This is a brief overview of the history of Medísca, with links to fuller accounts of each of the sections, where available.
A million years and more before the 'present' was the time of the Tleski, the race that ruled Medísca before the rise of the modern races. Their main civilisation was in the area subsequently known as the Triad. A strange and alien race, part animal, part plant, they were sorcerors supreme, and rumour has it that their ordinary spoken language wrought magic. Precious little knowledge of the Tleski remains, and only in ancient books of dubious provenance and even more dubious accuracy. A few examples of the script of the Tleski can be found amongst the scattered ruins of their cities.
The Tleski civilisation was wiped out in a catastrophe that devastated much of the Triad, though a few remnants are rumoured to exist in certain obscure and little-explored areas of Medísca.
After the catastrophe, a Shard of the original Crystal of Romoene (the crystal from which the whole universe was supposed to have been born) was left half-buried in the ruins of the Tleski city at the centre of the Triad. The Shard exerted an influence over the surrounding lands, such that the jungle there became dense and overgrown with plants of preternatural size, and the beasts of that area grew stronger, faster, and more cunning than their kin in the rest of the world.
The influence of the Shard also extended over the rest of Medísca, in that it flooded the world with sorcerous energy.
A tribe of proto-humanids discovered the Shard, and under its influence their nascent intelligence flowered. But the Shard's effect on different members of the tribe varied according to their existing qualities, and from this variation eventually sprang the three chief species of humans (the Medícae), Saeru, and Khoradni. This ancestral unity of the three races has long been forgotten, and all three races now consider themselves entirely distinct from one another.
In fact, four intelligent races sprang from the influence of the Shard, but only three of them were human. The fourth race were the Skletikst, a reptilian race who migrated southward from the lands of the Shard, and built a long-lived civilisation in the swamps and jungles of the southern lands of the Triad.
Most of the Medícae settled along the Khem Valley, which ran from the mountains surrounding the Shard down to the distant sea. From these first settlements there eventually emerged the Khemlath Empire, the first great civilisation of Medísca. However, the climate was slowly changing (the end, in fact, of an ice-age), and the rising sea-levels gradually flooded the Khem Valley and surrounding plains, at length forming the great sea of Témor Úris. The Khemlath Empire retreated before the encroaching sea, and disintegrated. It was eventually to re-emerge, as a mercantile empire created by the traders who grew rich on the new sea-lanes of the Témor Úris. Shortly thereafter, however, the Scarlet Empire arose in the east, on the far side of the Shard mountains, and in time conquered first the Khemlath Empire, and subsequently most of the known world.
the scarlet empire
Lasting over 500 years, the Empire of the Feathered Serpent, ruled by Berenice, the Scarlet Empress, held sway over almost all the known world. Only the distant and half-mythical realm of Shen-Tae resisted her advancing armies, and then only at the cost of vast amounts of tribute, all of which went to strengthen her hold of the rest of Medísca.
A brief note on pronunciation: Unless you have read the page about the pronunciation of Loegare, and possibly even if you have, you will probably be pronouncing the Scarlet Empress's name incorrectly! It should be pronounced beh-reh-NEET-chay.
With the death of Berenice, brought about -- at least according to legend -- by a band of heroes whose origins and subsequent fate are unknown, the Empire fell into abrupt chaos, and took the world with it.
interregnum (the years of chaos)
The years following the fall of the Scarlet Empire are largely lost in ignorance and confusion. There are virtually no records from this period, only wild and often unlikely tales, mostly designed to glamourise and justify the aggressions of one local chief or another.
the middle centuries
Out of the chaos following the fall of the Scarlet Empire, a few faltering kingdoms eventually emerged. Fear and paranoia borne of the memory of the Empire hampered the nascent kingdoms at every turn. It only required the accusation that one realm or another was intent on reinstating the Empire, and every other kingdom, and even the kingdom's own people, would turn upon it in fury.
These difficult times were not helped by a rumour and a legend -- the rumour that Berenice had not been finally slain but merely sorcerously imprisoned, and the legend of the so-called Council of Chaos, dedicated to Berenice and to restoring her and the Empire. These legends were helped by the fact that a few fragments of the Empire managed to survive as independant kingdoms.
Magic was extraordinarily scarce, and has remained so ever since. Berenice held sway largely through sorcery, and ruthlessly suppressed all magic that was not under her direct control. Once she perished, very little knowledge of magic remained, and most magical artifacts that still existed were so bound to Berenice that they either lost their powers, or became dangerously uncontrollable. Moreover, the association of magic with the Scarlet Empire meant that magic was henceforth viewed at best with deep distrust.
