History of Aivinto-Serdemia
The history of Aivinto-Serdemia encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-states of Aivintis and Serdemia, the Lerasian people, and the areas they inhabited and ruled, historically. The beginning of Aivinto-Serdemic history is not the first instance of Aivintis as a unified country, or even as a polity, but is defined by the migration of the Aivintii people from the north. Aivinto-Serdemic history is divided into five distinct eras, most correlating to a major "regime" of Aivintis. These eras are the Lerasian Era, which covers early cultures and the Lerasian Empire, the Independent Kingdoms Era, which begins with the fall of the Lerasian Empire, includes the unification of Serdemia by King Vlastimir, and ends with the invention of the Marnacian Caravel, Early Modern History, beginning with the Marnacian Age of Discovery and including the entirety of the Dale Kingdom, Late Modern History, which begins with the assassination of Geoffrey Dale, leads through the rule of the First Stuart Kingdom, the Order of Enlightenment, the establishment of the Republic of Serdemia, and the industrialization of Aivinto-Serdemia, and Contemporary History, which begins with the rule of the Aivintian Emperor Thaddeus Stuart, but also covers current events.
Indigenous hunter-gatherers first appeared in Aivintis 10,000 years ago as they followed prey south to Serdemia and beyond, migrating from an unknown civilization in the north. The Proto-Aivintii, as they came to be known, began using earthenware and similar artifacts a few thousand years later, few of which survive to the modern day. Farming appeared somewhere around the introduction of these new technologies, when oats, barley, pigs, cattle, sheep and goats became common. The settlers of this culture spread over the fertile plains of Aivinto-Serdemia, located in between a labyrinthine web of rivers, reaching as far north as Chernopolsk and as far south as Redmondburg. On a smaller scale, various settlers landed in exclaves around the smaller network of rivers in Grandys and Nisava. The most preserved relics of the era are tombs and religious monuments. The tombs were mostly collective, and largely chambered cairns, although some were long barrows. Religious monuments were mostly stone circles, sometimes located in the center of rudimentary settlements, believed to establish a closer connection with the gods of Early Aivinto-Serdemic Religion. Less than 4000 years ago, the early settlements became gradwalls, early fortified settlements constructed as a group of wooden houses surrounded by rings of walls made of earth or wood, a palisade, and/or moats. Gradwalls were usually founded on riverbanks, but sometimes on sacred sites around existing stone circles.
As the population increased and settlements condensed, permanent dwellings led to centralized government, social hierarchy, division of labor and natural resources, religion and culture, and rule of law, in an archaeological culture known as the Civilized Period. Early King were mainly from the nobility, but some fledgling city-states were ruled by crowned priests. Whichever social class they rose from, rulers of city-states claimed divine right of rulership, believed to be sanctioned by the deity of the city. In the beginning, the government was rather loosely defined, and kings governed alongside councils of nobles, but as time progressed, power solidified, and rule became more autocratic. Social hierarchy was clearly defined with the king on top, and the nobility, alongside the priesthood, just below. Artisans and merchants were the next step on the social pyramid, acting as a pseudo-middle class with the same rights as the free citizens, but more influence and wealth. The free citizenry themselves weren't treated as fairly as the nobility, but were not as oppressed as the slaves, which mostly came from prisoners and indebted citizens. Aivinto-Serdemic city-states regularly and deliberately rebuilt entire districts and sometimes entire cities, in order to accommodate an increasing population, which provided the artisan and merchant class with significant work. This ultimately led to the pursuit of civilization's ultimate goal - progress. Temples began to be built around existing holy sites, originally made of mud brick, but soon switching to stone from the mountains, which were known as the Fathers-of-Griffins. In most temples, stone circles were phased out in favor of shrines of various sizes, but in some highly traditional city-states, stone circles were incorporated into the architecture. Writing was developed in order to account for trade, codify the legal system, record literature, and keep track of taxes.
