Atha, Republic of – Located on the Farush Peninsula about 160 kilometers southwest of modern Grush, Atha was one of the early centers that was founded by Thalisans fleeing the destruction of their empire. It flourished mainly in the late 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. At its height, Atha controlled the majority of the Farush Peninsula, as well as the Tempest Islands directly. Through its semi-independent colonies, it also controlled trade throughout the Arrak Sea. It was succeeded  by the Empire of Atha

According to legend, Atha was founded by Athus the son of the god Winson the Thunderer and named after him. At first, Athus’ descendants ruled Atha as kings, but when his great grandson Baltus died without heir, the city turned to a council of its leading elders to rule the city. The head of the council, called the Speaker, governed the day to day activities of the city, but could not engage in war, major building or other large-scale projects without the consent of the council.

It remained a small and unimportant city-state for well over a hundred years, and managed to remain unaligned during the League Wars that ruined the great city states in the late 5th century BCE. Indeed, Atha under the leadership of its Speakers actually stood at the head of a small league of four nearby cities – Atha, Herob, Nish, and Luxor— the only city-state alliance that stood by the end of the League Wars.

The League Wars left most of the Farush Peninsula largely desolate, and the few remaining cities expanded their territories. The age of the city-state had ended, and larger polities emerged. The Atha League was an anomaly. However, the king of Herob attempted to supplant the leaders of the other three and gather their power for himself. He was crushed at the battle of Mons Trea in 446 BCE. After Mons Trea, Herob was annexed by Atha, while Nish and Luxor continued as co-equal members of the league.

From 446 to 482 BCE, Power consolidated in the Farush Peninsula between five powers, the Atha League, Cirush in the north, Faro near the western marshes, Guz, controlling the mountain passes, and Anotia at the mouth of the Rogush River. Atha was considered the least of the major powers partly because it was not in absolute control of its territory (at this time, Nish and Luxor were at least nominally independent) but also because it had the smallest mainland territory. Atha turned its attention away from the mainland and to the nearby Tempest Islands.

The Tempest Islands are a trio of large islands and numerous smaller ones. The largest, Tisane, is nearly 10,000 square miles and is famous for its silver mines, marble quarries and white sand beaches, while the smallest settled island, Neros, is just over 50 square miles. Neros is famed for its pearl and corral industry.

Atha’s natural maritime industry allowed it to undercut Guz’s trade through the mountains. This led to a series of border skirmishes, and then war when the king of Guz attacked and razed Nish in 482 BCE. The Athan-Guz war lasted twelve years before Hobar, king of Guz was killed in battle. His heir, Hobart I, was a 16 year old boy, and Guz fell into civil war. Atha was able to easily defeat the divided Guzian forces and dictated the peace in Guz. They allowed Hobart I to retain his throne as their vassal.

For the next 50 years, Atha-Guz expanded their reach at the expense of the other Farushian powers. Faro capitulated in 460 BCE and an alliance of Cirush and Anotia decidedly defeated at the battles of Rogush Landing (455 BCE) Indsomi (454 BCE) and the siege of Cirush (454-452 BCE). Atha also began a policy of using captured populations to settle lands across the Arrak Sea. Their navy ruled the seas, so their only hope of surviving was by staying loyal to Atha.

However, empire did not sit well with the republican values of ancient Atha. Over the next century, their traditions were challenged by the stresses of wielding more power over their far-flung patchwork empire. History marks the end of the Republic of Atha, and the beginning of the Athan Empire, to the election of Horartha, great-grandson of Hobart I, in 317 BCE. He was able to maintain his Speakership for an unprecedented 46 years and gradually usurped the powers of the council and local leadership. When he passed his throne to his son Hobart III without an election, there was almost no protest.