- Ancient History (-400)
- Recent History (400-992)
- Current History (992 through today)
- Kislevia and the Ratmen
- Ragnorack - the Troubles
- The Caelti Rebellion
- The Lizard Men in Kjolnir
- The Ennitarian War
- Cadfaigh - the War for the Throne
- Valenne - Bertrande's Second Rebellion
- The Cult of the New Gods
- Yamamoto and the Invasion of Delona
- Kjolnir - the Vorskyr Invasion
- The Marnaid Penninsula
- Imperium Novum
- Meng Guo and the Shipbuilding Race
- The Zdunarovan-Bilgosh War and the Rebellion in the Steinlands
- The Kjoln "Soul Sickness" Plague
- Emilian of Bilgosh and the Fifth Crusade
- Notes (off the record)
Note: the following history lists only a handful of wars and kingdoms. This is by no means meant to imply these are the only ones that have happened -- merely that these are the ones that Quest events have detailed.
Legendary Times to the Dark Ages
Most of the region we now call Hesket was once under the rule of the old Sturian Empire. At its peak, Sturia (a city once on the border between modern-day Inarra and Chardreau) ruled all of what is now Iñarra, Chardreau, Marakhin, Kiljukan, Delona, Tamplonia, Roudoigne, Valenne, most of Allondell, and southern Bilgosh, with the border edging modern-day Cadfaigh.
The Sturian Empire approximates Earth's Roman, lasting about the same amount of time and leaving similar legacy. Sturia set the foundation of Hesketine civilization. Her government, her writings, her religion, and her magic all live on in modern Hesketine culture. It was Sturia who put such effort into researching the prayers and theologies needed to summon the gods, and who studied the arts of magic to improve the potential of spells. This made Sturian armies much more powerful than the shamanistic, barbaric tribes surrounding the Empire, and helps explain Sturia's rapid military successes in empire-building. Even today, the classical Sturian period is considered the time of greatest magical achievement, and Sturia left behind countless artifacts and volumes beyond the understanding of even the best of modern mages and priests.
Sturia went from oligarchic "republic" to empire about 200 years later than Rome did, owing to the influence of mage's guilds, who found that playing blocks of senators against one another was easier than dealing with a single Emperor, and so delayed the "natural" onset of an Emperor. Note also that while Rome underwent significant change during Constantine's time (Imperial conversion to Christianity and movement of the capital to Byzantium), Sturia had a comparatively placid period at the same time (around 100 AI.)
Around the Christian Era (C.E.) year 400, Rome's outer provinces fell to tribes of Germans, and the Visigoths sacked Rome herself. The Sturian Empire, too, began to weaken in the 100s and lost territory to Kislennic tribes, but these tribes would not have the opportunity to sack the capital. Instead, the city of Sturia herself was utterly destroyed by magical force. On June 6, 206 AI, people hundreds of miles away saw a glow on the horizon as the city was leveled in a fierce blast unequalled in history. Not a trace remains, and the once-lush surrounding countryside is now dusty Iñarran waste. Nowadays, conventional wisdom holds that Sturia had become decadent and that Nen cast Its judgment upon the city.
With her capital destroyed, the already-fraying Empire collapsed. Provincial warlords grabbed for power, invading tribes carved out territories of their own, and (as with the western Roman Empire) the Dark Ages set in.
| Comparative Timetable|
|Roman Conquest Begins: 400 BCE||Sturian Conquest Begins: 600 BI|
|Roman Emperor: 20 BCE|
|Roman Height: 100 CE||Sturian Height: 200 BI|
|Sturian Emperor: 0 AI|
|Roman Collapse: 450 CE||Sturian Collapse: 206 AI|
|Dark Ages: 400-800 CE||Dark Ages: 200-450 AI|
|Early Middle Ages: 800 CE||Early Middle Ages: 450 AI|
|High Middle Ages: 1200 CE||High Middle Ages: 850 AI|
|Late Middle Ages: 1350 CE||Late Middle Ages: 950 AI|
Sturia's fall led to the decentralization and rapid collapse of the empire. Kislennic tribes ran south into imperial territory and carved out kingdoms from Sturian provinces. In time the invading tribes would settle and form kingdoms (for example, the Kislennic tribes of the Allondi, Ciardi, and Rudaii would become Allondell, Chardreau, and Roudoigne), and as lands stabilized, the Dark Ages receded. North of the old imperial border, tribes like the Caelti, Cadfainn and Linneralians found themselves free from Sturian aggression and they too settled down and became modern kingdoms. The remaining Kislennic tribes settled in lands now known as Kislevia and Kjolnir, and the map of Hesket began to resemble its modern form.
The Dark Ages that followed Sturia's fall were considerably shorter than Europe's, due to several factors. First, Hesket's mages' colleges maintained knowledges, for one cannot learn magic without being literate, and in many cases the Sturian corpi of magic and lore were one and the same. Second, the stable mahiri maintained their knowledge and culture as human society ran wild, and the elves later re-taught humans many lost skills. Lastly, the continued dangers of orcs and other creatures gave Hesket a need for stable societies, thus reducing the infighting between human lands. Such stable kingdoms helped quicken the return of civilization.
The mahiri don't have a collected history in the same way that the dwarves or the humans do. The history of the mahiri is generally tied more to the individual clan and less to the mahiri as a people. What little racial history they do have comes more in the form of stories which explain the holidays and other traditions that all mahiri have in common. These tales come from a time before the formation of the Elder Clans, when the mahiri wandered Hesket in small groups.
