- 1 Ruling Council
- 2 Regions Under Toren Control
- 3 Armies of Toren
- 4 Pre-History
- 5 Revelation, and the Founding of Toren
- 6 The Time of Chaos
- 7 Destruction of the Realm of Sandalak
- 8 Triangular Diplomacy of Pontifex Phear
- 9 The Dark Age of Toren
- 10 Reign of Gheros Patel
- 11 Overthrow of Patel
- 12 The Vacant Throne
- 13 The Madness of the Destruction of South-East Island
- 14 Battles
Toren is a monarchy, set in the center of the South-East Island, where the gods rage. It lies between the realms of Taselak in the south and Ikalak bordering it to the north. The capital is Toren Stronghold, a fortress in the mountains north of the mystic Cave of Guilt. Religion has been a central part of the life of all in Toren, with all of its people devoted to worshiping Tor, the God of War.
Regions Under Toren Control
- Toren Stronghold
- Cave of Guilt
Armies of Toren
- Phoenix Guard - Marshal Hawkwood Den Snodaert, Sponsored by High Marshal Fisc Arylon, Count of Dakan
- Soldiers of Tor's Will - Marshal Gaius Julius Danlawer, Sponsored by Necroid Frolancer, Count of Neralle
- Royal Guards - Marshal Necroid Frolancer, Sponsored by Sianon Eldrake, Countess of Riakond
|Continent / Island||South-East Island|
|Largest City||Toren Stronghold|
In the time before Tor revealed himself to the people of South-East Island, the area that is today known as Toren was occupied by other nations. The jagged slopes of Toren Stronghold have been stained with the blood of Ikalak, Taselak and Sandalak, each recognizing the strategic importance of the mountain refuge.
Though they were dominated by the other three realms, the people of the region were an ethnically diverse group, distinguishing themselves from their conquerers. These people shared a unique and separate culture, set of customs, language and ethnic identity. It was that common identity that helped unify them under the banner of one nation after the revelations that were to come about the nature of the island, and the identity of the being driving their lives toward war.
Revelation, and the Founding of Toren
The people that lived in the area now known as Toren have always been well known as rough warriors. The men that came from the north west part of the island were essential to the war efforts of the realms that controlled them. Often they would be used in the front lines, given little armor and told to hold off the enemy - and would prove to be overwhelming against the opposition none the less. They were truly feared across the island.
When the first incarnation of the island was wiped out by forces beyond our control (later to be revealed as Tor), things were different. All men on the island were beaten back to the walls of the four great cities, which began to give the people of Toren Stronghold a sense of common identity. Gathered together as the world crumbled around them, they began to look from within for leadership and guidance.
One day, a young knight was sent out of the city by his mentor. He was told to survey the countryside and assess the damage done by the great upheaval of the gods. At some point the people of the city would again need to venture out and retake the land surrounding the great shiny city of Toren Stronghold, and they needed to know where they could go safely.
On this mission, he was told to observe the northlands, from the Stronghold up to Ikalak City. The knight headed north as instructed, conducting a massive survey of the land, observing how damaged it was, how poor the roads were, and how little foliage was left.
After almost a month outside the walls of the Stronghold, this knight returned home along the main road. He had just come within sight of the walls of the city when he saw an odd mound of dirt on the side of the road. Curious, the knight stepped off his horse and began pawing at the ground, trying to find what was under the mound. As the dirt was brushed away, he discovered it was a large golden container that once opened, had a set of very old scrolls inside.
One of the scrolls appeared older than the others. Opening it, the young knight found that the scroll was written in a very archaic language, reminiscent of the ancient languages spoken on the South East Island before recorded history. Most people on the island would never be able to read this language, but this knight had a talent for languages, able himself to speak several without being taught.
