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History of Principalities
History of Principalities
20th Oct 2017, 1:12 PM in Historical events
Author Notes:
(Created with assistance of Glacier36. Thank you so much for your imagination and hard work!)

Before Principalities – Ebon forge

The history of Heart of Karandia counts millenia’s of small and large kingdoms rising and disappearing in constant struggle for survival against nature, and each other. Each pricept (regions of Principalities, each with its own government and area of influence) has a different origin. Some appeared relatively recently, but others existed centuries before the official creation of Principalities.

One of the most ancient pricepts is Daeus with its capitol, the underground city Ebon forge existing since the Lost era before the Great collapse. Its true origin is an enigma but an unconfirmed theory states that it has been created by the legendary dwarves, who once used to live on the surface before for one reason or another abandoning it and descending into the depths of the Underworld, never to be seen again.
Whatever the truth is, shortly after the Great collapse Ebon forge has been discovered by humans, who explored it, disarmed its countless traps and took it under control. In the dark times after the Great collapse it served as an excellent fortification, a fully self-sustained underground city that could withstand any attack and protect its residents from monsters, invasions or new calamities. What it couldn’t protect them from were, of course, people inside the city.
Several times throughout the history Ebon forge went from one hands to another through conspiracies, assassinations and civil unrests. This part of Ebon forge’s history is undocumented as each new leader sought to destroy all records of previous rulers to both legitimize their newly acquired power and to, naturally, appear less villainous to the following generations.
Only after the formation of Principalities in 110th century the great underground city entered a relatively peaceful age. A dynasty of reasonable High smithies managed to direct the hot hearts of Daeus people into craftsmanship, rather than warmongering.

Before Principalities - Kraf provinces

Kraf empire was created five millenia’s after the Great collapse and continues to exist to this day. The Golden age of the empire comes at the end of 90th century, when the territory under its control stretched to the very border of Ik’sumar on the South, to the Northern shores of Ghost sea on the North and to the doorsteps of Ebon forge at the East.
Closer to the end of 90th century general of Kraf army, Sanguinar Claus, who only recently has been appointed as overseer of these provinces, sparked a rebellion by convincing local population to overthrow Kraf administration, promising them freedom and independence from the empire.
People of Kurgarn and Ribera, who secretly carried a long lasting hatred of Kraf, eagerly agreed. However, their success would be impossible if not for two more rebellions taking place in the Southern and Northern regions of the Empire in the same year. Handling all three rebellions proved to be impossible for the current Emperor, and led to his assassination, what further plunged Kraf into an all-out civil war.
Such development made retaliation against the rebels of Kurgarn and Ribera impossible, and allowed them to stabilize their position and to take the regions under full control. Twenty centuries later Kraf is still unable to retake its provinces back.

Side note: It is unknown who and how managed to organize three rebellions in different parts of Kraf empire at the same time. And while the theory of coincidence is universally denied, historians also don’t think that general Sanguinar had any connection to the other two rebellions. It is believed that his motives were based on personal conflict with the Emperor himself. And the appointment of the general to this distant land was the Emperor’s attempt to rid himself from general’s presence within the capitol – a common practice in the pre-civil war Kraf. In most cases when that happened, the most convincing factor of the unofficial banishment from the capitol were mysterious deaths of the general’s relatives.

Before Principalities – Reclamation of the land project and the teleportation gates

The Great collapse plunged the world into many millennia’s of struggle for the survival. Dense forests infested with monsters of all imaginable sizes and levels of hostility used to cover the entirety of the Heart of Karandia. Multiple ancient cities and castles surrounded by disproportionally tall walls can be found in many pricepts to this day. Some of them are abandoned and slowly crumbling apart like in Caldus and Zaltara. Others are full of life and actively maintained.
As centuries passed, nature in this part of the world began to slowly decrease its density and hostility. The sightings of exceptionally dangerous, colossal monsters were happening less frequently, and it was apparent that with time these lands would become relatively safe. Not all of the nations wanted to wait that long though.
In the 89th century five noble families of Azmath gathered together and came with a plan known as “Reclamation of the land”. They would waste unimaginable riches to hire mercenaries from all around the world to hunt down every predatory monster they could find in this region. Gold have been paid for every head or heart of such monsters, delivered as a proof of the deed. Streams of mercenaries from all around Karandia poured into the region in search of quick and easy money.
As the number of monsters slowly but steadily began to decrease, the ancient forests around the castles have been intentionally set on fire. For weeks the sky above Azmath was block from the smoke. A catastrophic man-made disaster took place in the region – all for a chance of brighter future for the coming generations.

