Monday, 9 May 2011

A History of the Godsblood Strait

This entry refers to the map of the Godsblood Straits.
The Urdus Ismuth was colonised by settlers from the Toutus Empire about 820 BY and the town of Urdus was founded soon afterwards. There were clashes with indigenous humanoids and demihumans as the humans of Toutus took over the rich plains that would form fertile farmlands. 

Gnolls and orcs were slaughtered, with only a few survivors fleeing to the Talloak forest to the north. They have never been removed from the Talloak forest, and from those early days, through the height of the Toutus Empire, the Wars Between the Empires, The Summoning and the present day (1610 BY) the north of the region has fended off orc and gnoll raids and banditry. 

The dwarves of the Ten Peaks were treated with a little more respect - they were conquered but not slaughtered by the Toutian troops. For the first two hundred years they had to pay fealty to the Duke of Urdus. However, in 1050 BY the Duke of Urdus treated the dwarves so badly that they revolted. They fought and defeated several human armies sent by the Duke. Then the Emperor of Toutus sent several legions of his own Imperial Army and beseiged all ten clans simultaneously. Rather than fight to the death, the dwarves offered surrender as long as they swore loyalty to the Emperor himself and did not have to answer to the Duke of Urdus. The Emperor Justinius IV himself came along and visited each of the ten clans, accepting their allegience and also requiring them to provide troops and weapons for his army. 

The Duchy of Urdus developed and grew, and by the start of the Wars between the Empires, the duchy boasted a number of impressive trading ports - Harielport, Maquosmouth, Ermish and  Aerisport. These not only traded within the Toutus Empire, they also received ships from other Empires, particularly Bellenos, while inter-imperial relations were good. The relations turned bad in a big way in 1550 BY. 

During the Wars Between the Empires, the Duchy of Urdus was hit hard several times - the city of Maquosmouth was besieged and sacked by Bellenosian troops, the town of Ermish was sacked when enemy ships from Bursia sailed straight into the port and unloaded Bursian troops straight into the heart of the town, the capital Urdus was beseiged, though this was relieved by a column of Toutian Imperial Army troops. The town of Harielport was attacked and almost flattened by rampaging elementals summoned by war-wizards of Bursia. The wars between the Empires was also a major drain on manpower and production - a lot of the food produced in the Duchy of Urdus and the metal from the dwarves of the Ten Peaks went straight to the war effort, impoverishing the normally wealthy region. Tragic and bloody though these wars were, they paled in significance compared to the wrath of a God of Chaos. 

Whereas Teiglin lost its capital when Bhael briefly appeared and created a Chaos Portal, during the initial phase of the Summoning, Bhael created three Chaos Portals in the Duchy of Urdus - one in Urdus itself, one in Aerisport and one in Maquosmouth. These were the major population and trade centres of Urdus - maximum disruption with just three Chaos Portals. This would have brought the Duchy of Urdus close to collapse.
The second part of the Summoning was the battle between the three gods - the Chaos god Bhael on the one hand, and two gods of Law, Adonor and Rhondus on the other trying to stop his apocalyptic rampage. During this titanic battle Bhael appeared about a mile above the city of Urdus. Adonor and Rhondus caught up with him there and they battled there for three hours before Bhael teleported to somewhere else in Kaelaross and the two gods of Law followed him. The effects of the battle ripped apart the very land over which they fought. The City of Urdus, the town of Ermish and much of the land of the Isthmus was pushed beneath the sea, and the waves came crashing over the towns, farmland and thousands of helpless people. 
Like some sort of tectonic seasaw, as the isthmus sank, the Island of Lost Souls and the Godsblood Hills were both pushed up out of the sea, with whales, sharks, shoals of fish and one hapless dragon turtle all being stranded on newly created land. 
The City of Aerisport, already infested with Chaotic monsters from the Chaos Portal, became landlocked, and its inhabitants quickly fled eastwards.
The town of Maquosmouth was abandoned to the forces of Chaos, although physically not as damaged or geographically altered as Aerisport. 
A tidal wave hit Sterin Island, causing death and damage to the village of Estian. 

In the wake of this cataclysm, the survivors of Urdus tried to find shelter where they could and to rebuild as best they knew how.
The Barony of Sterin, hit hard by the tidalwave, but mostly unaffected by chaotic monsters, has become independent, and is one of the safer areas in the region.
The town of Ironmarket, previously a trading post with the dwarves, has become the centre of humanity in the west of the region. To defend against chaotic monsters and the resurgent threat of humanoids of the Talloak forest, a string of forts has been constructed since the Summoning, each named after a lawful deity. These forts are still being improved and developed, but the arc they form is considered the current line of defence against the chaotic hordes from the chaos portals.
The dwarves of the Confederacy of the Ten Peaks now find themselves as the most powerful nation in the area. Some feel they should exercise their new power, and make Ironmarket a vassal, a reversal of fortune for dwarves and humans.
The coastal region on the east side of the straits are now abandoned to the forces of Chaos until the humans and dwarves can work out how to close the Chaos Portals created by Bhael.
The west side of the straits have also been abandoned. The ruined town of Harielport and Seaview Keep were previously on the border between Urdus and Teiglin - now nobody except monsters of chaos from Erkhart claim them.

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