The section of the scroll that looked most familiar read as follows:
Es ka b sh-newt’tesan-i gezusakant-gezusakant-ha. Kar-i het aito! m-Hab-i ths-gezusakant-gezusakant! ths-Kargnch Kargnch-i het feh-gezusakant-gezusakant het Tor. Tor newt’tesan-i het feh-gezusakant-gezusakant. Bah-ansto, m-s’malantnun.
Though the characters and writing looked familiar to him, he was puzzled by this language. He decided he had to return home to make any sense of it, and promptly headed for Toren Stronghold. After arriving and presenting his findings on his northern survey to the leadership in the central palace, the knight retreated to a local inn. He wanted privacy to attempt to decipher what was written on the scrolls.
His mentor, a wise and noble man, joined him as they attempted to make sense of the writing. After weeks, and a great deal of struggling with the translation, the two men could not make any significant progress with the text. They believed they had isolated a few very simple words, but it was not enough to actually translate anything. The syntax, grammar and structure of the language was foreign to them, even though both had a familiarity with ancient island languages.
After all the time they had spent on the translation, the two men nearly gave up. But they were continually driven by the belief that the contents of the scrolls were historic and important to the people in the north-west. They recognized that this scroll was not simply an ordinary batch of random musings, and for their own intellectual satisfaction they simply had to find the answers.
Desperate, they traveled to Atamara to seek the advice of the more learned peoples that resided there. After much searching, they found a group of priests that had maintained a written record of languages spoken in the known world throughout the past hundred centuries. After consultation, the knight and his mentor, with the priest's help were able to accurately translate the scrolls contents. The translation read:
|People of Tor,
You are the land's enlightened. Fight for me! All shall be blessed. You will be lead by a Pontifex who will guide you in spiritual matters. Worship me, and victory shall be yours for all of eternity - spurn me, and you shall see nothing but defeat.
Overjoyed at what they had deciphered, the knight ordered the priest to decipher the rest of the scrolls. What followed amounted to the canonical texts of the people of Tor. It became their holy text that would outline their status as the South East Islands chosen people, and the nobility of their lives, given to them by the god Tor - who was responsible for the rampent destruction the island has seen just a short time ago. According to the translated scrolls, the destruction of the island was punishment for the corrupt and unjust rule of the realms that existed at the time, and was meant to give the people of Tor an opportunity to rule themselves, and honor the name of Tor. The scrolls were a gift from Tor, to open their eyes to the true nature of the island.
Once the scrolls were completely translated, the knight and his mentor traveled back to the main palace, and announced their findings to the people there. As such, the realm of Toren was born, and in their righteous glory the men of Toren decided to declare their independent sovereignty as a theocracy, and elect a Pontifex to rule them.
The Time of Chaos
The man chosen by Toren to lead their fledgling nation was the heroic Phear Fantom, a brilliant man who had won his bid for ruler by pledging to take Toren to glory, and exert its dominance on the island.
But in the chaos that was present in this time, all four realms in existence had been beaten back to their capitals, and were intent on expanding their territory. Toren was by far the poorest, weakest realm on the island, and was quickly targeted by the others as the one that could be taken down first.
In its first days, Toren worked hard to expand its territory and influence, but the other realms were in better position. They were able to carve out more territory, and were setting themselves up as the major power brokers on the island.
Toren had to act fast or it would become only a memory on the island.
Destruction of the Realm of Sandalak
In order to turn the tables and ensure not only Toren's survival, but its prosperity, Phear proposed to the rulers of Ikalak and Taselak an alliance, bent on the destruction of the strongest realm on the island, Sandalak. Prime Minister Alexei Dolohov of Ikalak and King Serindu Dickerson replied to Phear and agreed to the framework of an agreement that would pit their three realms against mighty Sandalak.
While the three realms met to discuss the details of their alliance, the island around them was burning. Chaos ruled everywhere - regions were falling to the advances of all four realms, villages were being burned, land seized and armies began to clash. Toren expanded its territory as far south as the region of Rhic, while Ikalak moved south, and Taselak moved north-east. The entire island was consumed by war, destruction and death, and Sandalak became aggressive.
