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"End of the Known World"by Giampaolo Agosta
This is a (highly!) variant timeline for the post-WotI era. It merges the "Night of Hell: Fall of the Five Shires" by David Knott idea with another idea discussed on the list some times ago, involving a breakdown of Darokin after the SE invasion of Alfheim.
I have now tried to give some time structure to the result, writing a timeline spanning from AC 1010 to AC 1016 (plus some modified WotI events), involving the nations of Darokin, Ierendi, Karameikos, Aengmor and Five Shires, and marginally Rockhome and Ylaruam.
(Events not modified happen as per WotI timeline)
Hulean armies take Akesoli and roll through the Republic to the Streel river.
Combined Darokin, Karameikan, Hin and Ierendi armies push the Huleans back to Fort Anselbury. The Master of Hule sends a meteor against Darokin, hitting the Kurish Massif instead. The area north of Lake Amsorak is destroyed.
The Shadow Elves take Alfheim. The overland trade route from Darokin to Selenica becomes more and more risky, as the Shadow Elves tax heavily the caravans, and do not provide protection.
Alfheimers move to Karameikos and Wendar.
Selenica is now nearly isolated from the rest of Darokin. House Hallonica has lost power during the war, and drops to the fourth rank, as House Corun is strengthened by the now safer routes through the Broken Lands. As Akesoli is lost, House Umbarth drops at the eight place in the Darokin power ladder.
Darokin, Karameikos, Five Shires form a defence league against the Hulean threat (WDL). Karameikos, Ylaruam, Rockhome and the Selenican government sign a defence alliance against the Shadow Elven and Thyatian threat (Treaty of Selenica).
At a meeting in Specularum, King Stefan Karameikos tries to get the eastern countries cooperate with the western ones, but the Dwarven and Darokinian ambassadors quarrel over the Shadow Elves matter, with the Dwarves pressing for open war, and Darokin not willing to open another front at its back. The representatives of House Hallonica and Al Azrad agree with Ambassador Nordenshield, while the representative of the Five Shires immediately joins the Darokinian side.
Sheik ibn Hamid states that the Shadow Elves are just the revelation of the dark magics that have always been afoot in Canolbarth, and that the Ylari prayer leaders had forewarned those who wanted to hear. Darokin is now getting a second opportunity to acknowledge the presence of Evil near its borders, and free itself from it. He doesn't add anything more, and the meeting ends.
The Five Shires Hin invade the Black Eagle Barony, and are repelled with great losses on both sides. There is some unrest among the Thyatian nobles of Karameikos as King Stefan refuses to send help to Baron von Hendricks.
Thyatis recovers its hold on the Isle of Dawn, finding little opposition from the Alphatians, now cut off from most of their supplies.
The Heldannic Knights invade Norwold. King Ericall mobilises all the forces he can, but is faced with the defection of some of his strongest vassals.
Alphatian refugees in Karameikos found the School of Magic in Krakatos, on a sacred Traladaran site. The Church of Traladara is not pleased, and neither are the Thyatian followers of Patriarch Oderbry.
Civil wars and humanoid invasions threaten Rockhome, preventing the Dwarven-King from taking any action against the Shadow Elves.
The Master of Hule creates the province of Akesoli, setting a Greenleaf Vickers as Pasha of Akesoli.
As a result of the reduction of trade along the Selenica-Darokin route, House Hallonica drops to the fifth rank, and the inland trade of House Pennydown now concentrates along the Athenos-Corunglain and Akorros-Darokin routes.
The Shadow Elves conquer Oenkmar against the goblinoid and dwarven armies. Having suffered badly from the destruction of the World Elevator, Toney House drops from the top 10 Houses, and is replaced by growing House Corran. House Franich gains one place, due to the increasing weakness of House Umbarth (within Darokin, at least: assets of House Umbarth in lands under Hulean occupation have grown much).
