Sunday, June 25, 2017

Valley Kingdoms: The Summer and Autumn Period

Wondering what the hell is going on with these blog posts? Well, head on over to this here post to get a general feeling for the Valley Kingdoms. If you'd like to read the other Valley Kingdoms pages, you can click the button up top or just follow this link to the index.

We have examined the First Great Kingdom of Othan already, but the period that followed the collapse of that southern empire in or around 687 F.A. when the Last Empress destroyed portions of Old Dumyana and killed her chief advisors and generals, along with herself. Thus, Valley scholars have usually begun the "Summer and Autumn Period" in the winter of the year 687.

The Summer and Autumn period ended with the Unification of the Faiths by The Emperor of Sifum, in what is commonly referred to as the year 1 F.V. (Fi Vosye, Year of the Faith), which was also the year 2041 F.A.

Obviously, during the Summer and Autumn period, power shifted multiples times throughout the valley. The most important kingdoms and states are known by Valley scholars, but many of the more obscure intermediary kingdoms have long since been forgotten, save by those who live in the geographic region where the kingdom was found.

The Ascendency of Medenleb, 745—908 F.A.
Immediately after the fall of Othan, its smaller city-colonies grew into their own. By 745, the mightiest of these mercantile centers was Medenleb, who deified Empress Leb I as their protrectrix. The people of Medenleb served an oligarchic plutocracy that nevertheless managed to conquer most of the northern Sea of Yer and subject even far-flung regions of the valley to its economic control.

The golden medem became the standard currency in the Valley for generations, supplemented by the silver lebem and the electrum vivem. These coins can still be found today, in old hoards or ancient crypts of the Medenlebam people. They are extremely valuable, and sometimes worn as good luck charms from the ancient days of the Valley.

Another feature of Medenleb was its famed library of sorcery. It was founded by the sorceress Lilatha (which means mother in the Medenleb dialect) who brought her collection of books out of Dumyana after the Fall. It became a major political institution, operating as a priesthood of Leb, a sort of academy, and a legislative body all at once.

For all its influence, Medenleb was a sea-faring power, and never penetrated deeply into the landlocked regions. It encouraged the building of local ports, but not of road networks or development of hinterlands.

Medenleb finally fell as a result of the Sorcerer's Wars, waged in the late 9th century between competing interests at the Library. The modern Library in Medenleb remembers those wars to this day, and thus remains secretive, withdrawn, and apart from politics in all its forms. Meddling with the world at large is strictly prohibit by the Wizards of Medenleb.

The Library of Medenleb, Central Building

The Second Great Kingdom of Yer, 1021—1215 F.A.
The Second Great Kingdom was also formed along the southern shores, and contested with the Third (from the north) throughout its entire life. Many old colonies of Othan recognized Yer as the heritor to Othan glories but several of Empress Leb's key trading cities never would, as they had by now their own culture and independence.

The Third Great Kingdom of Vilus, 1071—1709 F.A.
Vilus was founded in the north of the Sea of Yer and represents the first non-Othan successor state to have real power in the Valley. It developed a system of internal roads and major cities, was almost constantly at war with its neighbors (including Yer, the City of War, the Ship Folk, Medenva, etc.) and strove for power in all things.

Its symbol was a spear, and its people were known as the Spearlords.

The City of War, 1323—1391 F.A.
For a brief time, the City of War dominated the eastern shores of the Sea of Yer. It is remembered as a brutal, awful period, when slave exact was high. Its defeat by Vilus was followed by the utter destruction of its site, the murder of all its inhabitants, and the burning of all its gods, as well as its proper name being stricken from all records so that it might be as though it never was.

The Time of the Ships, 1402—1488 F.A.
From 1402-1488 the Ship Folk raided the shores of all the Valley Kingdoms ruthlessly. They took slaves and retreated to the inner isles, working together in large piratical bands, until ultimately being hunted down and destroyed by the League of Cities, whose trade was constantly under threat.

The Ascendency of Medenva, 1929—2020 F.A.
Medenva, the Holy City, came to power first because of its command of the sea. It was ruled by a single thearch, who was eventually awarded the high priesthood of all the Unified Faiths under the Emperor of Sifhem. Before that time, however, Medenva commanded the loyalty of most coastal lands, whether directly or by cliency, for over a hundred years.

The Fourth Great Kingdom of Sifhem, 1—971 F.V.
The Current Year, 1210 F.V.

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