Finally, the three sides were able to reach an accord regarding region division and how the final attack on Sandalak would take place. Each side agreed to what regions they would end up with, including what regions would trade hands, and what regions would belong to who after Sandalak fell (region division listed below).
But, even the best laid plans take execution to actually happen. Each of the three realms positioned themselves so they had territories close to the border regions of Sandalak, and planned coordinated attacks to wear down their armies from three angles. Toren and Taselak worked on the south, while Ikalak hit them from the north. The idea here was to close the noose around the neck of Sandalak, choking them of regions, money, territory and recruitment centers to build their army with.
The endgame was to beat them all the way back to Sandalak City, and plan a final assault to end its existence.
|Taselak City||Ikalak City||Toren Stronghold|
|Moeth||Aboal||Cave of Guilt|
That is precisely what happened.
Each of the realms squeezed Sandalak, inch by inch, region by region. From the north, Ikalak...
Triangular Diplomacy of Pontifex Phear
Information on the alliance with Ikalak against Tasealak.
The Dark Age of Toren
The Death of Phear and Ascention of Averyll
The infamy she earned during the takeover of Lesthem was not only due to her brutality, but also due to the outcome of the last Battle of Lesthem, for it was the battle that ended the life of the heroic Pontifex Phear, and thus brought an end to The Golden Age of Toren.
Averyll was immediately elected as the new Pontifex by the extremely narrow margin of only 3 votes (over Cyperus, Duke of Toren Stronghold), and shortly thereafter retired from her positions as Countess of Jerelin, Marshal of the Army of Tor and Fiduciary of Toren, citing a conflict of interest in both writing policy and implementing policy at the same time. Doing so also created new leadership opportunities for other nobles in the realm. However, the legitimacy of her rule was immediately brought into question. According to the Toren Herald, "Shortly following the Averyll's election. Karibash the Great, made a startling speech full of hate and spite directed towards Lady Averyll." More specifically, Karibash, who was a member of Averyll's own Advisory Council at the time, stated that Averyll was too inactive to adequately perform as a ruler and furthermore claimed that his achievements easily matched hers. Not even 6 hours had passed since the votes had been tallied. Gheros, who was serving as the Haruspex Maximus at the time, stated that if such harsh words had been spoken against any other ruler, she would impose equally harsh penalties, but since it was directed at Averyll, she would do nothing to enforce order. The Toren Herald continues, "Averyll, surprisingly doesn't seemed bothered by Karibash and hasn't spared the effort to argue with him." This later proved to the norm for Averyll, who made a point of not participating in the public forum on matters unrelated to the war. Things soon began to calm down; however, four days after the election, Gheros initiated a referendum calling for a re-election. Her reason for doing so was that Cyperus was in Taselak's prison during the election and thus was unable to effectively campaign for the position. The referendum closed in Averyll's favour by a large margin, thus concluding the debate over her legitimacy, but opposition to her rule continued to grow nonetheless. And so began The Dark Age of Toren.
The First Toren Rebellion
In the spring, Toren faced rebellion. At a time deep in the night, the underground movement that had been systematically planning their revolt finally acted. A noble named Hiddukel had originally planned on calling the rebellion, but circumstances prevented him from doing so - instead Zellion stepped up and while standing near the seat of government in Toren Stronghold, gave an impassioned speech, attempting to rally as many nobles as possible to the cause of the rebellion.
Fisc had inserted himself into the underground movement, using the pseudonym The Emerald Knight for nearly a month before the rebellion began. As such, he had been kept abreast of the activities of the rebels for some time, and was well aware of their intentions to call a rebellion when they did. He had warned the Advisory Council, and was standing by with several nobles just outside of Toren Stronghold, ready to respond when the rebellion was called.