Year zero of the mahiri calendar dates to the formation of the six Elder Clans, in 1500 B.I. These clans (Seven Rivers in central Hesket, Blue Cliffs in northeastern Hesket, Long Hills in northern Hesket, Long Grass in western Hesket, Vine Flower in southern Hesket, Sharp Peaks in the Grendarr Mountains and Four Winds in the northernmost regions of Kjolnir) formed the ancestor clans of today's mahiri clans. They grew and prospered and split into new clans over the course of the following two thousand years.
Mahiri are generally closed-mouthed about their clan histories. A mahiri from one clan can learn the history of another, but only by spending time with the other clan. Humans, unless they are considered "Mahiri Friend", are not told clan history unless the need is dire.
Further information on the mahiri past can be found in the mahiri packet (on the web site), and it would be redundant to include it here.
The great Arren Empire has already degenerated into the Clan Wars by the year 459 BI, meaning that dwarvenkind's greatest empire was collapsing as humankind's was just starting.
Dwarven history is more elaborately detailed in the separate dwarf packet (on the web site), and it would be redundant to include it here.
Recent History (400-992)
By the 400's and 500's the Dark Ages rolled back as new kingdoms formed, with invading Kislennic tribes founding new kingdoms. In east central Hesket, the invading Allondi conquered the northern Sturian provinces, eliminating what remained of the imperial government as well as displacing many of the Gaeldic tribes that had lived there under Sturian rule. The northernmost tribes, the Cadfainn, found themselves pushed out by the Kislennic Allondi, and the Cadfainn began to migrate gradually northwards into the lands occupied by another Gaeldic tribe, the Caelti. Over the 500's and 600's the Caelti lords fell to increasing numbers of Cadfainn and by 632 the Cadfainn proclaimed themselves rulers of the whole land, renaming it to Two Stands.
In the south, desert nomads came out of the sands and into the more fertile lands, and here too the Sturian provinces fell to foreign conquering tribes. The Kiljuks and Marakhs reached the coasts and established new kingdoms, bringing with them their strict desert law. Prosperity followed, and by the 700's the Southerners looked outward. Marakh and Kiljuk warriors began to prey upon the lands to the north.
The Great Floods (circa 580)
In the 580s, the Collegium decided to strike against a Gaeldic group who had offended the gods through what were apparently necromantic activites. (However, records are vague about the nature of the Collegium's actions and the activities that warranted them.) The Collegium called down Divine Retribution on the Gaeldic group and sunk their their lands.
However, such powerful magic had disastrous natural effects elsewhere in Hesket. Linneraigh and Roudoigne saw massive tidal waves sweep over much of their lands from the backwash. Great storms erupted over Delona and Kjolnir which went unchecked by exhausted priests of Brinnig and Kyta. The Cadfainn retreated to their hills and saw their fields swept away by the encroaching waters.
Legends among the Gaeldic tribes speak of the time when the gods smote the Gaeldic lands. Given the poor record-keeping during this period, little else is known.
The Cadfainn Migration (600s)
The Allondi, emboldened by the Collegium's strike against the Gaeldic tribes, stepped up their movement into the Gaeldic lands, pushing more Cadfainn tribes north. The Caelti, bereft of leadership, did little except when Cadfainn migrants directly infringe on Caelti livelihoods. As time passed and more Cadfainn arrived in Caelland, such incidents became more and more frequent.
In 632, Cadfainn leaders called for a conclave, laying out the need for a new regime, pitching a reorganization of the old-style kingship system. The king of the land would be, like the high kings of old, a first among equals who could arbitrate among the many tribes and clans squabbling over resources. Thus was declared the kingdom of "Two Stands". In fact, the kingdom soon became a new-style monarchy like the Kislennic states to the south. Over the decades to follow, the Cadfainn used their institutional advantages (and larger numbers) to squeeze the Caelti out of government and out of the good land. By the end of the 600's, the Caelti were thoroughly on the outs, and the new blood mages started to appear.
The First Crusade (789-792)
As prosperity returned to Hesket in the eighth century, the southern lands of Kiljukan and Marakhin began to expand northward, sending border raids across into Iñarra and Chardreau. Religious differences intensified the hostility between north and south: Marakhin and Kiljukan refused to acknowledge the authority of the Collegium. To oppose this new threat, the Collegium convened a council of rulers: the leaders of Allondell, Chardreau, Iñarra, Tamplonia, Valenne, and many of the Delonan provinces. These lands, under the auspices of the Collegium, sent a great army south to reclaim the lands that the Marakhs and Kiljuks had conquered, launching the First Crusade. Years of warfare produced no resolution – although the northern armies appeared to have won at first, the bitterness and resentment between the two sides only led to further struggles in the years to come. (The Second Crusade would follow in 882, and the Third in 942. The Fourth or "Pious" Crusade, led not by kings but by orders of religious knights, came in 986, but was smaller in scope.)
The Great Plague (848)
No one knew precisely how it started, why suddenly one spring in the city-state of Trenzano in Delona, people began dying of foul red sores and a hacking cough. But Trenzano was a major trading center, and despite the warnings of the priests, their merchants continued to set sail. Soon, the plague hit Chardreau, and then Allondell. In Dubraugh, the capital of Cadfaigh, King Ian VI ordered an entire neighborhood to be walled off and quarantined, until all 600 people within had died of either the plague or starvation. Some praised him as a wise savior; others cursed his name. In Tolbury, the priests of the Collegium worked as hard as they could, exhausting themselves daily until they too fell victim to the illness. Many sacrificed their own lives to save their children or spouses, and there were always too few priests to help all.