As society became more complex, a linguistic split between north and south Aivinto-Serdemia began to emerge, mostly in the lower levels of society, and eventually spreading to the literate population and finally the traditional nobility and priesthood. Due to an increasing scarcity of resources, and, in part, the ambition of Kings, Aivinto-Serdemic society devolved into open warfare, with constant power struggles between the various city-states over farmland and waterways. Military developments saw the implementation of varied armies, where spearmen were supported by ranged slingers, and eventually archers. Armies could take entire city-states, and so it came to be that the divine right of kings became a spoil of war, and warlords were crowned kings, upsetting the previously established progeny. The Warlord Period ended 2109 years ago, with the appearance of Lerasi, who is said in some legends to appear first as a priest in the city-state of Asluagh, a city founded by a prophet of the god Arkyr. Ruled by a tyrant, Asluagh was one of the most backwards cities of Aivinto-Serdemia, and it was under the threat of invasion from the north, by the city-state of Nashestvenik, which aimed to sack it for its riches and raze it. Lerasi organized an evacuation from the unwalled parts of the city-state into the temple, and when confronted by the king's guards was said to have routed them with his voice alone. The armies of Asluagh bowed to him, and after he commanded the defense the city, pronounced him king. The former king fled, and Lerasi was proclaimed the son of Arkyr by the people, a demigod sent to bring peace and prosperity to the land.
Lerasi himself became a conqueror after some time. His armies brought city-states to their knees, and within a few years he governed five separate city-states. With the combined force of his new armies, he turned to the south, sweeping through city-states like a wildfire until the rest of the Aivinto-Serdemic world opposed him. Despite being outnumbered in almost every fight, Lerasi's superior military tactics, which involved a great variety of troops such as infantry, cavalry, archers, and hoplites, and strategy relying on the organization of battle lines based on unit flexibility. The more mobile units, such as the devastating cavalry force, remained on the outside, where they could adapt to the shifting battlefield more quickly, and the heavier units were deployed on the inside, where they had more time to react. Lerasi would concentrate the cavalry and most of his remaining units on a single point in the enemy line, punching through, dividing, and flanking the enemy force. Lerasi's armies marched from Asluagh all the way to Maven and Saragrad, stretching his empire over the entirety of the Aivinto-Serdemic region, to the furthest reaches of his civilization. In the south, the Nymphs of the Evening acted as a natural barrier against the Joralesians, and to the north, a series of watchtowers kept watch over the distant cities of Saragrad and Nisava. Despite being a warmonger, the re-sanctified divine right of kings protected him from most revolts, and he was revered by his people as a unifier. His popularity became a cult-worship when he freed the slaves and extended rights and privileges to even the lowest of his citizens.
The unification of the Lerasian Empire magnified the prosperity of Aivinto-Serdemia, which was named Lerasia in the new Emperor's honor. The region was vaguely unified in their cultural identity, but the north and the south had drifted away, and each city-state was fundamentally different from one another. Political unification allowed for these varied cultures to come together, influencing one another, and establishing an air of fairness and openness that was encouraged by Lerasi. Art and statuary are testaments to this, sharing characteristics from cultural enclaves all over the Lerasian world. Security and a unified government allowed for a level of intercity trade that was never before possible. The wealth of the Lerasian Empire is best reflected in the palaces in Asluagh, Grandiozen, Marnaciya, Casten, Mrachen, Khag, Novoska, and Nisava. City walls were expanded, and built around more developing cities, such as Belopolsk and Chernopolsk, roads and markets were build to facilitate trade, and stone temples and buildings became more common. The Great Library of Lerasi was established west of Asluagh, guarded by a small army of soldiers and open to scholars, poets, and philosophers from all throughout his Empire, and beyond, becoming the site of the first chronicled history of Aivinto-Serdemia, which acted as a gold mine of information until its burning in 1802. In his later life, Lerasi developed a bureaucracy to increase efficiency, extending power to popular nobles who were named Princes, to communicate their lower standing. They ruled over small regions with multiple large cities, carrying out the divine will of the Emperor and maintaining his long-standing order and peace. An increased manufacturing of bronze lent itself to Lerasi's highly militarized society, but in these later years there is also a blossoming of art, poetry, and early Aivinto-Serdemic philosophy. The years until the end of Lerasi's reign were the most prosperous and cultured of all.