Reclamation of the land project worked. But it left the lands of Azmath dead and uninhabitable for years to come, and completely emptied the treasuries of the noble houses. Azmath was free from the reign on monsters, but it was also poor, no longer able to protect itself from any potential invasions or the monsters migrating from the neighboring lands.
That was risky time for Azmath, but gladly for them salvation came in face of Halacyn, a city of mages to the North.

The ancient city of mages was in similar situation as Azmath prior to the Reclamation of the land project, also surrounded by ancient forests and countless monsters lurking within. But unlike their reckless neighbor, they were not afraid of the monsters, and did not want to go the same road of potential self-destruction. They had a severe lack of space for cultivation of food, but they also had much lower population. Still, not only Halacyn wished to solve its own provision problem once and for all, it also had an ambitious dream of opening doors for the outside world, to be able to teach and spread their love of magic into other lands.

Several years have passed and Azmathi plains became fit for cultivation. Countless farms bloomed all around the land and the overabundance of food became the one and only treasure Azmath had to offer. Halacyn noticed that, and the Archmage came up with an ingenious decision.
He personally travelled to Azmath and approached the broke nobility of the region with a long-lasting business offer. They would provide Halacyn with a steady stream of fresh food in exchange for solid payment and military assistance against any possible threats. A deal too good to pass for the Azmath’s nobility. The only obstacle remained the logistical issue. Halacyn still remained under the reign of monsters. Clearing and maintaining safe passage for provision caravans would cost both nations immense amount of resources, effort and time.
But the Archmage had a plan for that too. Shortly after returning to the White citadel, he ordered a group of trusted mages to travel to the middle of Azmath and to build there a teleportation gate.

Side note: Teleportation is an exceptionally difficult and costly affair, especially if it is supposed to be maintained and activated on a scheduled basis. Not every kingdom can afford such magical technology due to lack of either resources or specialists. But White citadel was a city of mages. To them creation of a teleportation gate that would serve them for many years to come, was not only possible, but an act of personal pride.
For centuries these teleportation gates connecting Halacyn and Azmath were the only in the entire Principalities. And only centuries later similar set of gates have been installed inside the Ebon forge, connecting the underground city with Slagwork mines, the main provider of materials of Daeus.

Peaceful East

Throughout many centuries predating the creation of Principalities, Eastern parts of Heart of Karandia did not see nearly as exciting events as did the Center and the West. At least not officially documented. Numerous kingdoms and a countless number of independent towns and villages rose and fell either fighting each other or under the pressure of hostile nature. Unfortunately, the vast number of crumbling ruins littering these lands will never tell stories that led to their demise.
In the beginning of 110th century among the three Western-most pricepts Sahangal had already established its infamous status of prosperous, but at the same time shady financial colossus. A certain number of historical texts stored in Ribera (And vigorously denied as fabrications by the nobles of Sahangal), claim that Guilded coffer has been created by Damani colonists several centuries ago, but has been left to develop on its own terms due to constant unrest in the Eastern homeland. The reason why modern Sahangal strictly denies any ties to the fallen kingdom of Damani is unknown.

Caldus on the other hand never denied good relations with Boltok and used to have an active naval trade with the kingdom before and during the Twelve-year war. In fact, just a century prior took place a famous political marriage between a prince of Boltok and a countess a Golden sails harbor. A union that established a long lasting peace between the two nations.

Not much is known about Zaltara of the pre-Principalities period. Its true bloom happened after the arrival of refugees from across the sea, who became the foundation for the rising population of the pricept. Prior to those events, native people of Zaltara only cared about sea-faring and monster hunting, actively avoiding any part in large political games.

The Grand melee

During the 110th century Heart of Karandia have been divided by 8 cities, each with seemingly equal amount of influence. The history would probably continue to go it’s course and the balance would once again shift in one direction or another, if not the event that took place in the same century and shook the entire continent with a destructive force.
As the Twelve-year war between Boltok and Damani was entering its final stage, Sahangal was the first to find out about the growing threat of the Green tide – a united force of hundreds of orcish clans from the Eastern Greenlands that would soon swipe across Eastern Karandia.
But at that time these were just rumors, carried by the traders and visitors from the Central Greenlands. At some point the Lord banker of that time has even sent a messenger across Midland sea to Damani to warn and confirm the rumors. That message, however, has never returned.

When the first refugees began arriving to the shores of Sahangal, Caldus and Zalara, carrying the ill news and a warning of possible doom coming to the Heart of Karandia, Sahangal decided to act.
None of the Eastern pricept could give a satisfying fight to the hordes of orcs if these lands attracted their attention. Diplomatic delegations have been urgently dispatched into every major city of the Heart of Karandia, spreading the news and doing their best to convince the necessity of a military alliance.

