Reign of Winter
NOTE: Like most planets in the Pathfinder Multiverse, Earth has several religious/philosophical belief systems which guide the habitants through their daily lives. The Calendar on Earth is based on a solar calendar established by the predominant religious institute at the time of its creation, The Catholic Church, and has since been adopted by most others or can be reference for commonality between all parties. The Catholic Church established the basis for its calendar referred to as the Gregorian calendar based on the birth of its central prophet, Jesus Christ. Dates before his birth are referenced as -xx BC (Before Christ) and post birth events as xx AD (anno Domini – In the Year of our Lord). This information is provided not as a support of this belief system but merely to explain the calendar system of dates in historical references. Since the primary location of the heroes visit to Earth take place in Russia, the history of this particular nation will be the focus of this section.
As a planet, Earth is several millennia old with the appearance and growth of civilization being a recent development in the last 5,000 years. There are two primary believes which define the beginning of Earth history and time as measured on Earth. The clerical/religious view is that the Earth was created by an omnipresent, omnipotent divine being that many of the Earth inhabitants refer to as God. The other belief is that humankind was born out of an evolutionary process which began with what the scientist/scholar community refers to as the Big Bang. In either case, the self-recorded history of humans on Earth is agreed by most experts as beginning roughly 5000 years ago.
Recent discoveries of stone tools in the region indicate that early predecessors to modern humans existed in parts of Russia as early as 40,000 years ago (-35,000BC). The first recorded entries of civilized humans were made by Greek (the predominant empire of the era) merchants in dealings with tribes along the region near the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains. These early Slavic tribes had no central governance and largely consisted of nomadic tribes, both as detractors and as allies for various powers along it periphery. They would be considered a cross between Ulfen and Kellid warriors as representing the harsh battle rage of Ulfen with the nomadic style of the Kellids.
It was not until the 8th Century AD that a great leader, Prince Oleg, came to power and established a loose federation of tribes working toward common principles and leadership for the betterment of all peoples. With his capital established in a city called Kiev, this federation became known as the Kievan Rus.
The Rise of Russia
For nearly 400 years the Kievan Rus were the predominant peoples of the Russian lands, but in the 12th Century AD, they were overthrown and fell under the suzerain control of the Mongol Horde from Asiatic lands to the east and their Tatar overlords. Seeing this as an opportunity to expand their influence in the region, the Byzantine Empire, and their Eastern Orthodox Catholic church, began to send large number of knighted crusaders into the region with promises of aide against the Mongols in return for acceptance of the churches dogma and beliefs. In what some consider the first sign of nationalistic fervor, a young noble by the name of Alexander Nevsky led a band of warriors to a grand victory against Northern Crusaders on a frozen lake as the Rus people felt the greater threat was the church vice the Mongol overlords.
This victory at the Battle of the Ice ignited the sense of nation in the Rus people and began a long series of conflicts with both the Northern Crusaders of the Church and Mongol invaders. In time, the power of and control of the Tatars would wain and the Russian people, as they began to refer to themselves, were able to win their freedom and establish a new seat of power around a growing city known as Moscow with its ruler, Tsar Ivan III. Although young, many regional states recognized the strength of the Russian and established trade with the resource-heavy nation and its leaders. Although initially against the control of the Byzantine’s, and primarily the state religion, one of the Russian’s key early trade and cultural partners was the Byzantine Empire until fall of their empire in 1453AD at the hands of Turkic invaders.
With the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the sway of the Catholic Church was soon replaced by the Turks and their Muslim beliefs. Replacing one religion for another was not seen as beneficial by the Russians and they allied themselves with their European counterparts to fend off the Muslim invasion of the European continent. It was during this period that the Russians began to associate themselves with the much broader notion as part of the conglomerate of European peoples, individual nations with a common shared history of development and civilization. In time, an independent Russian nation was formed after a series of political struggles and the capital was moved from Moscow to St Petersburg to gain more prominence and favor with their European allies.
This was a period of great prosperity and growth in Russia. However, as Russia grew in power militarily, economically, they were floundering. Like most of Europe, Russia was festering in its monarchial empire and years of pomp and circumstance was slowly eroding to reveal the corroded and corrupt underbelly of the political dynasty. By 1914 AD, most of Europe was embroiled in a massive war among several mechanized nations, leading to millions of casualties. Russia found itself allied against their Germanic and Hun opponents through a series of alliances and political treaties.
The Road to Revolution
By 1918AD, the Russian government was economically destitute and had pulled out of the war. Finding itself on the losing end due to their withdrawal, their Allies were unable to support them when discontent swept through the government and revolution occurred, overthrowing the Tsar, Nicholas Romanov. With the Tsar no longer in power, it is not known what the current whereabouts of the Tsar or his family. Currently, the Russian people find themselves in a series of revolutions and counter revolutions with all sides vying for power and control. With the collapse of the Russian government, the Russian people now find themselves under a new emerging form of government, the Communist Soviet Regime and its charismatic leader, Vladimir Lenin has once more made Moscow the capital of the Soviet Union and the Russian people. However, Lenin’s control is not absolute and civil war has broken out with the future of Russia and its people to be decided.
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