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The History of House Ritterburgby Harri Mäki
The Drachenfels are an old Hattian family. Their roots lie deep in Hattian history, and even further back to the time of Blackmoor, though it is difficult to retrace their bloodline that far into the mists of time. The oldest record in their history tells how they took part in the revolt of AC 313 as one of the three noble families that led the Hattians against the Thyatians. Forced to emigrate once the Imperial cohorts had crushed the revolt, the Drachenfels fled to the Alasiyan colonies, where they lay low for years. During the next centuries, they earned the respect and trust of many other Hattian families living in exile, and finally led them to Glantri in the eighth century, when the opportunity arose to claim those lands for their own.
Otto von Drachenfels
In AC 719, the leader of the family, Heinrich von Drachenfels, fell in a skirmish against Alasiyan nomads in the Alasiyan Marches. His 22 year-old son, Otto succeeded him as leader of the Hattians. Otto realised that the ongoing war against Alphatians and Alasiyans was a lost cause, because the Empire did not support its colonies sufficiently. He began to look for a way out of the situation, and in AC 728, rumours about the rich and sparsely populated Flaemish Highlands to the west, attracted Otto's attention. He began to plan the migration for his followers.
The Battle of Hedjazi in AC 728, where Thyatian forces were decimated by Alaysians, forced Otto to act swiftly and gave him a good opportunity to present his migration plan to other leaders. He immediately contacted some of the surviving leaders of the Thyatian colonies, Graf Hans von Graustein, Barone Giuseppe di Sfonti, Lord Tiberio Glantri and Lord Cesare Fulvina. Otto proposed to join their forces and migrate westwards, cutting all ties with Thyatis and founding new dominions of their own. They all shared Otto's mistrust towards the current Emperor Lucinius VII and had often been mistreated by the Imperial Senate, so they accepted Otto's suggestion and began preparations for the migration.
The Migration to the Highlands
The migration started in the late fall of AC 728, and by the first months of AC 729 the various families reached to Selenica in Darokin. There they met another migrating group of Traladaran refugees from the south led by Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany, who were on their way to the same direction. Leaders of the two migrations thought that it was in the best interest of everyone if they travelled together. After a hard trek through the mountains and the goblinoid infested Broken Lands, the refugees reached the Highlands in AC 730 and separated again.
The Traladarans claimed the northeastern forests and hills were only few Flaemish outcasts were living. The Thyatians led by Tiberio Glantri settled between Isoile and Red River in the area of modern Hightower. The Hattians under the leadership of the Drachenfels and the Grausteins settled at the shores of Red River in the area later known Eriadna and Volnay. The Thyatians and Kerendans led by di Sfontis and the Fulvinas settled between the Red River and the Arnus.
First years in the Highlands
Herr Otto von Drachenfels was a tired man when he reached the Highlands. He was tired of fighting and only wanted to get some peace. He was a cleric of Vanya, but not very religious, and not really a wartime leader. He had been the leader of the migration, but only nominally. He made a wonderful figurehead with his imposing frame and noble outlook, but real leaders were Tiberio Glantri, Hans von Graustein, and after Selenica, also Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany.
Otto was very disappointed when frictions with the Flaems living in the settled area began to occur frequently. The leaders of the Flaems made it very clear that the settlers were not welcome. Otto tried to speak for a peaceful settlement, but Tiberio Glantri (who had married Otto's sister Griselda during the migration in AC 729) was adamant: they would not give an inch to the Flaems. Soon the frictions sparked major skirmishes.
Lord Tiberio Glantri fell in battle in AC 734 and with him the settlers lost the only leader capable of uniting them. Otto gave up the next year and made a deal with local Flaems. They divided the area were Hattians had settled so that both sides were satisfied. Otto promised that they would never settle beyond the Red River and never paid any attention to his own people's protests. He finally got what he wanted most: peace.
After the peace treaty with the Flaems, Otto concentrated his efforts in building a castle for himself and his family, Schloß Tallenberg, and tried to oversee the welfare of his people. He was always very much loved by Hattians and so the mourning was very deep when he died in a building accident in AC 740 at the age of 43.
Joachim von Drachenfels
Otto's only son, Joachim, was only 20 when his father died, but he was already a capable ruler. He was nearly 7 feet tall, a robust and well-built young man with cunning eyes and a clever expression. He had a high self-esteem and a hot-blooded nature. He was not capable of staying in one place for too much time: he was very active and worked round the clock, enjoying drinking wine after a hard day's work. And he had a dream: he saw himself as a King of the united Highlands.
To realise that dream Joachim understood that he had to maintain a peaceful relationship with the Flaems and to improve and strengthen his ties with the Kerendans and Thyatians. At first that went easy, since he got well along with the new Thyatian leader Claudio Glantri, having been friends since childhood. (Claudio Glantri was the son of Tiberio Glantri and Otto's sister, Griselda, and therefore, Joachim's cousin.) Eleven years passed without any great conflicts.
The most dramatic event in those years was the arrival of the Kaelics led by McGregors from their home world of Laterre in AC 743. They settled at the feet of the Colossus Mountains between the rivers Fen and Til, where there were few other people living because of the climate. Their coming irritated the Flaems, but not so much so as to worsen the relations towards other groups.
But in AC 751 Joachim married Luise van Agt, daughter of the one of the Flaemish dukes. Duke Rodolfus van Agt was the most conciliatory of the Flaemish leaders and Joachim hoped to ease tensions with this political marriage. He also hoped to gain more power. But this turned out to be a big miscalculation.
