Empire of Exponent
Empire of Exponent
|November 18 1996
The Empire of Exponent, also known as the Exponential Empire, was one of the largest empires in Astyrian history. It reached its peak of political and economic power during through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Empire became the foremost global power of its time,and was administered from the capital of Paradise by the Emperor himself. It comprised territories and colonies across all of Hesperidesia, as well as in Teudallum, Lorecia, and the Insula Fera. It originated during the Age of Exploration after the Hesperidesian Crusades and lasted until the late 20th century. Exponent's territorial reach extended beyond Astyria, including Liu Na and several small, temporarily held possessions across the globe.
The bulk of the Exponential Empire was held for over six centuries, starting in 1382 with the Exponential conquest of the Hesperidesian native kingdoms and lasting until the late 20th century revolutionary wars of independence that ended up toppling the empire. Following the Aquitaynian War of Independence, Exponent ceded much of its colonies outside of Hesperidesia and the Mare Ferum, both to the victorious Aquitaynians as well as to creditors.
The Exponential Empire left a cultural and linguistic legacy, particularly in the eastern part of the region. Several billion people speak the Latin language as a result of the spread of the Empire. The other major cultural legacy of the empire overseas was Roman Catholicism, converting the indigenous peoples to the new religion in what was known as the "spiritual conquest." Catholicism remains the dominant religious faith in Hesperidesia.
Christianity steadily spread its way throughout the Roman Empire shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, but was viewed as a dangerous cult by many Roman elite during its earliest years. In 64AD, after the Great Fire engulfed large portions of Rome, the emperor Nero saw fit to accuse the fledgling Christian faithful for the inferno. In his Annals, Tacitus (who wrote that Nero was in Antium at the time of the fire's outbreak), stated that "Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians (or Chrestians) by the populace"
In 66AD, with persecution and martyrdoms mounting, a fleet of some 4,000 Christian men, women and children assembled in the port of Ostia for lands unknown in the belief that Paradise lay just beyond the Pillars of Hercules. This fleet journeyed for some two years, stopping at harbors throughout the known world, but in 68AD it made landfall with some 1,500 settlers on Hesperidesia.
These early pilgrims quickly established a small settlement near the present-day site of Paradise City. According to archeological evidence and surviving texts of the time, these early settlers lived in a large, communal-type of society in which the inhabitants had no private property, and instead shared all of their belongings with each other. Over the course of the next two decades, two more waves of refugees would arrive in Hesperidesia from Europe, strengthening the positions of the small Christian settlements that were being established on Hesperidesia's southern coast.
Rise of the Empire
The Exponential Empire was formed in 87 AD, after the Christian settlements along the Gulf of Neptune fell under increasingly heavy attack from native Hesperidisean tribes. In response to these attacks, the miniature utopia that was established was replaced as people began seeking protection. Despite this being the year of the official coronation of the very first emperor, Valerius I, the modern nation traces the establishment of the country to nineteen years prior, in 68AD, when the first settlers arrived on Astyrian shores.
The new emperor set up a system of defensive works around the Christian settlements, established the very first Imperial Exponential Army, and laid out roads and other public works projects to bring some of the comforts of home to their new jungle home. Initially, native attacks continued against the refugees, but as they found themselves more and more often facing enemies with European style armor, weapons, and tactics, the locals gradually began to leave the new arrivals alone and learned to live in peace.
For more than 700s years, the fledgling Empire of Exponent was focused on defending the European-descended inhabitants living along the coast from sporadic attacks by the Hesperidesian native tribes who made the jungle their home. In 810AD, the Empire's history took a crucial turn when the Emperor Maximinius I looked beyond the coastline, and for the first time looked to bring the war into the tribal heartlands of central Hesperidesia.
Under the auspices of converting the inhabitants of the continent, Maximinius rallied tens of thousands of people from all across the social spectrum to the case of crusade. What followed was nearly five hundred years of intermittent religious conflict on Hesperidesia, as the Empire of Exponent continued to grow until the entire landmass was placed under the Exponential banner in 1380AD, an event still celebrated today as the Unification of Hesperidesia.
