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Thread: The History of Tuneric

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    The History of Tuneric

    Dawn has finally come. Though long forgotten in the depths of centuries old darkness, the kindly God of Rebirth has finally heard the prayers of a few wizened priests, and returned the sun to Tuneric. Reaching his hand out to the beleaguered island, golden rays of light have broken the deathly grasp of both winter and plague, breeding that which was long thought extinct to the shrouded kingdom. Hope.

    In the beginning, there had been peace. Prosperity and enlightenment were all that the blossoming civilization knew. With cities that fed off the fruits of fertile green fields and the knowledge of countless universities and cathedrals, the Free Kingdom of Tuneric was a hub for traders and scholars from the far corners of Poltarus. From his seat of power in the capital of Hebron, Nascutul, the First King, held court with the gods, taking Swaren as his patron, embracing the aspects of knowledge, health, and life. The deity bestowed upon the man the surname of Day, and together they ushered in two centuries of wealth and growth, pressing the boundaries of their civilization to every shore of their vast island. Not everyone enjoyed the benefits of this utopia however, and jealousy is a powerful motivator.

    The more the island nation prospered, and the more trade vessels brought word of the kingdom’s glory, the more adoration and power Swaren garnered, disrupting the tender balance of the Poltarren Pantheon. His counterpart, Mink-Asa, the Lady of Darkness, had become increasingly envious of the Sun God, and had begun to seek out the dark hearts of Tuneric. The most ambitious of which she found in a noble knight named Vernus Tallworth, whose family had been one of the primary landholders upon the island. He was a man who had long believed in the power of the sword, and thought the king to be a weak and feeble ruler who coddled the populace and the other lords. With promises of power and dominion over all of Poltarus, Mink-Asa convinced Vernus to shed the blood of his king, and the war for Tuneric was joined. The House of Day was ill prepared for conflict, knowing naught but peace for a score of decades, and by the time they had marshaled their forces, the battles were all but over, and the Temples of Swaren and been turned to so much rubble.

    Blood flowed like rivers through the streets of Hebron, and those royals who had managed to keep their heads were moved to a prison of Mink-Asa’s creation, a giant stone fortress on a rocky island in the Great Grey Sea. A terrible torrent of storm clouds blanketed the skies above Tuneric, and the Goddess of Death vowed that the sun would shine there nevermore. The first chill winds of winter blasted the shores, and violent waves soon closed the harbors. All trade ceased, and all those who still preached the words of Swaren were persecuted, spiraling the island nation into a period of isolation and despotism that would only breed death and ignorance among the people of the kingdom. Vernus, confused as to how he would rule all of Poltarus when the gales had been allowed to splinter all of his ships into kindling, questioned the plan of his new patron, only to be rewarded by the taking of his son’s life at the hands of a plague, which soon crept over the island. Outraged, the head of House Tallworth led a force to destroy the newly created Temple of Night, but Mink-Asa controlled the moon, and with it the tides. When the men came to the coastal cathedral, they found that it had become an island fortress, safely removed from the threat of their cavalry or archers. Forced to retreat back to Hebron, Vernus would suffer his final betrayal, when he found the city closed to him, and in possession of the Cult of Mink-Asa, who declared their intent to rule his island for the glory of the Goddess of the Stars.

    Vernus was forced to wander the island until his death a few years later, unable to raise any kind of resistance to the clergy. With the Days imprisoned, and the other nobles cowed, a period of great darkness settled over Tuneric, and would remain for the next five and a half centuries. Plagues swept over the land once a generation. The tyranny of the cult went unchecked, and soon the universities, markets, and cities were reduced to shells of their former glory. Books were burned. Bards were silenced. Free thought was crushed. A dark age of night and winter reigned over the kingdom. All hope was lost. And in time, the rest of Poltarus had forgotten about Tuneric. Sadder still, Tuneric had forgotten about themselves. Until the Sunsword.

