Discord in Kordenia
A Brief History of Kordenia
Your beautifully crafted scroll is written in the queen’s own hand, just for the adventurers. A silky green ribbon holds the scroll together. Inside, the queen included a breakdown of every known place in the land and its origin for adventurers who do not know all (or any) of the world’s basic history. She heard that sort of thing can come in handy. And! What sorcery is this? Rather than trying to cram a thousand words onto one heavy page, the scroll responds to the adventurer’s touch. Simply touch the name of the country you’re wondering about, and lo — its history appears. The queen used tablets before they were cool (not that they ever were).
Continents: Eropia, Dracken, Trinigard, Fnord, Kordenia
Kingdoms of Kordenia: Mank, Trollop, Oomp, Savend, Seraphina, Khandor
Khandor: (Human monarch) All Races
Seraphina: (Eladrin monarch) eladrin, elf, wilden, githzera
Savend: (Deva monarch) human, halfling, deva, half-orc
Oomp: (Dwarf monarch) dwarf, dragonborn, shardmind, minotaur
Trollop: (Gnome monarch) gnome, tiefling, shifter, goliath
Mank: (Human monarch) human, halfling, deva, half-orc
Prior to the colonization of Kordenia, there were four major populated land masses in Ladzus: Eropia was home to humans, halflings, deva, and half-orcs; Dracken was home to dwarves, dragonborn, shardminds, and minotaurs; Trinigard was home to eladrin, elves, wilden, and githzera; and Fnord was home to gnomes, tieflings, shifters, and goliaths. The continents had very little contact and rarely, if ever, mixed company.
Five hundred years ago, Kord gave clerics from each land a task: to find and populate a newly created landmass which would forever after serve as his holy land and a common ground for all sixteen races of Ladzus. Four massive ships set out and eventually reached the landmass—later named Kordenia. These ships contained numerous members of all sixteen races.
The ships landed in what is now known as Khandor in 1102. Eight great cities were raised, and one central palace for the ruling monarch. A charismatic human cleric called Mary Elizabeth Durot won Kord’s blessing to rule Khandor, and her line still rules today.
The eight original cities still stand in Khandor—five centuries later—though they are now merely a shadow of what they once were. Primarily filled with scholars and historic types, the cities have not battled for a full century—even under Kord’s strict laws of conflict resolution which encourage battle. Battles in Khandor are often no more than formalities now, resolved peacefully in tournament-type battles with more ceremony than blood.
More conflicted are the other five monarchies that have sprung up since the initial settlement of Kordenia. Today (1684), Kordenia has six kingdoms: Khandor (1102), Serafina (1132), Savend (1206), Oomp (1249), Trollop (1250), and Mank (1261). Despite the fact that the denizens of the original four continents share ground in Kordenia, they have settled with distinct borders, grouped by the races of their homelands. Though there are stragglers, exiles, travelers, and worst of all—wandering missionaries for other deities from the mother continents—most of Kordenia’s denizens call their races’ designated kingdoms home.
The first settled kingdom beyond Khandor is Serafina. Founded only thirty years after the ships landed on Khandor, this area is composed almost entirely of woodlands. Some call them enchanted, but most believe any magical hijinks is simply the work of the kingdom’s abundant supply of wizards with a knack for showing off. Whatever the case, journeys through the forests of Serafina can be bizarre and treacherous and wonderful.
Seventy-four years after the eladrin claimed Serafina, a group of Halfling explorers braved the wilds beyond. For their trouble, they were rewarded with a hilly expanse perfect for their preferred sort of home. Devas followed soon after, disliking the idea of existing under human rule. When they arrived, they found no central ruling force among the Halflings and quickly stepped in to fill the void.
Very little could make a dwarf abandon his mountainous home for the open road. But shame did it. The youngest brother of the dwarven high lord in Khandor challenged the lord to a Drink and Hammer competition and had his ass thoroughly handed to him. He set out—still drunk—and made it halfway through Savend before he sobered up. He mistook the mountains on the horizon for home and led his friends the rest of the way. Once there, they realized their mistake, but refused to turn back. Word of a new land spread, and soon enough the dwarf was joined by hundreds of his brethren—second sons, the shamed, and the bored. With “King” Ump Oomp Grahvaha for a leader, the land stayed wild and mixing battle and drink became the highest form of art.
The same year King Ump Oomp Grahvaha of Oomp set out to found his barbaric kingdom, the heads of the two prominent gnome cities in Khandor clashed. Violeta Javen challenged Vasil Vasilka to a battle of wits. The winner stood to take both cities for their own, and the loser would go north in search of new land. Vasil cheated the best, and Violeta lost. Rather than turn over her wealth to Vasil, Violeta buried and cursed the treasure, then fled. Vasil’s fury raged in all directions—except the one Violetta chose. Her ship was the first ever to successfully sail across Basilisk Bay.
Violeta Javen and her shipmates founded the country of Trollop in 1250. Some claim Violeta cut a deal with Oomp to protect her weak border. Others say Oomp was so excited by the idea of battle, they accidentally cut down Violeta’s enemies who sought passage. Whatever the case, Violeta’s forces grew through a means known only to the country itself. Violeta’s kin remain in power today.
Once passage through Basilisk Bay proved possible, though not particularly likely or safe, it was only a matter of time before another group crossed. So came the founding rulers of Mank in 1261. Unlike the other founders of nations, there was very little hardship (aside from the sea passage) for the humans who claimed the land. Its climate was good, the food plentiful, and the pests easily quashed. It was better than anything the eldest daughter of the Khandor royalty had hoped for when she set out with her unsanctioned lover and the other misfits of the court.
Mank’s easy existence was bolstered by its matron’s sticky fingers. Zandra Durot brought treasures of great fortune from Khandor, including some of the most sought-after scrolls of the time and a number of treasures to woo the rulers of Serafina, Savend, Oomp, and Trollop to her side in the event of a battle with Khandor. The treasures sufficed, but Zandra’s carefully conceived reign came to an early end when her lover murdered her in her sleep. The prize? True peace with Khandor, and a crown of her own.
Mank’s high seat became a bloody game for the next century. Battle led to battle, until the high priestess officially declared that an unholy war had been taken too far. The highest nobles were slaughtered to a man, and the priests left for Khandor.
The general belief was that Kord would come and smite the land of Mank, leaving nothing behind. When that did not happen, the unthinkable did—peace. Reeling from the changes, a high and well-loved house rose to power. The years saw the return of the priests and priestesses. The Meglathorne line has ruled steadily ever since, though old grudges born from the war make the land the most volatile when it comes to civil dispute.
And that, in a very large and wordy nutshell, is Kordenia.