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Ancient Times

Much of the ancient Dreamworld epochs are lost to history. Records from these time periods are fragmentary at best, and often indecipherable. As such, the ancient days are largely a time of legend, myth, and superstition. Many religions and metaphysical philosophies find their roots in the tales of these times. History can lay claim to some likelihoods, however. Intelligible records from ancient eras share various common elements.

Dreamkeepers in this time period proliferated far beyond the borders of Anduruna, and occupied city-states in far-flung, currently unexplored regions of the Dreamworld. Records of tributes and taxes indicate names of hundreds of cities, some dating back to 835 D.D. and beyond. These city-states had distinctive cultures, at least several of which appear to have converged and taken root in modern-day Anduruna. The causation of this geo-cultural oddity remains the subject of much speculation among scholars.

Warfare was a way of life for the ancients. Remnants of weapons dating to this period show a rudimentary grasp of metallurgy, but the weapon of choice would have been powers use for a culture lacking in technological advancements. Particularly potent individuals are memorialized in written and pictorial tablet form, and appear to occupy a place in civilization commensurate to royalty.

Many modern religions and celebrations originate within this era, including Sacrare, Anduruna’s mainstream polytheistic faith. Although its original practices focused on the acquisition of powers through worshipping spirits, that element of the faith has come to be viewed as largely symbolic in contemporary Anduruna’s cultural climate. Correspondingly, the Sacrare holy day Spirit’s Eve, once a coming-of-age powers ritual, is now a tame commercialized holiday. Other holidays were celebrated in ancient times as well, notably the seasonal Harvest Festival.

Beyond the few facts lies a rich tapestry of fantasy...considered fictional by modern Anduruna scholars, the myths of the nightmares have their origin in this long-lost period. Stories regarding these supernaturally evil creatures and other bizarre legends abound. Tales of nightmares that grew on the branches of dead trees, of a pilgrimage to the spirits resulting in a bestowment of greater power, the legend of path stretching over the sea, yarns of the earth swallowing villages, of magical talismans, of oceans filling the sky, of fiery mountains and armies of stone.

Rational minds in modern Anduruna do not allot plausibility to such stories. One sweeping trend does stake a spot in historic fact, however. Beginning in roughly 750 D.D., catastrophic change began to cascade across the face of the Dreamworld. Something initiated a widespread collapse of culture; legend attributes it to a tide of black death blanketing the landscape. Whatever the cause, panic-laced records of the time become increasingly sparse in the following decades, relating stories of mass population displacement and slaughter until, in 724 D.D., there is an utter blackout of recorded history. Not a single record, not a single page of parchment is left from this time. History is utterly silent for over 700 years.

Silent Centuries

Virtually no records remain from this vast stretch of Anduruna history. It is one of the great contemporary mysteries, and a source of much conjecture. What happened during this period to result in such a hiatus of knowledge? Were records kept, but later destroyed? Was there a ban placed on the act of writing? We know that, going into the Silent Centuries, it appears that many dreamkeeper city-states converged in the Anduruna region. It has been speculated that these refugee populations were fleeing famine, pestilence, or warfare; the geographic isolation of the area by seafronts, mountain ranges, and deserts would make it ideal as a regional shelter. Archeological finds in and around the Anduruna landscape indicate that fortifications were built during this time, but later destroyed or dismantled.

The largest surviving relic from the Silent Centuries is the 'Outer Wall', or 'Sky Road', a massively fortified encircling structure spanning over 12,100 arpents (440 miles) in circumference. Whatever the purpose of this colossal edifice, it was erected at some point within seven hundred years of silence. Although no longer standing, several other curious constructions appeared in this time period: radial interior dividing walls which cordoned the city off into its current district areas, crude fortress towers in the center of every division, and an inexplicably ornate central mansion: the source of horrific legends.

The stories left to history are embellished beyond recognition, but the one theme in all accounts is that of terror. It is clear that the legendary palace inspired near religious fear in the populace of the time. Paranoid oral accounts told of infants being snatched away to the dark edifice for bloody rituals ranging from sacrifice to cannibalism. Other versions claimed that the diabolical residents preserved the corpses of children to decorate their stone halls, or crafted chandeliers from the bones of innocents, or held mock courts condemning dissidents to be fed live to domesticated nightmares.

Not a single contemporary relic remains to us from this castle, as the structure was apparently destroyed at or before 0 A.D. For years of recorded history, the fabled site was home to a field of barren rubble.

One clue regarding the time period is the nomenclature of the Anduruna calendar. Dating from the end of the Silent Centuries and the beginning of modern history, 0 A.D. stands for 'After Dominion', and years predating this period are termed 'During Dominion'. This imaginative terminology has led many to assume that the Silent Centuries were a time wherein the population was subjugated by some sect or occupying force, but solid facts remain elusive.

We also inherit the legend of the Archives from this time period: the tale that dreamkeepers of the day crafted a secret chamber for the collection and storage of historic writings and records. Over time, the Archives have become a fanciful legend, transforming into a magical repository of endless knowledge and insight. Supposedly located in the network of caves somewhere below the site of the current Sabbaton Towers, treasure-hunting expeditions to locate the Archives have all ended in failure. Further searches are illegal, as concerns over foundational integrity of the Towers renders archeological excavation an unacceptable safety hazard.

Upon the end of the Silent Centuries historic records resume with enthusiasm, suggesting that the art of written language had been passed down somehow through the generations. The region was officially dubbed, for the first time, 'Anduruna' by its citizens. The origins of this name are unknown.

Anduruna was already divided into its seven culturally distinctive districts. A brief overview of the districts and their differences - interestingly, each district seemed to house a separate culture of dreamkeeper. Although these cultures weren’t fully developed in early Anduruna, their residents provided the memories and values that guided in their eventual fruition. The Norvondire district had competitive, brash, chivalrous cultural tendencies, and architecture that later tended towards crenellations and battlements. Theophanies was a center for faith and belief, reverence for the unseen but unequivocally known. The Kojiki district was reminiscent of oriental culture, with citizens generally very balanced and level in their thoughts. The Margate became a major shipping hub, due to its oceanic prominence and collection of fantastic harbors - with citizens tending towards exploration and curiosity, seeing home as more of a resting point between journeys. The Talocan district’s citizens were fun loving and outgoing, with quick tempers - impromptu duels were done with chalk knives, and treated seriously - but friendship and reconciliation would spring forth just as rapidly, erasing animosity. Fabled for their fun-loving and exciting personalities, the Talocan district later developed architecture rich in color and ornamentation, with abstracted, graphic animal sculptures mixing with terraced pyramidal stonework. The Ruskol district in the north, shot through with rocky slopes harboring frost nearly year-round, harbored very introspective and calculating individuals. Slow to place or withdraw loyalty, and keeping their emotions to themselves, the Ruskans made trustworthy allies, but implacable enemies. The Calypsa district, filled with streams, lakes, and swampy areas, was stereotyped as a home to the outlaw and thief. While the citizens could be secretive, they also held to an explicit sense of honor and conduct. They were innovative, as well - later developing their waterways into a citywide aqueduct system. The later architecture gives thought to elegant canals and arches.

