The History of Ardenia
|Goneto the distant past are the days of Ulmark, First-King and founder
of Ardenia. His distant rule over the Golden Age of the kingdom is
long gone, as is he, leaving the Ruby Crown to gather dust on a pedestal.
Since then, the Kingdom has undergone many changes. After Ulmark's
disappearance, it was ruled, for a time, by a series of Regents, starting
with Jura Avari and then his adopted daughter Mira. They led the kingdom
through the darkness of first the Demon War, then the 4th Human -
Half-orc, and finally the Kii Wars. Mira and her husband General Kelnak
ruled for many years before passing on and leaving the kingdom to
their son, Calla.
Several members of the Avari family, male and female, ruled as Regents
in Ulmark's name, until a dispute between twin sons of the last Regent,
caused civil war to erupt. It raged for several years, only ending
when both brothers died fighting each other. A power vacuum formed
then, as the fighting left no Avari heirs and also left the major
noble families of the realm to weak to lay claim to the silver circlet
of the Regency. Instead, the weakened houses of nobility created the
Regent's Council to jointly rule the kingdom.
Years passed, and Ardenia only slowly recovered under the weak and
aimless rule of the often-changing Regent's Council. Arak, seeing
opportunity, and finally recovered from the hurts of the 4th War,
began making inroads on Ardenian territory. Then Zeltis, a noble from
House Mechara (lesser house), rose up and gained a seat on the Regent's
Council. He quickly became a favourite of the people and organized
a series of counterstrikes against the half-orc forces, driving them
off with little loss of life on either side. With this success and
his ever-growing popularity and mysteriously large fortune, he was
on the cusp of claiming not just the Silver Circlet, but also (rumour
says) the Ruby Crown of Ulmark.
Just before Zeltis made his final move however, the leaders of the
Comstil trading company revealed that he was in fact being funded
by Arak, as were several of his fellows on the Regency Council.
The populace of Ardenfall rose up against the betrayers, and threw
down the Council, killing all its members and then other nobles. The
remainder of the nobility hid in their palaces and townhouses behind
gates, walls and guards after that, leaving yet another vacuum of
power. This opening was quickly filled by common-cry of the people
of the realm though, when they declared the leaders of Comstil and
other notable citizens of Ardenfall heroes. These citizens and leaders
formed a new council, the Council of Ardenfall, which was composed
mainly of elite members of the merchant classes and prominent priests,
as well as a handful representatives from the various sectors of the
With their wealth and the strength of the capital city behind
them, the new council quickly became the overall power in the entire
kingdom of Ardenia.
Many more years passed, and the
strength of Ardenia rose and fell like the tides. But so did the
strength of the half-orcs. One day, the countless hordes of Arak
spilled over the Midcrest Mountains without warning, catching Ardenia
unprepared and starting the 5th Arak-Ardenian War. The army, which
was quickly scattered in the first days of the conflict, slowly
regrouped as the Arakan forces moved southward into the Ardenian
heartland, threatening even the capital itself. The somewhat recovered
Ardenian Army, under the leadership of the Council, finally managed
to pull together in a last desperate stand before the gates of Ardenfall
itself, but all seemed lost.
Just at the moment when it seemed that all was lost however, Ulmark
First-King appeared as if from nowhere in the heart of the remnants
of the defending army, rallying them. With his leadership and fabled
powers, the army was able to barely defeat the enemy that day. And
the next, they began driving the half-orcs back across the plains.
After many months of fighting, Ardenia was once more cleared of
Arakan forces, as they were driven back over the Midcrest range.
Peace was assured for the time by the costly purchase of an Alliance
with the dwarves of Duur-Halla, who agreed to hold the passes for
a time while Ardenia recovered.
Ulmark returned in triumph to Ardenfall, and took once more the
Ruby Crown, and some said that a new Golden Age was soon to come.
Less than a year later, Ulmark vanished after a long meeting between
himself and the Council of Ardenfall. The Council proclaimed that
Ulmark had declared his work done in saving Ardenia, and that he
had returned to the shadeless lands above from which he watched
over the kingdom. The Council once more took up the reins of power,
and as their first act, the new head of the Council, a high priest
of Nen, had Ulmark proclaimed one of the Suvari, a new god. An altar
in the temple was created for his worship as the Patron Protector
of the Realm.
Since then, many years have passed, and the kingdom has recovered
from the destruction of the 5th War and the high cost of the Dwarven
Alliance, which has since dissolved since the stoppage of payments.
The Council of Ardenfall continues to rule the kingdom, but many
folk living outside the capital have begun to mutter that the Council
favours too much the people of that city, to the detriment of the
rest of Ardenia. Tensions have begun to rise, and the outland nobility
have become more vocal in their opposition.
What happens next can only be told with
the passing of time....