Oyster War

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The Vegetable War was a war on the planet Teppala which raged from 2662 to 2674 AD. It was so violent that nearly all large animals were killed, leading the people who survived the war to become vegetarians, at least inland.

Parties to the conflict were:

  • Litila, actually an alliance between Litila and Thaoa which promised to fight anyone who did not submit to them, even it meant fighting the entire world. Litila is a religion which wants to put a species of worm-like crab called the liui in control of humans. This is still not the same as the Inkʷa/Ifena/Isyna group, which favors animals in control of humans in general, but not just the one specific species of crab. The liui are often called "crabworms" in English, because worm in English is a general term for any organism with a wormlike body shape, and the situation was similar in most humans living in nations to which the crabworms were not native. However, they really are crustaceans, being crabs with very elongated bodies. They communicate with humans purely through sign language: the crabs wave their claws and the humans wave their hands in mutually recognized patterns to spell out each letter of each word in their shared language, which was based on Subumpamese but had many loans from the crab's native language. Written language was also used.
  • The Gold Empire, actually a part of the Gold Empire that had rebelled and conquered the rest of it.

Litila was to the north of Subumpam, but also had camps in northern Subumpam. They wanted to turn over control of the government to the crabworms and stop the explosive expansion of human settlement all over the continent. They were rejected by everyone else as masochists with simple minds. But their power grew rapidly, as the crabworms actually were a very intelligent species capable of running an advanced nation. Their exoskeleton was too firm to be pierced by any known human weapon, so humans were forced to fight crabworms by avoiding them instead of attacking them. They were thus very powerful at war, and Litila's military power was limited only by how many crabworms they were able to breed.


The tropical Oyster Empire arose from the union of the blonde Oyster tribes in Lobexon and the dark-skinned Kxel tribes to their west. The Kxels were a mix between dark-skinned aboriginals and dark-skinned settlers from areas both east and west of the aboriginal land. The blondes had won their territory by conquering a diverse assortment of earlier inhabitants, including some who were also blonde. However, most of the indigenous inhabitants were dark-skinned, as their ancestors had lived in tropical climates for thousands of years.

The Oysters had killed or driven out all of the previous inhabitants of the land they conquered, and thus Lobexon became a wholly Lenian nation after the Oysters' war was over. The Oysters then invaded Kxesh and began slaughtering Kxels as well, but the Kxels fought back ferociously, and they eventually signed a treaty creating a new multicultural empire with the blonde tribes in the east and the dark-skinned tribes in the west. The Oysters named the empire after themselves, but both groups were allowed full freedom of movement throughout the Empire, and the Kxels created the Sword party to represent their interests. Many Kxels supported the Oyster party, but obtaining full party membership was difficult, and most Kxels remained with the Sword party.

Earlier, in the mid-2400s, Nama had pulled out its troops from the eastern side of the Empire, which they called Lobexon.

In 2544, the dark-skinned Merari people moved into the eastern (Oyster) side of the Empire. They were fleeing a famine in Paba, into which they had earlier migrated when they had been fleeing a flood in Laba. These people probably spoke just one language, a Fern language.

Naval war

Humans' orientations

The war began as a traditional tribal conflict involving humans. On one side were the dark-skinned Star tribes, historically native to the Tropical Rim nations such as Amade, Lobexon, etc. On the other side were the typically blonde, blue-eyed Lenian people, concentrated in the eastern half of the Oyster Empire. However, the Oyster Empire had a dark-skinned majority, and these people were loyal to the other Oysters because they had fought previous wars against the Stars, and the Stars still enslaved the descendants of captives.

Invasion of Paba

In 2643, the Star party took control in Amade and in 2644 they invaded the pacifist nation of Paba.[1] They soon began destroying Paba's cities and roads. Nama supported this war even though Paba was their ally, and even though the Stars had earlier threatened to invade Nama as well. Paba's long tradition of supreme pacifism had attracted many invaders over the years, and the Pabaps often suffered severe casualties even when the invading force was small and poorly equipped for battle, simply because they had no way to protect themselves. Paba had survived despite all this because it had always maintained close ties with allies, who would fight for Paba so long as Paba allowed them to use Pabaps as slaves and extract their food and natural resources.

However, in this war, Paba's traditional ally, Nama, for the first time in history chose not to protect Paba from the invaders, as Paba was no longer economically useful to Nama. Paba was forced to choose between abandoning pacifism in order to hastily build an army, or remaining entirely nonviolent in the hopes that some third party would also invade Paba and push the Stars back out. Because the Star invaders quickly occupied Paba and instituted martial law, Paba's response made little difference; the entire Pabap population was soon trapped by the Star army even though they outnumbered the Stars by an enormous margin.

Occupation of Paba

To the dismay of the Pabaps, no foreign army showed any interest in rescuing Paba. Thus the Stars consolidated their occupation, and forced Pabaps to leave their farms and work producing weapons and armor for the Star soldiers. Because of their need for slave labor, the Stars did not kill many Pabaps, but the labor was dangerous and discipline was harsh. The Pabaps worked obediently in their slave camps for ten years before the Stars felt confident enough to extend their invasion to their originally intended target.

Leapers enter the war

In 2654, AlphaLeap announced a three-year plan that took them out of their long alliance with Nama and enacted economic and military agreements with the Stars, even though they had been profiting from the enslavement of the Stars for hundreds of years. The Leapers promised not to destroy Nama because they wanted Nama to remain as a weak, poor hinterland that would fall far behind the future Leaper-directed state and thus lead third parties to support AlphaLeap for economic reasons.

In 2657, the Stars signed a treaty with AlphaLeap that relinquished all past grievances and added AlphaLeap & Wax to the land claimed by the Star Empire, which the Stars were planning to expand northward. The Stars also signed a pact with their old enemy, the Crystals, and allowed Crystals to share power in Amade. Meanwhile, the Oyster Empire forged an alliance with Nama, even though they had recently stolen some land from Nama. These new wartime alliances were possible because the weaker parties in each alliance felt they would lose even more if they were to submit to the opposing side.

