History (Ricasa Supplement)
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Archivist's Notes: Thus far, Ricasa's oddball calendar system affects only the History portion, thus it goes here. But as soon as anyone actually tries to start a game it might help to know that their week is six days rather than seven, and that there's five of them to a month, so read it well nonetheless.
Timekeeping and Chronology
For the sake of those reading this, I will clarify a few things here rather than waiting for them to come up later. The Ricasan year is a mere 300 days long and based on a standard of 5, rather than the Grand Archive standard year of 365 days. In addition, it is subdivided into ten 5-week, 30-day months. Each week, as a second grader could figure, has six days: Olthas, Eldas, Ginthas, Archas, Purnas, and Herthas. The months, from the start of the year to the end, are named Kellik, Orvine, Juna, Horthei, Secunde, Leitho, Camret, Wolthin, Zethon, and Dietra. Also, months are almost never abbreviated, but days almost always so. Since no two days start with the same letter, it was seen sufficient to simply write that. So the 14th day of the third month of the year at which Ricasan history is currently running would be written as P14 Juna 50 A.G.T.; Purnas, the 14th of Juna, 50 years After Grand Treaty.
Thankfully for most archivists' sanity, the Ricasan day matches the G.A. standard of 24 hours, though the concepts of A.M. and P.M. are not used. Instead, what we call military time is used.
The current period of timekeeping is called G.T., or Grand Treaty, after the legendary document which ended the bloody mess of the Trial War. Thankfully for all past systems of chronology, the treaty was signed on H30 Diertra: the last day of the year which would come to be known as One Pre-Grand Treaty, or 1 P.G.T.: the next day marked the start of 1 A.G.T., or One After Grand Treaty. There is no zero-year: even if the treaty had been signed in the middle of the year, Ricasans universally view such methods of timekeeping as wasteful and argumentative, and the date would likely have been fudged to be what it currently is to avoid such conflicts.
Ricasa's current peace is unnatural for its history. The tiny continent has been rocked by wars for as long as it can be remembered. Some of the more notables...
Pre-1730 P.G.T.: Before
Also known as the Prior Years. If records of the Founder's War are few, then records of this time are almost nonexistant. There is definitive evidence that there were at least one thousand years of time and one major conflict (the Lost War) prior to the records of the Order of St. Erika, which has kept the history of the continent since time immemorial, though the safety of that history has sometimes been in doubt. Older records of all varieties, including the Order's prior archives, were destroyed during the Founder's War, which greatly inhibits knowledge of the time.
We have pieced together a few details, mostly from divine aid and a few surviving fragments, but for the most part, this period is a blank spot in Ricasan history.
1730-1343 P.G.T.: The Founder's War
When exactly the Founder's War started no-one knows, and records of the time are few. The best estimates by scholars put it at some point around 1730 P.G.T., but it could have started a little earlier (about a ten-year margin), or even as late as 1590. The ending date, however, is set in stone: G3 Orvine 1343 P.G.T. The scope of the war is written all over earlier parts of the archives but the dates alone show the horror of such a conflict: even with the latest date possible for the start of the war, that's over 200 years of fighting, and the generally accepted date nearly doubles that! Although ironworking, writing, and the like had been discovered by the time of the start of the war, they only served to make the conflict worse, and development pretty much atrophied during this time. Things that may or may not have occurred during the war include the founding of the Star Knights in Calthoras, an event which is well-chronicled by their order as happening in 1650, and the foundation of the White City of Wathe in 1616. Notable events that definitely occurred during the war include the construction (or more accurately, conjuration) of the Arcane Point Academy in 1545, the Serlithan declaration of full neutrality in 1538, the Dwarves eschewing the human race altogether and beginning construction of Opridenik in 1521, the sacking of Onar in 1463, the counter-sacking of Porchovy in 1459, the ogre revival in Calthoras in 1425, the official founding of the Black Army in 1420, and the signing of the We Hate Ogres pact in 1415.
Archivist's Note: This is what some scholars consider to be the true end of the Founder's War, and the events that happened afterwards a sad occurence, but not truly a continuation of the earlier conflict. This is not the Archive's view, however.
Following the signing of the We Hate Ogres pact in 1415, the warring stopped completely for a while as all the fledgling groups in Ricasa banded together to defeat the Black Army; a unified force of monsters which had taken over Calthoras. This took twenty long and bloody years of fighting, but in the end the monsters were crushed.
"After such a wonderful job of working together, you'd think that the tribes would see how better this was than endless fighting. It didn't go that way. In only two years the Malanians declared renewed war on the Lamells, and after three years of pointless negotiations the whole deal collapsed. It was clear: as of A8 Camret 1390, the Founder's War had come back for an encore."
Archivist's Note: The Library of Farpoint holds unestimable information in its 3000+ texts, but much of it is colored in similar ways to the above insert by the untamable wit and sarcasm of Canadia's scribes. Canadia's official view on the war is that the second stage, following the ogre conflict, was a whole new war, called the Bloodletting. As mentioned before, this is not the view of the Archive.
Other notable events following the False Peace were not many, other than countless sackings and the like. The war ended finally because of the Great Famine, which killed off many of the participants and forced them to sign a hasty treaty to stop the fighting so that they could ensure that they didn't all die. The hastily signed Treaty of Yehul, scribbled on the back of a Canadese recruiting poster by the king of that country, and which was intended to only last for five years, held for over a thousand. The Founder's War was ended.
