Xamichia (also known as the Old Sammichian Empire and Sammichia) was the first of the Sammichian dominions. It is the earliest-known civilization in history, with archaeological evidence suggesting civilization first developed on the continent of Thrennex around 2,800 PRY, with Xamichia being formed in approximately 2,350 PRY.. Over the course of much of the Pre-Reckoning Year era, Xamichia existed as one of the early Shire's most prominent entities. From its origins as a small coastal city to the largest empire in history, Xamichia still leaves a profound mark on much of the Shire even centuries after its collapse.
Dominating the ancient Shire for centuries, Xamichia existed as a monarchy in its early days, shifting into the autocratic empire it's known for. It was ruled by a variety of dynasties; among them include the Impe, Votnay, Telsid, Nylet, and Ich dynasties. Xamichia had its beginnings in the ancient city of Sarrimus (often anglicized to Ceriumuse), what is believed to have been the product of the merging of Sammichian vekaxa caravans. After gradually consolidating control over much of Thrennex, it began expanding outside of the continent. Through the use of military might and assimilation, Xamichia held unparalleled power and influence. It is often considered a historical hyperpower.
During its time, Xamichia established the largest slave trade in history, and is famous for its often brutal methods of annexation & colonization; the word 'annex' is derived from the Thrennexian word for 'claim'. Its chief language, Thrennexian, was spoken by the majority of the Shire at Xamichia's height, and it has heavily influenced modern English. By 800 PRY, it is believed that approximately 1/3 of the world's population lived under Xamichine (the older variant of Sammichian) rule. Xamichine power peaked at roughly 600 PRY, and began a gradual decline due to political instability, an inability to properly govern all of its territories, rebellions, and long-standing animosity from other states resulting in wars.
Fearing its collapse, Xamichia rebounded in the distressing Mandatux Imperatia (Imperial Mandate), the extremely-aggressive conquering of much of the central and southern Shire, and the enslavement of millions of the indigenous peoples. Its power was briefly restored, until the Great Epiphany of Empress Flux. Overcome with remorse for the empire's actions, she dissolved Xamichia into dozens of independent domains in 58 PRY. This marked the end of Xamichia; it was succeeded by the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, and later the present-day New Sammichian Empire.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Society
- 4 Culture
- 5 Technology
- 6 Dynasties
With our understanding of Thrennexian, we can deduce that Xamichia had a definite meaning in that language. The prefix Xam- meant "mighty" or "powerful", while the root word ich translates directly to "blood" (and is also the namesake of the Ich Dynasty). The suffix -ia was used to denote an area of land or a territory. Given this information, Xamichia translates to Land of Mighty Blood. This name was chosen following the Thressi-Sarrumusite Wars, and was likely used to stress the loss of life during the feuding between the cities of Sarrimus and Thressina.
The term Xamichine is used to describe things pertaining to the civilization of Xamichia, and is where the modern term Sammichian is derived from; it is unknown what Sammichians called their race before, but it is likely they did not yet have a concept of race and therefore identified with Xamichine.
The exact date and manner of the establishment of Sarrimus has been lost to history; however, archaeological evidence indicates that the surviving stone structures of the city were constructed around 2,300 PRY. Most historians believe some unknown event caused many of the nomadic vekaxa caravans to band together and settle in a permanent spot. Xamichine lore provides a mythological explanation for the city's creation.
Punix, the Xamichine Pantheonic god of wisdom and knowledge, and Sina, the goddess of nature, watched with pity as the ancient Sammichians suffered in the cold tundras of Thrennex. The once-fertile continent had been turned frozen by Imos, the king of gods, to punish the Sammichians for their irreverence. After Imos threatened them with banishment to the Void if they reversed his scourge, Punix and Sina instead took on the forms of Sammichians and cultivated an area of land in a relatively warmer part of Thrennex, working the land with divine tools to till the permafrost and creating seeds of vegetation that would thrive in the cold climate. They led the vekaxa to the garden, where they permanently settled and eventually created Sarrimus. Punix imparted the knowledge to farm the land unto the Sammichians, and Sina shaped the Sammichian hero Xenophon from a block of ice to rule and unite the people of Sarrimus. While this is a myth, recent geological evidence indicates that the area near the ruins of Sarrimus was, in fact, cultivated, though its likely this occurred during a 'warm age' of Thrennex and was done by ancient Sammichians themselves.
