Old Besokian period
The Old Besokian Period was an early era in the history of the Besokian peoples, spanning from c. 2200 to 1750 B.E.B., characterized by the pluricentric organization of the slowly diverging Besokian ethnicities while still looking to Nishûnâc as spiritual centre. The term Old Besokian is more broadly applied to the cultural developments of this era, the slowly emerging Besokian ethnic groups, and the form of the Besokian language spoken at the time.
The Besokian cult was since its inception earlier than 3500 B.E.B. centred at the hill of Nishûnâc, a holy site consisting of a fortified temple overlooking the Besokan river and a vast complex of catacombs below. Early Besokian religion was focussed on worship of the Besokan and the associated goddess Kônôwis, and great celebrations were held in her honour twice a year, on the days of the equinoxes, accompanied by a gathering of all Besokian tribes at Nishûnâc and prolonged festivals and sacrficial ceremonies in the weeks leading up to the event. This tradition was established in the early days of the Besokian cult, with the Besokians concentrated in a relatively small area in the Forests of the Besokan, the plain of Tár, and the lower Besokan Valley, and it was preserved when they began to expand west into Belkondíl and north into the Reknaya.
By 2200, the Besokian people had split into three ethnicities, the Sosks occupying the plains of the later Oakshire, the Reknayans dwelling in the lower Besokan Valley, and the Kattasians in the upper Besokan Valley, each with their own secular leadership and distinct dialect. United only by their shared religion, Nishûnâc remained the centre of their cult, and large embassies from each nation kept attending the biannual celebrations at the site, the defining feature of the Old Besokian period. Despite their political and economy interests growing apart and hostilities breaking out between the Besokian nations, the gatherings at Nishûnâc were given universal respect and remained almost universally peaceful. As the Besokian languages were drifting apart, the small population remaining at Nishûnâc developed their own sacred dialect, Old Besokian, which was used for liturgical purposes and is broadly attested in the Nishûnâc rock carvings.
These relations lasted until the early 18th century B.E.B. By then, the Sosks were firmly established in eastern Belkondíl, the Kattasians had migrated west and established kingdoms across the Reknaya. Local rulers were no longer dependent on the divine support of the priestesses of Nishûnâc, and devotion to the temple declined. The Old Besokian period is considered to end around 1750 B.E.B., when Nishûnâc was likely abandoned and its small remaining population migrated into the Soskish kingdoms.