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Aressa

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Over five hundred years ago, in the year 907, the Heoringas, invaders from the north, crossed the isthmus that connects Aressa to the mainland and began their conquest of the native tribes. They reached as far south as the future site of Mendia and as far west as Trebost, but when their victory seemed certain, the tribes united into two coalitions and slowly drove the Heoringas back until the northerners controlled only the isthmus and the peninsula to which it connected.   When the time came for the coalitions to dissolve, Rinburn First-King of Axmund claimed the right of kingship over the western lands, refusing to give up the power he had gained. Fearing a bloody civil war that would open an opportunity for the Heoringas to conquer them fully, no tribe opposed him. His example caught the attention of many in the eastern coalition, and soon they plunged into the very war which the westerners had feared. However, at almost the same time the Heoringas were caught up in a war in Endestred, the lands of their origin, and could not turn their attention to the fragmented east until the Arcadian War of Kingship was over and Cagaetos the Red had become King of Arcadia.   The Feuding Kingdoms, as Axmund and Arcadia came to be known, continued to grow for the next four hundred years. As the realms grew, border clashes and skirmishes became commonplace, but neither kingdom ever officially declared war. But now all that has changed.   Fifty-three years ago, Cagaetos’ eldest son Desoleos fell in battle with the men of Hastis, pierced by a spear. It seemed at first merely an untimely death, but soon it was shown to be the first omen of change. Two weeks later, Cagaetos was poisoned and died. His second son Tordithas inherited the crown of Arcadia, made a truce with Hastis, and began consolidating his forces. Tordithas was famously impetuous and warlike, and King Rinburn III of Axmund saw only one reason that the elven king would end his war.   At last, five years ago, the storm broke. Rinburn III died, and his son Marburn the Lame took the throne. Tordithas began an invasion of Axmund, assaulting the forts along the Carwold. But Axmund proved an equal match for the elven forces, and he could not make any major gains. The war remains in stalemate to this day, with both kingdoms seemingly at an impasse. Not even the introduction of Gnomish fire-powder could turn the tide in either side’s favor, as their foe soon gained the new development for themselves and pushed back the enemy.