HISTORY, PART THREE
This page covers the history of Lendosa from the War of the Stars until shortly before the Lendian Revolution.
1350 BP - 1329 BP
The War of the Stars raged on, doing major damage to the economies of both Lendia and Frezonia. As Lendia was the larger state, however, it gradually gained ground, and the Frezonians were pushed back. In 1349 BP, Lendia launched an invasion of the mountainous Duchy of Recuna, which was a Frezonian ally. The Recunan capital, Lera, was captured the next year. The Duchy of Pula, to the north of Recuna, was frightened by the fall of its neighbour and ally, and in 1347 BP, it secretly approached Lendia with proposals to change sides. Frezonian spies learned of the negotiations, however, and Frezonia invaded and annexed Pula rather than allow it to defect. Lendian troops continued to move northwards, approaching the city of Olasano.
In 1340 BP, Frezonia received a boost when the Liliani Empire, the major state of continental Longerath, agreed to give it monetary assistance in the war. Liliana, while not overly concerned about events in the western isles, believed that disunity among its neighbours was useful for its own security, and so opposed the Kingdom of Lendia's attempts to unify the island. Liliana was not, however, prepared to intervene directly, considering the matter too unimportant. Frezonia's military efforts were substantially boosted by the Liliani assistance, and deep resentment of Liliana was fostered in the Kingdom of Lendia.
This was not the only reversal. In 1338 BP, Frezonia signed an alliance with the Principality of Sciona, in the northwest of the island. Sciona had previously followed a highly isolationist policy, not considering the War of the Stars to be of any relevance to it, but the increasing drive for "unification" by the Kingdom of Lendia began to concern it. The Frezonians were eventually able to convince Sciona that the Kingdom of Lendia would not stop its expansion with the defeat of Frezonia, and Sciona soon joined the war. In 1335 BP, moreover, there was a revolution in Beltera, formerly a Lendian vassal state. The nobility of Beltera were still bitter over their country's subjugation to the Kingdom of Lendia, and resented their Duke's lack of resistance - in a bloodless coup, the Duke was exiled to Caerulius, and a new Duke immediately linked Beltera to Frezonia.
Soon, strategists in the Kingdom of Lendia grew increasingly alarmed. Initially, few had believed that Frezonia would last long against Lendian attack - Bairia, Xoxina, and Beltera had all fallen easily, and Frezonia's initial resistance was not taken seriously. However, when Frezonia's forces stopped withdrawing, and then actually began to advance, the Kingdom of Lendia was forced to consider the very real possibility that Frezonia would win the War of the Stars. The King of Lendia, now rejecting the advice of his counsellors, chose to launch a direct strike into the heart of Frezonia, believing that a swift, crushing blow would shatter Frezonia's will to resist. The Lendian armies, personally led by the King, met the Frezonian forces outside the city of Olasano. The battle was a massive defeat for the Lendians, and the King was killed. Frezonian forces poured into Lendian territory.
Early the next year, the young new King of Lendia and his regent were overthrown by General Durio Margun, who was commander of the garrison of Quintara, the capital. Margun had strong support from the military, which believed that a change of leadership was essential for the Frezonians to be turned back. Imprisoning all members of the old royal family, Margun declared himself King, and began a substantial reconfiguration of Lendia's military strategy.
Margun, however, appears to have been somewhat mentally unstable. There is considerable debate among both historians and psychologists as to Margun's exact condition, but within months of taking power, Margun's advisors began to note strange behaviours and odd obsessions. Margun's paranoia became well-known, and he became known to many ordinary citizens as "the Mad King". Margun was deeply suspicious, and constantly believed that others were plotting to undermine his position. He was particularly hostile towards Liliana, even believing that the entire War of the Stars was a Liliani plot to depose him (ignoring completely the fact that Liliana's first support for Frezonia came long before Margun's coup).
In 1330 BP, despite suffering ongoing setbacks in the War of the Stars, Margun made an official declaration of war on the Liliani Empire. He also had the Liliani ambassador, his staff, and their wives and children beheaded. Almost immediately, Margun's generals arrested and deposed him, and hurredly attempted to suppress all knowledge of his orders. It was, however, too late, and Liliana was enraged. Declaring that it would crush Lendia, it prepared to invade.
1329 BP - 1300 BP
In 1329 BP, the Liliani invasion forces arrived in Lendia, and quickly defeated the small amount of resistance put forward. The cities of Intara, Sirana, and Brancassa were quickly captured, with Liliana establishing its local base of operations in the latter. The cities of Quintara and Navolia, the capitals of Lendia and Beltera, respectively, were placed under siege, with both being captured the following year. Liliana declared its intention to occupy the entire island, "ensuring that no trouble can emerge from it in future".