But, returning to the Anduruna of 0 A.D. - before any of these rich developments. Not segregated by choice, the citizens of Anduruna stepped into history divided from one another by cold walls of stone.


Life in 0 A.D. Anduruna paints an unflattering portrait of what the Silent Centuries must have held. Housing, sanitation, and sustenance were of a decidedly primitive quality. Except for the mysterious Outer Wall and district divisions, the most impressive structures were fortified stone towers in the center of every district. Even these crude rock fortresses were advanced when compared to the humble habitations of the populace.

Dwellings were simple: piled stone walls complementing wooden thatched huts, streets of trampled mud, no plumbing, and no running water. The unsanitary conditions and lack of insulation during the cold months meant disease and death were an everyday facet of life. Strangely, dreamkeepers living directly subsequent to the Silent Centuries had no method or custom for disposing of the deceased. More disease and death resulted before they developed burial and cremation techniques.

Subsistence was derived from simple agriculture and herding. The districts being sparsely populated, most of the land was used for crops and grazing. Animals raised included manekales, kerricks, knossus, and especially brambles, which were a staple food item.

Written language had, apparently, been developed for some time: but its application was cumbersome and rare. Text was used mainly for recording basic business transactions, ad-hoc legal declarations, or other practical applications. Most notes were used temporarily, and as such quickly scrawled tablets or bark-skin scrolls were the typical repository of writings. Permanently bound books and paper had not yet been developed.

Clothing was primitive - tanned hides and leather, rough hand-woven cloth wrappings, and braided cords. Life was toilsome, but using their powers and their wits these early dreamkeepers not only survived, but soon began to thrive.

The population grew swiftly, as evident rebound from centuries of controlled conditions. Although infant mortality rates were by all accounts sobering, the dreamkeepers of the time lived in exultation of their child-birthing freedom and safety. (The old myths had heavily featured nightmare baby snatchers.) Reproduction was rife not only as an expression of liberty, but as a pragmatic matter. Many children died before reaching maturity, and one never knew which children would grow up to develop a critically helpful power. In fact, certain powers could be valuable to the family in other ways, as the child could be loaned out to other districts that may have need of its abilities. This type of trade was one of the earliest forms of inter-district cooperation. Though the citizens of early Anduruna had humble origins, they had clear ambitions for their future. They had the desire for improvement, for a more stable life. The innovative among them began imagining systematic harvesting techniques, envisioned harnessing the flowing Eridan to bring water wherever needed, desired safer warmer homes, and organized constructive leadership.

Anduruna began to slowly pull itself up from the squalid conditions of the Silent Centuries, improving their agricultural techniques and living conditions rapidly. It was in the midst of this burgeoning revival that a foreign dreamkeeper culture brought conflict, and eventually, all-out war.


0 A.D.: The dreamkeepers of Anduruna began recording history once again, after a mysterious seven hundred years of silence. Their living conditions were squalid, but through vigorous effort, began to improve.

Mid 1 A.D.: Hailing from an unknown and apparently more developed culture, clothed in exotic smooth garb, the ‘prophets’ arrived in the Anduruna region. They came with a message: that they were privy to the one true goddess of the world, and furthermore, all of Anduruna must worship her image or be forsaken. They had with them idols and images of their deity, and preached to all who would hear, urging conversion, loyalty, and worship of their beautiful goddess Serapis.

Most Andurunans declined, having no desire to worship another culture’s idols. The Sacrare religious followers were especially contemptuous, seeing no reason to abandon their healthy variety of deities for a mere lone goddess. The locals began to call the prophets ‘Extollo’, or ‘worshippers‘, with a derogatory connotation. The Extollo - calling themselves Serapeans - warned that any who did not worship Serapis would be destroyed. The Extollo were eventually ejected from the city.

Early 2 A.D.: The Extollo returned, in force. A multitudinous army of Serapean dreamkeepers completed a vast cross-continental march, arrived on the southern plains of Anduruna, and formed up against the Outer Wall. Extrapolating their relatively instantaneous arrival, it is apparent they were on the march even before their forerunning prophets were rejected. Their army was intimidating - massive in number, easily 200,000 soldiers. Their armor was polished and uniform, the soldiers armed, and every one of their number trained from childhood in the destructive application and mastery of their power.

Additionally, the Serapeans were raised in the belief that they could not be defeated. All-powerful Serapis was the source of every dreamkeeper’s power. She granted strength beneficently to her warriors, and could revoke the power of their enemies on a whim. The foes of Serapis were only granted power so that her warriors could have the singular opportunity to showcase their courage and attain glory in battle. Under this religious mindset, the Serapeans would risk any death and danger.

The Serapeans called out for the surrender of the Andurunans - the condition being the absolute worship of their deity Serapis, and slavery to those who refused. The Andurunans rejected the terms of surrender, in what one contemporary account described as a ‘rude and irreverent manner befitting mockery and the language of the uncouth’.

Shortly after this coarse rejection, the furious Extollo went to work unloading their mysterious caravan contents. Methodically constructing edifices on the field, some Andurunans wondered at first what these bizarre sophisticated structures could possibly be. Conjecture ceased, as the equipment tests made their purpose clear: the Extollo were building siege-works: rolling towers, ballista of all forms, and escalading equipment. Ironically, the Serapeans’ practiced siege preparations, lasting nearly a week, may have been the key to Anduruna’s initial survival. Those precious days allowed a totally unprepared city to muster for protection and stake defensive positions. Once the preparations were complete, war followed swiftly.

2 A.D. - 6 A.D.: The Outer Wall was the only barrier between the Andurunans and religious genocide. Built on a solid base of regenerating flo-wood, the stone battlements rose to a height exceeding eighty feet in most places. Although untrained and only somewhat familiar with their powers, the formidable Outer Wall enabled the Andurunans to repel the first furious assaults of the Serapeans. The superior organization, training, and power mastery of the Extollo would have spelled disaster for the Andurunans on an even field of battle.

Although woefully outmatched, the spirit and vigor with which the Andurunans applied themselves to war must stand as a testament to their passion for freedom. Aside from the wall, this powerful attitude of unifying defiance and courage is what allowed them to withstand aggression from a superior force.

Once used for construction and farming, dreamkeeper powers found entirely new application on the field of battle. Abilities once domestically useless became suddenly beyond value, and even the lesser gifted bent what ability they had towards the task at hand.

Strategic leaders and thinkers began to emerge among the Andurunans. The tactical decision was made to avert, avoid, and delay pitched battle whenever possible, making the war one of attrition. Since Anduruna grew and raised its food within the walls, this would convey them an advantage over the farmer-less Serapean warriors. The foreign legion sustained itself via food stores, raid attempts, and long, vulnerable supply lines to home.

