Unathi History

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Pre-Hegemony

While most records were tragically lost in the later years of the Contact War, Unathi and human scholars theorize that Unathi lifestyles were predominantly nomadic in their early history. Up until 100 CE Unathi clans consisted of small villages usually numbering no more than 500 following the large herd of Threshbeasts across the savannas that dominated the planet’s surface. Clans at the time weren’t accustomed to using weapons, as their natural talons served well enough to kill enemies in battle, leaving most early Unathi warfare being brutal hand-to-hand affairs.

Around 300 CE, many clans had settled down after discovering the benefits of aquaculture, or the mass husbandry of fish, as well new innovations in preserving meat. The population swelled, and the first true cities had established themselves.

The planet was still divided amongst several hundred different clans, all of which were nearly unanimously hostile towards one another. Trade between clans was limited, leaving the balance of wealth and technological advancement severely stratified.

Early Unathi societies, before the creation of paper currency in the 20th century, would measure their wealth in salted fish, with trade and transactions using salted fish. A village could quite literally eat themselves into bankruptcy.

The First Hegemony

What few surviving records remain show that by 1000 CE, most of the planet’s surface was dominated between a dozen clans, each holding vast swaths of land. The Kres'ha'nor Clan is shown to have been the most powerful, controlling a population base of twelve million and a professional army, including the first recorded use of War Riders. They ruled over numerous Lords, all of whom lived in a system of feudalism, owing the Kres’ha’nor clan their loyalty and armies in exchange for protection and land.

The Kres’ha’nor Hegemony lasted from roughly 920 CE - 1500 CE, benefiting from the brutal War Rider shock troops wielding steel glaives and heavy maces. It was the unquestioned power of the world, owning land and wealth which allowed it the industries necessary to forge steel, levy taxes, and even build walls around their cities to protect from raiders. This lasted until Clan Leader Kresshi Kres’ha’nor had died, his many sons fighting over who would rule the Clan in his place. The Hegemony fractured and collapsed into a dozen smaller, feuding clans with the Kres’ha’nor dynasty itself disappearing completely after the war ended.

The Kres’ha’nor Hegemony had subjugated its neighbors for many years, and with it collapse the rest of Moghes began to gravitate away from one another and back to their isolated way of living.

Growth of Guilds

The 1600's saw a new phenomenon develop, originating within the divided kingdoms of the former Kres'ha'nor Hegemony. When merchants found they could accomplish more as a group rather than through individual effort, they banded together to form guilds. Guilds formed for bakers, butchers, grocers, millers, smiths, carpenters, weavers, mason, shoemakers, in fact, nearly every trade had its own guild. Standards such as just weights and measures evolved from the guilds, and guild inspectors would inspect shops to ensure rules were being followed. Guilds would help members that were sick, or in trouble, and would sometimes take care of families after the member died.

A map of Moghes before the Contact War.

Apprenticeship was how most started in a particular trade, which they would follow the rest of their lives. After completing an apprenticeship, the appropriate guild would examine his work and see if he could be elevated to a Craftsman. A Craftsman was required to create a "masterpiece" in the presence of judges to be elevated to Master status, which would allow him to join the leadership of his guild.

Guilds also built and ran the first universities on Moghes, the first known being the University of Ma'ha'rem which opened in 1602. Originally trade schools, they slowly expanded to become centers of learning for apprentices of every field. A doctor would have to first become a "Master" through a university to be allowed to practice his trade within towns or cities controlled by a guild of doctors, and the same for any other brand of skilled work. A Master's certificate also distinguished someone as a professional with few peers, giving their holders immense prestige and trust. A fully credited and certified doctor on Moghes would be (and are still) known as a Master Doctor. Typically they are known as [Rank] [Craft], so you can also be a Master Weaponsmith or Master Engineer.

