The Noronnican Isles were at one point, connected to the continent of Gael, meaning that much of its geography can be likened to northern Gael. However, some of it remains alien to mainland Gael due to Noronica's shift in temperature, leading to uniqueness in some of Noronica's geographical aspects. Tectonic folding and other various geological events saw the creation of much of Noronica's mountain chains and speculated volcanic activity in northern and central Noronica. The most famous extinct Noronnican volcano, Braemuir Hill, was formed from this period of prehistory.
In what was a rather violent divorce, the Noronnica Isles split from Gael. Much of the land bridge that connected them was lost to the sea, with evidence of it still remaining on the Sessux Isle and Gael shorelines. Volcanic activity from this time has been detected from evidence in Noronnican cliffs, through the identification of a layer of volcanic rock compacted through time. This split led to the production of other mountains across the Noronnican Isles.
Through these tumultuous periods of prehistory in the Western Isles, the basic topography of the Noronnican Isles was formed. However, it was not until the last Glacial Period that the Noronnican Isles would truly be formed. They were heavily affected by this period, as there is evidence of the glaciers impacting on the Noronnican landscape. Glacial deposits and moraines can be easily found in many parts of the Noronnican Isles, especially in the valleys found around the Isles.
Famous sites such as Glen Faerhal are the best examples of ancient valleys formed from the last Glacial Period. Glen Faerhal contains some of the oldest flora in the Noronnican Isles, with ancient pine trees making up most of it. These pine trees are from the same family as those found around Gael, more specifically in nations such as Ostehaar, a nation with very similar geography to the Noronnican Isles.
There is also evidence of the ancient, extinct fauna of the Noronnican Isles which may have migrated from mainland Gael. The largest of these animals are the Grey Mammoths, which were identical to that of the extinct Mammuthus family apart from their distinctive grey furs and curled tusks. One of the most fearsome predators of the time was the Horned Bear, which hunted during Noronica's Glacial Period. These extinct animals became extinct either due to human intervention or due to the thaw that occurred during the later stages of the Ice Age.
Glen Faerhal Ancient Pineforest
Midland National Park
Noronnican Rock Formations
13,000 BC - 4,000 BC
Early traces of human existence in the Noronnican Isles from before the Gaelitic migration is extremely sparse and heavily debated. The Oana Stran, ('First Man' in Nyssic) is the term used for remains found in the southernmost tip of the Sessux Isle which are claimed to have been much older than most of the human remains found from the period of migration from the continent. Historians have not yet pinpointed the period, nor have they found any other examples of remains that match that of the Oana Stran. There are concerns with the theory that the remains are far older than the migratory peoples, as the Noronnican Isles were uninhabitable until the end of the last Glacial Period and the retreatment of the ice.
The original inhabitants of the Noronnican Isles were the Proto-Nyssicen people. During the Mesolithic from 13,000 BC, there was a period of mass migration that spanned across the entire continent of Gael. Early humans moved across the continent, yet they also moved to surrounding islands, including the Noronnican Isles. These early humans that travelled to the Noronnican Isles were later named the 'Proto-Nyssicen' people, as the language they would speak in later periods became the precursor to the Nyssic language.
This period introduced the trading and social connection between mainland Gael and the Noronnican Isles, as migration continued between the two landmasses with some people in northern and central Gael being able to trace their heritage back to the Proto-Nyssicens.
The Proto-Nyssicen people were of a diverse descent, bringing various cultures to the Noronnican Isles. The Proto-Nyssicen people were not thought to have originally been fair-skinned, yet they became fairer due to the differing climate of Noronica. They were a hunter-gatherer people, relying on hunting and foraging to sustain their settlements. However, they also developed a distinct sense of identity through the use of art and the design of their tools. Rock art and sculptures were common in this period with some sculptures being surprisingly accurate. Flint tools were widespread in this period, used for weapons, tools and early jewellery.
Proto-Nyssicen settlements were seemingly sporadic across the Noronnican Isles, with many northern settlements showing signs of isolationism as they are further from each other and show signs of underdevelopment. Among these settlements is the Garlisle Hunter House, which is so named due to its impressive size and its suggested usage. It is one of the more definitive structures found from this period, as much of the layout remains intact, giving historians an idea into the mindset of Proto-Nyssicen builders.
