- 1 Details on naming
- 2 Background
- 3 Background
- 4 Play era
- 5 First 25 years
- 5.1 Declaration of Empire
- 5.2 Views on wine and alcohol
- 5.3 Democracy
- 5.4 The Battle of the Sexes
- 5.5 First meetings with the Raspara
- 5.6 Raspara propaganda and consolidation of power
- 5.7 Raspara plans for domination
- 5.8 Six-party talks
- 5.9 Exploration of Rasparia and Repilia
- 5.10 Bee Invasion of 4156
- 5.11 Early secessions
- 5.12 First Play war
- 5.13 Raspara propaganda in the cities
- 5.14 Swamp Kids split
- 5.15 Second Play war
- 5.16 Treaty of 4173
- 5.17 4174 war
- 5.18 The Unholy Alliance
- 5.19 Crystal secession
- 5.20 Exploration of the north
- 6 Raspara-Swampy relations
- 6.1 Raspara gains in Tata
- 6.2 Contacts in Sikel
- 6.3 Preparations for war
- 6.4 Gapeyes (The Honeypot War)
- 6.5 The Treaty of Mimala
- 6.6 Matrix-Swampy relations
- 6.7 Role of the Soap Bubbles
- 6.8 Zenith-Swampy relations
- 7 The Volcano War
- 8 The Pempsa War
- 9 Dreamland-Swampy relations
- 9.1 Persistence of the Raspara and Swamp Kids in the East
- 9.2 Matrix-Swampy alliance
- 9.3 Matrix plans
- 9.4 Swampies invade Dreamland
- 9.5 Raspara and Swampies in Tata
- 9.6 Post-war treaties
- 9.7 Raspara aggression
- 9.8 Xeman invasion
- 10 Despair
- 11 The Little Country
- 12 Rapala
- 13 Notes
Details on naming
Both Tinks and Swamp Kids are corrupt names in the sense that, like the Crystals, they reference world-external concepts that cannot be worked into the world-internal etymologies. Red Rainbow may be corrupt as well. The Tink name was Neuyubu in Play but this is a proper noun, unlike most party names of the era, and cannot easily be represented in English. A possible replacement name for the Swamp Kids is Kīutūau, a term describing them as if they already lived in the core of the swamp. This, too, would be difficult to translate into English.
- NOTE: Remember also that their later stage used the acronym EE3, with the first E standing for Embryo. Thus, the Swamp Kids were not identifying as "kids" in the sense of young children, nor even as babies, but as the unborn.
Returning to very old writing may provide better names for the groups, though problems remain. In the very earliest (on paper) writeup, the Zeniths were called Masons, the Crystals were called Feminists, the Matrixes were called Grids, and the Soap Bubbles were called the Snowmen, but yet, even here, the Swamp Kids did not have a party name and were simply referred to by their tribal name Čufuvega.
The Swamp Kids could have named themselves after a type of mushroom, and though the true party name would have been specific, this could nevertheless translate into English as Mushrooms or Mushroom Helmets. This name would have clear sexual overtones, but this would not be seen as improper, as party names such as Womb Justice existed at the time.
Note that the Spine party name may be correct after all, though it is an extremely loose translation and would have equally well described a faction of the Play party; it means clothed, but in the sense of using clothes as armor.
The Swamp Kids (Play: Nuaaā), also known as the Tinks (Mauppačue) and the Spines (Imata), were a political organization founded in Vaamū in the year 4149. The founding members of the party were men who worked manufacturing weapons and were so efficient that all other weapon manufacturing businesses went bankrupt. Thus, they had achieved a monopoly, and therefore had the power to overthrow their own bosses and face off against the Army if the bosses pled to them for help.
In some ways, the Swamp Kids strongly resembled the Zenith. Like the Zenith, the Swamp Kids believed in a male-dominated society that locked women out of power completely. Like the Zenith, the Swamp Kids were founded near Paba but envisioned their people aggressively punching westward through the continent towards their goal of conquering Baeba Swamp. The Swamp Kids realized this, and stated that they were definitely not the Zenith and never would be. Whereas the Swamp Kids were united by their monotheistic religion, the Zenith was religiously diverse but generally excluded people who believed in Swamp-like religions as they felt that such religions would lead people to be loyal to their god instead of their political allies.
Likewise, the Swamp Kids were unpopular with their own women because of their anti-feminist philosophy, but the Swamp Kids believed that putting power in the hands of women, even at the level of a household, would weaken their men and that they needed their men to be strong to survive in a war. For cultural reasons, they actually referred to their males as boys and kids, reserving the words for adults for the upper class of the Swampy leaders, and their women sometimes believed that this made the rank-and-file Swamp "boys" afraid that formal legal equality between the sexes would in fact mean absolute female domination. There was no similar split pronoun usage such as referring to common women as "girls" and leaders as "women" because they did not allow female leaders to exist.
For their entire existence, the Swamp Kids were at war, sometimes with as many as six different enemies, and although the Swamp Kids were among the most violent societies ever founded, they were far more often the victims of violence than the aggressors. They inhabited the world's largest empire during the world's most violent time period. They had taken it from an alien invader who had had difficulty keeping all of its many constituent peoples obedient to the centralized government, and when the Swamp Kids became the only one of the many oppressed peoples in the empire to defeat their occupiers, they inherited all of the occupier's problems and many new ones.
The Swamp Kids practiced a religion that combined extreme asceticism with extreme hatred of all who did not meet their almost impossible ethical standards. Being ascetic made their hatred much more powerful because they were clear-minded and would not be distracted by worldly pleasures, and also because they would be less vulnerable to pain. Pain satisfied these people and made them believe that their lives were justified. Thus, the Swamp Kids ended their ancestors' long relationship with wine.
This religion was called Anzam. Anyone who believed was considered equal to the other believers. Anzam believers had a ceremony in which all of the believers in one community would get together and capture some unbelievers (usually Matrixes or Rasparas at this time) and tie them up in the middle of a circle of marching Anzamists. The Anzamists would hyperventilate and "burn off all their love" for the captured enemies and slowly beat them to death while marching around to happy but aggressive dance music. They believed that love was a tool for making their enemies weak, and saw that love was so deadly that they could not have any of it if they were to be able to be the aggressors against the Rasparas and Matrixes.
Language and culture
The Swamp Kids originated from a tribe of Pabaps calling itself the Paaapa. The Paaapa historically were Andanese, and had retained the Andanese language when the Andanese population en masse had declared itself to be merely a collection of tribes of Pabaps rather than a nationality of its own. However, Bābākiam was their primary language and Andanese was maintained mostly for religious use and to a lesser extent as shorthand for Paaapa doing business with other Paaapa. (Even though the Andanese language is more long-winded than Pabappa due to its even smaller phonology, Andanese developed a compact 30-letter syllabary at a time when Pabappa was still using an alphabet. Thus, any Andanese writing was generally shorter than its Pabappa translation.)
Paaapa was Pabappa for "dark-haired", which was unusual among Pabaps. However, as they evolved from a tribe into a political party, though they still often used the name Paaapa, they came adopt the body types of all of the other people around them. Still, few non-Pabaps joined the Swamp Kids, so they remained for the most part a group of Pabaps that spoke Pabappa.
Role of the Raspara
- See AlphaLeap.
The Swamp Kids were founded in a very violent time. Their nation, Vaamū, was currently being occupied by a foreign army calling itself Raspara. Similar to the Tarwastas, the Raspara people were far taller than the people they ruled over, and they had decided to rule from and mostly live in Paba, whose people were the shortest of all. The Raspara were slightly more than 1% of the population in Vaamū, but they had the other 99% literally under their feet. Unlike many other minorities, the Raspara also had a physical nation of their own in the north, in which they had been a strong majority even during the occupation by AlphaLeap.
The Raspara had taken Vaamū from a series of previous occupiers originally led by AlphaLeap. AlphaLEAP had oppressed the Raspara more harshly than other groups, partly because their large physical size intimidated the Leapers and partly because the Raspara seemed to be fond of starting fights with their oppressors.
The Four Quarters Empire
AlphaLeap had originated the empire, which they called Halasala, the "Four Quarters Empire", by forcibly uniting the four empires of the Crystals, the Thunderers, the Subumpamese, and the Pabaps. (Ordered from west to east.) Three of these four empires had been the largest in the world at their peak, and thus the combined Empire of Halasala very was large indeed. Thus when the Swamp Kids seized power in 4149, they gained the deed to more than half of the land in the world. However, they were a small army that had overthrown a similar small army, because all of the governmental power was based in the area around Paba. Thus, for the early years of the Swampy government, "resistance" covered more than 90% of their territory, although as above, these resistors had natural resources but no official army and little tangible power.
Much of Vaamū, including the capital territory where the government had changed hands so many frequently, had been the pacifist empire of Paba for three thousand years, but late in their history the miracles of diplomacy that had saved them over and over from being conquered by their much more aggressive neighbors finally stopped. Paba's reaction to this was not to raise an army, but to submit completely to simultaneous invasions from all of its neighbors. The royal family had been in charge of declaring war, and they responded to the invasions by hiding out in their fortified castles hoping that they would be spared from the invasion.
For the next two hundred years, Halasala changed hands from one abuser to the next as no outside army was willing to let any other outside army have total control. The only positive change was that racial conflict in Halasala had entirely stopped, as the many different invaders had come from many different ethnic groups and all had agreed to abuse only the natives and not turn against each other.
War with Tarwas
Around 4130, the Anchor Empire's ruling Play party sent about 1600 explorers to Tarwas (called Kavava at the time). They wanted to conquer Tarwas but were not sure such a war would be winnable. They were frightened by the natural environment and wildlife, and the frequent occurrence of fires due to the lesser rainfall on the north side of the Sučithasi mountains. They were also afraid of the inhabitants of Tarwas, who were physically much stronger than the Players.
The first Play explorers were pitiably overmatched. At one point, the Tarwasta natives had to rescue an encampment of unarmed Players from an attack by bears. But even so, the Players returned to their homeland and began to talk about invading the people who had rescued them. As the insurgent Raspara party displaced the Players, they promoted the earlier plan for war and pushed Players onto the front line of battle. By 4141 the Play soldiers conquered Tarwas and put Players in charge of the government.
The Tarwastas had previously considered the Anchor Empire an unstable and very weak nation. They were surprised at the military efficiency of the small Play soldiers and at their intelligent battle methods. As it had been for the last two thousand years, Tarwas was relatively poorly defended on its southern and western borders, because they figured there could be no major threat from that region. Few Tarwasta military generals took seriously the possibility that the Players would attack them, even as Players suffered violence and oppression in their homeland at the hands of the Raspara.
Even in the humiliation of defeat, the dethroned Tarwasta leaders told their people to refrain from violence against their occupiers, saying that one kick to the face could easily be fatal to a Play soldier. They told the Tarwastas to think of the Players as a nation of misbehaving children who needed to grow up just a little bit more so they could escape their abusive parents. They even promised the Players that they would soon be welcome in Tarwas, so long as they turned the reins of the government back over to the previous all-Tarwasta governors.
But the Play army soon enslaved all of Tarwas. They forced the Tarwastas to work hard for them and did not pay them anything other than basic necessities such as food and clothing. Even though this was the same type of slavery the Raspara were inflicting on the Players in the Players' homeland, the Tarwastas were not used to it, and were not happy. Some people broke the taboo and killed their slavemasters, and the Players realized how delicate their situation was. Even in a handicapped fight in which the Players were armed and the Tarwastas unarmed, they were still at a disadvantage. They had not had a problem invading Tarwas because Tarwas' army was small and was vastly outnumbered by the Players, but the people within Tarwas were proving difficult to subdue. But even so, more Players fled into Tarwas each month to escape the chaos of their homeland, and the Tarwasta slaves responded by increasing their violence against their Play masters.
In 4142, the Tarwastas staged a united slave revolt, and attacked the Play governors. Although they were slaves, they were heavily armed and prepared for battle. However, they could not defeat the governors, whose population had grown so quickly that in many areas they now outnumbered the natives. These "governors" were mostly Play refugees who lived close to nature and did not own slaves, but still took supplies from the Players who did own slaves. And so the slave revolt failed, and the militants were forced to retreat to the wilderness as well, particularly hilly areas, forests, and areas that had not been settled and were difficult to control. Meanwhile, the bulk of the Tarwasta population accepted rule by the Play party, and Tarwas became a new state in the expanding Anchor Empire. However, many Tarwastas escaped their captors and began talking to other possible dissenter groups within the empire, such as the Crystals in the state of Amade. Amade was in the southwest Quarter of the Empire, thus cut off from the Player cities, which were mostly in the southeast with a few new ones appearing in the northeast. They had been friendly to the Players simply because they saw them as natural allies, but now they had decided to sign an alliance instead with the Players' enemy, Tarwas.
In 4143, the leaders of a group of Vaamūans called the Flower Bees (Sui si, also called "Bees"), who were one of the most powerful groups at the time, ordered a full reinstatement of the pre-Raspara government, but only for the Bees. All non-Bees, they said, would be killed. The Bees had their roots in the western area of the Anchor Empire, primarily Subumpam.
The Bee leaders were teenagers who had been born during the recent famine and had spent their early childhood helping their parents develop plans to overthrow the Leapers. The Leapers did not allow education, so the children could not read or write, and most could not count beyond ten. When the Play army overthrew the Leapers, the children rejoiced, and when the Players also conquered Dreamland, the children grew even happier. But their fortunes soon turned for the worse as a famine set in and the Play government forced children to spend their days fishing dangerous waters in order to feed their parents. Soon, many children fled their homes and set up an illegal fishing club that opposed fishing and called for a return to the farming-based plantation labor system that AlphaLeap had used. Thus the Flower Bees were born.
The Bees considered themselves loyal to their nation, but not to the Play party. They remembered hearing a promise from the Play military planners that once Dreamland had been conquered, the rest of the world would soon fall as well. Thus, as the Bees grew into teenagers, they became impatient as they realized they would have to make their childhood dream come true with no outside help. Therefore, the boys and girls of the Bees gathered together and declared war on the world.
But the rank and file of the Bees would not agree to the new plan, and instead they revolted and killed their leaders. This was the beginning of a trend in Anchor society, as the underclass came to realize that their leaders were not invincible, and could be overruled by large crowds of otherwise powerless people. Assassinations of leaders increased over the next few years until the leaders were forced to speak to their workers from a safe distance or use only written communication. This, however, served to decrease citizens' confidence in their leaders, and the leaders of many groups responded with stricter discipline.
In 4144, Tarwas reached its 2000th anniversary while under the thumb of the Vaamūan occupiers.
First civil war
In 4145, a civil war erupted in the Empire. The Bees, who now had come to believe that it was God's will for them to kill all non-Bees as soon as they could, had focused their attention on the Raspara, and a group of pro-Raspara Andanese called the Kakalakakamalila. The Bees outnumbered the Raspara, but the Raspara were viewed with much less suspicion by the other groups.
Second civil war
But the Bees were quickly eliminated, and the center of conflict shifted to a second civil war between the Raspara and another army called the Laaatalalatataaa, a former ally of the Bees who had stayed quiet during the last war. But most of the Laaatalalatataaa had already been reached by other political ideas, and they too turned against their leaders, and assassinated them, thus creating yet another victory for the Raspara.
For the most part, the Tarwastas did not feel comfortable beating up on people two feet shorter than them, even when those people were claiming to be at war with Tarwas. However, the Crystals considered the Players fair game and encouraged the Tarwastas to join the war with a full army so that the two powers could crush the Players between them and put a stop to the Players' endless stream of chaos. The two invading parties agreed to a pact to assume that there would be no traitors in this war, and to allow any person appearing to be of the Crystal or Tarwas army onto the other side. They predicted that many Tarwastas would flee into Amade once Amade had secured a safe pathway through the Empire for them to go.
Aided by the Crystals' superior weapon technology, by 4145 Tarwas had overthrown the Player occupation government, although they did not kill the governors or force them to leave. They figured that the Players were harmless once disarmed, and that even if they managed to manufacture wooden spears and swords they would still be harmless without the wider Play army helping them out. They still believed the entire 12 year occupation had been the fault of the Raspara, who had abused the Players so badly that they had no choice but to invade.
Tarwas did not invade the Anchor Empire, as they had no interest in a country that was both much poorer and much more violent than their own. Indeed, many Players chose to remain in Tarwas, figuring that even if Tarwas decided to enslave them they would still be better off than they had been in their own country. These Players were able to survive quite well without the Tarwasta slaves, as they had come from a society in which they were all enslaved anyway.
Tarwas thus celebrated the 2001st anniversary of their foundation as a nation by granting citizenship to the Players still living in their territory. However, the Anchor Empire was looking ever more violent, and the Tarwastas wanted to move the Players deeper into Tarwas or to other nations for fear that the wider Play army was about to invade yet again and that the Players they had selflessly protected would give in to racial sympathies and side with the invaders.
Third civil war
The Raspara army saw that they seemed to have more popular support among the roughly 2 million citizens than all the other armies combined, and so they declared war on all other armies, including the Crystals. They claimed they were going to reunite the nation under Raspara principles. The war was fought in 4147, a date the Raspara promised would be relabeled as 0.
The Raspara army took over the weapons production of their territory, and killed the soldiers in opposing armies with terrifying efficiency. Just four days after the war had started, it was over, and two thirds of their enemies lay dead on the ground. The survivors were so terrified of the Raspara that the Raspara took the opportunity to abuse and overwork them. Meanwhile, they moved their weapons factories deeper into their territory, so that a rebel army would not be able to kill Rasparas the way Rasparas had just killed rebels.
The Raspara realized that as they killed more and more of their internal enemies they were making themselves more and more vulnerable to invasion from their neighbor, Tarwas. Although Tarwas and the Rasparas shared a hatred for the common people of the Empire, the Tarwastas were a much more peaceful people, who even when invaded and then enslaved by the Play army took pity on the Players and realized they were invading to escape a far worse oppression in their own homeland. The Rasparas figured that Tarwas must realize that had the Rasparas never existed, Tarwas would have never been invaded or enslaved. They realized they needed to stop killing their internal enemies so they could force them to invade Tarwas and then turn it over to the Raspara.
Raspara hold control
The Raspara used their large physical size as an advantage in two ways. First, being tall made them stronger and therefore better soldiers. More importantly, however, they were glad to be tall because now that they controlled fully the manufacture of all weapons and armor in their nation, they could force their workers to produce only weapons that were too heavy for the workers to hold, and armor that they could not fit into. All weapons were taken from the surviving people and destroyed since they were good only as playthings for the Raspara children. Now, the only weapons any non-Raspara people were allowed to own were kitchen knives with blades about the length of a human hand.
The Raspara were aware, however, that being tall made them stick out in a crowd, and that their skin was as thin as all the other humans' skin, which meant they were susceptible to being stabbed by passers-by who had targeted them purely for being Rasparas. They tried to force their workers to produce clothes that were not as thick as armor, but would nevertheless be strong enough to prevent a knife blade from getting through. But animal skins were the only thing they could find, and animal skins were not that much more reliable against sharp objects than human skin was.
Nevertheless, the Raspara people completely dominated all of the other people underneath them. Since hunting was impossible for a human with no weapons, the Raspara had to take over control of all hunting programs. This meant a higher risk of death for them than before, but the Raspara saw that many animals were roaming through major cities now and eating fleeing people. The people could not fight back because they didn't have any weapons. The Raspara decided to tolerate this because it was very rare for a Raspara person to get attacked by these animals.
Birth of the Tinks
Fourth civil war
The Raspara army was now far more repressive than they had been before, and they managed to stay in power for nearly two years before a fourth civil war broke out. This time, the conflict was between the Raspara and their workers; the more than 500,000 workers who were still alive claimed they were being abused and wanted to take control of the government themselves and have a direct democracy.
The Raspara were terrified. Their slaves were mostly much too young and uneducated to run a government, and they knew that if they did not win this war then the Anchor Empire would be doomed. The Raspara were strong enough to take on their whole nation, however, and they were prepared to do just that. In mid-4149, the Raspara army attacked their workers directly.
But what they didn't realize was that their workers were not quite as dumb as they had become convinced; it was the Raspara who had made the most stupid move here. The workers had become so efficient at producing weapons that all of the other armories had shut down, and the slaves now had a total monopoly on the production of dangerous weapons. Thus, the Raspara could not turn to any other supplier to defend themselves against their slaves. While the Raspara were busy discovering they had been tricked, the slaves' army, called the Tinks, seized power in a well-planned scheme.
The Tinks were much weaker, per capita, than the Raspara, but had the advantage of a total lock on supplies of weapons and armor. Most of the Tinkers were descended from Pabap people, and therefore were too small to wear the armor that they themselves were producing, but they had some success holding their swords and spears. But even so, they immediately set forth producing smaller-sized versions of the weapons and armor that they had previously been making for the Raspara. Some Tinkers defected to the Raspara, noting that the Tink leaders were protecting themselves at all costs and not participating in the fighting. But the Tinks eventually conquered both the Raspara and the few pro-Raspara Tinks, and created a new nation they called Anzan after the Andanese people that made up much of its population.
First 25 years
The winners of the war were the Tinks (Mauppačue); the leaders of the revolt were some of the oldest people in their nation. They enacted a law stating that nobody under the age of 50 could hold political office, and that they preferred people who were over 60. This was because they had been oppressed and denied education for more than 40 years and did not want to promote into power people who could not spell their own names or count to ten.
They claimed that their age gave them wisdom, and that they were the only ones old enough to remember what life had been like when they had just defeated AlphaLeap. However, they realized that their children and grandchildren were much more powerful and more numerous than the original Tinks, and planned to hand over power to a newer generation as quickly as possible. They again abolished child labor and offered free education for the entire population, including adults who had missed out on it because they were slaving away on plantations in the south.
Even those few Tinks who were old enough to have been alive when education had been available had been kept in the dark for forty years about their nation's politics, and did not even realize that their war with Tarwas had ended four years earlier until they sent out explorers on diplomatic missions to the nations around them. They immediately apologized to Tarwas for the war, saying that they were not in control of their nation at the time, and encouraged Tarwastas to move into the Tinker Empire and join the new, growing nation. Meanwhile they also encouraged the defeated Players still hiding out in Tarwas to move back home to the Empire now that the slavery was over.
Declaration of Empire
The Tinks restored a government they referred to as "the Empire" (Late Andanese milikihu; Bābākiam mivišifu). This was a term that had previously been used by the STW corporation as an insult, but the Tinkers considered it as praise for a government that had been much stronger and yet more peaceful than any of the many governments that had followed. Another name the Tinks used for their territory was Anzan.
This was the first time in all of history that the Andanese people had had their own nation. Previously, they had always lived in nations founded by other people, always as an underclass. However, the Raspara people had claimed not only the Andanese home territory of Paba, but also Subumpam, the Thunder Empire, and the Crystal Empire. When the Tinks had overthrown the Raspara, they had defeated the entire Raspara leadership: the Raspara soldiers did not simply flee into hard-to-reach areas. Thus, all of the land claims to areas outside Paba transferred from the Raspara to the Tinks. This meant that Anzan was very diverse at the time of its founding, since Pabaps were a minority, and Andanese were just a subtribe of Pabaps. Thus, people living in Anzan had to be encouraged to consider themselves Andanese.
The Tinkers created a new flag based on the colors of green and magenta. They used arrows in their motif, most often on the military subdivisions' flags. The stereotypical Tink soldier was always wearing thick armor and ample kneepads.
Views on wine and alcohol
The Tinkers entirely banned the production and consumption of alcohol, and stated that any new drugs which arose to replace alcohol would also be banned. The Tinkers' capital city, Săla, was in the core of the planet's best winemaking country, and that wine had made the Pabaps who had lived there before extremely rich and powerful, but now the wine was completely gone. However, wine production had been lower than normal for the preceding fifty years, as the country was constantly at war and vineyards were difficult to defend. When the Tinks took power, many people with ties to the wine industry expected them to pump more money into reviving the vineyards and restoring the winemakers to their former wealth, but were disappointed when they realized that the Tinks were against the production of alcohol even for export to other countries, and that their precious vineyards were about to be burned to the ground to make room for livestock farms.
Since two of the 30 letters in the Andanese syllabary represented wine glasses, the Tinks repurposed them to just mean glasses in general, whereas previously other drinks had been poured into plain-looking cups and saucers.
Despite naming their new country The Empire, The Tinks had created the world's only true democracy. Theirs was the only nation in which common people could vote for the people who voted on the issues of the day. Even Tinks living outside the Empire could vote as long as they remained citizens of the Empire. However, even though the Tinks allowed multiple political parties in their country, their party was the only one that supported democracy, and therefore their country was in effect a single-party democracy since all of the other parties refused to participate in elections.
They used the "Ikapa" voting system, which tended to overcount victories and thus was seen as unfair, but ikapa did not ever put into power a candidate they felt should have lost. Ikapa worked by counting votes at the city level, so that each city could only vote for one candidate, multiplying that vote by the city's population, and then allowing other cities to throw their votes in with the major cities around them while still also having votes of their own. Thus, the votes of people in large cities were often given much extra weight. The Tinkers did not want to endure the chaos of a closely contested election, so they used mathematics to ensure that all elections, whether between a Tink and an enemy or between two Tinks, would result in lopsided victories whenever possible even if the actual vote was 55% to 45%.
The Battle of the Sexes
Less than a year after Anzan established its role as the second incarnation of the Anchor Empire, a fifth civil war erupted. This time it came from women and girls who objected to the treatment they were given by the all-male government that the Tinkers had established. The Tinkers believed that feminism made men weak, and that weak, submissive men were responsible for the many humiliating invasions of their territory over the last 400 years. Although many men in Anzan considered themselves at peace with their wives, the Tinks actually set up meetings for men where the men who had not yet beaten their wives into complete submission would be beaten by those who had.
The feminist Andanese rebels were helpless to attack the Tinkers, but promised that they would win in the end because they knew that all babies, even boys, needed soft women to survive, and the more the Tinks oppressed them the less soft they would get. They drew depictions of themselves with all the curves of their bodies replaced by sharp corners, saying that, even though they were still female and thus still physically soft and weak, their minds were dangerous, and they would find a way to ensure, metaphorically, that any man who touched them would be cut by their firm, sharp bodies. They promised that there would soon be a Milk War (mama yas) in Anzan, and the winners of the war would be women.
Foundation of the Female Party
The women announced the creation of a new political party they called simply the Female Party (tuepas bisuap), and they began to refer to the Tinkers as the Male Party (nup tuepus bisuap). They said that because their nation was a democracy, they could seize power nonviolently simply by convincing all of the females in Anzan to vote for them, since in Anzan, females outnumbered males by a significant margin. They claimed that although they did not want to oppress males, the sex ratio in their nation meant that any democratic government would give females more power than males. They welcomed males into their party, and told male members that young, single men who voted Female would be able to marry multiple Females at once and be sure that their wives would not cheat on them. Thus, the Females endorsed polygamy, but only if the husband was pro-Female.
Female Party Platform
The Females promised that they would govern their nation according to feminist principles, which to them included a pledge to resist using violence. Even though they lived in a very violent nation in the most violent time period the world had yet known, they said, they would achieve victory entirely by resisting that violence and uniting their people under the power of pacifism. They said that if members of the Male Party attacked them, they would not fight back, and said that they would be sure to achieve victory in the end because they would attract most of the female population into their movement, and they knew that the Males could not run a nation with no female population, or even one in which females were massively outnumbered by males, without facing a steep population decline.
Allegiance to the Crystals
In the end the Tinkers surrendered, thus violating their promise to never deviate from their original philosophy. The victorious all-female rebels renamed themselves the Crystals (Šinap), saying that all other parties were false and that only they were the true Crystals. Thus the oppression of women stopped, and the entire government was opened up to the Crystal leaders.