1343 to 116 P.G.T.: The Interim
Any thoughts of going back to war were few and quickly crushed: for one, the Great Famine starved Ricasa for ten long years, crippling the armies and their backing tribes. And for another, peace finally took hold at the end of the famine: the people saw that even starving to death was better than the horrors of continuing a 300-year war.
Even so, minor skirmishes between the new nations persisted throughout the whole of the period, and though they never drew much attention from the public, it was indeed one of these skirmishes which finally broke the peace.
The events occurring during this time period were numerous- all except for archiving, to the dismay of the author. Record-keeping was directed to a thousand different scribes and scholars, each who put their own spin- and sometimes, their own dates- on everything, and thus, except for a few works which are rather specific in their coverage, the records of the time cannot be trusted except for the barest of facts.
Yet failings in recordkeeping do not a failed era make. More cities were founded during this time alone than during the war (which had taken its name from the Arcane Point construction, considered the "founding" of organized magic in the world). All the great cities known today, as well as many that have fallen by the wayside since, were founded during this era. In addition, the first real borders were drawn up during the year-long conference known as the Marking Meet (see the below entry for more information).
Technology flourished during this period, one of the most notables being the discovery of the Anderson Steelmaking Process (more commonly referred to as the Bastion Steelmaking Process), but also including advancements in optics, ship design, farming, and countless other fields. The discovery of lands beyond the seas was first made in 844 P.G.T., though no other enclaves of civilization were found. The notorious Southern Cross Colony expedition was made exactly 500 years after the signing of Yehul, and eventually lead to other colony expeditions branching out to the countless islands of the south.
Though the scribes of the time could not be trusted to accurately record any kind of history, their work on almost all other aspects of their duties is to be highly commended. Many of our greatest modern-day works and references come from late in the Interim: works such as Power Through Propaganda*, Will Write For Food**, and the legendary Legacy of the Star Knights*** came from this period. At the very tail end of the Interim (425-375 P.G.T.), the works of the Serlith fiction writer Albert Arithon were slowly released to the public by an overtly giddy Serlithan Ministry of Education. The result: the stil-popular epic known as the Southerlands Saga.
- A famous and rightly anonymous work, the manuscript of which was found on the steps of Malania's palace at an unidentified date in 593 P.G.T., Propaganda is a lengthy and vitrolic diatribe about the subliminal side of war. It's reportedly still the authority on both making and breaking propaganda for almost every country in Ricasa, as well as being an excellent read.
- A look into the life of a sage during the time, and which is a rather accurate and informative work about my profession. Written by the royal scribe of Lamelloth.
- The 900-page classic by the retired General Corit Eilanus, who had himself been decorated with the Northpoint Medallion (the highest award of the Order), which goes into great detail about the early history, trials, and internal actions of the Star Knights. Required reading if you want to really understand this strange and ancient order.
The Marking Meet
G3 Orvine 1043. A day which every Ricasan learns early on in school. What started as the traditional conference between the countries to discuss and amend the Treaty of Yehul became, as the result of a single comment, the greatest correlation of powers to ever occur on Ricasa: the Marking Meet. The Meet, in itself, was simply the thirtieth Summit of Yehul, which is a somewhat grandiose name for the every-ten-years meeting of the tribe leaders to discuss amending the treaty. It wound up becoming far more than that: as a result of the nearly two-month meeting, the Treaty wound up completely transformed, and the first ever sets of official borders were drawn up. Aside from lacking Bastion, Capraht, and a few other minor changes, they were much the same as they are today. In addition, the Scribes of Yehul set up an official time system dating from the start of that particular Orvine: M.M., or Marking Meet. The system outlasted its inspiration by about two hundred years, until the start of the Trial War caused a temporary striking of all mention of the Treaty and related documents from Ricasan records. Only the end of the Trial War caused their reinstitution, but by then a new time system was set up by a much more powerful treaty, which still stands today.
Archivist's Note: Though the original treaty, as well as the bombshell version from the Marking Meet, survive in a time-halting-magic field in the Arcane Point Museum, some chunks are missing from its text. Not surprising- it was already 500 years old when the mages placed it in the field: it's a wonder of preservation it hadn't rotted completely away before that time. All subsequent versions were lost in the Sack of Yehul (more on that later), and as a result some information is missing. We have managed to fill in most of the gaps by analyzing the sections prior to and after them, but the statement about the Founder's War was lost long before the treaty was put into the museum. This is a travesty, as it could have identified the true date of the start of the Founder's War, but it is unavoidable.
The Thirtieth Summit of Yehul
The following section, up to the end of the italics, is taken from A Thousand Years of Peace, the definitive history of the Treaty, written by the scribes of Yehul. Unfortunately, the scribe of the time of the Meet, a Canadese named Daltar Regelis, fancied himself something of an amateur author, given to lightly purple description, and in every document where he could get away with it this becomes painfully apparent.