The Migration Period is assigned such a wide timespan due to the fact that migration continued in such a widespread fashion that it is difficult to truly understand when tribes began to form and consolidate their land. The Proto-Nyssicen people were originally sporadic and their structures were often temporary and utilitarian rather than planned for extended usage. However, this trend slowed dramatically between 5000-4000 BC, as settlements were larger and designed to be permanent. As such, the Migration Period gives way to what is generally accepted by historians across the Western Isles to be the Neolithic Period.
Reconstructed Mesolithic House
Interpretation of Proto-Nyssicen Living
4,000 BC - 2,200 BC
The Neolithic Period in the Noronnican Isles served as a transitionary period from a nomadic lifestyle to a much more grounded agrarian lifestyle. It is due to this stability that early Noronnicans were able to erect monuments and structures that are still present today. The period is also characterised by tool sophistication and the advent of agriculturism in Noronica. Despite this, the Stone Age in the Noronnican Isles is still shrouded in mystery, with historians still hypothesising over the various practices of Stone Age Noronnicans.
Civilisation was primitive compared to later developments, yet clearly distinctive cultures developed throughout the Noronnican Isles. This is shown through designs on tools and utilities such as early pottery. Written language did not appear in the Noronnican Isles for quite some time, yet there is evidence that a sophisticated manner of communication was used at some point during the Neolithic period.
Implementing stone into wooden housing was prevalent during this time, designed with social status in mind. As in many cultures, religious and economic leaders were granted much larger buildings constructed using more preservable materials compared to the rather simple designs for the other buildings in each settlement. Interestingly, through archaeological findings and post-mortems conducted on skeletons found onsite, historians have theorised that conflict was relatively common between villages. It does not seem that these attacks were indiscriminate, rather that some villages came together to defeat a common enemy or starve a weaker village. This is shown through designs on pottery, as two villages may have shown support for one another through the sharing of their culture.
Whilst there was unease between the various settlements, Neolithic Noronnicans underwent a vast agricultural program throughout the Noronnican Isles. Due to their technological and economic importance, farmers were treated with high status in settlements, more than hunters. This only increased as animal husbandry was introduced because those that were supporting settlements with food and livestock were revered.
The Neolithic Period in the Noronnican Isles is better known for its monuments, as they are by far the most mysterious aspect of this period for historians still. Stone circles appear to be rather common during this period, as many are dotted around the Noronnican Isles. The largest and best-preserved example is the Glenalochen Stone Circle, as designs on the stone and designated 'rooms' left marked in the ground give historians a slightly clearer picture as to what exactly these stone circles were used for. Glenalochen seemed to be used for a variety of purposes, usually spiritual. Burials were conducted around the circle, yet the area within the circle seemed to have been a place of great reverence due to the careful design of the circle's layout. The central stone was found to contain traces of animal blood, conveying the impression that animal sacrifices were conducted there for religious observance.
Funerary practices during the Neolithic Period in the Noronnican Isles were especially significant due to their vast difference compared to later practices. After the usage of mass graves, it is believed that respect and sentiment for the dead began to grow during the mid-Neolithic period. Cremations became popular, as sealed urns containing the ash were kept within homes supposedly for a religious or spiritual purpose. Important chiefs or people carrying high status were buried, usually near stone circles, with many of their possessions surrounding them within their grave.
Stone Circle near Glenalochen
2,200 BC - 1,800 BC
In the Twenty-third Century BC, there was a great exodus undertaken by one of the ancient populations of the Western Isles. The extent of their journey remains under intensive study by historians and scientists. Interestingly, a considerable number arrived on the shores of the Noronnican Isles, their arrival recorded through carbon dating remains and from genetic research. It is not known about the nature of their initial reception by early Noronnicans, however much of their cultural advancements bled into the Noronnican Isles, shown through the sudden sharp advancement in art, tools and most importantly the manipulation of metals.
The migrants settled first in the southern coast near modern-day Glaregia. An accurate depiction of their arrival is documented on several pots found in an excavated settlement near Port Sinare. It is often theorised that these pots were designed by the migrants themselves as gifts for the tribes that accepted them into their homes, as the pots' designs are similar to that of the side-view design of other ancient art.
The migration brought extensive economic and social changes to the Noronnican Isles, setting the course for the development of a new civilisation. The migrant people remained in the south, which was warmer and vastly more fertile than the northern lands. This granted the opportunity to cultivate their own settlements along the coast and to integrate with the other Noronnican tribes settled around them.