In 2658, the Star Empire launched a global war against all Lenians, and created a parallel government for dark-skinned people living in Lenian territory. They considered all dark-skinned people in Lenia to be Stars, including the recently arrived Fern immigrants whose ancestors had long been at war with the Stars. Thus, Stars living in Lenian territory were responsible only to the Stars' government, and were expected to pay taxes to the Star Empire and withhold taxes from the various Lenian governments. However, the Lenian tax collectors ignored this, as they expected that the Stars would first attempt to recapture the Star Empire's original borders in the tropics before they invaded Subumpam or other Lenian nations. Furthermore, they contacted a group of pro-Star rebels in Nama called the Shadows, who promised to fight the war inside Nama so long as the Star army promised to send reinforcements as soon as they were able.

Oyster Civil War

In 2661, the aboriginal Kxel tribes seceded from the Oyster Empire and signed a treaty with the Star Empire. Even though Kxesh had been an enemy of the Stars for hundreds of years, they cancelled their debts and declared war against the Lenian tribes. They revived the Sword party and promised to cut up all of the Oysters.

The Oysters had been hoping to fight an ideological war based on politics, since the ideology of the Oyster and Sword parties was very similar. They were dismayed to see the conflict becoming a racial war, because they were hemmed in by dark-skinned tribes to the west and south and by unreliable allies elsewhere. Even in their own home territory, many Fern immigrants had arrived in the preceding 200 years, and the Oysters worried that they too would side with their historical enemies simply because those enemies were the strongest power in the region.

The Lenians in Paba had been under Star occupation for seventeen years and had submitted completely, and had thus become in effect a strong ally of the Stars. Nama, likewise, had done nothing to stop this occupation, and the Oysters worried that Nama would also do nothing to protect the Oysters from the Swords.

Moreover, the Oysters were worried about conflicts in their own territory as well. The Oysters had early on made peace with the Kxels, and many Kxels lived in the Oysters' territory in the eastern half of the Empire, but now those people had declared war against them. Meanwhile, the dark-skinned Merari people also lived among the Oysters and, while they had been strong allies of the Oysters in the past, the Oysters now worried that the Merari would join the other dark-skinned tribes and start killing Oysters.

Though the Swords' main target was the Lenian majority in the eastern half of the Empire, they also attacked the Lenian minority in the region of Atlam, the descendants of the Big Heart settlers of 500 years before.[2]

This suggests that the Big Hearts had not been simply absorbed into the wider population; though some may have married aboriginals and some may have married Ferns, the Lenians remained as a distinct population all their own.

At this point, the Emperor, Rainman, abdicated in favor of his wife, who then defected to the Stars.

Star alliance grows

A tropical nation named Evil Eye (Tèlaga)[3] now also joined the war on the side of the Stars. Then, the armies of Lahalalomaha, Yilamu, Qutalaf, Stepstone,[4] and Kava[5] also allied with the Stars. Yet another wave added the Shadows, Tobom, and Tarwas. Most of these nations were fellow dark-skinned people like the Stars, but the dark-skinned people in Tarwas were very different in appearance from the Stars, and highly variable internally as well. Meanwhile, the Shadows were light-skinned people from Nama who had chosen to switch sides, and Kava was entirely Lenian but had joined the war after assurance from their traditional ally, the Crystals.

At this point, the Oysters were not only surrounded, but surrounded by dozens of nations stacked several layers deep, each one of which was by itself stronger than the Oysters' own. Paba, the largest Lenian nation, was entirely controlled by the Star army, and its massive trading ships were repurposed as Star warships. Furthermore, many enemy soldiers lived in the core of Oyster territory, since they had switched sides upon hearing of the new war. The Oysters realized that they had no chance of winning their war, and that their tribe might be entirely killed off by their enemies. The Stars announced then that they would accept no surrender treaty, and that they intended to occupy the Oyster Empire just as they had occupied Paba.

The Rope

The Lenians' alliance was attracting more supporters from areas of Nama that had previously remained neutral as they knew the Stars' armies would never push north. But their numbers were few. The most prominent new member in the alliance was the city of Pilifala (Melemosit). Smaller entities included the Zenith, Lanitta, Echo, Alon, Half Moon, Shŭppa, E, Princess, MS, Dema, Shuchupo, and thousands of petty monarchies consisting of single villages with no significant power. This is because Nama's tribes were typically small and politically independent.[6] They called their alliance the Rope, and each army was called a Link.

When the Lenians realized how weak their only allies were, they lost all hope of victory. Furthermore, many Links quickly tried to defect to the Stars to escape their coming defeat. But the Stars were uninterested in these latecomers. Spimi signed a pact with Nama, but Spimi secretly controlled a nation called the Refuge which was against Nama and housed many criminals who had fled Nama.

Battle of Pellara

The Lenians were unprepared for war. When the Sword rebels invaded the Lenian city of Pellara, they found no opposing army. Much of the Lenian military was dedicated to exploration rather than combat, and many Pellaran men were absent from the city.

Pellara's female-led municipal government quickly surrendered to the Swords, but when the Sword commander ordered them to join the Sword army and become the leading front of an invasion of the remaining Lenians, they rebelled and revoked their surrender. But because the Swords had already surrounded their city, they could not call in their men to fight for them, nor could they contact the Lenians in the other areas further north. Thus, the largely unarmed civilians took on the Swords, and despite their numerical advantage, they were quickly crushed and the Swords killed 2,398 Pellarans while the Pellarans killed only a few dozen Swords.

Privately, the Pellarans refused to acknowledge their situation, and began teaching their children that they had been invaded by the Stars, and that the Stars had first conquered the Swords and won similarly lopsided battles in Sword territory before rushing eastward to conquer the Lenians. This made them feel more comfortable because they were able to pretend that the Swords had fallen to their enemies just as easily as the Lenians had.

Rebels move north

The rebels expected their remaining battles would be even easier, as the Lenians living north of Pellara were largely pacifists who treasured their intimate relationship with Nama and could flee into Nama if they were invaded from the south. The next major city on the map was Taxol (Taxʷal).

Meanwhile, Nama sent its land army down the mountains in order to help the Lenians hold their territory in the north, which was the wealthiest and most valuable land in the Oyster Empire. The Swords knew that Nama was very weak, however, and continued their plans to move northward to conquer both the Lenians and their aboriginal protectors.

