Farianvale, home of the Farians is the modern name of a kingdom in the fantasy campaign setting Emergalv created in 2002 by Avian Savara. The following article is a series of essays on Farian culture and lore.
Component Peoples of Farianvale Edit
- Origin: Isle of Faria, Northern Sefoyij, Southern Morrotja and Southwestern Maelquin
- Languages: Spokenlife(commoner speech), Spokenlore(noble speech) and Amyulish
- Population % : 49% pre-unification, 54% post-unification, ruling majority
- Description: The Farians are the rulers of the land. Theirs was the intitiative that led to the unification of Farianvale, be it military, religious or cultural. Being in much larger numbers than any other people in the north, the Farians control every aspect of life in the Kingdom, and dominate the other peoples of the north. The Farians are great sailors by tradition, which explains the original number of colonists that landed in the north in the early ages. They are fond of studying other peoples and assimilitating the best of their culture, craft and philososhpy.
- Origin: Isle of Morrotja
- Languages: Morrickee, Spokenlife(Farian commoner speech), Spokenlore(Farian noble speech) and Amyulish
- Population % : 18% pre-unification, 21% post-unification (concentrated in the Earldom of Morrick)
- Description: The heavily militarised Morrickees were the driving force behind the unification of Farianvale. The Morrickee are known for their narrow-mindedness and strict devotion to the Jovallite faith. They are a perfectionist, hard working people, intent on preserving their warrior traditions. Of a dour and secretly sentimental nature, the Morrickees' openly xenophobic and untrusting attitude towards other peoples is a counterweight to their more reserved, private feelings.
- Origin: Sefoyij and Southeastern Maelquin
- Languages: Velomi, Spokenlife(Farian commoner speech), Spokenlore(Farian noble speech) and Amyulish
- Population % : 17% pre-unification, 15% post-unification (concentrated in the Earldom of Richvale)
- Description: The Velms are a wealthy and peaceful people. Theirs is the responsability of safeguarding Richvale and keeping it prosperous. The Velms live well, eat well, are refined, scholarly and religious. Their generous nobility is prone to organising many faires, festivals and events. Because of their scholarly pride, the Velms can, and will, often gamble large sums over intelllectual arguments. Many monasteries and covens are built on their lands and in their cities. Easily recognised for their fine cuisine and unmistakeable croaky and nasal accent, the Velms are deeply involved in all aspects of the Farian Kingdom.
- Origin: Coeron
- Languages: Kern, Spokenlife(Farian commoner speech)
- Population % : 16% pre-unification, 6% post-unification (concentrated in the Province of Richvale)
- Description: The Kern of Farianvale are a rough, unrefined folk, all that remain of the once influential people. The few Kern that remain today are a handful of petty lords in the Province of Richvale, where they serve the interests of the King with grudging loyalty. Descendants of sea-raiders, the Kern are fierce and unyielding when angered. Their small numbers contribute to keeping them in check, but the Kern hope one day the tides will turn and allow them to grow in power.
- Origin: Atnaxotja
- Languages: Sejkian, Spokenlife(Farian commoner speech), Spokenlore(Farian noble speech) and Amyulish
- Population % : 0% pre-unification, 4% post-unification (concentrated in the Province of Richvale)
- Description: The Sejkians living in Farianvale are a few noble families of mixed Farian and Sejkian blood. They are the symbol of their people in the parent Kingdom, often serving as ambassadors between Sejko and the King. Though the few families present in Farianvale have adapted to the lifestyle of the Farians, their traditions remain written in their blood. The Sejkians remain a proud, perfectionist people eager to learn and prove their worth.
The Early Days of Colonisation Edit
The natives Edit
At first, the north of Emergalv was a reomte hunting territory of the Myunfaeluk, who would live mostly in the south and come north when game made itself more scarce. During that early period, the territory now know as Farianvale has no other name but Nard (Noerba, for The North). For the natives, the Nard ranged from the tip of the island at the northernmost point where the ocean begins to the Farrock chain of mountains where the land is seperated from the rest of Emergalv. The Nard was almost entirely covered in temperate forests and mountain ranges. There lived the Myunfaeluk tribe of FedCreshun tribe, who hunted the many species of animals that populated the Nard.
Trouble in the East Edit
The events that led to the first colonisation of the Nard are recorded in the early stone tablets of Farian and Morrickee lore. In the east, the continent of Amyulef, the Maelquin, a highly empiric people, started to annex all of their neighbors. The ocean-side kingdoms of the continent saw the birth of an empire with a quickly-expanding border. The violence of the Maelquin's military conquest led many peoples to flee their homelands in search of safer lands. Many noble families were the first to go. The Maelquin were known not to sign treaties, allow the proliferation of vassal states or treat the vanquished farily. They preffered instead to sack and rebuild. As a result, a large part of the culture of the East found itself rejuvenated on a tiny continent not yet called Emergalv.