A key aspect of the integration between the migrants and early-Noronnican people was the advancement in funerary practices. Through the sharing of faith and ideas over death, a cultural fusion occurred around 2100 BC, whereby stone chambered cairns, (known as 'Graern' in Nyssic ~ grave) were introduced in southern Noronica. The ensuing period of time is known by some historians as the 'Grærn Period', as there was a great abundance of these chambered cairns, used not only for funerals but as places of worship designed in a specific manner according to the movement of the winter sun. In religious circumstances, there grew a great fascination over death and the prospect of an afterlife. Graves of political importance started to be inundated with trinkets and tools to aid one's journey into the afterlife. This change in thought has proven to be a monumental discovery in modern historical research, as it clearly defines a turning point whereby a vastly improved culture and civilisation began to emerge from a decentralised tribal nomadic lifestyle.
The language of these migrants were unfortunately lost through time, replaced instead by a written language as found inscribed on various chambered cairns.
Over several centuries the migrants consolidated their new territory and maintained steady dominance over trade through their lands. Utilising better trading techniques and their vital access to the Argean, they soon designed a highly lucrative yet exploitative trading centre for the Noronnican Isles, ensuring that tribal traders had no choice but to exchange goods through their lands. This method led to an explosion in population and in economic prowess, allowing the migrants to forge a proper civilisation along the coast.
To better connect trade within the Noronnican Isles, a small agrarian settlement was granted the opportunity for a truly meteoric rise. The settlement was named Molm (Moe-m), in accordance with the legend of Molmer. Molm opened access across Loch Ald, allowing the comfortable movement of goods to other southern tribes without risking travelling north on far more treacherous routes. The ancient city of Molm grew in population extensively, giving rise to a very limited bureaucratic system under a chieftain. Soon becoming a vastly important trading centre with other tribes, the civilisation built around the city took to referring to itself as the 'Molmian' civilisation.
This sudden jolt in southern prosperity alienated the north and south, as southern tribes reaped the rewards of having such a prosperous neighbour, despite that being at their own expense. The divide between southern and northern Noronica was already vast, as the north was often submerged in harsh winters, leaving many of the tribes starving and with little produce to compensate for this hunger. Raiding was commonplace, yet there were several increasingly violent and barbarous excursions into southern farmlands made by northern tribes around 1900-1800 BC, as the southern tribes grew to enjoy their newfound prosperity under the wing of Molm. These battles were often ruinous, with some ending in mass slaughter according to some archaeological findings. An archaeological dig conducted in eastern Glasregia found a mass grave of over sixty skeletons, all of whom found excruciatingly violent deaths.
Archaeological investigations found that this war came far too close to the coast, as the northern tribes found an exploitable weakness in the decentralised nature of the smaller and less-militarised southern tribes. It is thought that after a particularly harsh period of conflict, the southern tribes bowed down to demands for unification by the Molmian civilisation so as to meet this threat. Of course, it would have been plainly obvious what the ulterior motive was in this case, yet desperation set in as the northern threat yet again harrassed southern farmlands, and thus the southern tribes formed a league. Sets of early bronze armour and weaponry found in the Noronnican midlands show just how fast and efficient the response was from the coast, as a fighting force was assembled to lay waste to the northern tribes.
Once the conflict was over, it was clear that the southern tribes were to be subsumed into this new political entity around 1,700 BC. This was marked by the inauguration of a new chieftain, who would preside over these lands as monarch. Successive leaders were always of migrant descent, to ensure the continued dominance and succession of the original coastal people. Their names and deeds would not be recorded until much later, yet their faces and obvious political dominance is depicted heavily in art and grave inscriptions.
Chambered Cairn in Glasregia
Pots Depicting the Migration
Inscription of the Unification Agreement
1,500 BC - 900 BC
The early Molmian Kings were surrounded with deeply religious monarchical cults, worshipping them as enlightened figures. These kings were given the title of 'Aver', and the first properly-recorded Aver was known as Tuloch, (est. 1,500-1,540 BC). Tuloch's reign is shrouded in mystery and speculation akin to the other Avers that preceded him, as much of what is written about them is written in various eroded grave inscriptions around the Noronnican Isles. What is known, is that Tuloch presided over a highly-chaotic transitionary period of Molm, as the early city was suddenly having to cope with accepting vast swathes of southern tribal populaces and northern refugees into its boundaries. Tensions were extremely high, and while there is not much in the way of written evidence, archaeological findings have provided possible evidence of tribal warfare even after unification, as those settled within Molmian borders sought to ascertain their position in this new society.
