Birthplace of an Empire

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Birthplace of an Empire is the ancient origin story of the Ashtarvvian Empire, intergalactic super power based in the Beta 9 Galaxy Cluster.

The Ashtarvvian Empire, based off the home planet of Ashtarvv in the Beta 9 Galaxy Cluster, is an intergalactic powerhouse that has reigned for hundreds of millennia. Fueled by a militarist culture, they are known for being warriors and raiders, but adhere to a strict code of honor. They are responsible for the occupation, exploitation and eradication of countless planets and civilizations through out galactic history.

 

Ancient Ashtarvv was a brutal place. Not that modern Ashtarvv and Ashtarvvians themselves aren’t equally as savage today, but pre historic Ashtarvv was a perpetual fight for survival. The native inhabitants were at war with each other and the planet itself. Elements like having a stronger gravitational pull than most stratospheres and having no sun, but instead four solar moons, forced all beings (both sentient and non) to evolve to the strongest possible state life could sustain. Dense jungle, which covered most of the planet’s surface, were thick with predatory animals and insects that made life a constant kill or be killed battle. Not to mention the suffocating humidity that would build up under the canopy of the jungle palms. The flatlands had grazing animals and provided easier hunting, however the stronger tribes of ancient Ashtarvvians controlled these lands and defended them against other tribes vehemently. These Ashtarvvians were direct descendants of modern day Ashtarvvians, upright walking, cognitive, simian humanoids with massively muscular bodies that required a large diet to keep them nourished. So control of the hunting grounds was vital.

The First Thousand Cycle War was fought mainly over control of the flatlands of Ashtarvv. For one thousand cycles the Six Ancient Tribes of Ashtarvv fought each other for domain over the planet. The Kotso, Panteka, Jijalth, Hok, Yudha, and Quach tribes engaged in a genocidal free for all. They raided, raped, pillaged and murdered one another in the name of their own respective tribe. In battle, they fought shoulder to shoulder in great numbers out in the open of the flatlands; also spread out separately in hand to hand combat in the thick underbrush and flora of the jungles. The proud ancient warriors fought with finely sharpened Ashtarvvian rock swords, spears, bows and arrows and even on the backs of ferocious feline creatures they domesticated for war purposes called pukuus. The pukuu back warriors were especially feared, for the pukuus would use their immense claws to swipe and maim enemies in battle.  

In the end only two nations remained, the Kotso led by Chief Estacod and the Panteka led by Chief Duro. Equally matched in both strength and numbers, The Second Thousand Cycle War began. The Kotso and Panteka fought for another thousand cycles before it became apparent neither tribe was going to surrender or do the other side in. The two chiefs agreed to meet at the neutral site of Ghob to discuss the terms of a final war for control of Ashtarvv, The War to Settle Fate. Ghob was a minuscule village in the middle of no man’s land, controlled by neither tribe so both chiefs felt safe for themselves and their council.

Along with his protection unit Chief Duro brought with him his war chief, peace chief, a small delegation of elders and his son Prince Tule, his successor as chief of the Panteka. Chief Estacod had a similar entourage of tribal leaders, plus his daughter Princess Tanima. The Kotso people revered Tanima. Even though she was of just sixteen cycles, she was mature beyond her age and showed poise in numerous diplomatic relations and had proven her viciousness on the battlefield. She was already known as “Mother of the Kotso” and warriors sang battle hymns in her name while bringing carnage to the enemy. So needless to say the Panteka were well aware of the legend of Tanima. To the point that young Prince Tule, having only heard the tales and having never met her, had developed an outlying infatuation for the enemy princess.

After the business of travel and the setting up of camps a respectable distance apart, the two courts met on the first day to discuss terms. That evening Prince Tule made his move. He stuffed his handwritten invitation in the under wing pouch of his messenger tahago to fly directly to Princess Tanima in her camp a short distance away. The invitation was to meet with him in secrecy the following night bringing only her personal attendant, as would he, for a private rendezvous. Thoroughly intrigued by the bold move, Princess Tanima was curious about the young prince and decided to take up the offer.

The following night, under the glow of the Noctu Moon in the west, the two enemy nobles along with their personal chaperones, met in a secluded field just south of the meeting site in Ghob. Maybe it was the errant nature of their meeting, maybe it was fate, but the adolescents fell in love immediately. They sat fireside talking, laughing and bonding. Together they hunted and ate a Ghobbian swine that wandered too close to their camp. They made love in a tent built from Ashtarvvian palms and jungle vine.  The Diu Moons would soon be rising and they knew they had to stealthily slink back in to their respective camps. Before doing so they both declared their love for one another and vowed that no matter the outcome of the coming battle they would indeed abide by whatever settled upon terms and submit to the victorious tribe’s will, whatever that may be.

After four days of negotiating, Chief Duro and Chief Estacod came to terms. With the exception of the royal families and a very small number of citizens known as Desideratum Denizen, every single able bodied adult male and female from each tribe would be expected to participate in the battle, to the death. It was to be fought at Ghob on the first day of Lunar Solstice, this gave each side ample time to prepare for war and also the future. The Desideratum Denizen were all children under 14 cycles, tribal elders and a handful of doctors, shamans, and tradesmen. All necessary citizens to rebuild in case that tribe faced annihilation in the war. The royal family of the losing side would be expected to turn themselves in to the victors to face execution. They felt these terms were the only way to have future peace on Ashtarvv and to keep from being embroiled in war with each other for the next hundred millennia. The War to Settle Fate was set.

