Extend of the Nivkh shown in Blue at their height, c.1700

The Nivkh People (also known as the Nivkhgu Empire, Mangut Nivkhgu, and the Nivkh Band) is a democratic nation located on the northeastern coast of Asia in the Amur Basin. It grew out of a lose collection of Siberian tribes into a centralized empire shrouded in legend, before it was made a vassal of the Tartar Khanated from 1577-1655. Afterwards, it regained its independence and formed a modest colonial empire along the north pacific, until it was finally annexed by Japan in 1762. After undergoing many years of harsh Japanese rule, the Nivkh eventually regained their independence once more to form a parliamentary government in the 1920s.

The Nivkh are most famous for their pastry dishes, especially the Tiger-Hand pastry, which was prized the world over even in the early days the Nivkh State. The pastry chefs continue to hold their predominance by the Fair Workers Act of 2014.

Disclaimer: I did not create the Nivkh, but it was in fact contrived by the genius machinations of Commadante Lemming, who has been inactive on this wiki since October of 2014.

Legendary Period, c.1400-1577

The early history of the Nivkhgu Empire, including the Epic of Mang Hangut and "the Builders of the Empire", was first compiled by Professor Boshisatvaped at the University of Mangut Nivkhgu. He eventually was forced to retire, after which the history was completed by Dr. Mangut Xin. It was also during this time that Buddhism spread throughout the region by Master Xin Qiang Peng, who helped to codify much of the Nivkh culture. After the generation of Mang Hangut, it is believed that the state went into a slow decline until it was ultimately made a vassal by the Tartary, at which point Mastoravism began to clash with local Buddhism.

It is of most controversy whether the Tiger-Hand Pastry was invented at this early stage.

1400: A Nivkh chieftain’s son, whose name is lost to history, has just returned from a trade mission to China, one of the first of its kind - as the Chinese traders usually come to the Nivkh people rather than vice versa. We say that the man's true name is lost to history not because he is not known, but because we know him only through legends as Mang Hangut - meaning "The Strong Old Man". As he must have been quite young in 1400, it is highly unlikely that he was known as a strong old man at this time, but as history will show, he indeed would become one of the strongest of old men - and the father of the Nivkh nation as we know it. Much of what we know of him comes through legend - there are tales of him fighting great dragons and freeing entire Nivkh cities from bondage through mind control. We must, for the sake of history, discard these tales. Indeed, we must discard the notion of Nivkh cities, as archaeology clearly shows that no such thing existed at the time - merely collections of villages and very cold people who scarcely resembled what today we would call a civilized Nivkh. However, we do know that Mang Hangut existed and that he was indeed a great teacher, he is mentioned in many writings from the period, mostly old Chinese-language scrolls in the bowels of the great monasteries. And we know that in the year 1400, he returned from China full of awe at what he had seen, and determined that his people must become more like the great civilization to his South. We know nothing of what was said, but we do know from Chinese records in Beijing that he soon returned to the great city, with a mandate from his father to seek Buddhist monks willing to construct a monastery in their village at the mouth of the Amur River Delta - a place we now call the city of Ñeƞdaqo.

  • The Ming Dynasty gladly sends several monks to spread Buddhist teachings to the Nivkhs.

1401: Around the year fourteen hundred and one, reckoned on the Roman calendar - which of course was totally unfamiliar to the Nivkhs of the day but widely used today - the man who would later become known as Mang Hangut did indeed return to his village with ten Buddhist monks. These monks commenced building a monastery, as is the obvious customs of monks in new places. The leader of these monks is known to have been named Xin Qiang Peng, and many things are said of him as well. It is highly doubtful, for instance, that "Master Xin" once miraculously healed a plague which struck the barley harvest - especially seeing as barley was not cultivated by the early Nivkhs. Nor frankly was anything of much substance cultivated by these early Nivkhs, who archaeology has shown to subsist largely by hunting and fishing. However, what is known - or at least what is widely believed - is that Xin did become close to both Mang Hangut and his father the chief, who both became devoted Buddhists. And of course we know that he built the beginnings of the Great Monatery of Ñeƞdaqo, which stands to this day. Of course, the monastery was anything but great at the time - as anyone who has visited the inner sanctum of the modern building can attest, the remaining parts of the old monastery are merely lavishly painted logs covered in Buddhist artwork, with the occasional carving rendered in reindeer antler. Spartan as it was, it must have been the most fantastical thing that the early Nivkhs had seen, as history attests that the conversion of the society to Buddhism was indeed swift. It also appears during this time that even the early Nivkhs were expanding their influence, and their borders grew down the coast of the Nivkh Island.

1402: The foundation of the monastery and the influence of Chinese thinking caused a shift in the thinking early Nivkhs. While previously the [Nivkh] had seen themselves as a series of scattered groups, Mang Hangut and his father, who sadly remains nameless in most texts, began thinking in terms of something that resembled a modern state - with themselves at the head of it, naturally. And so, the fast growing chiefdom was proclaimed to be something else entirely, an empire on the Amur. They called themselves, the "Mangut Nivkhgu" ("The Strong Men of the Nivkhs") and took for themselves the title of Mang Nivkh - the strong Nivkhs. Of course, it was not exactly what we would think of as a "strong" empire today, but in the wild boreal forest of the time, it was a veritable colossus. It was also around this time, sadly, that the father of Mang Hagut died - for had he not died he might have been known to us as the first Mang Nivkh. Instead, his son took the title, and while his name, too, is lost, he is at least known as the first leader of the Nivkh state. Meanwhile, that state - such as it could be called a state -expanded down the Sakhalin coast - taking in most of the islands ethnic Nivkhs and bringing in the first Oroks. It was also about this time that Master Xin produced a curious work of art which Mang Hangut claimed had helped him defeat a party of border raiders. It was known as the "Blue Mandala" and from then on it was always carried into battle as the first flag of Mangut Nivkhgu.

