A Brief History of Germania

Our roots began on the Baltic shores, seven centuries before Augustus. We who would become the Germani were a well-established folk working in Bronze, on both the south and north shores of the sea. It was cold there, and our people thrived- so much so that we began exploring and expanding into the forests to the south and west.

There we ran into those who would become the Celts, or Gauls, or whatever you wish to call them. They too were on the move- moving west. We speeded that process along and began calling those dark forests our home.

Several small men from the south came to visit us, with their dark skin and strange ways. They found us to be a hospitable folk, simple and brave. Verily, stories of our bravery in battle were told to their children, who in turn used our tales to turn us into bogeymen with which to scare their own children into obedience- 'Take care, little ones, or the Germans will come and carry you away!'

Those southern peoples feared our bravery, and our simple ways. Our leaders were chosen on basis of merit- not familial ties or the actions of men long dead. Our laws are decided in great meetings of all free men called 'Things', instead of in musty halls of marble or in the privy circle of a select few. These ways may seem odd to the men of the south, but our ways will eventually supplant theirs, until our own change in time.

We remained this way for many centuries, content in our forests, each tribe to their area. Some tried to make their tribe superior to others, while others tried to ally with other tribes. Hermann was one such- Hermann the Cherusci, called Ariminius by the Sandaled Men of the Eagles, and Hermann the German by later scholars. He provided the first true victory of our tribes over the Eagles five summers before the Great Augustus passed on, by leading his Cherusci, the Chatti, the Bructeri, the Sicambri, and the Chauci tribes to defeat and destroy the expedition of Publius Varus and his three legions. Such was the might of our victory that the XVII, XVIII, and XIX Legions were never reconstituted, and the great emperor spent the last years of his life wailing for dead Varus to give him back his legions. Hermann met his end by his uncle's hand for trying to dominate all the tribes- something that we frown upon.

Another tribe of ours, the Batavi, lived upon Roman lands. They were mistreated by the Romans, and rose up in indignant revolt. Such was the power of this one small tribe that it incited revolts in Gaul, destroyed or caused the disbanding of four legions, and let the usurper Vespasian rise to power in the West.

Our fighting men have always been renowned warriors, and often sought the benefits of Roman service by volunteering for service under the Eagles as auxilia. Later, as trade began to bring wealth and knowledge to Germania, we began working iron into armor and making swords of fine steel. More, we began founding federations of tribes as Hermann had once done, but these were more formal and demanded more loyalty- and thus the Franks, the Saxons, the Alemanni, and other federations grew in strength and power until they had enough to move west themselves.

We overran Gaul and invaded Britannia by the fourth century after Augustus, and by the fifth we were masters of Rome herself.

Western Europe was under Germanic rule, from Hispana to Britannia to Italia to Germania itself. In the south, North Africa became the kingdom of the Vandals, another Germanic people, one of who had sacked Rome so thoroughly that their name would pass into many tongues as a bringer of wanton destruction. In the North, the Danes and Norse and Swedes- Germanic peoples all- still held to the old ways. They too would join ranks and unify, and when they did three hundred years later, they would descend upon the remains of the Germanic kingdoms to the south with fire and sword, ringing in the Age of the Viking which would terrorize Europe until the rise of feudalism and the Christianization of the Men of the North brought the Vikings to heel in 1066.