History of Elwynn

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A History of the Elwynnese Union from the earliest times up until the year 1623 (Elw Calendar) and the beginning of the current era. Written 'in-sim' and from a secular perspective, accounting for religious beliefs and interpretations where known or advised of. Hyperborean events are mostly excluded except where they impact upon the mainland. Similarly the overseas realms incorporated into the Elwynnese Union are only to be addressed when of relevance during the independence era.

Authorship

The History of Elwynn was first written down by the Irijah Prosper Arturion (1545-1624), a noted scholar and antiquarian famous for his boast of visiting each and every single one of the Bailiwicks of the Elwynnese Union.

His life's work was mostly a continuation and elaboration of the Histories of Ric Lyon interwoven with anecdotes relating to the various towns. After his demise the manuscript was unfortunately lost, however the Vice-Dean of the Library and academicians of the Alôqoqar Etâqon Adurellion are attempting a reconstruction of the work based upon the accumulated mass of research notes and the charred remains of the original tome.

History

The earliest history of Elwynn was a function of its geography - the frozen fastness of the northern shores up to Cape Farewell, then curving round to the south and east in parallel to the Cimmerian isles and into the Taiga forests of Wintergleam, regularly blasted by boreal storms from Raikoth and Leng. The cold reaches deep down into the bones of the frozen earth, but it is the highlands of the north which form the catchment areas of the two great rivers, both named Elwynn - East and West, White and Blue, that are in turn the most salient and defining feature of the region. Elwynn Proper is the land between two rivers and it is those great rivers which connect it with more temperate climes.

The climate made a frontier, one that can still be observed today by tracing the southern edges of Amokolia, Íseirdia-la-Vraulalennir and Agnesia and Wintergleam. On one side of this line, human existence could depend upon the plough and the tilled field, on slash-and burn agriculture carried out in the midst of a vast and unending primordial forest of deciduous oaks, elm, aspen, and birch. On the other side of this line, up in the Far Reaches, it was the skills of the herdsman, the trapper and the hunter upon which the hopes of survival rested. In the north there were no fixed villages, no harvests, no realms, no tribes and no temples - the colonisation of the northern fastness by the Raikothin would come much later. This divide would go a long way towards explaining the lack of permanence that underpinned Elwynnese history down into the Mediaeval period.

Antiquity

circa b20000-b10200: Neolithic period in northern Benacia.

circa b8000: Migration of the Elli (Proto-Elws) into the Araxion heartland.

circa b7500-b4000: Expansion of the Elli (Elwys) into the Ancient Midlands. Displacement, conquest and then assimilation through intermarriage of the Eraiseraislâi. Wars of the Cauldron.

circa b3100–b2686: Highpoint of the Khaz Modanian Empire, a maritime trading people, whose heartland lay in the archipelago known as the Khaz Modan Isles, stretched its control over a wide area. It encompassed all the islands from Muad’dib in the northwest to Yardistan in the southeast, and also controlled the coastal areas of the east and south of the Shirerithian continent. Inland trading posts in southern Benacia and along the River Elwynn. For its time the Empire is believed to have been relatively advanced, using various 'elemental' technologies overseen by the Technomaezji.

b2474: Khaz Modan Isles destroyed in cataclysm. Believed to be a volcanic eruption and tsunami. Volcanic winter lasting six years sees highest concentration of sulphur deposited in the last 110,000 years. The cooling effect caused a net reduction in global temperatures by 1 °C. Immediate result is glaciation, afflicting Raikoth causing massive population reduction among animals and human beings. Destruction layer well attested in archaeological and geological records. Location of the Khaz Modan Isles and the volcano still a matter of contention.

b2408: Niglai Me’Jiliad, last titular Emperor of Khaz Modan known to history, is reputed to have died. The Lines of Brookshire (Raynor, Mortis, Metzler etc) claim descent from the Me’Jiliad.

b2400-1356: Warring States Period in Benacia. Elwys raids into Brookshire and Goldshire. Western Machiavels and Panzermentshn and Eastern Cimmerians raids against the Elwys.

b1214: Kaiser Raynor I unites Brookshire and Goldshire, invades Elwynn. In the Battle of Shirekeep, he occupies the Elwynn fork. Elw tribes bravely battle on.

Origins: The Araxion Heartland

In mythology Utas, the Treesian God of Light, was believed to have brought the deity known as Elwynn to this area, which since ancient times is considered the primary source of the River Elwynn. Tradition attributed to him also the construction a tower at a spot of the banks of the aforesaid Great River of Benacia to protect the Goddess from the attentions of her twin brother ‎‎Lest. The Tower of Araxion, named after its site is noted for its prehistoric foundations and as such can be considered one of the earliest stone structures on the continent.

There is some belief amongst Antiquarians and Ethnographers that the legends that have grown up around the Tower are a reflection of the role Araxion played in the prehistoric development of the proto-Elw 'Culture Groups'. It was from this ancestral homeland that the Elw, first as hunter-gatherers and then as pastoralists, would eventually expand outwards to dominate the north of Benacia, and in so doing give rise to the myriad tribes and warbands that would cause the early Shirerithian Kaisers such consternation that they were obliged to site their Imperial Capital at Shirekeep in order to defend and ultimately - at the expense of much blood and treasure - pacify the region.

The first tribal confederacy of proto-Elw are known to us from patchy Khaz Modanian records as the Shamerim of El. Shamerim means 'guardian' in old Benacian Hebraic and suggests a link between the Elw and the ancestors of the Ashkenatzim of Western Benacia. Similarly 'El' was one of the names of the god subsequently known as Jahweh. That the name in the east evolved into ʾēlîm, then to be conflated with the goddess Elwynn as the Treesian belief systems penetrated the continent from Goldshire is an interesting conjecture - but currently no more than that.

This can be seen in the names for Elwynn in the Elw language. The name for the people being for instance Ell (plural Elli), so that the lineage ʾēlîm>Elli whence comes the Common Tongue Elwys can be seen preserved down to the present day.

Clustered in villages around the great tower, which they either first built themselves or which they erected upon the ruins of what once stood before, the Elli in this early era were predominantly goatherds, with the great Tower as their market place as well as their ritual centre and place of refuge.

It is not believed that the Elli grew crops during early antiquity, however they are known to have traded with those who did, at least those are the conclusions gained from the examination of coprolite recovered from middens in excavated at the lower layers of old Elli settlements. The Elli were simple, but intelligent, harvesters and producers of food. Fresh meat was available according to need, and could be smoked or cured for storage until the winter months. Milk and cheese were plentiful and fruit, vegetables and pulses could be either foraged or traded for. The production of food surpluses laid the foundation for increasingly prosperous tribes.

