Esurdia: Childern of the Sapphire Throne
Praxis 18, 2855
I write this as all aboard the Azure’s Fist, the King’s personal ship, rest; for the quiet of the sleeping and the rocking of the water soothes me and places clarity upon my recollections of the past thirty years. The wonders and horrors I have witnessed over this time still humble me to this day. This entry, I hope, shall place things in historical perspective for the future generations of knowledge seekers, may Oghma bless their inquiring minds.
Thirty years ago, our beloved nation of Esurdia fell into the depths of a brutal and costly Civil War. We of Oghma’s Faith have dubbed it, with the blessings of High King Darius X, The Claimants’ War. I watched as dear friends and allies tore into each other over which side was right. All the while one man, Stephan by name, went conquering half the nation with the deep pocket backing of House Le Croix, and foreign allies from shores to the far south. At first, all seemed lost.
Then came the heroes of the Crown, Baron Gui DuLac, Lady Morgana Illían-Farnique, High Wizard Morgan Wildmane, Don Marcellus de Carboza, Archduke LeBonn, and François DuBois. Like raptors, they struck back. These heroes made lightning strikes against the onslaught of the enemy, pushing each step taken by the enemy with efficiency and ease. This lasted until the enemy’s mercenaries arrived just before the first winter. It was at that point that the lines of war stabilized. Due to strength of each side’s tactical minds, these lines stayed the same for ten years. Near the end of the ten years of protracted engagement that new warriors of the cause arrived upon the scene, these younglings, brought in by Archduke LeBonn, got to work on simple task to help the war effort. It was also at this time, that Gebach occupied Ezrad. This formed the Hegemony of Royal Gebach. To watch two of our Nation’s dearest allies turn on one another not only surprised us but also strained the relations between all those involved. In the midst of this great upheaval a beacon of peace shown through from the words of two of the new Heroes, Priestess Arianna Martell, child of the privateer Gerard Martell, and Voit Ungardtik, Dwarven Paladin from the Imperium of Kazrak-ac-Thúl. With their cool and collected minds, they were able to forestall our Nation getting embroiled in a war on foreign soil, after an assassination attempt. For their actions, they each granted a gift of the Crown, and Sir Ungardtik became a Lord of a small province. As for Priestess Martell, she chose not a gift for herself but for her faith, the right to become the fourth Civic Religion of the Kingdom. A bold stroke for a much more bolder cause, for she did this to represent not just the commons, but to represent the mothers whom lost their sons and daughters to the war. As the efforts of the enemies of the Crown started to falter, their attacks became more personal to a few members of the court. First was Baron DuLac, as his relationship with Priestess Martell became a hot topic of most tearooms and barracks in the land. Stephan’s brother and one time good friend to Gui and me, Eron went out of his way to attempt to kill the priestess. Just after they rendezvous, in the city-state of Triford, the foul assassin walked right up to her and ran her through. He left her a note to pass on as he left her to bleed out and pass on. What the note said neither Gui nor Arianna would discuss, even to this day. I know, as fact, that Gui brought a hatred that would make even the gruffest dwarf pale. With this drive, he brought his old companions back together to right a wrong that we should have done near the start of the war. We went to kill Eron DuRois, and his compatriots: Reynard Le Croix and Eron’s wife Patricia Le Croix. So together we came, Lord Zader Nox Governor of Triford, Heirophant Esteban Francisco de Cimeroon, High Sheriff Tessanore Sureflight, Lady Morgana Illían-Farnique, Terrance LeBonn, and me. In this battle, we went to eliminate the final leaders of this war. We succeeded, mostly, as Lady Le Croix fled as she was with child. We lost the High Sheriff and Lady Illían-Farnique. By the God’s might we were able to bring Morgana back, but for some reason the High Sheriff’s soul would not respond to our divine summons. To this day, I still mourn for my friend.
