Alowca (Realm)

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Disambig gray.svg This article outlines the realm Alowca. For the region of Alowca, see Alowca.
Alowca
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Continent / Island Colonies
Capital Alowca
Largest City Alowca
Government System Theocracy

Aoifa
Aoifa
Kitsuka
Aoifa

Provinces 2

Cathal
none

Population 6000
Food Production 120 bushels

The Theocracy of Alowca

The Colonies are a wild and rugged land, riven by war and religious dissent. Lying at the south-eastern corner of the continent, Alowca is a militant Theocracy which follows the tenets of the Church of the Trinity. Rather than taking on the role of a peace-seeking religious realm, our faith lends itself to the courage and discipline of the warrior, demanding that the truly devout seek out and destroy evil wherever it may be found. Think of us more as an Army with a nation, rather than a nation with an Army.

The powers of Lukon and Oritolon dominate the south-west of the continent, where Alowca and her Theocratic ally Alebad are the only bar to their territorial ambitions. The Templars of Alowca are sworn to defend their land to the last, protecting the Church from those who would destroy it and creating a safe haven from which the Priests of the Church can spread their teachings of honour and peace to all who will hear them.

This is a land with a proud reputation for its strength in arms, boasting the best trained and equipped infantry in the Colonies. Knights in search of honourable battle could do worse than settle here where the might of Oritolon presses heavy against our northern border whilst those seeking the path of Priesthood will find the Temple in Alowca welcoming and supportive. We also have a pressing need for Merchants, Infiltrators and Warriors of all persuasions.

History

The realm of Alowca, like all realms in the Colonies, got off to a slow start. We are located on the southeastern corner of the continent and currently have control of three regions in total. However, this is no hinderance; at times Alowca has boasted one of the largest militaries in the Colonies!

The Origins of The Great War

In the early days we sought peace with our neighbors to the north, Alebad, so that we might spread the Trinity, develop our lands, and eventually assist our neighbors in their war efforts. However, our first Pontifex, Rhysten, along with the the Pontifex of Alebad ordered their troops to break a treaty of peace with a realm to the west, Oritolon.

The wars of this island that dominated Alowcan society then did not start here, but in the lands of Lukon. The Kingdom of Portion, an ally of Alowca and Alebad, had tried to invade Lukon with hopes of total conquest. However, the realm of Oritolon made their alliance with Lukon during this time, and helped to repel Portion's aggression. Not only was Portion repelled though, but also Lukon was able to turn the tides of war completely. At this time, though a brief war between Oritolon, Alebad, and the Alowcan city-states had recently carried out, there was a period of peace between our three realms.

As Lukon gained more and more ground in their counter assault on Portion, it came to the point where Portion City itself seemed like it would surely fall without aid from its allies. The theocratic armies of Alowca and Alebad, ruled by Rhysten and Eugene II, rallied in Alebad before journeying north to aid Portion; however, they strayed from their course, and launched a sneak attack on Oritolon instead, hoping to catch them off guard in Windaria instead. An Oritolon infiltrator was in the region of Windaria, by chance, and delayed the travel of the holy armies. When our allied armies arrived in Windaria, cut into undesired waves, the Oritolons had taken advantage of their gained time and mounted a defense, which crushed the combined theocracies. Shortly after, Portion fell to Lukon.

Anomalous the Apostate

It was shortly after this that Oritolon began to make counter strikes on Alowca and Irdalni was under siege by the Oritolon raiders. Despite the unfavorable odds they held out for eight days of fighting. Alas Irdalni fell and Alowcan armies retreated to the city stronghold.

Shortly after the combined armies of Lukon, Oritolon, and a former ally Alebad had combined and were threatening the very existence of Alowca; their invasion due to a disagreement over political views. Many nobles of Alowca fell into dispair and fled to the Far East but some remained behind to defend their lands and the common people of Alowca. Just when all seemed lost the three invaders made the tactical blunder of returning home to refit. Without an army to continue the suppression of Alowca’s military, the people seized the opportunity and rebuilt the armies to even stronger then before. Within but a few weeks Irdalni was recaptured. Much of the success of Alowca at his time was due to the shrewdness of a man named Anomalous - the Apostate as he is now called - who currently resides in Oritolon, branded as a traitor to Alowca.

