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The Kingdom of Vandregon

The Kingdom of Vandregon- Old World

The Kingdom of Vandregon lies on the south western portion of the continent of Faedrun. Its massive territory curls around into a crescent shape. Aldoria lies to the east, Maykar to the north east inside the curve, and the Syndar nations to the far north. Their colors are Gray and Red, representing steel and life. The Vandregon army flies the Gray and Red colors but the Rangers of Vandregon, a large and organized scouting and recon force, are represented by Gray and Green, representing steel and nature.

The knights of Vandregon are the most skilled heavy cavalry in the world, and they ride sturdy and loyal warhorses with a reputation for being absolutely unflappable even in the most dire of situations. Even the peasant militias are better trained and better equipped than most other foot soldiers in the old world. The men of Vandregon are a courageous and proud people, with a long succession of wise and noble Kings.

Home to the largest human population, Vandregon maintains good relations with almost all the human and Syndar kingdoms. They aid other kingdoms when needed, are fair in their dealings, but firm in their ideals and negotiations. The men of Vandregon adhere to a strict code of chivalry, and the people highly value honor and brotherhood as their primary ideals. The territory of Vandregon is large and divided into sections that are ruled by a House; fourteen Houses total made up of a number of nobles, barons, sheriffs, and mayors from their respective territories. Each House has a territory they govern and provide Senators to the governing body of Vandregon. The Senators have a fair amount of power and represent the people of the territory they govern, but the military and kingdom treasury is run directly by the King and his council. The King oversees the Senate and the government is a mix of monarchy and democracy. The King has the most power but if enough Senators disagree with the King they can vote him down but it is a higher than majority ruling; 10 houses must oppose the King’s ruling for it to be overruled. This system is fair and favors change and rapid decision making and has been critical in Vandregon’s growth over time.

Vandregon has grown into the greatest human civilization the world has known. The Kings and Senators, all of whom have achieved knighthood at some point in their lives, have all worked together to build it into what it has become. The enormous military keeps its people safe and the Houses make sure to tend to the needs of the territory. Vandregon has been blessed with a continued line of great rulers and its people are genuinely happy and hard working which makes them productive and prosperous. Every peasant in every country dreams of a good government and kingdom; of a place where people are ruled with firm but benevolent leaders. Vandregon has become just that. People do not fear the military, the politicians, or the King but instead look to them for guidance and leadership. The other human kingdoms have never fully committed to war with Vandregon but border skirmishes and battles over the kingdom’s long history have happened. The closest that Vandregon ever got to full scale war were the initial battles and skirmishes with the Syndar kingdoms to the North and with the Kingdom of Aldoria during the Battle of Grayfield. If fully committing to war, there is not a single human kingdom that could defend against Vandregon’s military for long.

 

The Undead Plague on Faedrun, and the Fall of Vandregon

The King of Vandregon wasted no time fully committing the army to combating the undead. He knew the threat that this organized force would face, and realized that the longer they waited, the more powerful the Undead would become. Instead of simply mobilizing and reinforcing the borders, the army needed to comb through the land and flush out the undead. Not only that, but the source of the Undead plague needed to be discovered and destroyed. The bulk of his Infantry was dispatched to cleanse the countryside and purge the Undead from within the borders, while Cavalry, Rangers, Knights Errant, and brave volunteer Adventurers formed expeditionary forces to locate the heart of the Undead menace. This is when it was discovered just how widespread and embedded this threat had become. Villages all over Vandregon’s borders were taxed to their limit as town guards could barely keep people safe. When the peasants began to rebel and take up arms against the Vandregon army, the true magnitude of the threat was realized.

What was initially thought of as isolated outbreaks of undead and of crazed or fever-maddened townsfolk was actually the beginning of an organized effort that began to call themselves the Penitent. Almost overnight, this rebel army sprang up and began to overwhelm or destroy the smaller Vandregon army units that were combing the land and fighting the undead. The King mobilized a much larger army to counter attack the Penitent, but realized that the undead curse and the Penitent had spread to other kingdoms and the opposing army was much larger than anticipated. As the fighting continued, the dead on both sides did nothing but bolster the numbers of the massive undead horde beginning to form. The very soldiers sent to fight and stop the Penitent army were rising again to fight for the undead. All out war erupted both at the borders of Vandregon and inside the kingdom’s lands. Panic gripped the entire continent.

The army of Vandregon managed to hold it’s own against the undead and penitent for a number of years. It was a long and grueling war and the casualties suffered on both sides were staggering. People were born and grew up in a world where war was all they had ever known. The King and the Senate used all the resources and strategic planning they had at their disposal to keep Vandregon alive. Vandregon was supported by and became a haven for refugees when the smaller kingdoms fell and were displaced. Soldiers trained constantly and held the lines against an unimaginable foe. Mages and clerics from numerous orders searched the continent and tried to discover secrets or new weapons to use against the undead. Rangers and scouts moved in and out of dangerous territories looking for weaknesses to exploit. Through years of war, the Vandregon army forged some of the most skilled and veteran warriors, heroes of legend who forged a name in history and spurred on the soldiers around them. The cost of constant fear of the undead also became a huge problem, as a large numbers of soldiers broke down due to psychological trauma or defected to the ranks of the penitent. Every day was a battle and every new dawn a miracle.

While the expeditionary forces never confirmed the location or the source of the Undead, they did discover that the enemy was using the former May’Kar dominion as a headquarters, and that there was reportedly an Undead leader there called “The Risen King”. The Maykar Dominion had betrayed the other kingdoms, and joined the penitent cause. It was the only lead they had, and they were running out of time. The army of Vandregon was split to deal with this new threat so entrenched near the heart of Vandregon territory, and a grand crusade was launched. The King of Vandregon asked the other Kingdoms for aid, but only the Syndar of Tielorrien joined them in any real numbers. The Aldorians not only refused to send any troops, but actually asked for more aid from Vandregon. The situation was grim, and this was a desperate gamble. If the undead and penitent used the trade routes through the desert to get into Vandregon, they could cut the entire kingdom in half. The Northern half of the army continued to root out the undead inside the Vandregon borders and began an offensive campaign against the MayKar Dominion. It took years to fight and begin to defeat the traitor kingdom, and the diversion was costly. During the tail end of the battle with MayKar, Vandregon tried to divert some resources to Aldoria so they could search for and fund a colony. At first it was just to find another land, and then when it was found it was to pledge support and supplies to ship building. Several cities shifted gears and tried to build ships to assist in the effort in building the colony.

The Southern half of the army focused on the enormous line between the heart of the Vandregon and the enemy. They could barely stand against the undead, but were trying to hold out long enough for the Northern army to join them when they conquered MayKar. When the undead decimated Aldoria, their numbers exploded because of new penitent joining their cause or the dead coming back to fill in the ranks. The undead army renewed its attack on Vandregon with tens of thousands of fresh undead troops, and it overwhelmed the Southern army. This event, from the start of the split to the decimation of half of the Vandregonian army, was called “The Fall”.

The Northern half of the army retreated to the far western and northern reaches of Vandregon. The southern half was decimated. The army broke into smaller groups and tried to retreat. Some units were able to fall back, some were slaughtered to a man, some are rumored still lost deep inside undead territory. Few made it across the ocean in boats to Mardrun. Half of the largest and most disciplined army in human history was utterly destroyed. With the Southern army gone, the massive horde of Undead and penitent poured into the lands of Vandregon unchecked. The nation of Vandregon was ravaged as the people fled towards the Northern army or tried to squeeze into dangerously overloaded ships sailing East. The capitol city of Vandregon was razed to the ground.

Vandregon, the largest human society and the strongest military army on Faedrun, was destroyed.

 

Vandregon Refugees – Mardrun Colony

Much of the government was still on Faedrun and most of the Southern Vandregon army gave their lives defending against or slowing down the undead. Most of the soldiers that made it across were wounded or escorts. More than one story has been told of survivors being loaded onto boats so filled with people they are barely sea worthy and ranks of Vandregon soldiers defending to the last man, taken down one by one by penitent and undead just to give the civilians a chance to get away and out to sea. The ferocity and skill of these doomed soldiers fighting in their last moments has become a legend in itself.

To this day, nobody knows the true fate of the Northern army and the north western half of Vandregon.

Vandregon hasn’t recovered in any sort of organized way since The Fall. The soldiers and civilians who made it across on the boats were more refugees and survivors than organized groups starting a new life. A fair number of colonists are from Vandregon, but the lack of organization has them scattered all over the colony territories and carrying on with their new lives. Some of the nobility that formed the colony of Newhope originated from Vandregon, but they are more concerned with the colony than they are with breathing new life into the old colors. Being a nation founded upon chivalry and Knighthood, the sad fact of the matter is that most of the leadership of Vandregon rode out to protect the retreat of their people from Faedrun, and died doing their duty as Knights.

