|Second Mesman Empire|
Dark Green: Mesemyu
Light Green: Territories under Mesman control
|Largest Largest City||Tanhi City|
|Government||Federal Constitutional Electoral Monarchy|
|Legislature||Chamber of Regions|
• Foundation of the Kingdom of Tanhi
• Declaration of the Mesman Empire
• Civil War
• Declaration of the Second Mesman Empire
|1,031,980 sq mi (2,672,800 km2) (2nd)|
|62/sq mi (23.9/km2) (76th)|
Mesemyu, officially the Second Mesman Empire (Xlacu: Éviĵun Klala Mésmaru IPA: ['eviʤun 'klɑlə 'mesməru]) is a federated semi-parliamentary electoral monarchy in western Rathnaes. Mesemyu borders Lynga to the north, Zuwia to the east, Athimriss to the southeast, and Kereske to the south. It also shares a maritime border with the island nation of Demitu to the southeast. Mesemyu covers over a million square miles, making it the second-largest country by land area, behind only Lynga. It is also the second most-populous nation with a population of almost 65 million. The only nation with a larger population is Om Yao Ne.
Initially founded as a unitary absolute monarchy, subsequent rulers found keeping such a large and diverse state unitary was logistically extremely difficult. Beginning under Emperor Qusa I, the Empire has undergone numerous reorganizations and decentralizations, often following ethnic lines and historic borders.
Despite the process of federalization and various internal upheavals, the Mesman Empire was still an absolute monarchy, with all regional leaders still directly under the emperor.
When the Colcis Dynasty finally fell, civil war broke out, with alliances generally forming along what form people thought the government ought to take. The faction that eventually won the war kept Mesemyu as a near-absolute monarchy, but with some significant changes. Emperors were now to be elected from the political and military elite of the country upon the death of the preceding emperor. Governors of regions were to be elected by similar means by those within their borders. A legislature, called the Chamber of Regions, was established. Its members were appointed to 5-year terms by their governors, and they held very little real power. They could propose legal changes to the emperor, but he could ultimately veto it, and a veto could only be overridden with a four-fifths majority.
Historically, the region that now comprises Mesemyu was made of much smaller states. The foundations of the Empire were laid with the marriage of King Lawdyu VIII Salifwi of Tanhi to Oelia Alwem of Iwid in 2 BU. When Queen Oelia's father, Ithqol XII died, Lawdyu officially declare a union between the two kingdoms and crowned himself Emperor Lawdyu I. He also decreed that all calendars should use his coronation for the process of dating, with his coronation being the first day of the first year After Unification (AU), with all other dates being Before Unification (BU).
Shortly after declaring the empire, he sought to expand into neighboring territories. In 2-4 AU, Mesman armies made an aggressive push into the Garr River Valey, a region which had always been disunified and disputed between neighboring states. Shortly thereafter, he turned his military attention westward, striking at the commerce-wealthy region of Shomfur. A four-year war ensued, which resulted in much of the peninsula falling to the empire, though the southeastern corner managed to hold out independence with some naval assistance from Demitu.
Lawdyu died suddenly in 9 AU at the age of 50, after a combined 32 years on the thrones of Tanhi and Mesemyu. Lawdyu had designated his only surviving child from his marriage to Oelia of Iwid as his heir. His oldest son from his first marriage was said to be extremely upset with decision, though he was appointed as regent, a position that would be necessary for almost 16 years.
Under Lawdyu's regency, many aggressive and successful military campaigns were carried out. He outlined in an official decree the lands which he felt should fall under Mesman domain, which included all land west of Zuwia, north of Shomfur, and up to the Torvan Sea, as well as all surrounding islands.
As Hagads reached the age of majority, he resented that his half-brother continued treating him like a child and began to try to assert himself more, often taking a diplomatic, conciliatory tone in opposition to Lawdyu's militarism. While he never disavowed the decree regarding Mesman expansion, Hagads' goals seemed to run counter to it. Shortly before reaching the age of majority, at age 19 in mid 25 AU, he was found dead in his bedchambers. While there were rumors of foul play, nothing could be proven, and Lawdyu had entrenched himself well enough to be impossible to be removed.