1403: History indicates little of what 1403 brought to the Nivkhs - although some rumors stipulate that the great Nivkh pastry tradition was born around this time. However, the archaeological evidence rules this firmly out, as the modern Nivkh "Tiger's Hand pastry" relies heavily on orange peel, bananas and poppy seeds - none of which was culinary known to the Nivkhs of this time - despite the protests of some highly nationalistic modern chefs and poets. Regardless, what we CAN say about this period is that the young chiefdom continued to expand down the Sakhalin coast. The great monastery is also have known to have expanded, likely due to the influx of young Nivkh monks - who likely had an easier decision than modern Nivkh monks as they knew not the joys of the Nivkh pastry tradition in which monks cannot indulge.

1404: The early days of Mang Hangut's reign from Ñeƞdaqo must have been heady days for the early Nivkhs. Of course, the town would bear no resemblance to the booming metropolis of today, with its exquisite pastry shops and world renowned theaters, but it was becoming far more than a village. The great earthworks which today make up "Mound Park" were built to defend the city, along with great log walls around the village-monastery complex - some of these even exist today as they became integrated into the monastery as it grew. Master Xin enjoyed great success and was widely regarded as the chief power behind the throne. The chiefdom expanded down the Sakhalin coast as Ñeƞdaqo became an increasingly important trading center to which local chiefs pledged allegiance in exchange for trade access. As Ñeƞdaqo's influence grew, Master Xin became concerned that Mang Hangut's tiny band of warriors could not control the area by the sheer good will of the people. Hence, one of Xin's most trusted Chinese monks, Wu Fang Xian, was dispatched to Beijng along with an ethnic Nivkh monk named Ifalsp'eḑ - who, it was hoped, would provide evidence of the Nivkhs civilization and Buddhist leanings. Master Wu and and Master Ifalsp'eḑ, as both of them would come to be known, petitioned the Chinese court to provide the Nivkhs with the instruments of statehood, that they might bring unity to the frozen taiga - they boldly requested not only military advisers, but also training in the arts of metallurgy, mining, and bureaucracy. It was to be one of the greatest gambles in Nivkh history, asking a foreign king to provide the tools of statecraft to an alien society.

1405: The Nivkh Kingdom continued to prosper in the year 1405, while expansion into the Sakhalin wilderness stalled slightly, the state did expand on the Asian mainland up the Amur River from ÑeƞdaqoMang Hangut says that he has seen a vision in which the Blue Mandala is one day hoisted over all of the Amur and all of Sakhalin. Meanwhile, Master Wu and and Master Ifalsp'eḑ continue their efforts in Beijing to secure military advisers, matallurgists, mining experts, and bureaucratic advisers for their new state.

1406: Historians were in short supply in the early 1400s - so data for this year is scarce. However, the Nivkh civilization did expand upriver. 

1409: Mang Hungut's nascent empire continued to grow in this year, expanding up the Amur river. Centralization took place, although without many of the tools available to other states, and a smal bureaucracy was set up. Rumors circulate about Master Wu and Master Ifalsp'eḑ, with many believing them to have perished, although many believed they were still very much alive and seeking an audience with the Chinese Emperor (which they were, according to most documentation). Some rumors are said to have claimed that they had become pastry chefs in Beijing, a rumor which persist until this day given the importance of pastry in Nivkh culinary culture. However, as archaeology suggests that neither oranges, nor bananas nor poppyseed would arrive in the empire anytime soon, it is highly unlikely that the Nivkh "Tiger's Hand Pastry" was developed by Master Wu and Master Ifalsp'eḑ - despite the august protestations of many modern Nivkh pastry chefs.

1410: Mang Hangut's nascent empire continued to expand up the Amur rive. The two monks in Beijing had not yet returned - although we must reiterate at this point that there is absolutely NO evidence that they had become pastry chefs and originated the Nivkh Tiger's Hand pastries.

  • The insistence of nationalist pastry chefs in insisting they invented that delectable item is without historical merit, and this historian would declare that such chefs should immediately cease and desist in sending hate-mail. 
  • The expeditionary force from the Nivkhs returns, due to harassment by the Jurchen tribes almost half are dead or wounded. However, the news that a civilization is growing and is friendly to China is great news. The Yongle Emperor upon hearing the news dispatches a fleet to the Nivkh lands with all of their requested supplies and many advisers for the Nivkh chief.

