Joined: 09 Oct 2013
|Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:27 pm Post subject: Third Era - Present
|AGE OF SWORDS AND STEEL
"The Tribes of Steel will come from the skies, the earth and the seas. With them they bring fire, ash and death. Forests will burn, seas will boil and dull in grey, and the fields will decay in the only gift the Tribes of Steel are capable of giving us; the stench of blood and misery."
- Vadalla Nalra, The End Times
The majority of colonies on the continents had grown large as more settlers flocked to them, and continued to do so in great numbers. The promise of a new life gave many poor the chance to start over again, and traders prospered at the founding of major trading companies such as the Northern Nations Trading Co., the Imperial Frontier Trading Co., the Red Dawn Trading Co. and the Thalonian Trading Co.
However, as the colonies grew, so did conflicts caused by famine, lack of resources and territorial disputes. Elves of the great forests in Calendorh often raided human colonies as towns expanded into their territories. On Korr, savage tribes attacked and razed several colonies and on Aesudarh the Frostmen were uniting in an effort to retake some of their ancestral lands along the southern coasts.
Additionally, many colonies suffered raised taxes as caused by the rising tension between the nations in Avanor, which eventually led to many of these colonies rebelling and declaring their own independence. Also, with conflicts rising on Avanor, some of the colonies were claimed by other nations either through political ingenuity or simple yet minor warfare or attrition.
As it would stand, the New Imperium held the majority of colonies followed by the Valaísian Empire and the Thalonian Republic; effectively making the three the most influential nations in the entire world. And, with the hostile tensions between Valaís and the Imperium, several naval encounters and battles were fought to control the rich trade ways and island colonies. General merchant ships, most of which unaffiliated, would sometimes be caught in these conflicts or face potential dangers of pirates and sea monsters.
THE RIVAIRAN INCIDENT
On the island state of Rivaire, vassal of the Valaísian Empire, a series of disgruntled merchants and labourers spurred on an uprising in protest against recent tax changes. This was presumably encouraged and supported by covert New Imperium spies, in an attempt to further cripple the Valaísian overall wealth and trade economy. In protest agaubst Valaís, the Rivairans sank docked trade vessels and threw valuable trade goods such as silk, tea and various foodstuffs into the sea. Valaísian troops were rallied to deal with the uprisings and swiftly ended the incidents of rebellion.
While Rivaire was in an uproar, Varanian freedom fighters took the opportunity to initiate a large scale rebellion across Varanos in an attempt to free their nation from the Valaísian oppression. However, political powers in Varanos refused to support the rebellion in fear of Valaísian intervention, thus the rebellion was slow and hard to maintain. It mainly boiled down to Varanians fighting Varanians, and the impact of the rebellion held little consequence to the overall power of the Valaísian Empire.
However, being forced to relocate resources to further maintain the wealth of the nation and its colonies; Valaís was severely weakened in its efforts to keep up with the growing threat of the New Imperium, and the potential of a large-scale war that would span for across the majority of the Avanor continent and its seas.
THE NORRMARK MASSACRE
The region of Norrmark in Redwain fell under much debate as the majority of the inhabitants there expressed wishes to re-join the region with the Kingdom of Ostmere. Having been won by Redwain in a previous, minor war with Ostmere, the main population of the region was more or less inhabited by peasants of Ostmerian heritage. However, there was also a large population of orcish settlers in the region, as caused by promising mining endeavours that had attracted orcish labourers from Ghorr. Many in Redwain disliked the orcish presence, though at the time little was done with the issue.
When the peasants of Norrmark began revolting to re-integrate the region with Ostmere, a few hundred Ostmerian soldiers were dispatched by nearby lords in an attempt to win favour with the population, and to ensure the successful reintegration of the region. Redwain responded with their own troops, and soon at least one-thousand Redwaini soldiers arrived to quell the uprising. What resulted was a massacre where nearly everyone in Norrmark, Ostmerians, orcs and peasants alike, were slaughtered by the Redwaini troops to set an example to future uprisings.
Following years would put the two nations in a state of minor political conflicts and war-awareness. Questions were asked as to if the massacre was justified, or whether it was a result of Ostmerian interference. Others also believed the massacre was an excuse to rid the region of both orcs and Ostmerian sympathisers.
RETURN OF THE COLD WINDS
Over the centuries since the construction of the Frostwinder fortresses and the founding of the Frostwatchers guarding them, the Bordermen maintaining these fortresses were left only in the numbers of hundreds, and the majority of them were poorly equipped and trained. Having in previous centuries maintained thousands of willing and able watchers, the Bordermen were now facing a serious issue regarding manpower.
The silence of the cold winds in the north had been long, thus many of the free cities and the eastern kingdoms had forgotten about the Long Winter and the threat of the Frostwinders. At the time these occurrences of history were nothing more but stories and myth. As a result, fewer joined the Bordermen in their vigilant watch over the Frostwinders. In some cases, the Bordermen were forced to recruit the desperate and outcast such as runaway murderers, thieves, deserters and exiles. After swearing their loyalty and life to the protection of the free people, those who daringly attempted to abandon their duty as Bordermen were hunted down and either brought to trial or executed.