Battle of Hoquma

Meanwhile, the Star navy had purchased many warships from AlphaLeap, and steered these ships towards the Nama/Oyster border in an attempt to penetrate the barrier formed by the Oysters' own navy. Though the Oysters were weak on land, they had always been strong at sea due to their reliance on trade. However, the Stars did not plan to destroy the Oyster navy, but merely to cut through it and disembark enough soldiers to conquer the northern border city of Hʷaqʷumʕ (Hoquma). In Hoquma they would then assemble a front facing north to prevent Nama from rescuing the Lenians there, while also trapping Lenians from fleeing into Nama.

The Star navy cut through the Oyster navy as planned and soon sieged Hoquma. However, by this time the Lenian army had learned of the invasion, and both their own soldiers and those of Nama soon entered Hoquma and fought the Stars head-on. The Oyster navy soon closed the hole the Stars had made, and thus the Stars could not replenish their land army to supply additional soldiers to hold Hoquma. Thus the Oysters won this battle and the Stars were taken as prisoners of war in Hoquma. Despite their victory, however, the Oysters had suffered more casualties in this battle than had the Stars, and they knew they were ill-prepared to head off the much larger Sword army. Furthermore, the Oyster soldiers were unwilling to kill their captives, and so the burden of keeping the captives alive kept the army further tied down.

Capture of Džé

The Swords' next battle was the port city of Ǯé (Džé). The Star sailors in their sturdy Leaper ships pushed through the Oysters' navy as they had before, but this time the Stars sent a much larger force, intending to provide a large enough force to hold Džé by themselves without relying on their alliance with the Swords. They knew that the Swords had been easily winning their land battles as they fought mostly against pacifists and civilians, while the Stars had been winning only by taking much greater damage, and did not want to see the Swords take all five major Oyster cities and leave nothing for the Stars who had made it possible.

The Swords met with the Oyster politicians now, hoping to work out a surrender treaty in which the Oysters would agree to submit fully to the Swords, and therefore rule out Star influence in the newly captured cities. But the Oysters refused, and accused the Swords of having submitted too easily themselves, allowing the Stars to dictate their foreign policy without any assurance that the Swords would benefit. Although the Oysters had never seen the early Star-Sword treaty, some speculated that the Stars had originally offered to grant the Swords full control of Oyster territory, but had now reneged on the deal by invading Džé.

Capture of Hačis

Oyster territory was now little more than a strip of coastal land between the two surviving cities of Hačis (Haćis) and Hoquma. They had lost both of their river ports, and the remaining land was more difficult to reach for Nama even though it was actually closer to Nama. The Swords marched between the two cities and quickly built a fort along the seashore in a small town. The mayor of Hačis surrendered immediately and turned over control of her city to the Swords. The Swords thus won control of a few Oyster ships, but most of the surviving Oyster sailors stayed offshore and declared themselves to be a navy without a country.

Star naval battle

When the Stars realized that they had been ruled out of Hačis, they abandoned their plans to retake Hoquma. Hoquma was the northernmost city, and was impossible for the Stars to reach without passing through Hačis or crossing through Sword-occupied countryside. Therefore the Stars promised themselves that they would hold fast in their one exclusive city, Džé, and locate their fleet there so they could retain naval supremacy even as they granted the Swords supremacy over land.

Second battle of Hoquma

The Sword army marched on Hoquma now, facing an army that consisted primarily of aboriginal Namans rather than Lenians. Earlier, in their only victory, the Oysters had repelled a Star invasion and taken the soldiers prisoner. They had protected the lives of these prisoners, hoping to use them in a bargain against a future Star invasion, but because the army heading towards Hoquma was manned by the Swords, the Lenians figured they would have little interest in the lives of the Star prisoners.

The Lenians knew now that they had no hope of holding Hoquma even with Nama helping them, and the mayor of Hoquma surrendered her city to the Swords just as the mayor of Hačis had. Thus Nama's army was now fighting for a people who had refused to fight for themselves, and the Namans promised that if they somehow still won, they would never give the Lenians control of any of the land they conquered back.

The remaining Lenians surrendered within weeks, and handed full control of their empire to the Swords. Then, the Swords signed an alliance with the Star Empire and joined the wider war against Lenia. They announced that they would soon also invade Nama, and the Sword-Star coalition promised to protect Lenians who agreed to join the Sword army in a noncombative role so that they could help the Swords carry the war into Nama.

Swords invade Nama

With the Lenians fully under their control, the Sword army prepared for the much more difficult invasion of Nama. They knew that Nama's army was very weak in proportion to its land area, but that unlike the Lenians, the Namans would be unlikely to submit to the Swords without a fight. Even now, the enslaved Lenians were still trying to charm the Swords into signing a new treaty which would restore equal rights for Lenians and give them the ability to move around in the empire, and some Lenian men said that they would even be willing to invade Nama in order to buy their freedom.

Contact with AlphaLeap

Once the Lenians had been wholly swallowed up, the Leaper navy encircled the Star-held city of Džé, claiming that the Stars' financial obligations to AlphaLeap could only be paid by turning over control of the city to the Leapers. Since the Stars had only occupied the city, they did not have a stable food supply, and knew that they could not survive if both their land and sea routes were controlled by outsiders.

Formally, the Stars surrendered control of Džé to the Swords, and told their soldiers to move to Star-occupied Paba, figuring that the Swords would not attack them even though they had nearly come to war. They signed a treaty abolishing the temporary government they had set up in Džé and handed over control of the seaport to AlphaLeap. They promised to retreat their navy to Paba.

The Stars had privately hoped to violate their surrender treaty by sailing their ships through the Leapers' own ships and then heading east to the pacifist nation of Paba instead of retreating to Star territory. But AlphaLeap's much larger navy now ordered the Star navy to retreat southward towards the original Star homelands, and told the Stars in Paba that they would no longer have control of the sea route between Paba and the Star homeland. When the Stars attempted to breach the Leaper navy and reach Paba despite the Leapers' command, the Leapers declared war on the Stars and announced they would attack all Star ships, even those who were obeying the command to retreat to the equator.