By the winter, the plague had ended, fading back wherever it had come. But there had been far too few people to work the fields during the time of sowing and harvesting, and the priests had all focused on healing to the detriment of the crops. The plague was followed by famine, and many of those that had survived the illness fell victim to starvation. Others were killed by their neighbors upon suspicion of having brought the plague, or were robbed of their remaining food by wandering bands of starving peasants.
The Twenty Years' War (852-872)
Yvette, the only child of Queen Josephine of Chardreau, died in the plague (above). There were two leading claimants for the throne, the children of Queen Josephine’s siblings – Prince Edward of Allondell, son of Josephine’s sister Aline, and the young Marguerite, Duchess de Barais, daughter of Josephine’s youngest sibling, Henri, Duke de Barais. Allondell claimed the throne of Chardreau on the grounds that Edward was the heir of the second sibling, while most of the Chardrois supported Marguerite, who had grown up at the court and was truly Chardrois. Allondell invaded in an attempt to assert its dynastic claim, and a long and truly messy war began.
Territory was seized by first one side and then the other. The closely intermarried noble families of the two kingdoms were forced to make difficult choices about where their true loyalties lay. Sometimes there were brief respites in the war, and Allondines and Chardrois would hold private grudge matches and elaborate tournaments as a means of quenching the hostility and anger of the two sides (The Collegium, particularly the priests of Alia, supported many of these tournaments.) Knights would challenge each other to duels and archmages would hold mercenary wars to settle scores.
The dynastic issue would never be formally settled, and the two countries would continue to have military engagements over the next century.
The Founding of Ragnorack (949-951)
Hesket's community of kingdoms found a new peer in 949 when Hrungar Aarfleem, the younger son of a Kjoln noble, led an army of Kjolns, Cadfainn, and Kislevians to carve out a new land from the dangerous, orc-filled wilderness of the Lake Ragnorack valley. Hrungar proclaimed himself first King of Ragnorack in 951.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Ragnorack.
Current History (992 through today)
Kislevia and the Ratmen (992)
From the caves and tunnels under Kislevia emerged a new foe: the ratmen, a species little-known to the surface races. Violent, deadly, and with the power to shapechange into human-looking form, the rats poured out of their lairs and sought to destabilize many of Kislevia's fiefs in their blind hatred of the surface races. Kislevia's soldiers rallied in courageous (and extremely deadly) attacks into ratmen tunnels, poisoning tunnels and slaying many of the hated rats. The ratmen then changed tactics in December, shifting from outright assault to subtle impersonations and surgical strikes. In the years to follow, rats would infiltrate the courts of many lands (such as in May 995, when they would try to kill Frederick, brother to King Dmitri of Ragnorack.)
Ragnorack - The Troubles (Sep 992 - May 993)
Ragnorack was carved from the wilderness, but its second king, the son of its brave conqueror, was a rash man with an unstable dynasty. When he died without obvious heirs, Ragnorack fell into chaos. A conclave of nobles and notables at Loch Meagan in Cadfaigh chose Dmitri von Scharnhof as the new king, and with his Kislevian troops he restored prosperity to the land.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Ragnorack.
The Caelti rebellion (Mar 993)
Cadfaigh is a kingdom consisting of majority Cadfainn and minority Caelti. The Caelti ruled the land centuries ago, and the heirs of the old rulers, who still agitated for a restoration of the Caelti to the throne. However, the Caelti are also known to practice "blood magic", a ritual for converting human blood and sacrifice into magical power, and for this alone the Cadfainn declared them unfit rulers. In 993, the Caelti rose up in rebellion, seeking to reclaim the throne, and summoning a dragon to their aid. The Cadfainn defeated the rebellion.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Cadfaigh.
Decius (Sep 994 - Mar 995)
Around the year 350, the lich Neklos had conquered neighbors and practiced dark arts. In response, Kallernek, a mahiri elder of the Three Spires tribe, drew together a coalition to stop the lich. They summoned from isolation the mahiri archmage Sandrin to stop Neklos. Sandrin crafted a stone into which Neklos' soul was imprisoned. The stone was then spirited away, to a distant northern wasteland, where it would be far from contact with civilization. This "wasteland" would become Ragnorack centuries later, and the settlement of that land led to the stone's rediscovery.
The tale resumes six centuries later, in 994. An evil mage named Decius had decades before bound a demon to his use, but due to error neglected the part of the spell which would banish the demon upon Decius' death. Decius thus knew that when he died, the demon would be freed but not banished, and could do what it liked with Decius' soul. Decius realized that if he were a lich he would be near-immortal and thus outside the demon's power. He thus sought out the stone with Neklos' soul, now found in the White Wolf Pass of Ragnorack. Decius used Neklos' power to turn himself into a lich as well. He then took his new-found power and fled to the Ragnorackan wilderness to build his strength.
Decius resurfaced in northeastern Ragnorack in the early months of 996, leading an army of summoned undead, and threatening conquest. Decius hoped to tap into the magical powers of a nearby set of caves to increase his might, but full control of the caves eluded him, as they were demon-occupied. Following a call from King Dmitri, many brave souls flocked to the village of Blue Ridge to stop Decius. The caves' power was destroyed, the demons were banished, and Decius himself was imprisoned in amber by the mahiri mage Dumhnall.
The Lizard Men in Kjolnir (Oct 994)
Harnessing the power of some long-dormant magical stones, a tribe of lizard men made their king invincible, and began conquering the humans in the border mining valley of Torgyll, in western Kjolnir, in late 994. By allying with a previously unknown subterranean race, the drajda (who were themselves under assault from lizards), the locals deactivated the stones, and the lizard horde was vanquished. However, the drajda thereafter retreated to their caves, as they had been mistreated (and even enslaved) by some of the local human miners. The drajda have refused contact with the surface ever since.
