The History of Coria
By a bard a drink and he'll sing what you want to hear, ask for something without libation and you'll get an earful.
An Exhaustive History of Coria
Why are you staring at me thus? Hmmm?
Look, if you have a request then out with it - I'm eating.
Well now, that's unusual enough. Do you ask that of every bard that you encounter, or am I just the lucky one? Lucky? Well, If you say so. All right, how far back do you wish to go and for which particular kingdom? Coria it is… the beginning? You don't make small requests do you? Well, let's see what I can remember.
Consulting historical manuals in the Great Library at Calestra might serve you better, but I'll do what I can. And while I pull my thoughts together you could always wet my palate with a nice Red Swan. Old Tevek has a rather sweet vintage that he keeps below the coun—no? It was worth a try wasn't it? Straight to the point then:
Coria was founded by Sir Koria Alairies back in six forty-eight b.E.R. (that's before Ethrynian Reckoning). No, I don't know what system of time measurement they used before Ethrynian Reckoning, but I'm sure that you could find reference in Calestra, or Mycen Castle for that matter. Sir Koria? I don't rightly know where he heralded from initially, but I do know that he came from across the sea. I believe it may have initially been a chartered voyage, but from whom I'm afraid that I’ve no knowledge and the records have been muddled or lost to time. Historical documents detail the landing as having taken place near where Thorn Keep now stands, but there is nothing to prove or disprove such claims. In any case, I believe there were two ships that made the journey—big ships, not like the vessels that sail the waters now.
Sir Koria wasn't just exploring either, as he brought his wife along with him. Melthafai was her name I believe, and it is reputed that her eyes were of the darkest brown, rich like the soil and her hair was amber like the wild wheat that danced in the winds sweeping the Red Plains. Unfortunately, no paintings, or visual reflection of her image remain that we know of. In the Great Library there are journals of Sir Koria's writings detailing the year-long passage from their landing point searching for the perfect location to establish a settlement. It wasn't easy by any means as the Red Plains were the domain of a large population of varying nomadic tribes. There are at least four different records of long, drawn out battles between Sir Koria and his explorers fighting Centaurs, Goblins, Orcs, and other fell creatures. To be frank, it surprises me that we have a Coria today with the odds Shinara placed before our intrepid knight. It certainly says something about his constitution and tactical mind that they were even able to settle Coria City in the first place! But I digress.
Coria City Settlement was begun in the year—Look, you asked me to be detailed, don't go groaning about numbers and such now. This is how I remember things; the numbers help keep them in order. Now where was I? Oh yes. Coria City Settlement was begun in the year six forty-six b.E.R. I believe there's a stone set in the center of Coria City Park that expresses the exact month and day as well, but for Jusarin's Light I'll not be able to tell you what that is specifically until I make my rounds once more and pass through that beautiful place again. It is a good thing that they were able to establish the foundation for the city too, because not more than a couple of years later there were terrible wind storms with funnels that would tear the land apart in giant swaths! It was a terrible period that lasted more than a month. According to Sir Koria's journal they didn't know where or when the next one would set down. He called them the Winds of the Gods, and referred to them with awe, as though he had never seen the likes of them before. But the settlers managed and eventually something more than a bunch of tents and log cabins were standing where Coria City now resides. By his own words Sir Koria wasn't satisfied with the small settlement and wished to expand. He had surrounded himself with equally ambitious individuals in the hopes that they would help build the kingdom he wished to rule, being satisfied with the roles of nobility as he saw fit. One man, however, was not as accommodating.
Beyle Leyras was destined to be a Duke among Sir Koria's nobility. In the spring of six thirty-three b.E.R. he was to take his people and travel north of Coria City to search for new lands, and to carve out his own fiefdom where he would then pay tax to his lord King Koria. Sir Koria's journal describes the man as a stalwart warrior, a fierce individual who demanded respect. Perhaps that's where the irony lies, my friend. You see, on the night of the Winter's Solstice—you know when that is don't you? No? The Fifteenth day of Trevack; Mercaday. In any case, on the eve of the Winter's Solstice Duke Beyle Layras met with Sir Koria and buried a dagger to the hilt in his lord's right eye. Sir Koria was dead, but His Grace Beyle Layras couldn't escape the justice of Rydor—though to be frank, I'm not sure that Rydor had pressed his influence at this time, but that is another story altogether now, isn't it? Duke Beyle Layras was tried before his peers and found guilty of treason. I guess that their laws were rather strict because the only records on the trial indicate that everyone just pointed at him and said, "He did it," or something along those veins. The man who would be King was beheaded the following morning and Duke Wineer Frett'ain, a dear and close friend of the late Sir Koria, and godfather to Prince Dey'parnar, took up the charge of Regent of the land Sir Koria had dubbed Coria until Prince Dey'parnar was old enough to rule.
What? Don't be silly, friend! The progressive stance our good kingdom takes now didn't actually come about until the year sixteen b.E.R. Until that time there was a place for women within society and, I'm sorry to say, it did not include the mantle of leadership. No, the Regency was a necessary thing then, and His Grace Wineer Frett'ain was the man for the job. He tenderly took care of business until Prince Dey'parnar was of age. But that wasn't until after The War with Arms. Ah, you've heard that mentioned in songs and poetry no doubt, and I know of at least three good tellings of events within that particular war so I don't doubt your knowledge of the name. But did you know that it took place a little over six hundred years before Coria was an established Free Kingdom? No, I didn't think that you did.