With their command broken the Armies of the King moved forward. As this happened a great event shook our lands as an immense Red Dragon appeared flying from the south towards the Capital. This beast was met head on by several beings that to this day my Divinations will not reveal. This climatic battle went on all night as spells and blades and claws met head on. In the end, the Might Red fell into our Sea and his blood stained our shores red for a week. As for the Heroes, none appeared on lad to seek healing as they all streaked away as shooting starts of varying hues.
Another issue, a month after the Dragon appeared, rose its ugly head. This was the Inquisition, and it leadership. It seems that the High Inquisitor figured the best way to serve the Faiths was to actually take command of not only the military, but also the churches and the crown itself. With this grand treachery, he set forth a plan to place the Capitol under martial law. The plan backfired on him for the King came forth in the Royal Regalia and set forth a program of surgical strikes that set the remainder of the Inquisition to surrender. Unfortunately, the High Inquisitor fled the country, for he was an accomplished wizard and knight. It is safe to say that my divinations state that he is dead and facing finally judgment by the Gods, but alas, there is no word on where his body and possessions rest. I for one would love to look at what he hid behind that armor of his.
Near the ending months of the War we started to take back the hold outs of the islands. We first struck Darkmarch and with it, another odd coincident happened. It seems that Arch-Duke LeBonn faced off against Julia Le Croix on the field of battle, and as the chaos rolled around them, they sought each other out and embraced as lovers. This effectively took both of them off the field of battle as The Arch-Duke took Lady Le Croix as prisoner and censured himself from the war, as he believed he would cause more trouble on the field than good. I personally think there was a wizard’s hand, or two, involved but I know better than confront those, I believe, involved.
The last and hardest fight happened on the isle of Bjornhold. For Patricia La Croix and her last loyal troops bunkered down in the grand estate of House Illían, a home built in the form of a grand boarder fort. The New heroes of the time snuck in to open a way for the attacking Royal Armies. From all accounts, they met with guardians from the fiendish to mercenaries not from this land or world. The truly amazing part was what came through the gates first, for it seems that House Illían held a little known secret and some how summoned forth an Elven Host, ancestors they claim, to defeat those whom resisted and to punish the enemies whom ravaged the House when they first took it. The only thing that I found odd was that Patricia met death yet no word upon the baby. One fact that passed to my hand was that The Archmage Phaelen and the Mage of the Land of the Tower both made an appearance. I would have paid hard coin to be a fly upon that wall.
Thus ended the Claimants’ War and great information came forward as did blessing of growth and prosperity. First was that the King finally wed, as did the ascended Count Gui DuLac to the Priestess Martell. House LeBonn also had a few marriages, the Archduke married Julia Le Croix, Terrance married Larissa O’Keefe, and young Patricia LeBonn wed little old me. Trade freely flowed through all Esurdian ports and those whom served the enemy and lived served a sentence of indentured servitude for as little as one year to help rebuild our damaged cities and towns. This rebuilding saw Château La Croix razed to the ground and the raising of a High Temple of Selûne.
There was also the word from the Archwizards that appeared at the final battle. They would both be leaving this world as they we no longer needed. They planned to finish their business here in this world, by ten to twenty years and then leave. However, they did mention apprentices taking their place. Again they never mention who these apprentices are, I curse them for their incessant needs to confound everyone.
It was also decided that the Queen needed champions. The question was who would do this, and low and behold the lucky heroes of the age: Priestess Martell, Lord Ungardtik, Devan Sirling, Marduk Reinhold, Elena Montenegro, The brothers Ezekiel and Gabriel, Jenna Francisco, and a Master Alaric Von Darkmoor. The Druidess Kiera Sorenson bolstered these champions after two members left or met grizzly fates. Then another member resigned after a falling out between himself, Champion and High Sheriff Reinhold, and his wife, the Champion Francisco that I will get into later.
There was also tragedy as the High priestess of Selûne and the Archduke DuBois both died in a tragic accident while inspecting the royal fleet. This showed a side of Religious politics we have never seen before, as the Church of Selûne held an election, for High Priestess! This shock and awe campaign boiled out of control that even His Royal Highness became embroiled in the affair. In the end, Priestess Martell was elevated to the rank of High Priestess, much to the happiness of Her Royal Majesty.
