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, please remove this template.
If you are the editor who added this template and you are actively editing, please be sure to replace this template with
|Part of Kai-Meridia|
Labeled Map of Contemporary Tersa
Tersa (Talashi: , Te'erza; Esmati: , Ta'arsa; Lower Tziyahani: , Tiza; Lower Teluhese: , Ti'iza; Rallaighn: , Ma'aytare) is a subcontinent of Kai-Meridia. The region is the fourth most populous part of the larger continent, with a total estimated population of 352,729,345 as of 5995 Ʋ. Additionally, the region has a total land area of 3,351,708 square kilometres, making it the third largest subcontinent of Kai-Meridia by area. Tersa is bounded by Vitrea and X to the west across the Benats mountain range, Riden to the south across the Ninduri Sea, the Meridian Ocean to the southeast, Wittland to the east across the Wittish Sea, and the X Ocean to the north.
The modern ethnographic make-up of Tersa is a result of tens of thousands of years of cultural exchange between three primary ethnolinguistic groups: the early Rothite family, and the later, interrelated Endori-Chovi language group. Evidence exists that contemporary Tersa was once home to other distinct cultural groups which were pushed out by the Endori-Chovi migrations, which occurred approximately six to seven thousand years before the present. Today, this duo of ethnolinguistic families makes up the vast majority of the population of the subcontinent, with ten out of eleven sovereign states in contemporary Tersa being made up by descendants of these two groups.
The geographic area of the region was created by the convergence of the Kai and Zhouic tectonic plates; the merging of the two plates is what creates the Benats and the mountain ranges further to the south. Tersa is located in its near entirety on the northern edge of the Kai plate. The high levels of tectonic activity along the plate boundaries means that the region is prone to volcanic activity and earthquakes, and, furthermore, hurricanes formed off the western coast of Vespia occasionally drift into the region and cause damage along the northern coasts. Closer to the Benats, there is a predominantly temperate oceanic climate, while along the coast of the Wittish Sea, there is a cool-dry summer climate. The greater ecoregion of Tersa was historically lush and diverse, though centuries of anthropologically-driven causes have radically altered the ecological composition of the area.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
In Daechism, the varied but interrelated polytheistic religion of the ancient Endori-Chovi cultures, Tezah is found as the common goddess of all lands to the east of the Benats range and bounded by the Wittish Sea. Though interpretations of Tezah varied by region, she was in all cases a goddess of fertility, motherhood, and the Spring season. It is believed that the Proto-Endori-Chovi cultures saw the landmass of Tersa and the goddess Tezah as one in the same, though over time this interconnectedness was lost as Daechism developed into Ikyevism. Accordingly, as the Proto-Endori-Chovi languages developed into their contemporary successors, Tezah took on the variations which are represented by the languages of modern Tersa.
The more ancient Rothite languages, believed to have first appeared in Tersa as early as 15,000 years before the present, almost universally refer to the region as Ma'aytare, which literally means Mother. Unlike the regionally specific Tezah, Ma'aytare referred more to the entire world than to the subcontinent. This is associated with the Natayrist belief that the world is the shell of a great fire-serpent, or Tinatayr, whose divine essence is made up of the molten core of the planet and from whom all life is descended. Modern Natayrists adopt a stricter usage of the word Ma'aytare in referring to the entire world, and they instead prefer the adopted Tarsa to refer specifically to the subcontinent. Secular speakers of the modern Rothite languages typically use Ma'aytare and Tarsa interchangeably.
Political composition[edit | edit source]
Regional cooperation[edit | edit source]
Tersa is home to two distinct international alliances, the Samatic Free Union and the Kadoshani League of States. Only the Talashi People's Union and Rallaigh maintain independence from these organisations. The SFU is located principally on the peninsula of Samat and its largest member is Esmat, while the KLS is composed of member states across Southern Tersa and its largest member is Tziyahan. Both the SFU and the KLS originated as a combined defensive alliance known as the Tersan Co-operation and Defense Organisation in response to the rebel success of the Talashi Revolution in 5866 Ʋ. The newly founded Greater Tersan People's Union began a campaign of sustained warfare against its neighbour states in a conflict which escalated into the Second Great Tersan War after the GTPU invasion of Kares in 5868 Ʋ. After an initial setback, the TCDO eventually managed to secure the Peace of Bartes in 5884 Ʋ, reducing the GTPU to ethnically-Talashi lands as the Talashi People's Union and securing the independence of four new states.
The TCDO split into the SFU and the KLS in the aftermath of the War, as Esmati attempts to further the economic integration of the TCDO states was met with fierce backlash from the more economically disadvantaged states of Southern Tersa. The divergent political spheres of Samat and Southern Tersa sealed the fate of the TCDO, and in 5888 Ʋ the Organisation fell apart officially when Tziyahan lead most of the other states of Southern Tersa to found the Kadoshani League in response to the Tersan Declaration of Human Rights. The states which adopted the Declaration, all of which were located in Samat, reorganised the TCDO as the Samatic Free Union a year later in 5889 Ʋ. As political alignments within the two alliances has diverged significantly in the century since, the SFU and KLS maintain an even stronger rivalry in contemporary times. Despite outwardly unfriendly relations, both the SFU and the KLS maintain official status of defensive partners due to the continued hostility of the Talashi People's Union to both organisations. Rallaigh is the only country in Tersa to maintain an official policy of neutrality, though it is deeply economically and militarily connected with the Kadoshani League.