It began in six twenty-nine b.E.R. though historians know not what started it we assume it was due to the rather barbaric nature of the Athach. The tribes were united under a rather uniquely intelligent brute who called himself the Armed God. Oh, he was a strong one, according to rite:
The misshapen beast
Wrought with strength
Brought down upon
This country quaint
Death and destruction
With swift blows
Until he met Sir Redgrathe Rose…
That's from The Fall of The Armed God, written by Kevisole Brathiey.
Sir Redgrathe Rose is probably not the man who brought The Armed God down, that was more than likely creative license. There are no records which state who was directly responsible for the death of the Athach leader, but the war ended not two months after it began, and it seriously damaged the Athach population in the Red Plains area for centuries to come. I understand that they aren't that fast when it comes to reproducing.
Oh, do wipe that look off of your face! I'll not go into that detail so you've nothing to worry about. Well, I'll skip a few years for the sake of your short attention span, but I do have to mention that Prince Dey'parnar became King Dey'parnar shortly after the War with Arms. His rule wasn't an easy one either, as newly founded kingdoms are want to be.
Let's see: first there was the Rebellion of Rivina in the year six twenty b.E.R. Yes, Rivina is that old, though it has gone through its own hard times I assure you. The Rebellion in six twenty was actually another attempt to unsettle the crown. The names of the participants are lost to the Sands of Time, but the reasoning behind it is not. The Rivinaiians believed that Coria City was placed too far from the shores of the Indigo, and their first attempt at establishing Rivina took them right near the racing waters. Yet, there are river-dwelling folk who did not appreciate it—One of Sir Koria's reasons for the placement of Coria City in the first place, I'd imagine—and the first Rivina settlement was lost without a trace. The second Rivina settlement had a bit more luck, until they started to let the air seep into their heads a little and wound up talking treason.
Rivina the capital of Coria? Ha! Can you see it? In any case, they were put back in their place by the Corian Military, and no, before you even ask, it wasn't much of a military then. King Dey'parnar wed shortly after. He picked the prettiest of the lot in one Elistas Dobouviea. Her family had come over with the first boats and the Dobouviea line was extremely loyal to the Alairies name, so it was a good, safe choice over all. I think King Dey'parnar was like that: good and safe.
Now, I'll briefly mention that within a short time there was communication from the neighboring country of Ertain. One Baied Freynal arrived in search of King Dey'parnar and instructed him that he was to serve as an ambassador for his people, the Ertainians. There is very little by way of records concerning how that was handled, or the outcome, but we do know that Ertain was in contact with Coria as far back as six seventeen b.E.R. and that should be enough of a history between the two countries to prove a point—though what that is I haven't been able to figure.
All wasn't well for long within Coria proper. Food shortages began to appear and crops began to die. There were tiny insects found among the food stores. Insects that haven't been seen in that number for centuries since, thank Shinara's Kiss and Kith-jora's Love! These little insects, called Flying Leeches by druids—and they should know! These little insects attached themselves to practically anything edible and turned them into husks of non-edibles. The land was ruined, the people at a loss, and it was Autumn. King Dey'parnar had no idea how to rectify the problem, and it seemed that their new alliance with Ertain would be stretched thin as what little aid could be offered by the neighboring kingdom was destroyed by continued infestation of the Flying Leech! Within a few short weeks the kingdom was reduced to famine, the Leeching Famine to be exact. Yet, there was something to be said for the stupidity of insects, you see: they ate up all their food and soon began dying off in droves! Literally hundreds of thousands of them were swept from houses into the streets, from storerooms into furnaces, and from fields into the rivers. Though the people of Coria suffered, and many lost their lives, the famine ended without their intervention because of the Flying Leech's insatiable appetite! King Dey'parnar was distraught over his people to be sure, but they celebrated the recovery and continued to peck out a living from the dry earth, and though the next few harvests were slim, they survived.
Now, don't look so bored. With the exciting events in history there comes the mundane. I'll do what I can to shift through all of the events and deliver to you that which is interesting, but some of it is necessary to paint the picture of our ancestor's hardships. You will, however, enjoy this little tid-bit of information: In six oh-eight b.E.R. there was an attempt on King Dey'parnar's life. Yes, another assassination, but this one went afoul. King Dey'parnar was saved through the work of his bodyguards, and the assassin was slain—though they never did find out the name, or the reason, of the assassin. He was a human, and his coloring set him apart from the native tribes that had been seen, but no one claimed him (of course), and nothing would reveal intent. So, King Dey'parnar took it in stride and continued about his life. Now, this, in and of itself wouldn't have necessarily struck a chord throughout history if it weren't combined with another fact.
Look at you: your ears perked up like a little puppy! So, I have your attention now do I? You see, King Dey'parnar had continued his father's intentions of expanding their kingdom through exploration. He had teams of explorers, brave knights who would travel the land with skilled cartographers and precious little else, spread out all over countryside; and as it happened not more than a week after the assassination attempt a knight by the name of Sir Eimone sent word back to Coria City by way of pigeon. He had discovered ruins tucked away in a valley just northeast of the forests that later became known as the Indigo Wash Woods. Yes, Elanfalee, the Fabled Lost City. Only at that time, they had no idea what it was called, or why it had been abandoned. Well, I mean even less of an idea than we have today. King Dey'parnar sent out more explorative efforts. He even went so far as to send his personal wizard and sage, which was either quite brave considering what had just happened to him, or quite stupid. It depends on how you look at those sorts of things. It was to no real profit however, other than to prove to him that the ruins were uninhabitable. He lost a good amount of skilled men, warriors, and religious support over his interest in Elanfalee and the mysteries within. The evils that caused the great city to fall were not asleep then as they are not asleep now—only magical research hadn't produced enough of a protective spectrum to allow for nearly as much exploration as there is today, so King Dey'parnar called back his explorers and set his eyes elsewhere.