Even before things started up at Yehul for the summit, the situation was far different than it had been only ten years ago. The current Elven lord was dying, an event which had almost no precedent. The Malanese and the Lamells were squabbling over territory rights again. The Styal merchants were jacking up transferral taxes to unprecedented heights, which served to annoy everyone around them- and the Styal lands have some very powerful neighbors. The Serliths were making no friends with their holier-than-thou attitude, and the dwarves, of all people, were quarreling with the Canadese over the Soul Convoy Line, which passed through what the dwarves called their waters, never mind that they hate boats and don't use them. All of Ricasa was at each other's throats, and it looked like even the Treaty couldn't prevent another Bloodletting.*
- Daltar never lost his Canadese mannerisms or mindset despite the lofty office which he held.
On the very night of the Summit, it was announced that the Elven lord had died of Blackfell. The current Prince Lord, Giltonas, was forced to rush home, and the meet was delayed for three days while preparations were made for the Lord's funeral and his office was transferred to his son. Before he left, it was decided that the summit would be conducted a little differently this year in light of happenings in the surrounding continent, and would be conducted more as an open council rather than the traditional revisement session, which was more subdued and mostly consisted of the scribes amending according to the leaders' comments.
When Giltonas returned, looking somewhat disheveled (which takes some doing for an elf), the revised session began. It immediately ground into trouble, and the council turned out, at the end, to have actually become a series of debates. A short ways into the Canadese king's opening statement, the dwarven high chief interrupted him following a somewhat derogatory comment about the convoy situation. This unfolded into a forty minute impromptu debate between the two, and when I finally called for the general of the Star Knights to make his statement we had all found out far more about ocean trade than any of us (except, perhaps, the Styal merchants) ever cared to know.
General Gelinth had barely risen from his chair when a group of ragged people burst through the doors, swords drawn. The guards lay unconcious just outside. At first, the leaders prepared to defend themselves, but the group's announcement made it clear they had no intention of doing any of us harm if they were allowed to speak.
They were a ragtag alliance of several underprivilgeged groups from across the continent: representatives of the Calthoran and Styaleni people, and surprisingly, the leader of the Arcane Point Academy of mages. After about ten minutes of negotiation, we agreed to give them honorary seats on the council.
Due to the circumstances, we called a second debate, this one between the Knights and the People of Calthoras. The People's leader, one Viktor Arbiza, made it clear that they were sick of having the Knights speak for them on the council. He painted a startling picture of life under the knights in Calthoras, and before he ended his opening statement Gelinth was getting quite a few dirty looks. Gelinth countered by quoting part of the Knights' charter, specifically some passage about defending the people**, and made a somewhat half-hearted argument against Arbiza's former statement. After about thirty more minutes, while Gelinth had not exactly been shredded by the vitriolic young man, he had definitely lost a limb. A proposal was made to enforce a transition of government in the Calthoran lands, by who I can't remember**, and though no decision was made at the time due to continuation of the summit, it looked well clear to pass.
- The noble calling of the scribe is tarnished by the inattentive and unconcerned manner of this man.
The Styal People's leader, Benjamin Gries, made a similar statement regarding the merchant's council, who according to his report were running the country not as if to govern it, but instead as if to make a profit off of it. Considering the subject this seemed highly plausible, even expected, but as he put it, "the people of the Styaleni tribe are sick of seeing every welfare of their tribe weighed against a profit margin. If a battle happens near a town and a hospital uses more supplies to heal the casualties than they're allotted for that week by some number-cruncher, BAM! They get no supplies for the next week! Can you see the problem?"
The merchant leader suffered less under Gries' words than the general, probably because he was more adept at such word games, but it was still clear that support leaned towards the thin man on the other side of the stadium.
The mage declined to make a comment at first, and the Serlith presentations were unopposed, though some frowns appeared among the leaders. Then came the biggest of the debates yet: the Lamells and the Malanese. They bickered over the same few points for at least twenty minutes each, a grinding debate between the duke and the king which seemed to show no end. Then the duke made the mistake of mentioning the Academy, and the Magus jumped in with both feet. And whatever else is said about Magister Pyotr Kalanstrov, never let it be said that he is a weak debater. He tore the Duke to pieces in five minutes of uninterrupted railing against Malanese policy, and for a moment partway through it looked like he had a mind to fry the duke where he stood.
Following the mage's statement, the Lamell king jumped back in, half-mocking the duke with his claimancy of owning the Arcane Point Tower. The duke's reply was heated and is famous throughout history: "Though the tower may not be mine, it stands upon my soil, and as I have the right to give, so I have the right to take!" The Lamell king replied with a statement (the exact wording is unclear) about the duke taking from Lamell lands. The duke questioned how the king knew they were his lands- according to Malanese papers, the said lands were Malanese, and the Lamells on them were thus invading. The Calthoran People's leader, Arbiza, who then cut in: "So you both own the land? That really shouldn't be possible- it's an affront to tribal history. Where does one land start and the other end?" The duke laughed and replied, condescendingly, "at the border."
Arbiza then leaned on his desk with his right arm and stared straight at the duke- the famous pose from artist Kel Arbiza's Interrogator*- and replied "And where is that?"
- The well-known painter was a descendent of Viktor, and obviously heard of the line and its pose. Confirmation came from the elven Lord- when he saw the painting displayed in Calthoras while visiting for diplomatic reasons, Giltonas remarked "Looks just like old Viktor." When pressed about the remark by the artist, he relayed the story.
