Author Topic: Introduction to Boeruine  (Read 873 times)

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Offline DM B

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Introduction to Boeruine
« on: March 10, 2010, 11:54:54 AM »
Boeruine is one of the oldest and most powerful Anuirean realms. I was founded 2000 years ago when House Boru sailed from the Straits of Aerele west into the Sea of Storms – and was believed lost. But led by the great mariner Aegar the Sailor, who had ventured up the storm-wracked coast before and found bountiful lands further north, the Boru did not perish, but settled the coastlands between the Anseren (Black River) and the Loure (Elfwash River) rivers. Later generations spread further north, all the way to Nowelton and down south to Ashien, cut back the coastal forests and moved inland along the rivers, clashing repeatedly with the sidhe.

These were hard years for the Boru – not only did they have to contend with strong and proud sidhe kingdoms, but the mountains held prodigious amounts of gnolls, goblins, and other dark creatures that delighted in making war on the Boru. There were other problems as well – in the far south other Andu arrived and forced the Boru out, while in the north there was contention with the Rjuven (and to some extent with late-arriving Brecht). And the Boru were never united, at least not for long, existing instead as several small kingdoms that frequently made war upon one another.

It was not until after Deismaar, when a man named Boer returned from Deismaar with a strong bloodline that the land we now know as Boeruine became a reality. He crushed all opposition and appointed his own lieutenants as his vassals – or bannermen as the Boer calls them. By the time Roele arrived to bring Boeruine to heel it was already 40 HC, and the Boer family had grown numerous and strong, intermarrying heavily with the local lords to bind them even closer. They were a brave and warlike people, but against the might of Roele’s Empire they could not stand and within a few short years Boeruine was part of the Empire – the sixth duchy.

Rather than weaken House Boer Role chose to give them lavish gifts and befriend them, hoping to use their warriors in Vosgaard when the time came. They acquitted themselves well in the Land of the Midnight Sun, though few returned to tell the tale. Thus was also sown the seed of betrayal; for House Boer blamed Roele for the death of so many of its scions and warriors. And they were always the most independent realm in Anuire to begin with. And so, when Roele died, it did not take long for Boeruine to rebel. Other realms followed suit, either to settle old scores or to break free of the Empire.

Not until the end of the 2nd Century did House Roele once again reign supreme over the lands of Anuire and beyond. House Boer had been crushed utterly and the lands south of the Elfwash given to the new Duchy of Taeghas. It took many generations to rebuild, and it would be a very long time before Boeruine became a major power again. Like Taeghas to the south the break came in the 7th and 8th Centuries, when the Anuriean Empire began expanding west along the north coast of Aduria and down the eastern seaboard of that same continent. The Boer’s were still warlike and proud, and hungry for gold and glory, whereas the more civilized Heartlands realms were content with what they already had.

During the heyday of the Empire Boeruine stood among the greatest realms, rich with loot from far lands, great overseas holdings, and the best army Anuire could muster. It was a grand time that is fondly remembered even today. But it had one unforeseen consequence – much of Boeruine’s lands remained relatively untamed. The deep interior forests and the lands north of the Black River remained but lightly populated and there were few nobles here – for why sit around in a dark forest in the old country when there was such riches and such glory to be had elsewhere?
Boeruine power and might grew great indeed, but greater still became her pride. When Emperor Hadrien was murdered in 950 HC he left only an underage male heir, Michael, and an otherwise factitious and woman-dominated court. Boeruine quickly rose in rebellion, thinking young Michael also dead, but in the event he was not. Against all odds Michael managed to secure allies and muster and army, eventually putting down the Boer rebellion in 958 HC. His rule was never a peaceful one, and Michael spent most years campaigning to bring rebellious nobles to heel, until his end at the hands of the Gorgon in 973 HC. It is mentioned here because Boer warriors became an important part of Emperor Michael’s armies in later years, which would prove important later.

Following the Emperor’s death it did not take long for Boeruine and Avan to start bickering over Taeghas – and other lands and privileges. Soon war came again, throwing Anuire into abysmal chaos for nearly a century. The next years, from 1063 HC to 1209 HC, are rarely mentioned in Boeruine annals, for they contain little of interest – Boeruine gained northern Taeghas, or what was left of it, but the northern lands, the Thegn of Talinie was lost to chaos and strife. Boeruine was weak, and it took generations to recover.

The next blow came in 1209 HC, when Avanil suddenly broke the truce and tried to have the entire House Boer killed. The succeeded in killing the Archduke, his wife, several of his children and relatives, but they failed to get his heir (all eerily similar to Boeruine’s treachery against Emperor Hadrien and his son Michael). Although Boeruine weathered the storm and made Avanil pay dearly a lot of damage had been done, and Boeruine lost control over the rest of its Taeghas possessions and the Western Isles. These were dark times, when sea-reavers harried the coasts, brigands flourished, elves again roamed the forests, and goblins multiplied and raided from the mountains.

