Terronia is the third planet from the star known as Terron, and the fourth-largest of the six planets in the Terronia System. It has been referred to as the World, Unity, or Terron III. Home to millions of species, including Terronians, Terronia has played a significant role in the history of the Trillian Sector. The planet formed around -1.7 billion GST, and the earliest forms of life appeared on its surface around -900 milllion GST.
Terronia's outer surface is divided into roughly two dozen tectonic plates that gradually move across the surface over periods of millions of GY. About 59% of the surface is covered with oceans of varying composition, the remainder consisting of ten continents and several chains of islands.
Both the mineral resources of the planet, as well as the various chemical and biological products of the biosphere, constitute the wealth of Terronia as an interstellar body. This wealth has supported the planet's population and after the advent of space flight began to enter into interplanetary trade patterns. The inhabitants are grouped into sixteen regional divisions, which interact through travel, trade and politics. Various cultures have developed many views of the planet, including early personifications as a deity by the first Terronians, to contemporary views of the planet as a great center for culture, technology, academics and entertainment.
Terronia's land area has traditionally been organized into ten discrete continents. Dorreca and South Cendica lie in the equatorial belt of the planet. North Cendica, Mercantare, Machiad and Etschtal are the continents of the northern hemisphere while Nustianor, Zatija, Tian and Crube are in the southern hemisphere. North and South Cendica share a peninsular link and South Cendica is also connected to Nustianor by an isthmus. Tian and Zatija are divided by the Quinastic mountain range; the Boral mountain range separates Mercantare and Machiad, these are the first and second largest mountain ranges in Terronia respectively.
Terronia's land is largely composed of subtropical and temperate zones. Three major deserts and just over a dozen mountain chains break up these substantially homogenous climate regions.
Scientists understand the first single-celled organisms on Terronia to have evolved in the equatorial oceanic areas of the planet around roughly -900 million GST. Microbial blooms of early blovion were the dominant form of life in the Emovian period. The earliest evidence of multicellular organisms dates from -615 million GST.
Ground plants evolved around -300 million GST, though recent evidence suggests that semicomplex organisms colonized coastal areas of the continents as far back as -470 million GST. Ground plants were so successful that they are thought to have contributed to the late Woldish biodestruction catastrophe. Invertebrate animals first emerged -230 million GST during the Berhic period, while vertebrates originated about -170 million GST during the Mundian bioaccumulation.
During the Gredic period the earliest ancestors of neuronicals dominated land, but the Gredic–Thuwaldian biodestruction in -141 million GST nearly wiped out all advanced life. During the recovery from this event, emoviacs became the most abundant land vertebrates. Emoviacs came to dominate the Druwaldian and Omberic periods, while the ancestors of modern neuronicals survived only in small packs generally in the colder regions of the planet. After the Omberic biodestruction event around -38 million GST killed off the emoviacs, neuronicals increased rapidly in sophistication and diversity. Scientists theorize that these mass biodestruction occurrences may have accelerated evolution by providing opportunities for new groups of organisms to proliferate.
Fossil evidence indicates that flowering plants appeared and rapidly diversified in the Early Omberic, between -90 million and -70 million GST, probably helped by coevolution with pollinating tricladics. Social tricladics appeared around the same time as flowering plants.
Terronians evolved from a lineage of upright-walking dorekins whose earliest fossils date from about -1.3 million GST. Although early members of this lineage had relatively small brains, there are signs of a steady increase in brain size after about -650,000 GST.
Prehistory of the Terronian SpeciesEdit
For the several hundred thousand years in which modern Terronians evolved, the main activities of Terronia's first sentient lifeform were the hunting of animals and the construction of temporary shelters. The ability of Terronians to craft stone and wood tools gave them a huge survival advantage over other animals. It was toolmaking that allowed Terronians to eventually dominate the planet they later named after themselves.
Early wood and stone sculptures are evidence of a primitive culture extant among Terronians from at least -90,000 GST. The first complex Terronian languages may also date from this period.
Terronian Civilization Prior to Space FlightEdit
Early Terronian agriculture arose around the year -12,000 GST. Archeological evidence indicates that in the first few thousand years, agricultural plots were dominated by quocxandri plants. Agriculture allowed Terronians to group into the earliest civilizations. Only the wealthiest twenty percent lived in large settlements that utilized limited agriculture until -8500 GST, when wider scale agriculture and a colder part of the climate cycle drove most Terronians into complex societies that were markedly less nomadic.
Over the course of the next dozen centuries, hundreds of farming tribes proliferated on every continent except Etschtal and Crube, which remained largely uninhabited. The densest settlements of Terronians could be found in Ratija and southern Machiad. The largest tribes tended to aggregate in fertile river valleys. During this age, the first distinctive labor specializations occurred in the largest tribes.
First Large CivilizationsEdit
Telfet is often cited as the first major civilization on Terronia. Telfet emerged as a series of interlocking agricultural settlements in southwest Machiad. Between -7200 and -6800, a Telfetese monarchy solidified its control over the Ulcate river valley and the surrounding regions. Telfet civilization was based around control of the Ulcate river, which was used for irrigation as well as trade. Telfetese monarchs continued to expand their dominion across much of central Machiad for the next 2500 years. The Telfetese people are often credited with invention of written language, though it appears similar techniques were developed independently in other parts of Terronia in subsequent years.
Around -7100 GST, the Bagril and Taldutt tribes of Zatija came to dominate the Zat river valley. Taldutts worked in farms and towns along the upper Zat while the Bagril held sway over the lower part of the river. The two societies fought continuous low-level wars for several centuries. Taldutt religious leaders began to build magnificent temples in the foothills of the Quinastics during this period.
