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A Brief History of the Kingdom of Wolestland

Robert Van DusenDec 16, 2018, 7:13:10 AM
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I thought I'd share a little more information about the world my Fantasy stories take place in. Wolestland is the main place you've seen so far in An Uncommon Burglar with mentions given to other neighboring countries. Some of the short stories in my collection The Lay of Leanna (which take place before the part mentioned below) are set elsewhere, notably the island of Sel and the country of Mantius across the Tenian Sea. Anyways, enjoy!

Hundreds of years ago the mighty Angalian Empire ruled all the lands between the Direth Mountains in the far north to the Petrified Forest in the south. Hundreds of men ruled all they surveyed from the High Seat in Hamunaptra save the rocky frozen wastes beyond where the Direth Mountains met the Cirimiril River. The emperors largely left those beyond to the rocky, barren wastes save for a few failed attempts at conquest or when the barbarous tribes of Northmen needed to be taught a lesson.
The Empire's attitude changed after the Battle of Sadon's Heights in the year 653 by the Imperial Calendar. A devastating civil war fought between rival generals both vying for the High Seat culminated in the single bloodiest day in the long bloody history of the Imperial Legions. Nearly twenty five thousand legionaries left the field either dead or maimed. With the Empire severely weakened militarily, the High Seat was forced to hire Saccan horse archers and Woles from the north to fill out the ranks of the legions.
Decades later disturbing reports reached the ears of Marius Decimus Brutus, the governor in charge of the important northernmost province of Corum. It seemed that an up-jumped sell-sword named Leanna had managed to convince the Saccan tribes to unite under her banner. To make matters worse it seemed that Thrand Forkbeard, the King of the Woles, had made the woman an offer of marriage.
Foolishly, Marius sent the head of his personal guard to intercept Leanna and her wedding party on their way to Therigard, Thrand's capital city. Out of the fifty that set out only Leanna and one of her tribesmen reached the gates of King Thrand's city. Instead of the silver and horses she brought for her husband-to-be Leanna gave Thrand a half dozen heads, all belonging to men known to the king when he visited the lands to his south.
Eager to avenge the deaths of the chieftains killed in the ambush and furious at the disrespect, King Thrand ordered his longships to raid along the Empire's western coast while Queen Leanna's riders came screaming across the Cirimiril. 
Marius ordered every person of Wole or Saccan descent in the province arrested, sending streams of angry former legionaries and Angalian citizens north to swell the invader's ranks. Word spread among the slaves that all but ran the Empire that Queen Leanna, who hated the institution, was offering freedom in return for military service. Before long in addition to the invasion the scanty few legions at Marius's disposal was busy putting down slave revolts as well. 
With almost shocking speed an army of Northmen, runaway slaves and deserters surrounded the provincial capital of Saulk Reldnak. Furious with their governor and his shocking mishandling of the situation, the citizens of the city rioted. Howling with rage, a mob descended on Marius's palace then delivered the man along with all his
advisers they could catch naked and in chains to King Thrand. 
King Thrand sent Marius back to the High Seat with a message for Emperor Maxenius. The lands and peoples of Corum were under his protection now so he should not bother to send a replacement. As long as the High Seat recognized the boundaries of his newly enlarged kingdom he would have peace with the Angalian Empire. 
As much as it stung (and continues to sting) the pride of the High Seat Emperor Maxenius was forced to agree to the peace. He was too busy trying to put out too many other fires at the moment (a famine and a tax revolt not too far away from the capital being at the top of the list) and even if he wanted to do something...there was the matter of the three legions destroyed through Marius's incompetence. Not at all pleased with the news, Emperor Maxenius had Marius and all his men that made it to the capital executed. 

The peace has held since that day save only the odd incursion by Imperial Legions every other generation or so when a new emperor thinks to try and rebuild the empire.