1411: The Chinese Fleet carrying Master Wu and Master Ifalsp'eḑ arrived in Ñeƞdaqo to great fanfare, as it should have, seeing as no ordinary Nivkh had ever seen such a grandiose event before. Mand Hangut, not reputed to be a man of great emotion, is said to have cried great tears of joy on that day - in fact the Great Monastery of Ñeƞdaqo claims to keep some of his tears in a jar kept in the inner sanctum of the complex. The jar and pottery style has been conclusively dated to the late 1500s, so it is highly unlikely that his tears are actually contained in said vessel - as most modern monks will admit. However, the writings of Master Xin indicate that he did indeed cry, and so we must assume that he did. Almost immediately, Chinese bureaucrats were sent around the country to train local Nivkh officials. Metallurgists were instructed to teach Nivkh peasants the arts of mining and smithing - and to find an area where metal could be mined using imported Chinese tools. Nivkh warriors were place under the tutelage of Chinese military advisers and began forging themselves into something resembling a military. It is also written by Master Xin that the Chinese had been specifically instructed to regard Mang Hangut as "The Nivkh Emperor" and to treat him wil the same respect that they would the Chinese Emperor himself - even if he really was nothing of the sort. The service of these Chinese to the Nivkh Empire is still celebrated today, as they came to be known as the "The Builders of Empire" and their landing in Ñeƞdaqo is celebrated as a national holiday. Their respect for the Nivkhs as "the future empire of the white North" became the Nivkh national creed, and it is argued that their arrival was the key turning point in Nivkh history.

  • As an addendum, extensive archaeological excavations have been conducted at both the landing site and in the preserved remains of one of their ships - which was dragged to shore and buried near the center of Ñeƞdaqo as a monument (this site is now "Ship Park"). Nowhere has any trace been found of wheat flour, bananas, oranges, or poppyseeds - nor are any pastry chefs listed on any of the surviving inventories from the period. In short, the legend that Master Wu and Master Ifalsp'eḑ developed pastry skills and brought back an army of pastry chefs who developed the Tiger's Hand pastry and the Nivkh culinary tradition is patently false. For those nationalist pastry chefs (and Members of Parliament) who continually insist on sending hate-mail regarding this analysis, I fail to see why you are so persistent. However, for your benefit, we have set up a new post office box for such inquiries. Those wishing to complain may send a first class letter to:

History Department

Attn: Pastry Hate-Mail

Grand National University of Mangut Nivkhgu

5624 Builders of Empire Boulevard

Ñeƞdaqo, National Capital District 02000

1413: The nascent Empire sped up its expansion in the year after the arrival of builders of Empire, expanding up the Amur River. Master Ifalsp'eḑ, having endured great suffering with his mentor Master Wu, is sent as the Nivkh Emissary to the Aisin Gioro clan, hoping to forge a peaceful relationship with the Jurchen Khanate. He takes with him ten nivkh monks in hopes of founding a monastery to enlighten the Jurchens.

  • The Tiger's Hand Pastry had still not been invented by this time, and honestly I wish that people would stop sending so much hate mail. The fact that this debate has now become a major issue in the parliamentary election is the height of ridiculousness, and that that Nationalist Party sees fit to make the origins of a simple pastry into a campaign issue is appalling. Also, I would prefer to be able to use my interns for something other than the monumental task of opening snark-filled letters from nationalist pastry chefs.

1415: In this year Mangut Nivkhgu expanded up the Amur River

  • Notice From Mangut Nivkhgu University History Department: At the request of the new Prime Minister, Professor Bodhisatvaped is taking a brief leave of absence while ongoing negotiations with the pastry chefs union continue. Thank you for your consideration while this delicate issue is resolved

1417: In this year, Mangut Nivkhgu expanded Northward along the Sakhalin coast. It is widely thought that at this time, there was a flourishing bakery cranking out Tiger's Hand pastries owned by Master Wu and his army of Chinese bakers.

  • Note from the University History Department: Professor Boshisatvaped has taken a voluntary leave of absence due to the stress of compiling his history of Mangut Nivkhgu. He has been replaced on an interim by Professor MangutXin, a leading authority on the history of the Nivkh pastry industry, a seventh-generation pastry chef, and a former President of the National Union of Pastry Chefs. Dr. MangutXin is a widely recognized authority in his subject matter and served on the board that codified the official Appellation Controlled Seal of Authenticity, a rigorous set of ingredient standards which must be conformed to by any product labelled as an "Authentic Nivkh Tiger's Hand Pastry". We hope that you will join us in welcoming Dr. MangutXin to this project. 
  • Three ships going north from Japan find a civilization called the Mangut Nivkhgu. The captain of the boat ask for the leader of the nation. When he gets to the leaders home he ask the leader if our nation and his could be allies. One of the people on the boat maps the area to give back to the Shogun.
  • The Nivkhs are skeptical of the Ashikaga clan, but send ambassadors.

1418: The pastry scene was becoming increasingly varied and the pride of Asia as people discovered the Tiger's Hand pastry's glorious scrumptiousness!

  • Also, be sure to attend the grand opening of the newest BakeNivkh superstore in East Nendaqo this weekend! BakeNivkh is a true innovator in the industry and has a great history of postive relations with the Pastry Chefs Union - a truly fair employer. (Post approved by university administrators, government representatives, and the Pastry Chefs Union in compliance with the Fair Work Act. Remember to only buy union-approved "Fair Work" pastries, a Nivkh tradition!) 
  • We (Japan) are now allies with the Mangut Nivkhgu. The three ships come back home to tell the Shogun that we made an alliance and that there is a new map that was map of the northern area.

1419: Mang Hangut expanded his nascent empire northward on Sakhalin Island. By this time, many Nivkhs were happily engorging themselves on the wildly popular Tiger's Hand pastries invented by Master Wu and his Chinese pastry chef. The smell of oranges and bananas pervaded Nendago, and the pastries continued to grow in fame and quality.

