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History of the Archipelago

Discussion in 'Mythic Archipelago' started by Telcontar, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    The pan-Archipelago calender uses a cataclysmic event, the Star Fall, as its starting point. Years after this event are marked ASF (After Star Fall), and years before are marked BSF. As the community writes stories about the Archipelago and we do Canon Contests, this timeline will be expanded.

    15,000 BSF: Ice Age/Settlement
    During a long ice age, the water level dropped and revealed land routes between many of the islands in the Archipelago. Over several hundred years, humans reached nearly every corner of the island chain.​
    14,000 BSF: The Glaciers Melt
    The Ice Age ends and the sea level rises once more. Humanity flourishes amongst the islands. Civilizations develop, governments rise and fall. Eventually many civilizations master seafaring and trade flourishes.​
    305 BSF: Imperial Conquest Age
    The twin siblings Zaiya and Alban, children of a powerful ruler, unite a huge region through diplomacy and conquest.​
    0 BSF: Star Fall Cataclysm
    A blazing star fell from the sky and struck the island home of the Empire, causing its almost complete destruction. Earthquakes and tsunamis wracked the region for weeks afterward, causing many coastlines to change. The Great Volcano rose up from the wreckage of the island.​
    1-?? ASF: Only Time Will Tell

    Recent History: Star Rise

    In the many thousands of years since the glaciers receded, the islands were largely insular. Most were home to several different tribes which competed with each other. Tribes eventually became nations, and each nation was too busy dealing with the competitors nearby to worry about those which might inhabit distant shores.

    On the island of Astara, near the center of the Archipelago, the wise King Agrippa led his nation to prominence through a combination of military success and shrewd diplomacy. Instead of subduing the last rival nation, he married the daughter of its regent, thereby sealing together the two peoples. From this union were born the twins, Zaiya and Alban.

    Zaiya grew to be a tempestuous woman, with moods that changed like the direction of the wind. She was a beautiful creature with bright red hair whose fiery nature only added to her allure. Her brother was the opposite in temperament, being quiet, stoic, and thoughtful. Growing up they attained the nicknames of Flame and Stone. Zaiya, being the first delivered of the two, sat often with their father at court while Alban took to a military life.

    When King Agrippa died, three of the elder viziers of the court approached Alban. Though he was the younger, Zaiya's willful ways — and the fact that she was a woman — had not ingratiated some of the old guard to the prospect of her rule. They desired that Alban should usurp his sister and claim the throne for himself.

    The next day, Alban presented three heads to his sister and hailed her as his Queen.

    Together, the duo looked outside their own lands. They built a fleet of ships — first for trade, but soon rigged for war. Astaran soldiers landed on many shores and spilt blood into distant waters.

    Not all additions to the budding Astaran Empire came through bloodshed, though. Zaiya took a foreign King as a husband, and Alban proved to be an effective diplomat as well. With the threat of the Imperial army forever behind his offers, new provinces and islands began to bow to the inevitable before outright conquest.

    By the time Zaiya died, dozens of islands were under Astaran rule. Alban spent his remaining years cementing Imperial control over them. He oversaw the construction of impressive fortifications to hold the conquered territory. Many of these fortresses exist to the present day, maintained by the successor states or falling to ruin on deserted isles.

    Zaiya's descendants continued to reign over the empire, though with nowhere near the skill and success that their forbearer and her brother had enjoyed. Competitors rose amidst the outer islands, but always in the end was Astara victorious. The people of the islands began to think that the Imperial Reign would last forever.

    Star Fall

    For several nights in the four-hundredth year of the Imperial era, astronomers noted a star growing brighter in the night sky. Most took it as an omen of some wondrous event — but a few foresaw disaster. For nine nights the star grew larger and brighter — and on the tenth, a mighty flash lit the heavens.

    Some say that the Gods had grown jealous of the Empire's wealth and power. Others say the reigning Emperor had challenged the gods for their divinity. Still others claim the emperor had consorted with demons, or experimented with dangerous magics with which mankind was not meant to meddle.

    No matter the cause, every account from every island in the Archipelago agrees that a star fell from the heavens that night. It blazed a fiery trail across the sky, and smote the island of Astara.

    The entire region was wracked for days with earthquakes, storms, and tidal waves. During a brief lull, a few brave Imperial mariners dared sail close to the shattered isle. The island of Astara, wealthiest of kingdoms and seat of Imperial power, was unrecognizable. Much of it had fallen into the sea, and at the very center the sailors witnessed the beginnings of a volcano venting its fury into the sea.

    Over the next few months, that volcano never ceased to spew fire. It grew to enormous heights, becoming the mightiest mountain in the entire Archipelago. Finally it quieted, and now its eruptions are fewer and less furious.

    Eventually the weather cleared and the people took stock. Some islands violently threw off their imperial oppressors. On several the local leaders rallied their people and the imperials alike, and attempted to lay claim to the remains of the Empire — but with Astara destroyed, the Empire could not survive. The islands returned to their own ways and their own rule. Thus was began a new age for the people of the Archipelago.
     
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