First Contact Military Conflict in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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First Contact

Ritho's unfettered fury...   Relieved to be back out on the plains after enduring the Solar Swap and the Dread Winter, the ancient people made contact with four beings of great power and benevolence. After mentoring them in the art of defense, offense, caregiving, and metalcrafting, these entities inspired the people to build for themselves an immense city where they could dwell peacefully and comfortably. The plain came alive as the weather-weary people eagerly set to this task. Unbeknownst to them, strangers from the jungle observed from afar and grew bitter and jealous of these strangers. The graceful-seeming unicorn-folk revealed their darker side by murdering many craftsmen before stealing away to their dense forests to gloat. Little did they know they had made a crucial error, for these frail-seeming strangers had the backing of very real gods.

The Conflict


Fresh off the recent Dread Winter, the ancient Freelanders made contact with four beings appearing as human females of great stature. They identified themselves as Wrawthe, Wuerhen, Oorotin, and Rihyo, and came to be known among the people as the Four Queens. Wrawthe proposed the construction of a colossal city, using the structure they called Pauraluxth as an anchorpoint. The most brilliant of Oorotin's students, Bainshae and Kundai, proposed instead not a radial circular foundation, but a square with four quarters each dedicated to critical fields of crafting, animal husbandry, medicinal care, and preservation of knowledge. Wrawthe approved and under direction from Oorotin and the lead architects, the people began preparations.   A scouting party of bipedal beings with equine features had set out from their home in the dense jungles towards the east, determined to examine the landscape after the weather had stabilized. These unicorn-folk, later referred to as Natives, viewed the Freelanders as invaders and the widespread construction as a desecration. Despite the lack of aggression-indeed, the Freelanders had never even seen a Native before-the unicorn-folk descended upon the construction camps under cover of night, slitting throats and murdering many as they slept-including Bainshae and Kundai.


Enraged by this unprovoked attack, the Four Queens set out to demand answers, departing without escort save for a handful of Freelander scouts to bear witness. The Natives remained bunkered down in their structures of carved stone, secure in their position. Freelanders carried only bows and spears while Wrawthe carried her longsword, Wuerhen her halberd, and Oorotin her mallet.


Accounts from the Freelander scouts later recorded and preserved in Raaezen indicated the presence of a complex stone bridge between the border of the great plain and the smothering jungle. A offshoot of the Winding White served as a line of demarcation. The Four Queens stopped at the jungle-side of the bridge and addressed the unicorn-folk


The skies above the plain remained mostly clear with a scattering of clouds and thick grass reaching about waist high, but did not seem to impede the Queens. The air in the jungle proved quite stifling for a human with very little sunlight penetrating the canopy. The Freelander scouts hung back on the plains side of the bridge, wary of the gloom but faithful of the Queens' might.

The Engagement

Wrawthe attempts to parley with the Natives, demanding justification for the murder of so many innocents. The Natives retort that their very presence is an insult and demands all outsiders removed from the world itself. Rihyo attempts to mediate and urges peaceful resolution. The recalcitrant Natives threaten to kill more and shout insults at the Four Queens. When Rihyo remains steadfast, the Natives rush forward and attack.


Ritho's Smiting

  Testimony from the Freelanders describes Rihyo uttering a terrific scream and lashing her arm, and in response, the sky itself seems to descend towards the ground, sweeping away the attacking Natives and crushing their stone buildings with minimal effort. Any surviving Natives unscathed by the Smiting would retreat deeper into the jungle and no further attempts were made to attack the build site that would later become Bainshaebo. While alarmed by her daughter's outburst, Wrawthe would not admonish Rihyo for her actions and the Queens departed back to the camps with the Freelanders in tow.  
Ritho's Smiting by Mardrena
Made with BlackInk

Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!

  Spacequake Ch. 11
"They had endured centuries of hardship, cold, lost and alone on a strange world they knew nothing about. We nurtured them as best we could, but we learned if we coddled them like children, if we constantly hovered, swooping in at every danger no matter how small, it would destroy their will to fight! We devised the laws by which they would strive to seek our favor, but in truth empower themselves to achieve great things of their own will," Ritho argued.   "What about the Natives, huh? Is that another example of your 'benevolence'?!" Ryo retorted.   "I will not excuse my actions nor will I apologize for them," Ritho began, a cold edge creeping into her voice and her expression hardened, closing her eyes briefly before fixing Ryo with a glare. "You did not see the Natives as I did."   "Hey, don't tell me what I'm supposed to think! I wasn't there! For all I know, you could be lying about all of this!" Ryo accused.   Something struck Ryo with enough force to send him corkscrewing through the air until he landed on the tiled floor several feet away, no longer wearing Wildfire but clad only in his casual wear. "RYO!!" Rowen shouted, alarmed at the sight. Ryo struggled to prop himself up on one elbow while gently examining his bruised jaw with his free hand.   "T...Th...The care of children may be Ritho's domain, but you will NOT speak to my daughter that way," Roth stepped forward, scowling. Ryo saw past her and noticed Ritho looking not so compassionate as before. Ryo spat blood to the side.   "Or else WHAT?" he growled, his anger boiling over. He felt one-hundred percent fed up with these so-called "gods" who presumed themselves stewards of this world. Roth narrowed her eyes and tilted her chin down slightly.   "INSOLENCE." Her voice thundered without her mouth moving. An invisible force sent Ryo flying further away, his back striking one of the great columns with enough force to cause him to cough blood.