A history of Invasion Edit
The Myunfaleluk saw the colonists as just another menace. In the past, the many tribes whose origin seemed to be linked with the creation of the world and the island had seen their share of invasions. In the early ages, Caeldi explorers pushed the tribal Myunfaeluk out of their homes and settled the ilse now known as Sejko. They waged war to keep their lands and brought the struggle to a standstill with the stubborn Caeldi. A little more than a century later Atnaxotjian refugees form the north had settled the isle of Sejko and Central Emergalv, where they allied themselves with the Myunfaeluk tribes in order to remove the Caeldi threat. In view of the peace and prosperity that could exist between the two peoples, the Myunfaeluk allowed the Sejkians to settle Central Emergalv entirely, and withdrew to the southwestern part of the continent. The two peoples, finding many things in common, opened trade routes and initiated a longstanding friendship that lasts to this day. When the dust seemed to settle, the peaceful Myunfaeluk and Sejkians were met with a threat much more serious than the long-gone Caeldi had posed. The southwestern part of Emergalv was rapidly invaded by the tribes of Assuri and Tuath from the lands of Chisera and Qosta respectively. They came in great ships and took over the southwest by force. The Myunfaeluk and Sejkians, greatly outnumbered by the seemingly endless waves of invaders, retreated to their safest cities. Fortunately for them, the invaders stopped their ambitions at the limit of the great river Okam that runs around the mountains that close off the lands now known as Shammish Manjiad.
Soon, it was clear to the Myunfaeluk that they could never be alone on their island again. When, much later, the refugees fleeing the wrath of the Maelquin landed in the north of the continent, their presence went almost unnoticed. In the span of six years all colonists of Farian, Morrickee, Velm and Kern origin had spread in all directions on the new land, establishing their settlements where most profitable and defendable.
The first Colonisation Edit
The Morrickees were the first to land. They took the northernmost part of the Nard and settled there, clearing away much forestland for the construction of their fortified villages. They spread as far as the great central lake and stopped west where they collided with thick forests too wild to begin cutting. Knowing that they would not be alone on the new continent, the Morrickees fortified the major choke points leading in and out of their territories with large wooden forts raised on the many tall hills that characterized their region. The town of Hanston on the Hill was built as a fortified stronghold overlooking the rest of the region, the great lake and beyond. Though they were not very numerous, the Morrickees spread quite rapidly. Only the later arrival of the Velms, Kern and Farians halted what seemed at the time the population boom that would occupy the whole continent.
Trial and Error Edit
The Farians arrived in large numbers and over a long period of time. Because of their sturdy ships and canny navigtion, the Farians organised secure immigration lanes from their Island of Faria to their new home in the Nard. These lanes allowed for the transfer of many Farians, and repeated freights containing important supplies and luxuries normally unavailable to other settlers. Their first landing was in the north of the Isle of Sejko, where they were met with the tall, barbaric insular Sejkians. The Farians, in their arrogance, meant to dominate the island natives, and paid their due in blood. Those who were not killed in the initial shock were dragged off by the Sejkians never to be seen again. Whatever ships made it out with passengers spread the word of hostile barbarians on the big island. No other attempt was made to land. Instead, the Farians landed in the safety of the Nard, and spread throughout the territory now know as Kingsland. Their nobility chose to inhabit the highlands on the east point of the Nard while the common folk built their ports and trade towns in the lower valley leading west.
Other Arrivals Edit
Bound West from Sefoyij, the Velms arrived by a different route than the other settlers, coming directly from the south east and passing by the straits between Iotof and Sejko. They landed in the southern portion of the Nard and settled the inner lands, clearing away much of the forest to give way to agriculture. Given their proximity to the mountains the Velms were the first to build stone towers. From these towers their nobles oversaw the colonisation of the southwest, and directed the busy daily life of the new settlers.
There was trouble at first for the Velms, when they first met the Myunfaeluk of the ResCreshun tribe. Though peaceful contact was attempted at first, local disputes between commoners over petty hunting rights led to a full-scale war that reduced the number of natives greatly. The Velms were well-equiped, but suffered major losses against the accurate longbows of the Myunfaeluk warriors. When it dawned on the Velms that they could not end the conflict peacefully, they moved in with all their forces and destroyed the many villages and small towns of the Myunfaeluk. The natives fled southwest and were not seen for quite some time.