The other Flaems were furious with Duke van Agt for allowing a lowly non-Flaem to pollute their bloodline. Joachim's Thyatian and Kerendan allies saw this act as a grovelling towards the Flaems. Relations between Flaems and settlers deteriorated rapidly and minor skirmishes began again. This time Joachim von Drachenfels and the Hattians fought on the side of the Flaems.
During the following five years Joachim showed his brilliant military skills. He had trained Hattian troops excellently. When skirmishes stopped in AC 756 everybody acknowledged that Joachim von Drachenfels was the best military leader in the Highland area.
The following years were happy for Joachim. He still dreamt about a kingdom of his own, but now he was devoted to family life. He loved his wife and in AC 757 she begot their son, Sigmund. Luise was also the only person who had any control over Joachim. Joachim had become somewhat overweight for much drinking and fatigued from over-working. During the first five years of Sigmund's life, Joachim rested under his wife's watchful eyes and regained his youthfulness.
Then in AC 761 disaster struck: Luise died at childbirth. Joachim was stricken with sorrow and so he decided to concentrate his efforts in his big dream of a kingdom to overcome his sorrow.
Joachim began to send envoys to the Flaemish dukes, the Kaelics, the Sylaire, the Traladarans, the elves, and even to the Ethengar living on the eastern side of the Colossus Mountains. He proposed negotiations for building a unified state with all the different cultures. He initiated some negotiations but without any concrete results. The Flaems didn't want to share their power with the other races, the Ethengar didn't want to deal with the Flaems, and the elves refused to acknowledge the humans' right to possess these lands, and so on. Joachim tried diplomacy for the following eight years, until in AC 769, he finally understood that his efforts were useless. During these years he adopted the white colour of peace and negotiations, which then became the main colour of House Ritterburg. He dressed up at a white long-hemmed coat, white leather trousers and big black leather boots. He also began to feel first signs of gout at this time.
Der Große Führer
From AC 769 on, Joachim's plans had changed: he now only wanted to unite Hattians, Thyatians and Kerendans first, then he would conquer the other peoples using his military strength. In AC 776, he finally convinced the leaders of the other two Thyatian groups to sign a military pact with him. In that pact, leaders agreed to form a united front against the other groups in the Highlands. The others also agreed to acknowledge Joachim as supreme leader of all their three armies in case of war. During these years, the Hattians began to refer to Joachim as Der Große Führer - not only for his political and military merits but also because of his enormous size (He weighted over 300 pounds after overeating and heavy drinking in the past years).
With the united Thyatian armies supporting him, Joachim started provocations against the Flaems, hoping that they would start a war. He was surprised by their patience. The Flaems withstood insult after insult until AC 784, when the proverbial drop brimmed over the vase. In that spring, he met his brother-in-law, Willem van Agt, and after drinking heavily they began to argue. When Willem blamed Joachim for Luise's death, Joachim suddenly struck him death with one blow. Joachim did not intend to kill Willem, but when he understood what he had done it was too late.
The Flaems were furious and declared war at the settlers. At first, all went well for Joachim and his allies. The Thyatians conquered a vast stretch of land and even arrived at the Flaemish capital of Braejr in AC 785. But once there, Joachim has an attack of gout and was confined to the sickbed. In the following battle, the Flaems were victorious and the allies had to retreat south.
The following year, Joachim succeeded in negotiation with the elves, who joined the fight against the Flaems. Another lucky strike came at fall of AC 786, when an Alphatian mage named Halzunthram contacted Joachim and offered his contingent of Alphatian battlemages. Joachim was suspicious at first, but since he realised the Alphatian troops were just what he needed to win the war in a short time, he accepted Halzunthram's alliance. He was sure that the Alphatians posed no problem to him, and that he could expel them after the war if need arose.
During the following year, the Flaems were pushed north step-by-step, until in Flaurmont 17th AC 788 the Flaems were totally defeated at the Battle of Braastar. At the age of 68, Joachim was at the top of his military and political career. As the undisputed leader of the allied troops, he accepted the surrender of the Flaemish leaders. But only a few minutes after the Flaemish surrendered, the excitement of the moment and the strains of the last decades took their toll. Joachim von Drachenfels' heart failed him in this historic moment and he died.
Sigmund von Drachenfels
The leaders of the allied troops were dumbfounded by Joachim's sudden death and they didn't know what to do. There was no one else to assume Joachim's position. His 31 year-old son Sigmund didn't have any of his father's leadership qualities. He was a slim, weasel-looking man, who enjoyed feasting and celebrations. He looked like a clown compared to his father. Titus Glantri and Ottone di Sfonti, the two most prominent leaders among other factions both lacked the charisma of Joachim von Drachenfels. They both knew that Joachim would have declared himself King of the Highlands, but they realised that no one else could do that.
So together ,with Sigmund, they decided to call the leaders of the elves and the Flaems for secret negotiations for the future of the Highlands. They left out Halzunthram, because they assumed that the Alphatians would leave the area after the war.
In the negotiations all parties agreed to establish the Republic of the Highlands. The Flaems withdrew all claims to the lands south of the Isoile and Fen rivers. All lands east of the Vesubia and Fen rivers were assigned to the elves. The parties also agreed to establish a Council composed of 3 Flaems, 2 elves, and 1 Kerendan, 1 Thyatian and 1 Hattian, to rule the country.