Recently, however, a young and ambitious Knight from Vandregon has been organizing and training an infantry unit that wears the colors of his native land. The new army of Vandregon grows in strength everyday under the charismatic leadership of Sir William, Grandson of Sir Alexander. The New Army of Vandregon has made its presence known in the colonies, and their patrols of outlying villages have made the region safer from Mordok attacks. To the local civilian populace, the colors of Vandregon are a welcome sight, and the Soldiers of the new army of Vandregon have developed a reputation as honorable and brave fighters, true to the ideals of chivalry and the proud traditions of their homeland. The New Army of Vandregon helps to protect the farmers and colonists who live too far away from the main colonies to be under anyone else’s protection. They train and equip small local militias, and are constantly recruiting from the local populace as they make their patrols. The New Army of Vandregon made up an important part of the Ulven/Human/Phoenix Syndar alliance that stood against the Lich on Mardrun, and they have even sent troops to help aid the Watchwolves and Nightrivers in the Ulven Civil War.

The standard currency from Faedrun, the Vandregon Silver, survived the trip to Mardrun. Enough coins are in circulation that it is still considered the standard form of currency for the colonists.

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Titles of Prestige and Peerage

Key Points, circa August 266

The following titles of Prestige, Peerage, and Ulven titles are not an exhaustive list of titles in Last Hope. Each and every Kingdom on Faedrun would have had an extensive and most likely complex system of titles that they used. However, most of these systems did not survive the trip over to Mardrun. With a mixing pot of kingdom backgrounds all smashed together in one small continent, the titles became obsolete.

In August of 266, Lord Baron Richards of the City-State of Newhope, as part of the infrastructure building initiative of the colonial territories, has put in motion a plan to standardize titles of prestige and peerage on Mardrun. Anyone with titles worth noting have been encouraged to come to Newhope territory and have their title “converted” to the appropriate title in this system and receive approved documentation is necessary. What this has done is streamline down the titles into an easy to handle an easy to remember system that Mardrun as a whole can recognize.

Titles of Prestige (Non-Nobility):

These are earned like service awards or recognition. They hold meaning and are important, but are not actual ranks of nobility. Recipients of titles of Prestige are recognized but do not own territories (save for a Baronet) or have responsibility to the overall nobility structure. All titles of Prestige, save for Squire/Esquire, will have official papers drawn up explaining the achievement to earn such a title.
Ranked lowest to highest.

Squire/Esquire
Pledged service and oath to a Knight, Knight-In-Training. This holds no actual prestige as there could be many squires, but shows more of an intent to earn prestige or status.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Squire to [Knight’s Name].”

Edler
Small title, recognition of some sort for almost anything (martial/political/economic service). Mainly a “This is a person of note”. There are many Edler titles awarded to individuals and this title of prestige would be the absolute minimum needed to gain influence towards a Title of Peerage.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Edler of [Noble’s Name].”

Knight
Requires martial prowess, exceptional service, training in combat. Commonly a stepping stone before earning a title of Peerage, usually awarded to army commanders, distinguished soldiers, and elite bodyguards. Knighthood is awarded to more for the sake of the realm and not the sake of the individual noble, but their papers will dictate which noble awarded them their Knight status.
Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Sir/Dame [Name], Knight of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Baronet
Given land or a single settlement to maintain. Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”. This prestige could be awarded for exceptional service or longstanding fealty to a noble. Baronet would be the highest esteem someone could get without true nobility and is reserved for the most trusted allies and companions. A Baronet wishing to become a Noble could “release their fealty” by purchasing it from their Noble.
Commonly addressed as “Sir” or “Dame”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Sir/Dame [Name], Baronet of [Noble’s Name].”

Titles of Peerage(Nobility):

These are earned through lineage transition or exceptional rewards for service. No individual can gain a Title of Peerage without at least first accomplishing a Title of Prestige first. They hold meaning and are important and are full ranks of nobility. Recipients of Titles of Peerage are recognized and must own or be in charge of land/territories and have responsibilities to the overall nobility structure. All Titles of Peerage, will have official papers drawn up explaining the achievement to earn such a title.
Ranked Lowest to Highest.

Baron/Baroness
A Baron/Baroness is beholden to their Kingdom/City-State and it’s rulers. A Baron/Baroness is a ruler of a single settlement/village (minimum size of a single faction). They are expected to aid the kingdom in any way they can. The title would carry a commanding weight with those of a lesser rank but their word would be given an amount of trust with those of equal or greater station. Their lands are known as a Barony.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Baron [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Count/Countess
A Count/Countess would rule over a grouping of close settlements/villages (about 3-5) which is known as a County. This would also be a larger area of land than a Baron/Baroness would be given. A Count/Countess would be in charge of protection and taxation of these lands but the extra people could be called upon to serve their County. They are beholden to a Kingdom or City-State. They would carry a commanding weight with those of a lesser station and their words would carry a bit more trust with those of equal and higher station.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Count/Countess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Marquess/Marchioness
A Marquess/Marchioness would rule over a settlement on the border of the Kingdom/City-State and is expected to defend the Kingdom from invasion. This would be a border shared with another kingdom not just an empty border. They would rule over equal or potentially less land than a Count/Countess but because of their expected bravery and duty they are given higher station. Again they may have a commanding presence with those of a lower station and given a good deal of trust by those of equal and higher station.
Commonly addressed as “Lord” or “Lady”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Marquess/Marchioness [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Prince/Princess
Prince/Princess is the station of the children of Nobility of a rank of Duke/Duchess or higher. Heir Apparent would be the title of a Prince/Princess who is the next in line for a title and Crown Prince/Princess is the title for one in line for the title of King.
Commonly addressed as “Your Highness”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Prince [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Duke/Duchess
A Duke/Duchess is the title granted to any noble on the Council of the City-State of Newhope. Each Duke is responsible for one of the 10 districts of Newhope but may acquire additional lands outside of the city. They could claim territories made up of 5-10 settlements/villages called a Duchy. They are the highest rank in Newhope and second only to the title of King/Queen.
Commonly addressed as “Your Grace”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Duke/Duchess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
This is a Duke/Duchess given a special station such as the head of the Newhope Council of Ten.
Commonly addressed as “Your Grace”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “Grand Duke/Grand Duchess [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

King/Queen/Emperor/Empress
A King/Queen rules over a Kingdom and all of its nobles. The title of Emperor/Empress is used to mean “a King of Kings” meaning one who rules over multiple kingdoms.
Commonly addressed as “Your Majesty”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “King/Queen/Emporer/Empress [Name] of [Kingdom/Territory/Realm].”

Ulven Based Titles:

Ulven do not recognize titles the same way that humans and Syndar do. There is a very defined hierarchy (pecking order) of what status has more say than another. Ulven that earn these titles are respected as leaders and expected to be leaders regardless of their history or supporting skills. Where a human noble would be scrutinized and heavily kept in check by other nobles (and up and coming nobles right behind them) the Ulven have a much more simple look at their leadership. This follows a “You have earned this title, therefore you have earned the right to lead”. All Ulven titles are sought after and earned, none are awarded as some sort of barter or worth, but the ulven do not carry papers or official documentation that proves their titles. It is highly taboo in Ulven society (and very quickly creates an honor duel) if anyone deceives others regarding their titles. The proof of a title is the ability to verbally state their title and the actions they have take to earn such a title.

Honorifics
Diplomatic, skill, or station titles recognized as honorable and important to the individuals immediate influence (like a Pack or Family). These can vary dramatically among the Ulven people but are lumped into a minor category that is given a “nod of respect/recognition” when dealing with other Ulven. Some examples are Skald, Ambassador, Truthseeker, Huntmaster, Weaponmaster, Lorespeaker, Runeseer, Ulfednar, Viknar, etc.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], [Honorific] of [Pack/Clan].”

Hersir
A distinguished person in Ulven society, usually due to some sort of recognized feat. This commonly comes from combat service but some ulven are known to have great force of will and be recognized for such skill. A Hersir’s actions reflect the honor of the awarding entity and there is a responsibility to maintain honor so to avoid tarnishing the greater honor of the group. Hersir’s are not “nobles” per se and the closest human equivalent would be an Edler or a Knight. The status of Hersir can also be combined with that of an honorific title.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Hersir of [Pack/Clan]”
or “[Name], Hersir, [Honorific] of [Pack/Clan].”