Eventually these guilds managed to form powerful monopolies and they spread their trade and influence across Moghes. Most of the landed elite feared the growth of the guilds, who were creating a new middle-class of urban worker. That a peasant could rise to gain prestige and vast wealth with no land, titles, or martial victories under their belt was an idea bewildering and frustrating. The late 1600's and the beginning of the 1700's saw many Kingdoms across Moghes cracking down on the power of guilds, stripping them of privileges or banning craftsmen from meeting in groups. Other nations ruthlessly suppressed private enterprise. Many laws were passed that strictly limited how many members a guild could possess, as well as requiring all craftsmen to register with their local Lords before being allowed to sell any goods or services.

Guilds also developed another innovation: minting and issuing coinage. Because it was rather difficult to do large transactions with giant piles of dehydrated fish, the first Guilds in the 16th century began minting coins made of steel that would be backed by that amount of fish, similar to bank notes. They could be turned in, theoretically, at any time for an equivalent amount of salted fish. This saw Moghes begin to gravitate away from measuring wealth by fish stocks, and towards a more familiar economy, though the Fish Standard remained for quite some time.

The Second Hegemony

In 1823 CE, records show the first use of a steam engine by the Ras’iks Clan in S’th. The technological breakthrough sparked industrialization amongst the urbanized clans, but the developments weren’t felt beyond the new industrialized nations. It was even rejected with outright hostility in many areas outside the city, with many unathi resenting the upsets to traditional ways of life. Surviving records have numerous accounts of uprisings and attempts revolutions in industrialized nations, while the more primitive neighbors continued to aggressively raid their more advanced, and thus wealthy neighbors. It’s unclear if these events were random violence, or the first global war amongst the Unathi clans.

The growth of industrialization also threatened the major Guilds. In the centuries before industrialization these organizations were associations of artisans or merchants who control the practice of their craft in a particular town or city. The introduction of factories and growth of unskilled labor disrupted the entire concept of skilled labor; many skilled craftsmen found themselves outpaced and outproduced by a single factory. The consequences of industrialization also saw an explosion of urbanization, with large populations of unskilled workers migrating from rural areas to get jobs in the cities. Unathi society transformed itself from a primarily aquaculture (the mass farming of fish) society into one based on the manufacturing of goods and services.

It's shown with limited surviving records that, by 1922, the Sarakus Clan rose to power following a war amongst the industrialized nations and created a Hegemony. They ruled most of the land around the Moghresian Sea and the vast planes to the east of the sea. Their clan ruled harshly, and forced technological advances into the cities and towns in order to increase the wealth of their clan and loyal Lords. The Sarakus abolished the private Guilds and consolidated their associations and enterprises to be controlled directly by the throne. The Sarakus leased out titles to factories, businesses, and other enterprises to landed Lords of the realm. This allowed the ruling elite to continue to directly control the lower class of unskilled labor just as they did before industrialization.

Industrialization

In 1931 the Sarakus also embarked on several ambitious projects to modernize the empire, all under the ambitious plan called the "Great Endeavor", the brainchild of Hegemon Azyi Sarakus. While electricity had been known and produced on Moghes since the 1800's electricity was still rare and limited to the capital and a handful of other major cities. Using vast amounts of unskilled labor the Sarakus built hundreds of coal and hydroelectric power plants, all leased out to be operated by loyal nobles. Cities all found themselves with access to electricity within 10 years. Light-bulbs replaced candlelight, and street lights lit up the roads and sidewalks even on the darkest of nights.

Ambitious infrastructure projects were also embarked on. The concept of gasoline-powered cars had been known, but the vast majority of roads across the Sarakus Hegemony were dirt roads unfriendly to mechanized travel. Travel was exclusively done by walking or, if you had the money, riding on Threshbeasts. A vast stretch of cobblestone roads was built between every major city and within them. While the streets within cities were being torn up, the Sarakus also had the ancient, decrepit sewage systems modernized and improved in a massive sanitation project.

Radio coverage was expanded across the globe as the Sarakus expanded radio coverage and built telephone lines, allowing every corner of the Empire to have direct and quick communication with the capital.

The Great Endeavor took 20 years, and Azyi Sarakus died of old age at 62 before being able to see it finished. The project was symbolically finished with a grand opening of the Sarakus Castle after it had gone under renovations to modernize it with electricity and modern plumbing.