As House Hallonica drops once more, House Al-Azrad takes over most of Selenican trade. Arturo Franich is tried for tax evasion. Franich House drops from the Great Houses, and Toney House recovers its position, acquiring most of Franich's enterprises.Mauntea
By this time, the Canolbarth Forest has become a replica of the petrified woods of Dymrak. Shadow and Surface Elves are pitched in a guerrilla war north of Karameikos, with the Darokinian armies unable to keep the elves in check.
Night of Hell in the Five Shires! The Shires are invaded by Nightmare Dimension fiendish beings and Dark Hin. Many Hin are killed, or suffer from the effects of exposition to the Nightmare Dimension.
During the rest of the year, some help comes from Darokin, Karameikos, and, surprisingly, Glantri. Hins saved from the Dark Shire settle in central Darokin. Hin refugees flood Athenos, Port Tenobar and Ierendi.
The Dark Hin expand their influence outside the Shires, destroying the Riverfork Keep in Karameikos, and rolling through Darokin. The villages of Mar and Hinmeet are captured, the Dark Hin conquer the Malpheggi Swamps, and reach Atruaghin.
Darokin armies retreat beyond the line formed by Hendry, Darokin, Elstrich and Fort Marny. Darokin legions battle the invaders trying to flank them at Dolos, and the result is a massacre on both sides. The Shadow Elves intervention sends the Dark Hin back, but Dolos become part of the Shadow Elven Colony of Aengmor, and Fort Cruth is sealed off.
Athenos and Port Tenobar resist, thanks to the help from Hin pirates and the Ierendian Fleet.
The Black Eagle leads a force of cavalry and goblinoids to retake Riverfork. In Specularum/Mirros, priests and knights of the Griffon loyal to Patriarch Oderbry organise volunteer units to help von Hendricks.
The results of the loss of the Malpheggi Swamp hit hard on many Darokin Houses, and the Republic collapses.
Since Darokin is cut off from the sea, most of its trade must pass through Akesoli, and House Umbarth recovers much of its strength.
House Mauntea suffers from the loss of foreign trade, and is House Linton is badly hurt at first, but now that Darokin is cut off from the eastern nations, much of the western goods must come by sea, and Athenos' and Port Tenobar's wealth waxes. Both towns are now controlled by Linton House and Ierendi. After a long bargain, Lucius Linton is awarded a seat at the Tribunal, and Athenos and Port Tenobar join the Kingdom of Ierendi.
House Al-Azrad and House Hallonica are forced to merge in order to survive. Eshram Al-Azrad is the ruler of the new Emirate of Selenica, and names his son-in-law, Anders Hallonica as heir.
These events force a reorganisation of the Republic of Darokin. For now, there are only five Great Houses, due to the general setback of the economy. Pennydown House moves its major offices in Favaro, where they can control a new route opened with the Shadow Elves.
Houses Umbarth, Linton, Al-Azrad and Hallonica are declared foreign merchants, and 40-70% of their representative in lands still held by Darokin leave to create their own houses, replacing the many minor houses lost in the Wrath age. This damages less Al Azrad, which had nearly no operatives in Darokin except for small offices in the city.
House Hallonica splits into many smaller Houses working within the Heartlands. House Linton's operatives in Darokin mostly leave the House and join minor House or House Pennydown. House Umbarth's elven agents had already left the House, and join other former Umbarth employees, creating a new House working mainly with the elven territories in Glantri. They set their base in the ruined town of Ardelphia.
The Capitol of the Republic is moved to Akorros.
Current political relations:
Corwyn Mauntea is forced to resign, and House Corun pushes for Vardon Hoff to be named Chancellor. However, House Toney refuses to vote for Hoff, and Elissa Pennydown is named new Chancellor of the Republic. Her election marks the start of an age of rebuilding and focus on internal matters, sticking to the ideal of a plutocratic oligarchy.
Votes: Vardon Hoff: Mauntea, Corun
Elissa Pennydown: Pennydown, Corran, Toney Elissa Pennydown marries Quint Callister, sealing the alliance between House Pennydown and House Toney.
