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Author Topic: Twilight Ramblings 7c - Fubarnii 101 Chapter 3  (Read 1743 times)
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« on: August 26, 2012, 02:55:11 pm »

Chapter 3: Enslavement and liberation
Early interactions
Over time, the nature of the relationship of the Devanu over the Fubarnii changed from opportunistic to a more structured domination.  With the Fubarnii population now thriving, the Devanu did not refrain from demonstrating their displeasure by killing and eating members of the villages that failed to provide tribute.  Devanu are very territorial, and it is not hard to see how they came to think of Fubarnii villages within their territory as their own ‘property’.  Nevertheless, individual Fubarnii were inconsequential and could move from village to village (if they didn’t mind the risk of being picked off and eaten en route).  It did them little good, however, as one Devanu territory was much like another.
Communication between the Fubarnii and the Devanu was difficult.  Most of the percussives and plosives of Devanu speech were unfamiliar to the Fubarnii, and the lipless Devanu were unable to form many of the consonants of the Fubarnii language.  But there were obvious advantages in being able to tell what their ‘masters’ wanted, and the Fubarnii learned to understand.  The most adept in each village would usually act as interpreter for the rest, and would therefore have the job of mediating, bargaining or outright pleading depending on the Devanu’s demands.  This naturally gave them some status within their own community.
The first tower was probably a fairly small structure, and one can only speculate how it came about.  Maybe a Devanu in a low-lying area simply felt the need for a more elevated nesting space, perhaps nothing more than a platform of piled up rocks.  Maybe a building was constructed for other purposes, as storage perhaps, and the Devanu took to living on top of it.  What is sure is that the idea spread, and naturally each Devanu clan would want to outdo its neighbours.   The larger a territory, the greater the Fubarnii workforce that could be pressed into service – but eventually the key became architectural skill, and Fubarnii that had it were prized.
The Devanu were not kind masters – it was not in their nature to be.  It is hard to understand the mindset of a carnivore, an intelligent predator whose whole worldview is based on hierarchies of strength, size and viciousness.  They simply have a different set of values, and being kind is not a virtue in Devanu society.  To the Fubarnii, whose philosophies are more similar to our own, they were anything from a natural disaster up to evil incarnate.  Even today there are mixed views.  The more extreme (particularly in some cultures such as the Delgon) tend to see the Devanu as morally evil and extermination as justifiable.  Others see them as a trial that was overcome, and further persecution to be unnecessary.  A Devanu acting according to its nature is no different from an earthquake or a lightning strike – deadly, but there is no sense in personally affronted by it.  A few very rare enlightened thinkers even acknowledge the possible benefit the Devanu may have had on their culture, speeding progress and inspiring inventions that might not otherwise have been discovered.  They tend to do so very quietly however.


The politics of the rebellion were more complicated than one might expect.  Despite their lack of freedom and being subject to the whims of cruel tyrants, it was a lifestyle the Fubarnii had known for many generations, and change is difficult to face.  They had mastered the art of keeping their overlords happy, and it required obedience, avoiding accumulating too much obvious power, and generally not being a threat.  This would usually ensure they were left alone.  The Devanu understood that ill-treated slaves could not work as efficiently, and did not cause needless harm.  Where a Fubarnii was killed, it tended to be as an example to others, or simply an accident.  The consequences of mutiny were therefore dire, and for most a risk not worth taking.

But something tipped the balance.  The story that reached the history books was as follows: an engineer called Gehran, by a combination of mechanical means and primitive explosives, managed to destroy the local Devanu tower.  In retribution, the surviving Devanu slaughtered his entire village, and made life unbearably difficult for the other villages in their territory.  As is the way with engineers, Gehran’s actions were probably more for the satisfaction of seeing his invention work that through any consideration of the consequences.  However, it was the spark that lit the fuse, and from then on each clan had to make a choice; support the rebellion, or support the Devanu.  When framed in those terms, treachery against one’s own kind seemed unthinkable – almost.  Still some individuals fought to keep the status quo, fearing that the rebellion would be quashed, knowing that even if victorious many lives would be lost along the way.  But as it gathered pace it became harder to ignore the call.  There was something else to add to the balance – which clans would be favoured in the new world order, once the Devanu were overthrown?  In many clans, internal struggles took place, often with a younger member calling for freedom in opposition to the prudence of their elder.  The outcomes were varied.  But eventually liberation came to everyone, and those who had held out against it had to live with the shame for many generations.

A point that Gehran had not taken on board was that coordination was essential to the success of the rebellion.  A single village, or even all the villages within a territory, could not hope to destroy their Devanu clan without the surrounding Devanu moving in and wiping them out in turn.  It was a Fubarnii named Dimor who saw this problem and resolved to overcome it by uniting the Fubarnii.  Hailing Gehran as a hero and making much of the harsh conditions the Fubarnii in that area now lived under, Dimor convinced a number of them to hide out underground and begin plans for a full-scale rebellion.

The rebellion began in the region of what is now the Empire’s capital.  The cave network under Gar Loren today is impressive, and its inhabitants bask in the knowledge that it was in these caves their ancestors gathered to plot the Devanu downfall.  Of course the cave system has been extended since, but the original caverns were nevertheless still one of the largest in all Anyaral.  The Devanu as a species are not fond of caves; it is likely that they barely knew of their existence, and certainly not of their extent.  This, coupled with their obliviousness to individual Fubarnii, allowed a perfect scenario for slaves to slip away unnoticed and make their home beneath the ground. 

