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Last updated :  Thursday, September 19, 2002

Pre 1600AD  | Pre-Historic Jostan
In a remote area of the Northern Pacific Ocean, almost one thousand miles from the nearest inhabited island, resides the island of Jostan.  The indigenous peoples, or Jostans, are of Mayo-Polynesian descent originating from Southeast Asia as early as 1,500 B.C.  The ancient Jostans were very family-oriented and lived in small tribes consisting of 20 – 40 people.  It is estimated that the he Jostans thrived on Jostan for thousands of years before coming into contact with any other civilization.  Not much else is known of the early Jostans. 

1600 – 1696  |  First Western Contact
In 1657 Jostan was visited by the Spanish.  Like so many other locations before them, the Spanish came to convert the locals and claim the land as a territory of Spain.  Catholicism is still a major religion in the present day, however traditional Jostan beliefs still thrive untainted by Christianity.   In 1672 the first historical record of Jostan’s existence was received in Spain.  Spain claimed Jostan as a Spanish dependency and renamed the island Esata.  Jostan would occasionally receive visits from passing Spanish ships; however, the crown of Spain paid little attention overall.  This gave the inhabitants time to peacefully blend the Jostan and Spanish cultures into what is considered the base of the modern day Jostan physically, socially, and culturally. 

November 1697  |  Migration to Kryous
On November 4th 1697 Mt. Dapeo (Dah–pay–oh) began to erupting, sending lava down the southeast side of the island.  As the eruptions continued more lava and smoke was sent down the mountainside, ever threatening the population. 

In the meantime, all Jostans were praying to Cetus for guidance.  Cetus, according to traditional beliefs, is the guardian of the Jostans.  On the night of the 5th the elders took night council to debate their options. As Elder Lomeryan looked up into the darkness of the sky it occurred to him that this was more than just a natural disaster, it was their fate.  Elder Lomeryan pointed out that Cetus had once again returned to the sky in conjunction with the start of the eruption.  With that the elders immediately recognized that a legend was about to come true.  They must leave the island immediately. 

One might question why the Jostans didn’t just flee the island and go to Kryous Island earlier, after all the Jostans are excellent seafarers.  Surely they had to have known about Kryous Island.  According to legend, the early Jostans we told not to venture too far from the island because Farago (Fa-rah-go), the King of the gods, used this as a way to test the Jostans’ commitment to him.  In return for their faith, he promised that Cetus would come one day to bring them to a new home, a paradise they could call their own.  Also mentioned in the legend is that Cetus would not arrive to show the way home until shortly after Rafoia (Rah-foe-e-ah), the god of fire, throws a great tantrum.

Early the next morning they loaded their boats with as many people and supplies as possible and promptly set sail westward in the same direction as Cetus follows in the night sky. 1  As the sun set that evening there was a great booming noise coming from the east.  It was Mt. Dapeo blowing her top right off of the map.

After sailing for nearly fifteen days, land was spotted. 2    Their journey was complete, but with a heavy toll.  Nearly half of the Jostans were lost in the voyage, and of the remaining half, almost three quarters were now malnourished and extremely fatigued.  Nevertheless, everyone was rejoicing for their gods had made good on their promises.  This new land was vast, the vegetation lush, and the fresh water plentiful.  Life certainly was looking better for the Jostans.  The people wanted to honor their protector for this new land, so they named it Kryous.  This loosely translates to “Land of Cetus’ followers.”  Once the boats were docked and everyone accounted for, the men headed off to find food and water while the women and children set up camp.  There was a lot of work to do, and no time to waste.  Years would go by, and eventually the Jostan population would flourish yet again. 

1713 - 1728  |  Are we alone? 

