TheoriA History of Barsburg, 250-1594 AC
The History of the Empire of Barsburg

Kingdom of Barsburg: 250 AC
The Kingdom of Barsburg is established in the mid 3rd century following a decade of conquests by a Warlord named Grai Tannen. A relatively small Kingdom, the monarchy is elective in nature, with Tannen surrendering a clear succession to his children to appease discontent by the conquered cities. Tannen forms a council of the mayors of the cities within the Kingdom, who following his death will vote for the new ruler. The early Kingdom is friendly to most of its neighbours, and builds strong ties in particular with the Kingdoms of Rhoynur, Hart, and Leiya.

Coalition years: 323-400 AC
Following a series of defensive wars from nearby hostile Kingdoms and independent warlords that threaten their very survival, Barsburg, Rhoynur, Hart, and Leiya become a coalition. Given the Kingdoms all border one another, they are able to act effectively as a unified force, and form a joint military to protect this Coalition, securing their safety against larger foes. Modelled after the Barsburgian council, a Coalition council is formed, with each ruler holding a single vote. While every Kingdom contributes much, none outstrip Barsburg, who by 400 AC has become the strongest single entity of the Coalition, with over half of the joint military being composed of native Barsburgians.

The New Order: 410 AC
Barsburg engineers a constitutional summit; with the rise of the Empire of Aen in the last few decades, the Coalition faces a greater threat than ever before. The four kingdoms vote to elect a joint leader and combine under one nation and one common law, and through machinations Queen Amaya Tannen of Barsburg becomes that leader, the first Basileus. The Coalition ceases to exist, and the Empire of Barsburg rises. The former Mayoral council of Barsburg is abolished, the Empire organising into several Provinces, each gaining a representative on the new Imperial Council. The capital territories of the former Kingdoms of Rhoynur, Hart and Leiya are organised into ‘High Lordships’, the High Lords guaranteed a position on the Imperial Council and granted control over the provinces that fall under their previous Kingdoms, though all answer to the Basileus. The Rhoynish - their King considered to have lent the necessary support to ensure Tannen’s election - are granted a position of special importance as shock troops, a prestigious elite force to honour their dedication to war.

Early Empire: 411-520 AC
A period of relative turmoil. The new Empire faces a host of threats, from cities attempting to secede to attacks from the nearby Empire of Aen, who sees the new Empire as a threat to its regional supremacy. The rebellious cities are defeated by the Imperial army with relative ease, and the ‘Early Empire’ era ends when Barsburg wins a hard fought war against Aen and absorbs an Aen province into their empire.

Secession of the Rhoynur: 620ish AC
Basileus Pree Schmidt was a prideful and lustful man. While he already had a handful of concubines, the sight of newly-made High Lady Natasa Dayndros of Rhoynur’s beauty was followed shortly by a demand she become another of his mistresses. Dayndros was not pleased. Historical record is not clear about this event, but either the High Lady defeated a large number of challengers in a tournament and then beat the Basileus nearly to death before departing with her people, or she simply declared that such a presumption was a grand insult, and the Rhoynish were subsequently exiled. Natasa was a Traditionalist, who believed that the Rhoynish were better as a tribal society, and abandoned much of Rhoynish technological advancement for traditional ways. The Rhoynish leave Barsburgian territory, travelling until they settle in a stretch of unclaimed land near Esshar’s western border. This territory becomes known as the Tribelands of Rhoynur, with a city of the same name being built shortly afterwards.

Foreign Aid: 696 AC
Barsburg comes to loyalist Esshar’s aid during the Bastard Rebellion, taking part in the Red Spring and helping end the war. Through this, they gain valuable trade opportunities and a defensive ally should Aen attack, a reasonable fear given recent Aen expansion in nearby regions. Barsburg - led at this time by Basileus Dara Schmidt, grandson of Pree Schmidt - was partially galvanised due to the chance to fight Rhoynish and repay the insult from decades ago, Eros Petaris’ rebels being supported by the Rhoynish warlord Damikles of Korith.

The Seven Wars: 720-794 AC
With Esshar on the verge of collapse due to famines, poverty and general internal dissent, Barsburg loses its insurance against Aen. The Aen Empire promptly invades, and the next seventy or so years are marked by extreme turmoil caused by several Barsburg-Aen wars, with both sides taking and losing territory but Barsburg - at times during the period on the brink of complete collapse - ultimately coming out on top thanks to the leadership of General Pyr Dobrev, who becomes the first Imperial ‘Noble’ by order of the current Basileus. The conclusion of the final war - and the cumulative effect of the previous six - renders Aen incapable of further aggression for the next fifty years.

The Era of Prosperity: 800-1300 AC
The Empire enjoys a golden age of culture, wealth, and military success. The occupied territories are made Imperial provinces proper, and several attempts by the Aen Empire to take them back are foiled, along with the Empire absorbing several smaller kingdoms into its territory. By this point, it is perhaps the largest nation on Aegis, rivalled in strength only by the Essharan Empire and the Empire of Aen. With the opening of naval opportunities due to the fading of the peace barriers, Barsburg sends ships to explore the world, making contact with several nations and establishing a strong naval trade network. While around the late 13th century things begin to normalise, the Empire remains strong.

The Introduction of Magitech: 1400 AC
Magitechnological advances enter a renaissance of sorts, with ideas and blueprints from all over the world encouraging the Artificers of Barsburg to think big. More importantly, the Basileus of the time is a strong patron of the Artificing arts, and pushes a lot of funding into technological advances. Between that and Magnolia designs stolen by Barsburgian spies, the Empire quickly advances. Ethical standards are largely eschewed in the name of progress, and secularism grows within the Empire as more wondrous inventions are made, inventions that on occasion replicate the workings of the Primordials themselves.

The New Culture: 1580 AC
Basileus Vasek Hus is a paranoid man, and reports of the unification of Agartha under the Reimara Concordat sparks fears that what is seen as a young but extremely powerful realm thanks to the Spire Shards may seek to expand its sphere of influence. He determines that the best way for Barsburg to survive such a threat is to unify as it has never before. While propaganda has been a tool long used in the Empire, it intensifies to an extreme degree. Individual cultures are declared to be counterproductive to a safe and secure society, and the Emperor introduces the Machine Doctrine. Under this, the Empire is reorganised; Barsburg becomes a single culture society, one where progress is held above all. Citizens are expected to work towards the common good however the government determines it, and the Empire rapidly industrialises. The Military also is reformed, and intense ‘Patriotism campaigns’ encourage citizens to enlist for the glory of the Empire. A tour of military service becomes a condition of citizenship.

Artra and Leiben’s Coup: 1594 AC
The Machine Doctrine is more successful than it was ever believed possible. The population rapidly radicalises under it, and the Military is led to several excellent successes by the popular General Vulka Leiben. After being granted ‘pyr’ for her actions in a campaign against Aen, she begins to conspire in the background with Joseph pyr Artra, a high ranking administrator and one of the Basileus’s top advisors. In 1594 AC, the two launch a coup; Artra is the grandson of a previous Basileus, and with Leiben holding the Military’s loyalty, there is little resistance. Basileus Vasek Hus, left with no other way to save his life, abdicates his position, and a vote of the Imperial Council naturally installs Joseph Artra as the new Basileus. Hus is assassinated days later. Artra’s first decree is to make the position of ‘Imperator’, the military leader of the Imperial forces and of equal power to Basileus, as only befits a truly militarist society. With his declaration, the Empire of Barsburg finally becomes The Machine.
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A History of Barsburg, 250-1594 AC - by Theori - 03-27-2021, 11:38 AM

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