Ghost Empire

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The Ghost party was formed during the period when the Slopes were converting to Gold. The Ghosts claimed an independent state during this period, and even underwent an internal revolution. So, both Ghost philosophies were fully formed BEFORE the Cosmopolitan Age. Nevertheless, their range was tiny and their grip on power was weak, and so the Ghosts were primarily known for their role as a minor player in the Cosmopolitan Age.

Cosmopolitan Age

The Raspara renamed themselves the Ghosts of Comfort and promised to restore their right to rule in what had been Anzan. They declared the foundation of the Eighth Empire, the 6th and 7th having transpired during the existence of Anzan. This time, they appealed to ethnic minorities, since they were based in an area that was heavily cosmopolitan. They still promised, however, to spare the lives of the old Raspara who did not accept the new ideology.

The Ghosts signed alliances with many old enemies, and stated that they would never attack those armies again, but also that they would remain neutral in any wars that did not involve the Ghosts or the remaining non-Ghost Raspara. They then declared war on Asala, an alliance of pro-Nama armies that had already declared a preemptive war against them.

Language

The Raspara took the Khulls language and radically reduced the phonology. Vowels were down to 3, and all six tones merged into one (although vowel lengh was preserved_. Yet, not much collision of word forms because there were many marginal phonmeewsssss in Standadrd Khulls.

Settlement of Yīspwilinâ

The Ghosts then settled in the Anzanan state of Yīspʷilinâ , an ethnically diverse area with a traditionally feminine leadership. Yīspwilinâ contained the headwaters of two major rivers. Its people had resisted the male Swamp Kids' leaders and had helped them in some of their wars, but the Swamp Kids he never asked for total control. Now the Ghosts wanted to make Yīspwilinâ the homebase of their new empire.

Yīspwilinâ also provided the Ghosts a path between Tata and Lypelpyp, which they needed in order to invade Lypelpyp and overthrow the emerging democracy based on cooperation with Nama's new Asala government. The Ghosts supported democracy, but insisted that to remain healthy, a democracy needed to be controlled from above to prevent dissent from arising among the voters. The Ghosts thus abolished freedom of speech and taught their children that those who questioned authority should be punished.

Demographics of Yispʷilina

There were 5 armies in Yispʷilina already before the Raspara took control:

  • Crystals, who formed the majority.
  • Swamp Kids, who mostly had lost contact with both Baeba and Anzan and focused on day-to-day survival instead of dreams of military conquest. Yet, they were not vulnerable to attack as they often had been in the past because the Swamp Kids' historical weakness had been largely due to their tendency to challenge enemies far larger than themselves, while ignoring uprisings in their own homeland. The Swamp Kids in Yispʷilina had fixed both of these problems, and thus ensured their survival, though they lost the ability to influence politics outside their immediate territory.
  • Matrixes who had fled in from Tata after being thrown out of power.
  • Asala, which had come in from Lypelpyp in the hopes of expanding even further west and destroying their enemies.
  • Dreamland, a weak force.

Foundation of the Ghost Empire

The Ghosts reaffirmed that they were the Cold Men, and that they found strength in building settlements in cold climates. However their population grew quickly in the state of Tʷădu, on the border of the tropics and near Baeba.

One reason for retaining the name Cold Men despite centering their power in a warm climate was that the Ghosts believed that all of the peoples to their north were peaceful and submissive, whereas their true enemies lived in the tropics.

Baeba

Legacy of invasions

Between 4149 and 4221, many light-skinned people invaded Baeba Swamp and left their mark on the population. They nearly all invaded from the north, so even within the Swamp, the natural skin color gradient prevailed. However, some light-skinned people were pushed to the coast. The invading armies all had their own languages, but many learned Khulls, the official language of Baeba Swamp.

In 4221, the Iron (from asala/hana "metal") army invaded Baeba Swamp, and defeated all of the other invaders. The Irons originated from an alliance between the weak, ruined empire of Nama and the predatory Zenith tribes who had abused Nama's people for many generations but had themselves fallen into despair as many of their soldiers began defecting to rival powers. Thus, the two defeated armies put aside their differences, and Nama's leaders promised that the Zeniths could abuse them in any way they saw fit, simply because they saw even this abuse as a better way to live than risking annihilation at the hands of the other hostile armies. The Zeniths took full control of Nama, but signed a treaty saying that they respected Nama and that they would keep Nama's governmental institutions in place rather than ruling through tyranny. They thus declared that their new empire was a continuation of Nama, and changed their party's name from Zenith to Iron. The new name was an ironic reference to STW's private currency, the asala, which were coins made from iron that had once been more valuable than their weight in gold, but had declined to a miniscule fraction of their former value as STW's economy imploded and they came to rely entirely on slavery.

