The History of Allacoa begins with the arrival of the first hominid populations between one and two million years before present. Archeological research confirms that modern Homo sapiens arrived in the region roughly 12.000 years before the Plague. The difficult terrain and thick forests favoured the formation of independent city-states, linked together by trade networks. This very decentralized organization, however, made them an easy target for the great expansionist empires of Melania in the last millenium before the Plague.
Allacoa was conquered by the expanding Empire of Afrazure in 176 BP and later, starting on 176 AP, the area was integrated into the Maurestani colonial empire. From 268 AP onwards, Allacoan rebels joined forces with other Afrazurean militant groups in a series of campaigns against the Maurestani government, culminating with the partition of Afrazure in the second semester of 299 AP.
Following the partition of Afrazure, Allacoa was administred by the Yellow Free State through an UNVCOCN mandate under the name Yellow Melania. The regime was terminated in August 299, when the independence of Allacoa was declared, although YFS troops continued to hold until October.
Despite the legacy of over thirty years of civil war, Allacoa has since independence remained a stable multi-party democracy.
Archeologists have suggested that early hominids, such as Homo erectus vexiliensis, roamed present-day Allacoa between one and two million years ago. Modern Homo sapiens, however, only reched the region in the early 12th millennium BP. These were the ancestors of the modern Alawi ethnic group, arriving from present-day UudangWuu. Modern research indicates those were hunter-gatherer nomadic populations, with no organized political unit above the extended family. The forerunners of the Kutu and Mdele peoples arrived between the 9th and 8th millennia BP, also hailing from what is now UudangWuu. For most of their history, those groups left few complex archeological remains.
Localized shifting weather patterns arround the 2nd millenium BP made the hunter-gathering lifestyle unsustainable for large populations. This prompted the emergence of the first urban centers, the oldest of which is now known as Alasati, a complex of temples and residential buildings erected by Alawi peoples near present-day Kisqa, dated to around 2.000 BP.
Alasati is believed to be among the earliest organized polities and cities in Melania and projected its power among the nomadic populations of the western coast of what is today Allacoa. The modern name of the country derives from this early site.
The City-States eraEdit
Alasati was merely the first of the early Allacoan civilizations. The difficult terrain favoured the development of several isolated city-states, linked together by complex trade networks and a common family of animist and/or polytheistic religions. The exact social make-up varied from city to city, but normally consisted of a small aristocratic class, assisted by a religious strata, ruling over a large population of peasants and the nomadic groups and minor tribes in the immediate surroundings. Soldiers armed with clubs and iron swords formed a distinct military caste, while merchants, serving as the lifeline between the various independent cities, formed a powerfull middle class.
The political configuration also varied from one city to another. Although most were absolute hereditary monarchies, certain city-states were theocracies or aristocratic republics. A number of smaller, isolated cities, mostly on the Tsatali mountains, developed a form of direct democracy. Rivalries between the city-states also travelled along the trade routes.
These enmities, as well as the isolation and the lack of coordination between the various city-states, were exploited by the first major empire of Melania: the Zangan Empire. The Zangans, who controlled a good part of central Melania from their capital of Zamuzi, invaded the Tsentral Plateau on 820 BP. Another wave arrived from the north and slowly conquered the more developed coastal regions from 815 BP until 792 BP. One by one the armies of the Allacoan city-states were destroyed and their cities either conquered or coerced into joining the Zangan fold.
The grand city of Alasati was completely razed by the Zangans, who founded the nearby port of Kisqa. From there, the Zangan Empire would, over the next few decades, launch a number of more-or-less succesfull invasions of Nuarmia.
The Zangan invasion also introduced the Mounist faith to Allacoa. Several syncretic interpretations quickly appeared, mixing Mounist tenets with the traditional customs of the area. Mounism, in one form of the other, became the religion of the majority of the urban population of present-day Allacoa by 600 BP, while animism remained the norm among the nomads and the hunter-gatherer tribes.
