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Writing Civil Sahara


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"It wasn't all that long ago they put us out, boys. They called us [i]nah berakiunek[/i], cursed few, yeah? Now, they will call us the 'cursed horde' because the Northerners have given us what we need for our retribution.

We've lived too long apart from the old ways. Our fathers fought the [i]Alghir Eslami[/i] until they could no longer hold their own swords. Too long have we scrounged from this island refuge for the scraps of other civilizations.

But now, we are many. Now, we have a fleet of warships. We were first outcasts. Then, pirates. Then, traders. But now, we will have a nation of our own. Let no Ahnsan, man, khun-asham, nor any other being under the sun or beyond her doubt the strength of the Ahnsan of Alqadeh, whom the men from the north call black elves."

More leaflets. They were everywhere these days. From Markez to Halacat, and even in what little rural country was left on this over crowded island, Oman Ghur.

It had been more than three thousand years since the Syliirians had forced the ancestors of our people out of the Land of the River, the Holy River, it was said. People like whomever had written that last leaflet made a good show of nationalism, but honestly, it's not something we have in surplus.

Take me for example: I don't speak much of the old languages. I speak the language of the Cellvar Empire--the Northmen. All of us do.

But now--who knows why--the Rahbar have decided they want to claim their old lands in the Syliir Valley. They're using crusader speak to try and gain the support of the people.

I'm just a sergeant in the merchant fleet marines. If we go to war, though, I'll get mine.

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  • 1 month later...
[i]What a fucking day. I hate road patrol. Especially between the northern towns. This is the Wild North.

It's strange to me that this 'august empire' can rule far flung territories like the Jagas, or Oman Ghur, but not even the whole of its own continent. We know more about the Old World, and rule more of it, than we do the New, which provides us our shelter from the Old.

And that's why I hate these northern territories. We should leave them to whatever ghosts it is that want them.

There are whispers, you know--among the townsfolk up here. They say that the Wyri live here...or did, in any case. That's their explanation for the pyramids.

You should see them. Most aren't that big--though, some are--but they're perfect. I took geometry and trigonometry at the University and these things are perfect. I was also at Marzhoth, though briefly, and I saw the pyramids both there and at Jaga. Those are far inferior to these, though, admittedly, far older.

But they do smack of a similar style. Not like those ziggurats of the Southern Gates in Wastes of Galur, but smooth, like cut diamond. Young enough, still though, that the stench of the builders seems to linger.

I'm not one for fairy tales or killers beyond the wood, but these were build by an interesting, and advanced, culture.

Which is why I don't buy the concept that the Wyri, if they still exist, built them. Were they here, on this side of the World, it wouldn't be a surprise. But, loathed as they are, they are still of our blood. They should've long spread throughout this land, as our kin have done throughout the ages since the War of the Seat all those centuries ago.

Which brings the only logical conclusion any thinking man may make: They are not here. And if they are not here, they likely are not anywhere. Our people followed the dream of annihilating the Wyri as far as the southern side of the Midsheld before we simply began exploring for its own sake, I think. But chasing that old myth should be quite beyond us now.

I can tolerate the superstitions of a few far flun colonists. But I cannot abide this notion taking root among my garrison. I've already sent for archeologists to dispel this notion and begin the study of these relics for the sake of science.[/i]

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  • 5 weeks later...
This is an account from the ruins of old Jaga:

"[B][U]On the Origin of the Oris[/U][/B]

The Oris. The very name encourages thoughts of anger and disdain in the ears of our people. However, my purpose is not politics. I wish to present a scientific hypothesis on the origin of our cultures oldest rival.

One would be hard pressed to draw a line from the Seyas that inhabit the distant island Goor to the Orisi polyarchs that answer to Mar-xoth simply by sight. Of that, there's not much doubt.

However, I present to you, a briefing on the parallels in the mythos of each as my first evidence of a shared origin:

The Seyas--whom common folk called black elves--are a seafaring people by virtue of necessity. As such, their chief deity is also, necessarily, one of the sea. They call him Daryaban.

Now, the Oris--orcs, to most--have no chief deity. And they honor thousands of gods in total. However, they honor a tribunal of gods that represent the sea. The figure which represents the sea's calm state is call Sol-darya. In addition, his father is called Sarnav, and was the..."

As far as imperial archaeologists have found, this is the oldest human attempt to define the Orisic nation and the orcs as a people. It is, unfortunately, quite incomplete.

As always, research into the lost civilization of Jaga continues, in so far as we are allowed to do so by the Confederated Cities of Marzhoth.

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[i]"By Order of Elder of the Eastern Star, Burn After Reading:

I hope you realize how much trouble has come at your expense, so that you might receive the piece of paper you hold in your hand.

As you well know, our Order has existed these millenia to ensure the safe-guarding of our people's oldest treaty; that is, the Call to Fight of the Council of the Star and Raven. Our ancient obligation to rise up and fight for the Wyri nation should the time come that the Northmen find them.

That time is close at hand.

We have it on good authority that the Fog will soon be lifted, and the Wyri's safe haven in the North of the Cellvar continent will be exposed to every wandering Northman pissing in the wood.

And they have communicated to us that they will no longer run.

This will not be an easy task, to say the least. In the intervening centuries the Northmen have become a powerful force. They have conquered our people twice, and have been our overlords now for nearly three hundred years.