Lawdyu II was officially coronated shortly after his half-brother's death. Many expected that his official reign would follow the trajectory of his time as regent. However, he soon proved to be a better conqueror than ruler, as rebellions began cropping up in many regions across the empire, especially in Mintu and Uot. His 12-year reign mostly saw Mesemyu struggle to hold onto all of its recent gains. He died in 37 AU at the age of 57.
Qusa I was the oldest son of Lawdyu II. He realized that his father's aggressive expansion left the country an administrative mess. In an effort to calm down the country, he reorganized the distribution of power at different levels, making high-ranking nobility in restive regions more reliant upon the crown in Tanhi City. He was widely viewed as weak, though, as territory was lost on all fronts to Shathakokos, Zuwia, Athimriss, and Kereske. Despite all this, he was generally well-liked at court, and he helped to calm down much of the empire. He died in 55 at the age of 55.
Tardez I ascended the throne at the age of 20, bypassing an older sister and an older brother who had never mentally progressed past the state of a young child, as per his father's wishes. He did his best to end the various border conflicts early into his reign, eventually reaching treaties with all states.
In 59, Shathakokos became embroiled in a succession crisis that left the country greatly weakened and in turmoil. The destabilized kingdom was struck from the south by Mesemyu and the east by Lynga. In the two-year war, the bulk of the kingdom's territory went to Mesemyu.
The quick and decisive victory against Shathakokos made Tardez extremely popular, and support for the empire as a whole finally began to gel outside Tanhi and Iwid.
Riding high off the quick victory and annexation of much of Shathakokos, Tardez addtempted to extend the empire southward to the island of Demitu in the year 65. The invasion was an absolute disaster. Much of the fleet sent to the island was damaged or destroyed in a freak storm, and the Demitian navy--famed for its many victories against numerous Kereski attempts on the island's independence--handily defeated the hobbled Mesman fleet. Another attempt was made in the year 70, this time with an even bigger fleet, but Demitu had struck an alliance with Ixinia, who helped to repel the attack.
Despite the defeat at Demitu, the islands of Dornas were finally brought into the fold in 70 with the help of the Mintuvian fleet. Dornas had long been a stronghold for pirates and smugglers, due to the islands' harsh conditions and many seaside caves and hidden lagoons. The invasion was fairly brief, but very brutal, with the petty rulers of the islands quickly surrendering to the far superior Mesman forces.
The defeat at the hands of Demitu soured some of the previous good will toward Tardez. So in 66, Talanisa and Uot both rose up in rebellion against the crown. The rebellions were sporadic and uneven, lasting until 73, when Thadzab finally fell. In the wake of the rebellions, many of the noble families of Talanisa and Uot were stripped of their lands and titles, and new, loyal nobility were raised in their place.
Later in his reign, Tardez made it his goal to conquer Ixinia. The islands have always been very densely populated with abundant natural resources and a great wealth of trade. The invasions came in short bursts often years apart, beginning in 83. By the year 100, all but the island of Truez and a few inland strongholds had fallen to Mesman forces.
Tardez died in 101 at the age of 66, having spent 46 years on the throne, almost three times as long as any of his predecessors, and only one emperor has ruled longer since.
Tardez was succeeded by his grandon Qusa, the only child of Tardez's oldest son, Lef, who died in one of the many invasions of Ixinia. Qusa, like his grandfather, was crowned at the age of 20, but he abdicated less than two years later, in early 103, due to persistent ill health. His health had been a concern his entire time as heir apparent. He had always been bright, but stressful situations very visibly taxed him and exacerbated his frailty. He was succeeded by a cousin.
Macrecico ascended in 103, at the age of 21, only about a month younger than his predecessor. He quickly picked up in his grandfather's footsteps, capturing Ichkachki, the last major city on the largest Icnab island within a year of his ascension.
Late in the reign of Qusa II, Kereske had begun encroaching on the empire's southern border. In an effort to solidify Mesman control over the Garr River Valley, Macrecico founded a city called Garr and moved much of the royal bureaucracy there. His efforts worked, as the new amplified Mesman presence in the Valley helped keep the region under their control.
In 112, he came down with a mysterious illness that dragged on for several months before finally succumbing.