I have sat outside the crumbling walls of Elanfalee myself friend, and I do not doubt the great evil is disguised by the beauty of that Lost City, for the whispered voices carried upon the winds stave off Valdorn's Visions, for they are cold and inspire ice upon your spine. During the daylight, though the sun reflects upon the marble pillars and the arched gateways in an inviting manner, the shadows crawl with the children of Sharlys. When you walk through those empty streets you are not alone despite a lack of company. A person is wise to eject themselves from that graveyard before dark—I have heard harrying tales of those who didn't… if you'd rather get a first hand recitation I can direct you to a couple of chaps. They can be found at the Saint Braiden's Way House in Chayrec Keep, and their names are Melghast and Delotho. You're allowed to speak with them when they stop screaming.
Sorry. Just a moment; I need a drink before I continue.
All right, where were we? Oh yes. About six oh-eight b.E.R. Here then, let me skip a few decades as nothing much of interest occurred. During this time—known by historians as the Time of Building—Coria's borders were being expanded. Settlements were going up all over the countryside and the locals were being pushed back. I'm not a druid mind you (though I know my share of them), but it was downright sad the way the tribes of indigenous folk were losing their hunting grounds and at such an alarming rate too! But there wasn't anything so drastic that it deserved a Bard's notice; at least not for a good three decades or so.
In the year five seventy-five b.E.R. Queen Elistas contracted a particular contagion that no one had seen before, and no one could find the cure. Fortunately for King Dey'parnar she had already given birth to the Heir Apparent along with a few other female children, because within a day and a half—mind you: thirty nine hours after she had become ill—Queen Elistas died a most horrible death. Yes, blanch all you'd like for I once read a recounting of it in The Histories of Queens, and it was very… um… well, I won't go into details lest I ruin this good meal of mine.
King Dey'parnar believed his beloved's death to be a result of foul play, but no matter how he approached it there was no trace of anything other than a strange illness (which, by the way, has never occurred since!). He had plenty of time to mourn as well, for it wasn't until ten years had passed that anything of extreme interest took his mind off of past events. You see, in the year five sixty-five b.E.R. a small rebellion broke out within Coria City. It was so small, in fact, that many of the history books have neglected to mention it. I only stumbled across the reference on two separate occasions. Once while perusing historical documents in Mycen Castle while chasing elusive lyrics for a satyr, and the other while delving into documents stored within the darker recesses of the Great Library in Calestra in search of answers to a rather tight political spot a friend of mine had endured—but that is a different story.
The rebellion was called the Serpent Rebellion because the rebels tended to avoid traditional weaponry to kill their "oppressors" and instead would slip poisonous snakes into their beds while they slept. Their agenda wasn't widely known, and I personally believe them to be early practitioners of Sharlys…perhaps even Salerna, but she tends to be more open in her deliberations. No, I'd have to say Sharlys for certain. They didn't claim any political party, or make demands; they just assaulted the upper class with poisonous snakes…in the night. I suppose that is why they called it a rebellion. After all, the aristocracy writes the history, right? It was put to rest when a small party of explorers—I'd think they'd be more like the adventurers of today than the Royal Explorers of Ole'—managed to find and kill enough of the rebels that the others were scared into inactivity. It was a bloody few days though, and Coria City still holds "Snake Hunts" on occasion.
Mmmm! That's some tasty beef cut. Are you sure you aren't going to order? No? Your loss.
Anyway, what next? Oh yes. You see, Coria has long had a problem of flooding; what with the Indigo and the Thrace both cutting through our countryside to their eventual outlet into Iirlastor Bay. And in five forty-eight b.E.R. the flooding of the Indigo was such that it washed away the bridges and destroyed the crops. The primary difficulty was that this sealed off almost all of the settlements northeast of the river from Coria City! It was a trying time for the settlement of Larkshire in particular, where to this day they still hold regular spring rituals to Cardista in the hopes that she'll see fit not to make a repeat performance. It very nearly destroyed the settlement.
Just to set your bored little mind at ease, natural disasters weren't the only thing troubling King Adayme's rule—what? Oh, terribly sorry about that. Yes, you see? In the year five sixty b.E.R. King Dey'parnar died a very old man, and Prince Adayme Alairies took the throne. There, all caught up? Good. Now… not just natural disasters… yes, there we are! The Striding Plains Wars! Oh, now these are a gem for bards and military strategists alike. They lasted five years, beginning in five forty and ending in five thirty-five b.E.R.
Apparently the tribes of nomadic peoples within the Red Plains were tired of being pushed about by our ancestors. So, they gathered together—banded if you will—and the wars began. The skies filled with the tears of Kith'jora as her children rushed the blades. The Red Plains shook with the thunder of their hooves and the bray of their horns. The standard of Sir Koria still flew along the glistening shield wall. The outcome was undecided, as it had been on so many other battlefields, on so many other days. It was fierce and it was terrible, the final battle of the Striding Plains War. There is no victor that can be reported, for at the end of the day both sides lay strewn about the field. Broken, bloody, and in pain both the Humans and the Centaurs left the field defeated by their own brashness. A rather dreary recitation I'm afraid, and were I telling just that tale I confess that it would be better. The Broken Horn, by Hithel Windrunner of the Spotted Hair tribe is a breathtaking history and one that he passed on to me in exchange for The Herald of Winter. The Broken Horn is much longer than The Herald of Winter, but the latter is far more entertaining I'm afraid. In my humble opinion the people of Coria took the worst of the fight, though the noble Centaur will be sure to insist otherwise just to be polite.
