66 years ago, High King Mather I invaded from the west and conquered Alveron, unifying the Five Kingdoms under one crown, his own. Ruling largely in absentia, administration of the Five Kingdoms remains in the hands of three loyal Kings who all pledge fealty to Mather.
The Five Kingdoms retain their individual identities, and most people identify with one of them over the other, but Mather’s Law deems that all his subjects are part of the same realm, and are free to travel, work or settle anywhere within the Five Kingdoms.
High King Mather is now in his mid 90s, and crippled by age. Forces of various loyalties now gather, anticipating his death and the succession crisis that will result.
The Disunited Kingdoms
For hundreds of years, or perhaps since the first men ever set foot here, Alveron has been divided. Traditionally, in ages past, it was divided into four Kingdoms. Gallonia, Norothi, Senuthesia and Denathak. However, 350 years ago, subjects displeased with the ill rule of the King of Norothi eventually split to found the Petty Kingdom of Ilara.
These Kingdoms would frequently war each other over uncertain borders, with boundaries between each Kingdom and even the constituent Duchies constantly shifting. This continuous war left the population small and the realm undeveloped.
Mather was the King of a more advanced but smaller region far across the ocean to the west, Byazania. In his 20s, the young King proved to be an ambitious and skilled conqueror. After rapidly destroying any rival claimants to the throne of Byazania, he set his sights on conquering the disunited kingdoms of Alveron. Arriving on the shores of Gallonia 68 years ago, he quickly defeated its armies by siding with rebels that were already attempting to overthrow the King. Now the ruler of both Gallonia and Byazania, he declared himself “High King” and took his armies on to conquer Denathak and Norothi, which were already weakened by the war between them. With most of the realm already in Mather’s hands, Senuthesia and Ilarra decided to surrender rather than attempt an impossible resistance.
With the invasion complete, Mather handed control of the conquered Kingdoms of Gallonia, Norothi and Denathak to loyal commanders. The new rulers of these Kingdoms attempted to adopt the local culture and custom to try to endear themselves to their new subjects. Mather redrew the previously unstable and disputed boundaries of the Five Kingdoms to try to minimize conflict between his vassals. Mather also proclaimed Mather’s Law, a legal code establishing the realm as a single entity, all subjects as a subject of Mather, and thus all subjects are allowed to travel across the realm freely, work anywhere freely and settle freely.
The Civil War
14 years ago, the King of Denathak and the Petty King of Ilarra forged an alliance to gain independence from High King Mather. Striking at locations along rivers and coastlines in a wave of surprise attacks, they seized strategic crossings and ports before their opposition could react. Senuthesian and Norothi troops would perform most of the fighting against the rebels, aided by Gallonian mercenaries and the Royal Navy. In particular, the Royal Navy sustained extensive losses during the invasion of the Ilarran mainland.
The rebels were finally defeated two years later, Senuthesia took control of Denathak while Norothi took control of Ilarra. Mather’s waning influence and health meant he had no choice but to accept this occupation as somewhat permenant. As a result, there are now five kingdoms ruled by three kings. The Senuthesian King became King of Denathak, and the Norothi King became the Petty King of Ilarra. While High King Mather intended this setup to be temporary, and for these dual kingdoms to be split between different heirs, whether this decree will be respected remains unclear. Furthermore, the crippled Royal Navy was largely rebuilt with Gallonian wood and craftsmen, leaving the Gallonian King in de facto control over the largest fleet in the known world.
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