Lendian forces, thrown into disarray, resisted the Liliani advance as best they could, but did not have coherent strategy or even a unified command. In 1326 BP, Margun's successor as King of Lendia was captured. The following year, the Kingdom of Lendia officially surrendered, although sporadic resistance continued. Frezonian forces, previously fighting the Lendians in the War of the Stars, were better organised, but were already overextended. Frezonia was attacked not only by land but by sea, with Liliani forces simply bypassing Frezonian armies. In 1319 BP, Frezone itself was captured, but the Frezonians continued to defend northwestern cities such as Riva, Dirinisto, and Sera. In 1316 BP, Frezonia and Sciona merged their armies into a single, unified force, generally known today as the Sciono-Frezonian Alliance. This alliance managed to hold the northwestern tip of Lendia for some time, but was gradually pushed back.
Meanwhile, in Piolsa, politics continued without much thought for the war in the north. The period saw a further consolidation of states, with a number of prominent nations ceasing to exist as independent countries. In 1327 BP, a war between Segloso on the ond hand and Arcosta and Ocassa on the other resulted in Segloso being conquered and partitioned. This marked the end of the last "Regnosian" state, although in truth, Segloso slowed little trace of its heritage by the time of its fall. The Lavaian Islands, formerly split between Segloso and Ocassa, took the opportunity to declare independence. There were also two deliberate unions of states, brought about by royal marriages - a marriage between the ruling families of Videc and Caerulius unified those two states in 1321 BP, and a similar marriage between the ruling families of Rezimano and Ocassa occurred in 1304.
1300 BP - 714 BP
By 1299 BP, the last organised resistance against Liliana had been defeated, although occasional rebellions were to occur throughout the Liliani occupation. In 1297 BP, Liliana considered the island to be sufficiently pacified to establish the Province of Lendiana, covering the whole island. Its administrative centre was at Brancassa. For the most part, Liliani rule over Lendia was not serious threatened until the Rivan Rebellion of 973 BP, which was only put down after heavy fighting.
Lendia remained a Liliani province for 583 years. Perhaps surprisingly, however, there was little colonisation of the islands by Liliani peoples - Lendia was already developed enough that there was little opportunity for new land, but the economy was not advanced enough to make immigration to Lendian cities worthwhile. As such, Liliani cultural influence was not as great as it could have been. The most notable direct influence was the strengthening of the Cruisian religion, which had previously struggled to find a foothold in Lendia. Some historians, however, regard "unintentional" influences as being the most important consequence of the Liliani occupation, particularly the fact that the island was unified. Previously, travel around the island was problematic, with political, linguistic, and religious contrasts being strong. Under Liliani rule, however, there was free movement of population, and much mixing of cultures. The remnants of Sciono (itself a remnant of Regnos) disappeared in this period, being absorbed into mainstream Lendian culture. Furthermore, the sharp hostility between "Lendia proper" and Frezonia began to break down, being rendered largely irrelevant by the disappearance of their countries. By the end of the Liliani occupation, most inhabitants of the island of Lendia regarded themselves as simply "Lendian", rather than identifying themselves by region, culture, language, or religion.
In Piolsa, meanwhile, the situation were relatively stable. For around a century, there were no wars, and trade flourished. In 1235 BP, the King of Arcosta proposed a conference of all seven Piolsan rulers, with the Videcian city of Reidria being chosen as the venue. (Reidria was autonomous from the rest of Videc, being administered by the University of Reidria). The meeting was considered a success, and it was decided to hold similar conferences every five years. At the seventh such meeting, held in 1205 BP, the Treaty of Reidria was signed, with the intent being to ensure peace between Piolsan nations. The treaty permanently fixed all borders between Piolsan states except for situations in which all other states unanimously approved. It also established a system in which disputes between two states could be resolved by means of arbitration - a panel of the other five states, chairedd by a state with which neither of the disputants shared a border, would adjudicate on the matter. A majority decision by this panel produced merely a recommendation, while a unanimous decision was binding.
While the Treaty of Reidria was successful in securing peace between Piolsan countries, it did not halt change within them. The most notable event was the Sargonese Revolution in 1015 BP, which overthrew a tyrannical Duke and established a new "pseudo-republican" government. The new system retained the aristocracy without restoring the monarchy, with the country being governed by a Crown Council elected by the nation's nobles and bound by a written constitution. Of particular note was the requirement for public consultation, a system which was to greatly influence the development of Lendian democracy.
714 BP - 600 BP
In mainland Longerath, the Liliani Empire was beginning to struggle, beset by both internal and external difficulties. Gradually, its forces began to withdraw from its outermost territories, seeking to defend its heartland. In 714 BP, the Province of Lendiana was officially abandoned, with Liliani troops being recalled to the mainland.