The Milk War
Once the Crystals became a majority in the new government, they repudiated their parent party's pacifist platform, saying that their new allegiance to the Crystals had superseded their allegiance to the feministic principle of power through peace. They declared that the promised Milk War had begun. The Crystals then ordered all Tink governors to kill themselves and turn over their weapons to the girls.
Facing death either way, enough Tinks complied with the Crystals' orders to put the power of authority firmly in their hands. The new Crystals were almost completely uneducated, and they had no plan for their government. Weeks later, they were attacked by the Tinks.
Third Anchor government
Immediately the Tinks ordered the killing of all "Crystals" and the return of absolute power to the Tinks. They did, however, allow the very few pro-Tink women to have some power in their new government, which they called the Third Anchor Empire.
Civil war against males
But within a few weeks, the Crystals convinced the Tinks they had found a way to turn all babies into girls and thus deprive the nation of its entire male population. The Tinks realized they had been defeated once again, and swapped all their power to the Crystals.
Crystals regain power
The Crystals took power once again, but they could not understand exactly what it was they needed to do to keep the nation working. They had thought that the governors simply gave orders and watched their workers follow the orders. This had been true in earlier eras, when their empire had been richer, but it was true no longer. The Tink governors in fact had worked even harder than the workers themselves; the Crystals had mostly never had power. So they surrendered power to the Tinks, who granted them total control of "women's needs", and partial control over some of the rest of the roughly 150,000 people still surviving in Anzan. They even allowed the girls to have some ability in the Fourth Anchor Empire to recall the Tinks themselves, because they were afraid that a new revolt was about to happen anyway.
Fourth Anchor government
This time the Tinks wasted no time in getting their agenda accomplished. They were running out of weapons, but they figured they still had enough to kill off all of their enemies. They had planned to kill all non-Tinks in the entire country, except for the Crystals. But they had to settle for instead going after only the Crystals, which they immediately set forth to do. The Crystals protested that most of them were females, and if the Tinks killed all the Crystals, then they wouldn't have enough women left to marry. This confused the Tinks, and some of them protested the killing of the girls, but the other Tinks reassured them that what they were doing was right because their empire was very large and their attacks would only affect a small area of land. The Tink commanders told their soldiers to kill their own wives and daughters, promising them that there would always remain enough women in their nation for all the men to start new families. The only women they promised to let live were those who pledged loyalty to the Tinks, and these women could only do so by agreeing to be carried off to a temporary slave camp operated by the male Tink leaders.
Because the Tinks valued obedience to authority even above loyalty to their families, the soldiers largely did as they were told, and killed their wives while they were asleep the next night. As for those who refused, they came home the day after the command had been issued and found that their wives and daughters had instead been killed by other Tinks. The massacre happened very quickly: because the girls were unarmed and could not defend themselves, nearly the entire population was killed within a single day, and the rest had been wounded and captured by the Tink leaders.
Soon, however, the Tink leaders realized that they had a population problem. Most of the men had killed their wives in this battle, and those who were unmarried had killed other men's wives. As they buried their dead, the Tinks realized they had made a dangerous mistake: They had killed so many women that their population was now mostly male. Though there were many females in other areas of the Empire, these places had not yet been subdued by the Tinks, and would not easily cooperate with the Tinks.
The Tinks thus realized that the Crystals had been correct all along that killing their female population would make it difficult to survive; now that the Tinks had killed off all of their girls, they had nobody left to give birth to the next generation of Tinks. The Tink leaders apologized for killing all of the wives and daughters of their soldiers, and promised to find a solution to their population problem as soon as possible.
So the Tinks decided to start killing young boys; they wanted to completely wipe out their population and start completely over again. So the Tinks, with little opposition, attacked and killed all of the unarmed babies and young children that they could find. (They also killed some Raspara living in the wilderness.) One week later, only the Tink leaders, the captured female Crystals, and a small population of babies that they had decided to save remained alive in Tinker-held territory.
The Tinks realized they needed to increase their population rapidly to avoid an invasion. Some female Crystals had only been severely wounded, but not killed, in the battle, and some of these were still alive a few weeks later as the Tinks began to rethink their population policy. Soon, the Tinks established a power-sharing agreement with the wounded Crystals, and they came to call both the girls and themselves Crystals. "Breasts" (a wave pattern with dots in the center of each wave) were added to the flag to show that their new empire was run by both sides of the family.
First meetings with the Raspara
The Tinks' efforts to spread the world's first democracy often got them into trouble. For example, the Raspara party, the largest minority party in the northern parts of the Empire, didn't recognize any of the other parties and preferred to govern its people without any elections. Their official name was the Cold Men, but because other parties had used that name, when they dealt with any other parties they preferred to call themselves the Raspara. This is a Pabappa name; the Leaper name was Laslala and the Andanese Lahilili.
They believed in the philosophy of Rasparism, an ideology created about 400 years earlier detailing the best possible way for a minority ruling class to control and exploit an easily oppressed majority population while keeping that host population strong enough to defend the occupiers in a war, yet weak enough to be unable to throw the oppressors out of power. Rasparism stressed the need for the ruling class to restrain its population growth in order to avoid accidentally becoming a majority, as the resulting shortage of people to abuse would lead to a crisis within the Rasparist ruling class. Thus, Rasparists preferred to settle in nations in which they would be swamped by the much more numerous populations around them.
The Raspara rejected democracy, since they figured that in a democracy the oppressed people could simply vote the oppressors out of power. Previously, the Raspara had been hindered by their struggle for a weak, gullible population to rule over, and had been forced to prey on each other, but when the Raspara heard that they had been conquered by an army calling itself the Tinks, they selected the Tinks as their new hosts and began plans for their climb to power.
The Tinks permitted the Raspara to exist and to run their areas of the nation as they wished, but insisted that the people living in those states must be given the ability to vote for the Tinks. The Raspara agreed to a compromise: they would hold elections and allow their people to vote for the Tinks, but they would ignore the results and always keep the Raspara leaders in power anyway. The Tinks realized their relationship with the Raspara people to their north was going to be a very interesting one.
The Tinks did not allow women to vote, but as above, they were the only party that allowed common people to vote at all, and women generally did not complain about this, as there were other more pressing issues at hand. Even the Raspara party, which the Tinks had overthrown, was legal, although it also did not participate in elections and had no supporters. In fact the Raspara were more of an army than a political party and it seemed to some that the Tinks could not tell the difference.
First Tink envoys to foreign nations
Due to the war, Anzan had lost complete control of its territories in Amade and Tarwas. The Tinkers were curious to see what had happened there, as they saw that in these countries, conditions were even worse than in Anzan. They discovered that Tarwas had declared war on the few Vaamūans still living in Tarwas, and that the Crystal party in Amade, which was now a formal ally of the Tinks because of the "marriage" between the Tinks and their feminist dissenters, had been thrown completely out of power by a new party that had arisen in just the last few years. The Tinkers wanted to avoid a similar situation in their own country, but had no plan.
Raspara propaganda and consolidation of power
The Raspara people were skilled at propaganda, aimed both at their own people and at the Tinks. Privately they told each other that the Tinks were a feeble people, doomed to be exploited by outsider groups with evil, power-seeking intentions, and that the Raspara could do the Tinks a favor by abusing them more gently than the other groups.
The Raspara noted that the Tinkers were ethnically diverse, but most of them claimed to belong to the Paaapa tribe, a subtribe of the Andanese, who were in turn a subgroup of the Pabaps. The Paaapa, the Andanese, and the Pabaps all had in common one trait: they were very short people. Many were also thin and frail even compared to others of their body size, such that basic physical tasks often required the effort of two or more adult males to complete. Quite often, adult men were actually smaller than women.
The Raspara were closely related to the Pabaps in history, but seemed to be securely taller and stronger than the vast majority of the Tinker population. Organized crime, largely perpetrated by members of the Zenith, was becoming a problem in the Tinker-dominated cities of the south, but the Zeniths did not seem interested in setting up shop in the Raspara areas of the north, and the Raspara believed that this was because the Zeniths were afraid of the Raspara. Seeming confirmation of this belief came to the Raspara when adult male Raspara people began moving into Tinker cities and realized that the criminal gangs largely let them be.
The Raspara pointed out that the Tinks referred to their adult males, except for the upper ruling class, as "boys" (taā), and to other groups' adult males as "men", using the term they otherwise reserved for the Tinker ruling class. This fit with a common Tinker saying: "Men make rules, and boys obey them." But Tinkers saw that enemy tribes living in their nation seemed to make their own rules instead of obeying the Tinkers' laws. Therefore, the only men in their society belonged to one of two groups: the men who made the laws, and the criminals who broke them.
The Raspara took note of this linguistic peculiarity, and claimed that just as boys need men to protect them from the many dangers of the world, the Tinks needed the Raspara to protect them from the many enemies they had made in their short time in power.
Laws regarding contact sports
The Raspara noted that minorities were not allowed to compete in any of the Tinkers' few contact sports, such as boxing, wrestling, and šumukam (literally "protection signal"), a game played on a field with a large ball. Officially, the ban was stated to have been placed because the Tinkers were afraid their athletes would be crushed and otherwise injured by the taller, stronger minorities they lived with. The Tinkers pointed out that they were not only the shortest people in their empire, but had a very low muscle mass even for that small height, so that in a boxing match they simply couldn't hit people hard enough to hurt them, and therefore if they allowed minorities to fight Tinks in sports such as boxing the Tinks would never win.
Even though the Raspara were a political party rather than an ethnic group, the Tinks seemed to have inherited their Pabap ancestors' worldview in that they believed that all ethnic minorities were gigantic and heavily muscled people who saw the Tinks as feeble playthings to beat up on and that anyone not calling themselves a Tink was an ethnic minority. The Tinks were open to all ethnicities, and, particularly in their western extremities, had some quite tall people, but they seemed to identify themselves with smallness and childlikeness.
Comparison to Paba
The Raspara wanted to demoralize the Tinks by drawing attention to the many similarities between their nation and Paba. The Tinkers' capital city, Sala, was in historically Pabap territory, and the Tinks had grown their empire from what had been Paba. The Pabaps had for most of their history been pacifists famous for responding to an invasion by inviting enemy soldiers to move into Paba in the hopes that they would calm down and marry Pabap women. Like Pabaps, the Tinks seemed to respect and even admire parasite peoples such as the Raspara wandering around their nation indiscriminately, simply because welcoming minorities into their nation made them feel like they had outside allies. Even the Tinks who loudly beat the drums of war against neighboring nations didn't seem to be bothered that their own army needed to pay a toll because Raspara people had seized all of the available roads.
The Tinkers were not pacifists; indeed they were among the most warlike people in the world at a very violent time. But the Raspara believed that the Pabaps' extreme pacifism and the Tinkers' extreme militarism led to the same result: inability to devote military resources to identify and neutralize dangerous threats within their own home territory. The Raspara admitted that if the Tinks weren't constantly at war, they would have enough soldiers to conquer and perhaps even enslave the Raspara. Thus paradoxically, even though the Raspara wanted the Tinks to win all of their wars so that the borders of the Tinker nation, and thus the Raspara nation, would expand, they didn't want the Tinkers to win so many lopsided victories that they would have enough soldiers left over to swoop in and arrest the Raspara they realized had been the most pernicious enemy all along.
Raspara plans for domination
When the Tinkers had overthrown the Raspara, they had nullified the Raspara's claim to rule anywhere within the Anchor Empire. But the Raspara were well-educated about world history, and claimed that the Raspara would be different from other defeated peoples because they could rise to the top in any society they lived in, as they had in the past. Thus they claimed that the treaty they had signed giving all Raspara territories to the Tinkers was merely the first step in their quest to put the Tinkers at their feet, and that they merely had to wait for the Tinkers to start moving into Raspara-majority areas of their new country for a chance to start abusing the Tinkers.
The Tinkers soon came to call themselves Swamp Kids (Nuaaā) because they wanted to move the capital of their society to Baeba Swamp. The Raspara found this new name amusing, both because of its meaning and because of its sound. Nuaaā (/'nwa.a.a:/) sounded like a cry of pain, and the idea of a rival league choosing a name that highlighted their small physical size and academic naivety suggested to the Raspara that the Swamp Kids would soon find themselves crying quite a lot.
However, the Raspara also believed their home lay in the tropical paradise of Baeba Swamp. When they realized that the Swamp Kids were interested in fighting their way towards the west in order to conquer and settle Baeba, the Raspara realized they could just sit back and watch the Swampies fight their way into Baeba Swamp, eliminating all their enemies on the way, and when the war was over the Raspara would have a clear path to walk on as they moved to Baeba Swamp and kicked the Swamp Kids out of power.
The Raspara flag depicted a red sun, and they said that they would use the sun as a weapon against the Swamp Kids by giving them severe sunburns in Baeba Swamp. They promised to enslave and torture the Swamp Kids for the next 47,000 years. Every diplomatic meeting between the Swampies and the Raspara seemed to consist of the Raspara representative making threat after threat against the Swamp Kids followed by an apology and a request for more Swampy explorers to move north into places like Sìkel where only Raspara people lived.
The Raspara believed that they could conquer Anzan by pure military force while remaining a minority of the population and having no official army. They would live mostly in remote areas, devote inordinate attention to their private militaries, and use their intelligence to squeeze the Tinks for every possible advantage. They took a map of Anzan and drew red slashes all across it, saying that they were going to cut up the land in so many places that even though most of it would be still under the Tinkers' control, they would have so many bleeding wounds that each area under Tink control would be cut off from all the others, with people not daring to travel far outside their houses for fear of being drawn into the nearest massacre. The Raspara figured that if they remained about 7% of the population, with their disproportionate military skill, they could probably occupy about 30% of the land of Anzan, and stated that this would be enough to control the other 70% because the 30% they controlled would be heavily militarized with violence occurring every day while the other 70% would consist of Tinkers cowering under their beds hoping that they were not about to be kidnapped and enslaved.
However, they wanted to maximize the amount of territory that they could acquire while minimizing their own deaths, so the Raspara knew that they had to hold off on the total war for the time being. They knew that a nation with 30% of its territory under occupation by a hostile and very violent minority would be easy prey for an opportunistic invasion by even a relatively weak foreign power. They knew that they needed to cooperate with the Tinkers for the foreseeable present so that the Tinkers could fight wars against neighboring nations to the west in order to increase the size of the nation that the Raspara would later wrest from them. They thus pretended to be peaceful, using their skill with words to convince the Tinks that their camps in the north in which bands of Tinks were enslaved were merely a necessary consequence of having two competing philosophies in the same nation. The Raspara believed in slavery; the Tinks didn't. The result of this, they said, was that the Raspara would abuse and enslave some of the Tinks in accordance with the teachings of Raspara philosophy, and the Tinks would be kind and polite towards all of the Raspara in accordance with the teachings of theirs.
A few months after they took power, the Tinks organized a meeting in the capital city of Săla between representatives of what the Tinks considered to be all of the major parties represented in their new Empire. These groups were the Tinks, the Crystals, the Subumpamese, the Raspara, the Repilians, and the Zenith. The Subumpamese had already privately met with the Tinks and stated that they considered themselves to be Tinks, and not even so much as a faction. But the Tinks invited them to the conference because they wanted to make sure their newborn alliance was sound enough to last many decades.
The Raspara were invited to the conference because the Tinks saw them as a potentially very strong ally, located at the center of the new Empire, and wanted to work out a way that the Tinks and Raspara could peacefully cooperate with each other in their new shared homeland. The Raspara diplomat, named Xogàkʷa, showed up wearing a black robe. Like most Raspara leaders, he was very tall.
The Zenith were invited to the conference because the Tinks knew little about them other than that they had had a painful history and had no homeland of their own, and hoped that they too could become reliable allies of the Tinks. The Zenith diplomat was also very tall.
The Repilian representative was invited to the conference because the Tinks hoped to be granted access to abundant areas of Repilian land in the far north of their Empire and the permission to build all-Tink cities there. The Crystals were invited to the conference because even though there were very few Crystals in the area around Sala, they were a clear majority in the western areas of the Empire, and though the Tinks knew little about what went on there, they had already suffered an uprising amongst their own people (primarily females) claiming loyalty to the Crystals. The Crystal and Repilian diplomats were both women.
Excluded from the conference were minority ethnic groups claiming no allegiance to any party (except for the Repilians, a very nearly monoethnic party), and foreign nations such as AlphaLeap and Tarwas. The Raspara were allowed to attend only because they had convinced the Tinks that they were not the same group of Raspara who had enslaved the Tinks ten years earlier.
The Tinks had called in the conference expecting the other groups to be happy at the Tinks' generosity in giving them a choice in how their new Empire was to be governed, something the previous abusers had never done. But they were shocked by the angry reaction from the Zenith representative from the very beginning of the meeting. The Zeniths refused to recognize the land claims of the Tinker government and claimed that no other party could tell the Zeniths what to do on Zenith-owned land.
Enemies surround the Tinker diplomat
Meanwhile, the Repilians and the Crystals joined the Zenith in denying the Tinkers' claim to the entire empire, though neither was as angry as the Zenith had been. The Zenith, the Repilian, and Crystal representatives had come to the debate table expecting the meeting to be about drawing boundaries between the six parties in the empire, and realized that the Tinkers were laying claim to the empire in its entirety. Meanwhile, the Raspara were content with living in a multiethnic empire whose internal boundaries were legislative only, but did not want to fully hand over power to the Tinks. The Subumpamese representative remained seated and kept quiet, not wanting to give the impression that he was merely a puppet of the Tinker representative. The meeting thus quickly turned into a teamup of the four other parties against the Tinkers. The Tinker sat with his head down and did not speak as the other four representatives yelled at him to take down the map and start over.
The Zenith's main argument was that the Tinks had not conquered the Anchor Empire; they had merely conquered the capital city of Sala and a small area around it, and from there claimed that their conquest of the capital of the old Empire meant that they had conquered the Empire. The Zenith representative pointed out that Zeniths controlled all of the land in the southern part of the Empire not controlled by the Tinks or the Raspara, and that their land was actually greater than the amount of land the Tinks had control over, but that the Zenith had made no claims to Săla or any of the territories held by any of the other armies; they merely wanted a nation of their own, Metàde, for the first time since the era of Nītaga.
The Tink's counterclaim to this was that the Zeniths had done almost no fighting, neither against AlphaLeap nor against the Rasparas nor against any of the other groups that had invaded their territory, simply because the Zeniths lived in deprived areas unneeded and unwanted by most of the occupying armies.
He continued by saying that the Raspara had previously held claim to the entire Empire, but had focused all of their attention on Sala and its environs, and that the Raspara government was so oppressive that it had caused the creation of the Tinks, who immediately overthrew and killed their masters. The Zeniths, by contrast, had existed for thousands of years, and had not significantly changed during the occupation by the Raspara because the Raspara had mostly left them alone. Thus, the Tinks claimed, the Zeniths had no right to own any of the land that the Rasparas had occupied.
Hearing this, the Raspara representative quickly backed out of the shouting match and started defending the Tinkers. He backed down on statements he had made just a few minutes earlier, saying that his initial support for the Zenith's arguments was due to his belief that the Zenith had fought harder than the Tinks in the war that overthrew the abusive Rasparas (whom he claimed to have disowned). The Raspara's switching sides encouraged the Subumpamese representative to also start speaking and soon the debate developed into an equal lineup of three against three.
The Zenith representative then claimed that Subumpam was not a political party, but rather a collection of western Tinker tribes, and therefore should not have been given a seat at the table. The debaters voted 3 to 3 to expel Subumpam. Because it was a tied vote, no action was taken. Then, the debaters voted 3 to 3 to expel the debaters who had voted to boot out Subumpam.
Seeing no purpose in voting when it was clear that the two sides of the debate had formed, the Raspara representative asked to talk to the Tinker representative in private, and the others agreed. The Tinker representative led the way, carrying a lamp to light up the dark hallways of the building they were in. The Raspara man was so tall, the others saw, that he could enwrap the Tinker diplomat within his robe as they walked down the hallway.
When they came back, the Raspara did almost all of the talking for his side, even though the debate had originally been hosted by the Tink and was meant to be entirely about the Tinks' plans for the other five parties.
The Raspara representative told the Zenith-Repilian-Crystal coalition that voting ratios didn't matter: they had lost the debate. He said that the Tink army would defend the Tinks' claims to the entire Anchor Empire in the south, and the Raspara army would defend it in the north, east, and west, and if necessary, also in the south. He ordered all Zeniths to get out of the Empire entirely, though he was willing to tolerate the presence of Repilians and Crystals in their respective territories, as neither of these territories was home to significant numbers of Tinks or Raspara.
The Zenith responded to their defeat at the debates by surrendering to the Tinks. They handed over all of their territories to Tinker control, as they knew that if they remained, they would likely face an invasion from the Raspara and perhaps also the Tinks. They still clearly sensed that the Raspara were their real enemies, however, and that the Tinks had no problems with the Zeniths as a party and merely wanted their land to be open to Tink settlement.
Thus, most Zeniths did not actually leave the Empire, as they had no safe place to go. They in fact moved further into Tink territory, including to the capital city of Sala. Here, the Tinks welcomed them, having seemingly forgiven the Zeniths for having the sharpest teeth of the four "barking dogs" at the debate. The Zeniths realized that although the Tinks claimed all of the land in the Anchor Empire, they did not seem to mind allowing non-Tinks to live amongst them, and even allowed the Zeniths to vote in their government. Although the Zeniths believed democracy was a bad idea in general, they for the time being resolved to live obediently among the Tinks and try to overwhelm them peacefully instead of by chopping them up with their battle axes.
Nevertheless, the Zeniths maintained a strong military force of their own in Tinker territory, and the Raspara viewed this army as a threat to the Raspara's plans of domination. The Treaty of 4149 had made all non-Tink armies illegal in Anzan, but the Raspara knew that the Tinks were far too weak to enforce this, even in their own territory. The Zeniths living comfortably in Sala and its suburbs were seen by the Tinks as welcome — if somewhat intimidating — guests, but were seen by the Raspara as invaders. They pointed out that the Zeniths were largely the descendants of the horribly abusive Fua people, who had abused the Pabaps and Subumpamese for thousands of years, and that the Tinkers were largely the descendants of the Pabaps and Subumpamese. Though the Raspara realized that they had no claim to legitimacy of their own, and that their own political party was founded on the claim that abusing the Tinks was morally justified, they did not want to split the spoils with the Zeniths nor did they want the Zeniths to stand in the way of their project of expanding the Tinkers' army to the point where it could be used to conquer even more territories and then hand them over to the Raspara.
Exploration of Rasparia and Repilia
Immediately after the debate was over, the Tinks launched a major campaign to settle the remainder of their Empire, peacefully if possible, by force if not. The southeast Quarter was their home. The southwest Quarter was the FILTER empire which had already signed a treaty declaring its people to be Tinks. The two northern Quarters largely lay unexplored.
Although a mountain range also blocked the northeast (Thunder) Quarter from the Tinks' home territory, the Tinks had inherited settlements on the north slopes of this mountain range from the Pabaps, and thus they only had to move downhill. Thus, the only way forward was to the northeast. In the northeast quadrant of the Empire lay the settlements of the Raspara, and beyond them, those of the Repilians.
The Tinks saw that the Raspara seemed to have only one city, Tŏli, in their territory, despite their territory being far larger than that of the Tinks. The rest was rural woodlands, with little evidence of any farming despite the fact that the climate had warmed up drastically in recent centuries: summer temperatures in Tŏli had risen from about 50F when it was first settled around 2400 AD to about 76F by 4150. Winters, on the other hand, had actually gotten colder.
In the summer of 4149, a troop of Raspara soldiers on patrol met up with a troop of exploring Tinks and surrounded them. The Tinks surrendered and asked what they did wrong, but received no answer. Frightened, they were loaded into a wagon pulled by horses and wondered if they were about to be enslaved.
But the Raspara were merely taking the Tinkers to Tŏli, where they found in the center of the city a museum. In the museum, they learned that the Raspara were descended mostly from Thunderers who had changed their language from Subumpamese and Pabappa to Khulls when they had allied with the Crystals who also spoke Khulls. This is why their captors had not spoken to them. Nevertheless, some knowledge of Pabappa had remained, and that is why the Raspara were able to send diplomats into Sala. The Tinks were wholly uneducated, due to their having been oppressed for forty years and free for only a few months, and had honestly not known that a language called Khulls even existed.
The Raspara told the Tinker explorers that the government of the Tinks had signed an alliance with the government of Rasparia, and they invited the Tinks to settle more of their people in Rasparia. The Raspara filled the minds of the Tinks with information about both of their societies, including history of the Tinkers that even the Tinkers didn't know. The Tinkers wondered how the Raspara knew so much when they had not even been involved in the war.
Uncertainty in Sala
When the Tinks returned home, they convinced the government in Sala to establish a major project to settle Tinks in Raspara territory in the north. Most of the Tinks did not want to leave their homes, however, as even though their homeland had been through many violent years, and was still technically at war with Tarwas, they feared that even worse conditions awaited them in the northern two Quarters. The central government in Sala was wary of trusting the Raspara. They reminded their people that just two years ago, it had been illegal to even read a book save for the books published by the oppressive government, and even in the two years since then, it had been shown that most of what their government had told them was false. The Tinks were concerned that explorers who had no more experience with the freedom to learn than a toddler would not be able to tell the difference between truth and lies and could well be walking right into a trap if they trusted the Raspara and their Museum of History.
Those Tinks who did choose to leave were therefore called Rebels (Yasiu), since they were rebelling against the government that warned them not to go. The government did not try to stop them, however, because they really did believe in their claim to the whole of the land of the Anchor Empire, and realized that they could not enforce a claim to land if they didn't have any people in it, and because they were worried about overpopulation. They still warned the Rebels, however, to try to build cities of their own rather than living only amongst the Raspara.
Invasion of Repilia
The Rebels settled the wilderness very quickly. The Raspara were happy to see them and dutifully helped them get settled and build new cities and even forts, some with and some without Raspara living amidst them. The Rebels soon found, however, that the Raspara were not the only other people living in Rasparia, and that in fact, the Repilians had made a strong comeback in recent years and were, in the wilderness areas where the Tinks preferred to live, far more numerous than the Rebels.
In late 4149x096, the Rebel Tinks living in Rasparia started a war against the Repilians. Many Repilians had moved back into Rasparia over the past 200 years, and although they did not quite form a majority, they vastly outnumbered the Tinks.
The Tinks decided to kill the Repilians because they wanted to ensure that their territory would not suffer any uprisings from within. They believed that the Raspara were their allies, but had bad memories from the Six-Party Conference about the Repilians. They did not bother to learn why the Raspara themselves had not already killed the Repilians, but figured that perhaps the Raspara were simply too strong to be threatened by them.
The Raspara had not expected this war and chose not to take part in it, although they did give shelter to Repilian refugees provided that those refugees submit to slavery in the labor camps of the Raspara. The Raspara realized that the Tinks had believed their lies, and must be truly the most naive and gullible people on the planet. They realized that the Tinks did not know that the "philosophy" of Rasparism was nothing more than a guide detailing how an oppressive minority could keep control of a much larger submissive host population. They did not want to shatter the illusion by showing off slave camps to the Tinks, even if the slaves in those camps were Repilians, who were the enemies of the Tinks. They wanted to encourage as many Tinks as possible to move north into Raspara territory so that the Raspara could build themselves a slave empire without having to leave the comfort of their forts and their capital city. And they wanted to have Tinks to move north as quickly as possible, before they learned what a horrible crime was being committed against them. So they kept their camps hidden in the wilderness and rescued very few Repilians.
In late 4150, the Rebel Tinks decided to stop killing Repilians. They apologized for the genocide and told the Repilians that they were now the allies of the Tinks because the Tinks needed the Repilians to help them fight an even wider war.
In the summer of 4151, the Rebel Tinks launched the Pioneers' War. They wanted to conquer the conservative Tinks that had stayed behind in Sala and had warned them not to go north. These people immediately seceded and declared their territory to be a new republic called Creamland (Žayūas), its name signifying that they were so opposed to the Tinks that they would sooner submit to Dreamland. (The English name is not a translation, but rather represents a native-language pun: the name they chose rhymed with the earlier name Mayūas, which was one of the names of Dreamland.)
