Friday, March 24, 2017

History of the Gnome World Part 7: The Holy Gnoman Empire

The Holy Gnoman Empire

As in all great stories of ancient gnomish history, the Gnomans developed through the odd trait known as The Wanderlust.

While the majority of gnomes resided in what we now call Switzerland, the first large gnomish civilization was established elsewhere. A larger than normal collection of gnomes suffering from the Wanderlust congregated at the junction of the Pi and Za Rivers. Two brothers, Minimus and Maximus Caesar were a bit more motivated than your average gnome, and staged a revolt of the village elders using wolf riders. While the smaller Caesar focused on infrastructure and improving farming, Maximus worked on improving gnome technology and developing a military defense force.

The strangest thing occurred during the Return. Instead of heading towards their home villages, hundreds of gnomes heading to this new town. The brothers then turned the isolationism of the Prison to their advantage. They warned their inhabitants that the wilderness was a hostile place, filled with feral gnomes and other dangerous creatures, but their new city, Gnome, was an island of civilization and prosperity that could expand into the wilderness and conquer it. Before the next Wanderlust had hit the city, it had expanded out in all directions, conquering everything and everyone that stood in its way.

The Gnoman Empire was born.

Gnomish Wanderlust disappeared for a few generations, overriden by Gnoman Expansion. When it did finally hit, it simply stretched the Empire further, reaching areas that hadn't seen a traditional gnome in millenia.

While those wars are mired in the myths and legends of the area, one thing is for certain: The Return occurred right after the Gnomans had to fight their first defensive war ever, one against the Scottish Highlanders.

Many did not make it back to Gnoman, rather setting up communities in the areas we now call France, Germany, and Switzerland. The ones on the border of the Gnoman sphere of influence simply vanished.  

Although there were other factors contributing to the fall of the Gnoman Empire, a war between the Germanic tribes and the Fae was one of the final nails in the coffin.

The Fae, under some unknown influence, began pillaging tribal villages that had not been harmed in generations. Low on resources, the chieftains begged for help from the Gnomans, but when none was given, they began an all-out assault on Gnoman lands to fuel the war effort against the Fae.

It was a tremendous success as the questionable woodland spirits were forced to retreat further into the even darker forests and mountains of Astria and Surfia, while the peripheral Gnoman villages became Germanic.

For the length of the Empire, Caesars, Senators, and army generals competed over who would control the Gnoman Legions.

As the leaders scrambled for the last scraps of power from the crumbling power, civil war broke out. The civil war was the straw that broke the empire’s back, most citizens in Gnome fled the city, back into the hills to live simpler lives.

The Lost Legions
During this time Legatus Legionis Luberti, the most loyal legate in the Roman army, left the Italian peninsula with the last loyal legions . Sure that there would be a Rome to return to, Luberti’s plan was to set out and honor all alliances, keeping Rome’s allies in line until the unrest had died down. He split the last Legions into ordinary cohorts and assigned them to different regions of the Gnoman World. The descendants of Luberti and his cohort of veterans are constantly marching towards battle, appearing where the need is greatest; aiding the allies of his beloved, ancient Gnome.

Gnomincus Auxilius by Mike Lung
The Gnomans were the first nation to use Teddy Bears to supplement their troops.  Despite their gentle nature, their vast numbers and durable (and easily repairable) nature allowed them to overwhelm their opponents.

Gnomanius’s Commentaries comments on the little-known Anuran Wars. It is an account of Gnomanius’s campaigns against the Anuran (Frog) tribes: Leptodactylidii, Hylidii, Ranidai, and Kermitii . Some of the major Anuran tribes that opposed Heritagii Anuran tribe that allied itself early one to the Gnomians. It provided a large contingent of Gnomian trained auxiliaries to the Gnomian army. Many of these auxiliaries units later switched sides to fight against their Gnomian employers during the Great Anuran Rebellion led by Queen Bulfrogdicca of the Amphibian Empire (Confederation with other creatures)

Ichthii Aquatic (fish) tribes often allied to the Anura to form the Amphibian Confederation.

Saurii Highly aggressive tribes of lizardmen who were generally hostile towards the Gnomian Empire and Amphibian Confederation. However, some tribes for brief periods served as allies for both nations. Saurian tribes banded together to form the Saurian Empire. It was a true empire in name only. It really was a collection of united Saurian tribes instead of one united empire under a single leader. Some of the most powerful Saurian tribes included the Chamaeleonidii, Crotaphytidii, Iguanidii, and Polychrotidii.

Although technically part of the Saurii, the group of tribes known as the Alethinophidii (Snakemen) were not part of the Saurian Empire and were generally feared and distrusted by all.

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