Forty Years War
Everyone was happy except for Halzunthram. He had no intention of leaving the Highlands and now he felt betrayed by the Hattians. But Halzunthram had one ace in the sleeve unknown to the others: Sigmund von Drachenfels was totally under his control. Sigmund saw Halzunthram as the man he always wanted to be: a cultivated, sophisticated, good-looking leader with superior intelligence. Sigmund lived in Halzunthram's shadow, worshipping him much more than he did with his own father. With Sigmund's help, Halzunthram captured the Council when it met for the first time. Halzunthram declared the Highlands an Alphatian colony and proclaimed himself High Governor.
The response was immediate. The elves declared their independence and the Flaems revolted. Sigmund left the whole Hattian army under the leadership of Halzunthram, while he stayed at home to amuse himself with other light-hearted Hattian and Thyatian nobles. He had no intention to take any part in the warfare and trusted Halzunthram's capabilities. Halzunthram was also receiving more troops from Alphatia, so Sigmund thought that with his Hattian army, it would take only a couple of years to beat the Flaems again.
When the war became prolonged and Halzunthram's demands to Thyatians and Kerendans began to grow, Sigmund was the only leader who didn't speak against Halzunthram. And in AC 796, when the Thyatians and Kerendans switched the sides to join the rebel Flaems, Sigmund kept his Hattians at Halzunthram's side.
At the spring of 801, Halzunthram declared that the rebels were vanquished and began to divide the country among his followers and to confer titles upon them. To Sigmund, he offered the rank of Count of Ritterburg, but only if Sigmund would remove his house and Hattian followers to the area west of the Aalban River in the north. Halzunthram wanted the Hattian areas in the south for himself. Much to the dismay of other Hattians, Sigmund agreed and the Hattians were thus forced to pack their things and to move to the area assigned to them the following year. There, Sigmund ordered a new magnificent castle to be built for his family and guests: this would later be known as Schloß Ritterburg.
In AC 802, a revolt threatened Halzunthram's control over the region. The rebels had been negotiating with elves and Ethengar living east of the Colossus Mountains, and in that year the Ethengar agreed to join the fight against Halzunthram. (The rebels promised them area in the west side of mountains if they won.) The rebels had also been negotiating with Etienne d'Ambreville in the west, with the Traladaran leader Morphail Gorewitch-Woszlany in the northeast, and the Kaelic McGregors, but all these groups decided to stay out of the fighting. Halzunthram's own troops were divided: the Hattians were in the north and the Alphatians were in the south. Sigmund was still out of the fighting, being happy with his new hunting grounds in the Wendarian Mountains. During the following two years the rebels slowly beat back Halzunthram's troops.
In AC 804, Halzunthram realised that he could enlist the dwarves (who had rushed in the Highlands after gold findings in AC 802) as fresh troops. Fatefully, in that same year a plague began spreading in the area and many people started to blame the dwarves because they seemed the only ones unaffected. However, Halzunthram couldn't care less and needed the dwarves' help badly. He informed the dwarves that he allowed them to stay in the Highlands, if they joined his armies. With the help of the dwarves, the war reached a stalemate situation until AC 806, when the elves finally joined the war because of the dwarves fighting for Halzunthram. Thus, Halzunthram had to bring more troops from Alphatia to compensate for the situation.
End of the war
During these years, a new generation of people had grown seeing nothing but war. The popularity of the old leaders among these folk was very low. The first and foremost representative of this dissatisfied generation was Wilhelm von Drachenfels.
When Sigmund died in AC 813 at the age of 56 in a hunting accident, his 25 year-old son Wilhelm took his place as head of the Hattian families. Wilhelm was his father's opposite in many ways. He was somewhat plump and didn't like parties. He was a devout follower of Vanya and had been taking part in the war since he was 16 - and now he wanted it to end.
Wilhelm didn't like war and despised Halzunthram even more, but for present, he chose to continue to fight with the Alphatian general. However, Wilhelm had secretly contacted the rebel leaders and began to negotiate with them to switch sides. Negotiations were hard because the rebels didn't trust him, and he had also to keep the negotiations secret from Halzunthram's spies. Wilhelm went on with this double play for seven years.
Then in AC 820 the information leaked to Halzunthram, who went mad at the young man's treachery. Halzunthram trusted him all the time! He had even married his niece Charlana to Wilhelm in AC 811 to keep Wilhelm in his side.
Once discovered, Wilhelm openly switched to the side of the rebels. In the following year, Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany and his Traladarans joined the fight against Halzunthram and some of the Alphatians, tired of Halzunthram's empty promises of a quick end to the war, also switched sides. These two years were decisive for the war. Only with the arrival of new Alphatian troops was Halzunthram able to continue fighting for another six years. In AC 828, Lord Alexander Glantri, who had become leader of the rebel coalition, finally ambushed and captured Halzunthram. The Forty Years War was finally over.
Wilhelm von Drachenfels
At the end of Forty Years War, Wilhelm was 40 years old. He had been fighting over 20 years of his life. During the last 15 years, he had rebuilt his grandfather's Hattian army to their former glory. During Sigmund's reign, the army's morale had decreased considerably, since Sigmund was never in the field and could never inspire leadership. Wilhelm had repaired all these damages. One by one, he removed all of the Alphatian commanders of the Hattian troops, and replaced them with his own loyal and capable men. After betraying Halzunthram, Wilhelm rapidly became the second-in-command among the rebel leaders after Alexander Glantri.
