Wednesday, June 1, 2016

(Gnome Wars) The Amphibian Empire

The Amphibian Empire  by Mike Lung

Although the Gnoman Empire started its capital city Gnoman, through conquest and expansion it  grew to a huge size and is made up of numerous races and cultures.   Over time, many of these races and cultures were granted full citizenship, others remain slaves or vassals.   Because of its huge size, the empire was divided into two parts.  The western part including Gnome and all the western provinces are commonly also called the Western or Gnoman Empire and eastern part known as the Eastern or Ursalian Empire.
(In the East the western half is commonly known as Ursa Minor and the eastern half as Ursa Major. 
Since the western half is dominated by gnomes, this naming highlights the West’s feelings that the East (ruled mainly by bears) is arrogant and presumptuous.  Although in theory, both empires are close allies and are often referred to as equal brothers, the relationship between the two empires is sometimes tenuous and periodic wars erupted over border disputes, trade rights, and in particular imperial

On the western most border of what was once the Gnoman Empire, across the sea, lay the Amphibian Confederation.  This is confederation is a loose collection of various tribes.  Most are frogs, but aquians (fishmen), crocodilians (crocodiles), turtilian (turtles) and many other tribes exist.  The relationships between the various tribes is complicated, but the share roughly the same cultural background and language.  At times, a strong leader will try to unite the tribes against a common foe.  But this is always a temporary arrangement.  The once unified tribes falling back to their own petty squabbles once the common threat subsides. 

The every growing Gnoman Empire has made some strides in conquering the Amphibians.  Under the leadership of Pontificus Manurus (discussed in detail in Pontificus’s own famous history know as The Anura Wars), the gnomes under his leadership conquered the neighboring Dendrobates tribe of frogs after a prolonged and particularly bloody struggle.  The Dendrobates were known for ferocity and their  loud shrill battle cry.  After being pacified and their lands annexed into the Gnoman Empire, the lands of  the Dendrobates became prime recruiting ground s for the Gnoman army.  Some of the best auxiliaries units in the army are Dendrobates legionaries.  Time and time again, these auxiliaries have proved loyal and trustworthy to their Gnoman leaders when fighting against distant enemies.  However, when used close to home against other frogs, Gnoman leaders would be wise to keep a close eye on these units.

Because of the strong Gnoman cultural presence so close to the Amphibian lands, some aspects of
Gnoman culture has begun to spread throughout Amphibian lands.  Although Amphibians have only
rudimentary skills in foraging iron, the use of guns in now common among many of the eastern tribes. 

These guns are usually antiquated pieces sold to the tribesman by Gnome traders or captured in raids.    There is even rumors that some tribes posses cannons.  Gnome dress is also beginning to be a common  To the North of the Amphibian Empire, lie the lands of the Saurian Empire.  The saurians are truly  barbaric in compared to the standards of the Gnoman Empire or even the Amphibian confederation.  

These warlike tribes are known to sacrifice their captives to strange wicked gods and to eat them in
gigantic banquets.  Attempts to civilize these tribes have mostly failed (with the common result of the
ambassadors or missionaries being eaten!).  Not much is known about Saurian culture other than it is
ancient.  Like the Amphibians, the Saurians are made up of many tribes.  Periodic leadership under a
particularly strong (and huge) Saurian will unite some the tribes into a true Empire.  However, these
small empires rapidly fall apart as soon as the leader dies or is defeated.  The Saurians are aggressive
and, if not for the sea barrier, would constantly test the borders of the Gnoman Empire, Ursalian Empire. 

It is said by some that only the constant Saurian internal warfare prevents the Saurian from conquering all others.   It is also rumored that there is a race of Snakemen that secretly manipulate
the Saurians to do their evil bidding.

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