In the end the Great Endeavor ruthlessly modernized Moghes. While the benefits to the state were immense, there was also significant uprooting of traditional Unathi society. With the modernization of factories and growing industrialization skilled labor was becoming less valued. While the wealth of the Sarakus Hegemony increased, many within and outside the empire began to resent the growth, feeling that the Sarakus had urbanized and industrialized the empire at the expense of its soul.

The rest of Moghes was divided as it always had been, between non-industrialized unathi nations. Technology and innovations from the Sarakus slowly trickled into their Clans and kingdoms, but life existed much as it had for a thousand years. Most Clans still fought with steel weapons and armor while the lower classes acted as manual labor in aquaculture farms or mines beneath the wealthy elites of skilled craftsmen.

The Third Hegemony

We do know without a doubt that in 1994, the Sarakus Clan ceased to exist after a sudden coup by a group known as the Traitor Lords. They stormed the Sarakus castle in Ma’ha’rem and slew the entire family and contingent of Clan Guard, establishing Lord Neeziah Izweski as the new ruling Clan Leader. The sudden, brutal coup sent shock-waves through the nation. It was almost unthinkable that Lords would turn on their Clan Leader in such a way.

Immediately most Lords rebelled, forming the Honored Alliance. The civil war lasted for decades, spreading to include most of the planet and Clans. It was a new type of war, with ballistic weapons first used by Izweski infantry. The bullets are most similar to 21st century Earth anti-tank rifles, but due to Unathi armored plates became a standard infantry weapon. Heavy, unwieldy, and expensive to make with the limited industry, no more than a few thousand were ever fielded. But when they were used, it’s recorded that they were devastating. Wielding melee weapons and charging into battle as they always had, War Riders and infantry would be whittled down from unheard of distances.

The war lasted until 2079 CE, when the Honored Alliance signed a cease-fire with the Izweski Nation. The war had seen many cities razed and looted, and deaths in the millions. The entire planet of Moghes was wounded, and would not recover for decades. Until First Contact, the surviving Clans and Izweski Nation rebuilt and consolidated their power.

Once their control of the empire was secure, the Izweski embarked on several ambitious projects that completely reversed the policies of the Sarakus. The Izweski abolished the control of the nobility over the Guilds while encouraging the concept of free trade. Regulations over the Guilds vanished within a few short years, and the 2100's saw a rebirth of these associations. They eventually evolved into trade unions in the 2120's. Industry and business was privatized as the nobility lost their privileges over the economy and workers. Many of the established elite resented these changes. Anti-union violence exploded in the 2120's and 2130's, with Lords and Clan Lords using their troops to brutally suppress union strikes or meetings. Many lords also revolted against the Izweski in the same period,demanding their privileges be returned. The uprisings were met with brutality, with victorious Izweski commanders often decapitating rebel leaders.

The Modern Economy

Despite the unrest and turmoil industrialization and free trade had brought to the Izweski Hegemony the process continued. By the turn of the century in the 2200's an early form of globalization and mass media had developed within Moghes. The growing middle class within the Izweski Hegemony had grown to be a sizable economic and political force, but interestingly the innovations and reforms drastically changed the cultural and social spheres of Unathi life there is very little evidence of radical political change.

Major cities across Moghes were filled with clunky cars navigating traffic as stoplights replaced traffic cops, and most homes had access to televisions, radios, and other modern amenities. Guilds owned monopolies over specific goods and services. Powerful merchant families owned hospital chains, pharmaceutical companies, car companies, television networks; a dynastic control of private enterprise had developed. An urban, middle-class Unathi found themselves with all the modern luxuries and basic goods that were available to the average human in the 21st century.

However there was also a significant population of the lower and under-class in urban Unathi society. Nearly every major city had sprawling slums that surrounded the industrial districts, filled with underpaid factory workers who ironically found their rights curtailed by the powerful trade unions. Guwans specifically were ruthlessly exploited, forced to work as street sweepers or maintain the sewers. Orphans found themselves cared for in boardhouses owned by a Guild until they turned 16, when they were forced to work for the Guild to pay back the debt they incurred caring for them.