Work on the planned city-named Bainshaebo in honor of the slain Bainshae- proceeds without further interruption. City-dwelling folk begin referring themselves to Thangiens while nomadic folk retain the moniker of Freelander. The Natives would retain their grudge for thousands more years, being only compounded with Vthia's ill-fated venture into the Eastern Jungle.  
Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!
  Spacequake Ch. 11
Ryo staggered to his feet, still dizzy from the ordeal. He glanced at Ritho and another vision entered his mind. He could see dozens-if not hundreds-of Natives gathered in a crowd, teeth bared and ears flattened in rage. Unlike T'plaureth and T'Brandon, they looked fully unclothed, their normally white fur darkened with dirt and their manes disheveled. They snarled and jeered, their rage boiling over and they surged forth in a flood towards a young woman with a blue cowl and shawl. Before they got close, the woman let out an almighty scream that echoed through the jungle and lashed her arm to the side, knocking away the frenzied throngs with an invisible shockwave and sending them tumbling. Behind them, ornate stone buildings crumbled as if flattened by an immense fist that rolled forward further into the city, leveling trees and structures alike.
  Ritho flicked a glance at Ryo and scowled, irritated that their minds had touched however briefly. Her expression softened somewhat and Ryo could read remorse in her eyes and that the incident still weighed heavily on her conscience even after so long.

Historical Significance

As Narrated by Tar Uhnin to Rowen Hashiba

“Um…okay…You know…I’m kinda surprised that you all would be so quick to rally to our banner. I expected the Native Thangiens to be the first to sign on,” Rowen commented.   “Oh they wouldn’t! A Native would sooner let a Human-born drown!” Tar stated.   “How come? They’re evolved from unicorns, right? I thought they were peaceful people.”   “To each other, yes. I take it you’re not familiar with the story of Ritho and the Natives? Hmm? No, I suppose you wouldn’t. It’s something even Thangiens are reluctant to speak of, even amongst themselves…” Tar muttered ruefully then waggled a claw. “Keep in mind that this takes place eons ago; when the very foundations of Bainshaebo were being laid.   “Roth had given to the people a vision of a great walled city where they would dwell and want for nothing. A party of the unicorn-folk straying far over Kundain came upon the construction, and were surprised to see the site. They had never seen Humans before, and at first were confused…then angry. They viewed the strangers as intruders, and sought to get rid of them. They stole into the camps under cover of night and slew a great many engineers.   “This act grieved Eyurodin, for all craftsmen are precious to her. She and Witheren advocated swift and bloody retribution, but Roth stayed their hand, seeking to uncover the reason behind the attacks. The unicorn-folk believed that the planet belonged to them and them alone, and that all others were trespassers. They wanted the Humans to leave immediately, but they could scarcely return to their own world than the world itself could stop turning.   “Gentle Ritho came forth and argued that surely the planet was vast enough that both races could coexist. The Natives refused, claiming the planet was sacred and that Humans’ very presence defiled it. Then…they did the unthinkable; they attacked Ritho. Naturally she could not be harmed by their efforts, but that they had dared try enraged her, and what happened next goes down in history as the most terrifying display of power ever before witnessed.   “She laid waste to their civilization; so thoroughly that never again would they rise as a great power. Forever after would the unicorn-folk harbor a deep, seething hatred of all Human-born. Not even the pairing of Aurorakhan and T’plaureth could convince them to reconcile. Indeed, they beat him within an inch of his life for the mere act of having spoken to her.   “Now you might think to yourself such an act being highly uncharacteristic of a goddess who is supposed to personify compassion, but I’ll say this to you,” Tar moved a step closer to Rowen and peered down at him. “There’re few things in this known universe more terrifying than the wrath of a mother who feels her children threatened…”
— Foes From Another World Ch. 24


First Contact and the subsequent Smiting would further solidify the Freelander's belief that these were indeed gods worthy of worship, adoration, respect, and fear. While the people came to revere their new gods, the gods learned to practice restraint with their powers in order to avoid future catastrophes.   The Eastern Jungle gained somewhat of a sinister reputation as a forbidden region, and though none of the Queens expressly forbade exploration, attempts to plumb its secrets meet only in tragedy.  

Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!

