Aritan: The Imperial Age.
The Founding and the Wars of Unification
Approximately 300 years ago an event occurred that would shape the history of Aritan from that moment forward. Aurelenia Magna landed on the southern shore of between the nations of Braxos and Keirgus, bringing with her a small retinue of devoted warriors, and the Faith of Sol. Occasional missionaries had trickled into Aritan from the south before, but they were never given much attention. Aurelenia was initially given much the same response, and she continued to be ignored right until she led her band of warriors to capture a castle in the southern highlands. What was more worrying was her ability to hold it.It didn’t take very long for the local lords to react to this, and send forces to reclaim the castle. They were, however, taken by surprise by the increased size of Aurelenia’s army. She was incredibly charismatic, and a master orator, and she quickly gained the conversion of the local population to her vision of the Faith. Her living population became fanatically devoted, and they repelled counterattack after counterattack on her castle until, after about 3 months, the Braxans and Keirgans offered to negotiate with her. According to imperial histories, this resulted in her summoning the light of Sol itself into the parley tent, which saved all those who were pure of heart, and destroyed those who had true wickedness in their veins. Whatever the actual specifics, three prominent lords died, and the remainder sided with her, along with their armies. In a curious act of symbolism, Aurelenia then destroyed the castle as a sacrifice to Sol. Its ruins, along with her original landing site, are now holy places, and are common steps on pilgrimages.
The now several thousand strong army was just as quick to convert as the locals before it had been, and with it Aurelenia began to conquer the southern peninsula of Aritan, gathering yet more converts and recruits with each new league traversed and every battle won. Over the course of the next several years, she successfully subjugated the nations of the south, from Atega to Vinkaea. Though her rise was meteoric, and her religion spread quickly, it was not without problems.
Even before her conquest was complete, however, problems with unity began to arise. Not everyone was as quick to convert to the Faith of Sol, and the commonly fanatical new adherents found many problems with this. Additionally, many in power around the nations did not take kindly to being subjugated. Altogether, the first several decades of Aurelenia’s empire were plagued by violence and civil war. These were, however, ultimately crushed, as Aurelenia’s unifying fist brought the rest of the territories together to a degree previously unheard of in the continent.
As the unification began to come to its final act, Aurelenia solidified it by founding the capital, Primus Conditus, on a low mountaintop near the Westreed river. During this founding, she laid down the laws and systems of governance, succession, and proper piety that would come to govern her new empire, unifying the remaining dissenters by granting rights and powers to the old kings, and nobles, allowing all the nations to maintain a level of independence while still serving her, and her line of succeeding daughters, (Aurelenia’s own child now a teenager, who had, according to history, been conceived by the will of Sol). In addition, she made the decree that would come to effect every other land in Aritan in oen way or another. That sacrifices of mortal things were not sufficient to resurrect Sol to its full divinity. That only one type of thing was great enough in power to give the almighty Sol the energy needed to return to strength. Gods. And so began the conquests of sacrifice. Everyone who worshiped a different deity, spirit, or divine symbol would either be brought into the light of Sol, depriving their false god of its power, or killed. It was not long after this that Aurelenia died peacefully, her tomb in Primus Conditus becoming the single most holy site of the new church, and her daughter, Theodoria, began to gather armies with her eyes locked northwards.