before time...

The history of Taruven might in several ways resemble that of English - a small, isolated language changed through contact with neighboring languages, made wider and stronger by them and of course rendered much more complex in the process.

It differs, however, in that this small, isolated language was the tongue of the conquerors, not the conquered.

mythic time

According to myths and legends, the species that would one day speak what can be called proto-Taruven, descended from an almost extinct immortal species only known as the winged.

The oldest known story ever found, the Song of War, is about the Great War a civil-war among the winged kind, a war only sixty four winged would survive. All the worlds they once had lived in, perished as well.

The oldest and wisest of these survivors made a barrier in time, separating the Age of the Winged from the Age of Mortals. Furthermore, this winged left what had been behind, entering the Age of Mortals free from the burden of tradition.

This winged was to be the ancestor of those who are known as the high ones, or gvenna├Čen.

historic time

Age of Isolation

The earliest annals of the Iceclan Empire, who appear to be quasi-religious, speaks of the One or First, probably identical to the winged mentioned above.

(s)he made the Standard Universe, whose natural laws were defined as default for all worlds coming into existence after the Great War. In this universe was, among other things, the Standard Galaxy, in this Galaxy were four solar-systems, and each of these had only one planet habitable by human standards.

On each of these worlds, First designed a set of winged, about a hundred in all, and as the story goes, there were "one of the cold and ice, sixteen of the hot and dry, 53 of oceans wide, the rest of forrest green". The common tongue was Tillach, the language of the winged.

In the beginning, there were no contact between the four worlds, and the local versions of Tillach quickly changed beyond recognition. Besides, several of the animals and plants on each world developed sentience, probably due to interbreeding with, and mutations due to the radiation of the immortals. Their (mis)use of the local speech changed Tillach further.

Age of Assimilation

After the first thirteen billion years, there were four independent languages: S'ach, Ti'il, She-aan and Irruath. The four worlds had gone from pre stone-age to post-tech, and during the conquest of space, the four cultures met for the very first time.

Guided by First, the four cultures became one during the following eleven billion years, and a creole of the four languages, Teivve, became the lingua franca of the area. The capital was moved to First's homeworld in a fifth solar-system, previously unknown to the gvenna├Čen.

The most important thing that happened during all this time was the merging of the four old bloodlines into 288 new. The second most important thing was the establishment of the empire, with the One as the first emp(eror/ress).

Age of Empire

The Golden Age

The second emperor was Arshera (arxera), and the notion of emp(eror/ress) and empire became identical to his name, the third emperor being known as Arshera 2.

Another important bloodline was that of Chaldea, one of Arshera 1's sons, and earl of the capital world and city, which he took his name from. Chaldea was later to become the fifth emperor.

The now ancient Teivve was influenced by the languages of the worlds conquered by the empire, a few of which has been recorded for posterity. The common tongue was now known as Taruven.

Historically speaking, the most important person during this age was the fourth emperor, the winged known as Flame. Under his reign, the empire grew outside the borders of the Standard Universe for the first time, he fathered the ancestors of a rival empire, the Charen worlds, he made the division between the Way of Civilians and the Way of Warriors, and wrote the very first laws of the former.

From a linguist's point of view, the most important thing Flame did was closing Taruven. He issued a decree that the warrior half of the population was to speak Taruven until the end of time, thereby outlawing any form of further change in the common tongue. Taruven was now as dead as Latin.

The civilian half of the population, aided by Chaldea, worked around the decree through the invention of several linguistic "toolboxes" or "plug-ins", containing the wordforms and syntax that had been outlawed. The combination of Taruven and these toolboxes could then develop as any other language.

When Chaldea took over, all of the winged, including First, had left the scene. The golden age was over.

Classical Age

During the classical age, the empire was steadily expanding, being colored by all the worlds conquered.

The laws and ways functioned as ordered, the only distractions being the never ending wars with the neighboring Charen kingdom, and the quickly growing civilian population.

Age of Decadence

In the civilian population, the Taruven-toolbox combos developed into Tarowa. The warriors stuck with Taruven.

The civilians now outnumbered the warriors 3 to 1, and the values and ways of old were left in favor of a more civilian-friendly society, not without conflict with the old masters. The warrior part of the aristocracy became figureheads.

The most important trend during this time was the growing hostility among civilians against anything reminding of the olden days. Taruven was made illegal, as was most warrior customs and beliefs. Several eugenics programs were issued, the goal being to produce warriors with the legendary power of the past, but now being 100% loyal to their short-lived civilian masters. In reality, the warrior-culture was destroyed.

At the end of this period, only one in two hundred million was a warrior.

The Silver Age

The silver age spans the reign of Chaldea IV, who at the same time was the king of Char. The strong, unifying bonds that were built managed to stabilize and protect the empire for a while.

After his disappearance, life continued as usual, the impact of civilians growing, the number of warriors falling.

The Destruction

The neighboring worlds, tributees and the resistance in several of the conquered lands realized that the civilians of the empire had systematically demolished its own system of protection, namely the warrior culture, and had provided nothing in its place.

The Great Alliance was formed, starting with guerilla raids along the borders of the empire. The current, elected government chose to give up the borderlands to avoid further conflict.

Conflict quickly escalated, ending with the great alliance sacking all the major cities and worlds of the empire. The goal was clear: exterminate the gvennen kind, and erase absolutely all traces of the empire and its ways. They almost succeded.

Time passed, the memory of the Great Alliance and the Empire passed with it, but the hatred of gvennen kind remained. They were considered unsentient, and were in many places killed on sight.

Tarowa eventually developed into Panowa among the few survivors.

modern times

The Destruction is considered to have lasted until an accidental meeting on the world now known as Amorin Esha. The gvenn known as Fast Wolf, having no known connections to the old empire, teamed up with some of the children of the gvenn that had experienced and survived the beginning of the Destruction.

This rag-tag team of survivors: burglars, conmen, smugglers, mercenaries, assassisns, prostitutes etc. started displaying Robin Hoodish tendencies towards the local government. The movement grew as members of the civilian underclasses and other survivors of the Destruction entered the fight. The world was conquered after 200 years of civil war, marking the start of an exponential growth-process that still hasn't halted.

The new "empire" is known as the Outlawed Lands.

The official language is Panowa, but only Taruven is used by the gvenn in the ruling circles. Society is much more colored by warrior ethics than the fallen empire ever was. In reality, it must be said that there are two parallel cultures, having their own, separate judiciary system, schools and governing bodies.

As a closing note, one of the more extreme sayings believed to have originated in City of Swords:

Civilians are allowed to exist for two things: to feed warriors, to breed warriors.

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