1380 - Unfication of Hesperidesia
Settlement of Scottopia
First permanent Exponential settlement in Scottopia is established in 1420 at Portus Regalis
Conquest of Sante Crucis & Marci Evangeliste
In December, 1422, 15,000 men with 500 horses aboard 155 ships set sail from Wennavua. January 1423 Quintus Cecilius Marinius conquers the islands to put an end to the piracy in the area.
Colonisation of Nusantara
With the express permission of the then-Anjani Emperor, Raden Parawardana V, the Exponentials established a permanent presence in what is now Hindia Belanda with the construction of a trade post in the capital city of the Anjani Empire in 1521. Seeking the lucrative spice trade, the Empire of Exponent traded various Exponential goods brought from Paradisa in return for spices. For four years, trade between the Empire of Exponent and the Anjani Empire occurred peacefully. This was disrupted in 1525, when the Exponentials became engaged in the Anjani Revolts of 1525 and aided the Anjanian vassals in breaking free from Imperial Anjanian rule. Trade was immediately ceased and Exponential traders expelled from the eponymous capital city of the Anjani Empire by Raden Parawardana V, prompting the exponential retreat to the island of Amaral off the coast of Anjani, where a substantial military presence consisting of Exponentials and former vassals of the Anjani Empire was mustered. It was from this island that the successful Capture of Anjani, which forced the flight of the Anjani Emperor to the island's hinterland, was launched, resulting in Exponential control of the capital Anjani.
Exponential colonisation in Hindia Belanda was characterised by an emphasis on resource extraction, missionary work, and scholarly endeavours. Numerous Roman Catholic missions were established in cities and towns and the first diocese in the archipelago was created in the port city of Jacatra. At its greatest extent, Exponential colonial holdings in the Nusantara archipelago were largely restricted to port cities and a number of islands.
Colonization of Kamalbia
First posts established in 1538.
Conquest of Al-Raha
Plague and decline
In contrast to the Empire's growth of political power and prestige during the 15th and 16th centuries, the 17th century is seen as one of severe decline. This century saw the beginning of the end of Exponential hegemony in the east, a process that would continue in the 18th and 19th centuries before bottoming out entirely in the 20th century. While many in the west were about to accelerate their imperial adventures, the old Empire witnessed the steady disintegration of its holdings. By the end of the 17th century, the balance of power in the region had definitively shifted from East to West, leaving Exponent little more than a shadow of its former self.
One of the primary factors in the beginning of the end of the Exponential Empire were a series of plagues that ravaged the country, beginning at the very end of the previous century. Jungle born diseases, especially the bubonic plague but also typhus, smallpox, and other tropical born illnesses proved particularly lethal because the growth of towns in the sixteenth century had crowded tens of thousands of the Empire's poor together in filthy conditions. The widespread decline in population brought on from these diseases brought a drop in food production which in turn caused a major economic decline leading to higher prices, lower purchasing power, and widespread malnutrition. The great plague of 1594-1608 attacked widespread areas of northern Exponent and claimed nearly 1,700,000 lives, or about 7 percent of the population. A second plague of lesser impact but still great mortality struck the eastern and southern parts of the continent in 1653-1657, and other devastating outbreaks occurred during the trough of the economic decline, between 1678 and 1685. Lesser epidemics raged intermittently throughout the century. It appears that altogether more than 4,250,000 deaths resulted from the extreme incidence of plague in the seventeenth-century Empire of Exponent.
Seeking to take advantage of the turmoil caused by the plague, the nations of Riysa and Cadenza both began to launch attacks on Imperial holdings across southern Astyria. In 1609, Riysa began a campaign to reclaim its lost territory in al-Raha, which caused great financial strain on the overburdened Empire, and eventually the territory was given up in 1611. Seeing the weakened state of the Empire, opportunistic Cadenzan privateers began to prey upon the trade fleets moving between Teudallum and Hesperidesia before finally culminating in the burning of Portus Regalis and the subsequent War of the Magpie and the Dragon. While the Empire had managed to hold onto its territories in Scottopia and achieve significant indemnities from the Cadenzan government, it was still forced to cede its holdings in Kamalbia, effectively ending its dream of a Teudallic colony.
