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 Sanctimonia - A History

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Join date : 2012-02-04

PostSubject: Sanctimonia - A History   Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:02 am

Sanctimonia - A History

Quote :

  • The destruction left in Shar's wake is incomprehensible. Civilization in the west borders on complete collapse. While some still hope for Imperial Aid, Imperial Authority has completely crumbled. Common banditry and dangerous monsters reign supreme, making trade and travel a dangerous affair. A menagerie of deadly diseases spreads among the populace, left behind by Shar's Reavers. Local authorities are left to deal with their own problems as best they can; with the collapse of Imperial Power, civilization has regressed to a point where the only authority you can rely on are the walls of your own city. Many cities restrict all travel to and from the city.

  • The southeastern Heartland has been completely destroyed. Imperia remains a cauldron of toxic death, a foreboding ruin that afflicts any who come near. Thousands are left adrift and homeless, becoming refugees that scour the land for sanctuary. Many cities deny them entry, fearing the spread of the plague and civil disorder; most turn into violent struggles. Desperate men turn to savagery, killing for a scrap of apple. Many attempt to flee the land. Hundreds rush Occitan's Iron Wall, only to be cut down by flame and steel. Those that flee south fare better, but often die from exposure.

  • The north fares little better. The Great Forest, once a source of bounty and splendor for the entire region, lays lifeless. Through a combination of plague, violence, civil unrest, starvation, and suicide, the population of Surna has nearly been halved. The entire northern region has almost been rendered lifeless, with the few remaining farms and villages emptying quickly for the safety of the cities.

  • Winter

  • The Aftermath of Shar's Invasion dredges on. Denied refuge at almost every turn, many refuges from the south freeze to death in the winter.

Thus was the state of affairs in the year 589 MoP, the year of the crumbling of the five centuries old Talibarian Empire, and the beginning of more than two decades of strife, suffering, and death. The Imperial Heartlands, once some of the most secure and prosperous lands in all of Aeria, were reduced to a number of independent, struggling city-states fighting for resources. Ambitious nobles, freed from Imperial authority, transformed into brutal warlords, turning their substantial wealth towards further war and infighting. The greatest players of this day were the ancient Great Houses; Vale in the north-west, a Warthrop-Friedhold coalition in the north-east, Loic upon the western coast, Judaicael and Soldat at each others throats in the southern heartlands, and Felix in the foothills of the northern coast. In this struggle were also a number of independent cities such as Leyanara and Surna, many of which were conquered and ransacked by the Great Houses. Left in the wake of this petty, violent struggle were the thousands of destitute, hopeless refugees from Imperia and the vast swath of destruction left by Shar. Denied entrance for fear of plague and lack of resources, many simply starved to death or turned to banditry.

Ignored during this time of strife were the actions of a small group of Knights and Clerics, the remnants of the land's religious order. All the faithless and corrupt had fled, or been jailed in the reforms of yesteryear - all that remained were these faithful few, rendered useless by the enormity of the land's misery, praying for an answer. They received.

Acting upon Divine Sanction, this small band made the dangerous journey to the defiled ruins of Imperia, where the land was still barren and the very air choked with toxic ash and corrupting dark energies. Acting in unison, these few began the arduous process of cleansing. Block by block, day by day, they ventured into the ruins and fought off Shades, undead, and all manner of unspeakable creatures, cleansing the ruins with ritual and prayer. Some sections were so defiled that the Clerics could do nothing but seal them off. The remains of the Imperial Palace, to this day, remain untouched, being the gathering place of the worst of the corruption. It took months, and some of their number were taken by the corruption or were slain, but eventually, inevitability, the ruins were made safe. Now they could begin the true work.

Calling out to the destitute of the realm, all those left behind in the wars, they gathered thousands to the ruins, feeding, healing, and caring for them. Though the land was unfit for farming, it is said that the Clerics were able to produce bounties from the soil itself. The maimed were made whole, plagued well. By miracle, Tyr provided for these hopeless through his servants. As more and more came, so did more hear, and the ruins were soon bustling with people. From the broken stone and charred wood they built shelters for themselves that were soon replaced by freshly cut cabins. Drawing upon the manpower and skills on an entire people, civilization was being rebuilt on the ruins of the old.