While much of Xamichia's early history is lost, it is believed that Sarrimus was ruled by a proto-monarchy; according to the ancient Xamichine historian Victes, Sarrimus was led by a Rex. The earliest known leader of the city was Issodenes Rex, who lived around 2,200 PRY. He was described in what is now known as the Tablet of Issodenes, a stone slab with boasts about his legacy carved into its face, written in an early form of Thrennexian. Little is known about his successors until 2,100 PRY, when clay tablets began to be used as opposed to slate, which was fragile. Cassiux Rex was apparently in power at the time, and Sarrimus was currently engaged in a conflict with barbaric vekaxa that repeatedly pillaged the city's farmland.
In roughly 1,975 PRY, these vekaxa merged into the rival city of Thressina. The two Sammichian cities on Thrennex were inherent enemies; while little is known about the culture of Thressina, art recovered from its ruins suggest it may have been a warrior culture as opposed to its more classical counterpart. Tensions between the cities rose after Meyenes Rex ascended to the throne of Sarrimus instead of his jealous twin brother, Celenex. Celenex convinced his brother to attack Thressina, and took control for himself when the city was conquered. The 18th century PRY saw the bloody Thressi-Sarrimusite Wars, which ended in 1862 PRY with the absorption defeat and absorption of Thressina into Sarrimusite territory. A name was chosen for the land the two cities held; Xamichia.
With the two cities united, Xamichia was able to begin expansion across the continent. As its government was restructured following the unification, Xamichia came to be ruled by a succession of kings; whereas the title of Rex was often won through intimidation and brute force by various Sammichian warlords, the new monarchical system allowed for the creation of the first dynasties. The legendary King Aggripedes is believed to have been the first ruler of Xamichia, establishing the Impe Dynasty as the royal family. During his rule, primitive art and music flourished, likely to obscure the devastation of the Thressi-Sarrimusite Wars. Aggripedes oversaw the construction of the Great Citadel of Ministrae in 1,923 PRY, one of the wonders of the ancient world and among the only remnants of Sarrimus that survives today. It is also understood that Aggripedes formed an archaic order of historians, who were tasked with the recording of history. This order divided Xamichine history into three distinct eras; Xamichine Unix, Xamichine Biae, and Xamichine Triex.
The Unix era lasted from 1,800 to 1,200 PRY. Despite Xamichia's new Thrennexian acquisitions, it did not develop the imperialism characteristic to the empire until the Biae era. Much detailed information about this time period has been lost, likely due to the Great Fire at Sarrimus which would destroy many historical archives in 822 PRY. It is believed that Unix saw the creation of a refined economic system; currency recovered from various sites around the ruins of Sarrimus and Thressina consist of silver coins likely depicting King Issodenes II, inscribed with Yotat Xenophenx es Hakt, Yotat Rexdoma Haktet. This translates to Your Ruler is Strong, Your Kingdom Stronger.
The creation of a currency as opposed to bartering and primitive trading led to the rise of an archaic economy in Xamichia. Now people could garner and maintain wealth in a less abstract form. Farms and mills outside of Sarrimus dating to 1,700 PRY suggest that the wealthier Xamichines cultivated the land to sell their crops and maximize their earnings. After such ventures proved incredibly successful, many others followed suit. However, the demand for labor soon outpaced supply. Desperate for a larger workforce, rich families would hire bands of mercenaries to roam the Thrennexian wild and kidnap Sammichians from rogue vekaxa or small uncharted villages. These Sammichians would then be brought back to Xamichia and enslaved.
Slavery in Xamichia was not based upon racial or ethnic lines (though in certain cases it could certainly be interpreted as such), but rather upon how civilized a people were. Outsiders were more often than not viewed as barbaric, and therefore subhuman. While it is unknown what Xamichines considered to be 'civilized', they believed their state to be the alpha-state, so it may have been that every other civilization was viewed as barbaric by the ancient Xamichines. Given this information, it is not surprising that they had established one of the largest slave markets of the ancient world before they even left their homeland. From this point until its collapse, slavery would be an integral part of Xamichia's culture.
In 1610 PRY, the first female ruler of Xamichia, Queen Pomanene, inherited the throne after the death of her older brother, Aggripedes IV. It is largely unknown if gender discrimination in Xamichia had never existed, allowing her to assume rule, or if her leadership simply laid the foundations for leniency in gender bias. Regardless, a sole female ruler during that point in history was incredibly rare, especially in Human civilizations.
