Savage Earth: Cold Moon
History of the Savage Earth
65,000,000 years ago an asteroid sped towards the earth on an impact with the area that would one day be Central America, in the final minutes before the impact it was snagged by the gravitational pull of the earth’s second moon and struck it with a devastating force. The tiny satellite was rent asunder by the impact, and the asteroid was utterly destroyed. One half of the moon (Cruithne) was sent on a long slow orbit of the Sun, while the other was flung into the planet, striking the area that would one day become Africa with a tremendous force.
The asteroid strike was apocalyptic to all life for thousands of miles. The extinction event led to the death of all creatures larger than a rat across roughly a third of the planets surface. Over the period of millions of years many of the small dinosaurs that survived the event grew into mammals and birds, going through much the same evolutionary process that mammals on our earth went through.
Beyond the impact zone, the reptiles were affected by the fall out and the nuclear winter to varying degrees and many species died out while other rose to prominence. Evolution had much the same effect on the dinosaurs as it did on the mammals.
Humanoid’s rose to the height of the food chain across the globe and while Mammal hominids (humans) evolved in Africa and spread out into the Middle East and Europe, reptilian Hominids (known by the group name saurians) had already founded their cultures in the Americas and Asia and outnumbered the mammals 3 to 1.
The further humans spread, the greater the conflicts they faced with the Reptiles. In the east humans were enslaved in their thousands by the Lung, masters of the Dragon_kingdoms. In India, the The Perfumed Empire, the primitive Humans came to worship the reptiles and to treat them as the chosen of the Gods. In the Americas humans are still so rare that the Reptiles have yet to decide upon a definitive course of action. Small tribes war from time to time, to the south the reptiles replace their own people with captured Humans on the sacrificial alters.
In South America the first true hominid Reptiles evolved from among the species Coelurosauria over five million years ago, eventually evolving into the modern species of Nitzsche and Tezlochus. While others evolved into avian dinosaurs from a similar common ancestor. The colder climate of the Pliocene era forced the remaining Dinosaurs to adapt in several ways and it appears that some late species of raptors that did not evolve wings instead evolved to climb trees and to adapt to an arboreal lifestyle. Much as with later mammals this change slowly led to larger brains and eventually to a population explosion, followed by an upright stance.
Saurian palaeontologists believe that several species of herbivore were already evolving primitive hominid characteristics and the Nitzsche development may well have been a response to this. Indeed, a handful of herbivorous dinosaurs appear to have evolved in response making the original genetic leap difficult to pinpoint.
Entirely separate from the Carnivore evolution (although many suggest one event was the impetus for the other) two herbivore breeds also evolved hominid characteristics and gave birth to the Anklor and Mokole breeds.
In India the Nagah appear to have developed separately, following the same evolutionary imperative towards larger brains and sentience. The Nitzsche spread north and appear to have helped kickstart the evolution of several Tyrannosauroidea into what would become the Tyrantus breed. Other proto Nitzsche were forced west and eventually settled in Asia where they became the Lung.
The Lung evolved along different lines, some evidence seems to suggest they interbred with a now extinct species of Reptile, and their culture became a separatist state. While the Nitzsche developed their empires in the rainforests of Mesoamerica, the Lung spread across Asia until they reached the vast deserts and steppes whose night time temperatures thwarted further advancement. To the south, the highly evolved Nagah prevented their spread into India and the Middle East.
The Saurian war
As the Nitzsche culture rose to dominance throughout the Plicocene era it clashed with the tribes of the Tyrnatus and war erupted. North America became the theatre of war which lasted for centuries. The Nitzsche and their Tezlochus allies were fierce and populous, but the Tyrants are incredibly tough opponents and despite the natural ebb and flow of battle, the two armies were evenly matched.
However where the Nitzsche excelled was in intelligence and the scales were finally tipped by an audacious alliance. The Nitzsche made peace with the emerging herbivore saurians and trebled the size of their army almost overnight. With an agreement that Saurians would cease to prey upon sentient Herbivores the former predators and their prey came together.