The Ennitarian War (Feb 996 - Jan 997)
When the king of Ennitaria went mad, Allondell and Kislevia fought a war over the land, eventually dividing it between themselves. This war is better detailed in the country entry for Ennitaria.
Cadfaigh - The War for the Throne (Oct 996 - Aug 998)
When her only heir was killed in the Caelti rebellion (see above), Queen Gwynhafra was left heirless. Upon her death, a Council of Regents declared an illegitimate child to be her grandson, and ruled in his stead. However, when he was kidnapped, the Regency's competence was called into question. Two other Cadfainn declared themselves king, and the country fell into a three-way civil war.
The "Blue" Regency faction collapsed first, shifting its support to the "Red" faction of the Lowland noble Olen MacCallad -- who now faced only the "Gold" Highlander, Lewis the MacGrennog. Olen bethrothed his daughter to King Dmitri of Ragnorack, who entered the war on the Red side. Olen died before the Red/Ragnorackan army could defeat the Golds at Solkirk in August 998. Olen's heir Marilyn was crowned Queen of Cadfaigh.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Cadfaigh.
Valenne - Bertrande's Second Rebellion (Mar 997)
The Duke of Valenne faced a rebellion from his cousin Bertrande in 972, which renewed in 997 at the twenty-fifth anniversary of his victory. The Duke's forces triumphed over the rebels, especially once the Duke used artifacts called "the Turning Stones" to render useless all magic in his land. However, the Duke was to learn that his cousin Bertrande was long since dead, her identity assumed by his estranged wife.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Valenne.
The Cult of the New Gods (spring 997 - Mar 999)
Starting in the spring of 997, a new cult began to make attacks against clergy. While Hesket had seen any number of minor cults before, this new cult distinguished itself in two ways. First, it refused any dialogue with existing worshippers, claiming that its "New Gods" would render the existing gods obsolete. When the Collegium put out a request for this cult to teach others of its theological discoveries, the cult responded by attacking a monastery. Second, it attacked clergy and churches with a ferocity heretofore unknown from anti-clerical groups.
On December 20, 997, the Presider, Archbishop Anne de Sordonne, spoke to the gathered Collegium to present her findings on why the Yamamotoans had invaded Delona (see below) instead of the more obvious Cadfaigh, since not all were satisfied with the explanation that Delona was simply closer to Yamamoto. No sooner had Presider Anne declared that Hesket faced a much greater danger than expected, and that the Yamamotoan army pales in comparison to the larger threat, when she was assassinated right at her podium. The Collegium was at a loss to explain how the assassin had gained entry to the Hall; it was unable even to verify his identity, since when placed under a magical spell of truth, he underwent a stroke and died immediately.
Elaine of Ornach (a Collegiate, eventually to be named as Preside Anne's successor) led an investigation which found that the Cult of the New Gods was behind not only the increasing numbers of anti-clerical attacks but the assassination as well. However, the Cult of the New Gods seemed to unravel several months later, with its attacks petering out and the organization fading away.
Yamamoto and the Invasion of Delona (Jul 997 - Apr 999)
Misled by their contact with the Caelti, and trying to shore up political support among restive political factions, Yamamoto invaded Delona in 997, and in the first few months captured all of the duchy of Napermo, plus several other islands. Hesketines were only able to reclaim Frignenza before the war bogged down and stalemated.
In the spring of 999, the Delonan forces cut a peace treaty with the Yamamotoans, conceding the Yamamotoans' holdings (now called "Seiguntou") in exchange for an end to the bloodshed.
This tale is better detailed in the country entry for Yamamoto.
Kjolnir - The vorskyr invasion (Feb 998 - Jun 999)
A race of arctic cat-like humanoids called the vorskyr came out of the northern mountains, invading Kjolnir starting in February 998, assisted by orcish troops. They made inroads over the next year, seizing several provinces in Kjolnir.
But by summer 999, approaching summer thaws put arctic cat-men at a disadvantage, and the Kjolns found a new ally. Clan Wyrmsbane, feeling that the vorskyr had deceived them into a non-aggression agreement but now honor-bound to uphold the pact, found an honorable way to assist the humans: they allowed soldiers from Clans Silverrock and Earthcrown to pass through their territory and emerge from newly-dug holes behind the vorskyr lines. With the humans pressing on one side and the dwarves on another, the orcish armies demoralized and scattered, and the invading armies were driven northwards, back into the Worldspine Mountains by June 999.
The Marnaid Penninsula (Aug - Oct 98)
In August 998, ships along the coast near the Cadfainn-Allondine border began to notice previously uncharted shoals, and then even uncharted islands some distance out from the port town of Kincaid's Point. In September, the keeper of the town's lighthouse was found viciously murdered by a monster that had come out of the new lands. A group of mercenaries and adventurers gathered in the town destroyed the monster, but were in turn driven away by a mysterious man claiming to be a Caelti warrior in service to the ruler of the sunken lands. That warrior took over the lighthouse, holding it against all comers. The local representatives of Allondell and Cadfaigh took this action as a sign of hostile intent, summoning military assistance to the town against the possibility of invasion. A Cadfainn company (who Cadfaigh claimed were acting without orders) took the lighthouse; Allondell protested the occupation of an Allondine fortress by Cadfainn troops, regardless of their intentions.