Sarrimus was attacked by unified rogue vekaxa in 1,430 PRY, in retaliation for the kidnapping and enslavement of their people. These vekaxa were the last of those that remained outside of Xamichine jurisdiction, and even united were no match for the military superiority of Xamichia. In what is called the Great Slaving, thousands of Sammichians were enslaved; it is believed that there were so many slaves that the workforce swelled to an unsustainable size. Instead of freeing excess slaves, King Aggripedes V instituted the Moruta Nominae, or the death lottery; slaves chosen at random were executed to cull the population. The Moruta Nominae was an extremely divisive factor within the Xamichine community, and led to the opening of underground slave markets to spare the slaves death. The Moruta Nominae would be repealed and re-implemented a number of times throughout Xamichine history, mainly during times of overpopulation and famine.
The crowning of the legendary King Tophaeres the Imperator in 1,242 PRY laid the groundwork for the Biae era. Under Tophaeres, Xamichia's imperial ambitions were realized as it asserted its authority over the entirety of the Thrennexian continent. All vekaxa and villages were under the control of King Tophaeres. He is credited with giving Xamichia the means to dominate the rest of the Shire for centuries to come, and was canonized in the Xamichine Pantheon almost five-hundred years after his death. Upon the death of Tophaeres around 1,200 PRY, the throne was passed to his son Tophaeres II, and from this point onward, scholars believe the Biae era to have begun.
Tophaeres II was not believed to have been an effective ruler like his father; matters of state were of no interest to him as he pursued more scholarly ventures, like astronomy. In his stead, he allowed the Accradux Barxus Votnay, a representative of Thressina, to exercise great authority as his chief advisor. The Votnays were one of the most powerful families in Xamichia, possessing a great deal of influence within Thressina and at the top of the Xamichine caste. Barxus began to disregard Tophaeres II, and instituted a number of unpopular reforms without authorization from the actual king. It is said that when Tophaeres II dismissed him back to Thressina, Barxus killed him in a fit of rage, and then claimed that it was the will of Tophaeres II that he ascends to the throne until his brother Vontuves could arrive from Thressina (his son had died prior to this, meaning Tophaeres II had no direct heir); Barxus saw to it that he died along the way, and took the throne for himself. This established the Votnay Dynasty, and ended the reign of the Impe family.
The rule of the Votnay Dynasty proved to be very different from that of the preceding dynasty. King Barxus ruled with an iron fist, and reinforced the caste system that the ancient Sammichians had inadvertently created as their society evolved. At the bottom of the caste were slaves. Above them were common people, such as farmers, craftsmen, and midwives. Another tier above them were priests of the Pantheon and scribes, and finally the royal family's household at the top. King Barxus claimed direct descendency from the Xamichine god of war, Appox, and created a warrior caste called the Magistrax Militae, tasked with protecting the royal family and carrying out the King's orders without question.
The official language of Xamichia was Thrennexian, a language which conveys meaning largely through a system of affixes attached to root words, as opposed to word order. It is often called Unthet by ancient Xamichines, which translates to 'one tongue' or 'the one tongue' in English. Its grammatical rules, words, and alphabet served as a major influence for modern-day English, the global lingua franca. There were actually two variants of Thrennexian that were spoken; High Thrennexian (Accra Unthet), and Low Thrennexian (Sepra Unthet). Sepra Unthet was a bastardized version of its high counterpart, spoken by the lower classes. Use of Accra Unthet was reserved for the nobility and the wealthy, becoming a status symbol. The majority of official documents and public signage were written in Accra Unthet. Those who spoke the high language could understand the low language, but commoners did not have the luxury of knowing the high language; according to various records recovered from Xamichia, the punishment for a commoner using the high language was the removal of the tongue. It was considered shameful for a noble to use Sepra Unthet; even the ruler would not speak it during speeches or when they addressed their people. Instead, a court orator called a Accratasepra would be situated closer to the audience, translating as the ruler spoke.
Art, Music, and Literature
Games and Recreation
Xamichia was renowned for its technological feats. It was such an advanced civilization, that many nations would not reach its level of sophistication until as far as the 16th century, nearly 1,500 years after the collapse of Xamichia. Lost technology is still being rediscovered to this date. While we can only speculate on what allowed the civilization to progress so far ahead of its contemporaries, likely theories include the early adoption of a written language which allowed for the refined and lasting exchange of information, as well as the harsh climate of Thrennex stimulating development in order to survive.