After Zellion's speech, a few nobles openly declared themselves rebels while others declared loyal to the realm. Averyll was unavailable to rally the Loyalists at the time, and so Fisc, deeply familiar with the rebellions plans, took up the mantle of leading the Loyalists against the rebels. Gaius Julius was the first and most vocally supportive Marshall of the Loyalists, and Fisc instructed him to make preparations for the upcoming military campaign in Toren Stronghold to put down the rebellion.
Orders soon went out to all loyal nobles of Toren instructing them to return to Toren Stronghold to destroy the rebellion. Flocks of nobles, even those who were not pleased with the government, declared themselves loyalists and responded to the orders, moving to Toren Stronghold.
The rebels found themselves vastly outnumbered, and in only one day, their military effectiveness was cut off, effectively ending the threat they posed to the government.
Though Zellion called the rebellion, Hiddukel was the driving force behind it. After it became clear that the revolt had failed, Hiddukel offered himself to the Loyalist forces, calling for his own sacrifice as penance for the rebellion.
Fisc rejected Hiddukel's original offer, instead demanding that Hiddukel be executed for his crimes, that all rebels be exiled from South East Island, and that a direct contact be established between the Toren nobles and their government be appointed. Though Hiddukel agreed to these terms, Averyll gave a public call for healing, and asked that Hiddukel be exiled, not executed. Fisc agreed to these terms, as did Hiddukel.
Fisc and Hiddukel then jointly ordered the rebels to disband their units, ending the rebellion.
The Betrayal of Ikalak
The amended agreement with Ikalak had paid extreme dividends for Toren. It had freed them to focus on their southern border, retaking stolen lands, and expanding their realm right up to the borders of Taselak City.
Toren had made a fatal error, however. While they were taking regions from Taselak, they had given Ikalak free unfettered access to the south-east of Taselak, not reconquoring the lands that were to be given to Toren by treaty. That gave Ikalak a tremendous amount of land, money and people to command, and it became too much of a temptation for them to give up.
Ikalak pressed on into Belus, and then into Taselak City, initiating a takeover of their foes capital. Toren ordered them to retreat, but they did not comply. The Prime Minister of Ikalak, Maximus the Betrayer, informed the ruler of Toren that they intended to break the treaty.
After the betrayal of the oathbreakers began, Ikalak decided to move north, and attack the northern territories of Toren, as a path to the Stronghold itself. Dakan, being Toren's northernmost region, bordering Ikalak City itself, was the newest target of the oathbreakers. Immediately, Ikalak hordes began pouring into Dakan, attempting to take the region by force.
Fisc's long rule in the region, and its staunch, pius loyalty to the realm of Toren proved to be the greatest obsticle to the Ikalakian hegemon. Initial takeover attempts were immediately rebuked. Fisc, far from his homeland was unable to return to defend it, but he was not needed - the peasants of Dakan threw off the shackles of the invders quickly - rejecting those who lie and betray their word.
And so Ikalak pressed on, determined to take Dakan. With outstanding brutality, Ikalak again tried to take Dakan by force. They killed, raped, pillaged tax gold, and even desecrated Arylon Manor to show the people of Dakan that they intended to take the region, regardless of the sentiments of her people.
Once again, the brave peasants, showing loyalty to Fisc and to Toren, threw off their invaders once more. Ikalak had twice failed to take the humble rural land of Dakan - and the anger of the mighty realm became increasingly dangerous to Dakan. For a third time, Ikalak began a political takeover of Dakan.
Fearing for his peasants safety, and knowing that it was only a matter of time until Ikalak was able to hold the region - Fisc sent word to the leaders of the resistance in Dakan to lay down their arms. In a letter to the council, Fisc asked that resistance change, to no longer be that of active physical resistance, but instead changed itself to that of subterfuge, spying, undermining their new masters at every turn. He ordered Dakan to surrender to the invaders, so that countless peasants would be saved, and to ensure that if Toren was ever able to push north again, it would have a base of loyal subjects willing to do anything to see Toren achieve victory again.
So, with a heavy heart, the long held region of Dakan fell to Ikalak, and Fisc's title of Lordship was gone. He would not forget his home, however - and Ikalak would soon hear from him again.
