“Aras, Vrassas ir, khur Tyisici, Erineas cujide.”
|Category: Left-wing Utopia|
Regional Influence: Apprentice
Location: the South Pacific
With the destruction of Cata varsea, the administrative centre of the civilisation known as Khera Varsad, Erinoran civilisation quickly fell into chaos, with little remaining of the once great empire within a few decades.
This occurred for several reasons, but first and foremost, in this historian’s opinion, was that, unlike the Serevans of that time, the Massim Varsad had no system of writing. This is one of the reasons we know so little about them, even to the point that we have no idea what they called themselves. All information was conveyed through elaborate imagery in their architecture, through a complicated system of knots, or through verbal communication. The problem with these methods is that, to ensure reliability, all of these required great skill, training and specialisation and it is understood that Khera Varsad centralised much of this in Cata varsea, so, when Khardo nyaveo buried the capital in ash in 346, most of the Erinoran administration went with it, as well as most of their knowledge.
It is believed that there were a number of other cities which served as regional centres of administration of ‘literacy’, such as the city known as Cata Terakhod cireo, now a collection of bleached ruins in the shadow of the Khardar cirear to the North of Erinor, whose intricately sculpted monumental architecture is suggestive of considerable knowledge and skill. These cities would have become immensely important in the early days after the eruption, but this sudden shift in significance would also have made them extremely vulnerable as the regions tried to decide which was the true successor to the empire.
At Cata Terakhod cireo the evidence clearly tells the story of how the city fell: not to neglect or social factors, but to armed attack. Chipped stonework tells the tale of thrown spears, the heads of some of which have been discovered buried a few feet down, amidst a layer of charcoal and ancient bone fragments. Cata Terakhod cireo, whatever it might once have been called, was destroyed with fire and violence, its citizens apparently massacred.
Serevan sources from this period back this up, although they remain reluctant to speak of their Erinoran neighbours in more than a few terse phrases. They are referred to as “The Butchers” and their nations as “The Inland Chaos”. There is much to suggest that the Serevans were not entirely detached from the disintegration of Khera Varsad, however. Serevan coastal settlements from the Fourth Century onwards are clearly built on the scarred ruins of Varsan cities, themselves captured from the Serevans years before. Indeed, the Serevans not only reclaimed the coastline of the Erinoran basin during this period but made inroads along the Qassar Syiranad, reaching as far as the modern town of Qassoro, where the river is joined by its last major tributary. It has been posited that for the latter part of the fourth century and most of the fifth century CE, the Serevans were actually the dominant people in the Erinoran basin, something which had not occurred either before, or since.
Meanwhile, the Erinorans tore themselves apart, splitting into smaller and smaller factions as they fought over the remnants of their once-proud empire. By the start of the fifth century CE nothing remained of Khera Varsad but ruins and even many of these were torn apart for building materials over the centuries that followed. During this period, small kingdoms and city states rose and fell, one after the other, all across the Erinoran basin. Some groups became nomadic, living as their ancestors had before the great civilisations. Others tried to recreate the past with stone cities and attempts at empire, but with the knowledge of the past lost to them and too much competition from other groups, as well as the Serevans with whom they were at war with as often as not, little came of the expansionist powers.
One part of Erinoran culture did begin to flourish during these chaotic times, however. Whilst the exact origins of Revara are a mystery, to say the least, it’s clear that the religion was founded sometime during the fifth century CE. Appropriating imagery from the Varsan temples as well as, perhaps, some of the mythology of ancient Serevan animism, Revara quickly developed its own character and, it is believed, thanks to the Serevan connection which may have brought its ideas into being, it also introduced writing to Erinoran culture for the first time, with written accounts of the origins of the world and of many of the myths of the Revanim appearing in books which have been dated as far back as the mid-sixth century.
This combination of powerful ideas and the ability to record and control knowledge meant that the Revara religion spread rapidly between most of the Erinoran states and groups, with those outside of Revara being easy prey for those on the inside. Indeed, the few alliances recorded by the Amlassar Revarad, or Priest of the Dream, involved small nations banding together to either convert or destroy those who did not embrace Revara. Of course this also included the Serevans, and the progress that the Serevan nation had made into inland Erinor was rapidly reversed as coalitions of Revaran Erinorans pushed them back to the coastline.
The influence of Revara on Erinoran culture and identity cannot be over-estimated and, whilst no unified Erinoran state existed during the period between the fall of Khera Varsad in the fourth century CE and the creation of Arutyarca Erinead, the Kingdom of Erinor, by Syarkho Qenarid in the twelfth century, the Amlassar Revarad served all Erinoran peoples across the basin and the Amlasso vaelyareo, the high priest, outranked any king. The term Massim Erinead, the people of Hope and the origin of the national name Erinor, began to be used by the Amlassar to describe the nations who were, very lightly, united by Revara.
Revaran art and literature began to flourish in the latter centuries of the first millenium and hundreds of small Menar, or temples were built across the many nations of Erinor, all in crudely approximated Varsan style.
It was during this period that the romantic idea of a Revaran Khera Varsad took root and the quests for the lost city of Cata varsea and its gateway to Syirana first took root. By the twelfth century it had become the theme of many an Erinoran court, with palaces decked out in as much gold as the increasingly briefly enthroned kings could get their hands on. Epic poems told of quests that had probably never taken place, or of the last days of the city, before the Dreamers took it with them to Syirana. These tales idealised adventure and the heroes who undertook such, although there is very little evidence of Erinorans straying very far outside their basin and contact with other indigenous peoples during this period was limited to occasional trade and brief skirmishes, which the Erinorans usually lost.
Still, it was probably reading works such as these that a young prince, whose name may have been Feoldo Ratyanod - although the records are particularly hazy about his early youth - became inspired to leave Erinor and seek adventure for himself. His journey has become a legend and it is difficult to tell fact from fiction for much of it, but when he returned to Erinor with an army from many of the diverse indigenous nations he had either served or passed through, he would soon be crowned King of all Erinor. His name was, of course, Syarkho Qenarid, the Dragon of Winter, and his reign would begin a new era of prosperity and influence for an Erinor, which had become united at last.