History of the Torentine Empire
To fully understand the history of the Torentine Empire, one needs to journey back nearly three millennia and examine, at least in part, the goings on of the entire region. The coast of northwestern Danetian between the Efferus Mountains and the Eastern Cidalian Ocean is known to have been a geographic crunch point during historic cosmic migrations. Each of the many players in these complex migratory productions has contributed in some way, large or small, to shaping the great nation we know today as the Torentine Empire.
Arcasian Era 850bce–450bce
Early Arcasian Phase 850bce–750bce
- An organized society forms from the initial cooperation of three groups: the Tøsca; a fishing group from the north, the Preudili; a pastoralist group from the northeast, and the Cyllda; the current agrarian occupants of the area.
- First record of significant permanent settlements in the region begins during this period.
Middle Arcasian Phase 750bce–550bce
- The beliefs of these societies, already similar, gradually mesh. This pagan blend develops into the more organized Eternalism which becomes centralized. A complex society grows up around this religion and its ceremonial calendar, rituals and systems of tribute.
- The people call themselves Arcasians after their primary Dieties; the God Arc and the Goddess Asana. Small towns spring up along the Idreian coast with roads to connecting them to ceremonial centers.
- Other than a handful of hostile occupations by tribes migrating south, most pass through peacefully or settle in the region.
Late Arcasian Phase 550bce–450bce
- By this time Arcasia has obliviously grown into a theocratic empire believed to be directed by the gods. Eternalism has spread north along the coast, east beyond the Efferus Mountains and northeast to the great lakes region of Danetia.
- The markedly larger settlements of Arcasana (present-day Torentine), Dirodia (in territory 43) and Sepura (in territory 41) emerge as centers for the nascent economy.
- An array of stone deity-centric temple complexes are constructed including the vast dual Temple of Arc and Asana at Arcasana, and the even larger dual Temple of Raust and Haitris whose ruins lie near present day Herratine.
Peoples of Idreia: 850 BCE through the Late Arcasian
Cimmerian Era 450bce–10ce
Early Cimmerian Phase 450bce–350bce
- Cimmerian trading vessels begin to frequent the region known to them as Idreia. The Arcasians are soon impressed with the Cimmerians and seem not to mind as their unusual visitors weave themselves strategically into the fabric of Arcasian society and effectively take the reigns of government.
- The Cimmerians introduce the concept of far-flung trade. They establish a class system which relies heavily on servitude of inferiors and infuse their culture into the religion and language of the spongelike Arcasians. Cities are fortified and Cimmerian style judicial and financial systems installed. Also introduced were the pirates, an integral part of Cimmerian culture that operated like everything else, on a system of tribute, letting traders go about their business for a "small fee".
- So inundated are the Arcasians, with exotic things and new ideas that they are apparently unaware or unconcerned that they are the subjects of colonization.
- Prevalent in most of the Idreian region, Eternalism reaches its "First Zenith".
Middle Cimmerian Phase 350bce–100bce
- With the exception of popular Eternalism, Arcasian culture has largely adopted Cimmerian ways. Cimmerians of this region as well as the Arcasians, while embracing many of their own traditions begin to think of the collective society as distinctly "Idreian".
- Idreian influence tends only to hug the coast, but extends all the way from in the north (mid territory 43), to the shores of the Antaran Marches to the southeast.
- Birguna peoples from the southern slopes of the Efferus Range expand westward to populate the upper Rush Valley. Establishing good relations with the advanced Idreians, they come to participate in Idreian society as a tributary.
- Arcasana is renamed Arcasium in the Cimmerian fashion.
Late Cimmerian Phase 100bce–10ce
- The Idreians are at the helm of a complex system of regional trade and tribute. Ultimately a portion of this modest wealth finds it's way to Cimmeria proper.
- Idreian influence reaches its northernmost extent (mid coastal territory 44).
- The "Idreian Road" connects the region to Antara and points south.
- Founding of Herra (p.d. Herratine)
- Senglians (from the Bayer Valley Great Lakes, descendant from Anadili type 1), fleeing1 from the Norric Djärva people, clamorously move into hilly regions just east of the Idreian coast. Their brazen manner causes many clashes with the Birguna and Idreians.
- While the Senglia made their way across the interior, the Djärva were busy expanding southward along the coast conquering all in their path, only to converge again in Idreia.