When the war was over, negotiations began about the future of the Highlands and the fate of the remaining Alphatians. The first decree of the new leaders was the expulsion of dwarves from Glantri. They had continued fighting even after Halzunthram's death so there was no mercy for them. The leaders agreed they would declare Glantri a republic and form a Parliament composed of two bodies to rule the republic: the Council and the House of Lords. The House of Lords was open to all the nobles, while the Council would be formed by six members to represent major population groups: one member for the Flaems, one for the Ethengar, one for the Thyatians and Kerendans, one for the Alphatians who betrayed Halzunthram, one for the Traladarans and one for the Hattians. (At this point d'Ambrevilles stayed out of the new republic. The elves also withdraw their alliance and declined to participate in human politics. These groups all eventually joined later on.)
The presence of the remaining Alphatians who were still loyal to Halzunthram sparked a controversial debate among the Council. At first, many of the leaders believed that they should have been expelled, but Wilhelm said that he wanted to invite them to live among his Hattian people, since most of them were his wife Charlana's relatives. He also promised that should they start causing problems, he would be the first to reprimand them for it. The other leaders agreed, mostly because they believed that adopting the Alphatians into his community could weaken Wilhelm's power base.
The leaders also decided that all the aspiring nobles had to present their claims to the Council, which would examine them and declare which petitions were valid.
The Republic of the Highlands
In AC 829, Alexander Glantri declared the Republic of Highlands founded. The members of the Council were Alexander Glantri for the Thyatians and Kerendans, Wilhelm von Drachenfels for the Hattians, Frederick Vlaardoen for the Flaems, Birkai Virayana for the Ethengar, Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany for the Traladarans and Vortram for the Alphatians. At the first meeting other members decided that the capital city of Braejr would now on be known as Glantri City (despite Alexander Glantri's modest protests). They also divided the Council positions: Frederick Vlaardoen was named the Supreme Judge of the Council, Alexander Glantri the Chancellor, Vortram the Chamberlain of the Land and Birkai Virayana the Treasurer of the Land. At that point, Wilhelm proposed building of two forts at the borders of the land and assigning the responsibility to the remaining members of the Council. Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany was charged with the building a fort on the Ethengar border and Wilhelm on the Wendarian Mountains.
The following years were peaceful for Wilhelm. He concentrated on building Fort Nordling and devoted his spare time to family life. Then, in the end of AC 835 one of the most dramatic Council meetings took place.
There were no controversial issues to debate and all matters were going smoothly until Vortram suddenly blasted Alexander Glantri to ashes. Before others could stop Vortram, he had also managed to kill Birkai Virayana. Vortram was promptly executed the day after, declared insane by the three remaining Council members. Wilhelm was then offered Alexander Glantri's position as Chancellor, but he refused because he wanted nothing more than to build his fort and be left in peace. The Kerendan leader, Lucchino di Sfonti, was appointed the representatives of the Thyatians and Kerendans and became the new Chancellor after Alexander Glantri. The following week the Council passed a law in memoriam of Lord Alexander Glantri and the land was officially renamed Republic of Glantri.
Wilhelm von Drachenfels' last years were uneventful and he died in 840 at the age of 52. After the war, heavy drinking and overeating with little exercise deteriorated his health rapidly. The stress for wanting to build an impenetrable fortress also took its toll, since he made new additions every month in order to make Fort Nordling the best defended castle in the world. At Wilhelm's death, after 11 years of building, the keep was not ready yet.
Friedrich von Drachenfels
Wilhelm's oldest son, Friedrich, was 28 when his father died. He was very much unlike his father. Friedrich was slim, didn't eat nor drink much and was very intelligent. In fact, he was a magic-user, the first in the family for a very long time.
His Alphatian mother, Charlana, realised his potential when he was very young and gave him the preliminary teachings about magic, but Wilhelm wanted Friedrich to become a soldier like himself and his predecessors. So when Friedrich was 12, his mother secretly sent him away from Ritterburg, to Nouvelle Averoigne, where he became the pupil of Etienne d'Ambreville. Master and apprentice liked each other immediately and began a lifelong friendship. Friedrich was a brilliant student and learned very quickly. When he came back to Ritterburg in AC 832 at the age of twenty, he had surpassed many older mages.
At first his father was furious with him, but when Friedrich took also interest in military matters and began to study ways to mix magic with the Hattian warfare techniques, his father relented. Friedrich also began to hunt dragons in the Wendarian Ranges with his brothers. These forays gained great fame to them. This practice had then become a tradition to all later generations of Drachenfels.
In AC 840, Friedrich had already shown brilliant tactical skills with mundane and magical troops, so there were no objections among his younger brothers, when he officially took the leadership of the house. Friedrich was very stubborn and when after becoming member of the Council, he got into an argument with Frederick Vlaardoen, Supreme Judge of the Council, about a minor legal problem - which started an enmity between the Hattian and Flaemish leaders that lasted for generations. Friedrich never spoke to Frederick for seven years. (The similarity of their names only made it difficult during meetings.) Friedrich didn't even speak to Frederick's son, Moritz. The first Vlaardoen to whom Friedrich spoke was Jacob Vlaardoen, Frederick's cousin, who became the Flaemish Council member in AC 850.