Onba ascended the throne at age 8, with a cousin, Qusa, as regent. Qusa spearheaded an aggressive military campaign in Ixinia, bringing the rest of the archipelago--except for the island of Troez. Onba died in 117 after being thrown from his horse. Only 13 years old, he died without issue, setting up a succession crisis.
Through effective political wrangling, Qusa managed to get most of the Mesman political structure to rally behind him. He spent most of his reign consolidating and centralizing power. In 126, he launched an invasion of Kereske, laying siege to the northern Kereski city of Zhagyame. The siege lasted several months before an army from further south broke the siege. The spectacular failure at Zhagyame greatly damaged Qusa's credibility at home. He made no further attempts to expand during his reign. He died in 133 at age 51.
Lawdyu succeeded his father Qusa in 133 at age 28. His reign was relatively uneventful. Relations degraded rapidly with Kereske early on, and after an abortive invasion of Demitu, Mesemyu found itself increasingly isolated. He died in 153.
Eliz was the only surviving child of Lawdyu at age 20. He was sickly his whole life and died less than a year after ascending the throne.
Eliz died without issue, and the succession situation was ambiguous. Macrecico was a cousin of Eliz. His accession in 154 was hotly contested by another cousin, Onba, who declared himself Onba II. Macrecico had the support of much of the government, but Onba had significant support in Uot and Talanisa.
Onba also managed to sway many of the small Pentelean principalities to join his cause. The civil war dragged on for almost two years and ended in Onba's defeat. During the course of the war, he and his armies had fallen back to the western part of the Pentelean Peninsula. Finally, once the fall of the city of Begeastata was inevitable, he fled to Demitu. Subsequently, the western coast of Penteles was annexed to the empire.
Macrecico tried to bring calm to the empire, with mixed results. He was assassinated in 159.
After Macrecico's assassination, Onba returned and managed to claim the throne. Due to Macrecico's only child being an infant, Onba was able to gather significant support. His reign was barely a year and extremely turbulent, consisting of many rebellions. His reign ended abruptly with his assassination in 160.
Qusa was a distant cousin who ascended after Onba's assassination. He was very divisive during his lifetime. His ruling style was extremely harsh and oppressive with the justification that he was attempting to keep the state unified.
Late in his reign, protests became more extreme, and Qusa was forced to resign.
The elderly Ieruc succeeded his nephew in 168. His reign was brief, and unrest continued, particularly in the regions that had supported Onba in the civil war of 154-156. In 171 AU, with Uot and Talanisa on the verge of open rebellion, a palace coup occurred, and he was forced to abdicate.
The original plan of the coup was to remove Ieruc and replace him with a distant nephew, but there were some higher-ups in the military with misgivings about their choice of ruler. As such, a group of military leaders installed one of their own: Lef Acaryu, a younger son from a minor noble family in Iwid. His rule lasted for less than half a year, as he was quickly deposed and executed by Salifwi loyalists.
Eliz was a distant nephew of Ieruc and a cousin of Macrecico II. Only 16 years old when he was installed in late 171, his reign was brief and marked by incredible cruelty. Though technically in his minority, he lacked a strong regent, so he was effectively able to rule on his own. He ordered wholesale slaughter in Uot and Talanisa, as well as the quashing of numerous minor rebellions in the rest of the empire. He aimed to expand the empire into the rest of Penteles, Sargae, Demitu, and other nearby nations, as well as to implement Mesman as the sole official language, despite it having a relatively small speaker base.
Armies soon mutinied, and Eliz was forced to flee the country. He was smuggled out of the country, along with many loyalists, to Bikka. Many other Salifwi loyalists and extended family members fled from their native Tanhi. From Bikka, Eliz and his loyalists fled to Manyuu, who offered him safe haven.
Once Eliz II fled the country, who should succeed him was unclear. Ieruc, who had been deposed by Lef Acaryu, was still alive, though nearly 80 years old and as unpopular as ever. Most members of the Salifwi family had fled to Bikka and on to Manyuu, barring a few cousins so far removed from the ruling family, few had more than just a few acres of land to their names. Several of them came forward to claim the crown, but the de facto leader of the anti-Eliz rebellion was Hagajoya Colcis, a powerful regional ruler from Iwid. Hagajoya seized the crown for himself and negotiated with the various Salifwis, distributing the former holdings of Tanhi City, Lawdyu City, and Udaljamits to challengers whom he viewed as potentially troublesome.
