Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pendrell

This is the first post in a long overdue series on the kingdoms, empires and states of Argos. First out is...

The Kingdom of Pendrell

click map to see full size


Government: Awakened Monarchy
Ruler: King Rowar II Garwellyn
Capital: Crondor

This kingdom occupies the southern part of the Aelevian Peninsula, west of the Inner Sea. It now borders to the Elfswood to the north, and two oceans on all other sides. The Pendrellian landscape is dominated by rolling, green hills and lush valleys. As of recent, a thick forest has sprung up, all but dividing the north from the south. The climate is temperate, and the temperature may fall below freezing for a few month in the winter. The autumn and spring often see longer periods of rain, while the summers tend to be long and mild.

Before the Elfswar, the peninsula was largely covered in a thick, primordial forest called the Aelvinwoode. As the name infers, this was the homeland of an elven house, the Andradhril. This was the last of the elven houses in Eria, and the peninsula also saw some of the heaviest fighting of the centuries-long Elfswar. Over the span of several generations, the forest was burned and cleared, and battle for battle, the elves were driven off their ancient lands.



Most of this fighting were done by the legions of the Penderii tribe, led in the last century of the war by Lord Solar Aegenmar Macharius. The Pendrellian kingdom was founded in 5 YE, when Macharius led the his tribe to leave the Skythian Empire. When he was proclaimed king, he took as his seat the Oaken Throne, a large chair carved from the stem of the Heart tree of the defeated elves. Macharius, now King Aegenmar I of Pendrell, wrote the Macharian Laws that still dominates most Western Erian legal systems. In these first years of the Third Age, he also created the Cabal of Pure Thought, and sowed the seeds that would later develop into the Ministerium. 

In the system of government laid out by Macharius, the Ministerium was the third House of government, the other two being the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The king, while being the head of state, had to have the support of at least two of the Houses to levy taxes and pass laws. This system was to last for a thousand years.


Pendrellian landscape


Over the following centuries, Pendrell stayed out of the many wars that ripped the Skythian Empire apart. In this period the kingdom enjoyed a time of growth and prosperity, and slowly most of the peninsula was settled. A few lesser tribes who had lived on the outskirts of the Aelvinwoode before the Elfswar, as well as people fleeing the turbulent southern Eria, further swelled the population.

By the end of the 8th century of Enlightenment, the Ministerium had developed from being just a domestic power to being an authority in all of Western Eria. By now, the Cabal of Pure Thought consisted of more than half a dozen universities, cabals, collegiums and societies from several states and kingdoms. To prevent dogmatic wars between the various members of the Cabal, the Ministerium was made the ruling body of all these different groups. As such, the Ministerium had now become second only to the Temple of Man Supreme in Paradigmatic authority.

Another important development in the 8th century was the birth of the Presbyterian movement. This movement sprung out of the peasant-communities of northern Pendrell, and were opposed to the ownership of land by those who do not work it. Even if this led to conflicts with the nobility, the Presbyterian ideas quickly spread, and by the end of the century the Presbyterium had become a member of the Ministerium.

When the first century of Enlightenment drew to and end, the Presbyterium had come to dominate the domestic policies of the Ministerium, and had also gained a large following in the House of Commons. Following the failed Macharian plot on King Arthor XIII on St. Revan's Day in 997 YE, the Presbyterian-controlled Ministerium instigated a series of purges of prominent Macharites in the government. Later it has become clear that the plot was fabricated by central figures in the Presbyterium.

Over the generation that followed the St. Revan's Day Plot, shadow tribunals became commonplace, and in the end anyone who criticised the government stood in peril of just vanishing. By the 1010's, the House of Lords had been all but neutralized, and the Presbyterian majority in the House of Commons wrote off on any law passed by the Ministerium. The had by now become nothing more than an impotent figurehead. As magic returned to Argos, the agents of the Ministerium also carried out strict pogroms against anyone suspected of arcane connections. 


King Rowar II marches on Crondor

Things came to a boil when the Presbyterium led Pendrell to declare war on the Wezellian Syndicate in Primium 1022 YE. Shortly after the outbreak of this war a great dragon laid waste to Five Fort Vale in north-western Pendrell, and within days of this remnants of the elves of the Andradhril struck deep into Pendrell. This attack was of a nature never seen before, and the kingdom stood completely powerless to stop this old enemy's vengeance. As the elves penetrated deeper, the lands became covered by a terrible forest that sprang up over night, as if by sorcery and vile magics.

The old King Arthor XIII now did made is probably the bravest action in his life. He fell on his sword, and leaving no direct heir, he then left the kingdom without a ruler. This window of opportunity was seized by the young Rowar Garwellyn, Duke of Ayre. Quickly raising an army, he made a claim on the Oaken Throne and marched on the capital.

The civil war was to be a short one, lasting less than two months. A cabal of magicians retrieved the Crown of Pendrell from the vaults of the Royal Bastion, and after the new king had been crowned, aided him in crossing the River Ayre undetected. In the resulting battle, the Presbyterian army was defeated, and the king could now march all the way to Crondor. It is also said that the king Awakened on the morning before the battle. In these same  days, he also struck a peace with the elves, promising that the people of his kingdom should never venture into the Elfswood.

In the months that followed, the remaining Presbyterians were driven out of southern Pendrell, and the Awakened king has devoted all his energies to reorganizing his realm. Amongst other things, he has disbanded the Ministerium, and reorganized the two remaining Houses. Much land has also been lost to the Elfswood, and the northern parts of the peninsula, with the duchies of Windshire and the Highlands, is held by the remnants of the Presbyterium. The southern duchies of Ayre, Sothershire and the Midlands have all sworn allegiance to the king.

Despite the hardships in his kingdom, King Rowar II has joined the Enlightened Alliance, and is preparing for the Great War.


2 comments:

  1. "A cabal of magicians retrieved the Crown of Pendrell from the vaults of the Royal Bastion" - wonder who that was...

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  2. Say... Wasn't that those same magicians who, if rumours are to be believed, were behind the Conflagration of the Five Forts?

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