So they turned their army around and headed towards Sala while the Raspara worried they had lost control of their toys. The Raspara realized that the Tinks had just settled their people all around Raspara territory, won a violent and very cruel war against the Repilians, and then abandoned all the land won in that war to go fight a war against a nation that had been their own homeland just two years earlier and had never threatened them in any way.
Meanwhile, with the Tink army almost completely absent, the Raspara realized that they could easily conquer all of the new Tink settlements with very minimal Raspara casualties, and surprise the returning Tinks after their victory with the news that all of the people that they had fought so hard to protect were now slaves for the Raspara. But the Raspara held off for the time being.
Interactions with predators
As a side effect of this new war, animals started eating Repilians because the Tinks were still mostly keeping Repilians out of the cities and there was no longer an army in the countryside since it had been mobilized in order to attack Paba. Even though the Tinks had stopped attacking Repilians, they were losing out badly to the wild animals and the Tinks wouldn't let them into their cities when they pled to be let in for protection.
In the summer of 4152, the last Repilian man alive in Anzan carved the Repilian national emblem into a mountainside, and then fled Vaamū for Nama. 
In late 4152, the northern Tinks announced that they had won the Pioneers' War, and reconquered the breakaway republic of Creamland, which had contained the capital city of Săla. The Tinks chose to keep the imperial capital in Sala, and even began to move their own people back out of Raspara territory and into Sala, saying that although they were serious about settling the north they preferred to have the focus of their settlements forever be Sala and the areas around it. However, they published a plan for the far future in which they would conquer most of the world and eventually move their capital from Sala to the much warmer and sunnier Baeba Swamp. This is when the Tinks officially renamed their party to the Swamp Kids, though they had been using the name ever since they expanded out of their homelands around Sala.
In spring 4153, animals started eating Swamp Kids, since the Repilians who had been easy prey for them before were now completely gone. The Swamp Kids saw that their soldiers were good at killing humans, but not as good at fighting the large, hungry animals that dominated the subpolar forests they had made their new homeland.
In late 4154, some Repilians moved back into Vaamū. They began to consider themselves to be as one with the Swamp Kids now instead of being enemies. This entitled them to the protection of the small but aggressive northern wing of the Swampy army.
In late 4155, some Repilians started settlements of their own, even though they knew that they would immediately be facing the animals again, since the Swampy military presence in the north was too weak to control the wilderness and only protected towns.
In early 4156, the concept of wildlife reserves was introduced: areas with no humans, where the animals could survive by eating other animals. This, however, meant that the Swamp Kids and Repiilians had to spend less time hunting and get more of their food from vegetable sources, which was difficult in such a cold climate. Other Swamp Kids, though, preferred to simply kill all of the dangerous animals even if it meant an all-out war that would kill off most of the male humans. These people volunteered themselves to fight this war, even if given no help from the government, and thus the hunting continued but it was aimed primarily at predatory animals rather than at animals the humans were intending to eat.
Bee Invasion of 4156
The Swampies taught their children that nothing was as evil or perverse as disobedience. They wanted their children to love them, however, as they realized that children were the main strength of their nation and that children did not remain children for long. They tried to keep their own punishments of their children to a minimum, and avoided inflicting lasting injuries. The next six years passed with almost no threat of civil war.
But not all of the subjects were so loyal, even under their leaders' strict control. In February 4156, a battalion of #Flower Bees organized themselves into an army and revived the war against Dreamland.
Since they were not authorized by the Swamp Kids to attack, they were underclothed and under-armed, and the Swamp Kids worried that they would be easy prey for kidnappers.
The Bee general was a man named Kupa, a recent convert who had been born in the summer of 4130. Despite spending much of his childhood as a slave for the Raspara, he still considered Dreamland his primary enemy. Kupa taught his followers that they were not to use their weapons except in self-defense; he was a superficial pacifist, unlike the Bee leaders of the earlier revolt.
On the night of February 15, 4156, Kupa led his troops into an ambush spot near the borders of the Dreamer city of Mirebane, which they knew to be the homeland of the Dreamer leader Nettanenu. He ordered his troop to divide in two, with one group concealing their weapons in the mud beneath their feet so that they could make a peaceful attempt to overcome the city, yet being ever careful for hostile Dreamers so that they could in an emergency run back to reclaim their weapons from the other group that was set to guard them. This understood, the weaponless group, numbering 637 soldiers, set off into Mirebane with Kupa at their front.
In Mirebane, the soldiers were greeted by the Dreamer peasants with a mixture of confused indifference and mild hostility. The Dreamers realized they did not have weapons, and that they were likely not Swamp Kids, and so they refused to attack them. But neither would they grant the Bees an invitation to meet with Nettanenu. So the Bees were frustrated and did not know what to do. Finally Kupa was able to obtain information from a written news article (these were commonly posted on the streets at regular intervals for all who were literate to read) on the whereabouts of Nettanenu, where they planned to repeat their effort in hopes of provoking a response from him. And so the troop gathered behind Kupa and began marching in the general direction of Nettanenu's palace in the government district of Mirebane.
But this time, they were more conspicuous; the Dreamers could hardly wonder about the intent of such a large group of obvious intruders. And so the Dreamers began to chase the Bees as they marched, hoping to surround them on all sides before they could reach Nettanenu. Soon, the Dreamers succeeded in gathering other peasants to follow behind them, and the Bees began to run, trying desperately to stay ahead of the angry peasants while still heading toward Nettanenu's palace.
After about fifteen minutes the Bees found themselves completely encircled by Dreamers. Kupa was the first to speak upon their entrapment, as he pleaded for the Dreamers to spare their lives and let them march to Nettanenu's palace to deliver their message. The Dreamers were incredulous. The leaders of the group ordered the Bees to surrender and threatened to kill them off if they refused. And so the Bees split into their battle formation, contracted to fit the small circle they were forced to fight in, and prepared to take on the Dreamers barehanded.
But the Dreamers did not move. Although they outnumbered the Bees more than four to one, they too were unarmed, and did not want to risk any of their own lives. Instead, they repeated their command to the Bees to surrender and follow them peacefully. A Bee soldier spoke for his troop in again refusing to back down. And the other soldiers stood firm and silent for several minutes while the Dreamers kept them encircled. Soon, however, some of the Dreamers began to step back slowly from the circle, leaving a more even ratio of Dreamers to Bees there. Still, the Bees would not attack, and neither would they surrender. They continued to stand defiantly.
After several hours, both groups became aware of a much larger crowd of people approaching from the east, where the Bee soldiers themselves had originally come from. To their surprise, the Bees discovered a massive troop of over 2,000 Dreamers bearing down on them and carrying all the weapons the Bees had formerly held, plus some of their own. There was no sign of the other group of Bee soldiers that Kupa had ordered to stay behind.
This larger group of Dreamers encircled the Bees as had the first, and their commander, a close ally of Nettanenu, ordered the Bees to surrender or die. Kupa cried that his army would never surrender no matter how outnumbered they were. And so the inner circle of Dreamers turned their backs to the Bees in order to face the outer circle. Then, they turned around in unison and pressed spears against the bellies of the unarmed Bees, which they now threatened to thrust inward if the Bees did not surrender and agree to return to their home territory. Kupa was silent; he wanted the reply to come from his soldiers this time.
Waiting for a provocation, the Dreamer commander (named Oneme) gathered up rocks and began throwing them at the Bees. The Bees did their best to stand firm in the face of the onslaught, taking the injuries without visible complaint. Oneme then ordered the first circle of Dreamers to leave the area and leave the fighting to his own men. One Dreamer soldier picked up his spear and began to stab multiple Bees, who did their best to remain standing up.
Now, Oneme was enraged. All his life he had hated the Swamp Kids, and all their fanaticism, hypocrisy, and pointless strife. Yet he now found himself faced with an enemy even more fanatical than the Swamp Kids. He was determined finally to make an impression on the Bees that would take their pride down a step, and make them realize the truth. And so he ordered his army to disperse, and let the helpless Bees travel on in peace, as he suspected that all along that they had only wanted to be martyred, to be relieved of their stress and be glorified by the abuse they wanted to suffer. He gathered up the weapons and forced the Bees to watch while the Dreamers threw them into a nearby river.
But this made the Bees even more angry. The Dreamer soldiers had interpreted the command to throw away their weapons as a gesture of peace, and had obeyed because they themselves did not have any grudge against the Bee "army" and knew the Bees were harmless. But the Bees interpreted it as a challenge to a fair fight, with neither side having any weapons. The still-bleeding Bee soldiers launched themselves at the Dreamer soldiers in a defiant attempt to fulfill their plan. But the Bees had no chance; the Dreamers still had thick armor, and the Bees did not. The Dreamer soldiers slowly wore down the Bees until the Bees could fight no more. They avoided inflicting permanent wounds, however, and promised to treat the injured Bees with their advanced medicine in a nearby hospital.
Nettanenu defeats the Bees
After their medical treatment and assurance of survival, the Bees were taken into a Dreamer prison, and the Dreamers sent a notice to the Swampy headquarters in Sala claiming to have defeated the Bees in a battle and taken more than a thousand prisoners of war as slaves. Even though the Swamp Kids had rejected the Bees, they promised they would avenge the captures by eventually invading Dreamland and enslaving a thousand Dreamers for every Bee that the Dreamers had captured. They thus promised a slave capture of over a million.
The Dreamers decided to give their prisoners only a very light labor load, both because they still held onto some sympathy for the Bees and because they realized that they had never killed any Dreamers and thus had been at worst only a minor disturbance. When the Swamp Kids in Anzan heard this, they were further humiliated. Soon, the Bees were sent back to Anzan to serve as a reminder of how pathetic they had been.
Reactions to the war
Although the war had consisted of only one battle, when news of what had happened reached the Swamp Kids in their cities in Anzan, opinions were sharply divided. Some Swamp Kids were humiliated that their entire troop had been captured without them attaining a single casualty against their enemy. They realized that they were never going to be able to conquer Baeba Swamp if an invading force of over 1000 soldiers was unable to take down even a single enemy soldier. They wanted revenge on Dreamland, but they wanted even more for the Swamp Kids to take much firmer control of their army so that breakaway factions like the Bees could not humiliate the army that the Swamp Kids claimed was the strongest in the world.
The other side of the debate consisted of people who said that the Swamp Kids were corrupt, and that everything the Bees had done wrong could be blamed on the mainline Swamp Kids. They said that life under the Swamp Kids was so bad that even launching a masochistic "war" against a far superior enemy was a welcome escape from pain. They promised that they did not want to turn the Empire over to Dreamland, but they did believe that there should be a Dreamer party in the Empire and that it would pull in much of its support from educated Swamp Kids. Some of these people were living in Tata, the part of Anzan nearest Dreamland, and were the children of the Player soldiers who had invaded Dreamland in 4138. Thus, the pro-Dreamer sympathies came from the people whose parents had done the most to harm Dreamland in the past. However, even some of the soldiers themselves were losing trust in the Swamp Kids, and considered forming a new party that was neither Dreamer nor Swamp.
In 4157, a nation calling itself the Needle seceded from Anzan, but they died out within months.
In early 4160, the Cream party declared itself to be a tribe, and stated that the only Creamers were people of the Lenian racial type, exemplified by blonde hair and blue eyes. They were not as homogeneous as other Lenians; indeed, most Creamers had dark hair. They thought nothing of this however, stating only that true Creamers would know who belonged and who did not. The Creamers thus made a lot of enemies within their territory, but they figured that, since the Swamp Kids in 4151 had attacked people indiscriminately, the non-Lenians in Creamland would be unlikely to unite against the Creamers. The Creamers declared that Creamland contained all of Greater Paba (sometimes called Aboa), including Subumpam, Thaoa, and points eastward. However, the Creamers had early on lost control of their capital city, Săla, and the areas west of Sala were in danger of falling as well.
In spring 4160, the Creamers passed a law banning people of the Repilian tribes from moving to Creamland, and upheld their early ban on the Swamp Kids. They declared that the Swamp Kids were a separate tribe, the Rebels, even though they had arisen from within the tribe that defined the Creamers. Soon, racial conflicts broke out in Creamland, and the Creamers were pleased to see each tribe was indeed fighting for itself rather than uniting against the Creamers. This conflict weakened all sides, and the Swamp Kids began to increase their control over the south coast. The Swamp Kids declared that they were superior to the Creamers because the Creamers were enveloped in racial wars whereas Swamp Kids had gone nearly eight years without committing a major genocide.
In mid-4161, Pabap immigration (including non-Creamers) had mostly stopped. Few Pabaps moved to the north anymore, but those who did were warmly welcomed. In mid-4162, with the population growth slowing down due to the lack of immigration from the south, the northern Swamp Kids began encouraging immigration of people from surrounding nations. They signed a treaty with the ruling Claw party of Tarwas stating that Claws could move anywhere in the Swamp Kids' empire and become citizens. They recognized the Claw party as a new party in Anzan and hoped that they would be politically sympathetic to the Swampies.
Settlement of Amade
Also in 4162, 7% of the Anchor Empire's population quit the Swamp Kids and declared themselves to be the Firestone party. The Firestones declared loyalty to Dreamland, and wanted to use legal means to get to the Play-held state of Tata and then go their own ways. However, the Players declared the Firestones to be enemies, and Dreamland itself refused to let the Firestones in because they were worried the Firestones would drag Dreamland into a war that would kill Dreamers and deliver the common Dreamer population nothing new, since Dreamland was already prosperous.
Ruled out of Dreamland, the Firestones soon entered Creamland, from which they mostly moved on to the tropical nation of Amade, at that time run by a faction of Crystals calling themselves the Eggs, who promised to allow the Firestone refugees in if the Firestones agreed to bring with them produce taken from Anzan, and to engage in repeated missions to Anzan, using piracy if necessary, to bring back more goods that Amade desperately needed.
Contact with the Claws
In mid-4163, while the Swamp Kids were helping the Claws settle and develop new land, the Claws declared war on the Swamp Kids and sent their army deep into Swampy territory. The frightened Swamp Kids surrendered immediately, and the Claws clawed out an independent nation from Swampy territory, and annexed it into Tarwas. Thus, the attempt to get Claws to integrate themselves with the Swamp Kids had failed, and the Swamp Kids realized that they had just lost a major war against a people they had been expecting to live peacefully and cooperatively within them.
The Eggshell War
In early 4164, the Firestones in Amade decided to stop their piracy missions and simply declare war on the Eggs who had kindly let them in. They had already become a steep 85% majority in Amade and thus were able to fight a soft war, taking Eggs prisoner instead of killing them outright, without themselves taking many casualties in their war.
The Swamp Kids realized that for the second time in less than a year, a major refugee rescue operation had failed because the refugees responded to their host nation's selfless kindness by declaring war against their rescuers. The Swamp Kids forgave the Eggs for sending pirate missions against the Swamp Kids just one month earlier, saying that it was a reasonable request given the immense number of people piling into their territory, and given that the Eggs and the Swamp Kids were already enemies to begin with. The Eggs thus forgave the Swamp Kids for the massacres of Crystals in the 4150s and eagerly awaited the arrival of the Swampy army on their shores.
However, the Swamp Kids found that their army was mostly tied up handling domestic insurrections, and they could not launch an all-out invasion of Amade. Meanwhile the Firestones freed the Eggs and offered them citizenship, but reaffirmed that they now lived in the Firestone nation, and that Eggs would have no power in the government. They offered to ship Eggs to Anzan, and stated that any who refused the offer were proof that even the abuse the Firestones were pouring on the Eggs was less painful than the life that they would have to endure if they chose to move to Anzan.
At first, the Eggs were mostly satisfied living in the Firestone nation, as their masters guaranteed their safety. They had mostly lived there for many years and knew the land very well. Firestone signed an alliance with the nation of Wax, and Waxan ships soon appeared on their ports. Wax had a powerful navy with a very long and reliable reach. The Swamp Kids realized that Amade was beyond hope of rescue now, since they were too weak to penetrate the navy of Wax.
With Wax's help, the Firestones were confident they could make their government stricter. They cut off communication between the Eggs and the outside Crystal parties, and forced all of the Eggs onto plantations. They promised that freedom could be bought by simply converting to the Firestone party. Furthermore, they upheld their promise that any Eggs wishing to move to Anzan could still do so, protected by the powerful Waxan navy. Most Eggs still refused this, preferring slavery to warfare. The Firestones refused, however, to ship the Eggs to any other countries, as their policy was only intended to embarrass Anzan by showing that even the life of a slave on a plantation in Firestone was superior to the life of a free person in Anzan.
Most of the Eggs who agreed to move to Anzan signed a pact amongst each other declaring themselves to be Swamp Kids. They thus betrayed the Crystals they had previously claimed allegiance to, and stated that this was because although neither the Swamp Kids nor the Crystals had rescued them from their oppressors, only the Swamp Kids had attempted to do so, whereas the mainline Crystal party showed no interest whatsoever in a rescue mission for the Eggs in Amade.
Settlement of the north
In early 4165, more people began moving from Creamland to the north, calling it Niaam because it was cold and cloudy. The land they called Niaam was essentially the land occupied by the Raspara plus what little was left of the empire of Nama.
First Play war
Updated Play ideology
At this time, the daughters of the Play soldiers who had invaded Tata in 4138 were still in control of a large piece of land called Tata near the border with DPR-held Dreamland, and in August 4167 they announced that they no longer considered themselves Swamp Kids. They revived their parents' name and party platform, and announced that the Play party was reclaiming its empire. They believed that in Creamland, many Creamers and other people considered themselves to still belong to the Play party, and hoped they could find allies in Creamland. But for the meantime, they knew that they had to focus on Tata only.
The new Play party's ideology was similar to that of the original. Most Tataans who had joined the new Play party were teenagers or adults with young children, and thus had never belonged to the original Play party. They opposed the Swamp Kids' ideology and claimed it had been irrevocably corrupted by Raspara miseducation while the Players' ideology had remained true to its original form.
Players' declaration of power
In early 4168, the Play party assumed full control of Tata, but claimed that they were still part of the Anchor Empire. The Swamp Kids tolerated the Players' colony because they admired political dissent and thought that it helped strengthen their democracy. They were pleased that the Players had decided that the Swamp Kids were kind and gentle enough that the Players could live safely amongst them.
The Swamp Kids themselves were beginning to divide into an "Old" and a "Young" division, with the differences not based on the age of the members but on whether or not they were willing to change their ideology to adapt to new developments such as the two potentially militant groups that had appeared within their borders over the last fifteen years.
Dolphin Rider invasion
However, Dreamland's Dolphin Rider army misunderstood the intentions of the Players. The Riders believed that there should be only one Dreamer country in the world, and that the Players, whose party platform was nearly identical to that of Dreamland's Baywatch party, must therefore want to join Dreamland. Dreamland told its army to prepare for a full-scale invasion of Anzan, knowing that the Swamp Kids would not want to let the Players secede and take the best coastline with them.
The Play cities lay between Dreamland and the rest of Anzan, although since they mostly lived on the coast, there were areas where Anzan and Dreamland bordered each other directly. Nevertheless, when the Dolphin Rider army began its invasion, they moved into Tata expecting the Players to welcome them.
But the Players loudly protested the Rider army's presence in their land. The Players preferred to remain citizens of Anzan, while living an independent existence in their colony of Tata, under a system of government that imitated closely the government of Dreamland but was not directly run by Dreamland. The Players knew that if Dreamland's Dolphin Riders took over Tata, even in a friendly occupation, power would rapidly centralize to the capital city of Dreamland, and the Players would have no control over their affairs. This was in keeping with the traditional Play party policy of nationalism, meaning that they held loyalty to their nation above loyalty to ideology, and would therefore refuse to make alliances based solely on ideology.
The Dolphin Riders' invasion of Tata violated Anzan's territorial integrity, so the Swamp Kids declared war. But the Swamp Kids also misinterpreted the situation, and thought that the Players had slyly called in the Riders to fight for them, and that the Riders were planning to invade further into Anzan in order to expand Player territory further east. They thus declared war on the Play cities along their north coast, starting Play War I.
When the Riders finally realized that the Players were not willing to agree to become part of Dreamland, they pulled their army out of Tata and left the hapless Players to face the Swamp Kids' army that was bearing down on them in the mistaken impression that they were about to face the much larger Rider army.
The Players sent diplomats to the Swampy capital city, Săla, to explain the misunderstanding in a desperate hope to avoid war, but the Swampies didn't believe their explanation. They figured that it was merely a ruse to enable the Rider army to intrude further into Anzan before the Swampy army met up with them. Further, they said, even if the Players were telling the truth, the Swamp Kids had decided that the Players were blood enemies of the Swamp Kids after all and thus deserved a war. The Swamp Kids were much better armed and were numerically superior. They thus won easily in their early battles against the Players.
In the late summer of 4170, the Swamp Kids declared victory in the Play war and the Player generals signed a surrender treaty. However, the Player citizens were disobedient, and kept on living in their cities, denying the Swamp Kids the rights to use their coastline. The Swamp Kids had a very difficult time enforcing their peace treaty here, as Tata was far from the Swampies' center of population and the Players seemed to be a lot more determined to stay on top even after the defeat of their army.
In autumn 4170, a Swampy pioneer found a mountain in northern Anzan with a picture of a cherry carved into it. It was about 180 feet across, with grooves 9 feet deep. Nobody understood at the time that the carving was a symbol in the Repilian language because nobody of Repilian ancestry in the area was still alive.
Declaration of independence
In early January 4172, the Players declared Tata to be an independent nation. They allowed the multiparty democracy that the Swamp Kids had set up to remain in place. At the time of Tata's separation, the vast majority of its population was pro-Play, and thus hostile to the Swamp Kids, but the Players still wanted to make peace with the Swamp Kids because they realized the Dolphin Riders were not their friends and that the Swamp Kids' rapid population growth would ensure they would not remain impotent for much longer.
Raspara propaganda in the cities
In Swamp-majority cities, the Raspara publicly boasted of their success at achieving ever greater levels of abuse of their slaves, and Raspara slave owners held contests with each other to see who could abuse their slaves the most. They painted vast murals on the city walls showing Raspara people tormenting Swampy slaves, and then presented the pictures to the Swamp Kids as the city's greatest work of art. They actually enjoyed watching the Swamp Kids wipe away the drawings more than they enjoyed the drawings themselves.
Sometimes, Swampy slaves were brought into the city center where Raspara people could slap them and urinate on them all day long in public for no reason at all, with signs such as "Tomorrow, It's Your Turn" hung around their neck. Contests were held and prizes were given for the man who could urinate the longest. Sometimes, obscene words were painted on their skin or clothes. All of this was intended to show how the Swamp leaders did not care at all what happened to the vast Swampy underclass. The Swamp Kids promised the Raspara that their rights would be respected, and refused to send police to arrest even the most hideous of the abusers, or to rescue the slaves they were controlling. The Raspara promised the Swamp Kids that any Swamp Kid who wanted the Raspara to free their slaves could switch places with any of the slaves, and shoulder the abuse so that the previous victim could go free. They also offered to allow the Swamp Kids to take part in the abuse themselves, saying that anyone who did agree to start beating up the other Swamp Kids would make a good Raspara recruit.
The Raspara people soon created a chain of restaurants called Trophy Fish in Swampy cities. Here, they served many kinds of fish, but at the end of the menu they offered also the meat of Swampy slaves that had been abused a bit too harshly one day. They declared that the Swamp Kids were actually a type of fish, "the pink fish" (Pabappa ninusa), and were perhaps the most delicious fish of all. The Raspara hoped that the more they enraged the helpless Swamp Kids, the more the Swamp Kids would try to defeat the anger by becoming abusers themselves.
The Swamp Kids had little free time to produce propaganda of their own, but their government's reaction to this was to open up slavery to their own people as well by creating a new class in their society that was below even the least of the Swamp Kids. Swamp Kids were encouraged to start eating people, and told that a pregnant woman could be the most sought-after dish of all. They began referring to their enemies, primarily the Raspara, as "the Womb" and said that soon the Womb would bleed. They stated that being small was no handicap at all, because large animals were typically delicate for their size. They began referring to themselves as insects, even as the Raspara were parasitic upon them. They imported a new underclass of people from Creamland that would be slaves for everyone else. These slaves were also given to the new Raspara people, however. The government still refused to take any action against the Raspara.
The Swamp Kids tried to link the Raspara people to the stereotypically weak, clumsy people of Dreamland, who despite being among the tallest in the world had been easy prey for the Play army forty years earlier.
Treaty of Panatue
In fact, the Swamp Kids tried to appease the Raspara by giving them another new state, Panatue, along the south coast of Creamland, and allowing them to enslave any Swamp Kids who did not move out. The Swamp Kids were having difficulty suppressing revolts in Creamland, and hoped they could send one enemy after another in order to relieve pressure in their homeland.
The Raspara accepted this new land but kept most of their population in Anzan, including their army. They realized that the more they abused the Swamp Kids, the more the Swamp Kids rolled over and tried to please them. They had now colonized their host empire in four places: first was Sikel, which they had settled early on; second was Dada; third was the territories their army was occupying in central Anzan but was still officially Swampy territory, and fourth was their new country in Creamland. Sikel, Dada, and Panatue were officially independent Raspara republics according to the Swamp Kids, and were only weakly militarized by the Raspara, whereas their illegal occupations of Anzan were very heavily defended.
The Raspara living in Creamland soon built up a chain of military strongholds, turning the country into an enormous army base. Some Swamp Kids chose to remain in Creamland, even though they knew they would likely soon be slaves for the Raspara. The Raspara who had moved to Creamland were mostly adult male soldiers, since they were intending to use the new country as a military stronghold rather than a normal functioning nation. Desperate for female companionship, the Raspara broke up local marriages and raped the women, thankful that the Swamp Kids had been so kind as to provide them with such a bountiful supply in their new country. The Raspara promised these women that they would only hold them captive for a few years, since they were intending to invade Anzan soon and meet up with the rest of the Raspara population there.
Political opinions begin to divide
Most Swampy leaders at this time believed that if they were kind and generous towards the Raspara people, the Raspara people would be kind and generous towards them in return. But when the Swampies realized that the Raspara had responded to their generous donation of their warm seacoast by breaking up marriages and kidnapping the women, they did not know what to do. Some Swampies believed that the Swamp Kids simply weren't trying hard enough to please the Raspara, and needed to keep giving up more land and power until the Raspara stopped attacking them. Others believed that the Raspara were simply very angry people and that the Swamp Kids would simply have to learn to live with the constant attacks by the Raspara minority living amongst them. By this time, Raspara leaders had toyed with the Swamp Kids to such an extent that neither of the two groups of Swamp Kids was willing to propose actually fighting back against the Raspara; they were divided between those who wanted to lie down and submit to them and those who wanted to run away.
Both groups of Swamp Kids realized they could not invade Panatue, as to do so would mean breaking the promise they had made just months earlier that they would be nice to the Raspara and give them some of their best land. Some Swampies began fleeing from Panatue into Anzan now in order to escape the abuse.
When the Raspara living in Sala realized that Swampies were fleeing away from the Raspara in Panatue, they blocked off Sala's government buildings and declared that they wouldn't let the Swamp Kids in until they agreed to launch a civil war against the Swampy refugees at the border so that the Raspara army could return them to their owners. To sharpen their bite, one of the Raspara occupiers grabbed the Swampy mayor and made him a hostage inside the building. The Swamp Kids realized that being kind and gentle to their enemies did not always work out.
Swamp Kids split
In spring 4172, the Swamp Kids formally divided into two opposing political parties. Recent military disasters and infuriating abuse at the hands of the Raspara within their borders had stirred up much dissent.
