Kthropfe (the prior name of Mevwan) existed in the territory currently occupied by the state as early as the year -450. Its structure was considerably more formal and voting-oriented prior to the arrival of the Zaee, although the format (idiosyncratically-procured representatives of localities meeting and vetting decisions through one or more superiors) persists today. Most of what is known about pre-apocalyptic Kthropfe is only known because the Zaee were able to take down notes when they learned to talk to humans; paper and the like were scarce during the aftermath of the apocalypse and a lot of humans who knew things about the past were killed in the devastation.
In -200 (the exact date lost to the inferior timekeeping of the day, and a delay in adjusting Zaee computers to accurately keep Archipelago time), the Kwa Mevwan crashed near the center of Mevwan's island territory. The cause of the crash - especially given that the planet of Archipelago was not even charted as being remotely near the ship's destination moon - remains unknown to this day, although tellurics are likely involved. 652 Zaee, mostly young adults, many with small children, survived the crash out of an initial complement of 712. These included a great many unskilled individuals who planned to farm on the colony, but also doctors, teachers, builders, programmers, some entertainers/artists, psions, mechanics who knew how to maintain (but not reproduce) the equipment they brought, and the ship's crew. The ship's engines and long-range transmitters were destroyed, but most of its smaller devices, and almost all of its colonization supplies and passenger luggage, were adequately protected by their packaging measures.
The Zaee landed in a largely uninhabited area close to what is now Delo-Kyan, but the ship's fall was bright and loud enough to attract human attention, and during the survivors' attempts at regrouping they were approached. There was no mutual intelligibility of language, but the Zaee were able to communicate to the humans that they had not intended to trespass and were in trouble; hostilities were mutually refrained from, and the Zaee were permitted to undertake necessary salvage efforts to recover their food, seeds, personal belongings, equipment, and remaining livestock, in addition to those dead from the impact. AIs were hastily uploaded into chassis to learn an adequate command of Ekoin and enable proper communication between Zaee and humans. Once this was established, the Zaee procured permission to Adwaviform the area around the crash site, where they then planted crops, penned their animals, and erected homes.
The Zaee did not exactly integrate, but they did prove good neighbors, and once they had a secure food supply and were reasonably sure the humans weren't going to attack them, they started dispersing throughout Mevwan: most lived in the (expanding) environs of Delo-Kyan, but others settled in and near Preng, Hatashet, Mio, or Shter-Dwat. (No Zaee have settled on the mainland; that portion of Mevwan remains exclusively human.) New Zaee children were born beginning the second year after the crash, and these and their younger counterparts are considered native Mevwani; some are even fostered with humans when the time comes, although this is rare unless the humans in question have predominantly Zaee social circles. From the original 652, 312 were still alive as of year 1, and more than 150,000 Zaee had been born in Mevwan by then. (The human population of Mevwan is presently twelve million.) The capital was moved from its previous site in Ratht (on the coast of the mainland) to the newly-renamed Delo-Kyan some 120 years ago.
Although the Zaee tech is not directly duplicable, it did inspire new heights of innovation in human inventors. Zaee also prompted novel developments in politics (driving the shift to the modern consensus-based, informal structure) and art, and they are generally willing to set up business models whereby they exchange the use or products of their technology, or for that matter the benefit of their flight, for kuo (Mevwani currency). Their presence also appears to have prompted the development of psionic powers in humans (see the Psionics thread).