Alowca’s success did not last long and internal politics would again bring trouble to Alowca. Eventually, some of the nobles that had fled to The Far East returned to Alowca. After the initial happy greetings were exchanged strong willed men begin to argue over battle plans to launch an offensive against Oritolon and Lukon. History says that Anomalous had devised a plan to split Lukon in half, but Margrave did not agree with the proposal feeling it was beneath the nobles of Alowca. The morning after a heated debate, Anomalous announced a tournament to celebrate peace in Alowca and Margrave rebelled.

After the rebellion was announced, Margrave and Always spoke out against Anomalous, the Apostate, for his choice of proposed tactics. The rebellious uprising had almost total support in Alowca with only two people standing with Anomalous, the Apostate. Feeling betrayed Anomolous, the Apostate, disappeared in strange events during the proceedings, only to reappear suddenly during the tournament he himself had called. At the end of the tournament Anomalous purchased the Duchy of Alowca through the forgery of papers and the bribing of civil servants with the gold collected from the participants’ fees in the tournament. Anomolous, the Apostate, ordered his civil servants to exact his revenge by tearing down the city’s infrastructure before he left for Oritolon. The realm was left in shock, and the Apostate was banned shortly after for numerous crimes, both worldly and against the Nobility of Alowca.

In the aftermath of these events the Nobility of Alowca begin to work together again. Always, who had long helped with the financial aspects of the realm stepped aside and Xerxes took up the mantel. Within a months, Alowca had totally rebuilt the infrastructure which had been lost to the Apostate's malice.

The Stalemate

At this time the people of Alowca were being led by the Pontifex Crystal. Under her leadership the war with Oritolon continued but with no change in borders and stalemate ensued. Then came the schism between Pontifex Crystal and the people. During this time, Always, long a prophet in Alowca, revealed the words given to him from above. Many believe today that those words were ones of treachery and that Always was trying to rally support through false teaching and feigned prophecy.

For his crimes Always was banned. And Crystal, seeing that the people had no faith in her leadership, departed from the lands of Alowca. After her passing it was discovered that Crystal had brought war to Alowca's doorstep by foolishly trying to play Alebad and Oritolon against each other. Eventually her lack of political skills lead Oriloton and Alebad allying against Alowca and Alebad taking Abaka from us and pushing us back as far as Alowca.

Once again it was because of a common enemy that the nobles of Alowca were forced to put aside their bickering and rally. And rally they did! After defeating the Oritolonian and Alebadian armies in Alowca and Irdalni the Alowcan armies pushed them back to Abaka. Eventually peace was reached with Alebad but to many it is a peace built on lies and deceit. Ender, who was leading Alebad at the time, declared that Crystal promised Alebad the region of Abaka. In truth, Alebad had lost some regions to Lukon and wanted to make up for those losses. Never the less, since Crystal's madness had driven her to sail from these lands Alowca had no grounds to argue on. Rather then face the combined armies of two opportunistic realms Alowca settled for peace.

At the end of this time, Margrave once again ascended the theocratic throne, but with ailment departed once more and Xerxes was elected as steward ruler of Alowca. Soon though Margrave and Absolute returned and Xerxes stepped down to allow for elections. Margrave was re-elected as ruler and Xerxes as the Paladin Primus of Alowca. From there the political bickering again started but the politcal, as well as the military situation, remained unchanged for some time.

Alas, things are rarely stable here in Alowca and soon the table was to be overturned again. Margrave, honoring a long time friendship, allowed Always back into the realm despite the ban and, after Always was banned again, decided to leave Alowca. Margrave stepped down from his position and went to join Lukon. Xerxes was then re-elected as Pontifex and S'noe as the Paladin Primus of Alowca.

