Last War of Powers

Period Overview



Freed from the oppression of the Silent Centuries and the threat of foreign aggression, Anduruna was ready at last for a period of peaceful growth. Dayraider's army returned from war to find living conditions already steadily improving.

Agriculture had leapt forward in efficiency, with plowed fields yielding bountiful crops. New techniques for curing and storing foods were developed, and improved subsistence led to larger, fatter herds of brambles and knossus.

Architecture began to build from its primitive origins as well. Metal works and forges that had been hastily assembled for the spearheads and armor of the war effort found new use in innovations like... 'nails'. Primitive tools proliferated, and while some experiments collapsed in failure, many building and construction innovations proved rewarding.

Basic legal systems began to arise ad-hoc, to service the population and punish thieves and murderers. Power use, focused on the burgeoning application of construction rather than conflict, played a large part in accelerating some of these advancements. However much of the credit must go to the localized Serapeans. Defects from the Extollo army, eager to prove their worth as citizens, they shared abundant knowledge from their culture without qualm.

As such, the reign of king Dayraider of Norvondire saw many revolutionary improvements to Anduruna.The hampering dividing walls between districts, no longer useful in containing hostile Outer Wall breaches, were torn down. (Dreamkeepers accustomed to living in their respective districts for generations kept to the same general regions, however.)

Developing thoroughfares were paved in cobblestones or planks, a leap forward from their ancestry as worn trails of muck. These primary avenues facilitated the integration of a wartime innovation - the wheel. Transportation efficiency skyrocketed as manekales and knossus began hauling loads of goods not just in side bags, but in trailing carts and barrows.

Improved weaving techniques and Serapean influence brought on a revolution in clothing. No longer were loose furs and leathers or rough robes & shawls the only choice: garments could be created in any size and shape, and dyed in nearly every color. With every body type being unique, nearly all wardrobe items had to be expensively custom tailored. Clothing soon became the signage of wealth among dreamkeepers. The ability to sport multiple outfits throughout the week was a clear indicator of financial and social power. Shoes were another new, and luxurious, commodity. Tailoring soon ranked as one of the most sought after and rewarding trade skills.

Metalworking improved astronomically, and an artesian class rose to fill demand for ornamental work, in addition to the rising need for agricultural tools and construction implements. Fermentae brewing became an overnight sensation, with annual contests decreeing district champion flavors. Castles and mansions began to mark the home territory of emerging wealthy families, giving rise to the High Houses of the districts. Even most peasants enjoyed the luxury of board walls and tile roofs.

One area, however, was devoid of new construction. In the very center of Anduruna lay a shattered plain of dark stone, rumored to be the haunted site of destroyed evil. Tales whispered that the blighted dead still roamed the site, and that unseen phantoms populated the rubble. Not so much as a stick was erected there, and even grass seemed to shun the crushed stony ground.

Tragically, much of the new Anduruna would be reduced to this condition as inter-district tensions ignited a civil conflict known as the Last War of Powers.


Timeline



11 A.D.: Returning to Anduruna at the head of his tattered but triumphant army, Dayraider (of the Norvondire district) was decreed king. Dayraider was forty-four years old, and set up his seat of rule in the newly built Norvondire palace, renovated in and around the old stone guard tower. Virtuous by nature, he ruled fairly, and to the benefit of all for the remainder of his life. He had a son, Thelek, born in 12 A.D.

41 A.D.: After the passing of Dayraider, his son Thelek Dayraider assumed the throne of Norvondire, ruling over all of Anduruna. Sharp discord greeted Thelek’s ascension. Most districts had developed largely independent systems of rule under the elder Dayraider's guidance, and many felt that Norvondire should not remain the dominant authority for the city. During the early years of Thelek’s rule, there was much grumbling and criticism from other High Houses. Many argued that rule should rotate between districts, but they failed to promote an alternate choice due to disagreement over which district should go next. Thelek calmed dissidence by personally delegating different aspects of rule to various district representatives, sharing responsibility. Thelek ruled quietly, living only a modestly elevated lifestyle. Also, Thelek traveled the entire city to speak with commoners and understand the needs of his people. Thelek soon became, if not accepted, then at least fondly tolerated by the other districts. Thelek the Gracious was gracious to a fault, however, as he lavished affection and luxury upon his beloved children.

