Notes for a possible game, most likely FATE-based.
(All dates recorded from the founding of the First Empire)
-???? yrs.: The first peoples – the Northern Tribes, the Southern Tribes, and the Sea Tribes, arrive in what will become known as the Heng Lands. They settle here and there, where the land is especially good, but most remain at least semi-nomadic. The greater tribes intermingle and interbreed, forming the predecessors to all of the modern tribes & clans.
-1500 yrs.: Seeing the signs of the approaching age, the great shamans of the first peoples gather at the Mountain of the Dragon and perform a great ceremony to find a path that will lead to their peoples’ survival.
~ The Thousand Years of Ice begins. What civilization exists in the Heng Lands is wiped away and the tribes migrate to safer areas, for the time being.
-450 yrs.: The era of the Three Rivers. Mythical age of magic, Gods, and great heroes.
-150 yrs.: The Gods and greater spirits cease wandering the land, magic becomes uncommon and unknown by most of the Heng peoples. After an unprecedented conference at the peak of the Mountain of the Dragon, the Seven Immortal Sages retreat into the deep wilderness.
~ The beginning of modern times and what will become the Imperial era. Warlords scrape out petty domains and vie with one-another for power.
0 yrs.: Heng Yuang founds what will become known as the Golden Empire (also: the First Empire, the Hundred-Year Empire, or the Heng Empire). The Empire waxes for fifty years, eventually controlling all of the north-western 2/3 of the Heng Lands, except for the peninsulas of Iann and Yong. For the last half of it’s reign, the Heng dynasty cedes more and more power to the local lords.
+30 yrs.: The Sage Xial Ting produces his treatise “Seven Hundred Secrets of the Lands of the Heng Empire” for emperor Heng Du. Du sees the work as a potential weapon, and has a hundred monks and sages assembled to re-write it in code. When he moves to have the scribes killed at the completion of their work, they are able to use the secrets they have learned to escape, bringing the Thousand Scriptures into the land and creating the first schools of kung fu.
~ It is also at this time that the Dragon Mountain Fortress is first constructed, and the first attempt to create accurate histories are made. (Previously historical works where either legends, more concerned with allegorical significance than accuracy, or else designed specifically to aggrandize the family or clan of the noble commissioning the work.)
+100 yrs.: End of the First Empire. The lands return to the control of the warlords, who benefit from the peace, material improvements, and the system of bureaucracy put into place by Heng Yuang and his successors. various schools of kung fu rise up throughout the land, and the martial arts spread to all of the noble families.
+170 yrs.: The False Emperor, Tsang Min, attempts to found the Tsang dynasty in imitation of the Heng emperors in the Southern Heng Lands. The warlords of the north raise the Great Army, which manages to throw down the False Emperor and chase the Tsang to the south-western border mountains after a disastrous siege that sees Dragon Mountain Fortress destroyed.
+175 yrs.: The Great Army splits apart, with the Heng and Yong fighting for control. For the next 25 years the Heng Lands stand under the constant threat of war.
+200 yrs.: The Li-Tsang peoples, long subjects of the Tsang, symbolically renaming their tribe the Li-Heng. They negotiate an end to the conflict between the Heng and Yong and take control of the remains of the Great Army. They declare the Golden Empire, and set out to prove themselves as worthy successors to the Heng. Only three Li-Heng sit upon the Golden Throne, but their reign sees the rejuvenation of the imperial bureaucracy, as well as construction of a vast system or roads and border fortresses. The Li-Heng are the first to create the ideas of the “Heng Lands” and the “Heng Peoples”, linking all of the clans in spirit.
+230 yrs.: Having greatly improved their fortunes of the Heng Lands the Li-Tsang dynasty steps down from command of the Empire. No other clan can immediately move to claim the throne, and the warlords reach a point of stalemate.
+275 yrs.: Reconstruction of the Dragon Mountain Fortress. Several lords form a coalition there and set themselves up training and hiring out mercenaries and bounty-hunters. They avoid the wrath of local warlords by declining to gather a large population of peasants or directly taxing merchant traffic. Their fame grows as they bring several famous bandit leaders to justice.
+300 yrs.: Start of the campaign.