Like so many other Anuirean realms the Archduchy of Boeruine entered a renaissance in the mid-14th Century HC. The isolationist and proud Boers were slow to adapt and improve (Heartlanders think them impossibly backwards even today), but eventually they were exposed to Brecht commerce coming down by way of Talinie and eventually connection coastal Boeruine to the rest of the re-emerging Anuirean world. Brosengae also rose as a naval mercantile realm and was eventually followed by Taeghas first, and then Boeruine.

By the turn of the century Boeruine had become a naval power in its own right, having copied ship designs and imported naval expertise from Bindier. The power of the Brecht merchants was broken and replaced by local guilds more loyal to the land’s ruler, creating an influx of wealth that the Boer dukes put to good use. By 1450 HC Boeruine had already reclaimed the Western Isles – or at least East Island – and begun exerting influence over Talinie to the north and Taeghas to the south. More and more people were settling in the interior as well, cutting back forest and turning it into farmlands – although much of Boeruine is still barely tamed when compared to the Heartlands.

In 1508 HC the ambitious Aeric became Archduke of Boeruine. He dreamt of greatness and glory, and swiftly set about expanding his army. In 1510 HC the equally ambitions Prince Darien ascended to the throne of Avanil. The year after war broke out – over Taeghas. The struggle between these two giants would continue for more than a decade, with Darien holding the upper hand in terms of allies and wealth, but Aeric compensating by brilliant generalship. In 1524 HC Aeric defeated Darien in open battle and the Prince was captured and brought to Seaharrow.
Unfortunately Aeric fell ill that very winter and never truly recovered. He died in his sleep in the winter of 1525 HC, to be succeeded by his son Theon. In reality Theon was forced to run the realm from the onset of his father’s sickness.  Darien was ransomed back to Avanil in 1525 HC for – quite literally – a princely sum. During the Sword & Crown that very year Prince Darien was about, forging alliances and making ready to get back at the untried Boer Archduke. In 1526 HC Avanil won a series of important battles in southern Taeghas, effectively reclaiming the region (Aubrae Avan was invested as the ‘Duchess of Taeghas’ shortly thereafter). Disaster continued in 1527 HC, when Theon’s spring campaign to liberate southern Taghas failed miserably in the face of Baron-General Daulton excellent leadership (the man had failed repeatedly against Aeric, but Darien always kept faith in him).

This proved to be too much for the Baron of Tariene. He rebelled against Theon with the backing of Talinie (where there had been a rebellion the previous year which ended with defeat for the loyalists). Again Theon suffered defeat and was soon under siege in Seaharrow – only Barons Khaiarén and Bacaere remain openly loyal to Theon. Harsh winter weather that year effectively put an end to the rebel sieges of Seaharrow, Ravar and Bachaus. And most importantly – Brandon Boer arrived with ships and men from the Western Isles, executing a brilliant and bloody campaign that saw Tariene on loyalist hands and the rebels cut of from Tailine. In summer the rest of the rebels were broken and Seaharrow opened its gates. Brandon refused to usurp his nephew, even if the nobles practically beg him to. The nobles – together, so than no man alone could be blamed – strangled Theon to death, forcing Brandon to take the throne.

Under Brandon things changed for the better. The Queen of Talinie was reinstated, and Boeruine gained a strong ally in her. The less-than-loyal Taeghan nobles were brought to heel – or hung. The Western Isles added their, admittedly meager, resources to Boeruine’s case. With a fleet of small raiding vessels Brandon gained the ability to strike where he wills, all the while building upon a proper fleet in Seaharrow. Throughout Brandon would personally lead small military campaigns on land and sea, always striking unexpectedly and slipping away before reinforcements could arrive. But although Brandon will always be remembered for his martial prowess, he was also a statesman and a builder. Boeruine had paid a high price of the years of war under Aeric – and Theon – and it was left to Brandon to restore to kingdom’s fortunes. He did rise to the occasion, passing laws and encouraging commerce, creating a new influx of revenues without impoverishing the commoners or the traders (as he been the Boer custom of old). He was also something of a statesman, binding his own nobles closer to him and each other, drawing the Western Isles closer, forging a lasting friendship with Talinie.

