by Max Barry

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by Free city of rigia. . 39 reads.

Epic of the Free City of Rigia

Chapter 1: Fire & Brick

The first written record of our people was in 22 BC, when a Roman scouting party encountered our settlement of what is today Bremerhaven, and called us “Germanorum Rigidum”, or the “Rigid Germans”, for that winter they spectated and even joined in a competition to see who could last the longest in the freezing sea, and one unnamed youth was dumb enough to stay in too long, freezing solid by the time our fishermen could drag him in, or so the records say. They also recorded that the leader of the settlement, and the 1st documented ancestor of the current royal family was called Leuthar Askanier, who was supposedly friendly to the traveling Romans.

For a while, the settlement paid Rome tribute by way of auxiliary troops, who guarded her distended borders, and fought her wars in Germania. They were organized by the Roman generals, and equipped with their mail and their gallic helms. In return, the Romans agreed to keep the Askanier family in power, and even set up a fort a day’s march away. This lead to the Askanier family to invade and control the surrounding areas in and around Bremerhaven In 4 AD, Leuthar died of fever, at the reported age of 46.His son and heir, Theudar, took power and continued in his father footsteps, that is until two years later.

In 6 AD, Publius Quinctilius Varus took command of the legions in Germania, and was told to organize the region. He then tried to install a magistrate in Bremen. Theudar, decided that his authority was being undermined, asked that the magistrate not be installed, but Publius ignored his requests. By the next year, with nothing changed, Theudar sent runners to his army spread out with the Roman legions, ordering them home. Most left the legions while out on reconnaissance, or on the march. One commander and his men failed to leave a legion however, and was crucified along with his sub-commanders, and the warriors being forced into decimation.
By fall of 7 AD, Theudar’s army returned to him mostly intact, which by now was a seasoned and weathered force, and was well equipped and trained. In November, when Publius was informed of what had been done, demanded Theudar send his army back to the legions, and to submit himself to the magistrate, who had essentially been trapped in the fort ever since his arrival. Theudar’s response came in December, with a package containing the heads of the magistrate and the centurion commander of the fort.

For the next two years, both sides sent forays into the other’s territory, looting and pillaging farmsteads, villages, and small towns, but with neither side able to win outright. It came to a head in 9 AD, when our army joined with the other germanic tribes in Teutoburg Forest, and destroyed the roman legion in that ambush. After the battle, when the other tribes argued over who should get what in the baggage train, Theudar ordered his men to take as much armor and weapons as they could carry, along with any men they might find alive. By the year’s end, Theudar’s army was arguably the most well equipped and trained force in that part of Germania.
With the legions on the defensive, Theudar took the advantage of now taking ownership of many weakened and devastated tribes of the northern Frisi, the Chasauri, and the Angrivari, along with consolidating his power among the other Cauci, forming what was known to the Romans as "The Northern Confederation". The time period is known to historians today as "The Uniting Centuries".

Eventually, an amicable agreement between the Northern Confederation and the Roman Empire in the spring of 13 AD. The agreement essentially stated that in exchange for continued auxiliary support from the confederation, along with a small tribute every five years, the romans would provide whatever experts were asked for, and the permanent end of any Roman military presence within the borders of the Confederation. And so the reconstruction phase began. Many Roman engineers were invited to rebuild the very settlements that were burned by their countrymen not too long ago. Many of these settlements, such as Bremen, Osnabrück, and Aldenburg still retain the very organized core built by these engineers a millennia ago. Greek teachers and other intellectuals were also invited to teach the elite and their children in math, rhetoric, and debate. This continued for about 30 years, and after looking at the records, appears to be a generally good time for the region.

In 42AD, Theudar Askanier died of what can only be assumed as a stroke at the age of 62. His eldest son, Ludwig Askanier thus began his reign. Ludwig was a militarist though-and-through, with an intuition of what the enemy was to do next. He had a younger brother as well, Gundahar, who was very much a scholarly intellectual, more akin to the Greek teachers than the other German chiefs his age. But the unlikely pair would become the two greatest leaders the Northern Confederation would have for several generations. In 48 AD, Ludwig raised an army, gave civil responsibilities to Gundahar, and marched north to the land of the Jutes and Saxons. Sadly, what is today known as the "The 1st Great Conquest" has very few surviving records. All that is known today is what was written in a previous history written in the 1100's AD that said, 'Ludwig marched on the Jutes with 10,000 men, and crushed all who opposed his will. He marched north and east until the Baltic was reached. He then marched north along the coast until the Treene River was found. Ludwig then followed this river until he met the sea at the mouth of the Eider River. He then returned with much booty and wealth to Bremerhaven, which was well needed due to a mess that had been made in his absence.' What Ludwig found when he returned 8 months later was a revolt in the making. A hailstorm had occurred in the early summer, utterly ruining the crops planted. As such, the lower classes were beginning to starve due to a lack of food. Gundahar had managed the situation as best he could by buying grain and selling it at a loss back to the masses, but the state's coffers were empty, and in dire need of relief. Que Ludwig returning with his army and much wealth to pay for the food. And so the crisis was just barely avoided that year.

Over the next few years, this dual-rule occurred several times, with Ludwig going on campaign while Gundahar handled the civil matters. During this time, the Camavi and Bructeri tribes were conquered. These were to be the last tribes to be conquered completely. In total, the Frisi, the Chausari, the Angrivari, the Cauci, the Camavi, the Bructeri, and parts of the Saxon, Jute, and Longobardi peoples and tribes were conquered, and after this time, would later become part of the De Jure lands of the Kingdom of Bremen.

Someday I'll finish this, I promise!

Chapter 2: Cross & Crusade
Chapter 3: Plague & Reform
Chapter 4: Brink & Odyssey
Chapter 5: Growth & Empire
Chapter 6: Revolution & Invention
Chapter 7: War & Markets
Chapter 8: Frost & Obliteration
Chapter 9: Safety & Danger
Chapter 10: Today & Unknown

As of today, in the year 2030, Rigia is best described to be in a period of stagnation. The de-colonization, in addition to recent natural disasters, hitting not only the mainland but the dominions as well, stretch the resources of the Gemeinschaft thin. As well, the rise of Communist China, India, and the expansion of Russia all threaten the fragile state of the nation.
However, there is hope. There has been a dramatic increase in funding the Aerospace Commission and the subsidizing of private aerospace firms in recent years, with results only just now beginning to bear its fruit. The first space hook ever attempted is to be put in place in orbit in only a year, and a handful of companies have collaborated to send a number of probes and satellites to the Belt, in hopes of finding rare-earth minerals, along with whatever else could potentially be found. The hope is to become preeminent in the market for these minerals, for at least a short while. As well, the drought facing the mainland is subsiding bit by bit every year, and more proper expansion planning and a better-managed ecosystem are putting less and less property at-risk for wildfire. Finally, an agreement with Communist China has been reached on the issue of Shanghai, with the municipality given complete independence from Rigia in the next 50 years, after which, residents will be given the option to vote as to whether they will merge with Communist China if they so choose. The hope here is that they don't, but it is over half a lifetime away.
Now, while Rigia and her Dependencies aren't in the best of circumstances, all appear prepared for a boost to continue their "good time". But then again, nations have fallen over much more mundane chances of circumstance. Only time will tell if the last regal monarchy of the world will remain standing a century from now.

Free city of rigia