The Iron Army spoke Khulls but also retained tribal languages that they had inherited from their long period of dormancy in the Mountains of Wisdom.

Restoration of tribalism

The victorious Iron soldiers had light skin and dark hair, but were descendants of the Zenith tribes, who had often won wars by forming counterintuitive tribal alliances in the past. Thus, some Iron leaders proposed an alliance with the dark skinned aboriginals. However, the rival Ghost army adopted the same strategy and won the allegiance of many of these aboriginals.

The Ghost Empire had a toehold in the extreme east of Baeba Swamp, and had much outlying land to itself. Ghost leaders planned to conquer Baeba by stirring up dissent from within it. The Ghosts soon passed many laws enforcing racial discrimination against light-skinned people, even though the Ghosts were descended from Lenians and other light-skinned tribes. They proved their sincerity by demoting their leaders and appointing dark-skinned aboriginals to replace them. They promised that there would be no secret path to power for light-skinned people in the Ghost Empire, and that racial discrimination would continue until economic and political power was distributed equally.

The Ghosts assigned the lowest social status to people with blonde hair, as these people were often descended from the historically hostile Dreamers, and thus looked down upon by people with fair skin but dark hair. In fact, the Ghosts' constitution referred to these people as Patin, equivalent to "Pissies". In northerly areas the Ghosts quickly began emphasizing hair color rather than skin color as the defining feature of their tribal alliance, as they hoped to woo the typically dark-haired Moonshine tribes onto their side as well, or at least prevent a war. The Moonshines refused the Ghosts' alliance, but their pacifist-led government refused to prepare for a war.

Meanwhile, the Ghosts had hoped that placing the dark-skinned people at the top of their hierarchy would entice the dark-skinned Baeban aboriginals to join the Ghost party and overthrow Asala's tribal occupation government, but many aboriginals simply moved into the Ghost Empire, thus weakening the Ghosts' influence in Baeba. The Ghosts accepted this, and the immigrants accepted that they might soon be called upon to lead a war against their homeland, but for the meantime the Ghosts held back on declaring war. They realized that many dark-skinned Baebans had remained loyal to Baeba's earlier Rock government, which distrusted both the Irons and the Ghosts, but had been leaning towards the Irons merely because the Irons were the unquestioned party of power in Baeba.

As the Ghosts promoted racial discrimination, the Irons began to lose support among the dark-skinned tribes. Thus the importance of ideology declined and people came to identify with their tribe and seek alliances only among their own kind.

Relations with Lenians

The Irons claimed to be allies of the tropical empire of Laba, which had not participated in the war and had long remained aloof from the politics of the continent. Laba was now the primary home of the blonde Lenian tribes, and Laba aligned itself against the Ghosts' racial discrimination policies because the Ghosts had chosen to put blonde people at the bottom of their hierarchy. But Laba said that because the Lenians in Ghost territory were not Laban, Laba had no obligation to protect them. Lenians became an underclass in Baeba Swamp as well, because they were not part of the Iron tribal coalition and were treated badly by the aboriginal majority, who followed the Ghosts in associating them with the hostile empire of Dreamland. Moonshine also banned Lenians from moving there, saying that their refugee operations had shut down when the refugees had turned against them and conquered Hōmoya. Thus the Lenians realized that all of the parties with power were against them, and came to consider themselves Dreamers even as the nations they lived in turned ever more against Dreamland.

The Irons offered to help Lenians move to Dreamland, which was the only nation on the planet that was willing to adopt them. However, the Ghost Empire pushed the Lenians into slavery even as their leaders came to feel that antagonizing the Lenians was a mistake that would deprive them of the opportunity to later fight a war against Moonshine in which Lenians would die to increase the territory of the Ghosts.

Iron leaders often disagreed with each other, as their philosophy encouraged dissent, and therefore some Irons wanted to form a tribal alliance with the Lenians, figuring that Laba was so large that any empire aligned with it would be impossible to defeat, but others believed that Labans were in fact very poor soldiers and felt that even a small population of Iron soldiers could dominate the entire planet by keeping Laba confined to its west and controlling all trade to the north, east, and south. They pointed out that Laba's only victories were wars in which Dreamland had done most of the fighting, and that Dreamland had twice forced Laba to stop a war.

