Before the rise of Quendor, the empire that once dominated both the Southlands and Antharia is known by scholars as the Anatian Empire, a power whose existence was once doubted. Mizniaport was a thriving and important trade center at the heart of this empire, alongside the cities of Gurth and Mithicus. This world-power, with the Eastern Empire and the Borphee Hegemony, once controlled the bulk of the known world until its mysterious demise in 800 BE. There were political and commercial ties in those days between the Eastern Empire and the western lands.

Curiously, the people of the Anatian Empire shared the same sort of obsessive interest in tunneling and underground living that so possessed the world from the time of Duncanthrax (666 GUE) and on. At least some large portion of the coastal caverns near Egreth, such as the Griffspotter Caverns, were excavated by this nation (the Anatian Inscription still remains within one of these underground passages). In fact, this mania for caverning seemed to take on an urgent religious aspect, the underground tunnels seen as a way for these people to attain communion with their gods. Some believe that they had attempted to reach the Great Brogmoid who holds up the world on its shoulders.

Although the Eastern Empire met its end about 1000 BE, it is estimated that around 800 BE, that a great disaster fell upon the Anatian Empire, which most anthropologists today term as a “goof-up of the first order.” Some speculate it was the wrath of the pseudo-gods in retribution at the intrusions into their domains. But the one in which almost all historians unanimously agree upon had to do with this Empire being the crown of the Mithican tribes.

Since the Mithican tongue had been formed from the elements of magical incantations, the mysterious disappearance was most likely the accidental side effect invoking some potentially dangerous spell, namely one of transformation. All in one sudden stroke, every member of the ruling family, and large segments of the population as a whole, were transformed without warning into platypi. With the rulers of the kingdom stuck in Mithicus and Antharia in the feeble isolation of newly-born platypi, all form of order and civilization in the lands in between came to a sudden halt. In a matter of minutes, the empire collapsed, only to survive in distant and obscure legends.

Whatever the reason for the fall of the Mithicans or this Anatian Empire, they were gone, but their cities lived on. Through the chaos and confusion the small remnant of humans which survived the disaster multiplied and grew into the modern Southland cities, including Miznia, Gurth, and Mithicus; which shortly after 400 BE would be resettled by the Borpheans.

Although there are few people today who would argue with the idea that some now-lost civilization dominated the Southlands of Quendor, we must admit that not everybody would agree with the problematic Platypus Scenario. Lacking any evidence in favor of some magical spell that turned an entire ruling family into a flock of platypus overnight, most people prefer to dismiss the Misty Island and Mithicus Mountains settlements as hopelessly confused enigmas that will never be explained, even by blaming the entire affair on the Implementors. (Zorbius Blattus, for instance, in his 900 Questions on Just About Everything, saw fit to ask: “How exactly could a platypus live in a castle? Have you ever actually looked at a platypus?”)

What exactly happened on the isolated island continent after the collapse of the mysterious and controversial platypus kingdom is totally shrouded in mystery. Muckrum’s 7th century poetic verses that describe several centuries of violent debauchery and rampant prostitution certainly make entertaining reading, but it does seem unlikely that an entire nation of thousands could withstand three hundred years of a drunken stupor and live to tell the tale. In any case, it seems clear that a long reign of darkness descended upon Antharia. 

The last legitimate Anatian governor of the coastal cities had died by the year of Zylon's ascension to the throne of Quendor in the west (55 GUE), and after that, no coherent government was to emerge for quite some time. With the halting of coin production from the platypus mints, the island quickly reverted to the primitive stages of a granola economy, and promptly lost all contact with the thriving nations of the Westlands. Although the evidence is hazy, it seems that the survivors of the Platypus Transformation and their immediate descendants were on the verge of uniting under a noble family from Marba and perhaps resurrecting the ancient glories of the Anatian Kingdom.

In any case, the potential Antharian rebirth was cut short by the sudden arrival of a second disaster, this time one from the east. As we have seen, the reason behind the sudden collapse of the Eastern Empire will never be entirely clear, but the hordes and hordes of Fenshire refugees turned invaders that sailed across the Great Sea were apparently too much for the fragile Antharia, and all signs of civilized life stop for several centuries.

SOURCE(S): A History of Quendor