The Golden Age

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[4000 DA – 0 AT]: The Dragon Age
[0 AT – ~500 AT]: The Age of Man
[422 AT – 620 AT]: The Uplift
[538 AT – 901 AT]: The Unification
[650 AT – 700 AT]: The Orcish Exile
[699 AT – 800 AT]: The Iron Rebellion
[800 AT – 1209 AT]: The Golden Age
[1209 AT – 1212 AT]: The Neverwar
[1212 AT – Present]: Aftermath of the Neverwar

[800 AT – 1209 AT]

The Golden Age is a period of relative peace and substantial prosperity for the North. It lasted a little over four hundred years, and in that time technology and philosophy advanced at an unprecedented rate compared to eras previous.

The Empire

After the Iron Rebellion ended, the construction of the Rampart Line set the Empire’s northern border into stone, whether they liked it or not. The Empire turned its attention southward towards the Dunvales Conclave, eventually bringing it to heel. They would then try and advance into Atur, but this led to a series of wars in which thousands died and nothing changed.

Trapped between the Neck and Vokaya, the Empire was forced to stop expanding and begin restructuring. The Imperial Sept began to consolidate its power, eventually spreading to all of the Empire’s conquered territories and mostly replacing the local religions. Internal power struggles began to surface between the Paladin Orders and the nobles of various locations, and the web of alliances between nobles of the provinces of the Empire began to become even more convoluted. In this time, perhaps three civil wars of note were fought in the Empire, and during a drought that lasted six years the country threatened to collapse. However, the Emperor united the people once again, and the dissenting nobles were defeated on the field of battle.

Perhaps a half-dozen campaigns were fought against Vokaya between the years of 800 AT 1050 AT. Not one of them breached the Rampart Line. Again, thousands died, and nothing changed.

The Vokayagora Zemla

While the Empire floundered about, Vokaya was bursting with wealth and prosperity. The Seven Cities grew at a prodigious rate, and Vokaya began to export their excess magical crafts and tools to the rest of the world. Vokaya’s power reached its peak In 1050 AT, and the the current ruling Queen of Vokaya, one Devorah Serendi Rex, decided that the Empire held more territory than it deserved. She ordered Everlight to construct a massive fleet, and with it she waged the first offensive war against the Empire in history. Vokaya’s fleets were so technologically superior that they would win engagements even when outnumbered six to one. By 1070 AT, Devorah had conquered nearly all of Eastmarch, and began a land invasion of the Empire’s vulnerable cities in the Neck. The settlements were well-defended, but because they were cut off from the rest of the Empire by the Blackwood Swamp, and the Great River left transports vulnerable to ambush in that region, the Empire couldn’t get soldiers to the cities fast enough. When she captured the Imperial city of Bastion, she signed the death warrant of Imperial superiority in the North, and made it clear to all the world that this era belonged to the Vokayagora Zemla, come what may.

Eventually, the Empire developed new tactics to fight the Vokayan fleets, and Atur became incensed that they had been cut off from their traditional trade partner. The two nations together fought the Vokayan navy to a stalemate, and in 1077 AT an accord was reached between the Empire and Vokaya: Vokaya would return Eastmarch to the Empire, and would allow Imperial trade ships passage through Bastion and the Eastern Sea. In return, Vokaya could keep their holdings in the Neck. It would allow Imperial trade to reach Atur, but recognize that that the combined militaries never actually defeated Vokaya.

While it looked like the Empire had won back most of what they lost, this was deceptive. Before, Bastion had just been another city on the Great River; the furthest one southward, true, but that didn’t account for much. In the hands of Vokaya, however, it became a chokepoint for all trade passing through the Great River. Vokaya used their positions in the neck to cripple Imperial trade, via taxation in Bastion and the Whiteshore privateer fleets. As an added plus, through Bastion Atur was given easy access to Vokayan technology, education, and luxury goods. Everyone was happy. Except for the Emperor.

The Aturan Sultanate

In the south, Atur began to discover both the upsides and downsides to Vokayan power. Vokayan technology became extremely valuable, as it was relatively hard to come by. So hard, in fact, Atur began the time-honored tradition of harboring Vokayan criminals to do work for much cheaper in return for asylum. This particular practice also created the problems associated with Vokayans: the Undead.

Undead had been around since The Dragon Age, but since the Dragons disappeared there were few who had the knowledge or desire to create them, and Undead are much less common without arcanists to fuel their creation. But the idea of using Undead for slave labor is encouraged under the principles of the Pact of Duln, and with the Vokayan exiles to help them, the Sultan and the Merchant Lords could finally make this a reality. The coin wound up with two sides, though: Undead require magic to control them, and their nature causes them to frequently outlive their overseers. This results in unshackled Undead unleashed onto the countryside, and the magic fueling them is often so chaotic they will create more Undead; sometimes from corpses, sometimes from living victims. Magic reaching the hands of the less well-trained has resulted in amateur Necromancers taking over wandering Undead and making some of their own, and some Undead created with intelligence went rogue. As such, Undead in Atur have become a frustrating and somewhat permanent feature in the remote areas to the west and north, and a horrifying nuisance everywhere else.

End of an Era

The Golden Age stretched for a long, long time, but it was inevitable that it would end. Just how, though, was expected by none: in 1209 AT, The Neverwar began.

The Golden Age

Alsara: Requiem and Revolution Serathen Serathen