And, as it would later turn out, best Darien at his own political game, subverting several of Avanil’s allies away from her, most importantly Brosengae…
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Offline DM B

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Re: Introduction to Boeruine
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 03:21:40 PM »
Brandon Boer (b. 1485 HC, r. 1528 HC): Archduke of Boerunie after his nephew Theon was murdered by his own bannermen. Younger brother to Aeric Boer. Spent most of his adult life in the Western Isles. Instrumental in breaking Theon’s rebellious bannermen and restoring order.

Maevous Khaiarén (b. 1480 HC, r. 1510 HC):
MAn; High-level Fighter; Anduiras, major, 31; LG. The Baron of Rivien. From a minor Alamien House. Served as a squire with the young Aeric Boer at the Alamien court. Became a friend and follower of Aeric. Served as a captain and commander in Aeric’s armies after his coronation. Was rewarded the wild northeastern provinces of Boeruine in 1510 HC to protect the border and deep forests, collect trade tariffs and watch House Tariene. Served both Theon and Brandon loyally after that, not having anything to do with Theon’s murder.
 
Carel Dhal (b. 1499 HC, r. 1530 HC): MAn; Low-level Ranger; Reynir, minor, 18; Son of Arwan Dhal, the man that restored the Dhal bloodline to power. Ancient ruling house of Dhalaese. Fell from grace during the years of renewed war in the 13th Century. Lived in exile in the Five Peaks since then, before being returned to power by Baron Khaiarén in 1520 HC in recognition of their service to him (in reclaiming Caer Dhal).

Barriander “Barrie” Bacaere (b. 1471 HC, r. 1502 HC): The Baron of Bacaele. Very old noble House from Boeruine. Can trace its roots all the way back to the minor kings that presided around Bacaele in ancient times. Very traditional Boeruine, and very independent-minded. Rules his great family from Caer Bachaus in Bacaele. Was probably the mind behind the death of Theon Boer.

Maender Taren (b. 1485 HC, r. 1528 HC, d. 1535 HC): The Baron of Tariene. Once the second most powerful noble Hose in Boerunie, but since eclipsed by Baccaere and Khaiarén. Sided with Royce and rebelled against Theon – Brandon burned Tarien and had Baron Taren and his elder sons hung, but allowed his youngest son Maender to take the reins of power. Married to Duchess Flaertes of Tuornen in 1510 HC; they have three children, of which the younger boy will become Baron of Tariene.

Died fighting for Brandon Boer against the Avanese in 1535 HC.

Mourde Griene (b. 1503 HC): Hierarch Griene’s oldest son (there is no ban on Reformist clerics marrying or having children). Although Toreas is formally the Earl of Calant, he leaves the day-to-day affairs to his son. Mourde presides over the ‘court’ in the old family hall of the Grienes, and otherwise lives a quiet life with his family.

Caerem (b. ?): Male Ersheg. An old forester lives deep in the woods of Nietier. He’s lived there for as long as anyone can remember. Some say he can take the shape of a great bear. Others claim he is guarding a cave in which a terrible monster sleeps. A few scholars have named in Ersheg, but no roof of this has been presented.

Borric Onslew (b. 1500 HC, r. 1524 HC): Borric is a rare sort – a commoner who has gained a bloodline through bloodtheft on the battlefield. Exactly when or where is not known. Borric is also exceptionally gifted when it comes to personal combat, even though he has never trained as a knight. Although he rides a fine horse and has excellent armour now, he still prefers to fight on foot with his long Rjurik war-axe.

Borric would never have been given regency over anything had he not had the (mis)fortune to impregnate one of Baron Bacaeles grand-daughters. By rights he should have hanged for that, but the girl professed to love the man and wanted to marry him. And old Barrie is weak when it comes to his girls, so that was how it came to pass that Onslew was given regency over parts of newly conquered Taeghas (the worst parts). Borric is not very loyal, but Barrie has loyal men watching him.

Halier Sielen (b. 1485 HC, r. 1518 HC): The illegitimate son of Sielen Tireseren, uncle to Marquis Courmaen Tireseren of Tireste. His father left home at a young age to avoid his elder brother. Well trained as a mercenary he found employment around the Asarwe Basin and among the Brecht realms along the Great Bay. His son Halier was born in camp to a common woman – a camp follower. It was not a glorious beginning, but when the lad showed promise – and signs of a bloodline – his father took him in and taught him to be a warrior and a knight.

When his father died (in battle) Halier took the company back to the old country, where he found employment in the recently reignited Boer-Avan conflict. Finding himself in the employ of Aeric Boer, he fought well in Taeghas and was eventually awarded extensive lands here. The warriors of Boeruine are not usually so forthcoming with mercenaries, but in this case old Aeric took a personal liking to the younger Halier (who must have been much more of a son that poor Theon Boer was to his father).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 08:42:41 AM by DM Bjørn »
DM Bjørn