Using the Starfall forests as cover, the Andurunans began launching sorties and harassing raids, targeting the stockpiles and stores of the Extollo, and sending guerilla bands to plunder Serapean supply convoys. The powerful Extollo were not to be easily weakened, however.

The siege warfare, raids, battles, incursions, and bloodshed continued for years, with the advantage wavering between the opposing sides. The Andurunans developed their powers as quickly as possible, and many became effective warriors in a short time span. However, the final determining factor of the conflict was not to be one of military superiority. As one historian coined, this was the first war to be won not by fighters, but by farmers. In the end, the Andurunans could feed themselves, and the Serapeans could not.

6 A.D.: Finally the Extollo army broke in starvation and disillusionment. They struck a retreat march, leaving victory in the hands of the embattled and proud Andurunans. Many of the Extollo were terribly disenchanted with their goddess. In defeat, they felt betrayed: as though Serapis had gifted their enemies with greater power. Many Serapeans lost faith and chose to abandon their former beliefs. Additionally, the defeated Extollo saw something in Anduruna that was utterly unknown within their own culture: individual freedom. Soldiers were faced with the choice of returning, defeated, to a theocratic slave regime or remaining to start anew. The end result was mass defection, with hordes joining the side of Anduruna - weakening the retreating Extollo ranks, and augmenting the victory.

Unwelcome within the city walls, refugee camps of defecting Serapeans sprouted up in the nearby plains.

7 A.D.: The first council of Anduruna was held, and deliberations ensued. Their enemy in retreat, the question stood: should they remain to rebuild, and trust the war was concluded - or should they pursue their enemies and finish off the threat for good? In the end the decision was made to trail and destroy the defeated Extollo forces. Volunteers were conscripted into the first organized Anduruna army. Although significant numbers of Serapean refugees volunteered, nearly all were turned down for fears of shifting loyalties. Only a tiny handful were conscripted to act as guides to the Andurunan incursion. Under the battle-tested general Dayraider, they set off across the world and beyond their borders into the unknown, following the trail of the Serapeans.

8 A.D.: Crossing through exotic and barren lands, the Anduruna army also came across various villages and outposts giving worship to Serapis. These residences provided ample opportunity for the Andurunans to raid and pillage, thus bolstering both their supplies and the ranks of disaffected Extollo.

The rumor began to spread throughout the wide-ranging kingdom of Serapeum that an opposing army was laying waste to the lands of their goddess. While some Serapeans became disillusioned with their faith, others resented the challenge and fortified their resolve against the Anduruna invasion.

9 A.D.: What happened next will stand as one of the bloodiest single conflicts in recorded history. The Andurunans, although weathered war veterans, were caught completely off guard by the tactics of the Serapeans. They had planned to besiege the vaunted stronghold city, Serapeum. It was assumed the Serapeans would wage war from behind their city walls, to minimize losses. The Andurunans were physically and mentally equipped to execute an extended circumvallating siege operation. They were shocked when, still days from the Serapean capitol, the landscape was shocked by a sudden earthquake. In the midst of the natural disaster, the Extollo army appeared from virtually nowhere, and immediately launched an all-out attack assaulting the Andurunans mid-march.

The settling landscape was open and utterly devoid of cover - the unprotected armies engaged in close quarters melee combat without a single factor to mitigate bloodshed. The losses on both sides were severe, as powers laid waste through ranks of bodies.

After grueling hours of bloodletting, the armies finally withdrew from one another in exhaustion. The 'Day of the Dueling Armies', as it is remembered, ended in an appallingly futile draw. Some records indicate that the casualties on both sides were as high as seventy percent.

History leaves no clear explanation as to why the Serapeans chose to expose their army to such devastating open conflict. Many historians have assumed that they were overly confident in their martial superiority, but others have conjectured that social-political motivations were involved. With their society based on theism, and the demoralizing impact of Anduruna victories in Serapean settlements, it is possible that the theistic ruling class feared the erosion of their religion following Anduruna victories within sight of the capitol city walls.

The armies withdrew to within sight of one another, and spent the next two days gathering and cataloguing their wounded, while making enfeebled attempts to appear formidable to one another through shows of arms. It is testament enough to their battered condition that, rather than exercise any martial stratagems, negotiations were turned to immediately by both parties.

The diminished Andurunan army was greeted by a Serapean messenger party. The Serapean dignitaries and Dayraider conferred for several hours, and as the story goes, reached terms for a peace between the two nations. A treaty was signed by both parties. Serapeum agreed to never again invade the Anduruna region, so long as Anduruna did not pioneer any new settlements beyond their 'Sky Road'. Exhausted after their bloody ordeal, the Andurunans accepted any agreement that ensured peace for the homeland. Treaty signed and truce officiated, they began the march back home.

10 A.D.: The remains of the Anduruna army returned, having paid dearly for the region's reprieve from war. They were welcomed back as heroes, and the city prepared at last for a future free of conflict.

11 A.D.: The celebrated military leader Dayraider of Norvondire, beloved by his soldiers and glorified by the populace, was unanimously declared the first king of Anduruna. Sadly, the peace in Anduruna did not long outlive his reign.

Last War of Powers

Freed from the oppression of the Silent Centuries and the threat of foreign aggression, Anduruna was ready at last for a period of peaceful growth. Dayraider's army returned from war to find living conditions already steadily improving.

Agriculture had leapt forward in efficiency, with plowed fields yielding bountiful crops. New techniques for curing and storing foods were developed, and improved subsistence led to larger, fatter herds of brambles and knossus.

Architecture began to build from its primitive origins as well. Metal works and forges that had been hastily assembled for the spearheads and armor of the war effort found new use in innovations like... 'nails'. Primitive tools proliferated, and while some experiments collapsed in failure, many building and construction innovations proved rewarding.

Basic legal systems began to arise ad-hoc, to service the population and punish thieves and murderers. Power use, focused on the burgeoning application of construction rather than conflict, played a large part in accelerating some of these advancements. However much of the credit must go to the localized Serapeans. Defects from the Extollo army, eager to prove their worth as citizens, they shared abundant knowledge from their culture without qualm.

As such, the reign of king Dayraider of Norvondire saw many revolutionary improvements to Anduruna.The hampering dividing walls between districts, no longer useful in containing hostile Outer Wall breaches, were torn down. (Dreamkeepers accustomed to living in their respective districts for generations kept to the same general regions, however.)

Developing thoroughfares were paved in cobblestones or planks, a leap forward from their ancestry as worn trails of muck. These primary avenues facilitated the integration of a wartime innovation - the wheel. Transportation efficiency skyrocketed as manekales and knossus began hauling loads of goods not just in side bags, but in trailing carts and barrows.

Improved weaving techniques and Serapean influence brought on a revolution in clothing. No longer were loose furs and leathers or rough robes & shawls the only choice: garments could be created in any size and shape, and dyed in nearly every color. With every body type being unique, nearly all wardrobe items had to be expensively custom tailored. Clothing soon became the signage of wealth among dreamkeepers. The ability to sport multiple outfits throughout the week was a clear indicator of financial and social power. Shoes were another new, and luxurious, commodity. Tailoring soon ranked as one of the most sought after and rewarding trade skills.