Jarl
Upgrade to Hersir as no Ulven that is not at first a Hersir would even be given a title of Jarl. A jarl is put in charge of some sort of responsibility (ships, men, land, commerce) and reports to a Chieftain or some sort of appointed leadership. Due to the number of Packs in Ulven culture and the commonality of Chieftains and Priestesses, Jarls are fairly rare and not a common practice among the Ulven. Most Chieftains would rather rule over their own territories themselves and not bring others in to share the honor and the fame. However, larger territories such as Clan Stormjarl, Clan Nightriver, and Clan Grimward have a much higher presence of Jarls due to their sheer size. Because of the expanded duties and expectations of service and honor to maintain the title of Jarl, an ulven no longer carries the title of an honorific; they are expected to be well rounded in the management of their assigned responsibilities.
Commonly addressed as “Jarl”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Jarl of [Pack/Clan].”

Priestess
Must be a Daughter of Gaia with magic. Reserved for priestess of a Pack whose sole focus is the spiritual needs, training, and magical abilities of the Pack. The “weight” of this title is based on the size of the Pack. Highly specialized Priestesses are allowed to proclaim their honorific title as well as their Priestess title. This does not follow suit to the way the rest of the Ulven address themselves and is reserved solely for the Priestess of a Pack.
Commonly addressed as “Priestess” or “[Honorific]”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Priestess of [Pack]”.
or “[Honorific] [Name, Priestess of [Pack]”.

Chieftain
Must be an ulven who is able to fight, but does not need to be focused around fighting. No Chieftain is recognized as a leader if they are unable to defend their Pack from harm. Reserved for Chieftain of a Pack whose sole focus is the management, leadership, and martial prowess of the Pack. The “weight” of this title is based on the size of the Pack.
Commonly addressed as “Chieftain”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Chieftain of [Pack]”.

Warleader
Must be an esteemer and recognized warrior. Responsible for martial prowess and honor of the entire Ulven Clan. An ulven must defeat the current warleader in a highly ceremonial and brutal honor duel and if defeated, must relinquish the title.
Commonly addressed as “Warleader”.
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Warleader of [Clan]”.

High Priestess
Reserved for High Priestess of a Clan. Oversees the spiritual needs, Daughter of Gaia training, and diplomatic negotiations of the Clan.
Commonly addressed as “High Priestess”
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], High Priestess of [Clan]”

Clanleader
Reserved for Clanleader of a Clan. Oversees the management, political structure, and diplomatic negotiations of the Clan.
Commonly addressed as “Clanleader”
Addressed in a formal capacity as “[Name], Clanleader of [Clan]”.

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The Kingdom of Aldoria

The Kingdom of Aldoria

The Kingdom of Aldoria – Faedrun – OLD WORLD
The Kingdom of Aldoria sits neighboring Vandregon on the continent of Faedrun. A smaller kingdom, Aldoria is home to a very wealthy merchant system and specializes in economy, trade, and politics. Aldoria also became the first nation to truly master the oceans and its trade routes along waterways exist because of Aldorian explorers and sea merchants. Their banner colors are green and blue, representing water and growth, and their crest is a compass with cardinal direction points.

In addition to their prowess as sailors, the Aldorians developed some of the finest breeds of horses that the world has ever seen, from the smooth-gaited walking horses prized by the nobility for their comfort and grace, to the strong and hardy draft horses that work the fields and haul cargo overland. Even the powerful warhorses so beloved by the knights of Vandregon are descended from Aldorian bloodlines. Other nations may be famous for their specialty exports, but the Aldorians are the ones who move those commodities. The Aldorians were the first to map Faedrun, and nearly all of the major trade routes were blazed by the explorers and merchants of this Kingdom. By creating a network of tollways and bridges within their Kingdom and extending out to every entry point along their borders, the Aldorians have been able to fund and support the smoothest and best maintained roads in Faedrun.

Because of the high volume of trade traffic and valuable goods passing through this Kingdom at any given time, there is a long running problem with piracy and highway robbery. The merchant guilds have taken matters into their own hands by creating Road Warden garrisons and Merchant Marine Corps, but sadly these mercenary organizations are often corrupt and can actually be just as dangerous as the pirates and bandits themselves. Behind the extortion and protection rackets are the competitive individuals of the merchant guilds themselves, of course, back-stabbing each other whenever possible.

 

Aldoria has had good relations with the other nations except for a misunderstanding with Vandregon that led to a bloody encounter called the Battle of Grayfield. Many years ago, when the Aldorians were just beginning to get their momentum as a major economic power, the country expressed interest in opening up more trade with the Syndar. At the time, the Syndar kingdoms were still quite isolationist in regards to the humans, and rarely traded with them. There was a definite demand for Syndar goods, however. Everything they produced from spices to artwork was highly prized by the wealthiest humans, and brought excellent prices. The Syndar, however, really had no interest in trading with the Humans, especially since as far as they were concerned, there was not a thing that the humans could produce that they couldn’t do better themselves. The only place where Humans and Syndar even had frequent contact was in the May’Kar dominion, center of learning and religion in the Old World. Time and again, the Aldorian merchants and ambassadors were politely turned away from the various Syndar kingdoms without gaining any ground on opening up trade. This created much contempt among the people of New Aldoria, and the merchants of other lands as well. Eventually, the attitude spiraled into outright resentment, and racism began to run rampant in the kingdom of New Aldoria.

The Battle of Grayfield
About a century before the Undead Plague, the tension that existed between the Syndar Kingdoms and Human nations of Aldoria and Vandregon was boiling into hostility. Border skirmishes and disagreements popped up throughout the continent of Faedrun and the land was on the verge of an all out genocidal race war. Although the Kingdom of Vandregon had the largest standing army at the time, the King of Vandregon pushed for reason and peace, sending diplomats and ambassadors to the City of Seven Gates in Tielorrien. The King of Aldoria, already frustrated and angry with the Syndar, saw an opportunity to seize more land and strike first. He made a bold move and marched an army into the lands of the Syndar. As the soldiers fought, killed, or displaced the smaller Syndar settlements, the King of Vandregon dispatched an army to follow the Aldorians. What the Aldorian generals thought were reinforcements were actually other Humans sent to stop the Aldorian advance. The Men of Vandregon confronted their neighboring kingdom in an attempt to solve the situation quickly before all out war broke out with the Syndar.

The Aldorians refused to retreat. They lobbied that to do so would show the Syndar that the human nations were disorganized and fractured. As the Vandregonians stalled the Aldorian advance, the Syndar army gathered and began to move to resist the Humans. Back in Aldoria, political council rooms exploded in heated arguments and oaths of revenge were sworn in the event that either side came to blows. The tension continued to grow as neither kingdom backed down.

To this day, nobody knows for sure what finally sparked what was to be known as the Battle of Grayfield. Generals from both sides were in a heated discussion, waiting for word from their politicians. Somehow, fighting broke out, centered around the Vandregonian general’s tent. The armies clashed, desperately trying to gain ground to see their leaders to safety. Soldiers fought violently, each side convinced that the other side had sprung a sneak attack on their respective generals. After a short but incredibly bloody battle, most of the leadership of each side and over half of both armies’ soldiers were dead. The incident was named the Battle of Grayfield; The color gray representative of the lack of unified colors of the respective nations.

 

As the Syndar army marched forth onto the encampment, they were stalled by the destruction the humans had unleashed on each other. The Syndar, now having the upper hand, could have easily advanced through the ruined camp, destroyed the remaining survivors of each army, and continued their march into the human kingdoms. The Syndar General instead stopped his army, showing respect to the remaining Vandregonian soldiers, and healed the wounded of both sides. There could not have existed any proof more profound than the soldiers of Vandregon willing to battle their neighbors in order to stop them from attacking the Syndar. The Syndar halted their forces, agreed to terms with Vandregon, and ended hostilities with the humans. This single battle would usher in the golden age of peace between the humans and the Syndar.

The Battle of Grayfield did, however, end the relations between Vandregon and Aldoria for years to come. The Aldorians felt betrayed and abandoned by their fellow humans. The armies were rebuilt and stationed at the borders of each kingdom, staring each other down in a waiting game to see if further conflict would erupt. Aldoria, far smaller than the kingdom of Vandregon, began to increase its political and religious influences with the nobles and houses of all the human kingdoms, to rally their favor if ever the nations again came to blows. Both nations settled in for a long and tense cold war.

Many years later, the Kingdoms of Vandregon and Aldoria have eased back into an apprehensive nature. No further battles have ever erupted. As the survivors of those times had children and those children had their own children, the bitterness between the nations cooled.

To this day, however, it is a common start to a large tavern brawl if someone claims that “the <other side> started it at Grayfield!”.