Hagajoya spent much of his reign doing his best to de-escalate internal and external diplomatic tensions. He successfully negotiated treaties with Zuwia and Kereske, officially delineating their borders, though disputes continued with Athimriss. He thawed tensions with Demitu, though he severed all diplomatic ties with Bikka immediately for harboring Eliz. He looked into formally cutting off all ties with Manyuu, but Manyo-Mesman contact was so minimal and the countries so far apart it would not have made any practical difference.
Beginning in 180, he launched a campain to conquer the remainder of Penteles, citing frequent raids on Begeastata and other major settlements. The conquest met little real resistance, though it was slow due to the mountainous terrain and often-inclement weather. By 185, though, most of the peninsula was under Mesman control, with only the extreme northeastern tip remaining under Sargan control.
Late in his reign, Hagajoya finally reopened relations with Bikka, finally realizing that the economic benefits far outweighed petty political spite. He died in the year 200 at the age of 71.
Tardez was the fourth child of Hagajoya. He ascended due to extensive political wrangling. He ascended at the age of 33 and quickly set about trying to conquer the remaining independent islands around the Empire. Troez finally fell in early 202, leaving Sargae as the only independent island nation north of Demitu.
Because he leapfrogged three siblings in succession, many regions of the country were less than happy to have him as king, foremost among them, the non-Xlacu speaking regions of Penteles, Ixinia, Dornas, Aesch, and Shomfur. Particularly in Ixinia and Shomfur, minor rebellions began cropping up, challenging Mesman rule.
Much of Tardez's reign was spent trying to quell the ethnic unrest in the Mesmyu's borderlands, with occasional bloody clashes exploding in the border regions of Penteles and Shomfur.
In 248, the Sargan Islands were finally subdued, and the Sargan monarchy officially abolished. The War of Sargan Conquest was a long, bloody war of attrition that was only successful because of Sargae's scant population.
Tardez died in 251 at the age of 84, making him the longest-reigning Mesman monarch, though his legacy is mixed, as he spent most of his reign dealing with rebellions.
Due to political infighting, he had disqualified a number of children from inheriting the throne. He officially appointed a grandson named Hagads to be his heir.
Hagads took the throne at age 18, to much grumbling. His reign was short and turbulent, and it ended abruptly in 255 with his assassination.
Qusa was one of Tardez's children he had banned from inheriting, feeling he would make a weak ruler. He seized the throne for himself immediately after Hagads's death, and he was just as ill-liked. His reign saw Mesemyu have numerous border clashed with Athimriss in the southeast. His reign was cut short when he was forced to abdicate in a bloodless palace coup in 257, which ended with him living the rest of his life under house arrest.
Athimriss declared all-out war on Mesemyu early into Haganeshi's reign. The war was short and ultimately ended in a stalemate, with very little land swapping hands. The war was popularly viewed as a defeat, making Haganeshi very unpopular. Barely two years after Qusa V was forced to abdicate, Haganeshi was forced out of power in early 260.
Hagazeg made unifying Mesemyu his goal. By this point, neglect toward the non-Xlacu regions had left them as de facto independent states. Even within the Xlacu-speaking regions, there was a great deal of division and mistrust of the crown. In an effort to unify people behind the crown, he married a cousin from a competing branch of the Colcis family, Iamesia. In 262, Iamesia bore a son, giving hope that the Colcis dynasty may yet stay united.
In 264, Hagazeg complained of a shooting pain in his abdomen, and his condition quickly worsened, leading to his death in less than a week from a ruptured appendix.
Hagajoya was the only son of Hagazeg and officially took the crown at two years of age, with his mother acting as regent. In mid-265, shortly after his third birthday, a wave of flu swept through the city of Garr, killing many members of the royal family, including the young emperor Hagajoya, leaving no clear successor.
With no clear successor and rapidly mounting ethnic tensions, Mesemyu quickly disintegrated into several factions:
- Colcis Loyalists favored installing a cousin of Hagazeg, though there was often disagreement over which cousin specifically. The most common candidate was another Hagajoya, so-called Hagajoya III by his supporters. These were centered mostly in Iwid.