Metalworking improved astronomically, and an artesian class rose to fill demand for ornamental work, in addition to the rising need for agricultural tools and construction implements. Fermentae brewing became an overnight sensation, with annual contests decreeing district champion flavors. Castles and mansions began to mark the home territory of emerging wealthy families, giving rise to the High Houses of the districts. Even most peasants enjoyed the luxury of board walls and tile roofs.

One area, however, was devoid of new construction. In the very center of Anduruna lay a shattered plain of dark stone, rumored to be the haunted site of destroyed evil. Tales whispered that the blighted dead still roamed the site, and that unseen phantoms populated the rubble. Not so much as a stick was erected there, and even grass seemed to shun the crushed stony ground.

Tragically, much of the new Anduruna would be reduced to this condition as inter-district tensions ignited a civil conflict known as the Last War of Powers.


11 A.D.: Returning to Anduruna at the head of his tattered but triumphant army, Dayraider (of the Norvondire district) was decreed king. Dayraider was forty-four years old, and set up his seat of rule in the newly built Norvondire palace, renovated in and around the old stone guard tower. Virtuous by nature, he ruled fairly, and to the benefit of all for the remainder of his life. He had a son, Thelek, born in 12 A.D.

41 A.D.: After the passing of Dayraider, his son Thelek Dayraider assumed the throne of Norvondire, ruling over all of Anduruna. Sharp discord greeted Thelek’s ascension. Most districts had developed largely independent systems of rule under the elder Dayraider's guidance, and many felt that Norvondire should not remain the dominant authority for the city. During the early years of Thelek’s rule, there was much grumbling and criticism from other High Houses. Many argued that rule should rotate between districts, but they failed to promote an alternate choice due to disagreement over which district should go next. Thelek calmed dissidence by personally delegating different aspects of rule to various district representatives, sharing responsibility. Thelek ruled quietly, living only a modestly elevated lifestyle. Also, Thelek traveled the entire city to speak with commoners and understand the needs of his people. Thelek soon became, if not accepted, then at least fondly tolerated by the other districts. Thelek the Gracious was gracious to a fault, however, as he lavished affection and luxury upon his beloved children.

73 A.D.: Failing to match the longevity of his father, Thelek died suddenly at age sixty-one in his sleep. Whispers in the Norvondire palace murmured foul play. Animrast, Thelek’s daughter, immediately claimed authority over Anduruna as eldest of the Dayraiders. The other districts had for years discussed succession, and several districts had strong leaders contending for the throne. Before his death, Thelek had expressed interest in conferring with other districts to name his successor. Instead, Animrast claimed absolute power, and proved to harbor much more ambition than her predecessor.

She implemented ubiquitous royal tolls and tributes, but the other districts refused to capitulate. They instead chose to follow their local High Houses, and declined to recognize the ordinances of Norvondire. Margate in particular decried Norvondire's claims, and immediately refused to participate in any trade with the district. This infuriated Animrast to no end, as she perceived she was being denied her birthright by these ‘rebel’ districts.

74 - 84 A.D.: A tense decade passed with increasingly strained relations between districts. Exported goods between kingdoms were heavily levied, with cultural differences aiding the polarization. Animrast, furious at the defiance to the noble Dayraider ascendancy, mustered a Norvondire army - an act immediately imitated by the other districts. Periodic attempts to force compliance with Norvondire policies resulted in bitter diplomatic and clandestine skirmishes. Delegates from the High Houses of Calypsa and Ruskol met, and conspired together against Norvondire. During yet another heated negotiation in the Norvondire palace, the Calypsan delegation suddenly opened the gates to a disguised army of Ruskol & Calypsan troops. Fighting was fierce, but short - and the capitol palace of Norvondire was taken. Although it was planned to take Animrast captive, she escaped the palace through secret passageways. With a disaffected local population she found no shelter, and had to surreptitiously petition Theophanies for protection. Calypsa and Ruskol announced themselves joint rulers of Anduruna in 84 A.D.

84 - 98 A.D.: Overtaking Norvondire, the High Houses of Ruskol and Calypsa declared themselves joint rulers of Anduruna. This claim to authority was rejected by all five other districts. Combat to retake the Norvondire district palace challenged the Ruskol/Calypsan alliance, as well as pre-emptive attacks against their home districts by neighboring High Houses. Thus, what had been planned as a quick and painless coup-de-tat against the Norvondire regime soon turned into significant inter-regional conflict. Simmering populist prejudices and long-burning aristocratic ambitions came to a head in this volatile atmosphere. Neighboring districts chose this time to make pre-emptive or retaliatory strikes against their enemies, as High House magnates made their lunge for expanded authority. Held in Theophanies under the pretext of diplomatic immunity, Animrast was a political liability and soon found herself imprisoned by her supposed benefactors. During the years of fighting, she was finally bartered in a prisoner exchange to Ruskol, and executed.

District palaces became overtaken, besieged, retaken, besieged again. Alliances between various districts were forged and broken within the same year. The territorial incursions and deaths enflamed the patriotism of district populations, and the conflict escalated within a few short years to all-out warfare. Confined in the limited territory, and with all sides unleashing their vaunted powers ruthlessly, wholesale destruction ensued. Eye-for-an-eye campaigns of vengeance, and mutual fear of annihilation, fueled the conflict beyond all rational bounds.

Late 98 A.D.: Eventually, there was not much left to fight over. District palaces cratered, homes shattered, crops ruined and lives lost, the redundancy of the conflict finally made itself all too apparent. Gradually blood quelled the flames of passion, and the patriotic urge to dominate drained from the armies of all sides. The few House leaders with the ambition to urge continued battle were, one way or another, discouraged from their convictions. At the power-laden insistence of their battered and diminished citizens, leaders from all districts were rounded up and locked in together until they could reach agreement. Days later, with hunger taking its toll, compromises finally began to take shape. Rule over Anduruna was granted to the district which had most vocally opposed the war, Theophanies. The king from Theophanies would rule until his death, when the next counterclockwise district would have its turn to choose their king of Anduruna. (This created a subsequent thriving black market for assassins and royal vanguards.)

Thus, Wythan of Theophanies became the new king of Anduruna. To inaugurate his rule, Wythan of Theophanies held a council to create laws governing power use. It was decreed that they may only be used within city walls to accomplish constructive tasks, and never as a weapon, unless defending oneself or an innocent.

Anduruna began its longest period of relative peace. Still harboring enmity, but tempered from the years of blood and destruction, the districts began to develop and rebuild once again.

Reign of the Kings

The Last War of Powers left Anduruna a shattered slate - ideal for another round of rebuilding. The city developed for nearly two hundred years under the rule of kings. With regional rivalries denied open conflict, an age of grand intrigue and royal espionage reigned.