These food surpluses increased the number of specialists that the herdsmen and foragers of the tribe could afford to sustain. These specialists in turn were responsible for making the tools and weapons or for mining the ores that could be used to make metals. Women of the tribes would be responsible for the spinning and weaving of goats wool. The earliest surviving examples of crude pottery in the region can also be traced back to this period.

The Elli typically lived in small villages comprised of circular whattle and daub huts with thatched roofs built around a wooden 'long-hut' orientated along an axis orientated towards the general direction of the Tower. This long-hut would typically serve the cult centre of the community. Archaeologists suggest that the end of the long-hut that laid along the line that would be the direction of travel towards the Tower had a raised platform built over a covered pit. This construct was concealed from the villagers, who would stand in the hall portion of the long-hut, by a screen of wood or fabric hung from an overhead beam. The purpose of the screen was seemingly to serve as a physical and symbolic barrier separating the sacred from the profane. Only the Shaman and his sons would be permitted to go behind the screen where they would officiate over rituals and ceremonies lost to history but hinted at by the discovery of charred and scored bones along with copper and brass trinkets found in the detritus of the pits set before the raised platforms. Here then was where the burnt offerings were made in order to propitiate El-ʾēlîm on behalf of the community that waited anxiously beyond the screen. These communities are believed to have been comparatively egalitarian, with the village chief or headman being at that stage a man chosen for his abilities rather than for his bloodlines. Only the blacksmiths were excluded from the community as men accursed and set apart - their forges being well outside of the huts arrayed around the long-hut, indeed often beyond the first or second ring of earth-mound and ditch fortifications which guarded these settlements. Fear of fire may have played a part in the exclusion, as might an apparent superstitious dread of the workers of hot iron that ranked them little better than the ghosts, fairies, witches, and other malevolent supernatural creatures which cold iron was supposed to repel.

Wars of the Cauldron

When the Elwys, as we shall hereafter refer to them, first began to push outwards from their Araxion core territory into the interior of the forested land between the two rivers they encountered at first inconsequential bands of hunter-gatherers who could be traded with, assimilated through intermarriage or killed if hostile without there being any inconvenience for the confederacy as a whole. Yet as their foraging bands pushed further north and west into the Ancient Midlands they began to encounter more determined resistance from hunting parties and warbands of an equal or greater size than their own. These were the Eraiseraislâi ('all the sisters of the Deer'). The 'sisters' were, as the name suggests, unusual in pre-modern societies, for the prominence accorded to women. Some have even gone so far as to describe them as a matriarchy, although this is disputed.

The story of their first encounter is an ignominious one. A quarrel over the carcass of a hind giving rise to the casting of spears and the exchange of insults, reprisals by either side and an unfortunate episode when Elwys hunters attempt to forcibly take the sisters for wives and end up being kidnapped themselves. Within a generation of the first encounter, however mythologised, the two groups were locked into cycle of warfare that began to revolve ever more frequently around a totemic item, the Cauldron of Tammuz.

The concept of the Sacred Vessel carrying ritual value and associations with renewal and regeneration can be found throughout pre-Treesian Elwynn. The universal elements of the myths surrounding the Cauldron of Tammuz with its alleged powers of rebirth and regeneration - the ability to make slain and maimed warriors live and whole again through immersion in the broiling dark broth - spoke to the animism of the Elwys and the Eraiseraislâi equally. There seems to have been an obsession with the fertility of the land and the forest, as well as with the people themselves. Possession of the Cauldron therefore became central to control of the rituals that, in their mind, regulated the passing of the seasons, the health of the herds and the migration routes of the prey sought by the hunters of both nations.

The Elwys as Conquerors and Raiders

Circa 530 AN - The first Elu Verion, an Elfinshi war-leader fought against the Cimmerians, barbarians from the islands of Cimmeria on the north-eastern shore of Benacia. These raiders attacked Elwynn with increasing frequency and held various points along the northern coast. This went back and forth for a while until Cimmeria was granted county status as part of Hyperborea.

Mediaeval Period

Elwynnese Knights (Elwynns Riddare) led the most bitter and protracted resistance to the Kaisers.

1356: Kaiser John I assembles a vast army at Shirekeep and invades Elwynn. The Elw and Elfinshi, led by the Elu Verion bravely battle on.

1440: The last Elu Verion commits suicide in front of the remnants of his army. Effectively marking the end of organised Elwynnese resistance.

1443: Imperial Republic of Shireroth founded with Erik II as Kaiser.

1452: Duchy of Elwynn established, initially known as Northshire and not extending far beyond a fortified pale (area enclosed by a palisade) around Shirekeep.

1454: Scott of Hyperborea becomes the first Duke of Elwynn.

1469: Hyperborea annexed to Elwynn as barony.

1470: Ivan Ventura ascends the Ducal Throne of Elwynn.

1471: Duke Ivan is deposed by Scott of Hyperborea.

1476: Mari Greenwood succeeds Sirithil nos Fëanor as Duchess of Elwynn.

1478: Eros Darkstar appointed Bard of Elwynn. Hyperborea under Kalir Sethan reaffirms its allegiance to Elwynn and Duchess Mari Greenwood.

1484: First elections held in Elwynn. Austi Scot, baron of Novi Dalmacija, builds a statue in honour of Mari Greenwood in Novi Dalmacija.

1487: Kaiser announces plan to demote Elwynn from duchy-status to barony-status and give Hyperborea duchy-status. The Duchy government completely rejects the plan. Hyperborea offers compromise. Kaiser rejects compromise and reiterates his plan. Landsraad votes to demote Elwynn. Elwynn established as barony under the Duchy of Hyperborea.

The reduction of the Elwynnese nobility during the wars of conquest, the introduction of the Elfinshi under the nos Fëanor and Greenwood dynasts during the 1470's followed by the subsequent downfall of those Elvish houses during the looming Babkhan era would play a key part in forming the ultimately egalitarian nature of the Elw majority. The destruction of the indigenous landowning and warrior castes prevented the formation of a stratified aristocracy and led to the significant noble families that arose in the subsequent eras, Kalir, Osman, Ettlingar Freyu (Hyperborean, Babkhi and Froyalanish respectively) deriving from immigrant stock.

Beginning with the ascendancy of Sirithil nos Fëanor and accelerating with the succession of Mari Greenwood in 1476 the The Elfinshi (with their Menelmacari and Hyperborean allies) had a vested interest in keeping the Elw indentured.

