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The Kingdom of Vearland

A human kingdom in the central Katerian Empire.

History

Early History

Vearland's history begins with the foundation of six separate kingdoms in the land that it now holds sway over. To the west were the Kingdoms of Hoienland and Westrient, Gythalia and Varaland to the north, and Haegaland and Moerdaxe to the south. For centuries these kingdoms warred with one another, each seeking supremacy. Much of the earliest history has been lost the ages of time, but the properly recorded history begins in the early 4th century. These accounts were kept first by bards in the courts of the land, and later by Tel'avar archivists.   In the early fourth century the southern kingdoms of Haegeland and Moerdaxe faced a threat from Yovakian invaders who wished to conquer their land. In order to prevent this the two kingdoms joined together through a marriage, forming a new nation that they named Gaderland. Through their new combined strength they were able to fend off the invaders. Believing that one victory promised another Gaderland invaded Westrient almost immediately. During the first battle the King of Westrient, Uhtric the Clever, struck down Cynefrid, King of Gaderland. Their King dead, the Gadermen retreated back to their nation, their dreams of ruling all of Vearland dashed.  

Rise of Varaland

In the mid fourth century a Yovakian prince married into the royal family of Varaland. This union was very controversial, the rulers of the other kingdoms disapproved, and eventually this brought the kingdoms of Gythalia and Gaderland to war with Varaland. The war was hard fought, with the smaller Varaland inflicting many casualties upon the others, but eventually they lost. Out of respect for Varaland's royal family, instead of executing them, the kings of Gythalia and Gaderland order them to be exiled. This would prove to be their undoing. They installed a new family on the throne of Varaland and sent their soldiers home.   Three decades later Aethelric, son of the exiled prince, would return to Varaland with an army of Yovakian horsemen. After retaking his throne Aethelric worked to exact his revenge upon his enemies, and before the dawn of the fifth century the Kingdom of Varaland would expand to cover the majority of its modern borders. Aethelric would be named the first Ealwalda, or High King. He would work to reorganize his now expanded kingdom, firstly by moving his capital to the city of Teusbyrgan( now Dewsbury) in the former kingdom of Gaderland, and secondly by redistributing land to lords that supported him during the conquest. Aethelric spent the remainder of his life centralizing his authority and crushing small rebellions.  

Stabilizing the Realm

Shortly after the turn of the fifth century Aethelric passed away, leaving his son Eadwald to take the throne. seeing an opportunity during the regime change, the old kingdom of Gythalia rebels. Eadwald's first actions as king were to put the rebellion down, which he did with surprising competency, proving that he was just as much of a warrior as his father. However, Eadwald would spend the majority of his reign building roads between the major cities in his domain. Inspired by the growing Katerian Empire to the west, he sought to unify his nation through transportation. This earned him the title of Eadwald the Waymaker.   In the middle of the 5th-century Hoianland defected from the Kingdom of Varaland to the new Kingdom of Vergneou, this sparked a war between the two nations. During the war King Athelbert of Varaland died, leaving no heir behind, and so the throne was inherited by his nephew Wulfric. This sudden change of leadership again caused multiple rebellions to occur, and Hoianland was lost to the Vernians.  

The Kingdom of Alberon

At the end of the 5th-century the Katerian Empire invaded the Kingdom of Gowland. This caused a great amount of unease within the ranks of Varalish nobility. However, the solution soon arrived. From the land of Caillaech in the north came King Lucius Penarth, wielding Rhialon, the Sword of Kings. After defeating his uncle in battle and reclaiming the throne of the Kingdom of Eberail, Lucius turned his eyes to the west. He called a meeting of the Alberic kings, those of Caillaech, Dumbria, Eberail, Gowland, and Varaland, at the ancient fortress of Caer Aldorlege. At this meeting he outlined his divine right to rule all of the Alberic peoples and defend them from the tyranny of the Katerian Empire. After a week of discussion, the kings united underneath Lucius, forming the Kingdom of Alberon.   Following the coronation of Lucius a formal declaration of war was issued to the Katerian Empire. For the next five years the two empires would be engaged in a brutal war. During this time armies from the Kingdom of Grundholm spent the majority of their time fighting and pillaging northern Varaland. The damage was devastating and had an immense impact on the nation, leaving its economy and infrastructure in ruins. However, after the bloodshed ended, the Kingdom of Alberon stood victorious. King Lucius, in one of his first acts as king of a nation at peace, subsidized the reconstruction of northern Varaland. Lucius would pass away two decades later, heirless. After his death the legendary sword Rhialon disappeared.   In 758CE a marriage would be arranged between Godric II, King of Alberon, and Princess Muriel of Varland. This marriage would cement a clear bond between the two royal families, and Godric would end up replacing nearly half of his court with Varlish nobles over the course of his reign. This caused Varland to have an immense amount of sway at court, and for the next century assert their dominance over Alberic politics almost to the same extent as the Kingdom of Gowland.  

