The Sword to Unite

The blog of the fantasy epic, The Sword to Unite

The Song of Stars — August 12, 2017

The Song of Stars

A traditional song of the Duxy of Freven, whose sigil is the tower Gelgeth (Star-Tower) upon a blue sky of white stars and two laurel wreaths.

Fair light upon stars

Burning like cold and endless flames

White as bone, falling like tears

 

Glistening like ice upon a sunny day

Gracing the height of the world

Ceaseless in their dance

 

Gelgeth (Star-Tower) will wane and fall,

Yet from the sky,

Be never dimmed in light,

You flame for the world, to see

 

Fair light upon the stars

Of gods and men, you shine equal on

The world content to sleep another night

Beneath your every burning gaze

 

Fair light upon the stars

Burn ye forever bright

For without your light

A world of dark and endless night

Geladhithel, Last Holdfast of the Silver Elves — August 2, 2017

Geladhithel, Last Holdfast of the Silver Elves

With the fall of Glanfech, the first kingdom of the Hlútrian, or the proper name of elvish people, was lost. The elves were divided, many chose to stay close to the ruins of their home, residing in the lake city of Evrand, while others went north towards the woodland realm of Lusani, where a great number of their people already dwelled. A small fraction departed for Antiquii, the ancestral homeland of the elves, where they devolved in technology and culture to a more primitive state, seeking harmony with nature. The fourth group of elves fled to the east, hoping to avoid the senseless brutalities ensuing in the west. Along the eastern coast of Yennen, they settled in the palisade of Geladhithel, which had been a minor border fort until this point.

The eastern elves became known as the Silver Elves, called this by the native men who marveled at their skill of smithing and art, for their steel was well made it appeared as shining silver. The elves built up Geladhithel, turning the earthen mud fort into a stone city with many walls and towers. The royal palace in Geladhithel became known as the Blue Star, for the blue tile which adorned the roofing of the keep. Here, the Kings of Geladhithel rose to power over the lands they had fought and journeyed for, yet they could never surpass the majesty of Glanfech.

In worship, the Silver Elves worship Duwel alone, believing all other gods to only be his cohort of angels and servants, not worthy of prayer. They take their sigil after Duwel's cloud, which supposedly fell over Rohiel, greatest of elven kings, and gave him the knowledge of the world.

Wars with the Dradanians to the north and Silverscale to the south bled the treasury and army. On Lake Fyrk, the Silver Elves had attempted to build a city similar to Evrand, naming it Lirfell, yet the city was burned and left to ruin by a host of Silverscale who sacked the city for its deposits of gold and jewels. After this, nearly a fourth of the Silver Elves population had been lost to war, and finally, the Sky Kings were forced into a peace with a heavy tribute of taxes to Silverscale.

Allied with Nacia for centuries, Geladhithel had begun to regain strength, and have finally paid off their war debts; wealth they intend to win back through martial power or cunning plot.

Dorea, The Masters of the Western Gulf — July 6, 2017

Dorea, The Masters of the Western Gulf

The Duxy of Dorea stands on two small isles of Nacia, known as Old Pelaga and New Pelaga. With the sigil of a golden seahorse upon a blue shield, they rule through strength and trade. Confined to the sea, their food comes from the ocean, with an impressive fleet of fishing ships able to supply the islands with a steady and wide variety of maritime delicacies. Their power resides in their massive navy, the largest on the eastern half of the world, and their economic connections with the Joint-Kingdom of Menidon across the Gulf of Gilmire, as well as the Merchant Princes of Krivich to the north. Even when Cato, previous King of Nacia, declared war against Krivich, Dorea maintained their trade relations.

In their first years, House Oleri, the lords of Dorea, were a noble family in the original lands of Nacia, on the western side of the continent of Yennen. Their ancestor, Boves the Brave, aided in the taking of the isle where Nacia now stands. Boves snuck into Old Pelaga, which was a thriving trade hub at the time. Disguised as merchants, he and a band of thirty knights, their order is alive today known as The Pelagean Thirty, took control of the city by morning, and handed the keys to Imperator Felix. In exchange, Boves was granted Pelaga as a personal holding, while the Imperator took the rest of the lands and titles.