- Norric coastal raids in north Idreia begin then rapidly increase driving coastal populations south or into the fortified cities.
- The growing presence of the confrontational Senglia plus the Norric threat and the friction between the two begins to seriously disrupt regional cohesion.
- Rape of Atium : Senglia continue to amass in the region. Idreian rejection of the Senglia "barbarians" from their society prompts an invasion of Atuim. The city is plundered and the people are taken as slaves or killed, high ranking nobility is held for ransom. Finally the city is burned to the ground causing widespread fear and increased hatred of the Senglia throughout Idreian society. An army is dispatched from Arcasium but the superior numbers of the robust Senglians, seemingly immune to pain, rebuff the small army sending survivors fleeing back to the walls of their city. Unfortunately, Idreian strength resides in its navy, not its land forces.
1 Senglians were unwise to the strength or numbers of the Djärva, who had fled the intensifying cold of the north. Refusing to give up their lands, they had committed atrocities against the Djärva settlers moving into their homeland. This led to war and a vendetta against the Senglia.
Senglian Fugue 10ce–50ce
- The Senglia impose outrageous demands for tribute on the Idreians which are unable to be met. The result is the Senglian siege of Arcasium which lasts nearly seven months. Arcasium was able to hold out by receiving provisions from the sea until the Senglia, who being from a great lakes region had previous boatbuilding knowledge, were able to build a sufficient sea force to cut supply lines. The Senglian King Vola, murdered or enslaved those that didn't escape the city. Instead of destroying Arcasium, Vola renamed it Volaterrae and proclaimed it the capital of the new kingdom of Senglia.
- After several failed attempts to retake Arcasium, the Idreians finally appealed to Cimmeria. Senglian numbers, the great distance and the relative insignificance of the region at that time apparently did not warrant the great expenditure of resources it would take for a full scale intervention from Cimmeria. The Idreians were on their own.
- The loss of Atium and Arcasium is a huge blow to the Idreians crippling effectivity of administration as well as the regional economy. Idreian cities in the north fell to the rapidly encroaching Djärva in their surge to secure lands free from the frigid temperatures of deepening cosmic winter.
- The imposed barbaric superiority of the Senglians essentially brought cultural progress of the region to a standstill.
- Under Senglian rule, Idreians struggled in fear for their lives, to appear conformant to the strange and backward customs forced upon them.
Norric (Djärvan) Era 50ce–548ce
Early Norric Phase 50ce–200ce
- The inexorable surge from the north finally came in the form of the Djärvan invasion. The Djärva were now centered in (territory 44) and had been biding their time for the invasion of the territories now held by their Senglian enemies. A long period of intense Senglian in-fighting presented the Djärvan's with the perfect opportunity. The naval force and siege technology of the Djärva allowed them to conquer Volaterrea in less than a month and from there they gained control of the countryside within weeks. The aging King Vola was dismboweled and high ranking Senglians were imprisoned. Volterrea was renamed Väggriklighamn, meaning rich walled port because of the vaults filled with vast amounts of Idreian wealth that had been hoarded by the Senglia.
- The Djärva proclaim that the Senglians are henceforth to be known as the Gjørefolk or "enslaved race" and are to be marked so by the removal of their ears. It is said that tens of thousands were sent north to the slave market in the Djärvan capital of Tromsø. Those who escaped scattered and for lack of alternatives most moved inland toward the harsher climate of the Efferus Mountains. Some skulked south only to be murdered, enslaved or chastised by inhabitants of those regions.
- While several Idreian cities to the southeast (in territory 41) retained independence, Herratine and Clusium were soon intimidated into the hegemony marking the southward limit of Norric expansion in western Danetia.
- While religious conversion is strongly encouraged, occasionally by cruel public example, it is not strictly enforced for any duration. The policy of "if it acts like a (Norric religion), it is a (Norric religion)" is silently adopted leading many to lead double religious lives. In spite of this, citizens of Väggriklighamn and the surrounding areas eventually welcome the relative leniency of these Norric leaders.
- Aesman tribes move into northwest Danetia clashing with the northern Djärva but are nothing more than a nuisance.
Middle Norric Phase 200ce–450ce
- Rebirth of Atium: Atium is rebuilt by the enslaved Gjørefolk (Senglians).
- Tributaries are kept in line through the Tök, a special force of high ranking noble warrior-commanders who are given control of Atium.