- Salifwi Loyalists favored reinstalling the Salifwis to the throne. With Eliz II having fled to Manyuu nearly a century prior, his progeny were not realistically considered. The favored Salifwi was Ziya Salifwi, ruler of Tanhi City. He was crowned as Ziya I by his supporters. These were centered mostly in Tanhi, though significant support existed in Garr as well.
- Reformists favored keeping the government a monarchy, but they desired an end to dynastic politics which had become so ugly under the Colcises. Uot and Talanisa were hotbeds for reformist sentient, as well as northern Iwid.
- Republicans favored abolishing the monarchy altogether and instead installing an elected government, akin to Demitu or Mecezu. The Aesch-speaking regions of Mesemyu were the only non-Xlacu region to partake in the war, with most of the sentiment being republican.
- Separatists favored no one side but supported the dissolution of the empire, feeling that so many wars was a sign that Mesemyu was not a viable state in the long-run. They preferred the idea of Mesemyu returning to the smaller states is was before Lawdyu's unification. This does not cover ethnic separatists, who took no part in the civil war, in an attempt to reestablish their independence. Tanhi and Uot were the regions where this idea was most well-supported.
The Colcis loyalists started off the war with a string of crushing defeats, reducing their base of power to just a few locations in Iwid, and within six months of the war's outbreak, Hagajoya III had been killed in battle, and no one had the stomach to support his five-year-old son for the throne. With the dissolution of Colcis loyalist sentiment, the armies did not uniformly back any of the groups, though the reformists gained the most out of their defeat.
The Separatists did not so fight an offensive war as much as a defensive one. In Tanhi, Salifwi loyalists mostly dispatched Separatists challenges, except for the lands around Istamits, which held out as effectively independent until several years after the Civil War officially ended. Similarly, in Uot, Reformists were able to root out Separatist challenges.
By early 266, the situation had simplified to Salifwi Loyalists in Tanhi and Garr, Reformists in Iwid, Uot and Talanisa, and Republicans in Aesch. Ziya I Salifwi proved himself to be an apt military leader, as he struck out from his base of power in Tanhi City southward, capturing the major cities of Jafeamc, Ampir, and Mu Cuhomip. With those rapid major victories, the Salifwi loyalists had unified their base of power into one contiguous landmass while simultaneously splitting the Reformist lands in two, and crippling much of Talanisa. With the corridor now open, Ziya traveled southward to the capital of Garr to officially claim the capital himself.
In early 267, Salifwi forces set out toward Thadzab, the last remaining major outpost of the Reformists outside of Iwid. Shortly after the Salifwi army reached the city and began its siege, an army from Aesch swept down from the north. The Governor of Salifwi had been in negotiation with major noble families in Aesch and had managed to sway them to the Reformist cause shortly before the Salifwi attack on Thadzab.
Simultaneously, Iwidian forces renewed their attacks on Mu Cuhomip, with the city falling relatively quickly. Iwidian and combined Aeschese-Uotian forces fell on Jafeamc, taking the city with relative ease from the Salifwi loyalists. This once again split Salifwi-loyal lands in two. Aeschese and Uotian forces pushed into Tanhi, largely bypassing the lands around Istamits, as that area had remained insular throughout the war. Ulhamits and Lawdyu City both fell to naval attacks by the Aeschese.
On New Year's Day, 268, Ampir fell to Reformist forces in the bloodiest battle of the war. With the arrival of Reformist troops, the people of the city revolted, slaughtering thousands of pro-Salifwi soldiers. The city of Huhelsim in Tanhi fell about two weeks later, leaving only Tanhi City and Garr as major outposts of pro-Salifwi support. Reformist forces converged upon the city of Garr in early 268 and set up siege around the city walls. After three months of siege, provisions in Garr were running extremely low; granaries had been depleted by the war effort, and the river had been fished barren. Rioting broke out early one evening and rapidly spread throughout the city. The gates were opened around midnight, and the Reformist army stormed the city. Salifwi loyalist troops yielded by and large, with only minimal fighting occurring. Ziya was captured and detained, and he officially renounced the crown four days later, officially ending the war.