The Striding Plains Wars were followed almost immediately by more famine, and many more died that final year of the war than should have.
Hmm… excuse me, but I was distracted a little by that piece of meat stuck between my teeth. So, on with things shall we?
The joining of the Confederacy wasn't long to follow, and King Adayme signed the pact more out of a hope for prosperity after the Striding Plains War than out of a desire to become a cog in the Imperial Wheel. I tell you this so that some of the blame associated with him for the hardships eventually inflicted upon our people by the Confederacy of Drannon can be washed from his shoulders. Adayme was a good man and it is a shame he is remembered solely for his signing of the Confederacy Pact. He did, after all, help defend his people from the Striding Plains Wars afield, as a warrior.
Here's an interesting point to make: It would seem that the Sylvarian Empire has record of sending an ambassador to meet with King Adayme and work on future relations between the two nations at about that time. Their sages have told me that they did not look forward to the joining of those nations, and had read trouble for the people of the Confederacy in the Stars. Their ambassador—a nobleman by the name of Riehn Teviat—never made it to any of the settled lands. He was killed, and the Sylvarian Empire believes it was by a long-range Drannese assertion. How that is I couldn't say. Nor could I say why they did nothing to retaliate if they held such a belief. In any case, the Winter Investigation is often confused with this little piece of Sylvarian history when it is, in fact, a completely different occurrence. That is why it is mentioned in Corian history.
There is some tie in, though it is scarce and difficult to discover. As a matter of fact; some of the fat, blind sages of Mycen Castle might argue that there is any correlation, but as far as I'm concerned they don't know a thing beyond what they read, so D'hurgen take them! What? Oh yes. Sorry, back to the Investigation. You see, near the end of the five twenty-eight b.E.R. there were certain dukes who were in power over certain areas of Corian Government. The names have been scratched out of most documents, but there was some references made to one Duke Eddiamon Davranthi having been involved in an inquiry around the same time, and His Grace, the Duke of Greengrass Hill was the Royal Governor of Economics at the time after all, so it only fits that Davranthi was involved in the Winter Investigation—though those bearing the Davranthi name will certainly claim otherwise. The Winter Investigation came about because of a combination of embezzlement, murder, and plotting the likes of which would make The Order of the Cloak look like old women gossiping! You know that saying? The one that goes: Never give a banker your money in the dead of winter. Well, that was derived from the Winter Investigation. While I don't know all of the details, I know enough to tell you this: a couple of people—or maybe it was just one, but if that were the case they'd have pulled of something near godlike—in any case, a couple of people got together and decided to lighten the Royal Treasury; which in and of itself was no easy task even back then. They knew this, and apparently plotted around the safeguards. I don't know all of the ins and outs—the Order of the Cloak was smart enough to destroy any documentation concerning how the deed was accomplished in order to remove temptation. I do know that about five people—big people—in the Corian government wounded up dead and about eighty-five percent of the entire wealth of Coria up and vanished! Hard to believe? Oh, it was indeed a messy situation and the Order of the Cloak didn't even exist at the time to stop it.
The investigation lasted all winter and not a single coin turned up. There was no trace of this amazing team of thieves, and what's worse was that they had managed to arrange the whole thing by using Corian Law against itself. I can guess at methods, but I am no thief, and as devious as I'd like to think I am, I cannot even fathom how they managed to pull it off!
How did the assassination of the Sylvarian Ambassador tie in with the Investigation? Well, think about it. The Sylvarians are a much older race. They have certain abilities that we humans wish we had. If one were to have been present at the time of the heist would it have been possible? Yes, it is speculation, but you ask any Sylvarian what they think and they'd tell you the same.
Stop arguing the point. I've made up my mind on how the events are married and no one is going to divorce them! Do you want me to continue? Then be quiet about it all right?
Loss of the treasury caused some heavy debt to be incurred from Ertain, but the Crown opted to keep that as much a secret from the public as possible, not wanting anyone to feel obligated to our good neighbors especially while borders were being decided upon. King Adayme was a good man, a kind man, but prideful at the same time, and he insisted on living life as closely as possible to the way he had before the Incident. Which, in turn, led to his death while on a rather extravagant hunt.
You know something interesting just occurred to me. Hunting is a dangerous pastime especially if you are royalty. I’m being serious! If you're a king, prince, emperor—whatever—don't go hunting! You have people who do that for you! Well, you aren't likely to become royalty are you…so, I'll stop my ranting and get on with the history lesson.
Prince Freidriq became the next lucky sot to rule our great kingdom, but his rule didn't last long either. I mean, he accomplished some great things in his reign, but I think he would have preferred to of lived all the same. Nice trade that would have made: King Freidriq Alairies lived a safe life, but a long one—now on with the next king! Oh! Shinara's Sneer! I just spilled some wine down my front—excuse me, but could you hand me that? Yes. Thank you.
