When the Barrier fell, the New Zenith Empire was well positioned to capitalize on this situation. Their magic users were the first to be aware the Barrier had fallen. Their Emperor realize that "reclaiming" their homeland would further legitimize his regime. As a consquence the Zenith Empire was quick to organize large teams of explorers and settlers. It spared no expense.
In a matter a decade a few dozen nascent cities had popped up in the New World. However this colonization was largely artifical unlike the the Ambropolitan, Ulfen, and Isfahani colonies. Large numbers of hemin (peasants) and eta (slaves) were tore out of their homes and sent to live in this wilderness. The samurai that traveled there were either offered large incentives or begrudginly ordered to go. Overall the process was taxing on the Zenith Empire, but the Empire had excellent administrators and an Emperor who had an uncanny ability to know just how much he could wring out of his subjects without breaking them.
But then the Emperor died, and his son proved to be a arragont moron that was slightly delusional. While the mistakes were numerous and burnt up the political capital and societal goodwill that the last 15 emperors had built up, let's focus on just his policies in colonies. The first moronic decision he made was to cut the lavish funding the colonies had enjoyed. That in and of itself would not be so damning if the same time he demanded that the colonies report a even more impressive growth than under his predecessor. His subjects were at a loss as to how to do this, and the only guidance the new Emperor would give is "Its your job to figure out how to execute my edicts" followed by a few decapitations of those that dared question him.
The Zenith governors were at a loss. They had to succeed or die. They also knew that the Emperor's spy network would be observing their progress, so they could only expect to get away with slight fudging of reports. The governors' solution was threefold. For starters they threw open immigrantion to all nationalities. Next they granted special legal protections to these people that put them on par with the rights they enjoyed back home, if not better. Finally the bribed some of the Emperor's favorites back home to praise the ingeniuty of their plans. The new Emperor only saw that his orders had been obeyed and any doubt he had was calmed by the flowery words of his favorites.
At first only Ambropoltians (who were facing mounting population stresses) would migrate, but as it became more and more clear that it was not a Zenith trick, large numbers of Isfahani also began to migrate. This new caste "the foriegners" infuriated all levels the transplanted Zenith culture. The hemin and eta felt like they had been pushed down to social ladder on behalf of these foriegners, plus they craved the rights the foriegners had. Meanwhile the samurai felt that their own importance diminished. While in name the samurai were the superior caste, in practice the foriegners were granted even more protections then them AND farless of the obligations.
Meanwhile back home the new Emperor's even greater ineptitude eventual caused a Civil War. When the colonies learned of this fact, revolts quickly broke out. The governors were losing control. But it go worse. The Pope in Everlon and his clerics had long watched the situation in the Zenith colonies. Sensing a way to bloody the nose of the Raoist empire, they had commissioned a some military leaders to organize a potential liberation when they first sensed an exploitable situation. By the time news of revolts reached Everlon the Church of the Light had already developed a plan of action. Its Holy Army of Liberation arrived just a the revolts were cresting. This army would from the core of a colonial army that would sweep through the Free Cities. The Holy Army was heralded as heroic liberators as they went. Behind the Holy Army came swarms of missionaries that came to offer aid and salvation.
The scars of the revolt still mark many of the Free Cities. The Free Cities are also hardly regonizable as the Zenith colonies they were just a generation ago. The large numbers of Ambropolitan and Isfahan immigrants made the Free Cities multinational. The Ulfen liberators had a disportionate effect on the Free Cities.
The Free Cities recently formed a alliance to protect one another from threats, but each Free City has its on government and set of laws. The Free Cities are mostly ruled by a combination of merchant princes, warlords, and city councils. For the most part freedom of religion is the norm because the cities are fearful of starting a religious civil war.
Since their independance, the Free Cities have become large exporters of foodstuffs. Much of these foodstuffs make their way to Ambropolis which produces mass produced finished goods that are in demand in the Free Cities.
Last edited by Tim_Coltharp
on Wed May 25, 2011 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.