Difference between revisions of "Lost Civilizations of the Greater Continent"

From The Coursebooks Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(The Sea People)
(The Sea People)
 
(One intermediate revision by the same user not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
The [[Greater Continent]] on [[Aren]], and the surrounding land masses, are home to many strange and enigmatic ruins. Among them, many distinct lost civilizations have been identified, about which virtually nothing is none. This section will document a few of them. Al of these civilizations are known or thought to pre-date the [[Mage Wars#The Dynastic Period|Dynastic Period]], and many are known to have been wiped out by the [[Marcon Alliance]].
+
The [[Greater Continent]] on [[Aren]], and the surrounding land masses, are home to many strange and enigmatic ruins. Among them, many distinct lost civilizations have been identified, about which virtually nothing is none. This section will document a few of them. All of these civilizations are known or thought to pre-date the [[Mage Wars#The Dynastic Period|Dynastic Period]], and many are known to have been wiped out by the [[Marcon Alliance]].
  
 
==Direct Evidence==
 
==Direct Evidence==
 +
 
===Canton H Culture, Iami===
 
===Canton H Culture, Iami===
In Iami spread across the Maze grasslands and the Highlands there exist traces of an ancient civilization dubbed "Canton H" for the large earthwork-structures that define the ruins. The name derrives from the first undisturbed site excavated, the 8th such berm documented during initial surveys. Canton H is especially strange because, while thought to have existed during the [[Mage Wars#The First Chaotic Period|First Chaotic Period]], the earthworks they left behind show no signs of being defensive purpose.  
+
In Iami, spread across the Maze grasslands and the Highlands, exist traces of an ancient civilization dubbed "Canton H" for the large earthwork-structures that define the ruins. The name derives from the first undisturbed site excavated, the 8th such berm documented during initial surveys. Canton H is especially strange because, while thought to have existed during the [[Mage Wars#The First Chaotic Period|First Chaotic Period]], the earthworks they left behind show no signs of defensive purpose.  
  
Rather, they would build long, wide berms, usually straight but sometimes in the shape of a capitol T. There are signs that the berms were at the center of villages, and some indication that waddle and dab round houses were built around and on top of them. It is thought the berms formed some ceremonial purpose, but no concrete evidence of the culture survives. Very few artifacts have been found, displaying unusually primitive workmanship when compared to the sale of the earthworks(which are sometimes miles long, thousands of feet wide, and perfectly flat and straight). No traces of metal tools have been found at all, nor any signs of agriculture. The densizens of Canton H. used flint and stone tools.
+
Rather, they would build long, wide berms, usually straight but sometimes in the shape of a capital T. There are signs that the berms were at the center of villages, and some indication that wattle and daub round houses were built around and on top of them. It is thought the berms formed some ceremonial purpose, but no concrete evidence of the culture survives. Very few artifacts have been found, displaying unusually primitive workmanship when compared to the scale of the earthworks (which are sometimes miles long, thousands of feet wide, and perfectly flat and straight). No traces of metal tools have been found at all, nor any signs of agriculture. The denizens of Canton H. used flint and stone tools.
  
 
However, they were highly organized and in possession of a widespread, unified culture. The most curious aspect of the Canton H sites is the lack of any evidence for warfare. At all of the sites examined, no sign has been found of spearheads, sling shot, or defensive fortifications. Small arrowheads, as would be suitable for hunting small game, as well as flint knives, have been discovered, but no evidence for weapons.
 
However, they were highly organized and in possession of a widespread, unified culture. The most curious aspect of the Canton H sites is the lack of any evidence for warfare. At all of the sites examined, no sign has been found of spearheads, sling shot, or defensive fortifications. Small arrowheads, as would be suitable for hunting small game, as well as flint knives, have been discovered, but no evidence for weapons.
Line 12: Line 13:
  
