4900-5000AD Growth of the Chaos Cults
Freed from the yoke of oppression, hundreds of thousands of Colchians spread out across the planet. The planet's equatorial regions have millions of square kilometres of dry prairie; ideal for cattle ranching. It was the herding lifestyle that provided the basis of Colchis' early agricultural economy.
A huge network of widely spaced small towns spang up to support the herders. Caravans, each home to dozens of families roamed the plains. These pioneering settlers sought freedom and individuality in the aching emptiness of the vast seas of grass.
The Wheel of Life dominated these people's philosophy. Each community had its own 'Brahmin' who directed the spiritual lives of his flock. In time the Brahmin came to have great influence over secular affairs. They dealt with outsiders, settled disputes and even lead war-bands when conflicts arose.
Within two generations, the herders had completed their colonisation of the equatorial prairie. The grass-sea was covered with a tenuous network of drover routes and caravan trains, linking together the thousands of scattered communities. By 5000AD the population of this vast outback had topped 4 million.
The civilised Free State was almost stagnant by comparison. This core of small cities clustered around Perth, the site of the original settlement. By 5000AD its population was still somewhat below a million.
When the manumitted underclasses had sprung forth into Colchis' wilderness with a determined dynamism, most of their former masters opted for a safer course. The small, independent cities of the Free State were connected by steam-powered railroads. They specialised in mining, and fabrication of tools which could be sold to the herders in exchange for food.
While the herders were overwhelmingly Wheelie, the Free State was mostly Christian.
As the power of the Brahmin grew, so did the temptation to harness the chaotic spirit world. Wheelies believe that all life is poised between two extremes; the unchanging perfection of the crystal at one end, and the capricious chaos of the spirit world at the other.
Many Brahmin turned to the dangerous power of the spirit world to further the temporal aims of their communities. They charted the ley-lines they believed criss-crossed the prairies. Where the lines converged, they erected menhirs to harness the chaotic telluric energies.
The project to harness the chaotic powers of the spirit world was essentially selfish in nature. Brahmins sought to aggrandise themselves and bring influence to their communities. As the project grew more grand, so did the egos of its leaders. Rivalries and conflict soon followed, this in turn lead to an intensification of the quest for control of the choatic powers.
As the movement developed, the construction projects became more ambitious. Eventually, whole regions were united in grand enterprises to build gigantic henges atop the most powerful telluric convergences.
All the while, the violence and conflict grew more serious. Congregations fought over sites of power. Town fought town over resources. Gangs roamed the outback rustling cattle and terrorising isolated ranches. Bands of ruffians began to raid the peaceful cities of the Free State, looking for guns and precious metals.
The worst Brahmins who ruled with fear became known as 'Raksasas' or evil magicians. Their followers were dubbed the Chaos Cults. The whole of Colchis trembled before their seemingly unstoppable destructive energy.
The henge-building reached its apex with the construction of Timara Henge in 4972-96. Ten-thousand labourers worked for twenty years to complete this vast structure. 107 standing stones, surmounted by 65 great lintel-stones form the core of the great double circle. The whole site has more that one thousand placed stones, each carved with intricate, swirling mandalas.