The worst fears of the kingdoms came true in early October when an army of ancient Caelti, submerged for centuries and endowed with extraordinary blood magic powers, arose from the lands newly risen from the sea. Fortunately, agents of the Cadfainn and Ragnorackan crowns were able to organize the various adventurers scattered around the new lands. This band made a mostly successful effort to break the spells maintaining the unnatural life of the peninsula's inhabitants, destroying many of the Caelti warriors as well as their leader.
The loss of their leader threw the remaining members of the self-styled "children of destruction" into disorder. There were a number of skirmishes with the Allondine troops based around the now-misnamed Watersedge Keep, but no organized attempt at invasion or attack. Allondell positioned several companies of troops at Watersedge Keep, keeping the pennisula's remaining residents contained.
Imperium Novum (May 999 - July 1000)
Miles Uxbridge, an archaeologist at the University of Tolbury, claimed he had been told by a grace living in Sturian ruins that the Sturian Empire must be revived in time for the millenium, and that heavenly favor will follow its restoration. Uxbridge turned street preacher and prophet, attracting followers and naming his movement "Imperium Novum" (New Empire). As the group's numbers increased, with its "citizens" adopting Sturian dress and mannerisms, it began to scuffle with Allondine authorities, as a restoration of the Empire implied an end to royal authority. The movement left Allondell in August 999 for Linneraigh, hoping to persuade the new Queen Fiona to support its cause. Fiona, however, refused to grant them an audience, and a frustrated Imperium Novum rioted on October 25. Its survivors were expelled and taken to southwest Cadfaigh, which also refused them an audience, leading to another confrontation. Cadfainn soldiers ejected them into the Cadfainn hills and then into northern Allondell.
On February 16, 1000, Imperium Novum leader Miles Uxbridge claimed to have discovered the new Emperor, the man who will lead the restored Sturian Empire. Marco de Floren, a minor noble from Veneza, was declared to be "Emperor Marcus Florenius", and Uxbridge petitioned the Presider (unsuccessfully) for a coronation. The movement, expecting trouble from Allondine authorities, began to arm itself. King Harold called for the movement to disarm and disband in May; Uxbridge instead announced that the group would march on Tolbury so that Harold could present himself to the new Emperor. On July 12, 1000, the King's army, led by Henry, Baron of Easthampton, met Imperium Novum on the fields of Renhamshire and gave them one last chance to yield. Uxbridge refused, and a battle ensued, with Imperium Novum devastated and its numbers scattered. Uxbridge was killed, while "Emperor Marcus" surrendered and was later executed for treason.
Meng Guo and the Shipbuilding Race (Apr 1001 - April 1003)
In the spring of 1001, Queen Isabella of Iñarra commissioned the famed Tamplonian shipbuilders Diego and Maria Delagossa to build more ships for her navy. Isabella, pleased with how the first ship, the HMS Santa Virtud, turned out, commissioned the Delagossas to construct a half-dozen more.
This set off a round of international competition as Castagna and Philiathos soon "rebuilt" their navies "weakened from the war", and later Roudoigne, Tamplonia and Veneza also sought to build more ships.
Tamplonia wood the Delagossas back to their native land in January 1002, with Castagna hiring away their chief assistant. Isabella responded by announcing in April 8, 1002 that she was to offer a challenge to any master shipwrights willing to work for the Iñarran crown: to build for her Majesty a vessel capable of sailing to Dosan. "Our peers may offer diverse worldly goods," read the Queen's proclamation, "but we instead offer the everlasting fame of crafting the first Hesketine vessel to make the voyage" across the eastern ocean, a vessel that "will restore to the lands of Hesket the dignity it so greatly lost" when the Yamamotoans invaded.
Yamamoto responded that it considered the waters between Yamamoto and Seiguntou to be their own, and that they would protect said waters from "trespassers and pirates".
Iñarra's ship launched first, in November, with the other countries following suit. The Allondine ship soon returned home, with tales of fierce ocean storms that they barely survived.
No news was heard for quite some time – until April 1003, when Tamplonia's ship, the HMS Lumen, returned home after a difficult but successful voyage. Captain Rabassa and crew sailed around the Yamamotoan islands to the Dosanese mainland, wher they made contact with one of Yamamoto's rivals, the empire of Meng Guo.
The Zdunarovan-Bilgosh War (1003-1006) and the Rebellion in the Steinlands (1004-1008)
In the spring of 1003, the Duke of Sovogda, a Zdunarovan nobleman, presented papers to the Czarina claiming that lands in neighboring Bilgosh were rightfully his. The papers, allegedly signed by Bilgosh's Grand Duke Razvan in April 777, cede the properties if the land's barons fail to protect their subjects against "substantial acts of aggression by monstrous beasts" as stated in the Varslavl Accord. Pointing to the rise of monstrous beasts in Bilgosh, Zdunarova used the papers to build a case for war, while Bilgosh claimed the papers were false and that Zdunarova was simply being expansionistic. By August, the Empire's forces had entered Bilgosh and marched toward the Bilgosh capital of Dezdovo; by March 1004 the capital was under siege.
Meanwhile, some of the dukes in the Steinlands, the eastern part of the Empire, protested that they had "no cause to raise arms" against the Bilgoshmen and expressed reservations at sending troops. By July 1004 this resistance had turned to open rebellion, as the Duchess of Silbermark and the Duke of Elsitz had raised arms against the Czarina; six other neighboring dukes and duchesses followed.
Zdunarova's troops in Bilgosh faltered during the siege of Dezdovo, for several reasons. First, there was dissent among the ranks; the imperial troops came from different parts of the Empire and did not always get along, especially when the commanders were of one stock and the troops from another. Second, the Czarina recalled the popular and successful commander, Lord Yarakov, fearing the troops might become personally loyal to him instead of to the Czarina. Yarakov's replacement, Lord Wladyslaw of Kaloszyn, was less competent. Third, there were reports of werewolves and vampires infiltrating the ranks; true or no, they weakened morale and caused some troops to kill their own.