Even with all of the subterfuge teeming above their heads, life for the average Anduruna commoner underwent marked improvement during this time period. Homes, businesses, and city structures were rebuilt not just with zeal, but with honed, experienced skill. The architectural advances of the era leave behind their distinct imprint on modern Anduruna in the form of stylistic lineage, and even some surviving edifices. In addition to restored infrastructure, social developments made major strides.

Institutions and universities were founded for the aristocratic classes, and organized apprenticeships and trade guilds gave hope even to the lowest of commoners. With the continued solidity of agriculture and herding supporting society, more and more specialized careers began to sprout up, including the very first banks, trade organizations, and ocean-faring ships.

However, it wasn't long until the aristocratic High Houses and their selected kings began to deliberately overstep their mandate.

With ever more excessive taxes, tributes, and fees lavished upon the commoners of the city, tensions once again strained to the breaking point - and marked the last days for the kings of Anduruna.


98 A.D.: With the conclusion of the Last War of Powers, Anduruna began to rebuild its shattered infrastructure. Although overt power use and conflict were deemed illegal, the authority of kings was still limited by the unspoken (and occasionally utilized) threat of stealthy assassination.

110 A.D.: The age of espionage begins. Denied open conflict, High Houses and districts employed a multitude of covert means to settle disputes and jockey for advantage in the developing region. Spying became ubiquitous, along with the development of secret ciphers, coded sequences of gestures for public conveyance of covert information, and advancing lock technologies struggling to keep pace with growing lock picking finesse. Disguises, invisible inks, velvet-gloved betrayals, lantern signals, back-alley bribes, and all manner of deceptions and stratagems flourished.

178 A.D.: Disagreements between High Houses of varying districts continued to occur, and diplomacy from the district-based king was often ignored. Intrigue, subterfuge, and assassination were becoming increasingly inadequate avenues of resolution. In a year where trade related disputes were fueling high tensions, a Talocan king invented a new technique for arbitrating: fallguard.

Rather than the king dictating all decisions and risk retaliation, the outcome of disputable policy would be staked on fair competition. Fallguard was the first official Anduruna athletic sport. Other pastimes and games were in practice, of course. Rim-roll was a popular test of strength and control, in which heavy-duty cart wheels were hurled down-field at targets of varying distance and resilience. Brutal ryuu-neko fighting tournaments were popular as well, with lucrative gambling fortunes to be made and lost. Intellectual games, though less thrilling, were also in use - like arcus eschec, the strategy game played on a circular rotating board. In the end, however, fallguard alone was adopted as the official Anduruna competition.

Played with two teams of eight players each, fallguard was held on a square field of seventy yards long by fifty yards wide. The field was run through with vertical pits and trenches about fifteen feet deep, with five more feet of mud at the bottom. The fall-pits were arranged symmetrically on the field, in a manner where it was possible to go from one end of the field to the other without the need to leap - but some areas were more open and some more limited, inducing strategic variety.

The teams had home areas on opposite ends of the field. The object of the game would be to score as many times as possible against the enemy team, highest score winning the game. A score was achieved by physically entering an enemy's home area. Of course, the enemy would try to prevent scores by knocking attackers into the fall-trenches and fall-pits, just as the attackers would be trying to similarly dispose of their opposition. Anyone falling would find themselves in mud and off of the game field - it was against the rules to climb back up within the field, players had to go through the provided passages to the edge of the field before climbing out, rejoining the game as quickly as possible under the circumstances.

It was against the rules to grip an opponent and throw them - players wore large, stiff padded gloves. Power use was of course forbidden during a game - the outcome would come down to the team's tactical skill, the strength and balance of the individual players, and the endurance of their efforts.

Each district would hold their own fallguard games throughout the year, sometimes settling minor local disputes - but the overall goal was to train and compile the best possible championship team for the annual Anduruna Fallguard Games.

The annual games were a tournament where champions would compete for the settlement of major political disputes in the open air, cheered on by their respective publics. The magnitude of victory, by points, would relate directly to the degree of the political compromise won.

194 A.D.: Despite fears over the old Serapean treaty, some dreamkeepers moved south into the Eridu delta region to farm the rich land. No Extollo attacked, and the produce enriched the recovering Anduruna population.

243 A.D.: Calypsa, while harboring city king, raised tolls for a public aqueduct system. The toll received resistance at the onset, but a series of fallguard games procured the policy. The plans utilized advanced hydraulic technology, drawing on the Eridan river and the western water table to propel the naturally flowing system of canals. The final creation was a noteworthy advancement, and serves all the districts to this day. The Anduruna canals facilitate transportation, waste management, and crop irrigation: bringing the benefits of the river far beyond its banks and native districts. This success set a precedent for the use of levies and taxes at a citywide level.

276 A.D.: The office of city king grew in strength and authority, charging royal tolls on fallguard games, farming, produce, canal use, and more: inheritances, undergarments, water, land, properties, pets, medicines, carts, shipping, storage, gardens, graves, births, even going so unscrupulously far as to tax its citizens very earnings - making workers, in effect, partial slaves.

One advantage of the growing bureaucracy was an advancement in printing techniques. All the royal decrees and garnishments had to be announced and posted, and handwriting was proving inadequate to keeping up with the growing task. A technique known as ’method printing’ was created. A single page of writing would be cut-out by hand from a sheaf of heavy paper or clay - the ink soaked sponges would be mechanically pressed to the surface, to deliver ink through the cut-out areas and onto the surface of a parchment underneath. Then the mechanism could be raised, a new parchment placed under the press, and the ink-press immediately used again. Thus many copies of one decree could be made. As a side note, more writings saw publication, and books, eventually, came into vogue.

Struggling under the new financial garnishments implemented by the aristocrats, the lower classes began to grow disgruntled. Complaints circulated about while the farmers grew the food, the rich ate it and farmed the taxes.

With the royal lineage firmly controlled by the ruling High Houses, these taxes and fees wound up lavishly lining the pockets of the politically privileged. The peasant class was fleeced by the aristocratic, and driven to ever greater levels of poverty and unofficial forced servitude. Having no voice in the selection of kings, the citizens finally had enough. Angered, and spurred on by the suffering trade guilds, they enacted the Hunger Rebellion - refusing to sell their crops and produce to the High Houses or their servants, and clubbing any vendor daring to break the rule.

Abandoning royal currencies, the peasants engaged in a person to person bartering system, exchanging food and services with one another, free of taxation.

282 A.D.: Retaliation to the Hunger Rebellion ended with many stubborn commoners locked in High House dungeons. Other citizens exacerbated the Rebellion, and ceased farming altogether in protest. Soon enough, record low crop turnouts created a genuine scarcity of sustenance for all, from the poor to the rich. Outraged, the High Houses and current king commissioned soldiers to search the households of Anduruna and seize food. It was decreed that taxes were to be collected, not just in the form of money, but in the form of rations - and that each household was due to pay.

