The Fallen Kingdom, The Swordlands
"This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
--T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"
Caer Corbenic (fallen)
Crossed Silver Swords on a Field of Black (no longer in use)
, now more monsters than people.
Significant Minorities: Free Dwarves
Old Faith (Rhaine, Sarai); White Court (Dagmar, Arturian)
Queen Ceinwyn of the Fianna
Other Noble Families:
Rowyn, Tiarnach, Dierdra (all thought to be wiped out)
For dozens of generations and more, the people of Logres stood vigilant against The Waste, their people constantly on guard against the gibbering, slithering horrors of that blasted, corrupting realm. Long before the coming of the Tiberian Empire, the ancient kings of the Brynn
built the titanit Black Wall across the two major passes exiting The Waste, and guarded against the madness-inducing horrors of that place as their sacred duty. The wall stood over a hundred feet high, with watch posts every half-mile and only two major gates.
All the realms of Brittanis
paid tribute to the Fianna in gold, weapons, and soldiers to help them man the wall. For a long time, this tithe was seen as part of a king's homage to the gods, in protection of his people. Even the lords of far-off Siluria and Benwyck
paid the tithe, knowing that if Logres should fall, all the kingdoms and realms of Brittanis would be in danger.
- 44 years ago Logres that was fell and was destroyed; today it is a haunted, monster-infested wasteland known as The Swordlands in which no man is safe. Monsters pour through the gates that once stood strong against them to ravage and destroy all of central Brittanis.
- Much of the history of Logres was lost in its destruction 44 years ago. It is known that the royal line had ruled unbroken since the construction of the Black Wall, an event that occurred after the Brynn pushed the Fomorians out of Brittanis. The Black Wall was old when the Tiberian Empire landed on Brittanic shores and began their conquest.
- Early on during the conquest of Brittanis, the invading Imperials sent ambassadors to the various kings, queens, and chiefs f the land offering them alliance in exchange for continuing their own rule. Initially, Logres refused the Imperial overtures, and fought their own battles against the invading legions. Like most of the Brynn, however, they could not gather enough united strength and lost several battles.
- Their forces depleted in their battles with the Imperials, the highlanders of Logres were nearly overwhelmed when an invasion from The Waste began assaulting the Black Wall. The Queen of Logres, then named Siobhan, sent to the Imperial commander with an offer: peace and alliance in exchange for troops to reinforce the Black Wall and keep the monsters of The Waste at bay.
- The Imperial Commander, thinking that the monsters of the Waste were merely myth and the superstition of savages, agreed and sent a single cohort to assist. The cohort and a large Logrysian force were annihilated shortly thereafter and the Black Wall nearly over-run; only the intervention of a group of mighty heroes prevented the utter catastrophe that would have occurred had the Black Wall fallen. The heroes gave their lives in defense of the Black Wall; their names were lost to history in the fall of Logres.
- For the remainder of the Imperial Occupation, a full legion of Imperial legionaries were stationed across the Black Wall. They held the line bravely, fending off at least two other potential incursions during the 600 years of Imperial rule. Logres, because it had submitted to the Empire (more or less) willingly, remained a self-ruled state and its royal house carried down unbroken through the generations.
- Even before the time of the Empire, it was custom for the lords and rulers of Brittanis to send tribute to Logres in order to arm, train, feed, and support the soldiers on the Black Wall; ancient tales recounted what Brittanis was like before the construction of the Black Wall, and no ruler wanted that chaos and misery to reign again. As time went on, however, the kings either forgot or considered the bests of The Waste to be myth or no longer a threat. The tribute trickled in and once the Empire took over, stopped entirely.
- Just over a century ago, the Imperial legions were called back across the Sea of Storms to their homeland on the continent of Caledor. Almost immediately, The Waste began to stir once more, as if it knew the forces guarding the Black Wall were weakened. Logres called to the High Council of Brittanis for tribute once again, but no answer came. Again and again, as the attacks increased and more monsters slipped past the Black Wall, the rulers of Logres called for aid; again and again, they were met with only silence. When the Wastewar finally came, Logres stood valiantly against the oncoming tide of horror, but ultimately the kingdom was doomed.
- The last confirmed and crowned monarch of Logres was Queen Ceinwyn, who ruled over the Fianna, a large tribe of Brynn as well as the Brittanic people who shared their lands. She was young and lovely, said to be the most beautiful woman of her generation, and she ruled Logres well up to the very end of her kingdom's days.
- When the creatures of the Waste came pouring up to the Black Wall, Queen Ceinwyn immediately sent her mighty warlord, a knight and commander named Julius Ambrosius, to the council of Kings to ask for aid. The Council did not believe the cry for assistance; they claimed Ceinwyn had sent her warlord to extort money and troops from the other kingdoms in order to strengthen themselves in a bid to take power. They debated, and argued, and delayed. Julius pushed harder and harder to bring his Queen the support she needed, and Ceinwyn fought a series of protracted holding actions, delaying as long as she could and losing more and more ground every day to the twisted horrors of The Waste.
Eventually, it was too late. Ceinwyn fought one last, desperate battle and committed all her forces into stemming the tide of horror pouring through the Black Wall. Only after Ceinwyn was defeated and Logres utterly lost did the High Council see the true threat. Julius Ambrosius forced them into uniting and led the alliance into battle. After two long years of battle, Julius managed to push the mutated, chaos-infused horde back into the Waste, but the damage was done. Logres was lost, it's people scattered, its noble families crushed, its queen presumed dead in her last stand to buy Julius Ambrosius the time to unite the fractious kings of Brittanis
under his banner.
- Today, the lands once known as Logres are most often called The Swordlands, both in recognition of the crossed-swords heraldry of the fallen kingdom as well as the nature of the land itself. Monsters hunt the forests and hills here; bandit kings and brigands rule small patches of whatever land they can keep control of. Petty warlords try to carve out pieces of the countryside, ruling whatever they can defend until the monsters swallow up yet another settlement.
The land is tainted by the corruption of The Waste-- the trees are stunted and gnarled, the grasses sickly and yellowish, the rivers brackish and nearly undrinkable. The land is not as twisted and mutated as The Waste itself, but the taint is spreading. Each year the Waste grows another mile or so. Right now it encompasses the Black Wall and several miles beyond it. No-one knows when the corruption will stop, or when another twisted, horrific horde will pour out of The Waste and across the landscape of fallen Logres to prey on the soft underbelly of Brittanis
- Julius Ambrosius was not only an oath-bound warlord to Queen Ceinwyn; rumors and tales say he was also her lover, and may even have been pregnant with his child.
- Ceinwyn was a sorceress of great power; in the final years before the Wastewar, she succumbed to the curruption of the Waste and weakened her army before the invasion.
- The spirits of Logres' army still linger in the Swordlands, animating from battlefields all over the countryside seemingly at random.
- A mighty, dark power now rules in the Swordlands, amassing power and wealth needed to invade the heartlands of Brittanis.