During a patrol and scouting mission, one that went farther into the heart of the mountains than was previously attempted, a borderman found the citadel of Angrathan rebuilt, and further investigation revealed that Angramar was well on its way to its previous state of glory as well. The barbarian of the north were said to have been united in the thousands under a new King of Frost, and whispers of the Witch Queen and her foul minions’ return echoed throughout the winds. But upon the man’s return to tell of what he had seen, he was considered to have gone insane.
Many did not think his reports to be true, and even fellow Bordermen were doubtful that Angrathan and Angramar had returned, let alone that a new King of Frost had risen to power. However, frequent and more recurring events of barbarians attempting to pass through the Frostwatcher fortresses, even going as far as to more actively attack the fortresses, began to suggest that some sinister force was at play in the north.
Those of the Bordermen leaders who did believe the rumours began to prepare their men and requested help from the free cities and eastern kingdoms, but their cry for masons and soldiers fell on deaf ears as no lord or king took their requests seriously.
Only time would tell if these rumours of the cold winds’ return would be true or not.
THE TINKER ASSEMBLAGE
Word of a large gathering of great minds and clever innovators began to spread throughout the nations as Luthrern Vosh announced the first Tinker Assemblage to the outside world. It was a gathering of inventors, tinkerers and technological enthusiasts alike, and throughout the course of the meeting it was a showing of various inventions and technological breakthroughs. In the hopes of selling their inventions to outsiders, or to receive foreign finance, the the littlefolk of Luthrern Vosh invited several valued scientific members, trade lords and military representatives of the other nations to the Tinker Assemblage.
Marvels in technology and discovery such as steam engines, black powder and, perhaps the most impressive one, aerial ships were displayed at the Tinker Assemblage. Many of the inventions shown were more or less in an early stage, and thus a majority of the machines and technologies did not function quite as intended.
Still, the Tinker Assemblage sparked new interest in littlefolk ingenuity and machinery, and it was not long until several of the more finished creations began to appear outside of Luthrern Vosh. Inclusion of littlefolk technology gave way to advances in both economic and military endeavours. Thanks to steam engines, faster ways to travel by sea allowed for better trade, whilst black powder was eventually developed as gunpowder; for use in explosives or the increasingly popular new weapon type: matchlocks.
Other technologies, many of which used integrated magic to function, were not quite as successful in spreading throughout the world; mainly because of the uncertainty of them properly functioning, or because these technologies were simply not for sale. Gnomish gateway technology was deemed promising, but simply too random in its results and too dangerous to be considered worth the risks.
With the success of the first Tinker Assemblage, future events were organized and hosted in Luthrern Vosh annually, and also allowed for outsiders to join in the showings.
THE GOLDEN SUN SUMMIT
While rising conflicts and ever more hostile encounters between the Avanor nations continued to destabilize peace, an unexpected meeting was called by the elven kingdom of Daln Aeratháin; the last true elven kingdom in Arganorh. Having been isolated on their island for roughly over a thousand years now, the Aerthali elves, Sun Elves, severed their isolation and made contact with the human nations; announcing a wish for diplomatic negotiations.
The supposed purpose of this meeting was to determine which of the human nations Daln Aeratháin would enter into a trade agreement with. The possibility of a lasting alliance was also put to the table. The meeting was to be held on the now abandoned isles of Sunwake, within the elven ruins of Dol Eralis. Among the nations present there, the Imperium, Valaís, Samarauch and Redwain were those who were considered the most likely candidates for further diplomatic relations with Daln Aeratháin. The meeting was to be known as the Golden Sun Summit.
All of these nations saw benefits in a lasting alliance with the elves, much for the sake of elven military aid or for pure elven magic. Additionally, Daln Aeratháin was revealed to hold a large, powerful fleet; one that could maintain control over the southern seas of the continent with great ease.
The Golden Sun Summit ended inconclusively. The Aerthali delegates found no reason for any supposed alliances, but offered agreements of trade to the Imperium and Valaís. An incident of violence between two human delegations had caused concern during the summit, and thus the Aerthali were unwilling to dedicate their military or economical support fully to any of the present nations.
Many believed that there had been political sabotage at play, though no one could be certain who stood behind it. In all likeliness it was a covert operation of anti-elven instigators, or one of the present delegations, who wished to prevent any elven alliance to form with one of their enemies.
RISE OF THE GAR'SHAK PACT
Thrumnash prospered economically thanks to the Thrum Treaty. By now it was frequently visited by foreign traders and entrepreneurs wishing to establish themselves in the orcish nation. Though racial differences and hatreds still held strong in many hearts, the various races interacted with each other with limited hostility.
While Thrumnash grew as part of its new direction, there were those among the Thrumnash Pact who disliked the new ways of their people. Warchief Gar’shak, orcish clan leader of the Garsharn Clan, rallied opposers of the Thrumnash Pact and mustered a force of warriors intent on returning the Pacts to the old ways and traditions, and eliminate all foreigners who now infested their homeland.
A majority of those who followed Gar’shak were orcs, but a fair few half-trolls agreed with his cause. In time, the Gar’shak Pact was formed and its members pillaged, raided and otherwise attacked all who opposed their cause.
However, the Gar’shak Pact had little chance of truly overthrowing the Thrumnash rule, and thus they turned to demonic worship; pledging their lives to the demonic lords in hopes of gaining enough strength to destroy their enemies.
As foreigners continued to arrive in Thrumnash, the Gar’shak Pact grew as more began to dislike the presence of humans in their lands, as well as for the increasing amount of hostilities between the humans and those of the Pacts.