The first was the Pioneers (Baumiata), so called because they wanted to expand their nation's borders to the greatest possible extent and thrive based on immigration. They believed that the strongest nation in the world was one that was territorially expansive and ethnically diverse, but politically unified, as the empires that had occupied their territory far back in history had been. They believed that they could best deal with attacks against their people by making peace with those who attacked them and, if necessary, inviting more of the attackers to move into their nation. They thus embraced pacifism.
The Pioneers admitted that they knew it would be very dangerous for soldiers to go into battle unarmed and try to make peace with enemy soldiers, and that even those who succeeded in befriending one of the enemy soldiers might have a very painful future if the enemy soldier decided to make him his property. They claimed that the true heroes in a war were not the soldiers who killed the most enemies, but those who endured the most pain at the hands of their enemies without making any attempts to fight back. They lauded the mayor of Sala as one of their greatest heroes because of the long period of torture he had endured after a Raspara man grabbed him outside the city hall building and then strapped him to a table.
The Pioneers admitted that their attempts to please foreign nations had not always worked out. For example, they had invited people from the nation of Tarwas to move into Anzan and live alongside the Swamp Kids, but the Tarwastas soon started a war and killed many Swamp Kids. Despite this unhappy incident, the Pioneers favored continued immigration of Tarwastas into their homeland, along with immigration of all of the Swamp Kids' many other enemies. The Pioneers promised to end racism by marrying everyone together and forging a new identity based on politics and religion instead of ethnicity. They hoped that physically large, robust people such as the Raspara, the Tarwastas, and the Zeniths would find the petite Swampy women appealing enough to form mixed marriages, and that enough mixed marriages would form and have children that the constant violent attacks on the Swampy people would eventually stop.
The Pioneers became a majority in the far north because they were the only ones willing to live there. Further west, they were not a majority because there were preexisting settlements from aboriginals and from outside nations.
The Pioneers admired the virile Raspara people who lived amongst them, but wished to tame their impulses so that the Swamp Kids could live at peace with the Raspara instead of in fear of them. They did not object to expanding Raspara settlement, and indeed encouraged the Raspara to migrate farther southward so that they could surround themselves with more Swamp Kids. Some Pioneers visited Raspara slave camps, offering themselves as toys for the Raspara slavemasters to abuse and beat up on, figuring that the more pleasure the Raspara derived from beating up Swamp Kids, the more effort they would put into protecting the Swamp Kids from their other enemies.
The opponent party was the Cold Men (Sabasšakū), who preferred to maintain firm control over a smaller country. They believed that they could best deal with attacks against their people by running away in search of a safe place to hide, and, if necessary, abandoning their land and possessions to the armies of their attackers. However, although they stridently affirmed that they preferred to run away from their enemies rather than fight them, the Cold Men refused to consider themselves pacifists, and in fact, predicted that if their advice were followed, the Swampy military would actually become stronger. Despite their name, the Cold Men lived mostly in the warm southern areas of the Empire, and stated that this is the area that they would retreat into, as it was their traditional homeland and thus had the lowest population of violent minority groups such as the Raspara.
The Cold Men believed that they would win more wars by shrinking their nation drastically. They said that this was the only way to ensure their territory would have secure borders. They also wanted to build walls around major cities and have no enemies within their territory. They did not reject ethnic minorities, but stated firmly that inviting enemy soldiers into the nation and expecting them to suddenly become peaceful and cooperative was foolish. They were willing to forfeit all of their land claims to areas controlled by the Raspara, the Crystals, the Players, and the Repilians, but not of areas controlled by the Zenith, because unlike the other groups, the Zeniths had over the last twenty years spilled themselves all over the Swampies and now lived in every city the Swampies lived in, and although they did not have formal control there was nothing the Swamp Kids could do without the permission of the Zeniths. They thus mapped out a division of the Anchor Empire back into its four historical quarters, one each for the Cold Men, the Raspara, the Crystals, and the Repilians (the Players would be in Raspara territory and the Cold Men figured the Raspara would crush them immediately).
The Cold Men rejected the emasculating tendency of the Pioneers and otherwise unaffiliated Swampies to only refer to themselves as "kids" (taā) or "boys" (ŋapa), seemingly never maturing into men, yet using the more respectful adult pronouns for all the minorities who lived around and among them. They stressed the importance of protecting Swampy women from prostitution and kidnapping operations run by violent minorities, chiefly the Zenith, and said that an army of men could defeat the Zenith, succeeding where the Pioneers' army of boys would fail. They ridiculed the Pioneer diplomats who went to debates with Zeniths and Raspara and went home wondering why their pleading and sobbing on the shoulders of their opponents had failed to win them the debate.
They said that in many ways, the Pioneer Swamp Kids' leaders really did behave as young boys would, as they were impulsive and violent, yet at the same time so eager to gain the trust and admiration of the "big people" around them that they had invited thousands of militant enemy soldiers to live in their cities, and had no plans for how to deal with them other than encouraging them to mingle and marry Swampy women.
They also claimed the Pioneers were poor soldiers, as they had won a war against a much smaller nation but seemingly lacked the ability to conquer back any of the territory that that nation had stolen from them. Also like young boys, they seemed to distrust female leadership, and even to distrust females entirely. They admitted, however, that on this last point the Pioneers were simply following the spirit of the times, as nearly all of the other peoples around them, including even the Cold Men, had turned sharply away from the very feministic politics of the recent past and into a new world where all of the leaders were males and women were kept at home to give their husbands lots of children.
The Cold Men despised the Raspara party, seeing the Raspara as the truly greatest enemy of the Swamp Kids and even of most of the other enemies of the Swamp Kids, as they knew that the Raspara would turn on anyone if their own population growth reached a point where enslaving the Swamp Kids was no longer sufficient to sustain their sadistic desires. Since the Cold Men lived mostly in the core of the empire, they had little contact with the Raspara, but strongly opposed the Pioneers' plan to encourage the Raspara to drift southwards towards the Swampy capital city of Sala. The Cold Men depicted the Raspara as wolves, a symbol that the Raspara themselves heartily accepted. They claimed that if the Pioneers did not recognize the threat amongst them, the Wolves would soon crush the bones and rip out the hearts of all the Pioneer settlers in their territory.
At the same time, they tried to overcome their fear of the Raspara, noting that of the many groups in Anzan, the Raspara's closest relatives historically were in fact the Swamp Kids. They wanted to overcome their fear of the Raspara and help the Pioneers overcome their own fear by voiding the laws that prohibited Raspara and other minorities from participating in contact sports, from being imprisoned with Swamp Kids, and so on. Even though the Cold Men realized that the Raspara were indeed taller and stronger on average, they believed the Pioneers and other unaffiliated Swamp Kids hugely exaggerated the difference between the two and that if the Swamp Kids at least occasionally won a fistfight or a šumukam match against a Raspara team, the Raspara's aura of invincibility would be as shattered as the Swamp Kids' aura of helplessness.
Pioneers debate Cold Men
The Pioneers' answer to the Cold Men was that they needed laws such as those to protect themselves from not just the Raspara, but all of the other minorities in their territory, since all of the minorities were much taller and stronger than the Swamp Kids. They called the Cold Men fools for promising to start fights with people twice or better their own size. They told them that simply changing the name of their party to the Cold Men would not make them grow any taller and that they needed to accept that merely getting through a day was a challenge since they had to be constantly on the alert for kidnappers, who generally targeted only the Swamp Kids, and also in some cases organized advances of enemy militaries into the heartlands of their territory.
The Pioneers highlighted their comfortable position in society; the Raspara preyed upon them, and therefore the continued existence of the Raspara implied the continued existence of the Pioneers.
Regarding their foreign policy, the Pioneers claimed that even if their people did get eaten up a lot by the "wolves", it was unlikely their nation would shrink to a size as small as the Cold Men wanted their nation to be. They still believed that by encouraging minorities to settle their territory, they would become a much stronger nation, even though they realized that one of the minorities they had invited in had had no interest in cooperating whatsoever and had simply declared war on the Swamp Kids less than two years after they built their first settlements. The Pioneers wanted to reopen formal diplomatic relations with these people, and offered to merge their two nations together so that both groups could have more land to settle on.
The Cold Men realized that, since the Pioneers were the ones proactively starting wars and proactively settling immigrants in Swamp Kids' territory, the Pioneers were the party of "yes" and the Cold Men were the party of "oh, please no" who could at best only stop the Pioneers from winning a conflict, but never themselves actually win since there was no way for the Cold Men to undo any of the Pioneers' doings. Every time the Pioneers announced a new political project paid for and run by their government, the Cold Men whimpered and tried to calculate how much damage it would do and whether or not the Cold Men would need to search the wilderness for a new place to live.
First multiparty elections
All of the Swamp Kids' enemies preferred the lovable, big-hearted Pioneer party to the sobby, bitter Cold Men. Since they lived in a democracy, they could vote for their leaders. Since the founding of the empire, minority groups such as the Zeniths and the Raspara had essentially ignored the democracy, preferring to rule smaller territories by pure military force rather than a large empire at the whim of their people. Relatively few Swamp Kids lived in Zenith-occupied territory, since although the Zeniths were sworn enemies of the Swamp Kids, they allowed Swamp Kids to leave their territories peacefully instead of enslaving them all. Many Swamp Kids lived in Raspara-held territory, however, and most of these were slaves. The Swamp Kids were helpless to stop the slavery, but realized that the enslaved Swamp Kids should be able to vote. They did their best to send people to the slave camps in secret and gather votes from as many of the slaves as possible, and then extrapolated these votes to the estimated number of slaves in each camp. This was largely a formality, since the chance of an enslaved Swamp Kid not voting for the Swamp Kids that wanted to free them from slavery was effectively zero. Those few slaves who did not vote for the Swamp were explained to the leaders in the capital as having been wary of disagreeing with their masters, thinking that the poll-takers were simply Raspara in disguise looking for their next meal.
But now there were suddenly two political parties that supported democracy. Swamp Kids were given the choice to vote for a party that loved its enemies and tried to win them over with appeasement and compassion or a party that preferred their nation to be small but sharp, and to force its enemies into agreements that favored the Swamp Kids instead of the enemies of the Swamp Kids.
However, the Swamp Kids were true believers about the virtues of democracy; they extended the right to vote even to people who didn't believe in it. Thus, the Zeniths, the Rasparas, the Crystals, and even the Players could all vote in Anzan's elections, and three of those four parties strongly preferred the Pioneers. Because the Players had been attacked solely by the Pioneers, and not by the Cold Men, they were reluctant to vote for the Pioneers, but neither were they friendly towards the Cold Men, who had sworn to attack Tata again. The Cold Men saw the Zeniths and Crystals as potential allies but the Players as a 300-year-old enemy due to their diplomatic ties to Dreamland. (Even though the Cold Men spoken of here were a fork of the Swamp Kids, they had assumed the name of a short-lived fork of the Thunder party, and therefore in their eyes had become Thunderers. They thus inherited the Thunderers' world view, including their hatred of Dreamland and anyone allied to it.) Even though the Cold Men had a strong majority in the capital city and the territory around it where most of the army was based, even within that capital territory there were other minorities who favored the Pioneers. Since they lived in a democracy, the Cold Men could not stop the non-Swamp parties from voting for the Pioneers.
End of two-party system
Frustrated, most Cold Men soon joined the Raspara party, even though they had been hating the Raspara party for abusing the Swamp Kids until a few months ago. They realized that the Raspara welcomed converts, and that converts were not treated as inferiors except that a first-generation convert could not own slaves. The Cold Men thus formally joined the Raspara party, dropped the name "Cold Men", and left the Pioneers sole ownership of the name "Swamp Kids".
The Raspara party itself was descended from a party calling itself the Cold Men, and had only been using the untranslated name Raspara for their people in Anzan to avoid association with yet a third organization also using that name. The Cold Men realized that by adopting the name of their supposed enemies, they had made those enemies into friends.
The defection of the Cold Men meant that the Swamp Kids were no longer a majority in their own capital city. This did not end their reign, because the Swamp Kids were still a firm majority in the Empire as a whole, and the government was very centralized, meaning that laws made in Sala were effective throughout the entire Empire, but conversely that the entire Empire could vote on laws effective in Sala. Thus it was not possible for the Raspara to simply vote the Pioneers into slavery or vote the Pioneer-majority territories out of the Empire and then invade; the Pioneers could vote on all of those issues as well. Moreover, the Raspara who were recent converts from the Swamp Kids were much milder in general than the traditional Raspara who mostly lived further north.
Raspara reaction and reform
The mass conversion of so many Swamp Kids to Rasparism was some what discomforting to the Raspara themselves. The Raspara firmly believed that their party existed to abuse and exploit the Swamp Kids, and they openly welcomed Swamp Kids looking to escape their abuse by joining in on it, but they realized that their scheme could not work if they actually outnumbered the people they were trying to exploit. Worried about bleeding the Swamp Kids dry, the Raspara leadership pondered whether it was acceptable to expel less desirable members of the Raspara after all.
After an internal debate, the Raspara nevertheless accepted the converts as new members, realizing that the Raspara would have to dial back their standard of living, since the new converts would be expecting to live a life as luxurious as the other Raspara, even if they were not immediately granted the right to own slaves. They realized that most of the female Swamp Kids who had converted to Rasparism were beyond reproductive age or at least in the latter half of it, which meant that the conversion actually caused the Swamp Kids' birthrate to soar even higher, as it was mostly the young people who had remained. They figured they could be back to their happy minority status in as little as fifteen years, or even ten, though the latter number would mean accepting young children as part of the population count, and even the Raspara were not cruel enough to force slave children under the age of ten to do the more dangerous and thus more important slave jobs that previously had only been assigned to adults.
Although the Pioneer Swamp Kids were greatly distressed that they had lost nearly half of their party membership to the party they considered to be their greatest enemy, they hoped that the new Raspara converts would be less abusive towards the Swamp Kids since they had until very recently been Swamp Kids. They also realized that the height gap they were so worried about was smaller now, albeit only in the southern part of the Empire where few Pioneers lived.
Second Play war
In mid-4172, the Swamp Kids again declared war on the Players, because they had refused to obey any of the concessions they had made in their treaty. The Raspara and the Pioneers had signed an agreement stating that they were still allies, but the Pioneers quickly realized that because they lived on the frontiers of their territory, any war against a foreign power would kill far more Pioneers than Raspara, at least among civilians. However, the Swamp Kids won Play War II much more quickly than they had won the first one.
In early 4173, the Swamp Kids defeated the Players. Again, though, they were unable to get the Players to leave Tata, and many Players even responded to their surrender treaty by moving to Anzan, figuring they would live a better life amongst the Swamp Kids than among their own people. The Swamp Kids, in turn, responded to this by ceding control of these pieces of land to Tata, figuring that Anzan's problem was its extremely low population density, and that equalizing the distribution of land could potentially help Anzan. Thus Tata grew wherever the Players put down roots.
The Raspara were disappointed at the pathetic failures of the enormous Swampy military in being unable to subdue such a tiny enemy, and began to ponder if they could somehow convince the Swamp Kids to let the Raspara have control over the military while still allowing the Raspara to retain their pleasurable position as the holders of many Swampy slaves. However, both the Raspara and the Swamp Kids failed to realize that the Player population had grown considerably in the 35 years since the war: the Player soldiers had married local women, had many children, and these children grew up with higher living standards than their parents had, so most had survived to adulthood.
The Raspara wanted the Swamp Kids to trust them. Although the Raspara leaders told their people that their destiny was to eventually betray the Swamp Kids, they wanted to remain military allies for as long as possible so that the Swamp Kids could keep dying in wars to help expand their empire. The Raspara also knew that in the event of a catastrophic war, they would be stigmatized if they did not fight just as hard as the Swamp Kids and for the same goals. Thus, the Raspara entirely abandoned their foreign policy and much of their politics, since the best interests of the Swamp Kids were the best interests of the Raspara, and most diplomats from outside nations preferred to meet with the Swamp Kids rather than the abusers of the Swamp Kids.
Defeat of the animals
In early 4173, the rabbits had been driven into the far north.
In spring 4173, the Repilians decided to secede from Anzan, figuring a nation that ends a war by ceding territory to its enemy and calls it a victory would put up no struggle against a minority that secedes and takes territory peacefully. They were indeed correct; the Swamp Kids did not invade the Repilians or try to stop the secession. However, the Repilians had claimed only land that was much colder and less desirable than what the Players had taken. Moreover, they were not interested in oppressing Swamp Kids who chose to remain in the new Repilia; they wanted to live peacefully and apart from the problems of their parent nation. Like the Players, the Repilians agreed to start their new country as merely an autonomous nation within Vaamū, not formally independent. This meant that the Swamp Kids could not enforce Swampy laws within the new Repilia, but that Repilia could not fight an independent war without the Swamp Kids' approval.
Treaty of 4173
Like most political parties in Anzan, both the Raspara and the Swamp Kids offered to accept converts from their opponents. A significant number of Swamp Kids became Raspara, but very few Raspara people ever became Swamp Kids. There were literally no advantages to being a Swamp Kid since the Swamp Kids did not allow their people to enslave their enemies, even the enemies who were enslaving them in greater numbers each day. However, the newly converted Raspara people did not automatically get slaves when they converted; they needed to buy slaves from the other Raspara, and most first-generation converts could not afford the price.
The Raspara hoped their empty political agenda would actually help them gain allies, as they were becoming more and more like Swamp Kids that merely had extra privileges in their society. The Raspara realized they needed to abstain from war against the Swamp Kids and instead cooperate with them in their many other wars. In the Treaty of 4173, the Raspara promised never to declare war on the Swamp Kids.
During the winter of 4174, a Raspara army stationed in northeastern Anzan declared war on a nearby settlement of Swamp Kids and started enslaving civilians. Anyone who resisted enslavement was killed. They were hoping to provoke an all-out war, but the Swampies did not fight back. The Raspara thus expanded their territory, despite being vastly outnumbered by and surrounded on all sides by the Swamp Kids, and began preparations for a larger attack. They were looking to move southwards, where the population of Swamp Kids was much greater than in the still mostly-Raspara northeast quadrant of the Empire.
The Unholy Alliance
In 4174, a group of Swamp Kids formed the Unholy Alliance (UAO) which included people named Toxicus, Etaheta, Lucifer Labbb, etc... 'and the chair you're sitting on'. There were twelve of them, and they made no effort to hide the fact that they were completely evil. They ruled the Xeman territory of Hukuku, more than a thousand miles from the capital, but were nonetheless accepted as a valid political party and sent a single representative to the parliament.
The Play party heard about the Unholy Alliance's acceptance as a valid political entity, and realized that the Swampy government was getting unstable. They realized that the Swampies' checkered military history was leading them to support anyone who could wield power, even if they were completely evil. The Players appealed to outside nations for help, but the other nations told the Players that they were overreacting, and that UAO was a one-off phenomenon and not the beginning of a wider transformation of the Swampies into a true evil empire.
UAO allowed Raspara and Zeniths in. Toxicus had previously been a member of the Raspara; Lucifer Labbb had been a Zenith. Unlike most political parties, the Unholy Alliance had no civilian supporters and did not want them. The twelve members of the group held all of the power themselves and did not allow conversion because they did not want to share their power even with other potentially strong allies. They did, however, plan to have children, and to raise at least some of these children as UAO members. Since all twelve UAO members were male, they realized they would have to convince a woman to marry them, give them children, and then disappear into the darkness since the UAO wouldn't want to share their power.
In 4175, after about 25 years under the Swamp Kids' government, a group of rebellious Swampies escaped to the icecapped island of Xema and formed a new nation hostile to the Swamp. These people called themselves Crystals, and moved to the Xeman region of Hukuku, already home to the Unholy Alliance. However, Xema was a vast territory, and the Crystal leaders assured their followers that they would find a safe place to build colonies.
Previously, the Swamp Kids had weathered secessions from the Play party in Tata, the Cream party in Paba, the Repilians in the arctic, the Claws in northern Nama, the Firestones in Amade, the Unholy Alliance in Hukuku, and the Raspara in many colonies scattered throughout their empire. However, the Crystals promised that they were not planning to form an alliance with the other seceders. The Crystals claimed loyalty to Anzan as a nation and wanted it to be a large nation, but disagreed with the Swamp Kids' government. Therefore, they considered themselves to be a new state, Hukuku, within Anzan, not a separate nation. By settling in a geographically remote area, they hoped to convince the Swamp Kids to sign a treaty with them rather than launching a war. However, when the Swamp Kids in Săla heard what had happened, they chose to add yet another war to the many they were already fighting, and the Crystals in Hukuku prepared for an invasion.
For 2500 years, the Crystals had been a transnational organization, always looking to expand by encouraging their enemies to convert to Crystalism, but had never won any significant number of converts outside territories occupied by their military or immediately adjacent to it. The mass conversion of an entire breakaway nation of Swamp Kids, containing almost 10% of the massive Empire, was a pleasant surprise to the Crystals in the rest of the world. Hukuku encouraged the Crystals from the rest of the world to move in with them and help them fight the Swamp Kids, or to fight the Swamp Kids from elsewhere, but immigration was difficult because Hukuku was icebound, and thus by definition, any immigration into Hukuku would have to cross through enemy territory.
The Raspara had mixed emotions to the sudden breakout of the Hukuku War. Hukuku was on the island of Xema, an area that the Raspara had planned to eventually expand into. They were confident that they could conquer the Crystals almost as easily as they could conquer the Swamp Kids, as these Crystals were simply Swamp Kids that might be a bit less gullible. Previously, the Raspara had hated the Crystals, because they claimed the Crystals still had a 400 year old blood debt against the Raspara for invading Thunder territory (which was now Raspara territory) and ruling over them for 80 years, and then, in a later era, invading again while the Thunder governors closed their eyes and told their people that the invasion was intended to provide economic help to the poorest areas of the Thunder Empire.
Exploration of the north
In 4175x192, the Pioneers began to look to expand their nation even further, even though their military had come to believe that the large size of their nation, relative to its population, was its main problem. They discovered a parasitic colony, Ollăxʷi, in the eastern part of their territory near the area that the Claws had taken from them. However this colony was populated not by Tarwastas but by Raspara who were looking to enslave the rest of the Swamp Kids. They realized that perhaps expanding their territory was not the best way to secure the growth of their nation, as their military was spread so thinly that they had developed multiple hostile growths inside them.
War with Dreamland
In the autumn of 4175, the Swamp Kids declared war on the Raspara colony of Ollaxwi (also known as Sìkel). In this war, Sìkel was much smaller than Vaamū, but had the advantage of its people being better educated about how to fight a war. The Raspara had built their colony in the center of Swampy territory, even though they knew that they would start any war against the Swamp Kids being surrounded on all sides. They did not see this as a problem because they had signed a pact with their enemy, Dreamland, stating that if the parasitic colony of Sìkel was attacked, Dreamland would invade Vaamū, which they did. Further, a second parasitic colony, Hananŏla, had also been built, and these two nations fought their way through the Swamp Kids' armies from the inside out while the Dreamers fought the Swamp Kids from the outside in. (Hananola was also known as Dada.) Further, the Raspara had convinced some Repilians to ally with the Raspara, although most remained neutral.
In late 4175, the Swamp Kids surrendered to the Raspara-Dreamer alliance. They noted that the Dreamers seemed to have improved very little since their last war, in that the Dreamers had been good at holding territory once they had settled it but very poor at invading enemy territory around them. The Raspara, on the other hand, despite being confined to tiny colonies, had been disproportionately powerful fighters. The Swamp Kids responded to their defeat at the hands of the Raspara by invading Repilia, claiming that some people in Repilia had helped the Raspara-Dreamer alliance in the war, even though they didn't actively fight (as they were still legally part of Vaamū), and thus Repilia deserved an invasion. But the alliance remained strong, and Repilia formally seceded from Vaamū and then launched a war against Vaamū with the help of Dreamland and the two Raspara colonies in Vaamū.
Raspara gains in Tata
Two percent of the Players in Tata defected to the Raspara in 4175.
Raspara-Swamp war of 4175
In summer 4175, the Swamp Kids began an offensive against the Raspara rebel state in their territory that had formed more than a year earlier. Since they surrounded the Raspara on all sides, they figured that they would have a strong advantage in battle. But the Raspara proved to be much better soldiers, man for boy, than the Swamp Kids, and the Raspara had the additional advantage of holding entire towns of Swampy civilians hostage, having disarmed and enslaved the entire populations of those towns. These slaves mostly figured that the Swamp Kids had abandoned them, since it had taken them sixteen months to launch a counterattack, and therefore the slaves had long since given up their resistance and now actually worked to help the Raspara.
Contacts in Sikel
The Raspara founded a nation named Sikel inside Swampy territory, near the center of the empire, an environment rich in natural resources. This was in compliance with the Raspara belief that Rasparists invading a host nation must form a colony near the center of that nation into which they could retreat in the event of a war. They were able to do this with no resistance at all from the Swamp Kids because although the Swamp Kids' population was growing rapidly, it was still small enough that there were still many parts of the country, particularly in the north, that had not yet been settled by Swamp Kids.
Nevertheless, the Swamp Kids soon discovered Sikel, and found that it was actually more habitable than Paba. So they began sending out missions to explore Sikel, only to discover that Sikel was heavily fortified and that the Raspara people living there were very intimidating. The Raspara leaders had hoped the Swampy explorers would be happy at the chance to join a new society in which the Raspara would exploit and abuse them. The Swampies were frightened by the Raspara's open admission of their intents, but hoped they could somehow cooperate in Sikel and have an easier way to produce the goods they both needed to survive. The Swamp Kids thus warmly welcomed the Raspara into their empire, and the Raspara warmly welcomed the Swamp Kids into their new labor camps. When the Swamp Kids realized that the Raspara genuinely expected them to willingly choose to live in Sikel and submit to the cruel Rasparist labor system, they realized their mistake and left the Raspara alone to prey on each other. The Raspara did not try to force them to stay in Sikel, as they were indeed looking for a genuine cooperative society and not a forced labor camp.
Raspara attempts to repair their image
The Raspara leaders were thus very disappointed at how the Swamp Kids had welcomed them and then quickly fell into fearful submission and walked away from Sikel. Even though the very basis of the Raspara philosophy was that the Raspara were parasites and thus had the right to abuse and exploit the peoples they lived among, in practice most Raspara people now believed in a philosophy that was somewhere between that and one seeking a more loving, egalitarian symbiosis with the Swamp Kids. They wanted to set up a softer form of slavery that the Swamp Kids would willingly choose to participate in, getting nothing in return except protection from outside armies. Raspara men had grown annoyed at being greeted with screams and frightened expressions whenever they walked into a major Swampy city, as they realized their slavery operations had given them an irreparably bad reputation. They wanted to live in a nation where they could walk the streets of any major city in the middle of the night and not see people running away from them in all directions. Some Swamp Kids had even taken to using the word "Raspara!" as an interjection of frustration, at first as a replacement for obscene words, but it soon came to be seen as even more potent than any obscenity in the language. The Raspara hearing this at first thought that the Swampies were warning other Swampies of a potential hostile situation, but when they realized the true meaning of the new expression they became even more angry.
Some Raspara now hoped to repair their image so that they could be seen as allies instead of abusers. A coalition of six Raspara military generals living in Sala, the Swamp Kids' capital city, urged the Swamp Kids to pass a new law making it a crime to publicly express fear or hatred of the Raspara. Some Raspara had been upset when they approached passers-by in Swampy cities to ask for directions, and were answered with only a scream for help. They also, thus, wanted to criminalize any form of behavior that would make Raspara people feel unwelcome. Lastly they wanted to make it a crime for the Swamp Kids to accuse the Raspara people of being too violent, as they felt that this, too, was making life in Anzan unnecessarily painful for the Raspara minority. The Raspara threatened to besiege the capital if their demands were not met.
The Raspara who had founded Sikel belonged to a subset of the Raspara who believed in a somewhat softer form of Rasparism, and wanted to join Anzan as it matured into the world's strongest military power, with the Swamp Kids and the Raspara mingling with each other and many Swamp Kids joining the Raspara. For this to happen, they realized they needed to convince the Swamp Kids to happily accept them as new members of their society instead of simply forcing themselves on the Kids and then holding up a surrender treaty as proof that the two peoples had made peace. But they saw that the nation they considered the world's foremost major world power had meekly walked away when a parasitic army ripped a hole in the very center of the empire.