Anyway, he had some bad luck mixed in with the good, but there are perhaps two things that he will be remembered the most for. The first is that he paid for the founding of Semon. Sent Duke Faerton Heirbraight after his father was assassinated while en route to do the same thing if I remember correctly. Faerton had a bit more protection than Greiciou judging by the outcome of the two efforts. And the second thing was that he located some wandering Khordaldrum masons and had The Golden Way built over the Indigo. Have you seen that wonder? What do you mean you haven't been there!? By all of the combined eyes of the gods, what are you thinking!? What is it? Oh, you're killing me here…
The Golden Way is only the most illustrious piece of architecture outside of Coria City and south of Calestra. I've never—you seriously haven't see it? Gods! All right, all right, I've calmed down a bit. The Golden Way is a massive stone edifice to Khordaldrum construction and King Freidriq Alairies' reign. It is a bridge that crosses the Indigo almost due east of Coria City. The supports are carved like giant warriors holding the heights of the bridge in place, and the spires reach into the heavens in order to tickle Solanis' belly as he passes overhead. It is made of indigenous rock, golden in hue, but as strong as granite—I don't quite remember the name of it—and you can't travel across it without seeing a flag waving from every major city within Coria and capped by the Corian Heraldry. Oh, it is a beautiful sight to be sure. I still can't believe—oh, all right, I'll shut my mouth about it.
Why was it built? Because the Indigo has a nasty habit of flooding every so often, and that particular little stunt cuts off the north of Coria from the south quite effectively; thus the warriors beneath the causeway. They represent protecting the unity of Coria; even from Kith-jora's occasional oversight. Well, now…things get really interesting at this point.
There is some speculation as to how much of an accident King Freidriq's death was. He died while aboard a galleon in the Iirlastor Bay. There was an accident with the boom and when the crew managed to drag his body back aboard the king's head was pretty much caved in. But the Alairies line had been a lucky one by way of births and the retired king had a prince in waiting, only this time it was as though King Freidriq's luck aboard ship had followed his corpse home. Prince Luithe Alairies was kidnapped before plans for the king's funeral had even been suggested. Oh, the kingdom was in an uproar, but after putting off coronation in the hopes that the young prince would be found they finally settled on the next logical choice: Duke Portier Mafoite. It must have stewed him something fierce when he was only pronounced Regent-king as opposed to King, but he only had two years to brood. In five oh-four b.E.R. proof was raised that our good regent was in fact responsible for the kidnapping of the Crown Prince, if not the death of the king as well. Portier was beheaded for treason after priests were used to divine the location of Prince Luithe (who was already dead) and confirm their beliefs. The fool Portier had forgotten to remove the body of the royal from his manor house basement. Oh, it was hidden well enough in a walled up portion of his wine cellar, but accounts tell of no magical protections against scrying. Of course, two years of searching for the prince—the scrying protections probably had just worn off about the time the accusations were made—or maybe Portier wasn't responsible, but was framed! Ha! Now there is an idea. I'll have to remember that one for future interests…what? Oh, yes. My apologies once again.
Thus ended what historians have called the Confederacy Era even though Coria remained a loyal member of the Confederacy (and later, the Empire) for some time to come. They named the following period after the new royal family—you see, all of the Alairies line had been wiped out as far as anyone knew, and so they accepted the next highest within the nobility as their new king, and thus the Louvreo Reign began.
King Raint Louvreo was obsessed with how he'd be remembered. I know this because he wrote about it prolifically. I mean, to the point where if I am ever asked to read a passage from his memoirs I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can safely begin with: 'For the sake of posterity and the good of my legacy…' But try as he might his reign was riddled with hardship. Coria City nearly burnt to the ground. Plague nearly wiped Semon from the map. The Black Plains War occurred during his reign—the Black Plains War? It was a scourge war.
Hordes of goblinkind led by a rather powerful shaman spilled forth from the Klais Chasom and tried to inflict harm upon Coria. They did a good job of it too! Much of the ruins beneath the southeastern side of Coria City are the trademark of those howling hordes. But, Shinara smiled on poor King Raint and he was slain in the Black Plains War. And thus ended the Louvreo Reign. Probably one of the shortest reigns in the history of Coria—no! Wait! Eurthai's reign was shorter.
See, this time there was the Confederacy to appoint a new king, and since Raint had no heirs (no male heirs that is) a new king was chosen from the aristocracy. Aliex Eurthai took the crown, and ended the Black Plains War, but somehow managed to ignore the disbanded camps of hordelings long enough to allow Semon to be completely razed by them. If you visit Semon you'll see the monument to their fallen. They do not look too kindly on the Eurthai family name. You can tell by one of their favorite sayings: Blind as an Eurthainian King! You can pretty much insert any negative adverb or adjective at the lead in that sentence and it'll fit right in with their sentiment. But he didn't have to hear much of their complaints for even as the good people of Semon were rebuilding their lives his was ending.
In the year four sixty-three b.E.R. King Aliex Eurthai was assassinated. The history books show no indication of why, or who, or even if they caught the culprit. If you ask me, I think some poor sot from Semon put a knife in his liege lord's back and no one saw fit to do anything about it. After all, negligence must be paid for just like any other crime. Duke Gregoire Nieph took the throne, and thus began the longest reign. There were more than enough tragedies in King Gregoire's life to keep a playwright as happy as a young bull in heat traipsing through a pasture full of cows so I won't go into a whole lot of detail concerning the everyday disasters—pardon the callousness of such a remark.
The hamlet of Bethdale was lost to a plague, and never birthed again. The village of Whiethwash was burned to the ground—probably an accident. Famine nearly wiped the Corian people from beneath the god's gaze—and the Berthanie Rebellion took place.
The Berthanie Rebellion was really a major rebellion, and was started due to King Gregoire's views on public service. He had demanded that the kingdom needed growth, and as such every person (in other words: those without noble blood) was to spend at least one day a week working on developments of the kingdom. Roads were to be built, cities repaired, you get the idea. Suffice it to say that did not go over very well. The people revolted and after a bloody confrontation with the military the demand was put to rest. There was one more incident within King Gregoire's reign that sealed the fact he'd go down in history as one of the worst kings ever: The Burning Plague.
