Heretic's history of Diemed
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The contents herein are entirely player made and in no way represent official Birthright history or occurences which are accurate. The characters and events listed are of an independent nature and applied for roleplaying, fictional, speculative, or opinions from a limited playerbase only.
Aduria, it is no surprise how the Deretha had to bear a significant burden of the fighting against the growing Shadow in the south. While the other tribes sent men to fight in the war, the tribesmen of the Deretha fought for their lives from the very beginning. Knowing their lands would be the first to suffer if any incursion succeeded they poured every effort into stemming the tide. The King of the Tribe, Lord Maentel Diem, was wounded severely by a Gheallie Sidhe arrow shortly before tribes went to their final battle.
To Mount Deismaar it was instead the two sons of Lord Maentel, Prael and Amieren, that led the Deretha forces. Only one of the brothers was to return from the battle though. At the closing stages of the battle Prael was mortally wounded by an elven arrow, and despite his best efforts Amier was unable to save him in the ensuing chaos. Despite suffering grave wounds himself, Amieren Diem survived the battle, now carrying the divine essence of the dead gods in his blood. Fighting his way from the conflagration and battle that followed the death of the gods, he managed to lead the few the Deretha heroes still alive, most of whom had acquired a bloodline for themselves from the battlefield.
With the arrival of the survivors back at the various tribes, the word of their newfound powers spread quickly. What happened then is unclear, but it appears Lord Maentel wanted to claim the bloodline that Amieren was carrying for himself, under the pretext that he was both the lord of the Deretha Tribe and the one who had fought and suffered the most in the war against the Shadow. Whatever the truth Amieren slew his father and took on the mantle of rulership of the Deretha tribe. Those who opposed his reign were either killed or driven from the lands of the Deretha.
Next, Lord Amieren Diemed set out to unite the other tribes in the area and bring the other survivors left after the battle under his banner. Those survivors who were willing to bend their knee were rewarded with the power over the subjugated tribes. Those who refused were quickly dispatched, and their blood consumed to increase the power of Lord Amieren. Within two years of bloody fighting the majority of what is now Diemed was under his rule. Not content with this he set out to claim more land for his name and went on a campaign against the tribes in what is now known as Medoere and Roesone. Here he met with stronger opposition, for he was not the only survivor of Deismaar to have gathered land under his banner. At the banks of what was to become known as the Spider River the two hosts met. It was to be a long a blood battle, and in the end the forces under Amieren had to withdraw as night fell on the battlefield.
During the night news reached the camp of a goblin war band having entered northern Diemed killing and plundering as they went along. Not wishing to risk his base of operation, Amieren ordered his men to break camp and quickly withdrew back to central Diemed. Once there battle was joined with the goblin host, and with the human forces already bloodied from the previous battle defeat seemed close at hand. By a heroic effort of one of Diem's lieutenants the goblin war chief was killed and the goblins fled back north.
With his forces severely depleted Amieren Diem had not choice but to put a halt to his expansions to the east and rather spend what resources left on consolidating his hold and rebuilding. At the same time there were others who were doing very much the same as Lord Diem, one of which was the future emperor Roele. With the aim of uniting Anuire under one banner he started out from the newly united Avanil and started his expansion. Quickly realizing which way the wind was turning, Amieren saw his opportunity in the young warlord. In exchange for promises of control over the lands to his east, Amieren bent his knee to Roele. With the combined armies of Roele and his vassals at his disposal there was little that could stop him from conquering the eastern tribes of the Deretha.
At the same time a young man with his own bloodline had discovered his powers. With the divine blood in his veins he was finally capable of controlling magic at a level only allowed to the elves before. With this new power he went into one of the largest cities on the South Coast and imposed his will. Those not immediately falling before his knees were either enchanted to do his bidding or killed outright. At first the mage paid little attention to the growing empire under Roele and the ambitious Amieren Diem. But when the armies of the Deretha came to his door the mage came to terms with his powers having certain limitations after all, and not wishing to risk his life he bent knee to Amieren in exchange for the stewardship of the city he had just conquered. His mother having just died after long illness, the young mage renamed the city in her name, Ilien.
