In the Shadow of Titans
A General History of the Known World
283- 20 T.E. – The Great Expansion
The Talgenor Empire begins a rapid expansion throughout the continent. Their relentless war machine crushes many nations and puts many people to the sword. Slave trade flourishes in the empire. A golden age dawns for the Talgenor people. The mass expansion of the empire continues far into the west. The Dwarves of the Karaz Ankor enter an alliance with the Talgenor Empire, as they believed fighting a war was a futile action. Both nations profit greatly from this strong mercantile relationship. Moving further westwards however the Empire runs into the “High” Elven nation of Oledrinwe. Unfortunately in this case the proud elves were not willing to secede control of the mainland to the Empire and begin a brutal and bitter struggle that lasts for many years.
20-10 T.E. – The War in the West
The Talgenorians assisted by the Dwarves begin fighting a long and brutal battle in the mainland. Human military actions first secured the northern and eastern frontiers from the Elves. What compounded the difficulty of securing western Morinar was the fact that neither Elf nor Dwarf truly had control of the mainland areas. Their own great war had actually largely bled both nations dry, which led to primitive barbarians worshiping foul gods having almost complete control over the mainland. With neither the barbarians, nor the Elves being able to face the Empire in open conflict both peoples resorted to using guerrilla warfare. In the end however the Empire was successful in attaining control of the mainland and pushing the elves back across the south sea. Despite this though, not all of these guerrilla groups were wiped out. Some even plague western Morinar to this day. However the actual nation did agree to a formal end to the war and in modern times now attempts to regain diplomatically what they lost through military means.
10-0 T.E. – A Time of Plenty
After winning the “War in the West” as it was dubbed, the Talgenorian people soon established 8 provinces with which to rule their newly conquered regions. The currently ruling monarchies were formed in this time; the Talvosians, the Laurents, the Warricks, the Bannons, the Martins, the Valeros’s, the Drago’s, and the Torwen’s established their rule over each of their respective provinces. These next 10 years were a peaceful and prosperous time. Trade was good, boundaries respected, and pacts were honoured.
0-7 S.E – The Sovereign Era
That era of peace however was simply the calm before the storm for a great disaster befell the heartlands of the Talgenorian Empire. Signs were evident in the days before the disaster as strange colours filled the sky, mutated children were birthed, and dark magic grew in strength in the days before the disaster. Scryers, astrologists, and seers were consulted in an attempt to find out what was going on but none could piece the skeins of fate clearly enough, but when the disaster did come… it came in fire.
On the winter solstice, the longest night of the year turned into the longest day, as a flaming meteor swooped down from the heavens and smashed into the heartlands of the Talgenor Empire. In a split second, several hundred years of culture, history, and tradition were wiped out. What once was the crown jewel of the Empire was now just a barren wasteland. Though shielded from the worst of the ash clouds by the Dwarven Mountains, Western Morinar did feel some of the effects. Panic and chaos ran rampant as all communication both magical and mundane was cut off from the heart of the Empire. Despite waiting many long years in an attempt to contact the eastern part of the Empire, eventually the ruling families lost all hope and declared that they were now alone, and may potentially even be the last inheritors of the Empire.
This spirit of unity only lasted a few years, as first one family, and then another and soon all seceded from the Empire and declared that they were the new sovereign rulers in their own lands. The only family who still believes in the old dream is house Drago, who rules in the east.
8 – 137 S.E. The Period of Warring States and the formation of the Knights Templar
The next hundred or so years saw the newly formed nations brutally waging war against each other in an attempt to conquer land and gain treasure. However House Talvosian becomes so desperate to conquer land that they end up resorting to dark rituals and necromancy. They nearly conquer almost all of northern Morinar until the houses unite and exile them to the north. In this confusion, whilst several houses were greatly weakened in the brutal battles against the undead, House Bannon was peacefully annexed by House Martin which gave them complete control of the north, and the New Talgenori Empire claimed the lands of House Valeros. This only left the houses Laurent, Torwen and Warrick, who then created the Pact of Three Kings in which they swore binding oaths to aid each other in times of need against the north and the east.
It should also be noted that while house Talvosian had been ousted there were still many pockets of dark magic and undead floating around that were terrorizing the common folk. The Knights Templar was founded in this time to destroy the last pockets dark magic and undead as well as to protect the faith. Answering only to the Temple elders and given nearly limitless power to pursue their agenda, their witch hunts and pogroms became an event to be feared by all through the land.
