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Levantine Creep is a series of related social phenomenon and theories in Sarpedon, both related to the expansion of Urcea and the general spread of Levantine influence. It has significantly influenced the historic view of Levanto-Sarpic relations in Sarpedon. The first, more common "Levantine Creep" is a conspiracy theory narrative in Caphirian discourse to describe an alleged conspiracy that Urcea and its allies aim to harm, weaken or annihilate the societal system of Caphiria by “building a ring of colonies and concession states to ensnare Caphirian interests”, disrupting the traditional system of Imperial Diplomacy. The perpetrators of the conspiracy are alleged to be mentiens latius (false Latins), itself stemming from another historical conspiracy. While the theory of the Levantine Creep is predominant in Caphiria, it has been slowly spread throughout Sarpedon as a result of the growth of Caphirian influence on the continent.
The origin of the Caphirian concept dates back to the 17th century and various Levantine interventions against the Great Schism of 1615, although Caphirian opposition to Levantine influence predated and in part influenced the schism. This, as well as Urcean support for Veltorine independence in the late 18th century during the Veltorine War of Independence, contributed to a negative perception of Urceo-Levantine interests and would spark several centuries of animosity between Caphiria and Urcea, culminating in the Great War.
History of Levantine Creep
The origins of Levantine Creep are unclear, but a sense of the threat of Levantines already existed in aristocratic circles of Caphiria by the Great Schism of 1615. The now-discredited historical theory of a Venceian Crusade likely originates to this time and speaks to the perceived danger of Levantines for Sarpedonian society. It was likely significantly enhanced in 1782, when Urcea intervened in the Veltorine War of Independence against Caphiria, committing forces from the Holy Levantine Empire on Sarpedon for the first time in history besides the Crusades. As a consequence of Urcean support, the House de Weluta was rewarded with the Kingdom of Talionia following the conclusion of hostilities. Talionia induced a brief "Urcean Scare" in Caphiria which dramatically enhanced the conspiratorial and what some have called "paranoid" nature of the Levantine Creep theory. Talionia served as a "forward operating base" to guarantee the independence of Veltorina against Caphirian reconquest. It was during this period that Caphirians began to emphasize the Venceian Crusade theory while altering the historian perception of the other Crusades as examples of Levantine meddling in the affairs of the continent.
In 1798, Caphirian hawks became alarmed at the speed at which Levantine influence crossed the width of Sarpedon, increasing paranoia. Later, in 1826, Burgundie seized the island of Port de Vent and was able to withstand a Kiravian attempt to disestablish the Burgundian presence in the Kindreds Sea. In Caphiria, this was interpreted as a broader plan between Burgundie and Urcea to encircle and destroy Caphiria.
Urcea's focus on the Caroline Wars in the 18th and 19th century decreased fears of an imminent Urcean invasion somewhat, but the Caphirian theory of Levantine Creep entered its modern form during the Occidental Cold War, when it became the official state rationale for the nation's geopolitical opposition to Urcea. With the Assumption Accords and end of the Cold War, many have surmised that the "Creep" phenomenon in Caphirian society has entered into decline.
Comparable global phenomenon
While the individual grievances of each nation in Alshar and Audonia regarding Levantine Creep are unique they are all generally pointing to on phenomenon, the Burgoignesc Colonial Empire and its remnant in Alshar and Audonia, La Garrote.
Despite not being the first external colonial force to arrive in either Alshar or Audonia, the Levantine states that make up the modern day Burgundie were the most pervasive colonizers, resource and human labor exploiters, and settlers on those continents.
They influenced and impacted political, economic, cultural, and religious life well beyond the bounds of just their own colonies and were/are resented for it. The Bergendii were particularly adept at taking advantage of native squabbles, infighting, familial disputes, vanity, greed to manipulate their way into power over approximately a quarter of the total landmasses of both continents.