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Author Topic: Kingdom of Prydania: A History  (Read 1489 times)

Offline Prydania

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Kingdom of Prydania: A History
« on: December 21, 2015, 07:42:03 AM »
I was hoping that I could write this in a tongue-in-cheek style similar to my "intro to Prydnaia" post, but I've opted for a more straightforward approach here. I just couldn't keep the joke going for the whole thing. This will eventually make its way over to the Wiki once I feel like properly formatting it for that application.

Episode I: Jesus Christ, Superstar, Are You Who They Say You Are?

Early Prydanian history is shrouded in myth and mystery. Remains of human habitation dating back to the 11th century BCE indicate an early hunter-gatherer civilisation that followed deer and elk migrations.
Ancient Prydanian sources cite a "great winter" that roughly corresponds to a period of global cooling that radically altered the moderate climate of the region. The degenerating climate that marked this era, and the upheaval it caused, has led to a scarcity of pre-Iron Age artifacts. What does exist indicates that early Prydanian peoples traded and were in contact with early Eluvatarian and Myrorian peoples, as well as the people of what would come to be known as Bustos.

The Iron Age saw Prydanian civilisations branch out via trading and raiding. The first recorded contact with Ozians dates to the third century CE. More ambitious expeditions are launched by some of the more powerful chieftains. One expedition makes contact with Iada.
Iada was a southern nation that existed as a confederation of various tribes. Iadian history is itself another story, but the nation and their religion would change the course of Prydanian history. Iadian religious tradition held that their god would send a messiah to vanquish their enemies and establish a holy paradise throughout the world. A Iadan priest named Joshua, who lived roughly 300 years prior to Prydanian contact, had claimed to be the prophesied messiah. His death, as a result of a conflict between his followers and the council that oversaw the Iadan tribes, led to a schism. His followers founded a Catholic Church in Iada, claiming that Joshua had represented the fulfillment of their faith. A settlement with the Iadan priests and leading council set aside land for followers of this Catholic offshoot to settle and practice their faith. Traditional and Catholic Iadans existed in this general state of mutual isolation when the Prydanian expeditions found them.
Iadans were happy to trade, but it was the Catholic Iadans who began to preach the gospel of Joshua to these new foreigners. Many Prydanians would convert over the course of these expeditions, which lasted over a period of roughly a hundred years. A Prydanian branch of the Catholic Church was founded and headquartered in the town of Duronon.

Prydanian society developed locally, blooming as a result of an influx of wealth brought by this expansion. What began as tribes and villages allying for common defence or mutual economic gain gave way to petty kingdoms. Eventually leading to the emergence of twelve kingdoms.
The Age of Twelve Kingdoms lasted from 400-1022 CE. It's characterized both by the development of Prydanian civilisation and the culture war that pitted converted Catholics against those of the native Prydanian faith, a polytheistic belief system centred on the god Faor Galdir. 

  • Durononi in southern Lowland. Headquarters of the Prydanian branch of the Catholic Church
  • Beaconsfield in the middle of southern Lowland. On the Tartha River. A once small village that grew into a major settlement, using the river to capitalise on the trade and plunder that marked the explostion of Prydanian civilisation.
  • The Islands off the coast. The Kingdom of the Islands was amongst the Twelve's smallest, but was renowned for their fierce warriors.
  • Brynaich, dominating the northern Lowland and southern Midland. Powerful and warlike, its kings were loyal to the old Prydanian pantheon.
  • Hrotha, southeast Lowland acting as a buffer between the city-state of Beaconsfield and Cantiaci. The first Prydanian kingdom outside of Cantiaci to convert to the Catholic faith when King Aethas of Hrotha converted in 493.
  • Credona, western Lowland. Perhaps the most powerful during the Age of Twelve period. The centre of much of the conflict between the Catholic League of Hrotha, Cantiaci, and Beaconsfiled and the pagan Brynaich.
  • Otado, southern Midland. Pagan, and a vassal of Brynaich.
  • Damnon, mid Midland. The centre of Catholic influence in the Midland region.
  • Novante, eastern Midland. A coastal kingdom in the vicinity of the Islands. Small but prosperous.
  • Gadenhal, northern Midland, a rocky, mountainous kingdom. A centre of traditional Prydanian polytheism like Brynaich, but often at odds with it otherwise.
  • Geadland, southern Upland. Converted to Catholicism thanks to missionaries from Damnon.
  • Kevelia, northern Upland. Mountainous, thick forests, and waterways. A unified kingdom in a sense, but more a loosely affiliated collection of tribes pledging loyalty to one king. This lack of centralised authority made missionary work on the part of Prydanian Catholics easy.

