Bergonian History:

530 to 999 A.D.

The Medieval Era

Wars, Famine, Contraction, and more Wars

This designation "Medieval" was borrowed from (perhaps imposed by) the edifice of European scholasticism, based on an imperfect analogy with Europe's era of the same name.  This period in Bergonian history was also once prejudiced by the name "Dark Ages" because, as in Europe, it was a time of contraction. 

But this was also a time of increasing sophistication, producing new theologies that challenged Shufrantei orthodoxy, a blossoming of philosophy, and the maturation of painting and sculpture.  Iron was by now a staple and glass production soared.  Labor-saving water mills were first introduced .  This is the era when the city-based trader class outflanked the old panitei/banda ruling class, begin absorbing them, and gained great power.

The Details:

500-600 AD:   The Emergence of new Shufrantei Sects

Orthodox Shufrantei took the rites very seriously, believing that their scrupulous performance secured spiritual purification.  Four priestly orders worked together to guard orthodoxy; of these four the Mrilitashi ("Mrill-i-tah'-shee") specialized in political involvement and became very powerful.  Both the Ceiolaian and Necruruean regimes patronized the Mrilitashi and the other three orthodox orders, giving them choice lands and villages to exploit, helping to maintain their schools, and allowing their priests to work in government.

A number of new sects emerged after 500 A.D.  They tended to view the purification rites as either metaphorical, optional or unnecessary, believing that one could attain purification through other means, including inward prayer and meditation.  These were not new or unorthodox ideas, for Ierecina himself had gone into the wilderness to get close with the Gods, and many of his disciples imitated him in this, spawning the "forest tradition" of Shufrantei-- meditative, pacifist, and detached, in many ways the very antithesis of orthodoxy, which was very engaged in the world.  A few of the new groups took up magical practices as a way of communing directly with the gods.  The most radical of these sects denied that the rituals did anything to promote union with the Gods-- this was a heretical notion.

All the dissention and debate concerned the proper means of worship, but  none of these groups ever doubted the core Shufrantei belief in the Gods, or the process of purification.

The most significant of these movements was named the Feocarine ("fei-oh-kah-ree'-neh").  It was founded by a holy man who lived among the vineyards of Siufana, on Bergonia's west coast.  (The conventional wisdom of every era has held that Siufana produces the finest wines in all Bergonia.)  As he went about, he rang a small hand-bell, to bestir the people he met.  "Pay attention," he called out to them, "Pay attention right now, this moment."  He taught this: Since we find ourselves thrust into the world of the Gods' making, and since we are enveloped by it and dependant on it, we can get closer to the Gods by meditating on the world itself.  It was a teaching that concluded, "We humans are of the world, and the world is of the Gods."  The teacher rang his bell and cried "Open your eyes, the Gods stand before you.  Listen and you will hear them singing."  His disciples called him "Bell-Ringer," and his real named became virtually forgotten.   He won converts everywhere.  Hundreds went forth to spread his simple teaching, all ringing little brass bells, even as the Mrilitashi condemned him as a heretic.  

Bat-welding thugs stopped him on the road one day.  They beat him severely, calling him a heretic as they swung their bats.  (One of the martial arts of Medieval Berg was Atlasha, which involved the use of long wooden bats.  It was a rough affair, commonly producing broken bones and concussions.)  He remained badly crippled for the rest of his life.  Though he could no longer teach as he had before, he tolerated his painful injuries with calm grace.  He demonstrated how the right state of mind could master the body, even when the body was a constant source of pain.   Of course his followers blamed the Mrilitashi, and mutual recriminations guaranteed a lasting feud between the two.   Shufrantei was beginning to fracture.

535-541--The Necrurean Empire collapses; Western Bergonia enters a period of civil war.

In 535 the generals of Necrurue rose up against their emperor.    The emperor had forced a general's beautiful sister to become his concubine, an outrageous thing to do, thus infuriating the high command and most of the panitei nobles.   One chronicler improbably wrote:  "Blood flowed over the marble floors of the palace, down the front steps and out onto the central plaza where it stained the sandals of all the shocked citizens," wrote one chronicler. 

A horrible civil war broke out among three of the generals, each one of whom wanted to become emperor.  The other generals were fickle in their allegiances, and thought nothing of betrayal and defection.  The generals turned on the various cities of the empire, rapine and heartless in their treatment of civilians.  In just a few years the entire structure of Necruruean government-- from the imperial ministries down to the local tax collector-- utterly crumbled.  A centuries-old way of life suddenly disappeared.

