Britannia

From The Shire
Jump to: navigation, search

The continent of Britannia (also known as Old Britannia) was home to a civilization that existed from approximately 250 PSY to 1679 CE. The Britannian people are also the main demographic of the Republic of Orange and Purple, which was created after the destruction of Old Britannia by the Kingdom of Fulfwotz. While the Britannians were never at peace for very long periods of time, they were surprisingly advanced despite being a group of constantly warring city states, and their cultures, ethnicities, and languages still survive in the Republic of Orange and Purple.

History

Britannia was never a nation. Rather, it was a confederation of tribes who populated the lands of Britannia, the peninsular continent to the south and west of the Republic. The Britannians were descendents of the slaves of Xamichia, shipped across hundreds of kilometers of unknown land, only to arrive in the already-collapsing Xamichine Empire. As the Empire decentralized, many of the slaves of Britannia began to revolt, forming a slave army known as the Britannian Coalition. The leaders of the coalition vanquished two whole legions of Thrennexians and allied forces at the Battle of Grinvalde in 102 PRY (in modern day Groenevelden), and thus expelled the Old Sammichian Empire from the Britannian continent.

The triumph of the Britannians over the Empire was short-lived however, as the power vaccuum led to long periods of war between the Britannian leaders, who factionalized based on old cultural connections. The Britannians splintered into separate provinces, each relegated to their section of the continent. The Westers, residing in the Western tip of Britannia, never settled, and decided to sail out of the Shire to the West in approx. 98 CE, where they settled in a city known only as "Westen Aarde". The Nooters and Zeeders settled in the North, in the forests and fields near modern-day Groenevelden and South Paarsdam. The Suuths occupied the most territory, taking the entire southern peninsula as well as the land left behind by the Westers when they took to the sea. The Eestis occupied the areas around the Phobon mountains, from the fields of Phobon and the forests of Amica, to the swamps near Pearl Beach. In the center of the continent was the Riverland, a highly-contested and bitterly disputed fertile territory, which would prove to be the most desired location of them all.

The First Federation

According to archaelogical finds and cultural research, the seeds of the First Federation sprouted around 560 CE. The First Federation was formed between the Nooters and the Zeeders as an alliance to curb the strength of the Suuth, which had annexed the Riverland. The Eestis were meanwhile dealing with internal strife from an influx of Enpeecee peoples escaping the persecution of Fulfwotzian armies in the Demmatrodine. A bloody war followed the alliance, with the Zeeders and Nooters coming out on top, thanks to a seaborne invasion by the Zeeders to the West. A puppet of the Federation was established in the Riverland, remembered as the False Rivermensen, which became a part of the Federation immediately. The Suuth were forced to remain in the West and South of the continent.

The next 600 years were marked by alternating periods of war and peace. Negligible contact and trading was made with the Sammichians in the South, nor the Mainland civilizations to the East, but the Nooters and Zeeders began trading extensively with Caffa, Valenciennes, Sargoth, Vadam, and Knavobuki to the North. The Suuth traded over sea with the peoples of modern-day Avignon and Tomoya, as well as with overland merchants from Sol. The city states of Birkenwald and Little Wangleton also arose around this time, and were regular trading partners with all of Britannia.

The Eestis could not sustain their sovereignty after the Enpeecee crisis, and were annexed swiftly by the Suuth. In 1234 the Suuth declared an all-out invasion of the Federation, and a bloody and devastating war ensued between the tribes, lasting over 70 years, with sporadic truces every five to twenty years. The arrival of the Delphic Coven only complicated matters, as they refused to trade with nor assist the Nooters nor the Zeeders, as they considered them to be less powerful than the Suuth. After decades of war, the Suuth came out on top, thanks to the manpower of the Eestis and state of the art Galleys.

The Suuth conquered the Riverland and set up their own government, this time as rulers of the entire continent. They forced the First Federation to dismantle and subjugated the Nooters and Zeeders, thus forming the Second Federation. The birth of the Republic's rivalry with Caffa begins here, as the monumentally wealthy Caffans refused to provide any military aid to the Nooters or Zeeders, despite constant awareness of the dire situation, and a favorable outcome guaranteed should they have joined the war or sent mercenaries. The Caffans were hated universally for their supposed betrayal, as they were naively considered allies before this occasion, despite no physical evidence of such.

The Second Federation

The Second Federation (or Suuth Federation), under the control of the Britannian Suuths, was a federation only in name and more resembled a sort of Feudal Despotism presiding over the rest of Britannia. The history of the Second Federation was well documented by the Britannians who escaped Sammichian decimation in the late 1600s CE. Founded soon after the 70 Year War in 1311, the Suuth ruled the Federation from their capital, Suerdem, on the Southern Peninsula. The Suuth immediately cut off all trade with Caffa, which proved a popular move among the conquered peoples. The Suuth expanded the Southern trade system to include the cities of Keikei Bay and for the first time, made contact with the Kingdom of Fulfwotz for the first time in Paris in 1427. Seen as a backwater tribe of the North, the Suuth were largely ignored by the Sammichians, who were by far the proudest nation of the Demmatrodine region at that time. They managed to establish trade with the Solurians, however, which led to advances in shipbuilding and urban planning technology for the Britannians.