The duke made to reply, but the king of Canadia cut in. "He's right. Where is the border?" No real borders had thus been set up- tribal lands were nebulous and only generally defined. Slowly, but surely, a general consensus to draw up solid boundary lines was made. It took eleven hours, but finally a full planning session was agreed upon to start tomorrow. All known documents relating to tribal lines and such would be shipped in to aid the process. Shortly after, it was questioned what they would do with the current treaty- over half of it related to tribal matters and things that solid borders would settle for good. The Magister answered the question for them- in one swift move, he snuffed the chamber lantern and cast a fireball at the three-foot stack of paper that made up the current treaty. When the horrified faces of the leaders turned to him in disbelief, he replied "Write a new one."
It extended into a two-month period of debate, discussion, and pure hard work, but by the end two new documents were signed by all the representatives: the Bordermark Pact, which specified the exact positions of every inch of the new borders, and a new, pared-down Treaty of Yehul.
This event is considered the real founding of all but two of the nations of Ricasa.
The Treaty of Yehul, as laid out in the Marking Meet
We, the undersigned rulers of our respective nations, do hereby swear to adopt, uphold, and enforce the following statements as here penned by Daltar Regelis, Scribe of Yehul, on the twelfth of Horthei, in the first year of the Marking Meet.
1. This treaty enacts a new system of timekeeping. As this year is known as the First of the Marking Meet, or 1 M.M., so shall the next be known as the Second of the Marking Meet, or 2 M.M., and so forth. Years prior to this shall be known as B.B., or Before Borders. So thus the previous year of this was 1 B.B., the one before that 2 B.B., and so forth.
2. The undersigned tribes agree to the borders laid out in the Bordermark Pact, hence each tribe shall now claim possession of only those lands within those borders. Thusly, tribes shall now be referred to as nations, the names of which are laid out in the Pact.*
3. The herein stated nations will not take arms against each other without a declaration and a solid reason.
4. The herein stated nations will not conspire against each other or any inhabitant of them for any reason.
5. This treaty is effective for a period of twenty years.
6. Halfway though this period, a council may be called in the city of Yehul for the leaders to discuss amending or canceling the treaty.
7. When this period ends, a council may be called in Yehul for the leaders to discuss re-enabling this treaty for another twenty years.
8. For an amendment to the treaty to be ratified or removed, seven of the nine participants must be in agreement. Cancellation of the treaty before the period is up requires unanimous consent, as does extending the treaty when the period ends.
Maxwell Laculis of Canadia
General Ionis Gelinth of the Star Knights
Viktor Arbezi, representative of the people of Calthoras
Kenneth Pakense of the Styal Merchant's Council
Benjamin Gries, representative of the people of Styalenuth
Giltonas, Lord of the Kalantar Elves
Robert Grayshore of Serlithana
Hedonas Fiel of Lamelloth
Theo Varanis of Malania
High Chief Lekonis Var of the Opridenik Dwarves
Magister Pyotr Kalanstrov of the Order of Arcanus
- The exact reasons for the conversion are not clear, nor is the source of the word nation.
Archivist's Notes: Several things are clear from the way the treaty is written. First, the order makes it clear that the new borders are more important than avoiding conflict, suggesting that at the time of writing there was a strong feeling of personal (tribal, national, et al et cetera, as the mages would say) identity among the peoples at the time. Second, #3 shows that it no longer forces everyone to fight against the nation who declares war- as long as you give a clear notice of declaration and a reason, a casus belli in the mages' tongue, the other nation has to accept the fact. Espionage is still explicitly forbidden, however. Third, the effective period has been extended by half once again. Fourth, the notorious "escape clause" from past versions is gone: once a nation signed this, they were in it until it expired, where they could elect not to sign-in again- no cutting out in the middle.
One thing is obvious from the signatures: with the exception of the Knights, the Elves, the Dwarves, and the Magister, all titles have been removed. Before, with nebulous tribal influences, though the titles were all different the jobs amounted to the same thing. Now, though admittedly the situation was little different, it was seen as almost alien by the leaders, who gave up all titles until they had set up new governments. Those governments tended to, with some slight variations for each, either branch off the elven design, which was one ruler in charge with a bunch of advisors, or the dwarven, which had a group of people from all walks of life discussing and making decisions. It was common for these fledgling governments to take their names from the former titles of the rulers: the one-leader governments of Canadia and Malania became known as a kingdom and a dukedom respectively, while the council government of Calthoras became the arbitraton. The Serliths created a combination of the two, which has one lone ruler being counterbalanced by a council. The Lamells set up a council government, but the people were so strongly attached to the idea of a king that he agreed to remain as something of a figurehead- it became known as a councillary kingdom. The Styaleni wound up with an odd two-council system: the council of the people and the council of the merchants balancing each other out in a duel councillary.
Zethon 116-Orvine 111 P.G.T.: The Treaty Falls
Not surprisingly considering Ricasa's history, the Treaty's fall from well over a thousand years of peace was violent and confused. On E20 Zethon 116, at 4:12 in the morning, an assistant to the current Scribe of Yehul was awoken by a strange light through his window which turned out to be the Treaty Dome engulfed in flames. Attempts to extinguish the inferno proved useless and there proved to be nothing that could be done other than let the fire burn itself out. It took seven hours, enough time for rescue squads to arrive from as far away as Treycona, and by the time the ruins had cooled sufficiently for investigation representative teams from every country on Ricasa had arrived.
