4522AD The Goat Herders
Manfred Ebert was the leader of the Colonisation Committee. He had presided over the original decision to plant the colony in the heart of the Wald. After four years of disastrous attempts to grow crops in cleared woodland, he concluded that the colonisation plan needed rethinking.
He began to argue that Neubayerns near-arctic tundra and mountain wildernesses offered a better prospect. Although conditions in the tundra are harsh, there are native plants growing there which can be digested by earth grazing animals. In 4522AD, Ebert lead nearly 10,000 of the colonists into the tundra. (They were later joined by another 5000 or so, after the Walds Great Hunger, see below.)
At first they tried to cultivate the native plants to provide feed for large earth herbivores such as cattle and oxen. However, this approach proved too complex for the young colony. Sheep and goats were much more able to cope with the cold unforgiving climate.
Eventually, the colony developed a nomadic, herding lifestyle. It was primitive, but it enabled them to survive. Goats became synonymous with the colonys lifestyle. The people came to be known as the Goat Herders.
Although most lived as nomads, there were occasional villages scattered through the icy tundras and mountainous waste of Neubayerns far North. These settlements served as market places, where nomads could meet and trade. They were always built around a good supply of fresh water, and often a small patch of cultivable land.
4526AD The Fishers
A few years after Eberts Goatherds had left the Wald, there was a major crop failure. Storms devastated the newly sterilized fields, much of the soil was washed away. Nearly a decade of hard work seemed to have disappeared overnight. There followed the Great Hunger; a year when the Walds 100,000 colonists starved, while the Colonisation Committee argued.
A few thousand followed Ebert into the tundra, swelling the numbers of the goat herders. However, most found the prospect of a grim life of the tundra to be unappealing. Most of the Committee wanted to persevere with the existing colony. They believed that the original reasons for choosing the Wald remained sound. Some, however wanted to try a third option. They believed that Neubayerns oceans could provide for them.
In 4526AD, twenty-thousand colonists, lead by a man named Helmut Hugenberg, left the Wald for a new life. They settled on the edge of Neubayerns largest ocean, in a large tropical archipelago which they named Atlantis.
In the early years the living was far from good. Only a few of the planets aquatic species can be consumed by humans; and even those have to be carefully prepared and well cooked. Fishing could be hazardous too. Many of the fish employ electric charges to deter predators. Nevertheless, the Atlantis colony survived, and its fisher people started to spread out across the warm equatorial oceans.