The Stars were humiliated when they realized that they had lost many soldiers fighting a war that had only benefited AlphaLeap. AlphaLeap had been the first foreign nation to sign a treaty with the Stars, and since the Star Empire was much larger than AlphaLeap, the Stars assumed the treaty meant that AlphaLeap had submitted to the Stars. But within two years the tide had turned and the Stars were taking orders from AlphaLeap instead. Even in their defeat, the Stars proclaimed that they were still part of the winning side of the war, and signed another treaty promising to fight for AlphaLeap and to help occupy any land that AlphaLeap chose to attack in the future.

The Stars realized that AlphaLeap had long been known for outsmarting both its enemies and its allies, and that the Stars were merely one of many powers who had befriended the Leapers only to quickly lose all they had donated and gain nothing back. In this war, the aboriginal Sword party had teamed up with the Leapers to invade and crush the Oysters, and while the Stars had suffered the most deaths in this war, they gained no territory at all.

Crab War

The only remaining free Lenian nations were the nations of Subumpam and Thaoa. And even here, the people had so much internal dissent, with many of them trying to defect to the Swords, that they made few preparations for the coming invasion. When the Leaper-Sword coalition army entered Subumpam, the Lenians surrendered immediately. However, the Leapers soon met up with the renegade nation of Litila, which had been neutral in the war. Litila was located to the north of Subumpam, and they began invading Subumpam just as the Leapers did, intending to deny AlphaLeap any territory in Subumpam. (They were willing to let the Stars destroy all of Nama, however.)

In 2662, the armies of Litila and the Leapers met up and fought for control of Subumpam with no care for the welfare of the Subumpamese. Though the Leaper army was much larger, they were unprepared for Litila's unconventional strategy: rather than risk the lives of their soldiers, they sent crabs to fight for them, and these crabs were impenetrable. Thus the Crab War began.

The crabs were very difficult for humans to kill. However, they were also very difficult for humans to control: the army of Litila was quickly torn apart by the crabs they had been expecting to help them, and thus Litila never made it to the battlefield.

Thaoa was on Litila's side in this war, but there was no geographic connection, so Thaoa did not invade.

Battles against crabs

In 2662, Litila invaded Subumpam with its army of crabworms and humans. Litila was much smaller than Subumpam, and was located in the worst possible position, but Subumpam had been weakened slightly by having just come out of another major war against Nama, in which Litila had fortified its borders and remained neutral. Thus Litila was able to attack at full power against a weakened enemy.

Nevertheless, Subumpam was very strong, and they gained allies as they fought as even their enemies in Nama preferred them to the crabworms. Thus the war was the bloodiest war the world had yet seen, and after twelve years almost all animal life apart from humans, crabworms, and a few other mobile species such as birds had gone completely extinct. Surviving humans were pure vegetarians except for a few living along the immediate south coast. Meanwhile the human governments of both sides of the war had collapsed and their replacements were not interested in continuing the war.

Nevertheless, Litila had won the war, as its goal had been no more than to defeat the human population and establish more land for crabworms. Crabworms now set up a new government in Subumpam that excluded humans entirely and considered them merely as food. The Litilala were upset that the crabworms had chosen the very humans that had been helping them seize power as their primary food source, rather than the enemy humans that they had captured. But the crabworms made no distinctions at all among the various classes of humans; to them they were all just meat.

The crabs defended their decision to eat their breeders by saying that only humans believed it was immoral to eat humans; and that their government was no longer run by humans but by crabs. They had defeated human society, and with it, their moral system. They said that when a crab eats a human, only the human suffers; therefore only a crab can declare that a crab eating a human is immoral. They pointed to the example of the all-crab nation of Rasula, which had helped humans in many wars before but now had declared it didn't bother them if Litila's crabs decided they wanted to eat all of the humans in Litila and Subumpam since the eating of humans in a nation run by crabs was no longer a crime.

Thus life in Subumpam was so bad now that all other humans, even slaves bleeding from bites by horseflies on pestilential plantations in Lobexon, were better off than the Subumpamese, and began to take in Subumpamese refugees in their nations. They hoped that they could starve out all of the worms, or at least force them to all move to the coast where a relatively uninterrupted food supply still could be found.

In 2674 a coalition of human nations attempted an invasion of Subumpam from the sea. They had mostly come from Nama, so they landed in Vuʒi, on the southwest coast, and began to march inward in search of crabs and distressed humans. Crabs preferred to live in rock nests, so it was uncommon to see a crab simply crawling out in the open even in a time of safety. But the sight of the advancing mob of flesh encouraged the crabs to come out, as they had been running short on food in this area recently. The humans tried to fight back, but were simply unable to hit the crabs hard enough with their swords and battleaxes to injure them. And so the entire human battalion was killed without the crabs suffering a single casualty in the battle.

A few humans had stayed behind on the ships, and even though crabs could also crawl along the ocean bottom and could burst their ships from below, the area they had landed happened to be empty of crabs for the time being because the fish in this area had also been depleted. When they saw that none of the humans that had marched inland came back that night, they figured that they had probably been eaten and decided to return to Nama.

Back in Nama, the human coalition decided that it was unwise to attempt to invade Subumpam. They looked for other strategies such as chemical warfare, while continuing their attmpts to rescue runaway humans hiding in the wilderness where crabs could not easily reach them. Other nations, and even transnational organizations such as FILTER, offered to take in refugees but refused to help fight the war directly because they were afraid of dying even more rapidly than the Subumpamese had.

The crabs had spared Thaoa from direct geographical occupation because even though it was one of their strongest allies, Paba stood between Subumpam and Thaoa, and the land route was not easy to get over. But even so, the crabs looked hungrily at Paba as their next conquest, and the Pabaps realized their long streak of escaping being involved in the world's bloodiest wars was about to end.

War in Paba

Paba had been preparing for the Vegetable War (Īpipayas) for a long time. At this time, Paba was a strongly militarized empire but had not fought a major war for over a thousand years. But unlike other peaceful nations, they did not let their military skills degrade. They kept an active military at all times even though the high propotion of their people serving in the military caused their per capita income to be lower than the areas around them. Partly, they made up for this by becoming the masters of the sea as well, and dominating trade with their powerful navy that even wealthier coastal nations such as Thaoa were not allowed to question.