With the conclusion of the Mesman Civil War, the first test of the Reformist government loomed immediately: the election of the first emperor of the newly-declared Second Mesman Empire. Ziya Salifwi was ruled ineligible, though he was pardoned by the government, as he retained an extremely loyal following in Tanhi, and his execution would certainly spark riots. A conclave of nobles and military elites convened in Garr to select the emperor. After five rounds of voting, an ethnic Pentelean from northeastern Iwid, Salagbeaga Histipeleo (Pentelean: Salagbeaga Xistipéleo), was elected emperor. He was viewed as something of a compromise candidate; many former Salifwi loyalists wanted someone who would divest great amounts of powers to the constituent regions of the empire, and many anti-Salifwists wanted someone who would strongly centralize--and possibly de-federalize--the empire. In the end, Salagbeaga, a moderate, was elected. The fact that he was not an ethnic Xlaco-Mesman was appealing, as some felt he would be able to sway the various ethnic regions of Mesemyu to voluntarily reintegrate.
Upon his ascension, rather than be crowned Salagbeaga I, he selected the regnal name of Lawdyu, in an effort to mark continuity and assert his dominion over all the lands once controlled by the Mesman crown. His rule did much to mend division in the Xlacu- and Aesch-speaing regions of Mesemyu, though Istamits and the ethnic regions remaind uninterested in joining the empire again.
In early 269, a revolution broke out in Bikka, Mesemyu's single largest trading partner. The Bikkan royal family was overthrown, and the country was split between backers of a republican government and the installation of Emakulo Xhanujha, a religious zealot. Lawdyu was quick to throw his support behind the Bikkan Republicans, though he was hesitant to commit any resources to them.
Lawdyu IV's reign was short. The stresses of the office obviously taxed him, and he was already in his early 60s when he was elected. He collapsed suddenly in a conference in mid 270 and died several days later.
The second imperial election was much more hotly contested than Lawdyu's, with voting stretching on for 83 rounds and nearly a month. In the end, a Uotian by the name of Zekkata Ointch (Xlacu: Zêkata Yjnţś) was elected, and he selected the regnal name of Qusa.
Qusa was another old electee, already in his late 60s, though he was vivacious and politically aggressive. He had been the primary opposition in the previous election, and he sought to distance himself from Lawdyu IV, whom he viewed as weak and ineffectual. His first move was to bring the de facto independent enclave around Istamits back into Mesemyu. As the Mesman army marched toward Istamits, the self-declared Queen of Istamits sent out an envoy to negotiate peaceful terms. The geography of Istamits makes it nearly impossible to storm, but she knew that there was no way the city would withstand a concerted siege effort.
Qusa was also quick to give material support to the Bikkan Republicans. By this point in their war, though, the Republicans had been pushed back into the Bikkan Archipelago and primarily onto the island of Bikka itself. Qusa's eleventh-hour intervention helped the Republican cause to survive in the newly-declared Republic of Bikka, which laid claim to all the territory of the former Kingdom of Bikka. The rest of the former kingdom was declared The Holy and Blessed Kingdom of Bikka, though it was more frequently referred to as Bikka-Laimiek (Bikkan: Bikkä nho Läëmiek, literally "The lands south of Bikka").
The rapid and peaceful reintegration of the Istamits region strongly buoyed public opinion of Qusa, so he set his goals now on reintegrating Penteles, Sargae, Ixinia, Dornas, Mintu, and Shomfur.
Penteles was the first region recaptured. The sparse population was unable to effectively defend against the combined Mesman forces. Begeastata fell in early 272, and when the Mesman navy approached Sargae, the islands willingly surrendered, as their population was still depleted from their brutal conquest 25 years prior.
Qusa died at the age of 70 in 273, just days after a fleet had set sail to recapture Dornas.
The voting for Qusa's successor was another dragged-out affair, lasting 72 rounds before someone was chosen. During the course of the voting, Dornas had been recaptured, starting his rule off with a bang. The person chosen was a military official from the city of Ampir by the name of Tsillott Fell (Xlacu: Ţîlôt Fêl), and he selected Ezhia as his regnal name.
Ezhia set his sights next on Mintu. The Mintuvian campaign lasted just over two years and ended with the Mintuvian king personally surrendering to Mesemyu, on the condition that the islands retain a high degree of autonomy. The King of Mintu was was allowed to keep his title as long as he pledged fealty to the government in Garr, which he ultimately did.
