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Thread: Ancient History

  1. #1
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Another topic related to my world-map/atlas project.

    I'm wondering where the "tribes" came from (where did each one originate) and what their culture and history was like in the time long before the Flight from Shadow.

    I know that most people envision the tribes as relatively primitve, barbarians almost, that dwelled somewhere in the northern part of Aduria (and Djapar for the Basarji).

    I never like that, and given my love of ancient civilizations, I've made several attempts to come up with alternate views on this.

    So, what is all the "tribes" were really great ancient civilizations. What if, for example, the Andu already had a long and glorious history as a powerful civilization in Aduria before the comming of the Shadow? When the time to flee came, it was because the situation had become hopless, and the Andu civilization was on the brink of destruction.

    Ideas please.

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    I don't know if most people did consider the ancient tribes to be barbarians, that wasn't the general feeling I got. Perhaps they weren't as advanced as they are now, but they weren't living in huts made of sticks and hunting things with spears.

    The Masetians, Brechts, and Rjuven for example all had a fair knowledge of the sea, certainly good enough to sail to Cerilia and settle. They were just forced out by greater powers, those empires that owed allegence to Azrai.

    If anything, they most likely went backwards during their long trek north to Cerilia and it took the next 500 years to get back to the level they were at before they fled Aduria.
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    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Well maybe I overstated a bit...

    Yes, I think each of the tribes were fairly advanced, and actually lost much of their knowledge during the flight from Aduria.

    Now, anyone have any ideas for placing the homeland of each tribe? I'll have the Anuireans around the western part of the great lakes and the Basarji from Djapar. The Masetians seems to have originated on the west coast. The Rjurik and the Brecht on the east coast. I'm thinking the Vos could be to the far south, and that they actually used magic or something to flee to Vosgaard.

    B
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    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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    Green Knight schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=21&t=2926

    >

    > Green Knight wrote:

    >

    ...



    >I`m wondering where the "tribes" came from (where did each one originate) and what their culture and history was like in the time long before the Flight from Shadow.

    >I know that most people envision the tribes as relatively primitve, barbarians almost, that dwelled somewhere in the northern part of Aduria (and Djapar for the Basarji).

    >I never like that, and given my love of ancient civilizations, I`ve made several attempts to come up with alternate views on this.

    >So, what is all the "tribes" were really great ancient civilizations. What if, for example, the Andu already had a long and glorious history as a powerful civilization in Aduria before the comming of the Shadow? When the time to flee came, it was because the situation had become hopless, and the Andu civilization was on the brink of destruction.

    >Ideas please.

    >B

    >

    For the Andu - while only 1 tribe of the 7 the anuiro-centric view of

    the published material has given us more information about them than

    about the other tribes, e.g. that the Andu themselves were divided into

    houses like the "the 5th house of the Deretha".

    For people who cling so long and so hard to an empire that ceased to

    exist several hundreds of years ago, they need to have a reason to have

    so strong feelings for an empire that united them. An example might be

    the german struggle to become one nation when germany consisted of

    several dozens of tiny states, or Temudschins unification of the

    mongols. Perhaps the Andu, as the most warlike tribe of the 7, were

    divided themselves and even had feuds among themselves and had to go

    through the struggle to find a common identity instead of seeing

    themselves as seperate houses.



    Aduria could have been the dark mirror of todays Cerilia. Where in

    todays Cerilia humans dominate the lands and monsters, sidhelien and

    dwarves are isolated realms, Aduria could have become so infested by

    Azrais creations, that humans 7 tribes were in the position of the

    sidhelien - retreating, isolated, outnumbered.



    For a retreating culture that finally fell Byzanz comes to mind. Losing

    part after part of their territorry until finally they control only that

    land in view of their walls... Gondors example is similar, who even lost

    their own capital and had to withdraw to one of their former outposts

    bye

    Michael.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I've thought a lot about some of the tribes' ancient histories, particularly the Andu and Masetians.

    I envisioned the Andu as being something like the Iron Age Celts, with some Germanic and Anglo-Saxon flavoring. Now, as a student of Celtic history, I don't consider the Celts to have been barbarians at all (regardless of what the Romans thought). They weren't literate for the most part, although some of them learned Greek language and writing for the sole purpose of trade. But they had a rich oral tradition, a complex social structure, and seem to have possessed a rather sophisticated theology. Not to mention some of their technology (notably metal-working) and science (like astronomy) was ahead of most other contemporary cultures for several centuries at least. Their downfall against the Romans (starting around 50 BC) was their lack of hierarchical organization - the tribes were proudly independent and competitive, a fact exploited by Caesar in Gaul, and later Roman generals in Britain and Spain.