Unknowing or uncaring of this growth, the rest of the land was still at war. Brigands, desperate mercenaries, and legionary deserters roamed the wilderness, ransacking and murdering for whatever they could find. Though unnoticed for the moment, it was inevitable that this vulnerable society would be threatened by the outside. By what most say was providence, and others simple chance, the first to come across the fledgling city was Rector Laurus Deleric and the remaining members of his Cohort. Deserters fleeing the chaos, yet unable to return to the east with honor, they wandered the land, scratching out a living. Laurus Deleric was a remarkably moral man, and also one of great authority. He put to death any of his men who dared put an innocent to the sword, and enforced strong discipline even as deserters. This of course make life considerably harder for him and his men, and so when they came across the ruins of Imperia, with a fledgling yet growing society, they decided to stay. Thus were the origins of Sanctimonia's protectors. With his small yet disciplined group, Deleric fended off any and all threats to the people, from bandit raids to ransacking noble warlords. Eventually Deleric was named King and Defender of the Faith, on the same day that the city gained it's name - Sanctimonia.

After almost twenty years of perpetual chaos and infighting, everything finally changed. The land had grown weak, and though House Vale had finally won the north over Felix and Friedhold, and Soldat had put Judicael to the sword, these Houses were truly on their last legs, and forced into a slow consolidation and revival. This all meant nothing when the Occitanian Empire swooped down from the north, fulfilling the dreams of conquest that had been boiling under the surface ever since the first Occitanian-Talibarian war almost two thousand years ago. Some wonder why the Occitanians, with their grand military strength and lust for conquest, took so long to invade at all. Most speculate that the reigning Kaiser had no desire to have to face a dozen warlords at their full strength, and risk uniting the land, instead preferring to watch and wait as the land bled itself dry. If this was indeed his strategy, it served him well. Besieging and swatting aside the self-proclaimed Kingdom of Vale, they forced the Vale family to flee, putting to sword any who remained. Crushing all resistance, they conquered as far south as Surna, and farther still, ending that city's short independent reign. No single force was powerful enough to do anything more than temporarily resist the Occitanian's invasion, until their armies approached Sanctimonia.

The coming of the Occitanians forced Soldat into a desperate, hurried alliance with Loic, where they both tried to muster and equip their remaining soldiers. The Kaiser's Generals reported a quick sweep across the southern Heartlands, followed by the siege of Loic on the coast. They were not expecting, or had not even taken the time to consider, the small, negligible third party in the area.

Though Sanctimonia's military had grown much greater than Deleric's original 80, they were still vastly outnumbered, ill-equipped, and ill-experienced compared to the Occitanians. They met in the open plains and farmlands of the Heartland. Nobody knows what exactly happened that day. The official and most popular story places the credit on a grand miracle from Tyr, where the hosts of heaven fought alongside the mortal army of Sanctimonia. Some more skeptical scholars place the victory on the keen strategic mind of King Deleric, who had already been known by that point for fending off large forces with vastly smaller manpower. Whatever happened, the Occitanian army experienced complete defeat with devastating losses and were forced to retreat back north.

The Occitanian invasion was halted there. While the Sanctimonian's stunning victory certainly played a great part, other factors led to the stop of the Kaiser's invasion plans. One of the most obvious was the death of the Kaiser himself, passing away at nearly ninety years of age. With his death, greater attention was needed away from the conquest as the Kaiser's heir consolidated his power in Occitan's notoriously violent politics. This, combined with the need to reorganize and administrate a conquered land nearly as large as Occitan's own, as well as a short war with a coalition of Ayrushikan kings, effectively put a halt to the further conquest of the Heartland.