The Aver that succeeded Tuloch was Runmahn, (est. 1,540-1,490 BC) who was elected into power in a calm period of Molm, seeing as the city and its surrounding territory had begun to settle under the late leadership of Tuloch. However, under Runmahn, certain restrictions were placed on class and lineage. A basic class system was formulated to mediate wealth and status, while restrictions were enforced over who could be a 'Molmian'. Early edicts inscribed on stone slabs decreed that those residing within the city walls were Molmian. The effect of this ruling is not known, but it would have a lasting effect for generations.
After Runmahn, the elected nature of the monarchy was abolished in favour of a hereditary absolute monarchy. This system of governance was introduced under the short reign of Parræ I, (est. 1,480-1,470 BC) who established a long-lasting dynasty of Avers that would preside over the Molmian Kingdom for centuries. His son, Parræ II would take power, setting a precedent for the law of succession which would favour male successors.
Notable advancements were slow under successive Avers, as progress stagnated. Molm was slow to expand itself across the Noronnican Isles in these early centuries, choosing instead to consolidate what it contained within its borders. The city grew in size, yet it remained primitive, seeing as much of the population lived in total squalor and destitution in temporary housing. Administrative buildings were rarely impressive, as grandeur was focused mainly around buildings of religious significance. As Avers held the unique position of being at the head of religion, they resided within the aptly-named 'Temple of Avers'. According to ancient records, the temple was a truly impressive sight, with extensive dimensions. Unfortunately, only the underground foundations remain today.
Art and culture developed during the ensuing centuries, as pots and graerns were given far more intricate attention and detail. Art served purely for political and religious significance as almost all examples of art from this time contain references to the Avers as deified beings and their deeds. Art containing any reference to average life is extremely rare, yet provide invaluable insights into this early period.
Interestingly, diplomatic relations were extensive during this period, as inter-tribal connections were sought after with surrounding tribes. Conflicts were usually small and centred on only a few tribes at a time, not serving any real significance due to a lack of many records detailing these events. Marrying outside of Molmian families was rare, only employed during times of strain between Molm and specific powerful tribes. In fact, intermarrying within royal circles became rather common between members of the same dynasty as a way of ensuring dynastic purity. That is not to say that it was a popular choice, but it was seemingly not frowned upon until later periods of Noronnican history.
It was Aver Luich, (est. 1,210-1,180 BC) that cemented the Aver's power into law around 1,190 BC. The constitutional powers under 'Averich' meant that the Aver was exempt from any trial or consequence that his actions may incur. The authority of Averich granted the Aver sweeping political and military powers that ensured his total domination over the political system through his divine will. Under these constitutional changes, political offices appeared in the form of a Chancellor, (the highest-ranking office second only to the Aver) a basic judiciary system, and an assembly of Aver-appointed religious advisors named the Wycken. The Aver's divine right to rule was paramount, yet it was not unheard of to have famous chancellors who made their names in history also, especially those of considerable power during the late Avers of the Molmian Kingdom.
One such Chancellor was Tiboch, who served under Aver Yrdich, (est. 1,080-1,035 BC). He was a visionary scholar, introducing methods of tabulation and intensive data recording that were seen in other early states around the Western Isles. Through Tiboch, historians were able to glean richer information from economic and political data not afforded to them before. He initiated the process of archiving information throughout Molm, but he also introduced something that would remain a key characteristic of Molmian rule, the census. They were used sparsely at first, but in centuries to come, they would become extensive and give a much clearer picture of life under Molmian rule to historians. Unfortunately, Chancellor Tiboch is perhaps more famously known for his demise. Through ancient descriptions which have been deemed questionable by historians as effective sources, Tiboch had an affair with the Aver's wife Quid and fathered a child. All three were extensively tortured and executed, with Tiboch being stretched by four horses until death.
Complacency became an epidemic for the Molmian Kingdom, as Avers led lavish lifestyles. Under these decadent rulers, administrative architecture became grander, yet the ruling classes were angered by state-sponsored assassinations and the constant removal of state officials as the Avers sought to quieten those that were dissatisfied with the contemporary state of affairs. Tensions grew, and under the rule of Aver Tomos, (est. 960-950 BC) a revolution occurred.
