The Early History Of The Silverstari


What would become the Silverstari began on the far continent of Dìwěidàhuā in a region known as Dìjièrjiāng, the Land between the Two Rivers, and called themselves the River People. This was a swampy, well forested area, low lying and with a monsoonal, tropical climate. The people there were divided into numerous Clans, and each clan had taken a totem animal as a model for itself. Hundreds of clans rose and fell, amongst them the Tiger, Sea Horse and Spider, as well as the clans that now form modern Silver Stars. The clans warred amongst themselves, developed complex art and culture and thrived on sea trade flowing between their nearest neighbors, the Empire of Smelt Iron to the north and the Empire of Obsidian Butterflies to the east.

Growing Tensions

Over time, the two great empires that overshadowed the fractured River People grew to covert the fertile, rice producing lands controlled by the clans. It is held that the technologically advanced and land hungry Empire of Smelt Iron was the first to send forces south, defeating the religiously focused Monkey Clan in a few short months. Before long, however, the Empire of Obsidian Butterflies, spurred by the actions of their rivals, and laid waste to the Raven in a tide of grim warriors and pestilence. The remaining clans went onto a war footing, and tense and tentative diplomacy was conducted with the aim of uniting the clans. Some of the clans closest the two empires traded their lands and freedom for their existence and were absorbed into the empires. Others fought and were subjugated. Actual cooperation between the clans was hard coming, as age old hatreds were hard to put aside. Numerous times a clan army was fielded with the promise of the support of neighbors that never came and resulted in the destruction of the clan. As the years passed, cooperation became more difficult and more clans fell.

The Fall of Silver Stars

Into this scenario of war and impending extinction fell the Jié Shěng Shén, the Saving Gods. They fell to earth trailed by silvery star dust, hence their other name, the Bái Yín Xīng Chén or Silver Stars. The Saving Gods that appeared in the River Peoples time of need numbered eight. They went amongst the people, and their names were as follows.

  • Chi, whose name is Wisdom
  • Chugi, whose name is Loyalty
  • Gi, whose name is Rectitude
  • Jin, whose name is Benevolence
  • Makoto, whose name is Honesty
  • Meyio, whose name is Glory
  • Rei, whose name is Respect
  • Yu, whose name is Courage

They preached the virtues they embodied and that through adherence to Bushido, a code made from their names, that the River People could be saved. Few listened, blinded by fear, arrogance or impiety. Eight clans listened, however. The Dragon was the first to step forward. The principle of Rectitude appealed most to their philosophical nature. Second to pledge themselves were the Crane. They were a clan founded on trade and the mediation of disputes and the principle of Honesty appealed to them. In short order the Mantis pledged themselves to Benevolence, the Scorpion to Loyalty, the Phoenix to Wisdom and the Unicorn to Respect. Last to come were the Lion, who were pledged to Glory, and lastly the Crab, who pledged themselves to Courage. Seeing the advancing might of the two empires, the Saving Gods despaired of bringing about the great change they had planned, so decided that a new kingdom should be founded, far across the sea, where the culture of the River People could be preserved.

The Great Exodus

The newly allied clans made their way to the coast, taking their families with them and abandoning their traditional lands. Through force or diplomacy they made their way to the marshy fringes of the land. The building of the vast numbers of vessels required for the exodus took many months and the brightest and most dedicated of the ship builders of the Mantis and Phoenix Clans. One year of construction, followed by a further half-year of gathering supplies and the the million and a half people that would participate in the journey, the time had finally come. Utmost secrecy had demanded that their temporary home be kept free of outsiders, sometimes violently. Finally, over two thousand massive junks set sail, carrying seven hundred people each and able to journey comfortably for two months without sighting land. The sea voyage was difficult, many thousands lost their lives to disease, storms and vicious monsters. Scattered islands allowed replenishment of supplies, and thousands landed at each island, forsaking the hardships of the sea for a new home. After a full year at sea, the massive flotilla, still numbering nearly a million men, women and children as well as numberless livestock, sighted a land large enough to house them.

New Lands, New Complications

After traveling up the coast from their original land sighting, the fleeing River People, now named the Silverstari in honour of their patrons, landed at the site of the Crab city of Moka, at the end of a long and narrow bay where the numerous ships could harbor free from the danger of storms. There they quickly set about converting their ships into a sizable city and hewing stone from the cliff sides into protective walls. The Unicorn Clan, the swiftest and most capable horsemen, were tasked with a reconnaissance of the newly adopted lands. Setting out with their entire force of warriors, they did not return for six months. While the other Silverstari built and farmed, the Unicorn set out, first south along the coast and then west, encountering kingdoms of brutish green humanoids, Orcs, ruled by foul daemons. Relying on speed, archery and superior coordination, the Silverstari slipped like the wind through these kingdoms. However, they discovered that the further they traveled north, the more corrupted and vile the land and inhabitants became. Indeed, many of their own number sickened or went mad from this corruption. Deciding that they had learned enough, the Unicorn returned to Moka.

The Long War

With the return of the Unicorn to the first city of Moka, the Time of Exodus ended and the Time of the Long War began, of which more can be read here.

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