As Xamichia came into contact with other nations and began trading, trade guilds were established. These guilds specialized in a certain field, such as masonry or astronomy, and were highly competitive. During the rule of more academic leaders such as King Pontulus II or Empress Praxithea, royal/imperial patronage in the form of monetary contributions would be bestowed upon guilds in order to either reward for or support inventions and breakthroughs. This encouraged progress, as guilds were not only competing for the financial assistance but for the attention of their ruler.
As the empire expanded and exercised its authority over much of the ancient world, ease of movement was vital for the transportation of goods, soldiers, and messengers. Xamichine engineers constructed a network of roads throughout the domain, radiating from the capital of Sarrimus. With the roads, maintaining the vast empire was much easier and efficient than traveling overland. While many of these roads have been reclaimed by nature over the millennia, portions of the modern-day Shire highway system are actually laid on top of ancient Xamichine roads, following the same routes.
Xamichine architecture was peculiar and imposing. Important public buildings, such as the Great Citadel of Ministrae (Citadux se Ministrae), were constructed of a white marble found beneath Thrennex, while the majority of other structures were built with a light-gray stone. Most of what we know about ancient Xamichine architecture comes from ruins, but Niflheim Palace contributes a great deal of insight, as it was constructed in traditional imperial style. x
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King Aggripedes proved to be an intelligent and well-rounded ruler; it is believed that he shifted Sammichian focus from glory and warring towards the arts, based on the large collections of fine vases and sculptures discovered from this era. Aggripedes also oversaw the construction of the basis of the Great Citadel at Priscillus, more commonly known as the Citadel of Ceriumuse. The methods of masonry used to construct the citadel was then used by Sammichian stonemasons to construct homes and public buildings. Slabs discovered inside of the citadel dated to Aggripedes's rule indicate that he may have refined the Thrennexian language, which was fragmented into different dialects when prehistoric Sammichians divided into vekaxa caravans. These slabs helped decipher and understand the ancient Thrennexian language, and were named the Aggripedean Slabs. King Aggripedes oversaw the expansion of Sarrimus, until his death in 2,289 PRY. He was succeeded by his son, Aggripedes II, who died only two years into his undocumented, ergo, uneventful reign. Rule was passed to his sister, Pomanene.
Queen Pomanene assumed rule in 2,287 PRY, and along with being the earliest known female ruler in the Shire, she is the first in Xamichia's history to set her sights on establishing Xamichia as an empire instead of a sole city-state localized around Sarrimus. In 2,280 PRY, Xenophon's Harbor was constructed along the coastline of Sarrimus where an primitive naval fleet was based; it was not utilized for trade, as the Sammichians had yet to encounter anyone of non-Sammichian descent and had not explored beyond Thrennex. Queen Pomanene's fleet explored the Sea of Aten, but no other civilizations were found; the Sammichians were relatively isolated. According to historians living at the time, people were angry at the queen for wasting valuable resources to build an ultimately useless navy. Such indiscretion prompted city-wide riots of the lower classes, many of whom were starving or homeless. The exact events of this riot are still unclear, but many historians speculate that Queen Pomanene was somehow killed (with others claiming she committed suicide, a claim just as valid) and rule was passed hastily to her infant son, Cassiux.
Beloved by Xamichia, King Cassiux was believed to have been a popular king during his time, although few documented details of his rule suggest that he was not thoroughly involved in the affairs of his kingdom. He was described as having an affinity for music, a claim supported by a prototype lute discovered in the ruins of the Citadel, engraved with his name, written as KΛΣΣIVX. Many courtesans describe him as having been charming and classically beautiful, yet apathetic and uninterested in his own rule. Despite this, Sarrimus experienced a stable and peaceful period under Cassiux. He died in 2,199 PRY from what modern historians speculate to have been pneumonia. His rule was passed to Adones, leading to the establishment of the Adones Lineage.
The Adones Lineage was a line of kings beginning with Adones the First, son of Cassiux, and ending with Adones VI, the last king to carry the name of Adones.
- Adones I - Adones I ruled from 2,199 to 2,173 PRY, and earned the modern-day nickname of Father of Empires. He expanded Xamichia to a size unseen and unpredicted by anyone, spanning nearly half of Thrennex (albeit a small continent) and established several villages as well, changing the status of Sarrimus from city-state to capital, and rendering it now unexchangeable with the term Xamichia. Some historians speculate that his massive achievements in advancing Xamichia was due in part to an effort to compensate for his father's lackluster and uneventful rule, and to restore competence and esteem to the Impe name, which he presumably succeeded in doing so. Upon his death in 2,173 PRY. he was entombed beneath the Citadel. His remains were exhumed and studied by scientists in 2006, and he was found to have stood at 6'6", and believed to have died from a form of tetanus.
