Asia

Introduction

Asia in EC strongly resembles its real-world self, but with notable differences. Effects are much the same, but causes diverge significantly.

A collection of some of the oldest civilizations of the world, it is a vastly different place from the lands of the West, and Elysia, but is more strongly connected by the shared Old Temple faith.

Geography

"Asia" from Siberia in the far North to the southern tip of the Malay civilization, nearing Australia. In the West, India sits on the border to the Mideast, and the islands of Japan and Korea form Asia's Eastern extreme.

Climate

Asia ranges from arctic in the Outer Mongol region, to temperate, to tropical in the far Malay south.

Geology

The continent of Asia is made up of a large number of separate geological units, of varying age and origin. The Himalayan belt separates the main mass of central and northern Asia from the two separate stable blocks of peninsular India and Arabia.

The northern part of Asia, part of the ancient continent of Laurasia, is made up of ancient cratons separated by mobile belts active in early Phanerozoic times. The Himalayan belt runs east–west from the Mediterranean through the Middle East to the Himalayas, then turns south through Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is a very large and long-lived mobile belt, active intermittently throughout the Phanerozoic, and still active in the present day.

History

Archaeological records find that furres inhabited Asia beginning around the same time as the origin of Europe, but the progression toward civilization and technology was much, much faster. As a result, Asian societies are credited with some of the most vital of inventions and discoveries. Alchemy began in Asia, along with other rudimentary technologies such as scripted writing, compass, and astrological navigation. Though it is difficult to say Asia is more "advanced" than other parts of the world, it has typically been ahead in technology, whereas Europe has been more known for magicke.

The Major Nations of Asia

China, and Shenzhou

Chinese society stretches back further, arguably, than any other. They were the first to establish vast trading networks, and what we now call "Empires" as well. Typically divided into regions such as Mongolia, Tibet, and Manchuria (etc, etc, etc), it was the Mongols who dominated much of the early part of the millennium. They ruled most of China and its satellites of Taiwan and Korea, however the Mongolian Yuan dynasty fell in the 14th century, leaving a political vacuum in its wake.

This vacuum would be filled by a new dynasty of the mainland that would make incredible advancements in Chinese civilization. They introduced Old Temple religion to all of the Chinese nations, and encouraged the Parandu sect almost exclusively. They created a network of trading roads between the provinces, and decentralized overpopulated urban areas by emphasizing self-sufficient farming communities that soon dotted the landscape. The new Empire was known as Shenzhou, and included all of the Chinese provinces, including Korea, Tibet, and their former Mongolian enemies.

Shenzhou (the traditional name of China) quickly became a strong, insular and collectivist society, that shunned outside influences.

Japan

A rich and ancient culture on the island of Japan has played a unique role in history. Japanese civilization often emphasized their martial prowess, and the associated philosophies of warfare, but behind that has always been an artistic and inventive society bound by strict codes of conduct, in war and peace alike.

Overseen by their Emperor and Royal Court, the Japanese society rose to be among the most militarily powerful and aggressive states the world has ever known. Their prowess in warfare was a frequent terror for their Asian neighbours.
By the 13th century, however, the violence had begun to turn inward. Though the Emperor remained the spiritual leader along with his courts of nobles, beneath him, the war for the real political power began to be waged by feudal Daimyos, or provincial Princes.

The rise of fiercely independent fiefdoms and their conquering Daimyos perennially kept Japan engulfed in violence. By the 1400s civil war was a perennial fixture in Japan, only briefly interrupted by aggression by and against China and Korea.

For the Daimyos, spiritual leadership of the county was impossible, with the Emperor considered a living God. But the warlords turned their attention instead to a far greater prize; to conquer the provinces through military might and become Teishogun, or military leader of all Japan.

But by the 16th century the Shogunate had begun to crumble again into anarchy, and Japan was on the brink of another bloody and long war of succession. With the rise of the Shenzhou Empire in China and resources spread thin, their hobby of invading the rest of Asia was becoming futile.

It was in 1568 that one warlord rose to end the civil war and begin Japan's first true experiment in brutal collectivism. The warlord Nobunaga conquered the majority of the country, but was murdered by a jealous kitsune shortly afterward, along with his chosen heir Hideyoshi.

Though their ambitions ended when they offended the Kitsune witch, they had paved the way for brutal unity among the provinces. With a campaign of cunning and ruthless warfare, Tokugawa Ieyasu quickly filled the empty seat of superior warlord. (A few years earlier than in real-life history). On the day he received his blessing from the Emperor and became Shogun, onlookers reported the very same kitsune witch seated behind his right hand. And so began the Tokugawa Shogunate, and insular, brutal and totalitarian regime of vast economic and military power.

India

An ancient caste society, India, like Shenzhou/China, boasts some of the earliest technology of the world, through Indian magicke is considered the more prominent over its invention.

Indian writings on the Old Temple faith are considered some of the most profound, along with much of their poetry, and theosophical/philosophical traditions regarding the origin of furrekind, statecraft, religion, and even sex.

Stretching back tens of thousands of years, India has been inhabited by competing tribes of furres, and strongly influenced by the theological caste system of an early form of Purandu Old Temple religion. This caste system generally confined indian furres of certain family backgrounds to particular roles in life. Some were fortunate enough to be born into the noble caste, and others the peasant class, who experienced hardship and toil for their entire lives.

By the 14th century, however, much of the dynasty of ancient totalitarian princes had begun to crumble, and it appeared as though the caste system, along with the more archaic earlier Purandu faith, would be cast off in favour of a new more egalitarian civilization.

Approximately half of Indian was conquered by the Persian Empire in the 1520s, dividing the country between Kaetani and Purandu religions and ancient, bitterly-opposed countries.

India, now harshly divided, allies its eastern half with the Kaetani Persians, with thousands upon thousands of converts to their ways of life, and on its Western half draws similarity to the Purandu Southeast Asia. In the latter case, many feel both the Ayutthaya and Indian societies shared a common predecessor civilization.

The City-state of Ayutthaya

A Siamese dynasty, Ayuthhaya began in the 13th century in modern-day Thailand. All of modern-day Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia call themselves a part of the Ayutthaya Dynasty of their own free will. Though not militarily powerful, the Ayutthaya are very well-connected to European powers, friendly to foreign investment in their lands, and indescribably rich. Wide speculation can be made upon how this small southeast-asian dynasty of Princes managed such a feat, but if one looks closely into their recent past, one will find none other than the banking conglomerate of Malthus & Fullo.

Ayutthaya contrast sharply to Shenzhou and Japan in their attitudes toward foreigners. They are by far the friendliest regime to alien interests in all of Asia, and appear to have made great capital benefit out of arrangements arising from this solicitousness.

The lands of Ayutthaya are almost exclusively Purandu in their religion, though with a more polytheistic bent from their synthesis of older indigenous faiths.

Malay

Malay is actually a Sultanate of the Kaetani religion, owed to colonization by Persia in the 12th century. It is far too loosely-controlled to be called an Empire, but is comprised of a large area encompassing modern day Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Much of the leadership of Malay admonishes the decadence of their northern Ayutthaya neighbours, and there is some hostility between the two states.

Kaetani Old Temple religion is exclusively practiced here, and followers of the Purandu sect are generally discriminated against.

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