Paba enters the war

Paba had not fought a land war for over a thousand years. They had expected the attack to come from occupied Subumpam's ally, Thaoa, a rival nation of Paba which in fact had originally been settled by Pabaps and had a similar history of dominating other nations with naval blockades but had eventually lost out to Paba. But Thaoa realized that the crabworms eating people in Subumpam were far more powerful even than the best-armed humans in the world. Moreover they were shocked at how the crabworms had run out of food and decided to eat the humans who had helped them the most in the war, and were unsure about even participating in the war against Paba at this point. However they knew that if they asked Paba for an alliance, Paba would demand the immediate annexation of Thaoa's entire territory to Paba, which they were not willing to do even if at the pain of death.

Meanwhile, Paba had not expected an attack from Subumpam, which had had a history of usually being an ally of Paba, and being embarrassingly incompetent whenever it wasn't. Even though the Pabaps were aware that crabworms had broken out of their strongholds in Litila and occupied most of Subumpam, they still figured a human invasion was more likely than a crab invasion and moved only a small part of their army to the western border.

So the majority of Paba's land army remained concentrated near its eastern border with Thaoa, whereas the crab worms were invading them from the west. Pabap civilians fled in terror as the crabs clawed their way through the border walls the Pabaps had built, which were much weaker than the walls on the eastern border with THaoa. The crabs faced little resistance, eating both civilians and the few soldiers that had been posted at the western border.

Nevertheless, since the capital of Paba, Biospum,[7] was also in the west, a stronger army was not far behind. These soldiers were better armed, and better prepared for a fight against an enemy unbeatable by conventional means. Since they knew that even their sharpest swords could not penetrate the crabs' bodies, they did not bother bringing any. Instead they relied on chemical weapons and attempts to bring heavy rocks up to high places so that they could drop them on the crabworms. A leading battallion swept off into the countryside to attempt checmical warfare, but the other half of the army had to occupy the capital city as the land here was so flat that there were no tall buildings anywhere else to drop heavy stones from (crabs did not generally move through thick forests, so occupying trees would be useless).

Crabs move in

To Paba's distress, no crabs were sighted anywhere near Biospum for the first month of the war. They realized that the crabs were a very intelligent species, even if not as intelligent as humans, and that they had no reason to even attempt to occupy the capital city since there were plenty of humans available for them in the countryside. So they realized that the strategy of dropping rocks from a great height would likely never get a chance to be used, and that their only chance of stopping the crab army was to attempt yet another conventional battle, the same strategy that had failed every other time it had been used.

And so a section of the army called Pamimibūppus was sent out from the capital city to meet the invading crab army. They did not have chemical weapons available to them, and they had almost no armor or weapons, so they figured that they were likely to be simply eaten as soon as they encountered the crabs. However, they at least supposed that the battalion that had left the previous monthg, unless it had alreayd been entirely defeated, would at least be able to guard them as they fought and that they would be able to take some of the armor off of the dead soldiers if they could find it.

Advance into Thaoa

Meanwhile, in desperation, Paba decided to attack Thaoa after all, figuring that they might lose their whole territory to crabs and be forced to flee into remote areas where even the crabs could not reach. Even though crabs had come to them from the mountains of the north, they were not native to the mountains: this was just a political movement that humans had set up in an area that was so weak thgat it would otherwise have never been able to invade even the adjacent lowlands. So Pabaps wanted to control the mountains around them, and much of that land had recently been occupied by Thaoa. They also signed a truce with their enemy, Tarwas, allowing the Pabaps to flee into Tarwas on the provision that the crabs would just as soon move to Tarwas and eat people there if they were able to.

The Thaoan army was very strong, but the government of Thaoa refused to even acknowledge that the war was real. In response, the Pabaps endured only scattered fighting from the army of Thaoa and soon reached the capital city and forced Thaoa to surrender. The Treaty of Kafumtem, named after the Pabaps' pronunciation of the Thaoan capital city of Khasunthyn, turned over all of Thaoa's homelands and extraterritorial possessions to the invading army from Paba.

Thaoa was a country of people closely related to Pabaps who had historically been far less soft and submissive than Pabaps had been, and were humiliated by the surrender treaty, but they put aside their differences for the time being because there were much greater dangers about. The Pabaps finalized the name Tabūba for occupied Thaoa.

Thaoa was also the guarantor of most of the land east of it. Nominally, these countries were actually Naman, even though Nama was far to the west, but they were no longer pyhyiscally connected to Nama except by a series of difficult mountain passes to the north that no single country had ever permanently occupied. Paba did not yet insist that Thaoa let the Pabap army into those countries, both because they were hemmed in by the Pabap navy already and because they would be easily conquered by crabs since they were mostly coastland like Subumpam and Paba.

Vampire rebellion

As the Merari army advanced into Thaoa, some of Thaoa's few ethnic minorities took up arms and prepared to fight for themselves. A tribe called the Vampires had built a colony named Hŏbe, whose people survived by stealing crops and farm animals from nearby Thaoan farms. But now the Vampires saw the advancing Merari soldiers and worried that their parasitic lifesyle was under threat. The Vampires angrily confronted the general of Thaoa's army and demanded that he mobilize the Thaoan army and defeat the Merari so that the continued supply of food to the Vampires would be maintained. The Vampires warned that if the Thaoans did not defeat the other armies, the Vampires would join the fight on the side of the invaders and use the bodies of the Thaoan civilians as a temporary food supply.

Battles in the West

Meanwhile, on the western front, despite the bulk of the army not having arrived yet from the east, the Pabap army was doing surprisingly well. Although they had suffered huge losses against the crabs, they had become the first human army that had actually managed to at least kill one of the crabs they were fighting. The first dead crab was taken apart and its body parts became armor for the people. Their chemical warfare (besmasā paau) was working, and had the advantage that humans did not need to be physically within sight of the crabs to fight them. Many of the soldiers now were totally unarmed and just walking around in their underwear, appearing to most others including the crabs to be normal people.

Still, chemical warfare worked against humans too, so they realizaed they needed to evacuate the Pabap civilians. Most of them had already left as soon as they had heard of the crabs, but now even the ones who had wanted to stay and fight were forced by the army to move eastward so that the army could poison the water and various other parts of the environmeny in order to make it unfit for life. Since there was not enough food available for them in Paba, many of these people were then taken to the seacost, where they boarded ships heading across the ocean to move permanently to a foreign nation such as Qoqendoq. These missions sometimes failed, however, because the crabs could simply pop open their boats, flooding them with water. Even the unbeatable Pabap navy had been forced to anchor many of its ships further out to sea for the time being to get away from the crabs that had occupied much of the coastland.