283 A.D.: Furious peasants finally reached a breaking point. High House soldiers were resisted with violent force, as riots swept across Anduruna. The king’s efforts to stomp out the riots only further enraged the starved and impoverished population. A full-blown populist revolution ensued as violence blossomed in Anduruna again. The bloodshed was intense, but limited: most of the commissioned High House soldiers had friends and family in the uprising, being hired commoners themselves. Furthermore, they weren’t paid enough to warrant dying for their masters. Soon the panicked aristocrats were left to deal with the raging mobs alone. Their mansions and palaces were trampled, and scores of privileged House personages were seized upon and hung.

It was the end of the High Houses of Anduruna; the sole surviving House members were those who stood out among their ilk as notably sympathetic and generous to commoners, or those canny enough to disguise themselves and slip away. Later aristocratic classes would rise on new winds of fortune, but never to the baroque heights of the High Houses. The grand lineages of yore finally met the end of their rule, the use of fallguard as a policy tool concluded, and the cycle of kings came to an end.

With the spirit of liberty and independence still fresh on their minds, the leaders of the Hunger Rebellion, prominent merchants, and guild magnates met together to draft a new system of governance for Anduruna - the Council of Seven.

Council and Culture

Upon the fall of the High Houses and their rotating monarchy system, Anduruna was primed for unfettered advancement. The innovation of election and the ideal of individual freedom unlocked the door to prosperity and stability. Leaving behind the hampering social contrivances and kings of the past, a renaissance of scientific and cultural advances built Anduruna into the city it is today.

Breakthroughs in science ranged from modest improvements in cart efficiency to the groundbreaking information technology of the data scroll.

Society evolved rapidly, as education universalized and literacy bloomed into normalcy. Construction increased with the slow swell of the population, culminating in the pinnacle of engineering: the Sabbaton Towers.

The development was not without its growing pains, however. To safeguard the increasingly prosperous city and its inhabitants, powers use was increasingly regulated. Over hundreds of years of relative peace, the wars of old became nothing more than history - and the terrifying legend of the nightmares and ancient evils faded into the paper-thin insignificance of fiction.


287 A.D.: Prosperity and living standards bloomed stupendously as commerce was freed from confiscatory burdensome tolls. The fruits of success no longer locked to the political birthrights and fortunes of the High Houses, Andurunans across the city endeavored with vigor to work and profit for themselves.

322 A.D.: Dutiful and lucky citizens sprang from obscurity to wealth within their own lifetimes. However, the weak central authority of the city, combined with the burgeoning trade and wealth of the region, gave rise to an underclass of opportunistic robbers and pirates. Wealthy merchants and a need for protection combined to form a lucrative new market: entrepreneurial mercenaries and bounty hunters found employment protecting convoys and pursuing notorious criminals and their hoards. It became the age of Anduruna's privateer police.

326 A.D.: Particularly powerful villains were proving to be a chronic problem, and near impossible to keep imprisoned. A law was enacted that, for aggressive breaches of law involving power use, the offending dreamkeeper would be permanently banished from Anduruna. This policy better protected lawful citizens from career criminals, and encouraged some thieves to refrain from powers use during robberies.

356 A.D.: Although room abounded within Anduruna's Outer Wall, seafaring advancements and exploratory fervor gave birth to an age of venture colonization. By land and sea, parties of Andurunans procured wealthy backers and set out on expeditions for new lands. The treaty of old with Serapeum had been, if not forgotten, disregarded.

361 A.D.: With growing fortunes at home and the need to do business in varying districts, some tycoons found a new use for the ground cart. Rather than transporting goods, carriages were used to cart around the wealthy. In competition with one another, carriages became more and more flamboyantly rococo and over-garnished. Eventually, some towering carriages were hauled not by a single manekale, but by teams of knossus.

372 A.D.: The colonization efforts outside the city met with nearly universal disaster. Many expeditions vanished without a trace, and were never heard from again. Others returned with few survivors, reporting pirate and robber attacks. Still others suffered betrayal by their mercenary escorts upon isolation in the wilderness - stripped of their valuables and gear, left to make their way back home unaided. All returned with colorful tales of the outside world and its dangers, and one seafaring account claimed their vessel was prevented from charting the coastline south by an exotic blockading ship with an all female nude crew. Regardless of their stories, the continued failure of expeditions dried up investor interest in outfitting new attempts. The failures were largely blamed on the newest problem growing in Anduruna - the escalating complicity between raiding criminal groups and the private hunters supposedly opposing them.

396 A.D.: Scientific breakthroughs brought new resources and technologies to light - the many uses of the mineral lunarous were explored, and resulted in a localized mining industry. Although captured star-squids were still the most prevalent form of lighting, lunarous could be used for more versatile luminescent needs. Flo-wood’s seemingly endless properties continued to impress, resulting in its increased use as a miracle material in construction. Able to grow into nearly any shape, one seed of flo-wood could generate the structure for an entire building. Combined with its ability to re-grow after damage or wear, it became a valued, if scarce, commodity.

Mechanical developments broke new ground, with the invention of spring-driven gears and clockworks. This discovery formed the foundation for our contemporary spring-powered machines.

Politics, however, seemed to be slowly tacking backwards. After a scandal went public, suspicions were confirmed that many, if not all, of the lifelong tenured Council Members were complicit in the entwined piracy / police for hire protection rackets. Single backers would secretly fund both the criminals and the hired bounty hunters, creating the demand and the product at the same time, with kickbacks lining the process. The continued litany of depredations and corruptions coming to light enraged the citizens of the city, and spurred change once again.

397 A.D.: After a public vote, city policy was officially amended to limit the tenure of Council Members to three years, after which their office was vulnerable to the tides of election once again. Also enacted in the Margate district was a new policy: a publicly voted and approved tax incentive for the purpose of funding a full-time official district police division.

412 A.D.: Although its early years were marked by intense competition and conflict with the entrenched mercenary guild organizations, the Margate district police endured. Backed by a relatively uncorrupted arm of the law, crime rates dropped and profit margins swelled for the merchants of Margate. Soon the other districts followed suit in creating public law enforcement divisions.

506 A.D.: Council Members were, by necessity, much more loyal to the needs of their constituency under their new limited term lengths. Yet corruption - though not permanently affixed to a single member - slowly crept back into the overall system. Additionally, Council Members became increasingly fearful of making even productive policy decisions, for fear that the move be distorted and used against them in ensuing elections.

Occasional attempts at colonization and exploration continued, but most parties going far beyond the Anduruna region didn’t return. The high rate of loss on expeditions resulted in an elaborate Council-controlled licensing application process. Without a ratified license, exploration was deemed too dangerous to be legally permitted. It soon became clear that the only money in exploring was the money to be hemorrhaged in obtaining a license, and interest dwindled.

578 A.D.: Council efficiency had completely stagnated at this stage, while simultaneously managing to cost continually more. Frustrated citizens again called for improvements to the system.

