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[top]Hjalsone: The Rjurik land before Deismaar

When the Rjuven fled Aduria, they landed in Halskapa. Under the leadership Stjorndahl, a desperate group marched south as the Rjuven fell to bickering during what is known as the Bitter Winter. This trek forged a distinct identity among this south-eastward traveling group and when they arrived in the lands that first offered them green, which were named Stjordvik in honor of their leader, they had already begun to diverge from the rest of the Rjurven.

As this new settlement grew, it began to expand north into Rjuvik and south into a land they called Hjalsone. This new land was bounded by the untameable Giant Downs, the innumerable goblin lands of the south, and the Aelvinnwode.

[top]The Anuirean Invasion

Less than a generation after the Battle of Mount Deismaar the Anuireans came north. The reasons for this invasion included the desire to spread the faith of the new god Haelyn, the need for the men who had spent their lives fighting in the War of the Shadow to be sent away from the newly civilized lands of Anuire, the desire of Roele to drive out the beast-men and Vos from wherever they hid as he had cleansed Anuire.

Most scholars agree however that the Rjurik habit of raiding the comparatively rich lands to the south led to them being the first place that the Anuirean legions marched rather than the richer lands of the Saere Sendoure.

[top]Viking raids and conquest

For some years after settling in the north the Rjuven had made a habit of raiding their southern neighbors. The arch-typical tribe of Rjuven sowed seed in spring, sailed south for a season of plunder during summer and sailed home in autumn to harvest their crops. A lack of central co-ordination or standing armies along the coast of Anuire and the pitiful seamanship of the Andu meant that they were relatively easy prey, so long as the vikings did not attempt to hold any land.

To the Andu peasantry the Rjuven were seen in a manner akin to storms, a natural force of destruction to be endured or avoided not opposed. The great raid of 20 HC however was a different order of magnitude to any raid before. After a terrible harvest left the Taelshore facing widespread famine, Bruin Svensson of Yvarre convinced the Arch-Druid Ingrid of Erik to work her weather magic in support of his raiders. The silver-tongue Bruin whipped the starving Rjuven into a frenzy and he led fully three dozen longships in a raid on Seasedge itself to take the gathered harvest of Boeruine.

Fortune favored the Rjuven, Boeruine had emptied the city of warriors to assist the duchy of Brosengae in destroying gnolls infesting its southern mountains. The absence of its warriors allowed the Rjuven to capture the city in a single day. The ease of victory and the wealth of the city were Bruin?s undoing however, for without a battle to sate their fury the Vikings ran amok in the city. More than ten thousand were said to have died or been taken as bondsmen or brides in the ensuing carnage and over half the city burnt to the ground. While the tales are likely to have been greatly exaggerated it is said that Arch-Druid Ingrid was so stricken with grief by the savagery of the raiders that she fled west in the form of a falcon, never to be seen again. Erik?s favour fell from the Rjuven and only a handful of the longships returned to the Taelshore, the rest falling prey to a terrible storm.

The Duke of Boeruine was furious when he heard news of the raid. Minor viking raids were one thing, indeed were a good means of reminding the peasantry why the needed the protection of the nobility, but an assault on his capital city was another matter entirely. The Duke called on his allies the Dukes of Brosengae and Taeghas and marched northeast. Through unknown means Boeruine obtained the acceptance of the goblins of Thurazor to pass through their lands to Cariele and even the aid of their warriors before winning an alliance with Cariele also. And so the massed might of four Anuirean duchies smashed into the unprepared Rjuven of the Taelshore.

The Duke's stated aim was the shipyard of Yvarre where it was believed Bruin's raid had originated. The dukes armies thus marched along the Taelshore burning every settlement in their path until they reached, and burned, the shipyards. The encroaching winter forced the Andu to retreat but the duke of Boeruine was now certain that the Vikings could be conquered, and ambition and thoughts of perhaps forging his own empire to rival Roele's growing realm took hold of him in the wake of his sated lust for vengeance.

In the spring Boeruine pressed west again. This time his armies drove away from the coast conquering all of Hjalsone and Stjordvik. The change in tactics meant that his army pressed on slowly and the delay gave the druids time to marshal the Rjuven against the Andu. Boeruine's march into the land of Hranvik was halted just past the Northbryn river by the Rjuven; all summer the armies of Boeruine fought against the Rjuven, with more of the Rjuven arriving to fight with each passing month and when winter again came upon him Boeruine was forced back to Hjalsone.
The nascent Anuirean empire was by now aflame with stories of Boeruine's heroism, the perfidy of the Rjuven barbarians and tales of gold and glory. Realising the danger of Boeruine's growing popularity Roele was forced to accept the war against the Rjuven as his own or see his position fatally undermined by the increasingly powerful Duke.

The war was not to be. The Rjurik say that the Anuireans realized they could not overcome the strength of the massed clans, the Anuireans say that the wise druids of Erik foresaw inevitable defeat at the hands of the approaching Anuirean juggernaut and counseled acceptance of Anuirean overlords - whichever perspective is correct, the Anuireans and Rjurik did not come to war, but rather negotiated a peace under which the two nations became one.
Sporadic breakdowns in the negotiations led to intermittent conflict but always the druids were able to restore a truce between the two nations. This tentative peace might have continued for decades, if not for the darkest moment of the Anuirean empire, the Hjalsone massacre.

