History (Eclipse)

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Eclipse * History * The Solar Empire * The Lunar Empire * Locations * Cast

Twelve hundred years ago the solars arrived on the Skyfall Archipelago, fleeing the collapse of their prior civilization. They had been the sun-worshiping priestly sect and their followers, overthrown by a secular coup. At that time, several tribes dominated the isles, the most powerful being a tribe of moon-worshipers and a tribe of fire worshipers. The solars quickly came into contact with the fire-worshiping tribe, called the Agnis, who welcomed them and allowed the solars to settle.

Over the next eight hundred and fifty years the solar civilization developed slowly, forming economic ties with the scattered tribes of the isles. The architectural and engineering knowledge of their ancestors gave them a significant advantage over the locals, who would trade for these secrets. At the same time, the moon-touched began to appear in increasing numbers among the lunars. Using the magical powers available to the moon-touched, the lunars became the most powerful tribe on the isles.

Three hundred and fifty years ago the solars began vast economic and religious expansion. Many of the local tribes had become dependent on the solar’s economy, and now the solars began using this economic pressure to spread their religion across the isles. At the same time, they increased their trade and established settlements on other isles, creating a trade empire covering all the Skyfalls. The Agnis that refused to abandon their fire-worship eventually became second-class citizens in solar territories.

Three hundred years ago the lunars declared the First War against the solars. They feared the solar’s ever-growing economic influence and their attempt to enforce their religion across the isles, having seen what happened to the Agnis. The two powers fought a series of bloody battles always trying to expand their influence on the lesser tribes. The lunars at first gained the advantage, but as the solars became increasingly militaristic a stalemate developed. After twenty years of such battles, both groups agreed to a cessation of hostilities.

Over the next forty years both groups developed into formal empires, consolidating almost all the peoples of the isles under one of their two rules. Two hundred and forty years ago the solars discovered the Astral Temple and claimed it as a holy site prophesied by sun god. When they attempt to lay claim to the site, the lunars resisted and the second war began. Each side focused their attempts on claiming the Astral Temple and the areas around it, but the longest either party managed to hold it was the seven years it was held by the solars, during which time they developed the sun pact. However, even the sun pact didn’t stop the lunars from reclaiming their holy site and thus ending the war which had lasted for more than sixty years.

The next century passed in uneasy peace between the two sides, each growing more stable in its power. Eighty years ago the third war broke out when the solars attempted to bring lunar territories under their rule. This war lasted for ten years; it ended with a peace treaty the lunars reluctantly signed after suffering horrendous losses. During the solar offensive, they lost control of the Astral Temple. This remained a point of suffering for the lunars even onto the next generation.

Thirty years ago the lunars launched a new offensive. Over the past generation the moon-touched had developed a ritual which created the therianthropic bloodlines. With legions of were-beasts, they swept through the unprepared solar armies. Once again, however, the solars forced a stalemate.

Two years ago, the empires made peace, both sides agreeing that neither side would exclusively possess the Astral Temple. Instead, both would place a garrison around it. The solars agreed to wed their emperor to the the princess Ila, daughter of the lunar emperor Rahu. Because solar society is matrilineal, this was a great concession on their part. Some hope such a concession paves the way to lasting peace. But some solars fear that it makes them look weak to the lunars, and lunars are quick to prey on weakness. Both sides fear the price of a Fifth War.