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Expansion: Kirvina


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"Back In Time" Expansion Storyline

This would constitute my first expansion. It is a proposal to expand Kirvina south and east into the Aurelian plains, pushing its borders up to the large breadbasket river dividing the continent's southern half. This is my proposal as it currently stands. 

With the impending departure of Shffahkia and expansion of Metztlitlaca into the Crescent Empire, there is a void in Aurelian politics where the region needs a great power to stand up to foreign interests and play the game of influence in the large amount of open space left on the map. As the oldest played power surviving in Aurelia, I'd like to take steps to take up the mantle and politically unify the south of the continent (Kirvina, Rhodellia, Zaxar, any future comers) under one ideological front. Metzli and I have already laid plans for a "Great Game" to take place beginning in 2022 and stretching into early 2023, where the two powers spar for influence. The seeds of this have already been sown here, through the Aithálios (the dominant Kirvinan political bloc) arming Generals Palisi and Tonato in Sitallo, one of Metzli's direct rival states. This sets the stage for future enmity.

At the closure of this expansion (approximately February 2022), Kirvina would be among the great powers, with a GDP of ~1.4 trillion and a population of ~75 million.  While certainly substantial, this would only barely be able to place it into the top 10 in terms of nominal GDP. As well, this newfound strength would be offset by its majority expenditure in the ongoing struggle with Metztlitlaca, and more heavily engaging with the rise and fall of the Anglian hegemony in Europa and abroad. While power isn't necessary to take charge in a region, I think that the added size and status would significantly ease the diplomatic situation and point it in a logical direction. 

What's more, I've been made aware that expansions in this region can potentially be done in the past rather than the present, but that this generally hasn't been done before. I'd like to write the majority of this expansion set in the late 1800s, following a 1st-person diary novel sort of style that tracks the escapades of a company colonial governor and his entourage overseeing the settlement and security of the eastern plain territories, mainly their defense from Rhodellian and Zaxari elements as well as the sourcing of manpower in the aftermath of the damage done by the Eustacian Wars with Shffahkia. Inspired by the account Beasts, Men and Gods, it's meant to be a somewhat fantastical tale of travel through the wasteland and encounters with chieftains, cultists, and robber barons, in a quest to bring the territory under Kirvinan administration.

Here's the map of my intended expansion zone:

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Here's the map with important locations annotated:

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These locations can be considered phases of the expansion plan, that are also chapters of the story as it progresses and the viewpoint character travels through them.

  • Location I is the Cagora Valley, territory ruled by a democratic federation that failed to rejoin Kirvina proper in the Damoran Restoration, a resumption of central monarchical authority after the collapse of the Exarchate. Its opposition to the nation is primarily economical, because the Cagorans were always scared that in the aftermath of joining Kirvina, they would be overshadowed and outproduced by the powerful guild families of Kirvina's Thirteen Cities, the historical center of the nation. Most of the writing in this region is diplomatic, subverting expectations of adventure with a slow party and intrigue slog while the main character strikes deals with enough senators to hit quorum.
  • Location II is Mount Karachalkós, a region ruled in the late 1800s by an army of deserters from the Kirvinan regular army, who dodged the draft rather than be sent north to fight the Shffahkian Emperor Eustace and his military genius. With its endless rivers and gulleys, it is a stain of banditry on the general region, and mostly has not rejoined Kirvina at that point because of fear towards the consequences of army justice, and the comfortable and free lifestyle they live without paying taxes. Most of the writing in this region is explorationary, focusing on the charting of maps and dealing with exciting bandit characters while the main character tries to make it through to Location III without dying.
  • Location III is the Evras Hills, a region still mostly dominated by the native presence (a Steppe-Mayan conculture focused around pyramid-building). This is where the story turns more fantastical, and really takes a dive into Kirvinan religion versus that of the inhabitants there, and how they have syncretically affected each other and grown over time, as well as folklore about the wild beasts and creatures that reside there. It focuses on his journey through the land with a troupe of native and Kirvinan cavalrymen. Most of the writing in this region is cultural, focusing on the interplay between the different peoples who are going to make up Kirvina's future territory.
  • Location IV is Kimmeria, a series of increasingly impoverished city-states along the southern coast of Aurelia, in a smaller area than Cagora but much more balkanized and without central authority. For most of its history, Kimmeria has engaged in less than legal smuggling, slavery, and drug-dealing practices to sustain its economy and keep itself afloat, which brings it into rapid collision with Kirvinan central authority as its purview expands. Even though they share the same Laimiaic culture, they are a very distinct subculture that has breakaway tenets from Kirvina especially when it concerns application of religion and religious doctrine. Most of the writing in this region is military, as the main character leads the expedition to put down the Kimmerians and break them so that they can be integrated.
  • Location V is the Pontaleia, an open, plateau region that has long been prone to settlement and counter-settlement from Kirvinan elements in the west and Anglish elements in the east. That said, its almost nonexistent population density and sweeping lack of natural features means that it has never been especially popular as a destination, and that inroads have been weak and struggled against the overpowering elements (mostly the chill winter wind). Most of the writing in this region is focused on reflection, as it's really a more rote and short chapter that gives the main character good time to reflect on all the things that have happened so far and their implications abroad, as well as to tie in affairs outside of Kirvina without interrupting any action.
  • Location VI is part of Sagraphasia, the region which borders the major Sagraphas river that Kirvina has always considered its rightful eastern natural border. The reason that this area is not part of Kirvina in the late 1800s period of the story is that the local farmers settled the territory without sanction from the central government in Achilleia, trespassing treaty boundaries of permitted colonial charters to form independent communes. There is also significant Dolchlander admixture in this region, spillover from Rhodellians who were denied settlement in the main Kirvinan holdings and use the extraneous colony as a base point to illegally cross the border and immigrate into the core nation. Most of the writing in this region is diplomatic and cultural, tying back to Location III's focus on the disparate cultures of Aurelia while also including dialogue through the main character resolving deals with the local chieftains.
  • Location VII is Ma'anchaal, the last great native (operative name for this conculture is Tarakós to the Kirvinans) kingdom. The final chapter of the main story focuses on the war waged against it, and then the slow winding down and the sun setting on the last nation west of the Sagraphas not ruled by Kirvina, and its integration into the core identity and joining of national character to the core Kirvinan one. In the modern day, the Tarakós occupy a position relatively similar to the Cherokee in the US, as an identity mostly subsumed into the nationstate they are a part of, and a wide membership that has expanded greatly beyond its original borders, but also a unique language and culture, that hearkens back to something foreign. Most of the writing in this region is military and cultural, trying to tie together a satisfactory poetic conclusion about everything that's happened and how that relates to the country's modern identity.
  • The story is supposed to end with a modern overview of how these territories function as parts of the Exarchate, and end in their formal recognition as no longer part of a 'federation', but part of the Kirvinan nation, making the expansion's nitty gritty occur in the distant past, but its full realization only come to fruition in the modern era through the absorption of a diplomatic league of quasi puppet states into the direct authority, so that people can react in the present day and have opinions, and for the rising trajectory of Kirvina to feel more like a present reality than a fact that has to be awkwardly retcon-acknowledged.