Raiders from the north Edit
Two years after the war against the natives, raids on fishing towns and larger ports on the east shore of the Velms' territory began disrupting the life of the well-established settlers. Hoardes of men from Coeron on the north continent of Amyulef assaulted the velomi colony in waves of hundreds. They landed from large, fearsome boats, carrying battle-axes and long pole arms of wicked design, and overtook the small isolated and badly-protected fishing communities. Many fishing villages and trade ports were burned down and sacked, while the Kern sailed away with the riches of the Velms. The Farians also suffered from the Kern invasions the same year. Their larger military force and naval superiority allowed them to strike back with deadly efficiency. Many Kern sailors who were captured or injured were placed in refugee camps and converted to the Farian way of life. Many of them were sworn into duty to the Farian Lords of Highburg and Connorway.
In the Velomi colony, the raids grew more and more frequent every year until the Velms, tired of rebuilding their colony for the benefit of the Kern raiders, made their move. They fortified their ports with heavy stone walls and built war machines with which they could hunt the Kern ships out of the water. When the raiders reappeared, the strategy proved successful, and the Kern that made it to shore were quickly killed or captured. Those who were captured were granted the chance to redeem their actions and live with the Velms. Those who refused were publicly executed, forcing the others to accept their defeat. A decade later, Kern families who the Velms considered had redeemed their name were granted lands in the northern part of the Velomi territories. The Velomi Lords knew their Kern vassals, now loyal to them, would provide them with a good buffer against the Morrickee and Farian colonies to the north.
Interfeudal Warfare and the Evolution of the Farian Knight Edit
A need for change Edit
In olden times, long before the arrival of the Great Teachers, and long enough before the appearance of horses in the north, the Farian, Morrickee, Velm and Kern men of the north countries waged war on foot. Rare was the occurrence of a mounted warrior, as horses or other beasts were always of foreign origin and not easily replaced.
The earliest form of the Farian Knight, loyal to his Lord, was that of the swordsman sworn into paid service by local lords. Since there was no king to offer centralized leadership and law, violent dominance wars would break out regularly between large families of land owners. Each lord sought to gain more power and crush the others. Because local militia drew from peasants without much thought lent to weapons and armor, the gross of a fief’s fighting force was nothing more than a motley group of untrained men. They would use their farm tools where quality spears and pole arms were too expensive to create in large quantities. A lord who knew his art of war recognized the need for highly specialized shock troops. He would need more than peasants to defend his land and conquer that of others.
The swordsman Edit
The solution was found in the swordsman. Such a warrior existed very early on in the east, for the Morrickees were the only people among the first settlers to bring with them the short swords of their ancestral home. Because the use of the sword was much harder to master than that of the spear or bill, the Morrickees asked of those who would take up the sword to make a career of their craft. The discipline was then passed on from father to son, and dedicated families of swordsmen were born. Their instant military success over the Kern in the south showed the other peoples in northern Emergalv the need for such warriors. After a long period of peace, a good number of Morrickee swordsmen, left without a purpose, grew bored, lusted after warfare, and thus turned to mercenary work for foreign lords.
Mercenary Morrickee Swordsmen were formidable opponents against normal irregular spearman militia. Their standardized equipment and fighting doctrine were instrumental in the many conquests during the period prior to the unification of the north. Up until the reforms, a swordsman was accompanied by two servant boys. The younger boy would carry all provisions, clothes and scale armour of the Swordsman; the older boy (usually a young man on his way to become a swordsman himself) would carry the large round shield on his back. The swordsman himself would keep his sword tied to his belt at all times, and keep a light pack on his back. In battle, the two servants would don leather armour and fight with spears and small wooden shields, supporting their master. This group of three was called a 'spar'. When not engaged in battle, a swordsman was expected to train two others at a time, in order to rapidly expand the number of competent mercenaries. The younger student was called a quaeliff (Morrickee, for 'Apprentice'), and the elder a Seldolder (Morrickee, for 'Shieldbearer'). The last task of the seldolder before his ascension to the rank of lamolder (Morrickee, for 'Swordsman') was to find a replacement for the quaeliff, who would in turn become a seldolder. The newly-appointed swordsman could then go on to form a new spar and begin training his own students.
The pride and legacy of the Morrickees Edit
Morrickee chieftains and mercenary warlords were usually accompanied by four or more young swordsmen who would carry their leaders on their shoulders. The leader would stand on his large round shield, a symbol of status few could hope to attain. When engaged in battle the leader would drop down to fight on foot, while his retinue would drop the shield to the ground and charge in with him. Morrickees were a very hermetic people, often disdaining the presence of other peoples. As a result, they chose to fight as families. A lord could, for example, pay one Morrickee 'spar' a rather high price, or take the wiser choice and save money by hiring a whole clan to work for him.
