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Neubayern: History

4550-4700AD Slow Growth

The three groups slowly grew into their adopted lifestyles. The Fishers spread from island to island. Although they shared a common culture, each island developed its own unique characteristics. As for the Goatherds, their numbers slowly grew, but their culture seemed locked into a cul-de-sac. Soon they lost all touch with their educated past, and fell into a hand to mouth existence.

Life in the Wald

The colonists who remained in the Wald were more numerous, and better equipped that their colleagues who had abandoned the original colony. They used machines to clear the Wald, and cultivated the land with terrestrial crops. Clearing the forest and sterilizing the soil was a difficult and laborious task, and so good land soon became the Foresters’ overriding concern.

Initially resources were rationed by a “Land Committee”; later, local strong men grabbed land for themselves. Settlers began to travel large distances through the trackless, poisonous forests before deciding on a location for their new village. This made it harder for bullies to follow them and steal their land, but it also lead to insularity.

The Wald colony grew into many isolated small communities, which often feuded over agricultural land. Once an area had been cleared and processed it was often walled-off. As time went by it became increasingly normal to clear large areas beyond the walls as an aid to defence.

Only Neumünchen, the world’s first settlement, managed to maintain a civic society. This was no happy state of affairs though. In 4577AD the colony’s shuttles were seized by an armed group lead by Johan Streicher, chief of police. He used them, and a stock of modern (TL 10) weapons to overthrow the Colonisation Committee and take power for himself. By 4700AD the indolent “Kings” of Neumünchen controlled half a dozen central towns.

The shuttles and sophisticated weapons were used to raid free towns and villages far and wide across Neubayern. The raiders took food and livestock, and slaves. The Kings had introduced chattel slavery to finance their decadent lifestyle; and soon the slave markets of Neumünchen became infamous throughout the Wald.

4700-4860AD The Cycle of Poverty

The pattern of poverty and paralysis continued for centuries. Forester settlement were small, scattered and well defended. Most were dominated by individuals who had no interest in co-operating with their neighbours. It was rarely possible for one of these hereditary chieftains to control more than one settlement, as travel through the trackless, poisonous forests was almost impossible.

Across Neubayern progress was painfully slow. Without easy travel there could be no trade. And without trade, isolated villages could not build wealth or sophistication. The small subsistence communities did not have the luxury of spare energy to spend on non-essentials such as education, with which they could have escaped their poverty. Some of the older Wald communities clung on to libraries, so the old knowledge was not entirely lost.

Only the parasitical dictatorship of Neumünchen could afford to divert effort from simple survival. With the vast pools of cheap labour that slavery brought them, the Kings were able to embark upon grandiose architectural projects. Neumünchen was endowed with huge stone built walls and a magnificent royal palace. By far the most impressive of the Kings’ monuments was the “Mausoleum of Julius III”. This vast cubical building stood approximately 70 metres in height, and was faced with polished basalt. It was built entirely by slave labour, although the aging shuttles were used to transport some of the larger blocks. The Mausoleum was almost solid in construction, and is estimated to have contained over 1.5 million tonnes of rock.

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