The conflict between the Catholic and traditional factions led to open warfare on a number of occasions. Eventually King Herald of Brynaich converted to Catholicism in 600 CE in order to gain allies among the Lowland Catholic League for his campaigns against Gadenhal. The conversion of the Brynaich king ushered in the end of the traditional Prydanian faith. The entirety of the Prydanian people would be converted by the year 700 CE.

In 1004 King Vortgyn Angevis of the Islands inherited the throne of Novante through upon the death of his uncle. He would spend the next ten years building up his forces and raising warriors. His campaign of conquest was launched in 1014. He had conquered all of Midland and Upland by 1022.
Otado and Damnon fell to his armies. Gadenhal, Geadland, and Kevelia were brought under his sway through negotiations that were proceeded by token displays of his army's might. Vortgyn's army was augmented by an influx of battle-hardened northern warriors due to his arrangements with the northern Kingdoms that preserved the local autonomy of their lords.
The war with the Lowland kingdoms was next. Centuries of holy wars and crusades had weakened them, but they would not surrender easily. The Archbishop of Duronon's endorsement of Vortgyn as "the fire-forged angel of the Lord" weakened resistance further. 
The wars with the Lowland kingdoms dragged on. The Battle of Stormhaven in 1029 saw Vortgyn's northern armies win a decisive victory over the unified armies of Brynaich, Hrotha, and Credona.
Vortgyn marched his vanguard to the gates of Beaconsfield and laid siege for three months. In the end the strategy that had brought the three most northern kingdoms into his fold was what ended his conquest by bringing a southern city-state into it as well. Beaconsfield would retain its government and autonomy over its own affairs in return for recognising Vortgyn as their king and granting him the right of residence.
The year 1029 ended with the Archbishop of Duronon crowning Vortgyn Angevis of the Islands and Novante Vortgyn I Angevis By the Grace of God, King of Prydania and the Islands, Lord Protector of Gadenhal, Geadland, and Kevelia, Marshal of Beaconsfield, Lord Uniter, Defender of the Catholic Faith.

Vortgyn the Conqueror had forged a nation.

To be continued...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 04:30:31 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Kingdom of Prydania: A History
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 09:17:25 PM »
Episode II: Nation-building is Challenging but Rewarding

Vortgyn I established the first unified tax code for all of Prydania, initiating a massive census that sought to thoroughly record the demographics of the newly unified kingdom. His reign was also notable for a series of Barons Rebellions throughout the south as local lords attempted to regain their autonomy. Vortgyn led his armies from the front in each of these conflicts, emerging victorious in each of them, and replacing disloyal aristocrats with loyal men from Midland and Upland to consolidate his powerbase in the rebellious Lowland.
The rebellions, while successfully put down, were draining on the King. He died in 1044 at the age of forty-nine.

Vortgyn I had no legitimate children. The crown passed to his younger brother Tobias. Tobias I would go on to become one of Prydania's most influential rulers, despite his preference for leaving ruling to others. He was a spiritual man and continued his religious studies during his early years on the throne. It was Tobias I who called the first Parliament of a unified Prydania, in part so that the nation could be governed without his immediate attention. Knights, lords, bishops, and representatives from every major city and town convened in Beaconsfield to form the first Parliament of the unified nation.
He also named his son, Vortgyn, Prince of the Islands. This marked the tradition of monarchs naming their heir Prince or Princess of the Islands, a reference to the ancestral kingdom of Vortgyn I.

In 1060 Tobias I ordered the construction of a large cathedral in central Beaconsfield named after St. John, one of the holiest saints of Iadan Catholicism. The cathedral would be expanded over the centuries, eventually becoming the meeting place for Parliament.

