The Arcs of Strife
The Brackish Corsairs
The 2nd migration saw the emergence of the Santos as a great power. Their settlement of the western continent occurred in two distinct waves. The first wave occurred around 2940BH. 10,000 Santos del Mar, that is Santos of the sea, migrated from the east to the Brackish Isles in the Center of the Bay of Brake. They sailed with their king, Pondesso Sino, the Sea-Tamer. It is said that King Sino tamed a great water serpent, which followed his fleet wherever he traveled. The Santos del Mar were keen archers. It is said that they could clear a deck of the ship without the crew noticing their comrades fall to their arrows, and without seeing their ship on the horizon. The Santos del Mar commanded the most powerful navy in the south. Not even the Baronasque and their magic could defeat a Santo fleet of seven ships. There was no need for a standing army, any troops were put onto ships, and trained to sail. Pondesso controlled a vast maritime empire through the establishment of small islands along the coast which housed his navies. Santos Fire Ships further established hegemony on the Southern Seas. The economy of their desert island consisted mainly of shipping of elven and Baronasque goods to the north. But as the island grew wealthier, more migrants settled on the Isles. What little resources the island had could not sustain such a large population. Water and food shortages led to poverty and strife, forcing many to lives of piracy. In 2920BH, the second wave of Santo migration began, with a migrant force of 8,000 Santos del Terre, the Santos of the Land. The Santos del Terre, were highly religious, no action they took was not without the advice of a holy man, or a sign from the gods. The situation on the Brackish Isles became desperate, forcing 3,000 Santos del Mar along with the 8,000 Santos del Terre to move onto the continent in the lands of the God-King Barone. They entered the lands unopposed. The Santos praised the gods for their good fortune, and called this event El Milagro Habitando, The Miracle of the Habitation. A young priest of Mira, Sergo of Bracke saw this event as a command from the gods. His father, a Brackish Merchant told tales of the God-King Barone, who commanded his people to worship him. He was compelled by the goddess Mira’s mercy, to kill the God-King, to end this blasphemy. Sergo snuck into the temple city of Barone equipped with only his family sword and slew 600 Baronasque and the God-King himself. Atop the God King’s balcony, he proclaimed the sins of the Baronasque and reveled the God-King’s mortality. He was soon captured by the guards. In captivity his eyes were gouged out and replaced with hot coals, just before being stoned to death. The gods’ condemnation of the Baronasque and the Martyrdom of Saint Sergo opened most of the southern continents to colonization of the Santos. The capital city of Santa Sergo was founded in 2910BH, opening the gates for hundreds of thousands of Santos del Terre. The Southern climate suited the plants brought from the east, and ancient elven irrigation systems created a booming agricultural industry. The average Santo family could easily sustain 5 children to adulthood. The establishment of the Southern Church saw Santo culture flourish. In the year 2840BH, when the domain of the Santos grew to their fullest extent, Ansisco Terán crowned himself king of the Santos and Santilla (El Rey de Santos y Santilla), which was granted legitimacy by the ordination of the High Archbishop Natalo Prinço of the Southern Church. King Ansisco adopted a feudal model similar to the northern kings. Ansisco attempted to unite the Santos del Mar and Santos del Terre through social reform. He tasked scholars to create a new state wide language which blended the two dialects. He also constructed churches across the kingdom to unite his people under the gods. He also wanted to emphasize the importance of one’s family and origins, establishing laws requiring that the diocese of the Southern Church record the lineage of the families who attend services. The Southern Church monopolized education and philosophy in Santilla, this gave rise to the Southern School of theological thought. King Ansisco endorsed this trend, and mandated that the church produce many missionaries to spread the beliefs of the Southern School. In 2800BH King Ansisco died and was succeeded by Dormian Nicolos. Under King Dormian, massive fortresses of granite were built along the frontier to protect against marauding Hobgoblins in the Southern Canyons. Santo mason’s became world renowned. The threat of goblin incursion was ever prevalent, yet the Kingdom of Santilla prospered.
