A publication of the Alvare Institute
While the civilizations of Liliana and the states that rose after it are considered to be the greatest of Longerathian civilizations, they were not the first. Most modern historians hold that it was the Tawhitoan peoples, who once inhabited all of Smalik and a significant part of Longerath, that established the region's first civilized societies. While the Tawhitoan people in New Vexillium possessed several notable civilizations of their own, this document concerns only Longerath and Smalik. Therefore, it will give attention only to those Tawhitoan civilizations established in these two continents.
The first civilization established by the Tawhitoan peoples was in Rioch, Lendosa, one of the oldest civilizations in Vexillium, and still extant. However, the Riochans were isolationists, and did not spread their culture in any way. Therefore, the next Tawhitoan civilization developed spontaneously, and has little resemblance to Riochan culture.
The first of the large Tawhitoan civilizations was the nation of Kunn, located on the west coast of Lendia. The Lendosan exarchates of Kunn Haliton and Kunn Asan, as well as the Zartanian enclave of Kunn Fedoron, all take their name from this culture. The earliest evidence of Kunn civilization has been dates to circa 4000 BP, and was found in the village of Benolo, in Lendosa. However, finds of Kunn artifacts are rare, and we cannot judge accurately how developed they were. The best records we have are from Rioch, which was monitoring the emergent Kunn civilization. However, we do not know how accurate these records are, and many are missing or damaged due to the great earthquake of 254. It is known that there will be duplicates of these records somewhere, probably underground, as the Riochans were fastidious about record-keeping, but we do not know where they are. Until we do, we can only guess at what life was like for the people of Kunn.
Ruins of a Kunn citadel
In around 3750 BP, archaeologists believe that the Cahno culture broke away from the Kunn one. The Cahno lived near the Kunn Empire, on the northern coast of Lendia, and were apparently similar to the Kunn. However, there are even fewer remains of the Cahno than there are of the Kunn, and consequently we know little about them. From what we can gather from the conflicting accounts of the Regnosians (who will be discussed later), they were somehow cultured and technologically learned but also tribalistic and culturally unadvanced. The Regnosian writer Xahuru tells us that it was as if "a primative, backward group of tribes had been given high technology, and been taught manners and politeness, but had retained exactly the same traditions, cultural views, and social structure right through it. Rather than cease hunting and grow crops, they simply used their technology to make better spears. Rather than set aside their bonfires, they built special rimmed basins for them, and danced around them along ordered lines. Rather than build proper houses, they just built bigger and stronger tents. They retained their lifestyle despite being given technology." The Riochans, however, say that the Cahno were not barbarians who were taught by the Kunn, but Kunn themselves who decided to abandon the urban way of life, and needed to move outside Kunn's borders to do so. The truth is unclear.
Shortly after this, it is believed that the Kunn Empire came under attack from barbarian tribes, probably from what was to become Paspalhis. It lost much of its territory, and set the stage for the rise of other powers. The Paspalhite barbarians, taking civilization from the Kunn who they were conquering, began to establish civilization of their own. The Paspalhites lived in southern Lendia, along the Paspal river. Their culture is far more open to us, as they came into direct contact with the Regnosians, our primary source outside of Rioch on these nations and their inhabitants.
Regnos was probably the greatest of the ancient Tawhitoan nations in Longerath and Smalik. It began in northwestern Piolhosa, in Lendosa, but quickly expanded. The Regnosians are the Tawhitoan civilization that we know the most about. We have numerous documents from their time, and can readily translate their language. Unfortunately, most of the documents we have uncovered as such are focused on matters internal to Regnos, and we do not have that much information from them about their neighbours.
Ruins in the Regnosian capital, Tesion
Remains of a Regnosian temple, also in Tesion
What little we do know about the Regnosian Empire's neighbours from their works come from a history of Regnos. From this, we are able to contruct a relative timeline of ancient events. We know where Regnos began, and that it was quite imperialistic but not necessarily tyrannical. It came into contact with the Aystyrians, a semi-civilized Tawhitoan people in southeastern Piolhosa, and gradually absorbed them into its empire, and due to this, we know quite a substantial amount about this people. However, the most notable events in Regnosian history were the Paspalhite Wars.
