Exile is about to start its third campaign: Kingdom Fall. Exile runs in two-three year campaigns and is about to start our next one, letting everyone get in on the ground floor. Below is an account of what has been going on between the two campaigns!
In the past ten years, the world of Raia has torn itself asunder. Kingdoms broke out into civil war, or fought one-another in battles that have led to many deaths and now a shaky rebirth. Below is an overview of what has happened in each kingdom in the ten year span from the last campaign to now.
The Council of Nations
Where there once was a council that acted as a diplomatic forum for all nations, major and minor, of Raia, now there is nothing. The Council disbanded as many kingdoms fell into civil war, or began to fight with their nearest neighbors. Raia was cast into a world war, from which it is now barely healed. The wounds are still deep, and it has been recommended by many that a new seat for the council of nations be formed: in Brightwater. The nature of the crater makes it difficult for many to bring armies or force to the table, as well as preventing easy escape for ner-do-wells. Its central location makes it ideal for travel, ignoring the inherent danger of the crater itself. King Hawke of Exile has agreed to open Brightwater to the idea in a trial run, though he has expressed some reservations.
The Kingdom of Exile, nestled in the shifting crater at the center of Raia, has always been a shifting morass, fraught with magic, danger, and mystery. A mere 50 years ago, the Kingdom of Exile was established by King Lawrence Adrian. King Adrian founded a nation in the No-Mans-Land it has managed to prosper. However, it has recently fallen on dark times.
Due to the actions of the denizens of Brightwater, the shining jewel of the Crater, Exile has gone to war with the honorable nation of Laojian-Lu. Brightwater’s people, led by Annabell Hailey Hawke, attempted to assassinate the Emperor of Laojian-Lu, inciting a massive war between the two nations. It became a race to see who could reach the town of Brightwater first: the armies of Lightfall, the Capital of Exile, or the forces from Laojian-Lu. Whomever reached Brightwater first would control the Spirit Nexus in the town, and have an impressive foothold in the crater for the upcoming war.
Little did anyone know that Laojian-Lu was ruled by an ancient creature called The Fang of Winter; the soul of a horror imprisoned in mask that was passed from Emperor to Empress, controlling their bodies as though they were puppets. The war kicked off with The Fang of Winter invading Exile, arriving in the town of Brightwater mere days ahead of the Armies of Lightfall. It fell to the people of Brightwater, who were preparing to evacuate as soon as Lightfal’s armies took over, to defend the town and the Nexus until help arrived.
Brightwater succeeded in holding Laojian-Lu at bay, but they suffered a surprising, massive loss: The Fang of Winter completed a ceremony to manipulate the magic of the crater into thrusting the kingdom into a decade-long winter. Brightwater managed to stave off the armies, and in fact captured the mask containing The Fang of Winter, but the crater has since been suffering from ten years of unseasonable cold.
In addition: the loss of their Empress did not stop Laojian-Lu’s assault. Most refuse to believe that The Fang of Winter ever existed, accusing Brightwater of murdering their empress and attempting to murder the emperor before her. The woman to ascend the throne in the wake of The Fang of Winter’s death, named Ishi Kane, denounced claims that there was some evil being ruling over the Nation, and continued the war effort for 6 years.
The war ended in a truce, though it is rumored that the massive losses suffered by Laojian-Lu at the 5th Border Battle helped. Laojian-Lu, once a peaceful haven for all those considered strange or cursed, closed its borders and ceased trade with Delluuz, the Empire of Isles, and both halves of Fa’irthalas, all of whom assisted Exile in the war.
Exile began to patch itself up, having discovered a number of areas of stable ground in which to form more small towns. The winter grew less harsh, and now, ten years later, there is talk of opening Brightwater back up to the populace, and moving the military unit back to Lightfall.
The Other Side
The two Kingdoms on The Other Side of the world, The Kree Dynasty and the Empire of Raktor, were discovered by the people of Brightwater only recently. Since the discovery, the people of Raia have tried to make regular contact with the two nations of the continent Ulivarte.
