|The Empire of Arkoenn|
(and largest city)
|Official language(s)||Arkoennite, English|
|Government||Federal, crowned republic|
|-||Founding of Arkonis||3001 BCE|
|-||Establishment of the Empire||497 CE|
|-||Refounding of the Empire||1802 CE|
|-||The Restoration||1856 CE|
The Empire of Arkoenn or Arkoenn is a large, centrally-located nation on the Sundering Sea in Tyran. Arkoenn is an ecologically-diverse nation, centered on the semi-desert river valleys of the Ansard Basin. Between around 500 and 1700 CE, Arkoenn's empire spanned much of the continent of Siduri, including parts of present day Nalaya and others.
The country is home to a unique culture, a family of religions, and a people that value learning and science. Although Arkoenn is not a superpower in modern times, its legacy can be seen throughout the continent, and it maintains some power even down to the present.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Prehistory
- 1.2 Early History (3001 - 1000 BCE)
- 1.3 The Pre-Imperial Period (1000 BCE - 500 CE)
- 1.4 The First Empire (c. 500 - 1100 CE)
- 1.5 Decline (1100 - 1300)
- 1.6 Resurgence (1350 - 1650)
- 1.7 Collapse (1650 - 1800)
- 1.8 Refounding & The Republic (1800 - 1856)
- 1.9 The Restoration (1856 - 1935)
- 1.10 Fascist Arkoenn (1935 - 1981)
- 1.11 Modern Arkoenn (1981 - Present)
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics
- 4 Military
- 5 Foreign Relations
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
- Main article: History of Arkoenn
The land of what is now Arkoenn has been inhabited since at least the Mesolithic period, although the ancestors of modern Arkoennites are not believed to have arrived in the Ansard Basin until between 11,000 and 10,000 BCE. Settlements at the sites of most of Arkoenn’s modern major cities appear between 10,500 and 8,500 BCE.
Early History (3001 - 1000 BCE)
The history of Arkoenn proper, however, cannot begin without the founding of the city of Arkonis, the center and capital of the great southern empire. The site of Arkonis began to be occupied around approximately 9,200 BCE, although multiple settlements came and went, some abandoned, some destroyed. Arkonis as it is recognized today was not founded until the fourth millenium BCE, traditionally listed as 3001 BCE (and providing the year zero in the Arkoennite calendar).
There are two folklore or mythological tales describing the founding of Arkonis. The more mythic of the two maintains that the site was chosen and blessed by the growth of a pure spring of fresh water between the Ansi and Ardus Rivers, a spring that was the child of Arkus and Ensa produced when they had sexual relations on that spot from mingling of Arkus’ seed and Ensa’s menstrual blood. The vast spring they created, named Ledbaisi, was blessed and became the apple of her proud father’s eye.
The other story is that the hero Ordasis was wandering in the desert, dying of thirst, when he encountered a rusty furred coyote. This coyote was none other than the trickster Anzi, who offered to show Ordasis an oasis, if he could teach him a new melody. Picking up his flute, Ordasis played for hours, trying to find a melody that Anzi had never heard. Just when he was running out of ideas, he improvised a new melody, using notes he had never attempted before, stunning Anzi and making the trickster laugh and clap with joy. Satisfied, Anzi brought Ordasis to the spring Baisi, and told him to drink. Ledbaisi, the spring’s spirit, came out when Ordasis drank, and the two became enraptured with one another.
The hero and the spring’s spirit claimed each other, and began a family, settling at the spring. Over time, other people came to live where this sweetwater spring and the family that lived and cared for it resided, and although Ordasis died an old man, and his children would also perish, their descendents lived on, and Ledbaisi continued to nurture their numerous descendents as an abiding act of love.
However the founding occurred, Arkonis's current phase of habitation was underway by the dawn of the third millennium BCE.