The result of Sahangal’s efforts wasn’t bad but incomplete. Six out of eight major cities agreed to take part in the alliance… all by Kurgarn and Ribera, both sharing the same ancestry and views, often mimicking important decisions of each other. In the attempt to form the military alliance, Kurgarn would be the juiciest prize. It had the strongest armies and its never-ending war with Kraf at that time, fortunately for this situation, entered in a state of temporal standstill.

The situation grew more and more dire across the sea, The green tide fully decimated Damani empire and now entered the region of Dornia, where at that time stood the kingdom of Boltok and several other small kingdoms. The forming alliance of the Heart of Karandia grew desperate and made another attempt to convince Kurgarn and Ribera.
This time negotiations have been entrusted to High Smithy of Daeus. In the not so distant past Daeus provided these two pricepts with a steady stream of materials for the construction of their famous Red wall, thus striking a long-lasting respect to the hard-working underground city.
And yet even the personal visit of High Smithy to Sanguinar city only slightly moved the stubborn Battlelord. Their reluctance was understandable:
- On one hand there was Kraf, the hated empire who was licking its wounds after the recent battle in the Eternal battlefields, and was ready to continue its attacks at any day. So sending a good chunk of the army away from home would be a risky move for Kurgarn.
- Then there was the fact that Kurgarn and Ribera lied the furthest from the approximate direction of the Green tide’s invasion. And to be absolutely honest, both did not fully realize just how mighty the Green tide was. To them orcs of the North were always just savages, relying on strength and ferocity – things failing before tactics and combat experience.
- And while these cities were familiar and on good terms with Daeus, the rest of the participants of the alliance were complete strangers.

After long and seemingly pointless negotiations, Kurgarn’s Battle lord finally came up with a final offer, supported by Ribera and the High smithy. A deal that would put the Eastern cities to a harsh test, in an attempt to prove themselves if they were worth helping or not. The Battlelord declared the Grand melee. A fair battle, ten versus ten, where the six cities would form a team of the best warriors they could find against ten warriors of Kurgarn. If the six cities win – Kurgarn would join the alliance and will send forces to the shores of Midland sea.
(Ribera refused to participate in the Grand melee itself, but agreed to follow the decision of joining the alliance if Kurgarn did).
These were not the conditions Eastern cities were happy to learn about, but at this point they had no other choice. They needed the armies of Kurgarn to even stand a chance. Volunteers for the historical battle have been called upon in every major city of region.

Two weeks later the leaders of the eight cities, accompanied by the chosen warriors met in Ebon forge, which has been selected as the place for the competition. A short but furious battle ended in less than two minutes, and while Kurgarn warriors had an upper hand in start, most of them fell by the spells of Halacyn mages. And even when the mages have been killed, a lone farmer from Azmath stood victorious over the nineteen fallen combatants. A tragic and shocking ended to the six. A satisfying spectacle for Kurgarn.
Later the same day, in the depths of Ebon forge took place the first in history Council of eight. The Heart of Karandia military alliance has been created.

The crimson fields

Months after the official formation of Heart of Karandia military alliance, the war across Midland sea was coming to its end. The green tide destroyed every castle and every village it came across, but its lust for destruction was not yet satisfied. The bloodthirsty orcs turned their attention towards the waters of Midland sea. Beyond it lied countless more human and elven kingdoms that needed to be destroyed.
Boarding hundreds of captured ships, the orcish hordes sailed across the sea. But upon arrival to its Western shores, they did not find small fishing villages and towns of helpless commoners. They’ve found a giant army, armed to the teeth and willing to fight.
For two full days the shores of Caldus turned into a battlefield this land has never seen before. Hundreds of thousands of orcs have been killed that day. The rest have been driven into the waters and onto the ships. The Green tide suffered its first major defeat, and would not recover from it for the next forty years.
The lands where the battle took place now carry the name of the Crimson fields, from the amount of blood spilled that day. Not far from it Lord Mayor ordered to build a monument to honoring the fallen defenders – the largest lighthouse in Heart of Karandia, Marblehead Watchtower.

During the following Councils of eight, where the fate of the military alliance should’ve been decided, leaders of cities decided to keep it active for as long as the Green tide remained a threat. But as years went by and connections between pricepts spread into other spheres of life, turning into strong cultural and economic bonds, it became obvious that this alliance would not be so simply broken.
During the tenth Council of eight has been renamed into Princiapalities. A nation without a single ruler, united by desire to survive and to protect each other. The heart of Karandia.
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