With the portal that had been joining the two continents destroyed, the only method of conveyance between them is by boat. Water-travel from one continent to the other is incredibly difficult. The oceans are rough and fraught with dangerous currants, storms, and some say massive ocean creatures. Very few captains in Kokunavhat and The Empire of Isles have managed to make the trip, and once there, they discovered that the war-torn continent wanted very little to do with trade and friendship if it did not support their war efforts.
The Kree Dynasty is a kingdom of high technology and golems. Kokunavhat is interested in trade with them due to the rumors that they have the technology to make an entirely non-mortal golem; golems that do not require a mortal soul to power. The Empire of Isles is more interested in trade with the highly magical Empire of Raktor, and are champing at the bit to get their hands on the powerful eldritch rites and secrets that Raktor has to offer.
More often than not, the most that ships bring back from The Other Side are refugees and deserters. Most steal from their kingdoms, or bring their own wealth to escape what is a desolate continent. Very little of the continent is much more than barren wasteland. Some new technologies and magics have gotten from Ulivarte to Raia, and a few people have started to make their new homes in Raia.
Both Kree and Raktor have reportedly cracked down on people trying to get away, though rumor has it that they have begun to plant false escapees: spies. A growing concern in the Kingdoms of Raia is that the people from The Other Side are going to become a danger, and some refuse to accept them; sometimes to the point of violence.
Fa’irthalas: Vishen Empire vs Serilyic Empire
Despite never having devolved back into all-out war, tensions between the Fa’irthalan Serilyic Empire and the Fa’irthalan Vishin Empire are still high. In the past, the dual Empire of Fa’irthalas (one largely populated by Anarathi and Greenskins, the other mostly elves and dwarves) was a back and forth of who held the most power. Usually the warring Emperors in Northern Fa’irthalas were so short lived that the Serilyic Empire was able to avoid involvement, viewing them as little more than a rowdy sect. However, under the rule of Emperor Venox, a long-lived Greenskin, the Vishin Empire has gotten stable enough to begin demanding the kingdoms be separate.
The Serilyic Empire does not approve, as there are more resources available in Northern Fa’irthalas, and they refuse to give up the land. As such, debates and threats have been flying back and forth between Northern (Vishin) and Southern (Serilyic) Fa’irthalas.
The Empire of Isles
The Empire of Isles stayed largely out of the World War, choosing instead to harbor refugees and grant political asylum to those avoiding the war. Because of this, many of the warring countries have a negative outlook on the Empire, seeing them as cowards who refused to choose a side. There are others, though, who believe that the Empire of Isles is completely in the right. Many believe that the Empire fought the good fight and protected the weak.
Sadly, because of their kindness, the Empire of Isles has had massive trouble with the sick and the homeless. They are doing their best, but poverty is running rampant in the Empire. Many take to the islands to start homes and families outside of the cities.
Piracy between the Empire and Delluuz has skyrocketed. Many Delluuzian nobles who support Queen Kara feel that the Empire (whose nobles have familial ties with Queen Kara of Delluuz) should have supported the Royal Family in the recent civil war. Trade embargos are still in place and the two kingdoms are on very, very shaky terms.
Kharis managed to stay out of most of the wars, though many from Laojian-Lu who ran after the war fled to the desert. Many wanted for war-crimes thought, correctly, that they could lose themselves in the desert.
The tribes of Kharis have enjoyed one of the most prosperous decades in recently memory. With Exile suffering almost 10 years of winter, many went to Kharis to avoid the wars and the cold. They brought with them their belongings, and their hardy nature from years of living in the Crater, and new permanent communities formed in the desert.
Some tribes that ruled over the Kharisian sands have begun to raid the newer cities, hating the “invaders”, while others have welcomed the new talent and trade. One of the almost universally welcomed new additions to the desert is a major family from Exile moving both their household and their extensive knowledge of irrigation and magically assisted farming. The City of Wellspring is nestled in the shadow of the northern mountain range, and has grown impressively in the last 10 years.
Over 60 years ago, Volshera split down the middle in a messy war over the right to animate dead. For centuries, the funerary practices in Volshera involved leaving your body to the next generation. In a time-honored ceremony, your body was given to your family, who would animate it so you could serve your family even in death.
