Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)
Most scholars will agree that the Crown Wars began in 5195 S.D. , with Garrik the Pretender rising in Zofon.
5195 – Garrik the Pretender
5199 – Garrik I of Zofon
5200 – Sheler Theocracy grips Zofon.
5308 – Zofon/Ilasnal War
5412 – 402nd EiE Assassinated, War of Three Crowns
5444 – War of Three Crowns Resolved
5484 – Scourge of Osbyle, Second War of Crowns
5531 – Ulin I declared Emperor.
In the fall of 5127, Queen Issal (of Zofon) learned of the death of her only son, Sterna, when the Huuncha burned the city of Hordul (again). When peace was finally declared, she renounced the Throne of Brilliance and sequestered herself at the Sisterhood of the Ebony Mists at Kalbriis (an order devoted to Syrul).
Empress Vionne gave the Kingdom of Zofon to her daughter Malandre and General Kime Alzume as their wedding gifts. Their line would rule Zofon peacefully for another century, until the rise of Garrik the Pretender.
Garrik claimed that he was the grandson of Queen Issal, in a direct line of descent from the daughter she’d borne after she’d joined the Sisterhood at Kalbriis. The Sisterhood, naturally, had all the necessary records to back his claim, and they’d done a considerable amount of groundwork among some of the more influential noble and merchant houses in case that was needed.
Prince Jirin II (of Zofon) was naturally suspicious of these claims, and he had Garrik arrested when he came to court to present his case before the Ducal College. The next morning, his cell was empty, and the Alzume children were all found dead in their beds, except for the eldest, Mirianne, who was away studying in Nochet.
A month later, Garrik resurfaced in Kalbriis, gathering an army to march on Jadecliff. The bulk of the army was comprised of roka and chebi, but a decent portion was made up of the knights loyal to several noble houses of the north as well as mercenary units in the pay of various influential merchant princes. Though Garrik’s forces lost nearly every battle in the war, the tide turned in 5198 when an assassin’s blade finally claimed the lives of Jirin and his wife inside the walls of their palace in Jadecliff.
With Jirin II dead and his only remaining heir an underage daughter effectively exiled in Nochet, chaos reigned. Jirin II’s top aides tried to rally the support of the nobles loyal to the Alzume line, but when their children began dying under mysterious circumstances, it was only a matter of time before Garrik was ‘popularly’ declared Garrik I, Prince of Zofon.
Mider II, Emperor of the Exiled Throne, initially refused to recognize Garrik’s sovereignty, but had been too mired in politics at home to send aid to the legitimate rulers when their victory had seemed assured. When Garrik I appeared before the Imperial Court in the spring of 5203 bringing along his young bride, the legitimate Princess of the realm, Mirianne, his pledge of loyalty was accepted with some reluctance, but accepted nonetheless.
While Garrik I was insuring the legitimacy of his rule in Shatura, his supporters at home were far from idle. By Royal Decree, the Church of Sheler (a pantheonic cult honoring Bralm, Beltar, and Syrul in a maiden/mother/crone mythology) was elevated to the status of State Religion, and given authority second only to that of Prince Garrik I himself.
Over the next several decades, though Garrik and his issue continued to reign, few inside or outside of Zofon doubted that the true power lay with the priestesses of the Church of Sheler. The daughters of Garrik I were raised almost entirely by the church (all the sons but one having died in their cribs) and quickly rose to power. Garrik I himself died under mysterious circumstances in 5231, leaving his three eldest daughters to serve as regents, and administer his kingdom and the Church of Sheler as their own. This fell theocracy would rule Zofon through means both secular and divine for the next several centuries.
The Church’s influence grew slowly outside Zofon’s borders, infecting the noble houses of those cities along the borders. Battles were fought with Ilasnal, but the end result was a close alliance between the two lands when the children of both Principalities were wed. To the East, the honeyed words of Zofon’s ambassadors to the Sunelan Princes eventually paved the way for their most ambitious move, the assassination of the Emperor, and the War of Three Crowns.
While the assassin’s blade struck down both the Emperor and his young bride, loyalists to the Exiled Throne managed to smuggle their infant son away into the countryside. Imperial garrisons in both countries quickly revolted, sowing discord in what was now enemy territory, while the two princes moved their own forces against those of their former allies, precipitating the War of Three Crowns.
In the winter of 5444, the war would end in a draw, as each of the local rulers agreed to a Regency Council to raise the grandson of the Uncrowned Emperor who’d escaped their knives three decades before. Over the next forty years, as each child neared the age of his majority, he would marry, sire a child by a noble daughter (typically one closely related to one of the regents) and then die of some ailment or another; kept drugged their whole lives, it surprised none that such sickly princes seldom lived to mount the Exiled Throne.
War against Sunela would actually be the spark that would awaken the people of Zofon to their plight. Prior to this civil war, the forces of weal were scattered and reduced to hiding in the shadows; the necessities of war at home and abroad would bring members of groups that had no prior contact together for the first time.
During the lull provided by the Regency, these groups grew in power and pervasiveness. Alliances were formed, both between the Zofoni sects and those abroad; by the time the second War of Crowns erupted, the cabals were ready to strike.
While the Church sponsored knighthoods were busy fighting loyalists in Sunela, the local scions of the secret societies began stirring up trouble at home, razing churches, disrupting trade, and occupying the central fortresses that were undermanned due to the conflict. With their resources already stretched near to breaking, the Church of Sheler would eventually collapse, leaving Zofon free once more.
Once Ulin I assumed the Exiled Throne in 5531, he placed the rebel Kingdom of Zofon under the sovereignty of one of his closest supporters, Sir Ian Lerzik of Hesnoth, a Knight of the Hammer (a militant order associated with the Church of Jascar in Sunela). This move showed the wisdom of Ulin I in two ways; first, by assigning the rulership of what had become arguably the most troublesome principality to a close supporter, he assured that no further treachery would be coming from that quarter. Second, by giving those same lands that had been dominated by a cult associated with Beltar to a follower of Jascar, he could be certain that the cult in question would be assiduously stamped out.
The next few centuries would be a time of restructuring for Zofon. Free of the Church of Sheler, a renaissance of a sort would grip Zofon, as a new era of art, thought, and expression would come to flower in her cities and towns. Knighthoods would be sponsored, guilds sanctioned, and new designs of ships designed and built.