  • (This entry in the Nivkh History Project was compiled in accordance with the Fair Work Act of 2014, and approved by the Nivkh Pastry Chefs Union. Remember, when in Nendaqo, only buy patries marked with the Fair Work Act stamp and the Appellation Controlled Seal of Authenticity.)
  • Historian Shelldor Huang disagrees and states that oranges had not found their way to even Ming China at that point. 

1420: The pastry-kingdom expanded on Sakhalin. Master Wu and his chefs continued to lead the pastry world with their culinary developments - inventing powdered sugar. It is even rumored that it was Nivkh chefs exporting pastries who first introduced oranges and bananas to Ming China - showing how swiftly the students had eclipsed their teachers in the succulent and subtle art of pastry.

  • Also, Professor Huang of China should think twice before casting scorn on the grand Nivkh people wiht clap-trap about oranges, as it was the Nivkhs who gave them to his culture in the first place. (This project proudly sponsored by the Nivkh Pastry Chef Union. Always remember to buy Fair Work Act compliant pastries - and remember that imported Chinese pastries are non-compliant and not worthy of sophisticated Nivkh tastebuds)
  • Professor Huang asks "How did the Nivkhs obtain oranges?" 

1423: The empire continued to expand up the Amur river. Nivkhs rejoiced that the Chinese were buying more pastries filled with the juices of fragrant oranges which grew wild in Nivkhia in this much warmer time period. 

  • (Post approved by the Nivkh Pastry Union, ensuring Fair Work for pastry chefs since 1926).

1431: Expands down the coast of the Asian mainland.

  • (The Grand National University apologizes for any delay in this project, however, we ask our readers for continued patience until the resolution of the street protests in Nendaqo.)

1441: Sends ambassadors to the Koryaks. 

1442: Koryak Diplomacy offers a trade pact to Mangut Nivkhu

1431-1452: Expands into interior Sakhalin. The Tiger's Hand pastry still has not been invented. 

  • (This post condemned by the Nivkh Pastry Chef's Union as noncompliant with the Fair Work Act of 2014)

1458: The new civilization was slowly becoming something that actually resembled such. While there indeed were no pastries, iron blades were becoming quite sophisticated, and indeed this is the period where we find the archaeological evidence that the Second Mang Nivkh, son of Mang Hangut and referred to in ancient writings only as "The Resplendent One",  had indeed commissioned the building of a large kitchen in the stone fortress from which he ruled. So indeed we have now reached the point in the story where the storied Nivkh culinary tradition did begin - albeit humbly, given that excavations have mostly found iron woks and the remnants of reindeer. However, there is some evidence that dried Szechuan peppercorns had found their way into the kitchens and that a Nivkh spin on chinese cooking had begun to take root. Perhaps more importantly for those not obsessed with the culinary world, records show that the interior of the palace was decorated richly with blue Buddhist art, and that the monetary founded by Master Xin had grown large and strong. It was also around this time that the leader of the monastery had begun to develop a power base in his own right, and it was around this time that the leader was first referred to as "The Reindeer Lama", although it is not yet established whether the first Reindeer Lama was considered by his followers to be a re-incarnated Bodhisatva, as the modern holders of the title are. 

1460: The Resplendent One focuses less on expansion and more on shoring up trade routes.

1467: The resplendent one trained his focus on professionalizing the military and expanding their armaments. At this time, Chinese martial arts training had taken hold, and swordsmanship had become highly developed.

1472: Experiences unprecedented military buildup.

1552: The first merchants from what used to be the Koryak Confederacy, as well as Mangut Nivkhu, reach the Tartary. The nation is happy to meet new people to the uncharted east.

1554: Tropical fruits first reach the Tartary; they are first used for exotic foods. Some are shown to Nivkhgu traders in the East, which begin the formation of the famous Nivkh pastries.

1555: More food is traded throughout the Tartary, some brought in from the New World and traded for massive shipments of home-grown farms. Some are continued to be traded eastward at a larger price, especially to the Nivkhs, with whom relations are improved once again.

1557: As the Tartary fast approaches the Pacific coast, relations with surrounding nations such as the Baikal Jurchens (Turn One of Three) and Mangut Nivkhgu strengthen.

1560: The Mangut Nivkhgu are offered a protection pact and an alliance [in the Tartary], with a high-ranking Buddhist noble in the Eastern Tartary. The Tatar rulers remind the Nivkhs that they have no intention of encroaching upon their lands, wish for closer relations, and the Mastoravic faith approves of marriages with other religions.

1563: In the East [of the Tartary], business sort of returns to usual, as the Nivkhs are offered a marriage and protection once again.

1570: To the east [of the Tartary], the Nivkhs are once again offered a royal marriage, while protection is extended to them, and, in the towns of the Evenki Bay, the first ships begin to be built. Five ships leave port in the East, including the Holy MaryMother EarthTaiga and Emperor Paul.

1575: The Bible and the Mastor-Ava are translated to Nivkh, and Mangut Nivkhgu begins to be influenced [by the Tartary].

1577: Mangut Nivkhgu finally becomes a vassal of the Tartary.

Tartar Rule, 1577-1655

As a vassal of the Tartary, the Nivkh enjoyed better autonomy and influence than any other vassal to the Khan. In fact, it is said that the Sons of Mang Hangut had prominent positions within the imperial court. Ultimately, the Nivkh were granted almost full independence in 1655. The rule of the Tartars were greatly beneficial by introducing naval technology and Eurasian trade, leading to the birth of the Juniper Period. Thus, it is most probable that the Tiger-Hand pastry was created during this time, if not already.