600 A.D.: Under continued public pressure, the Council finally decreed the formation of the executive Viscount office. This newly appointed office was to have final authority in resolving Council deadlocks. Conveniently, the Viscount position was to be voted on by the Council Members. The first Viscount of Anduruna was Timker Pumtep of the Calypsa District, who served the first seven year term of office. To commemorate the formation of the office of the Viscount, and in light of the sweeping advancements of the times, the renovation of the old Council civic center was announced. Rather than a mere refurbishing, it was decided that a colossal monument to Anduruna and its achievements would be erected - the grandest construction known to history: The Sabbaton Towers.

713 A.D.: Harsh weather for several successive years damaged crop yield. Serious hunger afflicted the city, and in light of the ongoing taxes necessary for the Towers’ construction, citizens demanded government aid. Considering the ongoing hunger issue, the continuous expenditures on the Towers were seen as a glaring example of Council waste and extravagance. The presiding Viscount failed to act quickly, and the Council caught the blame for his inaction.

714 A.D.: With citizen faith in the Council at an all time low, reform was once again achieved. The office of the Viscount became a matter not of Council appointment, but of public election. For the first time ever, all of Anduruna would come together, bridging the district divisions, to vote for a mutual leader - the Viscount.

776 A.D.: The Sabbaton Towers, seventy-six years behind schedule, were finally completed. They housed political residences, courts, prisons, universities, offices, libraries, and more - virtually a city unto themselves, and the new cultural and political center of Anduruna.

849 A.D.: Rising levels of organized crime and corruption were addressed in a campaign platform for a new Viscount. Upon his election, the Anduruna city guard was established, a policing force knowing no district boundaries. They had distinctive uniforms, and were barred from using their powers in law enforcement for safety purposes - instead having newly mandated and approved spring-powered weapons.

Many districts objected to this override of their autonomy, and chose to retain their traditional police divisions. Over time, however, the redundancy and inferior authority of the district police resulted in their decline and absorption into nominal divisions of the city guard.

The policy decision was highly controversial with the public initially, as it disregarded the independence and authority of the districts, subverting them completely to Central City authority. Constitutional questions were raised. Over time, however, these complaints faded. Gradually, Central City authority continued to expand, the old constitution was quietly amended away, and Anduruna became a more homogenized civilization.

986 A.D.: The breakthrough invention of the multi-chrome scroll-screen revolutionized communications. Capable of sending and displaying only limited blocks of information, rapid improvements created the modern data-scroll within a generation. This once again marked a shift in the importance and prevalence of writing. Freed from the old technique of method printing for mass producing books and scrolls, there was need for a new system of writing to be integrated with the data-scroll. For the first time, text wasn’t cut out or rendered by hand on ink-press templates - standardized fonts were created. Soon after, the keyboard was developed and found widespread popularity in its ease of use.

1000 A.D.: The millennium celebration of Anduruna occurred. The city, built by generations of hard-working Andurunans, exulted in its prosperity and grandeur.

1012 A.D.: Dropping prices and affordability universalized the data-scroll. Mass media slowly took its place in the forefront of Anduruna consciousness.

1093 A.D.: The increasing disconnect from day-to-day reality, combined with a vague sense of entitlement regarding their culture, created a gradually diminishing work ethic among segments of the population. Priorities began a slow drift from character and accomplishment to entertainment and leisure.
Matching this drift in personal orientation was a change in attitude towards Anduruna Central City authority. Once viewed as an essential evil to govern where necessary, it gradually became an every-day source of solutions to voter problems and concerns. Once again, the pendulum began to swing towards increases in taxation and centralized authority, to a degree not seen since the reign of the High Houses and their kings.

Toll Wars


Although modern Anduruna culture is far advanced compared to its ancient iterations, it has not proven impervious to instability and conflict.
One of the unfortunate hallmarks of modern Anduruna is the instatement of ideological rather than pragmatic Central City policy.  Progressively more ambitious Sabbaton administrations began earnestly legislating to solve the perceived injustice of inequality.
The realm of charity slowly morphed into the realm of government mandated management.  Feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, improving the housing of the only moderately appointed, equalizing educational achievement regardless of students’ respective motivation, passing laws to prevent accidental injury...  Efforts to make Anduruna perfect proved to be both difficult, labor intensive, and colossally expensive.        
Many would point the finger to overreaching social engineering as the source of the resulting strain.  Whatever the true cause, it cannot be denied that strain and tension began to increase in Anduruna.  With mass media amplifying the volatility, it was only a matter of time until blood was shed.  The result was the first official military mobilization of Anduruna in generations - the results of which remain classified to this day.


1182 A.D.:  Although at historic lows, poverty and homelessness in Anduruna are seized upon by the political elite as pressing injustices.  Attitudes begin to shift in the higher echelons of the Towers, as dignitaries fantasize about how to 'fix' society.  Meanwhile, society's technological abilities are becoming ever advanced, as data-scroll functions multiply, and begin to include interpersonal communications and image sharing. 

1191 A.D.:  Emissary Liddo is elected Viscount, in a campaign extolling the plight of the underprivileged, and the moral imperative for Central City intervention.  In office, Liddo studiously enacts dozens of ambitious government programs to cure poverty for good.  The other shoe drops, as Sabbaton expenditures double over a seven year period, and a new 'social improvement' tax is instituted.  
After a murder involving powers use is sensationalized in the media for months, Liddo undertakes additional legislative goals.  Namely, to ensure that no one is ever hurt again, ever, in any way.  Anduruna police and shock trooper units step up their hiring rates and although it was already illegal, murder is made... even more illegal.  While Anduruna gets 'tough' on crime, its punishments for infractions mitigate in the interests of social advancement.  Criminals are no longer imprisoned, they are 'rehabilitated', or 'enlightened'.  Taxes are collected to show criminals the softer side of life, and woo them from their non-socially-progressive inclinations.  Crime, oddly, increases.  Additional funding is directed to continually broadcast public service announcements warning kids of the ‘uncool’ dangers of powers.  The only strictly maintained punishment is the proscription of banishment for aggressive powers abuse - and even non-aggressive powers infractions face steeper punishments and prohibitions.

