The Ferdiad Cycle
See also: Cerns
Aenoria is the largest nation in the eastern Drystan with it’s population easily overwhelming it’s neighbours. Geographically it is divided into the even plains of the south and the rough north covered in deep forests. It’s populated by the Cerns who are organized into a strict feudal system headed by the Cernish high king who holds his court in the capital city of Caernfaddon.
The lands now called Aenoria were occupied over a millenia ago by the Cernish tribes who formed primitive small kingdoms that never had the time to form centralized government before they were overrun by the Ellysian empire in the year 377 of the Imperial Calender. The Ellysians ruled Aenoria for over five centuries laying the foundations for the future Cernish society until their power was broken in the cataclysm known as the Skyfall in the year 880. The Cerns took their homelands back from the invaders in an enormous uprising, declaring independence two years later. The newborn nation was named Aenoria after it’s liberator and first true ruler Drustan magh Aenor.
The first major conflict the upstart nation faced was the invasion of the united greenskin warlords of the Chimeira that laid to waste to much of the northern provinces before being stopped at the gates of Caern Môrn in the year 949. This led to the establishing of the Oathkeep Pact,a law which dictates that the northern provinces maintain exact amounts of troops to safeguard the borders by the frozen plains of Ysgrid. This law has been a source of great bitterness to the Northerners who have had to bear the bruises from the invasions to keep the Southerners safe from the savages to the north. The renegade Thane Lorr magh Cewren used the pact as a stepping stone in his attempt to separate the province of Ffroth from the rest of Aenoria. The rebellion was ended with him being condemned to death for oathbreaking in the year 995.
While the temples of Corwynt have always kept clear of national politics the arch lector Risl mac Leirdnn used the weak-willed high king Ustan magh Isvaern to drive Aenoria into a war with Hrodland for (presumably) purely theological reasons, seeing the Revisionist Corwynt as a mortal threat to the Cernish way of life. The ensuing War of Souls lasted for three years (c. 1045-1048) and while Aenoria came on top as the victor, the southern garrisons suffered terrible losses that took generations to repair. The political ambitions of the temples have been kept in check since then by an secret order within the clergy that stamps out any corruption amongst the leading members of the Faith.
The mountains of Mynydd-Brynn were turned into a warzone after the followers of the prophet Tios mac Larwein built the Larwein temples into the mountains to guard the sacred fountains called the Godspring in the year 1100. This caused the Bridei to start a holy war to drive the invaders from their mountains, burning down one of the four temples. The battles continue to this day with no end in sight.
Aenoria was divided into sixteen provinces by the Ellysians, a practise surviving to this day. Each of the provinces is ruled by a Thane in charge of upholding it’s laws, armies and taxation. In addition, the capital of Caernfaddon is a separate entity ruled by the high king who is also the Thane of his native province, though the actual rulership is usually given to a close member of the family such as a younger sibling. The provinces are:
- Baél Feirst
- Dún Éiden
- Yr Iendel
See also: Coinage
The heartblood of Aenorias commerce is wool gathered from the thousands of sheep grazing the fertile fields of the Southern provinces while the Northerners mainly depend on tar. Imports vary from Hrodish steel and Leguinean wine to exotic furs from the Hillpeople and silk from the Osric trading vessels. The Cernish crown is a valued coin second only to the Osric shilling. The southern provinces enjoy most of the profits made from commerce leaving the Northerners with yet another reason to be disgruntled. The common folk rarely use coins as they deal mostly in daily commodities such as grain and services.
Aenoria boasts vast and flexible fighting forces. While the Northerners are famous for their stalwart infantry both well armed and forged in constant hardship, the Southerners rely on the enemy breaking before the mighty charge of their rightfully feared heavy cavalry. Each Thane is responsible for gathering soldiers for the high king’s army at the times of war, the nobility usually forming the cavalry and the infantry consisting mainly of serf spearmen and archers. The Cerns have little in the way of a navy and rely mainly on their allies, the Phygosians, to keep the eastern coast free of raiders and pirates.
Language and religion
The official language of Aenoria is Cernish, while Ellysian in used mainly by the learned as the language of alchemy and astrology. The wealthiest and most successful traders almost always speak Osric, also known as the “merchant’s tongue” (insert remarks on snakes here). The only religion recognised by the king is Corwynt although the Revisionist Corwynt has a small support in the south while some Northerners still venerate the gods of the Old Faith.