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History

History

Prehistory and the Invasion

Little enough is known about the state of the world before the Invasion that the time before it is usually referred to as prehistory. Little is known about prehistorical times, although it is conceded that a predominantly agrarian, ground-based civilization with spots of advanced technology existed on the planet.

The Invasion is generally understood to have been a massive attack on the planet by an alien expeditionary force; it is known that a small group of mighty heroes was able to stymie the Invaders until they switched from infiltration and subversion tactics, intended to enslave humanity, to all-out retaliatory attack in order to destroy that which they could not take. It is also generally known that the Invaders tried to xenoform the world by introducing deep life; how these two plans meshed together is a matter of debate for archeologists. The most current theory is that the Invaders unleashed the deep ecosystem with the intention of allowing it to consume the planet, and return with a later expedition that had the appropriate genetic kill-switch for the hostile parts of it -- whether the deep ecosystem was the native ecosystem for the Invaders or not is not known. Either way, this event greatly changed the known world's geography. A minority view is that this world used to belong to the Invaders, and that humanity's presence on it is is the result of a human counterattack fleet whose crew won the ground war but had no means to return to space. The Vortex is seen alternatively as a natural event, a way for the Invaders to contain the only remaining human enclave, or a human reterraforming device that went out of control.

Calendar

Despite Tsuxian hostility to the Stream population, their state is recognized to be the oldest continuous human culture in existence; their calendar registers the current year as being 1985 years After Delegation, the supposed revelation of the Celestial Bureaucracy to the Twilight Council that preceded the current Tsuxi government. The Invasion is accepted as having occurred shortly after, the Tsuxi government claiming to directly descend from the covert organization that led the initial fight against the Invaders. The Tsuxi claim that they were successful in repelling the Invaders by stealth and surgical strikes for a thousand years, although few outside the Plateau believe that. Most religious services refer to years since the birth or death of a prophet, and most civil functions count years from the first settlement on the land, but an offset to the main calendar is usually provided. The calendar is divided into four seasons of approximately 120 days each; Selenists use a lunar calendar that wraps around every 30 days; some lands give agriculturally related names to months while others use the standard Modified Olympist names for months as they do for days of the week; formal dating in Tsuxia indicates the year, and the day within the year. Start-of-year celebrations commonly happen at winter solstice in the Stream, although spring-equinox celebrations are more observed in some lands (the Winter Wrap Up festival in Cascadia is the largest ponichaeist gathering in the known world, for example). Most holidays are religious in nature, with the notable exception that most lands have a Landing Day or Founding Day. The Tsuxi calendar are very heavy on religious observances and very light on actual time off.

Timeline

For more than half of known history, humanity has been too busy surviving to keep good records, and dates here are considered to be approximate. The timeline provided here is skeletal, including only events that are backed by general consensus; most children will learn history through the lens of their culture, with the appropriate embellishments, omissions and minor episodes exalted to historical events. Tsuxia has kept better records than any other culture, but they only concern themselves with the Plateau and have been very rarely accessible to Stream inhabitants.

1PI The Invasion begins.

1AI The Invasion ends with a human "victory", although the world has been almost completely xenoformed. No one has any spacefaring capabilities left; remnants of the alien armada wander the lowlands.

50AI Xenoforming is complete. The Council has regrouped on the Gray Plateau, and organized the surviving human population to the never-ending task of keeping the residual original ecosystem alive. As the original Council members pass on, the Celestial Bureaucracy is officially established as the codification of their practices.

100AI More than half of the surviving human population has psi potential, as those without find it harder to have children due to the still-frequent miasma storms. Geeps are discovered on the Plateau and promptly marked for extermination.

200AI The Crusades end: The Plateau is finally cleared of monsters and mutants, including the first recorded womp colony. By this time, psi is an accepted part of life. The Codexes are amended to formalize and regulate its use and teaching. A few humans react to this by setting of in stomp suits or hot-air balloons trying to find other plateaus.

450AI The Renaissance. Usually by sheer luck, habitable lands begin to be found and traveled to. The Bureaucracy imposes more and more restrictions, afraid of losing population, and the first wave eventually comes to a stop. Enotria and Cascadia share a claim of being the first new land to be permanently settled. The first heighliner, Blackbird, is restored to some functionality and extensively used to help the colonization effort before she is blown up by unknown forces while in drydock.

650AI The Age of Exploration. Some of the first extra-Plateau lands have developed enough to send out colonists, and airship navigation has improved enough to make both Stream currents accessible. The second wave of colonization is a little more organized than the first, and wider in range if not in scope. Womp and geep settlements are rediscovered.

775AI The Enlightenment. Fifty years of almost complete peace result in the resurrection of all currently existing heighteners and the construction of a heighliner-sized airship, the Unity. Midia splits off from Cascadia, which causes the Commonwealth to start becoming expansionist elsewhere.

850~900AI The Age of Noise. Reliable thermal engines that almost everyone can use regardless of psi potentials are invented; rigs become common and travel speeds up by almost an order of magnitude. Cloud Nine begins to no longer be the domain of fins and heighliners. Colonial wars are becoming more common. The Unity now has roughly the same capabilities of an ancestral heightener. Cascadia goes through an expansionist period, referred to as the third wave of colonization in Cascadian textbooks (and mostly only in those).

915~919AI The Big War. By now, humanity has at least surveyed the whole of the Slipstream that is accessible, and skirmishing for land or resources becomes common. Eventually, a four-way conflict develops over Land Muarae; the Enotrian government is overthrown by the infamous Benzino Napoloni, and Cascadia reorganizes itself after under the leadership of Sven Harpy after the Queen goes missing. For a few years, most major lands switch to a war economy.

920AI The Compact. The Big War ends without a clear winner, simply because one people after the other voted out or overthrew their leaders due to the realization that continued warfare would lose more to each culture than conquering Muarae would. A treaty is signed by the major factions and most smaller lands co-sign to it, regulating against ecological warfare. Raids and skirmishes continue, but so far this has been the last large-scale fight in the Stream.

940~945AI The Black Lance Incident. A group of powerful human and geep mages launch a bid to exterminate the less psionically gifted sentients from the known world; after a campaign of false-flag terror actions that risk spawning another large scale war, they are discovered and eventually exposed by the combined effort of a group of knights from all over the Stream and a Tsuxi expeditionary force. The Tsuxis, believing this to be an attempt by the Invaders to reorganize when they see psionically controlled gorks at the Lance's service, take no chances and obliterate Land Axius with heavy artillery before most of the combined special ops force (including the vast majority of the Slipstream's skyknights) can evacuate. The Black Lance is not heard from again. After a Kerbian salvage operation on the ruins of Axius, the first Race Into Space is held; there is no winner (and there hasn't been one since).

946~985AI The Standoff. The political map hasn't much changed in a generation or two since the Incident. After it, and mindful of the excesses of the Big War, conflicts between cantons are now handled by means of raids and skirmishes rather than large scale conflicts; most politicians understand that humanity once again has the ability to wipe itself out, but the truth is that a number of lands are near their population maximum and there is a surplus of young bucks looking to make a name for themselves. Despite or perhaps because of this state of frozen conflict, Stream culture remains very vibrant; humanity, both in and out of the Plateau seems to have started to move from worrying about survival to trying to thrive. It is suspected that the Tsuxis have decided to copy some Black Lance eversion tactics to keep Slipstream lands from unifying against them; relations between the Plateau and Stream people remain cold. The institution of independent but canton-sponsored |Knight Squadrons is beginning to reemerge after the Axius massacre.

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Page last modified on June 13, 2014, at 09:45 PM