Monday, October 12, 2015

History of the Kingdom of Yewland

Of the island of Wyranth, we may say little. Its natives believe they are the descendants of giants. They produce nothing of value, worship the same unwholesome gods of the region under different names, and will fight even when outnumbered ten to one. No tax levy is advisable.

—Old Dominion Survey of the West, Prothalus Proctor

Yewland is a new kingdom, comparatively speaking. To understand its roots, it behooves one to trace its history back to the pre-Confessional island. The island of Wyranth was a network of tribal loyalties and faiths. The most powerful of those faiths was the Oroline Priesthood of Forest Hallow, which provided some form of stability between the warring factions that spread across the island. Oroslan, the Spirit of the Wood, was worshipped all over the island even where local gods were sometimes ascendent. This gave Oroline priests an inviolability to move between chiefdoms and valley-kingdoms.

In the year 199 Y.F., the Spyran general Olisauros brought ten phalanxes to the island and conquered its southernmost portions in the region of Southhold, what is today known as "the Neck" for its narrowness between the two seas. Three major battles where fought around the modern site of Blackstone. The following year, Olisauros began building Oldcastel and in the chaos of the Despot Tarquen's death in 201 Y.F., the newly proclaimed Spyran Synod established the city of Oakenport and began to reinforced the Dominion's presence in the south of the island.

The Dominion strove with the Rime Giants of Vulgard in the north for twenty years until. In 223 Y.F. a Wyrithi federate of the Dominion forces, Turosis, traveled to the barrow of the dragon Vercingetorex Fulgor and claimed the ancient beast's thighbone. Carving a helmet from it, he proclaimed himself the dragon's heir and rode with the Dominion against the Rime Giants. Turosis was thus the first Wyrithi to name himself a Dragon—this became the title of a military commander of federate forces ever thereafter.

In 225 Y.F., Turosis and the Dominion shattered the Rime Giants at the fortification known as the Dunland Dike. The last families of Rime Giants were driven from Wyranth, but Dunlander tribes surrounded and repulsed the Dominion phalanxes.

In 317 Y.F., after a bloody internal conflict in Spyra, the Despot Avicen (who had taken control from the Synod in 305) withdrew Dominion forces from Wyranth to secure his rule in the East. This marked a steep downward trend in the settlements of Wyranth, leading to the crisis of 322 when cities were emptied, marketplaces where abandoned, and the Mascoliri came out of Forest Hallow to reclaim the land. The Cuervi revolted against the Wyrithi lords at Blackstone and the Dunlanders proclaimed the first Dunlord as ruler over all the island north of the Dike.

Chaos and blood were the bywords of these years. Corothman of Castelstone (what would later be called Oldcastel), a Dragon of a badly battered mixed Dominion and Wyrithi army, established the first of the many successor kingdoms to be formed out of the Dominion's bones. This simple act caused other chiefs to proclaim themselves Dragons. Overnight, the island was divided into six kingdoms: Castelhold and its foes, Harthold, Stagsend, Gulland, Shinglehorn, Westland.

By 454 Y.F., the Old Dominion was in the hands of Kyrian Confessionals as a new religion swept through the East. The Sacred Autarch Horas, the Confessional ruler of the New Dominion, sent missionaries into Harthold and converted its king. He was sent two phalanxes in 455 to help shore up his hold. Again, Dragon Morr of Hartshold was sent troops in 457. He joined his kingdom to Stagsend by wedding the Staggish queen, Aesc.

Until 481, the Faith did well in the isle. However, the Mascoliri, Dunlanders, and Caledoni united to smash the Faithful kingdoms and kept the rule under old pagan rule until 503 when the Autarch Methodius sent fifteen phalanxes to reconquer the island. By 507, Castelstone was rebuilt into Oldcastel, new roads were laid in the south, and the Dominion began to violently suppress worship of the old gods. In 512 the Dominion, victorious, stoned the High Circle of the Oroline Priesthood to death, preserving the Hierophant for transport back to Spyra and triumphal march beneath the Cedar Gate.

By 531, the Divine Light appointed a High Prelate of Wyranth and in 532 Ogust of Alfad arrived to become the first High Priest of the island. He erected a stone altar which would later become the heart of Kingsbrook Temple. However, in 697 the Dominion once again withdrew. Wyranth suffered in steep decline.

Finally, in 905, Humbolt of Harthold began what would later become known as the War of the Stag. He torched many towns and defeated the Allies of the Stag in the battle of Deeping Fell. He proclaimed himself High Dragon of Wyranth and was given praises by the High Prelate. This unification of the southern and Confessional kingdoms led to the birth of what is now called Yewland.

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