In March 1005 the imperial army pulled back from the siege of the capital to the Zdunarovan-held lands in northwestern Bilgosh. They would not return. Zdunarova dug down into its northwestern gains, and sent some troops off to put down the rebellion in the Steinlands. Negotiations began in December 1005 and concluded in February 1006, when the Grand Duke of Bilgosh ceded the two northwestern baronies to the Empire, and the war concluded. Consensus held that the Czarina was frustrated with such small gains but more concerned about losing the wealthier Steinlands duchies.
The first rebellious duchy fell in September 1005 as Gravenia, the westernmost duchy, was recaptured by the Czarina's troops. The rebels opened a second front in the fall of 1005 and won some victories, but when the Bilgosh war ended in 1006 the situation changed. The veteran troops from the Bilgosh war might have been tired, but they were troops nonetheless and the Czarina clearly had the stronger numbers. The duchy of Elsitz fell in April after a bloody siege led by Baroness Daria of Morovsk, and Toldavia fell shortly thereafter.
Now sensing they were outstrapped, the Steinlander dukes relied upon their financial resources and went deeply into debt to hire large number of mercenaries, which turned the tide. The Imperial army was first ousted from Parringen; the rebels then recaptured Toldavia and Elsitz over the summer of 1007. The rebels, however were unable to recapture Gravenia.
With the Imperial army facing low morale and high dissent, and with the Steinlanders no longer expecting to be able to regain Gravenia without high cost, both sides met in the winter of 1007. In January 1008, the Czarina recognized the independence of the seven duchies no longer under her control, while retaining Gravenia.
The Kjoln "Soul Sickness" Plague (1006-1007)
Central Kjolnir suffered a blight in the summer of 1006, with crops poor and many livestock ill. It soon spread to people, as the "soul sickness" (as it was called) causing mild hallucinations, night terrors, chills, fever and wasting.
By late summer, refugees began fleeing the country, with Cadfaigh and Ragnorack securing their borders in response and refusing to allow Kjolns to export livestock or foodstuffs to their countries. It would not be until the spring of 1007 when Lady Astrid del Fuego of the Catalinans would discover the cause of the sickness: a magical substance called "weystone", which lay beneath the soil in Kalv, Kjolnir, and which was poisoning the air.
Seeking the weystone, ratmen resurged and besieged Kalv. Kjoln force and the ratmen would fight in central Kjolnir for several months until the ratmen were defeated.
The sickness killed thousands, but finally waned during the late spring. The Jarl of Kalv claimed that his vassals had somehow destroyed the weystone, but most suspected that the weystone had run out on its own and that the Jarl was attempting to take credit.
Emilian of Bilgosh and the Fifth Crusade (1008-)
With the death of the old Grand Duke of Bilgosh, the country appeared to be headed for a civil war over the throne. That all ended abruptly in May of 1008 when the various contestants were all found murdered, leaving only Gordana, the Grand Duke's heir. Also murdered in violent ways were hundreds of nobles, knights and other ducal officials, sending the country into a terrified panic.
On midnight of June 5, after a great rumble in the ducal palace, a previously unknown vampire, Emilian, emerged from Gordana's chambers carrying her severed head in one hand and the ducal orb in the other. He proclamed himself Overlord of Bilgosh. Similar usurpations occured in noble houses across the country, the liege slain and a vampire, werewolf, necromancer or other unholy figure proclaiming him- or herself the new Dark Lord or Dark Lady of the region.
Hesket reacted in horror, and the religious military orders took rapidly to arms. The Collegium officially declared a crusade against Emilian and his supporters in 2009. Worn-torn countries like Zdunarova and the Steinlands expressed their reservations, but in the summer of 1009, King Robert of Chardreau called his vassals to arms, and declared his intention to join the crusade. Before his court, he pinned to his doublet an emblem of a bell, in solidarity with the churchbells on the vanished Bilgosh coat of arms. Not to be outdone, King Harold of Allondell followed suit thereafter.
The crusaders had initial trouble reaching Bilgosh, as Kislevia and the Steinlands did not seem keen on allowing foreign armies to march through their lands. The crusader kings entered negotiations with ship captains to sail to Bilgosh, but after Marakh pirates captured some early ships, they revisited the idea of a land route, and were able to offer concessions to the lands along that route.
The crusading armies gathered in Alsoria in the Steinlands and made a charge into Bilgosh in the summer of 1010. The battle was a disaster, resulting in the deaths of both King Harold and King Robert.
The crusaders received further setbacks when King Harold's heir, Queen Margaret, was exposed as a werewolf, explaining why she led her armies into dangerous fights against the Dark Lords. When she fled, her underage son was proclaimed Harold VI, with his uncle Edmund as regent.
By the summer of 1011 the crusaders began to employ new tactics, and made their first inroads into Bilgosh, occupying some of the northern territories, albeit at a great cost, by the time winter arrived. Over the next two years, Crusader gains came only with heavy losses.