The Elfinshi had embraced an ecologically aware and idyllic interpretation of the Soloralist faith and sought to structure their feudal society in a manner consistent with a return to nature whilst maintaining, for themselves, a high standard of material comfort. Regarding Menelmacar as an example of what becomes of a society perverted by a love of technology and martial power, Elwynn eschewed these values. Rejecting industry and technology in favour of sustainability. For that reason, the Elfinshi decided to make Elwynn a "reserve" built on tradition and the five quintessentialist truths. The environment would be catered for, things would be peaceful and beautiful. Everyone would sit in the tree tops and sing every day.

For the Elfinshi elite, at least, who lived in a clueless bubble of luxury and extravaganza as they sought to 'rewild' the landscape around them, in the name of the conservation of nature, of which their human subjects formed only an inconvenient part, albeit - as they conceded grudgingly - a necessary, part.

The native peoples, at this time mainly the Elw, toiled. The Elw were traditionally comprised of nomadic castes and clans; as such to be be forced to live and work in manorial estates with the 'soil grubbers' was a bitter insult to the hunters and herdsmen which fuelled resentment and animosity. The process of indenture inflicted on the Elw by the Elfinshi, saw them collectivised into settlements and made them work in agriculture regardless of their previous lack of experience, in construction and so on at the direction of Elfinshi manorial lords and ladies who ruled their beautifully crafted and fully sustainable ecolodges - that later grew to become grand treetop manors. As a consequence of the repudiation of modern technology, work was labour intensive and burdensome. These backbreaking, dangerous and slave-like conditions not only fuelled resentment against the Elfinshi but also began the process of breaking down the old tribal and caste identities of the Elw. Many Elw people died, of course as a natural result of being subjected to the living conditions attendant upon serfdom.

1st Babkhan Era

Arrival of the Babkhans before Eliria (re-enactment)

1488: Mari Greenwood abdicates in favour of Ardashir. First Babkhi epic on Lest published. Great Osmanid Charter proclaimed. Greenwood and entourage emigrate to Delvenus. Order of the Dead Stag established. Capital punishment reinstated, Hyperborea responds by putting Ardashir under house arrest and overturning all baronial laws, then occupying all of Elwynn. Civil War ensues. The Duke Rulak of Hyperborea (Locke) then further dissolves the Order of the Dead Stag. The Babkhan Shah made a diplomatic protest on behalf of his kinsman and the Kaiser responded by saying it's a ducal matter, pledges neutrality. Considered the year of Elfinshi genocide.

1489: Cease-fire called by Ardashir. Elf molestations, kitten drownings and puppy burnings are all halted (or at least suspended for the moment). Ardashir's rule restored.

1494: Donation of Elwynn. Temples of Cedrist worship to Ryvenna and B'caw established in Elwynn. Today's Bailiwicks of Ryventemple and B'cawshrine.

Huskarls repel the last charge of Antyan invaders during the Battle of Vijayanagra at the height of the War of Vengeance.
1495: Halluci dragons from Kildare are battered by Elwynnese artillery before the East Elwynn Sluices, flee into Goldshire. [And this entry still doesn't make any sense to me]

1496. Diplomatic crisis with Goldshire over the White Elwynn. Baron blames Goldshire for river piracy, orders cleansing of river.

1497: Military engagements with Goldshire.

1500: Elwynn is transferred to Arminian rule under the Barony of Hurmu.

1501: Harald of Ettlingar Freyu is named Baron of Hurmu by Duke Johanns fonn Klosso of Arminy, thus becoming the liege lord of the County of Elwynn.

1502: First mention of the emergence of cults that would later form the Holy Church of the Divine Icebear.

1504: Elwynn becomes a Barony under Brookshire as the Barony of Elwynn and Lac Glacei, with David Northworthy Beckford as its Baron.

1506: Genocide reconciliation and commemorations begins in Richard Lyon's tour d'Elwynn.

1508: Richard Lyon succeeds David Northworthy Beckford as Baron of Elwynn and Lac Glacei. Umra Mosque opened in Eliria. Yardistan declares war on Elwynn for lack of collective punishment against the Babkhi community for the Elfinshi genocide. Baron Lyon forms militia. Halluci mass immigration to Illumination begun (along with dragons).

1509: Elwynnese borders closed to all but citizens of Elwynn, Lac Glacei, Brookshire, Amity, Mirioth, the Grand Commonwealth, Stormark, Cranda and Hallucination. County of Port Illumination established. Amir Osmani makes the Triumphant Folk speech, calls for boycott of Brookshire (under which Elwynn is a barony). Lesser Zjandaria established as Babkhi county (Ardashirshahr, Caligae and Vijayanagara Communes). Lady Vesteralen made a citizen of Elwynn (Not Shireroth) by Baron Lyon, provokes imperial government and married her. Elwynn raised to duchy, celebrations across the country, meanwhile protests in other parts of Shireroth against the foreignness of Elwynn, boycotts of Elwynnese products. Gudrun Eriksdotter is joined in matrimony with Duke Richard. Peace treaty between Yardistan and Elwynn.

1510: Duke holds discussion with nobles whether to join MSX (a flawed but briefly popular banking system), gets Imperial Smackdown (a form of direct intervention popular in the autocratic period). Formal creation of Counties of Lac Glacei, Araxion, Eliria and Utasia, and Íseirdia-la-Vraulalennir. Count Ozarka sues and indicts Lord Bill of Antya over a sexual slur. Chief Justice Davis hears case, then leaves it for lacking merits. Cease and desist order from Kaiseress Semisa on Vasroie's activities (Matthew Basil. Co-Baron of Port Ill. Byz.).

1511: Lac Glacei ceases to be a part of Shireroth, and as a consequence ceases to be a part of the Duchy of Elwynn too, under the provisions of the Centerflying Treaty.

1512-1513: The first and most serve of the Hunger Famines that would blight rural Elwynn during the course of the next two decades.

1514: Chief Justice Rob Davis dies. Marking the effective end of the implementation of the rule of law based on Babkhan domestic law.

Count Harald during a meeting of the Comital Council of Wintergleam.

1516: Harald of Ettlingar Freyu is granted the County of Wintergleam by Kaiser Alejian II. In exchange for the county grant the former builds the latter a castle-like house on the coast of Wintergleam, which is to this very day known as Alejian Castle.

1526: Andelarion inherits the throne of the Kingdom of Babkha as "Rashid Shahanshah".

1530-1533: The growth of absentee landlordism, endemic corruption and a generally pervading sense of lawlessness began to undermine the successes of the First Babkhan Era; a loss of confidence in Ducal authority combined with a series of disastrous harvests prompted by a devastating crop blight led to the Great Famine of Elwynn, which although less severe than the first Hunger Famine was more protracted in duration and keenly felt.