The Izweski are recorded to have made little effort to alleviate the abject poverty many Unathi were suffering from the rampant abuse of the major trade unions, believing that the consequences were necessary to maintain a modern, functioning empire.

Pre-Contact Moghean Currency

The Izweski also made one last major change by centralizing the currency. Since the 16th century private Guilds had issued their own steel coins, and it was all massively decentralized. The Izweski outlawed the Guild's former inherent right to print and manage money, placing it instead under the Imperial Bank, which was created in 2212.

This bank became the only institution that could mint coins, called Zikis. The bank also began issuing paper money, called Zakas. Both the steel coins and paper notes were backed by salted fish until 2251, when the currency was taken off the Fish Standard. The Zaka became the reserve currency of Moghes by 2290, and continued to be so until it was replaced by the Galactic Credit following contact with humanity.

Refugee Crisis.
The Izweski Nation finds itself struggling to accommodate refugees trying to escape the growing Wasteland.

First Contact

In 2433, a human exploration team discovered Moghes. Shortly after, first contact was made. Humanity established contact with Clan Izweski, which proved to be controversial amongst the Sol Alliance. Many people questioned the morals of interacting with a pre-warp race that had only reached the technological level of Earth in the 21st century. But unheeding the warnings, Sol Alliance merchants and scholars flocked to Moghes, living under very careful observation and guard in Izweski cities. Skalamar, the second largest city in Izweski, became the first Unathi city to have a shuttleport constructed. Owned by Nanotrasen, it served to transport people to and from the planet’s surface.

It should be noted that before First Contact, Moghes had the technological level equivalent to Earth in the early 21st century. However this was extremely stratified and mostly constrained to the major cities in what is now known as the Untouched Lands. Other areas of Moghes, namely in the countryside and outside Izweski control, were equivalent to Earth in the 20th or 19th century. The Unathi had access to modern medicine, universities, and other modern amenities, if they were a member of the middle class or nobility. However most of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of landed vassals, and few unlanded Unathi had the ability or means to advance in society. A complex global trade network was also present. Unathi at this time had mechanized, with access to clunky, open-top cars powered by traditional gasoline. Power generation was utilized mostly through natural gas and hydro-electric dams along with other biofuels. All major cities had modern infrastructure and civil services, electricity, and plumbing.

The Contact War

In-depth information: Contact War

Prelude

In 2437, the Izweski Nation had established the Izweski Space Program, and with bootlegged Sol Alliance technology constructed a rocket intended to carry 300 unathi colonists to their system’s second habitable planet, Ouerea. The launch was a disaster, with a yet-unidentified failure causing the rocket to explode after reaching 2,000 feet and the death of all hands. The failure sends shockwaves through all of Moghes, with the Izweski Nation suddenly besieged by scattered, angry neighboring Clans outraged by the unnatural use of technology leading to the loss of so many lives.

The Sol Alliance partnered with the Jargon Federation to help Izweski construct a second rocket, with Nanotrasen engineers and scientists helping construct it. Its launch was successful, and Ouerea was colonized by 350 Unathi under the guidance of the Sol and Skrellian Alliances on February 3rd, 2438.

The other Clans of Moghes were horrified on this turn of events, seeing the entire Unathi way of life being turned upside down so quickly. They blamed the Izweski Nation of coddling “alien invaders”, and formed the Traditionalist Coalition, which invaded the Izweski Nation. Izweski itself began to see civil unrest from angry commoners and Lords.

The Contact War 2438 - 2449

The Izweski colonization of Ourea was the final catalyst for the Contact War, which began with the sudden invasion of Izweski lands east of Res'karum by the Traditionalist Coalition three days after the Izweski Colonists landed on Ourea. Conventional fighting lasted a year, from February 6th 2438 to September 5th 2439.