With the Avers becoming less interested with actual matters of state, the chancellors took much of the power that the Avers once held. Legend surrounds Tomos and his reign, as it was one of the key turning points in Ancient Noronnican history, therefore much of what has been written on the subject is politicised by later administrations. Tomos's chancellor was Guidich, a man revered in later sources as a figure of freedom and righteousness. He took the reigns of Molm and its territories with ease and was a very able diplomat, uniting even the most stubborn of settlements under the city's banner. Tomos was greatly angered by his Chancellor's popularity and sought to strip him of his power. In an act of what he viewed as retribution, he took Guidich's family and servants on a false charge and set them alight on pyres in a public display. Guidich struck back harder, having amassed a wealth of alliances across the city's political class. Tomos died in a street battle outside the Temple of Avers, leaving behind a tarnished legacy of Avers, his body was then immolated in the same manner as Guidich's family.
950 BC - 14 BC
The Molmian Kingdom fell around 950 BC, replaced instead by a republican system of governance under a plutocratic constitutional republic. The city of Molm was divided into seven districts and a complex system of administration was devised under a bureaucratic system. The state's central political body was the Echlia, an assembly populated by elected aristocrats who legislated on all matters of the state. Heads of State were known as the First of the Echlia, being seen as the man who best represented the Echlia. Women who inherited their husband's or father's wealth were able to be elected as a member of the Echlia, but they were restricted from the office of First of the Echlia as they were seen to be unfit to lead the state in matters of war. Rû, a famous orator in the Echlia, is perhaps one of the most famous members due to her many speeches but also her attempts to revoke this law.
Under the Echlia was the tribal assemblies and city council, all of which command the sectors of the Molmian Republic respectively. The City Council was often seen as in a higher position than the other assemblies due to its status as the assembly within the beating heart of the state. Under these assemblies were local elders who often acted on their own initiative unless directed otherwise. These institutions were held together by the power and influence of the Echlia which held total dominance over the state. The assemblies had very little locally-focused powers, and many assemblymen aspired to be members of the Echlia with tales of murder and ascension committed by more influential assemblymen, almost always those who were of the City Council. A cunning member of the Echlia would often use his or her allies in the City Council to cause disruption in areas of the city to get their own legislative or personal desires through the Echlia.
Religion was a vital aspect of the state. The enforced state religion was that of the Cult of Hélia, the worship of the sun. It is often surmised that worship for the sun developed from tribal worship of nature during the time of the Molmian Kingdom and swept into the kingdom's borders due to migration and expansion. Sun Temples were erected across the state, led by groups of priests who conducted private and public rituals so as to continue to please Hélia who would, in turn, continue to provide heat and sunlight. Rituals were seasonal, with sacrifices halting in the winter replaced by continuous rituals over the winter period to aid in Hélia's war with her sister Mahri, who held dominion over the night and the long winter nights. Religion was seen as a way of continued survival rather than anything superfluous. The Cult of Hélia grew in a polytheistic religion quickly, as new gods developed for a variety of needs. The religion remained centred around the eternal struggle between Hélia and Mahri, but a pantheon of gods supported this struggle on different sides and provided blessings for all aspects of nature and human existence.
Language was also something that changed, as Molmian Nyssic grew to become much more complex and diverse, with poets and authors writing with a greater command of vocabulary and grammar. Some corners of the state held onto their languages, but the state's language was unified as part of what modern historians call a 'Molmification' integration process.
The Wars of Expansion were a series of wars between Molm and its neighbouring tribes from the creation of the republic to its death in 14 BC. These wars were part of continuous foreign policy adopted by the Echlia to expand its influence to tribes who worshipped other religions and held key resources needed to fund an ever-expanding state. The first wars began with the Troscii in the east. The Troscii people were a tribe that is often seen as mysterious to both contemporary and modern academics as they did not maintain many similarities with other Noronnican tribes, nor are there many examples of their language written anywhere. For Molm, there are tabled accounts by members of the Echlia stating that the Troscii was a major threat at the dawn of the republic due to its proximity and size.
The Troscii were careful not to provoke their southern neighbour, but as Molm grew wealthier and into a cohesive state many Molmian settlements in the east were sacked by Troscii invaders. This culminated in retaliation in 750 BC when the Echlia elected the military general Ulbrich to command a Molmian militia force to invade Troscii lands in retaliation. The general made several campaigns to invade the Troscii, gaining a major foothold in the eastern coastline by clashing with a large Troscii force over the Brae River. General Ulbrich lost a large number of his forces, but once he had secured the land above the Brae he set about constructing a defensive fort on one of the hills near modern-day Braemuir. He ordered the execution of any remaining armed Troscii and occupied the outlying settlements populated by the Troscii people.
