Gatherings on Pax Edit
Many years in the past, the people on the islands of Tekal, Ilona, and Ilesar began meeting on Pax during the calmer months to trade. The exact date of the first formal gathering of representatives from the three islands is unknown, but was suspected to have been at least as far back as -1100. The roots of this tradition are similarly unknown, but it is believed that it began following a storm wrecking an Ilonan ship on Pax, where the surviving sailors eventually found people from Tekal.
Over time it came to be that the three islands met twice a year, once during the winter of each hemisphere. These gatherings were celebrations, competitions, opportunities to trade, and chances to exchange ideas. It was arguably the last of these which came to define this event; the drive to create something impressive to display at the next gathering became a powerful force, pushing the development of science, technology, art, and other disciplines.
Initial Exploration Edit
Time passed, and at a gathering it was eventually proposed that the three islands join forces to explore the rest of the planet. In -163, a fleet set off from the northernmost tip of Tekal, comprised of ships from Tekal, Ilona, and Ilesar. They eventually found themselves on the shores of Laku.
Communication was of course difficult at first, but the people of Laku were interested in joining forces to explore the world. Laku had been in contact with the people of Helmi for a few hundred years, so it was there that the fleet sailed next.
Beginning in -152, Laku and Helmi began joining the other islands on Pax for their biannual celebration. The people of Helmi adopted architectural styles from Ilesar, the people of Ilona were gifted mammals raised for food by Laku, and all five islands flourished.
These five nations began preparations for a new expedition, this time to the northwest. They built ships and gathered supplies on Pax, but this process took longer than the length of any one calm season. As a result, they developed more permanent, more storm-resistant buildings. This expedition launched in -83, and during the journey they came into contact with Chanost and then Merraska.
Following that expedition, they explored the area to the east of Pax. Most of the islands were uninhabited, save for Adari, which they found in -59. The explorers were unimpressed by Adari – there were no elaborate buildings, no extravagant boats, and few natural resources. A few representatives from Adari toured Pax and the other islands, and were also unimpressed. They returned to Adari, and it was mutually agreed upon that there would not be extensive contact between the two groups going forward.
The First Great War Edit
Main article: First Great War.
The next major voyage was to the west of Merraska, to the island of Caalgen. The crew of that fleet landed on the southern tip of the island in -20, and believed it to be uninhabited. They discovered reserves of coal in the mountains, and began work towards extracting it.
However, as they began to do so, it became apparent that the island was, in fact, inhabited. The people of Caalgen lived in the north of the island, and a delegation was sent annually to acquire a small amount of the coal. Negotiations over access to the coal failed and a conflict known as the First Great War broke out in -14, with the island of Bhalua lending aid to Caalgen. When the war ended in -10, it was agreed that a certain part of the mountains would be protected and that mining would happen elsewhere. Caalgen and Bhalua were then incorporated into the growing alliance of nations.
Formation of the IU Edit
Prompted by this conflict, these islands began work on more formal agreements between themselves, which marked the beginning of the Island Union, or IU. The year of the founding of the IU was denoted year 0 in the new international dating system.
During the First Great War, non-military endeavors had been largely pushed to the side. When the war ended, these projects resurged, and further exploration was halted for many years.
Further Exploration Edit
The new IU then turned to the south. They landed on Griesh in 131, the leaders of whom were not terribly interested in entangling themselves in complicated international alliances. While some leaders of the IU wanted to force the development of relations with Griesh, the war with Caalgen and Bhalua was still in recent memory, so the decision was made to respect the wishes of the people of Griesh, much as they had Adari.
When the IU came into contact with Lornith in 157, the situation was rather the opposite. Lornith was sparsely populated, and their people were impressed (though some might say intimidated) by the technology of the IU explorers. The IU promised that they would help Lornith grow, and began to develop manufacturing on the island.
The IU then explored the equatorial region to the west of Pax, and came into contact with the atolls of Nezuma and Skobra in 183. They were not immediately interested in joining the IU, but there was trade between the islands and the possibility for future deals was left open.
The Representation Incident Edit
Main article: Representation Incident.
A series of expeditions were mounted to the poles from 240-280, primarily for the purpose of scientific research. A great deal was learned on these trips, but they also served as the catalyst for a time of unrest.
When the expeditions were first launched, many noted the fact that the scientists on these missions were disproportionately from Tekal, and to a lesser degree Ilona and Ilesar. Objections to this inequality were spearheaded by Laku, but they were by no means alone. Requests for more equitable awarding of positions went unanswered, and the conflict became violent. Starting in 289, soldiers from Laku, Helmi, Merraska, Chanost intermittently clashed with soldiers from Tekal, Ilona, Ilesar, and Lornith, with Caalgen remaining neutral. Bhalua faced intense pressure from both sides to join their cause, but ultimately decided to remain neutral as well.
Following the conclusion of this conflict in 304, the IU bylaws were rewritten. Limits were placed on the length of time any scientist, artist, writer – or politician – could spend on Pax, and it was agreed that the teams for major international projects would be comprised of people from all of the IU islands, in proportion to the populations of each island.
The War of the Atolls Edit
Main article: War of the Atolls.
As time passed and production and manufacturing increased further, so did the resultant waste. The IU was unsure of how best to handle this issue, and it was eventually proposed that it be deposited on Pleoh, which, due to its inhospitable climate, was uninhabited and likely to remain that way. This began in 399 and greatly damaged the native flora and fauna of Pleoh. Furthermore, storms in 406 ended up dumping a significant amount of waste into the ocean, and the effects of these pollutants rapidly spread to the waters near Nezuma.
As a consequence, Nezuma severed ties with the IU. Skobra had been asked by the IU to provide fish to Lornith, but seeing what had happened to Nezuma, they refused. The IU threatened to make use of their waters for fishing regardless, and a war broke out in 411, with Nezuma and Skobra fighting the IU. They were overpowered and surrendered in 417, and a number of people from Nezuma and Skobra fled to Adari and Griesh rather than live under the control of the IU. The IU did not incorporate Nezuma and Skobra as full members, a state of affairs which continued to cause strife.