 
===Fluted Colonnade Culture, Iami===
 
===Fluted Colonnade Culture, Iami===
Beside, and sometimes on top of Canton H is the Fluted Colonnade Culture, so named for the distinctive fluted stone columns found at many of the sites. This culture is perhaps even more enigmatic that Canton H. While the nature and purpose of the ruins left behind is far easier to discern, it is the lack of accompanying evidence which makes the remains so puzzling. Several concourses of colonnades have been found all over the continent in a distinct and well-developed style, but no record of their builders. No villages or structures of the same style; indeed no sign habitation for miles around any of the sites, at least none that can be conclusively dated to the same timeframe as the colonnades. Radiocarbon dating(at best unreliable) seems to show that all of the colonnade sites were constructed within a relatively short time frame somewhere between 3300 and 3600 [[B.G.A.]].
+
Beside, and sometimes on top of Canton H is the Fluted Colonnade Culture, so named for the distinctive fluted stone columns found at many of the sites. This culture is perhaps even more enigmatic that Canton H. While the nature and purpose of the ruins left behind is far easier to discern, it is the lack of accompanying evidence which makes the remains so puzzling. Several concourses of colonnades have been found all over the continent in a distinct and well-developed style, but no record of their builders. No villages or structures of the same style; indeed no sign habitation for miles around any of the sites, at least none that can be conclusively dated to the same timeframe as the colonnades. Radiocarbon dating seems to show that all of the colonnade sites were constructed within a relatively short time frame somewhere between 3300 and 3600 [[B.G.A.]].
  
In stark contrast, all of the sites attributed to Canton H were clearly abandoned by 3700 B.G.A., and no sign of a transition has ever been found. The Colonnade sites are religious or ritualistic in nature, with some theorizing they may have magic properties. Unfortunately auramancers studying the sites have not been able to find anything.
+
In stark contrast, all of the sites attributed to Canton H were abandoned by 3700 B.G.A., and no sign of a transition has ever been found. The Colonnade sites are religious or ritualistic in nature, with some theorizing they may have magic properties. Unfortunately auramancers studying the sites have not been able to find anything.
  
 
===Standing Column Culture, Geth===
 
===Standing Column Culture, Geth===
In [[Geth]] there exist hundreds of sites defined by free-standing stone columns. Many outline buildings that have since collapsed, or are partially buried. The layout and size of the columns indicate a cohesive culture builting in the same style, and based on maps of some of the sites they likely held a ritual signficance. Unfortunately, no systematic investigation has ever been published, and may of the better-preserves sites were destroyed during Geth's tumultuous history. Several statues of a strange fishlike idol have surfaced in the hands of private collectors over the years, all claimed to have been bought on the black market and looted from illegal excavations on Geth. Thousands of years of habitation by the [[Marcon Alliance]] also left it's mark on the island nation, so without serious examination it is impossible to piece together anything about this mysterious culture.
+
In [[Geth]] there exist hundreds of sites defined by free-standing stone columns. Many outline buildings that have since collapsed, or are partially buried. The layout and size of the columns indicate a cohesive culture builting in the same style, and based on maps of some of the sites they likely held a ritual signficance. Unfortunately, no systematic investigation has ever been published, and may of the better-preserves sites were destroyed during Geth's tumultuous history. Several statues of a strange fishlike idol have surfaced in the hands of private collectors over the years, all claimed to have been bought on the black market and looted from illegal excavations on Geth. The [[Marcon Alliance]] also left its mark on the island nation, so without serious examination it is impossible to piece together anything about this mysterious culture.
  
 
===The Works of the Old Masons, Greater Continent===
 
===The Works of the Old Masons, Greater Continent===
 
In the region north of [[High Mountain]], a great many curious stone works have been discovered in most unusual places. Of course given the highly complex history of the region, it is impossible to attribute all of these to some lost progenitor race, but there are a few particularly enigmatic points.
 
In the region north of [[High Mountain]], a great many curious stone works have been discovered in most unusual places. Of course given the highly complex history of the region, it is impossible to attribute all of these to some lost progenitor race, but there are a few particularly enigmatic points.
  
Finds described as being "Works of the Old Masons" are defined as having unusually high quality, displaying a degree of precision that is very difficult to replicate without advanced tools, and being found in places where either no culture with these capabilities is known to have existed, or most particularly in areas that were never inhabited at all.  
+
Finds described as the "Works of the Old Masons" are defined by unusually high quality, displaying a degree of precision very difficult to replicate without advanced tools, and found in places where either no culture with these capabilities is known to have existed, or were never inhabited at all.  
  
Another particular point, aside from the high quality, is the purpose for which they were used. One enegmatic example shows very high-quality stonework around a well, which indicates a high and well-developed culture. The amount of work needed to create such a construction would not have been wasted on a well, unless much greater works existed in the area which have not survived.
+
Another peculiar point, aside from the high quality, is the purpose for which they were used. One enigmatic example shows very high-quality stonework around a well, which indicates a high and well-developed culture. The amount of work needed to create such a construction would not have been wasted on a well, unless much greater works existed in the area which have not survived.
  