The Nivkh so admired the Tartary that a poem from the Juniper period first immortalized a legend of how the Tartar army disturbed a flock of lemmings while invading the Nivkh, so the Khan decreed that the Lemmings may return to the state whenever they so desired, which they ultimately did.

1580: At last wakes from a long period of isolation and slumber in 1580, as the courts of the city of Ñeƞdaqo once again experience growth. This time, however, rather than Buddhist armies of Chinese bakers, the ocurrence that intrigues the inhabitants of the city, which has now grown fairly populous, is the arrival of twenty thousand men from the Tatar court, who come to assure the loyalty of the sons of Mang Hangut. The Mangut are granted almost full autonomy, but are pressured into swearing fealty to the Tatar Khan. The Grand Kurultay in Qazan is glad to give the Nivkhs their right to expand their nation. Expansion down the coast of Sakhalin begins once again. As poppy seeds, oranges and bananas arrive to the nation, the bakers of Ñeƞdaqo much rejoice. This expands the national population, as well as its economy. The population is quickly developed. A swarm of lemmings is displaced by the Tatar army when marching in, but the lemmings are given the right to return to the nation whenever they want.

1581-1631: Continues territorial development, expanding down the coast of Sakhalin and southward in their mainland at quite rapid rates. The sons of Mang Hangut are heavily interested in stories by their Tatar masters of the territories to their north, and they still wish to establish their "great empire in the white North". Henceforth, the city of Ñeƞdaqo opens its first ever shipyard, which begins construction. It is expected it will be finished by 1598. More bananas and oranges reach the nation, and the bakers much rejoice as this means more business for their own pastries, which grow more delicious by the day. It is known that the pastries from Mangut Nivkhgu are inherently superior to those of the rest of the world, and the best and most important among all of them, the Tiger's Hand Pastry, might have begun development around this time. The rejoicing of the bakers leads to much economic activity, and the great taste of Nivkh pastry fills the national coffers with gold. The military begins to be constructed to protect the army of bakers and the coffers of the nation from any foreign incursion. Mangut Nivkhgu also develops road networks to connect itself with the rest of the Tatar empire of influence. The lemmings still have no sign of returning to the nation.

1581-1657: Trade [in Perm] spreads as far west as Scandinavia and Europe and as far east as Mangut Nivkhgu

1632-1646: Continues territorial development. As Sakhalin has been entirely occupied by Nivkh colonists, the concentration of expansion in the region is located in the Manchu region. The city of Ñeƞdaqo develops its very own shipyards, with the first 20 ships being developed by the Nivkh authorities sent east, to investigate what is in the isles that close the Nivkh Sea to the Neptunic Ocean.

1646-1650: Begins expanding its fleet, as the first Nivkh naval expedition parts south towards the islands seen to the east of the Nivkh Bay. They find these islands are controlled by their traditional rivals, the Aynu. They find the isle of Iturup first, and force the Ainu leader of the island to swear fealty to the Hang Mangut; this greatly pleases the court at Ñendaqo, which feasts with many pastries.

1652: Continues the growth of its nation. The tribes of Urup, Simushir and Paramushir, where small Ainu tribes begin to be created. The Mastorava first arrives to Mangut Nivkhgu but does not make much of an impact within the deeply Buddhist populace. The Ainu are introduced to the Mastoravic faith, Buddhism and the beautiful pastries of Ñendaqo, and take a liking to all three. The Mastorava begins to be translated to Ainu, which gives them their first written text; for this, a version of the Greek alphabet used in the Tartary is applied to the language. The shipyards of Ñendaqo greatly expand as islands are included in the realm. The economy grows through the shipyards and the pastries. The military is expanded to put down any Ainu revolts.

1653: Develops its military and economy, while the Kuril colony expands.

Juniper Period, 1655-1762

The Juniper period is so-named by the introduction of Juniper berries from the newly-acquired colonies in the pacific. In fact, domination overseas by the renewed independent state fully describes this era. We are on much-firmer ground by historical records, as all the rulers of this time are well-known. It, however, not without its legends, such as the great explorers I'mlos'taga'in and N'ot'am'or'on who's exploits are parallel to that of Sinbad the Sailor or Marco Polo. After it's height in c.1700, the Nivkh went into another decline until it was ultimately annexed by Japan in the Japanese-Tartar War of 1762.

1655: Nation expands northward through the Kuril Islands. This year marked the beginning of what historians now refer to as the "Juniper Period" as juniper berries from the Kuril Islands were deemed to be of superior quality for baking compared to those found on the mainland. Some chefs began substituting Kuril Juniper for bananas in the Tiger's Hand pastry, which was seen by some as border-lining on heresy. Contrary to some legends, chefs did not line up across the main square of Nendaqo and throw pastries at one another. In fact - archaeological evidence shows that the pastry war was in fact a bloody riot and that resulted in the slaughter of "juniperists". Luckily, the Mang Hangut of this period, along with the Nivkh Lama, were tolerant sorts and personally declared that both juniper and banana pastries must be respected. As a compromise, it was made illegal to refer to juniper-based pastries as "Tiger's Hands", which is why these pastries are today called "Kuril Volcanoes" and bakers shape them differently than Tiger's Hands. However, the practice of lighting Volcano pastries on fire when serving them does not date to this period - while many claim the volcanoes were lit aflame as an homage to those killed in the juniper riots, the practice was actually developed in Tepanyaki-style Japanese restaurants in the 1940s (sadly this knowledge has largely been lost due to the fact that the restaurant credited with inventing the practice burned down within a year of its opening)

1656:  Somewhere in Nendago, a horse farts - why this is relevant is unknown to archaeologists, but it is recorded in multiple sources, including stone stellae. Therefore, one can only assume that it was quite something.