When the young Harold came of age and took the throne, he showed himself brasher than his father (and brasher than his regent). So when the Yamamotoans claimed they were under threat by unholy forces and wished to supply some magical weapons if Allondell and Chardreau would open trade with them, King Harold readily agreed, as did Queen Margaret. Many Delonan lands felt this to be a betrayal and left the Crusade, but Yamamotoan ships did make it past Marakhin to reach Bilgosh in the fall of 1013.
|2500 BI||Founding of the Arren Empire (dwarven calendars use this point as year 0)|
|1500 BI||Formation of mahiri Elder Clans (mahiri calendars use this point as year 0)|
|c.600 BI||Rise of city of Sturia|
|c.500 BI||Long Hills mahiri come to southern Ragnorack valley|
|459 BI||Beginning of the dwarven Clan Wars|
|c.200 BI||Sturian Empire reaches its high point|
|c.0 AI||Long Hills mahiri at their height; Sandrin the Smith born|
|0 AI||First Sturian Emperor crowned|
|c. 200 AI||Long Hills mahiri abandon White Wolf region for reasons unknown|
|206 June 6||City of Sturia destroyed on June 6|
|370||Lich Neklos defeated by mahiri archmage Sandrin, and imprisoned in a stone placed in modern-day Ragnorack|
|c.450||Desert tribes of humans (Marakhs and Kiljuks) conquer former Sturian provinces in the south and form beginnings of modern-day Marakhin and Kiljukan|
|c.550||Kislennic tribes, mostly Allondi, begin to displace Cadfainn from what is now nothern Allondell; Cadfainn begin to move northward|
|c.580||Great Floods wash over coasts of northern Hesket|
|c.600||Long Hills mahiri disappear from Ragnorack valley|
|632||Cadfainn displace Caelti rulers in Caelland; start of Cadfainn kingdom|
|c.650||Ousted from central farmlands, Caelti peasants displaced from coasts, move into the north and west of the country|
|c.650||Mahiri settlers from Seven Rivers (in eastern Allondell) move to the Raerock Forest (in Ragnorack) and become the Raerock mahiri|
|c.730||Discovery of uses of grumweed by Raerock mahiri; attempts at "pacification" of orcs using grumweed and grumale; subsequent creation of the grum as a sub-species|
|848||The Great Plague|
|852-874||Twenty-Years' War between Allondell and Chardreau|
|949||Conquest of Lake Ragnorack valley begins, led by Hrungar the Bold|
|951||Kingdom of Ragnorack founded as King Hrungar crowned|
|981||Recurrence of the Great Plague; kills thousands of people in northern Hesket|
|986-987||Pious (Fourth) Crusade, led not by kings but by religious orders|
|989||Czar Aleksander of Zdunarova and the House of Katavasov are killed or imprisoned by Nikolai of the House of Alexov, who is declared the new Czar|
|991||War between Massulia and Melonissos|
|992||Ratmen rising in Kislevia; the "Rat Wars" as Kislevian soldiers battle the subterranean shapechangers in caves and tunnels; ratmen retreat in December for reasons unknown|
|992 Sep||Death of King Hrungar of Ragnorack; period of anarchy and confusion over succession ("the Troubles") follow|
|992 Oct||Age of Discovery begins: ships from Yamamoto cross the seas and reach Delona|
|993 Mar||Queen Gwynhafra calls a conference at Loch Meagan to settle Ragnorackan succession; Hrothgar's third cousin Count Dmitri von Scharnhof of Kislevia chosen, despite Cadfainn lobbying for Gwynhafra|
|993 Mar-Apr||Caelti rebellion; Caelti summon dragon at Battle of Loch Meagan; crown prince of Cadfainn, Prince Enda, killed; the visiting Yamamotoans side with Caelti, then retreat to their homeland|
|993 Apr||Roderick of Ennitaria proclaims orcs his subjects; wide disdain follows|
|993 May||King Dmitri of Ragnorack crowned; kingdom stabilizes|
|993 Dec||Ragnorackan pass of White Wolf besieged by monsters after locals topple mahiri spirit stones; siege ends only when the stones are restored|
|994 Sep||Lizard men assault Kjoln valley of Torgyll|
|994 Sep||Archmage Decius frees the lich Neklos in exchange for being made a lich himself; then runs loose in wilds of Ragnorack|
|995 Feb||Death of Queen Gwynhafra of Cadfaigh; "discovery" of King Tristan, alleged bastard son of deceased Prince Enda; Tristan accepted as king by Cadfainn lords|
|995||Aleksandra of House Katavasov, with help from Baron Ivan Konessky of Vronsky, raises an army and deposes Czar Nikolai of Zdunarova; Katavasovs are restored to the throne as Aleksandra is proclaimed Czarina|
|996 Mar||Allondell declares use of force against Ennitaria due to orcish raids operating from that country; Kislevia then invades Ennitaria to pre-empt the Allondines|
|996 Mar||Lich Decius captured and defeated in Ragnorackan village of Blue Ridge|
|996 Apr||Outright war begins in Ennitaria between Kislevia and Allondell, with only token faction loyal to King Roderick|
|996 Jun||Opening of dwarven trade-hold of Skylight, in Kislevia|
|996 Jul||King Tristan of Cadfaigh kidnapped by demons, who frame the crime on the fae; fae-land ages him twelve years before he is rescued|
|996 Oct 2||Ennitarian capital of Danris falls; King Roderick killed, Allondines and Kislevians fight in the streets|