Little was found, but what was found proved damning. The lock on one of the exterior doors which had remained untouched by the fire showed clear signs of being picked. A teleport spell was detected in the treaty storage that vaguely pointed to the northeast. But most notably of all, the bones of the Scribe were found in an anteroom which had largely escaped the flames, and a hole in the exact shape of a Malanese Royal Guard's holdout dagger was still clear in the back of his skull*.
Archivist's Notes: The odd shape of the Holdout Dagger is noted among information on the more exotic weaponry of Ricasa.
Following these points an outcry immediately arose against the Malanese, but cooler heads- namely the scribe's staff themselves- prevailed. Malania had nothing to gain from the treaty's fall, seeing as how they were somewhat isolated and depending largely on food from their far larger southern neighbor and traditional foe, Lamelloth, to survive. So, an inquiry was held.
It only served to muddle the situation. The teleport spell was traced, and ended up on the beach just at the edge of the Yehul neutral zone. That implied a boat, which made anyone who owned a boat a suspect- including all but one of the nations of Ricasa. Malanese holdout daggers were highly popular among collectors; a shipment of 500 had been released on the open market recently. A surprisingly large number of those- around 130, in fact- had been purchased by the nations of West Ricasa; Canadia, Styalenuth, and Calthoras. All three had supposedly solid motives for the fall of the Treaty. Calthoras disagreed with about half of the more recent amendments to the treaty, especially those relating to control of the government. Styalenuth wanted some of the more recent trade laws abolished, and had been unable to do so through the summits. Canadia had no quarrel with the Treaty itself, but relations with Malania over trade were becoming strained as of late, and for them to be implied as being the ones attempting to destroy the peace would probably not be seen as all that bad by the King.
It went on for months, and subsequent finds dragged Serlithana and Lamelloth into the mix. Accusations flew back and forth, tempers rose, drafts were called up all over the continent, and the Treaty itself was slowly forgotten. Five years later, the arguments had in no way ceased, and the Star Knights, finally fed up with the quarreling, launched a hasty and poorly planned invasion of Canadia.
It was a disaster. The endlessness of the Laculis Forest hung up the invasion force for almost a month (exactly the reason why its namesake king had ordered it planted there), by which time Canadese Royal Intelligence had long since found out about the move. When the knights finally cut through the forest, three of the six Canadese Shock Armies- the First, the Fifth, and the Sixth- were waiting.
The Calthorans were damned by the assembly, and as the Canadese mounted a counterattack along the Knights' cleared route, the Styaleni councils decided to join in. Two months after the Canadese counterattack, a small contingent of Styaleni Commandos cut down the leadership of the port city of Jinzal in their beds and seized control of the town.
Outrage exploded against the Styaleni, and the Malanese immediately ordered their powerful navy to blockade the trade country's ports. It might have ended there, but by sheer chance an Oprid mining tunnel broke the surface in the middle of a Malanese army camp on the surface border. The startled camp's commanders immediately poured the whole contingent into the tunnel, thinking it a sneak attack, and slaughtered the miners. The dwarves declared open warfare, as did their allies to the south, and once more the Army of the Plains marched on the Silver Duchy. Angered beyond their renowned pacifism by the attack, the Serlith commanders launched a full-scale ambphibious attack across the Bay of Gold into Lamelloth, sending the White Army on the move for the first time in almost two millenia.
The real culprits behind the burning of the Treaty Dome were never identified, and when the remnants of the Scribes' order tried to sue for peace armies from all three of their neighbors descended on the city and razed it to the ground.
In five years, over a thousand years of peace had been undone. Ricasa was once more at war with itself.
111-1 P.G.T.: The Trial War
Though it only lasted a third of its ancient cousin, the Trial War proved infinitely bloodier for many a reason. First, world population had absolutely exploded since then- where there had been maybe five million people at the start of the Founder's War, the Trial War dragged almost fifty million people into it. Secondly, technology and magic both had increased heavily since the past- spellcasters had large roles in every army, spells had been developed since then that were far more potent, steel had completely supplanted iron, the use of cavalry was now more widespread, siege engines had gone from a freshly felled tree for a battering ram to monstrosities like Malania's infamous "Nutcracker" trebuchet, and naval combat, which had a tiny role towards the end of the Founder's War, had now expanded to twenty-ship engagements and blockades that lasted multiple years. In addition, if a country shared a border with another one, chances were they were fighting. The Serlithan capturing of the Yehul Zone meant that they were fighting Canadia, Kalantar, and Lamelloth on land all at once, for example.
After the first five years of war, Malania had lost over a third of its territory, Styalenuth was being starved to death by the blockade, Onar was under siege by the White Army, fires raged in the east edge of Kalantar's woods, Canadia was dueling four armies and six navies at once (and the toll was showing), the Opridenik tunnels had been repainted in blood, Calthoras was facing a peasant revolt as well as war, and Serlithana's commanders could only watch as the northern cities fell to Canadia's soon-to-be-legendary 2nd Army.
