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Snartan migrations from Davania to Vulcaniaby LoZompatore
This is my look at Snartan migrations from Davania to Vulcania, see if you like it. Of course the whole story may be changed or rewritten; I'm just trying to throw in some new elements which could be useful also for Pedhardt's and other Davanian timelines.
The basic idea is that the Snartans, after a very disappointing stay in northern Davania for more than half a millennium, badly wished to rebuild their earthshaker and move back to their original homeland in Vulcania. Their meeting with the Milenians would have provided them with the right stimulus start their long journey back to southern Davania.
To be consistent with other fanon elements (mostly Ethan Deneault timeline) and to avoid the creation of a Snartan uber-empire across half of Davania I figure out that the migration to Vulcania actually happened with 5-6 stops along the route, which I conveniently named "Snarta I" to "Snarta VI" (different names for any of these settlements may be chosen in a later time). The Snartans interacted with neighboring cultures during each of these stops, founding kingdoms, republics or other organizations - having a various land extent - which were later dropped or modified due to the following step of the migration. During such stops the Snartans also gradually improved the technologies needed to build better earthshakers and increase their capabilities, so to become one of the dominant powers once in Vulcania.
A sketch of the possible migrations is shown below:
In the map above all places relevant to the Snartans or the Pedhardts is highlighted with a circle. Pedhardts migrations are also shown (in blue), along with a more accurate depiction of the Divergan Havens (reduced in the northern part to make room for Platea and its people) and other notable cultures. A suggested location for Ar'Tiyab is also shown, based on Alex hypothesis and adding also the difficult terrain of the Aryptian Basin into the equation.
Said so, and starting from the most remote past, we’d have:
Snarta I (BC 1200 - BC 600): this is the inhospitable plateau of northern Davania where the Snartans have been stuck for nearly half of a millennium since their migration from the mountains of southern Davania. Their original earthshaker is beyond repair and most of it has been scavenged for more basic needs, local resources are too scarce or depleted in order to build a new one and hostile neighbors prevent them any escape to more welcoming lands. Milenian explorers found the Snartans around BC 800 and were impressed by their mechanical contraptions (crossbows, ballistae, simple hydraulic pumps, siege weapons and the like, all of which were unknown to the Milenians so far). Soon a deal was made: the Snartans would have taught the basis of their engineering skills to the Milenians so they could build better weapons and machinery for their empire. In exchange, the Milenians would have provided the much needed military help and training necessary to move in northern Davania. Such a deal would have last until the Snartans would have found a suitable place with enough resources to build a new earthshaker. Shortly after BC 800 Snarta I was annexed to the Milenian Empire and most of the Snartans were integrated in the Milenian Empire as auxiliary troops and siege engineers. It is to be noted that, during this timeframe, the Snartans did not build earthshakers or large machineries.
Snarta II (BC 600 - BC 543): After nearly two centuries of fruitful cooperation with the Milenians, the Snartans, now fully integrated into Milenian culture, find a suitable place on the southern shore of a large lake in central Arypt which was just annexed to the Milenian Empire: here there are enough resources to build a new earthshaker. Their ancient deal with the Milenians fulfilled, in BC 600 the Snartans leave the original settlement of Snarta I, and establish a new town on the lake. The new military capabilities of the Snartans, learned by the Milenians, are enough to drive back from the land hostile people and monsters, while wood, coal and other minerals are moved from across the lake to be processed in the many workshops of the area. In BC 543 the earthshaker is ready: it is made of the central quarters around the harbor of the town of Snarta II and its general shape closely resembles present day Snartapolis - which is in itself an evolution of this same machine. The whole Snartan people are embarked on the earthshaker, which is filled with plenty of food and water and - in just a year - the voyage across the Aryptian desert is completed. A direct route to the south is impossible: the steep walls of the Aryptian Basin cannot be crossed by this earthshaker, so the Snartans are forced to bypass it from the west.
Snarta III (BC 542 - BC 420): After a swift crossing of the halfling lands of Platea, the Snartans settled in the northeastern Brasol Range, along a tributary of river Kenaton close to the northern end of the Pass of Brasol. Here they established the first Hoplite Republic, based on trade control across the Pass. Natural resources were abundant, the same for wealth provided by heavy taxation on any trade across the Pass. This enabled the Snartans to build other smaller earthshakers to be used as mobile bases for the army and to enlarge and embellish their capital machine. While most Snartan expansion was directed toward the southern forests of this large Davanian valley, neighbors around Snarta III were nevertheless hard-pressed by Snartan superior weapons and military tactics. Only the giants of southern Platea and, later, a halfling resistance movement led by Finidiel the hero prevented the Snartans to annex much of the eastern plains. Around BC 500 the Snartans met and befriended the Pedhardt gnomes of Tiyab at the other end of the Brasol Pass, at the time at the height of their Grand Age. Trade and military agreements were signed: most interest among the Snartans was raised by the mechanical contraptions used by the Pedhardts to cross mountainous terrains as Snartan earthshakers, so far, were able to travel only on flat or lightly rough terrains. Finidiel attacks and ambushes intensified during the last decades of V century BC, turning into a general insurrection around BC 420. This forced the Snartans to abandon their position and migrate to the southern end of the Brasol Pass, closer to the Pedhardt gnomes.
Snarta IV (BC 420 - BC 200): By 420 BC all Snartan communities in the northern Brasol Range were evacuated and moved through the earthshakers to a large valley close to the southern end of the Brasol Pass, where an alliance with the Pedhardt gnomes was established. It is believed that due to this forced migration most of the Snartans chose to permanently live on the earthshakers, shunning the "static" settlements if not strictly necessary. The alliance with the Snartans slowly turned to the worse for the Pedhardts, who were forced to give away most of their advanced knowledge in machinery engineering (thus enabling the Snartans to build improved earthshakers able to cross the mountains) and, under fear of armed aggression, joined a Hoplite Republic which, by the time, was actually much more similar to an absolute monarchy ruled by the Snartans. By the end of the III century BC the Republic controlled much of the western Ice Peaks: believing it was time to exploit the improved mobility of the Snartan cities in order to expand the domains under their control, the Snartan king Dorfin I ordered to move the capital and the bulk of the earthshakers' force to the eastern fringe of the Republic. After a short time a full-scale invasion of western Vulcania was in progress. The Pedhardts were left to tend to the western provinces and raise taxation for the Snartans.
Snarta V (BC 200 - BC 168): The Snartans managed to conquer the south central Ice Peaks and the forests of Greenwood - littered with ancient elvish ruins from the lost times of Grunland - definitely becoming an Empire and the dominant power of southern Davania. The attempt to seize all the lost technological treasures hidden in the eastern forests required a large military effort, while the need to maintain such a large empire asked for more and more trusted officials and soldiers. A cloning program of the best Snartan individuals was developed based on arcane technologies found among the elvish ruins, while the allied Pedhardts were severely discriminated against the clones. Pedhardt criticism was answered with a harsh policy of repression by the Snartans, which ended in outright rebellion in BC 168. Due to the surprise attack by the western half of their very empire the Snartans were forced to leave once more to avoid annihilation, moving east to central Vulcania, where a lost arcane technology which used fire elemental pupae found in the many volcanoes of the area was adapted to provide increased power to the earthshakers. Here they established "Snarta VI", the current and longest-lived iteration of the Snartan Empire.