 

The Undead Plague – Faedrun
When the great undead scourge began to devour the land, Aldoria was ill prepared to handle this threat head on. The focus of Aldoria had shifted to supplies, trade routes, and managing merchant guilds. When the undead began to consume its borders, Aldorian soldiers could barely handle keeping them at bay. The neighboring kingdom of Vandregon did well mobilizing an army to meet the threat, but the shift of focus off of its military had made Aldoria weaker over the years, and many of their troops were unreliable mercenaries. Aldoria did not fully commit to the fight. Even as the King of Vandregon pledged to personally face the undead in battle and launched a grand crusade into the May’Kar dominion, the King of Aldoria held back. This move very well could have sown the seeds of destruction on Faedrun.

Meanwhile, Aldorian seafarers had discovered the new continent of Mardrun. As the Undead continued to attack the borders of his kingdom, the King of Aldoria immediately put his money into a secret project to build a colony in the New World.

While the colonists became established on Mardrun, the Aldorian people back in the Old World began to question their King. More and more farmland fell to the advance of the undead, yet the King would not send soldiers out to reclaim it. Instead, more effort was put into building more ships and working on the colony. Peasants and farmers began to flee, most of them into the neighboring lands of Vandregon, as the King and the army continued to fund and work towards the expansion of the colony. The King of Vandregon pleaded with the King of Aldoria to join forces in face of a common enemy, but the offer was refused. The King of Aldoria said that the people of his kingdom still remember the scars of how Vandregon “united” together as brothers in arms against the Syndar so long ago.

As the King and his political entourage of nobles, knights, and politicians prepared to leave the continent of Faedrun, the army collapsed entirely and the undead besieged their lands. Countless thousands were slaughtered as the King attempted to flee. Soldiers were ordered to stand and fight to keep the undead from destroying the ships. The entire port city was a bloody massacre as the ships set sail for Mardrun. Ironically, by holding back and isolating themselves, the Aldorian army could not withstand the tide of Undead and their deaths added thousands upon thousands of fresh troops raised again for the armies that just slaughtered them. This bolster in numbers was the major turning point when the Undead began to overwhelm the other human nations.

The Settlement of New Aldoria – Mardrun Colony
After the massacre, not very many ships reached Mardrun. Between the diseases of the wounded, the lack of ample food and water, and the haste in which they left the continent of Faedrun, the kingdom of Aldoria was doomed. The King never survived the trip to the colony he worked so hard to fund and his son would bury him at its shores. The houses and nobles were scattered, in poverty, or left with nothing upon their arrival to the new colony. What was once a proud nation of Faedrun was nothing more than a handful of bloody survivors, refugees, and battered soldiers.

Not all hope was lost, however, as the remaining nobles and military leaders tried to put the pieces back together and lead the colony. They proclaimed the King’s son the new leader and began a plan to rebuild. This course of action was not favored by many of the original colonists, who had grown hearty and cold with having to carve out a living on the new continent, and the colonists of New Hope declared their independence from Aldoria. The newly arrived refugees did not have the funding or men to rule what they had created, and the nobility could not resist the secession. Instead, the survivors of Aldoria banded together and carved out their own piece of the new continent and created the settlement of New Aldoria. This settlement grew strong by learning from the Ulven, yet keeping them at a distance, and battling the Mordok. The King’s son grew up in this environment, working his way around the people and vying for political power. Everyone knows him to be an ambitious leader, savvy in both politics and combat, if not bitter from the history of his kingdom. It is rumored that he is planning on gaining a following and campaigning for rule of New Hope on Mardrun, rumored to be finally fulfilling his father’s wishes of controlling the colony his shattered nation helped build. More settlers and refugees continue to band together under the banner and colors of the dead King’s son and his Aldorian Guard, and more nobles have pledged support as his power expands.

New Aldoria narrowly averted a full scale war with the Watchwolf Clan after an ill disciplined and rowdy group of their Soldiers, secretly in the employ of an ambitious noble, tried to murder a young lady of the royal family and frame an Ulven Ambassador and the Captain of the Crow’s Guard for the attempt. Their plot was discovered, however, and foiled by a party of brave adventurers at the Wayward Inn.

Raskolf Vakr, the Voice of the Watchwolves, responded with a diplomatic mission to New Aldoria, where he met with the Prince personally. The Watchwolf Ulven and the New Aldorians averted war and actually managed to improve relations between the two nations. When Mordok attacked children playing on royal hunting grounds, the Ulven Ambassador’s seven-year-old daughter saved the life of the Prince’s own young son, and the two became fast friends.

New Aldoria has stayed out of the Ulven Civil war thus far.

Aldorian Culture and Folklore

The Aldorians are a proud people from a very wealthy and prosperous country. Their current state as refugees has done little to humble them, and it certainly has not broken their spirit. They maintain good political relations with the nobility in New Hope, though their is a certain amount of tension between the New Aldorian colonists and the people of Crow’s Landing, whom the Aldorians consider deserters. The New Aldorians have been criticized by others as coming off as racist towards the Syndar and the Ulven, but in reality the perceived arrogance is just the way that most Aldorians talk to everyone that they aren’t trying to sell something to. In fact, the current ruler of New Aldoria is half Syndar, himself. The Prince is a good man, and for the most part, so are his people. There is just the matter of the old King’s skeletons in the closet, and the troubling little detail that many of the Aldorian survivors are sailors who have previously dabbled in piracy. The Prince has his work cut out for him.

The Aldorians are the finest ship-builders in the world, and the best sailors. They take great pride in that. Since the fall of the May’kar, the Aldorians also have the finest stock of horses, with bloodlines traceable directly to the first domesticated stallions of the May’kar nomads. They were some of the only people to successfully bring horses to the new world, though they only have a single small herd, almost all of whom dwell in the royal stables in the capitol of New Aldoria.

Aldorian Folklore

Aldorian folklore tends to focus on clever heroes and gods of fortune and wealth.

Sir Flaccus and the Magic Goat

Once upon a time, long ago, back in the old country of Aldoria, there lived a fat and greedy lord by the name of Sir Flaccus. Sir Flaccus was the heir to a great fortune left to him by his father, who had been a fine and savvy merchant in his day. Sir Flaccus was lazy and foolish, though, and lived in decadence while his peasants wallowed in poverty. Indeed, Sir Flaccus taxed nineteen out of twenty of their coppers, and took nine of ten bushels of their produce.

One particularly harsh winter, the poor starving peasants pleaded with their lord to spare them some food, for while the people starved, Sir Flaccus had so much food that his larder was overflowing and much of his overstock was mouldering. Much to their dismay, the greedy Lord refused even a pittance of grain.
Now, in the village lived a humble farmer with a trickster for a son, and a kind and virtuous daughter. The virtuous daughter had raised a beautiful goat with a coat like spun gold from the time it had been a tiny kid. The girl loved her pet, but as the winter wore on and the people were starving, the farmers neighbors tried to steal it to eat it! Eventually, even the farmer himself was considering slaughtering the animal, but the trickster son stopped him. The boy said that he knew a way to get the miserly lord to feed the people, but first he would need to collect all the coins that he could. The people were hesitant at first, but eventually they relented and gave their pitiable savings to the boy.
The trickster boy fed the coins to the goat, and left to see Sir Flaccus. He told the lord that his goat was a magical and fey creature from the land of dreams, blessed by the god of good fortune. He said that everyday, the goat would make coins for its owner. Sir Flaccus didn’t believe him, but then the goat lifted its little tail and coins fell out along with its stool. Sir Flaccus was amazed. He had lived a very sheltered and pampered life, and knew nothing of the dietary nor the digestive abilities of common goats. The greedy lord asked the trickster boy if he would sell the goat, and the boy said that he was very rich from owning the amazing goat, and that he no longer was interested in money, but only wanted to do good in the world so that he might someday get into heaven. The boy said that Sir Flaccus could have the goat if only he promised to feed his people better, and to cut their taxes. The Greedy lord agreed, and asked the boy how much the goat produced every day. The boy told him that it depended on how happy the goat was and how wise the owner was, for fortune was no friend of fools. Sir Flaccus purchased the goat and opened his larder to the starving people.

He put the goat in his stables under heavy guard. The next morning, the greedy Sir Flaccus searched all through the dirty stall with his bare hands looking for gold. When he didn’t find anything, he ordered a nicer stable be built to house the goat and make it happy, and he had his cooks feed the goat the finest and richest food they could make. The next morning, Sir Flaccus found that the rich food had given the goat some terrible diarrhea, but nonetheless, he searched it for any sign of coin. Still he found nothing. He ordered that the goat be moved into his own manor, and summoned the wisest and eldest farmer in his land to prepare the best food a goat could eat. The next morning, he awoke and searched his foyer for coins. The goat had ruined his carpeting, but there were no coins to be found. He decided to take the goat into his room and let it sleep in his bed. It still did not produce any coins, but it stunk up his room, and ate all the important documents out of his desk drawers, including his patent of nobility and the deed to his manor. Once Sir Flaccus started sleeping with the goat, his wife took her cats and started sleeping elsewhere in the manor, but the greedy lord didn’t care. When his servants and family asked about the goat, however, he was too ashamed to admit that the goat wouldn’t produce any coins. He didn’t want anyone to think that the god of luck and good fortune thought him a fool! Sir Flaccus lied to his family and his servants, and scattered coins around his house every night so that it looked like the goat was making him money.
Sir Flaccus never learned his lesson, but the peasants of his domain lived happily ever after, and so did his beloved goat, who became even more spoiled than Sir Flaccus himself had been as a kid.