1657: The Nivkhs reach mainland Kamchatka from the Juniper (Kuril) Islands. Stellae record this as the first year that juniper branches were brought into Nivkh homes as air-fresheners - which may or may not have a connection to the incident the previous year involving a horse. The capital of the Juniper Islands - known as The Great Juniper City and located on the Southernmost island, becomes an increasingly important port and construction is commenced on a shipyard there. In the far West of the nation, a small group of radical Mastarovan Tartars found a settlement in the forest which they call "The Fortress of the Great Book". Due to their isolation, they are largely ignored.

1658: The Nivkhs expand up the coast of Kamchatka. The Great Juniper City shipyard is completed and the first ship of the line is begun. In the West. the radical Mastarovan settlement "The Fortress of the Great Book" grows as more devotees flock to the charismatic leader they call "The Red Khan" on account of his flowing red beard. Rumors circulate of bizarre rituals being performed with live chickens - which is why some began calling savory chicken pastries, "Red Khans". Later, Cayenne pepper and paprika were added to the recipe to impart a red color to the filling.

1662: A trade mission is sent to Japan to build better relations after traders from China reveal that the Japanese pastry industry is not up to Nivkh Standards. Emissaries are also sent to Bukhara Bajkal in hopes of building strong alliances with these nations

1664: A city is constructed on the Eastern Coast of Kamchatka and labelled as "The Great Volcano City". Population expands quickly in the Kamchatkan region as settlers sail in from the Nivkh mainland, taking advantage of the largely unpopulated land. The military expands the shipyard at the Great Juniper City comes fully online.  Negotiations begin with the local Koryak population to give them the full rights of Nivkh citizenry - these are more successful than attempts to introduce the Koryaks to the joy of pastry, which history records as having ended quite badly in this time period. Multiple stellae record a story involving a Nivkh trader being badly burned after a Koryak tribesman rejected his offering of a fresh juniper pastry by throwing it back in his face. Based on modern research, it seems this was a profound misunderstanding on both ends - the burns indicating that the trader had merely not allowed the pastry to cool before presenting it to his Koryak counterpart. The reigning Mang Hangut, T'vkgn the First, sends emissaries abroad seeking princely marriages for his two daughters, Ot'gn and Gz'dkhn. Both are renowned as great beauties. Ot'gn known as one of the only women to have trained in the famed Imperial Pastry Cloister under the great masters, while Gz'dkhn is immensely studious and a well known as a master of the Chinese board game known as Go.

1665: The reigning Mang Hangut, T'vkgn the First, sends emissaries abroad seeking princely marriages for his two daughters, Ot'gn and Gz'dkhn.Both are renowned as great beauties. Ot'gn known as one of the only women to have trained in the famed Imperial Pastry Cloister under the great masters, while Gz'dkhn is immensely studious and a well known as a master of the Chinese board game known as Go.

1669: In this year, stellae record the legend of the great Nivkh navigator-chef I'mlos'taga'in. While it is firmly established that his later voyages were were well-planned, there are conflicting accounts of how he came by his first discovery.  For many years, the official story was that he had been sent on a secret mission to find exotic arctic pastry ingredients to satisfy the ever growing demand for Tiger's Hand and Juniper Volcano pastry (contrary to popular belief, Koryak walrus-meat-pies had not yet taken hold as Kamchatka's preferred pastry, as there is little evidence of the domestication of the walrus at this time, and even less evidence that the Koryak's had yet accepted the Nivkh pastry tradition). Based on analysis of period records, it appears that I'mlos'taga'in's vessel was not an exploration vessel, but rather a grain transport shipping pastry flour from Nendago to the Great Volcano City on Kamchatcka. Some of the earliest surviving records of the expedition record a great storm, so most modern historians (at least those not affiliated with the pastry chef's union) now contend that I'mlos'taga'in was a common freighter captain whose ship was blown wildly off course and made his discovery purely by change. What is established is that, somehow, he found his way to the island that now bears his name. After making contact with the local Aleut people, he returned to the Great Volcano City hellbent on bringing settlers to the "lush, green islands" which he discovered. A great many followed him, and such began the fateful Nivkh settlement of the Ale'ut islands.

  • The Mang Hangut makes yet another offer of his two daughters for royal marriages in Asia - defying the wishes of many eligible Nivkh suitors. 

1671: Mang Hangut T'vkgn the First orders the navigator I'mlos'taga'in to continue settling the Ale'ut islands. A wave of settlers floods out of Nendaqo and founds small settlements in the islands chain, expanding as far as the great island that the locals call "Adaq". (Nation expands up the Aleutians as far as Adak). A settlement is founded called "Adaqo", and  Buddhist missionaries are sent to convert the local Aleuts to the great Nivkh religion so that they may be fully integrated into Nivkh society. Some alterations are made from the similar program used on the Kamchatkan Koryaks, who are just now settling into the Nivkh way of life. It is decided that, for safety reasons, natives should only be served room-temperature pastries without molten filling until they are sufficiently civilized to appreciate the joys of the art form. Despite his success, T'vkgn is dejected that his daughters have not found royal husbands and agrees to allow their marriages to prominent Nivkh noblemen. 