Why is that his fault? Well, there are certain precautions that can be taken to alleviate the chance a plague will spread. After the Berthanie Rebellion there were a lot of quarters within the city of Coria that housed a rather poor class of people. The king chose to ignore these poor folk instead of trying to help them, and as such they eventually contracted a rather nasty disease.
Have you ever seen the Burning Plague in action? Hmm…well, I have. Not then mind you, no, I am far too young for that. No, this took place a few years back while I was traveling in the Brathnaii Hallows area. There was a small village of humans who had gone to live without a sovereign lord. Theirs was a place of democracy and their mayor basically ran the town with the help of a city council. Not much of a city really; more like a really small town, but I didn't argue the point as when I arrived they were quite stricken by the Plague and I didn't have the heart to diminish their illusions. The Burning Plague turns your skin red with rashes that cause you to scratch relentlessly. Eventually you wear through your skin and start to bleed. Meanwhile, your skin burns with fever and boils began to sprout across your shoulders and upper chest as well as just under your eyes. But that's not until you'd spent at least a week scratching your skin off. Once the boils appear you know that you've only a few days left—and I'll tell you that you'd feel right lucky about that time! The boils eventually burst, covering your body with pus and goop. This is quite painful apparently, as the poor sots who experienced it were nearly overcome with agony and couldn't even make a sound for the pain. Once the boils burst the victim doesn't live through the night—but this village was lucky, for I had a friend of mine along for the journey. A priest of Falloes who just about fell out of favor with his god for how much he called upon him in those days. To think of an entire population of people within Coria City afflicted by this terrible scourge—pardon the shudder.
Well, King Toban Nieph's reign didn't start out much better. One of his advisors, Duke Isaik Trouban mysteriously died. His body just turned up without a mark, or any apparent reason for death. To this day no one has been able to deduce the cause or reason. And then six years after this fell deed an assassination attempt on King Toban was foiled. Four oh five b.E.R. is when it took place: The Insidious Incident. A bit melodramatic I suppose, but at the time I wouldn't have thought it so. The assassin was thought to be from the Sylvarian Empire.
Now, realize that Coria hadn't much knowledge of the Empire then—oh , far less than now I assure you, and yes, even now we don't know much. So, when a pale-skinned Syl was caught by the guards while fleeing the scene and was killed, well Coria went to arms! Never had they done anything to warrant such an act—what? The dead Ambassador? But nothing had come of that, the Sylvari had surely never blamed Coria for such a thing! In any case, messengers were sent demanding reason and retribution, but the first of them returned with the Sylvarian's assurances that they had nothing to do with such an evil. And, as it turned out, they were right! Further investigation upon the body of the deceased by priests of Lysora returned evidence that it wasn't a member of the Sylvarian races at all, but a polymorphed being—you do know what poly—My apologies! I had to ask.
As I was saying, it turned out that through the magic of the Court Wizard the body was returned to its normal state and the people of Coria looked upon an Aferathi for the first time. When you couple the occurrence of the assassination attempt with the troubles going on at the same time within the Sylvarian Empire it is certain that the Aferathi were trying to pit Coria against the Sylvarian Empire in order to weaken their long-time enemies enough to deal them some rather crushing blows. Were it not for Segriole Letiosh, a bard of some reputation at that time, something along those lines might just have happened too.
You see, a similar play was made against the Sylvarian people and they were as outraged as the Corian's had been. Segriole Leiosh acted as a go between for the two nations, and eventually the Sylvarian Empire managed to crush their opponents instead. No, Coria didn't participate in that war despite the failed attempt to include us. King Toban was not eager for a war of any kind and chose to watch carefully from the sidelines. However, eleven years later, in the year three ninety-four b.E.R., he wasn't able to stave off the drums of war as the Aferathi decided to take the battle straight to Coria for their involvement in the previous disaster.
This was called The Cave Wars because while Toban wasn't eager for war, he wasn't a coward either. When the first few attacks spilled forth from the Chasom, Toban gathered his military together and chased the dark Syl right into their holes. For four years this brave king led his troops through tunnel and cavern, beating back attack after attack and being beaten back. It was a dreadful experience by all accounts and the Aferathi made no attempt at mercy. Now, if you ask any military historian they'll tell you the same as I: this was when the Corian military wet its teeth. Whatever skill in tactics they teach at the Academies was birthed within those hidden caves deep within the Klais Chasom.
The Cave Wars ended in three ninety b.E.R. and fairly quickly (for the Sylvarian Empire) a Sylvarian Ambassador was dispatched to serve as an advisor of all things Sylvarian to King Toban. This didn't stop the Aferathi. No, not with their beady little red eyes—fearsome race, the Aferathi—I've killed more than my fair share of them, but that's a different story.
The Second Cave War was a continuation of the first really. King Toban had an idea of how to deal with this enemy and had, in fact, improved upon his tactics over the course of the eighteen years between the two wars. To the Aferathi, and the Sylvari, it was a short time, but most of Coria had all but forgotten the First Cave Wars until the Second erupted.
While Queen Vithoria was at home giving birth to Princess Ithyana, an older, and much wiser King Toban led his people into the caves of the Chasom once more. This time with advice from the Sylvarian Empire! The war lasted for three years and this time the humans definitely faired better than the Aferathi.
Billowing smoke and tendrils of light lit
The shafts of the Aferathi were a terrible sight.
Thundering drums and screaming jeers
The shafts of the Aferathi were fearsome to hear.