The Pre-Imperial Period (1000 BCE - 500 CE)
Over the next several millennia, the power dynamic in the Basin shifted continuously. Starting in the later half of the first millennium BCE, Arkonis began to expand its sphere of influence. By the first century CE, Arkonis exerted significant influence, if not always outright control, over Hulsdoen, Kantasa, and Ensdoen, subjugating them to the city (and its rulers’) will. Over the next three centuries, Arkonis expanded to control the entire Basin, and then to expand its power beyond the mountains to its north. By 500 CE, the entirety of modern Arkoenn, as well as some of the territory immediately outside of that area, were firmly under Arkonis’ control, and the realm had acquired a new name: Arkoenn.
It was also during this span of time that the religion of Kthonerna was founded.
The First Empire (c. 500 - 1100 CE)
Decline (1100 - 1300)
Around 1000 CE, the status quo on the Sundering Coast was upset by the arrival of invaders from parts unknown. The newcomers, who called themselves Allamunnae and spoke a Germanic language, quickly established themselves on the coast, with the surprisingly-large migration placing several thousand people in the area fairly quickly.
Arkoennite authorities in the area were unsure of what to make of the pale newcomers.
Resurgence (1350 - 1650)
Collapse (1650 - 1800)
By the middle of the 17th century, the Empire’s second wind was running out. Corruption had reinfected the civil service, the military was suffering defeats, and its leadership had become decadent and incompetent. A slew of children left in the wake of Emperor Addis XIV’s death resulted in a civil war between competing siblings from 1654 to 1661.
The eventually victorious Dakim VI was only marginally better than his father as a leader, and he made some attempt to leave a more settled succession, designating his eldest daughter Ikaza as his heir. However, this would only prove partially successful.
Although Ikaza (taking the throne as Ikaza III in 1703) was successful in controlling the core of Arkoenn, jealous and ambitious siblings increasingly took advantage of increasingly-independent local rulers to assert their claims and carve out their own splinter empires.
Attempts by Ikaza III to reassert imperial authority over her rebellious siblings were met with a series of civil wars, in which large sections of former Arkoennite territory were lost. By 1719, the Empire was only slightly larger than its present-day borders.
In 1721, Ikaza died after a long illness, leaving the throne to her own son, Razen. Razen proved to be less than competent, and his council largely ruled in his stead, leading to a series of unsuccessful and unpopular policies that only aggravated existing unrest. Although Razen II remained in power until 1740, he was an increasingly-powerless figurehead for much of his reign. Razen II’s reign ended in 1740, when he was deposed by a disgruntled minister, who spared him in an ultimate show of contempt, ending the Imperial period of Arkoenn.
Refounding & The Republic (1800 - 1856)
Koiza, the warlord who deposed Razen and ended the empire, ruled over a relatively small domain centered on the capital of Arkonis. Razen and his family were forced into exile in Kthonis, where Razen would eventually die a bitter old man.
His son Hardasa, however, proved a resourceful partisan of Kthonis, and rose through the ranks of the city-state’s government, while becoming very popular for his attempts at land reform. With popular support and the assent of Kthonis’ government, Hardasa was declared Emperor of Arkoenn (in exile) in 1762.
With an army at his back, Hardasa marched on Arkonis, and successfully defeated Koiza, now an elderly man himself, seizing back the seat of the Arkoennite Empire. This began a series of conquests and wars which took much of Hardasa’s lifetime, as he reconquered and consolidated the Ansard Basin as well as the rest of modern Arkoenn.
By 1802, Hardasa (now styled Hardasa V) had successfully reunified Arkoenn as a single state. Although he began reforms and measures to solidify the reconstituted state, he was quite elderly at this point, and died in 1818 at the age of 75, leaving the throne to a spoiled grandson, Adralis. Adralis VI proved to be nowhere near Hardasa’s equal as a ruler, spoiled, self-centered, and incompetent (without the awareness to recognize himself as such), and he wasted public funds on personal expenditures while drought conditions further worsened the lives of the common populace. It was something of a miracle that his reign lasted the 14 years that it did, whereupon a number of revolts ripped the realm apart.
Initially, Adralis VI thought the revolts he faced were simple peasant uprisings. However, as Imperial Army after Imperial Army sent to quash the revolts either failed, or mutinied, the truth became clear; this was a far more popular, unified, and organized revolt than any Arkoennite Ekasan had faced in a millennium.