Immediately after capturing Mintu, Ezhia considered attacking Ixinia but reconsidered when taking into account the islands' geography and fierce history of resistance to Mesman rule. Instead, he opted to try to isolate the islands by placing naval blockades on major trade routes to try to starve the islands of trade.
In 280, Ezhia launched a campaign to recapture Shomfur. The bottleneck between Ithqol's Mountains and the Bight of Ithqol was captured by the Mesmans after a long and gruesome battle. Once the bottleneck was taken, the plains of the peninsula fell quickly, due to their largely-indefensible terrain. Fleets were launched from the recently-recaptured Mintu Archipelago to retake the coastline along the eastern edge of the Sea of Ithqol. By the end of 281, only the mountainous regions remained outside Garr's grip. The Mountain Campaign was long and often brutal, but when the last remaining major settlement, Xijilixmwa, fell in early 284, Emperor Ezhia officially declared an end to the Shomfuri Campaign. However, to this day, some small villages in remote corners of Ithqol's Mountains still swear their allegiance to the Shomfuri Dual Kingdom of Xlaccavia and Mneuss, as the short-lived state was officially known.
Ezhia died of natural causes in 285 after 12 years on the throne in Garr, making him the longest-reigning elected emperor.
A Talanisan noble by the name of Elull Jefla (Xlacu: Elûl Ĵeflá) was elected after just three rounds of voting, as years at court had allowed him to climb very high in the government. He took the regnal name of Macrecico.
The most important feat of his reign was the negotiation of Icnab reintegration back into Mesemyu in 288. Ixinia had declared independence 23 years prior at the outbreak of the Civil War, and had been de facto independent since the mid-250s. Ixinia could have remained independent with little trouble, but the time it had spent as a part of Mesemyu opened up its markets to many luxury items not native to the islands. The blockade ordered by Ezhia had taken a toll on Ixinia; while there was no shortage of food or essentials, luxuries from the mainland and afar had vanished, and overall quality of life in the cities had dropped noticeably in the decade since.
Key concessions on the part of the Mesman government included:
- a guarantee that the next emperor must be an Icnab electee;
- full home rule for Ixinia;
- that Ixinia would not officially rejoin the empire until the end of Macrecico's reign;
- full home rule for all regions that had declared independence during the civil war with autonomous governments of their choosing;
- and the establishment of "a consultative body composed of elected, non-noble citizens of all parts of the empire, in proportion to their population".
Macrecico begrudgingly signed the official treaty of Icnab reintegration in late 288.
Due to declining health, Macrecico abdicated the throne in late 290.
A wealthy merchant from the city of Ichkachki named Plukvaka Qallnach (Icnab: Plukvaka Qâlnâç) was elected after a contentious 133 rounds of voting, dragging out over a month and a half. The treaty guaranteeing an Icnab electee, coupled with a general dislike for the Icnab among the electors led to great deals of bickering and indecision. Once elected, Plukvaka kept his given name as his regnal name, making him the only elected emperor to date to do so. He was also the first emperor to have a regnal name that was not ultimately of Xlacu or Mesman origin.
His reign saw the entire structure of the government completely overhauled. Ezhia had introduced some degree of autonomous regions, but Plukvaka implemented full federalization, dividing Mesemyu into the 12 regions that currently comprise it. Each region was governed by a regional head that could either be an inherited or elected position.
The "consultative body" outlined in the treaty was established in 292 and called the Chamber of Regions. It was to hold little real power. It could suggest laws to enact and advise the emperor if "it were deemed prudent", according to the Chamber's Charter. It had no way of enacting laws or overriding imperial decrees. If 90% of the Chamber were to vote for it, though, they could remove the emperor from power. The representatives allotted to each region were based on population:
- Autonomous Republic of Aesch - 18 Representatives
- Autonomous Confederation of Dornas - 1 Representative
- Lordship of Garr - 11 Representatives
- Kingdom of Iwid - 22 Representatives
- Autonomous Republic of Ixinia - 15 Representatives
- Autonomous Kingdom of Mintu - 4 Representatives
- Autonomous Republic of Penteles - 6 Representatives
- Autonomous Kingdom of Sargae - 2 Representative
- Autonomous Diarchy of Shomfur - 13 Representatives
- Principality of Talanisa - 8 Representatives
- Kingdom of Tanhi - 17 Representatives
- Republic of Uot - 9 Representatives
In 294, after hearing about recent ventures by Demitu and Crozdig around Zowev Bay in northeastern Janavos, Plukvaka ordered that land be claimed for Mesemyu, lest they be blocked out of a potentially profitable experience. In 296, the Colony of Mesman Sawrio was founded. It functioned both as a source of exotic goods normally only available at great markup through merchants and as a penal colony for especially egregious offenders.