This expansion of Diemed coincided with the initial establishment of the first churches dedicated to Haelyn. While the ascension of the new gods had been recognized since the immediate aftermath of the battle of Mount Deismaar, it took a number of years before an organized movement within the Anuirean clergy consolidated into a formal temple structure. The records from the time are scarce, but the ensuing conflict between the priests of the old gods and the priests of the new pantheon can only be described as muddled. It appears to have been a considerable overlap between the two movements, despite certain reluctance from the Haelynites to admit any initial mistakes.
On the day of rebirth HC 12, Roele and his twelve most senior vassals gathered on the bank of the Maesil where it runs into the Arnienbae. With the newly elected Patriarch of the Imperial Temple of Haelyn conducting the ritual, the thirteen men cleansed themselves in the water. The twelve banner men then knelt before Roele, swore eternal fealty and were each granted the mastery of one of Anuire?s twelve duchies. At the same time Roele proclaimed the site as the seat of the capital city of the Empire, the Imperial City of Anuire. Roele's dream of a united Anuire was fulfilled.
Cerilia. In turn the Rjurik, Brecht and Basarji lands fell before the imperial legions and came under Imperial administration. With the Emperor himself busy planning the military campaigns, it came upon his vassals to manage the lands that had been conquered. Some of the lands were put under direct control of vassals under the Emperor, others had their existing regents sworn in as the vassals, and others yet were given as rewards to those supporting the various campaigns.
Around HC 40 the Anuirean legions tasked with the subjugation of the Brecht states overran the defenses of Massenmarch, a large and fertile realm in the Basin States of Brechtur. The fighting was uncharacteristic of what was to become the Brecht way of dealing with the Anuirean conquerors. Duke Amieren Diem was at this stage too entangled with matters at home for him to participate in the campaign and it was left to his two sons, Alaric and Geirl to represent Diemed during the campaign. During the final encounters in the war it was in particular the Dieman legion that marked themselves with unusual courage and stalwartness. As a gesture of respect Diemed was granted the administration of the realm.
During the same period a significant amount of unrest in Kiergard prevented the Anuirean legions with expanding much further in the region, and one revolt after another had to be put down. During one of these the heir apparent of Diem, Alaric, was mortally wounded and died within a few days. Instead of passing the regency of Massenmarch to his next son, Amieren choose his grandson of Alaric as the new regent. Only 15 years of age, Amieren II was gifted with the burden of running what was to become the least successful of the Anuirean conquests. As his supreme adviser he appointed his favorite uncle Geirl.
What followed the next five years was to be the determining factor in how the future of Massenmarch would be. While the initial hostility against the Anuirean lords was crushed, there were still dissenters and animosity aplenty. Thanks to the wise guidance of Ser Geirl, many matters of state that could quickly have plunged the realm into open revolt was taken care of peacefully. Not only did Ser Geirl become an indispensable too for running the realm, he also became a close friend and the confidante of young Amieren.
Unfortunately some men did not see the wisdom in Geirl?s appeasement policy with the local nobility, seeing it as a threat to the honor of Diemed to let non Anuireans have any power. After a particularly harsh confrontation with certain other Dieman nobles, Geirl fell ill with a most mysterious and horrible affliction. During the following weeks his condition only became worse, and he finally succumbed to the unbearable pains racking his body. Stricken with grief, Amieren II wanted nothing but revenge on those who had caused the death of his beloved uncle. Fortunately for him the ?loyal? nobles at the court could point to a notable local noble who had had a particularly bad relationship with Geirl. Blinded with anger Amieren II personally led his knights to the town of the local noble and butchered the noble, his family, and the entire household.
As one would expect this atrocity did not go down well with the local nobility or population in general. Quickly the situation turned hostile, and the population armed themselves to defend against further attacks. Only seeing this as proof of the Brecht conspiracy against him and his uncle, Amieren II ordered any resistance crushed and obliterated. Again it was the hand of fate that turned things from bad to worse, for at a crucial moment in the rebellion Amieren II died when his horse was hit by an arrow, fell over and crushed the young lord.
