Rjurik » Kvigmar » History of Kvigmar

[top]Early History

The Great Valley of Kvigmar has not always been a Rjurik land. The first inhabitants of this place were probably the dwarves, who still dwell in hidden strongholds in the peaks today. They came pursuing isolation and ore and are said to have carved mighty holds in the mountains, but left little impact on the valley below. The forests themselves most likely were home to scattered nomadic goblin tribes from time immemorial and it was this situation that the Brechts encounted when they arrived in -188 HC.
Cousins of the founders of Danigau, this northernmost settlement of the Brechts was never fully tamed, remaining independent but peripheral to the wider events of the Great Bay. The Brechts did, however, manage to build a port settlement near the modern City of Kvigmar and established some farms and fishing villages near the harbor. They called the harbor "Nordmeer"-North Sea- and the city Nordmeerburg. The inland regions were explored but never tamed and the wandering goblins of that region continually plagued the small settlement.
Though no history book marks their arrival, it was also somewhere in this time that the ancestors of the modern-day Ingallan tribe migrated to Kvigmar, one of the many small Rjurik bands that left Halskapa during the early years of famine (much like the more numerous founders of Stjordvik).
Eventually, the influence of the Shadow crept into this land, organizing the goblins and more fell creatures to its banner. The Count of Nordmeerburg was hard pressed to defend his small settlement against increasing encroachments and turned to the House Danig to the south in -27 HC (several decades before Deismaar). The assistance from Wulf Danig came too late, however, and the Danig Expeditionary Force found Nordmeerburg a smouldering ruin and the survivors hidden in the mountains. The Danigers drove the humanoids beyond the Grey Hills and built a fort to guard the pass to the west. Unfortunately, the ruling house of Nordmeer was extinguished in the conflict, so Wulf Danig appointed one of his lieutenants, Lukas Braun, "Gaurdian of Nordmeer." Braun built a fort on the bluff overlooking the modern city of Kvigmar and slowly the refugees gathered around this strongpoint. This settlement would be eventually named Naue Nordmeerburg (which would then be shortened to Nordmeerburg)

[top]The Brecht Centuries

Braun, along with many of the Brechts of Nordmeer marched to Deismaar under the banner of the House Danig. William died battling the gnoll followers of the Lost called Atar, but a few of these men, including Braun's son Jakob, would return bearing bloodlines to Nordmeerburg. In the years that followed, Wulf Danig formally annexed the region and named Jakob Braun Baronet of Nordmeer. The land prospered for many years as the valley turned out to be quite fertile and well-protected from the winter storms that lashed much of Danigau. Nordmeerburg eventually became the 'second city' of Danigau and the House Braun the most second-most important family in the realm. Strong stone castles were built over Nordmeerburg and in the Grey Hills.
All of this changed in the fourth century after Deismaar. The primary reason for the region's decay was the complete deforestation of the lowlands for timber and firewood. Because of the particularly steep land and the distinctive topography of the Valley, erosion was extreme in many areas. This combined with a series of bad growing seasons in the 450s HC led to the collapse of most of the inland farms and innundated Nordmeerburg with refugees. In the horrific winter of 457 HC, hundreds starved or froze to death in the streets of the city and many burned their outbuildings for firewood. Near the end of the winter, there was massive rioting and the Baronet was forced to declare maritial law.
Despite strong moves by the Baronet (supported by the Count), the inland regions of the Valley were slowly depopulated throughout the second half of the fifth and the first half of the sixth centuries. Nordmeerburg itself declined more slowly, turning increasingly to trade and fishing for sustenance; however, the golden age of the city had passed.