Here is a full-detail territorial-province map of the proposed fully reunited Kirvinan nation, called Kirvinsétaria by irredentists:

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And here is a short sample of the writing style that would go into it, namely the intro:

"At the dawn of the year 1878, an adventurer and Captain by trade, I was stationed on the southern border at Stratikai Amaseia: a quaint town, which promised far more than it delivered, and traded sentiments of romantic conquest for clothes well-coated in dust and the stench of stocky wooden outhouses. My father had known the days of Eustace, where amidst the pitched battle it was never quite certain if he would return home to his waiting family or perish there, to lie ignominiously in the field, but I had the far less glorious charge of the days of Konstantinos. Gone were the days of taking up the sword against the enemy and fighting victorious battle all the way to the coast, driving the Lysians into the sea; now we were farmhands, and had well worked our swords into plowshares, as the Christians like to say it. A Northwest man, as a son of Taurapetra, I felt quite foreign amidst the palisades of the garrison town. But even this foreignness did not keep me from the travails of the day, and as an appointed officer in the Exarch's employ, I shared in and lived through them.

I found myself sharing coffee and tobacco with my traveling companion, the First Lieutenant Giorgos, on the porch of the summer home we were renting together to get a better view of the outward-lying plains and pleasant river bed which shared with us the best of weather and protected us from the worst abuses. While with him, I became the sudden recipient of the news that an inbound Kimmerian raiding party was kicking up dust quite quickly towards Amaseia, and that we had better get out of the way quickly or we would find ourselves dragged by our feet through their ramshackle, goat-herding gates. Giorgos and I mounted, and went together east to Astritsa in the eastern part of that province, and buying squash and bread from one of the Tarakós there convinced him to come with us as a dragoman. With us we carried two rifles, axes, camping knives to clear brush, spare horse tack, two containers of green tea, a small samovar, and pitching nails for a tent,  as well as two sets of clothes. Of course I must remark on the quality of the alpine hiking on the route there. The trees are more thick, and the wooding in general stout and better populated than in the north, and the people altogether in a similar fashion much more rustic and durable. The tongue they speak is scarcely recognizable as Laimiaic, but it bears an intelligible quality when some cleverness is applied to it.

We had the luck to clear some ground, and on the third day came upon a spring which sat in the passes of Lefkara, which were a short distance from the garrison and easily reached. Altogether we were quite fortunate to catch for ourselves a bundle of hares, and resting by this clearwater lake recuperated the flight of the previous few days, and came to know each other better. I learned that our guide's name was Apás, and that he was a Manchalos, one of those peculiar people who dwell to the south and east. He struck a gaunt but steely-eyed figure, all wound, corded sinew. The axe he carried at his belt was more devastating an implement that way, tired and routine in the hands of others, but a killing weapon in his. He understood the way of life on the plateau, of course not quite as bad as the steppe (even with the marks of civilization well stamped across it by our hand), but brutal in its own sense, and had taken steps to keep to himself those provisions and knowledges without which he could not exist ..."

In conclusion: I can be held directly accountable for this expansion through the satisfactory completion of all the promised chapters at reasonable return dates, so that the flow of the story progresses at a pace not too breakneck and greedily, but slowly and in a fully thought out and comprehensively written way that is hopefully as entertaining as the real Beasts, Men, and Gods. My end goal of February 2022 is a minimum goal date, as in if I am done with everything by then and the community feels that the writing is satisfactory to transition the expansion into reality, it can be done, but that I am comfortable taking more months to finish if my writing comes out at a slower rate, should school or any other factor get in the way.

Thank you for reading- and hopefully approving.

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