The Tyrantus tribes united briefly under a single leader and his daughter when he fell, but within a decade the war was over and the Nitzsche were victorious. Slowly they formed the The Western Empire, making a tentative peace with the Tyrant tribes and spreading throughout the Americas. By the time of the first great ice age about 2.58 million years ago the Saurian Empire expanded across the Atlantic Ocean and into Europe.
As proto humans began to evolve among the mammals of Africa, the Saurian’s set down the foundations of the The Eastern Empire. In time they moved south and east making contact with the Nagah. The Two cultures warred sporadically for a few centuries but eventually came to a lasting peace and shared much. The Eastern saurian Empire is less imperialistic and more passive than the Western empire and their blood sacrifices.
The Tyrantus quickly headed south into The Ghostlands of Africa in the hope of rebuilding their numbers and perhaps one day toppling the Nitzsche but failed to establish a viable culture there. Over the years the Tyrants have attempted to make a second home for themselves in Africa on numerous occasions but have never succeeded. Although they refuse to give a full account of why, the Tyrants themselves believe Africa to be cursed and many believe Africa is actually the afterlife filled with the angry spectres of their prey. A superstition Humanity has been keen to take advantage of.
While the saurians were establishing their Eastern Empire in Europe, several primates evolved among the mammals in Africa and they in turn evolved into a handful of Hominid species. The result was the Human race known in our world.
these humans eventually left Africa, crossed into Arabia and met with the Nagah. Long before they moved into the eastern saurian Empire humans had integrated with the Nagah and moved onwards until they came up against the Lung.
The humans who settled in India were seen as a curiosity by the Nagah who treated them as something between pets and simply cousins. They educated the Humans and experimented on them with their own magic and with advanced breeding programs learned from the Nitzsche. Their meddling led to the humans evolving into a new breed: the Deva.
The Deva are arboreal humans with a society based on the saurian model. They look upon the Nagah as avatars of the ancient Gods and willingly ally themselves with their Saurian companions. The only exception to this is the Asura, a breakaway culture of Deva who found the Nitzsche philosophy of self determination and the will to power of more interest. The Asura established an underground culture and have spread throughout Europe and North Africa.
In Asia the Lung were slow to notice the Humans but when they did, they were offended by sentient mammals and immediately enslaved them. Large colonies escaped into the Southern jungles but for the most part the Asian Human colonies were slave nations in service to the emergent Lung empire of the The Dragon Kingdoms. Within a few thousand years the Lung had taken over the breading of their slaves and had bred an army of disposable servants to help them erect vast cities across their kingdom.
In the Philippines humans who had escaped the Lung homeland settled across the island chains as best they could. They met Lung in fewer numbers and were forced into the subterranean caves to survive. Over the eons they have evolved to be much smaller than normal humans as a survival technique and they became the Pygmies. Lung are large and cumbersome and cannot hunt well in enclosed spaces such as trees or caves.
When humans spread North, they discovered southern and central Europe already dominated by the Western saurian Empire. Some groups settled, many more tuned back and a few continued North into the colder regions that saurians avoided. These humans evolved to better deal with such climates and became what is commonly known as the Neanderthal. They developed an advanced culture of tribal kingdoms with a loose alliance that lasts to this day.
Finally the last subspecies of human are the Cro-Magnon who are in fact the earliest species of human still in existence. The other species all appear to have evolved from the Cromagnon and they are strongest in Africa and the middle east.
Over the past five millennia modern Humans have evolved into varying different species, often with their development affected by the saurians. Those species which died out or where subsumed in our world still exist and compete with Homo sapiens for resources. The reptile and mammal hominids have settled into existence with each other and peace is more common than war. However a few wise saurians and their human acolytes have begun to notice the shift in numbers as the saurian’s population decreases and the mammals increase. It appears that the religious zealots who promise the final millennium for lizardfolk may actually be right.
The general technology level of the savage earth is similar to that of our world in the 15th century. Black powder weapons and cannons exist but are rare, the horse is still a major resource in the Eastern kingdom but back West in the old Empire the dinosaurs still roam the Americas. Oceans are crossed but are far from being conquered, communication and travel between the major landmasses is limited, dangerous and expensive.