Historical Introduction

 

They came out of the far reaches of the Northern Steppe and invaded the fertile plains of the South by way of the  land bridge in the Northwest. In only a few centuries they extended their dominion across the whole continent. From the Isles of the Magicians over the Cities of Darkness and up to the wild mountain tribes of the MaqŠra: nobody could resist their military and cultural power. Their language and their gods spread among all peoples with whom they came into contact. General Map

And yet, neither did they arrive as a big group of invaders, nor were the Fergiartu (who gave the later empire its name) the only tribe. Rather, the immigration of these people had probably already begun several centuries before the first Fergiartan kingdom arose in the West. In this way the manifold Pantheon of the Fergiartuya, for instance, is an expression of the diversity of the "Fergiartan" tribes. Also in social terms, the tribes were structured quite differently, even if the warriors at least initially had the leading role. A people on the tramp cannot get by without a military elite that can protect the bulk of the people, the men, the women and the children, against possible threats - be it animals, forces of nature or other warriors. At least here a clear division of responsibilities was necessary, as well as the special ability to cooperate.

It is unknown how the Fergiartuya were organized  on the move or what their means of transport were; as we know from finds, horses will have played a main role - whether as riding or transport animals. After all there were no great powers in the area of origin of the Fergiartan tribes who could have reported something about it. Even on the big continent they should colonize, at first nobody noticed their arrival. The nearest culturally advanced territory, the Isles of the Magicians, still was too far away from the land bridge in the Northwest for somebody to have observed the arrival of the newcomers. Those people which came initially into contact with the Fergiartuya, however, knew no script. Furthermore there will have been a gradual intermingling with the Fergiartuya, before somebody realized the identity of the groups of people, who suddenly turned up here and there. At least we know of no reports about the occurrence of a new group of people from that early time - not even in legends and folk tales; for instance a battle with suddenly emerging invaders.

Only three important places of discovery from the area, in which the first Fergiartan kingdom later existed, indicate the presence of a new ethnic group from this time. A burial site known as "Prince's Grave" was excavated near RemayÍka. Together with the male corpse, which had been buried with the head facing East, bones of sheep and horses, several bronze blades and a small votive figure from burned clay were found. Apparently some of his animals were buried with the man - or they were killed to show the sympathy of his tribe. The bronze blades as such are no special sign for the belonging of the man to the Fergiartuya, but at least implicate his social status. The most important factor, however, is the votive figure which is supposed to display a god. In its right hand the figure holds a snake and in its left a dagger. This votive figure has been brought into connection with the god Ohisa, the principal god of the snake cult. 

Another settlement was unearthed in the bay of ValyÍkana. Because of the post holes excavators deduced a tent village or simple mud huts. Here also animal bones were found, but no princely grave was excavated. Instead they met with glazed clay discs with ornaments in the form of intertwined sinuous lines, several kinds of bronze jewelry and blades. A wooden staff with a three pronged crown was found with a male corpse. The crown was assumed to be a primitive predecessor of the rooflike crown that in later  times adorned the sceptre of the Parshu of the Fergiartu. Therefore professional circles talk about the "grave of the king of ValyÍkana". Another male corpse showed a fracture of the skull which has been brought into connection with the custom known from the early times of the Fergiartan kingdom, where the cranium of the priests was smashed open after death to let the soul escape.

Near Egarsa, in contrast, a smithy was found and further on in the mountains a mine shaft. These findings should stem from later times, when the Fergiartuya had already become sedentary; but probably still before the founding of the kingdom. The most important finding for our purposes is the fire altar, on which goats and sheep  were sacrificed. And it it exactly this custom that is known from the time of the first kingdom's founding, when the god Puranka was one of the main deities. It is reported about these fire altars that the bones as well as a third of the animals (the heart, the gall bladder and the skull) were burnt here as an offering to the god, while the cult community feasted on the leftovers. Some potsherds show a similar glazing as those near ValyÍkana.

Further to the Southeast, somewhat west of the Isles of the Magicians, findings were made that indicate an advance of the Fergiartuya in this area. These troves date from the time, when the first kingdom formed further northwest. More finds from the late period of the first kingdom are evidences of a further advance of the Fergiartuya in the South. In the bay near the "Strait of Ghormas", the interest of the scientists hit especially upon two find spots. Both are fortified places that were abandoned in later times. Apparently some kind of military concflict had taken place here, because both locations showed traces of  large fires. Shattered crockery and several finds of corpses and weapons point in the same direction. Obviously these Fergiartan tribes already had chariots by this time. These chariots can be recognized by their typical light construction, since Fergiartan chariots mostly have a leather-clad frame, were construed as carriage and pair and their drawbar was mounted on a pivot; all of which made the chariots very manoeuvrable.

Two hundred years after the origin of the first kingdom, first traces of the Fergiartuya also appear among the advanced civilizations of their time. In the city of QuariyŠna, the westernmost of the Cities of Darkness, trade directories were found, which several times list the name of Fergiartan merchants. Thus for example it is recorded of a certain Egaruwuna from Katarakeneweta that he had come to the city with a big wagonload of cloth the third year in a row. Since the inhabitants of QuariyŠna used a syllabary, the name of the hometown of the merchant can be identified with KatraknÍta; actually this city belonged to the most recent foundations of the first Fergiartan kingdom and did later on reach some prosperity under the name KatrÍta. The name of the merchant, by the way, must have been EgrŻna (or EgarŻna).
 

It can therefore be concluded from the above that the first Fergiartan tribes first settled in the Northwest of the continent. Still some tribes advanced further south and east. While the first Fergiartan kingdom established in the West, these tribes further advanced to the other end of the continent.

Ironically, the real expansion of the Fergiartan tribes started with the collapse of the first kingdom.