The Raspara living in Sikel split into two wings. Some Raspara leaders, repenting of their history of enslaving the Swamp Kids, and aware that the Raspara people tended to hurt weaker peoples even more than they hurt peoples they saw as equals, moved to the capital and warned the Swamp Kids of the vastly worse problems they feared lay ahead. They showed the Swampy leaders the documents that formed the basis for Rasparism, detailing the ideal behavioral traits of the Raspara's preferred victim nations, and showed that the Swamp Kids had already met most of those traits, and efforts were underway to get them to obey the remaining traits, such as the recent attempt to criminalize criticism of the Raspara. The Raspara in Sikel were, all in all, glad to see that the Swamp Kids had rejected this abusive law, if only because they claimed they could not force a law on their people that the people had not democratically expressed support for. These milder Rasparas identified themselves with the color yellow. Many Yellow Raspara were less powerful than average in their society, and identified with the people they were victimizing more than they identified with the other Raspara. Still, they defended their right to remain Raspara, to own Swampy slaves, and to exploit the Swampies. They wanted to make their abuse milder, however, and to encourage the Swampies to convert to the Raspara party so they could escape their torment. The Yellow Raspara took their name from a color that was symblematic of a party they had descended from in the past: in this case, the Thunderers. They claimed that the Raspara had been Thunderers that were oppressed by Dreamers for forty years and had come out of their oppression with a mindless rage against their former abusers, but had decided to direct their revenge not at their former abusers (Dreamland) but at the hapless Swamp Kids who had been oppressed by a different group for forty years and never harmed the Raspara in any way. Some Yellow Raspara (they avoided the name "Gold" for the same reasons that the Thunderers had: there was still such a thing as the Gold Party, though it was very weak) dyed their hair blonde, and the whole group came to refer to themselves as Blondes. They claimed they were returning to their roots as Thunderers, and would therefore be reliable allies of the Swamp Kids.
The Blonde Raspara asked the Swamp Kids to consider changing their party's name to something more intimidating, and suggested using Spines (Imata) after a type of battlesuit that they often wore, or even just reviving their earlier name Pioneers (Baumiata). But the Swamp Kids did not want to confuse their members, and further reaffirmed that they were proud to be "boys" because the key to their military climb to power was not to be bigger and stronger than their enemies but to obey their commanders at all costs. Thus they remained Swamp Kids (Nuaaā). They even went so far as to coin another new name, Veŋaaā "Countryside Boys", for those who pledged allegiance to the Swamp Kids but wanted to remain in Anzan, particularly the Raspara part, rather than moving to Baeba or to Sala. The Veŋa boys were largely the descendants of the Pioneers of a generation earlier, but did not consider themselves a political party and did not seek to convince other Swamp Kids to join the Veŋaaā.
Blonde hair had traditionally been associated with weakness and submission, and many of the Blonde Raspara had been Swamp Kids who converted to the Raspara out of desperation at seeing how weak and pliable their party had become. Thus, by dyeing their hair, the Blondes were signaling to the Swamp Kids that they were the softer of the two Rasparas. Ironically the Swamp Kids had arisen from a tribe of Pabaps known as the Paaapa, where paaapa was the Pabappa word for "dark-haired".
On the other end of the spectrum were the Blue Raspara who favored a form of their philosophy with a much sharper bite. They favored Raspara domination of both Tata and Anzan. They laid out plans for a complex, long-term strategy in which the Raspara would pull themselves into power at first by peaceful cooperation with the Swamp Kids, and then by betraying them in an all-out war. They used a blue version of the "sunburn" flag that the other Raspara used, and said that the blue represented the Cold Men from which they had descended. Their color choice was in honor of the short-lived Cold Men party that had existed in submission under the Dreamer occupation government, which had been revived briefly by a wing of the Swamp Kids. The Blue Raspara promised that they would be the world's cruelest and most invincible abusers, and that they would in the end victimize not only the Swamp Kids, but also any of the peoples whom they forced the Swamp Kids to use their military to conquer. They likened the Blonde Raspara to an abusive husband who beats his wife all day and then the next morning apologizes and cooks breakfast as if all would be healed. They pointed out the hypocrisy of invading a foreign nation in order to set up an exploitative slave labor encampment, expecting the slaves to happily welcome their new masters, and then being depressed when the slaves ran away when given the chance. They challenged the Yellow Raspara to a peaceful competition to see whether the Blues' extraordinarily abusive slavery or the Blondes' lukewarm on-again, off-again slavery was more efficient.
Because the Blondes accused the Blues of projecting their anger against Dreamland onto the Swamp Kids, they came to support a war against Dreamland. They promised each other that if Dreamland were conquered, they would continue to live as parasites, but would henceforth only parasitize Dreamland rather than Anzan. They also promised that they would elevate the Swampies to the equal status in their society, and allow them to move to Dreamland and enslave the Dreamers without needing to formally convert from the Swamp party to the Raspara party.
The Blue Raspara, being the majority, contemplated expelling the Blondes, realizing that doing so would rid their party of its weakest members and also reduce the Raspara population to the point where they would once again be about 7% of the population of their Empire, enough to enslave the Swamp Kids but not so much that the Swamp Kids would put undue strain on their bodies trying to do all of the slave labor the Raspara required.
But the Blue Raspara also did not want to cut their party in half, realizing that such a move could open a door to further calving of the Blue side of the party, which would weaken them and make their plans of domination impossible. They decided at all costs to allow the Blondes to remain, and even to allow Swamp Kids to formally convert to the Raspara party, assuming they would mostly go Blonde, and therefore put themselves out of reach of the Blue Raspara's slave drives.
The Swamp Kids thus had, after 25 years of being abused by the Raspara, uncovered a major weakness in the seemingly invincible Raspara party: the strategy that made the Raspara slave drives so uncannily successful, and the Swamp Kids so depressingly inefficient at stopping their progress, would break down if the entire Swamp Kids team formally converted to the Raspara party and therefore put themselves out of reach, since the Raspara held it as paramount that other Raspara could not be enslaved or expelled from the party, even if they were guilty of serious crimes. To prevent the Swampies from escaping their abuse by converting en masse to Rasparism, the Blue Raspara military commanders drew up plans for their next war. They figured that even the most desperate Swampies would refuse to convert to the political party whose army was at the outskirts of their capital city and taking in more slaves and war captives than ever. They thus promised their next war against the Swamp Kids would be their cruelest yet.
Preparations for war
By 4176, Anzan had developed its economy and military so quickly that it now was superior to Dreamland. Dreamer politicians were showing signs of frustration, and their complaints were made known to the Swamp Kids in the continuing process of annual debates in Anzan. The Raspara still wanted to conquer Tata, and some even dreamed of conquering Dreamland.
Rasparist power fantasies
The Raspara realized that they could entirely stop the unwelcome defection of the Swamp Kids to the Raspara by simply declaring war on the Swamp Kids and unleashing previously unspeakable horrors against the Swampy civilians. They came up with a plan where they would enter major cities at midnight and barricade all of the roads leading out of the city. Then, during the night, they would surround the government buildings and various other important buildings. Then they would demand the surrender of the entire city when the mayor and other government officials showed up to begin their day at work. If the surrender was accepted, the city would be converted into a slave commune immediately. If the surrender was refused, the Raspara at the city center would fire off a flare into the sky which would alert the other Raspara in the city to start sniping at all of the children in the city's elementary schools. The Raspara were good archers, and had other weapons experience as well. They realized that they only needed two people to kill off all of the children in a school: one to block the doorway and fire arrows into children in the hallways, another to chase down and rip open any children who tried to escape through the windows. If they ran out of arrows, they would set the school on fire instead while remaining in front of the door to block the path of anyone trying to escape. They figured that if they mostly attacked toddlers and young children, they could juice hundreds or even thousands of Swamp Kids without themselves losing a single man. Then, once the schools were liquidated, they would climb over their barricades and then repeat their plan in a new city.
But they also realized that if they were to do this, the Swamp Kids would suffer hundreds of thousands of battle deaths, mostly of unarmed children in their cities, while the Raspara soldiers would suffer nearly none. Thus the Raspara would soon find themselves stuck with a shortage of people to abuse. Not wanting to inflict this unenviable situation on their hard-working slave drivers, they tabled the plans for their all-out massacres for the time being and looked for a way to increase the Swamp Kids' population instead of decreasing it.
The Raspara realized that although their power base was strongly concentrated in Anzan, they had a sizable membership in the neighboring, and traditionally hostile, nation of Tata. The Raspara in Tata were almost all recent converts from the Play party, and were not as well-educated as those in Anzan. Most did not know about the Blonde-Blue split or why the Raspara perversely wanted to whittle their population down instead of encouraging conversion from their enemies.
Gapeyes (The Honeypot War)
In 4177, a troop of Raspara living in Tata learned what was going on, and declared war on the Swamp Kids. They invaded Anzan with a purposely weak army, because they were intending to lose the war and trigger the Swamp Kids into settling much of Tata. This was called Gapeyes, the Honeypot War, because the Raspara knew that the Swamp Kids would win easily and would be confident that they could follow the Raspara into Tata and achieve victory in Tata as well.
Anzan-Tata Invasion of 4177
The Players did not participate in the invasion, but were unable to stop the Raspara decoy army because the Raspara were fighting badly on purpose and therefore traveled very quickly. The Raspara army in Anzan also did not participate because they wanted the war to be fought, and thus won, in Tata. The Raspara realized that the Swamp Kids were the most gullible and easily pushed around people in the world, but that given the rare opportunity of a fair fight, they were actually fairly efficient soldiers, whereas the Players, once proud, had let their military degenerate and were now very poor soldiers.
The Raspara, who had worn Play battle uniforms, quickly lost their "battle", but managed to kidnap many Swamp Kids as they retreated. The Swamp Kids believed that the Players had invaded them, and immediately declared war. The angry Swamp Kids faced off against the hapless Play army and soon besieged the Player capital city of Pintu, which had once been the capital of Dreamland. They were able to do this even though they were already fighting a civil war against the Crystals in their own homeland because they had enough weapons to militarize nearly their entire adult male population. Thus many Swamp Kids now lived in Tata: some were kidnapped slaves, some were running the government.
The Treaty of Mimala
The Raspara wished that they could make all Swampies their slaves, but they realized that to prevent even further defections of Swamp Kids, they had to make some concessions, such as allowing the Swamp Kids to set up an all-Swampy government in Tata, and to allow this government limited power to control the slavery operations of the Raspara living within its borders. The Raspara still believed that the Swamp Kids were unbelievably exploitable, going so far as to conquer a large foreign nation and then allow that nation to enslave the conquerors.
The Raspara had never told the Swamp Kids that the initial invasion of Anzan was fake and promised each other that they never would. Thus, the Swamp Kids believed that they had suffered an invasion from a former ally called the Play party, and had in response invaded and quickly defeated the Player army and subdued the common Player people, only to find that in their new nation there was a sizable troop of Raspara people and those people were somehow already enslaving and abusing the Swamp Kids who had only recently invaded. The Swamp Kids did not ask how the Raspara had gotten to Tata and how they managed to have captured Swamp Kids as slaves even before the Swamp Kids first entered Tata; they simply accepted their humiliating fate and tried to work out a way for the Swampies and the Raspara to live in harmony yet again. The Raspara realized that even after 28 years, the Swamp Kids still largely did not understand the Raspara and considered them invincible and perhaps magical people whose only purpose was to sit amusedly watching the Swamp Kids fight bloody wars with six-figure body counts and then when the war was over traipse in and snatch the prize away from them.
Birth of the Strawberries
The Swamp Kids had tried to fight the Raspara head-on in previous conflicts, but by 4177 the Swamp Kids seemed to believe that they could best deal with Raspara aggression against their people by either submitting to them completely (puya) or conceding ground in the hopes of trying to find a safe distance (masa). The strategy of submitting to the Raspara entirely became known as the Strawberry Plan, named after a type of strawberry called the pūya.
Soon, a wing of the Swampies known as the Strawberries declared its independence from the parent party, and said that they were exhausted from so many years of war and would no longer attempt to fight back or even to run away from the Raspara. They were willing to submit to a lifetime of excruciating pain and even death if the Raspara should ever tire of them, simply because even that was less stressful than a lifetime of running and fighting an enemy that never even felt pain. Dressed in blood-red clothes from head to toe, the Strawberries bade their families goodbye and held hands while they walked somberly to each group's local Raspara slave camp.
The Snowstorm Treaty
Upon the sight of the pitiful Strawberries, even the hardline Raspara began to cry. They realized that they were guilty of so many sins that even they could not comprehend them all. The Raspara in Anzan had been abusing the Swamp Kids for almost 30 years, and those few Swampies who were old enough had been abused by the Raspara and before that the Leapers. None among the Swamp Kids had ever known anything but abuse, and they expressed only pain, fear, and despair. When the Swamp Kids had been told that if they fought hard enough in Tata, they might finally achieve freedom and a safe homeland for their people, they had felt hope for the first time. They had believed that this hope would lead them to happiness, and yet after they won a deadly war against their former allies they were greeted in the capital city of their new nation by the sight of many Raspara slave lords abusing the Swamp Kids even there.
Out of guilt, the Raspara helped rewrite Tata's surrender treaty to be more generous towards the Swamp Kids, and less generous towards the seemingly invincible Raspara. They renamed it the Snowstorm Treaty, after the shared heritage of the Raspara and Swamp Kids: both were descended, at least in part, from parties calling themselves the Cold Men, and in earlier times, the Raspara were descended from the Thunderers while the Swamp Kids were partially descended from the Soap Bubbles, who had had an alternate name of Snow. The name was also in reference to the Thunderstorm Treaty which had been signed about 300 years earlier. The name also referenced their claimed common enemy, the Dreamers, who despite being far north enjoyed a sunny climate and identified themselves with warmth and often suffered from sunburns.
In the new treaty, the Raspara granted the governing Swamp Kids the formal ability to free some of the enslaved Swamp Kids, and the ability to have priority over the Raspara in the gathering of defeated Players into newly built slave camps of their own. The Raspara had not gone soft, they had merely promised to direct their abuse upon a people who had not already been abused for their entire lives. Thus the enslavement of Players was guaranteed, and the Swamp Kids annexed all of Tata into Anzan. Swampy censuses in Anzan soon added the Players to their rolls as another political minority. All of this happened during 4177.
Previously, the Swamp Kids had allowed slaves to vote, and it had never been a problem for them because they had never had a significant pool of slaves of their own: usually they were the ones being enslaved. But now for the first time in history the Swamp Kids were suddenly an oppressive minority ruling over a large, hostile, but mostly helpless majority. They quickly realized that in a democracy, the Players could simply vote them out of power and even into slavery all over again. Thus, they were forced to abandon democracy for the time being, and instead reduced Tata to the status of an occupied territory, no longer fully part of Anzan, and therefore not eligible to participate in Anzan's vast democracy. This change also removed the voting power of the Raspara, and the Raspara happily agreed to this as they preferred to get things done by force rather than by voting. The Swamp Kids appointed a king to control Tata.
For their part, the defeated Players believed that the Swamp Kids were party to the conspiracy, and that they had agreed to the plan because even though they knew the Raspara would put the Swamp Kids at the very bottom of their society, they didn't mind as long as there were also Swamp Kids at the top. Soon, the Swamp Kids and the Raspara signed a pact stating that this war was in fact the long-desired anti-Dreamer war that both the Swamp Kids and the Raspara desired, and that Tata had merely been subsituted for Dreamland. They promised that they would still enslave Dreamland eventually, but only once Tata's Player party had been so utterly cowed into submission that the Players themselves would fight on the front lines and take most of the casualties in the war.
The slave drive soon captured the entire Play population, and the Raspara even went so far as to agree to begin releasing Swampies from slavery so that they could more easily control their suddenly massive new slave army of Players. The Raspara themselves also began enslaving Players, although they gave the Swampies first priority. This was partly out of respect for the hard-fighting Swampy army and partly because the Raspara realized that if they forever piled abuse on top of abuse, while proudly repeating that they accepted converts from any other party, they would rapidly run out of potential slaves to abuse. The new occupation government of Tata was one of the few areas where the two parties seemingly conspired honestly instead of forming a fake agreement in which the Raspara party baked lie after lie into their agreements and the Swampy party ate them up.
Nevertheless, the Raspara were delighted when they realized that the Swamp Kids in Tata indeed were content to let the Raspara army hold on to their captured Swampy slaves as long as they gave the Player slaves to the Swamp Kids and obeyed the laws of the Swampies above them in the Tataan government. Even though they had voluntarily signed away most of their power out of pure pity, they were still able to oppress a large subset of the people who had supposedly conquered them. This was exactly the ideal setup that the Raspara believed would help them conquer the world: whereas total oppression of a majority people would lead to a massive revolt, with the Raspara abusing only a subset of the majority population, that majority would be divided against itself and unable to take action against the Raspara. Already, the Swamp Kids who were held by the Raspara as slaves were frustrated, as they had expected that as soon as the Swampy army reached their labor camps they would immediately be liberated. The Raspara had done their best to keep the news out of reach of their slaves, but the slaves now knew that their nation had been handed over to the Swampies but that the Swampies seemed totally uninterested in freeing their compatriots from the labor camps.
The enslaved Players cried out to the Swampy leaders that they had been fooled once again, even in their victory, and promised to sign an anti-Raspara alliance with the Swampies if the Swampies would accept them and promise to release the Players from slavery, even if only in the far future. The Swamp Kids refused, as they were all, for the first time in their lives, finally on top of their society instead of on the very bottom.
When the Raspara realized that the Swamp Kids were going to let them once again build slave camps for Swampies and dish out ever greater abuses on their slaves, the Raspara leaders declared that forever their home would be wherever the Swamp Kids had the reins of power, and that any Raspara living in a country controlled by the Swampies could not even dream of a greater paradise. But they knew that the Swamp Kids might eventually get wise to the Raspara's schemes, and that the Raspara would need to always have an army to ensure that they would not be eliminated along with all of the other enemies of the Kids.
Raspara colonies in the south
Because of the 4177 war, the Swamp Kids were no longer mostly confined to areas south of the Raspara homelands. Instead, the Swamp Kids were on the south, west, north, and east of the Raspara homelands. Being completely surrounded by their enemies made the Raspara military commanders happy because at home in Anzan they still had all of the Swampy leaders in the palms of their hands and could crush their bones at the slightest provocation. The Raspara had even invaded and enslaved a village of Swamp Kids living outside the Raspara homeland as a test, and the Swamp Kids had taken sixteen months to launch a counterattack. With much of the Swampy army tied up either occupying Anzan or fighting yet another Raspara occupation in the far southeast, the Swampy army was even weaker than normal in its home territory, and the Raspara army in Sikel contemplated groping their way around the woods, grabbing village after Swampy village, on their quest southwards towards the Swampy capital city of Sala, where they would admit they were tired of their own lies and tricks and were finally ready to simply massacre the Swamp Kids.
Building of more colonies
The Raspara were well-educated about history, both their own and those of their enemies. The Raspara and the Swamp Kids had come to a surprisingly peaceful agreement in Tata, but realized that such a setup was likely due to the fact that they had found a common enemy in the Players, and agreed to split the victims between them so they would not spend as much time hating each other. Anzan was much larger than Tata, however, and the vast majority of Swampies still lived in Anzan, where the Raspara were seen as entirely unlovable. The Raspara had become increasingly aggressive towards the Swamp Kids in recent years, and the Swamp Kids had become increasingly submissive as they realized that every time they tried to fight back they were humiliated on the battlefield. The Swampy military had come to decide that there were only two ways to deal with Raspara attacks: complete submission (puya) and running away (masa). Fighting back was completely off the table, as the Raspara always seemed to win even when they were greatly outnumbered. Essentially the Swamp Kids had become pacifists, at least with respect to the Raspara, in the middle of the world's most violent war.
The Swampies had a problem, however: because their society was so open, they had allowed Raspara people to settle the entirety of their territory. They knew that if they kept on running away from the Raspara, the Raspara would end up with the entire land area of Anzan to themselves and the Swamp Kids would have none. The Swamp Kids' only hope was that all of the other violent invaders in their territory would unite against the Raspara and do the fighting that the Swamp Kids couldn't do. But the other armies seemed to fear the Raspara as much as the Swampies did, and never seemed to attack Raspara encampments even when doing so would be in their best interest. The Zenith, for example, seemed even more helpless than the Swamp Kids, because the Raspara banished them entirely from any area of Anzan they managed to conquer, whereas they at least tolerated the Swamp Kids, if only because they used the Swamp Kids as slaves.
Since the Swamp Kids didn't seem to want to fight back when a Raspara army attacked them, the Raspara decided to build more colonies in the central heartlands of the Swampy territory, near their original colony (Sikel). This had two advantages: first, they were stealing ever more Swampy land, and could charge the Swamp Kids tolls to cross it because it was in a crucially central part of the Empire. Secondly, their new colonies were surrounded on all sides by Swamp Kids, so that if an external enemy invaded Anzan, the Swamp Kids would shield them in all directions from the worst of the conflict. They were not worried about an invasion from the Swamp Kids themselves because the Swamp Kids had decided that they could only respond to Raspara aggression by either submitting completely to the Raspara slave drives or running away in the hopes that they might find a place to live in freedom until the next attack.
Building colonies in the center of Anzan was now easy for them to do, because for the most part, the Raspara were already living deep in the middle of Anzan because Anzan had expanded its way northward to meet them when they conquered and settled Tata. Meanwhile, they would also push southwards towards the capital city, knowing that if they occupied the capital, any further resistance from the Swamp Kids would be weakened even further, and could likely even be entirely ignored.
When the Raspara carved out these new territories, they were deep in Swampy territory, which meant that all of the other minorities that lived with the Swampies were also present. The Raspara would not allow this, and when the Raspara army appeared they targeted the Zenith first and foremost, and warned the Crystals and Bubbles that they were not welcome either. This resulted in a flood of Crystals, Bubbles, and Zeniths into areas near the capital city of Sala.
Plans for further wars
The Raspara realized that having invaded the Swamp Kids five times in three years was putting a serious strain on their promise three years earlier to never declare war against or invade the Swamp Kids, but hoped that the two parties could still put their violent past behind them and form a new, healthy relationship in search of their common goals. They hoped that they could renew their alliance with the Swamp Kids so that they could push the Swamp Kids into more wars and then take away the spoils of their hard-earned victories.
Both groups wanted to reach and conquer Baeba Swamp. The Swamp Kids wanted to make Baeba an entirely Swampy city, with no power for any other groups. The Raspara wanted to let the Swamp Kids struggle and bleed as they marched through the tropics, defeating and thus removing many enemy armies along the way, and then once the Swamp Kids had Baeba under their control the Raspara would move in and sit on top of them. They believed that they could do this because they were more educated than the Swamp Kids and had throughout their short history made quick work of many peoples that they had settled among.
The Raspara marched under a flag depicting a red sun. They said that this was the way they preferred to live; once they had Baeba Swamp, the Swamp Kids would work on plantations and suffer severe and painful sunburns, while the Raspara would sit in the shade drinking cold water that had been laboriously carried to them from the mountains of Dreamland. Key to the Raspara's internal propaganda was the identification of the Swamp Kids as Pabaps; though Paba was long gone, everyone still knew of Paba as a pacifist empire that had fallen into the hands of abusers because the Pabap people simply could not bring themselves to fight back against the abusers. They saw the Swamp Kids as essentially militarized Pabaps, and claimed that they could be pushed back into pacifism again with enough cleverly crafted propaganda. The Swamp Kids, however, said that they had drawn in people from all nations, and that although they identified themselves as Andanese, and the Andanese were a tribe of Pabaps, membership in the Swamp Kids was open to anybody. Moreover, they said, many Pabaps did not support the Swamp Kids.
Meanwhile, some Raspara, emboldened by the total lack of any violent reaction from the Swamp Kids, decided that the time was ripe for them to attempt to conquer the Swamp Kids and enslave even the leaders. They saw that the many strategically located Raspara colonies in Anzan were like open wounds on a body, and figured that given that Raspara soldiers seemed to be significantly better than Swamp soldiers, the various Raspara armies could link up and cut the Swamp Kids' territory into pieces. They believed that this would be fatal for the Swamp Kids, because unlike the Raspara, the Swamp Kids were constantly fighting insurrections even within what they considered to still be Swampy territory. On the other hand, the Raspara did not allow minorities in their territories, except their Swampy slaves, and thus there was no threat of one of the Raspara colonies being overthrown from within.
The people who wanted an immediate all-out war were a minority within the Raspara, as the majority preferred to let the Swamp Kids continue to win at least those wars that they were still capable of winning; namely, expansion towards the west, the ultimate goal being to conquer Baeba Swamp and perhaps Tata and Dreamland on the way. In 4177, those Raspara who favored an immediate war announced the creation of a new political party, the Matrixes. Their name referred to their "complex" philosophy, which required thinking in two dimensions instead of one. They claimed an alliance with what was left of Nama, and that Nama had submitted completely to them. They launched a sixth civil war now, planning to subjugate the Swamp Kids under a new Matrix government with no power for the non-Matrix Rasparas. Thus, the non-Matrix Rasparas refused to participate in the war.
The orthodox Raspara questioned the sanity of the Matrixes, who had apparently just resolved to fight a war against the Swamp Kids using soldiers from Nama, which was both very weak and firmly allied with the Swamp Kids. The Matrixes responded that they would do some fighting of their own, too, but preferred to have the Namans take most of the hits in their war. They claimed that their alliance with Nama was partly a means to increase their population, since they were outnumbered by the Swamp Kids, and that once they had won their war they would betray Nama and perhaps invade.
The Matrixes announced that they would begin invading small-statured tribes such as the Crystals, the Swamp Kids, the Players, and the Bubbles. Any slaves the Matrixes managed to capture as they spread out would be forcibly adopted into one of these tribes, even if the other tribespeople would not consider them to be members. Some Matrixes would occasionally marry into the slave pools, figuring the slaves would be less likely to revolt if their own relatives were their targets. At the same time, the tribes would be kept separate from each other, so that the Matrixes could exploit the differences between those people in the event that one of them broke free.
The Matrixes traditionally hated the Swamp Kids much more than they hated the Crystals, but they chose to focus their attacks on the Swamp Kids since the Swamp Kids were the largest of the armies and the only one claiming the whole of the empire's land.
The Swamp Kids agreed with some, not all, of the inherited Baywatch (Anchor) laws. Like the Matrixes, the Zeniths, and the Crystals, the Swamp Kids did not believe in judicial organizations. However, in their case, it was often assumed that they held this belief because they wished the right to commit crimes without having to answer to an authority. The Swamp was composed of many different groups of people, as its campaign appeal was much broader than the Crystals'. The Swamp detested the Crystals greatly, but chose to focus on fighting the strong armies above them rather than the weak armies below them.
The Matrixes were mostly former Players who wanted to ensure a bright future for their party, even at the expense of polluting their ideology with ideas nearly opposite from their own; the Crystals were people who had admired the earlier Crystals and accepted their invitation to join, and were composed mostly of disempowered, formerly Cold people and others who had allied with the Raspara during the Baywatch occupation government but gotten little power in return; the Bubbles were also followers of the (Dreamer-occupied era) Crystals, but of a different caliber; these people tended to be poorer and more apt to be seized by zealous fundamentalism than the Crystals.
Role of the Soap Bubbles
The Soap Bubbles (usually called Bubbles) were a party founded in the year 3842 in the Thunder Empire as the Thunder Empire was being conquered by Dreamland. The Bubbles mostly fled into Crystal territory, and their fate became linked to that of the Crystals. During the Swamp Kids' reign, the Bubbles had remained mostly nonviolent, although because they were so small and weak, they at times entered into alliances with the Crystals in which the Crystals promised to protect them.