 

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The Battle of Grayfield

The Battle of Grayfield

This excerpt is part of the overall Kingdom of Aldoria page.

The Battle of Grayfield

About a century before the Undead Plague, tension existed between the Syndar and Human nations. Border skirmishes and disagreements popped up throughout the continent of Faedrun and at any moment a full scale war could erupt between the two races. Although the Kingdom of Vandregon had the largest standing army at the time, the King of Vandregon pushed for reason and peace. The King of Aldoria, seeing an opportunity to seize more land and strike first, made a bold move and marched an army into the lands of the Syndar. As the soldiers fought, killed or displaced the smaller Syndar settlements, the King of Vandregon dispatched an army to follow the Aldorians. What the Aldorian generals thought were reinforcements were actually other humans sent to stop the Aldorian advance. The King of Vandregon was willing to gamble and confront their neighboring kingdom in an attempt to solve the situation quickly before all out war broke out with the Syndar.

The Aldorians refused to retreat. They lobbied that to do so would show the Syndar that the human nations were unorganized and fractured. As the Aldorians stalled, the Syndar army gathered and began to move to resist the humans. Political council rooms exploded in heated comments and oaths of revenge if either side came to blows. The human nations bickered, torn between uniting for Man or in giving in to the Syndar. The tension continued to grow as neither kingdom backed down.

To this day, nobody knows for sure what finally sparked what was to be known as the Battle of Grayfield. Generals from both sides were in a heated discussion, waiting for word sent to reach the political councils of each nation and then the replies back to the army. As tension mounted, fighting broke out, centered around the general’s tent. The armies clashed, desperately trying to gain ground to see their leaders to safety. Soldiers fought violently, each side convinced that the other side had sprung a sneak attack on their respective generals. After a short but incredibly bloody battle, most of the leadership of each side and over half of both armies’ soldiers were dead. The incident was named the Battle of Grayfield to represent the deaths of humans that died over a misunderstanding, of the lack of unified colors of their respective nations.

As the Syndar army marched forth onto the encampment, they were stalled by the destruction the humans had unleashed on each other. The Syndar, now having the upper hand, could have easily advanced through the ruined camp and destroyed the remaining survivors of each army and continue their march into the human kingdoms. The Syndar General instead stopped his army, showing respect to the remaining Vandregonian soldiers, and healed the wounded of both sides. There could not have existed any proof more profound than the soldiers of Vandregon willing to battle their neighbors in order to stop them from attacking the Syndar. The Syndar halted their forces, agreed to terms with Vandregon, and ended hostilities with the humans. This single battle would usher in the golden age of peace between the humans and the Syndar.

However, the Battle of Grayfield did end the relations between Vandregon and Aldoria for years to come. The Aldorians felt betrayed and abandoned by their fellow humans. The armies were rebuilt and stationed at the borders of each kingdom, staring each other down in a waiting game to see if further conflict would erupt. Aldoria, far smaller than the kingdom of Vandregon, began to increase its political and religious influences with the nobles and houses of all the human kingdoms, to rally their favor if ever the nations again came to blows. Both nations settled in for a long and tense cold war.

Many years and countless political debates later, the Kingdoms of Vandregon and Aldoria have eased back into an apprehensive nature. No further battles erupted and no other armies were rallied between the two kingdoms. As the survivors of those times had children and those children had their own children, the bitterness between the nations cooled. However, to this day it is a common start to a large tavern brawl if someone claims that “the other side started it at Grayfield”.

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Storyline & Background Info

THE HISTORY AND TIMELINE OF LAST HOPE
Here you will find a rough summary of the timeline of events in the Last Hope storyline. This will be updated and periodically changed as new information is brought into the game world.

Although the calendar begins at Year 1, there have been numerous human and syndar calendars that have existed for millenia. The momentous occasion of the two races meeting on Faedrun for the first time had begun to be referred to as a “new era” and some began to adopt what has been known as the “Commonalty Calendar”. It has been the simplest calendar to survive the ravages of the war on Faedrun and is the most common one used to date.

Year 1 – Humans and Syndar meet each other for the first time and conflict erupts, mainly border skirmishes and small battles. The May’Kar reach out to the Syndar Kingdoms in an attempt to open up communications between the races. The new calendar begins, representing a brand new age for the combined races of Faedrun.

Year 2 – An short age of expansion and conflict begins as Syndar technology is learned and humans encroach on Syndar lands.

Year 4 – Human and Syndar kingdoms mobilize for full-scale war.

Year 5 – After the Battle of Grayfield, a truce is signed between the Human and Syndar nations. Full scale war between human and Syndar nations is avoided.

Year 197 – The undead are sighted in the region of the Richtcrag nation and the Nara Pentare. Reports are dismissed as the situation escalates very quickly.

Year 199 – The Nara Pentare is decimated as a whole and the barbaric Richtcrag tribes are either swallowed up by the undead plague and penitent or scattered farther south.

Year 200 (Old World Event: 2011) – The Undead Plague begins large scale on Faedrun. The 5th Regiment holds out against the penitent and undead and waits for reinforcements.

Year 201 (Old World Event: 2012) – The 5th Regiment, stationed around Barnmuth, train new soldiers and coordinate defenses against the undead army. The elite Vandregon Rangers and the mysterious clerics of the May’Kar join them. Powerful undead, such as the Revanent and the Banshee, rip through the Vandregon lines but the 5th holds.

Year 202 (Old World Event: 2013) – The 5th Regiment abandons Barnmuth after a massive army of undead and penitent move into the area. The 5th regroups and waits for reinforcements at another village and begins training new troops. Mysterious and powerful undead are discovered and clues to finding new ways to fight the undead’s dark energy is discovered. The 5th goes to battle against the Banshee and the Revenant, greater undead that have followed them from Barnmuth.

Year 203 (Old World Event: 2014) – The 5th Regiment learns of a ritual to destroy some of their undead foes, and in a pitched battle they lose the garrisoned keep. Commander Calder is killed in the battle and the 5th retreats to a safer location.

Year 204 (Old World Event: 2015) – Relentlessly pursued by the undead following the loss of their keep, the 5th Regiment finally receives reinforcements: a May’Kar paladin and his entourage arrive to take command, train the existing troops, and fight against the undead. Despite his best efforts, desertion by a number of soldiers and defection of several mages into the Cult of Anguish put the 5th on the defensive once again, with many of the soldiers remaining with the Paladin in a last stand against the Revenant to buy time for the others to escape.

Year 205  – As the undead plague spreads and ravage the Syndar lands, the human and Syndar kingdoms finally joined together in the Grand Alliance.
(Old World Event: 2016) The 5th Regiment conducts military operations against the local penitent forces while waiting for reinforcements from the newly formed Grand Alliance. After a pitched battle and numerous successes, the 5th Regiment is able to hold out long enough to send a number of survivors from the Regiment to Vandregonian Strongholds. In their possession is a Hellenstone; a special rock artifact that has immense potentials as a weapon against the magic of the undead. Suffering immense losses, the 5th Regiment is absorbed into other military forces in the Grand Alliance… the story of the 5th Regiment of Vandregon ended with their noble sacrifices.

Year 210 – The Syndar Kingdoms begin to retreat farther north and secure their borders in an attempt to stop the undead plague.

Year 235 – The May’Kar Dominion betrays the other kingdoms and joins the penitent and undead. The Army of Vandregon splits into a Northern and Southern army to deal with this threat. The Yabuntu begin to emigrate out of their homelands and into the hearts of Vandregon and Aldoria to avoid the front of the May’Kar battles and to continue to help provide weapons and armor to fighters.

Year 250 – The continent of Mardrun is discovered and the colony of Newhope is started. The Ulven are discovered and the fighting breaks out between the colonists and the Ulven. Plans are immediately put into place by the Order of Arnath’s Fist to build a fortress on the new continent, called Starkhaven. [This is the earliest that a colonist PC could have travelled to Mardrun (other than the Phoenix)]

Year 251 – The colonists of Newhope and the Ulven form a truce and the fighting stops.