When the Nacian Empire collapsed, House Oleri saved the royal family and many people of Nacia who had journeyed to the eastern coast. The Imperator’s host was closely followed by an army of barbaric invaders, and it seemed they would be cut down on the beaches. Using their navy at Pelaga, they ran a rescue operation which took only one day, saving nearly two thousand lives. For choosing to save their liege rather than let him die on the coast, they have been considered the most loyal of any vassals to the Kingdom of Nacia.

The current lord, Dux Festus, is an incredibly old man; a renowned warrior in his youth both strong and tall, he is now confined with a cane and cannot wear full armor without the weight overcoming him.

Tritania, the Hidden Gem of Nacia — June 23, 2017

Tritania, the Hidden Gem of Nacia

To the south of Vindorium, capital of the Nacian Kingdom, the Tritanian Peninsula thrives with culture and learning unparalleled to any lordship of the realm. Their sigil in the brown rabbit, representing quick wit and a creature common to their many fields and forests, as well as three mountains, to signify strength and fortitude as well as the three-pronged defense surrounding their city. The sun represents the enlightenment and purity of their folk.

Tritania has always been close to the court of their liege lord, often filling the role of steward, marshal, or close advisor, due to their superb education and gregarious nature. Publius, the current lord of Tritania, serves as Lucan’s steward and sees to the day-to-day running of the kingdom, as well as all foreign affairs. A man shrewd as the rabbit of his pendant, Publius is determined to keep Nacia unified in the face of adversity, which now comes from across the sea.

Publius has a host of loyal knights as well, notable amongst them is Sir Andreas of the Lockedwood, a grizzled war veteran both brave and cunning on the field. He saved Tritania and possibly all of Nacia from a southern invasion which landed in his homeland when he was but a lordling without knighthood to his name. The Merchant Princes of Krivich intended to flank around the south of the isle and march directly to Vindorium, choking the capital from the rest of the nation. They came with five thousand lightning fast lancers, to show their navy was mighty enough to support cavalry. This took their army directly through the Lockedwood in Tritania, where Andreas, in command of only five hundred mounted militiamen, seized the day.

Andreas ordered a chain stretching nearly four hundred yards to be secured deep in the Lockedwood. Andreas then took his detachment of cavalry and rushed forward from the woods, charging directly at the Krivich host. The Princes thought him mad, and so, copied the order to charge. In the moment before the horses broke upon each other, Andreas sounded for retreat and led his men back into the forest. The Krivich horsemen gave chase, but soon lost sight of Andreas’ smaller, more versatile army, but nevertheless, they charged forward at a blazing speed.

The Krivich host charged directly into the chain, sending men flying from their horses who shattered like waves upon rocks as they struck the hard steel. Many fled, while others were pursued by Andreas’ army and slain. Andreas forced the complete removal of Krivich forces of the south and was knighted by the king at that time, Cato, taking the sigil of an oak tree with a golden chain locked around its frame.

 

 

The Joint-Kingdom of Menidon — June 14, 2017

The Joint-Kingdom of Menidon

“Bonds Stronger Than Blood” The words etched on each minted coin from the Dweor holdfasts of the Menidish Mountains. This phrase rings true in the Joint-Kingdom of Menidon which was forged in a time of war and strife, where the survival of two peoples relief solely on their cooperation.

The Dweor of Baraz and the Men of Aradur had always had good terms with one another; the dwarves provided good steel and a steady supply of gold, while the coastal city of Aradur provided a thriving hub for trade in the region. In the later centuries of the SE, long after the collapse of the Nacian Empire, the ducal lords and merchant republics now ruling that land joined arms and sought to wipe out their main trade competitor, the Dweor of Baraz.