Gun emplacements.
It's unknown how the Coalition acquired atomic weapons, but many conspiracy theories persist.

On September 5th, 2439, the Traditionalist Coalition suddenly dropped an atomic bomb on the Izweski city of Da’ha’den, obliterating it and sparking a global nuclear war, with the exchange of atomic and nuclear weapons continuing for an entire week.

The origin of the Coalition's access to atomic weapons remains a mystery and subject to countless conspiracy theories. Whereas the Izweski Hegemony had atomic and basic hydrogen bombs with missiles to deliver them world-wide, no nation in the Traditionalist Coalition had any recorded successes with atomic or hydrogen bombs, nor the capability to mount any on rockets or bombs before the war began. The prospect of the Coalition managing to rush a nuclear weapons program in under a year and mass produce over a hundred atomic bombs is one that many Unathi have a difficult time accepting. Conspiracies range from defecting Izweski scientists leaking secrets to the Coalition, to human or skrell involvement.

The War continued on after the nuclear exchange, but it became a desperate war of attrition and survival. The war's formal conclusion is widely accepted to be when exhausted Izweski forces captured the Coalition capital city of Darakath ten years after the bombs fell, on December 4th, 2449, signalling the defeat of the last organized force left to oppose the Izweski, ending the 11 year long conflict.

Aftermath

In retaliation for the war crimes preformed by the Traditionalists, being the atomic detonations and multiple other accusations, every single Traditionalist leader was decapitated whenever they were captured without any form of trial. At the start of the war the population of Moghes was 8 billion, and by 2458 it stands at 6.2 billion.

In addition, nuclear weapons have become utterly despised nearly universally by all Sinta'Unathi. The surviving elements of the Izweski Hegemony have made clear and concerted efforts to find and dismantle any remnant of nuclear programs across Moghes while they themselves have dismantled nearly their entire stockpile, with the goal of total disarmament by 2460.

Unathi Today

By 2458, most of the interior of Moghes is uninhabitable. While the yields were lower than thermonuclear weapons, the fallout is still posing massive problems for Moghes. Most of the planet is now engulfed by a single desert, which is aptly named “The Wasteland”. During the Contact war and after it, the Izweski Hegemony has found itself facing a catastrophic collapse of the eco-system. The sole remaining cities still functioning exist in the Untouched Lands; shielded by the massive mountain ranges from the fallout and encroaching desert sands.

The Izweski Nation exists as a shell of its former self. Its influence extends around Skalamar and Ma’ha’rem in the Untouched Lands, with Hegemon and Clan Leader S’kresti ruling it unquestioned, but the rest of the planet has devolved into the feudal system of Clan-ship, with ideologies, technology, and economies varying wildly. Moghean Unathi find themselves faced with the choice of continuing to do little more than etch out an existence on the home planet, or take lucrative offers from Nanotrasen and other megacorp to join their workforce. In addition, the Hegemony finds itself facing massive swarms of refugees spilling through its borders. Many Lords and Clan Lords have tried to shut the gates to the refugees, as millions of them continue to seek refuge in the Untouched Lands, overwhelming the already stressed support structures of the Izweski state. Since the end of the Contact War the Hegemony has tried to deal with these refugees by shipping them off to space as fast as possible, many of them being former Traditionalist or even Izweski warriors that returned home to find their clans had ceased to exist. This accounts for the large number of Unathi raiders present in knwon space. The population remains at 6.2 billion Unathi, and remains in a steady decline. It is estimated by human scientists that Moghes will be rendered completely uninhabitable to Unathi life within 100 years unless the planet is terraformed to mitigate the damage, though terraforming inhabited planets remains incredibly dangerous.

The Ouerean Unathi are faring far better. Though it was jointly administered by the Sol Alliance and Jargon Federation, it was restored under the direct control of the Hegemon during a series of diplomatic incidents in the summer of 2457. Now it faces an influx of immigrants from Moghes placing stress on its institutions and shaky transition back to the Hegemony, and an upset away from the more liberal lifestyle they enjoyed under the Skrell and Human administration...