The Zeniths were amused by the idea of a parasitic army sitting in the middle of Anzan abusing the Swamp Kids while benefiting from the Swamp Kids' military successes. Many Zeniths living in Anzan considered converting to the Raspara party in the hopes of becoming slaveowners themselves. They developed their own weapons factories, which the Swamp Kids were afraid to attack. This led many Raspara people, in turn, to envy the Zenith and convert to Zenithism even though they realized the Zeniths did not generally offer weapons to converts. Even some Swamp Kids converted to the Zenith, and they were generally treated better than the Raspara because the Zeniths saw them as more innocent. These Swamp Kids supported slavery even though they were not allowed to participate in it themselves because Rasparism did not allow even the converts from the Swamp Kids to become slaveowners. However the Zeniths (but not the Raspara) were warming to the idea of allowing Swamp Kids to become slaveowners, figuring that it would lead to a massive wave of conversion to the Zenith party.
Nevertheless, still in 4177, many Zeniths joined the Raspara in killing ever more Swamp Kids. Unlike all other armies, the Zeniths allowed treason, and therefore the pro-Swampy Zenith leadership took no action against the Zeniths who were killing Swamp Kids. These were unorganized attacks, however, as most Zeniths still believed that their real enemy was the Raspara.
Soon, the Zeniths and those whom they had attracted began to feel superior to both the Rasparas and the Matrixes, and some prepared for a war against all Matrixes and Rasparas. The Matrixes heard of this, and began to prepare for war against the Zenith. The Zenith had become a full ally of the Swamp Kids now, even though some of the more disobedient Zeniths were still sniping at Swamp Kids every day, which meant that everyone in the country except some of the Rasparas had turned against the Matrix. The Rasparas had been weakened by internal conflicts, but individual Rasparas found safety in various ways.
The Volcano War
In 4178, the Raspara army declared war on the Swamp Kids, joining the Matrix invasion but fighting for themselves and not promising to help the Matrix. The Matrix seemed to be militarily incompetent, as their purported alliance with Nama had bought them nothing, and the Swamp Kids actually seemed to be winning most of their battles against the Matrix. The Raspara valued education, and did not allow incompetent people, or even uneducated people, any power in their party.
Yet the Raspara admitted that the Matrixes had likely been correct in saying that the many parasitic Raspara colonies could link up with each other and cut the Swamp Kids' empire into pieces. This new war was only one year after the fake war they had fought in order to attract the Swamp Kids into their homeland, but this time they were fighting for real.
Aided by the Swamp Kids' strong network of roads, the Raspara were able to communicate their plans to their furthest outposts and invade the Swamp Kids in many places all at once. From the northwest, they cut their way through Player-held Tata, which was now considered an autonomous kingdom within Anzan rather than part of Anzan itself. They invaded from Creamland, and from their colonies in the Swampy heartland, Dada and Sìkel, which they had built in the 4150s and were now very well fortified. They invaded the Swamp Kids from their illegal settlements in the countryside of Anzan itself, which were even more fortified than their official colonies because they were illegal and thus needed to have their boundaries defined by military force rather than mutually accepted peace treaties. They invaded the Swamp Kids from unorganized legal settlements in territory firmly under Swampy control, simply because the Swampy army was tied down fighting its many other wars.
The Swamp Kids were horrified when they realized that all of their appeasements, such as giving them Creamland's choicest seacoast and even allowing the Raspara to use Swamp Kids as slaves in that nation, had apparently never even slowed down the Raspara's plans for war and that the Raspara had now invaded them seven times in the four years since signing a peace treaty promising that they would never invade. And now they were suffering the biggest invasion of all, as it was coming from six different places both inside and outside their nation.
Previously the Swamp Kids had assumed that if they were nice to the Raspara people, the Raspara people wouldn't beat them up as much. But the Raspara seemed to be perversely the most cruel towards the people that helped them the most. Indeed it was a major tenet of Raspara philosophy that the cruel must always prey upon the kind, never on other cruel people, even those in rival nations.
With nearly a dozen hostile armies running around inside their territory, the Swampy army was under severe strain. Sensing their pitiful condition, Nama also now invaded, hoping to grab back some of the territory it had lost over the years. They had no ideological motivation for this war; they merely saw that their ally had become very weak and figured that they might be weak enough to lose a war against Nama. The Swamp Kids panicked and immediately fortified their long border with Nama. They succeeded in stopping further Naman invasions, but a large number of Naman army battalions had seen this coming and had already pushed their way deep into the Anzanan countryside, hoping to either link up with a different invader or wait out the war hoping that they could benefit from a peace treaty. However, the Swamp Kids attacked the Naman army directly, realizing that Nama was far weaker than the Raspara.
The Zenith switched sides and also declared war on the Swamp Kids. The Zeniths had signed a peace treaty with the Swamp Kids a few months earlier, but broke the treaty because they had decided instead to side with Nama. The Zenith leadership had changed hands to a pro-RRC camp, which showed that ethnic conflict had not yet been entirely eliminated from Anzan. That is, although all wars were now political conflicts instead of ethnic conflicts, a few parties such as RRC existed that were dominated by a single ethnicity. RRC was interested in Repilian interests, and did not see itself as a racist organization because they said that all of the other political parties, by their very existence, opposed the Repilians because they all claimed the right to rule in Anzan, which was originally Repilian territory. Nama contained the rump state left from Repilia after all of the other armies had conquered the easily settled parts of Repilia. The Zenith had not traditionally been friendly towards Nama, but many RRC supporters had joined the Zenith since they knew that RRC had no politics of its own other than getting land back into the hands of the few surviving Repilians in Anzan, and would thus have no support even from people who were sympathetic to the Repilian people's painful history. Since the Zenith had signed a treaty specifically with Nama, and most Zeniths already lived in Anzan, Nama began to claim that they had broken through even the Swampies' newer, stronger border defenses, and that the Zenith soldiers were able to communicate with Nama. However this was not true; Nama was merely trying to keep its people motivated to continue the fight against the Swamp Kids. The Raspara had given the Zeniths some of their weapons in the hopes of improving their success rates, as Repilians and Zeniths had so far been poor soldiers.
Swampy military strategy
Meanwhile, the Swamp Kids were still at war with the Crystals, who wanted a nation of their own carved out of the polar icecap and surrounding lands. Thus, the Swamp Kids were fighting four simultaneous civil wars (Raspara, Crystal, Matrix, Zenith) and one foreign war against Nama. Faced with a total of fifteen armies chasing after their one army, the Swamp Kids hurriedly appointed new commanders and split up their army to fight each of the invaders in a one-to-one battle, hoping to win at least nine of the battles (they doubted they could beat the Raspara). They realized all fifteen of the invaders seemed to be spiraling inwards towards their capital city, and that most of the Swampies' armed forces were not located near the capital but at their borders. Their borders had been quickly punctured by the invaders that had come from outside, whereas the invaders that had come from inside did not even need to bother with the border guards as they sped ahead towards their goal of Sala.
The Swamp Kids realized that they still had two potential lifelines in this war: one was that, even though they were being invaded by literally all of their neighbors, those neighbors had not formally signed an alliance with each other, and the Swamp Kids hoped that they were merely looking to fight each other rather than split the spoils once they crushed the Swamp Kids. Their second hope was that because they had been invaded by all of their neighbors, the enemies of those neighbors would soon join in, and thus the Swamp Kids could at least get help from Laban soldiers.
Previously, the Raspara had presented themselves as an ally, privately conceding amongst themselves that they were an enemy of the Swamp Kids whose military interests happened to coincide with those of the Swamp Kids. They had resolved to abstain from war against the Swamp, since they knew that every victory the Swamp Kids achieved against any other army also helped the Raspara, and any defeat for the Swamp Kids weakened the Raspara. Now, however, the Swampy empire was in danger of being torn apart by its many enemies, and although at first the Raspara wanted to try to help the Swamp Kids by joining the Swampy armies, they decided to hurt the Swamp Kids even more by launching yet another civil war. Unlike the other armies, the Raspara lived entirely within Swampy territory, and could do a lot more damage to the Swamp Kids' civilization because they did not need to fight an army to get in. Most of the areas where the Raspara lived had been mostly demilitarized by the Swamp Kids because the Raspara army was given control of those areas. Even though the Swamp Kids did not completely trust the Raspara, and thus maintained a small force in each Raspara district that was loyal to the Swamp Kids, these battalions were difficult to supply from outside and thus the new war was effectively fought by the Raspara military against the Swampy civilians.
Although the Raspara had made themselves famous for their ever greater extremes of cruelty, they did not simply massacre entire towns of Swampies as they moved southward. They wanted to protect the people living there, while at the same time thickly patrolling their cities, so that they could present to the Swamp Kids in their capital city a threat to kill off all of the civilians under their umbrella if they did not hand over control immediately to the Raspara.
With the technology of the time, the Swamp Kids had a difficult time communicating with their military generals who were fighting in the Crystal breakaway republic of Hukuku. They wanted to surrender to the Crystals and move the Swampy army out of Crystal territory so it could focus on fighting the much more dangerous Rasparas, but the Rasparas had anticipated this move, and cut off the main supply lines between Hukuku and the Raspara occupied territory in a great push northward. The Swamp Kids were forced to use neighboring nations to communicate with their armies, and knew that they could not manage a military retreat through these nations. Thus the Swampies realized their army in Crystal territory was entirely cut off from their army in the rest of Anzan. Meanwhile, the Raspara army built fortresses in eastern Anzan from which they intended to destroy the Swampy army if learned what had happened and chose to retreat west. They also considered a more aggressive invasion of Crystal territory itself, even knowing that the Crystals would immediately forgive the Swampies and fight on the same side, but held off for the time being because they did not want to fight both armies at once.
Luckily for the Raspara, the Swampy army in Crystal territory soon did retreat, and was massacred by the much stronger Raspara army when it reached the fortified Raspara front lines. Then the Raspara rode into Crystal territory proclaiming that the Crystals' brave struggle to free themselves from their parent nation would be rewarded by a lifetime of constant pain under Raspara occupation. Meanwhile, the bulk of the Raspara army was now focused on punching southward through Swamp-held territory, and it soon became clear to both the Swampies and the other armies invading Anzan that the Raspara were intending to occupy the imperial capital, Sala, and from there rule the entire Swampy Empire.
Some Swamp Kids began to spread northwards onto the icecap, which they called Xema (also Xama). They soon lost contact with Xama, however, and abandoned this project as well. Meanwhile, the small population of Xama developed a society of its own. Xama was independent, not allied to Anzan, Dreamland, the Matrixes, or any other army on the planet. Their only alliance was to each other. The Zeniths established agreements with some of the people in Xama, but they were not able to make a true alliance because Xama didn't believe in alliances with foreign powers. Some Zeniths went to Xama, where they began to work planning out a war against the Swamp Kids. Some Zeniths didn't even realize this was happening, and continued to support the Swamp Kids. Some Zeniths joined the Swamp Kids in their religious belief of hahaa, associated with expressing anger towards their enemies. They felt that doing this helped them find common enemies and therefore mend ties with each other.
In 4179, Xema convinced Paba to declare war on the Swamp Kids. This marked the sixteenth invasion of the Swamp Kids' territory in the Volcano War. But the Swamp Kids realized that Paba was much weaker than most of the other invaders, and the Swamp Kids acted quickly to this new invasion. Paba surrendered within just a few days, as they were unprepared for a modern war, and consigned many of their people to live as slaves for the Swamp Kids. The Swamp Kids then forced them to fight against Nama.
When Xema saw that Paba and Nama were now at war with each other, they declared war on Paba, which was now run entirely by the Swamp Kids. Xeman soldiers learned the languages of Nama and convinced the Swampies that they were actually a revenge invasion from Nama rather than from Xema which had only been settled a few years before. Xema successfully drove the Swamp Kids out of Paba and made Paba a Xeman colony. By now, the Swamp Kids were simultaneously fighting off invasions from Nama and Xema, while also struggling with civil wars from the Matrixes, the Raspara, the Zeniths, and the Crystals. (Although the Crystals now realized that the Raspara were much worse than the Swampies had been, the Raspara had managed to force the Crystals to continue the fight against the Swamp Kids indirectly by building weapons.)
The Matrixes were happy to see that a great enemy of the Swampies was beating them in a war and had established a colony right on their border. The Matrixes were worried, though, that Xema would soon turn against the Matrixes and could be even more dangerous to them than the Swamp Kids were. The Matrixes declared war on Xema, hoping that this would convince the Swamp Kids to be friendly towards the Matrix and turn over some of their military secrets. The Swamp Kids agreed to the new alliance, and stopped fighting the Matrix. Meanwhile the Matrix leaders peered over the shoulders of the Swampy military planners, and then gave the Swamp Kids' secrets to Xema.
Meanwhile, the Zenith had made peace with the Swamp Kids as well, and they did not know of the secret Matrix-Xema pact, so they also accepted the Matrixes as friends, and the Matrixes also spied on the Zeniths. Meanwhile, the Matrixes and the Rasparas signed a secret treaty that laid out the plans for the next stage in their combined war against the Swamp Kids. Front line combat would be fought primarily by Rasparas, but with some secret Matrix soldiers who would dress as Rasparas. Further back, the Matrixes would work in chemical warfare. Meanwhile, Xema was still attempting a land invasion of Anzan from Paba, and killing many Swamp Kids in every battle.
The Rasparas soon began winning major battles. They had planned for a long war, and the Swamp Kids had not. After each humiliating battle, the Raspara general wrote to the Swampy government asking if they were ready to surrender. They pointed out that the Swampy armies were often much larger and better equipped than the Raspara, but kept losing battles. They promised that if the Swamp Kids surrendered, the Raspara generals would take over the Swampy military and, with their superior battle strategies, drive out all five of the other hostile armies, even the Matrix, from Swampy territory. They reminded the Swampies that the Raspara would have no reason to back down on this promise, as the Raspara wanted the other armies gone just as much as the Swampies did. But the Swampies refused to surrender.
Treaty of Hukuku
In the year 4180, the Swamp Kids retreated their army from Hukuku, and declared that Hukuku was a separate nation rather than a state within Anzan as the original Crystal founders had intended. But Hukuku was immediately taken over a wing of the advancing Raspara army, which enslaved all of the Crystals. They, in turn, were soon invaded by the Zenith army, which was still looking to build a state of its own for the first time in history. Thus, The Rasparas, the Zeniths, and the Crystals were all at war fighting over the icebound colony of Hukuku. A fourth army calling itself the Unholy Alliance was also present here, but had retreated even further than the rest and did not claim the whole of Hukuku was theirs.
Xema takes action
In 4180, even more Kids moved to Xema, with weapons, hoping to make Xema a military powerhouse for the Swampies.
In 4182, Xema invaded Creamland. In response, the Swamp Kids also declared war on Creamland, and soon conquered it. Then, Xema discovered an easy route to Nama, and immediately invaded. This turned all of the other nations against Xema, and they remained so even as they fought each other.
In late 4182, Xema surrendered only to the Swamp Kids, promising the Swamp Kids all of their weapons and saying that the Swamp Kids could enslave some of the Xemans. But Xema was still participating in their war by way of Paba. Within a few years, Xema was forgotten.
Surrender of Sala
In early 4186, the Raspara-Matrix army seized the capital of Anzan, Sala, from the Swamp Kids, and began occupying the surrounding countryside. Six years of getting pounded by their enemies in six simultaneous wars had finally worn out the Swampy soldiers. The Raspara had attacked, and found that the Andanese army was too busy fighting its five other wars to mobilize a full defense of the city. The Raspara knew that the other five invading armies were not in Anzan to help them, however, and realized they needed to make peace with those other armies or else they too would be fighting six simultaneous wars.
The Raspara signed a treaty between themselves, the Matrix, Xema, Paba, Nama, Laba, the Crystals, and the Swamp Kids. They decided that the Swamp Kids would henceforth all be slaves for the Raspara, and that the Matrixes (who had contributed very little to the war) could buy slaves from the Raspara. Paba was given to Xema, and the native Pabap population was allowed to move into Anzan and not be enslaved. More Swamp Kids moved to Xema, to get away from the Raspara. The Crystals' right to their independent nation of Hukuku was reaffirmed; government power in this nation, however, was transferred entirely to the Raspara. The Raspara vowed that if they were thrown out of Sala, they would focus on occupying and defending the extremely cold but well-protected nation of Hukuku.
Earlier, the Raspara had promised that if they achieved victory, they would immediately turn against all of the other invaders and help the Swampies protect their borders. They now backed down on that promise, but claimed that it was only because the Swampy generals had refused to turn over command of the Swampy armies to the Raspara, despite their treaty calling for them to do so. The Raspara maintained that, if the command of the armies was indeed turned over to the Raspara, the Swamp Kids' military fortunes would immediately improve.
Paba did not like the new treaty. Many Swamp Kids had fled into Paba during the war, even though it was a Xeman-occupied territory, and now they had extended the civil war into Paba. The native Pabaps also did not want to be ruled over by Xemans. They also drew Laba back into the war, and Laba fought on the side of the Swamp Kids. Thus the Swamp Kids now had two strong allies — Paba and Laba — to help them win their struggles. Although Laba's population was larger than all of the other armies combined, they were separated by thousands of miles of ocean and could only mobilize a tiny percentage of their population. Laba was fighting a purely humanitarian war, sending over only male soldiers, who knew that they would likely die in battle and that if not, the Swamp Kids would not be able to reward their service with a lifestyle superior or even comparable to what they had enjoyed in Laba. Nevertheless, they were a strong ally due to their sheer size alone. Paba was much weaker, but had the advantage of a direct land border with Anzan and thus the ability to mobilize a very large share of its population.
Restoration of Swampy power
With the help of Laba and Paba, the Swamp Kids were back in power by the summer of 4186, thus ending the War of the Six Volcanos in eight years. Xema's army was chased out of both Anzan and Paba, and the Rasparas were hiding out in the Andanese countryside. The Raspara colony in Paba (Panatue) and the breakaway Crystal nation were both handed back to the Swampies.
Although the Raspara had ruled over the Crystal breakaway nation for six years, the Raspara reign in Anzan as a whole had lasted only about four months. Still, the Raspara boasted that, just like in every other war, after their defeat they were merely moving to positions in rural Swampy territory until they could recover enough military strength to launch yet another civil war against the Swampies. They considered any surrender treaty in which the loser of the war begins an occupation of the winning side's territory at the end to be merely a step on the road to a greater future victory. They noted that although the Swamp Kids forced the Raspara to hand over their beach resorts in Creamland, they dared not ask the Rasparas to turn over their more fortified colonies of Sikel and Dada, nor did they even ask the Raspara army to retreat from its illegal outposts in Anzan itself. The defeated Raspara commanders tried to explain their war against the Swamp Kids as being an attempt to actually help the Swamp Kids by putting a stronger and wiser government in power, and again reaffirmed their belief that the Swamp Kids' homeland and the Raspara homeland were destined to be the same country. They wanted the two people to come together and live at peace in a symbiotic relationship, with the Raspara on top and the Swampies on the bottom. They reminded the Swamp Kids that the Raspara welcomed Swamp Kids to convert to Rasparism and that converts would be protected just as well as birth members. The Raspara also again promised that if the Swamp Kids peacefully turned over command of the military to the Raspara, even in a power-sharing agreement, their body counts in battle would dramatically drop and they would no longer be plagued by "victories" in which the enemy they had supposedly defeated simply crawled up inside them to rest for a few years before erupting another civil war.
The Raspara hoped the treaties that they had signed with the Swamp Kids' other enemies would soon fall apart, as they figured the Matrixes would want to hold on to their many Swampy slaves and the Crystals would want to hold on to their newly independent nation, and that the Swamp Kids would soon be at war with both of these in order to buy back what they had lost. To the Raspara's dismay, however, the Swamp Kids decided to tolerate both the Matrixes' enslavement of them and the Crystals' secession in the Arctic. The Raspara worried that these surrenders were due to the Swamp Kids finally realizing that the Raspara were the most pernicious enemy of all, and so the Raspara people prepared themselves for either the long-predicted squeeze march from the Swamp Kids' army, or some more complex form of blockade such as a river dam project.
The Pempsa War
The Zeniths complain
The Swamp Kids were still at war, however, as the Zeniths had not been party to the treaty and were still trying to find a pathway to power, whether it be through a second invasion from Nama or from uprisings in Anzan itself. Most Zeniths lived in cities with Swampy majorities, or in countryside whose population was also mostly Swampies. Like the Raspara, the Zeniths tended towards a tall, muscular, very intimidating body type that caused the Swamp Kids' police to be afraid of them and often refuse to arrest known Zenith criminals for fear that even an unarmed Zenith could kill the police attempting to arrest him. Unlike the Rasparas, however, the Zeniths had poor organizational skills, and had never been able to take direct control of the cities they lived in and turn them into a working Zenith nation-state. Instead, the Swamp Kids ran the government and did their best to stay out of the path of the Zenith criminals who lived among them. The Swampy army had by this time taken over the tasks that the police felt incapable of, saying that it would sometimes literally take dozens of Swampies to bring down one Zenith man, and that only the army had the necessary manpower to do that. Since arrest was physically difficult, many times the Swamp Kids shot arrows at Zenith criminals or blew fire on them.
Persistence of the Raspara and Swamp Kids in the East
The Swamp Kids had been releasing slaves to the Matrixes taken from both their own people and enemy prisoners of war, but only because they were sure that they could trust the Matrixes. They had previously been unsure of the Matrix's promise to hate Dreamland and the Dreamer party's representatives in the Tataan government. The Dreamers were now beginning to take over the Tataan government, however, and had begun to threaten to finish off Anzan once and for all. The Dreamers were able to promote into power only the anti-Matrix governors, and soon the governors became so Dreamerized that they began to discriminate against the Matrix.
The Swampy army became ever more appealing to the Matrix, who wanted to reinvent government for themselves by using the Swamp Kids as pawns to win a war against Dreamland, and then move in and run the government themselves. Tata's Play party had fallen completely apart; the Matrixes were the new leaders, and many Matrixes soon began to change their minds about their idea of respect for all life. They were open-minded enough to become convinced that the only true good was "the greatest good for the greatest number", and also realized that Anzan and Tata were the two greatest military powers of the world. They wanted to have their people in both of the two major powers, and then provoke a war between the two, and then move to the winning side without having to participate in the war.
The Matrixes were impressed at how quickly the Swamp Kids' science had progressed. From being a nation of empty-headed dolts that could not count to ten in 4149, within forty years they were among the best educated people in the world, particularly with regard to mathematics and military technology. Some Matrixes asked the Swamp Kids to help them with their education, and the Swampies began to move into Matrix territory so they could more easily help out.
The Swampies began to teach the Matrixes military strategies, and the Matrixes turned this new information over to their own planners so that future Matrixes could have all of the Swampies' tactics available to them. The Matrixes began to teach the Swamp Kids some of their secrets, too, but only because they were sure that the Matrixes would be in control of the government of Anzan within a few years. They didn't want to make the Swampies too suspicious, though, because at the current time they knew they were still much too weak to win a war against the Swampies even if all other countries kept out. Meanwhile, the groups who were pretending to be allies of the Swampies had been forced to sign a declaration of opposition to Rasparism, and all of them agreed to help the Swampies hunt down renegade Rasparas, who were the only Anzanans left who were not at least pretending to be allies of the Swamp Kids.
Meanwhile, the Rasparas had been successful in convincing the Matrixes to include Rasparism as a subset of their philosophy. The Swampies saw this as a good thing, because they now believed that these Matrixes wanted to help Swampy soldiers become even stronger than they already were. The new Matrixes preached that the Swamp Kids should be loved and not thought of as insects, as the old Matrixes had wanted to do. (This metaphor had originally applied to the Play party's conquest of Baywatch.) The Matrixes managed to win over the support of most Swamp Kids with their new love, even though the Kids suspected that the Matrixes still secretly wanted to abuse them. Many Swampies tolerated the Matrix because they were sure that if the Matrix were to ever turn against them, they would be able to crush the Matrix instantly and use the Matrix workers as slaves, thus adding a new power to their Empire.
Those Swampies who felt that they would always be safe from the Matrix began to consider a formal alliance with the Matrix, agreeing to form a single united philosophy that would be very close to Swampy (Tinker) Empirism, but with several important changes. In return, the Matrixes promised to end their support of Rasparism and therefore release all of the slaves in their three slave armies.
Also, AlphaLeap and Wax had reemerged, and both nations pledged support for the Swamp Kids in their efforts. The Swamp Kids were suspicious of these nations, who had not yet repented of their support for Rasparism, but they signed an alliance anyway, and in 4188 a treaty was signed between the Swamp Kids, AlphaLeap, Wax, Paba, Laba, and the Matrix which combined all of their efforts in helping the Swamp Kids destroy Dreamland. The Raspara party abstained from this pact.
In 4188, all Matrixes seceded from Tata and became Andanese. Then they lived out their dreams of revenge against Dreamland when they invaded the country with their organized mobs from the east. Although there were more than 15000 soldiers in the Andanese armies, Dreamland was well defended, so the Andanese asked Wax for military support, and in return adopted many Waxan ideas into their philosophy and promised Wax some control over the government if Anzan were to win. Wax demanded that the Andanese agree to let the Waxans and others use them as slaves in another Rasparist operation, and although many of the Swamp Kids were very upset by this, Wax and AlphaLeap were able to pressure them into agreeing. The Swamp Kids realized that siding with the Dreamers would probably be even worse, so they did not feel that they had lost everything. They tried to work out a compromise with AlphaLeap and Wax that would not be so unfair to the Swampies, but these nations had secretly formed an anti-Swamp alliance and had just now announced it because they had just now acquired enough military technology to be confident that they could defeat the Swampies in a war should the Swampies decide to break out of their treaty. The Matrix also told the AlphaLEAP/Wax coalition that they were still looking to enslave Swamp Kids, and would divide up the Swamp Kids with AlphaLeap/Wax in a future Rasparist cooperative.
Although Wax and AlphaLeap had committed their support to the Matrix, primarily because of their support of Rasparism, the Matrix ultimately wanted no allies at all, because it felt that allies would contaminate its strife for victory. If they seemed to be in danger of losing the war against the Swamp Kids, the Matrixes said, they would flee into a wooded area within Swampy territory and re-emerge later when they were strong enough to be victorious. They admitted to the Tataans that their three slave armies (which they collectively called Mampum) would be terribly mistreated in order to make the plan come true, but they did not apologize at all for their planned abuses, because they said that "the ends justify the means", and that their method of achieving power could be as cruel and unjust as they wanted, with no moral basis at all, and that the only ethics they believed in was total dedication to the ensurance that their empire would take over the world. Once they took over the world, the Matrixes promised, they would cease their abusive practices and bring in an eternity of perfect happiness, which because it was eternal would cancel out any pain that had been caused by its construction. Thus, they admitted their government would start out unjust.
The Matrixes preached a sort of self-reliance and a cult of loneliness. The safety of each Matrix would be guaranteed only by the pact that no Matrix would be allowed to attack any other Matrix, but only their own slaves, who would be so abundant that Matrixes could kill as many slaves as they wanted and not even make much of a difference because the slaves would be being forced to reproduce so quickly that the Matrixes could not kill them fast enough to create a shortage. Meanwhile, the Matrixes themselves would reproduce very slowly, using only young slave girls to impregnate, and would raise their children outside the mainstream of society.
The Matrixes also decided to ban females from becoming Matrixes altogether and have only males grow up as Matrixes. The child-bearing girls would live in reproduction centers, and would be used only for reproduction. The boys that were destined to become Matrixes would be the only ones allowed to live outside the reproduction centers. The Matrixes would kill their wives when they reached a certain age, and use younger girls to replace them. They thus had turned Matricism back into a form of Rasparism, but the true Rasparas were not happy at being locked out of power by the new, suspicious Matrixes. Most Rasparas decided to ally themselves with the Swampies, saying that the Swamp Kids' philosophy was after all the true path to power. Some Matrixes agreed, and also switched sides, but when the Matrix leaders discovered what was happening, they declared war on the Rasparas and chased them into hiding, except for those who had managed to take refuge in deep, protected areas of Swampy territory.