Alowca's Golden Age

For the entirety of this time the realm of Alowca was led by Xerxes the Reformer, the seventh Pontifex of Alowca and the longest serving ruler in its history. Rising to power upon a wave of popular support which ousted the former Pontifex Margrave, and resulted in the final ban of Always, Xerxes was elected by a wide margin and immediately set about rebuilding the realm of Alowca which had been beset both internally and externally by wars with Alebad and Oritolon, and the rivalry that had emerged between Xerxes and Margrave.

Initially, Xerxes actions were primarily devoted towards reforming the realm of Alowca into first a Republic, and then a Monarchy, with several months devoted to discussion and even the drafting of a constitution which can be found here. Ultimately the monarchist movement failed and Xerxes turned his efforts more towards reconciling relations with Alebad and building a strong alliance that would assure the future security of the realm. However the divisions between Alowca and Alebad had become very deep, and it was only with the election of a new Alebadian Pontifex that headway was finally made in the negotiations. A far more understanding and co-operative man, Ardrryn Dynrode and Xerxes were able to reconstruct the frayed relationship between the sister theocracies, with pledges of alliance, a common direction and a desire to federate at a later date to assure future diplomatic co-operation rather than military solution in regards to disputes.

The nobility of Alowca flourished during the stalemate, which allowed for a huge build up a military forces amplified by the re-invigorated leadership of the High Council and its Pontifex, as well as a new-found friendship with Alebad. Tournaments were held, regions were reconstructed and invested in, new recruitment centres were built and the Nobility of Alowca became a strong and powerful force on the island. Furthermore, it was during this time that Xerxes proclaimed to have received visions from the Trinity instructing him to wage war upon the Lukonites for their checkered past and hegemonic influence upon the Colonies. Knowing that simply by declaring war he would accomplish nothing in his goal of the liberation of Portion, Xerxes then turned towards diplomacy making overtures to the newly peaceful realms of Outer Tilog and Giblot, as well as Wetham and the Assassins in the hopes of building a solid coalition between many of these nations. Initial support for a Grand Alliance was lukewarm however, and it would not be for several months more of negotiation and diplomacy before any of the parties became far more interested. Eventually, successful in his efforts through a combined effort with the other rulers of the Colonies, the Free Realms Alliance was founded between the nobles of Giblot, Outer Tilog, Alowca, Alebad with the Assassins following shortly afterwards.

With this vast host of nations arrayed against Lukon and its allies in Oritolon, it seemed unlikely that they would last for too much longer. But a unifed command was never achieved, and the realms of Alebad and Outer Tilog bore the brunt of early defeats from a powerful enemy which soured relations between all realms. Further allegations by the allied realms were leveled at Giblot which never committed troops to the endeavour for its entire membership due to internal struggles and the tenuous hold upon the leadership that the then current Chancellor maintained. Meanwhile, further difficulties arose with the war between Wetham and the Assassins, which eventually became a major sticking point between allies primarily due to the support of Outer Tilog for the Assassins, and Giblot's desire to assist Wetham. Alowca continued to wage a successful war against Oritolon however, utilising the vastly improved infrastructure of the realm and the bulging numbers of nobles to great effect. In a rapid fire attack along with Alebadiand forces, the region of Grentzen was taken for the first time in the history of the long war, and with Oritolon city threatened and its lands deserting its control in droves it seemed that Alowca was on the verge of winning the war. But strategic blunders resulted in the reclamation of the region by the Oritolonians and a resumption of the stalemate.

It was also during this time that the Church of the Trinity reached its high water mark at over 40,000 peasant followers in Alowca, Oritolon and Alebad, with its priesthood playing an active role in realm politics and the military, particularly during the renewed campaigns against Oritolon and the capture of Grentzen. Furthermore, in an effort to reform the leadership of the realm, Xerxes also enacted a revision of the High Council of Alowca, and changed the offices of the Council to suit their religious meaning and to honour the Trinity.

The Decline

From the heights of the Golden Age came an eventual decline in the power of Alowca in the south, particularly following the blunders which resulted in the loss of Grentzen and the reduction in Alowca's army. What followed was an exodus of active nobility to other realms and other continents, and in the wake of this weakness Oritolon rebuilt its strength and became a threat once more. Further setbacks were experienced with the breakup of the Free Realms Alliance after a few months of inactivity, due to the removal of the old Giblotian Chancellor and his replacement with a new man far more interested in waging war upon Outer Tilog and taking an active part in the campaign against the Assassins.