 
====Greater Continent Megaliths====
 
====Greater Continent Megaliths====
Line 49: Line 50:
  
 
===The Sea People===
 
===The Sea People===
In the records of [[Sun's Beacon]](the best-preserved ancient documents outside of [[Arindell]]) tells of a group called only "the sea people" who carried out raids on coastal settlements up and down the [[Sword Coast]]. Their origins and home are unknown, but was not any of the islands that today dot the [[Brutish Sea]]. It would be easy to write them off as simple pirates, but the records talk about them as a distinct culture, and draw a distinction between normal pirates and those belonging to the Sea People. Accounts describe them using well-built ships in an established style, indicating they had a home somewhere. Many theories have been put forth as to where they originated.
+
In the records of [[Sun's Beacon]] (the best-preserved ancient documents outside of [[Arindell]]) tells of a group called only "the sea people" who carried out raids on coastal settlements up and down the [[Sword Coast]]. Their origins and home are unknown, but was not any of the islands that today dot the [[Brutish Sea]]. It would be easy to write them off as simple pirates, but the records talk about them as a distinct culture, and draw a distinction between normal pirates and those belonging to the Sea People. Accounts describe them using well-built ships in an established style, indicating they had a home somewhere. Many theories have been put forth as to where they originated.
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
 
[[Category:Course Books]]
 
[[Category:Course Books]]

Latest revision as of 18:55, 29 July 2020

The Greater Continent on Aren, and the surrounding land masses, are home to many strange and enigmatic ruins. Among them, many distinct lost civilizations have been identified, about which virtually nothing is none. This section will document a few of them. All of these civilizations are known or thought to pre-date the Dynastic Period, and many are known to have been wiped out by the Marcon Alliance.

Direct Evidence

Canton H Culture, Iami

In Iami, spread across the Maze grasslands and the Highlands, exist traces of an ancient civilization dubbed "Canton H" for the large earthwork-structures that define the ruins. The name derives from the first undisturbed site excavated, the 8th such berm documented during initial surveys. Canton H is especially strange because, while thought to have existed during the First Chaotic Period, the earthworks they left behind show no signs of defensive purpose.

Rather, they would build long, wide berms, usually straight but sometimes in the shape of a capital T. There are signs that the berms were at the center of villages, and some indication that wattle and daub round houses were built around and on top of them. It is thought the berms formed some ceremonial purpose, but no concrete evidence of the culture survives. Very few artifacts have been found, displaying unusually primitive workmanship when compared to the scale of the earthworks (which are sometimes miles long, thousands of feet wide, and perfectly flat and straight). No traces of metal tools have been found at all, nor any signs of agriculture. The denizens of Canton H. used flint and stone tools.

However, they were highly organized and in possession of a widespread, unified culture. The most curious aspect of the Canton H sites is the lack of any evidence for warfare. At all of the sites examined, no sign has been found of spearheads, sling shot, or defensive fortifications. Small arrowheads, as would be suitable for hunting small game, as well as flint knives, have been discovered, but no evidence for weapons.

The exact age of Canton H. is difficult to determine, but thought to be during the Age of Darkness. The more telling aspect is the way in which it relates to the other ancient civilization in Iami. The funerary practices of Canton H were the use of urn burials and stone cairns, some of which can still be seen today. Curiously, they did not appear to build cemeteries, making it uncommon to find any more than a few burials in a large area.

Fluted Colonnade Culture, Iami

Beside, and sometimes on top of Canton H is the Fluted Colonnade Culture, so named for the distinctive fluted stone columns found at many of the sites. This culture is perhaps even more enigmatic that Canton H. While the nature and purpose of the ruins left behind is far easier to discern, it is the lack of accompanying evidence which makes the remains so puzzling. Several concourses of colonnades have been found all over the continent in a distinct and well-developed style, but no record of their builders. No villages or structures of the same style; indeed no sign habitation for miles around any of the sites, at least none that can be conclusively dated to the same timeframe as the colonnades. Radiocarbon dating seems to show that all of the colonnade sites were constructed within a relatively short time frame somewhere between 3300 and 3600 B.G.A..

In stark contrast, all of the sites attributed to Canton H were abandoned by 3700 B.G.A., and no sign of a transition has ever been found. The Colonnade sites are religious or ritualistic in nature, with some theorizing they may have magic properties. Unfortunately auramancers studying the sites have not been able to find anything.

