New Colchis: History
5341-5350AD A Dream Shattered
The Commune was decisively shattered in 5341AD by Sanjay Attwood, prefect of the major provincial town of Onvenal. He was involved in a dispute over fishing rights with the neighbouring town of New Perth. When the Oversight Committee rejected his case, he formed an armed band and attacked New Perth. Five of the towns executives were killed.
This single act opened the floodgates of violence. Without a police force, the Commune was helpless to stop the spiral of violence that ensued. Civil society persisted for a few more years, but by 5350AD most of Ananda was ruled by a variety of petty warlords.
The Wheelies tradition of pacifism lived on to some degree. Conflict was chiefly restricted to a growing warrior class. Civilians who did not offer resistance were spared the horrors of war.
5350-5422AD The Glorious Wars
Almost a century of continual warfare ensued. The traditions of the warrior class quickly became fixed into a kind of chivalrous code of ethics. The Code was similar to mediæval European chivalry, or the Japanese code of Bushido.
Lord fought against Lord, for territory or often simply for the glory of victory. The noble warrior class did the fighting, and most ordinary people carried on their lives completely unaffected by the conflict. Today New Colchians look back on the Glorious Wars as a great and noble age of chivalry. The Code still deeply affects the New Colchis attitude to every manner of conflict.
The priest were quick to condemn the wars, and did all they could to stop them. At first warriors fought with mediaeval weaponry - typically swords and crossbows. The priestly Colleges were storehouses of scientific and technological knowledge. But the Colleges refused to help Lords or warriors develop more advanced weaponry.
That is not to say that the priests did not develop more sophisticated weapons. They worked hard at perfecting them, but for themselves. Even though they professed no intention to use the weapons, their very existence gave them a great deal of influence over the recalcitrant Lords.
Soon the Code itself barred a warrior from using a technological weapon. Warriors came to see guns as idiots weapons - used by crass bullies rather than noble warriors. Of course, behind the scenes the Lords strove to perfect the weapons they so publicly disdained. And the Code never forbade the use of non-weapons technology. The Glorious Wars saw great strides in the re-introduction of radio and motorised transport to New Colchis.
By the end of the Glorious Wars, the Lords had mostly aligned themselves with one of three Great Houses. The glories of manly combat were beginning to fade, and each of the three blocs maintained a growing technological arsenal. Simple rifles and artillery were widely available, but as yet, virtually never used.