Moreover, the continent that is the home of the Cellvar Empire is on the other side of the world, making any serious incursion against them difficult in the extreme.

A thousand years ago, we might have been able to summon an army to assault Middensheld City, or perhaps we might have sent an armada to siege the Northmen's ancestral homeland, Norsong.

But now, after three continuous centuries of political, cultural, and economic domination, we are not the men we once were. But we have a plan.

We're going to send a squadron of fast attack ships, and we're going to send them east. Rather than sail around the whole of Woadsheld--where we'd be subject to being seen on either side--or marching what forces we have to some continental target, we're going to attack the Citadel City directly.

This may sound like suicide, and it may well be; but it is already in motion. We'll need you to move, precisely as directed in one final communication that is no doubt en route as you read this. There will be a package with this forthcoming letter. Take care with opening it. Use it wisely.

Remember how they shamed our people at Grygg. Remember how they purge the town of Ohmn. Most of all, remember who you are: An Asir. An Asir subject to no Northman."[/i]

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Understand the urgency; this is not a joke. Elders came back today, ashen faces.
They could not extend the Veil. Treearch said no deal, couldn't interfere anymore. We're on our own.

We have nowhere to run. Everyone is talking. Saying go back to Norsong. That won't work. Saying go around and south to Galur and hide in the desert. But we'd have to fight the Ryn tribe Goblins there and that'd would attract attention.

Not to mention the Imperial Navy. The sea is theirs now.

We have ten days before the Fog is lifted and the way is no longer shut. The Nation of Unon may decide to help, they may not, but in any case, we're going to have to fight.

I want you to get the men ready for a night time incursion. There is a town called Nearwood on the westernmost border with the Fogwood. We're going to hit them there on the morning of the eleventh day, before sunrise.

I hope that will send them gallivanting off in that direction, looking for a phantom. When that happens, we'll most a full offensive due south at the northern garrison, and a naval incursion at night to Westsheld En Port.

We can only win by attack.

Long stand we snakes,

Brigade Chief Gnikal

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From the memoirs of the sea captain Lynn, High Thane of the Galur Coast and Captain of the Jade Trident:

[i]"I am a rare individual, now in my age. Not because I am a Northman, or a gentleman; but because I think myself rare not for these things.

You see, I have had, in my long life, the opportunity to see much of the world. And to live on the very frontier of the so-called 'civilized' world. We Northmen take our superiority as granted. Whether by virtue of our color, our vigor, or our 'superior' mental faculties, we are a people bestriding the world and declaring ourselves over all other races, beings, and peoples.

But I know quite different. You see, we all know of our brethren, those who live by the 'Old Custom'. That is, those sons of Norsong who choose not the bestride the world and rule it and all its peoples, but rather to live as all our people did thousands of years ago--as barbarians.

Those who choose a life of plundering anything within sailing distance, and each other.

We hold them, however, not as we hold, say, the men of the Red Hills in Oman Galur. Those men who've come out of the deserts and jungles to serve and learn from our colony on the coast. They, it is our common belief, live an inferior existence. A conquered existence.

Yet those of the Old Custom back home in Norsong, are the 'noble barbarians' who choose a life closer to the ancestors. Living this way, in our minds, as a sacrifice.

We fought no war with the men of the Red Hills. We traded with them, and in the days of slavery, we exported and imported them to every far flung land within our hegemony.

But I have eaten with these men. Both those who speak the common tongue, and those further south who do not, but respect our 'friendship' with their more coast-bound kin.

I have seen the remnants of a civilization, vastly older than our own. One that serves to remind me of the Unons at Jaga, or even the Orcs at Marzhoth. And I have heard tales, so alike in every far-slung town and camp and village, yet without a scrap of it written on paper.

These tales tell of a time when the Old Custom was merely the day-to-day existence of our people. A time when we numbered barely enough to occupy our own aboriginal homeland. But at this time, these people of the sand and forest, rule an empire that makes our first attempts at empire blush.

They traded with Riverfolk; not the black elves of Oman Ghur, but the lofty and wise elves of the southeastern continent. They built mighty ziggurats to their gods that dwarf our temples even to this day.

And in this land without Treearchs to impose their indiscernible will upon them, they ruled the whole of their own continent.

It is unclear exactly what happened to their empire. In their oral tradition, they say a question of succession lead to a brutal civil war, and a great burning of forest and jungle in the south. Some time thereafter, a people their stories do not identify came up out of the deep jungles in the far south, and purged the ebon-skinned men from the forest and jungles and treed-lands throughout the continent.

That, couple with a disease they're convinced was unnatural in origin, appears to have been the cocktail that poisoned their great and learned empire.

And now we, in our conviction of righteousness, call them our vassals. Patronizing, we 'extend the hand of civilization, education, and modernization' to richest of them in exchange for stripping their lands of all value, and forcing the rest of them to live in squalor within the pathetic palisades we tattoo the open hills with.

Be careful, son to whom all my knowledge I pass. Take care daughter, to whom all my property goes. The rot which destroys all empires begins as the liquor of self-righteousness. Racism is the sore which evidences the disease of cultural bankruptcy.

I fear soon it will be we that stand with a thousand tribes set against us, disease within, and civil war without, and neither shall we long survive."[/i]

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