Pabaps decided to risk crowding themselves into castles now, as the crabs could not easily enter large buildings, but the Pabaps would have a difficult time getting food. They had been relying on birds fishing the eastern rivers for them, a system that had been used even in peacetime by some of the wealthiest Pabaps. Now the birds had to do this for everybody, and were not happy, but they too had a lot to fear from the crabs and they worked hard to feed the humans out of their own sense of common kindness. And so the countryside of western Paba became suddenly empty of all humans, except a few battalions of soldiers still trying to poison the rivers and animals that they expected the crabs to eat. Paba's population now was about 185000 people, and about 50000 of them were soldiers or had decided to risk their lives on the front lines helping the soldiers. They estimated the crab population to be about 14000, most of which were still on land in Subumpam, as the oceans were becoming difficult for them to hunt for food in.

Humans look for help

Faced with an enemy they could not defeat, humans looked to animals for help. At this point, humans were willing to enslave themselves to animals forever if at least it was an animal that would not raise them for food and eat them when they were still young. Tehey looked aroundf them at ther various animal species that could help so they could bild a mutlispeces army

Firebirds vs. crabs

The firebirds, also known as cilai, wanted an opportunity to help out because they felt that humans were the choicest meat of all and anything that was good for humans was good for them. They could drop rocks on crabs to crush them inside their own exoskeletons, but even the strongest firebirds were not strong enough to carry big enough rocks to do any significant damage even from an extreme height. Thus, they were useless in killing crabs, and the human governors in exile rejected their help.

Dolphins vs. crabs

Dolhpins could eat crabs, but they risked a lot of danger in doing so, as the dolphins could be easily wounded by crabs had the additional handicap of not being able to use medicine since they lived underwater. Dolphins' blood tended to seal up faster than humans', so they would not bleed to death, but could be weakened quickly to the point of being unable to swim. The humans realized that dolphins had nations of their own, and could not promise allegiance to all dolphins since some dolphins were hostile to other dolphins, but they promised that no human would ever harm a dolphin of any side if just one dolphin nation agreed to help the humans.

Hedgehogs vs. crabs

Despite their spies, the hedgehogs wer also yuseless in ciombat so they promise alllegfiant to the hmans but ddi not fight. They were a bit upset that humans seemed to stereotype them as dangerous even though they were vegeterians who only used their sharp spines for defensive purposes, and could not defeat crabs,

Rabbits vs. crabs

Had not emeghred as a hug enemy poem, yet, but also rejected the support of humans

monkeys vs. crabs

Similar to humans but less Ppetizing because of their hair, monkeys tried to put up cities in the ruined human cities. But they were no better at killing brass that the humans.

Crabs ve. crabs

Not all crabs lived in Litila. Crabs were ocean dwellers, after all, and had societies of their own before 2662. The world's largest all-crab nation, known as Rasula, had remained neutral in the war so far. Previously, Rasula had been a common player in human affairs, but its power had waned as the humans grew their societies on land and became more self sufficient. In 2645, Rasula withdrew itself from all human politics and became neutral in all wars. They wanted to set themselves up as the arbiter of human diplomacy. Knowing that humans could not simply dive down into the deep to argue their cases before a tribunal of water-breathing crabs, they purchased some land from Paba to live on and used that as their main conduit for conduct with humans. Thus Paba held the key to communication between humans and the crabs that were eating humans for breakfast.

Paba pleaded with the crabs of Rasula to break its only 30 year old neutrality policy to help fight the other crabs that were eating up humans all over the mainland. They said that if Rasula did not help, the crabs of Litila could just as easily take over the entire ocean and destroy Rasula. But Rasula reaffirmed its neutrality, stating that Litila considered killing a crab to be a crime, and had promised Rasula would be spared. Crabs all had nations on the ocean floor, and Litila had promised not to expand its ocean territory; they just wanted to expand their land territory to include all of the places where humans lived.

Moreover, Rasula stated, although they had fought many wars before, they had never fought against other crabs. Rasula predicted that any humans who moved to Rasula would be safe, though this was too small a nation to support a sizable human population in addition to its many crabs.

By now, most humans believed that the crab invasion had, in fact, been directly caused by Rasula's promise a few decades earlier to remain neutral in all wars. Crabs had been around for thousands of years, and had always been much stronger than humans, and generally when they fought against humans in a war, they won. But there had never before been an invasion of crabs that began on land, and never before an army of enslaved humans supporting those crabs every step of the way as they ate more and more people (originally, Litila had been a human/crab cooperative, and those humans supported the crabs until the very end). They thus believed that crabs in Litila had been wanting to invade Subumpam for a long time, perhaps as much as 700 years (Litila had been founded in the 1900s), but had been prevented from doing so because Rasula had always promised to crush the oceanic part of their nation if they tried.

These people called themselves Supī ("soft"), essentially admitting that they were helpless and needed crabs to fight for them. They promised to enslave themselves to the crabs of Rasula forever if they would only get rid of the crabs of Litila.

Unconventional battle methods

Some humans figured that trying to outmuscle the crabs was hopeless since it seemed that humans were so pathetic that the crabs were actually helped by humans' aggression against them, as it saved the crabs valuable time that would've otherwise been spent looking for food. A new division of the army called Mupu ("food") was created. These were humans who volunteered to be eaten by the crabs, but took with them poisons in the hope that the crabs would eat the poisonous material along with the human body that was carrying it. Thus they had returned to chemical warfare, but were doing it in a much more subtle way now. Some wore leather clothes in the belief that they would be more appetizing to their enemies if they were free of manmade fibers and other plant material.

The people chosen to be the Mupu were generally people who were weak or diseased and figured they had little life left to live anyway. However, some happy healthy people did join the Mupu just because they felt it was the most heroic thing to do.