Friedrich finished Fort Nordling in AC 842 and attended Council meetings from that year every time during the next 15 years. In AC 845, he was the first member to support Etienne d'Ambreville's petition to accept Nouvelle Averoigne into Glantri and to construct a school for magic-users in Glantri City. Both issues were controversial, but in the end, Etienne d'Ambreville had his place in the House of Lords and broke ground for the Great School of Magic.
The Principalities of Glantri
In AC 852 Etienne, who was now prominent member in the House of Lords, told Friedrich about his ideas of making Glantri a state ruled by magic-users only. Friedrich was thrilled by this idea and they began thinking about how this could be realised. Friedrich thought that the best way was to prepare the move thoroughly for some years. He was convinced that the best way to herald this change should be a declaration made by the Council.
Shortly after, Friedrich began telling some of his trusted allies in the Council about Etienne's plan. Toktai Virayana, Jacob Vlaardoen, and Morphail Gorewich-Wozslany all expressed their agreement with Friedrich during the following year.
The two other members were more problematic. The Alphatians had been fighting over succession for over ten years. The current leader and Treasurer of the Council, Ambrosion was a nephew of Vortram, and was being challenged by Vortram's daughter Mariadna. The other problem was with the Thyatians, whose Council representatives have never been magic-users. Their current Council representative and the Chancellor of the Council, was Giovanni di Sfonti, a warrior who wielded no magic. The Council decided to wait, at least until the Alphatians solved their infighting before taking any definite action.
In AC 854 both problems resolved themselves. First, Giovanni di Sfonti died unexpectedly and was succeeded by his nephew Matteo, who was a magic-user. Then both Ambrosion and Mariadna died within two weeks of each other. Supporters of both sides got together and proclaimed Mariadna's 21-year-old son, Vitalin Aendyr, as the new Alphatian leader. And at the first meeting of the Council after these events, Friedrich was appointed as new Chancellor of the Council.
But before the Council, had any time to make their move, Matteo di Sfonti was murdered, and a furious infighting among his relatives to gain the leadership of the house followed. During the first three months about twenty close and distant relatives of Matteo disappeared or were murdered. In the end, only one contender was left to present his claim: Borso di Sfonti, Matteo's cousin, who was luckily a magic-user as well.
In the summer of AC 855, with the Council now composed entirely of magic-users, Friedrich officially declared the plan for the magocracy and the Council supported the scheme. They decided that the best moment for the declaration would be the 30th anniversary of Halzunthram's defeat in AC 858. During the following three years, the Council members secretly gathered their supporters in the House of Lords for the scheme. They also decided that they would take the hereditary titles of Princes, and that each of them would rule over a large Principality. When the declaration was issued in AC 858, during the Light of Rad, there was not much opposition. As expected, the non-wizardly nobles rebelled, but they were rapidly crushed without any real efforts.
Friedrich, now the Prince of Aalban, tried to gain support from all his brothers for the plan. He had given them all hints about what was going to happen, but they hadn't realised how big the change was going to be. Some of them didn't mind the Light of Rad ruling, and gave their support for Friedrich immediately. Oldest of his younger brothers Franz, Baron of Leenz, was initially against the declaration. But then Friedrich, who was a misogynist of the worst persuasion and had never married, promised to make Franz's magic-user son his heir, and offered Franz a position second only to him in the new Principality of Aalban. Franz agreed to support Friedrich.
On the other hand, two younger brothers, Bruno and Kurt, took arms against Friedrich and organised a rebellion. It took Friedrich seven years to defeat them, and only in AC 866 did they give up their arms. Friedrich mercifully expelled them to Darokin.
One consequence of the Light of Rad decision was that the elves announced their desire to join the state. Elven troops had also helped crushing the resistance in south in AC 859. This move was a surprise to some of the Princes, but the fact was that Friedrich had already opened secret negotiations with Don Fernando de Belcadiz and Charan Erewan already in AC 856 about the matter. In these negotiations, Friedrich was greatly surprised that Don Fernando was easily persuaded to join the magocracy, and after his acceptance, Charan Erewan also accepted the proposal. Because of the elven help in past and now new Council of Princes decided to create an elven Principality and accepted Don Fernando de Belcadiz to the Council. (Of course this was also agreed already in negotiations between Friedrich and the elves.) Don Fernando was given the task to build a fort at the border of Broken Lands.
Friedrich had a major role in crushing the rebellions with his combined fighter and mage troops. For that, he was awarded newly created honorary title of Warden of Marches, the nominal head of the army of Glantri. He also had a major role preventing relations with Darokin from deteriorating. He had to counter all the misinformation the expelled nobles were spreading against Glantri in Darokin and in Wendar, and succeeded in preserving Glantri's good name.
In AC 868 Friedrich published his celebrated book about warfare and magic, Über Kriege und Magie, which later became a must-read for all Glantrian military leaders. After that, Friedrich mainly concentrated on making his principality wealthy and its people happy. He became a very much loved figure among Aalbanese, frequently touring the countryside in his old shaggy uniform that he earned the nickname of Der Alte.
The major events during his last years were the opening of the Great School of Magic in AC 875 and founding of the Principalities of Nouvelle Averoigne, Klantyre and Erewan. Friedrich totally supported Etienne d'Ambreville when he asked for the enfeoffment of Nouvelle Averoigne after the opening of the Great School. He also supported the establishment of Grand Master title as a Council office, and Etienne's claim for that title as founder of the School and most prominent magician in Glantri. Likewise, Friedrich supported Robert McGregor's plead for enfeoffment of Klantyre in the same year, because he somehow liked the old Kaelic. The Council also decided to give Robert McGregor the task of building a fort on the western border with Sind.