The Tsatali Mountains, however, were never fully conquered by the Zangans and became home for several still-independent city-states. Starting on 790 BP, the fear of a Zangan breaktrough led to the formation of loose confederations of city-states for mutual defense. This strategy prevented a Zangan conquest of the region until the Empire started to succumb to internal turmoil in the 690s BP. Slowly, the Allacoan militias in the coastal regions and in the Tsentral Plateau began to attack the Zangan garrisons and formed their own confederations in the Tsatali model.
The last Zangan troops left Allacoa in 672 BP, while the old rivalries between the city-states were revived. The major cities continued to link their allies and vassals into confederations. Lesser cities that entered one of these confederations gained prestige from their association with the top-tier city-state, and maintained peaceful relations with other members of the same alliance. Conflicts between the different alliances became common, resulting in periods of ascent and decline, even though most confederations were short-lived. Among the more enduring were the Shada Confederation (525 - 391 BP), the Nkoro (443 - 350 BP) and the Azikwe Confederation (359 - 175 BP).
The first non-Melanian group to reach Allacoa where the Stervians, who arrived circa 550 BP. They quickly established themselves within the overall Afrayenne society, becoming an important component of the merchant class.
The prosperity enjoyed by the strongest of the Allacoan polities, the Azikwe Confederation, soon attracted the attention of the nearby Afrazurean Empire.
Afrazurean conquest and the Daam periodEdit
The Empire of Afrazure (Afrazlala: Afrazah), to the east of the Azikwe Confederation, was unified by the Dulaid dinasty circa 300 BP. The last ruler of the dinasty, Ellijah IX, died in 198 BP without an heir. This prompted a civil war amongst several rival noble houses. Eventually, a new dinasty was established under emperor Masaq I, of the House of Bin Mounir, in 182 BP. The new emperor immediately set his sight on the Azikwe Confederation. The Afrazurean invasion lasted for six years and, despite all efforts, the Confederation eventually fell to the larger armies of the empire.
Over the next decades, the remaining alliances and independent city-states of Allacoa were conquered by Afrazure. The territory was incorporated into the empire and divided into a number of provinces, each ruled by a daam (a term normally translated into Ingallish as "duke"), a non-native nominated by the imperial government. Among the duties of the daams were collecting taxes for the emperor and mustering troops whenever called. Despite this, for the first century of Afrazurean rule, the Allacoan cities and the tribes of the hinterlands were able to preserve their way of life to some extent.
In 73 BP, emperor Youseff IX passed away. His designated successor, Mahmoud II, proved too weak to maintain proper control over the extensive territory of Afrazure. The daams seized the opportunity to essentially act as independent warlords, raising taxes against the local population and maintaining private armies at will. These armies would queel occasional local rebellions as much as be put into action against rival daams in regional wars for control over profitable trade routes or local rivalries. The policies of the daams also caused several localized famines, as peasants had to give most of their produce to the local daam.
Thus, from 73 BP until 123 AP, although the emperor was officially the ruler of Afrazure and every daam swore loyalty to him, he was largely a marginalised, ceremonial figure.
The lessened imperial control also allowed for some of the daams to launch slave expeditions deep into the territory. Stervian slavers, for instance, decimated hundreds of native villages in order to capture new slaves, which were then transported abroad. From 100BP until the beginning of the Great Plague, over 350.000 natives from the entire Afrazurean Empire were transported to the Samuelonian colonies of the Malvadorias.
The People's EmpireEdit
Rebellions against the daams' rule were often small and local, easily defeated by the warlords' armies. The first uprising to have a true pan-Afrazah character was Yohannes Mawuni's rebellion in 121 AP.
Mawuni, a prince of a minor Kutu tribe in what is now the Allacoan province of Topiwaki, led a delegation of chiefs to the provincial capital of Benikowa in order to lodge a protest against the drafting of local men in the daam's army, as well as the oppressive taxation policies. The daam responded by executing half of Prince Mawuni's entourage, while he himself fled the city and returned to his tribe.
The massacre prompted Mawuni to organize a revolt against the daam's rule, together with other dissatisfied tribal chiefs, city aristocrats and military leaders. In April 121 AP, makeshift militias began overrunning local garrisons. Mawuni's army entered Benikowa on the 2nd of June, deposing the daam and installing a loyal governor in his place. By the end of the year, the revolt had already spread to the western coastal plains and also into the mountains of Ataraki, while hundreds of thousands of peasants joined the ranks of the rebel armies.
