A collection of Caládolhn city-states and their surrounding territories during the Disintegration Period (1001-1300 YoN), Aurëaxan's Alliance was headed by the warlord Aurëaxan. Never a centralized coalition, this far-spread kingdom was nevertheless the Caládolhn's best and final attempt at restoring the empire of the Double Triumverate. Aurëaxan's Alliance, also called Aurëaxan's Kingdom, constituted the territory of the Ucar Valley, the Mead Valley, and over much of the highlands between the valleys. Long the most powerful of the Caládolhn polities, the alliance was finally overcome by its enemies with the arrival of the Nelqorana in their Third Invasion of the North (1300-1311).
This article will entreat of the history of Aurëaxan's Alliance, though its exact structure isn't known. While the map makes it seem like the kingdom was a continuous entity, it was actually a disparate collection of urban centers and their surrounding lands; vast tracks of wilderness lay between these towns and would hamper communication between them.
The Assumption of Aurë and Tind
From the time of the Great Flood to 1000 Year of Nelqora there was constant warfare between the petty chieftains of the North. This was an age of axe and sword, and there is not much information on this era. The Caládolhn were long reeling from the loss of their empire, and any writings from this period have not survived. All that remain are grim stones with inscrutable carvings, worn by the wind.
Near the end of this time rose many affluent chieftains in the middle valley of the Mountains of Das EkLachen, the Ucar Valley. A genial and fertile place, the Ucar Valley was a place of many clans vying for dominion. The most powerful of these were the Axan, the Anar, and the Omë.
At its height, about 930 YoN, the Clan of Axan had lordship over the middle territory of the valley, their lordship bounded to the north by the Bon Tributary, to the south by the Filvukoll Fens, and to the east by the Ucar River. They owned and produced most of the iron in the Ucar Valley, which was pulled out of the many bogs of the river flatlands.
The Anar had lordship over the western highlands that overlooked the valley. Their lordship was bounded to the west by the Hihorien-Cotya Perimeter and to the east by the lords of the Axan Clan.
The Clan of Omë, largest of those ancient dominions, straddled the southern Ucar River and had lordship over all the flatlands between the highlands there besides.
It's unclear what exactly transpired between these three clans to cause their near-total destructions, but it's presumed that a blood feud reassumed by Dam of clan Anar led them to become embroiled in a terrible conflict. The patriarchs of clans Axan and Omë and also many of their lords were slain. But the burning of Big Taurtauc, seat of power of the Axan, proved to be Dam's ultimate undoing. He proclaimed himself to be heir of the Double Triumverate, and so drew the ire of all those around him. The last remaining heirs of Axan and Omë wed and bound their lands in a coalition (1143 YoN). Together, they assumed the lordly names of Aurë and Tind. With their combined arms they brought Dam to heel and pressed on him with a terrible fury. Aurë came from the north and Tind drew up from the south, and as hammer and anvil they smashed upon the walls of Arangahl. They dragged out Dam from his throne and beat him before his soldiers. They dissolved his clan, and Dam would never recover his lost lands.
Aurëaxan's Initial Expansion
We have many surviving records of Aurëaxan's reign, and so can draw a fine picture of his rule. He was a capable ruler, decent at war though more proficient in and comfortable with diplomacy. Tindomë was the more crafty of the two and better at warfare. Between them, they had a large, veteran, loyal, and mobilized force of soldiers. Taking advantage of this opportunity, they embarked upon a mixed plan of expansive warfare and coerced integration. Armed with iron tools and weapons, their armies proceeded with a long campaign into the northern Ucar Valley. With the final integration of Clan Mjørdling and the rich herring port of Uë, they formally instituted in 1177 YoN the Middle Collective of Caládolhn City States, colloquially called Aurëaxan's Alliance.
Conquest of Sol-Ucar
Long the bane of the King, the southern peoples of the Ucar Valley were troublesome and wild. Their lands were difficult to penetrate, being comprised of inhospitable hills and sterile moors. But the collective strength of Aurëaxan's Alliance proved a match for the southerners, though the fighting was bitter, and the southern men would never fully integrate into the structure of the alliance. This would prove to be its undoing.
Aurëaxan used his great stores of booty to pay off many of the chieftains. He also promised them high titles in his court and special privileges for their peoples. He encouraged them to betray their former allies at opportune moments, leading to spectacular military victories. Aurëaxan's armies were emboldened and his enemies quailed in their halls. Aurëaxan expanded towards the Archine Sea, and on the high cliffs of that southern coast he established a grand hall. As he raised its roof he declared it the Hall of Aurëtind, and there all travelers were guaranteed welcome and unending mead. He returned to Taurtauc and disbanded his armies. He began the management of his disparate kingdom—which would end to be the most difficult of his appointed tasks.
The Bequeathment of Heidrun
A distant cousin of Aurëaxan, called Vindiben, was chief of the lands of the Mead Pass, lording from the rich hall of Heidrun. For a long while, he was perhaps the mightiest of all the lords of the North. But the tragic death of his son caused Vindiben to lose his lust for life, and he longed to leave his kingdom and people and to wander southwards.
Vindiben saw Aurëaxan's strength, and their shared lineage played a part in his decision. He traveled to Taurtauc and spoke to the king. A scheme was begun between the two: Vindiben would grant Aurëaxan his lordship, his servants, and his confederacy. They planned for many months, and Aurëaxan prepared his forces so that the lords of the Mead Pass would be wary of denying Vindiben his wishes. Aurëaxan also sent out many gifts to them.
The bequeathment of the Mead Pass (1250 YoN) did not go quietly. Vindiben's proclamation of his abdication caused a great stir, and the chieftains murmured amongst each other. When they heard that a foreigner would rule them, many took out their swords and threw them at Vindiben's feet. They shouted at him and began a riot in the streets of Heidrun. Vindiben could only barely control them, and they returned home in a worse fury. Those chieftains soon took up arms against Vindiben, and he begged Aurëaxan to come to his assistance.
Aurëaxan hearkened and sent his armies to the Mead Pass and subdued the rebellious lords. Thereafter there was little issue. Vindiben surrendered his cane, sickle, and crown to Aurëaxan, and he became King in Taurtauc and Heidrun. Vindiben himself left for the wilderness, and was not seen again by his people.
Aurëaxan commenced on a few minor campaigns to expand his territory. The most notable of these was the courting of the central highland chieftains. Aurëaxan's Kingdom reached its greatest territorial extent in 1300 YoN.
The Dissolution of the Alliance
The death of Aurëaxan proved detrimental to the Alliance. Tindomë's disappearance did little to dissuade its dissolution. Jaldil, an influential minister in Aurëaxan's court, took control of the town of Taurtauc, but he was unable to stop the collapse of the Alliance. The valley was once again broken between many petty chiefs and proved to be easy pickings for Azrübel's captain, Hyaraelf.