Lerasi did not last forever, however, and neither did Lerasia. He disappeared at the turn of the millennium, and, following his disappearance, a widespread famine killed large numbers of his people. Disease followed, and the weakened army couldn't maintain order within the nation any longer, certainly not long enough for the Princes to stop bickering and choose a successor. Instead, the need to govern outweighed the need to honor Lerasi's legacy, and the Empire divided along the clear lines the Emperor had drew, with Princes elevating to Kings. The lasting impact of Lerasia is seen in culture and diplomacy, ultimately bringing Aivinto-Serdemia together, and allowing an easy peace between the newly crowned Kings. One major innovation after Lerasi's life was the introduction of a new dating system, which centered around the disappearance and presumed apotheosis of Lerasi as its base date, counting back from the date for years before his disappearance. Old dating systems, were highly varied and usually based on the founding date of individual city-states, and the only real unifying dating system was based on the founding of Asluagh, and was usually included alongside the local date.
Early Modern History
Late Modern History
Shortly after his victory, the Aeternus declared the establishment of the Ascendancy of Aivintis, and began working to strengthen his power and reform the government into the new glorious state he promised, one which would “reign Ad Aeternum.” The Aeternus led the nation as a Supreme Leader of sorts, with absolute power over the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of the government. He relied on temporary Ministers and Advisors to administer or assist administration of certain aspects of government, often choosing prominent generals or Aeternist priests to accomplish this task. The nation was built on loyalty and devotion to the Aeternus.
After Theodore Stuart's death, Sascha Stuart ascended to the throne, at the age of 16. Under her rule, her father's advisors assumed a sort of de facto regency of the nation. The most notable of these advisors were Nicholas Reignold and Alfred Hennessey, who soon became Sascha's most trusted advisors and the most powerful people in Aivintis. Both were Ordermasters of the Order of Enlightenment, a rising religious philosophy that took advantage of the power vacuum left behind by the near-destruction of the Aeternist cult. In the first few years of Queen Sascha's rule, therefore, many laws and royal decrees were passed that benefitted the Order's rise to power. By the time Sascha Stuart reached 18, the Order of Enlightenment was the state religion, and she was firmly its puppet queen.
Once Sascha Stuart reached the age of 18, she immediately announced the creation of an Enlightened Order, beginning a series of reforms that would transform the Constitutional Monarchy into a Religious Oligarchy. First, the religious ideals of the Order were imposed on the citizens of Aivintis, with an emphasis on suppressing other religions. No other religion was allowed to publicly preach, practice, or recruit. All churches, and numerous religious assets, were seized by the state and sold to supplement the government's budget. Religious holidays were wiped out from the calendar. Finally, the Parliament was disbanded, with former members either being recruited as advisors into the Magistrate Council - the new lawmaking body - or imprisoned to prevent opposition to the Order's rule.
The government of the Free Enlightened Order of the Kingdom of Aivintis, as it called itself, was ruled by the Magistrate Council. The core of this council were the Magisters. There was an Economic Magister, who managed finances and the government's relationship with its economy, at home and abroad; The Military Magister, who ruled the military and police; the Foreign Affairs Magister, who handled international matters; the Internal Affairs Magister, who would deal with all areas of governance that did not fall under the others; and the Queen-Magister, Sascha Stuart, who remained as a figurehead.
The borders of the nation remained mostly closed, with foreign affairs only conducted in the Foreign Affairs Capitol, Maven, as well as Frosthollow and Bricaster. The ports and airports of these cities remained open to few, and served as the Foreign Magister's sphere of influence. Economically, the new state was laissez-faire capitalist, but there were some mercantilist policies, especially later in the century as the nation began to industrialize. Militarily, the nation was powerful, with highly trained soldiers equipped with only the most modern of equipment. Both the military and the police were instrumental in maintaining order and security in the new nation, especially in the area of suppressing Aeternists and other political rivals. The Internal Affairs Magister had the least glamourous sphere of influence, but definitely the most wide-ranged, encompassing many areas of national and local governance.