City after city fell to the rebels, who called for the elimination of the aristocracy and monarchy, land reform, and democracy. Each city that fell saw its nobility exterminated or forced into hiding, often with the tacit approval of religious authorities, who deemed that Adralis and his cohorts had failed the nation.
When Arkonis fell in November of 1834, Adralis was dragged into the street, abused (even, allegedly, raped) and torn limb from limb by an enraged mob. His family met similar fates, with the heads of the members of the ruling dynasty displayed in the Plaza of the Sun for weeks.
By the end of the Republic period, many of the Allamunnic-majority regions felt they were not being represented by the increasingly unrepresentative Republican government. The northern regions rose in revolt in 1854, led by a police sergeant from Stahlburg by the name of John Fallon. Fallon incited a revolt in the city against Arkoennite Republic officials that quickly spread like wildfire through the north of the country, threatening the already tenuous grip of the Republican government on power, nationally.
Further south, the Republic was faced with pro-royal revolts aimed at putting a surviving branch of the previous royal family, the Karsids, on the throne. The Republic’s fate was sealed late in 1855 when the Allamunnic Nationalists and Royalist forces struck an alliance against the Republic. By the following summer, the Republic had collapsed entirely.
In August of 1856, the victorious factions met in Arkonis to determine the future of the country. While many Allamunnic nationalists pushed for the Allamunnic-majority northern regions to become independent, a compromise was reached in which the restored Arkoennite Empire would grant home rule to the northern provinces. This compromise was in large part enabled by a great deal of mutual respect between ascendent Ekasan Tharsis III and John Fallon, who would remain politically active in the new government.
The Restoration (1856 - 1935)
The country finally saw some peace and a restoration of prosperity under Tharsis’s reign, often aided by Fallon (who served as Ekuchisi twice, from 1862 - 1868 and from 1873 - 1877) and other politically moderate figures.
Fallon died in 1885, and Tharsis finally passed away after a long, successful reign, in 1907, succeeded by his grandson Lasur, who was crowned Lasur II. Lasur would have a fairly peaceful reign, as well, which would be marked by the first strides of progressivism in the country. The early stages of that would occur under Ekuchis Zaisana Shakuan, who was a leader in the Reform Party. Shakuan and her successor, Ronzika Kusti, helped implement the country’s first social safety net programs under Lasur, prompting much fear of communism and socialism from many of the country’s traditional elites, Arkoennite and Allamunnic alike.
When Lasur died in 1932, his children had predeceased him, and the throne was passed to his niece, Yalta, who was underage and essentially ruled by her father Yaltis, a rather more reactionary and authoritarian sort. When Yaltis began overstepping his bounds as Yalta’s guardian, the legislature attempted to remove him as guardian and regent.
Fascist Arkoenn (1935 - 1981)
Yaltis, who had an army background and a lot of support among officers and the wealthy, ordered several Army units to storm Arkonis in April of 1935, arresting and executing several legislators. The ones who ingratiated themselves soon found themselves part of Yaltis’ new regime, ruling in his daughter’s name.
Yaltis also began grooming a high officer in the army as a lieutenant, a General, George Moses Kleiner. This wound up backfiring horribly, as Kleiner had his own ideas on how the country should be run. Once he had established his own loyal cadre within Yaltis’ Restoration Party, Kleiner couped Yaltis, disposed of both him and Yalta, and assumed power as the head of state of Arkoenn.
Kleiner ruled the country from 1939 to 1980.
Modern Arkoenn (1981 - Present)
- Main article: Geography of Arkoenn
The single largest region of Arkoenn is the Ansard Basin, which is defined by the Ardus and Ansi Rivers. A high desert surrounds the river valley, and the rivers originate in the Kazdoen Mountains in the south of the country. A number of other rivers bind the country together, either forming borders or making civilized life possible in several parts of the country.
- Main article: Politics of Arkoenn
- Main article: The Arkoennite Imperial Military
- Main article: Foreign Relations of Arkoenn
- Main article: Economy of Arkoenn
- Main article: Demographics of Arkoenn
- Main article: Culture of Arkoenn
- Main article: Religion in Arkoenn
- Main article: Sport in Arkoenn