    First off: it's unclear how much contact (if any) the 7 tribes had before they migrated to Cerilia. As each tribe had a single patron god, it's also unclear how polytheistic they really were. I like to think they were more animistic, seeing the natural world as a place of spirits of all types: some good, some bad, some weak, some strong. Elemental spirits, tree and plant spirits, etc. The patron god might then be seen as the great spirit of the tribe itself: protector, provider of blessings, punisher, and/or ideal example of a member of the tribe (Anduiras as the heroic warrior ideal, Brenna as the perfect Brecht, etc.). This sort of theology, rather than a more limited, "civilized" temple-based polytheism, still allows for the existence of other gods, but there's no known limit to their number or power or diversity. It's a smaller world view, one derived of a less cosmopolitan world where travel and contact is limited rather than extensive (as it would be later in the Anuirean Empire).
    I imagine more extensive contact happened during the migrations and settlement of Cerilia, though some would have occurred earlier with bordering nations. But limited contact in those early times is almost certain, as the tribes all fled Aduria rather than uniting against Azrai and his empire. This also suggests that Azrai's empire had a somewhat central position on the continent, while the 7 tribes were likely on the peripheries.

    Some thoughts on the Andu, "Children of the Sky:"
    (in agreeance with Micheal and what few 'facts' I possess)
    - A patriarchal warrior people, with a strong sense of of conquest and fate. Probably believed it was their destiny to expand and conquer. Competition would be a key attitude: when there weren't outside threats, the Andu would fall to competing with each other for status, territory, and power.

    - Expansion + competition would lead to fracturing of one tribe into many. A social hierarchy would exist within each tribe, dominated by a warrior elite, who are supported by a learned middle class (priests, bards, and craftsmen) and a farming pool of freeman commoners (yeomen?). Social mobility would be limited by birth for males and marriage for females. Most mobility would come through success in battle, acquiring lands and riches (cattle, sheep, mead, wheat), or occasional adoption into a higher-status family.

    - I imagine each Andu tribe came to be called a House because the ruling family would typically build a hill fort to house their warriors and protect the local people from attack. I like Thane as the title of the lord (patriarch) of each House. ex.: Haengir, Thane of House Aethelred.

    - Through the internal feuding and warfare, lesser Houses would swear fealty (though likely remain stubborn and rebellious when they could get away with it) to greater Houses. Eventually these "overthanes" would style themselves kings, with the king typically having the most familial lands, and having a pool of vassal houses owing fealty to him.

    - From this age the myth of a High King, a king of kings, would surely arise. Perhaps it is a myth of true history: before Azrai there may have been an Andu golden age in which the king of a great house became High King of all the Andu. Or it may have only been a myth, dreamt up by more than one ambitious lord.

    - Azrai's empire may have encroached the way Rome did on Gaul - divide and conquer. Meeting a region of competing kingdoms, the empire allied with and backed one or more Houses against their rivals. This would spur an increase in war and hostility - and clever manipulation (Azrai's specialty) would ensure that all the Houses involved weakened themselves against each other. Some wiser persons might recognize what was going on while it was happening; the priests might begin asking Anduiras to guide them...visions of a far-away paradise, a green and fertile land, north across the ocean. Other signs of impending darkness might also increase, with a little divine push by Azrai himself: bad harvests, pestilence, humanoid raiders in incresing numbers, horrific monsters coming out of the wilds...
    Most Andu lords would be too consumed by their rivalries and immediate troubles to heed the warnings and promises of a few wide-eyed priests. A few, however, would listen. Somehow a number of surviving houses would unite in a desire to flee the growing Shadow - a great prophet? a wise king? a conclave of lords? Would each House then set sail for Cerilia as it was ready, or would a single great flotilla of ships depart the shores of Aduria forever? How many Houses fled? How many survived the journey? Perhaps their patron Lord of the Sky ensured favorable winds for his faithful, so that every House who left in time arrived safely.

    - I like to imagine that in pre-Deismaar Cerilia there were 13 Andu Houses, each with its own king. When the War of Shadow threatened, the King of the house of Roele (Andu family name?) called a great meeting in which he convinced the other 12 kings of the Shadow's encroachment, and created a confederation of houses. They then and there swore a pact to stand united in arms against the Shadow, and work to ally with the other migrant tribes in this fight.

    - After Deismaar, of course, Haelyn ascends and Roele lives to forge an Empire. As a visionary, Roele (and Haelyn) would realize that to name himself High King would propogate the troubles of the past. Perhaps they even learned something from their contact with the Adurian Empire of old. So he creates a revolutionary system that abolishes kings and kingdoms altogether - but the traditions of familial houses are too deep-rooted to ever remove, and so the 12 great Houses of the Andu kings become the 12 Duchies of the Anuirean Empire, while Roele's house becomes the Imperial House.

    And the rest is history.

    Osprey

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Green Knight@Jan 12 2005, 10:45 PM
    Now, anyone have any ideas for placing the homeland of each tribe? I'll have the Anuireans around the western part of the great lakes and the Basarji from Djapar. The Masetians seems to have originated on the west coast. The Rjurik and the Brecht on the east coast. I'm thinking the Vos could be to the far south, and that they actually used magic or something to flee to Vosgaard.
    It would make sense that the Masetians came from the EAST coast of Aduria, unless they sailed all the way around Cerilia to settle in what is now Khinsasi. It is more likely that they sailed north and then settled on the first suitable land. If you look at the map of Aduria, I put them south of Mieres and their empire began about 400 miles south of Mieres and ran for 5-600 miles. That would fit with the map on the back of the Atlas of Cerilia.