During this time the once energetic rule of Xerxes began to fade as the failure of the Free Realms Alliance and the growing power of Lukon and Oritolon weighed heavily upon his heart and that of the Alowcan nobility. During this time the Church of the Trinity also began to disintegrate as the priesthood slowly disappeared and the Temples fell into disrepair. After several months of decline, Xerxes decided that his long reign would finally have to come to an end and he announced his intention to abdicate and allow another to take up the mantle of Khagistar's Instrument. With his abdication came the election of Sacred to the rulership, and the appointment of Xerxes as the new Duke of Alowca.

However this was not enough to revive Alowca's fortunes as it continued to falter, and its Temples and Nobles fell into further despair. Eventually, there was not an active priest left in the Faith to continue spreading the word, and the funds ran out resulting in total closure of the Temples of the Faith.

Oritolon grew stronger, Lukon continued to dominate continental politics and the Assassins and Outer Tilog were slowly beaten back. This time also saw the departure of several old Alowcans, amongst which was the Pontifex himself in Xerxes who sought to reinvigorate Alowca by removing himself from it and encouraging the election and appointment of new nobles to carry on the mantles of leadership and protection of the Faith. In the months which followed, it seems that his final act was a kindness to Alowca as it paved the way for a new leader of the Faith, and a religious revival through his energetic personality.

The Shield of Alebad

For long years the two Theocracies stood in league against the power of Oritolon and Lukon, an alliance which each considered too influential to go unchallenged. The war between the two factions had long been a stalemate but this was to change when Valast, the ruler of Lukon, moved his capital to Portion. With the Lukonian army now free to pillage the northern plains Alebad soon found herself sorely pressed, ceding territory after territory to her northern neighbour as her nobility fell into decadence.

In the south Oritolon added to her woes and a fierce struggle ensued for control of Abaka, the vital link between Alebad and Alowca. Lord Gravitas, then General of Alowca was captured in battle and Cathal briefly took charge of Alowca's armies. Rallying every able-bodied man in the realm he marched to Abaka and for four bloody days he held the field against the full might of Oritolon, refusing to cede until his enemies gave surety that the Kamido Holy Places would be left untouched by the occupation forces. Of the army of Alebad only two companies came to their aid, one of those commanded by his sister Lady Aoifa.

Further attempts to force the passage failed and Alowca was forced to look on impotently as her ally was raised and her nobility scattered.

Religious Revival

As the barbarian nations prospered the established Church fell into disrepair thanks to the corruption and treachery of its priesthood. The Trinity tasked the young knight Cathal to found the reformed Church Militant of the Trinity to bring their true revelation once more to the people, placing a stronger emphasis on core spiritual beliefs and the defence of the faithful. Around this time Xerxes stepped down from his duties as Pontifex following many long years of noble service to Alowca and Lady Allyah was elected in his place to lead the faithful.

Following the visions which he received from the Trinity, Cathal opened discussions with High Priest Cleatus of the Path of Chivalry to see if the two faiths could live peacefully side-by-side after many long years of mutual hostility.

Denarien the Heretic

Not all welcomed the new teachings and the once much loved Denarien, who in his youth was named Squeaks, rejected the new faith. Appointed Judge by Gravitas following his election as Pontifex, Denarien became a vocal proponent of the Heresy of the Avatars, declaring his will the infallible judgement of Alluran. He brought his office into disrepute by acquiring the Baronetcy of Irdalni under questionable circumstances and as the conflict with Prophet Cathal deepened over the latter's peaceful overtures to Oritolon he closed the temples in Irdalni. For this he was exiled and replaced as Judge by Abigale Azale.

Eventually Lord Gravitas could contain his fury no longer and met Denarien, once one of his closest friends, for a duel to the death. Denarien prevailed but within the week met his own doom under the blade of Aoifa, Cathal's sister.