1067 marked the beginning of Tobias I's "mission." He toured Prydania from end to end to preach and lead communities in prayer. It was during this period that Parliamentary authority increased due to the King being away from the capital for extended periods of time. Stories of miracles being performed by the priestly King begin to spread.

Tobias I died in 1076 and was succeeded by his son Vortgyn, who was crowned Vortgyn II. Tobias I is canonized as St. Tobias in 1085 by the Archbishop of Cilicia in Iada, recognized the head of the Catholic faith.
Vortgyn II established the Holy Order of the Knights of St. Tobias in 1086 to serve as the bodyguards and elite soldiers of the Crown. Its leader was designated Lord General of the Order and carried the title of Royal Executor.

The Anarchy lasted from 1351-1369 during the reign of Andrew II. A peasant's revolt with backing from influential rebel nobles throws the country into chaotic civil war. The rebels are looking to force Andrew II to recognize the Hadden Declaration agreed to by his grandfather Robert I. The declaration called for a regularly meeting Parliament with the Crown surrendering absolute authority. Andrew II had attempted to discard the provisions of the declaration. Andrew II is killed in battle in 1357 and is succeeded by his fourteen year old son Robert as Robert II.

Royalist forces successfully defeat the rebel army in the mountains outside of Bravada in northern Midland in 1369. Robert II agrees to implement some reforms if the rebel nobles surrender their lands and go into exile. The nobles agree. They and their most loyal followers depart Prydania and sail south. Their settlement eventually grows into the Republic of Megatridimensional Order.
The war gives birth to two groups that would go onto to form two of Pyrdania's oldest political parties. The Tories would emerge from the Crown's supporters, while reformist circles gave way to the Whigs.

The Second Age of Exploration begins in 1532. Explorers commissioned by Richard IV travel west. In time this exploration leads to the establishment of western colonies. These colonies remain separate from each other but a collective identity emerges by the 1700s. Dixie...

To be continued...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 04:32:27 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Kingdom of Prydania: A History
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 04:59:52 AM »
Episode III: Ozia is Our Ally, Ozia Has Always Been Our Ally

...but Dixie is a story for another time. By 1550 King Roland V submitted to Ozia. Roland V was allowed to keep his throne, though he was now required to pay homage to an Ozian Warlord. The Kingdom of Prydania became absorbed into the larger Ozian empire.
The Angevis dynasty faced its first real threat since the Anarchy when a group of rebellious nobles attempted to oust Roland V and challenge Ozian control of the nation. Roland V appealed to Ozia and managed to put down the nobles and save his crown.
Ozian powers-that-be force Roland V to place the lands under control of those rebels in the hands of Ozians, further cementing Ozian control of the country. Roland V retreats into St. Tobias' Palace in the centre of Beaconsfield for the remainder of his reign. His successors all swear fealty to Ozian warlords for the next two hundred years as part of their coronation ceremonies.

Ozian control of Prydania remains a controversial topic to the present day. Ozian warlords made no significant attempt to strip the country of its culture. The Prydanian Catholic Church was allowed to continue, so long as the clergy towed the Ozian line. Kanat, which was just beginning to emerge in a form recognizable today, was widely enjoyed by the Ozian overlords. Though they rarely engaged in it themselves. Language, culture, and literature adapted and, in some ways, thrived as Prydanian authors and poets came into closer contact with their Ozian counterparts.
And yet the Occupation, as it would later be known, ultimately proved to be intolerable. Ozian racial policies marginalized native Prydanians at the elite levels of society. The Gia faith of Ozia was promoted to equal status alongside the Catholic Church, though it was given prominence in practice. Churches were taken over and converted to Gian temples in areas under direct Ozian control. Ozian warlords also oversaw the establishment of the "Bloody Code," forcing Prydania's Parliament to expand the number of capital crimes in the Prydanian criminal code by roughly 250%, allowing Ozian authorities to carry out large-scale reparations against the local populace in response to the smallest offences.