- Many of the efficient Idreian establishments are kept in place and modified only superficially. The Djärvan rulers witness that the region, under stable rule, has a tendency to run itself. This fact would prove to be a double-edged sword in that they would become lax.
- The cosmic warming ushers in new migrations to the higher elevations. The Taran clan of the mighty pastoralist Eanili people2 from the southern great lakes region of northwest Danetia, arrive at the headwaters of the River Torent on the western slopes of the Efferus Range.
- Tarans recognize Djarvan superiority and agree to what are initially reasonable terms of tribute.
- Mutine (p.d. Miotine) is established by the Tarans.
- The steadily increasing Aesman presence is accompanied by frequent confrontations and forces the Djärva to focus their resources into defending their northeastern border resulting in the defensive neglect of other areas.
2The Eanili were a type 2 Anadili group established east of the Efferus Range at this time.
Late Norric Phase & Tök Regime 450ce–548ce
- A rapid succession of Djärva warrior-kings usurp the throne leaving the empire weakened with fractured allegiances, the increasing threats of civil war, rebellion and invasion from the Aesmani.
- Having become lax and rather complacent figureheads, Väggriklighamn's Djärvan nobility find themselves pawns of their own increasingly tyrannical and power hungry Tök. The Tök become over-demanding and begin meddling with the delicately balanced trade and tribute systems causing unrest amongst the tributary states.
- In 492 CE, civil war erupts in the Djärva capital of Tromsø, far to the north. As if on queue the Aesmans, led by the Jürgen tribe, launch an almost simultaneous invasion. The Tök force the aging King of Väggriklighamn, by now their virtual captive and puppet, to declare independence from the crumbling empire rather than send reinforcement. Many of the Tök with their armies head to the regional frontier to fend off the encroaching war and gain territory and plunder.
- The defeat of the Djärvan Warrior-Emperor in 496 CE, causes the once powerful empire to dissolve into numerous regional states, all in various stages of power struggle or occupation. The still powerful Tök warriors are left in control of Väggriklighamn allying with the small, newly formed Kingdom of Tanais, another Djärvan remnant just to the north.
- For decades the Tök exact near-total control on the immediate region using an absurdly strict code of laws and demands of mandatory tribute with dire consequences for failure and defiance.
- Tarans secretly align with (fellow Eternalists) the Birguna and the Idreians against the Djärvan Tök regime.
- Eventually there is a struggle for supremacy within the Tök, each desiring to be "Grand Tök". The ever present threat of invasion from the Aesman and Anadili is the only thing that holds the regime together. As they internally obsess over who deserves rightful supremacy, their iron grip begins to weaken and surrounding tributaries sit tight and wait for their chance to oust their oppressors.
- Peasant rebellion breaks out in Tanais in 546 CE and is followed by Anadili invasion. The Tök and their armies reluctantly head north to aid their allies, if only to keep the buffer intact.
- With much of Väggriklighamn's military might safely in the north and no chance for retaliation from the Djärvan Empire, the Taran army and the secretly trained Sapir Warriors of the Birguna with the backing of the Idreian states, all seen as loyal tributaries by the Tök literally walk into the lightly guarded city. They are only met with token resistance and then much cheering from the repressed and overtaxed citizens.
- Leaving a defensive force safely within the walls of Väggriklighamn, the allied army sails north to the stronghold of Atium, arriving the next night under the guise of darkness. The Taran general persuades the Tök in charge, a vague official acquaintance who is still unaware of the events at Väggriklignamn, that they are headed northward to help defend the borders against the invasion. Like most of the Tök, he is a self-important and vain man who believes the far-fetched tale. Glad of the help, he allows them entry for supplies. Taken by surprise, the Tök commander and his defensive force is overwhelmed by the small but proficient army. Atium is again torched and the army returns to Väggriklighamn and Mutine to ready the cities for defense against the returning Tök.
- Weeks of brutal fighting have taken its toll on the Tök warriors and their armies, who hoping to return to a comfortable refuge, find the still smoldering shell of Atium. Infuriated, they drive their bedraggled forces south to Väggriklighamn. Väggriklighamn is besieged for months by the Tök but is fed by supply lines from the sea. After rampant desertion, disease and exhaustion the Tök's armies are sufficiently reduced to prompt a co-ordinatied night-time assault from Mutine and Väggriklighamn simultaneously. The Tök are taken off guard, sandwiched and promptly crushed by the Idreian allies.