The circumstances of the first Babkhan wave of mass settlement in Elwynn remains a subject of some controversy. The present consensus of the Academy is that it came about as a consequence of a conspiracy of Ard-Baron Zirandorthel of Treesia and Sagart Siskind to strike a blow against the Soloralist faith beloved of the Elfinshi ruling classes and so clear a path for the revival of Treesian Unorthodoxy. The first stage was to convince the Kaiser to demote the Duchess, Mari Greenwood, to the rank and title of baroness, and to raise the Hyperboreans up to the dukedom in Elwynn's place. Kaiser Mors III readily acceded to this, harbouring his own dark suspicions about the loyalty of the Elvish race. In the face of Mari Greenwood's fulsome protests Elwynn was reduced to a vassal of Hyperborea. The next step was to find an external force to deliver the coup de grace to the Elves, a force that would neither tarnish the moral superiority of the Hyperboreans nor embroil Treesia openly with the dangers of Imperial politics.

Babkha and Treesia had been in a state of protracted warfare since a Babkhan conquest of the Fifth Isle was narrowly thwarted by a multinational coalition during the War of the Orchid, the conflict which some maintain inspired the creation of the Book of the Orchids, so it would not immediately seem likely that the Treesians and Hyperboreans would chose their most prominent adversary to be the agent of their work in Elwynn.

This was however the era of the 'Babkha-e Jihad', where the Babkhans had celebrated narrowly avoiding destruction in a Cold War with Tymaria by, with characteristic modesty, attempting to conquer the rest of the world, or at least those portions of Micras that were not adequately defended or closely watched. It would not take much inducement to tempt the Babkhans to enter the land of Elwynn and once events took their inevitable course (to quote Scott Alexander: "Wherever there are Babkhans, and people who are not Babkhans, there will be war") the paladins could be unleashed to restore order in the land once the Babkhans and the Elfinshi had reached a point of mutual exhaustion.

In this expectation however, the Hyperboreans and their Treesian allies were quickly confounded by the speed with which the demoted Duchess Mari Greenwood yielded power to the Babkhans led by Ardashir Osmani. Her reasons for yielding so quickly, in fact at all, have never been satisfactorily explained. On the one hand Ardashir was believed to have been quite free with blandishments and promises regarding the future prosperity and integrity of the realm - promises he could scarcely have intended to honour - that may have convinced her of his could faith. It was expected at the time that her choice of human successor would have been the loyalist Dāwîḏ of Bekkrfurd, known to history as the Conglacio. Bribery and seduction were also hinted at, although considering the character of the new heir-designate the latter recourse has been deemed by many to be quite unlikely. Indeed it is entirely possible that she lacked a sound judgement of character or that she wished to find a way to punish Shireroth for her demotion.

It was the convergence therefore of Babkhan greed, Boreal-Treesian connivance, Elfinshi acquiescence and the hopes of the populace, that saw Baron Ardashir accorded a Joyous Entry into the city of Eliria at the beginning of spring and a ceremonial exchange of the baronial regalia with the departing Baroness Greenwood that formed, in a distant and remote way, an influence on the subsequent traditions of the Redizarai that has been revived and modified in the Froyalanish era. Indeed it may be speculated that many of the rituals that have proliferated around the Redizarai have been added with the intent of preventing a recurrence of this single most decisive and divisive event in Elwynnese history.

The upheavals occasioned by this change in the first instance manifested themselves in the form of the devastating Elfinshi War which saw the new Baron trying to assert himself in the face of a peasant's revolt, inter-tribal warfare, an attempt by the Duke of Hyperborea at deposing his wayward vassal and a diplomatic spat between the Kingdom of Babkha and the Imperial Republic of Shireroth. In spite of this Baron Ardashir was able to ride out the storm and establish his rule over the Barony.

The Babkhan era saw a marked socio-economic change in Elwynnese society. In the attitudes of the period the emphasis was on sins originating from economic motives, characterised by the depiction of Mari Greenwood and her retainers as the personifications of unearned reward. The welfare of the human community being prejudiced by the avarice and irresponsibility of the Elfinshi ruling classes. Ironically it was the arrival of Babkhan migrants, at the instigation of Hyperborean and Treesian interests, which saw the greatest upheaval, with the introduction of heavy industries such as gunpowder mills and iron works into what had previously been an agrarian and rural idyll sustained - at least in the Froyalanish telling - by the favour of the Goddess Elwynn herself and the suffused magic of the Elfinshi themselves.

In their place came a rough-hewed crew of Babkhan ghazis - holy warriors of the Zurvanist faith - merchants and engineers, all hungry for resources and land. Those who lived through the times perceived a catastrophic social and economic crisis arising from the wars of the late 1480's and the 1490's where the mortality rate approached 30% in some areas, causing a desperate shortage for the farms and the factories. In the next decade incomes for the surviving Elw peasants rose dramatically prompting socially repressive laws aiming to keep the peasantry tied to their places of work. A particularly harsh example was the Forestry Law promulgated by Baron Ardashir which can still be found within the Elwnameh body of customary law in Alalehzamin. The Forest of Elwynn itself was rapidly diminished during this period, with trees being felled for construction projects such as the damming of the West Elwynn and the construction of the East Elwynn Sluice as well as a doomed effort by Baron Ardashir to build two causeways by which an invasion of the Cimmerian Isles might have been mounted. In addition to these vainglorious projects the ever ravenous demands of industry for fuel and timber saw ever greater numbers of trees felled.

Rural Elwynn in disarray during the latter days of the Great Famine of Elwynn.

In spite of new tracts of land being opened up by deforestation to ever more intensive forms of agriculture imported from the Euran continent the export of grain back to the Kingdom of Babkha produced the desperate hunger famine of 1512-1533. The Babkhan settlers, faced by falling rent-rolls and deserted holdings, pressed their tenants harder still.

Insurrection however was, ironically enough, prevented by the efforts of Brookshire, Yardistan, Kildare and Goldshire to evict the 'foreigners' from the realm. The Elw had always considered themselves to be a people apart and when faced by their Southern neighbours, advancing as liberators, made common cause with the Babkhi and with the growing community of Stormarkers in Wintergleam who would eventually come to be regarded as the Froyalanish and the Haraldian Wintergleamish. This culminated during the so-called War of Vengeance when Count Harald of Araxion, and his battle-hardened retinue of Huskarls formed the core of the army that threw back the Antyan invasion fleet in the Battle of Vijayanagra, one of the decisive engagements of the war.