73 A.D.: Failing to match the longevity of his father, Thelek died suddenly at age sixty-one in his sleep. Whispers in the Norvondire palace murmured foul play. Animrast, Thelek’s daughter, immediately claimed authority over Anduruna as eldest of the Dayraiders. The other districts had for years discussed succession, and several districts had strong leaders contending for the throne. Before his death, Thelek had expressed interest in conferring with other districts to name his successor. Instead, Animrast claimed absolute power, and proved to harbor much more ambition than her predecessor.

She implemented ubiquitous royal tolls and tributes, but the other districts refused to capitulate. They instead chose to follow their local High Houses, and declined to recognize the ordinances of Norvondire. Margate in particular decried Norvondire's claims, and immediately refused to participate in any trade with the district. This infuriated Animrast to no end, as she perceived she was being denied her birthright by these ‘rebel’ districts.

74 - 84 A.D.: A tense decade passed with increasingly strained relations between districts. Exported goods between kingdoms were heavily levied, with cultural differences aiding the polarization. Animrast, furious at the defiance to the noble Dayraider ascendancy, mustered a Norvondire army - an act immediately imitated by the other districts. Periodic attempts to force compliance with Norvondire policies resulted in bitter diplomatic and clandestine skirmishes. Delegates from the High Houses of Calypsa and Ruskol met, and conspired together against Norvondire. During yet another heated negotiation in the Norvondire palace, the Calypsan delegation suddenly opened the gates to a disguised army of Ruskol & Calypsan troops. Fighting was fierce, but short - and the capitol palace of Norvondire was taken. Although it was planned to take Animrast captive, she escaped the palace through secret passageways. With a disaffected local population she found no shelter, and had to surreptitiously petition Theophanies for protection. Calypsa and Ruskol announced themselves joint rulers of Anduruna in 84 A.D.

84 - 98 A.D.: Overtaking Norvondire, the High Houses of Ruskol and Calypsa declared themselves joint rulers of Anduruna. This claim to authority was rejected by all five other districts. Combat to retake the Norvondire district palace challenged the Ruskol/Calypsan alliance, as well as pre-emptive attacks against their home districts by neighboring High Houses. Thus, what had been planned as a quick and painless coup-de-tat against the Norvondire regime soon turned into significant inter-regional conflict. Simmering populist prejudices and long-burning aristocratic ambitions came to a head in this volatile atmosphere. Neighboring districts chose this time to make pre-emptive or retaliatory strikes against their enemies, as High House magnates made their lunge for expanded authority. Held in Theophanies under the pretext of diplomatic immunity, Animrast was a political liability and soon found herself imprisoned by her supposed benefactors. During the years of fighting, she was finally bartered in a prisoner exchange to Ruskol, and executed.

District palaces became overtaken, besieged, retaken, besieged again. Alliances between various districts were forged and broken within the same year. The territorial incursions and deaths enflamed the patriotism of district populations, and the conflict escalated within a few short years to all-out warfare. Confined in the limited territory, and with all sides unleashing their vaunted powers ruthlessly, wholesale destruction ensued. Eye-for-an-eye campaigns of vengeance, and mutual fear of annihilation, fueled the conflict beyond all rational bounds.

Late 98 A.D.: Eventually, there was not much left to fight over. District palaces cratered, homes shattered, crops ruined and lives lost, the redundancy of the conflict finally made itself all too apparent. Gradually blood quelled the flames of passion, and the patriotic urge to dominate drained from the armies of all sides. The few House leaders with the ambition to urge continued battle were, one way or another, discouraged from their convictions. At the power-laden insistence of their battered and diminished citizens, leaders from all districts were rounded up and locked in together until they could reach agreement. Days later, with hunger taking its toll, compromises finally began to take shape. Rule over Anduruna was granted to the district which had most vocally opposed the war, Theophanies. The king from Theophanies would rule until his death, when the next counterclockwise district would have its turn to choose their king of Anduruna. (This created a subsequent thriving black market for assassins and royal vanguards.)

Thus, Wythan of Theophanies became the new king of Anduruna. To inaugurate his rule, Wythan of Theophanies held a council to create laws governing power use. It was decreed that they may only be used within city walls to accomplish constructive tasks, and never as a weapon, unless defending oneself or an innocent.

Anduruna began its longest period of relative peace. Still harboring enmity, but tempered from the years of blood and destruction, the districts began to develop and rebuild once again.