The Rise of Persia Mod is set in the 6th century BC, a most fascinating era of mankind's history. It was the time of four grand empires having divided the known world from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Oxus in the east among themselves after the seemingly invincible Assyrian might had been broken. All of them had ventured through great struggles in their past for becoming the dominant superpower deciding the fate of all mankind.

In the east lay the vast dominion of the Median lords, the undisputed masters of the Iranian Plateau, ruling territory from Asia Minor to the most distant places of east Iran. These dreaded Iranian warriors had overcome the mighty Assyrians, the Kimmerians and the Skythians, they had forged an empire by the means of war that nobody could match in size or power. Yet their wise kings had now been avoiding open conflict on all fronts, making alliances with the Babylonian heir of the Assyrian realm.

Babylon, located deep in the cradle of civilization, had finally revolted successfully against the Assyrian murderers and flattened their seat of power, utterly destroying their capital Niniveh in retaliation. Babylon's Great Kings took most of their territory including that of the rebellious Judah kingdom in the Levant. Brute force had made them submit, but clemency (and captivity) ensured their loyalty. Babylon and Media had been friends since the Assyrian Downfall, but there was enough space left to conquer.

The shadow of the Assyrians was long and their final end had also freed the time-honoured Kingdom of Egypt. The 26th Dynasty had successfully reclaimed its inherent place among the super powers again. Although their great Pharaohs had to face severe problems due to growing mercenary influence and also from the threats posed by Libyans, Greeks and Babylon, they were able to prevail over all these.

An ally of Egypt was Lydia, the most powerful Nation of Asia Minor. Their war-mongering kings of the Mermnads' Dynasty hold sway with an iron fist over the lands between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Nobody had ever defeated them and their lance-wielding cavalry is as feared as Iranian archers or Greek hoplites. Even the gargantuan Medes could not defeat them and the Greeks of Ionia suffered the same fate as the rest of Asia Minor.

These four super powers came to terms of trade and co-existed more or less peacefully, despite some grim tensions between them regarding their bellicose past. Now was also the time when the Greek city states grew to a potentially serious contender for these powers. If an ambitious city state managed to master all of Hellas then a new and dangerous power would threaten to unbalance the tense equilibrium of the four empires. But while the colony of Kyrene in north Africa could hold their own even against the Pharaoh, the Ionian Greeks were in submission. However, the true reason of their rise was not war, but trade making them rich.

On the other end of the known worlds were the Indians, not yet involved in any of the others' business. The heavy incursions of the northern nomads, which had devastated Asia and Europe in the past were over, nevertheless everyone needed to watch them carefully. In the south, Nubians and Arabians were in danger of being conquered by the expanding powers, who had decided not to engage each other.

Nothing seemed to stop their tetrarchy, but the world changed forever, when one man stood up against the Medes. His name was Kuruš and he was the leader of the ignominious Persian tribe. He vanquished the Medes, crushed the Lydians and conquered Babylon. He created the Persian Empire, one of the most splendid the world has ever seen. However, at the beginning of our mod he is just a tribal leader, alone against the super powers.

The year is 559 BC and the Rise of Persia is about to begin!


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