Molm held on to this eastern territory successfully and General Ulbrich was awarded publically on the steps of the Echlia building. This was Molm's first military triumph, and it initiated Molm's hunger for expansion. Molm continued to encroach on Troscii borders, with new and promising generals taking to the fore, endorsed by the Echlia to bring about total subjugation. According to historical records, Molm took many losses due to the weak funding of its military and its usage of lightly-trained recruits. The early military army of the Molmian Republic consisted of poorly-trained working-class citizens of the state, as aristocrats and their sons were forbidden from joining ranks lower than officers. Restrictions were also placed on those who could join the militia, as only those born in Molm and its surrounding areas could be recruited. Those that did join were then forced to provide their own armour and weaponry, given only a sword as standard-issue. This was a severe problem not recognised until much later as while Molm was underdeveloped, the Troscii had no tangible military to speak of.
The fourth major war between the Molmian Republic and Troscii tribe took place in 600 BC when General Gaia invaded the very heartlands of the Troscii. General Gaia, driven by his desire to be recognised as one of Molm's greatest generals according to the historian Marlach, was ruthless in his conquest. He tore down symbols of Troscii religion and burned places of significance. He ordered the murder of many influential families and enforced a harsh temporary rule over the tribesmen while the Echlia confirmed his successful invasion. Scared by the imposition of his rule, desire for power and his large forces, several members of the Echlia including the First of the Echlia sanctioned the assassination of the general. General Gaia was reported dead by his guardsmen as having been stabbed by a Troscii prisoner of war.
Angered by this, General Gaia's son Yalna adopted control of his father's army and marched on Molm itself, demanding that he administer the conquered lands of the Troscii as a military governor and to have General Gaia's tomb constructed in Molm. As Yalna had control over Molm's only army, the Echlia had little choice but to agree to Yalna's demands in 560 BC. Yalna took half of the city's forces and placed them under his control as a permanent standing army. Yalna's territory became an odd section of Molm's dominion, as it was not a directly administered region. After Yalna died, the territory was administered as Trosca by his sons before finally caving to Molm in 480 BC, after the Sacatii Invasion.
The Sacatii Invasion
The Sacatii Invasion was a dark chapter in Molmian history, as it brought the republic closer to collapse than ever before, and it forced the state to completely rethink its military strategy. The Sacatii was a confederation of northern tribes who collaborated due to necessity and force. They followed a highly-militaristic lifestyle in harsher conditions than their southern counterparts. A particularly terrible winter in 510 BC drove the Sacatii south, led by King Totnix. The Sacatii were known about by Molm, but the reaction to them came only when the Sacatii began to encroach on Molmian borders. The Molmian economy had been under recession for years before, and the Echlia was very concerned about any military expenditure which would hurt an already fragile system.
The Echlia, led by First Adich, sought to nip the Sacatii in the bud quickly before it became a major issue, sending a large army of troops to deal with the Sacatii. General Yrden vastly underestimated the full scale of the Sacatii, and his army was soundly obliterated in the Battle of Citernii on the borders of the Molmian Republic. King Totnix pillaged his way through the Molmian territories then, having beaten a quickly organised and underfunded force. He was given free rein over what he took, making his way towards Molm.
The First of the Echlia, Adich, demanded that Molm's eastern territory, Trosca, send men to Molm as swiftly as possible. Trosca was led by the aristocrat Uidich Ultuch, a capable statesman and strategically competent governor. Having been told that many of the Echlia had gone into hiding, he took the initiative and declared himself First of the Echlia. There was little resistance as the Sacatii made their way further south, so Uidich acted fast. He implemented military reforms immediately, opening the recruitment pool to any man fit for service within Molmian borders, providing a wage and state pension, formulating an effective training regime and providing arms and armour by state expenditure rather than out of soldier's own pockets. His military advisor Machus implemented a new style of military strategy, splitting the army into various sections and sub-divisions and giving the army a cohesive set of tactics for the battlefield. These reforms were not unknown nor made up quickly, instead Trosca had, under its relative independence, formed an advanced standing army to these standards over time. They were forced to change, as the north-east had faced many different smaller tribes who were constantly encroaching on Trosca's northern borders.