- Adones II - Adones II succeeded his father and ruled as King from 2,173 to 2,149 PRY. He was commonly known as King Adones the Pious, as he did for religion what his father did for power. He brought the Sammichian Pantheon into mainstream culture, and constructed the Great Xamichine Temple of Imos, the Sammichian 'god of gods'. While the Sammichian Pantheon became more popular within the higher social classes, it took the lower class and peasantry a longer time to adjust to and accept the Pantheon. The Pantheon was then allegedly enforced as the state religion, an arguably unpopular move which heralded the decline of the rule of Adones II. Believing royal authority to be weakening, many hypothesize that the Impe family formulated the death of Adones II in order to allow Adones III to ascend to the throne. Adones II was believed to have been poisoned, and many claim that he died while in prayer to the Pantheon.
- Adones III - Unlike Adones II, Adones III sought to continue what his grandfather started; several other Thrennexian settlements were annexed and more land was claimed by Xamichia. Adones III was in power from 2,149 to 2,092 PRY. According to one account, Adones III was a skilled warrior and put his battlefield knowledge to good use by reforming the army of Xamichia around 2,130 PRY, diversifying its duties, such as adding an expeditionary legion. Unlike his father, Adones III showed little interest in advancing the Sammichian Pantheon, and even deconstructed the Great Xamichine Temple of Imos to build a different temple dedicated to Appox, the Sammichian god of war. Some claim this 'angered' Imos, and this led to the death of Adones III. It is unclear how he actually died.
- Adones IV - Adones IV is hailed as the king who refined Xamichia's system of currency; up until his reign, it is unknown what currency was used and how, but records indicate that under his rule, small wooden chips with their value carved into them were distributed by the ruling body. It is unknown what backed this currency and gave it value, but it was revolutionary as it stabilized the nation's primitive economy. He ruled from 2092 to 2066 PRY. Some historians claim that Adones IV was killed in a great fire. He was succeeded by his son, Adones V.
- Adones V - A rather insignificant king, modern historians mark his coronation as the beginning of the declination of the Adones lineage. Adones V ruled from 2066 to 2029 PRY. Based on evidence recovered from the time at which he ruled, it can be concluded that he mainly rode on the coattails of his predecessors, not concerning himself with any reformation of Xamichia's many still-flawed and rudimentary systems. Deemed ineffective, Sammichian historians recorded unrest in Sarrimus and desire for a stronger leader. His title was inherited by his son, Adones VI, the last king to carry that name.
Adones VI - Ruling from 2029 to 1980 PRY, Adones VI was believed to have been a bad ruler, as many court historians describe him as being a glutton and passive in the affairs of his kingdom. At this point, records suggest there was some sort of famine damaging crop yield, and much of Sarrimus starved while Adones VI feasted three times a day. Evidence also indicates he had a number of concubines reaching into the double-digits, and the list changed often; he would usually have them executed after a period of time. He was considered an embarrassment to the Impe Dynasty, and rule was passed to his infant daughter after his death since he had no sons.
On the throne from 1980 to 1899 PRY, Queen Hemisca ruled for almost her entire life and was the Impe who held rule for the longest amount of time. Her longevity in power was attributed to her devotion to the common people, historians say, and some even claim that she deconstructed the primitive naval fleet her predecessor, Queen Pomanene, wasted resources on, and used the materials to provide shelter to the poor. As well as being one of the few Sammichian humanitarians, she expanded upon the laws drafted by her ancestor, King Aggripedes, adding a revolutionary clause that forbid the use of slavery within Xamichia and proclaimed any enslaved person free. Unfortunately, many speculate this is what led to her death; the previous theory was that she died of old age, since 81 years old was significantly above the estimated life expectancy of roughly 50 years old for a (albeit middle-class) Sammichian at the time, but recently discovered court records explicitly mention her being murdered. It is very possible that a vengeful slave owner could have arranged the assassination of the Queen, since many court historians detailed the amount of unrest in Xamichia between freed slaves and former slave owners.
King Inigmax was notorious for undoing virtually all of his predecessor's laws during his rule, which lasted from 1899 to 1815 PRY. He was described