Year 252 – The May’Kar Dominion is finally defeated and almost its entire population killed by the Northern army of Vandregon.

Year 253 – The Kingdom of Aldoria is crushed by the undead and destroyed on Faedrun. This event starts a series of events known as “The Fall”.

Year 254 – The Southern army of Vandregon is decimated by the surge of troops and undead from the Aldorian population on Faedrun. A series of ships launch carrying as many survivors as they can, their arrival on Mardrun is the last that’s seen for years. [This is the latest that a colonist PC could have travelled to Mardrun]

Year 260 (2011) – Starkhaven is almost complete, the first heavily fortified settlement on Mardrun, when the Order slows down construction due to economic strain. Major shift in Mordok behavior is observed, as more adventurers explore the Dirge and try to understand the Mordok. Tensions mount between the pro-colonist and anti-colonist Ulven. Small settlements of colonists continue to expand across the continenent and the first signs of organized bandit groups are noticed.

Year 261 (2012) – A boat arrives from Faedrun but the passengers and the message they bring is unknown. Ulven Civil War breaks out with Clan Nightriver and Clan Grimward rallying for opposite sides. Rumors and sightings of a Syndar leading the Mordok run rampant through the settlements. Undead are discovered on Mardrun but the Coalition forces move quickly and hunt them down, destroying the lich which led them through the use of a relic known as a Paladin Blade.

Year 262 (2013) – Clan Grimward invades the western Watchwolf Clan territory; small skirmishes take place between the two all year. Trade routes are expanded as caravans request more guards to protect them from Mordok and bandits. The Nobles of Newhope and the leaders of the other Colonies discuss how to become more involved in the war effort. A concentrated effort to learn more about the Mordok and the Syndar that has been sighted with them result in several Dirge Swamp expeditions; although dangerous, clues and mysterious texts are found. Clan Grimward invasion of the western Watchwolf Clan territory stalls and then is beaten back by Coalition forces. Clan Grimward and their allies launch a massive invasion of Clan Stormjarl.

Year 263 (2014) – As the year began, delegates from among the coalition and various neutral clans met to discuss the future of the civil war threatening to tear the continent apart. While many still refused to take a side in the war, a number of smaller clans pledged allegiance to Nightriver and the Coalition in the fight. An honor debt from decades ago was called in shortly thereafter, enlisting the Longfang warriors to defend Stormjarl lands against the imminent Grimward invasion in a bloody battle near Black Wolf Creek. The Stormjarl defenders stood their ground, though many lives, including most of the Longfang elite Ulfednar were lost in the melee. Later, following the passing of their Runeseer Soulveig, Pack Longfang witnessed a new threat emerge: the Red-Eyed Syndar, a familiar face near the Dirge Swamp, emerged leading a large, coordinated group of Mordok near the outpost. He performed a powerful ritual to corrupt the very earth before taking his leave, and it has been all the Daughters of Gaia can manage to merely contain the site. As the weeks drew on, the Red-Eyed Syndar continually harassed Onsallas, capturing victims and corrupting others, swiftly leading to the turning of Captain Morty of the Pirates of New Oarsmeet and fueling fears from a vast number of Ulven. After discovering a strange orb that seemed to predate Onsallas itself, many scholars and magic-users came to investigate the device: many wanted to unlock its secrets, others felt that it had been buried for a reason and should not be tampered with. The research continued, for better or worse, as did the war. A number of Coalition raids on Whiteoak villages were executed as the winter began to set in, catching the defenders off-guard and striking deep against Clan Grimward’s largest ally. As bandits and unsavory sorts began to amass in the areas near Crow’s Landing, even greater trouble was brewing in the Great Forest. Mordok, led by Captain Morty, had been targeting high-profile individuals in the area, growing bolder and more brutal. They were confronted by a hunting party established to investigate the occurrences, though the hunters were tricked, resulting in nearly half their number being run down and torn apart by the Mordok.

Year 264 (2015) – Haygreth Grimward doggedly pursues his conquest of Mardrun, having led a rather successful campaign into Stormjarl territory, and begins setting his sights on Clan Watchwolf’s western settlement. Despite the valiant efforts of the Coalition, their aid was too little, too late and the settlement fell to Grimward occupation. Riding this momentum, Grimward pressed Clan Ironmound to either join them or sign a declaration of neutrality, hoping to keep them from siding with Clan Nightriver, although that was the final outcome. More research had been done into the strange orb found near Onsallas Outpost, which led adventurers from both sides of the war on a hazardous, joint expedition deep into the Dirge Swamp. Inside, they found evidence of a generations-old conspiracy enacted by a group known as the Lorespeakers, turning the concept of the Ulven Way on its head. As the war reignited following this discovery, Grimward found themselves in a desperate situation and were forced to gamble their conquest on a risky surprise assault into Nightriver territory. The combined forces of the Coalition repelled the attack, and forced Grimward to agree to a peace treaty, effectively ending the war.

Year 265 (2016) – With the war now at an end the world begins to recover, however some are not willing to let go of what they gained. Soldiers in Daven’s Hold refusing to give up an entire village in Clan Ironmound territory, however such selfish desires were denied thanks to those helping Clan Ironmound with their supplies shortage. The political dinner in New Hope was set to deliver reparations to those who signed the peace treaty, however Clan Stormjarl and the Colony of New Aldoria refused to accept a single silver as a sign of protest due to their views of how unfair it was to Clan Stormjarl.
Even though one threat ended, a new threat emerged. In Hazemane Village, Mordok descended upon those attempting to repair their home and with them, a new and deadly weapon, Creeping Corruption. With never before seen organization, these Mordok began to spread an affliction that would soon plague much of Mardrun. Throughout the year, many tried to find ways to combat the deadly Creeping Corruption, there were some attempts that were successful, but at great cost or too demanding of any one person.

Year 266 (2017) – As the year begins, the City-State of New Hope initiated its Great Works, a series of projects to help improve the infrastructure of their lands and cities. Including bringing Daven’s Reach back under their control from Bandits.
In the middle of Mardrun, Clan Riverhead is faced with a sudden and unexpected army of Mordok. Their cries for aid were heard and with that aid are able to hold back the tide of death just long enough for their people to retreat into neighboring clans.
During the summer of that year, Prince Ayln, Clan Stormjarl, and many allies decide to gain what is owed to them sending an invading army into Clan Squalborn territory. While Clan Squalborn pleads and asks for aid, no help came to them.
Throughout the year, many people continued to research and attempt to find a cure for the Creeping Corruption. However, in November there was a breakthrough and a cure was discovered. With this new discovery, the people of Mardrun started to recover from the magical plague that ravaged was ravaging them.
After their annihilation of Clan Riverhead, the Mordok took up residence in the Great Wolf’s Hackles and the Great Forest. This eventually pushes the clans to host a Grand Moot, and it is decided the Ulven People will begin their war with the Mordok.

Year 267 (2018) – An honored few Ulven warriors are selected to fight the Mordok in the Great Forest for the honored and sacred Great Wolf’s Hunt. During these battles, ulven warriors gained immense renown by clearing out the mordok in the Great Forest despite brutal resistance.
The focus of the Ulven people shifts towards creating the Shield of Mardrun; a defensive line of outposts to the north along the Dirge Swamp. Clan Shattered Spear, specifically Pack Dawnrock, blitzkriegs its way through the Mordok lines. Shattered Spear forces soon come to a sudden grind against the Mordok war machine. However, after tenacious effort and immense coordination of resources, supplies, and construction efforts the Shield of Mardrun is well under way.
Midway through the year; the colony of Starkhaven is rocked as a “civil war” breaks out between several of its Chapters from the Order of Arnath. After a brief and bloody confrontation, the battle is ended, the Hand of Arnath dead, and the foundation is laid out for rebuilding in a new and progressive direction for both the Order of Arnath and the colony of Starkhaven.
Along the eastern side of the Shield of Mardrun, Clan Whiteoak presses back against two war-fronts. One front is the more serious threat to them, the Mordok, while the second came from their southern borders, Clan Axehound who has been continuously raiding them. However, a pack consisted of both Whiteoak and Axehound, known as Pack Redwind took a stance and made their voice known on trying to bring peace to both clans. Talks between the pack leaders began but their efforts were ended early when they were killed by mordok. Their stories lived on about how they fought together to the end, emboldening Ulven from both Clan Whiteoak and Clan Axhound to finally come to terms with peace.
Once winter set in, full scale war began as forces from all across Mardrun march against the Mordok of the Dirge Swamp. They were met with numbers and coordination unheard of from the Mordok. Using tactical maneuvering, sound logic, and commands the Mordok were not only able to hold their ground, but push back against their invaders. Unusual Mordok, walking upright and causing frenzy among their kind, were witnessed. Thousands of dead lay frozen in the swamp as the two armies assaulted each other with ferocious brutality.
The Ulven army wisely chose to reorganize, take up a defensive position, and then fall back to the Shield of Mardrun. They were able to hold the line as supplies, wounded, and lost warriors found their way back to the outposts of the Shield of Mardrun.