With two new formulated divisions of soldiers, Uidich led the Battle of the River Nolon in 505 BC. The seventy-thousand strong Sacatii met a force of sixty-thousand Molmian troops, who were better equipped and trained to fight such numbers. The strength and cohesion of Uidich's new army meant that the chaotic Sacatii were divided by the calculated and methodical Molmian forces, who routed them by the River Nolon. King Totnix left with a large chunk of his men, retreating towards the City of Molm to be defended within its walls. Uidich moved against him by encircling the invading king with another division, who had made their way towards Molm in case of Uidich's defeat. The Sacatti were scattered finally, and as retribution, Uidich ordered that his divisions push back against the Sacatii and absorb much of the territory the tribe had gained on their way south. Molmian troops sacked vast swathes of land and laws were enacted to quell any rebellion against Molm, which was quick to enforce its administration. The Sacatii were reduced to a much smaller section of the north, forced to live in harsher conditions.
Uidich, being a popular hero and a favourite amongst many members of the Echlia, rose to become the confirmed First of the Echlia in 480 BC after the final campaign against the Sacatii ceased. His first move was to integrate his troops into the state, removing any semblance of the old militias. Molm was also set towards a new course of military tradition, making the military a highly respected institution and making it highly sought after. Much of the captured Sacatii were forced into indentured servitude, constructing infrastructure and aiding aristocratic families or even decorated military families. The Molmian Republic had quickly become the major power in the Noronnican Isles. However, this would not be the first time that Molm's fledgeling democratic institutions would be overridden by powerful figures. Uidich would be elected five times after his first tenure as First of the Echlia, setting an unprecedented record in Molmian history.
An Ancient Metropolis - Social and Territorial Change
In the years following the Sacatii Invasion, Molm sought to grow as fast as possible, afraid of their past defeat and possible destruction. The ancient port city of Sinarae was quickly developed with state funding and forceful encouragement of the local richer classes. Slaves and regular working class were moved into Sinarae and the Echlia then adopted legislation to open Molm's trading restrictions. Traders and explorers were given grants to thrive, and the early Molmian Navy was designed to aid traders that travelled to Gael. These were all steps taken under the watchful eyes of vastly more outward-looking Firsts of the Echlia, all of whom sought to gather riches from the region beyond their islands. Two large tribes had been decimated and Molm had breathing space, yet the northern lands were not as fruitful as it had perhaps hoped.
The island that is now known as Lövsk (Ostehaar) was first discovered by the Molmian Nechtan Massimus, according to the historian Marlach, who chronicled much of Molm's exploration of the region. Lövsk became of great interest to Molm, as the island was inhabited by tribes of Proto-Nyssicen descent. Lövsk broke off the Noronnican Isles when the Noro-Gael landbridge was subsumed by the ocean, but settlers found their methods of travelling to the island, evidenced by ancient remnants of boats excavated in the 1970s on the Lövsk coastline. The First of the Echlia Aggrif Pritani oversaw the erection of the settlement of Krikei and the start of a road network that would connect the entire island together. The island was named 'Laran', after one of the gods of the Molmian Pantheon.
The settlement of the island presented two major issues for Molm, firstly, Molm was already overstretched by its northern acquisitions, maintaining some form of a quasi-governorship system to administrate specific sections of Molm's mainland possessions. With further expansion, this issue needed to be tackled to ensure that the Echlia could properly administer the entire territory and all of its administered tribes. The Echlia legislated on this issue, formulating an entirely new system of prefectorial governorship. Molm's mainland was split into four prefectures, with Regiana being the prefecture administered through the centralised rule of the Echlia. Sacatia, Sunna and Invertia, (which was Molm's frontier to the west) were all to be administered by appointed members of the Echlia or of the military as Prefects who would govern in the Echlia's stead. Laran was granted a prefect also, an unpopular prefect due to him being a mainlander rather than one of the wealthier settlers.
The second issue for Molm was that Laran had a growing class of wealthy settlers who made their fortunes by monopolising businesses and growing trade between the island and parts of Gael. One such settler, Gaian Urtich, managed to convince the Echlia to subsidise his efforts to construct a trading port in Gael so as to connect Molm with the larger continental island. This was granted and the trading port of Eormena was constructed on the island north-east of what would be later known as Arván. He, alongside other wealthy businessmen, was dissatisfied with their rights as citizens, seeing as they were not born into notable families that formed part of the elite in Molmian society. By 405 BC, there was great social unrest caused by these wealthy unlanded individuals, as the social hierarchy was a system that was seen as greatly unfair to those who were of common birth, part of the 'Popalaer' class. They had little political rights, being unable to elect officials or partake as members of the Echlia, the limit to their influence was economic power. This frustrated many, including Gaian Urtich, who led the first Popalaer Uprising, where some three hundred popalaers ceased their work to enter into the grand square of the Echlia armed and agitating any members of the Echlia seeking to enter the chamber. Production in the city ceased on the orders of the involved and only the city guards could oppose this threat while the army was stationed around Molm's frontier borders. Several members of the Echlia who attempted to counter-protest were murdered by the mob.