Negotiations with Taselak and the end of Averyll
Once Maximus broke the long-standing Ikalak-Toren Treaty, Duke Cyperus attempted to negotiate a new treaty with Taselak, and he did so without the knowledge, consent or authority required of Averyll. Mischa, the new ruler of Taselak, refused to consider any terms until Averyll had been removed from office.
Averyll agreed to step down as ruler in order to save the realm, but only after having seen and agreed to the terms of the Treaty that would take place after her resignation. She stated that her removal from office was the only bargaining chip Toren had to negotiate equitable terms, and furthermore, that if she resigned prior to signing a treaty, Taselak would have no reason to sign any treaty at all. But Mischa refused to even reply to Averyll's letters, and eventually the nobles of Toren, including Duke Cyperus, were once again plotting rebellion. However, before Cyperus was able to rally his supporters, Gheros, who was still Haruspex Maximus, initiated the second rebellion. With her own judge, the person whose job it was to prevent rebellions, against her, Averyll finally gave in. She ordered that no one join the loyalist forces and instead allow the rebellion to take its course, and with the exception of a few radical loyalists, that is exactly what happened. The Theocracy was overthrown and Gheros became Queen of the new Kingdom of Toren.
Reign of Gheros Patel
Nothing worth noting.
Overthrow of Patel
Queen Gheros, and her appointed General Sianon both seemed distant, inactive - even absent at times. As more time went by, the nobles of Toren cried out more and more for action, and strong leadership. Those cries went unanswered, with both Gheros and Sianon seemingly ignoring the problems they faced.
At the same time, Toren's military struggled mightily. The lack of leadership and cohesion lead to poor movement, undisciplined armies, and poorly coordinated attacks. Time after time, Toren's armies would be slaughtered on the walls of Ikalak City, due to terrible planning and incompetent leadership.
These issues finally came to a head when the Arch Priest of Toren, Gaius Julius Danlawer issued a public call for Queen Gheros to step down. More nobles followed, and Fisc added his voice to the dissenters. He had simply had enough of Toren being embarrassed by the seemingly incompetent leadership that was making the entire realm look bad, and publicly protested the Queen.
The protests came to a head when Luna DawnStar took it a step further and called for an open rebellion. Fisc had previously called for a rebellion to not be called, but secretly he informed Luna that he did in fact support her action. In the next several days, he had regular contact with Luna, and began to take notice of her intelligence and dedication to Toren - not to mention her immense beauty. Those dark times cemented a strong bond between them that some on the island considered the beginning of a romantic relationship - though no such relationship was confirmed by either for some time.
Soon, Gheros crumbled and abdicated the throne, giving Toren an opportunity to set right the problems that had plagued it for months. Fisc decided at that time that his time of isolation and removal from the public eye were over.
The Vacant Throne
The vacancy in the throne of Toren left a vacuume of power that had to be filled. In the time following Gheros stepping down, only two legitimate candidates emerged as viable options to ascend to the crystal throne of Toren - Fisc Arylon and Cyperus Sarracenia. Fisc was the man of the people, popular with the everyday noble fighting in the trenches and dying for Toren. Cyperus was the old guard, popular amongst the powerful elite of the country - the entrenched nobles who held great power and sway.
The campaign shaped up interestingly, with Fisc commanding a huge amount of support from the nobles of Toren, and campaigning hard for the empty throne. Cyperus consolidated support amongst his base of powerful nobles, and the two prepared for the vote. Fisc had expected a strong showing due to his overwhelming support from the nobles of the realm, but had made a critical error - the voting system in a monarchical realm are weighted such that much of Fisc's base did not have a significant number of votes.
When the election came, Cyperus was elected the next King of Toren. Fisc had a much higher number of nobles voting for him, however due to the weighted voting and the power of the supporters of Cyperus, he was crowned King.
The Madness of the Destruction of South-East Island
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