An army of some five thousand marched towards the mountain hold, led by a council of bankers and nobles funding the campaign. Immediately, the progress was halted for the remnants of Nacia; harsh weather in the mountains delayed the advance, and supply trains were poorly managed. This gave the Dweor enough time to send emissaries to Aradur, to beg the council of burgomasters to send aid. The council agreed to shelter the Dweor if Baraz fell, but refused any military support, as the fledgling trade city was garrisoned by a small militia which was rather poorly equipped.

Feeling defeated, the Dweor of Baraz fortified their keep and prepared for the worst. When the dukes and merchants arrived, the Dweor seemed doomed, for they had only two thousand volunteers equipped with generation old gear. By miracle, a single councilman, Tybalt the Brazen, arrived with a host of peasants numbering near ten thousand armed with billhooks and spears. Tybalt had resigned from the council in protest of the lack of aid to Baraz and went through the countryside rallying the common folk to his cause.

At the sight of this huge army, the merchant lords broke off their mercenaries, leaving the duke lords with half their strength for the battle. The Dweor rushed from their battlements and joined Tybalt, swiftly routing the diminished army and winning the day.

In retrospect, Tybalt was dubbed the Brazen for two reasons; first, he would have been imprisoned and tried by his own people for taking so many peasants away from the harvest season, which could have starved the country, second, he led an army of sick, old, young, and even some women. Tybalt’s entire army was a bluff, and the enemy fell for his deception. Even with greater numbers, Tybalt lost nearly a sixth of his army in battle, due to their lackluster equipment.

Tybalt returned to Aradur with his and the Dweor army, and strongarmed his way back into the council, swiftly removing his opponents and replacing them with men loyal to his cause. With the new burgomaster council, Tybalt signed the Treaty of Menidon, which combined the two kingdoms into an elective monarchy, of which he won the vote.

Since then, a council of one hundred, fifty Dweor and fifty Men, have elected their kings for life, always ensuring kings are picked by character and not race, though a bag of coins has been known to persuade some councilors.

The Company of the Shining Sword — June 9, 2017

The Company of the Shining Sword

The mercenary army, known chiefly as the Company of the Shining Sword, has been active for two generations of command and has seen battle across the entire world. A host of four thousand spears and swords, one thousand lightly armored lancers, and two thousand archers and crossbowmen, as well as some five hundred mounted archers with compound bows. A true glass cannon, the army is meant for strategy focusing on hit and run tactics, preferring to harass their enemy and keep a good distance away before striking and retreating to start the cycle again.

Founded by an exiled elven prince of Evrand, Tulmo the Once-Watcher, named for his revoking of the title of captain of the city guard at Evrand. Supposedly he had been taking bribes from smugglers and usurers, though many in his company and those of his family claim he was set up to cover a string of corruption in the council of that fair republic.

Either way, Tulmo was ousted from the city with twenty loyal guardsmen from the watch. Each of these men held the rank of captain granted instantly by Tulmo for their support, some of whom still hold it to this day as grizzled and old veterans of the company.

The first recorded instance of the company was at Kurithia, the city closest to Evrand. Kruithia had been besieged for months by their rivals the Ushamites, and it seemed the city would be breached in days. Suddenly, a company of some one thousand elves and a few hundred men charged the besieging camp in the dead of night. The camp burned in chaos and flame, quickly sending the Ushamite host fleeing out of fear of the savage host descending upon them. From the walls of the city, guardsmen saw shining blades glitter in the light of the flames, as the swords had been previously unused and were completely untarnished.

After the siege, Tulmo was granted a king’s fortune by the oligarchy, and word quickly traveled across the world of a new mercenary company looking for sliders of fortune to bolster their ranks. As part of his reward, Tulmo was knighted by the council, and granted his personal coat of arms, a red hand holding a shining steel blade upon an orange shield, still used to this day as the company’s sigil.