Torentine Era 548ce–863ce
Age of Incorporation 548ce–630ce
1st Kingdom / Idreian Federation 548ce–562ce
- With the Djärvan Tök entirely defeated, they set about dividing the region into a federated Kingdom. The Idreian Federation is to be ruled in sections by the top-tier of nobility from each group involved in the defeat, with the capital region to be a shared district. The still traceable Arcasian line of nobility is recognized separately from the Cimmerian. What is left of the long imprisoned Djärva nobility is given a small slice of land to rule as well, but are left out of the shared capital region agreement.
- Väggriklighamn is renamed Torentium.
- Based in the Efferus Mountains, a horde of Bonjo barbarians begin their systematic assault on the region.
2nd Kingdom / Schism 562ce–630ce
- Persistently disgruntled by the federation settlement, a powerful branch of Cimmerian nobility excluded from power threaten rebellion and demand terms for secession. Agreeing that they could not wage a civil war as well as fend off the Bonjo, it is agreed that the short lived federation will be divided in two. The land to the north of the Rush River and east to Krigar Peak in addition to Birguna territory and Cimmerian Herra and Clusium is to form the Kingdom of Torent, with Torentium as it's capital. The Cimmerian lands to the southeast of this will form the Kingdom of Idreia.
- With its reduced territory, the Kingdom of Torent still consists of the 5 noble houses of the original federation. A system of alternating accession (still in place today) is agreed upon which will allow each family, in due course, to rule.
- To help constrain the increasingly devastating Bonjo invasions, a network of walls is begun on the northeastern frontier.
Age of Re-Establishment 630ce–750ce
- The founding of Atia, on the site of Atium, marks the beginning of this age. Satisfactorily unified with a rapidly growing population, Torent is defining it’s borders with several new cities and beginning to blossom . Any fragmented tribes of the immediate region are becoming assimilated into the culture. By 720 Torent has completed its formidable defenses across the eastern frontier and re-organized it's armies to defeat the barbarian horde. By 732 they have successfully driven the Bonjos over the mountains and well to the northeast.
- To reinforce the kingdom's individuality, cities are renamed; Torentium to Torentine, Mutine to Miotine, Clusium to Bastett, Herra to Herratine. Many names reflect the ruling noble house of that city.
- A shared interest in the ancient and awe-inspiring Arcasian structures ignites a feeling of national pride and a resurgence of organized Eternalism, which had been weakened by centuries of occupation, soon follows. Construction begins on the first Great Eternalist Temple in Miotine making it the new Holy City of that religion.
- Exports include finished textiles, glass and dried fruit. Maintained roadways connecting regional towns to Torentine boost trade. The new Kings Market in Atia attracts merchants from the north taking full advantage of trade in the cultural landscape of the region after the fall of the Djärva. As the trading hub of the Idreian region, the people of Torent reap the benefits and enjoy a great variety of goods avaliable in the kingdom. Increasing trade with Antara marks the beginning of the cultural re-orientation to come.
Age of Re-Awakening 750ce–863ce
- The people of Torent's new found obsession with trade and exotic goods drives the people to produce, not just to subsist as they had in recent years, but to increase their standard of living and acquire more stuff. The amalgamation of goods from different cultures awakens an excitement and creativity in the people that engulfs the culture, most markedly so in the cities. The use of imported dyes and weaving methods to refine their art and develop new styles is become increasingly popular. The kingdom is coming into it’s own and will be forever changed.
- Artists bring back paintings of grand architecture from Antara which sparks a building boom across the land, even the smaller towns commission scaled down regal public buildings and monuments of the Antaran style in their town centers. The cities of Torentine and Atia are virtually unrecognizable by the time a 60 year construction boom begins to slow to a normal pace. This era of prosperity and cultural growth marks the beginning of a wider recognition for Torent and and it's capital as an entity and is a timely pre-cursor to the next phase of it’s history. The small kingdom shines, commanding a certain amount of respect from neighboring lands, most importantly the powerful and expanding Antaran Empire. Perhaps it is this scaled down Antaran emulation that allows the nation certain privileges in years to come.
- As the population expands, the kingdom begins importing more grain and livestock and focuses on exporting mainly finished non-food items; glazed tiles, jewelry, pottery, glass, fine textiles, cotton cloth and wine.