Raspara people began aggressively targeting young orphaned children in the streets of Sala now, hoping to get them to agree to move to the Raspara colonies of the north and become Raspara themselves. They claimed that this was not slavery because the children would become Raspara, and thus be better off than they would have been otherwise, and that it was not kidnapping, because the children had voluntarily agreed to move.
Some Rasparas joined STW, because they felt that STW would in the future take over the government of Anzan and Baeba Swamp, and they felt that if they could cause STW to become supportive of Rasparism, then in the future Rasparas would become enormously powerful, because they felt they would be secretly in control of much of STW if they worked hard enough to outsmart the female-dominated hierarchy of STW. STW was suspicious of these Rasparas, however, and refused to give them much power. STW was no longer dominated by Zeniths; most STW members, whether they were descended from Thunderers, Crystals, Zeniths, Soap Bubbles, or the Swamp Kids, thought of themselves as STW members first and placed their outworld party allegiance second. They tended to consider the Soap Bubbles and the Crystals their closest allies, with the Swamp Kids being close behind.
Swampies invade Dreamland
The Swamp Kids had the advantage of total dedication to warfare: whereas the Matrixes were largely preoccupied with pursuit of their own pleasures, the Swamp Kids held themselves in firm obedience to their orders, and were almost indistractable from their duties. Thus, there had arisen the "paradox of fear" in which the Matrixes, despite being much more powerful than the Swamp Kids, were the ones who were afraid of the Swamp Kids. The Swamp Kids by this time believed they were infallible, and that happiness could be gained by siding with them.
The goal of the Empire was to eliminate its enemy, Dreamland, and expand to take over the universe. Its leaders were well aware of the very many problems with their nation, although their general population, unlike the general population of the Matrixes, thought of themselves as ethically clean and perfect, and most had almost no feelings of guilt whatsoever, and in fact they were taught that whatever they did was the best thing to do. The Swampy leaders realized that they were guilty of many very deep sins, and that they were responsible for the suffering of a very large number of people, but they really believed that there was nothing that could be done about this, because they blamed their government's failures on their own moral shortcomings rather than their leaders' simplemindedness and physical and mental incompetence.
Dreamland was unprepared for a war of this degree. Also, the Swamp Kids, raised for combat, were much stronger than the Dreamers and could afford to indulge in many forbidden tactics such as looting cities and abducting children. The angry Swamp Kids tortured their victims and only grew more merciless as their military stronghold became more secure.
Birth of the Dolls
But when the Swampy army marched westward through Tata to face off against the Dreamers, most of the Matrix army attacked the Swamp Kids from behind, and chased them in order to abduct them while they tried to fight attacks from both sides. Many Swamp Kids were literally stabbed in the back, as the Matrixes had held on to their disguises until the very last moment in order to get close.
The Matrixes added these prisoners of war to their collective pool of slaves, which they now called Dolls, and divided them up according to a treaty that all the Matrixes had signed with each other that attempted to ensure that none of the Matrixes would ever make an enemy of any other Matrixes, but only of the commanders and slaves in the Swampy Empire to their east.
Once in slavery, the Swamp Kids were treated as an inexpensive commodity, one that could be easily replaced. The Matrixes underfed and overworked them, nearly to the point of death, and allowed them no time at all to rest themselves. They abused them even more mercilessly than before, showing no sympathy at all for their slaves. The Matrixes had thus finally gotten their hold on the real slave pool: the Swamp Kids. Swampy slaves tried to fight, but the Matrixes had been given armor by the Swampies just a few years ago, and now they were so strong that the Swamp Kids could barely stand up to them, and the Matrixes seized them hundreds at a time and put them into a life where they existed purely for the Matrix's profit.
The Swampies were shocked by the betrayal from the Matrix, and did not know how to react to it at first. They at first believed that these Matrixes were renegades, so they tried to avoid the Matrixes as best they could while still fighting the Dreamers, but the Matrixes thwarted the Swamp Kids everywhere they went, and by 4190 the Andanese Swamp Kids had lost many battles against the Matrixes, and had lost much of their original army to the kidnappers.
In 4190, more than half of the Swamp army was marching westward into Dreamland to fight the biggest battle so far in the war. But as they neared the border, they saw that the Matrixes had arrived at the border before them, and were now demanding complete surrender. The Swampies outnumbered the Matrixes almost 10 to 1, but the Matrixes were much stronger, and when the Swampies refused to surrender, the Matrixes attacked and swallowed up the entire battalion, enslaving every survivor. Now Anzan had lost almost 2 million soldiers to the Matrixes, and the Matrix army was as strong as ever. The Swamp Kids had just a year ago been very close to victory against the Dreamer army, but the Matrix had stepped in and stolen the victory away from them.
However, the Swamp Kids were not ready to give up. They noticed that the Matrixes were only attacking Swamp Kids who had entered Matrix territory; the Matrixes had not yet gone eastward to attack the Swampies. The Swamp Kids felt that this might be because the Matrixes weren't strong enough to handle an invasion. So the Swampies surrendered to Dreamland, and stopped sending soldiers westward to attack Dreamland. They focused instead on repairing their army as quickly as they could, in order to overtake the Matrix army before the Matrix army could turn east and attack them. Their adult population was now nearly 80% female, since most of the male population had been slaughtered or captured into slavery by the Matrixes. They realized now that they needed to have their women give birth to many children very quickly, in the hopes that within 20 years their population of battle-ready males would recover to where it was previously. Thus their strategy was nearly identical to the strategy which had saved the Play party from takeover by Dreamers after the overthrow of the Leaper government. However, they still had a nearly even gender ratio among children under age 15, so they realized they might be strong again sooner than the year 4210.
Soon, Dreamland surrendered their forces to the command of the loosely organized Matrixes, who were now a bigger threat to the Swamp Kids than were the Dreamers. The Matrixes did not punish Dreamland at all, but forced the Dreamers to agree to Matricize in various ways. The Matrixes merged their nation, Tata, with Dreamland. Then the Matrix, along with the weaker Dreamers it now controlled, focused instead on abducting Swamp Kids.
Rebirth of the Raspara
When the Raspara commanders, who had bided their time building weapons in the forest for the last four years, heard what had happened, they again pled with the Swampy governors to give the Raspara a chance to control at least part of the Swamp Kids' military. Even the Raspara had not realized that the Swampy army had numbered over 2 million soldiers, and that all of them had been spent fighting a hopeless battle against an army that the Swampies had believed was their ally. With a Raspara commander in charge, they promised, the Swamp Kids would no longer lose battles in which they outnymbered the enemy by 10 to 1.
Yet, the Swampies were worried. Many Raspara people had moved to Sala, the imperial capital, but almost nowhere else in the empire. The Swamp Kids considered these people to be spies, and figured that this meant the Raspara were still planning on retaking control of Sala by force if they could not get it peacefully. The Raspara diplomats openly admitted that the Raspara were occupying a large space of Andanese countryside, and were surrounded by the Swamp Kids' army there, and could not hide the obvious fact that they were at least contemplating yet another violent explosion southward to capture Sala and put the empire once again under Raspara control. Privately the Raspara admitted that they were afraid of the four new powers in Anzan — the Crystals, the Matrix, the Zenith, and the Soap — and that they had much preferred the situation when their primary enemy was the pliable, gullible Swamp Kids. The Raspara wanted the Swamp Kids to win back as much land as possible from the areas that the four new powers had taken from them so that the Raspara could then gleefully steal it all away from the Swamp Kids.
Yet they insisted they still preferred peace, and would happily combine their illegal army with the Swampies' legal one if they would only submit to putting a Raspara commander in charge of it all, even if the Swampies preferred to retain formal control of the non-military aspects of the government.
Raspara and Swampies in Tata
By this time, 13 years after the Snowstorm Treaty, the Raspara in Tata had become fully an ally of the Swamp Kids in Tata, but both groups were becoming less attached to their parent parties in Anzan. The two parties merged into a new party, reviving yet again the name Cold Men (KST), but stated that if they were forced to choose between the Raspara and the Swamp Kids in a war, they would identify themselves with the Swamp Kids because the Raspara had bent more than the Swamp Kids to make the new party.
The KST party did not say that the Raspara were immoral, however; indeed they promised that the slavery they subjected the conquered Tataans to would be at least as cruel as what the Raspara in Anzan had done to the Swamp Kids for the preceding forty years. They also promised that since the Raspara and the Swamp Kids had merged, all old debts between the two would be cancelled, meaning that the ex-Swampy KST's could not claim that the Raspara owed them a debt for the forty years of torture.
KST in Anzan
When news of the creation of the new party reached Anzan, a few Swamp Kids expressed interest in becoming KST's. Most Swamp Kids, however, could not bear the thought of befriending the Rasparas who were standing over their heads hitting them with iron pipes and spiked clubs every day. They realized that the creation of the KST party had been possible because in Tata, both sides of the alliance had agreed to move towards common ground, where in Anzan, the Swamp Kids were willing to compromise on their ideals but the Raspara were not.
However, one place where the Raspara and the Swamp Kids did get along was STW. STW had become very powerful by this time, and many Raspara were signing themselves up for STW in order to share in the power. Once in STW, they were nominally no longer Raspara but simply STW members (STW no longer supported the Zenith). Many Swamp Kids also joined STW, and likewise they were no longer Swamp Kids once they joined, but merely STW members. However, the Raspara in particular were less strongly attached to STW and its goals than most of STW's other members, and they stood out from all of the others and garnered suspicion from the other groups.
Matrix unconditional surrender
Despite the betrayal from the Matrix army, the Swampies in the end conquered the Matrix homeland of Tata, although they did not succeed in also conquering Dreamland, which was their original goal. By late 4190 Tata's military was used up, and Anzan was able to push for unconditional surrender, although they realized they would not be able to completely destroy Tata, as they had hoped. Tata was once again allowed to remain a separate country, and agreed to cede Anzan all the land it had gained at the end of the last war, plus much more land which the Swamp Kids demanded as room for their new population.
In December 4190, the Matrixes living in Swampy territory agreed to stop fighting the Swamp Kids and stop weapons production except for weapons that were intended to be given to the Swampy army. The Swamp Kids began to militarize their border areas, particularly those near Tata, and in response, the Matrixes solidified their control over the government, meaning that they still had control of the population if not the army. Meanwhile, the Matrixes in Anzan had completely disarmed and were now slaves for the Swampies.
STW had sided with the Swamp Kids in this war, but most of their soldiers were young children who made no significant contribution to the war effort and were often kidnapped by their enemies or even by their allies. There were adult soldiers, but because STW allowed adults to disobey military commands, most of the adults sat out the war while the children bore the brunt of the battle. STW's leadership nevertheless claimed that they had played a major role in winning the war, and demanded reparations from the Matrixes and others who had fought on the side of the Matrixes. The Raspara responded to this by kidnapping even more children from STW.
Play party restoration
When the Matrixes ceded eastern Tata to the Swamp Kids, they were forced to release the many Player slaves they had captured in 4177 and following years. Thus, the Play party returned to the Anchor Empire's politics after a forty-year hiatus. But the Players had no army, and they soon realized that war had so engulfed the Anchor Empire that sound political argument meant nothing at all in the face of the opposing parties' sheer military strength.
Land use treaty
Also in December 4190, the Swampies (supported by STW and a Blonde wing of the Matrix party) worked out a truce with the Matrixes that allocated all of Anzan's natural resources, particularly wood and water, in all parts of the country not currently occupied by a human settlement. This pleased the Matrixes, and a rebellious group of Matrixes celebrated the treaty by kidnapping all of the Swamp Kids that had been at the meeting.
But the Matrix leaders realized they could no longer abuse their favorite victims, since the Matrixes no longer had a proper army to protect themselves. Soon the Swamp Kids were charging westward with their stronger armies, and the Matrix realized that all its demands were going to be ignored by the Swampies. The Matrixes would not give up, however, and the Swampies did not take over all of Anzan's land right away; places nearer the Tata border remained partially under the Matrix's control for several years. Rasparas controlled much of the area near Sala, but the Swampy government was still technically the one in control in Sala.
The Swamp Kids were pleased to learn that they had finally conquered the Matrixes and that the Matrixes had submitted to the Swampies as slaves. On the other hand, when the Swampy army moved to the Raspara front lines in order to collect the weapons and armor from the Raspara people, showing them the treaty that had been signed by their commanders, the Raspara army threatened to assassinate the Swampy generals. Frustrated, the Swampy government asked the Raspara commanders, who had willingly become slaves and were working in the Swamp Kids imperial government, what was wrong. The Raspara apologized and stated that one difference between Raspara people and Swampies is that the Swamp Kids had always proudly obeyed their orders, but the Raspara obeyed when they felt like it. Thus the Swamp Kids, weary from 41 years of total war, now realized they would remain at war for at least 42. Raspara military power had remained strong near the capital city of Sala, and, having stood strong against the Swamp Kids' demand to disarm, now threatened to advance on the capital once again.
Realizing the painful situation of the Swamp Kids, the Raspara who had surrendered again asked to be placed in charge of at least a small part of the Swamp Kids' military, saying that they would prove that they were superior military strategists by winning battles that the Swamp Kids would not have otherwise been able to win. They proposed a new system whereby the Raspara would be the commanders of small individual detachments, with all of the soldiers being Swamp Kids. But to ensure that the Raspara did not simply waste the Swamp Kids fighting unwinnable battles, the commanders' movements would be subject to approval the Swamp Kids in Sala. Previously, due to the enormous size of the Empire and the low level of technology, military commanders had been mostly independent in making decisions because it could take months for any word from the central government in Sala to reach an army fighting on the fringe of the Empire. They promised that they would serve only the interests of the Swamp Kids in their wars, and would not secretly help only the Raspara. However, they refused to send their hypothetical armies against other Raspara people: they would instead fight the Zenith, the Crystals, the Matrix, the Bubbles, the Dreamers, and Xema. In October 4190, the Rasparas had forced the Swamp Kids to pass a law forbidding aggression against the Rasparas and their allies. They additionally limited the size of any non-Raspara militaries in Anzan, including the Swamp Kids' military, which according to the Swamp Kids was the only legal one. They wanted to make sure that the Swamp Kids' army was not capable of inflicting any serious harm against the Raspara. Lastly they prohibited Swampies from fashioning weapons without permission of the Raspara.
Since Rasparas had no nation of their own, their only homeland was Anzan, and they demanded that the Swamp Kids protect them in Anzan even though the Raspara were massacring Swamp Kids every day. In Raspara-controlled territory, the Raspara militias went further and demanded the removal of the Swamp army so that the Raspara army could deepen its control and reshape the environment to make the Raspara territory completely impenetrable.
The Swamp Kids responded by declaring war on the Rasparas yet again. The Raspara had massacred and tortured so many pacifists that the Swamp Kids no longer considered their best response to military assaults to be a choice between running away and total submission. The Swamp Kids secured the support of the Matrixes, which had peacefully taken over the governments of much of Nama. The Matrixes gave weapons and important sea coast access to the Swampy army and promised to never again sign an alliance with the Rasparas. Even though the Matrixes had just slaughtered and enslaved tens of thousands of Swamp Kids, the Swamp Kids hoped that this time the Matrixes were sincere and would not betray them.
Nevertheless, the Swamp Kids still preferred a truce. STW, in particular, sent some of its diplomats into Raspara territory (they did not have to go far, because Rasparas still controlled the capital city of the empire), in the hopes of reaching an agreement. There thus was a three party talk between STW, the non-STW Swamp Kids, and the Rasparas. Once at the meeting, the chief Swampy representative, named Ia-Lalala, said that the Rasparas were being unfair to the Swamp Kids, and that minorities should not be able to tell majorities what the laws of their nation were. He asked the Raspara to remove their occupation force from the capital city of Sala and submit to Swampy rule instead of the other way around. The Rasparas became angry, and began to beat up Ia-Lalala and the other Swamp Kids. Some of the Swamp Kids panicked, realizing any truce was now beyond hope.
The Raspara representative began talking now as if all was normal. He claimed that the Swamp Kids was already being unfair to the Rasparas by denying the Rasparas the right to live in and host their army in Anzan. He threatened to enslave all of the Swamp Kids if they did not allow Rasparas to join Anzan as regular citizens.
At this point, another politician, Pia-Lalala, an immigrant from Creamland, forced his way through the crowd and attacked the Raspara representative. He insulted the Swamp Kids who were considering a truce with the Rasparas, and claimed that if they knew the truth they would unite against the Rasparas and conquer them easily. But before he could get far, he in turn was jumped on by several Raspara listeners. The Swamp Kids and STW members now all ran away while the Rasparas focused on the battle onstage, but soon most of the Rasparas began to chase down the Swamp Kids and leave Pia-Lalala to the few Rasparas who chose to remain.
The STW debate team escaped both of these crowds of people and were planning out a way to find out what the Rasparas were doing with the Lalalas when they were attacked by Rasparas. Even with their weapons, they were too weak to escape the Rasparas. The Rasparas brought the STWers back to the debate forum. Pia-Lalala screamed loudly that only insane people would not fight back against an enemy that was as close to enslaving them as was the Rasparas, but this time STW, which had not even spoken yet, forced its members onto the stage and pushed the still-fighting Rasparas off. However, before the STW speaker could even open his mouth, the Rasparas were upon him too, thus ending the debate with a victory for the Raspara army.
Xema (ZDE) resurfaced as a military power at this point, and simultaneously attacked the Rasparas and the Swamp Kids (along with STW), blaming the attack on Nama. Even though Xema was the world's northernmost nation, they had carefully planned this attack well ahead of time, and established safe places along the south coast near Nama from which to invade. They sent only a few hundred soldiers in each of the two invading forces, and instructed the branch that had chosen to invade the Raspara to do far more damage than the branch that had invaded the Swamp Kids. The Xeman general chose to invade the Swamp Kids through Paba as they had several years earlier.
Claiming to be Namans, the Xeman soldiers told the Swamp Kids that although Nama wanted to defeat both the Raspara and the Swamp Kids, they considered the Swamp Kids morally superior and would protect them in a war if they would only submit to Naman rule. They explained their invasion as being an attempt to prove to the Swampy military that the Swampies were now very weak and Nama could win a full-scale invasion of both the Swampies and the Raspara if they were to choose to do so.
Xema was actually trying to get the Raspara to stop abusing the Swampies, and trying to get the Swampies to wake up and realize they were being abused. They also figured that the wars between the Raspara and the Swamp Kids were weakening both sides. Xema considered itself loyal to no other nation, and refused to sign an alliance, but they did favor the Swamp Kids above the Swamp Kids' many enemies. Additionally, even though they had instructed their soldiers to pretend to be from Nama, they actually wanted to weaken Nama, and hoped that even if their plan to break up the abusive Raspara-Swampy relationship backfired, perhaps the Swamp Kids would be gullible enough to believe that Nama really had attacked them, and respond to the invasion by launching a revenge attack on Nama.
Because Xema's population consisted mostly of people who had been Swamp Kids just a few years earlier, they claimed their attack on the Raspara showed that the Swamp Kids were wholly capable of being military champions, and did not need to forever respond to the Raspara's attacks on Swampy cities by sobbing and hiding under their beds.
Battle of the Masterminds
Xema had expected to lose the battle in Paba, but their attitude brightened when they saw that one of the armies they were fighting consisted entirely of small children from STW. STW had been getting weaker, they realized, and had finally run out of adults. These child soldiers were unable to injure their enemies, and they had originally been told that their job was to run around the battlefield carrying supplies for the much stronger adult soldiers. But the adults disobeyed their commanders and some simply attacked the children who were trying to help them. The Raspara army had sensed this weakness and arrived in Paba just as Xema did. The resulting chaos led to Xema, the Raspara, and Paba's defectors all rushing towards STW's children to kidnap them while the children did their best to dodge the invading kidnappers while simultaneously protecting the few remaining loyal adults from the kidnappers. When the kidnappers' armies realized how pathetic the children were, they signed a truce ending the battle so they could divide the kids three ways according to each army's needs and desires.
When STW's wider membership learned what had happened, a group of orphans calling themselves the Masterminds (TCT) seceded from STW and declared themselves an independent organization with no adult members. The name followed a longstanding STW tradition of assigning children's groups within STW titles implying great power, such as Celebrities and Lifeguards, rather than referring to them as, for example, "the Capital Kids" or using cute or diminutive words. Thus in this respect they were the precise opposite of the Swamp Kids, who used such diminutive names even for their adults.
The Masterminds realized there was no safe territory within thousands of miles, and resolved to flee the armies around them, saying they no longer trusted even their allies, and that they needed to build a new life for themselves in the distant tropical nation of Kxesh, which had been free of war for more than 1,200 years. STW's adult leadership had long been proud of its child population's broad authority to make adult decisions, and granted the children's request even though STW's leaders had nothing to gain from protecting the Masterminds along their dangerous journey to Kxesh. However, some of STW's adults were interested in escaping the war as well, and though they promised to return to the Anchor Empire as soon as the children were safe in Kxesh, most had no intention of honoring this promise. Hundreds of other adults soon flooded into the kids' new home as well, including a detachment of the River People, immigrants from southern Taryte who believed their role was to protect children from exploitation by adults. Despite initially showing gratitude for the journey to Kxesh, the Masterminds had not realized STW's adults were planning to stay in Kxesh with them, and the Masterminds soon became divided between those that wanted the River People to protect them from the other adults and those who wanted all adults to leave them alone so that they could grow up in a place safe from people they could not trust.
After the Masterminds left, STW quickly expelled its child population, saying they had made a terrible mistake by forcing children into battle against adults and that although they would remain just as cruel as they had always been, they would henceforth restrict attacks on defenseless victims to their enemies. They abandoned all efforts to secure territory in Paba, or even the Anchor Empire, and resolved to become just one more of the many small armies fighting for control of Baeba Swamp.
Further Raspara-Swampy relations
Some Raspara were so confident in their strength that in December 4190 they began to revive their program of enslaving the Swamp Kids. Previously, the Swamp Kids had tolerated extreme abuse of their people by the Rasparas because they felt they needed the Raspara's army as a military ally, and did not object when the Rasparas began torturing Swamp Kids and even opened restaurants serving the meat of freshly killed Swampy slaves. But now, the Raspara army was a hostile intrusion within Swampy territory, and the Swamp Kids wanted them out whether they were enslaving Swampies or not. The Raspara were very strong, however, and had managed to befriend most of the other enemies of the Swamp Kids by promising to enslave and abuse only the Swamp Kids. Thus, the Swamp Kids had a difficult time fighting the Raspara because they were still fighting many other enemies as well.
Furthermore, the Raspara had the advantage of brilliant military strategies. Even though they were outnumbered greatly by the Swamp Kids, they protected themselves by deliberately restrciting their colonies to an area of land that included both the capital of the Swampy Empire (Sala) and its deepest heartlands. In other words, they lived in the parts of the empire that were least threatened by invasion from outside, because the Swamp Kids would fight very hard to protect their capital and although they might not fight as hard to protect northern upland forests, these areas were surrounded by hundreds of miles of other Swampy territory through which any invading army would need to cross in order to get to the Raspara. The Raspara boasted that although they had lost wars against the Swamp Kids several times now, in every case, after their loss they simply retreated to rural areas of the Swampy Empire and worked on expanding their army in preparation for their next war. The very fact that they were able to take up residence in an enemy nation after losing a war against that nation signaled to the Raspara that the Swampy army was dangerously overextended. They realized that if the Swamp Kids were not tied down fighting many other wars, they could simply exterminate the Raspara entirely either by cutting off their supplies or by launching a military squeeze march intending to trap them in their fortresses in the forests.
The Swamp Kids' own military commanders wanted to squeeze the Raspara inwards, since they completely surrounded the Raspara in all directions, but their army was still too busy fighting their many other wars. Privately the Swampies admitted that they might not be able to defeat the Raspara army completely, but wanted to at least take back their capital city, as the embarrassment of having to deal with what they considered a hostile foreign occupier just to get in and out of their imperial capital city was weakening Swampies' confidence in their government.
For their part, the Raspara angered the Swamp Kids even further by their refusal to accept a treaty giving the Raspara a nation of their own, even one that allowed the enslavement of Swamp Kids. The Raspara considered themselves not a foreign occupier, but a minority within Anzan, and they thus didn't want to control a nation of their own, they wanted to control Anzan. They realized now that their early dream of watching the Swamp Kids struggling their way across the whole continent, capturing Baeba Swamp, and then handing it over to the Raspara was not going to happen, both because the Raspara had killed off much of the Swampy military and because the Swamp Kids were beginning to get tired of being killed by their supposed allies, and seemed less likely each year to cooperate in a takeover of Baeba Swamp. Raspara people still aggressively petitioned Swamp Kids to convert to Rasparism, saying a Rasparist takeover of Anzan was inevitable even if it wasn't morally superior.
The Raspara people had more success in diplomacy with STW than with the core Swamp Kids. But the Raspara knew that children made easy victims, and so in December 4190, a team of Raspara diplomats attacked a troop of STW children and took many prisoners of war. Because STW still granted its children powers uncommon for their age, the Raspara kept the children in captivity until the kids agreed to switch sides and help the Raspara start a new war against the Matrixes.
Meanwhile, a flock of firebirds attacked the Swampy capital city of Sala. In the past, the Swamp Kids had learned to control firebirds, and use them to attack other humans, but these firebirds were from a cold climate species, so the Swampies blamed Xema for the attack, and launched yet another war on Xema. Xema responded with a third land invasion of Anzan, starting at the south coast of Paba and aiming to reach the capital city quickly and open negotiations for a truce with the Raspara, ignoring the Swamp Kids entirely. Thus, the Xemans admitted that their plan to befriend the Swamp Kids while antagonizing the Raspara had failed, and they entered their new war fighting on the opposite side that they had intended. Still, the Xemans claimed that they would make good of it in the end if they could at least take over the Swamp Kids' capital city of Sala.
The Xeman army soon took over Sala, and although the Raspara distrusted Xema as much as the Swamp Kids did, they agreed to share their power in the city. The Raspara realized that they at least had the advantage of geography; since Xema was a polar nation, and they had invaded from the far south of Anzan, there was no physical connection between the Xeman invading force and their home back in Xema except a long series of roads through mostly Raspara territory. Thus they hoped they could convert the Xemans into Rasparists. Xema had in its short history made itself famous for outsmarting their enemies and tricking stronger allies into wasting themselves on the battlefield fighting wars that helped only Xema, but the Raspara believed that they might have beat the Xemans at their own game as, in this war, Xemans had done most of the fighting in a war that they hoped would benefit only the Raspara.
In the autumn of 4191, the Raspara launched another attack on the Swamp Kids. Again, they primarily targeted STW members, even though STW's child soldiers were helping the Raspara in their war against the Matrixes in Tata. The Raspara attacked with plagues of insects, hoping to weaken the Swamp Kids and STW preemptively so that they would collapse when the Raspara soldiers launched a conventional attack later. They had control of a species of wasp about the size of a human foot, from which one sting would lead immediately to death. The wasp attack failed, because the wasps simply turned southward to attack people in the forests near the south coast, but the chaos helped the Raspara tighten their control of the Swampies' capital city.
In the late autumn of 4191, the Zeniths declared war on the Swamp Kids and invaded the empire from their strongholds in Creamland as well as a few hideouts in Anzan. Thus Anzan was now once again fighting four simultaneous wars against the Zenith, the Raspara, the Matrixes, and Xema. While that situation was not as dire as it had been a few years earlier when they were fighting six wars (the above four powers plus the Crystals and Nama), at that time they had had the advantage of having allies to help them out. This time, the Swamp Kids were fighting alone.