The Ascension of Sergo
The Great Southern Wars (103DW- Present)
The Reconstruction of Barone left the continent in shock. The peasant class, Los Plantadores, in Santilla despised the remarkable success of the Tarquinasque Reforms, and at the same time lusted for the liberties they granted. Santo Nobles, fearing the revolution of the Plantadores, called for El Gran Colleción, a meeting of all landed nobles in the capital of San Sergo. The influx of nobles to the capital led to gossip of nobles executing influential Plantadores in charge of the social unrest. As a result the common people struck first, and rose in rebellion. Though poorly equipped, the sheer number of Plantadores on the eastern frontier saw many victories early on in the conflict. The Plantadore Revolution officially began in 113DW, after the establishment of La Liga Populare under the command of General Anto dela Corona. The Northern Provinces, with a Mortish majority, saw this as an opportunity to regain their independence. After the signing of the Gaaler Accord(115DW) in the rebel capital of Claarwoter, the Gaaler Union was formed and went to war with their Santo oppressors. With the king’s failing health, and the aristocracy panicking by the sheer size of the rebellions, the king’s son Ernesto Passo and his twin brother Dedero Malto became joint-regents over the kingdom, and lead those few who remained loyal to war. Across the Bondieu Mountains, Primarque Justien La Pandille-Rochard, capitalized on the weakness of their age old enemy. With the consent of the Oligarchs of War and Embassy, Justien mobilized the Armee Reformee, in secret, and marched them over the Bondieu Mountains, taking the few remaining Eastern army garrisons not dealing with the Plantadores. Justien deftly allied with the Plantadores, and supplied them with weapons and supplies. The war in the east was decided at the Siege of Fuerte San Sergo(119DW), when 32,000 Plantadores backed by 11,000 Baronasque broke through Santo defences killing the garrison of 14,000 soldiers and Vice-Regent Dedero Malto. Claiming the East for himself, as well as the old capital of San Sergo, Anto dela Corona declared himself Premargo del Estado and established the Premargate of Santilla, and instituted sweeping reforms similar to those of Tarquin V. In the north, the now sole regent of Santilla, Ernesto Passo, although occupying most of the Gaaler Union’s territory, is losing the war. Most of the countryside within Gaal lies under sea-level, and the Gaalers destroyed many dykes and levees flooding their own land to halt Santo advances with devastating success. Gaaler hit and run tactics slowly cut away at Santo morale. Disease ran rampant in the Santillan Royal Army, causing many officers to die, leaving the army with a shortage of good leaders. By 129DW, the frontlines ground to a halt, with the stagnant armies began building massive palisades, trenches, and battlements. The rest of the war was carried out in a series of constant,bloody border skirmishes. For 30 years no advances were made on any side. In 132DW Regent Ernesto Passo died of lung rot, restoring power to his father Fernan, the Sickly. In 158DW, Fernan finally succumbed to his diseases, leaving the Kingdom without a ruler and no comprehensive rules of succession, leading to The Great Succession Crisis(158DW)and the War of Eight Houses(159DW-Present). In 159DW, the warring families agreed to sign a peace agreement with the Gaaler Union, restoring sovereignty to the Great Cities and Free counties of Gaal. In the east, Anto dela Corona, now 78 years of age, failing to pay his debts to the Baronasque, severed diplomatic ties with Baronie. The newly elected Primarque of Baronie, Henri II de la Balantine, saw this diplomatic insult as an opportunity to expand the borders of Barone. Henri II enforced the Edict de Bondieu(162DW), branding Anto dela Corona a traitor to free people and enemy of the state. Henri II ordered all of his armies (approximately 50,000 troops) to attack nearby fortresses and slay any Revolutionary loyal to the Corona Regime in the Bloody Days Offensive(162DW). The sudden attack caught Anto by surprise and crippled his armies. Within 6 days Baronasque troops took the capital of San Sergo and imprisoned Anto and his 7 sons. The next morning Anto and his family were burned alive. A new Premargo de Santilla was chosen the same day. Sanche de Sintola was hand picked by Henri II, and the L’Edict d’Ascension(DW 163) was passed and enforced, dictating that any Premargo of Santilla must be approved by La Corte of Baronie. After the Fall of Demonica, it was discovered that she coerced the Lords of the South to fight in some of the bloodiest conflicts of the Demonica Wars. The Great Southern Wars, as they were to be called, provided Demonica with countless corpses which were locally accessible, to her lair in the Bondieu Mountains, within the long forgotten halls of Kair-Stuhanz. In more contemporary history, Hans Mentz, First Commander of Claarwoter, became discontented with the incompetence of the local city government and sought to make a strong nation in Santilla. The Mentz expedition, with about 4,000 Gaalers, met with the great Fire Giants of the Middle Kingdoms. Hans Mentz pursuaded Fire Chief Goznan to create weapons and armor for his army, and offered in return the Silent Forges of Kair-Stuhaz to his clan. Goznan agreed, and Hans succesfully toppled the Regime of Delgo Grano in the Premargate of Santilla in 528 DF. The people of Santilla hailed with mixed feelings dividing public opinion into differing factions. Hanz delivered on his promise and gave the Fire Giants their new home. The Baronasque were outraged by this development as their puppet government was deposed, and the presence of Fire Giants halted the work of Baronasque archeologists working for L’Academie pilfering artifacts they could use in wars to come.