    Edmund Shellten had come upon the book by happenstance. A mercenary in the employ of The Cult, the young hedge knight had been sent to arrest an old man who was believed to be preaching the words of false gods. It was a simple enough task, and the old scholar put up little resistance. Among his possessions however, was an immense tome that the young knight was loathed to burden his horses with. The ink stains on the old man’s hands betrayed him as an author, which made Edmund uneasy. Reading and writing had been prohibited by The Cult, and for the general populace, himself included, literacy was non-existent. Regardless, the man was intrigued. Rather than immediately returning to Hebron, Shellten imprisoned the man in his own cottage, and forced him to read the entirety of his opus, which outlined the history of the island, including the era before the dark times had come. Knowing what The Cult would do with the book, the knight chose to free the scholar, and ordered him to lock the book away somewhere that the Lady of Darkness’ servants could never find it.

    Meanwhile, Shellten hatched a plan of his own, to visit this island fortress and see what remained of those who had been imprisoned there. With only a handful of men, and a small corsair at his disposal, the knight who would come to be known as The Sunsword braved the relentless winds and towering waves of the Great Grey Sea, after sacrificing his prized charger to Moreesa, Goddess of the Oceans. The Lady of the Depths must have been pleased however, for despite only having the location relayed from the old priest’s accounts, Edmund Shellten landed safely upon the Isle of Day’s Death to find the fortress prison waiting for him. The keepers of the crag were more than happy for visitors, and the men were feasted upon their arrival. At the head of the table sat six year old Allistair Day, dressed in the blue and gold of his house, though the clothing looked somewhat antiquated in Edmund’s eyes. The knight soon discovered that over the last five centuries, the captors had managed to preserve the royal line within the confines of the prison. Sufficient hiding places among the crag, and infrequent monitoring from the Cult had allowed the royal family to live in secrecy on the island, albeit it as prisoners. The princes were educated and treated well, and their apartments were maintained in the highest order. The princes coupled with servant girls, producing heirs. All but the healthy males were sacrificed to Ruzbin in hopes of obtaining enough power that they could overthrow the Cult of Mink-Asa.

    When Shellten and his men presented their swords to the boy, it became obvious to his captors that Edmund’s arrival did not have the sanction of The Cult, and he was here to free the prince, they emptied the armory in support of the knights. When they left again for the mainland on the following morning, they were nearly a score strong. And when they departed Valley Haven, by way of White Coast and Green Gate, they were a hundred score of able bodied soldiers, flying the blue and gold stars of House Day. It was a year and three days after his escape from prison that the forces of seven year old Allistair Day had retaken Hebron, casting out The Cult of Mink-Asa. Edmund Shellten was elevated to Lord Protector, and the Priest of Light, Sewell Cain, was made Lord Chancellor. The royal armies began a systematic sweep of the island, routing out cultists, and restoring order to the far shores. Universities and cathedrals were soon rebuilt, and the now tiny civilization began to claw its way out of the darkness.

    A great feast and tourny were held in Hebron upon the king’s tenth birthday, at which the boy declared the darkness to be gone forever, it was heralded that the kingdom would know a century of days, in the wake of the final night. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a hundred years of Days, as a century later, King Cecil Day died at age forty, leaving no living male heir. In accordance with his will, Cecil’s daughter Eleanore was betrothed to Reginald Shellten, the head of House Shellten, which then became the new royal family.

    Seventy five years later, Aramis Shellten’s kingdom was rocked by the arrival of visitors from across the sea. The first such ship to arrive in a Tunerician Port in nearly seven hundred years. The boat brought not only foreigners, but goods for trade, as well as news of Poltarus abroad. Aramis, intrigued by this turn of events, commissioned a hundred ships to be built, in preparation of a large exploration to the lands beyond the Great Grey Sea. Though he would never live to see it. Feasting on one of the game animals brought by his visitors, Aramis took ill and passed within the fortnight, leaving his wife and young son to carry out his dream.

    The king is buried. The young heir is ascending. The armada nears completion. Dawn has finally come. A call has been sent forth for those who are bold enough to sail into the rising sun. How will you serve, what will you find, who will you become, at the Dawn of Empires?

    (Note: Poltarus is the name of the world as a whole. This story does not take place on "Earth". Tuneric is an island located on Poltarus.)
    Last edited by Aloris; 08-02-2012 at 10:53 PM.

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