1198 A.D.:  Viscount Liddo wins his re-election campaign - but by a narrow margin.  Many merchants and citizens find their enthusiasm with the administration mitigated as Central authority tolls slash their incomes.  However, a stupendously funded media blitz supporting Liddo highlighted, in excruciating hypothetical detail, the terrors bound to unfold at the withdrawal of expanding federal initiatives.  With the government portrayed as an inextricable cog in everyday life, the voters capitulate.
Liddo's improbable reelection proves the point that data-scroll media support and advertising funding were now crucial aspects of the political machine in Anduruna.  The ability to reach into every home and cajole every listener placed Liddo's power on a higher level than any previous Viscount.
Originally used mainly for entertainment and public service announcements, the city's data scroll broadcasts soon found their scope increasing.  Printed news scrolls faced vanishing public interest in the face of the data-scroll.  The data-broadcasting networks - located conveniently in the Sabbaton Towers - began running their own news programs.  Being owned by the city, however, inevitably tilted the content and spin of their coverage.
As media took on an ever-expanding role in daily and political life, it was also the harbinger of celebrities.  With the hurdles of talent and dedication replaced by the hurdle of network approval, single entertainers and performers could be ubiquitously broadcast and recognized.  Soon, many famed celebrities were famous more as a matter of arbitrary selection than for any special ability or performing skill - foremost among them politicians pushing an agenda.
Late 1198 A.D.:  Federal programs continue to dutifully conscript funding, food, and housing to the job impaired, gouging the revenue from working class incomes.  The Sabbaton bureaucrats are surprised and perplexed when the ranks of the benefit-laden unemployed grow.  This growing unemployment rate affirms to officials the dire necessity of their interventions, and the need for yet more. 
His direction voter-approved, the Viscount translates his moral mandate to be even more far-reaching.  Not just poverty and violence, but all major problems are slated for Central City administered cures.  Educational achievement, construction safety, regulated hammer hardness and knife sharpness limits, the diony content of fermentae, stair height, licensing restrictions on flight for winged dreamkeepers, regulated sweetness levels in candy, and innumerable other rules and laws, each with their own dedicated federal division, staff, budget, and authority.  In every case, it is deemed that increased regulation, legislation, funding, and Central City control are unavoidably critical. 
With funding running desperately short, the government is forced to find a solution.  The Anduruna currency, lucre', is 'revalued' and reissued by the government.  Coins of precious metals are exchanged for paper bills and plastic coins that are mass produced to accommodate ambitious budget expenditures.  

1199 A.D.:  An altruistic young inventor applies at the Towers for a patent on a new creation - teleportation technology.  His work is groundbreaking, and he hopes to proliferate its cost-cutting use and ease the burden on hard-hit businesses and merchants.  His research is promptly confiscated by federal agents, and he is arrested on charges of unlicensed research, tax evasion, extensive regulatory breaches, and failing to file for permits.  After losing the rights to his own innovation, Scinter is sentenced to a two year prison term. 

1199 A.D.:  With ballooning federal expenditures straining budgets, the ‘City of Sharing’ media campaign is aired.  It highlights the needy, their growing population, and the myriad of other problems threatening the city - and justifies a fleet of strident new socially progressive tax initiatives and regulatory fees.  Struggling businesses and middle class citizens are forced closer to poverty, with a massive outcry that is distorted in the news.  Untaxed ‘black market’ business burgeons, and shock troopers make raids on un-approved and tax evasive operations.  The ranks of the unemployed swell, as any organizations noble enough to struggle in the legitimate market find themselves inexorably taxed out of business.  
Protests and anti-tax rallies are held across the city, with wage-earners and business owners protesting the endlessly swelling government expenditures, garnishments, and entitlements.  Concomitant with these protests, powers infractions and bouts of violence break out.  Shock troopers are dispatched to crack down on the outbursts.  In the media, the bloody actions of the fringe are capitalized upon to create a vivid caricature of the ’black market bandits’.

1200 A.D.:  Forced out of business or co-opted by Central City government takeovers, a large segment of the population is disenfranchised and disinclined to partake of the patronizingly sanctimonious federal poverty benefits.  The gutsiest and most freedom-resolved Andurunans finally decide enough is enough.  Thousands of merchants, business owners, entrepreneurs, and independents decide to leave Anduruna and found their own settlement - a free settlement.  The ‘bandits’, as the media dubs them, leave the city walls and head for the north.

1201 A.D.:  The Anduruna fallguard tournament season goes forward as planned, in a shower of media attention and rapt audience interest.  During the universally viewed championship game, disaster strikes.  An unidentified dreamkeeper in the crowd unleashes a devastating power attack, butchering fellow stadium-goers.  Thirty-two fans and three athletes are instantly killed, and scores more suffer crippling wounds.  The population is shocked to the core at the horrific carnage - and shock soon turns to outrage.
Strong action is promised by Viscount Liddo, and he reassures the bereaved populace that justice will be served.  Any ambiguity the remaining citizens had about their leadership is swept away in the polarizing tragedy.  Liddo immediately passes legislation mandating banishment for all powers use - not just for aggressive infractions.  Additionally, all weapons or weapon-like implements are banned from public possession.  

Late 1201 A.D.:  Initial investigation, corroborated by several anonymous tips, points to the estranged ‘bandits’ as having planned and executed the attack.  Viscount Liddo publicly sends an envoy north from Anduruna, to demand the surrender of the individuals directly responsible for the atrocity.  Several days after the start of their journey, the entire envoy is found slaughtered and deposited just outside the Outer Wall.  A caustic note left with the bodies is the final conclusive piece of evidence needed against the bandits.  The first military strike force of modern Anduruna is gathered for combat.  

1202 A.D.:  In late winter, a strike force of shock troopers is regimented and sent north to counterattack the bandit threat, and the Toll Wars initiate.  With their exclusive access to manufactured springer rifles and other advanced gear, there is expectation of an easy victory for city forces.  However, unexpectedly intense skirmishing in the dunes north of the city results in shipments of wounded soldiers home, and emergency reinforcements.
Also this year, the Sabbaton Towers introduce a new feature to the public - brand new telepads for transit to and from the Towers.  The telepads ferry passengers between the Sabbaton and central District Towers. In addition to personal use, the pads are presented as a safe, city-controlled method for shipping merchandise.  Shipping through private companies, or other organizations with suspected bandit ties is discouraged.  Meanwhile, the black market organizations remaining within the city experience a surge in concerted organization.

1203 A.D.:  The shock troopers return from the Toll Wars - historically, one of the shortest wars of Anduruna.  The details surrounding its engagements are immediately classified, and the returning soldiers are forbidden from revealing details.  Although casualties, kills, battle sites, and skirmish details remain cloaked, victory is publicly declared.  Victory or not, however, conflict continues.  Domestic powers attacks and murders continue to periodically shock and terrify the public, requiring increased shock trooper and policing activity to keep the peace.  

Late 1203 A.D.:  Igrath Winters, an ex-fallguard player and recent veteran of the Toll Wars, is elected Captain of the City Guard, and begins investigating power-related violence in Anduruna.

1204 A.D.:  ‘Scinter's Mark’ untaxed black market fermentae is exploding in popularity.  Not only is ‘Scinter's Mark’ sold illegally - and therefore half the price of Anduruna-approved fermentae - but its unregulated diony content and micro-brewed flavors far exceed the domesticated competition in quality.  The ‘Marks’ become synonymous for black market and anti-government.  Some elements of the population seem entertained by this rebellious, dashing connotation, and an emergency media campaign is launched condemning ‘Scinter’s Mark‘.  Igrath and the City Guard are ordered to crack down, and put an end to the dangerous ‘Scinter’s Mark’ trend at all costs.
It proves difficult, as the ‘Marks’ seem to have ties to the bandits - and the bandits controlling the flo-wood seed trade are based in the northern dunes, selling their merchandise through illicit channels: further enriching black market elements.
Although conflict between law enforcement and delinquents continues, the Toll Wars themselves are concluded.   The city of Anduruna moves forward under its new heavily centralized socially controlling power structure, as ‘The City of Sharing’.