In 1498, several Eesti and Suuth merchants were out late in the streets of Knavobuki, having drunk too much at a local tavern. Two Caffan guild members were also out that night, waiting for a shipment of melons to arrive by horse from Clementine. Insults were exchanged and an argument ensued, and once the shipment arrived, a cart of melons was ransacked by the Britannians. Word reached Caffa within three days, and an embargo was issued against the Second Federation. The hotheaded Suuth bypassed the other Britannians and immediately declared war, beginning the Melon Cart War of 1498.

The Melon Cart War lasted seven days. The Nooters and Zeeders, aware that Caffa's navy could outfight even the massive, technologically advanced fleet of the Britannian Federation, withdrew their ships from the armada in the dead of night before battle. In the Battle of the Sargoth Sea, off of the island city state of Sargoth, the Caffan navy decisively defeated the combined Suuth and Eesti naval forces, obliterating over 75% of the entire Britannian armada. To this day, the site of the battle is a treasure trove for divers and explorers, as much of the wealth of the Suuth people went down with those ships. The rest of the navy was either scuttled in the islands of the Western Sea or escaped home to Suerdem, where they were met with the utmost chagrin. The Britannians accepted a white peace with Caffa, who figured they didn't need to enforce any demands on the Federation, as they were already crippled by the war.

The Second Federation descended into chaos immediately afterwards. Angry mobs stormed the castle of the Suuth King, Amadei, and forced him to retreat to the Riverland, where he assembled an army and crushed the revolt. Sensing weakness, Zeeder merchants began paying mercenaries and privateers to raid villages in the Riverland and West, causing death and devastation throughout those areas. After some tribal revolts in the east were quelled, King Amadei invaded and occupied Zeeder with his army, planting it directly in their capital city of Purpur. The merchants did not take kindly to this, and began paying Nooter men to seize government facilities in their capital of Grinvalde. With the army in shambles and the royal coffers empty, Amadei committed suicide by lightening rod after contracting rabies from his hunting dog, Zipr in 1530 CE, thus ending the Second Federation.

Third Federation

The Third Federation (or Final Federation) was the union of the Nooter, Zeeder, and Eesti in the wake of the collapse of the Suuth Federation in 1531 CE. As the Suuth nation tore itself apart with insurrection and corruption, the Northern states began consolidating their territories after years of foreign control. Grinvalde grew to incorporate the entire peninsula it was on, and Purpur experienced a shipbuilding boom, and the rise of gunpowder manufacturing in the city. The Eesti finally managed to settle their differences with the Enpeecees, helping to form the settlement that is now Amica. A wave of peace swept over the northeastern half of the continent for the first time in almost 300 years. Crops regrew, the Rivermensen gained their sovereignty and joined the Federation, trade in the Western sea flourished (despite ongoing rivalry with Caffa), and entire generations were born and died free.

The grave mistake of the Third Federation, however, was allowing the Suuth to remain sovereign at this time. Throughout the southwest, splinter factions, zealots, pretenders, and particularists all competed for power with the monarchy, which resorted to paying off whoever was the weakest in order to kill those who were stronger. This led to a rise in reactionary paramilitaries, including the notorious Hunter Corps (Dutch: Jagercorps). The Corps led expeditions into the countryside, terrorizing farmers and townspeople who were too weak from famine to fight back. They raped, pillaged, and looted their way into Little Wangleton territory. The witches of the Delphic Coven cast a spell to keep the scourge from attacking the town, but this only made the Jagercorps more determined. They infiltrated the village by night and committed hate crimes and assaults against witches young and old. They snuck in during crowded market days, blending in amongst the Zeeder and Eesti merchants and consumers, and defiled houses and stands of those who harbored the witches. The Delphic Coven began casting spells to differentiate these witch hunters from the rest of the crowd, to be arrested on the spot.

When a rogue witch who had had enough harassment struck back by sinking a ship filled with Jagercorps mercenaries bound for Taynia in 1653, the rest of the army hatched a plan, then disbanded. Over the next few years, the Jagercorps infiltrated the Delphic Coven, lulling them into a sense of security. In 1670, the first Witch Trial was held across the river from Little Wangleton in a village near the Riverland. Over the next five years, over 130 witches would be sentenced to death by the Jagercorps, including former Corps members themselves. The Third Federation attempted to squash the out-of-control behavior, but the Jagers would disappear into the forests and hills, and Trials had now extended from the Jagercorps to the Little Wangletonians themselves, who blamed the witches for the chaos. The Third Federation looked to the Suuth monarch to stop the violence, but the response was uncaring and even supportive from the halls of Denguus III. International outrage was widespread, from Caffa to Sol, from Fulfwotz to Knavobuki.