- Antaran religious influence during this period is impossible to ignore. Arkanism, fueled by the new love for all things Antaran and already firmly entrenched in Torentine culture, sees its numbers explode in the urban centers of the kingdom.
Period of Collaboration 863-1288
- As the economy and culture flourishes in the small Kingdom of Torent, the surrounding region is being engulfed by the spreading Empire of Antara. King Syte I of Torent witnesses the standardization of currency, increased trade and overall prosperity this expansion brings with it. In 863, seeing the envelopment of his kingdom by Antara as imminent, King Syte and the Emperor of Antara compose and sign the Imperial Association Concord marking the union of the Kingdom of Torent and the Empire of Antara. Under the agreement Torent will retain it’s nobility, and function as a Grand Barony allowing a fair degree of home rule.
- During this period of over 500 years, Torentine society begins to look more like the orderly Antara. The union with Antara brings assured stability and cushions the hardships of the Acmorian Winter. By 1050 the city of Torentine has grown into the primary trading center in the northwestern Antaran Empire and a springboard for northwest expansion.
- Since around 700 CE, Torentine’s economy has been tied to Antara’s. This trend continues as goods funnel into the Empire through Torentine’s busy Vandera Bazaar. Bustling trade makes many a Tor rich establishing a new high-society. Countless artisans make their homes in Atia, Torentine and Bastett marking an artistic resurgeance. Exports of the region include; porcelain, jewelry, paintings (esp. portraits and miniatures}, glass, textiles, finished cotton goods, wine and fish.
- Antaran religion continues to weave it’s way into the tapestry of Torentine culture. By 1200 nearly half of the population practice Arkanism in some form or another. Baron Turboran I, "The Builder", begins construction of the magnificent Western Temple of Arkanon in the city of Torentine (1178-1205), as well as temples in Atia and Miotine.
Colonial Age 1288-1641
- It is nearly 70 years after Ferdinand Lusiora discovered the continent of Lusitierra. While the Aspenish Empire is thriving on the continent, eastern regions of this fertile new land lay largely untouched. The Antaran government decides to sieze the opportunity. Beginning in 1288 they finance a total of 3 Torentine led expeditions to the continent, the first of which is Led by Baron Metris II of Torentine who is held in high esteem by the Emperor. Although the first colony of Taranis (1296-1301) is destroyed by the Lusitain Pasco tribe, the second colony of Enali (est. 1299) proves to be a success. By 1348 the effort has secured the second permanent colony of Grand Bay and claims over 1000 miles of Lusitierran coastline for Antara. By 1641 the Antaran Empire controlls a significant portion of eastern Lusitierra with seven, thriving colonies and numerous forts.
- Torentine's proximity to the southwest currents makes access to Lusitierra relatively easy. In 1488 upon the Lusitierran colonial bicentennial, a respectful gesture is bestowed upon Baron Graf I of Torentine giving him the limited governorship of the Lusitierran holdings. The Baron is to decrease corruption, improve efficiency, promote and further develop the economy of the colonies as well as keep the Aspenish to the west at bay.
Age of Advancement 1641-1798
- Wealth flowing in from Lusitierra fills the coffers of Torentine. The Baron's colonial sugar empire as well as thriving coal, lumber, fish and whaling industries fuel the booming economy. Management of these industries and the colonies has ushered in a new era of perpetual sea travel resulting in large commercial and naval fleets under Torentine command. In the cities of Atia and Torentine we see the construction of universities which will eventually bring education opportunities closer to home. As the cohesion of the massive Antaran Empire begins to waver, Torentine thrives.
- In 1792 urged by the people, Grand Baroness Amranila II petitions for Torentine's independence which is politely denied, and again in 1795. However, in 1798 Antara grants the kingdom independence making Amranila II the first Queen of Torent in over a millennia. As much due to internal changes and restructuring as a reward for unwavering loyalty, Antara unexpectedly confers the Lusitierran holdings and claims to the new nation as a perpetual trust in exchange for Torentine's continued allegiance. Several limited and reasonable terms favoring Antara are attached to the endowment including a percentage of colonial revenues and a controlled trade agreement for the next 100 years.
Age of Triumph 1798 -1965
Age of Inactivity 1965 - 2070
Age of Progress 2070 - Present