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.