Many consider Manta Bosa to be the first true Terronian city. Built by members of several different Dorrecan tribes around -6700 GST, Manta Bosa became the main center of trade for much of the continent for many centuries. Manta Bosa was able to maintain independence from all the diverse tribes of Dorreca as well as relative peace and prosperty within its borders for much of its history. This unique history contrasts with the rise of cities elsewhere on Terronia, which generally evolved as capitals or trade centers of major nation-states and empires.
Clan society took hold among the Chenzic people of eastern Tian around -6400 GST. Anthropoligical research indicates that Chenzic clans were smaller than the average tribes that dominated in other areas, and that internecine warfare generally led to one clan dominating several others for a generation before further violence would reshuffle power structures. Chenzic clans developed the first extensive pottery goods, which they traded widely outside their own settlements. Chenzic pottery would reach Dorreca and Machiad within the next several centuries.
Intricate social stratification characterized the warring tribes of Kesh who occupied the southernmost regions of Machiad beginning around -6000 GST. In various primitive juridical rituals, groups of condemned tribesmen would be exiled to the southern sea. After banishment, these outcasts would travel on boats into the largely unknown waters beyond Machiad. Many died, but others found their way to the deserts and highlands of northern Tian.
In the western hemisphere, the hundreds of tribes competing for desirable land and resources remained relatively unconsolidated in these centuries. Key exceptions came between -6000 and -5000 GST with the Totan nation in South Cendica and later the Olagit Empire which came to control much of Nustianor.
Beginning in -5200, a handful of Chenzic clans began to migrate to the large islands off the coast of eastern Tian. They abandoned their ancestral lands in response to the increasingly frequent attacks by Karthik raiding parties from the north. The Chenzic clans that made it to the fertile but sparsely populated islands of legend built a new civilization over the next few centuries. The Okangoi kingdoms that resulted composed the longest continuously independent civilization on Terronia, The Okangoi controlled these coastal islands for many millenia until the Age of Macrostates.
Karthik raiders, the descendents of Keshite exiles, led to the fragmentation of traditional clan life in Chenzic lands. While a small number took their chances in the eastern sea, many others migrated westward. Most of these migrants settled among the Yuad people in the eastern foothills of the Quinastics, but a minority continued on into the Quinastic mountains proper. A few made it all the way to Zat river valley, where food was more plentiful than in most areas of Tian up to that time. By the early -4000s, Karthiks ruled over the Chenzics that remained in east Tian.
Around -4900, the Telfet Empire fought a series of wars in northern Machiad in order to bring tribes of Shergish, Uhlsian and Damos peoples into their increasingly vast hegemony. Xare, a Telfetese emperor who fought as a general in the first of these wars, moved the capital of Telfet to the northern city of Poguusin in order to take a more direct hand in subduing what he considered to be barbarians.
Meanwhile, the Keshite Kingdom of southern Machiad had grown rapidly after the tribes of Kesh were united as one. Emboldened monarchs of this rising power began to send bands of elite Keshite warriors to raid vulnerable Telfet territories to surprising success. In the ensuing years, Terronian history took a distinct turn towards more expansive political units with relatively massive military strength.
Age of KeshEdit
Terronian historians have long debated using the phrase "Age of Kesh" to describe the millennia in which Terronian recordkeeping greatly improved. Critics contend that the term is Machiad-centric, implicitly ignoring the histories of other peoples and other continents. Because of its continued general use, it will be employed here with its disputation noted.
Around the year -4600 GST, Keshite King Nison began a full scale invasion of Telfet with large armies composed of Keshite professional warriors along with conscripted tribesmen from nearby tributary tribes. The venerable empire fell into crisis as it attempted to recall all its forces from long term expeditions in the far north of Machiad as well as campaigns in the Alindreh mountains. Within a few years, Nison's forces had penentrated deep into Telfet.
Emperor Cynox ordered the dissolution of the extensive bureaucracy of Telfet with its members to be absorbed into the military. This move backfired, as many bureaucrats led their local regions in open revolt and sometimes even collaboration with the Keshite invaders. After a decade of war, the imperial government had effectively collapsed, though Telfetese military forces continued to battle Keshite regulars for many more years. By midcentury, this had died down to a low level insurgency conflict. At that point, an empire that had lasted millenia was mostly subsumed by the new Empire of Kesh.
At the same time, Lord Sabaka of the Bani Kingdom of Dorreca met with tribal leaders that had yet to swear allegiance to his rule in the independent city of Manta Bosa. The accords drawn up in that city secured central Dorreca as the exclusive domain of the Bani people and their lord, while other tribes would be allowed to maintain their autonomy in the coastal regions free from exorbitant tribute.
In the late 4500s, records from a small kingdom in southern Tian contain conflicting evidence about the beginnings of a major conflict with the Karthiks. King Taspar, a figure known from legend, may be a conflation of a number of royal leaders descended from Yuad nobles. What the records do seem to agree on is that Taspar's kingdom launched a plan to destroy Karthik control of neighboring territories by coopting warlords descended from Chenzic clan fathers. Taspar is said to have sent his army into eastern Tian where it mercilessly attacked Karthik warrior enclaves while installing local dignataries in positions of influence in the newly liberated regions. After a period of years, the newly established Yuad Pentarchy sent armies north where they decimated Karthik lands. The Karthik population dropped by at least half, and their power in Tian was permanently attenuated.
Archeologists date the ruins of the first workshop cities of Arcren on the southeastern coasts of Mercantare to around -4300.
The Empire of Kesh conquered essentially all of Machiad by -4200. The rebelling northern tribes had been brought to heel, and Keshite emperors began to institute administrative and legal reforms to bring most of the empire under centralized supervision from the capital at Dijad. With limited knowledge of the lowlands beyond the Borals or any of the continents beyond the seas, the Kesh Empire was considered to span the known world by most inhabitants of Machiad.