Year 268 (2019) – The year was fraught with peril of looming conflict between clans, the influence of political machinations of the colonies, and quests of knowledge by those who occupied Mardrun. 

The first part of the year followed a group of Celestial Arragones’s researchers as they went on to puzzle out why there are some Syndar artifacts littered  over the continent. They went into the dangerous Clan Grimward territory and discovered Syndar did visit and stay on this land in the far past, researching how to stop the Siphoning. They then found one of the devices that the Syndar developed deep in Riverhead lands, however it was surrounded by undead from the previous war with the Mordok. Once they discovered and unlocked more of its intent, they were led to the Dirge Swamp by a tip from a Syndar under an allias. Once there, they had to pay a terrible price to learn the truth of their questions: What laid in the area called the outlands, and the answer shook the foundations of everything the ulven believed…

The second part of the year was filled with political intrigue as it focused on the growing settlement of Silver’s Crossing. Many groups influenced the area in attempts to swing the settlement into their own grasp of power or influence. However this wasn’t the only political scheming occurring in the colonies as the Council of Six, the Council of Three, and Prince Aylin attempted to reign in and bring in many outlying settlements and groups under their banners. By doing so, these groups gained and solidified their positions in “The Game” and gathered more allies, and maybe even created a few enemies. 

The final part of the year focused on ever growing tensions between Clan Stormjarl and Clan Grimward. With Clan Stormjarl’s wounded honor on the line, they were willing to go to war to save not only their honor, but those who were honorbound and the lands that were taken from them. In the end, thanks in large part to mediation by Clan Nightriver, the two Clans were able to come to a peaceful agreement that ended the fighting and saw Stormjarl sign the treaty that had ended the Civil War years ago. Furthermore, Clan Squallborn decided to bare its throat to Clan Stormjarl in hopes of having its people survive the oncoming winter. This was not taken well by the packs of Clan Squallborn and an ancient tradition called the Attenjav was issued, with packs wishing to seek their own path rather than be absorbed by the clan that put them in this situation in the first place.

 

Year 269 (2020) – Coming At Some Point. (It was 2020…give us a break.)

 

Year 270 (2021) – A long planned expedition set off to the center of The Dirge Swamp lead by a Newhope Research team under the employ of Celestial Arragones to take readings in an effort to learn the magical and natural history of the Dirge and corruption. This expedition coincided with one undertaken by The Order of Arnath to locate and retreive a Hellenstone, a mysterious magical stone with properties that could be used to battle The Undead. Both goals were successful. The Order had their stone, and a great deal of information was learned about the origins of The Dirge Swamp. Arragones released a proclamation stating that the Ancient Syndar were heroes who captured the being that is now known as The Mother to keep her from spreading corruption across the continent, but soon after a letter began to circulate stating that Arragones was withholding the true story. This writer claims to have been present in The Dirge during the expedition and says that the Ancient Syndar were not actually heroes who captured The Mother, but instead the ones who brought her to our plain of existence in the first place in an effort to harness her power for experiments. They went on to explain that the Ancient Syndar used her power to create a powerful hybrid-race of Syndar and Ulven and when the Mother escaped her containment she corrupted these offspring and turned them into The Mordok.

The Ulven people as a whole were taken aback by this information and grew upset that Arragones would attempt to hide the truth of history, though most Clans pushed for a measured response. The Clans pooled their resources together and outfitted an expedition of Fleetfoot scouts from Clan Steinjottun and Truthseekers from each Clan to journey the center of The Dirge and attempt to verify these claims. In the meantime, Clan Grimward shut down all of its borders to all Colonist traffic.

In this tumultuous time, Prince Aylin of Aldoria continued to put himself into center stage. He held the first annual Grand Winter Festival in which he invited people from all over the continent to come together and share their winter traditions in a hope to spread unity and friendship among the people of Mardrun. It seems though that this event was also a way for Aylin to make his stances on key issues known to the people as a whole. Aylin, in front of key Ulven representatives, condemned the actions of Celestial Arragones and went as far as to say that any member of the council who lies from their official office is no better than a tyrant. It is still too early to tell how this strained chapter will shake out, but there is no doubt that the final reports from the Fleetfoot expedition party will be big news.

 

Year 271 (2022) – Current timeline of Last Hope– At the beginning of the year a series of rumors began to swirl about brutal and violent raids on small colonist farming settlements along the Newhope borders, though no one knew who was behind them.

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Upcoming Event Schedule

Upcoming Events

To access our upcoming event schedule, you will need to create an account on our Last Hope forums.
Click here to access the Upcoming Events section of our forums.

Combat Practice – Every week we host a combat practice that is several hours each time. This is a great chance for new players to join, practice the combat mechanics, and ask questions.
New World – Every month we host a single or multiple day event in the current Mardrun storyline.
Old World – Once a year, usually in the fall, we host a large event we call Old World. This is a “prequel” event to our storyline where we go back in time and play out events that happened in the past.
Conventions and Ren Faires – Periodically throughout the year, Last Hope will be attending and doing demos at renaissance faires and gaming conventions. For example, we regularly attend the Midwinter Gaming Convention in January in Milwaukee, WI and the New Glarus Ren Fiare in October in New Glarus, WI.

 

To get notifications and to find out more information on our events, we recommend that you join our Facebook group.
Click here to access our Facebook group for the Last Hope LARP.

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Game Resources and Links

Tutorials and How-Tos

Daisy and Jude’s Larp Craft Tutorials

Simple and cheap tips and patterns for costumes and accessories

The Armor Archive

Patterns for making your own armor

Renaissance Hair How-To-Guide

Courtesy of Costume Supercenter, this tutorial and guide is how to style your long hair in a more medieval/renaissance fashion.

 

Player Resources

 

States of Play: Nordic Larp Around the World

Collection of articles dealing with the the theory behind larp, different kinds of larp, and much more. Very in depth.

Larp Couture

A blog all about costuming in larp, fantasy or not!

Lizzie Stark

A blog from the journalist Lizzie Stark, author of Leaving Mundania. She writes about larp today, both in the States and in the Nordic countries. Very useful when learning about Nordic and immersion larping!

Bad Ass Larp Talks

This is a blog that looks at a number of different topics related to LARP. A great resource for understanding numerous angles (including problems, obstacles, social interactons and personal psychology).

 

More coming soon! Have a link or a resource you think might be useful? Or your own shop you want listed? Please let us know, and we can add it our list!

 

 

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What to Expect from an Event

What is Last Hope: New World?

Last Hope: New World is an immersive LARP which focuses on the story line first. The Last Hope community of players and heralds recognize the importance of plot development and world creation. Unlike some other LARPs, which focus on combat, Last Hope: New World is all about characters. Specifically, it is about your character, and where they fit into the story of how the New World and Old World collided.
Is your character a bold adventurer from the old world? Are they a tired refugee? Are they a proud native of the New World? It is up to you to create an interesting personality and background for your character, and to help enrich and define the realm of fantasy that this community has created.
The events and developments of our LARP games are documented by our contributing writers and archived on our Wiki for future reading. As a community, we are writing a story. By attending our events, your character becomes a part of that story.
The world of Last Hope is one fraught with danger, swordplay, and high adventure, but it also incorporates delicate political situations and the interactions of unique cultures.

What is Last Hope: Old World?

The Old World events focus on the large scale historical battles that took place on the old continent of Faedrun before the fall. While New World events have plenty of action and combat opportunities, the Old World events are your chance to put your carefully developed New World character on the shelf for a weekend, assume the role of a foot soldier in the last desperate stand to defend Faedrun, and just fight ranks upon ranks of the undead.

Both Old and New World events use the same interactive combat, armor, and magic systems. Last Hope combat utilizes medium contact melee with latex style foam LARP weapons.

A Typical Last Hope Game:

Check In/ Registration

A typical game starts with what is called Check In or Registration. This is where you sign in, pay your membership fee, and retrieve your character card and your silver. For your first event you are required to play an NPC or Non-Player Character role so we will provide your character information card and silver. We ask that everyone come to check in dressed in their base layer of garb so we can see if you need anything and assist with loaner garb if necessary.

At registration we perform a weapons check to ensure that the weapons you bring meet our weapons safety standards. Please have them ready with you when you get in line to check in. If you are part of a player faction make sure to have your belt flag with you so your faction gets credit. We also check trade kits to ensure that they are complete.