After Roele had restored peace to Hjalsone following the terrible crushing of the rebellion that had been caused by his over-zealous governor Hjalsone swiftly became Anuirean in all but name. Over the next few centuries the Rjurik influence faded in the more populous southern provinces although it never truly disappeared amongst the folk of the wild north.

[top]The fall of the empire

When Michael Roele died, the empire is said to have died with him, but most of the Rjurik lands barely noticed for a succession of weak emperors had already left them independent in all but name. Dhoesone was not so fortunate, although sufficiently distant from the Anuirean heartlands to avoid the Ducal wars it was shunned by most of the Rjurik for its Anuirean character.

The trade on which Dhoesone relied as the once fabled 'gateway to the north' dried up, and without this trade Dhoesone became impoverished and unable to defend or maintain its northern provinces.

Without support from other realms in Anuire or Rjurik Dhoesone saw many of its people flee south to more civilised lands, others died in the face of constant raids from the Giantdowns, strikes by the Gheallie Sidhe and an increasing number of Rjuvik raids.

Over the centuries sporadic attempts were made to restore the realm, but in the face of its problems the best that any baron could do was slow the decline of the realm.

[top]The rise of the guilds

Until fifty years ago, Dhoesone had stabilised into a recurrent cycle of brief growth on the appointment of a new baron, followed by decline as the problems of the realm proved insurmountable. Fhiele's father Hadrien, a ranger of great renown even before his ascension, saw increasing strife caused by the guilds and church conflicts during his reign. A lesser ruler would have faltered in the face of the challenges they faced within their realm. The greatest threat that Hadrien faced however was not from the guilds directly, but rather the elven ire that they aroused.

[top]The Wrath of the Sidhe

The haters of men among the elves clamored for war against Dhoesone to stop the destruction of the forests. The Gheallie Sidhe raged into Dhoesone forcing villagers from their homes and killing many. Slowly but surely the rapacious guilds enraged more and more of the elves as they cleared land for grazing or for lumber, built roads and expanded villages and so on. Fortunately for the humans of Dhoesone, Queen Ibelcoris Llyrandor did not desire war and the inevitable loss of elven lives it entailed and she agreed a surprising marriage with Hadrien, supporting him in opposing the guilds and in time providing him with a daughter Fhiele who spent her early life in Tuarheviel.

Some DM's dislike the concept of miscegenation between elves and humans and prefer half elves to have been humans who took on Fey characteristics, for these DM?s the following text is provided to replace the standard text:
Instead of war the elves presented the Baron of Dhoesone with an ultimatum. Either he surrendered his daughter, and heir, to the elves to be raised in the sidhe court, or Queen Ibelcoris would unleash the gheallie sidhe to settle the abuses of the humans in the forests. The Baron, in order to protect his realm, accepted with deep grief the loss of his infant daughter. The elven queen adopted the infant child as her own and her upbringing in the Rose Court altered the young human. She was given the name Fhiele in honor of Fhilerwyn, Ibelcoris' late husband and the author of the most recent attempts to find a modis vivendi with the humans.

In 1511 of the human calendar (HC), the Queen was assassinated, some whisper by elven hands due to her conciliatory policy towards the humans (her willingness to work through sidhe-trained agents like Fhiele Dhoesone and Torele Anviras rather than resorting to war). The new prince of Tuarhievel, Fhileraene found himself in a difficult position, the Gheallie Sidhe was thought by some responsible for Ibelcoris' murder but Fhileraene could not afford to outrage this powerful if bloody faction of the Rose Court. So, the laws banning the Gheallie Sidhe were repealed and relations with Sielwode were repaired. Even so, Fhileraene protected the elf-changed humans, even giving Fhiele a place at court and some dominion in Tuarhievel. When the Hadrien, Baron of Dhoesone died, Fhiele's time had come.

[top]Fhiele Dhoesone

Fhiele claimed the title of Dhoesone under dire circumstances. The realm was beset by its natural enemies, the humanoids of Thurazor, the Giantdowns, and the Bloodskull Barony. Further, the ruthless guilders had become more powerful than ever as Hadrien aged and became less able to undo their plotting. The elves, even those least desirous of hostilities with the humans, were enraged once more by the guilds logging. The most damaging guild was the Northlands Exchange under Mheallie Bireon but a growing problem was Storm Holtson who had originally been invited to Dhoesone by Hadrien and supported by the baron in the belief that a Rjuven aaolfer would respect the land. Worse than either guilder however was their endless strife for the waste and bloodshed it engendered.

For the past eight years, the Baroness has tried to rein in the guilders while fending off the humanoids, but mostly to no effect. Fhiele's political skills were best applied to Sidhe politics and dealings with the greed and ambition of the guilders was foreign to her. Nonetheless Fhiele brought peace of a sort to Dhoesone, and the guilds have at least temporarily set aside violence, at least in the forests where nowadays only those who break Fhiele's laws commonly come to an end at the hand of the Sidhe.

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