    From the Adurian map again, the Brechts came from the peninsula that juts out into the sea about a 1000 miles west of Cerilia. This is where Rich Baker placed them anyway. The Rjuven came from the peninsula that runs west from there.

    The Andu I placed in South of the mountains in northern Aduria, but north of those large lakes and the Vos were a mountain tribe from that very mountainous region in north-eastern Aduria. I wouldn't put the Vos in the far south, that would mean that they had to flee north for thousands of miles through hostile territory to escape Azrai, not a likely scenario. Also I don't think magic was developed to such a level as to allow them magically move an entire race. These are some fairly big areas, some nearly similar in size to the regions in Cerilia.

    I've also always thought that it was unlikely that every single member of each tribe fled, just those who didn't want to live under the rule of Azrai's priests and worship him. So the most loyal followers and priests of the five tribes would have gone north to Cerilia, while others less devoted to their gods might even have joined Azrai's side.
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    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Raesene Andu@Jan 13 2005, 01:15 AM
    It would make sense that the Masetians came from the EAST coast of Aduria, unless they sailed all the way around Cerilia to settle in what is now Khinsasi.
    My bad. I obviously mean EAST coast for the Masetians, and WEST coast for the Brecht and Rjurik...
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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    Okay, so here are my thoughts on the whole matter of the ancient tribes and how they became what they are today.

    5 tribes fled north from Aduria to Cerilia through a landbridge. So my guess is that they were located pretty close to each other. They could perhaps have united, but such a war would have great casualties, possibly even genocide. So they all pulled up what they had and fled. On foot or horse. Since they were not elven or blooded, they couldn't use magic for this and since they used the landbridge, I doubt they were sailing.

    As they arrived on the other side, the tribe that worshipped the strong god, the warrior among the gods, the Andu, took up the position as the first line of defense. Their job and duty was to hold back what came against them and since there was only a small land bridge that would be rather easy to defend. Most likely Imperial City is where the land bridge ended back then.

    The Andu themselves was one tribe and consisting of some houses that set them apart. 12 houses to be exact, the 12 houses that became the 12 original duchies. They were a strong people known for their great devotion and strength in war (attributed to their patron deity). After Deismarr the Roele family of the first House of Andu became the first emperor and created the line of emperors that would end with Michael Roele many years later. The rest of the house remained apart and was one of the Roele's major supporters, ruled by the Avan family as their ducal family.

    What is known about the other tribes is that the Rjuvik was patriarchal, unlike the other tribes. Hogunmark is one of the few Rjuvik realms that has altered this rule, which did cause a lot of problems during the first days, when Erik showed them the way.

    The Vos was diviners and illusionists (magicians, not true mages) during the first days, having Vorynn as their deity. Unfortunately the area they moved into had a lot of monsters and they had less of a martial tradition than the other tribes. They did turn more martial to protect themselves and thereby lost some favor of their god. As Azrai came, they were the tribe that was easy to turn to his cause, almost as easy as the dorfs.

    The Basarji didn't come from Aduria as the other tribes. The darkskinned Basarji instead was met by the five tribes when they came from Aduria and settled Cerilia, having come from Djapar.

    I know nothing about the history of the Masetians other than they were a people that are now all but destroyed by the Khinasi civilization.

    I'm not aware of any of the Brecht history.

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I know nothing about the history of the Masetians other than they were a people that are now all but destroyed by the Khinasi civilization.
    I think everyone's knowledge of the Masetians is sketchy at best. What little scraps we get suggest that they were a powerful empire that began in Aduria and stretched across the seas. We also know that they became bitter rivals of Azrai's empire, and that Azrai bent more effort and power on destroying them than on any of the other 4 tribes. It was Azrai, not the Khinasi (as I understand it), who was largely responsible for breaking the Masetian empire - and Deismaar was the coup de grace that wiped out the remaining leadership and warriors of Masetia. What was left was a broken scattering of leaderless settlements, mostly the frontier islands and coastal settlements in present-day Khinasi. Eventually these remnants were absorbed by the Basarji through intermarriage, breeding, and cultural integration. Deismaar was the Masetians "going out with a bang," but the last Masetians seem to have just quietly faded away.

    Osprey

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    I like to imagine that in pre-Deismaar Cerilia there were 13 Andu Houses, each with its own king. When the War of Shadow threatened, the King of the house of Roele (Andu family name?) called a great meeting in which he convinced the other 12 kings of the Shadow's encroachment, and created a confederation of houses. They then and there swore a pact to stand united in arms against the Shadow, and work to ally with the other migrant tribes in this fight.
    The books say there was 5 andu tribes, or 4 once the deretha were wiped out.
    MORNINGSTAR

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