A Taster of the Ertosian Empire
Well I mentioned in my welcome post that I was currently kneedeep in a grandiose work of literary folly. I'm going to knock together a digest version of Volume 1's content for you all, but here's a small overview of the key stuff...
Ertosia is a prominent nation on the continent of Sudimar, which itself rests upon the world of Fragment (just a concept name, no one on the world calls it this...). Sudimar is one of the three main human dominated continents, and has existed in relative isolation for nearly a millennia. This period of time is known as the 6th Age, though as the 6th Age is dated from the foundation of Ertosia, all other continents still count today as the 5th Age.
The Ages themselves are constructed concepts, not universally tangible epochs. Each Age follows a cataclysm that ended the previous one. Before the 1st Age was the Blackening, a catastrophe so apocalyptic and ancient that it essentially marks the cut-off for historical knowledge (though I have a broad sketch of the 2 millennia leading up to it), and the Dawn of Days, when the current sentient races began to evolve.
Fragment has a fully worked out system of evolution and geology. I've gotten away from plate tectonics and designed a new system that should keep anyone like me (a non-scientist with a dabbling interest in physics) satisfied.
On Sudimar, a great Empire once spanned the continent. The breakdown and dissolution of that power has bred a mix of cultures similar to post-Roman Europe, though this is a gross generalisation. I used that period as the canvas I painted over.
Over the past 861 years, Ertosia has risen from a wartorn confederation of feudal baronies into an Empire that spanned a quarter of this vast continent. It has also sunken into a small rump state that, despite experiencing occasional Renaissances, is too deeply locked in decline and stagnation to truly recover.
Volume 1 of my history mainly focusses on the story of Ertosia, but also delves into the other cultures of Sudimar through the interactions the Empire has.
The book sweeps from the broad brushstrokes of epic history down to intensely personal portraits of the Ten Dynasties of Imprators. Every Imprator has been fully fleshed out with personality, along with many other significant figures. The artistic and literary movements of the continent are set down and Ertosia truly evolves like another culture would.
Ertosia had its share of great rulers. Amongst them are...
- Astaval I the Wolf (1-11 EIR), the 1st Dynasty founder of the Empire
- Devrashal I Dwaerbreaker (47-85 EIR)
- Talwar I (136-139 EIR), the great General of the Interim Period
- Astaval II the Restorer (149-170)
- Kyrial III the Golden (381-407)
- Bestus VI the Hammer of Reason (749-754)
And also its villains... Empellabael III the Bloody, Aemerical II the Mad and Kidagae leap to mind.
Every one of these men and women are fully fledged characters that I enjoy rereading the notes on today, two years into the project.
Meanwhile, Ertosia deals with the other nations of Sudimar, from its age-old rivalry with the progressive monarchy and now Republic of Aulan, the on-again off-again occupied state of Borask, the great southern trading nation of Suslund, the "barbaric" nations of Vale and Dilphen, the theocracies that sprang up in Juseppe, Astlund and the Baraclaw, not to mention the wars against the isolated and arrogant Tarasqi nations and the Rech.
Writing it has been exciting and sometimes infuriating. I've neglected my other children on the other continents, from the immense monastery-laboratories of Draea to the spice-laden indolence and brutal barbarism on Jivenni, as well as the far more alien cultures on Archus, Intifada and Urdanic, and I can't wait to get back to them soon.
I look forward using you people as foils for the work, and foisting my amateurish maps upon you.