138 – 152 S.E. The Treaty of Deeping Vale and the Rise of the Templars
With the Talvosians exiled, and with land up for grabs, all the noble houses looked to their own devices to consolidate their borders as well as divide up the spoils of war. Additionally the kings and emperors of the last 5 sovereign nations gathered together to sign the treaty of Deeping Vale which officially heralded the end of the warring states period. An uneasy peace followed this treaty. Occasional border skirmishes were the worst that happened in this time.
It was also in this time that the Templars came strongly into the public eye as many of their more militant brothers took to defending the small folk against predatory bands of bandits, orcs, and worse. It was also in this time that the Grand Templar Bank was formed which saw much gold flow into church coffers. Templar holdings were overflowing with recruits as many sought to be part of the church’s prestigious military arm and win some glory for themselves and for the seven.
153 – 159 S.E. The Orcish Invasion
While the kings were fighting their wars in the west, in the badlands, what were once the heartlands of the Old Empire, trouble was brewing. Thinking that nothing could be living in the badlands, the kingdoms grew slack in looking to the east. Thus the orcish tide bore down upon the inhabitants of western Morinar with a fury. Taken completely by surprise the New Empire nearly collapsed over night as hordes of blood thirsty orcs and goblins flooded out of the mountain passes. It was only through the combined might of the New Empire, their dwarvish allies, as well as timely reinforcements from all the other nations, and the Templars that the orcs were pushed back into the badlands. Surprisingly enough boundaries were respected in this time and the New Empire did not lose any land to the other nations bordering it.
160 – 238 S.E. The Bubbling Cauldron
After the orcish invasion, a time of relative peace and prosperity followed. Boundaries were respected in most cases, and the worst things that occurred were only near outbreaks of war which was averted by sometimes the narrowest margins. In more recent times however many spontaneous border disputes started erupting especially around the river land areas, as the various monarchs contest for trade rights and vital sections of the Rivers Thorlond and Leithen. While these disputes have yet to become extremely bloody it seems to be only a matter of time until something triggers an escalation, and it may be that the rivers will run red once more.
238 – 239 S.E. The Valksbourg War of Independence
The inevitable spark that lit off another bloody conflict came in the aftermath of the Stylstram. Faced with the aftermath of the terrible storm the people of Valksbourg rose up in rebellion when they received a notice stating that double the regular tax was to be paid to their Andorrian overlords. However doubt was immediately cast upon the newly dubbed Queen Bannon when it became apparent that she absolutely refused to even attempt peace talks. With the help of the elves the war ground on, and the front was pushed further back into Andorrian lands
Fortunes continued to further swing towards Valksbourg when the kingdom secured a place in the pact of three kings for Valksbourg whilst ejecting Aesmoor from their ancestral position. Trouble came however when the east threatened to secede by finding solace in the promises of the New Empire as they found issue with the queen’s leadership. Instead the south managed to convince the east to depose the queen and establish her son to the throne. Naturally the deposed queen did not take to this lightly, and resorted to dark magics to maintain her dominion. Leading a small strike force in a daring raid, Braye-Burig moved slew the evil queen, and finally ended the war for independence.
It was also in this period that the religion of the one came into being, moved by their prophet’s words, many disenfranchised folks from all over Morinar flocked to her banners. Fortunately though they caused a few minor issues and did not play a large part in the war of independence.
239 – 245 S.E. The Pact moves against Aesmoor
The first act that the newly established council in Valksbourg did was to honour their promise to assist the elves in their war against Aesmoor. Reeling under the combined forces of Galimond, Kronslund, and a stubborn but diminished Valksbourg, Aesmoor desperately sought to hold their ground. Taking the opportunity provided by Aesmoor pulling troops to assist on the mainland, the Elves successfully wrested away the Azure Isle from Aesmoori hands. Slowly losing land, the Aesmoori were on their last legs when salvation finally arrived in the form of the Prophet and her mighty host. It was this timely intervention that greatly slowed the pact’s momentum long enough for the final blow to fully halt their southward advance.
The Patriarch of the time Jacobus Warrick had been marshalling his forces in secret along the borders of Valksbourg and in a decisive call to action announced the beginning of a grand crusade into the north. Despite the queen’s short lived show of power, dark magic had greatly saturated the north which caused much concern for the spiritual health of the people. It did not help that the Prophet had also widely moved in the north prior to coming to Aesmoor’s aid. Forced to turn their forces away, and beginning to get bogged down by the Prophet’s forces, the Pact nations settled in for the long haul. Eventually fighting a war on two fronts, and the climbing desertion rates of their armies forced them to abandon their offensive and settle for a peace treaty that sees Aesmoor ceasing all hostile actions against the Elves. The crusade also ends in this time once Bannon forces return to establish control in their lands though roving inquisitors are still a common sight. It is also in this time that Aesmoor creates a theocracy and converts their policies to belief in the one true god.