The Fall of Alowca

Following the death of Lord Gravitas leadership of the realm fell to Lady Allyah, a much respected General who long sought peace with Oritolon and an end to the ancient blood feud. Her overtures came to nothing and soon the Oritolon army was first pillaging and then conquering the peaceful farmlands of Warmanoras, leading to the Great Famine. Fully seven eighths of the city's population died in the following months and many of her nobles sought exile overseas, but a small band of the faithful remained and under the guidance of Prophet Cathal and Priestess Rachel spread the teachings of the reformed Church Militant of the Trinity.

After some months Warmanoras was reclaimed and under Lady Aoifa's leadership the farms were soon producing a good harvest, bringing the famine to an end and allowing the city granaries to be refilled. Though the realm was now bankrupt and her armies but a shadow of former days, still the respite from war and hunger was a reminder of what once had been. Alas it was not to last and Oritolon recaptured the farms, arresting the Prophet when he lead a peaceful protest against their occupation, and setting in motion events which no realm could overcome. For months the foundries of Oritolon and Alebad had been busy building great war engines whilst their knights trained their troops in the latest techniques of siege warfare, biding their time.

Though Alowca still boasted a strong militia garrison the famine had weakened them and they were over-reliant on the field army. When an opportunity to recapture Warmanoras presented itself and several of the city's knights went to assist, the full weight of Oritolon fell upon the weakened defenders and overwhelmed them, desecrating the Holy Places. Many knights fled into exile, seeking the fabled Kingdom of Alluran, and of those that remained Lady Aoifa was chosen to lead the last desperate defence. Meanwhile with all eyes on the fighting Prophet Cathal slipped from the city unseen with the Holy Relics and a small band of his faithful Templars, disguised as Oritolon soldiers.

Refusing to accept the title Pontifex, Lady Aoifa was sworn in as Chief Minister and Defender of the Faith, fighting a desperate duel with Lord Fingo Asfaloth as the city burghers continued to resist the occupation. The resistance was doomed to fail and at the last Lady Aoifa faced General Hvrek Psych in single combat. The battle raged back and forth until a well-timed sword thrust left Lady Aoifa unable to continue. She offered her life, but he could not bring himself to slay her.

Thus passed Alowca, Jewel of the South, into the shadows of myth and legend.

Martyrs

In the battle to expand our lands and liberate the peoples of the South from their Oritolon Oppressors, more than one Heroic Noble has fallen in the name of the Trinity. May their names be remembered forever more!

  • Homer - Homer was the first Alowcan Noble to fall in battle.
  • Larani - Larani quickly arose to popularity in politics, and in the hearts of Alowcan nobles. A devout worshiper of the Trinity, a heroine in dark times, and a natural politician, she quickly was promoted to Haruspex Maximus. She fell in battle against the armies of Oritolon in the Great Siege.
  • Barbar Osha, Baron of Irdalni - After being bested in a Duel with Oritolon's Prime Minister, Loki, Barbar was slaughtered by infidel scum as soon as it was over.
  • Irion Hallios, Knight of Warmanoras - Although surrounded in battle by Infidels, Irion fought until his last breath!

Institutions

Government

The following outlines the final form of government prior to the fall of the realm. Prior to this the realm was ruled by a Pontifex in accordance with the traditions common to all Theocracies.

Title Responsibilities
Chief Minister Ruler
Defender of the Faith General
Justiciar Judge
Keeper of the Coin Banker

The Church

Due to the complexity of this subject you should consult the publications of the Church Militant of the Trinity.

The Council of Reformation

A high council of the realm composed of government officials, landed nobles and marshals. The Council is responsible for the establishment of the new Church and other weighty matters.

Knights Templar of the Holy Sanctum

The Knights Templar are an order of chivalry sworn to protection of the Church and defence of the realm.

Alowcan United Front

The United Front are the field army of Alowca.

Administratum Vicarii

The police and civil service of the realm.

Awards & Decorations

In the distant past the Alowcan Inner Sanctum adopted several forms of awards to recgonize their nobles roles and to distinguish between those who have provided service longer and nore notably than others to the Trinity and Alowca. This practice fell out of favour long before the reformation.

A list of Citations awarded exists for historic purposes.