1672: Not content to continue up the Ale'ut Island chain, the great navigator I'mlos'taga'in announces the he will stike Northward on a great voyage of exploration into the Northern Sea. It would be one of the most fateful voyages in history, but details of what happened next are scarce, as all of the log books were lost at sea. What is known is that somehow, he discovered the Desolation Islands and claimed them for Mangut Nivkhgu.... (Mangut Nivkhgu expands onto OTL St Paul and St George Islands in the Pribilof group)

  • The not-so-great navigator has bitten off more than he can chew, and once again finds himself thrown off course be a fierce storm a week into the voyage. The storm waterlogs most of the ship's food supplies and breaks the main mast - leaving it adrift in the Northern Ocean. Eventually, the ship sights OTL St Paul island, where the crew is able to steer the ship just enough to crash it onto the beach. Unable to fix the ship, the crew are stranded as castaways under the midnight sun, burning pieces of the ship to stay warm and living by hunting seabirds.

1675: Amidst our (Kiatagmiut) domestication efforts, we come across lost Nivkh sailors on an outpost- like isle and begin to interact, attempting to provide them supplies for now. Plans are made to bring them to our capital sooner or later.

1676: We (the Kiatagmiut) work to help the Nivkh sailors that are lost but seem to promise great technological advancements. Plans are still made to bring them to Mamterilleq.

1678: Heilar traders are welcomed to the palace in Nendaqo with great fanfare and emissaries are sent to spread the Nivkh pastry tradition in the Heilar Khanate. Population grows rapidly in the city of Adaqo grows quickly due to the plentiful fish stocks in the Ale'ut islands - but with no word from the great navigator I'mlos'taga'in, many rumors circulate about the fate of his Northern Voyage. One of the more prominent rumors claims that the navigator and his crew were magically turned into walruses by angry sea spirits and have in fact returned to Adaqo begging the locals to shift them back to human form - this leads to much bizarre behavior regarding walruses and other marine mammals, much to the consternation of local law enforcement. On Sakhalin Island - life is incredibly boring except for one reported incident involving a very angry male Reindeer, the details of which shall not be reported in this journal due to the fact that young children may be reading. In the Northwestern foreststhe radical Mastarovan settlement has grown greatly in size and has begun sending preachers across the border into the frontier of the Tartary, which they perceive as their spiritual homeland. The most prominent of these preachers, an ascetic mystic whom his followers call "The Starving One" due to his penchant for extreme fasting, preaches that "humans can only experience true liberation when subjected not to kings, but to the true laws of the Mastarova!".

1679-1746: A trade system had been established [by Hailar] to trade with the Mangut Nivkh Tribes

1681:  I'mlos'taga'in and the High Shaman begin to test out combinations of the Yugtun language with the alphabet and script of the Nivkh people. When rumors of people reported to be "I'mlos'taga'inites" crossing into the Ale'uts reaches the capital, I'mlos'taga'in becomes instantly interested and plans to depart by qayaq to Agdaaĝux̂ next spring.

1682:  I'mlos'taga'in fulfills his plan of leaving by qayaq to the outpost at Agdaaĝux̂, from whence he sails to the Nivkh islands in the Ale'uts. He leaves behind him extensive notes with the High Shaman, who begins to write down religious stories and slowly spread writing among his priests. I'mlos'taga'in also leaves behind better knowledge of seacraft.

  • I'mlos'taga'in has returned to the care and possession of the state of the Mangut Nivkhs.

1685: The great navigator I'mlos'taga'in and what remains of his crew finally makes his way back to the city of Adaqo - much to the surprise of the locals (and the dismay of one local inkeeper who owed the first mate a large gambling debt). They tell great tales of their interaction with the fledgling Kiatagmiut nation - as well as a bizarre account of how they once again became shipwrecked on their way back. Most importantly, they tell great tales of the glories of Kiatagmiut food, the succulence of walrus meat, the sweetness of the Akutaq. The navigator is dispatched to Nendaqo, where the young new Mang Hangut, Zq'qtgn the First is amazed at the stories. A fleet is dispatched to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Kiatagmiut, under the command of the great Admiral N'ot'am'or'on. After this incident, I'mlos'taga'in largely disappears from the historical record. It is rumored that the Mang Hangut suspected that he was not all that he claimed to be, and one later record claims that he never returned to the sea, or to Adaqo, on account of having developed a paralyzing fear of baby walruses. He is said to have sometimes wandered the streets of Nendaqo yelling to himself, "the walruses! The walruses! The horrible sound never leaves my mind!"

1686: The fleet is greatly impressed by Kiatagmiut civilization and agricultural products. Specifically, they are greatly interested in the domestication of walruses, which coul be useful to the frigid Norhthern reaches of the Nivkh empire. The admiral asks what the Kiatagmiut needs that can be exchanged for the export of walruses and walrus herders for breeding stock.