On the morning of the Lunar Solstice, with the eastern, southern and northern Diu Moons at the highest point in the sky, the massive armies of the Kotso and Panteka stood facing each other at Ghob. Nearly 100,000 Ashtarvvian warriors on each side delirious with bloodlust at the opportunity to wipe out their sworn enemies. The Panteka were the first to strike. War horns trumpeted as their cavalry unleashed a mammoth swarm of arrows to reign down on the Kotso. With that, a living nightmare ensued. The guttural war cry of thousands of Ashtarvvians blended in a sickening melody with the wailing screams of thousands more dying and wounded. Almost immediately there was enough blood spray in the air mixing with the natural humidity to provide a metallic smell so profuse it could be tasted in the backs of throats. The rumble of pukuus roaring could be felt in the ground as they bounded through the chaos with their riders in tow. Exposing enemy innards with their enormous claws, using their teeth to gnash weapons out of hands, all the while showing tremendous agility in keeping themselves and their riders alive. In no time the bodies of the dead began to pile up so high they became mountainous mounds of flesh for the wounded to take refuge behind. Rolling hills of slaughtered comrades, now higher ground for warriors to climb and attack the enemy from. Ashtarvvian blood soaked the soil for miles turning Ghob and the surrounding areas into a swampy bog of blood mud.

War is in the Ashtarvvian genetic code, along with never surrendering and never retreating. These are all good qualities to have in a species battling to advance in evolution, however in this particular case it resulted in complete destruction and essential annihilation. Only mere dozens survived on either side. A race of over 200,000 that morning, dwindled to just a couple hundred including the Desideratum Denizen by that afternoon. As the survivors and royal courts gathered themselves for their trips back to their respective territories, royal shamans from both tribes bless the dead left on the battle field as there was no time for proper tribal burial. Both sides claimed victory but neither side had enough muscle left to even defend itself, never mind attack and seize power from the other. In fact the tribes’ survival now almost totally depended on the hunting parties and what they were able to bring in to eat. The hunting parties were rag tag abled bodies made up of the elderly and very young among the Desideratum Denizen, which meant there was very little success. The War to Settle Fate had settled nothing, it in fact set a fate that looked very dark for both the Kotso and the Panteka.

Soon after returning to Kotso territory, Tanima discovered she was with child. The young princess was terrified. Commiserating with a Panteka was unforgivable for any Kotso, but for royalty it was surely a death sentence. And now after the massacre at Ghob hatred for the rival tribe was at an all time high on both sides. Each tribe seeing the other as the sole reason for all their woes, both past and current. Princess Tanima had made a vow of love to Prince Tule and meant it, but she also saw her encounter with the young prince as sowing wild oats before the end of the world and gave no thought to any later ramifications. There were indeed ramifications, the first of which was the princess looking her chief father in the eyes and telling him she had slept with the enemy. Upon learning the news via tahago, Prince Tule had a different response than Tanima. While he knew the Panteka people would not like that their prince had mated with a Kotso female, he also knew he was to be Chief which meant his word was Panteka law and whoever he chose to procreate with was to be accepted regardless of feelings. The two aggrieved chiefs exchanged tahagos and, along with their tribal courts, agreed to meet back at Ghob. This time for a peace meeting and to come to a resolution on the current situation.

The agreed upon peace agreement was this, there was to be a birthing complex built in Ghob to house both royal families. Prince Tule and Princess Tanima were to be married and raise the child at Ghob. There was to be a Tribal Committee of elders from both tribes assembled to rule until the child of Tule and Tanima came to the age of 12 cycles. At which point the child, still under the guidance of the Tribal Committee, would retain leadership of the new nation. The Kotso and Panteka people were to keep and celebrate their tribal identities, but were to now look at themselves as Ashtarvvians and not members of individual tribes. They were to pool their resources and cooperate, regardless of tribe, for the advancement and future of the new unified Ashtarvvian people.

Tanima gave birth to a male child, Emperor Dasoda-col, The Great Unifier and first Emperor of the Ashtarvvian Empire. He was revered by his people and is worshipped like a deity by modern Ashtarvvians. Half Kotso half Panteka, Dasoda-col became a symbol of Ashtarvvian unity and power. He would quash numerous rebellions in his lifetime and put in place many military and political institutions that are still operating today. Ghob is now the capitol of Ashtarvv and headquarters for the Empire where decisions are made that effect countless planets and civilizations across all of the Beta 9 Galaxy Cluster. The Ashtarvvian Senate building, where the Houses of Kotso, Panteka, Jijalth, and Hok (four of the Six Ancient Tribes) lobby for political prowess, stands directly on the site of the old birthing complex. Ghob…death place of tribal Ashtarvv, birthplace of an empire.  

 

 

“A nothing spot in the middle of No Man’s Land, fertilized with the blood of our Kotso and Panteka ancestors, now the center of the world” Emperor Dasoda-col


Submitted: August 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Clay Conner. All rights reserved.

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