541-- When soldiers threw down their arms and defied their commanders

A bizarre mutiny brought this war to its end.  An army-- the identity of its leader hardly matters-- went to besiege the city of Paoshenro.  The defenders closed the city gates and manned the walls, while the besiegers commenced to construct their siege towers and undermine  the walls.  When the towers had reached completion, the colonel in charge ordered the archers to ascend the towers and begin the fiery bombardment with flaming arrows, a standard tactic in this war.  But two lieutenants refused, and their men ardently backed them up.

( Typically these "lieutenants"--hardly a literal translation of the Nacateca term-- commanders of squads consisting of thirty to forty men-- were not pantei, but only common soldiers themselves, conscripts who chose to become career soldiers, and certainly stood on the lower side of a wide gulf from the panitei who filled the upper ranks.)

(In the imperial armies of the time, the senior officers were of the panitei warrior class, while the common soldiers were usually the sons of peasants.   The sons of panitei became panitei themselves by attending academies, run by the various clans.  There they learned how to use weapons, fight, and read.  Athletics was never neglected.  At maturity they joined the army and received training in the field under the tutelage of older officers.  They were officers often by privilege, while their troops were conscripted peasants.)

The colonel angrily ordered infantrymen to seize the lieutenants and confine the archers, but they in turn refused as well.  All the common soldiers within the army mutinied against all the pantei, and a great confused battle broke out.   The defenders sat atop the parapets and watched the incredible scene below. 

Panitei characteristically possessed well- hewed fighting skills and enjoyed better conditioning than a common soldier.  The panitei warriors took it for granted that common soldiers lacked their own bravery and fortitude.  But superior quality does not always overcome superior numbers, especially when numbers combine with great passion, and on this day the common soldiers routed the panitei.  To the delight of the residents of Paoshenro, the soldiers then scattered, each inclined to head back to his respective home, and thus the army dissolved. 

But word of this extraordinary event spread, and in the subsequent months other armies mutinied as well.  Many soldiers of this time were dragooned peasants, and were glad for the chance to repay the men who had torn them from their lives.  Two armies imitated the example set at Paoshenro-- the soldiers fled their encampments en masse, transforming back into peasants as they ran across the open countryside.  More often was the case where soldiers ignored orders to march or attack, refusing to leave their campfires.  In those cases where the panitei-officers drew their swords the common soldiers did so too and fought them.

The generals' ability to continue fighting was suddenly diminished.  Now they could not trust their regiments full of dragooned soldiers.  They could not easily keep an eye on their foes when they had to fix the other eye on their own troops.  Therefore the war came to a end, and the generals settled into the positions they happened to occupy at the time.  This marked a sea-change in the culture that panitei warriors had dominated for a thousand years-- disobedience had suddenly become necessary and possible.

563-587-- Prakai Eleusi, Bergonia's Worst Bad Guy

A panitei leader named Prakai Eleusi ("Prah'-kai Eh-lew'-si") crystallized panitei resentment and self-criticism by loudly advocating a reformation of the panitei class and a regime based on Shufrantei orthodoxy.  At first he sought to reunify Necrurue.  But after he and his supporters took over what had been the center of Necrurue, he started boasting that he would create a holy regime and conquer the world.  He claimed that Shufrantei society had drifted into decadence and needed a good cleansing.  In essence, he meant to imitate the Prophet Ierecina.

He did conquer all west-central Bergonia.  He sent armies to the west coast and conquered the cities of Clacupo.  Then in 580 he dispatched a huge force to the east, smashing the Ceiolaian army and forcing them to evacuate the central Ifuno plateau.  His army chased them eastward, but the Ceiolaians reformed their ranks just thirty miles outside Ceiolai and decisively defeated Prakai's superior numbers in a desperate, glorious battle.  This, the battle of Kulon, remains the most celebrated victory in all Ceiolaian history.  Nevertheless, Prakai succeeded in conquering almost half of all Bergonia.

He imposed an absolute dictatorship, with special courts and secret police to impose strict adherence to his regime.  All Feocarine were killed or suppressed.  He built prisons and work camps.  Historians have estimated that at least 400,000 died under his regime; some put the figure as high as 1,200,000.  These figures are appalling, given that the population of the lands he conquered probably didn't exceed 12 million.

