The Verdant Dale History

The Verdant Dale is a rich and fertile valley that rests within the center of the continent of Elbion within the world of Ashfen. Due to how rich the land is it has always been an area in a state of conflict whether the petty feuds of the nobles of the land who attempt to vie for control of the area or the outside forces of evil and chaos who seek to pluck out this heartland and consume it.

It is currently ruled over and protected by 3 noble families who each provide armies, magic and great strongholds in its defense. They, as a result, own the vast majority of the land. Those who work the land swear allegiance to one of the lords and become their serf until they work off the debt, in return, they receive a home and a plot of land. This can often take a lifetime. Free’d men still pay a tribute to their lords who own the land, as well as additional fees for rent and upkeep if applicable however are not obligated to work directly for the Lord.

The three noble houses of the dale are House Bolthorn, House Blackfriar, and House Mortling.  The various lords, barons, earls, dukes, and knights that make up these as well as the other non-independent noble houses of Elbion all swear their ultimate allegiance to the king. The current king is King Edmund the Third.  King Edmund has had an unnaturally long life and reign for a human, being at some estimates 150 years old. Those who speak out against him in court and especially those who point out his unnatural lifespan are greeted with a huge smile from the king and much laughter and then later mysteriously disappear without a trace.

There are some independent states, cities and noble houses within the land notably the Dwarven holds of Aroc and Grunbar, the elven city of Naha Serin, the northern barbarians of Catania and the people of the island of Kallige to the south-east.

The great wall was built in the year 122 by the Rhufeinig Empire. The Rhufeinig Empire once held one of the largest empires in the land. Those who it subjugated it also made part of its vast empire. The Rhufeinig Emperor Titanicus built the great wall during the Draidic rebellion where the people of Elbion rallied around a warrior Queen by the name Lannosea and fought to oust the foreign invaders. The Druids of the land were integral in this fight. This was pivotal as in the vast majority of conflicts the Druids were a neutral force who at most provided healing to members of either side of a conflict. In the Draidic rebellion they actively fought against the Rhufeinig Empire as they saw that the Empire wished to eradicate the Druids from the land believing them too powerful a force to be able to merely subjugate and integrate into their Empire. This was because the Druids refused to give allegiance to the Emperor.

The brutal public execution of the mother of the Druidic princess Lannosea was the catalyst for the conflict. Lannosea rallied not only druids amongst her but a huge Warband of locals tired of being under the yoke of the empire.

The armies of Lannosea burned down the city of Burton. Hence its name of Ashburton now having been rebuilt upon the ashes of its former dead. They marched through the Verdant Dale sacking and looting the temples, barracks, and strongholds of the empire and collecting more men for their cause until their armies swelled to a huge size of at least 200,000. They were met in battle by a comparably small force of around 10,000 Rhufeinig’s between the Rakarth Mountains and Mount Covenbalt. These forces were by led by General Arminius of the Empire. The rebellious forces proved stronger, as aided by the fierce magic of the druids of which the Empire had no match for the very mountains and trees fought alongside the armies of Elbion. As news of the victory spread, empire garrisons, forces and citizens across the land were brutally ousted and the empire decided Elbion was too costly to reclaim and abandoned it for good. This event as well as numerous other troubles within the empire saw it decline and eventually fall 100 years or so later.

During the Dradic rebellion the people of Elbion turned to the darker forces that lurked within the land in order to bolster their armies against the empire. Tribes of Orcs, trolls, goblins, necromancers, ogres,  and various other beings were drafted into the armies of the rebellion and promised good loot and good land in exchange for their weapons. This was known colloquially as the Blighted Pact for the ill omens it would later bring.  The creatures being mostly chaotic and opposed to the order that the empire would bring happily agreed. However, once victory was assured over the empire the people of Elbion went against what they had agreed and cast these creatures back far, far to the south lands in a series of small conflicts known as the scourging.

For a time there was peace, the wall was picked apart by locals to rebuild the city of Ashburton that had fallen in the rebellion and many statues were build commemorating the gods of Elbion and the heroes of the war.

It was not long until darkness spread once more in the land. The forces that the people had ousted began to fight back with a bloody vengeance. Realising now that if they formed alliances, albeit temporary ones, with one another, they could achieve far more than if they were alone. They began to encroach further and further into the lands from their lairs in the south lands, particularly in the Ashfens and Mount Blackmoor.

Villages and towns began to fall, Thornwick, Swinford and Hillfar all fell to these foul forces who split them up amongst themselves. The forest once known as the Brightwood was desecrated by the forces of chaos, a great necromancer known as Meloch turned the forest to decaying ashes. He was eventually slain by a group of adventurers but rumor says he still lurks within the woods as a mighty Lich and the forest itself was never restored.

The wall was rebuilt and this conflict rages until the present day. The forces of evil and chaos now reside worryingly close to the wall within the Ashfens, the deadwood and mount Blackmoor and even a small shift in the balance could spell doom for the people of the dale and beyond.