In 1713 Elder Sewa Chen Mai gathered his tribe (family and followers) as well as a band of explorers and set forth westward. Their goal was to seek out other cultures and map the new land.  Chen Mai’s party followed the northern coastline of Kryous and by 1715 they had explored most of what is now Menkar, the coastal plains of Dheneb, and upper Azah.  In 1716 Chen Mai sent a messenger back to Yesos, the landing site, to report their findings.3  As tribute for their work Elder Chieftain Orudu told the messenger to have Elder Chen Mai establish a settlement and name it after his family.  Chen Mai was founded in 1716.  The settlement would later become the capital of Dheneb and one of the larger population centers of Kryous.  Several other campaigns would be commissioned after the great success of the Chen Mai expedition, each looking for faster and more efficient ways to explore.  This process eventually molded the Jostans into a sophisticated sea-faring culture, rivaled only by their northeastern neighbors, the Hawaiians.  With the invention of better vessels the Jostans were able to document the island that is now Diphida and the western reef lines of the island by the middle of 1721.  At the same time, exploration parties were returning with information on the Pisces, Marshall, Caroline, and Hawaiian island chains.  The new year brought exploration parties southward along the southern coast and through the central mountain range toward what is known today as upper Baten-Kaitos.  In the early months of 1722 the Jostans finally encountered another civilization.  In the southern portion of Baten-Kaitos were the British.  According to British shipping logs, they landed on July 17th, 1728 and by the time they encountered the Jostans they had just finished establishing Wirster, the first British settlement on Kryous.

1729 – 1789  |  Pip Pip Cheeri-uh oh!

1729 and 1730 proved to be very peaceful.  During this time the British and the Jostans dutifully spent time learning each other’s languages and sharing knowledge.  The British taught the Jostans how to farm the land, how to use animal labor, how to conduct commerce, and how to construct better buildings.  In turn the Jostans showed the British their fishing methods, boats, how to hunt the local animals, and basic survival techniques needed for living in the tropics.  It seemed that the British would be a good neighbor and ally, but that was soon to change. 

Within 20 years the British had become comfortably settled on the southern coast of the island and were now primed for expansion.  Their plans; give Kryous to the throne.  Early British expansion movements were more diplomatic than physical.  Several delegations were sent to Yesos to “explain” to the Jostans that they had intruded on a British possession, but would be allowed to stay if they would agree to acknowledge the throne and pay taxes to Britain.  The concept of taxation and land ownership was extremely new to the Jostans, and without fully understanding the ramifications, they agreed.  When the first tax collectors came later in the year the Jostans were outraged.  The elders decided to investigate the legitimacy of the claims that the British had arrived first.  Several Jostans that worked in Wirster were called upon to find any evidence that would prove their theory.  Among these people was Deoa Sesta, a young boy whom had quickly gained knowledge in reading English.  His work as a houseboy for the governor provided access to important paperwork, one document in particular, the settler’s logs.  Late one night while the governor slept, he opened the logbook, removed the pages documenting the discovery and settlement dates, and quickly left for Yesos.  This was all the evidence the elders needed to pose opposition to the British. 

On the first week of December 1749 the elders approached the governor with the evidence and a declaration stating that they were actually the first to settle the island.  The elders then offered to share the island with, each ‘government’ ruling their own people and territory.  This was not acceptable to the governor, re-affirming, “regardless of dates, this island will be part of the British Empire.  We are already prepared to fight for what is rightfully ours.”  On January 1st, 1750 approximately two hundred Jostan protestors were massacred in Wirster, thus sparking a war.

Before the Jostans could retaliate several British frigates had docked in Wirster and were beginning to unload troops.  Fighting continued for the next week with less than desirable results.  It is estimated that almost 2,400 people, mostly Jostans, were killed the first week of 1750.  Rather than risking more bloodshed the elders decided to submit to the British invasion, and in March of 1750 the British established control over the entire island.   Wirster was declared the capitol and William Rutledge was proclaimed the official governor of the new colony.

To maintain better control of the island, Governor Rutledge’s first task was to round up all Jostans and bring them to Wirster.  The Jostans were registered and then told to find homes and jobs around town.  Jostans were not allowed to leave Wirster without permission from the governor.  A system of 25 basic rules of conduct was included in the governor’s plan.  This became known as the Native Organization Act of 1751.   Because of this act the Jostans unofficially became indentured servants.  Life continued this way until 1789. 

1790 – 1800  |  This Land Is Ours

By the 1790’s Wirster had become a rather large city, largely due to the centralization of all Jostans.  As tensions rose residents began to petition the governor for assistance.  To alleviate the crowding, the governor decided to make a few changes to the provisions of the Act of 1751 by allowing the Jostans to settle in the mountains to the north. 4  However, all males were required to report to their jobs in Wirster everyday.  This was a new “safe guard” to prevent the Jostans from migrating more than a days journey from town.  Fortunately for the Jostans, this proved to be the beginning of the end for British rule in Kryous.  By allowing the Jostans to move to higher ground it provided an environment conducive for reviving Jostan culture and self-government.