Qocha, the main city of the Tsentral Plateau, fell to rebels based on the Tsatali mountains in January 122, while the main column, aided by cavalry and camel-mounted troops, quickly advanced along the coast, capturing Kisqa (February 122), Chaqa (May), Mkukipya (August) and Wamanda (November). By the end of the year, other pockets of rebellion would also appear in the remaining Afrazurean-occupied areas, such as Zanga and even in the southern provinces of Afrazure-proper.
A minor setback for the rebels came in January 123, when a combined force of Imperial troops and the armies of the Buwisi and Garakwe daams succesfully repelled the simultaneous attacks against Waka and Daskal, forcing Prince Mawuni's armies to retreat and reorganize at the west bank of the Jimbhuli river. Another offensive began in March. Waka and Daskal fell in April, followed by Tewezi (July), Mlipuko (August) and Mulengi (September). After the rebel victory at the Battle of Sotakhi, outside the city of Mazingira, on the 19th of November, most of the remaining daam's armies defected to Prince Mawuni's side. The road to the imperial capital, Meda'a, was open.
Mawuni entered the city meeting only light resistance from the Imperial Guard. On the 1st of December, rebel armies stormed the Imperial Palace and deposed the weak emperor Mahmoud II, whose rule had lasted for half a century. Mawuni was acclaimed by the people of Meda'a and crowned as Yohannes I, Emperor of All Afrazah and Afrazure. Although minor pockets of daam rebellion continued in Afrazure-proper until 129 AP, the new Emperor faced no significative resistance. The capital Meda'a was renamed Medhiou on the 31st of December.
Emperor Yohannes initiated a series of major reforms. The armies of the daams were integrated into the new Afrazurean Land Forces, organized along modern lines, while the warlords themselves were deposed and replaced by governors elected by the tribal leaders and city nobles from each province. He also devolved more powers to the old city-states and tribal communities. The oppressive taxes of the daams were also repelled. These achievements, together with his humble origins, granted him the sobriquet "The People's Emperor".
Yohannes understood the need for modernization, in order to strenghten Afrazure's resistance to both internal threats and the colonial powers of Eras and Longerath. He visited the newly-established [[Mauretania]|Empire of Maurestania]] several times during the fist decade of his rule and, at first, considered the neighbor a Melanian ally against colonial encroachment. Inspired by the Maurestani advances, Emperor Yohannes founded the first universities in the Empire - the University of Medhiou in 131 and the University of Kisqa in 132 - while also embarking on a programme of industrialization of the country, focusing mainly on shipbuilding and mining.
Yohannes I died in 163, after four decades of rule, and was succeded by his 24-year-old son, Meneliq I. The new ruler, who also came to be known as a "People's Emperor", continued the modernizing programmes his father had put ing place.
Unfortunately for the new Emperor, Maurestani attitude towards the Afrazurean Empire took a drastic turn. Maurestania's Office of Colonial Affairs, established in 95 AP, began directing the Empire's foreign policy towards an expansionist path, aiming on conquering new lands, peoples and markets through Melania and Nuarmia.
In August 173, the first Maurestani troops crossed into the Afrazurean region of Zanga, thus beginning the Maurestani-Afrazurean War. In a series of amphibious landings along the Melanian Channel, the Imperial Maurestani Army, aided by its Navy, quickly captured the main cities of the northern and western coasts of the Afrazurean Empire, such as Aage (late August), Ithwillis (mid September) and Kiso (early October). By the end of October, important cities of Allacoa fell to the Maurestani, such as Kisqa and Zamzam.
The objective of these coastal raids was to disperse the less sophisticated Afrazurean forces and draw them away from the capital Medhiou, while also denying the Afrazureans the use of some of their most important ports. Meanwhile, the main column of the Imperial Maurestani Army, comprising over fifteen thousand men, moved from Ratamahata, in the far-south of the country, into the northern Zangan prairies, aiming on capturing the regional capital of Was Adaq. This would grant the Maurestani control over the vital Istaar river.