Fall of a Kingdom

Following the events of The Blue Friday in 833CE, in which, following a public humiliation by the Crown Prince of Alberon, the King of Winter ordered his guards to kill the Prince, the King of Alberon, Eadward II, signed into effect the Frost Accord. This document stripped all Caills of their right to representation at the Alberic court and removed the lands and titles from the vast majority of them. He then granted many of these titles to the Varlish and Gowlish nobles that filled his court, effectively replacing the now dissenting upper class of Caillaech with one loyal to him. The transfer of power was not a simple or easy one however, and the rebellion that followed was exceptionally violent. This rebellion was the first true demonstration of the now legendary Vearlish longbowmen, this special class of archer had grown in Varland over the past century due to the development of a series of archery tourneys. Their impressively large bows made quick work of even the armored Caillen Hearthguards.   Over the next century the heavy favoritism of Gowland and Vearland grew even more, as each Alberic king enacted ever more oppressive laws upon the peoples of Caillaech, Dumbria, and Eberail. In 964CE the last king of Alberon, William IV, would attempt to sign into law another decree as heavy-handed as the Frost Accord. This would prompt a full scale rebellion in Dumbria, the targeted nation. One central figure, Father Malcolm of Melrose, a priest of the The Oparium Temple, would become a central figure in orchestrating the rebellion. Within months the Kingdom devolved into a massive civil war. During this time, Vearland took the side of the royal court, levying its men and sending them to fight along the border with Eberail. However it soon found itself faced with a losing battle. In 967CE the rebels swore themselves to the Katerian Empire, which promptly invaded, catching both Vearland and Gowland undefended. Once more the Empire sent Grundish armies to burn through the North of Vearland.   In late 968CE Father Malcolm, along with a coalition of nobles, executed King William IV. This earned him the title of "Crownbreaker" as after taking the head of the King, Malcolm broke the Crown of Alberon into three separate pieces. This was the death-stroke to the Kingdom of Alberon, and the end of the civil war. However, the Alberic nations now were held by the Katerian Empire, and the Empire had need of them in its war with the Federation of Costadoro. The veteran soldiers from the civil war were sent south to fight the Costadorans, while others were sent north to fight the now invading elves of the Kingdom of Kotimaa.  

The War of the Necromancer

However, what happened next could not have been predicted. From the south a force of undead arose, brought to life by the great Arch-Lich Vizael Molder. This was the true beginning of the War of the Necromancer. The world plunged headfirst into a hellscape of unimaginable scale, and Vearland was on the forefront. The dead burned cities, slaughtered armies, and their plagues laid waste to the people of Vearland especially. Over 70% of the Vearlish population died over the course of the war, leaving the nation extremely depopulated. The effects of this war can still be seen in the hundreds of empty towns and ruined fortresses in eastern Vearland. However, the war was won, at great cost. During the war the royal family of Vearland was extinguished, no members survived, and so the Katerian Empire found a solution. A Prince of Thallund, Wilhelm I, was installed as the new King, founding the royal house of Tromhold. This would be done all over nation as titles needed to be filled, wherever there was need, a foreign noble would be installed in order to rule. Because of the rampant destruction, in many cases entirely new settlements would need to be constructed. A prime example of this is the city of Skurburg in western Vearland. After the war a Grundish noble family was imported and built the city into one of the nation's largest centers of population.  