King Richard I ascended to the throne in 1718 at the age of twenty-four. He showed no outward signs of rebellion towards his Ozian overlords, swearing fealty to them upon his coronation. Richard, however, knew that the Ozian hegemony was weakening. Growing discontent in Ozian-occupied Myroria, along with Eluvatarian incursions, had stretched Ozia's military thin. Richard I secretly cultivated followers amongst the native-born nobility. The night of 30 September 1720 saw soldiers loyal to Richard I slaughter the King's Ozian "protectors" at St. Tobias' Palace, as well as Ozian guards at St. John's Cathedral, the seat of Parliament. Richard I proclaimed the Kingdom of Prydania independent of Ozian control and called for a national uprising. Mobs swarmed Ozian garrisons, and Ozian noble families were murdered on sight. Ozian collapse meant that the response to this uprising was tepid. A hastily reconstituted Royal Prydanian Navy managed to route an Ozian "armada," securing Prydanian independence. Richard I renounced his coronation oath and was re-coronated on 20 Auguest 1725, removing any references to Ozia or the Gian religion.

Prydania had thrown off the shackles of foreign oppression. It was now time to re-establish contact with the lost colonies. With Dixie...

To be continued...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 04:51:58 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Kingdom of Prydania: A History
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 06:28:34 AM »
Episode IV: To Arms in Dixie

Colonies in what would become the Confederate States of Sovereign Dixie had been established just before the Ozian occupation of Prydania. These colonies, originally established as trading posts, grew in size as refugees fleeing Ozian occupation in the motherland arrived. In time costal colonies saw this initial population boom give way to a massive population spike in the span of two generations. Costal colonies like Virginia and Carolina saw population migration into the unexplored frontier, establishing colonies such as Tennessee and Kentucky.

Colonial relationships with the Kingdom of Prydania were strained. Colonial governors found themselves reduced to figurehead positions as colonial assemblies reaffirmed loyalty to the Prydanian Crown but not the Ozian overlords. The military might of Eluvatar separated the colonies from Ozia's sphere of influence.
Richard I's re-establishment of Prydanian sovereignty was welcomed by colonial legislators who re-affirmed their loyalty to the Crown.
Renewed Prydanian sovereignty saw the mother country increase its military presence in these colonies as it attempted to both secure its blossoming empire and protect its colonial subjects from the native superstate, the Unified Tribes of Lakotah. Prydanian Dixie expansion into the frontiers of Lakotah saw the native federation push back. A series of border skirmishes in 1745 almost led to war before it was narrowly averted. War would come in 1767 though.
The Great War in Dixie lasted ten years. Lakotah forces finally managed to secure a decisive victory in Virginia, capturing the state capital of Richmond. Prydania agreed to the Treaty of Cahokia, ceding the Dixie colonies to Lakotah, so long as the Prydanian colonies were granted full rights as Lakotah citizens. It's said that King Richard III wept despite this concession.

Queen Alexandria ascended to the throne in 1836. She was the first woman to reign since Vortgyn I unified the nation. Her marriage to the Duke of Cerdic would mark the end of an era. Her children would hail from their father's house, ending the Angevis dynasty after more than eight centuries.

Queen Alexandria, known popularly as "The Queen" even still today, reigned for sixty-five years. It was under her reign that political parties began to take their current shape. As Queen she balanced her duties to the nation with the democratic traditions of Parliament, conceding much authority informally. The Tories went from being a pro-monarchist advisory group to being a modern centre-right party while the Whigs would go from a pro-Parliament faction determined to ensure the Crown didn't overstep its traditional boundaries to a modern liberal party.