When Duke Amieren Diem heard the news of his favourite grandson killed at the hands of Brecht rebels, his sanity broke as well. Assembling what forces available at home he rode straight to Massenmarch. On the way there he commandeered what forces could be spared from Kiergard and set out to punish those he found guilty. Guilty in this case would turn out to be whoever was unlucky enough to encounter the Anuirean forces as they burned and plundered the countryside across the realm. Those nobles foolish enough to hole themselves up in their castles only delayed the inevitable briefly as their keeps and forts were burned and razed around them. Only those wise and lucky enough to escape or hide made it through this dark time.
Perhaps it was the gods who found it was time to interfere, as it again was what appears to be chance that would tip the scales, and this time in favor of the beleaguered Brecht. While camped for the night in the southern reaches of the realm, Duke Amieren was bitten by a poisonous spider. With the local clergy either killed or fled there was none who could save the Duke, and by the morning he was dead.
With the founder of Diemed and his heir now dead, it seemed as if the Duchy would be the first to succumb to internal strife. Fortunately Emperor Roele intervened in the situation quickly enough and using his imperial authority he appointed Amieren II?s 17 years old brother the new duke and Ser Geric?s son as the heir apparent.
With the young Caerin as the new Duke and his two years older cousin Halaen at his side Diemed entered its first golden age, but while the provinces at the south coast would enjoy prosperity in the coming centuries, the realms of Massemarch would never again find peace under their Anuirean overlords.
Moonstrike keep there was little authority left in Diemed. With the Duke, his heir and the most senior vassals all dead a desperate scramble for power began. The late duke still had five living children, each of which had some claim to the throne. In addition several other of the larger houses thought it perhaps time for a new ruling line in Diemed, and that they were just the right person to bring the old duchy back to its former glory.
The one seen as most likely to succeed Alandier as the new count was his oldest remaining son, Rowan. While actually the bastard son of Duke Alandier and some young waif of a minor Avanese noble house, he was recognized by the Duke when he came of age and formally made claim to the throne. Supporting him was House Geren, perhaps the strongest noble family in Diemed at the time.
The second in line for the throne was Alvorn Diem, the oldest legitimate son of the late Duke. He was never much of a martial man, preferring the sweet life at court, always pampered by the lords of ladies trying to currying a favor from the ruling family. Despite his apparent lack in both military and political skills, he was a surprisingly popular choice amongst the nobles. This might perhaps have been the reason he was popular, the nobles hoping for a weak and incompetent duke that could be manipulated and controlled.
Next in line of succession was Nieven Diem, the third oldest son of Alandier. Not a popular man amongst the nobility, he was nonetheless a powerful figure in the coming struggle. Very much a man of the growing merchant class in Anuire, if he was allowed to gain power most feared the duchy would go down the same path as Endier where commoners and upstarts with no blood would gain power.
The youngest of the Diem brothers was Heirl Diem. Never expecting to gain the throne he had spent most of his youth traveling the length and width of Cerilia as a mercenary and adventurer. While married to Lady Niela of House Alam in HC 1498, he spent the years leading up to the Succession War away from court rather living in a semi-retired position on the Diem estate in the hills of Bliene. Last of the siblings, and not officially a contender for the throne, was Lady Adrienne Diem. At a young age she had showed interest in religious affairs and joined the ranks of the priestesses dedicated to Nesirie. When the Succession War started she retired from her position at the temple of Nesirie in Aerele out of fear that it would be dragged into the conflict.
With the lines drawn for the coming struggle it was only a matter of time before the bloodshed started. With the possession of Aerele a deciding factor in the struggle all parties quickly moved to try secure the city and its formidable fortifications. Thanks to his continuous presence at the court, it was Nieven who managed to take control of the city first. While not in command of any forces himself he managed to secure the support of the city watch with gold supplied by the guild lords in Aerele. Hoping for a duke that would support their class, the merchants and guilders where happy to supply whatever gold the young lord wanted.
At the same time Rowan moved towards the capital from Moere, Alvorn from Ciliene and Heirl from Bliene. The first to reach Aerele was Heirl, but fearing the arrival of his brothers while encamped he decided against laying siege and struck against the outlying settlements supporting Nieven instead. A siege against the city would also have been impossible with the limited force available, especially when the port was held open by ships controlled by the guilds.
