The Age of Reawakening (0 AC to 300 AC)
The Dawn of Civilization
The Age of Reawakening, is the term used in Sunar to signify the period in which mankind reemerged from the perceived dark age that was the Age of Loss. Achieving this, the ancestors to modern Sunarians gave up their formerly nomadic lifestyle and instead settled down along the banks of the Sun River, founding the first communities. This was made possible entirely because of an agricultural revolution that took root along the fertile banks of the mighty river. This revolution saw mankind discover the value of farming, and ultimately allowed the already growing population to reach new, never before seen numbers.
The first crops grown by the early inhabitants of Sunar are thought to be wheat, or other grains, as well as lentils. Root vegetables, including yams, onion, garlic, and carrot, followed soon after. Domestication of certain animals advanced tremendously around this period as well, with cattle, pigs and sheep all likely falling under man's preview at this period in time. The horse would also be domesticated around this time, but not as a riding animal. Instead, horses were valued primarily as draft animals used for plowing or hauling. It is likely that in some specific areas, the animal was also slaughtered for its meat, though given the fact that this practice is almost unheard of in modern Sunar, it can be safetly written off as lost custom, that no doubt disappeared around the time horses began to gain value as a riding animal.
All this was tenable thanks to the the Sun River's predictability, which flooded regularly, enriching the red soil of Sunar with silt collected upriver in Drumidia, and Emensis. As a result of this, the banks of the great river were then and still are one of the most fertile stretches of lands anywhere in the world. Despite the benefits regular flooding brought, it also came with severe drawbacks for the country. Early Sunarians relied heavily on the river for survival, and as such, any disparity, or alteration in the severity of its water level could spell disaster. When floodwaters rose to high, fields could be submerged, canals could be destroyed, and roads could be entirely washed away. Whole towns could even be enveloped and rendered uninhabitable if built too close to the river's edge. In contrast if a flood were missed, or below average, there existed the even greater risk of a famine. These disasters are uncommon though, and despite their severity, Sunar remains a remarkably stable and prosperous realm, that has benefited greatly from the assurance that the Sun River will always provide for its inhabitants.
The true catalyst that would mark the beginning of the Age of Reawakening, would be the arrival of large, urban communities in Central Sunar. This would not be a sudden development, but was rather a natural one that arose thanks to several centuries of stable population growth across the region as a whole. The first and most influential of these cities, would be the city of Urkadet, which sprang up along the banks of the river, and likely made its name known far afield for its mastery of pottery. While Urkadet exists as a ruin today, other cities of the period like Hecarmenu, Cuspoma and Anrudet still exist in the modern age, and are likely some of the oldest cities in the world.
Central Sunar would be the birthplace of this development thanks to its warm, temperateness that differed from the tropical Sun Delta, and the more dry and arid climate of Upper Sunar. This would not stop cities from appearing in these areas, however, and within a hundred and fifty years, cities like Khusuru, Oparna, Tholan, Wajerna and Phernac, were beginning to rise all across the three regions of Sunar.
With the rise of populous city states, inter-city warfare underwent a dramatic change in this period, as older, tribal feuds grew into large conflicts involving hundreds, and eventually thousands, of combatants. Another change in this period would be the development of large fortifications such as walls and other earthworks, as such constructions served as a major obstacle that attacking armies needed to overcome, or circumvent if they wished to defeat a rival city.
Unable to properly breach such defenses and lacking the technological know-how to create siege weaponry, attacking armies were left with the option of encircling and starving out their enemy, however, this tactic included several of its own problems. For one, the extreme fertility of the region meant that more than one harvest could be collected annually. This meant that cities could often times maintain food stores capable of lasting several years if rationed. As a result, a siege was an incredibly time consuming affair that furthermore meant, that an attacker's manpower would be needed to remain abroad for significant periods of time, an impossibility when the attacker's own crops needed harvesting in tandem. Thus, sieges were rarely employed, with warfare instead adapting into a more ceremonial role in which rival cities met at an agreed upon location, away from their protected civilian bodies, to settle their disagreements.
As a result of this manner of conducting war, conflicts were often limited in scope and waged primarily between bordering states, over blood feuds, tribute, or the right to land. More like a brawl than a battle, engagements in this age, were largely symbolic in nature, with both sides agreeing to a set location, where their combat would cause minimal damage to either side's civilian body. Because of this, it was rare for one side to possess a geographic advantage, and an actual battle was usually set upon an open plain, wherein neither party had the upper hand.
Death as well, was highly unusual in this style of war, with the defeated side often being spared and given the chance to retreat under the condition their leaders submit to imposed terms. While it is not directly known for sure, it is likely that this mindset was employed out of a desire for such a mercy to be returned, should the current victor ever be on the receiving end of such a defeat. This style of conflict resolved the issue of unassailable settlements, and made it so disagreements could often times be resolved quickly, and with minimal casualties to both sides, making the collective city states of Sunar a highly prosperous civilization where entire generations were not squandered in war.
This entire system would be utterly shattered towards the end of the period, though, when the people of Phernac, in Upper Sunar, became the first masters of siege warfare, and began to show no mercy to those who dared challenge them on the field of battle.
History of Sunar
The Age of Reawakening
Metallurgy: At the start of the age, copper metallurgy was known to mankind and had been discovered sometime in the previous millennia, during the Age of Loss, however, the exact place of its emergence is lost to history. Copper would remain the dominant metal for much of the Age of Reawakening, with craftsmen existing in every major community in Sunar. These people had mastered the art, and were skilled workers of the metal, shaping it into a variety of forms such as tools, weaponry and artwork. Cities that could supply this new found demand for copper, thus grew incredibly wealthy and became some of the largest and strongest cities of their age. Bronze, would eventually take the place of copper, sometime around the end of the age, as cities in Upper Sunar (Phernac especially) began to harness the superior metal to give them an edge in matters of war.
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