Prakai Eleusi died in 587, feared and hated, assassinated by one of his own servants.  As word spread, millions of people celebrated.  Even many within his depressed realm braved the sword-points of the dictator's men to openly cheer his death.

Click here for more detail about Prakai Eleusi

587-622--The Western Wars:   

After Prakai Eleusi died, his empire broke up with hateful factions going to war.  Prakai Eleusi's partisans formed one camp.  Two opportunistic military leaders opposed them, as well as each other.   The empire Praki built quickly fell apart.  

A group called the White Avengers formed to oppose Prakai's surviving partisans.  White was the Bergonian color for mourning vestments.  They were motivated to avenge all the people murdered under Prakai's regime.   They were selfless, refusing to wear armor on the field of battle, and refusing to take spoils whenever they won.  Their courage and single-mindedness produced great success, so that by 610 they had largely killed off all Prakai's partisans, even though their own numbers had been drastically cut down in the process.  People everywhere acclaimed them as heroes.  The courage of the White Avengers was for years afterwards commemorated by operas, epic poetry, and drinking songs.

The excesses of Prakai's dictatorship, and the long periods of war both preceding and following it had devastated the western Ifuno.  Population, economic activity, and tax collections all had declined.  Public works (e.g. viaducts, roads, canals) were in terrible shape.  After 615  a serious famine afflicted the land.  Cities and towns filled with widows and orphans, starving peasants, crippled veterans, political refugees, and criminals posing as refugees.  Everyone was sick of war, and the famine dispirited the remaining combatants, so the belligerents met at a conference to talk peace.  They produced a comprehensive peace known as the "Basket of Flowers."  

Out of the wreckage that had once been imperial Necrurue, the treaty created four new states.  The boundaries of all surrounding states were confirmed.  By far the most important of these four successor states was Tiericoatli ("Tee-err'-i-co-aht'-li,") which included the largest cities of the old Necruruean Empire and the ancient Ancita heartland.  Tiericoatli retained much of the  centuries-old tradition and pride of the Ancita people and the Necruruean Empire.  

573-- The Flight of the Satlaori from the west,
and the founding of the State of Pueoi in the south:

Prakai's agents were killing all the Feocarine they found.  Many escaped death by converting to Mrilitashi, but others fled.  The Satlaori was the Feocarine sect most viciously persecuted.  

In 573 a thousand Satlaori living in the Clacupo cities assembled an armada of fishing boats (in some cases resorting to theft), as Prakai's armies advanced from the east, and escaped by setting out to sea.  They hugged the coast and headed south.  In time they made it to the southern coast of Bergonia.  At the mouth of the Serofi River they founded what is now the modern city of Alai Arsai, and made it the capital of a new state they called Pueoi.   The rains were irregular, but the good clear waters of the Serofi made irrigation possible.  

The Satlaori befriended the indigenous Faroi tribesman.  Their leadership was collective, but the one they all looked to was a priestess named Cresa Michiareosa, tall, elegant, fierce, in her forties.  She was the one who inspired the armada in the beginning, and now she inspired the Feocarine to the hard work of building a new home.  Michiareosa became something like a queen-pope to the people of Pueoi, who loved her, and though she had no real political power she exerted great moral authority.  They erected a fine spire to her memory, which a hurricane dramatically toppled over in 1259.

In time Feocarine devotees from all over Western and Central Bergonia fled to Peuoi, usually by floating small pitiful rafts down the Serofi River.  All manner of political refugees and common fugitives joined them.  These settlers combined with the wily, laconic Faroi to irrigate the land, grow cotton and endless amounts of food, and create a new society.  It lacked a panitei ruling class.  It lacked Shufrantei orthodoxy.  It was a chance for them to build a new version of Shufrantei.

Pueoi grew so quickly, like a weed, that it became the rage of all Bergonia, attracting dissidents, refugees and people wanting a adventurous new start.    It was an optimistic, dynamic state, committed to expansion.

Click here for more detail about Pueoi.

Azure was the color of the Feocarine, red was the color of the Faroi, so azure & red became Pueoi's colors.

Southern Berg, including Pueoi, is so very hot!  Strong dry Trade Winds sweep across the region in the summer.  The storms that  brought water in winter were fickle.  The land was flat, covered with forests of scraggly pine and thorn trees.   But right to the west were the steep forested slopes of the Palu Mountains with ample resources for timber and tea cultivation.