246 – 298 S.E. The Discovery of Jotunland
Jotunland was first discovered by Morgrim Redbeard 30 years after the war of independence. Sailing into the west, and suffering terrible storms he landed in what is now Redbeard’s cove to affect repairs and take stock of his surroundings. It would be a couple of days later when he set sail once more that he first espied the giant inhabitants of the land. Morgrim would’ve landed were it not for an oncoming storm that forced him to hunker down and eventually set sail back to Morinar to save the lives of his crew. Being the imaginative fellow that he is, Redbeard simply labelled this part of the world the Stormy
Coast and sailed home.
In the space of 10 years, Andorria sent a fleet to explore this fabled land. A torrential storm forced them to make landing in what is now Port Hope. While originally seen as a bout of bad luck their landing in the marshy regions has been fortuitous to the colony’s survival as contact with the natives has been sporadic but violent. With the successful establishment of Port Hope a mad frenzy of optimism, imperialism, and colonialism takes hold of Morinar, with subsequent waves of colonists being sent in with Kronslunders and many expatriated Aesmoori establishing the city of Hespirides south of Port Hope in the jungle known as the Verdant Expanse, and dwarves and Valksbourgers establishing the mining city of Black Iron in the mountainous regions in the north of Port Hope.
Many prestigious universities are established in this time, as well as the widespread furthering of information technology in the form of the printing press, and the improvement of ships with the introduction of dwarven and elven designs to human shipwrights.
298 – 303 S.E. The Colonial War
War however was inevitable, as inevitably tensions once again mounted, and Andorria made a move to fully monopolize trade in the west. Mobilizing their armies, they struck a blow out against Valksbourg and Kronslund, both in the colonies and in old world. To the surprise of the triumvirate, the empire also chose this time to strike at them in order to weaken the sphere of their influence by moving in concert with the Andorrians, as lessening orc attacks and the establishment of bulwark settlers allowed them to fully mobilize their armed forces westwards. The combined forces quickly caused the wars in the old world to stagnate, though the theocracy did make gains across the southern portion of Galimond
In Jotunland however, it was Port Hope that clearly possessed the upper hand both in men, and materiel and thus while the war stagnated in the east, several decisive victories saw all the colonies in Andorrian hands. Eventually the war ended when all countries realised neither could get the upper hand over the other, and thus again an armistice was signed ending hostilities.
304 – 404 S.E. An Uneasy Peace
The next hundred years passed in relative peace though it quickly became obvious that Andorria could not effectively police its holdings in Jotunland. Much to the discontent of the colonials, more and more taxes were levied to maintain what they began to see as foreign soldiers in their lands. It became very evident in this time the limits of the Andorrian machine.
It should be noted that many technological advances came about in this time, with gunpowder being brought into widespread use first as matchlocks, then more and more upscaled in the form of cannons. Militaries were also starting to become professionalized and society becomes more and more fluid as the burgeoning middle class forced the aristocracy to reconsider their positions, and their meaning. The professional adventurer also comes about in this time as mercenary companies become larger and larger to deal with the greater scale of war. Many people begin to seek out smaller bands and hire them out to perform specific tasks. An adventurer’s guild is founded in order to make some sense to the many new groups that have sprung up to profit from the new world and the chaos that still wracks some parts of Morinar.
405 – 429 S.E. Colonial Freedom
The ball finally dropped when a new tax to maintain Andorrian soldiers was once again sent to the new world. Outright rebellion was the response and the people rose up en masse, and the over worked Andorrian system quickly collapsed on itself. Suffering loss after loss, the death blow was struck when Black Iron managed to win away its independence which cut off almost all supplies to the Andorrian soldiery. Forced to retreat, and hoping to save the lives of their soldiers, Andorria desperately agreed to a peace treaty which also guaranteed colonial independence. Adventurers greatly profit in this time selling their services to maintain protection or security in lands with absentee lords.
The colonies quickly set up their own spheres of influence and began to rapidly bring themselves to becoming as powerful as possible in order to ensure that they can continue to hold onto their hard won freedom. The next 20 years pass in relative peace both in Jotunland and in Morinar. Tensions however, are beginning to rise in Jotunland as the machine of progress has begun to put more and more pressure on the natives of that dangerous land. Adventurers become amongst the most common way to deal with the natives or to discover untapped riches to exploit. It is undebatable though that despite attempts to placate the angry indigenous folk, that clashes between colonials and natives are becoming more and more frequent. In spite of the escalating hostilities, it is clear that it will be small groups of determined, exceptional, individuals who will shape the course of history. Will these professional adventurers become heroes, renegades, or villains? Only time can tell that tale.