Fabled Lands of Byrra
North Coast Region
The North Coast Region has had a lengthy and violent history, dating back long before Olimar Derith assumed the emperorship of Brixia and brought relative order to the land. The city states, from north to south, of Helmstromm, Brae Conn, and Brixus had long been the seats of power in the region.
Brae Conn had assumed the role of the mightiest of the three, after a land disagreement with Brixus prompted a two-year battle over Glerende, an iron mining village at the edge of the Crystal Sea. The village had long been independent of either city state, and when the village elder, for monetary reasons, agreed to vassal himself and his village to the kingdom of Brixus, King Dexion Nipus of Brae Conn, objected. On the advice of his warlords, he declared war on Brixus, claiming that Brixus’ king, King Thander, was illegally taking, as vassal, a village that had been rightfully Brae Conn’s. He cited the First Age Truce of Man.
Several members of both courts urged their sovereigns not to enter into the war. In Brixus, the court Sorceress Cersus, who was also the king’s lover, and Alexa, the queen, rumored to be a Mystic herself, both foretold doom for King Thander and Brixus, if he warred with Brae Conn.
In the wilds outside Brae Conn, King Dexion was warned against the battle by an Oracle, a blind old woman who served as an impartial court advisor. Yet neither king would budge, and the war began with a sea battle off the Glass Plateau. The victory went to Brixus, thanks to the bravery and leadership of Lord Cromwell, the captain of the Brixus warship, Vectus.
The next large-scale battle, north of Brixus in the Autumn Valley, also went to Brixus. It was in this battle that the Brae Conn Warlord Egil received his disfiguring injury, a lost his right arm, the result of an encounter with a mercenary Ymirian Berserker.
King Thander was jubilant, but Cersus and Alexa were even more adamant that the war must not continue. Cersus, fearful of dreams, that told of the king’s death, began work on a secret project, holing up in a tower sanctuary, leaving Carina, a trusted servant, behind to report to her. The Queen, after Cersus’ leaving, declared her knowledge of the affair and threatened to leave the king if he continued onward with plans for the battle.
Alexa ‘s action caused King Thander to reconsider the war, and at the infamous Treaty of Helm’s Reich, in the northern kingdom of Helmstromm, he met with King Dexion and attempted to negotiate an end to the hostilities. The meeting initially was civil. The Brixus Priest Ledius considered the iron mine to be a gift from the goddess Viva. Had not a ball of fire fallen from the heavens and created the mines, as the father god Vexus foretold? And was not King Thander the rightful King? Any attempts to give up the land were blasphemous to him.
When the time came to sign the agreement, in which Brae Conn and Brixus were to be joint lieges of Glerende, Ledius substituted a fake treaty designed to cause offense to King Thander. Captain Lord Cromwell spat upon the truce and upturned the treaty table, and the room disrupted into chaos.
Lord Helmstromm and Lady Helmstromm, the sovereigns of Helm’s Reich, the site of the treaty, attempted to restore order to the chaotic room, but to no avail. Bodyguards of the monarchs and squadrons of soldiers, witnesses and participants in the truce alike, clashed in the keep. The courtyards, ballrooms, and hallways were soaked in blood.
Both Lord and Lady Helmstromm and the heir to the Helmstromm throne, Mara were tragically among the earliest casualties as the battle raged in the streets as well. Lady Helmstromm and her daughter Mara, were found dead in their chambers.
In time, the generals took control of their respective armies and each retired to camp; King Brixus in the Deeping Dale Forest and the Brae Conn forces in the Frost Hills. A flowering meadowland separated them.
King Dexion, later discovering the Brixus priest’s treachery, sent his men to pursue the Priest Ledius and the assassins slew him, his man at arms escorts, and his young acolyte one night as they camped at a roadside shrine. It is said that Ledius, in begging for his life, even offered up the young acolyte to the assassins.
The Battle of Helm’s Reich
A fortnight later, after each side had an opportunity to send for reinforcements and plan their strategies, the armies of Brixus and Brae Conn met in the Battle of Helm’s Reich. In the heat of the battle, a sudden unnatural fog spread over the field, blinding the combatants. The source of the fog was the Cersus, who was attempting to halt the battle in which King Thander was to be slain. When the mist eventually lifted, it was discovered that an arrow had pierced King Thander‘s heart, apparently fired blindly by one of Brae Conn’s archers.
Brixus did not waste time in mourning. A young noble, Olimar Derith, who had shown great bravery in battle and was very popular among the troops, was crowned Olimar Derith, just behind the battle lines, and he ordered the army onward. Cersus pledged her loyalty to the new king and vowed aid in any way she could. Perhaps it was the sight of the brave young warrior turned king appearing on the battlefield in full regalia, surrounded by a mysterious aura of power, that inspired the Brixus army. Lord Cromwell slew King Dexion of Brae Conn, and the Brae Conn forces panicked. This act angered the young king.
Regardless, the battle quickly turned in their favor. Brae Conn’s troops were practically slaughtered to a man. Olimar Derith proved to be an effectively brutal commander. The fields ran red with blood and feasting ravens blotted out the sun. The bards would sing of his heroics, only. None other.
Lord Virla of Brae Conn formally surrendered to Brixus giving up all rights to the mining town. Olimar whispered in Virla’s ear and then allowed him to leave the battlefield. The Brae Conn were not allowed to bury their dead. Virla later committed suicide on the march back to Brae Conn.
Peace was a difficult process for the cities and towns on both sides of the North Coast. As part of the formal peace treaty Olimar Derith asked for the hand of Princess Adela, only daughter of the newly late King Dexion of Brae Conn and his Queen Agatha. The request was intended to restore friendship between the kingdoms. And it was partially successful, though many in the royal court of Brae Conn viewed the princess as more a prisoner of war than a bond to Brixus.
A full royal funeral was then held for King Thander, fully encased in a suit of armor. A blessing was placed on the armor before the king was ceremonially cremated, with heaps of treasure, giving the king eternal rest.
After failing to save the king, Cersus had attempted to conjure King Thander’s spirit, but had been unsuccessful. Trying greater and greater rituals, she had succeeded in giving unlife to many dead, but her lover was still lost to her.
The cause for Cersus’s distress was apparent to the court of Brixus. King Thander somehow had come back as a specter and was screaming from the court to the streets of Brixus for revenge. With him came a host of undead from nearby battlefields, that plagued the citizens and nobility. The bravest of the Olimar’s knights attempted to attack these undead, and their souls soon joined the unholy army. King Olimar Derith went from being an extremely popular king to a distrusted one, as rumors began that he may have killed King Thander in the chaos of the Battle of Helm’s Reich.
Cersus secretly tells Olimar in a dream, that she has reason to believe that the Queen Mother and Cromwell are plotting against the king. They may be the reason that King Thander’s soul is restless. Olimar welcomes Cersus back into the court, against the Queen Mother’s wishes. Alexa is outraged and calls Olimar a traitor in front of the court. Olimar sends Alexa away, to a monastery, with an ‘escort’ to protect her. Of course, Lord Cromwell demands to accompany her. Olimar agrees and secretly sends assassins to kill the whole party, planning to blame Brae Conn for the attack.
This leads to what is known as the Rending.
- Return to The South Brixian Empire
- Return to KINGDOMS