The Interregnum (1545 to 1670 R.A.)
The existing political landscape of the Heartlands was shaken by the events of the Cataclysm, Albion descending into chaos in the years that followed and eventually falling. The Petty Kingdoms were all but destroyed, some lasting as isolated enclaves within the Blight. The T’zarr Border States, far from the Blight, survived and even thrived. The Grand Duchy of Soahc weathered the storm, ever-changing and yet unchanged as is it’s nature.
Damian Blackstaff and the Ashen Covenant
The descendant of Kesterin Blackstaff and heir to his power, Damian Blackstaff was present for the Cataclysm and witnessed it firsthand, saving the city of Vaille against desperate odds. In the ashes of the Cataclysm mages were the target of rage and violence across the Heartlands, led mostly by the surviving members of the Church of the Lords of Light. Gathering together in Vaille, surviving mages and their allies banded together for protection against a world that had turned hostile from all directions. The Ashen Covenant exists today, a hidden organization in an isolated stronghold, determined to insure the survival of it’s members.
Old Aquitaine (1670 to 1948 R.A.)
Eventually, a new power grew in the Heartlands, the Old Realm of Aquitaine. Centered in the northern reaches, with it’s capitol of Navarre high in the Mountains of Martyrs, the Old Realm of Aquitaine maintained excellent relations with it neighbors to the south (the Grand Duchy of Soahc) and east (the T’zarr Border States) but eventually became a victim of its own success.
Rise of the Great Guilds
The great strength that binds both Aquitaine is the string network of guilds that bind society together and act as a entire supplemental (and often alternative) system of governance within the environs of the realm. Loyal to themselves, to the status quo, and the general welfare of Aquitaine as a whole, the Great Guilds create subsidiary guilds and guildhouses to exert control over all the important aspects of trade and life in Aquitaine and the surrounding areas. Magic, mercenaries, merchants, adventurers, thieves, entertainers – all these professions (and many others) are governed by the Great Guilds.
Return of the Iron Court (1877 R.A.)
In the wake of the Mad Gods War, the battered remnants of the fleets and legions of the Iron Court fled the chaos of the final battle. More than six centuries later, they returned after having travelled not just across the Mortal Realms but even into the Great Waste to hide from the fury of the High Lord and the wrath of Albion. With the fall of Albion that Iron Court returns to what it left of their old lands – and conquering new ones.
The D’lanni Magistracy (1883 R.A.)
Thought lost in the Cataclysm, the floating city of Dinas Fforran reappeared deep within the ruins of Albion and cast lose it’s moorings to float silently across the Heartlands. Ruled by the D’lanni Council, it remains one of the greatest of institutions of magic in the Heartlands though its mages and agents are both feared for their skill and despised for their abandonment of Albion in the hours of it’s need. Now a free city of trade and intrigue, Dinas Fforan charts a course known only to it’s rulers, with equally unknown goals.
The Siege of Storms (1900 R.A.)
Perhaps inevitably, the Iron Court attempted to destroy Dinas Fforan – something only possible due to their own potent fleet of windships. The siege lasted several nights and devastated the surrounding countryside and while both sides were mauled in the process the results were inconclusive at best. The Iron Court quickly realized that they were not willing to expend the resources needed to break the siege at the same time that they realized that the D’lanni were only interested in survival.
Black Dukes Proclamation (1948 R.A.)
In 2077 R.A. with the signing of the Black Dukes Proclamation the various duchies and powerful counties of Old Aquitaine all became independent kingdoms under the nominal authority of the High King in Navarre. This was a compromise on the part of all parties to prevent open rebellion but also a means to provide better alliances and defenses in the face of the Iron Court. Not a perfect solution, tensions remain and the authority of the High King is often bitterly disputed if ultimately recognized, the “New Aquitaine” is a powerful but often flawed beacon in the north of the Heartlands with the common folk often speaking with some fondness of “Old Aquitaine” as a time of less conflict and kinder rulers.
The False Archon’s War (1975 to 1987 R.A.)
In a troubling and once thought impossible situation, a third High Archon was elected along with a series of Archons across the Heartlands. The resultant chaos within not only the Church of the Lords of Light but Aquitaine, the Taurii Republic, and the T’zarr Border States lasted for over a decade before the rebellious Archons and lords were brought under control.
The Poisoning of Imris (2001 to 2013 R.A.)
Over the course of thirteen years, the Ithian Empire infiltrated the Kingdom of Imris via trade, marriage, and the discrete neutralization of threats and potential threats, ultimately placing one of their on the throne. In the years since their position has solidified and they have started to look elsewhere within Aquitaine for new breeding grounds.
The Hundred Blades War (2055 to 2058 R.A.)
One of the numerous trade wars between members of the Cartel (the Great Guild of Merchants in Aquitaine) explodes as various mercenary companies, then thieves bands, then adventuring groups become embroiled in their own conflicts as contracts are honored, old scores are settled, and spoils are taken. When the noble families begin to become involved, the conflict came to a quick end when the High King in Navarre, began to revoke charters and ordered the Imperial Legion to take action and against any and all brigands involved.
The Ravenger Campaigns (2085 to 2105 R.A.)
In what ended up being a failed a futile attempt, the Taurii Republic began a series of campaigns against the Ravengers in the Blight, hoping that by exterminating them they could reclaim more land. Though warned by the Ashen Covenant in Vaile that the attempt would not succeed, the Taurii lose company after company of troops in a meatgrinding series of conflicts to no effect. The Ravengers numbers were seemingly undiminished, raids outside of the Blight increased, and the Taurii eventually stopped before they face a wholesale rebellion within their army, terrified of being send into the Blight again.
The Thirteen Moon Rebellion (2122 to 2123 R.A.)
In a frightening night of bloodshed the ruling family of Mystvale was slain, provoking a year long series of reprisals before the current ruling family was acknowledged as the proper rulers. Unfortunately, the common people do not rest uneasy under their rule and relations with the Elven Court have been strained in the years since.
The Goblin Wars (2161 to 2170 R.A.)
Boiling up out of their warrens in the Underdark, armies of Goblins rolled out of the mountains and attacked the civilized lands in a nine-year collection of conflicts that covered much of the Heartlands. In the Southern Heartlands, where the Blight acted as somewhat of a shield, the Trolls of the Black Hills took the opportunity to raid even more heavily into civilized lands than normal.
The High Lords Retreat (2180 R.A.)
The High Lord made his Retreat in this year, the Oriflamme remains banked, his Return not yet come again.
Current Time (2200 R.A.)