Ainu AAR – Part II: Dawn of the Ainu Civilization

Picking up from Part I, I’m writing exposition surrounding the events of my final epic Civ 4 campaign. After this,  I have to reformat my old computer, and might never get to play the game again. Moreover, Civ5 has become vastly more popular, it’s more fun to play, even if the world building aspects are less significant. Also, Paradox titles vastly eclipse Civ4 in terms of believability. So here goes, one last time for old times sake.

From Village to Empire

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The Yayoi Period

Local Growth & Obsidian Weaponry

The early years of the Ainu culture in Nara began as simply as it had started, this period of initial growth and development of self sufficiency is known as the Yayoi period. They started as a group of self-sufficient fishing clans and a became a new class of logger-men, forest hunters, and tribal warriors. The prime timber of the Naran peninsula offered an abundant stock of hardwoods for constructing an ever larger boating fleet. Moreover, it would allow f or the construction of deadly siege weapons and sturdy stock for blunt clubs and axes. The discovery of obsidian deposits to the north brought in a greater generosity of available weapon types.

Perhaps the most notable of these early Ainu weapons was the use of the Mezzachoda, a club like mace, with grooved insets of obsidian laced into the frame of the central shaft. This weapon proved quite effective at hacking through the hatched wicker armor which was common in that early era. While little is known about the battle strategies employed by these weapons’ wielders, one certainty is the terror of anyone facing down a raid by a group of bearded Yayoi war chiefs.

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Early Trade Engagements

At first, generations of hunters and tribe leaders, used these advances in weapon technologies to either hunt the abundant game of northern Akita, or else to engage in tribe to tribe combat. These anarchistic times with warring between tribes, only lasted for a brief time. For as the inland advances of the Yayoi warriors pushed northward, the fishermen of the Mediterasian seas became avid traders. The nearest and greatest trading port was that of Rome.

The Romans had ownership of many great terraces of grapes for crafting wine. Their shores were filled with salt and marble, which allowed for the construction of marvelous buildings and well preserved fish. What the Romans had, the Ainu coveted. The Ainu had ample land for cultivation, abundance of the forest and the sea. However, once the tastes of Rome had reached Naran elite and nearby tribal chieftains, plans arose to take these lands to be their own.

At first, the Yayoi chiefs spent generations pirating the coastal waters between the two cities, and occasional expeditions to the second Roman harbor of Antium. However, after some time, an infuriated Rome demanded that Nara reign in on its delinquent tribal raiders. During this period, leadership in the Ainu culture had begun to centralize in Nara. A line of tribal leaders became to be seen as more of de facto rulers. This early form of state had a line of matriarchal rules, starting with the Empress Gemmei.

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Conquest of Rome & Celtia

The Canoe Siege

What had originated as a trade dispute between the Ainu and the Romans, quickly escalated into a full blown military conflict. Gemmei had her troops rallied behind the leadership of “General” Kusama. Before the declaration of war, there had been no true leadership roles or solid structure within the Ainu army. The formalization of war as a political mechanization changed the way the society would operate for the next several millenia.

Kusama rallied his forces into action, quickly training the men to keep rank while engaging in hand to hand combat. He also oversaw the production process for crafting the units of siege. The log-rams would bring their battering logs across the sea, and once embarked onto the peninsula, would work to quickly craft a protective shell. In such a way, the siege could go with units protected from arrow-fire.

During this early period, the army of Nara was larger than the boating fleet could handle. The only way to cross onto the narrow Roman peninsula was to invade in waves, ferrying more men across. Before any attempt could be made at capturing Rome, the Ainu had to encamp upon the northeaster shores and fortify their position.

After the bulk of the Ainu force had made landfall, the march towards Rome took place. In their wait, the Romans had hastily erected wooden palisade walls, and a stone gate. Their single biggest defense was their tower archers. The only foot soldiers they had at this time were the lightly armored hoplites. Since the process of armor production required more ore than the Romans had access to, their main protection came in the form of shields with spears. This did not last long against the Ainu Mezzachoda swords.

The fall of Rome was estimated to occur around 7300 BC. The streets were filled with Ainu Mezzachoda Men, and the cultural exploits which followed would be exquisite. With trade flowing between Nara and Rome, facilitated by a common leader and single military, the Ainu  finally had something resembling a state.

The Sabuki Settlement Period

The reaches of the Naran peninsula offered excesses of land which needed to be consolidated quickly into the fold of the freshly forged Ainu state. With inter-city trade at an all time high, settlements in nearby lands wanted to have a stronger network with the political power growing in Nara and Rome. From Nara, several expeditions were sent out to formalize communities among the fishing villages along the coasts and the inland hills.

With a surplus of soldiers returning from the siege of Rome, and immigration pressure from the strange Celtic peoples of the north, a permanent standing army was established to forge forward a strong Ainu Empire. The line of Gemmei game to an end. An influx of bureaucrats from the recent roman conquest lead to a new lineage of mixed Ainu-Roman royalty. Ogawa Augustus Sabuki was the first non-Naran ruler to take the seat of the empire. The Roman tradition of patriarchy had at managed to take root in Ainu society. There would be female rulers again in time, but the normalcy became a male dominated line of emporers, and the eventual creation of a male dominated senate.