Starting from the 14th Century AE (After the Empire). The history of Medísca on this website is told from the perspective of this era.
Near the start of this century Samial Holben, a technologist of Ardegn, and Ulrich Meister, a merchant from Baerínia, formed the company known as the Holben-Meister Combine, and ushered in Medísca's equivalent of the industrial revolution.
Apart from a minor ice-age between -100 000 and -15 000, Medísca has enjoyed a warm inter-glacial period that has so far lasted for over 1 million years, and is probably part of the cause of the flowering of civilisation on Medísca. It is doomed to end, however, and by the 14th century the gradual decline into the next ice-age has already begun, although only the long-lived Saeru are as yet aware of this.
Beset by the encroaching ice and the lowering temperatures, the civilisations of Medísca slowly crumble over the next few hundred years, existing in increasingly straitened circumstances. In some areas people gradual return to a hunter-gatherer existance, whilst others struggle to grow new crops that are more suited to the cooler climate.
The cold-blooded S'Seriakht, unable to adjust to the new climate, finally become extinct sometime in the next two or three thousand years.
The Saeru also find the colder climate difficult to adjust to, and their numbers decline dramatically. However, a change in their metabolism, possibly as a reaction to the changing climate, results in their life-spans becoming even more extended, sometimes up to two thousand years or more. The Saeru preserve what they can of Medíscan learning and culture, even as the rest of the world descends into barbarism. Their homeland of Alquedante happens to be close to the equator, and remains reasonably equable, or at least less hostile than the rest of the world, and most of the Saeru retreat there. They become even more reclusive and secretive than before.
When in due course the next inter-glacial period arrives, approximately twelve thousand years after the current one ends, it is the Saeru who are destined to become the new dominant species of Medísca. In due course the Saeru empire will grow to control most of the world.
|-1 000 000||
Tleski civilisation at its height.
Fall of the Shard, destruction of the Tleski civilisation.
|-800 000||-700 000||
Age of the Tleski Sorcerors.
Minor ice age begins. Skletikst race encounters the Shard.
Migration of hominid tribes into the Triad begins. Skletikst civilisation spreads through southern Triad.
Hominid tribes occupy northern Triad, gradually falling under the influence of the Shard.
|-285 000||-100 000||
Hominids evolve into Medícae, Saeru, and Khoradni.
Medícae, Saeru, and Khoradni migrate away from the central Triad. Minor ice age begins to retreat.
First settlements around the headwaters of the River Khem.
First settlements in Shen-Tae and Mírcála.
First settlements in Verencia and Baerínia.
First settlements in Ardegn and Draighna. First settlements in Alghránon.
Nomadic tribes from Alghranon migrate into Helsrád, following the changing movements of the [reindeer] herds.
Rising sea-levels result in shallow, tidal swamps at the delta of the River Khem. The silting of the delta and the swamps makes the surrounding land increasingly fertile.
Lands surrounding the Khem delta begin to be cultivated. Trade of 'bherascté' (reed-wheat) along the river.
Beginnings of the first Khemlath civilisation, on the banks of the River Khem.
First Khemlath civilisation at its height.
|-8 000||-7 000||
Khemlath civilisation in decline. Formation of the Témor Úris sea.
|-3 000||-2 000||
Establishment of trading routes and cities along the Témor Úris coast.
Second Khemlath civilisation, originally founded by Hierim Mokharis Téa.
Shíhárí Islands colonised.
Catastrophic eruption of Otágní Tsol in the Shíhárí Islands.
First settlements on Hamóta Laie.
First settlements on Kyávé.
Berenice rules Cekíla, and founds the Scarlet Empire.
Khemlath capital falls to the Scarlet Empire after a lengthy siege.
The Scarlet Empire conquers Hamóta and Kyávé.
The Scarlet Empire rules most of Medísca.
Death of Berenice, the Scarlet Empress (aged 563), and the fall of the Scarlet Empire.
|1 000||1 400||
Rise of the modern kingdoms.
|1 400||2 500||
End of interglacial period. Medísca descends into barbarism in the encroaching ice age.
|2 500||12 000||
Ice Age. S'seriakht become extinct.
|12 000||?? ???||
Next interglacial period. The Saeru Conclave rules most of Medísca.