Previously, crabs had taken human bodies apart piece by piece so that they would not have to eat the humans' clothes along with their flesh. Crabs could eat clothes, as clothes in Paba and Subumpam were simply plant fibers and animal skins, and therefore edible, but the crabs gained no nutrition from these. Likewise, hair was edible but actually made it harder to digest the other food, so hair was avoided (that is why they preferred humans over all of the other larger animals such as deer, monkeys, pigs, etc). Humans in the Mupu battalion needed to make sure that they had a way to ensure that the crabs would eat them whole instead of piecing out the clothes and thus the poisons they carried with them. In some cases, the humans ate their poison immediately before being attacked, but most poison payloads had to be quite large in order to kill a crab, as Paba's chemistry technology had not advanced well enough to have discovered how to isolate poisonous compounds in mushrooms from the mushroooms themselvbes.

Later history

After the war, the human population of this part of the world was so destitute that they did not fight any major wars for another 400 years, and the balance of human power shifted to the colder northern areas of the continent, where large animals had not been affected.

In the early stages of the war, many people had predicted that after the war there would be a major population shift and that afterward, men and women would be the same height but women would be slightly heavier because of their wide hips and broader stance. This came to pass as many of the people who had survived the war had been of the body type in which males were small and fragile, while women were (relatively) tall and powerful.

This population shift led to a slow increase in female empowerment, as women could no longer be outmuscled by a typical, unarmed adult male. However, another shift soon followed: the taboo against assaulting women became weaker with each new generation, as young males felt it reasonable that women and men should be treated equally in a fight, since they were of equal physical strength. Even so, the incidence of sexual assault and domestic violence against women in the early Vegetable Age was much lower than it had been in most societies before.

Resettlement of Subumpam

With the defeat of the crabworms the humans finally felt safe moving back into Subumpam. Subumpamese culture had been essentially destroyed except for a small portion of the people who had fled into the mountains (but not into Litila) early on and escaped the crabworms' claws. Some of these moved further on to the fringes of the polar icecap (the planet was still recovering from a long glacial period, so the icecap reached as far as 34N at sea level in some areas). Others moved westward into territory that was still entirely Repilian aboriginals who were nominally part of Nama but had little contact with its government.

But most people preferred to live in warm climates. When possible, Subumpamese-speaking survivors of the war usually preferred to move back to where they had been before, even if it was now entirely devoid of animal life and with plant life struggling to survive in poisoned soil. Apart from a few fortress settlements such as Pamper that had been created by the Pabap army, any Subumpamese people moving back to Subumpam kept the original names of their cities and states.

The Tarpabap soldiers who were living in Subumpam at the end of the Crab War established a new military government in Subumpam that acknowledged the existence of a prior Subumpamese civilian government but felt that the Subumpamese government had been too weak in suppressing violent opposition within its own territory and needed to be overseen by a more aggressive authority. They actually said it was good for the ruling class to be of a different religion and culture than the civilian class, since they would be more strict on crime and political dissent than a government in which the poorest people were closely related to the richest. Thus, they officially endorsed the continuation of the rule of the Pabap royal family in Paba, now that the Tarpabaps had a kingdom of their own. Although Pabaps were moving into Subumpam now as well, they were doing so in their traditional role as a naval power that accumulated wealth through trade, and did not attempt to gain formal control of the government. Because they were no longer under the jurisdiction of Paba, the Tarpabaps living in Subumpam renamed themselves Merar (a long forgotten name that they had previously used in the tropics).

The Merar declared themselves the true heroes of the war, since they were the only ones who had rushed westwards to fight the crabs while everyone else, including the Pabaps who had ruled over them for more than two thousand years, had rushed away from them in terror. Thus they considered Subumpam their war prize, as Subumpam would have ceased to exist without their help. They abolished the Subumpamese language, along with all of the other minority languages that had previously had been spoken in Subumpam, and replaced it with their own language, a dialect of Pabappa known as Tarpabappa. However, due to their cultural separation from Paba, this soon became a wholly separate language in its own right. (Still, because Paba had remained a world power, they often learned Pabappa in addition. Likewise, they remained committed to the Yiibam religion as they saw no alternative at this time.)

The Subumpamese moving back into Subumpam were depressed that their nation seemed to have a history of switching from being dominated by one foreign power to being dominated by another. The Merar, however, told the Subumpamese that the Merar belonged in Subumpam and nowhere else, and had severed all ties to their cousins in Paba. They claimed the government of Paba was unfair because its land army was made up almost entirely of people from the Merar ethnicity, while the Pabaps almost never entered the army yet had full government control. (Although the ruling class in Paba was just a small subset of the Pabap people, the fact that they exempted Pabaps from military service gave the Merar the impression that they nonetheless favored their fellow Pabaps over the Tarpabaps.) The Merar promised that the army in Subumpam would not be just a single race of people; it would be open to everybody. This was possible largely because the Subumpamese people were much more similar in body type to the ruling Merar people: they were smaller, but not by much. Moreover, many of the Merari soldiers married Subumpamese women, even women who already had Subumpamese children but whose husbands had died, and thus at least some Subumpamese were adopted into the ruling class. This did not happen with Pabaps, neither the ones who had stayed in Subumpam all along nor the ones who were moving in to settle unused land. Even in the wake of the world's worst war, the old taboo against Tarpabaps marrying Pabap women remained as strong as ever. Many Pabaps feared that they would be stuck in a subservient role if they attempted to move into mainstream Subumpamese society now; they had been hoping that Paba would be allowed to annex all of Subumpam, with Pabaps as the ruling class yet again and Tarpabaps dominating the military. But Pabaps now were glad to just be alive and for the time being did not worry about their new inferior social status.

The new Merari government of Subumpam also blamed Nama for the war, saying that Nama was so tolerant of obvious threats to the existence of other nations that they had themselves become a threat. Nama had allowed Litila to strongly influence the government of Nama, preventing Nama from taking action even when it became obvious that a million humans were at risk of being cut open and juiced by crabs. Thus, Subumpam declared independence from Nama (it had been de facto independent for about 50 years now, but had never been formally released) and also cut ties with its mirror nations in northern Nama, saying that they were now controlled by foreign (i.e. Subumpamese) parties.