The next seventy-five years were all the same. Cities were captured, re-captured a week later, and in the next week captured by a wholly different enemy. Whole armies were shattered by engagements the scope of which would have horrified the participants of the Founder's War, shipwrecks began stacking up in sevens in some areas of ocean, and a man living in Canadia said he could tell how badly the war was going by checking how many feet the forest lines retreated each week- more feet lost meant more ships needed to replace those sunk.
The death toll was horrifying. Three kings, a duke, four presidents, ninety-eight councillors, twenty-seven generals, nineteen admirals, and over twelve million normal footsloggers were reported dead by the hundredth year of the conflict, with at least eight million so badly wounded that they could no longer fight. Dozens of cities had been sacked in every country. The greatest and best in all sorts of fields, including combat, magic, archery, engineering, and sailing, had been consumed by the battle. The cost in gold pieces could have purchased the mithral mines at Capam three times over, and in one year alone those mines give out two TONS of mithral.
The war seemed to have no end in sight. But peace would come, soon, and from a multitude of angles.
The Redeye Revolt
The first hints of change in the endless pattern came about in the eighty-second year of the War, when the king of Canadia, Ernst Laculis, became fed up with the progress of his armies. The Calthorans were resisting doggedly at the very walls of Ionafis, nothing he tried could get him through the Kalantar border, and the Serliths had finally picked up the ball and given the 2nd Army the worst drubbing of their career. He wanted answers- or more accurately, scapegoats. His eye fell upon the 2nd Army, still recuperating in Greenvale from the Fourth Battle of Yehul, and in one swift move he ordered the entire fighting force of ten thousand men arrested.
The 3rd and 4th Armies nearby were redirected to the Greenvale staging area, and in the most desperate battle of their career the 2nd Army found itself facing their own countrymen. Bit by bit, the Second was forced backwards first into Greenvale, then beyond it. The fighting completely consumed the little hamlet, and took almost half of the 2nd's strength with it.
Then, just as they were backing up all the way to the trees, they vanished!
In moments, the entire remaining fighting force of the 2nd Army, now down to six thousand of the original fifteen, appeared in the last place they thought they'd ever see- the Plaza of the Lords in Lasthome. The elves, evidently, had been watching the battle and wanted to make a proposal. The arrest order, said the Elven Lord, had clearly shown the current King to be not only stupid but possibly corrupt, and since the 2nd was clearly no longer fighting for the current king, would they like to place a new one?
That drew some consternation- the Laculis line had founded Canadia. Why destroy the entire history for one bad apple? But the commander gave it some thought- the king was still quite young. The amount of damage he could do in his lifespan would be immense. He shared this idea with his high command, and a general consensus was reached. Ripping off his Canadese rank stars, the commander of the 2nd forever discarded his old name and became known only as Redeye. The 2nd Army became the 1st Canadese Liberation Force.
The CLF waited almost a year in the deep forests of Kalantar, honing their old skills to a razor's edge and learning stealth tactics from the elves there. When the order finally came, the group was probably the most well-trained force in West Ricasa. Under cover of darkness and through secret ways lost to the human world, the elves managed to clandestinely spirit the entire CLF to the outskirts of Treycona, the capital. It took three long days to move everyone there unnoticed.
Then, at dawn on O7 Camret, in the year 19 P.G.T., the entire force of 6500 men and two thousand elves poured out of their hiding places and took to the streets.
It was a massacre. The few troops in charge of defending the city were completely reliant on the fixed defenses to hold a city the size of Treycona with so few- only 500 defenders. None of them lived longer than three hours.
The castle's troops managed to hold out slightly longer, but in vain- as the CLF brought up bridging tools and a decent-sized catapult, the troops on the walltops would try to drive them off. But sticking your head up for even a minute meant that the elven bowmen surrounding the place would pincushion you. Inevitably, the drawbridge was brought down two hours into the battle, and then the last defense for the King and the 1000 troops of the Royal Guard was cracked open like a walnut.
It took a half-hour of searching to locate the King, hiding in the wine cellars beneath the castle keep with ten of his most trusted Royal Guard. By then the command staff had been whittled down to Redeye and three subcommanders, and that was precisely who came after the King. It was a brutal fight, and at the end of it only Redeye and his aide-de-camp, a former Militia trooper of only 15, were alive.
Many people have debated what actually happened as the pair emerged from the cellars, but the eyewitness accounts of five nearby troopers are hard to discount. The five were guarding the way which the command squad had took to reach the king, in a small courtyard directly in the middle of the keep. The troopers state that Redeye and his aide emerged from the cellars, bleeding all over, with the aide holding the rebel leader up. Redeye said something that no-one caught (likely "I can walk"), and the aide retreated. For just a moment, Redeye stood in the courtyard, arms raised in victory, and the squad erupted in cheers.
Then he staggered, as if hit in the head, and collapsed.
Someone (it was never found exactly who, though damning evidence points to the Black Sage) had gone to one of the arrow slits in the courtyard and fired a crossbow at the man. The bolt entered his brain directly through the left eye- the bloodshot one- and stuck halfway out the back. He was dead before he hit the ground.