The Empire, in its refusal to accept its own death, then interfered in the affairs of the nation of Aquitayne, bringing that nation as well as its colony in Aswick under its banner in 1653. After setting up their trading post on the island of Castineos during the later half of the previous century, the empire had enjoyed significant economic power in the area, power which it had hoped to convert into political strength. During the mid-1600's, it became apparent that there were several powerful factions vying for the Aquitainian throne. After some study, the empire decided to throw its support behind House Kon'rei, believing that with the support of Imperial arms and money they would sweep out the existing monarchy, which they did successfully in the War of the White Rose. Following the decrowning of the ruling family and installation of House Kon'rei upon the Aquitainian throne, the Empire established itself as de facto rulers over the area, allowing the Kon'reis to rule on as a kind of governor, overseen by a viceroy from Hesperidisia.
The most important drive behind the conquest of Aquitayne was the rapidly declining population on Hesperidisia and the resulting food shortages, as disease wiped out farmers in droves. Aquitayne, viewed by the Imperial government as a prime location far away from the Hesperidisian homeland and thus untouched by the diseases ravaging it, was set out to become the bread basket of a revitalized empire. Immediately upon establishing their command in the area, a grand land redistribution was laid out, maximizing the agricultural output of the area. It was hoped that with this new source of food, the Empire would be given a new life, and once again be able to rise to the power and prominence it enjoyed in the previous two centuries.
By the end of the Great Plagues, Exponent was saddled with a grossly bloated aristocracy and a struggling middle class. At the top of the social structure of the Empire in the 1700s stood the Imperial court, the nobility and the church. A few hundred families dominated the aristocracy, with another 700,000 holding noble status. There were also roughly a quarter of a million church men and women, most of them in heavily endowed monasteries that controlled much of the land not owned by the nobles. Most people were on farms, either as landless peons or as holders of small properties. The small urban middle class was growing, but was distrusted by the landowners and peasants alike.
On September 27, 1734, the Aquitaynian War of Independence also began, which threatened to remove the Empire's most prosperous colony from its rule. After the death of King Wilhelm Kon'rei III on September 20 leaving only a young child as his heir, underground Aquitaynian nationalist groups began issuing propaganda pieces, aimed at overthrowing the current ruling house and re-establishing native rule over the area. Seven days after his death, a force of Aquitaynian nationalists gathered in the town of Eyrarfell, and began a campaign to liberate their nation from Exponential rule. On October 7th, the Imperial garrison at Rooreksgil was massacred, along with a number of local loyalists. After several more weeks of fighting, the Imperial military was able to quell the uprising and execute its leaders. With the initial success of the uprising and the cruel executions of its leaders, the Aquitaynian rebels were spurred on, a new fire ignited inside them, and their war for freedom had begun.
In late April, 1741, General Marcus Aurelius Balventius began a march from Telora towards the city of Ordana, intent on re-establishing Imperial rule over the area and denying the Aquitaynian rebels a major port city. Balventius encountered tremendous resistance from local forces, and retired his army to the city of Espus where he had hoped to recover under the guns of the mighty Imperial fleet, which had set sail from Castineos. Unfortunately for him, however, the Imperial fleet was defeated before it could arrive to his position, and he and his army found themselves under siege. On August 17, 1741, Balventius surrendered his army, effectively bringing the military campaign in Aquitayne to an end. On December 8 of that yea, the Treaty of Wennavua was signed, and the last Imperial garrisons on mainland Aquitayne and the island of Ceria were evacuated. Exponent still held on to Castineos and a series of small islets off the coast.
A quick look at the political picture of the Empire of Exponent in the 19th century shows a rough period of instability and conflict. As a basic way of explaining it, the period reflected a clash between systems. On the one hand we have the old absolute monarchy, propped up by a conservative Church and the nobility, and on the other hand a new, unstable and ill-defined system in search of an identity, but loosely called liberalism. Among the radical changes called for by the liberals was a constitutional monarchy, with political power invested in the people, and the right to express political opinions freely. These would all culminate in the Albandaean Crisis at the end of the century, which would help bring the Empire into the modern age.