Yet King Toban stood fast
King Toban stood strong
He led his troops
In a glorious Song!
Though evil magic and devious ends were the Aferathi’s dear friends.
King Toban and troops brought about their quick end.
King Toban Nieph was an intelligent man who I'd imagine I would have gotten along famously with. It was he, who in the year three fifty b.E.R., established the Order of the Cloak out of necessity.
You see, the Second Khordladrum-Sylvari War had begun, and since Coria was practically right in the middle of their warring (all right, a little to the south, but I've never claimed geography was my strong suite) King Toban believed it necessary to keep a subtle eye on both sides. Coria already held within her capitol an ambassador from the Sylvarian Empire but we were not considered allies. And the Khordaldrum Clans had yet to send anything more than a few workman into the lands of Coria, but King Toban definitely did not consider them the enemy! Still, there was a chance that the warring races would lean upon Coria to give aid after one fashion or another and King Toban did not want to be caught unaware of such manipulations. So, the Order of the Cloak was brought into being for the purpose of gathering information—pardon? No, not spying. That's rude. Gathering information for the betterment of the Kingdom.
In any case, the Order of the Cloak proved instrumental in keeping Coria from that particular war without ending up making enemies out of one or the other Elder Nation. When King Toban Nieph died in the year three forty b.E.R. there was much mourning throughout the land. He was a hero by no stretch of the word, and the people sorely missed his influence. His monument still stands in Coria Square, proud and triumphant over the Aferathi invasions. His eldest son, Michale Nieph took the throne, but he only ruled for ten years before he died… I believe it was of natural causes. Why do you ask? No, not every king dies of some plot or another. There have been plenty who have retired to their god's graces while in peaceful slumber. Oh, you were making a joke. I usually catch those fairly quickly…
The Prineveer Reign is without a doubt the longest of all of the reigning monarchies within Coria. I had said that the Nieph Reign was one of the longest and it only lasted for about ninety years. Well, the Prineveer Reign far outlasts the Nieph's. Withome Prineveer was the first King of the Prineveer line. His rule was marked by many twists and turns, as a river flows. While it is turbulent there is still some beauty to be found within the art of the waters dance.
There was the Fire of Larkshire that nearly destroyed the city. It was written that the charge was arson, and it was against a fellow who reputedly was a member of a rather insidious thief's guild in retaliation for something monotonous done him by another guild, or some such nonsense as that. It very nearly crippled Larkshire into extinction, but King Withome had learned from King Gregoire's mistakes as he was a man of knowledge—a scholarly king if you will. And he did not let Larkshire suffer, sending aid and healing as the Kingdom could muster. Really quite a glorious recounting of humanity is available should you care to listen to The Larshire Mire sometime. I'd recite it now if you looked even remotely interested. A passage perhaps? No? Later? All is well then.
There was an assassination of a minor noble lord: Count Marik… no, Count Ereick Tel'doubre! Yes, that was it. Count Tel'doubre was killed and though there were many suspects no one was ever convicted. That, by the by, is also a rather harrowing tale, though much of it is based on speculation and hearsay. I don't suppose—no…I didn't think so. On with the history then.
Just a moment please, if I am going to continue with the dry, I certainly need a refill of the wet. Waitress… A brandy please. Yes, Wolcott would be fine. For you? Nothing? A rather stout individual eh?
King Withome was responsible for sending Viscount Meriant Delbianth off to found Stone's Hollow. But alas, that was about as happy a thing, as his reign yielded. In three twelve b.E.R. the Thunder Plague struck Coria City. Now the Thunder Plague was pretty much named so because of the moaning and bellowing it raised within the city. The particular illness would cause just enough pain to force the poor sot who contracted it into a series of relentless moans. Near upon the individual's death the pain would increase, as would the brain fever, and they'd go quite mad: screaming and bellowing at any and all until they quite suddenly died. I don't think that the Thunder Plague has been seen around these parts for quite some time, and despite its recording in history King Withome handled it with care and precision—as you might expect from a learned man.
The Thunder Plague went its course through the city with only a small fraction of the population having been killed by it despite the massive amount of peoples affected.
Ah, a quick insert if I may: it is the year three oh seven that the first Khordaldrum Ambassador sees fit to attend Corian Court. Kroug Avidaxe was his name and he was a loud fellow by all accounts. He and the Sylvarian ambassador Eitherion Loombrothel—pardon me Loombrothos! Ahem… a little slip of the tongue there I'm afraid. Is it hot in here? No? Hmm…must just be me. Well, five years after the Honorable Avidaxe arrived the Dog Wars began. See? Poor King Withome didn't have much luck at keeping the dogs of war at bay—no pun intended…well, maybe just a little. If you'll remember, I told you that there were various tribes of nomadic sorts living in the Red Plains of southern Coria before Sir Koria arrived? Good. Well, the Dog Wars were with one of these tribes—a rather overlooked band if you asked me: Gnolls. Oh, but they are vicious in number. Have you ever witnessed a pack of wild dogs feasting upon a carcass? They don't share, they don't pick a piece of meat and drag it off to gorge themselves in private like some good-natured carnivores. No. They rip each other's throats out for the choicest pieces of meat and then when that's all gone they'll go for the jugular over the scraps! That particular instinct is what had kept the Gnolls from being a serious threat up until this time in history.
A chieftain rose among them, gathering the packs together and forming a larger pack—an ivfer-pack, to borrow a word from the Vidarak. They came sweeping from the West, out of the borderlands between Coria and Pardinal, and it was a vicious thing by all accounts. It lasted for eleven years and it was only through the book learning of the King and his intelligent military leaders that the losses weren't greater than they were.