If it is your first event ever or your first event in the calendar year, you will be required to sign a player contract and a waiver. You can print it off from our website and bring it ready to go! Players ages 15 – 17 must have a signed parental consent form if they plan to play without a parent or guardian. For the safety of all of our players, we do not allow players aged 14 and under to play without the presence of a parent or guardian.

After you check in, this is the time to put on the rest of your garb and get into character, as well as meet up with old friends!

Its also the time to ask questions, or receive your assignments if you are playing an NPC or Monster.

Combat Training

If this is your first event and you have not attended one of our local fight practices, one of our combat trainers will teach you our combat system. We encourage you to read the rules and get an understanding of the combat system ahead of time, but this training is a requirement for every new player.

Briefing & Game On!

The heralds will call all the players together for a meeting, wherein the basic premise of the event will be gone over for those who did not read the event description. Any special considerations or rules for that particular game will be explained, along with any announcements that might be needed. This is the time for last minute questions or concerns! Once this meeting is over, we do a last check through the game area to ensure that all out of game or “non-decorum” items have been put away. After that is complete, everyone will take their places, and Game On will be called!

In Game

Once game on is called, players and NPCs are expected to remain in character at all times. If you are having difficulty staying in character, you may leave the game area and go to the Out-of-Character area to relax in, without disturbing the rest of the game. If there are any concerns or questions you might have, there will be heralds available to answer! Otherwise, stay in character and enjoy yourself!

Game Off & Debriefing

At the end of an event, Game Off will be called by the heralds, signalling the end of the game. Once again, we all gather together with the heralds. The heralds will summarize the game, for those who might have missed anything, and some announcements might be made. After the debriefing, everyone is required to check out.

Check Out

Everyone is required to check out.  This is important and part of this is for safety. We need to make sure that no one is left out on the trails.

At check out you will turn in your character card & silver. You also report the state of your character’s health and armor. This is a great time to cool down and decompress after an exciting or contentious role play session. Remember, it’s never a good idea to leave at odds with another person! If you had an intense role play experience with someone, be sure to talk to them out of character at the end of game. This helps prevent misunderstandings! It’s also a good time to chat and boast about your own doings, as well as hear other’s stories about their own adventures!

After Game

It is not unusual for the group to meet up afterwards and eat together, and continue telling stories. Ask a herald if there are any plans for Afters!

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Garb and Costuming

What is garb?

Garb is a commonly-used term in LARP to designate the clothing you wear at a LARP. It covers a lot of different articles of clothing, a host of different styles, and it’s what really serves to get people immersed in the game – it’s much easier to interact with someone acting like a wizard if they’re dressed for the part!

Why is garb important?

More than anything else in Last Hope (or LARP in general), garb is what distinguishes you from the ‘real world’ and lets you feel more immersed in the game. It can help you feel more in-character, it makes for some great pictures, and really good garb is a source of pride, both for individual players and the game as a whole. Just by dressing well, you’re adding to the experience for other players, which is really important. It can also act as a visual indicator of your character’s status and personality – for example, a nobleman and beggar can easily be distinguished from one another by merit of garb alone.

In order to emphasize this, Last Hope has a few policies to encourage good garb. The rulebook sets out the basic guidelines for making garb, but there are three things to keep in mind.

  1. In order to play as a PC, you are required to have passable garb. There is some leeway for players that are just starting the game, but there are also a number of people who are willing to help with the construction and acquisition of garb.
  2. Loaner garb will typically be available for NPCs and Monster positions – really dedicated players may have their own garb for these roles, but we will typically have loaner gear available.
  3. Start basic, and build your way up, keeping in mind the amount you’re willing to spend and your skill level with sewing. No one expects you to start out with a custom-tailored garment, but there is a minimum standard. Talk with a Herald about costuming or whether or not a piece “passes”, and always keep in mind the culture of the character you’re portraying – each group has its own costuming guidelines!

 

But what about weapons and armour? Aren’t they more important?

While they are more important for the combat aspect of the game, they are not more important for the immersion. While a good latex weapon is vital to surviving contact, we generally have a lot more loaner weapons available than we do good loaner garb, and while you cannot play a PC without garb, you can play one without your own weapon. Remember – this is a role-playing game, not a combat sport, so while these things will help, they are not vital to making a character.

Armour is another issue that comes up frequently. As a rule, while armour can be used to supplement garb, it is not garb. The reason for this distinction comes from the nature of armour in Last Hope: if your armour is broken, then you will need to remove it so that it can be repaired. If you don’t have passing garb under your armour, then you would be breaking immersion for the other players, which is something we try and avoid. If you have specific questions about this, feel free to talk to a Herald.

Where should I start?

All garb starts with the three basics:

  1. Upper body (shirt, dress, robe, or other covering of that nature)
  2. Bottom layer (either pants, a skirt or dress, or a kilt, depending on gender and culture)
  3. Acceptable footwear

These base layers will act as a really simple way to get you started for a number of roles. There are a number of web resources for making these sorts of garments, suited to all skill levels. Let’s start with the obvious ones.

Shirts and Tunics

  • A basic tunic design
  • A slightly more complex, but more tailored design can be found here.
  • Another good tunic design, with detailed instructions is available here.
  • A Viking-style tunic that works well for the Ulven is available here
  • Another Viking-style tunic, this time with slightly harder instructions is found here.
  • A good explanation of making a basic tunic can be found here, along with instructions for making the next element – pants.

 

Pants, Kilts, and other lower-body garments

  • As mentioned above, a good resource for making basic pants and a shirt is found here.
  • Some Viking resources for trousers and breeches can be found here and here.
  • Wrap pants are a perennial favourite for beginning garb-makers – these are a few guides to making these kind of pants, ranging from simple to moderately complex. Look for one that makes sense, and work away!
  • For those who wish to do no sewing whatsoever, here’s how to tie a great kilt. Remember that only Humans wear kilts – the Ulven just don’t find them manly.

 

Shoes and Foot Coverings

  • We’d recommend starting with dark (brown or black, preferably leather) boots – making your own footwear can be somewhat uncomfortable, and taking care of your feet is a top priority!
  • If you’re tight-up for footwear, this is a good trick for disguising more modern-looking shoes. Be careful with it, though, as you don’t want your garb to slip!
  • If you really, really want to make your own shoes, this is a good walk-through for making basic turnshoes.

 

What do I need next?

Once you’ve got the basic garb down, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about how you’ll handle inclement weather, differing social situations, and even just making some garb so you can change characters quickly. The following aren’t necessary for basic garb, but really add to it.

  1. Cloaks and tabards
  2. Gloves, pouches, and bags
  3. Hats, hoods, and head coverings
  4. Jewellery, metal accents, and charms

Generally, these are the things that you add to basic garb, as layering really helps to add versatility to your garb and helps to make much more distinctive characters. This is a good example of how layering works – I know it’s in German, but you can at least follow the pictures and see how a more interesting whole is created by starting with the basic layers and building up from there!

Where to go from here?

We may add some links to various partner stores here from time-to-time, but you are always encouraged to saunter over to our Facebook Group and ask any questions you may have there. Our players love to share insights into garb creation and where to find good pieces.

Unmedievable is a store that is run by one of our players. She focuses on gathering excellent garb pieces and selling them to our community at a great rate.

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Last Hope Rules

LAST HOPE GAME & EVENT RULES – VERSION 1.7 – Updated March 2024
These links will direct you to our website for download of the game rules.

Click here for the BETA DRAFT PDF File (Version 1.7, 2024)

Click here for the BETA DRAFT Amendment summary PDF File (Rules changed compared to Version 1.6, 2024)

***NOTE: The Version 1.7 BETA DRAFT will be reviewed by Staff and players and then replaced with a final draft at the end of March 2024. DO NOT PRINT THESE FILES! They will become obsolete when the final draft replaces them.

ORGANIZATION (FACTION) MECHANICS AND RULES – VERSION 4.1 – Updated 2022
Linked below are the current edition of the faction mechanics and rules used. With update 4.1, Factions have been renamed Organizations. These links will direct you to our website for download of the game rules.

Click here for a full Organization Rulebook PDF file (Version 4.1 – 2022)

Click here for a Change Log of Version 4.0 to Version 4.1 Changes

PLAYER LIABILITY WAIVERS
These links will give you our liability waiver and parental consent forms. As of 2023, we primarily accept these digitally. Minors (under 18 years of age) will need to fill out both forms prior to participating in Last Hope LARP.

Last Hope Liability Waiver (for everyone, including minors)

Last Hope Parental Consent Form (for minors)

Click here to submit your waivers

ADDITIONAL TOOLS & RESOURCES

Click here for additional player tools and documents.