  • The Kiatagmiut Band continues, under Aklaq and the High Shaman, to negotiate with N'ot'am'or'on of the Nivkh nation. Meanwhile, the arrival of another sailor who professes the benefits of a written language has convinced the High Shaman to adopt a sort of written language based heavily upon the language of the Nivkhs' alphabet but uses Yugtun as the basis. Meanwhile, the qayaq trade continues to blossom, especially in the three main outposts. Integration of other Yup'iks continue, while expansion into Kaialigamiut and Ogulmiut lands continue. Domesticaiton of some fish and, more notably, walrus continues and the qayaq trade continually brings new berries to the Band to be domesticated. We propose a trade deal that would open the ports of the Band to the Nivkh state.

1690: Salutinuk is welcomed and dispatched to Kamchatka where the climate is suited for the walrus industry. Trade is opened with the Kiatagmiut, focusing on Mining and Iron working equipment.

  • In the Kiatagmiut Band, the Nivkh fleet which is exploring around our oceanic regions encounters a walrus domesticator and herder named Salutinuk, who decides that he wishes to go to the Nivkh lands and help with their domestication. He pleas [to] the government who agree as long as the Nivkhs give us new technologies and food products to harvest.

1691: The Kiatagmiut Band begins to have greater exposure to Eastern customs as Nivkh sailors begin to arrive at our ports with trade goods. In exchange, we trade away our berries, fish, and elk, all of which are highly valued for their high-quality. More domestication projects are undertaken and knowledge of iron-working and metallurgy increase extensively with the help of Nivkh knowledge. The rollout of the written language by the High Shaman is met with some resistance in the upper Kusquqvak River regions, but the idea is well-adopted by most middle-level shamans throughout the nation

1692-1694: The Kiatagmiut Band continues to have greater exposure to Eastern customs and iron-working and metallurgy, all due to the Nivkh Band. Domestication efforts continue, as does trade by qayaq. Nivkh sailors continue to help the Band in the improvement of our qayaqs. The rollout of the written language continues to be emphasized by the High Shaman and other shamans throughout the nation.

1695: The Kiatagmiut Band is shocked to hear devastating news from the island of Nuniwar of brutal attacks carried out by a sole polar bear (arlunar) upon Kiatagmiut settlers from the village of Napapellur. While the Band has had some experience before with polar bears, this comes as a surprise because never before has a polar bear ventured so far south in recent recollected history. The tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of at least 30 men, women, and children, is recorded in writing by Makpigat, a shaman learned in the Yugtun script devised by the High Shaman and I'mlos'taga'in, upon a sheet of thinly-sliced and dried walrus hide. Meanwhile, the trade outposts at Gidighuyghatno’ Xidochagg Qay’, Agdaaĝux̂, and Taxtamax̂ all prosper while fish, berry, and walrus domestication continue. Trade with Mangut Nivkhgu continues, as does the improvement of the Band's ironworking and mining abilities.

1696: We (Kiatagmiut) encounter the Japanese, who are deemed to be the brothers of the Nivkhs.

1697-1705: With more and more contact with the Nivkhs than ever before and starting to experience the Japanese culture, Aklaq officially places emphasis on the introduction of the written language.

1699-1703: The Kiatagmiut Band continues to be inundated with influences from our West (the OTL Orient), with both Japan and Mangut Nivkhgu.

1710: The Kitagmiut Band seek to buy large "qayaqs" from the Empire of Japan and the Mangut Nivkhgu, to help expand our trade.

Japanese Rule, 1762-1920?

Although the Japanese were unable to invade very far into the Tartary in in the Japanese-Tartar War, they nonetheless were able to capture to Nivkh state and directly annex it under Nihonese Rule. The Dynasty of Hangut was taken down, and replaced with Japanese governors. The entire Nivkh culture was almost completely subverted by the Japanese, to the point that the even the Tiger-Hand Pastries went underground for some time. This was especially aggravated when Japan proclaimed a theocracy in 1764, and begin persecuting the local Buddhist and Mastrovic religions.

When the Nihonese Theocracy ended in the mid-19th century, the persecution of the Nivkh culture subsided. There were still set back, however, and it would not be until their total independence in the 1920s that their society returned to its former glory.

Contemporary Government, 1926-Present

The current government of the Nivkh is centered at the traditional capital of Ñeƞdaqo. It consists of a Parliament and Prime Minister, elected at regular intervals. Due to influence from China and Russia, the main political parties of republican and socialist dynamics. The socialist party is dominated by the National Union of Pastry Chefs, founded in 1926. After the election of 2014, they have gained the most authority through such acts as the Fair Work Acts of 2014 and 2015. It is also during this contemporary period that industrialization helped standardize the pastry industry through the Appellation Controlled Seal of Authenticity in the 1930s. So quickly did these modern pastries spread that it led to the creation of Kuril Volcanoes by a Tepanyaki-style Japanese restaurant in the 1940s. The Grand National University of Mangut Nivkhgu was founded sometime in the 1950s on Builders of the Empire Boulevard.

List of Historically-Confirmed Rulers

Legendary Period (c.1400-1577)

  • Mang Hangut "The Strong Old Man", reign began between 1397-1403, ended sometime between 1439-1458
  • Kelug'qer "The Resplendent One", reigned c.1450-after 1472

Juniper Period (1655-1762)

  • T'vkgn I, 1655-1664
  • T'vkgn II, 1664-1685
  • Zq'qtgn I, 1685-1705
  • Zq'qtgn II, 1705-1746
  • Zq'qtgn III, 1746-1762

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