Although early STW had strongly supported the Zenith, by 4191 they had completely separated. By spring 4192, the Zeniths had conquered all of Anzan, although they respected the rights of the Raspara to maintain majority rule in their private territory in the center of Anzan, and did not invade this area except for the district that included Sala.
However, governing such a large empire with such a small army proved to be untenable. Some Swamp Kids, particularly in the north, had completely ignored the war and went on as though nothing had happened, since the Zenith knew that they didnt have a large enough army to physically occupy the entire empire. The Swamp Kids were forced to stop fighting against the Matrixes in Tata in order to defeat the Zeniths, but by this time, Tata had been so weakened, largely by STW rather than the mainline Swamp Kids, that they were no longer able to retaliate by invading Anzan.
The Swamp Kids were running out of strength. They had been at war without a break for more than forty years, in fact for their entire existence as a nation. At some points, they were actually fighting as many as six simultaneous wars, with four of them being severe civil uprisings. The Raspara army seemed to invent a new way to abuse the Swamp Kids and humiliate their leaders every week. Even after the Swamp Kids had defeated the Raspara in a major war, and forced the Raspara to sign a treaty disarming themselves and consigning themselves to slavery for the Swamp Kids forever, most Raspara had just gone on with business as usual, and resumed their occupation of the Swampies' capital city shortly after the war was over. But it was not just the Raspara who were victimizing them. Matrixes seemed to specialize in kidnapping Swamp Kids, at one point grabbing more than 20,000 of them in one month, and even after signing a peace treaty with the Swamp Kids they could not resist kidnapping the Swamp Kids who had been there to sign the treaty and make them into slaves. The Matrixes considered the Swamp Kids their foremost enemy, and nothing the Swamp Kids did had yet succeeded in getting the Matrixes off of their backs. Meanwhile, the other parties were little better. Zeniths had invaded the Swamp Kids in the very first year of their new Empire's existence, and for forty years had fired arrows into unsuspecting Swamp Kids nearly every day, despite being officially at peace. Xema had been founded by Swamp Kids but had turned against the Swamp Kids almost immediately, and now had invaded the Swamp Kids several times in just 12 years, reaching a higher total body count per soldier than any of the other armies. Tarwas had been invited by the Swamp Kids to settle its people in Swampy territory, and had responded by sending in many thousands of new settlers and then declaring war on the Swamp Kids who had so kindly invited them in. Even Nama had invaded, solely because they saw the Swamp Kids as easy prey upon which they could direct their quest for revenge against their enemies, even though the Swamp Kids were the one neighboring nation which had never attacked Nama. The Crystals were less violent than other groups, but had collaborated with the Swamp Kids' enemies in many wars and then fled into Swampy territory when they were chased out. All in all, the burden of governing an empire filled with so many hostile and heavily armed enemy groups was far too much for the Swamp Kids to shoulder.
The Swamp Kids considered that they may have to surrender their home territory and find a new place to live. Anzan took up more than half of the habitable land in the world, and the Swamp Kids realized it was unrealistic for them to expect to be able to patrol such a huge territory looking for Rasparas or other enemies that were hiding out while preparing their next war. Thinking of the slow, painful defeat of Nama, the Swamp Kids considered that perhaps it was better to be small. For their whole lives they had dreamed of conquering Baeba Swamp, and figured that they would do so as the culmination of a series of ever more westward marches into sunnier and hotter territories owned by Crystals, but now they considered abandoning their entire vast empire, and leaving the six armies that had harassed them for so long to fight it out against each other while the Swamp Kids concentrated their entire military efforts on settling just the one city of Baeba.
When the Raspara generals realized the Swamp Kids were interested in moving the bulk of their population to Baeba, they set up a front in the wilderness near the outer border of Anzan. When the Swamp Kids' army moved north towards the roads that led to Baeba, they were blocked by the Raspara front lines and immediately driven back to the south. The Raspara attacked them head-on and captured all the survivors of the battle as slaves. The Swamp Kids realized the Raspara had found yet another way to huimiliate them: fleeing abuse, the Swamp Kids were denied even the ability to leave their country because a hostile minority wouldnt let them out.
From here, the Raspara generals declared that the era of cooperation was over, and that the abuse the Raspara dealt to the Swamp Kids would be far more cruel now than before. They decided to activate the final stage of their plan: they would cut up the Swampy countryside, isolating every Swampy city from every other city, effectively occupying the entire country by trapping them between various Raspara-held territories. Henceforth, all Swamp Kids were to be enslaved, and given no rights whatsoever. Rape, murder, and cannibalism of Swampies would be everyday occurrences.
However, as the Raspara drove their army southward to besiege the capital, they faced resistance from not just the Swamp Kids but also the Matrix, the Crystals, and the Zenith. These armies did not want to live in an all-Raspara country and actually sided with the Swampies. The Raspara had figured that these armies' presence in Swampy territory would make the Swamp Kids even weaker, but they had not expected an anti-Raspara alliance, particularly one that included the Matrix. They promised that they would start enslaving all of the other armies, not just the Swampies, and that the slavery they imposed on captured Matrixes would be the worst of all.
Settlement of Baeba
Nevertheless, the Raspara army was only a front, and they could not prevent the exit of the many additional Swamp Kids that were lucky enough to already live near the borders of Baeba. As the Swamp Kids left, they said that life in what had been Anzan would be so difficult that it would be as if the Swamp Kids had destroyed the sun.
The Little Country
The Swampies invaded Baeba Swamp and settled in the areas where escaped Lenian slaves lived. They were able to conquer and control the Lenians despite violent attempts by the Lenians to resist. They enslaved the Lenians and made them work building weapons, and this made the Swamp Kids even more powerful. The Rasparas had been nearly destroyed by earlier attacks, so they were unable to stop the Swamp Kids' invasion of Baeba Swamp. Furthermore, the Swamp Kids even managed to settle parts of Nama despite violent resistance from the Namans.
The Swamp Kids threw off the Raspara-led ideology when they became able to control their own affairs. They promised a strict government and said that it was immoral for people to have the right to control their own behavior. Though they retained the name Swamp Kids, they began to promote aggressively masculine imagery and stated that their name referred to their members' typically small body size, not immaturity or helplessness. They stated that their victory over the Matrix army in Anzan proved that small soldiers could sometimes defeat larger ones. Additionally, most of the Lenian slaves they had conquered were taller than typical Swamp Kids, and yet they had fallen to the Swamp Kids even though they had had overwhelming numerical superiority. The Swamp Kids associated these Lenians with Dreamland because they did not want their members to realize that many of the slaves were in fact formerly of the Play party, and that some were even former Swamp Kids.
Slavery in Baeba
The Swamp Kids successfully subdued the northern districts of Baeba and immediately began the militarization of the population with slavery, and renamed their nation The Little Country because they considered the city of Baeba Swamp far more important than the vast tracts of wilderness they had conquered along the way. But they never moved their seat of government to Baeba, because there were too many foreigners there. The Golden Sun and the Red Sun excluded minorities, other than fellow STW members who were supportive of the Swamp Kids, from the new government of the Little Country. Thus the Swamp Kids became very powerful. For the time being, the Swampies soon spread over the whole planet, with only a few Matrixes mostly hiding out in the ocean left to worry them.
The Swamp Kids realized that they could no longer use a democratic system of government, because they were oppressing a much larger aboriginal population that would simply vote them out of power if given the chance. They installed a king named the Golden Sun on the throne of the government of Baeba (they built a new capital city slightly outside the main city, but still called it Baeba). He was the young son of the shipbuilder Behabe, the richest man in TLC and one of the richest men in the world.
The capital city of The Little Country was still Sala, located in Anzan, which was now usually referred to as "Inner Anzan" or by reviving its old name of Vaamū. Inner Anzan had remained a democracy, but the occupied territories of Tata and Baeba were allowed to disobey the central government in the event that the people of Inner Anzan democratically voted to disown the occupied territories or to extend democracy to them. Thus, Baeba needed a king to wield this right to disobey. The Swamp Kids were not surrendering their old territories, but they had brought most of their land army to Baeba, and this army had enrolled most of the Swamp Kids' male population, meaning that although the soldiers' wives and other relatives had been quick to follow them in, there were many who had been captured by Raspara or other armies on the way, which meant that the Swamp Kids' population in Baeba was disproportionately male and the Swamp Kids' population in Inner Anzan was almost entirely women, children, and frail elderly people. Women and children could not vote, so the democracy fell into the hands of the relatively few adult males still left in Anzan, most of whom were non-Swampies.
Growth of Baeba's government
The Swamp Kids set up a one-party democracy in Baeba Swamp; only enrolled Swamp Kids could vote. The Swampies said that even this democracy was merely symbolistic, intended to produce bills that the king could choose whether to accept or not. The Swampies pondered converting their true democracy in Inner Anzan to the same system, knowing that one of their weakest points had been that minorities had been allowed to vote in the democracy, and had nearly always ganged up on the Swamp Kids in order to vote for whichever proposals would weaken them the most.
But most Swampies expected to lose control of Inner Anzan entirely within a few years, as they had been unable to control their home territory even when they had their full population in Anzan, and now they had merely a small remnant of that population consisting mostly of women and children who were trying to get out but were blocked by the aggressive armies of their political enemies. Furthermore, those who were literate and had access to written media from the Crystals living in Baeba now knew that although for 40 years the Swamp Kids had been everyone else's easy victims, now that they had Baeba, they were pouring out all 40 years of bottled up emotions upon the helpless and innocent victims they found living there. Thus, the Swamp Kids trying to get out of Anzan received little sympathy even from the traditionally softer armies such as the Crystals and the Bubbles.
Soon the Swamp Kids came to resent STW. They saw that they were now almost able to survive without STW helping them, and they planned to attack STW and take their slaves. Base 44 responded by selling weapons to Rasparas to use against the Swamp Kids. In May, they signed an alliance with the Rasparas that stated that as long as the Rasparas did not attack STW, they would sell weapons at low prices to them to use against the Swamp Kids. The Swamp Kids didn't know about the treaty, so most did not plan on attacking STW. But with Tata mostly destroyed, the Swamp Kids figured they no longer needed to make alliances with minority armies against Tata, and so they ordered the extermination of all Matrixes and STW members, including their king, from the Little Country.
They thus declared war on the newly formed Little Country, because it was ruled largely by immigrants and STW members. The Yellow Sun and the Red Sun, the two most powerful people in the government of the Little Country, joined the Soap Bubbles, fired all Swamp Kids from the government, and banished all Swamp Kids from the Little Country. The Bubbles had long been opposed to the Swamp Kids' government and called TLC "the Empire". They supported STW and wanted STW to overthrow the government. But the Swamp Kids were very powerful in the government, holding most of the positions not held by STW members. Because they were desperate, STW signed an alliance with the Matrixes that made both of them much more powerful, but also allowed the Matrixes to penetrate STW with propaganda. The Matrixes told STW members that they were really foreigners and that they should have no sympathy for the Swamp Kids. The Bubbles joined in on this alliance too.
The Matrix army was very well organized, and the Swampies could not defeat it. Also, the Matrixes began to outsmart the Swamp Kids by blurring the distinction between them. STW, on the other hand, relied on pure military force, and suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the Swamp Kids, although the Swamp Kids could not destroy them either.
Xema grabs more land
In 4192, Creamland invaded Nama. Then, Xema invaded Creamland, and the Creamers pushed further into Nama, figuring Nama was much weaker than Xema. Creamland started winning, and the Swamp Kids joined the war in order to help their ally, Nama. Xema switched sides and started invading Nama, saying they were doing it in the name of the Swamp Kids. This war went on for a very long time.
In 4192, a "mountain" tribe took over the central part of Swampy territory, displacing all other armies. They were known for their raspy voiced female singers.
Contact with Moonshine
The Little Country was overthrown in late 4194. It was with help from Moonshine. Moonshine had been ranting about how awful life was for the Matrix and STW, and how much the Matrix could improve the situation. With the Swamp Kids mostly out of power, and many fleeing, STW and the Matrix were free, and very clean. Though Moonshine had helped, they soon realized that they would be locked out of power in the new empire, and the Matrixes even threatened to invade Moonshine if they did not cooperate.
Out of respect for their enemies, the STW-Matrix coalition stated that they had overthrown an only mildly corrupt empire, but that the revolution was necessary in order to replace it with a clean one, which they named Rapala. As they had in the past, the winners of the war appropriated all of the cumulative land claims of their enemies, so that they claimed not just the former Little Country, but also all of the land that the Swamp Kids had attempted to control in previous years, and all of the land that any army which had allied with the Swamp Kids had ever attempted to control. Thus Rapala claimed nearly all of the land east of Baeba, and much of what lay to the south and west as well. As in the past, the STW-Matrix coalition knew that they had no realistic chance of occupying more than a small fraction of this land, but they chose to invade Nama, which they felt was very weak, in order to shore up their military in the region west of Creamland. They also claimed Baeba itself, but made no attempts to settle there.
By this time, the king of the Little Country had resigned due to corruption, but no new king replaced him. When STW took over, they abolished TLC's monarchy but allowed the former king to wield a great deal of power within STW's internal governance.
in 4206, Creamland surrendered, but kept invading Nama anyway. The Swamp Kids signed a pact with Nama making them allies. The Swamp Kids promised to never invade Nama.
STW-Swamp Kids relations
The Swamp Kids invaded the areas of Dreamland that encircled Baeba Swamp, hoping to surround Baeba on land so they could later focus on building a navy. This area of Dreamland had not been invaded for many hundreds of years, and was unprepared for the war. The Swamp Kids reassured their subjects that, despite their long history of opposition to Dreamland, they were not interested in abusing the Dreamers, but merely needed their land to coordinate a future attack against Baeba, in which the Dreamers were invited to participate. But the Swamp Kids knew that if Baeba's mutually hostile armies were to ever unite, they would be many times stronger than the Swamp Kids and could thus burst through the Swamp Kids' ring at any point and ruin their strategy.
Unholy Alliance invasion
At this point, the Unholy Alliance (UAO) declared war on Baeba Swamp, attempting to destroy the invading Zenith army and reclaim control of the Dolls. In the 32 years since their formation, they had protected their members dutifully, and all twelve of the original members were still alive and healthy. They had originally been planning to have children and then enroll the children as new members, but even in their relatively old age they were still wary of handing off power to even one new person. Since they were all males, they had the power of rape, and they had been busy building themselves an army of slave children. They had also captured many adults as slaves. Unusually, many of these adults had slaves of their own, so they formed a middle class that enabled the 12 UAO members to more indirectly control many thousands of slaves, something they admitted they could never have done directly.
Other leagues began to try to establish themselves in Pipatia, believing that it would be the site of the next battle in the Triangle War.
Invasion of Pipatia
The mainstream Swamp Kids invaded Pipatia now, hoping that they would be able to overwhelm all of the other armies, who they felt were unlikely to unite against the Swamp Kids. The Swampies forced the Dolls to flee their homes, but they were not able to conquer any of the other armies. The Zeniths united with a new strain of Rasparas now, because they both had chosen to make the frightened Dolls their new slaves. The Dolls accepted this because they were supportive of both Rasparism and the Zeniths, seeing them as enemies of the Swamp Kids. A few plagues coursed through the Doll population, now, however, which had come to them from the Zeniths. Nevertheless, the Dolls were replenishing their quickly dying population by having lots of babies. Occasionally, Doll women died from puerperal diseases. This bothered the Swamp Kids, as they had never introduced any plagues to their enemies.
A ceasefire was signed between the Dolls and the Zeniths now, as they agreed to unite against their common enemy, the Swamp Kids. RMC was granted control over all of the land in Pipatia in this treaty. The Dolls began to split apart into many leagues now, of which POM (Issia) was the most dominant.
The Swamp Kids (EE3) began to chase the POM people out of their homes now, however. POM signed a treaty with EE3 that gave EE3 total control over all their land. Thus POM was expelled from Pipatia. RMC was the only major league left that still had Dolls in it. BAX (a group secretly controlled by Joja and Pinuha, who both lived outside Pipatia) was still in control of much of the economy of the Swamp, though, including Pipatia. In fact, STW was so far removed from danger that the members of STW took bets on the outcome of battles, and played games with their slaves emulating the battles occurring in the real world. These people were called Fans. They had the power to do many things to influence the war, but STW did not allow them to do this.
The fleeing RMC Dolls built a bridge to a drier climate in order to flee the plagues and parasites that were making them weak. This bridge took them into Matrix territory, and thus the people of RMC and the Matrixes were reunited once again. The Matrixes attacked the Dolls, however, seeing them as toys to be played with. They took back nearly 80% of the land that the Zeniths had just claimed, and thus they found themselves at war with XLG. The Matrixes killed 40% of the Dolls living in Pipatia and served them in choice restaurants.
Treaty of Baeba Swamp
Now came the Treaty of Baeba Swamp, which established joint control of Pipatia for XLG (the Slopes) and the Matrixes. But the Zeniths continued to dream of total cntrol, and they had senseless anger against the Dolls in RMC. RMC was enveloped in a civil war now, and the non-Doll people joined up with XLG to form a new, anti-Doll alliance. They slaughtered the Dolls while the Dolls celebrated their holiday by praying for peace. When this war was over, Pipatia was reunited with Baeba Swamp, and the two governments were merged. Pipatia had so much wealth and power that it became the capital of Baeba Swamp. This only increased the desire of many outside groups to get a foothold in Pipatia so that they could get a foothold in the power of Baeba Swamp.
As the Slopes slaughtered the Dolls, the Dolls began to migrate into the Slopes' exclusive territory, Gatohana, whereupon the surprised Slopes sped up their massacres. Baeba Swamp passed a law enslaving most Dolls in order to prevent them from rebelling against the government of Baeba Swamp. The Zeniths now began to join in on the government of Baeba Swamp, where previously they had been separately governed even though their land was owned by Baeba. The government of Baeba allowed a small number of people from every league in the world (except Swamp Kids and allies, and some other groups deemed too troublesome to be given a chance to compete) to settle in Baeba Swamp in order that Baeba might be a mirror of the rest of the universe. They thus had revived Nama's Mirror Project. On another holiday, known as Love Day, many Dolls were massacred by the Swamp Kids and several other groups. The Swamp Kids announced that they were going to burn all of Baeba Swamp, and would spare no lives. The Dolls responded by preaching peace to the Swamp Kids, saying that they would be slaves for the Swamp Kids, and would do anything else that might encourage the Swamp Kids to not destroy Baeba Swamp.
The Matrixes then launched a Rainbow Revolt against Baeba Swamp, even though they were the leading party in Baeba's coalition government. They named themselves after the Rainbow kids who had massacred their teachers in Player-held Tata forty years earlier. Like those kids, the Matrixes promised to kill even people who had chosen to support them so they could appoint their own supporters.
Baeba's government, BAX, began to consider destroying the Matrixes because they seemed to be helping the Swamp Kids. Kēk, home to Dolls and Matrixes, developed here. It was largely anti-EE3 because it was accepted by Baeba's government as an independent province.
Political debates were seen by many as a way to stop the War, but the Swamp Kids were not educated enough to understand debate, so they refused to participate, believing anyway that the debates were unfair because they were sponsored by Baeba Swamp.
The Cupbearers were born now, a group of Dolls who were mostly pro-EE3 and wanted to escape their coming doom by allying themselves with the Swamp Kids. The party founded by a female Doll leader. The Swamp Kids were suspicious of even extremely weak protestors like these, but because they were seen as harmless they were mostly accepted by the Swamp Kids. The BAX government of Baeba Swamp was extremely upset by the presence of any pro-Swampy slaves, so they assassinated the head of the Cupbearers, blaming it on the Matrix. The Cupbearers couldn't avenge the assassination of Mappâ because STW had made it very difficult to make a crime out of murder of a Doll. They captured the assassin, but Baeba's courts wouldn't try him. The Cupbearers went into hiding and became a very weak guerrilla army. They were extremely weak because people kept sniping them with arrows, and they could not defend themselves because they had very few weapons and almost no armor.
STW declares war
In July 4206, STW seceded from Altotta (which had renamed itself Rapala) and declared itself a Raspara organization. They declared war on all non-Rasparas, but promised the non-STW Rasparas that they were not bound by this declaration of war and could ignore the battles if they preferred. STW refused to recognize the existence of Rapala and Baeba, saying that they both were just loose alliances of slavemasters who really each had their own countries.
Baeba's government had recently parceled away small areas of land within the swamp to the Dolls, though only a few thousand Dolls were allowed to move to them. STW considered Tâ the most important of these republics, and focused their initial attacks on Tâ. Tâ was soon split into two regions named Tahalmana (North Tâ) and Tahifòka (South Tâ).
Most Raspara people were STW members now, which meant that their attempt to penetrate STW's female leadership had succeeded, and STW no longer consisted mostly of children ruled over by women. They helped STW improve its military by giving them leaked Slope military plans and weapons (Tâ consisted mostly of a mix between Slopes and Dolls). They also had their own armies of slaves, which they donated to STW for free. Baeba outnumbered STW by about 20 to 1, but STW hoped they could pull in allies from outside the conflict.
STW felt that they were strong enough to conquer the planet if they would just not make too many mistakes. They considered the Swamp Kids and other armies unimportant and did not care whether the Swamp Kids were for or against them in their new war. They decided that the best way to conquer Tâ would be to cause the Dolls, who were a severely abused minority group, to come to support the overthrow of their abusers and the replacement of the standard Rapalan philosophy with STW's powerful version of Rasparism. They planned to raise a vast underclass of children in Tâ that would after about fifteen years come to outnumber the adults and overthrow them. Then they would adopt Tâ into STW's territory, and then STW's army would kill off all of the teenage Dolls who had fought so hard to let STW in.
Doll people and others in STW went on missions preaching pro-STW politics to the Dolls, and Baeba Swamp promised to defend STW in a war. Rapala's governors realized their only hope lay in allying themselves with the Swamp Kids. The Swamp Kids demanded that Rapala release all their slaves and abstain from abusing the Swamp Kids, or they would not stop attacking Rapala. But the Swamp Kids themselves were desperately seeking strength, so they agreed to the alliance even though they suspected that the Rapalans were lying about agreeing to the Swamp Kids' demands. The new anti-STW coalition government that replaced Rapala called itself Panu, which is a translation of "Rapala" into Xap (done to honor the Swamp Kids).
STW-Swamp War in Pipatia
Now that the Swamp Kids had occupied Pipatia, they were able to plan an attack on STW. STW, however, had already planned for this situation, and they immediately began attacking Pipatia using STW civilians as soldiers. Now, Pipatians and Swamp Kids couldn't tell the difference between Lindasian soldiers and Swamp Kids because they looked identical. Thus they could not attack any of the soldiers they saw without fearing that they might be attacking their allies. There were really no differences at all between the two groups that could be used to identify them in a war. Thus an extremely violent war resulted, and the entire population of Pipatia was killed in this war, along with all of the invading Swamp Kids and some of the (far larger) army that STW had used to invade.
The Swamp Kids had not given up, but for the time being they could not re-invade Pipatia because all of their access routes had been destroyed by the STW guerrillas. Also, Pipatia was now a worthless land because all the Dolls and Slopes that had lived there had been killed. None of Rapala's towns had any powerful anti-STW resistance movements anymore ... even the Slopes had begun to support STW because Rasparism appealed to them. Slopes were very open-minded people whose political allegiance was never for certain, however, so STW realized that they needed to be able to kill all of the Slopes should the Slopes later become powerful and then turn against STW.
Between 4206 and 4209, the territory of Amade reemerged as a major power. Amade's ruling Firestone party sent its people into Anzan, trying to form a coalition of all of the anti-Swamp parties. They won converts from the traditionally anti-Swamp parties such as the Cold Kids and the Matrixes. They also sent diplomats towards the Swamp Kids themselves, reminding them that the Firestones were the children of people who had converted away from the Swamp Kids, and that the "Swamp Kids" in Amade were an originally foreign population who had only claimed allegiance to the Swamp Kids because the Swamp Kids had tried to rescue them.
Few Swamp Kids were interested in signing an alliance with yet another of their many abusers, and the Swampy leaders warned their military generals that an invasion of Anzan from Amade might be in the works. They figured the invasion would start with a naval blockade of the southern ocean, followed by a direct invasion of the land from those same ships. Those few Swampies who did switch sides were often STW members who considered their allegiance to STW to come before their allegiance to either the Swamp Kids or the Firestones.
Xema's further struggles
By 4268, with most armies destroyed, Creamland had finally agreed to stop invading Nama. All of the nations were once again lined up against Xema, but the Ghosts and their allies quit the war.
- The English translation "Tink" references a private story and has nothing to do with any definition listed in a dictionary. The literal translation of mauppačue is "three objects forming a triangle". Both this name and "Swamp Kids" reference Earth ceon\\ćepts.
- Also known as Wamu, Waamū, etc
- In return, Tarwas promised to also overthrow the Vaamūans in Amade?? and ensure that neither Amade nor Tarwas ever in the future came under Vaamūan control.
- Both of these spellings are exonyms, as Andanese had neither a /d/ nor a /z/.
- Think of the "kneepad" man. "Silas the Farmer" was also a Swampy.
- It is possible that flags on this planet are square or even round and are more akin to emblems.
- From a dream I had a long time ago where I was in a lake with kids my age and asked one of them how many years he'd lived there. He said "47 .... " and I was shocked but he said "... thousand." Later we banded together and defeated Satan who had disguised himself as a snowflake so that he would be difficult to find.
- And I found the name in a mid-90s document, so this name is as secure as it can be.
- this might change the languages of nama
- The name was "kem pilam" in 8000BC, but collapsed to just ḳà in Khulls, ka in Thaoa and early Pabappa, and ya in Andanese (Andanese loses the k's, the other languages lose a vowel). I cannot keep this name because it simply means "mouth" in three of the four languages; that is, the reflex of kem pilam merges with the reflex of pilam.
;NOTE ON RABBITS:
Note: this animal was likely a rabbit. While rabbits were not the most aggressive animal in the environment on a body-to-body basis, they were able to hunt down even heavily armed people such as the Repilians and Swamp Kids because of their sheer numbers and relative scarcity of predators (since the climate was just beginning to warm up, most dangerous predators lived in the water). The name for this animal literally means "biter". Again, while rabbits did not have the most dangerous bite of all animals, their primary attack stratefgy against humans focused on biting humans and cutting them with their claws, both in an attempt not to eat humans but to bleed them to death. Some of the larger rabbits, however, could bite off human arms.
- tatuau, a word hard to translate, referring among other things to the "over-tall" letters in the early Pabappa/Andanese alphabet, and to a general sense of something that is too big for its container. It was also used to describe cancer; however, the Swampies were not literally seeing the minorities around them as cancers, they just happened to both share the same trait of seemingly excessive growth.
- The name Ekinak is corrupt.
- Spelled "LĶmpho" in an old document, which also identifies it as "the tropics". Possibly corrupt, as it was apparently in "desum" while being simultaneously part of Anzan. Sikel's only other appearances in the text identify it as Raspara-held territory, so it would seem perhaps that the Swamp Kids were not successful. It may also be "babum".
- Originally, I had written that the flag was a needle. I think now that this may be the Matrix flag.
- This name is in North Dreamlandic. Although they retained their language, they left indigenous placenames mostly alone.
- Contradicts 4178 date below? I dont know, it wouldnt surprise me if the Raspara declared war on the Swamp Kids while at war with the Swamp Kids. It's the sort of thing they'd do. Also see the "Im invading you, but I just got invaded, so Im invading you again!" comment in the edit history.
- Possibly the same city known as Yuni Yu-Baya, Yunibaya, Lunila, Lunlwala, etc. But that would mean that it is in historically Subumpamese land.
- This number needs to be checked. See Players#Threats_to_Raspara_power where the population of the Play party was a bit over a million .... it's possible that the Swamp Kids at their peak reached 2 million or more, but this would be the entire population, not the army.
- Contradicts something written earlier.
- "dega" > taʕ > tâ