Demographics[edit | edit source]
Religion[edit | edit source]
Tersa has historically had high level of religious fracture and diversity, with all major religions practiced in the subcontinent in the modern day having developed from older belief structures endemic to the area. As of 5992 Ʋ, the largest religious groups in Tersa are the Kaalamists at 38.6% of the population, the Tarechamists at 29.3%, the Ainists at 9.6%, and the Natayrists at 6.7%. Areas along the coast of the Ninduri Sea are typically home to small pockets of Ramvokist communities. The remaining 15.8% of the population of Tersa are either atheists, agnostics, or other irreligious people, and the vast majority of these people are found in the Talashi People's Union, the only nation in Tersa which does not maintain a state religion.
The endemic Kalasamism and Tarechamism are often considered to be different strains of Ikyevism, but the principal religious authorities of both often denounce this view as heretical. Nonetheless, the two are closely related historically and theologically, both of which being derived originally from Ikyevism. The Most Holy Ikal, the central institution of Kaalamism, and the High Dyumshil, the central institution of Tarechamism, were formerly united as the Great Asev, but the Ikyevist schism of 5493 Ʋ saw the collapse of a unified religious authority and theological structure.
History[edit | edit source]
Prehistoric period[edit | edit source]
The first widely accepted ethnolinguistic group to arrive in Tersa were the Proto-Balo-Asaharic peoples migrating north from the Riden Peninsula around 90,000 YBP. These peoples were mostly hunter-gatherers following the migratory patterns of various ancient games. The Last Glacial Maximum permitted their crossing of the Ninduri Sea via land bridges which allowed them access through what is known today as the country of Metan. The Proto-Balo Asaharic peoples are believed to have largely remained in the more temperate southern regions of Tersa, and approximately 15,000 YBP the Rothite migration from the northwest pushed these earlier cultures further south and eventually out of Tersa and into contemporary Western Assai. The Rothite migrations took place in waves and slowly penetrated further south from its initial starting point on the northern coastline of modern Talas. Seasoned by the colder northern climates, the more temperate Lacramsa Plains and the Samat initially served as the largest areas of Rothite habitation. These groups fled the northwestern part of Kai-Meridia for unknown reasons, and they brought to Tersa a sedentary tradition of small scale agriculture and pastoralism.
Around approximately 11,000 YBP, the last group to migrate into Tersa were the Proto-Endori-Chovi peoples from the Riden Peninsula. This group of associated and interrelated cultures quickly spread throughout Tersa and came into conflict with the earlier Rothite cultures. The early Endori-Chovi peoples were ruthless and warlike, and they used advanced versions of the spear and sling to quickly attack Rothite villages. The small Rothite population, coupled with several thousand years of peaceful coexistence, made them comparatively less able to defend against the Endori-Chovi invaders, and as a result, the cultural makeup of Tersa eventually came to be dominated by these new arrivals as early as 8,000 YBP. The Endori-Chovi peoples spread into the more fertile lowlands, forests, and plains of Tersa, while the Rothites were pushed into the foothills and mountain sides of the Benats range. Conflicts within the Endori-Chovi group eventually lead to the divergence of the two branches in more significant ways, as the Endori settled in Northern Tersa while the Chovi kept to Southern Tersa.
Ancient period[edit | edit source]
The sedentary ways of the earlier Rothite peoples came to be adopted by both subgroups of the diverging Proto-Endori-Chovi cultures as early as -2020 Ʋ. The fertile river valleys and plains of the Lacramsa river, the Samat peninsula, and the Enkyim river were the most productive crucibles of agricultural development. In particular, the Enkyim river saw the development of the first high-density human habitats with the rise of the Atarmelki, fortress-palaces which were home to dynasties of early priest-kings. These Atarmelki were initially unique to the Old Tziyahani peoples in the immediate geographic area of what is today Tziyahan. The Melki of these compounds, the priest-kings, wielded absolute and divinely entrusted authority over their respective domains, and 167 examples such compounds have been documented as appearing in the First Millenium Ʋ. The Atarmelki were centrally organised and saw the development of the first forms of writing and law codes in Tersan history. The Holy Principles of Melk Aman'zun'Ravaz-Geren III is the only extant fully preserved such code from this period, found within the Atarmelk of Ravaz-Geren and dating from approximately 410 Ʋ. Several polities began to emerge as the Atarmelki grew substantially larger over the course of the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries. The first national entity to emerge in Tersa was the Mit'meshi Empire as documented by the Kidesh-Kever Inscription, which reached peak territorial control around 690 Ʋ and continued to persist for seven centuries under twelve successive dynasties. The Mit'meshi Empire originally came about after a series of conquests by the Atarmelk of Yarkagu under the leadership of Melk Esgear I, whose children successfully maintained centralised power after Eshear's death despite widespread rebellion against them. The successive Melks of Yarkagu and the Empire maintained and even expanded the territory of the realm, and it would not be until the First Vespian Invasion of Tersa in 1456 Ʋ that the Empire collapsed.
During the invasion, the Vespians centered their force projection in the Enkyim river region, which contained the only proper urban settlements in Tersa at the time. The Mit'meshi fought fiercely but ultimately succumbed to the more advanced arms and larger numbers of the Vespians less than decade after the invasion began. The Vespians aggressively colonised the Lacramsa and Enqyim river valleys, with the wide set rivers providing transportation routes and the fertile soils allowing for the sustenance of large armies. The Old Tziyahani peoples of the Enqyim were the most severely affected by the Vespian purging and enslaving, while the less centrally organised tribes of the Old Talashi were able to more rapidly escape the Vespian expansion due to a lack of major settlements. The period of Vespian expansion was relatively brief in Tersa due to the large landmass, the unfamiliar climate, and the hostility of the Old Tersans to the Vespians, and by 1765 Ʋ the Vespians rarely made ventures outside of their coastal and river-bound holds in Tersa.