The First Age
Documented history began here for the people known as the Larandians. Southern Larandier was a green land with an everlasting summer, while beyond the ancient wall in the north was the land of everlasting winter. At this time the matriarchal society founded its first high council; the nine most powerful houses of the realm banded together laying forth laws that their powerful armies would then uphold. Rebelions arose all over and were met with swift ends by the powerful council, and though the first century was rough, they soon managed to band the tribe-like states of the continent together. Many houses, though agreeing to follow the laws of the council, had lasting blood feuds between one another however. These feuds were overlooked for many years until one such feud ended in the burning of one of the most beautiful cities of the continent, Sylvanus. At that the council banned all blood feuds between houses, declaring that any house caught participating in a blood feud would be punished by the disbandment of their house. All Larandians know that blood feuds still existed, however these battles were now fought with assassins and spies rather than all out battle in the streets. This is when the expansion of the society began, turning from the tribe like groups that warred constantly with one another into a web of groups working together to prosper. Cities began to grow, the biggest of them around the house with the first seat on the council, Tel’Danaerys. The city of Danaerys rose around the castle of the house. Many flocked to house Danaerys due to the stories of their benevolence and power. This was only during the reign of the first matriarch however. Since then the house of Danaerys, as every house, has had many of cruel matriarchs in its history. Tel’Danaerys has held the first seat of the council the most of any of the noble houses, and is one of only three houses to never leave The Nine, in all truth Tel’Danaerys has never fallen below the status of third house. At the end of the first age the lands of Larandier had become a rich place, farms and homesteads soon sprouted all along the borderlands of the noble houses and the economy was growing quickly.
The Second Age
The beginning of the second age was much like the end of the first; in fact most of the second age was a time of expansion. Technology was growing, the Larandian’s learned how to harness the power of elementals and place them in weaponry, buildings, machines, and vehicles (such as wagons and ships). Larandian ships began to set out on the seas, many became pirates who terrorized the waters, but some were explorers trying to find new lands to settle. Small talks with the people of Trinsara and Niew Huis had begun but decisions were not yet made on whether the Larandians wished to join the alliance the human and dwarven nations had. Around the seventh century the summer began to fade and a winter moved its way into the lands. The Larandian people did not know what to do having never dealt with a winter before, this led many to starve and grow sick. Soon a plague swept the lands killing off thousands, but what followed death was far worse. Those who died from the plague came back to life, killing their families and friends who had cared for them and tried to help them as they were dying. And those killed by these undead would then come back themselves searching for their own victims. The plague that had killed thousands soon claimed thousands more. Cities became ruins as everyone panicked and ran for their lives. The armies of noble houses tried to protect their people but the undead were unstoppable. For six years this first winter lasted, when finally a reprieve came. The undead left with the winter as it receded north, but Larandier was unwilling to show a weakness to peoples they did not yet trust and instead of requesting aid cut off all communications to the world and began to try to rebuild their lives. For two years the land blossomed returning to it’s normal summerlike state, then for three years more the summer lasted with great harvests, and then the winter began it’s swift return, only taking a year to set in. The Larandians were more ready for the winter this time, not knowing when it would come back they constantly prepared for it during their summer years. Their preparations paid off, but they still weren’t ready for what the winter brought. The undead army that came this second winter was different. The zombies from before returned, however by their side came wights. The wights were more powerful than most cities prepared for and those cities fell quickly. Unfortunately for the Larandians those killed by the wights would soon rise themselves as one of these more powerful undead creatures, just as the zombies had the year before. Refugees flooded into the strongest cities causing many Larandians to die due to starvation, the cold, or even worse, the plague. The bodies of those that fell were burned in funeral pyres that were kept burning in every city across Larandier. One city of Larandians began to experiment with ideas on how to beat the plague and the army of undead. When the summer years came around and the cities were able to contact one another again the city of Korko shocked everyone. A mass majority of the population of the city was no longer recognizable as a Larandian; they were something entirely different. During the winter months Korko got hit hard with the plague and it killed off a quarter of their population in the first year. With Tel’Korko set their high mages to work. The mages had already been experimenting with ideas to beat the plague and had come up with a risky plan, but the house was desperate to save their people. The mages performed rituals combining the blood of demons with the blood of the Larandians, there was a side effect though, over time this made their appearance alter, their eyes soon began to have a reddish hue, and their skin became a reddish color, some even began to grow horns or have their eyes literally glow red, and tails began to grow on everyone. Then everyone soon began to develop minor magical abilities. Not everyone wished to try this risk, most commoners feared the idea, but the city had achieved a “herd immunity” as the healers called it. Many flocked to Korko to receive this cure to the plague over the summer years. Many others feared the new race called Tieflings and shunned this “miracle” cure. Over the next couple centuries Larandier slowly began to build itself back up. Their skilled navy patrolled the seas surrounding the continent constantly, keeping the undead in as well as keeping the other nations at a safe distance to ensure they could not see the state that the continent was in. But then something happened, something that would change everything. Korko, having found a “cure” to the plague soon began to try and find a way to defeat the undead menace that plagued their continent. The high mages began further communications with the demons, whose blood had saved them. They were naïve though and became too trusting, and the demons, lead by the demon lord Orcus, took advantage of them. The demons tricked the tieflings and used them to create a rift in which they could escape, but luck was truly with the deceived. The rift opened as an armada of ships was escorted into the port city. A dwarven cleric who had a vision of a great evil on the continent of Larandier lead an army of the races of the alliance to combat this darkness and as the rift opened up the demon army was met by the alliance of Estorian races. A great battle then ensued for a week, decimating the Estorians, in the end the dwarven cleric sacrificed himself to send Orcus and his demonic army back into the abyss, closing the rift. When the battle was over the armada barely had enough men to sail for home. The direct followers of the dwarven cleric argued that this was not the darkness he foresaw. However most of the army believed it to be the darkness for the cleric sacrificed himself to end it; the idea of losing more men for an isolationist country that was this reckless was seen as not being worth the risk. The clerics followers stayed.