|996 Oct 3||Several Highland Cadfainn clans publicly announce to the Regency their rejection of Tristan as king|
|996 Oct 26||Lewis MacGrennog, head of the powerful Highlands clan MacGrennog, proclaims himself rightful King of Cadfaigh and denies Tristan's bloodline; Lord Olen MacCallad, de facto head of the dissenting Cadfainn nobles, follows suit two weeks later. Civil war (War for the Throne) begins|
|997 Jan 20||Allondell and Kislevia sign a treaty ending the war and dividing Ennitaria between them, roughly along the line of the war front|
|997 Jan 22||Duke Robert MacCadfan poisoned|
|997 Feb 14||King Dmitri of Ragnorack and Lady Marilyn MacCallad (daughter and heir of Olen) are bethrothed; Ragnorack enters the Cadfainn civil war on MacCallad's side|
|997 Mar-Apr||Valenne's Second Battle of Carcassonne; Duke Lawrence finally crushes rebellion, and uses magical stones to eliminate all magery in Valenne for years|
|997 Apr||Beginnings of attacks from cult of the "New Gods" against clergy|
|997 Apr 8||Olen MacCallad extends Regency's pact to recognize as Cadfainn any Caelti who renounce their blood practices and take up arms in his name. Rise of "bucks"|
|997 June||Tristan of Cadfaigh vanishes without a trace; final collapse of Regency and "Blue" faction as its members shift support to Olen MacCallad|
|997 July 24||Yamamoto invades Delona, besieging the duchy of Napermo|
|997 Sept||Veneza declares war on Yamamoto|
|997 Sept 27||Philiathos declares war on Yamamoto|
|997 Nov||Balthazarian religious orders enter the war|
|997 Dec||Rannashite and other orders enter the war|
|997 Dec 20||Presider Anne of Sordonne assassinated|
|998 Jan 18||Collegium names Elaine of Ornach to Presider post|
|998 Feb||Vorskyr begin attacks on Kjolnir|
|998 May||Allondell and Chardreau at last commit troops in Delona|
|998 May||Vorskyr attack Kislevia|
|998 Jul 5||Delonans recapture Frignenza from Yamamotoans|
|998 Aug 6||First Battle of Salicusa; Delonan invasion of Napermo fails|
|998 Aug 12-14||Battle of Solkirk; Lewis MacGrennog dies and Golds surrender|
|998 Sep||Second Battle of Salicusa|
|998 Sep-Oct||"Sunken Hundred" islands arise off Allondine coast; army of ancient Caelti defeated|
|998 Dec 1||Marilyn MacCallad crowned Queen of Cadfaigh; War For the Throne officially ends|
|999 Apr 4||Queen Marilyn of Cadfaigh and King Dmitri of Ragnorack are married by Presider Elaine in Northhaven, Ragnorack|
|999 Apr 23||Peace treaty between Delonan lands and Yamamoto|
|999 Apr-Jun||Dwarven clans Silverrock and Earthcrown enter Kjoln war, emerge behind vorskyr back lines; vorskyr sent into disarray|
|999 July 8||King Owen of Linneraigh dies; daughter Fiona ascends to throne|
|999 May-Dec||Imperium Novum movement proclaims new Sturian Empire coming in 1000. Seeks royal audience in Linneraigh, riots; expelled from Linneraigh into Cadfaigh|
|999 Sept||Queen Fiona II of Linneraigh crowned|
|1000 Jan-Jul||Imperium Novum expelled by Cadfainn into Allondell; movement marches on Tolbury and is put down by Allondines in Renhamshire|
|1001 Mar 30||Doge (Duke) Alessandro of Vallino, heirless, announces abdication and declares Baron Severus diMarra his heir; Doge Severus crowned two days later|
|1001 Nov 23||Birth of Martin, heir to thrones of Cadfaigh and Ragnorack|
|1002 April||Iñarra announces plans to build a ship that can sail to Dosan; many other countries follow suit|
|1002 Nov-Dec||Transoceanic ships launch|
|1003 April 28||Tamplonian ship HMS Lumen returns, having made contact with the Dosanese empire of Meng Guo|
|1003 April||Duke of Sovogda presents claim to Czarina of Zdunarova that some Bilgosh lands are rightfully his|
|1003 Aug||Zdunarovan forces enter Bilgosh|
|1003 Nov||Duchess Wilhemina of Silbermark protests to Czarina about further levying of troops|
|1004 Mar||Zdunarova besieges Bilgosh capital of Dezdovo|
|1004 Jul||Silbermark and Elsitz engage Czarina's troops|
|1004 Oct-Nov||More duchies in the Steinlands rebel -- eight in all|
|1005 Mar||Zdunarova abandons siege of Dezdovo "temporarily"|
|1005 May||Zdunarova besieges rebel duchy of Gravenia|
|1005 Sep||Zdunarova recaptures Gravenia|
|1006 Feb||Zdunarova and Bilgosh reach peace agreement; Bilgosh cedes two baronies|
|1006 April||Zdunarova recaptures rebel duchy of Elsitz|
|1006 Spring||"Soul sickness" in Kjolnir begins, killing crops, livestock, and then people|
|1006 Jul||Rebel Steinlands duchy of Gravenia captured by Zdunarova|
|1006 Oct||Zdunarova besieges Alsoria|
|1007 Feb||Kjolnir's neighbors close their borders against the soul sickness|
|1007 Mar 9||Lady Astrid del Fuego discovers weystone as cause of soul sickness|
|1007 Mar 24||Steinlanders relieve Alsoria|
|1007 Apr-May||Ratmen attack central Kjolnir|
|1007 May||Soul sickness wanes|
|1007 Jun 2||Steinlanders recapture Toldavia|
|1007 Aug 2||Steinlanders recapture Elsitz|
|1007 Sep||Steinlanders fail to recapture Gravenia|
|1007 Dec 5||Grand Duke Milos II of Bilgosh dies|
|1007 Dec 17||Some Bilgosh nobles refuse to recognize Gordana as Grand Duchess|
|1008 Feb||War in Steinlands ends as seven duchies are made independent of Zdunarova|