The Shár Empire is arguably one of the most powerful states in the Orient and has a long and proud history dating back for more than ten thousand years. The history of the Shár started with the arrival of the Torgyrians from the Torgyrian Desert to the Western Steppes.
Before statehood Edit
Shár history started when around 11,000 BEKE, the a branch of Torgyrians started migrating west of the Torgyrian Desert. These Western Torgyrians were the ancestors of the Limjiang race. From the Western Steppes, they would go on to populate much of what is the Shár Empire today.
Around 9000 BEKE, the Ten Kingdoms Period began - at the time, ten proto-Shár Kingdoms competed for control of the vast land. It is important to note that at the time, the linguistic and cultural differences between Shár and Sak did not develop yet - the only real difference was the lifestyle and military, with the settled proto-Shár preferring farming and infantry-oriented warfare, the nomadic proto-Sak preferring animal husbandry, hunting and cavalry-oriented warfare - they spoke the same language approximately until 3500 BEKE.
Around 7000 BEKE, the powerful State of Guai started gaining dominance over the rest of the Shár. By 6777, the rest of the proto-Shár states were conquered the slowly and carefully expanding Guai. By 6777, their control over the Shár people was undisputed, and the former ten kingdoms were all merged into one Empire: the Shár Empire.
Guai Dynasty (6777-6100 BEKE) Edit
The first recognized Guai Emperor of Shár was Guai Hokgor, who "conquered" the last kingdom via his marriage to Yí Chírú, Princess of the Yi Kingdom - her father Yi Sáshí agreed to become Guai's vassal and give his daughter Chírú's hand to Guai. Yí Sáshi died without a son in 6644, leading to the complete Guai annexation of the Yí state.
Despite the initial first two centuries of stability the Empire provided, it quickly started to rot away starting in the 66th century BEKE - the various vassals of the Guai dynasty started striving for independence. The previously cutting-edge Guai army struggled hard to keep out foreign invaders, forcing the vassals to fend for themselves, further decentralizing the Empire. In addition to vassals seeking independence - and slowly conspiring to achieve it - corruption also plagued the Imperial government.
What gave the Guai Dynasty its mercy-kill however was not any rebellion or war of independence - it was the death of Guai Mukden without a direct successor, which almost immediately plunged the empire into a would-be a succession war that ended up as a 478-years of Warring States period instead.
Warring States Period (6100-5622 BEKE) Edit
After the death of Guai Mukden in 6100, the former Guai Empire fell into disarray. There were several candidates for a successor, but the various sides could not agree who should be the new Emperor. A civil war started between the sides, but no one could win in the end - the Shár Empire fragmented into four pieces at first. All of these four states were ruled by incompetent warlords, whose incompetent rule saw further fragmentation of the former Shár Empire into at least 20 - or by some accounts even 30 - states. Under this bloody period, of nearly five centuries of war, the Shár population declined dramatically, Dropping from 2 000 000 in 6100 to as low as 650 000 by 5622. Famines and plagues were extremely common, it was a dark era when no one could trust no one - backstabbing, assassinations, bribery and spying were the staple of political life, violence was commonplace, the ordinary population was living in constant fear: loyal followers of a defeated warlord were usually tortured to death, peasants were killed for refusing to give up their food for the army, be it hostile or allied - peasants were also tortured for daring to give food for hostile soldiers who threatened to kill the peasants if they did not do so.
By the end of the Warring States Period, the most dangerous threat to the emerging Shiu dynasty was not the other warlords, but peasant rebellions, who have had enough of 478 years of constant suffering - by the end, most warlords became so weak that even nameless peasant rebels were stronger than them.
Shiu Dynasty (5622-2866 BEKE) Edit
The Shiu dynasty came out as the winners from the five centuries of civil war. The first Shiu Emperor, Shiu Sheilung enjoyed popularity among the peasantry, as they brought peace to the war-torn land, reduced the taxes, allowing the population to grow again. The Shár population grew from 650 000 in 5622 to 4 000 000 by 3200.
The Shiu built roads, castles, canals, schools and universities, encouraged learning and embracing the knowledge of writing. It was around this time that the Shár people became truly distinct from the northern Sak - the literate and civilized Shár, versus the illiterate and savage Sak.
Between 5600 and 3200, the Shiu dynasty enjoyed a 2400 year-long period of stability and peace, successfully resisting attempted Sak invasions among other things. What caused the decline of the Shiu dynasty was the Yet-Her Wars that started in 3201.
Yet-Her Wars, Sak Invasion and Fall Edit
The Yet-Her Wars started in 3201 and lasted until 2933. "Yet-Her" was the Shár name of the Proto-Elves, who migrated raided the Shár Empire's eastern borders as early as 3300 BEKE. The Yet-Her Wars were fierce wars between the Proto-Elves and the Shár Empire that decimated the Shár population - reducing it from the 4 000 000 in 3200 to 3 600 000 by 2933 - and led to the destruction of several prestigious North-Eastern Shár cities, including the Shiu capital of Huádau that wouldn't be rebuilt until millennia later.