Larandier sent representatives chosen by The Council to Trinsara with the armada taking gifts of thanks and a request to join the alliance.
The Third Age
The third age did not bring much for the Larandians. It was found out that the tiefling race was able to reproduce, and breeding between Larandians and tieflings and Larandians and humans was possible. A tiefling would always produce a tiefling, and the mix of Larandian and human was much like the mix of human and elf and are subsequently referred to as such. Both of these races however had a drastically shorter life span than that of the Larandians. A natural tolerance to the plague soon came, and the winters claimed less and less lives, but the army of the undead during the winter years makes any and all travel nigh impossible. Niew Huis, once its civil war was over, gave the races of Larandier an island off their coast to use as a refuge. This island was given to them to help ease the tensions building between the Larandians and the rest of Estoria. Soon after this gift negotiations were complete and the Larandians joined the alliance at Trinsara. At the end of the third age Larandier had a total of 12 cities still standing. Korko, AKA The City of the Rift, Danaerys, Raca, Thoron, Losse, Falma, Taure, Dulin, Lomeramwe, Cath, Loomin, and Ilmen. During the winter months these are the only safe places on the continent. During the months of summer the noble houses and the i’Ntaurn occupy keeps and castles, but the ruined cities are too dangerous to enter. Many have ventured into these places to try and make a name for themselves, however few ever return.
The Fourth Age
Only time will tell. . .
A Darker Past
Long ago, before the Larandians were a tribal people, they all lived peacefully together. This is not important, what is important is that this was when the ancient wall, now crumbling in the north, was manned by thousands of Larandians, they were known as the Guardians. The Guardians held no lands, had no families, had no wealth, they had only what they needed to do their job; however their prestige was so great many wished to join them. These men protected the southern summer lands from the undead threat in the north. The undead were lead by an ancient lich, he had once been a king of the Larandian people; he fell from power after going mad when his wife was murdered. His castle and the surrounding city were in the north, located a ten days travel behind a grand wall 100 feet high and spanning the land bridge leading north. North of the wall, the land began to wither, people soon worried, many had families up north. The guards on the wall who were ordered to not permit anyone north soon began also watching north and the land was swallowed by a winter. Years passed and no word came from the northern city, and the winter did not pass. Then it happened. A scout raced back to the wall having suffered grievous wounds. He reported a massive army moving south, an army of flesh-eating fiends. Many thought this to be an exaggeration but a day after passing the scout rose and killed two people before he was killed. The guards on the wall sent for reinforcements. The battle that raged at the wall killed many, and the undead army retreated but the funeral pyres numbered but half of the missing warriors. The request for warriors to protect the wall was then sent out, and the Guardians were formed. For hundreds of years the Guardians protected the south from the undead army to the north. Vampires, Wights, Zombies, all of them attempted to get passed the wall but were always repelled. Life as a Guardian began to lose its prestige as the years went on and they soon dwindled to a force barely big enough to man the wall. It was at this time a nameless hero stepped forth. He rode north with nothing more than his armor and his sword and never returned. His deed was not for naught though for after he rode north soon the attacks on the wall ended. First a year passed, then another, then ten, and then a century without an attack. Over the years many forgot about the undead threat that had once constantly threatened the southern lands and soon the wall was abandoned.
A Few Clarifications
Tel – A preface to a noble house. Only the bloodline of the house gains the preface of Tel, commoners and house warriors will just say they are of that house. There are 27 noble houses all ranked, any house may challenge the rank of the house ranked directly before it. The lesser houses may challenge the lowest ranked noble house, this however is very rare.
i – A preface to a lesser house. Most commoners will take the name of the house they serve. Lesser houses gain the right to their own house name, however they gain little political power and are usually looked down on.
The Council of Nine – Sometimes referred to as “The Council” this is the nine highest ranking noble houses. They vote between themselves on all laws created.
Challenging rank – A challenge on a noble houses rank is decided by a series of tests covering academic, martial and magical prowess of the house. A lesser house may challenge the lowest ranked Noble house to gain status, this however is very rare.
Blood feuds – Described in the first age these are still around in the fourth, many houses will use subterfuge to lesser a higher ranked houses prowess before a challenge in rank. Some of the lesser houses are more powerful than the lowest ranked noble houses but strictly work as agents to assist in subterfuge between the noble houses preferring to stay out of politics and just live well. This is dangerous, however, because these mercenary houses, along with the noble house found guilty of hiring them, can end up losing everything if found guilty of assisting in a blood feud.