Dimor was a young but highly intelligent and charismatic individual who was gifted with the ability to recognise people’s strengths and work with them, making her an excellent leader.  Dimor also understood the people’s fears, and could persuade, reason, cajole or command as required to bring them round to the rebels’ point of view.  Failing that, secrecy and subterfuge allowed the rebels to circumvent most obstacles.  Dimor is credited with the invention of writing, introduced as a way of sending complex coded messages between Fubarnii settlements in order to share information and coordinate the strike.  Pictures of the Enarii were used to represent their initial sounds, thus forming words when drawn in sequence.  Fubarnii who were hostile to the cause were not taught this system, and messages that fell into their hands might not even have been recognised as such.  In this way the rebels organised themselves and awaited their opportunity.

Over time, supplies were gathered and plans made.  Weapons were forged, and spies sent to other territories to enlist the help of other Fubarnii clans.  Gehran’s inventions had not been entirely lost; it seems he had discussed enough of his ideas with engineers outside his own village that with a little work the rebellion soon had the technology to destroy Devanu towers in a similar way.  But this time it would not be one isolated event.

Four years after the death of Gehran, the message went out to the eighteen clans who had joined Dimor’s rebellion.  At sunset on the agreed day, they struck.  Dimor had chosen a Devanu feast day, when most Devanu would be in their towers.  The destruction of the towers had been carefully planned in each territory, as the different designs of tower meant the techniques had to be varied slightly in each case.  Not all worked perfectly, but the explosions sent the Devanu running in panic into the waiting army, who wielded the most advanced weapons of their day.  The slaughter was quick, and the Fubarnii suffered only lightly.  However, this was only the first of many battles.

The next step was for the entire army and civilian population of the clans to pull back to the Gar Loren caverns,  where fortifications were hastily erected.  This mass migration was not without problems, but the Fubarnii needed to concentrate their forces and be able to defend an area against the more distant Devanu clans who might attempt to regain control.  Some families were killed en route as the Devanu swarmed in to the vacated territories.  Others hid out for long months in caves awaiting rescue.  But those that made it to Gar Loren had the shelter of the well-stocked caverns and the army to protect them.

The formation of the Empire

Gradually the enraged Devanu had to concede that attacking the fortifications was too costly, and grudgingly they retreated.  This allowed the Fubarnii to press forward, consolidating further territory.  They had effectively carved themselves a nation, and may even have been left alone for a while.  But Dimor had greater ambitions – the war would not be over until all Fubarnii were freed from the Devanu.  One by one, the territories fell.  Once it was clear that the Fubarnii had won, Dimor declared herself Emperor and founded the city of Gar Loren at the site of her home clan.  Further, she made it known that the Enarii had favoured her and would likewise favour her descendents, ensuring that imperial power became hereditary – passing to a member of the family chosen by the Emperor before death.  With the army under her control and the people calling her their hero, there were few complaints.

As the mopping up of the territories continued, Dimor, after a public life-change ceremony at which he took three wives, set about extending the city.  The caverns grew to house the garrison and general populace, but the Emperor’s Palace was built on the surface – a tower to mock the fallen Devanu structures.  It was however well fortified and the Emperor of course had an elite bodyguard.  In addition, the initial fortification of the area was increased into a respectable city wall.  Initially most other surface structures throughout the region were roads and associated waystations, but it gradually became fashionable for dwellings to extend onto the surface, with the inevitable underclass remaining underneath.  Not all areas followed the Emperor’s fashions at first, however.  In places where the cave systems were smaller, the rich would usually occupy the safe underground part of the city, leaving the poorer inhabitants more exposed.  It was only when the threat of the Devanu had pretty much disappeared that the surface became a desirable area of residence.

Power and wealth now lay in the hands of those who had been most loyal to the cause.  All of Dimor’s close associates became either members of the imperial court, highly placed army officials or clan leaders in their own right.   Where clans had willingly fought for the rebellion they usually retained their original leadership; any clan leaders who had opposed the rebellion however were deposed and their territories reassigned as rewards for war heroes.  The initial eighteen clans and the newly distributed territories were unquestionably loyal to the Emperor.  Further afield loyalties were more ambiguous.   In some of the more distant territories for example, the clans had not been involved in the initial attack and had in fact heard very little of Dimor.  Nevertheless, Dimor’s army had freed them and they were grateful – particularly they were grateful for the continued presence of the army which kept them safe from the return of the Devanu, and for that they would pay tribute and allow themselves to be called part of the Empire.  The Casani had even been making their own efforts to free themselves, and it is not clear how much they needed or wanted the Empire’s help – nevertheless, they are even today a part of the Empire and pay their taxes, though their distinctive culture remains.

The tribes of the Setir mountains were less obliging.  The cold, mountainous climate had never been Devanu territory and the worst they had experienced were occasional raids, never the enslavement that had occurred on the plains.  The Delgon in particular found that in fact their situation worsened when, driven off by the Emperor’s armies, the Devanu were forced to flee into the mountains.  Despite a series of attempts by Dimor and his descendents, the Delgon never became part of the Empire.
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