Slow Disintegration of the Second Ceiolaian Empire:

The violent civil war that brought down the Shumalo Dynasty initiated a corrosion in the morale and the allegiance of the Ceiolaian banda class.  The nobles had seen demonstrated the feasibility of rebellion, and thereafter the precedent of rebellion would tempt them.  House Velorec, which replaced House Shumalo, had to bargain for the loyalty of the generals, who felt more confident in asserting their preferences. 

Everyone everywhere had regarded the Ceiolaian Empire as omnipotent, almost godly, virtually immortal.  So Prakai's invasion of the empire in 580 had a profound psychological impact.  The loss of the western third of the Empire gave the local leaders in Amota-- the eastern third of the empire-- the impulse toward independence. 

During the time of famine (see below) they asserted themselves, first modifying, and then ignoring orders from Ceiolai.  As local officers revolted against Ceiolai and set up independent states, they still paid formal, ceremonial allegiance to the Ceiolaian Emperor.  The generals and nobility in Amota finally rebelled, first against Ceiolaian central command, then against each other, so that by 650 AD-- the year Ceiolai withdrew its last garrison in the Amota region--  the Amota was divided into approximately 25 independent and autonomous principalities.  In 666 the city of Varsca, just north of Ceiolai, declared her independence.  After this, Ceiolai controlled just one sixth the territory it did at the peak of its imperial power, and Ceiolai discarded the pretensions of empire.  

615-649--  The Great Famine

A great famine afflicted all Bergonia.  It commenced in 615 when no rains fell in the southeastern half of Bergonia. The next eight years were profoundly dry.  (ref. climate)  By 622 whole regions of eastern, central and southern Bergonia had suffered mass starvation.  The cities ran out of food many times.  Children died by the thousand.  People robbed, rioted, and rebelled.  Over the centuries the panitei had  become adept at brewing poisons.  Now people took poison in order to escape starvation.

It is not clear whether Pueoi was less afflicted by the famine than the rest of Bergonia, or whether people merely believed it, but in any case people by the thousands now trekked to Pueoi every year.  

Over the entire 34 year period there were seven or eight years of regular rain and fine harvests, and these were just enough to prevent a major breakdown of all civilization.  By 649-- the last dry year-- the population had diminished by at least 20 percent.  For at least a decade afterwards, everyone discussed the weather with great anxiety, fearful the rains would disappear again.  New temples were decorated in vulture and buzzard motifs. This was at least a period of peace, since no leader could afford to feed an army. 

650 to 771--  Age of "the Four Posts"

The four posts referred to the four dominant states of the time, each with its sphere of influence.  These were Tiericoatli, Pueoi, Ceiolai and Glenrec, and they figuratively supported a roof over Bergonia, a shelter of peace, by providing a stable balance of political power.  Pueoi's tremendous growth catapulted it to the top rank of Bergonian states in less than a century after its founding.  By 700 it was able to put 100,000 armed men into the field.  Pueoi was the endless talk in all Bergonia's salons of power, but the strongest states were still the two oldest, Ceiolai and Tiericoatli, the inheritors of the two imperial mantles.  

Once Ceiolai's empire strictly ruled nearly all the Amota region, all except the small, but very rich Glenrec in the northeast (where Halemarec is today).  Now that Ceiolai's empire had crumbled, Glenrec could enlarge its influence and it became the dominant power in Amota.  Glenrec did not seek to conquer, but was content as long as the independent princes and republics did its bidding and allowed its traders free run.  Glenrec embodied a shift in Bergonian civilization-- it was the first state dominated by the emerging class of traders.  It never tolerated a tieri (king) or emperor, and instead had a senate representative of the banda-based noble houses, a ruling council, a powerful council of traders, and numerous ministers and tribunes.  Glenrec was a bright festive city. Its colorfully extravagant style sometimes scandalized the more somber peoples of the inland highlands.  Historians oft compare Glenrec to the Venetian Republic, both cosmopolitan, republican, aggressive, cohesive, and glorious.