These three wars were fought between the Regnosian Empire and Paspalhis, in southern Lendia. The causes of these wars, and the manoeverings in them, are too complex to be discussed in full, and the full details are not quite clear in any case. Nevertheless, what follows is a brief overview of the three wars. Over a period of time, a number of colonies had been founded by Regnosian groups in the south of Lendia, independent of the Regnosian government. These came in two groups, one in the west, near Paspalhis, and one in the east, separated from the western ones by primative tribes. The western colonies, however, did not last long before being conquered by Paspalhis. The one exception was the city now known as Belavida, which signed an agreement which let it retain independence in return for tribute and military subservience. However, due to events which will not be discussed, the leader of Belavida at one time angered the Paspalhite ruler, and was to be captured and executed. Hoping to avoid this, he raised the former colonies in rebellion against Paspalhis, and appealed to Regnos, where the colonists had come from, for assistance. Regnos itself did not respond, but several of its Houses chose to do so in an independent capacity. While they met with initial success, all but one house, House Xacano, one by one withdrew, not considering it worthwhile. The Xacano forces were destroyed, and the colonies subjugated again.
The Paspalhite ruler then determined to move against the eastern colonies, and marshalled a large force for that purpose. Half-way across the barbarian territory, which was controled by Xoxinan tribes (a Tawhitoan people who never developed civilization), however, the tribes attacked. Using clever techniques and strategies, they managed to demoralize and exhaust the Paspalhite troops while sustaining very few casualties themselves. Unable to move on due to Xoxinan guerilla warfare, and with their supplies dwindling, the Paspalhites decided to abort the mission. The campaign that was the First Paspalhite War was over before it began. We are not certain why the Xoxinans attacked, why they waited until the Paspalhites were part-way through, and how they managed to devise the tactics which they did (being known for a rather blunt and straight-forward style of warfare). We are also unsure as to where the Xoxinans got their weaponry, which was described as equal to anything the Paspalhites had. However, many ancient sources suspect that the Cahno were involved, and some report proof, but we have no way of confirming this today. From what information we have, it would appear that the Cahno had always been enemies of the Paspalhites, and had been encouraging Xoxinan tribes into attacking Paspalhite borders and destroying any expeditions for a long time. However, we are still uncertain as to why the Cahno would attack this invasion force, which was not directed at them. Most Regnosian historians simply say that the Cahno were the sort of people to do anything at all to antagonize anyone they could. That is, the Regnosians thought that the Cahno would not need a reason.
The Second Paspalhite War was more notable. The Paspalhites abandoned attempts to take the eastern colonies, and instead moved to attack Regnos itself. With the help of Lolth, a nation established by as Neoliliani tribe pushed out of Neoliliana and a state renowned for its fleet, Palpalhis launched a large-scale invasion of the Regnosian mainland, landing at two points and converging upon the city of Axatana. However, their plans did not go well. The bulk of their eastern flank was defeated by a Regnosian army in the Battle of Teleman, and the western wing was defeated when it attempted to take Axatana on its own. While the invasion did a lot of damage to Regnos, cutting a swathe through its centre, it ultimately failed in its goal.
What the invasion did do, however, was unite the formerly divided Regnosian houses. Championed by House Xacano, which had been the only one to remain and support Belavida's rebellion, the houses of Regnos drafted a treaty. The political pressure became so great that the Emperor of Regnos was forced to declare the entire nation to be at war (not all Houses responded, however). This time, the invasion was not made by the Paspalhites but by the Regnosians. With the full force of the Regnosian Empire pressing against it, Paspalhis collapsed. Some historians also believed that the Cahno chose this moment to launch an attack on Paspalhis too, hoping to destroy it once and for all. One Regnosian historian claims that Cahno forces themselves were attacking Paspalhis, and ploughing through the vaunted defence, rather than the Xoxinan tribes that the Cahno usually used to perform such attacks, but this historian is known to be unreliable in some aspects, and so we are not certain of this.
All of Paspalhis was integrated into Regnos, as was Lolth, Paspalhis's ally. The Regnosian colonies in Lendia joined the Empire also, unwilling to remain vulnerable as they had been. Slowly, Regnos continued to expand. It reached its height when it controlled all of modern Lendosa, and remained as such until the arrival of the settlers.
The other place in which Tawhitoan civilization flourished was in southern Longerath. The most prominant of these civilizations was the nation of T'Ran. It flourished in the jungles of northern Achenar, and was responsible for the construction of huge pyramid-temples in the heart of the jungle. It appears to have been an advanced culture, especially for the region and time, and was certainly able to produce vast amounts of literature. However, we know little about it, due to the fact that we cannot yet decipher its script. Until we can do so, T'Rani civilization remains virtually unknown.
A T'Ran Temple
The other culture that flourished in southern Longerath was also in Achenar, being the state of Whenua. While their culture never reached the heights that the T'Rani one did, they maintained a detailed and complex system of protocol and became adept at constuction using wood. This use of wood, however, means that most of their great buildings have since decayed. They were also excellent farmers, and developed highly advanced systems of irrigation and crop rotation. The Whenuan civilization entered into a dark age when it was attacked by neighbouring barbarians, and it never really re-emerged, although elements of it still survive in modern Whenua.