The failure of the Duke to provide effective famine relief or to curb the export of foodstuffs after the Great Famine of Elwynn took hold during the autumn of 1530 fatally undermined the legitimacy of the regime in the eyes of the populace and led to the worst instincts of human nature as hunger fed a groundswell in desperation that led to a steady and inexorable escalation of lawlessness to the point of near anarchy in some comital manors. The Duke's highways were no longer safe for travellers and even the still developing railway networks were subject to audacious raids - often by the very troops sent to patrol them.

This destructive period nonetheless saw the first commencement of Elwynn's struggle towards modernity that, within a century, would see an industrialised society arise from the ruins of the mediaeval world. Elwynn would cease to be a backwater and take its place at the top table of Shireroth.

The Froyalanish Era

1533: Kaiser Mors V appoints Count Harald of Wintergleam to the White Orchid Throne and the latter becomes the Twelfth Ruler and Seventh Duke of Elwynn. Elwynn changes name to Froyalan. A security force with Duke Harald's Huskarls as its core commences with restoring law and order. Shipments of food from Gascony as well as Port Chloe and the Providence Plantations, two foreign Duchies which are also held by Harald of Ettlingar Freyu, provide famine relief.

1534: Duke Harald repeals all legislation which is in force in Froyalan and abolishes all offices in the Duchy, save for the office of Duke of Froyalan. Reinstatement of ducal decree by Duke Richard Lyon that abolished slavery, thraldom and indentured servitude. Duke prohibits grain exports to Babkha. This act, along with the introduction of new strains of the staple food-crops without susceptibility to blight, helped to end the cycle of periodically recurring famines that had so weakened the realm.

1535: Commencement of Tapferite immigration to Froyalan. Duke decrees that Froyalan is to be divided into the following Counties: Hyperborea, Wintergleam, Bjorngard, Cimmeria, Eliria and Utasia, Smjörkýr, Illumination, and Lesser Zjandaria and (re)assumes the County of Wintergleam. Richard Lyon, Carol Reeves and Nathan of Natopia inducted to the House of Ettlingar Freyu (Shireroth branch) as Rikard of Ettlingar Freyu, Carol of Ettlingar Freyu and Sigurd of Ettlingar Freyu, as well as rights of succession to the White Orchid Throne vested in the Ducal House aforesaid. Richard Lyon, Nathan of Natopia and Ardashir Osmani appointed counts of Eliria and Utasia, Smjörkýr, and Lesser Zjandaria, respectively. Legislation concerning the Donation of Elwynn of 1820 and the Monument Law of 2024 reinstated, both dates in ASC, at the petition of Count Richard of Eliria and Utasia. Løgting of Froyalan established, called to session, and its session opened with a ritual of the faith which would over time would become to be known as the Froyalanish Ancient Ways. Asgard Calendar made the official calendar of the Duchy of Froyalan. K'Tzuni bombs the West Elwynn Dam, Løgting contemplates war. Ducal Decree issued that made all residents of the Duchy of Froyalan, regardless of their race or ethnicity, equally eligible for appointment to public service.

Duke Harald discussing plans for the pacification of Elwynn with his Ducal Council.
Duke Harald's Huskarls hunting for outlaws in the early days of his Ducal Reign.

1536: Hesam Jahandar named Count of Hyperborea. Ducal Decree issued to formalize the vast array of sweeping powers possesed by the Duke of Froyalan under the Udal Law to protect individuals from harassment, bullying and other forms of harm inflicted by heinous, unruly and subversive elements. Counts given power to deport individuals from their Counties. Duke names Freyja patron goddess of Elwynn/Froyalan, the people respond by mass-demonstrations; some in favour, some against. Araxion repatriated by Duke Harald. Creation, at the initiative of Duke Harald, of the Baronies of the Elw, Fórntida Kærleikalanden, and Opplysta Smørvirket by the Landsraad.

1537: Duke Harald becomes the Baron of the Fórntida Kærleikalanden. Richard Lyon is appointed Baron of the Elw, Nathan of Natopia is appointed Baron of Opplysta Smørvirket.

1539-1542: The Duke is largely away from Froyalan, fighting in the war over Bosworth - which is known as the War of Jeremy's Nose/Redoubt Island War/Gascon Campaign and in which the "Elwynnbrigaden" defence force plays a key part - for which he was awarded the title King of Bosworthians by Kaiser Hasan I.

The Froyalanish Era is one of the most significant periods in Elwynnese history.

It all started in the dark days of desolation which are known as the Great Famine of Elwynn when Kaiser Mors V - who was spearheading the renaissance of Shireroth - turned to Count Harald of Wintergleam, the last remaining high noble in the Lands of the Two Sacred Rivers, who was seen as the only chance to fight the chaos zone that the Duchy of Elwynn had become, and after His Niftiness was advised by Count Harald that he was willing to ascend the White Orchid Throne he named him Duke of Elwynn.

Quite shortly after ascending the Ducal Throne of Elwynn, with the encouragement of the Kaiser and to give it a fresh start, Duke Harald changed the name of the Duchy to Froyalan. Duke Harald then embarked on a forceful campaign to fix his Duchy's ails and woes in which he picked it up, shook it up, turned it around, and forged it into something new - policies which did not came without opposition.

Those policies, though, bore fruit quickly. The famine was ended by food shipments from Gascony as well as Port Chloe and the Providence Plantations, the prohibition of grain exports to the Kingdom of Babkha, and the introduction of new strains of the staple food-crops without susceptibility to blight. A security force with Duke's Harald's Huskarls at its core managed to restore law and order by jailing, executing, and driving out of the country the innumerable criminal gangs, warlords and other thugs who were rampaging across the country in the absence of the harsh central authority previously maintained by the Babkhi khans and amirs. Tapferite and proto-Froyalanish immigration to Froyalan brought advanced technology, funds and other resources into the Duchy - combined with the more effective enforcement of law and order, on a consensual rather than coercive basis - resulted in infrastructure and essential services being rapidly improved, and agricultural and industrial output exceeding the base level achieved by Babkhan led industrialisation in short order and remaining on a steady rise after that. More importantly the retention of the agricultural surplus for domestic consumption combined with the export of manufactured goods produced a positive balance of trade, allowing Elwynn to pay down the debts incurred in the famine relief period with enough capital generated to leave excess revenues which were reinvested into the economy of the urban communities, leading to a growth in prosperity in the Jewel of Many Facets that was for the first time felt by the Elw themselves rather than the aristocracy or foreign business interests. Many were the Elw who could afford for the first time, in their elevated positions of stewards and foremen and yeoman farmers, the fruits of material success that their ancestors would never have known. It marked the first significant instance of a domestic, consumption orientated, middle class.