Plukvaka's restructuring of the government also saw a great influx of councilors from regions other than Garr, Talanisa, and Iwid, much to the chagrin of those from those regions, who had helped guide much of the previous emperors' policy. One that became particularly well-ingrained quickly was Ziya Yai, a younger son from the noble family of Yai in Tanhi. The Yais formerly ruled the lands around Istamits as an independent kingdom, and they had been a perpetual thorn in the side of their overlords since the conquest of Istamits in 36 BU.
Plukvaka died in 301 at the age of 54.
The election of Plukvaka's successor was fairly quick, taking only 22 rounds of voting. A Mintuvian noble by the name of Iosetsu Aanule was elected, and took the Mintuvian name of Iosaakaveib as his regnal name
Iosaakaveib followed in Plukvaka's footsteps with his support of the new governmental structure, as well as the colony of Mesman Sawrio, often referred to my its Sawrian name of Fiita. In 307, a document dubbed The Charter of the Second Mesman Empire was drafted by the consultative body, formally outlining the roles and function of the Mesman government in written form.
Iosaakaveib abdicated the throne in early 309, due to persistent poor health.
A Tanhian by the name of Zekkata Fyonn was elected in just 10 rounds of voting, due in large part to the lobbying of Ziya Yai. Lawdyu V's reign was short an uneventful, as he died from a stomach illness in 311, after barely two years on the throne.
Nilei I--a Uotian Representative born Jefcen Bil--was elected after just two rounds of voting, once again due in large part to Ziya Yai cultivating allies and cronies, especially among those from Xlacu-speaking regions.
Noticing the trend of Ziya's influence, leaders of non-Xlacu-speaking regions began to get worried, and in 313, Ixinia withdrew all its representatives and government officials from Garr in protest. In response, Nilei ordered the Mesman navy sail to the Icnab capital of Qaiye as a show of force. Nilei also issued a letter to the governor of Ixinia in order to strike a conciliatory tone. Ixinia returned its government officials to Garr in early 314.
Nilei died in 315 after a minor wound sustained while practicing swordfighting became infected.
Acknowledging that Ixinia had the potential to destabilize the empire by acting as a bellwether for other regions with aspirations of independence, Ziya threw his weight behind an Icnab candidate in the next imperial election: Anthuch Chkirununn.
Plukvaka II was more pro-Mesman than most natives of Ixinia, but he was still staunchly in favor of the regions' autonomy. Despite the key role Ziya Yai in getting him elected, Plukvaka dispatched him to Kereske as an envoy to try to negotiate more stable and well-defined borders.
Ziya was away from Garr from 317 to 321. In that time, Plukvaka did his best to replace him, but when he returned from Keseske, he had little trouble fitting back into his former role.
Plukvaka died under suspicious circumstances in 323. Ziya was suspected by many to have been behind his death, but nothing could be proven, and he held enough power that he was effectively immune from repercussions.
Wanting a younger emperor he could potentially be the power behind for longer than four years, Ziya endorsed an Iwidian by the name Jlek Kelk. Despite being only 40 when elected, his reign was short, as an earthquake in 327 knocked loose a ceiling beam that crushed him.
Ziya once again endorsed a younger candidate, this time 28-year-old Zronng Benso, from Tanhi. At the outbreak of the Fourth Baxthoi War in Kereske in 329, the Kereski government implored Mesemyu for military support. At Ziya's urging, Ezhia reluctantly agreed. Ziya had argued that not supporting the Kereski Crown in its fight against Baxthoi separatists would implicitly embolden Mesemyu's own separatists.