The first main bloodshed in the war happened as the first snow had fallen towards the end of the year. Alvorn was at this stage camped in the town of Maerilen awaiting news of the position his brothers had taken for the winter. In a brilliant surprise attack led by Lord Geren the forces of Rowan fell upon the town. Always the coward, Alvorn immediately fled the town with a few loyal knights hoping the forces would delay the attackers long enough for him to escape. Anticipating just such a move, Lord Geren and his most elite warriors lay in ambush just outside town waiting for his quarry. The fighting was short and bloody and the knights trying to defend the heir were killed to a man. Alvorn was taken to Moerel and thrown in the deepest dungeon, from which he never emerged. After the war it was revealed the young lord was tortured to death in a hope he would reveal some secret entrance to the caer in Aerele.
With on of the contenders for the throne out of the question, the spring and summer of HC 1517 was characterized by continuous movement and small scale fighting. None of the three brothers wished to commit their force, fearing that even winning one decisive battle would leave them too weak to fend off the remaining contender. All through this the ones to suffer the most was the peasants of Diemed. Always the first to starve and least to be rewarded, their farms were plundered or burned by all parties alike in an attempt to deny any resources to the other factions.
As winter drew close it was Heirl?s turn to gain the initiative in the conflict. With the help from the Orthodox Imperial Temple, which it was rumored his sister Adrienne helped broker, he managed to gain access to the city of Aerele. Once inside the merchants quickly say which way their fortunes lay, and without the support of the merchants? gold, Nieven was unable to hold the impregnable caer. The Cardinal?s forces in the city quickly seized the fortifications and Nieven. He was quickly condemned by the Cardinal for heinous crimes against Haelyn, and was burned to death chained to a stake on the main square in Aerele city. With the capital secured and southern and eastern Diemed under his control, Heirls position looked relatively secure and a defensive position was taken when the rainy winter season came.
With spring and a new campaign season, the first objective for Heirl was to pacify the province of Ciliene. Count Kharnmoin who held the province had close ties with the Avanese nobility on the other side of the Maesil and had initially supported Alvorn. With Alvorn's early death he had mostly stayed out of the conflict, hoping to see which way it was going before choosing a side. With the news of Heirl?s and the Cardinal?s forces approaching from the east, he was quick to denounce rumors of his previous support for Alvorn, claiming he was forced to aid Alvorn because the heir had held his son hostage. In a display of sincerity he was the first to move his forces against Lord Geren in Moere. Not having the resources to waste on an apparently supportive noble, Heirl was forced to accept Kharnmoin's excuses for his earlier actions and move towards Moerel.
Not a man to admit defeat, Lord Geren entrenched himself in the fortified city of Moerel. With a clear line of supply across the river to Avanil, there was little hope for Heirl to starve the city into submission. With all out an assault being too costly, it was again the forces of the OIT who came to be the deciding factor in the struggle. With men and resources already inside the city, the Cardinal could ensure the gates to the city were opened from the inside. Holed up in the caer opposite on the hill opposite the cathedral, Lord Geren was faced with a long and hard siege.
Realizing the war was lost, Rowan tried to flee the city and make it across to Avanil hoping to rebuild his strength there. He never made it further than the river, where men in Heirl?s service were waiting, disguised as the men meant to transport the fugitive over to Avanil. Lord Geren saw little point in fighting for a man who had just left him in the middle of a siege, and hoping for some shred of mercy for his family and men decided to put down his arms. Not expecting to live out the day, Lord Geren rode out alone clad in his finest armor ready to bend knee to the victorious Heirl Diem.
In a display of mercy uncharacteristic of the Diem lineage, Heirl chose to let Lord Geren both live and retain his title and lands. With Diemed in ruins, he needed all the strong men he could muster, and killing of the last of the great lords would not be the best way to start. His brother Rowan did not fare as well when dragged before his brother, for he was beheaded by Heirl himself.
On the day of rebirth HC 1518, all of the Dieman nobility was assembled in Aerele for the coronation of Heirl Diem, the Duke of Diemed. With this a new era started for the once mighty duchy, and all hoped that prosperity and growth would finally return.
elven bards, tell of vast deserts stretching as far as the eye cold see. It was a harsh and unforgiving place, where the spirits and forces of the elements ruled at their whim. It is difficult to know for sure, but from what has been guessed by those well versed in these matters it appears that the elves arose in this place. How and form where no-one knows, and the elves seem tight lipped beyond even their usual impoliteness when someone broaches the subject.