Recovery, Reconstruction, and Conversion

Despite the efforts of the Empire to restore Vearland to its former glory, it would take many years before the nation would be even a shadow of its former self. The worst problem that faced those ruling in the years thereafter was the near reversion of society. People became wary and cruel, and lawlessness became a way of life. Due to the difficultly in making a proper living, many turned to banditry, and eventually installed themselves as small-scale warlords. Many of the imported nobles found that their people refused to obey them, and some were left with entirely deserted holdings, as the people simply left.   Over a century later, the problem persisted, and Vearland's population had stayed almost the same. Faced with the dilemma of how to pull his nation back from the ruinous state it was in, King Bastian I came up with a possible solution. Over the past century a new race had begun crossing the Mydhaern mountains to the east, spreading a new faith in the lands of the Katerian Empire. The Amatian faith that would eventually form into the Church was a budding religion, but already growing rapidly. However in many nations the Oparium Temple was encouraging rulers to expunge the Halflings from their lands. Bastian, in defiance of the Temple, offered these missionaries both religious sanctuary along with tracts of land to farm or build on. in addition to this, as a gesture of good faith, he did the unthinkable, and converted. In 1073CE King Baldwin I of Vearland became the first human monarch to be baptized with fire into the Amatian Church. The halfling folk flocked to Vearland after this, and within the next twenty years, doing exactly what the King had hoped.   The influx of people meant that previously unworked land was now being used, gold began to flow again and the missionaries worked tirelessly to educate the population and remind them of their duties. It was an economic miracle, though in doing this Baldwin cut many close ties with the Temple. His own brother with a Bishop, and it was said that the two never spoke again after his baptism. Near the end of his life Baldwin decided that he needed to pay penance for the sins committed in his life, and ordered the construction of a cathedral in Dewsbury. He would pass before its completion, as would his son and grandson, as the project took nearly a century to complete, but the Dewsbury cathedral is considered to be one of the finest pieces of architecture in the Katerian Empire. Its construction was also a major contributing factor towards the formal organization of the Amatian Church.   First war against Kotimaa, First Invasion of the Silenced In the late 12th century the Katerian Empire went to war against the Kingdom of Kotimaa due to an attack on the Kingdom of Triechel. At this Vearland had only recently gotten back on its feet after the horrible destruction wrought by the War of the Necromancer. However the King of Vearland, Frederick I, was a well known firebrand who wished to earn glory. King Frederick declared that they would participate, and marshaled his troops. During this time Frederick emptied the Vearlish treasury almost entirely, and afterwards began selling important political positions and titles in order to raise even more. He took up the Griffon banner, raised a massive army with his newly acquired funds, and marched to Kotimaa.   While in Kotimaa Frederick earned quite the reputation. His ferocity and skill in battle, combined with his keen military mind made him a formidable commander, and he soon ended up in command of the war. Frederick spent the entirety of the war in the Elven lands, unlike many of his equals who frequently left in order to attend to their lands, Frederick simply let his vassals do as they wish, so long as they continued paying their taxes. During the war he was given the Epithet "The Bold" due to his courageous actions in battle. When the war ended in 1165 he was reportedly in a rage for days. Upset that it was over. On the return trip he was briefly imprisoned by the King of Vergneou due to a drunken brawl he caused in the capital of Fourbanne, this ended with Vearish soldiers sacking the city of Haussonville in retaliation. Allegedly after the army took the city, a message was sent to the Vergnian King, stating that they would do it again until they reached him unless their king was released.   In 1171 the first War against the Silenced began. in the night Deep-Elf soldiers attacked many major cities across the continent, those of Vearland included. The sudden fighting was brutal, with most being caught by surprise. But as the sun rode, the adamant armor worn by the Deep-Elves melted, as did their weapons. They retreated back underground, but raids continued for six months thereafter. Frederick was thrilled by this development and took great joy in the fighting. This was the last war he would participate in, much to his disappointment.

Demography and Population

Vearland's population is near typical of an imperial nation, with the majority of citizens being human, along with a sizable population of Rasuchi. Vearland is also home to a large number of Halflings, more than any other imperial nation.

Territories

Vearland occupies land on the eastern slopes of the Blue Heart Mountains, they are one of 5 imperial nations that share a border with Drynlaxia. Over the course of their history the amount of territory owned by Vearland has varied greatly, reaching it's peak shortly before the breaking of the Kingdom of Alberon.

Military

Vearland's military is feared for one very specific reason, the Longbow. Also known as a great bow or warbow, this fearsome weapon is the hallmark of the nation, and when Wilhelm Tromhold became the king of Vearland after the War of the Necromancer, he refashioned his arms to feature the longbow prominently. Though Vearland hasn't fought a true war for centuries, their longbowmen remain prominent as highly skilled mercenaries.

Religion

Vearland's people largely follow three separate religions. Some follow the Oparium Temple, the majority of humans are members of the Amatian Church, and the nation's Rasuchi worship The Great Horned God. Vearland has been somewhat of a staging ground for the growth of Amatianism over the last few centuries, with the Sun God's faith spreading out from its borders.

Agriculture & Industry

Vearland's agriculture primarily consists of growing grain and root vegetables, along with the raising of livestock such as sheep, cows, and pigs. In the eastern reaches of the nation more land is devoted to livestock, and some horses are raised here. In addition to this Vearland produces large quantities of honey,   In terms of industry, Vearland is relatively light. There is some production of metal goods in the western territories, and production of ceramic goods is a major industry around the center of the nation.

Trade & Transport

Vearland is home to an extensive system of roads that date back almost to the inception of the nation itself. This had facilitated transport and trade all around the nation. Any travelers going north from Yovakia, Costadoro, and Kovoria are sure to pass through Vearland, as the roads are much better than those of Eberail.
Type
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Demonym
Vearlish
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Power Structure
Feudal state
Currency
The official currency of Vearland is the Imperial Griffon, a set of coinage on the Gold Standard.
Parent Organization
Related Ethnicities
Size: 351,000 sq.m.   GDP: 12.6 million gold   Population: 21,060,000

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