In 1674 CE, the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, having newly acquired the colony of Activia, caught wind of the Trials and immediately blamed the Third Federation, unaware of the fact that Suuth still existed as a sovereign state condoning the Trials. The Sammichians annexed Little Wangleton in 1675, and stationed a 4,000-man garrison of colonial soldiers in the town. It was discovered at this time that the subject of one of the Witch Trials was none other than King Tophaeres III's daughter and heir. The King blamed the Federation, not knowing the Suuth's involvement in the crisis. Some historians believe that at this time, the King had already made up his mind to take military action, as drafts of mobilization were already being written for unknown reasons in Fulfwotz in early 1676.

The Sammichian contingent was better equipped and better trained than most of the Third Federation's army and all of the Suuth forces, and this greatly impressed the Jagercorps. Their bloodlust led them down from the mountains to the Federation side of the Wangleton River, where on a crowded market day, 750 Jagercorps soldiers wearing Federation and Suuth uniforms fired two musket volleys onto soldiers and civilians in the town, killing 18 and wounding 3. The garrison responded by organizing and firing back, killing 7 and wounding 12 Corps members. The Jagercorps retreated, but left behind the wounded, who all claimed to be Britannian regulars from both armies. Fulfwotz took this to be fact and declared war on all of Britannia on October 12th, 1676.

The Destruction of Old Britannia

Full article: The Britannian War

The Britannian War was fought throughout the continent as initial clashes between the Little Wangleton garrison and the Federation gave way to full-scale total war. General Amicus Hasa, a colonial veteran and zealous commander of the Sammichian forces in Britannia was brutal in his initial conquests. In late 1676 and early 1677, he crushed the armies of the Eesti at Phobon valley, and razed the 1,000 year old city of Eastport to the ground, enslaving thousands, and forcing the rest to settle among the Enpeecee populations around Amica. Attempts to take Little Wangleton by Federation forces were thwarted by the superior arms and tactics of the garrison, despite a 5:1 advantage.

The Suuth King's attention was captured by news that the Jagercorps was slaughtered by Hasa's forces, and at the head of an army of 35,000, he rode to battle Hasa's legion. In the Second Battle of Phobon, not only was the Suuth army completely crushed, but the King himself was killed by a Sammichian crossbow. Hasa had been given an army of 15,000 ill-behaved and criminal Fulfwotz colonial soldiers before the battle by request from the King, and their murderous actions began to show during his march through the Riverlands. Mass atrocities took place, such as pillaging, looting, razing and burning villages and crops, and enslavement of Rivermensen. By the time the "Legion Xamichine" (as they called themselves) reached Tyne, the Riverlands government seat, the city had been abandoned. Many Rivermensen fled north to their Federation allies, and west to Portroyal and Suerdem.

Hasa made several attempts to attack the North, as they were the primary combatants left in the war, but he and his Caffan ally, Commodore Graziano, were defeated in the battles of Grazigberg and Wangleton Bay, respectively. Unable to make a decisive crush of the Federation, in 1678 Hasa invaded the Suuth, and continued his horrific campaign of merciless slaughter. While many Suuth refugees escaped to locations abroad, the majority of the population were enslaved, or died from famine and massacres. Entire cities were put to the torch, and in the last major military action of the war, Suerdem was besieged for 5 months and then assaulted, resulting in the final destruction of the Suuth civilization. Most of the remaining civilians and soldiers were enslaved or exiled, if they had not already died during the siege.

The war descended into a stalemate, with occasional skirmishes and sabotage operations here and there, but by the end of 1678, the King decided that the war had been enough, and relieved Hasa of his post. The Treaty of Activia on July 25th, 1679 concluded the conflict, and brought a formal end to the Old Britannian era.

The Continent of Britannia Today

There is not much left of the civilizations of Suuth, Eesti, and the Riverlands. Suerdem was left in uninhabitable ruins by Hasa, and today is a memorial to the history of Britannian civilizations past. The Republic of Orange and Purple was formed one year after the war, and with it a constitution protecting all current and future citizens of that country. Construction of the great city of Paarsdam was begun in 1682, where the heart of the Republic now lies.

The city of Phobon, in the valley of its name, was founded in the late 1600s by Eesti refugees, where it now hosts the largest Britannian population outside of the Republic. Archaeological excavations throughout the continent continue to shed light on the conflict, but as nature retakes much of the old civilizations, the artifacts become more difficult to discover as time progresses. Today much of the continent has returned to nature, and continues to be sparsely inhabited by Britannians and Shirelings at large.