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Ogawa Augustus Sabuki posing for his annual hunt into the north.

The seat of Sabuki pushed for an aggressive expansion policy of the greater Naran peninsula, and for active raids against any Celtic settlers who ventured further east than Bibracte. The seizure of Gergovia along the north Mediterasian coast was the first of many forays of war against the Celtic expanse. However, it is not the military actions alone which determined the size and shape of the Classical Ainu Empire, there was also the founding of many new villages and towns.

First was Biratori along the southern tip along the Roman Gulf. Then, between two rivers on the north of the gulf, an early Celtic province was raised, and the Emporor himself founded Monbetsu in honor of his son of the same name. Monbetsu then continued his father’s policies, founding Hamamasu in the interior, and sending his navy to create a proper fishing port just south of Gergovia, near the Danish Kattegat Bay. This was the city of Ishikari.

In addition to settling, the Augustus emperors built infrastructure in the form of a roads system, and encouraged farms and trade villages to take root between the larger settlements. Proceeding these roads came also the tradition of the savior and the cross. The Christian traditions of the Romans had expanded not only across the Ainu Empire, but also to Denmark, Hispania, even the distant Byzantium. The power and wealth of the church would bring a long lasting prosperity to the Classical Empire. It would also bring tension with the Pagan Celts.

Great Northern Land Grab

The Celtic settlements to the north and west of the Ainu, were firm believers in the Druidic traditions of great Gaia and the nature spirit. The gods of the forest guided their hunts, looked after their crop. Whereas some of the Ainu may have incorporated such beliefs into their world, the difference was excuse enough to make a quick political play against the Celts. The recent settlement of Atsuta, just south of Bibracte, angered the lord Brennus of Celtia. The invaders wouldn’t stop with land enough though, they converted any of the remaining locals to join the side of their monotheistic god.

First was the fall of Bibracte, scholars do not know the exact date of this forfeiture, but the city went down with little fight. By the time the Ainu marched into the central square of town, there was virtually no army to resist the occupation. Vienne was more prepared, as evidence of the struggle could still be found among the ruins. With this, the Celts were forced both westward and southward. The division made it all the easier for the fourth wave of expansion, the western advance.

Annexorably, the small satelite settlements of Tolosa, Camuledunum, and Durotorrotorum, all fell to the hands of the imperial Ainu. The last of this expansion occured in the reign of the Emperor Shakushain III. It was this great expansion that defined the Ainu as a distinct culture of the north, and it is to the lineage of Shakushain to which the nation owed its greater destiny.

Shaping a Cultural Identity

The restless Ainu had taken enough Celtic land to satiate their needs, and to protect against the sizable empires of the west. Armenia, Israel, Assyria, and mother Japan, all represented a potential future threat. As did the eastern powers on the continent of Eros. The Danes seemed to have cities and expanse to rival the Ainu, but merely a small seperation of earth and sea stood between these two colossal powers. Eventually, the Ainu would have to look for conquest in Armenia, to avoid having a dangerous superpower on their doorstep. For now though, the Armenians remained a loose collective of city states, and did not pose any massive threat.

What should be remembered most during the Shibuchari period  (4300 – 3700 BC) is the great expanding of the Ainu culture and arts. A great Asiatic Temple was constructed in Rome, along side the pillars of the church. The mystic traditions of the Celtic Druids lead to the institution of the Oracle to take place in Gergovia, offering God’s advice to travellers of all sorts. In the Imperial Capital itself, a great deluge of free thought took place. The Church repealed some of its dogmatic treatises, and allowed for the open investigation of nature. This lead to a flourishing environment where Archimede’s could build a workshop dedicated to the arcane arts and new forms of metallurgy. This greatly expanded on the design of seige weapons and new materials were invented to fortify the walls of the Ainuian cities.

The military command in Vienne even came up with a cypher system, the Cyrus Cylinder, for encrypted communication between outposts. Years later, the Hanging gardens were also built in Vienne. Rome started a new tradition of bull riding, which prompted the popularity of cattle ranching up and down the fields of the empire, spreading as far as the plains of Tolosa. Explorers of all sorts visited the Northern Ocean, and mapped out the extent of the Akita continent. These travels even lead to contact with the distant nation of Australia.

The culture of the Ainu really took shape. A blend of Japanese ancestry, Roman aesthetics, and Celtic traditions, was taking firm root at the  seat of the empire. As a crossroad of internal culture, this lead to the creation of a great wall system, a method to ensure the hoards of the west could not enter into Ainu lands without repercussions in supply management. Inside it’s safe borders, great coliseums, breweries, and myriad entertainment sprung into existence. The delights of empire kept the people happy and allowed for a steady strengthening of defenses, to prepare the Ainu for all of the challenges ahead.