Additionally, this new settlement provided better shelter from storms.  1793, 1794, 1796, and 1799 were particularly bad years for typhoons.  At least three cyclones hit the island each one of these four years. 5  The final storm of 1799 left a trail of death and destruction along the coast that was catastrophic.  Nearly four-fifths of the entire population of Wirster perished in the storm surge, and almost every building was destroyed.  This was a crippling blow to the British that the Jostans would soon take advantage of.  

As soon as the storm had passed the Jostans came down from the north to aid the injured and salvage any supplies and weapons.  Each surviving colonist was given the following options from the elders:  join the Jostans and recognize the elder council as the governing body or leave the island peacefully.  As expected, devoted colonists chose to leave the island rather than be subject to Jostan rule, whereas many others, sickened with British rule, happily joined the Jostan community.  Once again Kryous Island belonged to the Jostans.

Shortly after regaining control, the elders meet to discuss the future of their people.  It was decided that the British were sure to come back to stake their claim, only this time they would certainly bring great force.  In the best interest of the community, the main tribes (families) of the Jostans went their separate ways.  By spreading out the elders though it would be harder for the British to take control of the island.  Elder Faeros Mai took his tribe home to the coastal lowlands in the north.  Elder Daome’s tribe headed northwest and settled in the valley just below the Miran Plateau.  Elder Toumatano’s tribe moved southwestward along Baten Bay and eventually settled at the mouth of the river.  Elder Lomeryan’s tribe stayed in Wirster along with most of the British secessionists to rebuild the city.  Elders Tegeros and Taneraso led their tribes back to Yesos to re-establish a command post.  Before each tribe left the northern camp, the elders were instructed to send messengers back to Yesos to relay their locations and other strategic information. 6  It would be almost 15 years before the British were seen again, but the Jostans would be ready. 

1801  |  The birth of Kryous.

On March 10, 1801 a council of elders was called in Yesos to discuss the creation of a formal nation.  By June 21, 1801 the government of the island and its administrative divisions had been created.  The country would be named after the island, its capital would be Yesos, Menkar and its people would be known as Kryans.  Using Kryan to describe the citizens would allow both the British secessionists and the Jostans to unite as one people.  The island was then divided into six progenies, which were named after the principal stars of the constellation Cetus, and in turn the progenies were divided into kincadres.7  The framework of the original government was based upon the chain of command used by the early Jostans.  Each progeny would have a leader, usually the elder of the region.  Each elder was responsible overseeing the internal affairs of the progeny.  In addition, the elders would also report to the elder council, lead by the Elder Chieftain, to discuss national issues and external affairs.  The Elder Chieftain is the elder of Menkar.  The judicial system was localized with not much national oversight and all legislation was based upon common law.

 

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FOOTNOTES

1 November 6th also marks the day that the principal start of the constellation Cetus is highest in the sky.
2 The site of the Jostans landing is on the easternmost tip of Menkar.
3 Yesos was founded and officially named in 1702.
4 The camp the Jostans inhabited to the north was never named.
5 The term cyclone refers to both tropical storms and typhoons.
6 At first the messengers would carry only political and military information, but later began bringing packages with them.  Within a year or two the messengers had become, unofficially, the first postal service on island. 
7 Progeny is comparable to the states of the United States.  Kincadre refers to a region within a progeny.  A kincadre’s usually named for the tribe or family that initially inhabited it.  The political division of a kincadre is similar to a county in the United States.  However, unlike the United States, a kincadre is not subdivided into any smaller regions.  Maps of Kryous show what appear to be cities despite this fact. What these locations actually refer to is the location of the kincadre government center.  One way to think of this is to view a kincadre as both a county and a city.  A kincadre may have designated neighborhoods, but these are not recognized as a governmental division.  (ie: Chinatown in San Francisco)
General Note
The people of Kryous are named in various ways.  All citizens of Kryous are called Kryan(s), whereas, Jostan makes reference to a person of Jostan descent, the name of the ethnic group origination from Jostan Island.  Be careful and note the surrounding context when this word is used, as it also means the people from Jostan Territory.