Emperor Meneliq and his advisors, however, saw through the Maurestani ruse and avoided major confrontations over the key captured coastal cities. Instead, the bulk of the Afrazurean Land Forces was diverted north. The main Maurestani column, which had so far only met light resistance and traditional militias, encountered the Afrazurean 3rd Army, armed with modern bolt-action muskets, on the shores of the Istaar on the 3rd of December.
The Battle of Was Adaq extended from early December until the 15th of January 174. The banks of the Istaar, as well as the city of Was Adaq itself, changed hands multiple times during the struggle. In the end, however, the Afrazureans prevailed. Of the fifteen thousand Maurestani soldiers, only four thousand managed to retreat, the rest perishing during the battle or being captured by the Afrazurean forces.
Meneliq and his generals decided to pursue the retreating Maurestani column. Meanwhile, in the west, a new army of cavalry and camelry, formed from forces that survived the initial Maurestani landings, began a quick advance through the coast and into Maurestani territory. This force, dubbed the 4th Army, first conquered the key ports of Shiraz (late December) and Jors (mid January), while crossing into present-day Porto Capital in late March. The 4th Army then advanced through the Batista river valley, avoiding conquering major cities and facing only short battles against inexperienced irregulars and city guards, while also outpacing the retreating Mauretani infantry that had begun to abandon the conquered coastal cities.
On the 2nd of May, while the 3rd Afrazurean Army continue to chase the Maurestani column out of northern Zanga and was preparing an assault on the southern Maurestani towns of Ratamahata, Apulanta and Muni Alamastani, the 4th Army was merely thirty kilometers south of the Maurestani capital of Ouahran. With the retreating Maurestani amphibious forces still weeks behind them, Meneliq had the chance to capture the enemy capital.
Instead, the Afrazurean monarch ordered his generals to send emissaries to the Maurestani emperor. A cease-fire was signed, followed by months of peace talks between Maurestani and Afrazurean officials. The armies of both countries returned to their side of the border and prisoners of war were exchanged. Afrazurean demanded the dismantling of the Maurestani Office of Colonial Affairs, indemnities for damaged incurred by Afrazurean cities occupied by Maurestani troops, and minor border corrections.
The Maurestani Empire, however, sabotaged the conference from the beginning - they merely use the truce to reorganize and reinforce their armies. On the 26th of September 174, the peace talks were terminated and, on the following day, the Maurestani resumed their offensive. Instead of attempting long marches or new amphibious assaults, the Imperial Maurestani Army advanced carefuly, capturing the northern Zangan towns of Uzuefu (November), Mbundu, Khoisanu (December) and Inakuja (January 175), and important western coast cities, such as Aage (late January). The Maurestani strategy, now, was to consolidate these strongholds and wear the Afrazurean down in a war of attrition.
By February, the mostly-intact Imperial Maurestani Navy began to be employed on a more strategic role, attacking Afrazurean coastal positions and capturing or sinking merchant vessels. After minor land offensives over the following months, the Maurestani navy drew its Afrazurean counterpart to a major battle off the southwestern coast of Allacoa. The Battle of the Thrallic Islands lasted from the 11th to the 16th of October 175 and saw the iron-hulled Maurestani warships sinking most of the Afrazurean fleet. This was followed by another Maurestani victory on the other side of the Gulf of Afrazure, at the Battle of Granic, from the 29th of October to the 7th of November.
Despite suffering significant losses, the Maurestani armada managed to essentially destroy the Afrazurean in a space of only three weeks. After this, the Imperial Maurestani Navy managed to impose a naval blockade on the Afrazurean ports starting on the 1th of November 176.
The blockade proved catastrophic for the Afrazurean economy, which dependend on sea traffic for its imports and exports. All across the Afrazurean Empire, major cities began to experience the first signs of famine, while the armed forces suffered from severe mutinies.
On the second week of January 176, Emperor Meneliq attempted a desperate maneuver to break the Maurestani blockade: using what remained of the Afrazurean fleet, he planned to draw the bulk of the Maurestani armada to within range of the coastal batteries around Medhiou. If the Maurestani suffered enough damage, their strategic advantage could been at least temporarely neutralized, which would mean some relief for the Afrazurean economy.