The division of the elven principality was a much more difficult matter. The Erewan elves and Belcadizan elves had been quarrelling among themselves for some time already. But then in AC 884, the Erewan elves surprised everyone for demanding their own principality. Friedrich sided with the majority in the Council, when they decided that a division would be the best solution for everyone. This ended all friendly relations between Friedrich and Don Fernando de Belcadiz, much to Friedrich's grief. This also strained somewhat Friedrich's relations with Etienne, since the Council decided to take Fort Ylourgne from Nouvelle Averoigne and elect Charan Erewan as its viceroy. It was Friedrich's task to reason with Etienne and get him to agree. It was a considerable feat for Friedrich that he succeeded without hurting the fastidious Prince Etienne d'Ambreville.
Friedrich died in his sleep in AC 886 at the age of 74. The following week was national mourning in the whole Glantri and there was not a bad word said against him. Even the Princes of Bergdhoven and Alhambra said some fine words about him.
In Aalban all the people were afraid about the future under "Dummkopf" - what they called Friedrich's chosen heir, Ernst von Drachenfels.
Ernst von Drachenfels
Often a lesser person follows after a great leader in history. This had already happened in AC 788 when Sigmund had followed his father Joachim. The same thing happened in AC 886, when Ernst von Drachenfels, son of Friedrich's brother Franz, succeeded his uncle as Prince of Aalban.
Ernst von Drachenfels was already 42 years old and a total failure as magician. He was a big, over-weighted brute. His similarity with his grandfather Wilhelm was astonishing in all other matters, except brains.
Ernst was 15-years old when Friedrich named him his heir. His father Franz hired immediately a magician to teach Ernst the basics of the arcane art - but that was just about what he ever learned of magic. He had difficulties even with the simplest spells. Nonetheless, he was a magic-user and he couldn't be discarded when Friedrich died. (In fact, it was rumoured that if Friedrich had lived couple of years longer, he would have passed Ernst over and named Ernst's 16 year-old son Albrecht as his heir.)
In the Council of Princes, there was never any discussion about giving Ernst any charge other than Viceroy of Nordling. In fact, Etienne d'Ambreville even made a point not to give even that to him. Ernst hated Etienne from that point on. Ernst thought himself as a great military man and resented Etienne's attitude towards him. The Council also decided that from that time on, all the nobles should be graduates from the Great School of magic. This decision was made so that there would never be any more men like Ernst von Drachenfels in the Council of the Princes or in the House of Lords.
Ernst was like his grandfather Wilhelm in his obsession with Fort Nordling. In his 11 year long reign, he spent all the wealth Friedrich had accumulated in making the fort even more formidable than it was. He ruined the economics of Aalban totally with this obsession. When he died, he had taken enormous loans against his own possessions and he also neglected the Aalbanese army.
One major happening during his reign was the disappearance of Castle d'Ambreville and all the d'Ambrevilles with it in AC 896. The whole of Nouvelle Averoigne was also covered with impenetrable mists. This caused turmoil in Glantrian politics, because Etienne d'Ambreville had been a major mover in country. The Supreme Judge of the Council, Prince Toktai Virayana I also happened to die about the same time. Ernst was happy and hoped to get a promotion in the Council, but that was hopeless and he was passed over again and again.
Ernst died in AC 897 at the age of 53 from overeating. No one was unhappy with his passing.
Albrecht von Drachenfels
Albrecht was 27-years-old when he took the leadership of House Ritterburg. He was tall and lean; some would even say he was handsome. He was more intelligent than his father, Ernst, and definitely a better magician. He was an outgoing socialite who had been educated in the Great School of Magic in Glantri City. He liked parties and good company and took friends easily. His great-uncle Friedrich had sent him to school to learn from the best possible teacher: Etienne d'Ambreville. During his time at the Great School he also befriended, Fernando de Belcadiz, Prince of Belcadiz, and young Filippo di Sfonti, 12 years his junior and brother to the Prince of Caurenze. The old elf prince liked the easygoing Aalbanese and taught him some basics of elven magic. Albrecht was also a hit in the city's social scene and was quite a lady's man. In Glantri City, he also met his future wife Selena Aendyr, cousin of Prince Pelagiri Aendyr of the Alphatian Principality of Blackhill. They married in AC 893.
In AC 902, Albrecht was elected as Chancellor of the Princes after the death of Prince Willem Vlaardoen IV of Bergdhoven. His election was due mostly to the support of Prince Fernando de Belcadiz, who had been selected as Grand Master of the Great School, after the disappearance of Etienne d'Ambreville. Albrecht had great success in this position too. Foreign ambassadors liked him and his parties.
The most important event during his term was the dealings with Darokin in AC 920-21. After difficult negotiations, an economic agreement was signed with the Republic of Darokin. Then in early AC 921, the Glantrians ambassador to Darokin began to hear rumours about bribing of some high-ranking Glantrian officials during negotiations. Investigations revealed that the Treasurer of the Council, Prince Owain Aendyr of Blackhill, had taken heavy bribes from some Darokinian merchants for his support. It was also discovered that Prince Owain had stolen money from the treasury. Prince Owain was promptly removed from the Treasury and fell in disgrace. This also marred relationships between Albrecht and his wife's relatives in Blackhill.
