Essalonia: The Mysteries, the Facts
|Essalonia: The Mysteries, the Facts|
|Printer||The Quillmen of Queens|
“Essalonia: The Mysteries, the Facts” was written in the final months of 309 AC by Regal scholar Desmond D’arc to inform the public about the mysterious lands of Essalonia. Desmond traveled extensively throughout the eastern lands of Aloria over the course of a decade, but chose to settle on discussing Essalonia for his first published work upon his return to the Regalian Archipelago. The text is abhorrently brief, but Desmond took some risks to gain the information he did, traveling beyond the allies of the Regalian Empire to learn what he recorded for this text, which is why so many forgive the scant information he was able to uncover.
Essalonia: The Mysteries, the Facts
My travels into the east of Aloria gave me many fascinating experiences, both from Sihai land, and from my efforts to learn more about the lands of Essalonia. Oh, you might assume there are just open wilds in that place, but that is not true. The lands there are real, and they are dense with people, unknown to any beyond their shores except experts in the art of knowledge, and those bold enough to venture beyond borders.
Veløya as it is known to the world is one of the few landmasses of Essalonia where Regalia has a definitive presence. This island, found off the western coastline of Essalonia, is old, far older than most may think, with many Velheim settlements built atop of, or, in the shadow of past remnants and other civilizations. It is also one of the most open Velheim landmasses, the regional nations porous in their acceptance of most Races or peoples. I came here at the start of the journey, and while the tradesmen plied me with wild tales, local records and more serious folk also added facts to confirm my writings. I ultimately left this land filled with wonder and eagerness to continue my journey, but also with fear for what will happen in this land due to the frequency of Bone Horrors across its landscape.
- Ostynde Kingdom, the northernmost nation of Veløya. The region was formerly a colony of the Hedrylli Empire until the Cataclysm, and later ravaging of the imperial state by Vampires, allowed Ostynde to break away. It had limited notoriety following this, but starting in 230 AC, has played host to a minority enclave of Sihai that now gives the region its name in Skodje.
- Arlora Kingdom, one half of the most well known pair of nations in Essalonian history. Arlora was initially a mere collective of settlements of Velheim, but shortly after the Cataclysm, they fell into warfare with their neighbor Torse, and never stopped. For over two centuries, the sides battled each other, with Torse gaining the upper hand following 270 AC as Ceardian refugees settled within the nation. However, in 304 AC, King Gulbrand I led his people into a disastrous war against the Regalian Empire, instigating the Bone Horror Crisis which severely damaged his territory, leaving it a battleground which struggles to this day.
- Torse Kingdom, resilient in the face of the odds. The Torse Velheim claim to have been the victims of Arloran aggression since shortly after the Cataclysm, but so many tales exist of how their war got started, it hardly matters. With a superior navy to their northern neighbors, Torse was even able to fend off conflict with the Regalian Empire in the past. However, the nation fell to chaos in the leadup to the Battle of Curag Fields, its monarch ultimately surrendering his nation to Regalia as a vassal to save his people. After the battle, Arlora grew more belligerent and ultimately, the Bone Horror Crisis devastated a just-recovering Torse as it did to other Veløya states. Like Arlora, Torse is held by the Regalian Empire.
- Hyttelåm Confederacy, also known as the “Land of Towns.” The Hyttelåm Confederacy was formed of Velheim settlers who came to the western side of Veløya a few decades before the Cataclysm. Over time, the regional communities divided into sixteen minor regional burg-style powers that whole apart, gradually united into a confederacy of equals to fend off attacks and manipulations from neighboring Arlora and Torse, hoping to piecemeal envelop the agricultural regions. The Confederacy was heavily hit by the Bone Horror Crisis, and many of its Innders (local term for each territory of the Confederacy) within the heartland of Veløya have been depopulated as people flee the worst of the Bone Horrors.
- Kermån Kingdom, flying under notice for far too long. Kermån was founded after the Cataclysm by Torse migrants seeking to flee the war their nation had become embroiled in with Arlora, seeking to maintain traditional Velheim values. They founded their nation, and lived a quiet existence until ruined Altalar spires were uncovered in the local mountain ranges, along with remains of the Second Civilization. The Bone Horror Crisis has severely disrupted the scholarly community’s efforts to explore these ruins, and they remain largely untouched today.
- Hålman Kingdom, most southern of all Veløya nations. The region was founded as a trading outpost some time before the Cataclysm, and was perhaps the first part of Veløya to be settled. However, following that world changing event, a series of large sinkholes opened across the region, revealing an aquatic cave network a few dozen feet beneath the earth. The system has been explored over the decades, revealing a large scope that might even reach beyond Hålman, but infestations of Maerrow, Kelp and other hostile forms of life continue to impede these exploratory efforts.
My next stop on my eastern-bound travels were to land in each of the southwestern republican nations of Silbrae and Dormin seeking to learn more about the lands which dominate the territory around them. Unfortunately, while I certainly learned a wealth of knowledge on the republics, few had much to say of the endlessly shifting micropolities beyond their borders. I ultimately left after three weeks in each land, and carried on south, where I sadly found equally little success.
- Silbrae Republic, slowly recovering. The nation of Silbrae was founded by a collection of Altalar and Ailor who fled Daen during the first two decades following the Cataclysm hoping to reach Solleria, only to be blown off course and instead landing in Essalonia. Their nation, founded in the delta of the Silmae River, eventually grew rich from mining silver. However, following their addition to the Regalian Empire, a silver crash allowed Dormin to break away, and led to republican ideas taking over the nation. They have since been on a slow path to recovery, but recent conflicts between surrounding regional powers have made some nervous about the Republic’s future.
- Dormin Republic, enterprising and self-assured. Also known as “The Nation of Hops,” Dormin is an island republic that, while originally a colony of Silbrae, successfully broke away to chart its own destiny. The Regalian Empire absorbed both nations, but while Silbrae plunged into recession due to the silver crash, Dormin remained thriving thanks to its economy focusing on the production of hops, which helped turn it into an alcohol manufacturing center. They have had many Velheim customers over the years due to that people’s love of beer, but there have also seen smuggling operations carry its many quality products to those regions beyond the zone of the Navigation Acts.
The southern lands of Essalonia are an interesting, if obscured tale. While I was unable to travel to these regions, I instead landed in Hadr Al’Arabi Altya Faqaduha. The Qadir there were open to speaking with me, though I learned little about Essalonia. The lands there though are populated with a mix of Ailor, perhaps native to the continent, and Songaskia themselves which is why the local Qadir avoid speaking or considering the territories much. These lands are the Harmin Kingdom, Jéneer Kingdom and Ofessalou-Mahadou Kingdom, and I ultimately carried on into The Far West.
Below I have left a list of the mysterious nations who are known to the Regalian Empire, and local powers, but with little knowledge beyond names and for a few, vague characteristics.
- Oltaran Republican Hegemony, the original homeland of the Krainivaya and home to a monotheistic society
- Heser-Herriarch Theocratic Empire
- Essalonian Warring States, a vast collection of petty empires, fiefdoms, provinces and more which control the entire east of the continent
- D’arc had to make several last minute additions to his work due to events that took place at the end of 309 AC, revealing the true origin of the Krainivaya to not be from Mirnoye in The Skags.
- Arlora is well known for the remnants of the Forest People, a group largely within regional Velheim myths but who were definitely real, given the ancient catacombs that extend across several areas of Arlora-controlled Veløya.