The Lilianis, it is believed, thought that Lendia would simply collapse into anarchy. Instead, however, power fell to a leader named Luin Anton, formerly the highest-ranked ethnically Lendian official in the Liliani administration. Anton, taking control over the Liliani provincial administrative structures, called together one hundred of the people who he regarded as "Lendia's most worthy citizens", including wealthy landowners, merchants, priests (both Veldanist and Cruisian), and former officials in the Liliani occupation. Anton proposed that a new Republic of Lendia be proclaimed, and outlined a broadly democratic constitution. Lendia has traditionally claimed that this republic was the first true democracy anywhere on Vexillium, although the veracity of this claim most likely depends on one's definitions.
Under Anton's constitution, day-to-day government would be handled by one hundred Lords, each of whom would require public approval in the area which they were from. The initial Lords would, subject to the public's approval, be the hundred "worthy citizens" that Anton had collected, and would be replaced either upon their death or upon the expression of widespread public dissatisfaction. The public would be consulted regularly, with the old Liliani postal network (a series of horse posts along major routes) forming the basis for this consultation. Important decisions, including the confirmation of Lords, would require messengers to be sent riding through all towns and villages in an area - the messenger would read out an official proposal, and villagers would shout either assent or dissent. If enough towns and villages approved the proposal, it was considered to be valid, and the Lords would be required to implement it as far as was practical.
This was a very rough form of democracy, as their was no actual vote count. Participation was limited to those who could attend a designated stop along the messenger's circuit on the right day of the month, and problems such as heavy rain could bring the system to a halt. The slow speed of the consultation meant that it often took months for a verdict to reach the capital (renamed "Gloria Libertatis" in celebration of independence), and as such, most decisions were left to the Lords. Nevertheless, the system is considered to have been well designed for the resources available a thousand years ago, and is a source of very considerable pride for modern Lendia.
Meanwhile, in Piolsa, the slow move towards unification continued. In 667 BP, the small Duchy of Lavaia became part of the Kingdom of Piolsa through a carefully planned royal marriage, with the merger being approved under the Treaty of Reidria by all other Piolsan states. In 650 BP, the Kingdom of Rezimano, the Kingdom of Videc, and the Kingdom of Arcosta agreed to take their cooperation further, and formed a loose federation known as the High Kingdom of Piolsa. The three kingdoms continued to manage most of their own affairs exactly as before, but would recognise a single High King who would deal with those matters that affected all three kingdoms together. The selection of a High King proved somewhat problematic, but in the end, a compromise was agreed upon - the first monarch would be Princess Juliana, whose father was of the royal house of Videc and whose mother was of the royal house of Arcosta. Rezimano, to which Juliana had no strong ties, was compensated by being made the capital of the new High Kingdom.
600 BP - 400 BP
The unification of Piolsa gradually continued. When the High Kingdom of Piolsa did not turn out to be the disaster that some had predicted it would be, the Kingdom of Valar gave serious consideration to joining as well, and finally did so in 572 BP. In 512 BP, the Principality of Meigan also joined, leaving Sargon as the only country in Piolsa not recognising the High King's rule. Sargon's case was somewhat problematic, as it was a republic rather than a monarchy, and was uneasy about submitting itself to a single ruler. Initially, it strongly resisted suggestions that it should join. Gradually, however, as Piolsa adopted some of the same democratic institutions that had been implemented in Lendia, Sargon's reluctance faded. Eventually, after many guarantees of autonomy and self-government were made, Sargon consented to join the High Kingdom in 443 BP, completing the unification of Piolsa.
Lendia, meanwhile, continued under its broadly democratic system without any major problems. In 580 BP, Lendia established its control over the Rabel Islands, which had been operating on a tribal basis ever since the fall of Regnos, and in 550 BP, control was extended over the Khor Islands as well.
400 BP - The Plague
With both Lendia and Piolsa now functioning as single countries, some statesmen in both nations began to speak of a "grand confederation", uniting the two islands. There was a considerable amount of common ground between the two - both were dominated by settlers from Longerath, and shared the same basic religious and cultural traditions. Moreover, many believed that the a union of the two states would create a significant regional power, and guarantee security and stability.