Duke Harald during a survey of the High North of Elwynn.
Duke Harald of Froyalan and Gascony being treated for a wound during the War of Jeremy's Nose.

Aside from getting the Duchy on its feet again and letting it grow rich, Duke Harald's Reign, especially the renaming of the Duchy to Froyalan and the upsurge of Vikingness - which was deeply permeated in his rule - had another tremendous and lasting impact on the Elwynnese Nation, for it caused all segments of Elwynnese society to soul-search what it is to be Elwynnese. Ironically, and very much to the dismay of Shirekeep, renaming Elwynn into Froyalan only fueled Elwynnese nationalism further. Another example of this is the adoption of the Asgard Calendar - designed to allow the duchy to move away from the ASC Calendar - which spurred the Elwynnese into developing a calendar of their own, which resulted in the creation of the Elw Calendar.

The wild debate that his reign brought, inspired Duke Harald to organize the Løgting of Froyalan, which in effect evolved to an Elwynnese legislature until the end of the duchy. He is also remembered for the significant corpus of law that was established by him and his creation the Løgting, which after his reign became the Council at Eliria and was the predecessor of future Elwynnse legislative assemblies such as the Senate of Elwynn and the Royal Parliament.

So the Elwynnese of today have him to thank for their history of indigenously led organized government (with legislatures, corpus' of law drawn from domestic rather than Babkhan or Shirerithian Imperial law, etc), and for bringing an elevated sense of patriotism which transcended political and ethnic divides, to bring many to express through, various forms of cultural media, a deep love for their country that continue to be a source of interest to contemporary society. It remains uncontested that the Froyalanish community looks upon this era - which is known among them as the Nine Years of Gold - with a strong fondness and nostalgia, marking their highest ascendancy before the elevation of Elwynn to a kingdom.

Upon his abdication, which came quite unexpectedly, Duke Harald was showered with praise for the excellent job he had done during his near-decade at the helm of the Froyalanish ship of state through his wise and benevolent policies, presiding over the expansion of Froyalan into Shireroth's largest and most active Duchy. During his long Reign - at the time the fourth longest Ducal Reign - he had also managed to keep his duchy - with many disparate ethnicities - stable, peaceful and prosperous, something which was viewed as a great feat.

Another great feat by him was the reclaiming of Araxion, which Shireroth had bargained away in the Atkins Reduction one-and-a-half decade earlier, succesfully taking on a belligerent mob of outlandish haters who regarded Shireroth as a land-hoarding behemoth and who used every trick in the book to thwart his attempts to claim Araxion back for the duchy, but the haters were skillfully outmanouvered by Duke Harald and those most sacred lands of the Tower County finally returned, after so many years in the desert, to the bosom of the White Orchid Goddess.

His valor, feats of arms, and other successes in the War of Jeremy's Nose, including the deposition of King Dominique of Bosworth and the seating of Kaiser Hasan on the Throne of Bosworth, made the people of the Lands of the Two Sacred Rivers feel quite proud of their Duke. For the aforesaid exploits in the War of Jeremy's Nose Duke Harald was granted the title of King of the Bosworthians by Kaiser Hasan, a title which he bears to this very day.

Although the Duke Harald was during his Ducal Reign a bit too controversial of a figure to be considered a popular Duke, he upon and subsequently to his abdication - very unlike other rulers of Elwynn who are scarsely remembered - grew steadily in appreciation and reputation for the peacefulness, stability and prosperity of the era he presided over - something which Elwynn did not again experience until the ascension of his grandson the Storjarl Thorstein Noah to the White Orchid Throne. The aforesaid culminated in him being created Elwynn's Patron Saint in the year 1624.

2nd Babkhan Era

1542: Duke Harald abdicates, Kaiser Hasan (Hesam) succeeds. Elwynn is restored as name of the duchy. Hasan is shot by Ardashir in Ardashirshahr, Rashid Andelarion succeeds as Kaiser Ayreon. Ardashir II Moqtada al-Osman succeeds Hesam as Duke of Elwynn. Løgting becomes Elwynns Riksdag. Abolition of all Baronies. The episodic Ayreon- Loki Civil War that will define Elwynnese public life for the next sixty years begin over the disputed succession to the Golden Mango Throne. Initially the Ayreonist faction prevails. Byzantopol, a city founded by Jahandar exiles employed by Automat Inc. emerges in Bjorngard as a self-regulating polity (robocracy), a precursor to the Raikothian system of Oracles and the modern Coordinated State. Some consider this to be rather disconcerting.

1542-1543: The Kai Aphmyarkaiph, a Hyperborean military campaign which resulted in the destruction of Babkhi political power for a generation.

Early Modern Era

1543: Wil Nider made duke by Kaiser Ayreon.

1544: Kaiser Ayreon commits suicide.

1545: Kaiser Loki III undoes all changes made to the government of Elwynn by Duke Ardashir II Moqtada al-Osman and appoints Scott I of Hyperborea Lord Protector of Elwynn. Brief return of Løgting and Froyalanish Era Baronies.

1546: Iskander Mirkdale named duke of Elwynn. Subdivisions are reformed in the so-called Age of the Megamod. Løgting is renamed Council at Eliria.

1549: Elwynn's legislature becomes known as Council of Eliria in stead of Council at Eliria.

1550: Uprising against the Duke, "White Lily Revolt". Publication of the Foibles of the Unbelievers results in riots.‎‎

1551: Year of the Four Dukes (Iskander Mirkdale, Jacobus, Rai Avon-El, Andrew Allot). Ayreon finally buried at Cape Farewell. People's Academy established.

1552: Alumelith massacre (Ohl'Tar)
An Ohl'Tar specimen, preserved after death.

1553: Ohl'Tar Revolt

1554: Causality War sees the use of the "Narrativity Bomb" on the Ohl'Tar infestations in Agnesia and the final extermination of that species.

1555: Duke Nathan leaves throne to Leo Fenrir. Amokolia war affects Elwynn.

1556: Ocia bombs Caligae and Civitas Nova.

1558: Leo abdicates in favour of Isabelle Allot.

1559: Isabelle Allot abdicates in favour of Cho'gall.

1560: Eliria is temporary war capital of Shireroth

1562: Duchy of Elwynn destroyed by Kaiser, House System implemented, House of Kalir founded, Daniel Kalirion (former Duke of Brookshire) named patron.

Independence

1567: Declaration of Independence of Elwynn. Daniel Kalirion named president (raes) of the Elwynnese realm.