Role of the Kwihus

As life became worse for the Lenians in both empires, many descendants of the Swamp Kids and other armies came to consider themselves a fourth race. They had always stood for ideology, not race, but when the stronger powers around them all organized along tribal lines they realized that they needed to adapt to the new reality. The Swamp Kids were genetically closest to the Lenians, but the Lenian tribes had been relegated to Dreamland, and few Swamp Kids were interested in forging an alliance with their oldest enemy. Neither were they interested in joining the Iron tribal coalition, which consisted mostly of tribes who had previously enslaved the Swamp Kids. The Ghosts had already placed Lenians at the bottom of their society, and while they considered Swamp Kids to be not fully Lenian, they nonetheless discriminated against those few Swamp Kids who had ended up living in Ghost territory.

The Swamp Kids claimed their ideology set them apart from the tribalists around them, but yet they were reluctant to allow members of other races to join their own, as they worried they would soon end up as slaves yet again. Therefore the Swamp Kids came to call themselves the Kʷixʷus people, and said that they had abandoned their ideological beliefs in order to organize as a tribe and wield power in the gaps where other tribes were weak.

Their main distinguishing feature was their short stature, and that is why they did not feel comfortable joining any of the other tribes. Because their physical appearance was more variable than the other groups, however, they expected they could be a meeting point for the other tribes and could in the future evolve away from tribalism.

However, other Kihus considered themselves to be part of the Iron tribal coalition after all, and survived by living on the outskirts of Baeba where they were mostly locked out of power but not seen as enemies. In this, they were continuing their age-old practice of găya, living in poor conditions where nobody else would go. Even here, however, they sometimes fought against other tribes such as the descendants of UAO.

Ghost representatives in Baeba Swamp

Even though they suspected a war was coming, the Irons allowed the Ghost party to exist in Baeba, and Ghosts living in Baeba could vote in the Ghost Empire's "heartland" government without living there. The heartland Ghosts hoped to stem the flow of Ghosts into the heartland by declaring war and forcing the Ghosts in Baeba to fight on the front lines. But they knew that Baeba was far too strong to conquer, and that they would need to build an empire in the north before sweeping down to attack Baeba.

economy

The Ghosts promised economic supremacy would take over for military superior personnel supremacy super supremacy. They promised a nat'l income 10x that of Moonshine, 3x that of Dreamland, and higher than that of any geographically contiguous state. They asked 'all neighboring empires for statistics on income, to verify this, but did not collect from distant empires or subentities way sway sway st I'll such as as states or cities.

immigration

Promised unrestricted immigration of all, but had to be Ghosts, thus becoming like Moonshine. Promised go avoid the error of Dreamland, who had 900 yrs earlier promised the same and then launched a racial war against Baeba. The dark-skinned people of the extreme south of the southernmost state (Tʷădu) became wealthy because they were the ones nearest Baeba, and the light-skinned Ghosts did not try to supplant them. However, any of these aboriginals who showed loyalty to parties other than the Ghost Party was stripped of their power and in some cases killed.

Ghost-Poswob relations

The Ghosts considered themselves allies of the Poswob tribes. They claimed that the Poswobs were the most submissive and easily abused people in the world, and that they needed another tribe to protect them. The Ghosts merged the concepts of tribe and territory here; to them, the Poswobs were any people who lived in the young but growing empire of Pusapom, whether they were new migrants, aboriginals, or a mix of both. Therefore, as the Ghosts anticipated they would one day conquer Pusapom, they considered all non-Ghost people living within Pusapom to be Poswobs.

The Ghosts recognized that the Poswobs had many tribes among them, but observed that the most feminine tribes were the ones with the greatest power, and therefore that the Poswobs as a whole were a feministic people. They figured that a male-led tribe could easily invade the Poswobs and force themselves on top of the Poswobs, but that the Ghosts could here serve as the protector of the Poswobs by maintaining geographical separation while building economic cooperation: profiting from the Poswobs without harming them.