The Wolf in the Vineyard, House Vandarian —

The Wolf in the Vineyard, House Vandarian

Dating back centuries, House Vandarian has ruled the Vine Marshes of Nacia since their birthing as a cadet house of the imperial family. Stewards and masters of statecraft, the patriarchs of Vandarian are as powerful and ambitious are they are wealthy.

From their palatial home at Laprisil, wine and gold flow from the port, as well as the roads connecting to the other major cities of the isle.  Once their castle was to the western border, though it sunk into the marsh in a severe storm, trapping and killing near half the living member of the family at that time.

Now their leader, Rollo the Bloodless, makes his way to the capital to meet with the newly appointed king, Lucan. Rollo is wise beyond his years and was treasurer to the king’s father, Cato. Rollo’s visit brings both relief and fear, for the memory of Achea is still fresh in the minds of the common folk and nobility alike. A tale few dare speak…

 

Clan Silverscale, Lords of Sea and River — May 15, 2017

Clan Silverscale, Lords of Sea and River

To the eastern coast of Yennen, the barbaric descendants of the ancient Dradanian chiefdoms rule and reave along the shores.  Seafarers and smiths, the Silverscale overwhelm with lightning strikes and superior equipment, as well as ships able to withstand both open ocean and the shallow beds of rivers. Their unique name stems from reports given by their first coastal village victims, who described them as fishmen swimming from the sea bathed in steel. Hence, they are the Silverscale, wrought in protective armor like that of the banner they carry into battle.

Their current lord, Casimir, sets his sights on the last visages of the old kingdoms, waiting like a fatted calfs in the field, unaware of the wolf in the woodland. Ambition guides the young king and he moves to rally his people to conquest. To his north, the Silver Elves of Geladhithel are weak, brought down by years of economic depression and ineffective leadership. To the eastern coast, the rich land of Nacia is but a pond’s length away, the Lion of Nacia now but a tamed cat. If Casimir succeeds in his quest for power, the whole waters of Yennen and the world shall be swarmed by the banner of the three silver fish.

The Lion Of Nacia — March 15, 2017

The Lion Of Nacia

Disgraced, exiled, and beaten, the Nacian Empire stands on a final leg. Forced to flee from their homeland of Nacia, the Imperators have ruled an island off the coast of Yennen, a pale substitute for the vast tracks of land they once held dominion over. Barbarian tribes in service to Nacia overthrew their benefactors, who had grown weak and reliant upon foreign arms. The tribes became civilized and proclaimed themselves the Duxdoms, an insult to the heritage and name of the lion.

Though the benefits of empire have faded from the grip of Nacia, the problems cling like a foul disease. The nobility proves ineffective, growing fat in their countryside villas. The people are broken in spirit, and the army lays in disarray. The fleet of Nacia has deserted, meaning no reclamation of the homeland can even be thought of.

The current king, as the title imperator has been lost to time, is a young man named Lucan, second in line to be king, without an empathetic trait or simple charm in his character. His people dub him, Lucan the Unloving, and for good reason.

The Lusani Elves, Dwellers of the Forest — March 14, 2017

The Lusani Elves, Dwellers of the Forest

Between Lorine and the rest of the north, the Lusatine forest cuts across the landscape like a knife. The roots of the forest are deep and filled with a rich history of heroes and songs. None dwell there save the Lusani Elves, born and buried in the vast network of vines and branches. Few have seen such folk and even fewer live to tell the tale. A xenophobic people, they protect the forest from those who would harm it.

The Kingdom of Lorine’s powerful merchant guilds once tried to cut a swath through the land, in order to secure timber and a new trade route to the north. The expedition was never to be seen again. For centuries the Lusani have not cared for the politics of the world, but now, as evil once more awakens from slumber, the elves of the forest cannot leave their fate to chance. The drums in the woods begin anew, and the rangers and bowman take up their arms once more. Led by Queen Joanne, a girl rumored to be no older than fourteen yet fierce in her authority, the elves shall stand against the coming tide.

 

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