From Kilomunj to Glerigh.
This piece is written to give more insight on the time period in Ethain history between the start of Ad aka Kayrion (After the Reformer, signaling the change of dates from descending in absolute value to ascending in it) and the beginning of the Great Northern War. At either end lay the great kings Kilomunj and Glerigh, mentioned respective to their time of reign. Within this smaller period of Ethain history there are yet smaller important eras that will be marked as exceptionally relevant to the nation's history. Finally, this piece will focus mostly on the Jasonic kingdom of Etha as that is where the modern state has its roots, although some focus will be placed on the other polities of the Ethanga landmass.
Kilomunj Jason Kayrion.
'Kilomunj Jason, the Great Reformer" was the first true Ethain king in the way that the institution of Ethain monarchy is commonly thought of. Whereas the previous ruler of the kingdom had styled themselves "Kings of Tyro", by Kilomunj's reign the status of the royal person would change.
For background, it is pertinent to understand what the status of the region had been at this time. Since the death of Ekar Jason, child of queen Gotha and grandson of Kyohz Jason himself, the realm of Kyohz had fractured. Royal power had been expanding over the generations. Kyohz and Gotha had both added significant territories to the kingdom, and Ekar had managed to push the borders over the Ethaine mountain range via an extensive network of fortifications. Yet even by Gotha's time these gains were showing cracks in the kingdom. Governors were more and more free-willed and self-interested and borders were harder and harder to defend. Part of the issues laid in the propensity to give governorships to family members, as well as what is now believed to have been a migration of peoples in the region. After Ekar, however, the region outright fractured politically. Thus, beginning in around the year 200 B.K. (Beri aka Kayrion, meaning before the Reformer) the state was divided between many different warring factions, many of them presumably headed by members of the Jason family claiming for their own the right to rule everything. While the broken kingdom warred with its own fragments, external threats from the north, east, and west preyed upon its weakness.
Despite the constant warring, there was still much progress in what would become the bedrock of modern Ethain culture; in particular, the codification and philosophical development of Ethaine occurred during this time. Ethaine is the name given to the religion of Etha and Ethernia. Its name means something along the lines of "Tree of Life" or "All Life" and its root word is shared by Etha (Life, Land, or People) and Ethernia (Northern Land/People). It has its roots in the "Pefazi faith", that being the gods and traditions brought to Tyro by the Jasons when they left from Pefaz. Near immediately after it came to the north it started to adapt to the local customs, adopting gods or conflating them with its own. Though it was during this time, sponsored by the plethora of courts at the time, that the religion molded into something much different. Great theologians and philosophers debated the nature of the universe, the roles of the gods in the lives of man, and how one should act in life. These teachings slowly coalesced until religious orders and societies started to develop, linking followers across the warring states. By the time of Kilomunj's birth, all of these teachings were regarded as constituting the Ethaine faith. It was the religion's focus on order and harmony and the duty of civilized kings to uphold these things that led to the growing equivalence of the kingdom (Formally of Tyro) to the landmass of Etha or, sometimes anachronistically referred to as Ethanga by modern historians to differentiate between the kingdom and the land.
Perhaps the irony of a philosophy praising a fractured kingdom for upholding order and harmony spurred action, because the kingdom did soon revive in full. Kilomunj was, according to his own official records, born as the son of the legitimate king of Tyro. The contemporary sources largely concur that he conquered or persuaded the neighboring states very soon after his rise to power. There are reasons to doubt much of what Kilomunj's supporters or chroniclers wrote, as his statement of past affairs goes in flagrant opposition to what earlier records say. Regardless of the authenticity of all of what he said, however, his rise to power was crucial to the state's evolution.
When most of the warring states were under the control of the king, Kilomunj began a great restructuring of the kingdom. He claimed that the warlords were abolished and that royal governorships were renewed. The Ethain calendar at this point changes its dates from descending to ascending in celebration of the rebirth of the kingdom. By Kilomunj's decree, the role of the king was, in line with the teachings of Ethaine, that of a protector of peace, a bringer of order, and a herald of civilization. As part of his duties, Kilomunj set his armies on the lost territories of the kingdom, at first setting up the march of Bado in the east, tasked with defending the kingdom from plains invaders, then going west to reconquer Eswass and Provune, securing the western border. The most intensive conquests, however, laid in the north. Here, the old stretch of castles had fallen to northern invaders. Kilomunj and his contemporaries referred to these people as the "Silalok", meaning "Forest Castles." It was a fitting name, as the Silalok was a blanket term for the forest dwelling inhabitants of the region who had set up power bases around old castles from the kingdom's earlier days. Kilomunj, having seen acceptable success, wrote that he had "Conquered the 200 forest tribes" when in all likelihood he had made some of them submit as tributaries while conquering some others outright. Although his successors would not see the same sort of success as he had, the kingdom did not fracture after Kilomunj. This means that however much exaggeration or outright lying that his records hold, Kilomunj's restructuring of the kingdom was effective enough for a lasting peace and stability. All of this make Kilomunj what many historians consider the first true king of Etha, compounded by the fact that he took that title as well. Kilomunj eventual passing left the realm in the hands of his son, Mygimux. Although not as pivotal as his father, Mygimux's reign kept the kingdom together and the borders secure.
The Wild North.
The "Ethains" (As they will be called for simplicity) were something of an anomaly in Ethanga. Most of the landmass was populated by tribes and small scale political structures. Pefaz in the south, where the Jasons had come from, were one of the few large scale, "civilized" states. They, in turn, were influenced by the Asomians, who were much closer to the traditional hearth of Johorne civilization- the great central waterways that separate Gala, Fripperland, Kolaskyva, and Ethanga. Thus, while most of Ethanga was low in development, this kingdom of Etha- the great beacon of stability, order, and civilization- stuck out among the many tribes. To no one was this more apparent to than the Ethains themselves. What lay beyond their border was the great untamed chaos of the wilds. The expansion the state was ideal, as it would spread civilization and bring order. Thus, driven by the philosophy of Ethaine and the duty it beheld to them, many Ethain kings were pressured to move north, east, and west.
To the North of the Ethains lay, first, the Silalok, then further afield semi-nomadic populations in the northern plains, who were themselves south of practically mythical peoples like the Otrakar and Filajidin. Finally, after the land met sea in the north in modern day Denk, the land of Ethernia lay a short sail away. Here were tribes that even the hardiest of northern Ethanga tribes feared. The Ethernians were great seafarers, particularly in the western region, Kryti, and they raided along the Aroen in Etha.