Besides this, Albrecht's life was quite peaceful. He partied in Glantri City, mostly with Filippo di Sfonti, who became Prince of Caurenze in AC 912 after his brother's murder. Albrecht died in AC 940 at the age of 70. He had been prince for 43 years and was deeply sorrowed by common Aalbanese.
Johann von Drachenfels
Johann was a 45 year-old competent wizard, when he followed his father as Prince of Aalban. In his younger days, he had been a good-looking, fun-loving sociable young man as his father had been and everyone liked him.
However, during his middle-age years, Johann had become more reclusive and increasingly obsessed with magical research, so when he became Prince, he immediately asked his younger brother Georg to help him rule. When Johann was made Viceroy of Ylourgne, he sent his cousin Gerhard there and gave him and Georg free hand in military matters. Years went on easily and the only problems were some humanoid raids from mountains. But Johann didn't have to worry, because Georg took care of these.
One major problem for Johann was inheritance. Johann and his wife Sophie were childless. Everyone assumed that Georg would be the next prince if he outlived his brother, but Johann didn't comment on the question.
A major change in his reclusive life of studying came in AC 950. Johann was in every measure the greatest magician of that time and by far the best wizard amongst the Drachenfels' family. In that year he was chosen as Grand Master of the Great School of Magic and had to move to Glantri City. In fact he was relieved: now he could leave all matters concerning Aalban to his brother and concentrate totally on magic. Johann was one of the best Grand Masters the Great School ever had. Students and other teachers liked him and he liked teaching more than politics.
Then in AC 956, many began to notice some changes in Johann. He began to forget thinks, he could not remember what he was doing or saying, he disappeared and was later found in odd places without any knowledge what he was doing. His erratic behaviour increasingly began to affect everyone in the Great School. Something had to be done.
Georg von Drachenfels came before the Council and proposed that they let Johann to keep his status as Prince, but that they removed him from his position as Grand Master. His brother was clearly becoming senile and couldn't take care of these responsibilities anymore. Georg said that because he had already taken care of Aalban for years he need not replace his brother as Prince. He had no ambitions to that position and would have waited for Johann's death. The Council agreed to these proposals and reassigned Johann as Viceroy of Nordling. Johann's successor as Grand Master, Charan Erewan, liked Johann and let the senile Prince keep his quarters at the Great School.
Johann von Drachenfels wandered the corridors of the School for the next four years before finally disappearing in AC 961 at the age of 66. Nobody ever found him...
Georg von Drachenfels
Georg was 64 years old when he at last took the formal position of Prince of Aalban and Viceroy of Nordling. He was not as great as a magician as his brother was, but he was definitely better as an administrator and politician. He was an imposing massive man with enormous moustaches and sidebars and was nearly bald. He was not so intelligent as his elder brother Johann - he was the first to admit that - and had always been second-in-command in Aalban, next to his brother. But he had always had a deep sense of responsibility.
At first, Georg was afraid of the possibility of becoming a Prince. He had no ambitions, was shy and wanted to stay out of the limelight. But when his brother asked him to help in governing Aalban, his sense of duty was so great that he couldn't refuse. When he became the Prince of Aalban in AC 961, Georg was probably the best prepared von Drachenfels to ever take that position. He had been de facto Prince for over 10 years.
Georg's succession was secure. His son Morgaithe was already 40 years old and his grandson Jaggar 16. In fact, most Aalbanese thought that Georg would step down after couple of years to make way for Morgaithe. Georg was planning to do just that but first had to resolve some financial problems of Aalban, delaying his resignation (Georg knew that his son didn't understand anything about economics!).
Then in AC 966, Georg was quite surprised when he was chosen as the Chamberlain of the Land. The two long-lived elven Princes were the Grand Master and the Supreme Judge, so Georg was the next best candidate because of his extensive knowledge of the Glantrian countryside from his youth in the Army. Georg was a success in this position. He improved the road conditions all throughout Glantri and built several new bridges in strategic places.
Georg remained Prince of Aalban until his death from natural causes in AC 978 at the age of 81.
Morgaithe von Drachenfels
Morgaithe was already 57 when he succeeded his father. He was not so big as his father physically, but an imposing figure nonetheless, with his full beard and shining white uniform. He was more militarily oriented than both his father and uncle together had been. He and his wife Hildegarde had been waiting already over 20 years for the day Morgaithe would have become a Prince and were in a hurry to realise their plans.
Morgaithe was chosen as Viceroy of Ylourgne, and he immediately began to suppress the orc tribes living in the surrounding mountains. His plan was first to pacify humanoids and then to conquer the Adri Varma Plateau. He was expecting an easy victory, but somehow there seemed to be an endless number of orcs and other humanoids in the mountains.
In AC 979, one of the major events in Glantri's history took place: the return of the d'Ambrevilles. This took everyone by surprise. Among the Princes, there were only the long-lived elves and the deathless Morphail who remembered the d'Ambrevilles personally, so there was quite turmoil. After Etienne d'Ambreville was again recognised as a Prince, he immediately demanded back his position as Grand Master of the Great School. Most Princes, Morgaithe amongst them, recognised that he had a certain privilege for that, majority still thought that it would be wrong to force out the current holder, Prince Jherek Virayana III of Krondahar, who had no fault on his side, so Prince Etienne's demand was turned down. Next, Etienne demanded the viceroyalty of Ylourgne for himself, something that soured Morgaithe's relation with Etienne. Morgaithe was furious because he had made all his plans on conquering humanoid tribes around Ylourgne for years and definitely didn't want to be removed from that place. Morgaithe succeeded in getting the majority of the Council to his side in this issue and Etienne had to be content with the Viceroyalty of Monteleone. After this episode Morgaithe was always against everything Etienne supported.