The integration of new legislation was slow, but over the next ten years, Molm underwent a social shift as popalaers became enfranchised citizens and were able to take some public offices, despite still not being able to be a member of the Echlia. However, this was mitigated by the creation of the office of the Represae, which was an office filled by members of the popalaer who held key powers within the Echlia to represent the will of the common people. This move was, of course, unpopular to those of aristocratic backgrounds, but they were faced with another mass-strike around the city and possibly more assassinations of public officials. The meaning behind the title citizen became much more prestigious, and highly desirable, especially with Molm's growth.
The Second Molm-Sacatii War - Molm's Domination of the North
Sacatia's Prefect Talorch, a general appointed in 382 BC, had undertaken the policy of maintaining diplomatic relations with the Sacatii tribe. This relationship was increasingly one-sided, as the Sacatii fast became economically dependent on Molm for its resources and opportunity. Talorch was always careful never to implement anything totally unfavourable to the Sacatii, eager to retain it as a partner rather than vassal, due to its fierce fighting forces and its relations with other northern tribes. However, the Echlia saw the Sacatii as a continued threat of the past due to its proximity and because of its old rivalry with Molm. In 380 BC, the Echlia moved to pass new legislation that would put the Sacatii under the vassalage of Molm and as such would be subject to its laws.
Prefect Talorch was forced to enact these laws as military prefect of Sacatia, deploying a division of Molm's army to garrison Sacatii settlements. The reactions of the Sacatii were mixed, with those living close to the border accepting and adapting to their new rule, while the north became infuriated by this move. The new King Gatorlix retreated with much of his forces to the north of his lands, where they put up heavy resistance and fought the invaders with vicious ferocity. The Battle of Uíl saw over three hundred Molmian infantrymen be killed or put to death upon capture. Talorch, convinced of a new way to bring the Sacatii to heel, implored that the Echlia grant him command of several ships of the Molmian Naval fleet. This was granted to him, and while maintaining troops on the border supplied from divisions stationed in Regiana, Talorch brought with him a significant force on ships around the eastern coast to the north in the summer, successfully reaching the northern reaches of the Sacatii tribe's lands and landing without any resistance seeing as most of the Sacatii's forces were focused south, not expecting a naval invasion.
Talorch's swift march south was met with a renewed Molmian push from the south also, encircling the Sacatii forces between them. This culminated in the Battle of Suix when Talorch crushed the Sacatii after resisting the last charge which the Sacatii mistakenly attempted from lower ground, thus eliminating the Sacatii threat and ending the period known as the 'Sacatii Rebellion' according to the Echlia in an attempt to solidify their claim on Sacatii lands. This would eventually come to legitimise further expansion in the north, as Molmian military leaders sought to make a name for themselves by submitting the north-east to Molmian rule by force.
This began a period of genocidal brutality in the northeast between 370 BC and 340 BC, as much smaller tribes were stripped of their lands and of their possessions and thousands were slaughtered. Layach, a Molmian writer writing around this time, joked that 'the way a general earns his wealth is by telling the Echlia about another uprising in the northeast'. Even regular Molmians became so distrustful of northeastern tribes that it became an important task to bring the entire eastern frontier to heel. There was a triumphal procession in 338 BC, marked by many historians, as the celebration of Molm's domination of the East and the beginning of its next chapter with the West. However, this is not exactly the case, as the islands that form today's Morken Isles proved extremely difficult to penetrate, taking Molm two more years to acquire.
Molm and the West
To say that the West is not an important point to focus on pre-330 BC would be ignorant, as the two dominant tribes in the West proved to be much more advanced and better equipped to deal with Molm. In fact, the West developed a complex system of diplomatic relations with Molm, maintaining envoys and ambassadors in its territories. Unfortunately, Molm's history is much better documented and its borders are clarified, while the west remained largely unknown until Molmian writers began to provide details of it. The Molmians had names for the two tribes, the Fedii in the north and the Gaelii in the south, the Gaelli being colonists that migrated from Gael. Both of which had managed to assembly sizeable territories in the west and warred between one another several times during Molm's expansion in the north.