Bergonians and the Sea

Glenrec used triremes-- for the first time in Berg history-- as a major military and commercial tool, and initiated sea-bound trade.  Soon Glenrec's sea-bound warriors had subdued the Svegon tribesmen of the Sargaso archipelago, built forts on key islands, and dominated the Amota coast.  This provided a protected route for Glenreci triremes to trade up and down the coast, efficiently carrying loads of grain, cotton, wool, wine, oil, valuable wood, and paper over the water.  Bergonian trade had always depended on overland caravans of human porters.  And while the roads criss-crossing Bergonia were quite adequate for such human foot traffic, the caravans had to pay frequent tolls, charges to stay at caravanserai and inns, not to mention unpredictable losses to extortion and banditry.  In no time Pueoi imitated Glenrec, and came to dominate the southern and western coast.  

Of course the triremes hugged the coast, because Bergonians remained profoundly afraid of the open sea.  The Svegon tribes of the Sargaso had tales of a great holy sea-monster that would rise up out of the ocean and tower hundreds of feet into the air, and smash the boats of unbelievers.  This creature looked like a giant porpoise, except that it had a gapping fish-like mouth instead of a beak, and huge round fish-eyes.  Stories like this abounded and kept people too frightened to adventure forth.  People also repeated tales of other lands across the waters, associated with the Mineoathi story of Atlantis, inhabited by madmen, savages and monsters.  Said the ancient Mineoathi, "The sun and the moon both shine down on far foreign lands over the ocean, and the wind we breath has blown through unknown vales and fields there, but you shall never know them.  Cling forever to your rock, thrust alone out of the ocean, and do not tempt the ocean vastness.  The ocean are the walls that separate the allotments of the gods in the formation of the world, and so bounds our place in the world.  The ocean roars and seethes as mankind's warden, and shall swallow up any boat of men foolish enough to seek another rock."  

771-886--   The Endless War

This long, ugly and very stupid war involved virtually all the states in Shufrantei Bergonia, which is to say most of the states in Bergonia.  An adequate explanation of the shifting political alliances that sparked and then prolonged the war would require hundreds of pages.  History students in today's Bergonian colleges despair whenever they are assigned those pages.  There is even a comedy routine portraying a school boy standing at the front of the class to recite the history of this war.  Suffice it to say that three of the four powers-- Tiericoatli, Ceiolai and Pueoi-- went to war over control of central Bergonia, its crucial trade routes and its tremendous mineral resources (gold, tin, iron, jade).  War also broke out in the Amota between Glenrec and the states allied to Ceiolai.  Though control over resources and trade routes were the main motivation for war, Tiericoatli and Pueoi had sharp ideological differrences, while Ceiolai and Glenrec continued a centuries old rivalry based as much on mutual hate as anything else. 

This war was fought differently than prior wars.  In Imperial and Shufrantei times, large open-field formations of legions of infantry & archers confronted each other in decisive winner-take-all engagements.  Now, the primary strategy was to take territory in small, incremental thrusts.  Armies now fought to shove and rearrange boundaries.  Defense of territorial gains necessitated the building of fortifications.  In this era the various states expended considerable resources building defensive fortifications, including big stone forts and castles, moats and trenches,  Entire boundaries were often marked with stone walls & wooden palisades.  Large stone forts were built on strategic hilltops, overlooking highways. This war saw the first use of tar and other flammables as weapons-- catapults were used to fling tar-balls at the enemy.

815--  The fronts between the three main combatants stabilized.  The three sides built long absurd walls to protect their territories.  In some places they constructed high wooden fences, and in others the walls they built were of stone.  The walls stretched for hundreds of miles across the Ifuno.  Along any frontier one found two parallel walls, with a no-man's land in between.  Trade between the three blocs dribbled off to virtually nothing.  The parties maintained a state of war, with armies mobilized, but in fact they stayed hunkered down behind their walls and did little fighting.

882--  A horribly strong hurricane flooded the plains around the Serofi River, sweeping away villages, even whole cities, killing by contemporary accounts over 300,000 people, virtually destroying the three biggest cities in Pueoi, wrecking Pueoi's economy, and forcing Pueoi to withdraw from the war.   The waters had utterly drowned the hope of Pueoi.

886--   With Pueoi neutralized, Tiericoatli brought everything decisively to bear against Ceiolai and defeated Ceiolai decisively on the field of battle, winning the war.   Over 80,000 men died in that three-day engagement, perhaps bigger than any previous battle in Bergonian history.

