Silent Centuries

Virtually no records remain from this vast stretch of Anduruna history. It is one of the great contemporary mysteries, and a source of much conjecture. What happened during this period to result in such a hiatus of knowledge? Were records kept, but later destroyed? Was there a ban placed on the act of writing? We know that, going into the Silent Centuries, it appears that many dreamkeeper city-states converged in the Anduruna region. It has been speculated that these refugee populations were fleeing famine, pestilence, or warfare; the geographic isolation of the area by seafronts, mountain ranges, and deserts would make it ideal as a regional shelter. Archeological finds in and around the Anduruna landscape indicate that fortifications were built during this time, but later destroyed or dismantled.

The largest surviving relic from the Silent Centuries is the 'Outer Wall', or 'Sky Road', a massively fortified encircling structure spanning over 12,100 arpents (440 miles) in circumference. Whatever the purpose of this colossal edifice, it was erected at some point within seven hundred years of silence. Although no longer standing, several other curious constructions appeared in this time period: radial interior dividing walls which cordoned the city off into its current district areas, crude fortress towers in the center of every division, and an inexplicably ornate central mansion: the source of horrific legends.

The stories left to history are embellished beyond recognition, but the one theme in all accounts is that of terror. It is clear that the legendary palace inspired near religious fear in the populace of the time. Paranoid oral accounts told of infants being snatched away to the dark edifice for bloody rituals ranging from sacrifice to cannibalism. Other versions claimed that the diabolical residents preserved the corpses of children to decorate their stone halls, or crafted chandeliers from the bones of innocents, or held mock courts condemning dissidents to be fed live to domesticated nightmares.

Not a single contemporary relic remains to us from this castle, as the structure was apparently destroyed at or before 0 A.D. For years of recorded history, the fabled site was home to a field of barren rubble.

One clue regarding the time period is the nomenclature of the Anduruna calendar. Dating from the end of the Silent Centuries and the beginning of modern history, 0 A.D. stands for 'After Dominion', and years predating this period are termed 'During Dominion'. This imaginative terminology has led many to assume that the Silent Centuries were a time wherein the population was subjugated by some sect or occupying force, but solid facts remain elusive.

We also inherit the legend of the Archives from this time period: the tale that dreamkeepers of the day crafted a secret chamber for the collection and storage of historic writings and records. Over time, the Archives have become a fanciful legend, transforming into a magical repository of endless knowledge and insight. Supposedly located in the network of caves somewhere below the site of the current Sabbaton Towers, treasure-hunting expeditions to locate the Archives have all ended in failure. Further searches are illegal, as concerns over foundational integrity of the Towers renders archeological excavation an unacceptable safety hazard.

Upon the end of the Silent Centuries historic records resume with enthusiasm, suggesting that the art of written language had been passed down somehow through the generations. The region was officially dubbed, for the first time, 'Anduruna' by its citizens. The origins of this name are unknown.

Anduruna was already divided into its seven culturally distinctive districts. A brief overview of the districts and their differences - interestingly, each district seemed to house a separate culture of dreamkeeper. Although these cultures werenít fully developed in early Anduruna, their residents provided the memories and values that guided in their eventual fruition. The Norvondire district had competitive, brash, chivalrous cultural tendencies, and architecture that later tended towards crenellations and battlements. Theophanies was a center for faith and belief, reverence for the unseen but unequivocally known. The Kojiki district was reminiscent of oriental culture, with citizens generally very balanced and level in their thoughts. The Margate became a major shipping hub, due to its oceanic prominence and collection of fantastic harbors - with citizens tending towards exploration and curiosity, seeing home as more of a resting point between journeys. The Talocan districtís citizens were fun loving and outgoing, with quick tempers - impromptu duels were done with chalk knives, and treated seriously - but friendship and reconciliation would spring forth just as rapidly, erasing animosity. Fabled for their fun-loving and exciting personalities, the Talocan district later developed architecture rich in color and ornamentation, with abstracted, graphic animal sculptures mixing with terraced pyramidal stonework. The Ruskol district in the north, shot through with rocky slopes harboring frost nearly year-round, harbored very introspective and calculating individuals. Slow to place or withdraw loyalty, and keeping their emotions to themselves, the Ruskans made trustworthy allies, but implacable enemies. The Calypsa district, filled with streams, lakes, and swampy areas, was stereotyped as a home to the outlaw and thief. While the citizens could be secretive, they also held to an explicit sense of honor and conduct. They were innovative, as well - later developing their waterways into a citywide aqueduct system. The later architecture gives thought to elegant canals and arches.

But, returning to the Anduruna of 0 A.D. - before any of these rich developments. Not segregated by choice, the citizens of Anduruna stepped into history divided from one another by cold walls of stone.