Part 62: Regarding the Seven Realms of Myrror at the Beginning of the Fifteenth CenturyRegarding the Seven Realms of Myrror at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century
As the fifteenth century of the Confederation began, there existed seven realms in Myrror, one of which had very recently been formed of a union of two earlier realms. These seven realms have been the wellspring of all persons who have survived in Myrror to the present day.
Of these the single strongest realm in the beginning of the century was doubtless the dark elven realm of Bloodrock, dominating northern Osterland. Of all seven realms, only Bloodrock was a realm of more than one town, for in 1392 Queen Asaia of Leer, being young and newly inherited, entered into a diplomatic marriage with Queen Elaissea of Bloodrock, joining both realms under the banner of the stronger of the two towns. Both towns enjoyed abundant farmland and relatively well-settled territories, and had maintained contact and communication through the Crimson River, but Leer was reliant for much of the metal whereby it could arm soldiers from Bloodrock itself. Bloodrock maintained a stronger military position, growing to dominate the relations, eventually culminating in the marriage that dissolved Leer as a separate realm. Asaia, unfortunately, lived only three years longer, for she was murdered by the Mad King Sss'ra as he assumed his power in Bloodrock and forced Elaissea into marriage via Sorcery. This left Bloodrock a realm commanding vast and fertile farmlands in one of the most secure portions of Myrror, under the command of a powerful wizard whose might swept aside any monsters threatening it and poised the realm to strike south and unify Osterland. Both Bloodrock and Leer relied heavily on enthralled labor, and both suffered heavily under the mad king. Of all the dark elven realms of the era, Leer had once, perhaps, been the most enlightened, remembering still its time as the vital link of trade between Bloodrock and Blademarsh, trading up along the river and south along the coast, and serving as a place where the ideas of all dark elves had once met, although whatever enlightenment it once had fell beneath the terror of Sss'ra. Bloodrock itself, for its part, was a town heavily-fortified upon a mountain, ready and strong for any threat. The realm of Bloodrock ended in 1408 with the coming of the dwarves of Dvergursheim, and the crowns of Bloodrock and Leer were joined to the crown of Greater Dvergursheim. Queen Elaissea survives still as a guest to Queen Dagmaer, not permitted to take up power again but treated with the courtesy due her position.
The ancestral realm of Greater Dvergursheim, whose crown is the crown over all others, was that of Goldwash in central Dvergursheim, whose rule was assumed by Dagmaer Flodmarsdottir in 1400. Goldwash, at the start of the century, was, although still in relatively simple and crude conditions as were all towns still recovering from the dark years, nonetheless one whose situation was perhaps as pleasant as any in Myrror. Dwarven crafts and skill were retained there, and the liberties of the dwarves still remained. Gold, silver, and rich hunting were available to the town. With the crown being taken up by Queen Dagmaer, this realm was further strengthened by the skills of a powerful Bright Wizard, whose skills assisted the dwarves of the town in seizing victory in many a field of battle across Myrror against monsters and against settled folk who might present a threat. With security and liberty assured the commerce and learning and crafts of Goldwash thrived, giving it great strength.
First other realm to be joined to Goldwash was that of Stonegate, which was a little town of dwarves on the shore set deep in the Red Desert of northern Dvergursheim. It was ruled with a light hand by King Flosi Jonsson, who was raised to the crown by Kingsmoot in 1325. Although an impoverished town amidst harsh desert, its folk retained freedom and dignity. The events which led to the fall of Stonegate were, ultimately, an unfortunate misunderstanding- seeing a band of armed dwarves approach the town arrayed in order in 1401, King Flosi assumed that the intent of the dwarves of Goldwash was a threat to the folk of his town. He thus arrayed a force of volunteers and met Goldwash's dwarves in battle, whose outcome was ultimately decided by Queen Dagmaer's healing of the dwarves of Goldwash in battle. With the death of Flosi and the spreading of the news of Goldwash and its new Queen, Stonegate willingly joined itself to the realm of Goldwash, and with assistance and investment from the south was able to better cultivate and feed its hungry realm.
One other dwarven realm existed at this time, that of Stonehome, in western Westerland. The ancestors of the dwarves of Stonehome originally dwelt in the east of Westerland, but, over the course of centuries, were repeatedly forced east by calamity until finally founding a town in a position troubled by fewer monsters in the west of Westerland. Stonehome was sited for defense in a treacherous bog, with a great district of fertile farmland and woods round about. Its traditions had become corrupted by hardship, and only its dwarves-at-arms in service to the crown were permitted to meet in Kingsmoot by the time the stern warrior king Reinar Reinarsson took the crown in 1349. Food was not short, but harsh taxes oppressed the folk and supported a great host of armed dwarves who protected the town, and the only source for iron for tools and weapons was digging for bog iron in the swamps of the district. In 1413, responding to an attempt by Stonehome to bring the new colony of Ironbay under its own crown, the kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim took the town, liberating it from King Reinar's rule. King Reinar was brought to Goldwash as a forced guest of Queen Dagmaer, removing him from power but treating him with courtesy and dignity.
In the south of Osterland there were two realms, the dragonkin realm of Fangrock and the dark elven realm of Blademarsh, both with access to magical materials unavailable to any other realm. Their strength, however, was dissipated by a long-standing rivalry and raiding between the two, in which the greater mobility of the dragonkin stood them well. Blademarsh was, as with the other elven realms, a land of many thralls, and notable in that their very Queen, Azanaia, had been a Dark magician of some small ability. Fangrock, for its part, held strongly to its traditions and was governed by a system of castes, with a Council of Five drawn from the highest caste of priests and savants as its rulers. Though Fangrock had less arable land, its access to quork was a powerful asset to its magicians, more so than Blademarsh's access to adamantine, which they were unable to forge into weapons. Contact by land between Blademarsh and northern Osterland was impossible, with Fangrock controlling all routes north. Both realms controlled one end of the sole surviving dwarven road of older eras, all other roads having been lost from lack of maintenance and the depredations of time and monsters. Both realms fell in 1407 to Dvergursheim, with Azanaia executed as a Dark magician and the Council of Five retained as governors in the name of Queen Dagmaer.
Last was the beastkin realm of Bantanu, which, like Goldwash, Bloodrock, and Stonehome, was a strong realm. It was very richly supplied with game, helping feed its folk, and enjoyed a fine defensive position on a hill. Its kingship was relatively harsh, but not without its own manner of honor, under King Arbax, called 'the Greatheart' for his immense valor. He ruled with a hand of iron, standing over a realm of many serfs and supporting a vast army to enforce his control, and protect his realm, but he nonetheless acted as a patron of learning and sought to preserve lore of history and magic as he could. When Bantanu fell in a punitive expedition from Greater Dvergursheim in 1420, Arbax chose to be put to death by his own son Torbax to expunge the shame of his failure as a warrior and as a king. Torbax has been recrowned as king of Bantanu, but a king subject to the crown of Greater Dvergursheim and bound by loyalty and law to the greater realm.