We have a monotheistic people somewhat theologically divided amongst themselves as to whether ‘their’ God is their tribal god or the God of all creation, as well as what is proscribed in His Holy Books. Having recently thrown off the their death obsessed river hugging (or vaguely Egyptian) Tawny oppressors they have proceeded to bicker amongst themselves becoming subject to organised crime and the machinations of the rival neighbouring powers.
Considering the legendary history of the people. Let’s closely follow the Hebraic mythic model here that they originated in the course of divine revelation to a tribe, a long, long time ago in a land far, far away. Contemporary archaeology tells a different story of the origins of the Hebrew tribes but this is fantasy background and there is a lot to be said for a good tribe in exile story – if it was good enough for the Romans to believe they were Trojan Exiles (or Geoffery of Monmouth to co-opt the idea for the Britons) then it’s good enough for the valley people. So having experienced the divine revelation the People were driven from their lands of origin (let’s say somewhere feeling and ethnic make-up of warring states china, if ‘the People’ stand out from the Norse and River-huggers from being Ethnically different so much the better.)
Establishing themselves in the Valley of Milk and Money (with a neat divinely constructed canal) they eventually fall into a series of related tribes. Many different Holy Scriptures exist from this time which aids the disputed nature of their theology and cosmology. This is nothing new there are plenty of books lef tout of the ‘official’ bible and the Torah and Hinduism has no problem with numerous holy scripts. Much of the wiritings of this time are tribal and national stories of much smiting – both between the respective tribes and between them and indigenous people of the valley – who probably exist on the fringes of the valley to this day. More on them later.
Well all good things come to be crushed. The Reichsmen arrived and took the whole people away into bondage. (Boo! Hiss!) Their colonists sparsely settled the lands during this time of exile. Eventually a shift in Reich politics (the start of the border collapsing?) leads to repatriation of The People to The Valley. The people have been reunited by their second time of exile and the tribes inhabit cities much more inter-mixed. The Reich settlers are pushed out and mingle with the indigenous trace populations forming a mixed background bogymen living sporadic existences in deep woods, high mountains and sparse regions. In this golden age The People achieved a concord with their God which was celebrated through a symbolic holy artefact (yet to be determined – perhaps some form of musical instrument?) Eventually the people fell in soft corrupt ways, internal bickering and the artefact was lost…
Nothing lasts forever and the Tawny invade and once again the people were whisked away into bondage. Tawny settlers are moved in and no doubt had a high old time fending off The People Guerrillas and Indigenous bandits as well as the odd Norse invasion. Through crafty politcs and eventually a king sized amount of divine intervention in the way of plagues and signs the people once again escaped to oppress their former oppressors whose survivors mixed in with the poor old backwoodsmen once again. The Holy books of both times of exile will be very focused on divine justice and surviving suffering for eventual reward.In a rare occasion of political unity a Kingdom was formed of the people of the valley with chosen nobles governing the cities. Despite this silver age the gilded lute of concord (or whatever it ends up being) does not reappear which gives a doomed feeling to this time. Think vaguely Homeric and vaguely Arthurian in it’s sense of a doomed kingdom being the feeling in the Holy Books written at this time.
And so it proved the Tawny retuned killed royal line (probably helped by a rising of Royal Bastards which reinforces the People’s ideas of sexual morality,) and set the minor nobility up as their quislings. And so it continued for a number of hundred years. And then something really significant happened – the Lute reappeared and provided the focus point for a glorious rebellion. Now the cities are free (if divided) and many scriptures promise a messiah to unify the people, re-establish the true Royal line and bring back a golden age (not that the current generation of politicians want to be replaced thank you very much…that’s why so many Messiahs end up in the canal with an VC knife in the back.) What the Golden Age is will very from sect to sect some believing in a crusade to bring the one true faith to the world (sounds a bit Dune), others in a symbolic Golden Age through mastery of the self and everything in between.