Fort Cruth, now completely isolated from former Darokin forces, is stormed by kobold forces from the mountains. The Shining Armour is seen leading the final attack. Only a handful of defenders are able to leave the Fort and cross the Forest of Shadows (formerly known as Canolbarth) and reach the Duke's Road Fort in Karameikos.
In Karameikos, the position of King Stefan in weakened by the diplomatic failures, and by the renewed popularity of the Black Eagle among the ethnic Thyatians.
Nations at the end of the "End of the Known World" Timeline:
Republic of Darokin
Ruler: Chancellor Elyssa Pennydown, Inner Council (4 members) Borders: what remains of old Darokin is limited by the Amsorak River and Lake, Fort Anselbury, the Mond River, Elstrich, the River Streel up to Darokin City, and down to the Hellock River, the same Hellock River, the hills west of Dolos, the border of the Canolbarth forest up to Fort Nell, and the old border with the Broken Lands.
Government: plutocratic republic
Chancellor Pennydown is focusing on reconstruction after the war. The army is not being strengthened, and the Republic relies more and more on the DDC to forge an alliance with the Shadow Elves, since all its troops are needed to hold the southern and western border.
Trade is increasing along the Broken Lands route, and with the Shadow Elves and Atruaghin Clans.
Emirate of Selenica
Ruler: Amir Eshram Al Azrad, Town Council of Selenica (2 Hallonica representatives, 1 Al Azrad representative, 2 former Magistrates of the borderlands, 1 delegate of the elves)
Borders: Nemiston, the old Darokinian borders with Canolbarth, Karameikos, and Ylaruam, and Fort Hobart.
Government: monarchy, controlled by an aristocratic council Allies: Karameikos, Ylaruam and Rockhome Enemies: Shadow Elven Territories
The Emirate is rapidly strengthening itself thanks to a steady influx of help from its allies, and the now intense trade along the Karameikos-Rockhome route.
The Emir keeps a large army, mostly composed of Dwarven, Elven, and Ylari mercenaries
Province of Akesoli
Ruler: Pasha Greenleaf Vickers
Borders: west of Fort Anselbury and lake Amsorak, old Darokin border to the west and north.
Government: Hulean Provincial Government Allies: Hule
Enemies: Darokin, Glantri, Sind loyalists Pasha Vickers controls most trade here, and is filling his coffers thanks to the Dark Hin problem in the southern regions. Hulean troops and mercenaries of the Umbarth House control the Province's lands.
Kingdom of Ierendi
Ruler: King Reston of Akesoli, Tribunal of Ierendi Borders: old Ierendi territory, plus the towns of Port Tenobar and Athenos, and a small territory inland.
Government: oligarchy, with a symbolic monarch Allies: Karameikos, Turtle Clan
Enemies: Dark Hin, Tiger Clan, Thyatis
Ierendi is greatly strengthened by the recent events, as it controls all the sea routes to the west, blocking Minrothad's trade with Yavdlom and Slagovich. However, this power is linked to the control of the two ports of Tenobar and Athenos, threatened by the Dark Hin.
On the internal front, the Darokinian and Hin immigrants are getting more and more power, and the Ierendi aristocratic families are not entirely happy with this.
The Eternal Truth gains more followers among the military and in the former Darokinian towns, as their lawful magic help protecting against the Dark Hin. The clergy of Asterius and the Hin Masters are the other religious group of any importance in the traditionally religion-light kingdom.
Kingdom of Karameikos
Ruler: King Stefan Karameikos III
Borders: Karameikos loses the westernmost lands to the Dark Hin, and Thyatis threatens the eastern border.
Allies: Ierendi, Selenica
Enemies: Dark Hin
Karameikos is pressed hard by the Dark Hin, and Stefan's popularity among the Thyatians is at minimal levels. Within the Church of Karameikos, the followers of Vanya are getting the upper hand. Patriarch Oderbry accuses the Hin of necromancy and dealing with demons--it is false, but the Hin have always supported the hated Traladarans, so Oderbry is quick to attack them.