The troopers all rushed over to the leader, and only one of them noticed that Redeye's aide had collapsed, weeping. It would later be discovered that the man was the highest-ranking survivor among the whole CLF, which emerged from the takeover reduced to 6000 men but as heroes of the highest order.
That man was Domic Beau Jacin. And within three short weeks, he was placed on the throne as King Domic Jacinus, leader of Canadia. As for the CLF, it was quickly reformed into the 1st and 2nd Crown Legions, which started a military legacy that still stands today.
The Rise of Capraht
The diplomatic situation was dramatically different than it had been, however. While the CLF had been training in Kalantar, a fourth country had sprung up in the middle of the peninsula like a cancerous disease. A new, reformed Black Army of vile monsters, deserters, and mercenaries was carving through the Heartlands, slaughtering and pillaging. The beleaguered nations surrounding the area paid it little notice, each thinking it the actions of the other, but an attentive eye could notice that something was growing.
This new empire proved to be the first of the new king's troubles. Two days after King Jacinus' coronation, a strange man dressed in a black robe was escorted into the throne room under heavy guard. He appeared quite shocked at the amount of changes going on, and demanded to see King Laculis. The main of the conversation is well-recorded, and will not be repeated here, but the end result was King Jacinus personally tearing up a treaty the former had made with this new group to the west.
For the moment, however, we must leave the Black Army and its machinations.
For even as the storm raged over Canadia, the big one was brewing across the Bay in northeast Lamelloth. In this country of dark, forested hills, the endless rivalry of Malania and Lamelloth was tearing apart the small villages. In a lumber settlement known as Chartrane, a local foreman named Alvin Carratas was returning from his work as his family was dragged from their cottage. Helpless, Alvin was forced to watch from the shelter of the forest as his family was murdered for harboring a badly wounded member of the other side's army (the exact details of who did this are still unclear).
The trio of soldiers then went searching for the lumberjack and made the mistake of splitting up. In a tale that has been retold so many times that it has become legend, Alvin hunted them using nothing but a woodsman's axe and killed all three.
It started a chain reaction. Reprisals were enacted against the lumbermen, who opposed the idea greatly. The reprisal teams met failure and heavy losses against the skilled woodsmen. Blame flew back and forth. People from both Malania and Lamelloth, sick of the war, fled to the hills to join the movement. A rebellion had begun in the impenetrable forests of the Sectite Iron Range.
At the fore was Alvin Carratas, leading what had started as an attempt to prevent mindless bloodshed, but which soon turned into a vast, anti-war movement. Four years later, Malania and Lamelloth had stopped fighting each other and were attempting to fight Alvin's Iron Guard, which had by this time swelled to tens of thousands from all walks of life. One year after that, Malania and Lamelloth were fighting BEHIND Alvin's banner.
The Storm Breaks
It was at about this time that Capraht's intentions became clear. Revealing a massive, reformed Black Army, Baron Zensora announced his intent to conquer all. And for the first five years, he seemed quite intent to accomplish that goal. The only nation he ignored was, surprisingly, Canadia- still rocked by internal struggle with the remnants of the old king's forces, particularly the 1st Shock Army, the Kingdom of the Sun was in no position to intervene and was thus completely ignored by the conquerers. The Black Campaign opened up with a two-pronged attack on Calthoras and Styalenuth simultaneously, sweeping across the rocky plains of the northwest and meeting up at Jinzal, where the port city's defenses were cracked like a nut. The Calthoran border watch on Canadia barely managed to reposition in time to keep the Caprahti from sweeping over Ionafis like a tidal wave. The Styaleni, not trusting their militia to hold off the hordes, signed a nonagression pact with Capraht that transformed into a full-fledged alliance after only a year. By then, the Baron's troops had swept down into Serlithana, surrounding Kalantar, and were battering at the gates of the White City.
The united East Ricasa, which had been milling for six years wondering where to go, now saw a potential gap. In one, swift move, the armies of the East poured across Serlithana and smashed into the Black Army, driving it halfway back of the length of Styalenuth. The White Army and the elves soon joined Alvin's Iron Guard, and the titans clashed as the countryside burned.
One year of grinding battle later, the two forces were still not conceding an inch from the original offensive. Finally, a gap was spotted at Bolon Pass, where the Cictora River cuts through the Westwold Hills.
Both armies poured into the gap at about the same time, and the battle was horrendous- they say the Cictora flowed red for the next week. Alvin himself finally managed to catch up with the Baron as he was attempting to escape and stabbed the man straight through the heart.
According to eyewitnesses, nothing happened. The Baron laughed and stabbed Alvin through the heart with his own sword, but the lumberjack had no such dark powers helping him, and he died on the Baron's blade. Disenheartened, the Iron Guard withdrew to regroup, and for a moment the Black Army looked poised to follow up this victory with a smashing blow back down the coast.
But in Canadia, events had taken a very sharp turn. Provost inspectors, going over the castle grounds for ANY clues at all relating to the Redeye case, discovered a small compartment in one of the castle chambers- the same one the Black Sage had stayed in, in fact. The papers they found in there were damning- they were a series of communiques from the Baron to the Sage, who had evidently NOT been on a diplomatic mission when caught, but instead following up on his active assassination of Redeye with an attempt on the new King.
