The Sword to Unite

The blog of the fantasy epic, The Sword to Unite

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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The Golden Court of Evrand — March 13, 2017

The Golden Court of Evrand

A light, defiant to the shadow around it. The lake city of Evrand has stood as a beacon for the elvish kin since the Age of Glory. Built by the great king Rohiel, it was the vanguard in the war against the demons. Crassus Baal, the deceiver, had clouded the human and elven kingdoms in shadow, and the land fell into civil war. Rohiel cried out to the god Duwel, lord of cloud and sky, and begged for the salvation of his people. Duwel answered, and commanded the Elf King to erect a massive lighthouse at the center isle of Lake Evrand. Rohiel did so, and when he had laid the last stone, Duwel descended in a cloud of flame, and kindled the lighthouse, driving back the darkness that plagued the land.

Since this time, the Golden Court has been a safe haven for the elves, one of the last three kingdoms of the Hlútrian, the proper name of the elves. Duwel’s people are few and far, often selling their wise words or sharp steel, reduced greatly in status from the days of yore. The Golden Court intends to reclaim what was stolen, to once more, be the beacon of light and hope in a dark and hopeless world.

The Black Elk, Zelphie —

The Black Elk, Zelphie

The ancient enemy to Atruitas, the fallen son of Erastrius, and the worshipper of the Black Elk, The Kingdom of Zelphie is a force to be reckoned with. The second of the kingdoms born from the Great Collapse, Zelphie lived in unity with Atruitas, often fighting alongside one another to repel foreign invaders, but no more. King Rogbert, now nearly ten generations ago, renounced his holy vows to Matuar, God of the Sea, and proclaimed loyalty to the Black Elk, a powerful and ancient being of the Zelphine Forest.

Upon hearing this, neighboring Tanaria took up arms against Zelphie at the behest of Atruitas, to purge the lands of this new cult. Rogbert ordered his men replace the image of Matuar’s trident with the Black Elk’s eyes upon their shields, proclaiming that the forest would soak up the sea. Rogbert met the Tanarians on the field, and won a stunning victory, sending the faithful running.

With this victory, Rogbert purged the land of Matuar’s priests, and tore down their holy sites, erecting new lodges with black antlers upon their altars. Since this time, Zelpie and Atruitas have been locked in a holy war, the Elk against Matuar.

Atruitas, the Silver Son of Erastrius — March 12, 2017

Atruitas, the Silver Son of Erastrius

To the southern realms, where fields of green blow gently in long summer’s wind, Atruitas shines as a beacon of civilization on the shores of the Ecestial sea. A nation which splintered from the Erastrian motherland during the Great Collapse, Atruitas has managed to retain the laws and learning of their now long dead forebearers. Their capital, Estphallia is a hub of culture and trade, one of the few left on the eastern coast of Yennen. To the north, the barbaric tribes of Clan Silverscale reave across the countryside, and to the south, the Zelphine, the fallen sons of Erastrius, who desecrated and abandoned their god Matuar, wage a bloody war against Atruitas.

The Silver Crown of Princes must be protected at all costs, for no others can claim the Erastrian legacy than they of Atruitas. War calls and the proud sons of Matuar are no stranger to the sound. Their navy and marines are feared for good reason, bathed in stiff leather and steel like armored monsters of the sea. Their winged helmets beckon their knights to glory. Now is the time for the Silver Son to takes his place on the lost throne of Erastrius, and reclaim that ancient empire!

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