Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A realm torn asunder

During the Great War the kingdom of Pendrell was caught up in a bitter internal struggle. On one side King Rowar II and those true to him attempted to bring the realm into the war on the side of the Enlightened Alliance. On the other, the powerful Magisterium, controlled by orthodox Presbyterians, wanted to use the growing turmoil to strengthen their grip on the people. Skirmishes, assassinations, pogroms and riots were commonplace and neither side seemed able to break the deadlock.

In YE 1022, a cabal of magicians allied with the king, released the primeval forest of Fornost upon the land. With it followed a tribe of frost elves driven deep in to the Umbra during the last Elven War. The forest swallowed a large portion of central Pendrell in the span of a single night. Thousands perished, either to the onslaught of the woods, or they fell to the elves. This atrocity ripped the heart out of the Presbyterian movement and opened the door for a swift victory by the royalist forces. Though broken, the realm was again brought back under the rule of the king.

In his reign, King Rowar II fought two wars, first a gruesome civil war, then the Great War. Still, what he is remembered for is his rule in the peace that followed. Under his guidance, Southern Pendrell rebuilt itself and became a progressive and prosperous nation of farmers, traders and craftsmen. The capital of Crondor is second only to Rederhafen when it comes to tonnes loaded in a day. Pendrellian cloth is sougth after all across Eria, as are its tools, firearms, and books.

Following the brutal losses sustained during the war, the Presbyterians withdrew to Northern Pendrell. This hilly, windswept region is cut off from the south by the hostile Elfwood. In the north it bleeds into the inhospitable Blackmoors and to the west it runs into the violent and spirit-infested Atill range. The only respite from these harsh borders is in the east, where the grey waves of the Inner Sea washes over the rocky beaches. Little comfort, according to most of the inhabitants, as the corrupt and idolatrous viper's nest of Rederhafen lies directly across the sea.

Though the Presbyterians of Northern Pendrell are not the fervent witch hunters of the days of the Magisterium, the knowledge of how to build a proper pyre has not been forgotten, nor has the will. Surrounded by Verges, the ministers keep a watchful eye on their pupils, ever on the lookout for signs of demonic possession. Rarely a month that goes by without the greasy smoke of at least one such fire trailing towards the heaven.

This is the land the young Queen Ana I has inherited from her father, the great King Rowan II. Though she's only worn the crown for a year, she has been training for this job all her life. As soon as it became clear that she was going to Awaken, she started studying under the greatest Masters in the Alliance. Once she came into her own, she served on an Argonaut skyship where she saw real combat. For the last year of her father's life she acted as his right hand, learning how to make the decisions of a monarch.

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