The evidence was surprisingly shaky- the stone showed signs of being moved more recently than twenty-five years ago, and the handwriting was barely legible- far different than the traditional solid strokes of Caprahti diplomatic messages. But at that point, the country wouldn't have cared if the letters were written in Elven- the people wanted blood.
To say that King Jacinus was angry would be a discredit to the word angry. Some reports say the windows of the Sun Hall blew out when he was given the notes to read. He wasted no time in making a public announcement to the people, which got quite the reaction.
Just as the Black Army was preparing their next strike on the downfallen Iron Guard, the entirety of the Canadese Home Guard Division- over ten thousand militiamen- raced screaming across the Extortion Line and smashed into the lax, bored guards there. It was a massacre. At the same time, the two Crown Legions headed north, made record time through the Laculis Forest, and swept across Calthoras all the way to Capam, bringing the Star Knights back into the fight before sweeping down to hammer at the emplacements along the fertile Colonna Valley.
The Black Army made a desperate attempt to reqroup. In particular, the powerful fleet they had assembled at Jinzal was intended to head for Canadia and blockade the country, still highly dependent on the sea for life. But what no-one predicted was that one of their best commanders, one Captain Maxim Wiesner of the Confusion, would take the portion of the fleet he commanded- fifteen ships of the line out of sixty- on a sortie to Canadese waters and announce that he was joining up with them, doing quite a lot to even the balance. The Flight of the Fleet is still legend among naval commanders all across the continent, and in gratitude for his actions Wiesner was promoted up to Grand Admiral. But his story is not to be told here.
Finally, attacked from all sides and by every country on the continent, the Baron sued for peace. This led to two seperate and famous treaties which will likely be remembered long after the participants are gone- the Reparations, and the Grand Treaty.
The Grand Treaty of Ricasa
Date: H30 Dietra 1042 M.M. Time: 5:00-23:45
We, the leaders of the nations of Ricasa and representatives of all those who dwell therein, hereby state that our nations and tribes agree with the terms below. (Co-written by King Domic Jacinus and Archivist Vasili Obnachov)
Point 1. No more living in the past- as of tomorrow, O1 Kellik, the Marking Meet system of time shall be abolished in favor of the new General Time system*. All years prior shall be referred to as P.G.T, or Pre-General Time, and all years hence shall be A.G.T., or After General Time. These may be shortened to P and A if space is constrained.
- This is technically the correct terminology for the current Ricasan timekeeping system. But General Time possesses the same acronym as Grand Treaty, and the document became so much more well known than its individual particulars that eventually the distinction was forgotten.
Point 2. All hostilities and conflicts as came about as a result of this Trial War shall cease IMMEDIATELY tomorrow, O1 Kellik 1A. Any armies in foreign lands shall be allowed to seek passage back to their homes. Any form of hostilities as of tomorrow or forward shall be in direct violation of this treaty and subject to Point 3.
Point 3. If anyone, be it a man or a country, violates this treaty by attacking the populace or armed forces of any of the signatories to this treaty, they shall be declared Persona Non Grata and subject to immediate arrest, assassination, or full attack by the other signatories.
Point 4. Two new nations have been created- Bastion, at marks stretching from the Bracket Road to the northern edge of the Sectite forest, and (under the constraints of Point 5) Capraht, as per boundaries provided by the generals of the Canadese and Styaleni armies.
Point 5. The nation of Capraht and her leader, the Baron Larson Zensora, have been allowed to exist on this earth only under the constraints that 1) they fend entirely for themselves and 2) they allow full passage through their lands by the surrounding nations. Any violation of these two points will result in the rescindance of their nation status and redeclare them as invaders.
Point 6. A new money system has been announced: 10 coppers to a silver, 10 silvers to a gold, 10 golds to a platinum, and 10 platinums to an electrum. Learn well.
(That's all that need concern us)
- Harald Velase, First Officer of Bastion
- King Domic Beau Jacinus, Ruler of Canadia
- President Fredrick Iellas of Serlithana
- Queen Maria Leothus of Lamelloth
- Oleg Ivanovich, Arbitration Leader of Calthoras
- Alder Hnell, People's Councilman of Styalenuth
- Giltonas, Elven Lord of Kalantar
- Niktus Brimstone, High Chief of Opridenik
- Duke George Baractus of Malania
- Baron Larson Zensora of Capraht
1 A.G.T-50 P.G.T.: NOW.
Since the signing of the Grand Treaty, the continent has largely focussed itself on rebuilding from the chaos of the War. Borders were also redrawn- Kalantar and Serlithana claimed much of Styalenuth's fertile lands, as a result of them siding with the wrong crowd. Canadia gained itself a large swath of area to the south formerly held by Kalantar and Serlithana, including the great port of Seiocol. Serlithana also gave up the Yehul territories for the second time in its history, and the endless enemies of Lamelloth and Malania now found themselves separated by the new nation of Bastion.
Due to the long peace, nothing much has happened for about forty years, other than numerous politicians dying and King Jacinus not doing so. But peace has grown strained again, as the ancient colonies in the south rise up to strike at their old parents. The Pirate King not only has launched a charismatic, nonviolent takeover of Serlithana (that may change soon...), but he also introduced guns to the continent, which has brought the old war spirit out of the people and created political strain. The Baron has started something again, too, and it may not be long before the pot starts to boil...