At this point it became clear that Paba really did prefer that the Tarpabaps stayed in Paba, and were not afraid of being dominated by them, because they pled for those Tarpabaps who were still living in Paba to stay there and promised to try to work out a more equitable distribution of roles for the two groups in Pabap society and its military, although they still even now pointed out that many Pabaps had also died in the war, and did so generally in a most shameful position: they were eaten alive by crabs, helpless to fight back, whereas the Tarpabap soldiers had mostly gone down fighting. The Pabaps in Paba hoped that Subumpam would agree to limit the number of Tarpabaps moving to Subumpam so that both empires could share their common culture. Such a huge portion of the Tarpabap population, however, had been deployed to Subumpam or elsewhere outside Paba that Paba's Tarpabap majority had shrunk to 40% of the total, and it consisted mostly of the elderly and younger women who presumed themselves to be war widows and were unlikely to remarry and have children. Thus the Tarpabap population was set to shrink to just the size of its child population, which was a mere 5% as the husbands had mostly already been deployed during the early stages of the war and therefore almost no new births had taken place in Paba. (The Pabap birthrate had also been low during the war, but among Pabap civilians, men and women were sheltered together.)

Many of the younger Tarpabap women moved to Subumpam now in search of their husbands who had decided to stay in Subumpam, but found that many of these had already married Subumpamese women. This was not necessarily a betrayal, as all three cultures (Pabap, Tarpabap, Subumpamese) allowed polygamy, and the Tarpabap leaders had declared that Subumpam was their new home and they were not planning to ever return even to find their old families.

Aftermath in Thaoa

Meanwhile, Paba declared itself the ruler of Thaoa, and said that htey would never pull their army out of Thaoa. They did not want to oppress the Thaoans, they just merely wanted to stop any potential attacks from Thaoa against Paba. They also promised a fair food distribution situation for the two nations: one would feed the other whenever it encountered a famine. Currently, Paba was in a state of famine because of the deaths of almost all its animals and the poisoning of many of its rivers, so they needed to take food from Thaoa to make up for that. They promised to return the favor if the situation ever reversed itself. THus THaoa became very poor. Note that the army occupying Thaoa was also almost entirely made up of the tall, dark Tarpabap people, not the short blonde Pabap people, but that there was much less animosity between the two groups here than there had been in Subumpam.

Merar invade Oysterland

The Merari army invaded the Oyster Empire in 2668, claiming that the eastern half of the Oyster Empire had become theirs when the Stars signed their surrender treaty in Subumpam. But the Stars claimed that they had already conquered the Oyster Empire before the Crab War and had only surrendered the land that they had occupied during the Crab War. This area still had a Lenian majority, and thus the war in eastern Oysterland now had four sides: the Stars, the Swords, the Merari, and the Lenians.

The Stars had invaded Oysterland to claim it for the Star Empire, and focused their attention on the wealthier eastern areas. They were the true aboriginals of eastern Oysterland, but considered this irrelevant to their ideology, since they had just invaded Lenia.

The Swords were former allies of the Oysters who had defected to the Stars early on, but then became independent when they realized that the Stars saw them as a junior partner in the alliance.

The Merari were recent invaders who had conquered Subumpam and then crossed the sea to add the Oysters to their empire.

The Lenians had an absolute majority, but because they were the civilian population of the area, their adult males were outnumbered by the three invading tribes. Most Lenians did not want to fight, and hoped that the three dark-skinned tribes would whittle each other down without dragging the Lenians into the war. Most Lenian men were nonetheless planning to move to Nama with their families and fight off the aboriginals of Nama as they fled the aboriginals of Oysterland.

A fifth tribe called Tʷotahìha also moved into the Oyster Empire at about this time,[8] and settled mostly in the hot lowlands. They were dark-skinned people similar in appearance to the Merari, and were very tall.

New nations in the north

The human population density in around 35N 40E was still very low, and humans in many areas were not even the dominant species. This led to an era in history where humans were fighitning mostly agaiunst animals instead of other humans, although complex wars with human+animal teams fighting other human+animal teams also occurred. In the frigid north, the primary inhabitant was the penguin. Slightly further south, there were rabbits, wolves, eagles, and firebirds (a seagull-like bird). In the water, there were a few dolphgins, but they lived a difficult life because they were walled in by ice on one side and land on the other, and could not escape back to the wider ocean. (They had moved in during an unusually warm series of summers in which the sea ice partly melted and the water was at its most bountiful.)

Penguins did not normally attack humans, but all of the other large animals did. Rabbits were the most dangerous, because they were as vegetarian as humans were, and therefore competed for the same food sources. They also commonly lived in cities, as did humans. Wolves were also very dangerous, but considered humans a third-tier food source as humans were much smaller than the prey they liked to eat. Eagles and firebirds considered humans their absolute ideal food source, but eagles found the climate too cold to live in and firebirds had a difficult time getting to this area from their homes on the other side of the icecap. Dolphins were natural allies of humans, having known about them for many tens of thousands of years because they had seen them on Laba, but the dolphins living here were in danger of starvation and did not even attempt to be friendly towards humans. It is notable that most of the animals that reached local dominance were predators that had out-competed all of the other animals including the other predators. Humans and rabbits were incapable of being predators, and acheieved dominance by artifically strengthening themselves by building cities and learning to use weapons (although rabbits were disadvantaged because of their shape, they could nevertheless use and handle weapons such as swords.) Another example of a non-predatory dominant species was the hedgehog, although humans for the most part were not familiar with hedgehog-only civilizations yet; they had only seem them living in the woods around humans.


  1. see STRAWB.doc page 36 ... it is given as DRG, but the location is unclear .... it cannot be another name for Lobexon because Lobexon is described as being across the sea from it. It would appear that it is the same territory that later became Kebanq, which at that later time was part of Nama. But it is difficult to imagine how a nation confined the territory of Kebanq could have managed to hold the Oysters down on an island. It may thus be that Kebanq is itself a mistake, and that when the Swamp Kids took over Kebanq they really took over the entirety of Paba.
  2. Book_H.doc p. 19, says "Atlam" joined the war, but it was no longer independent.
  3. name given in Old Atla
  4. A tiny nation far out to sea between Paba and the east coast of the Oyster Empire. Possibly identical to Sulasali.
  5. This is the "Card" nation.
  6. Note that the names like Lanitta and MS signify regional languages, and are unrelated to other societies that shared the same names.
  7. This is usually just called Paba, but when specifically referring to the city itself rather than teh empire it ruled, Paba Biospum can be used.
  8. but the date is vague and it may have been very gradual