Even though the Shiu dynasty won in the end - forcing the Yet-Her to migrate eastwards - the dynasty was left in a severely weakened state, making it an easy target for the Sak raiders, who started invading the Shár Empire in 2910. The first Sak invasion of Shár - lasting from 2910 to 2866 - further reduced the Shár population (to 3 000 000 by 2866), and led to the ultimate fall of the Shiu dynasty. The leader of the Sak, Liung Saudung - or Ryung Sôdung in Sak - deposed the last Shiu emperor - Emperor Shiu Hárbing - in 2866, and proclaimed the Liung Dynasty.
Liung Dynasty (2866-2432 BEKE) Edit
In 2866, the leader of the Sak invaders, Liung Saudung - or Ryung Sôdung in Sak - proclaimed the Liung Dynasty. The Liung dynasty's rule was a rather unstable one - both Sak and Shár alike disliked the regime. Shár peasants were starved under the harsh taxes, compelling them to constantly revolt, Shár bureaucrats were corrupt and often backstabbed the Sak overlords and the dynasty, while the free-spirited Sak tribes hated the idea of being ruled by one Emperor - an Emperor who lived in a palace far away from the steppes.
The Liung dynasty fell in 2432, when the whole ruling family was captured by the famous Shê Seisei, who had them massacred and tried to take the throne for himself, but was backstabbed by his own bodyguards, who threw him into a pit full of rabid rats. After the infamous event, the empire disintegrated once again.
Second Warring States Period (2432-632 BEKE) Edit
The second Warring States Period - lasting exactly 18 centuries - was much different from the first one. Rather than constant fighting that destroyed much of the population, it was a time where several several states peacefully coexisted, made alliances among each other and destroyed common enemies. Rather than an era of open warfare that destroyed the lives of millions of people, this was an era of dirty political intrigue, bribery, gifts and politically/economically motivated marriages.
Despite the fragmentation, Shár literature, science and culture flourished. Poets and composers from all over the Shár states were composing songs and poems about how they are waiting for the moment the Shár nation finally unifies itself as one, as a great Empire. It was also during this time period that the Ten Heavenly Principles was born, spreading not only among the Shár, but also outside the boundaries of the Shár nation, into the lands of the Sak, among others.
The Shár realm was unified peacefully by the political mastermind Jing Lingwei.
Jing Dyansty (632 BEKE - 12 AEKE) Edit
Jing Lingwei, the first Jing Emperor created a loose bureaucratic-hegemonic union rather than an authoritarian empire with direct rule. The vassals of Jing - the magnates - were excepted to provide taxes and troops to the Jing Emperor. Jing Lingwei did not rule through force - he ruled through empire. He did not force his vassals to adopt his bureaucratic model by force, but instead convinced them to follow his example by giving them evidence of the increased economical productivity. A new capital was built for the Empire - Ngor Rok. The Ten Heavenly Principles were embraced as the new state religion, and many monasteries were built to promote the religion.
All in all, the Jing Dyansty was a Golden Era for Shár culture, literature, architecture and economics. Shár ships sailed to Gabyr, and allegedly even as far as Hulra and Froturn, bringing Western gold, mythril, gems, glass and rugs into the Shár realm.
The decline of the Jing Empire was very gradual. The decline of its military was left almost unnoticed, which is why the sudden Sak invasion and its victory felt so sudden. Yet it happened.
In 12 AEKE, the last Jing Emperor, Jing Dungdung died in a battle against the Sak. The leader of the Sak, Bur Mung-lei - or Bul Mungli in Sak - allegedly personalled killed Jing Dungdung and marched into Ngor Rok, but wouldn't unify the Shár Empire again until 43 AEKE.
Bur Dynasty (12-140 AEKE) Edit
In 12, Bur Mung-lei invaded the Shár Empire, and killed the last Jing Emperor. He managed to occupy Ngor Rok, and proclaimed himself the first Emperor of the Bur Dynasty, but he wouldn't fully unify the Shár Empire until 43 AEKE - the last holdouts in the Southern Shár continued to resist as late as that.
Bur Mung-lei was a devout follower of the Ten Heavenly Principles, and ordered his soldiers to spare monks and monasteries, going as far as punishing those soldiers who violated this with death. He also tried to follow Jing customs, adopt the Shár language and introduce the Shár way of administration to the Sak people.
Unortunately, he died suddenly in 55 AEKE, and his son Bur Largau - or Bul Rälgô in Sak - was an incompetent ruler. The population revolted against him several times, and he himself was killed during a peasant revolt in 117 AEKE.
The third Bur Emperor, Bur Ming-wau - or Bul Ming-wô in Sak - was a draconian ruler, against whom the people revolted once again. In 122, the Great Ngiong Rebellion was started by Jiuk Fungchi, ensuring a 18-year civil war that ended with the annihilation of the Bur Dynasty and the establishment of the Jiuk Dynasty.
Jiuk Dynasty (140 AEKE - present) Edit