Standing Column Culture, Geth

In Geth there exist hundreds of sites defined by free-standing stone columns. Many outline buildings that have since collapsed, or are partially buried. The layout and size of the columns indicate a cohesive culture builting in the same style, and based on maps of some of the sites they likely held a ritual signficance. Unfortunately, no systematic investigation has ever been published, and may of the better-preserves sites were destroyed during Geth's tumultuous history. Several statues of a strange fishlike idol have surfaced in the hands of private collectors over the years, all claimed to have been bought on the black market and looted from illegal excavations on Geth. The Marcon Alliance also left its mark on the island nation, so without serious examination it is impossible to piece together anything about this mysterious culture.

The Works of the Old Masons, Greater Continent

In the region north of High Mountain, a great many curious stone works have been discovered in most unusual places. Of course given the highly complex history of the region, it is impossible to attribute all of these to some lost progenitor race, but there are a few particularly enigmatic points.

Finds described as the "Works of the Old Masons" are defined by unusually high quality, displaying a degree of precision very difficult to replicate without advanced tools, and found in places where either no culture with these capabilities is known to have existed, or were never inhabited at all.

Another peculiar point, aside from the high quality, is the purpose for which they were used. One enigmatic example shows very high-quality stonework around a well, which indicates a high and well-developed culture. The amount of work needed to create such a construction would not have been wasted on a well, unless much greater works existed in the area which have not survived.

Greater Continent Megaliths

Possibly created by the same hand are numerous megalithic sites dotted all over the continent but most frequently found north of High Mountain. Often mistaken for standing stones, these are carefully hewn statues forty to eighty feet in height, always carved from a single stone. On occasion, signs of the block having been quarried nearby can be identified, but as often as not the origins remain a mystery.

Of particular difficulty is the weathering of the stones. Many primary and secondary sources from the First Chaotic Period tell of the statues appearing old, but still bearing clearly recognizable features. They were all of armored knights, most carrying weapons; and some accounts tell of astonishing levels of detail. However, by the Golden Age many of the best examples had been destroyed or were otherwise located in now remote and inaccessible regions.

Further still was the mythology surrounding them. While clearly ancient in origin, many had become the subject of local folklore which, when mixed with actual events, provided credible stories about their origins. This led to the few megaliths located in easy-to-reach places to be dismissed or wrongly attributed to Dynastic civilizations until long after the most important details had faded away.

It was not until the publication of the Accepted Histories and the wide scale tabulation of ancient written records that the pattern emerged, and over 100 megaliths predating the dynastic era were identified. Of them, only 40 still existed, and of these few features were still evident. Dozens more would eventually be discovered, but the information was simply lost. The largest unanswered question was whether or not the megaliths showed a preponderance of form, or were copied from each other and adapted to the local style. The direction the statues are facing could also have been useful, but aside from rough guesses about front and back no information is known.

While the megalithic soldiers have been positively identified as artificial in origin, many theorists speculate a connection to the more controversial Doldrome Heads found in the same region.

The Builders of Roads

Several long and well-constructed stone roads have been discovered that crisscross the Agras Plains. Some link modern and ancient settlements, but others do not. These are all built in a similar system and made to last for ages, but no cohesive civilization ever covered the entirety of the region in which they were found. The roads are also described in many survivng accounts from the First Chaotic Period, indicating they are far older than stone-builders in the region.

Discovered in Secondary Sources

No direct evidence exists for these civilizations, but they are described in writings. In most cases, only the location is unknown, but the general region might be.

Cadolonima

Described as being "to the northwest of Sindall", Cadolonima was said to be a powerful coalition of city states, with Mage Towers and a standing army that fought many campaigns across the lowland regions. Numerous accounts survive most especially in the histories of Rowen. Most historians place Cadolonima in modern-day Korrinth, but Rowen sources indicate it was further south, though that would place it in either Sindall or the Brutish Sea.

Cadolonima is unique because, unlike many of the other lost civilizations, there are some direct sources. Thousands of documents bound into folios were found in the Library of Arindell proport to be from Cadolonima, and tell of a rich culture that may have been one of the earliest constitutional monarchies.

The Sea People

In the records of Sun's Beacon (the best-preserved ancient documents outside of Arindell) tells of a group called only "the sea people" who carried out raids on coastal settlements up and down the Sword Coast. Their origins and home are unknown, but was not any of the islands that today dot the Brutish Sea. It would be easy to write them off as simple pirates, but the records talk about them as a distinct culture, and draw a distinction between normal pirates and those belonging to the Sea People. Accounts describe them using well-built ships in an established style, indicating they had a home somewhere. Many theories have been put forth as to where they originated.

See Also