In 1854 General Iyotake Hunkesni of Lakotah seized the office of Chief Facilitator following a coup and declared the Unified Tribes Constitution null and void. He declared that a new constitution would be enforced, one that did away with tribal and provincial autonomy in favour of a centralised government. Hunkesni declared an end to the Unified Tribes of Lakotah and the beginning of the Grand Republic of Lakotah.
The provinces that had once been the Prydanian Dixie colonies considered this a violation of the terms of the Treaty of Cahokia and voted to secede. They formed the Confederate States of Sovereign Dixie, establishing a Confederate Parliament and provisional presidency. The Confederacy had planned on asking Queen Alexandria to assume the Crown of Dixie, but the Prydanian government refused to involve itself in the conflict. The provisional Presidency was created to establish a head of state until a settlement with the Prydanian Crown could be worked out. Regardless, the Lakotah-Dixie War had broken out. The first President of CSSD was David Cobb, elected in 1855.
The GRL set up a blockade of the CSSD as the war was carried out. The war settled into a stalemate after the first few months of confused fighting caused by a combination of Hunkesni's hastily re-organized Grand Army and the CSSD's improvised state militias. By 1856 the CSSD government has secured de facto control over its territory.
Prydanian interest in the CSSD's cause grew following the election of Joseph Diada's Tory Party in 1855. By 1856 the CSSD's ability to maintain itself as a political entity convinced many within the ruling Tory Party to explore the option of supporting the CSSD cause. A meeting was arranged on the island colony of New Oxphord. CSSD ambassadors boarded the Prydanian cruise ship Jaguar, travelling from Florida to the Prydanian colony. The ship, being civilian in nature, should have been free to pass the Lakotan blockade.
The Lakotan authorities, however, had learned of this meeting. They seized the ship and arrested the CSSD diplomats. Diada's cabinet conferred with the Queen for two days before motioning for a declaration of war in Parliament. Prydania was at war with Lakotah in Dixie for the second time.
The Royal Prydanian Navy was tasked with breaking the GRL's blockade of the CSSD, a task accomplished after two decisive naval engagements. This success allowed the RPN to launch the Oaxaca Campaign, named for the Lakotan region where Prydanian Royal Marines were able to establish a foothold. The GRL found itself fighting a two font war going into 1857.

Iyotake Hunkesni had risen through the ranks of the Lakotan Army, gaining a reputation as a brilliant tactician. His coup was partially successful because of his standing within the army. He remains a controversial figure in the Unified Tribes of Lakotah today. His move to abolish the federal constitution and replace it with one establishing a centralised authority was motivated by a desire to both modernize Lakotah and to abolish a system that he believed allowed petty local officials to carve out their own fiefdoms with little regard to the nation as a whole.
His actions led to the secession of the CSSD, which often overshadows the fact that many Lakotans opposed his coup themselves. Hunkesni was forced to reorganize and purge the army following his rise to power. This forced him to rely on sheer numerical superiority to overwhelm Confederate forces. This strategy proved insufficient at overrunning Confederate lines. His forces often found themselves bested by Confederate General Thomas Whitmore, who was able to out-maneuver the enemy across the boarder territories. 
His tenuous advantage collapsed by April 1857, when the Oaxaca Campaign was able to occupy a sizeable portion of the Oaxaca Coast. Prydanian forces soon moved within striking distance of the Oaxacan regional capital of Ticul. Prydanian General Lord Widsith laid siege to the city in an attempt to draw Lakotan forces from the capital of Cahokia.

The gambit paid off. Whitmore led CSSD in an offensive against Cahokia. Both Cahokia and Ticul were captured within four days, with CSSD forces capturing Hunkesni at Cahokia. The Treaty of Ticul saw the Grand Republic of Lakotah recognize the CSSD's independence. Hunkesni would immediate go back on the treaty, claiming that he had been coerced into agreeing to its terms. He would never be able to mount a series attempt at reconquering Dixie. His failures during the war had sapped him and his Grand Republic of what support he had managed to secure. By 1862 the Grand Republic had given way to a reformed Unified Tribes government, which re-affirmed the terms of the Treaty of Ticul.

Confederate independence re-opened the debate surrounding the Crown and its role in the new Dixie state. A few staunch traditionalists within the Dixie Parliament proposed re-submitting the earlier proposal to have Queen Alexandria take the crown, unifying both Dixie and Prydania in the person of a shared monarchy.
The experience of he war, however, had instilled a stronger sense of local national identity in the fledgling nation. It was agreed that Queen Alexandria would not take the crown of Dixie, and that the new Confederacy would continue to elect a President as its head of state. Thomas Whitmore would be elected to the Presidency in 1861 following Cobb's single term. Whitmore's popularity, enough to have him dubbed "the father of the country" during his lifetime, was enough to elevate the Confederate Presidency to an equal position to that of the Prydanian Crown. At least within the CSSD.

Two wars in Dixie had forged an alliance. Yet it was not the only alliance that Prydania would find itself in. The Northern League and the Great War were on the horizon.

To be continued...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:33:30 AM by Prydania »