When The Watcher, the God of Souls, rescinded his throne, a large movement formed that believes animating the dead is evil and blasphemous. When the King of Volshera was revealed to be ancient and evil, he was removed from the throne and the kingdom dissolved into chaos. With no one on the throne, the kingdom split down the middle, and spent years skirmishing before it broke out into full-scale war.
The war ended when the long hidden Archbishop of Souls stepped out in support of the Dead Lands. The Archbishop brought an army of animated dead with her, and added it to that of the Dead Lands, overwhelming the Ward of Souls. This forced the two halves of Volshera to enter into peace talks. As of right now, The Dead Lands and the Ward of Souls are joined together under one ruler: King Konstantin Krosov, chosen from an old noble family of Volshera. King Krosov is the first ruler of Volshera to be chosen by a vote; the generals from both armies were called together at the Trial of the Dead to choose a monarch that both factions could respect.
King Krosov has proven to be a powerful ruler, and he has certainly put an immediate halt to all overt fighting in Volshera. Trade has opened up with other kingdoms again, but the kingdom lives in a near constant police state. Any rumors or whispers of fighting between the two factions is cause for swift trial and execution. While the King has a reputation for fairness, he has no such reputation for kindness. If you are proven guilty of violence over the matter of what he calls, “Religious Preferences”, you are put to a swift death. While it is difficult for many of the older families in Volshera, Krosov has decreed that you are free to either bury your family, or leave your body to them. Towns and hamlets in Volshera have become divided along these lines, and some families have split over the issue as well.
For the first time in centuries, there are graveyards in Volshera. They are often vandalized by families who believe in leaving your body to your family, but the same can be said of the Temples of the Dead, where the ceremonies to animate your deceased family members are performed.
The most that can be currently said for Volshera is that it is bleak, but at peace.
While its nearest neighbor, Volshera, tore itself to shreds, Kokunavhat staunchly supported The Dead Lands. The people of Kokunavhat, despite having a low opinion of magic in general, often engage in the animating of their dead. The use of Golems is common in Kokunavhat, though many have been attempting to move away from using the recently deceased and have been trying to make entirely clockwork golems. Due to this support, both Delluuz and some parties in The Empire of Isles have withdrawn ambassadors and trade agreements. Delluuz supported The Ward of Souls, and The Empire of Isles supported Not Getting Involved.
Kokunavhat has also cultivated a relationship with people on the Other Side of the world. Their golem craft has gotten more advanced since they have begun smuggling people and riches from the war-torn Other Side. They have allowed some clever scientists from Kree to join their universities and help further the study of clockwork, golems, black powder, and steam power. Rumor has it that the initial tests and experiments have been explosive, but the universities have high hopes.
Civil war had broken out in Delluuz, tearing it to shreds for nearly 4 years. After Queen Kara named Prince Lawrence Adrian II as her heir, the war became more heated, as many people sitting on the fence joined in behind the new Heir, or against him. It wasn’t until the Summit of Spring, where the leaders of each side came together to try to come to some sort of truce, that the war was ended. Prince Arthur, the disgraced heir to the throne, agreed under pressure from his allies to cease his offense if Queen Kara pledged to belay the appointment of a new heir until Prince Lawrence Adrian II proved himself worthy of the throne. Though Prince Lawrence is the eldest of Queen Kara’s children, he spent most of his life in Exile, having been kidnapped at a young age. Many of those who are against his appointment state that he has had no experience as a leader, and wish him to prove himself before he is named Heir to Delluuz.
The nature of the truce has Delluuz once again united under Queen Kara’s banner, though there are often skirmishes and debates. Prince Lawrence has been named as an Ambassador of Delluuz to the new Council of Nations, and allowed to choose an envoy to accompany him to the crater. It is rumored that Delluuz will be appointing an additional ambassador to represent the interests of Prince Arthur’s allies as well.
As soon as their Civil War ended, Delluuz threw its support behind The Ward of Souls in Volshera, hoping to unite their people under a common cause. Delluuz, while not adverse to resurrection magic, abhors the animating of dead bodies. Because of their beliefs, they were able to rally behind The Ward of Souls and assist in a few major battles, as well as providing much needed supplies. As it is, many are still not satisfied with the truce in Volshera, or the truce in Delluuz.