4902-5000AD A New Dynamism
The towns of the Kingdom were utterly devastated by the Crews interference. Their mighty stone buildings had been chewed away by orbital lasers. Their people had been massacred, and the brightest and best of the survivors had been carried off to find a better life on another world. Those who remained fared badly. By 4950AD all of the Kingdoms towns were abandoned. Fifty years later the forests had swallowed the remnants of their once-mighty architecture.
Elsewhere on Neubayern the picture was more positive. The remaining Wald communities were boosted significantly by the Crews help. The roads that had been built between the scattered towns and villages catalysed trade. Soon, communities that had been isolated in the depths of the forest found themselves part of a complex society that spanned the continent.
Of course rivalries and competition between neighbouring towns were a feature of the growing society. Improved communications allowed conflicts which previously would not have been possible. The Wald became a seething hotbed of alliances and treaties, mergers and small wars.
Over the next century, the scattered Wald communities coalesced into three big groups, the Southern Alliance; the Nordbündeswald and Neuthulegruppe. Each group was lead by a large powerful state which dominated a number of smaller, allied states. Most states were governed by unelected oligarchies of powerful individuals and families - a remnant of the diverse leadership of times past.
Trade built wealth. Population increased and the rate of forest clearance accelerated. In 4902AD, when Voyageur left, there had been about 200,000 Foresters left in the Wald. By 5000AD there were more than 750,000 of them. At last, progress had begun in earnest.
5000-5100AD Exploration and Industrialisation.
As their expanding boundaries reached the seas, the Foresters began to explore their world. Their tools were wooden sailing ships; and before long, steam-powered metal-hulled vessels.
In 5005AD the Southern Alliance contacted islands inhabited by Fisher people in the Southern Ocean. By 5050AD they had colonised three of them, and transformed themselves into the Southern Empire. In 5008AD the Nordbündeswald made contact with a remote Goatherder community. Commerce between the Wald and the Fisher and Goatherder peoples soon became an important element in the economy. Although, often the primitive fishers and herders were unfairly exploited and saw few of the benefits of the trade.
By 5050AD, industrialisation was well underway. In about this year the widespread introduction of the internal combustion engine accelerated the growth rate yet more. Humanity was spreading rapidly across Neubayern.