Then came the song. Not a song as ever heard by mortal ears, but a harmony of infinite form and magnitude. From this place of death and desolation the world of elven supremacy rose. It appears they shaped the lands and environment to fit their ideals, and then claimed it as theirs. What happened to the forces from the days before is hard to say, but those well versed in prophesies think the spirits were trapped or transformed into what we now call nature and everything living around us. The prophesies also tell of a time when the forces again will be released, and this land will revert to how it once was. With this in mind it might not be that strange why the elves guard their forests so well.
After this came the golden age of elven civilization. It is said to have lasted for times beyond our comprehension, from before the stars spread across the sky, and for more winters than there are sand grains on the beach. This is in itself a strange idiom even for the elves. From all our encounters with them they appear entirely absorbed by the forest, or more correctly with the land we stand upon, and they seem to care little or nothing about the sea and what might be beyond. Thus we are left with the only expression in an ancient elven scroll that makes an reference to anything relating to the sea or seaside. It might of course all be a misunderstanding, as the scroll appears to be a copy made by an early human lore master studying the elven cosmology. Fifteen centuries ago it was probably just as easy to juxtapose ones own concepts onto the rather enigmatic elven scripts.
But now I am digressing again, lets us return to the topic at hand, the ancient history of the south coast. What comes next is even more sheer guesswork, as one has little, if any, information on what brought an end to the elves? supremacy. A lot of scholars point out that the other humanoid races must have appeared at some stage, and that they at least partially was the cause of this change. No matter what the cause, it brought great change to these lands. The elves no longer controlled all within their sight, but other factions of significant influence started spreading throughout the continent.
The old battle hymns of the dwarves are one of our key sources here. They indicate towards at least three, if not more cataclysmic wars between the elves and the other beings in question. From this we are led to believe that at least the dwarves have entered arena. How long ago this is we do not know, as it is all lost in the ancient myths of the dwarves. The dwarven histories are reliable back to at least twice the time since the human coming to this continent, so it is most likely considerably longer than even that. Some estimate the time in the tens of thousands, while others believe the decline was much more rapid once it started. Regardless of this I think we should all be glad the elves were not more powerful than they were during the Gheallie Sidhe.
We are now coming to the period when we have some rough knowledge of what is going on what was to become known as the south coast. At this stage the entire area was covered in a vast forest. It stretched from the Maesil in the west, to the Aerenwe in the east, and the northern boundary was apparently somewhere along the Grey Hills. Only once one entered what is now Ghoere, Elinie and northern Osoerde the forest thinned out and the land become clear enough to see the sky above ones head.
The land was at this time divided between at what we believe was one goblin kingdom and at least two if not three elven factions. The elves accepted our forefathers as refugees, and welcomed them into their woods. They were at this stage fighting a bitter war against the goblin war hosts in the area, and gave the human settlers rather free reins to do as they pleased. This changed rapidly as the goblins were defeated decisively, and the elves found the human perpetrating worse deeds than they had come to expect from even the goblins. Herein lies one of the crucial difference between that age and ours, for even if the elves and other humanoids were constantly fighting, they were all interested in keeping the forest alive. We humans came from a different background, and had different preferences, to the settlers of the Anuireans the trees were there to be felled, the logs used to build houses and the land cleared for fields of grains and pasturage. Thus the fighting started.
With the defeat of the elven forces at a site we now believe lie in the Valley of Mahriod and the death of the elven prince Shiobhaenael, the reign of elves in Diemed ended. The elven kingdom once centered here was abandoned, and the remaining elves fled before the axes of the fifth house of the Andu to join their brethren in what we call the Erebannien. From there they continued the fight for a while, until they again were defeated this time by the ancestors of House Aeren.
This marks the end of the Age of Elves here on the south coast, and with that my lecture. As you can see there are many questions, and very few answers. The few answers we get from the elves just give us more questions again."
- From a lecture held by Archmage Kaldabar on the ancient history of Diemed at the Ciliene College of Magic in HC 1475.
This was originally posted on br.net by Even Sørgjerd a.k.a. Heretic a.k.a. Don E.
, 10-03-2007 at 11:59 PM|
Last edited by , 10-23-2011 at 02:33 PM
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