Starting with the decline of the empire in previous centuries, and with an increasingly powerful inquisition program rooting out those thought to be disloyal to the Empire, the country seemed doomed for disaster. This, combined with increased shipping traffic and immigration from the much more liberal nation of Praetonia began to seed significant discord amongst the population, particularly in areas with heavy Praetonian presence.
What began initially as simple unrest soon turned into a full-on conflict, as locals loyal to the Empire began attacking Praetonian merchants and sailors, and those that had taken to the Praetonian ideals of constitution and freedom banding together in armed groups known as "Healers" believing that they would be able to heal the nation of its ills and make it strong again. Several major clashes took place, but before long the healers were contained and nearly besieged in their capital city of Albandaea.
Demanding retribution for the death and imprisonment of their sailors, the Praetonian military deployed to the breaking the siege and marching down the coast towards the Imperial capital. At the same time, the Praetonian navy smashed the heavily outdated Imperial Exponential fleet in Paradise Bay, which forced the Chancellor to sign the embarrassing Angel Bay Accords. As a result of this treaty, Albandaea was transferred to Praetonian hands for the next 100 years, with a formal transfer of powers to return Albandaea to Exponent taking place in 1998.
Great Astyrian War
Second Fascist War
In 1936, Decimus Brightglass was elected as Chancellor of the Empire of Exponent, under the feeble old Emperor Liberius XXI. He was a welcome, fresh face to the people of the Empire, promising a rejuvenation of the country following a state of decay which had lasted for more than eighty years. He promised to rid the nation of any foreign influence, and to once again make Exponent a competitor on the world stage. Mass rallies were held around the country as his popularity skyrocketed. In 1938, the secret Exponent-Pyeki Treaty was signed, sealing the fate of millions of lives in the coming years.
Playing upon ages old Anglo-Exponential rivalry, Brightglass sought to confirm his position on the global stage by striking out at the premier Anglo nation of the time, the nation of Walmington on Sea. On September 2, 1939, the Empires of Pyeki and Exponent launched a massive coordinated surprise attack ay Walmingtonian bases on opposite sides of the globe. The Exponential Fleet under Admiral Quintus Benenatus struck at the base of the Walmingtonian South Seas fleet at Port Mavis, smashing a Walmingtonian fleet and escort carrier as well as several smaller vessels, as well as crippling the a battleship and heavy cruiser. The Pyekan forces caused similar damage as they prepared to invade the Walmingtonian colony of Ceyloba.
The Walmingtonian reaction, however, was much quicker than expected, and caught Benenatus' fleet with its pants down, severely damaging several Imperial carriers. This threw a major wrench in the gears of the Exponential war machine, however, they soldiered on at a fraction of their strength to strike at teh Walmingtonian islands of St. Thomas and Prince's Island. The islands were quickly seized with heavy Exponential casualties, but the Walmingtonians continued to wage a guerilla war from the areas dense jungle.
Riding high on their conquests, Imperial tanks dove into the nation of Polarus, quickly taking more and more ground and nearing the capital. At around this time, a coalition had formed against Exponent and Pyeki, and began to fight back. The nation of Euralon, a region rival of Exponent, deployed large forces to defend the Polarussian capital, as did the nations of Ianisle and Walmington. In time, the combined might of the anti-Imperial forces pushed the Exponential forces back into their own homeland, and the Empire was forced to sue for peace. As part of these terms, however, the allied powers were required to leave troops in the Empire to prevent any further attempts at rebuilding.
Battle of Crescent Bay
By 1950, the majority of the foreign forces had withdrawn from Exponent, with the exception of a handful of Euralonian garrisons. A resurgence of Exponential nationalism saw violence break out, in which the majority of the remaining garrisons withdrew from the country. One, however, found itself cut off and placed under seige. The Euralonian government, faced with its own problems at home, contracted the Uli Schwyz Mercenary Corps to assist in a breakout to rescue the trapped soldiers.