[top]Brecht and Rjurik Cohabitation

Bands of Rjurik had been fleeing the traditional Highlands since the end of the last Anuirean Wars in the 200s. These first settlers avoided the strong Brecht settlements in Nordmeer, instead settling in Hjolvar. Clannish and traditional, they spread out across these northern valleys, struggling against the goblins. Just as the Brecht population were declining precipitously in the early 500s, many young Rjurik in the north were finding their land a bit too overcrowded. In 546 HC, the first Rjurik clansmen (today believed to be the Clan Kvig) petitioned the Baronet of Nordmeer to settle the abandoned regions of the Grey Hills. Slowly, throughout the 500s and 600s, the rural, inland population of the Nordmeer Valley changed from Brecht to Rjurik. The clansmen practiced a form of agriculture much better suited to the cold, harsh climate than the Brecht methods and were able to survive (if not always thrive) in the devastated soils.
The Rjurik were relatively loyal vassals of Danigau as long as the Danig leadership continued to protect them from the ravages of the goblin tribes to the west and respected their autonomy. All of this began to change after 812 HC, when Eldracht Hoffstugart of Müden began his revolt against the Anuirean Empire. Ancient enemies of the Anuireans, the Rjurik of Nordmeer willingly served at first in the Danig armies against the Empire. Unfortunately, over time the House Danig began to view the Rjurik population in the same way that the Anuireans did theirs. The Danigers, under the pressure of prolonged war, began to centralize their power, forcibly impress the Rjurik and, importantly, decrease support for the western defenses of the Nordmeer Valley.
First in 852 HC and again in 860 HC, the Rjurik clans revolted against the Danig power only to be put down by the Danig power structure. In particularly harsh winter of 871 HC, the goblins of Urga-Zai broke through the western defenses and ravaged the Valley, besieging Nordmeerburg itself. The Rjurik were able to weather the attack relatively well in the mountains. While the Danig Navy was able to break the 5 month siege once the ice melted, Danig power in the Valley was never the same. By this time, the Rjurik were once again in revolt and the Danigers were unable to rebuild their strongholds in the Grey Hills. Over the next few decades, the rebellious Rjurik Clans were able to slowly gain strength over more and more of the Valley, pushing the Brechts back until by 930 HC, they only controlled Nordmeerburg and the settlements along the harbor itself. This pattern stabilized in the 940s with a series of peace treaties that recognized Rjurik control over the highlands and Danig ownership of the harbor. Despite periodic raids in both directions, peace settled over the Valley and trade resumed between the two groups. Neither side could oust the other and so tolerated one another in a watchful peace.
The next major change in this precarious balance came in 1140 HC, when Danig power suffered a huge breakdown after the Tsarevic Basil Zariyatam shattered the Brecht League at the Battle of Lake Ladan. The Rjurik tribes, siezing upon Danig weakness and united around Clan Kvig, reignited the war. The Rjurik stormed Nordmeerburg in the winter of 1141 HC, though they were driven out that summer; during this battle, however, the House Braun (weakened by losses at Ladan) was wiped out. The Counts of Danigau, seeing the writing on the wall, evacuated the remaining Brecht populations of Nordmeer that summer; the retreating Brechts destroyed their fortifications and harbors, burning even their towns as they left. After close to 15 centuries, Brecht settlement of the valley had ended.

[top]The Time of the Clans

{To be expanded}

During this time, the Clans were disparate and took to raiding Danigau. No major settlements could be built because of Danig retributive raids. The Clan Kvig came to domination in this period and eventually negotiated with the Counts of Danigau. In return for recognizing the Kvig Jarl's claim to the land (granting him the provinces, which were still considered Danig-owned) and ceasing to destroy coastal settlements, the Kvig Jarl promised to stop the raiders. The Kvig leadership occupied old Nordmeerburg, rebuilding it as Kvigmar. Civil wars rage as the Kvigs attempt to forge a true kingdom and fail. Goblins raid. The clans form a defense system controlled by a general council, not the Kvig Jarl. Brecht presence in Kvigmar increases as traders arrive. Tensions increasing between inland clans and the Kvigs over 'betrayal of tradition.' Modern Day.

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