For the better part of the next eighty years, the Occitanian Empire stretched from the Broken Sea to the Dragon Coast, from the snowy hills of Vinberg to the ancient city of Leyanara. With the heathen auslander lands under their control, they set about a program of often brutal reforms and conversion. The practice of magic and the worship of Elven gods was deemed expressly forbidden, under penalty of being burnt at the stake. Churches and shrines devoted to Tyr were torn down, replaced by Chapels devoted to the Saints. Citywide book burnings were held, destroying books of faith and magic. In spite of such harsh resolve, or perhaps because of it, secret cults devoted to Tyr persisted, held in sewers and back alleys. Beliefs and anti-Occitanian sentiment were passed down from father to child, and the old faiths survived. Despite the harsh reforms and supression of non-Occitanian values, the people and cities under Occitanian control experienced a time of great stability and prosperity, with Occitanian authority putting the chaotic land to rest, allowing peaceful trade to go on as before.

Meanwhile, in the south, Sanctimonia lived in a brief co-existence with the new Duchy of Loic-Soldat. During this time Sanctimonia also experienced a time of relative stability and prosperity, growing several times over with access to the historically bountiful southern Heartlands. Two wars were fought during this time - one which pushed Loic-Soldat securely out of the Heartlands, and a second which finally conquered the Duchy. These new lands were easily consolidated primarily because of the legends which surrounded Sanctimonia, and it's strong origins in and emphasis on the worship of Tyr. Sanctimonia therefore grew again in size, and over the next decades, built itself into a strong kingdom with a modern military.

Near the end of those eighty years, all was not right with the Occitanian Empire. Unrest, and the increasing sophistication and availability of firearms, led to blossoming discontent in both the conquered territories and the enslaved Kazuth populace. A strong Kaiser might have been able to bring both parties in line; but as of yet unsubstantiated rumors persist of a north-eastern incursion onto their lands, as well as a mysterious illness that infected the Kaiser. Whatever the case, this unrest exploded into two separate revolutions. While the long enslaved Kazuth fought with their masters in the north, a faith-based revolution exploded in the south, taking revenge on their occupiers for defiling their god. Sanctimonia immediately took advantage of the situation, and declared war on Occitan, supporting revolting cities in the conquered lands and aiding them in casting the Occitanians out. In at least one case, the infamous story of the Surnan Blackwatch, a city was already liberated when Sanctimonian forces came in, to be greeted with wild cheers.

While the Kazuth continued their bloody revenge into a five year civil war, Sanctimonia completed it's liberation of the former western lands of Talibar. Consolidating these long lost cities, Sanctimonia would truly finish it's transformation into a powerful Kingdom, growing in trade, culture, populace, and strength. In punishment for their crimes and petty wars half a century earlier, Sanctimonia would strip the noble titles from the remnants of the Great Houses. Some, however, such as House Vale, would find a renewal in riches following their investment in trade conglomerates known as the Guilds. Under Sanctimonia, the ancient College of Clerics was restored, as well as the growth of new holy institutions such as the Knights Concordic. With a fully modernized military, aggressive trade guilds, and an orderly system of government and law, Sanctimonia is now one of the great nations of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Sanctimonia - A History   Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:05 am

i wrote this when i should have been sleeping

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PostSubject: Re: Sanctimonia - A History   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Pat: Only does work under sleep depraved conditions.

Truly glorious lore though.
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PostSubject: Re: Sanctimonia - A History   Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:55 pm

Just to correct what seems to be a growing misconception -

Sanctimonia is not an Elven nation. Sanctimonia's religion may draw upon older elven traditions, but that's only as a part of the massive reforms done after the Prophet's death and Talibar's decline. The Prophet introduced a bit less than two thousand years of scripture and stuff that was based on his teachings and ideology - Sanctimonia abandoned all that and drew upon older things, the Tyr of their first kings, and a lot of elven concepts. There's some very marked differences between the elven conception of Tyr and the Sanctimonian Tyr, however.

So yeah. Sanctimonia is very much a human nation, and while they may draw on some elven culture, they're not under elven control. There is a nation of the Alfar - the Concordic Dominion, which includes Ahdsur, Brython, and Estivon (known to them as Nuihadhas).
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