The Ghosts of Comfort

The collapse of Anzan led to the reappearance of many weak, regional powers, whose territories were often defined by natural boundaries such as rivers and mountains. The Ghosts of Comfort were one exception to this pattern. The Ghosts were descendants of the Raspara who had ruled and abused their rivals for just a short time before their defeat a war in which they and their victims had been forced onto the same side. The Raspara had retreated to the wilderness, promising themselves that they would someday rise again. Now, with a new name, they had reappeared, and developed a new party platform.

Politics

Unlike the Raspara, the Ghosts accepted one achievement that had been invented by the weak, gullible Swamp Kids: democracy. Unlike the Swamp Kids, however, the Ghosts supported only a one-party democracy, with them in control. Furthermore, the people would not be allowed to vote against any Ghosts currently in power without that person's permission. Thus, the only power the voters had in the Ghosts' democracy was to choose between one Ghost and another, running for the same office, and only when both Ghost candidates agreed to obey the voters' decision.

Under the Ghost democracy, the president had the power to remove from power any other sitting official in the government, and thus had the same powers as the kings of rival empires. However they did not call their president a king because he was considered to be an elected official. Furthermore the president was open to removal by the people, though as above, only when he himself gave permission and volunteered to run in election (called "confirmation" by the Ghosts).

The Ghosts were descended from the Raspara, who were descended from the Thunderers and various allies of the Thunderers. They revived the name Cold Men for their party, and stated that although they had enemies both to the north and to the south, their enemies to the south were eternal, whereas they planned to form an alliance with the northern peoples such as the Moonshines and various aboriginal peoples when they could be convinced to submit.

The Ghosts were not racists, and they drew much of their support from ethnic minorities; however, they avoided criticizing the racism of the early Thunderers; they said that the early Thunder policies had been correct because they were discriminating only against those who had abused them in the past. The Ghosts said that they would also attack their abusers, but that in this era they were lucky enough to have no such enemies living within their territory; their only enemies were in foreign nations, chiefly Dreamland.

Language

The Ghosts spoke Khulls, and were largely responsible for the stability of the Khulls language in their territory, whereas in other areas of the continent it had quickly divided into dozens of tribal languages. This was the language of their historical enemies, the Crystals, but in the decades leading up to the Collapse, war had become so intense that all old blood feuds had been settled and the war ended with the Crystals and the Raspara fighting on the same side.

Territory of the Ghosts

The Ghosts took power in the lands in which the Raspara had been best preserved; these lands were far to the west of their original homeland, and in fact consisted mostly of historically Crystal territory rather than historically Thunder territory. Here, even in the high latitudes, the winters were mild because of the proximity to the west coast, and summers were also warmer because of the low relative humidity of the onshore winds.[1]

The Ghosts also achieved power in rural areas of what had been Thunder territory, but were blocked by the "Rempe" River (note: this is far to the east of the Hamster River). These areas had little carrying capacity for human civilization because its rivers were very far from each other, and the climate was fairly dry. Nevertheless, existing cities such as Lypelpyp survived the transition to Ghost rule relatively intact.

A small number of Ghosts settled in the extreme north, in states like Tòd'řóm, which ranged from 48N to 57N and was on the west coast. Its location gave it snowy winters, though with milder temperatures than areas further east in Xema at the same latitude. But it still got cold: temperatures below —40F occurred on the west coast and —50F occurred on the east coast.

Relations with other parties

As the Ghosts consolidated their territory, they realized they were surrounded by pacifists in all directions. To the north, they bordered the Moonshines, a strongly feministic people who had historically begun its wars by sending humanitarian aid workers into the enemies' territory in order to better the living situation of the invaders and convince them to call off the war. To the east and south, they bordered the young but growing Poswob empire, famous for sending women in short skirts to the front lines of battle, armed with gifts for the invading soldiers in the hopes that they could convince them to settle down in Poswob territory and marry the local women. To the west were the Sĕyepa Crystals, less pacifistic than the other two groups but still tolerant of the Ghosts' invasion of their territory.

Thus the Ghosts planned to do what the Raspara had done during their heyday: exploit the naive hospitality of the pacifists all around them to build parasitic colonies in the pacifists' nations, which would produce little or nothing of economic value, but be heavily armed in order to extract tributes from the pacifists and, in the end, crush the pacifists in an all-out war.

Notes

  1. Compare lowland cities in Idaho, eastern Oregon, Montana, etc to places at the same latitude in Michigan, Minnesota, and so on ... the west is much warmer, even in summer, despite being much closer to the Pacific Ocean. This happens also in central Asia and a little bit in South America.