With the crown happy and the people happy we soon did what any war recovering nation does we celebrate by have families. This was the norm for all heroes of the war, all except the Sheriff Reinhold. For it seems that he was cursed by his Goddess for his unfaithfulness and made barren. What did not help the matter was that his wife fell in love with an agent of the Crown named Reese Kipling. Master Kipling was the lover of Devan Sirling, but she passed one while helping the Land of Tower. Heartbroken he found comfort in a kindred spirit and soon the two became more than friends. This went undiscovered by the High Sheriff for many years, and when it finally came out their worlds came crashing to the ground.
It seems that when this happened the champions were attending to their duties and attempting to stop a rash of grizzly murders, one that even claimed the life of Master Kipling. The was no words on what exactly transpired but it seems that somehow the murderer got their hands on evidence of the affair and was able to pass it on to the Sheriff before things came to blows. This enraged him and he confronted his wife, who was having tea with the Queen. When both sides drew steel, the Royal Guard stepped in, escorted both parties out of the Castle, and sent Lady Francisco back to her father and the Sheriff to his house on the Capital. As for what happened on the Champions strike upon the murderer, no one speaks of it today.
After the falling out of the Champions, Marduk left Esurdia, and his title as High Sheriff, to spend time with his only living relative, the Queen of Drakvos. All seemed to settle down the following years and yet there was always an underlying pressure that never sat well with anyone. Champion Sorenson resigned her post after having twins and moved out of Esurdia to deal with personal matters. Custody of the twins became a joint custody with both Kiera and the children’s father, Morgan Wildmane sharing the duty. Lord Ungardtik resigned after the murder of his wife and returned to Kazrak-ac-Thúl with his family.
As of late we, as a nation, have grown to a might of stability. To me personally there has been only one major point that still haunts me to this day. Five years ago, Lady Morgana Illían-Farnique died while performing a routine magical experiment. It was sudden and explosive. As such, there were no physical remains. The Country grieved, as she was the Headmistress of the University de Arcanum. The King declared a week of mourning for her, as she was beloved not only by Arcanist, but by House Illían also mourned her, as she was an exemplar of the Houses’ virtues. I personally believe it was the later group of mourners that moved the King, as our beloved Queen is a member of House Illían, bless her loving soul.
Lately there have been other actions, both in Esurdia and outside it preview that brings concern to my mind. First was the assassination of Heirophant Esteban Francisco de Cimeroon. Someone whom smuggled themselves and a few beholders brought him low. His death was quite gruesome. All divinations have yet to identify the main attackers and that vexes me.
In Drakvos, there have been concentrated strikes within the Free Cities, parts of the Kingdom and even the Land of the Tower. These strikes have been slowly taking land in the name of a person calling himself the Emperor of Drakvos. These strikes have been efficient and brutal as this Emperor leads armies of humanoids and ne’er do wells. They have even brought forth fiendish legions to help bolster their numbers. These strikes destroyed an order of knights living near the Dwarven Imperium, and even were able to slay out right the High Prelate of Selûne, which brings me to why I am on this ship.
Tomorrow we make port in Corinth as High Priestess DuLac is being elevated to High Prelate of Selûne. This will all happen on an auspicious night, Praxis 20th, Spring Equinox. This night is doubly special for the Faith of the Moon as it will be a night of a Full Moon. The King and Queen decided that they would go to witness and give support to this new venture. As such, the champions of the Crown have been roused, with their families in tow, to go to Corinth to be witness this event as well. I for one look forward to this wondrous event. I have heard rumors of miraculous things that happen, and do not wish to miss it for the world.
Well now that I have put these words down I feel better, and at peace. I think I shall rest for tomorrow afternoon we make port, and I for one wish to have my legs on firm ground.
I am and always will be,
Rogan Lotharius Royal Historian and High Priest of Oghma