There was also considerable opposition to the idea, however. The islands had not been united since the days of the Regnosian Empire, and many believed that Lendia and Piolsa were no closer to each other than, say, each was to Estontetso (formed out of the core of Liliana). There were also disputes about political systems - Lendia was proud of its democracy, and allthough Piolsa (particularly Sargon) had moved closer to the Lendian system, many Lendians were reluctant to join with a state that they saw as undemocratic. Negotiations between Lendia and Piolsa were officially opened in 482 BP, but it was not until 478 BP that a solid proposal was put forward by the negotiators for approval. In the end, the proposal was rejected by a majority of the Lendian people and by a majority of Piolsa's constituent states. In 473 BP, however, a modified proposal was put forward, and was approved. The new state was officially named the Lendosan Alliance. The name "Lendosa" was derived from "Lendia" and "Piolhosa", with the latter being the original spelling of the name of Piolsa. ("Piolhosa" remained the official spelling until quite recently, although the word has not actually been pronounced like that for centuries).
Under the new Alliance, Lendia and Piolsa would become a single state, but would retain autonomy similar to that offered to each of Piolsa's constituent states. Lendia would retain its democratic system without modification, while Piolsa would gradually move towards democratic systems within each of its constituent states. The Alliance remained relatively stable, in general, but was not completely without problems - in 169 BP, differing opinions over the wars in Longerath caused the Alliance to effectively break apart, although it was retroactively declared "unbroken" in 130 BP, when an agreement called the Treaty for the Continued Confederation of the Western Isles was signed, altering the Alliance's governmental framework. The Alliance after this point is sometimes referred to as the Confederation of the Western Isles, but the official name remained the Lendosan Alliance.
While the Alliance survived this split, it did not survive the coming of the Great Plague. The Plague struck Lendosa hard, as many merchant ships travelled between Lendosan ports and mainland Longerath. Smaller islands such as the Rabeli chain (and the still-independent state of Rioch) were sheltered somewhat, but on Lendia and Piolsa, central government broke down completely, and many parts of the island were left in chaos.
The Plague - 25 AP
With the collapse of central government due to the chaos of the Plague, power fell to local leaders - mostly warlords and military leaders who commanded local garrisons. Most local leaders did not initially control anything beyond their own city (and often did not have total control even over that, with riots, looting, crime, and general panic making administration almost impossible).
Gradually, however, order was established over parts of the country. By around 5 AP, the cities of Gloria Libertatis, Riva, Savaboda, and Rezimano had been stabilised, and had established control over their surrounding regions. These governments were confused - some claimed to be the legitimate authority of the Lendosan Alliance, while some claimed that since the Alliance could not help them, they no longer owed it any allegiance at all. Others did not bother to consider the question at all, simply trying to establish order where they could. Gradually, other cities established rule of law over their own territories, and by 20 AP, there were fourteen sizable territories under some sort of ordered administration.
Cooperation between these authorities was often poor, however, with frequent disputes over seniority and leadership being raised. In 22 AP, the leader of Zolariza declared himself Duke. Using remnants of the old Alliance army, he was able to impose his rule across the Neonia region. Other leaders followed - the ruler of Riva declared himself Duke of Rivania, and the leaders of Gloria Libertatis declared one their number King of Lolthia. Violence was common. In many areas, power was simply seized by whoever controlled the largest body of armed men - the cities of Quena and Tiano were good examples of this, with the new Dukes being little more than bandit chiefs who took advantage of the chaos to advance their own interests.
By 25 BP, almost all of the warlords had been declared themselves permanent monarchs. The only exception was the city of Quintara, which declared itself a republic modeled on the old Lendian system. Other parts of the country remained without any real rule of law at all, being troubled by riots, bandits, and famine.
25 AP - 70 AP
In Lendia, order was gradually established as more local warlords carved out their own territories in the central and western parts of the island. Eventually, the island found itself split between thirteen independent states were established - twelve monarchies (each calling itself, depending on the whim of the ruler, a duchy, grand duchy, archduchy, principality, or kingdom) and one republic (the city of Quintara). Wars between the various new states were frequent, but were seldom decisive - the only ones which resulted in any significant transfer of land were Beltera's war against Sagotia and Neonia's war against Lolthia and Bairia.
Piolsa followed a somewhat different path. Perhaps due to its somewhat lower population, the central regions of the country remained without any central rule for some time, with famine and banditry being very common. In 46 AP, the King of Rezimano (who, possibly truthfully, claimed to belong to the old pre-Plague Rezimanian royal family) ordered a major expansion into Piolsa's central regions, forcibly restoring order and asserting Rezimanian rule. For the most part, Rezimano was welcomed, as its forces put an end to the petty "bandit kings" who terrorised the population. The other Piolsan nations (Regasia, Ocassa, Caeria, and Valar, all calling themselves kingdoms), however, were concerned that Rezimano would gain too much territory, and so launched their own similar programs. For this reason, Piolsa emerged divided only between five nations, compared to Lendia's thirteen.
Continued in Part Four.