1568: Ardashir blows the Elwynnese Congress up in protest at the slow pace of negotiations with Shireroth and also at Lord Erion's continued retention of his own limbs.

1569: Independence recognized by Shireroth in peace treaty, Shireroth reclaims East Elwynn.

1570: Lord Erion elected President.

1572: Amokolia issues its Midnight Declaration, leaves Victoria and joins Elwynn.

1573: Elwynn and Hurmu merge to become Realm of Elwynn and Hurmu. Provisional government and elections. Persecution of Butter Cow followers in East Elwynn.

1574: Daniel Kalirion elected Prince of Elwynn and Hurmu.

1582: Elwynn adopts the name Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu (Riqi Adurellion).

1584: Kolmenitzky embassy crisis. Ardashir rehabiliated by Senate.

1585: Natopia becomes Elwynnese protectorate.

1586: Daniel Kalirion is assassinated at Cape Farewell. Nathan is elected Prince.

1587: "Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu (Riqi Adurellion)" becomes "Union of Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu."

Elijah Ayreon, one of Elwynn's most popular Princes

1588: Daniel's son Elijah becomes Kaiser of Shireroth as Kaiser Ayreon II, married Prince Nathan of Elwynn.

1589: Renegade Emir of Sathrati, Kaspar Soleiman, took the Elwynnese Senate, the Prince of Elwynn and the Kaiser of Shireroth, hostage in the Senate House of Eliria Castle. Prince Nathan was caught in crossfire during a poorly coordinated hostage rescue operation mounted by the Union Defence Force and Babkhan commandos. The operation descended into a three-sided fire-fight between renegade Babkhan mercenaries, Babkhan special forces and Babkhan trained Elwynnese soldiers, all sporting similar uniforms and the same equipment. By the time order was restored, the Prince was mortally wounded and Eliria Castle was ablaze. Kaspar was taken alive and extradited to Babkha, where he was personally beaten to death by the Grand Vizier for bringing disgrace and shame to the name of Farzan Shahanshah, their Lord the Radiant Sun. People's Academy of Elwynn restarted by order of the Regent of Elwynn, the Senator Aurangzeb Osmani.

1590: Elijah Ayreon elected Prince of Elwynn. "Union of Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu" becomes "Elwynnese Union"

1592: Elijah Ayreon declines re-election, Aaden Allot elected prince. Normark joins the Elwynnese Union. Raspur Pact signed.

1593: Nau is adopted by Elijah and Nathan.

1594: Aaden Allot impeached and removed, Luix Rakira ruling Steward. Air Mango incident, bombings in East Elwynn and the Absentias.

1595: Elijah Ayreon elected Prince once more.

Re-unification

"Loki the Shirithian" a mocking painting by Jack Lewis rejecting re-unification

1597: Albion admitted as UT. East Amokolia Act reduces Amokolian UT's territory and gives it to Elwynn proper. Elijah Ayreon declines re-election, Tarjei Einhornsson elected Prince against Jacobus Loki but Constitutional Coup backed by Shireroth sees the Usurper take power instead. The people of Elwynn protest against re-unification, but Loki gathers enough political support to pass the required bill in the Senate. A group of Senators who previously supported Tarjei Einhornsson refuse to recognise the re-unification as lawful, but are quickly overtaken by the harsh reality.

1598: Omnitree Group nationalized by Govt. Mass protests. Normark declares independence. Elijah Ayreon murdered by Sisera in Wahlstadt. Steward Jack Lewis, a staunch opponent of re-unification, attempts suicide and slips into a coma. Misguided messianic cults begin to proliferate. Euran Apocalypse results from the atomic self-immolation of the Kingdom of Babkha. Wave of Babkhan refugees to both the Elwynnese Union and feudal East Elwynn.

1599: Hurmu independence from Elwynn.

1600: Treaty of Unification with Shireroth ratified, Soreaa Isurui made Secretary of the State in the provisional government. Tirlar, Albion and Amokolia made independent.

1601. New constitution enacted. Deimos Jasonides elected prince. The Ayreonist Independence Party is formed as a protest against the re-unification. Jack Lewis returns to the national stage as its first chairman. The party does suprisingly well in the first Congressional elections after the re-unification.

1602: The Cabbage Plague sees the ecology of the lower reaches of the Blue and White Elwynn Rivers devastated. The Red Elwynn becomes utterly devoid of life. Owing to the high levels of accumulated toxicity, the populations of Shirekeep, the Imperial County and the County of Lesser Zjandaria rapidly succumb to an aggressive strain of the Barentsz-Melang Syndrome (Brassicosis) previously only documented in Leng and the Absentias. "Triumph of Rrakanychan" painted by an excitable Batavian artist based on lurid eye-witness accounts; southern regions of the State of Elwynn destabilised and the Quarantine enforced by General Royston Merrick necessitated increasing military interventions into the Imperial County.

Jack Lewis as Steward of Elwynn

The Coordinated State

1603: "Restoration of the People's Government", congressional elections follow an unsuccessful putsch staged by Merrick, the first - self-styled - Conducător.

1604: Constitutional Coup by Stewardess Soreaa Isurui. Deimos voted out , Nathaniel elected prince.

1605: Nathaniel/Soreaa deposed, Coordinated-Government instituted by second Conducător Daniel Simrani-Kalirion, Nathaniel remains nominal prince. Constitution is placed into venerated-occultation and replaced by the Charter of Coordination. The Counties are replaced by 182 Bailiwicks with authority devolved to Governors and Municipal Guild Corporations supervised by Wardens in Elwynn Proper and the Marches (Northern, Eastern and finally Western). Communism declared and the State refuses to recognise or accept transactions in fiat currency. Private wealth and ownership permitted to continue.

Mass rallies staged by the Nationalist & Humanist Party (coalition of Babkhi 'New Behsaz' & the Elw-Norse 'Orbis Humanitatis' parties) were common during this period.

1606: Remaining Corporations nationalised. All private wealth confiscated and remaining money withdrawn from circulation and effectively outlawed. Black Market proliferates. With the demonetisation of the economy and the drive towards self-sufficiency under Guild Communism the Coordinated State has struggled to maintain a sufficient caloric intake for the population during periods of crisis, particularly during the ecological disaster occasioned by the Brassican War in Shirekeep and after the disruptive impact of demonetisation manifested itself upon the pre-existing markets and supply-chains for foodstuffs. Starvation however was avoided by the rapprochement with Goldshire yielding favourable supply deals with the Goldshire Real Ale & Beverage Board and also through the ruthless exploitation of the established fisheries of the northern-hemisphere (some of which are consequentially close to collapse). Goldshire gets peace of mind in return.