Then in AC 983 disaster came: Morgaithe fell in battle against the orcs. Frau Hildegarde was devastated. All their plans were blown away. Hildegarde put all her remaining hope in their 38 year-old son, Jaggar. He had always been at his father's side and accepted Morgaithe's plans, so Hildegarde hoped he would avenge Morgaithe's death. One other soothing matter was that Jaggar was still unmarried, so Frau Hildegarde would have stayed for the time being as mistress of Ritterburg.
Jaggar von Drachenfels
Prinz Jaggar immediately took his father's crusade against humanoids to a new level. Within the following four years, he butchered every humanoid he found within 80 miles from Ylourgne. Then, Jaggar was bored. There was no more challenge in killing humanoids and he began to think about marriage.
Jaggar had begun to dislike his mother's meddling in his matters, he realised that if he had died, his sister Helgar would have succeeded him - which meant that Frau Hildegarde would have been the real ruler of Aalban. In the last two years, Frau Hildegarde had been presenting eligible young women to Jaggar as possible wives. Jaggar had turned all of them down, because he knew that they were all totally under his mother's control.
Then in AC 989, he shocked his mother announcing his marriage with Gertrude Krema, member of the family he knew his mother hated. (Frau Hildegarde was born in Ludenburg family, which was one of the few pure Hattian families in Aalban and which had always been proposing about removing Alphatian influence out of Aalban. The Krema family, on the other hand, although originally Hattian, had adopted Alphatian ideas and had made marriages with Alphatian families in the time of Wilhelm von Drachenfels.) Jaggar wanted to heal some of the wounds amongst Aalbanese nobility with this Alphatian-Hattian marriage, but he also wanted to teach a lesson to his domineering mother.
After the marriage, Jaggar began to search a way to get out of Ylourgne to do something else than scout the mountains. The possibility came when in AC 991, the Supreme Judge Alfonso de Belcadiz was killed. Jaggar immediately announced his candidacy. To his great dismay, he lost the competition to Prince Jherek Virayana, as most of the Princes considered Jaggar too militarily oriented to be a good judge. Jaggar took his defeat as an insult and developed deep hatred towards the Ethengar afterwards.
Only one month later, Prince Mario di Malapietra of Caurenze, Chancellor of the Princes, was poisoned in reception of foreign ambassadors. This gave Jaggar a new opportunity for a new charge. Though he didn't want to be Chancellor, he knew that Prince Volospin Aendyr of Blackhill wanted that position, and Prince Volospin was currently the Viceroy of Nordling. If Jaggar had to be stuck with some viceroyalty, he would have preferred Nordling over Ylourgne. Jaggar promised his support to the Alphatian Prince, if Volospin would support Jaggar's claim to Nordling. There was no difficulties in the Council session: Volospin was chosen as a new Chancellor, Jaggar got Nordling and the new Prince of Caurenze, Innocenti di Malapietra, got the Viceroyalty of Ylourgne - much to Etienne d'Ambrevilles great annoyance again.
In AC 994, Jaggar was given the position of Warden of Marches because of his brilliant strikes against humanoids of Broken lands. The position had been open since death of Don Alfonso de Belcadiz, because Princes had not agreed to whom to give it. After Jaggar's victories there was no question about the best candidate.
Heinrich von Drachenfels b.671 d.719
Otto von Drachenfels, son of Heinrich. b.697 d.740
Joachim von Drachenfels, son of Otto. b.720 d.788
Sigmund von Drachenfels, son of Joachim. b.757 d.813First Count of Ritterburg 801-813
Wilhelm von Drachenfels, son of Sigmund. b.788 d.840Count of Ritterburg 813-840
Viceroy of Nordling 829-840
Friedrich von Drachenfels, son of Wilhelm. b.812 d.886Count of Ritterburg 840-886
First Prince of Aalban 858-886
Viceroy of Nordling 840-854
Chancellor of the Princes 854-886
Warden of Marches 868-886
Ernst von Drachenfels, son of Friedrich's brother Franz. b.844 d.897Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 886-897
Viceroy of Nordling 886-897
Albrecht von Drachenfels, son of Ernst. b.870 d.940Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 897-940
Viceroy of Nordling 897-902
Chancellor of the Princes 902-940
Johann von Drachenfels, son of Albrecht. b.895 d.961?Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 940-961
Viceroy of Ylourgne 940-950
Grand Master of the School of Magic 950-957
Viceroy of Nordling 957-961
Georg von Drachenfels, son of Albrecht. b.897 d.978Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 961-978
Viceroy of Nordling 961-966
Chamberlain of the Land 966-978
Morgaithe von Drachenfels, son of Georg. b.921 d.983Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 978-983
Viceroy of Ylourgne 978-983
Jaggar von Drachenfels, son of Morgaithe b.945Prince of Aalban and Count of Ritterburg 983-
Viceroy of Ylourgne 983-991
Viceroy of Nordling 991-
Warden of Marches 994-
Chamberlain of the land 1004-1011