Fall and Rise: The Argenosian Rebellion
The Fall of Argeno
The battle for Argeno’s sovereignty can be attributed to little more than a resource conflict and a poorly played game of chess.
A (Not So)Brief History
Argeno was founded roughly a century ago by King Gaelen Gar. He led a convoy of expatriates from the distant land known as The Domain, a fiercely imperialistic theocracy. Seeking freedom from religious oppression, Gaelen bartered his people’s exile with the condition that they settle a land far away and rumored to be cursed by the Geda; the all-in-one pantheon of light aspects worshiped by the hierarchy.
Of the three kings of Argeno, Gaelen was the first. His reign was emphasized by pioneering, the striking out into the foreign lands and laying the foundations for the oldest cities and forts in the land. His forces gradually pushed the savage races back into the lands beyond the Argeno Line, a massive wall constructed to bridge the gap between the twin mountain ranges in the midlands. Behind this wall he founded Argen, the Capitol.
In his 65th year Gaelen perished, passing his reign to his only son Edward. Whereas his father had sought to build and maintain what the fledgling nation held, Edward was more militant. He had grown up on the battlefield, pushing the natives back to the wilds and bore a deep resentment towards them. While major engagements had largely ceased, the savages continued to wage guerrilla war against the invaders, and he swore to break them once and for all. During what became known as the Great Purge, Argenosian forces pushed out into the wilderness and crushed the savage races, taking over the vast majority of the lands beyond the Line. With the help of fantastic weapons the natives never stood a chance, which is covered more in the Razorlead Bounty. However, Edward’s reign was cut short in his 50th year when he was slain by a Doppelganger disguised as his son, Saul. After much confusion and a nearly fatal trial, the true culprit was apprehended and Saul became king.
Saul Gar was much more peaceful than his father, and had a mind for infrastructure and engineering like his grandsire. With the savages all but eradicated, he set his focus on improving the lives of Argenosians and diplomatic entreaties to what peaceful tribes and peoples remained magnanimous toward them. He oversaw the construction of the Great Reservoir and the canals and aqueducts that became the iconic envy of many a foreign diplomat. His greatest achievement remains to this day bringing running water and sewage to the major cities, and his reign was largely peaceful until the discovery of the Reach.
The Reach and the Fall of Argeno
The nation enjoyed many years of stability under Saul’s reign. The economy thrived, mortality rates plummeted and the military shrank. However, the new generation craved the glory that was related to them by their forbears in the tales of the nation’s founding, and thrillseekers began to brave the distant mountains in search of adventure. It wasn’t long until the Reach was discovered, lying in a basin over the peaks to the east.
The Reach is a mysterious place. Unlike the cold and dismal headlands of Argeno, it is baumy and filled with a variety of spectacular flora and fauna. Springs burst forth from the ground, and the mountains fairly gush with natural deposits of gold and precious gems. Its bounty is only surpassed by its beauty, and within a year of its discovery an expedition was formed to explore… and to exploit. Tragically, they were not alone.
In the midst of the Reach the expedition stumbled into another; an entourage of graceful golden haired elves with striking emerald eyes and a penchant for making demands. Conflict was initially avoided, but the elves ordered the human expedition to return to their homeland and never return to the Reach. They claimed that only they could understand the fey energies that coalesced there, and as such it was their birthright. Each commander refused to acquiesce, and a wary truce was formed until the heads of the respective bodies could make an appearance and discuss the predicament.
Saul Gar himself made the trip to the center of the Reach where he was to meet with the elven head of house; Vagarin Fel’adrim. Many families made up the nation of elves inhabiting the land beyond the reach, but house Fel’adrim was by far the most eccentric of them. Their totalitarian behavior bordered on the insane, and years of inbreeding had exaggerated the worst and best of their attributes; pride and arrogance high among them. In an attempt to embarrass and defame the modest king, Vagarin posited that the fate of the reach should be decided with a simple game of chess between himself and Saul. Little did he know the King was quite fond of the game… and had never lost a match.
It was at this point that grave mistakes were made. Saul considered allowing the game to draw out in an attempt to assuage the ego of his opponent, but the Reach was such a tantalizing prize that he could not leave the game to any shred of chance. He bested Vagarin in 3 moves, and the elf became so enraged that he upset the board and drew his sword to King Saul’s throat. In an instant, his bodyguard and commander Hans Ryker beheaded the patriarch with one fell slash straight from his scabbard. In attendance were Vagarin’s two eldest sons: Iver and Algol. They calmly informed the King that he should return to his country and prepare for war.
Invasion and Occupation
Months passed and the Argenosian military scrambled to refit. It had been some years since a threat had posed itself, and the veterans of the Purge were all but dead and gone. Most of the men enlisted had never seen battle, and the veterans that remained knew all too well they faced a vastly different opponent than the savages they had slain in days of old. A year later, As King Saul reached the age of 51, the storm broke.
A vast army of warriors flooded into Argeno over the mountains in a two pronged attack. It was discovered far too late that despite House Fel’Adrim’s lack of forces and stature, their canny manipulation skills had left Vagarin with an enormous stack of blood debts that fell to his sons. The Argenosian troops, already woefully unprepared were fallen upon by a host of elven conscripts much larger and faster than the ones they had encountered before. With dark skin and hair, they stood 3 heads taller than their cousins, and wore Adamantite battle-plate that their lauded Razorlead weapons could not penetrate.
The first days were costly, but under the masterful direction of Hans Ryker and the veterans under his command the troops quickly began to revise their tactics against the enemy. Despite retaining a competitive stance, the vast array of experience in the Elven generals proved insurmountable. One by one forts and cities fell until House Fel’Adrim arrayed its forces for the final assault on the Argeno Line. Beaten back and facing imminent defeat, Argen defenders slipped back to the capitol the night before the attack to spend one last time with their families, a day that became known as the Night of Passion. The next morning the elves stormed the walls, routing the last of the Argenosian army.
An outright slaughter was not the intent of House Fel’Adrim. Iver’s sadistic appetite demanded the very lives of the Argenosians to be lived out in shame. King Saul was made to stand before his people and, while retaining his crown, appoint Fel’Adrim councilors and statesmen, granting them land and title. The country has now lived under the heel of the Fel’Adrim for the last 18 years, harried by the conscripts whose contracts terminate only upon the death of the King. Saul is kept under constant loyalist supervision, and many would-be assassins have lost their lives attempting to end the occupation; Elf and Argenosian alike.
This is the world you live in.