1607: Nathaniel declared dead. Daniel Simrani-Kalirion elected Prince. Purges of the Guild of Aldermen by the Court of the Prince and the Court of Star Chamber target the last remnants of the landowning feudal gentry and the formerly capital owning bourgeoisie. Replaced by elite technocratic leadership cadres chosen by merit. Charles Froughton made subject to Pastoral Care Order and dies of an unexpected heart attack. Disorder in the Bailiwick of Fieldberg.

1608: Third Congressional Elections sees Nationalist & Humanist Party remain the largest party but lose overall majority. Coalition negotiations begin. Court of Star Chamber begins reviewing suitability of congressmen elected to represent Conservative & Republican Party. The Kingsgate Treaty of Non-Aggression and Cooperation signed between the Coordinated State and the neighbouring Duchy of Goldshire on Eljere, 11 Elroqpinu 1608.

1609: Beginning of the Icebear Rebellion. The Theocracy of Elwynn is declared. Icebearian troops march to Eliria and briefly besiege the city. Martial law declared on Ermure the 10th of Vixaslaa, 1609 and UDF troops swiftly crush the rebellion on the mainland and captured the most prominent Icebearian leaders, including Jaqen X'halar and Tom Cruise. Coordinated State offices ransacked in the Cimmerian Isles, marking the beginning of the Cimmerian Conflict.

1610: The Holy Church of the Divine Icebear is banned. High Priest Jaqen X'halar dies in prison. The Cimmerian Conflict continued, straining the ability of the UDF to pacify islands beset by rebellious religious groups and rogue transhumanists. With the burning of the town of Ursulabýr on the Cimmerian Island of Snowhawk the authority of the Coordinated State was confined to the Bailiwick of Wolfraven.

The burning of Ursulabýr (Silnuai 1610), demonstrated the difficulties faced by the UDF in suppressing an outbreak of protracted guerrilla warfare.

1611: The Coordinated State issues a ban on money. Capitalist protests break out all over Elwynn. Aasmund Vigeland, an obscure Norse colonial born in Zanzibar in 1581, began his rapid - some might say preposterous - ascent through the ranks of the UDF, sponsored by elements within the regime who sought to strengthen the Norse faction of the armed forces at the expense of the Babkhi.

1612: After losing the confidence of many in failing to restore order in Cimmeria, Steward Tokaray al-Osman was overthrown and exiled. The successful putsch was organised by the Panopticon Department and the Cabal of Government, led by three UDF generals; Laqi Hyrrion, Danyial Dravot & Brigadgeneral Fredrik Anders. It was widely suspected at the time that the coup was at least tacitly supported by Simrâni-Kâlirion and Councillor Deimos Jasonides, alarmed at the power being wielded in Elwynn by the Babkhi.

The Communist Revolution

1612: A deranged Amokolian assassin made an attempt on the life of Kaiser Mo'll I, merely damaging the feral ghoul he kept as companion. This horrible diplomatic faux-pas, whilst quickly resolved, gave the Cabal of Government the opportunity to publicly announce the removal of Dr Tokaray al-Osman, owing to 'strain'. Aasmund Vigeland, a Norse populist and UDF veteran, rose to prominence as Steward of Elwynn after the hospitalisation of Dr Tokaray al-Osman. The Cabal of Government, seeking to capitalise on the propaganda campaign by which they had elevated Vigeland's profile and advanced him to high command within the space of a few short years, orchestrated his appointment to the stewardship.

'They raised the Red Orchid Banner' - revolutionary propaganda

1613: Emboldened by the decline of the Nationalist & Humanist Party and infighting amongst the regime leadership the Elwynnese Workers' Party declared the Prince to have been hospitalised in a sanatorium and in a bloodless coup replaced the Coordinated State with a Democratic People's Republic. Vigeland declared the revolution to have occurred on Emure the 10th of Laemill, but in practice the defection of the Panopticon Department to the Workers Party meant that the transition had in effect begun weeks earlier before anyone had realised. celebrated his success by proclaiming himself Chairman of the Presidium of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Council.

Tokaray al-Osman
1614: Dr Tokaray al-Osman escaped from the Dragonsfold Contentment & Wellbeing Clinic attached to Dragonsfold Gaol. In keeping with the traditions of the Coordinated State, it was believed that his supervisors, or rather his captors, were seeking via guided counselling to discuss with the Doctor the various misdeeds of his life and the consequent pressures of guilt that he might - they would suggest - be feeling. When individuals in counselling or subject to preventative detention begin to suffer from acute emotional distress that amounts to suffering contrary to their human dignity it has often been the case that the State was willing to - reluctantly - offer euthanasia for the patient. It is not known for sure whether that offer was extended in this instance, but evidently the discussions held on that ward had a profound effect on al-Osman. So profound in fact that he was inspire to the point where he paused only to dig out the heart of his psychiatrist with a spoon before carving a bloody path to freedom leaving a dozen dead and a riot in his wake. Little is known of his subsequent movements save that they point through a trail of accounts of arson, assault and larceny towards an escape into the badlands of Western Benacia. There, rumour has it, he was subsequently been spotted in the company of a minor bandit known as Sighvat, an individual who primarily subsists by raiding small Tellian communities in the Vale of Angularis and is unlikely to ever amount to much.

1618: Prince Nathaniel of Elwynn institutes, subsequent to the collapse of the Communist regime, the Constitution of the Elwynnese Union which made the Elwynnese Union an absolute monarchy. This event is known as the Ayreon-Kalirion Restoration.

1620: Aasmund Gudmundssønn Vigeland was openly assassinated in Shirekeep on the orders of Isa IV Cassandrae, Kaiseress of Shireroth. To this day, nobody knows why, although it was most probably a belated realisation on her part that an avowed revolutionary was a poor choice of Steward for the Imperial Republic.

If the Coordinated State had some redeeming features on account of its ruthless efficiency in combating enemies, foreign and domestic, and in countering the catastrophic ecological consequences of the Brassican Crisis, the Democratic People's Republic was an unmitigated fiasco. After a few years of continuing the worst aspects of the preceding regime's economic policies combined with a boilerplate Marxist constitution and an uncompromising stance of enforcing atheism on all national communities within the State, it came as no great surprise that the leading communists finished their days in His Serenity's Prison Dragonsfold - kept alive to witness the moment that an absolute monarchy possessed of the most literal belief in the divine right of kings, was instigated. A most stinging rebuke for their reckless folly in destroying the work of generations in the pursuit of Utopia.