After 886-- The Age of Tiericoatli domination:

Many people expected Tiericoatli to create a vast empire.  But instead Tiericoatli imposed a treaty on all the combatants (which included almost half the states in Bergonia) that merely created a bloc of protectorates and adjusted borders.  The former combatants retained their independence, as long as they promised to keep their roads open for Tiericoatli trade caravans and troops.   Ceiolai's territory  was drastically reduced, but most other states retained their borders.  Poor ruined Pueoi was in no shape to field armies, and was largely left alone by Tiericoatli.   Everyone praised Tiericoatli for its generosity. 

Tiericoatli formed an alliance with Glenrec, making Glenrec dominant in the Amota region.  Between them Ceiolai remained emasculated.  Tiericoatli's domination proved to be the firm foundation for a new era of peace, during which the Prophet Krathnami preached.  This era lasted until the Tan Wars 300 years later.

Watermills were now built n all parts of the country, producing a mini-industrial revolution in milling.

In time Tiericoatli and Glenrec both required reduced highway tolls for caravans.  They supported uniform laws for traders' contracts, accounts of deposit, promissory notes and negotiable instruments, and bills of lading.  

The panitei/banda class had badly discredited themselves by imposing so much unnecessary war on the people.  The newly assertive class of traders openly scoffed at them.  New stability brought prosperity.  This became an era of traders.  Even so, all the rich traders were (or became) nobles, taking their place at the table of power with the old banda-military class, and indeed elbowing them aside.  The laws of all states still recognized superior legal rights for the nobles.  

Shufrantei orthodoxy ironically made a final resurgence (like the Counter-Reformation) under Tiericoatli's sponsorship, even though the Mrilitashi had by now split into three competing orders.  The arts took on a decidedly baroque style (again somewhat analogous to the time of the Counter-Reformation), and the Gods were grandly glorified.  The tieris, the temples and the theaters collaborated in the staging of extravagant dramas portraying the holy myths in new ways.  It certainly seemed like Bergonia had emerged from three centuries of grief, and accordingly a new optimism infected Bergonian civilization.

The "Contract States":

Government after the fall of the two empires was rather haphazard.  In most cases a simple dictator took over, and nearly always accepted the ancient title of tieri.  Like the emperors, the tieris formally and publicly appointed their successors.  They often appointed their sons and usually appointed a family member, but could appoint anyone they wished.  

Yet most of these tieris had tenuous holds on power.   They often had difficulty getting people to do what they wanted, and had to count on allies.  Local Iregemi nobles dominated nearly all the countryside, and they often resisted the tieri, forcing the tieris to bargain with them for the collection of taxes.  Cities were often governed by their own councils of nobles and guildsmen, and they often ignored the tieri as well.  Many of the local nobles commanded their own armed bands.  All too often the tieri had to send his men to quell these bands.  Usually the local lords & traders had divided into competing factions (the "country" faction and the "town" faction), and the tieri was of one faction or another.  

When the tieris ultimately did negotiate deals with the local powers, or with the opposing factions, the parties committed the deals to writing, as charters or contracts.  The written instrument described the authority granted to the local lord or city, and the compensation.  If the contract awarded a nobleman an authority to collect or impose taxes, the contract prescribed the amount of money the local was to pay the tieri in exchange for the authority, and the amounts he could keep.  

The lords who had contracts with the tieri often negotiated separate "contracts" with a lower level of lords.  For example, the tieri contracted with various major nobles who acted as regional or county governors, and they in turn contracted with minor nobles to run the towns and localities.  

The tieri often had to negotiate such contracts even with his own ministers.  The Ceiolaian & Necruruean Empires had vast bureaucracies, but the tieris of this era had to contract out many bureaucratic functions.  This included governmental functions such as the post, public works, water and viaducts, welfare, and regulation of markets.  Functions such as recording deeds, easements, legal documents and instruments devolved to the independent libraries.   

Any entity could negotiate a deal with these "governments," and the deals often defied reason.  Sometimes cities had contracts giving them the responsibility to maintain highways miles away and the right to collect tolls for their use.  A nobleman once had a contract to forge weapons for the army, and also for the army of a neighboring state.  Monasteries might have contracts to operate irrigation systems, maintain the official archives, or keep a town's streets repaired.  It was all part of the new "bargaining" or trade ethic, where anything could be negotiated and made the subject of a contract.  This ethic encouraged everyone to stand on their own ground, allowed subordinates to refuse orders as a bargaining tactic, and made tentative all power relationships.



See Detailed Map of Medieval Bergonia, 700-1500 AD.
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Detailed Map of Imperial-Era Bergonia:

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