  Spacequake Ch. 11
"The cries of exhaultation...the rapt adulation of the's intoxicating...." Witheren breathed, smiling with pleasure. "And that is what differentiates us from one another. We have long since learned the value of practicing restraint, while you revel in excess," Witheren stated calmly, fixing Phitdaitiarona with a stern glare.   "I...I...I NEED NO LECTURE FROM THE LIKES OF YOU!!" The Empress of Night seemed to have closed the distance between them in the blink of an eye, bringing her nose within an inch of Witheren's and splaying her long polished nails near her face. Witheren jerked her head back slightly, more irritated than offended, and she glared down her nose at Phitdaitiarona. "AAAGH!! UUAAAAGH!" All those observing could clearly see as Phitdaitiarona reeled in pain, staggering back a step and clenching her fists at her sides. Her form flickered briefly, and they saw not the dreadfully beautiful Empress of Night, but a wizened old woman, hair gray and brittle, clothes wrinkled and faded. Phitdaitiarona splayed her fingers and grit her teeth, grunting with exertion as she seemed to fight with her own being.   "O...O...Oh? What's wrong? Feeling a little bit..." Witheren purred softly, raising both eyebrows. "Under the weather?" she rumbled, clearly enjoying needling the rogue goddess. Ryo shifted uncomfortably where he stood and set his jaw, scowling. He wanted nothing to do with a pissing match between gods.   "You poured more of yourself into that spacequake of yours than you intended, I see," Eyurodin admonished.   "You expend power needlessly out of petty spite. You should do yourself and everyone else a favor and stick to whispering into the ears of the craven!" Ritho snapped, scowling. Phitdaitiarona seemed to have tamped down whatever afflicted her and she straightened her shoulders, tilting her chin up slightly and glancing at Roth.   "Your daughter's gained quite the barbed tongue as of late... and I'm sure you'd know ALL about 'restraint', wouldn't you, Ritho," Phitdaitiarona purred tauntingly, wiggling her eyebrows and grinning. Ritho narrowed her eyes in warning but said nothing else, keeping her anger in check so far.

In Literature

Though not necessarily viewed as a shameful or regrettable event, the Smiting is rarely ever recounted except in historical context. First Contact is notably absent from any of Raaezen's "story windows" and artistic depictions far and few in between. There are no llaudauns performed extolling the "triumph" of the Queens and the Freelanders. Only recently has a more academic eye been turned to the mysteries of the Eastern Jungle and the lost race that preceded the Natives.

Technological Advancement

For ages Thunthen accused Roth of stealing precious solid stone from their homeworld in order to fuel construction of Thananagreia and the Riders Citadel, but only recently do they admit the stone comes from neither their planet nor the Basek de Rhakka supervolcano past the Northern Ring. Roth conducted her own discreet investigation of the Eastern Jungle and discovered the existence of vast quarries of exquisite white stone, seemingly abandoned by the mysterious lost race. With the ascension of Pegasi and their riders, expeditions have been taken to procure more for construction as well as artistic uses. Roth sanctions these forays under the condition that the riders give a wide berth to whatever remains of the Lost City...
Rolling hills
Kundain #3 by Mardrena
"Until fairly recently, historians operated under the impression that Natives somehow maintained this 'idyllic technological paradise' in the confines of the Eastern Jungle. An ignorant outsider might assume the Natives were completely peaceful and that us 'meddling humans' came and mucked up everything. However, newer evidence indicates completely otherwise, since the Natives have made no visible effort to restore their ruined city, and infact as a culture have actually deteriorated.
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian
Conflict Type
Battlefield Type
Start Date
5600 B. C. (7600 years Earth-Time)
Ending Date
5600 B. C. (7600 years Earth-Time)
Conflict Result
Crippling defeat of the Natives. Freelanders rename themselves Thangiens and set the Four Queens as their pantheon.
Abandoned city of the Natives
Lost City #1 by Mardrena
"I imagine Eyurodin wanted to bludgeon the lot of them to death with her mallet while Witheren would've turned them into mincemeat with that gruesome halberd of hers. Whatever they intended to do in retaliation paled in comparison to what Ritho unleashed.
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian

Articles under First Contact

Cover image: Ritho's Fury Header by Mardrena


Author's Notes

Originally I didn't have a great deal of background lore revolving around the Natives. They were simply there, said to dwell in solitude in the forests, and T'plaureth at that point was the only representative. Pegotaur were these enigmatic beasts and there's actually a deleted scene from Fight Alone where Ryo and Tanya nearly had a run-in with an angry mamma pegotaur.   The original Avatar movie soured me so badly I reworked things entirely. I get so sick of seeing humans painted as the villains, I thought "what if humans actually minded their own business, and what if the 'indigenous folk' were actually jerks." The pegotaur were reworked into a lost "elder race" and the Natives became more hostile and feral, with T'plaureth and T'Brandon being the only stand-out paragons.

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