fracturing of Greater Assai into some sixty small kingdoms and states. The might of the Assai Empire had come to an end, and with it so too was Classical Assai. Western Assai now found itself once again in a situation of great disunity, which would later see the rise of a number of powerful nation-states throughout the Middle Ages which would ultimately come to dominate the politics and culture of the region until the Great Assai War of centuries to come.
Middle Period (5019 Ʋ-5500 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
- Main Article: History of Western Assai#Middle Period. See Also: Holy Unions of Euros, Assai Kingdoms, Age of Disunity.
The collapse of the First Assai Empire saw the end of Classical Assai and the beginnings of a period known as the Middle Ages (or Middle Period), in which the unity of cultural and political life under the Assai Kaijin empire collapsed and gave way to intense political turmoil and fragmentation. It is during this Middle Period that Western Assai was its most dis-unified, with nearly a hundred separate states existing at one time throughout what was formerly a single empire. The Middle Period is generally divided into three stages by modern historians - the Early Middle Period, lasting from the collapse of the Empire in 5019 Ʋ to approximately 5150 Ʋ, which saw the fragmentation of the empire, beginnings of a third round of Vespian invasions of the Korat, intense political instability, and a number of violent and tumultuous wars; the High Middle Period, lasting from around 5150 Ʋ to 5400 Ʋ, which saw the establishment of Western Assai's royal dynasties and the solidification of a number of key political powers; and finally the Late Middle Period, lasting from around 5400 Ʋ to the beginnings of the 56th century and the beginnings of the E Kédas, or 'Golden Age'. Primarily, the Middle Period can be considered a period of transition from the customs and traditions of a now destroyed imperial heritage to the beginnings of modern civilisation in Western Assai, its associated political and philosophical tenets, and once again a more unified Western Assai.
Early Middle Period (5019 Ʋ-5150 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
Although the First Assai Empire did not officially collapse until the Treaty of Ashe in 5019 Ʋ, the disintegration of the Empire into a number of fragmentary middle period states had already begun much earlier. In Southern Assai, the presence of powerful magnate families called szatar resulted in the seceding of a number of borderland atani from the Southern Assai Empire, which itself survived as a small lump of loyal atani in Pashran until 5294 Ʋ, albeit only an empire de jure. These szatar often banded together to rebel against the Assai Empire, however quickly separated after independence was ensured. This was most immediately noticeable in the east of Southern Assai, particularly in the Drycalic States, which had only ever been unified once before in the Confederation of the Tchekek of 3668 Ʋ. The individual atani often formed independent petty kingdoms, sometimes with loose and ill-defined alliances with larger political powers. The concentration of political power fluctuated frequently between different minor states, both in Southern and Greater Assai after the end of the War of the Four Circles, with Western Assai remaining a weak and non-unified region for slightly more than a century until the emergence of major political dynasties in the 52nd century. Wars were frequent, and often saw the drastic reshaping of fluid and flippant political borders in the post-imperial chaos of Western Assai politics, which dominated the region with uncertainty and frustrating petty conflicts for the entirety of the Early Middle Period.
In Greater Assai, the end of the War of the Four Circles saw the Ainist Church forced to renew its political allegiances. As the Assai Empire had been the political vehicle by which the Tsai of Ria had not only proselytized but also gained political and material riches, the failure of Tsai Marakar IV to reorganise the Empire saw the need to develop a new Ainist political power. As such, Marakar IV's successor, Tsai Marakis II ordained the creation of a new Holy Union of peoples loyal to the Tsai in the War of the Four Circles. Atani within what is today Euros and the western Korat were granted new 'Privileges of Ai' (analogous of the Imperial Privileges of the First Assai Empire) and granted land and titles in accordance with Erunasism in exchange for their loyalty and services to the Tsai of Ria. As such, the Holy Unions of Euros were established in 5020 Ʋ, effectively the successor to the First Assai Empire, with the Tsai of Ria now the direct head of both a political institution and the Ainist Church. The Holy Unions would come to have an important political role up to the modern age, where the unique combination of political, economic, and religious power wielded by the Tsai, as well as its geographically advantageous location and unique political make up, would allow the Holy Unions to amass extreme political power and influence in subsequent centuries.
In the Korat, political fragmentation was further complicated by the reintroduction of a Vespian threat of invasion. From 5090 Ʋ to 5142 Ʋ, a Third Vespian Invasion of the Korat occurred, again with the intent of re-establishing the colony of Aynatakan. Launching multiple invasions targeting different regions of the Korat, the Vespians were able to successfully establish a number of colonies, once again initiating a policy of ruthless ethnic destruction and violence on the grounds of religious extremism. Despite attempts at resistance, the political chaos of the now disunified Korati states failed to rebuke a Vespian invasion, and were only ultimately saved by the declaration of a Holy War against Vespia by the Tsai of Ria whose territories in the western Korat were threatened. This third ezh'Zhaan (or 'Black Scourge') saw the destruction of many Kaijin structures established during the First Assai Empire, including the Great Sepulcher of Samatar, whose ruins remain today. Ultimately, the Early Middle Period saw unforeseen destruction and socio-political turmoil, a period of regression generally termed by historians as 'the Great Unwinding', in which all political, economic, and cultural progress made by the First Assai Empire was effectively undone. It would not be until the High Middle Period that Western Assai would begin to see the settling of political chaos and the flourishing of culture and the arts once more.
High Middle Period (5150 Ʋ-5400 Ʋ)[edit | edit source]
Beginning around the year 5150 Ʋ, the High Middle Period of Western Assai saw the emergence of a number of key political entities that would come to dominate the politics and diplomacy of Western Assai and more broadly southern Kai-Meridia in subsequent centuries. Generally considered by many historians as a transitional period between the instability of the 'Great Unwinding' of the early Middle Period and the establishment of larger nation states by the Late Middle Period, the High Middle Period saw the appearance of and consolidation of power by Western Assai's great royal dynasties. This was most immediately noticeable and, indeed, prominent in Southern Assai, where the unification of much smaller formerly separate atani through war, diplomatic alliances, and marriages led to the formation of what could be considered Western Assai's first significant Middle Period nation states. Of these, the earliest were those of Tchesk-Kholania (formed through the personal union of Tcheskia and Kholania in 5150 Ʋ), ruled by the powerful Piaszcz Dynasty; and Ruszik Metsia, ruled by the House Borasz. These dynasties continued to accumulate influence and important political roles as personal ambitions escalated in the late 52nd and early 53rd centuries, seeing the rise of other powerful nations and families, such as House Astaban in Pashran (and later Assai), House Ha̋nvaal in Otcsya, House Varhen in Viet (and later Kraiviet after a personal union with the Kingdom of Krai), and House Namidia in Eldai. The political and diplomatic landscape in Western Assai had shifted by the mid-High Middle Period to one of complex foreign policy and near constant warfare between numerous middle-sized Kingdoms that shared more in common with Western Assai today than the world of the First Assai Empire.