All of the remaining ships of the Afrazurean navy were ordered to an assembly zone outside Meda'a. This, however, proved to be a fatal mistake. The Imperial Maurestani Navy learned of the staging area and quickly launched a surprise attack on the night of the 17th of January. The antiquated wooden frigates and ships-of-the-line of the Afrazurean navy were no match for the Maurestani fleet. What remained of the Afrazurean navy was sunk over a ten-hour battle, leaving the capital completely undefended. Seven days of intense naval bombardment followed, which leveled Medhiou and made hundreds of thousands of citizens dead or fleeing.
Maurestani naval infantry disembarked into the city on the 24th of January, facing stiff resistance from Emperor Meneliq's elite guards, but slowly made their way to the Imperial Palace. On the 25th of January, the Afrazurean monarch surrendered. He attempted to flee with the aid of his guards, but was captured by Maurestani troops outside Medhiou. Meneliq was executed on the 3rd of February 176.
The Colonial EraEdit
The Maurestani military crowned Abdallah Bin Mounir, a colaborationist general and distant relative of the old House of Bin Mounir, as Abdallah I, King of Afrazure, on the 15th of April. Nominally a protectorate of the Maurestani Empire, Afrazure became a colony in all but name. Abdallah I was merely a figurehead, while Maurestania's Office of Colonial Affairs held all key government positions.
The old provinces of the Afrazurean Empire were dissolved and replaced by a system of governorates or vilayets (in Maurestani, wilayah) . Allacoa itself was reorganized into one single governorate, while the cities of Kisqa, Zamzam and Matumaini, given their strategic importance, were transformed in special districts (qaada), jointly ruled by the Office of Colonial Affairs and the Imperial Maurestani Navy.
The Office of Colonial Affairs transformed the whole of Afrazure into a cheap source of labour and natural resources. The Maurestani instituted a system of forced labour through drafting and indentured servitude, compelling hundreds of thousand of natives to work on the extraction of commoditties such as diamonds, gold, platinum, copper, ivory, rubber and exotic woods. Thousands more were employed in Office-run plantations for meager salaries, harvesting cash crops such as coffee and tropical fruits.
The Office also used an indiscriminate taxation scheme to further exploit the Afrazureans. While certain groups were exempted from the forced labour system, such as the middle classes and former government officials, they had to pay heavy taxes to subsidize the colonial administration. The lower urban classes, peasants and tribespeople, with little or no means to pay the heavy taxes, were compelled to surrender their arable land, crops and domesticated animals to the Office - or pay the taxes with their own labour, bringing even more Afrazureans into the indentured servitude system.
Although the resources and labour of Afrazure generated large ammounts of capital for the Maurestani Empire, just a small fraction of it was invested back in the colony. Over the whole colonial period, millions of Afrazureans died from easily-preventable diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and malaria, while the forced labour system disrupted the traditional subsistence agriculture, causing large-scale famines - in the great famines of 182-185, more than 700.000 people lost their lives.
An expression commonly used in Allacoa to refer to the colonial period is njaa kwa kodi - in Afrazlala, "starvation due to taxation".
Despite this, Afrazure was never fully pacified by the Maurestani. Effective resistance against the colonial regime began almost imediatly after the capitulation of Emperor Meneliq in early February 176. Entire batallions of the Afrazurean Land Forces based in Allacoa refused to lay down their arms and instead retreated to the interior of the country, launching small-scale attacks against Maurestani "pacification" expeditions.
These guerrilla forces, however, lacked coordination or a unified command, or even a clear political program. A number of officers of the former Afrazurean army, led by general Bundike Nulabi, decided to act. On the 29th of September, after weeks of negotiations, general Nulabi published the Allacoan Manifesto from the small city of Wenu, in the Tsentral Plateau. On the Manifesto, Nulabi and his fellow officers issued a call to arms to all members of the former Afrazurean Land Forces to launch a full-scale war against the Maurestani occupiers, aided by the civilian population. Nulabi demanded the unconditional withdrawal of all Maurestani forces and the restoration of the Afrazurean monarchy. The late Emperor Meneliq was declared a martyr.
General Nulabi established his base of operations in Wenu, immediately garnering the sympathies of a huge part of the Afrazurean public and the former military.