Following the last Ice Age, bands of ancient tribal hunter-gatherers known as the Habiru set up in the land of Southern Canissia, where-- mostly isolated by high mountains that separated them from their neighbors-- they managed to expand more or less peaceably. The climate lended itself well to agriculture, which became increasingly important as the larger game animals were hunted down to extinction in some cases (Mammoths) and near-extinction in other cases (Deer).

The first permanent settlements in Canissia came about the same time as settlement began to spread elsewhere; mostly isolated fishing villages along southern and western coastlines, in the modern provinces of Aerelon, Scorpia and Canceron. Trade and warfare both served to unite populations, and small empires came and went on a regular basis throughout early history, the scant remains of which can still be seen to this day in archaeological museums.


Ancient Kingdoms of Canissia

Ancient Tribes and Kingdoms of Canissia

Over 3,000 years ago, the Qalquayyid Empire colonized much of the southern and western desert regions of Canissia, bringing the scattered villages there under the rule of the Pharoah Antenkoph and bringing a network of roads, bridges, and medicine to the early Canissians. The northern provinces, known as the Aeron Kingdom at the time, rebelled against the Qualqayyid Empire but were never able to do much more than provide annoying diversions to the well-trained and organized Pharoanic armies.

The Scorpion town of Thakesh-- now a preserved ruin-- temporarily served as the headquarters of the Qalqayyid Princess Noora Raidaa during the Dynastic Civil War in the Qualquayyid capitol, far over the sea. It was in Thakesh that Raidaa declared herself to be Pharoah after hearing that the rebellious Generals had executed her entire family. She vowed revenge and restoration of the Dynasty, but aside from a few poorly-organized forays to re-invade her homeland, she was largely fruitless in this endeavor. Her armies depleted, and the lack of income from the Dynasty, made Canissia the last seat of Qalquayyid might.

The Aeron Kingdom sacked Thakesh on its way south to it's "rightful lands" (now Aerelon Province), and vast wars were fought between the eroding Qalquayyids (now relying almost entirely on local Canissian mercenaries rather than professional Pharoanic troops) and the growing Aeron Kingdom, led by the warrior-queen Kere. The Qalquayyids eventually collapsed under the weight of Kere's troops and barbarian tribes and turncoat Canissian mercenaries who decided to rob their paymasters rather than serve them.

Statues to the Qualqayyid Middle Dynasty's animal-head gods remain a source of awe to this day, as is the recent unearthing of nearly 8,000 terracotta soldiers in a vast Royal Tomb unearthed in the depths of the harsh Scorpion desert-- believe to be the tomb of Pharoah Raidaa herself.


The Medieval era saw a land of numerous small, competing kingdoms-- kingdoms which eventually solidified into the twelve Provinces known today. Attempts to unify into an empire were rarely successful, despite the linking of most of the Kingdoms many intermarriage, common ethnic ancestry and language. Religion was largely relegated to a supporting role for the Nobility, although a few anti-heretical Crusades were had within Canissia to root out spin-off religions that were seen as politically challenging. The dominant religions were, and still are, the traditional Habiru faith of Juidic belief, and the Catoli religion that became popular as the Caprican Merchants fanned out across the world, bringing back profit and new ideas.

Organized overseas adventures were limited, but Canissian troops from the Virgon and Tauron regions were in high demand as mercenaries, and they participated in occasional raids and Crusades with allies. Most notable were Crusades among the Knights of the Pink Cross in actions across Shroomania and PeZookia, where Tauron mercenaries in particular gained a reputation as fierce and dependable Knights.

Medieval Canissian armor and weapons was primarily centered on infantry-- only the vast plains of the Virgon Province could support horse-mounted Knights; the deserts of Canceron and Scorpion were ill-suited to the needs of horses. Loose-fit half-plate armor with helmets and partial face shielding was the norm, and most Canissian combat centered around ranged weapons such as bows, crossbows and longbows. Canissian infantry were typically overwhelmed by mounted Knights of other realms, but provided excellent bowmen until the invention of the pike, which once again gave Canissian infantry an advantage.


At times, there were wars between the Canissian Kingdoms, particularly as the Caprican Kingdom rose to prominance as a trading and shipbuilding powerhouse. 'Caprican Merchant' was a compliment in Caprica and a curse elsewhere as the Caprican Kingdom grew fat and wealthy, some felt at the detriment of other Kingdoms. Capricans hired Tauron mercenaries as well as skilled soldiers from other nations to defend their realm, and freely gave Letters of Marque to various privateers from other nations-- ostensibly, to protect Caprican ships from "pirates", but also to conduct hit-and-run raids on the ships of fellow Canissian merchants that were proving to be too good at competition.

The influence of the Caprican Merchants Guild cannot be understated, as it was the Capricans that chiefly spread out among the world to establish trade routes. There developed a sense of "trade imperialism" in partnership with the Shinra Republic, where the Shinra Republic would do the dirty work of establish an overseas colony and manageing it, while the Caprican Merchants would settle in to gain hefty trade contracts. When the locals became resistive to the exploitation, the Shinra governors would call in the Merchants Guild to provide suppoort, which would typically arrive in the form of either Canissian warriors or mercenaries who would brutally put down the uprisings for the interests of smooth trade.