Coria City came under siege five times during that war. Five times the Dogs were at our gates, and the city held. The Order of the Cloak was used again: this time to find out where exactly the Gnolls were calling home, and in two ninety-one b.E.R. King Withome led the Corian Army out of the gates and marched upon the gnolls, scattering them to the four winds. King Withome wasn't much of a warrior, but he sure had a sharp tactical mind. It's too bad that the Stinging Plague caught up with him before he had a chance to reach healing. And it is too bad that all of his good was for naught in the eyes of the servants. Before King Withome succumbed to the Stinging Plague he was subjected to watching some of his closest friends come under the knife as the servants within Coria Castle rose up in an effort to take the throne. Who led them is unknown even to the Order of the Cloak as that person slipped through the crushing fingers of an enraged king, and none of those who followed him knew his name, or what he looked like.
Ah, you are beginning to understand the way I think! Yes, I do have my own theories on that one—I believe that it had something to do with Tyrannis, though I won't go into any more detail than that. I've already delivered my theory to the Minister of Defense. Well, after King Withome died (A horrible way to go, but then I suppose any of the plagues our country has experienced would be), Prince Griffon Prineveer took the throne.
King Griffon had but one major challenge in his reign: the Craven Wars. The Craven Wars lasted nearly three years. It was a frustrating time for King Griffon as his opponent was a rather wily Bandit King named Fastous. That was all. Just Fastous. Fastous would not meet the King or his army upon the battlefield, but would strike from the night, or from ambush, despite the large force of troops he had mustered. But in the end King Griffon set Fastous' head upon a pike at the crossroads and there he declared victory—though it was a few months before the bandits were fully routed.
Well now…we have reached a minor episode within the history of Coria that peeks back into the birth of our kingdom. King Griffon died of a rather quick illness in the lungs and he was replaced by his son Devione Alaris Prineveer. You see, King Griffon married the Countess Delana Alaris whose family believed themselves to be direct descendants of the Alairies line. Griffon did not marry for political reasons, though it is apparent that his wife did. The Countess—later the Queen—apparently plotted to regain the crown and throne for her line and seduced the good king Griffon. When she gave birth she managed to convince her husband to name their prince with her surname included. Then, she quietly taught Devione her belief and when it looked as though the Prineveer name would continue devious little Devione dropped the Prineveer patronymic in favor of declaring his 'true blood' as an Alaris! Needless to say this did not make many people very happy. His brother, Prince Uliet Prineveer was sent away to establish the city of Calestra, extending the Corian boundaries to their extreme but in doing so King Devione made one big mistake: he failed to keep his enemies near.
Maybe he didn't realize Uliet was his enemy, but Uliet certainly knew where his loyalties lay, and as he crossed the land he planted the seed of potential war. He established Calestra as his capitol and then quietly gathered his troops to him. In two thirty-two b.E.R. Prince Uliet Alaris Prineveer (for he was thusly named as well) led his army against Coria City in what became known as The King War. Coria City was destroyed and King Davione was slain on the steps of Coria Castle by his own brother. Prince Uliet Prineveer declared himself king and put the Prineveers back on the throne. But Uliet's pride didn't stop there. Whether he was just in a bloody mood, or he truly had visions of grandeur we'll never know. What we do know is that he sent an ambassador to Drannon and forced them to sit idle while he committed these acts. The ambassador was successful and Drannon did nothing but officially declare King Uliet the ruler of Coria. Thus began the second Prineveer Reign, though some scholars believe that the first never really ended. You decide as it is largely a point of argument among my fellow countrymen, and I'll not argue it at this time.
Now, have you traveled the Red Plains? Then you know why it is they have such a name. At sunset they appear to be set aflame with red fire. It is really nothing more than the coloring of the sun as it hits the horizon reflecting from the rather metallic looking native wheat, but it is a nice effect none-the-less. In two sixteen b.E.R. the Red Plains really did set aflame. A rogue lightning bolt or some other such natural occurrence set in motion the most devastating prairie fire Coria has ever seen. It very nearly destroyed the kingdom better than any of the previous wars! But we are a resilient people and the fires were dealt with, the villages rebuilt, and the land tilled until it grew fertile again. It may just have been Kith-jora's way of healing the land as some druids claim, but according to the history books it was something mighty terrible to behold.
In the year one seventy-seven b.E.R. Prince Jaik Prineveer took the throne after his father's death. He wasn't king for more than two years before the Es'tarrai Plague struck all of Coria. The Writings of Pinthat tell of the plague beginning in the city of Semon, but The Memoirs of an Arch-bishop, by Hastis Frelin of the Church of Lysora counter that remark by claiming the plague was set in motion within Calestra. In either case we know that it was not natural, thus the name Es'tarrai. Es'tarrai was a worshipper of D'hurgen—a high priest if all accounts are correct—who had come under trial for a series of murders in his god's name. Security slipped apparently and he was able to instill within his captors a contagion of crippling nature and make his escape. Whether he had planned it this way, or whether it was just his god smiling upon him we'll never know, but the disease spread…epidemically so.
It was a quiet disease that worked in a rather sporadic fashion. Sometimes it would lay dormant for weeks before springing forth to the chagrin of its host. As such, it spread across Coria—and I believe into Ertain as well as Pardinal—with a muted swiftness. If you thought the Burning Plague was bad, or the Stinging Plague, well, the Es'tarrai Plague combined many of both of these previous illnesses; empowered by foul divinity as it was. It took the efforts of five different faiths in
Thanks to Bromern Sal for this contribution!