This brought the Caprican Merchants Guild into collusion with various governments around the world, primarily including the Old Dominion, the Byzantine Empire, and other future MESS nations. Canissian Merchants hired privateers to put down rebellions and pircay in and around the Vinyard Revolutions, as well as sponsored forays into the Indhopal and Coilurberg revolutions, alway sseeking to carve out a future advantageous trade niche. A turning point in the Vinyard war of independence was achieved when the Merchants Guild decided to support the nascent nation's bid for independence and began supplying them with the latest Canissian firearms, including rifled muskets, in the first combat where such weapons were used, providing a decisive advantage to the Vinlander guerrillas. This put Canissia and Shroomania on a course for a series of one-upmanship brushfire wars that ushered in the Industrial Revolution in Canissia.


The Industrial Revolution hit Canissia at about the same time as it did elsewhere. The first major breakthrough was the discovery of steam powered engines that could be put on ships, which Caprican merchants quickly exploited, as well as breech-loading rifled cannons. When Caprican entrepeneur Mills Hovan put a "ship drive" on rails and used it to link various Caprican cities, a revolution in transportation was begun.

Caprican ships began experimenting with putting iron armor bands around the hulls of their ships, the better to confront Shroomanian Privateers, when Revolution swept the land. The Caprican Merchants Guild, with its overseas adventurism and recklessness, was widely seen as having brought Canissia into a collision course for war with Shroomania, and a wave of anti-Caprican resentment spread throughout the rest of Canissia, a sentiment that was primarily directed at the Caprican King, Leoni Tarsis-III. A nascent anti-Royalist uprising of Communist and Nationalist sentiment swept the land, with many rumors abounding that the Communists were secretly aided by outside powers such as the Shroomanians, Pezookians, and the Shadow Empire.

Byzantine and Shinra Republic forces were called in to help stabilize the situation, and the northern provinces of Caprica, Saggitaron and Picon were Royalist enclaves, populated primarily by the Catoli, Caucasid ethnic group, with the rest of Canissia being fought over by the Communists and Nationalists. The Nationalists were primarily centered in Aerelon Province and mostly made up of the Juidic Habiru ethnic group. The Communists were a mixed back, religiously and ethnically, and centered primarily out of the Tauron Province and seen as pro-Shroomanian.

The Revolution was at its peak in the 1790's when the Caprican King Leoni Tarsis-III's palace was stormed by musket-armed Communist revolutionaries and shot by firing squad in the street. As Shinra Republic (and later Old Dominion) forces blockaded the Tauron Province, starving off the Communists of their outside suppliers.

The three-way war brought Canissia much grief but also much industrial technology (primarily weapons technology) as each side battled for supremacy. Shortly after the storming of the Palace, in a late-night deal brokered by Royalist Prince Joszef Rada, the Nationalists and Loyalists signed a secret pact and combined forces to wipe out the Communists. They then agreed to a power-sharing deal in which the Monarchy remains as the official head of the executive branch of government, with the Nationalist Parliament overseeing the workings of government and providing a series of checks & balances on Royal authority-- an arrangement that remains to this day.


The Modern Era was a time of relative calm and peace, although Canissia maintained large Army and Navy forces. King Chako Markova became a powerful and respected elder statesman on the world stage, meeting with Shroomanian, Pezookian and Shadow Empire leaders to iron out peace accords and recognise spheres of influence. King Markova also worked hard with traditional Canissian allies such as the Byzantines, Old Dominion, Shinra Republic others to forge what would eventually become the MESS Alliance. While Canissia was recognised as a powerful and capable military power, King Markova felt that power blocs with alliances was the best way to influence world needs, and he sought to integrate Canissia as a successful part of an overall whole rather than to work as a dominant power. Canissian army advisors helped train Shinra Republic troops, while Shinra Republic naval advisors helped train up Canissian Royal Navy crews on new advances such as the aircraft carrier and submarine. A breakthrough was made when Canissian scientists discovered the internal-combustion diesel engine, which, along with Shinra Republic naval hull experiments, was combined to form the first true submarine.

Ever the silent partner in military adventurism, the Republic of Canissia has had its fingers in nearly every major conflict that involved the MESS alliance-- with involvement typically ranging from materiel support up to and including major applications in battle. Canissia had been among the first nations to embrace Ironclads, giving their small navy a decisive edge among those who still used wooden warships, and Canissians were also one of the chief contributors to early development of the Tank, Machine-Gun, and Submarine (although Canissia did not pioneer these developments).

This early devotion to military science made Canissia a nations that clings to the idea of a small, highly professional, technically advanced and initiative-based military power, where the application of smaller forces that are highly skilled and mobile are valued over masses of ill-trained and equipped conscripts.

Canissian military ventures today are typically in the realm of supporting larger, concerted actions by MESS members and other alliances. Overall, Canissia is primarily interested in diplomacy as a means to solve conflict, however, the Canissian military has a reputation for fierce determination in battle.

Canissian military history is preserved in numerous museums throughout the land, with many Provinces having their own military museums, and the coastal cities frequently boasting at least one or two preserve museum ships at their docksides for tourists-- including the first Canissian submarine; the first Canissian Dreadnought, an early Aircraft Carrier (complete with biplanes) saved from scrapping from the Shinra Republic, and the beutifully restored and magnificent Tall Ship, the Caprican Clipper.