Time, tactics and smithcraft soon improved on the Morrickee short sword, and the blade soon evolved into the much longer Northern longsword. Iron gave way to steel, which, though still an imperfect metal, provided a much stronger material from which to make longer blades. Shields became stronger, so did armor. The professional warrior, however, needed to raise much more wealth in a year's work because of the increased cost of equipping himself and his students.
The Competition Edit
Contemporary to the Morrickee Swordsmen were other professional warriors who found their way into the complex game of warfare that characterized the late colonisation of the Nard. Kern Axemen from the Velomi colony were often employed by competing lords as the response to the Morrickee swordsman. Lacking the steelcraft of their northern neighbors, the Kern nonetheless created sturdy axeheads since long before their arrival. These weapons, which had once served them as raiders on their long fearsome ships, proved efficient in land battle. The Kern would use the battle axe and its many variants in several fashions. Double-headed axes could be swung with two hands. Single-headed axes were swung one-handed while the warrior held a shield in his off-hand. If small enough and well balanced, the axes could be hurled at enemies. On contact, the iron axeheads would often break and deny the enemy a scavenged weapon. Throwing axes became smaller to the point that Kern axemen carried several in their belts. Some Kern were actually so bold as to abandon their other heavy gear such as large battle-axes and shields, and dedicate their skill at the throwing of smaller axes, which they carried in large quantities. These arrogant warriors were usually the front-liners, and once they ran out of ammunition, ran back to their comrades at the rear of the column to grab a spear and resume the fighting from the backrow.
The Farians, for their part, relied heavily on large formations of militiamen and paid soldiers all holding spears(and personal backup weapons when they could afford them) of various length. Shields were a rare commodity, and so was armour. The first row of men would hold the shortest spears(no longer than 6 feet), while over their shoulders the second row would hold longer spears(often little over 9 feet in length). The third and last row would then hold very long pikes(lengths from 12 to 16 feet). The idea was to create a large, unforgiving wall of spearpoints that no enemy would dare approach. The fatal mistake was their choice of lining up in narrow rows that, once breached by shock troops like the Morrickee swordsmen, would be easily exploited. Pressed into close quarters, the spearmen would be extremely vulnerable to the short and long swords of the opposing force. When it appeared that their earlier tactics could no longer hold enemies at bay or gain them land, the Farians took their cue from the Morrickees and began basing their form of warfare on the sword. The concept of apprenticeship remained, but instead of having two students per swordsman and having the three fight as a team, the Farians chose to establish schools where career soldiers were trained.
Lords and petty wars Edit
The goal of every lord was to gain supremacy by destroying or acquiring the few riches others could afford. For a long period of time unrecorded by historians, there was a state of constant interfeudal war. At first hostilities were usually sparked from long periods of tension between fiefs. Lords would look out for petty disputes between people and their neighbor’s peasants, and would exploit this to create a much greater tension than should be. In this way, early Farian politics would use the hatred of their people even before the neighboring fief was officially declared an enemy.
Early warfare in the Nard was dirty and merciless. Cattle would be stolen, women and children kidnapped. Members of the Lord’s family would be either killed or ransomed off at high price, in gold, land or other commodities. Sometimes, even the loyal swordsmen that constituted the most important group in a lord’s army were given to another in payment. This was usually a mistake into which a Lord of lesser wealth could be coerced, and many large families either disappeared or were assimilated by others in turn.
The new warrior Edit
In the last few hundred years prior to the unification, great herds of horses appeared in the north, escaping the droughts in the southern lands. Many swordsmen and their students took up the art of riding and incorporated the use of even longer blades to fight from horseback. Horses were expensive to maintain, and so several groups of underpaid mercenaries, no longer exclusively of Morrickee breed, took to raiding and pillaging. While longtime Morrickee families shunned and denounced the raider bands for their practice, they nonetheless inherited the same reputation. Soon, with alliances and loyalties confused, the entire northlands were in chaos.
Failing to suppress the raiding bands, and receiving no more support from legitimate Morrickee mercenary families, many lords began training their own cavalry. However, the raiders had a long head start on swordsmanship and horsemanship. Several knight families were started in this way and remain to this day, especially in Lakeside and the west. By necessity, this period saw the invention of the stirrup, light horse barding and the use of the horseman's lance. Their initial success in repelling the raider bands is due to their early devellopment and adoption of these much-needed improvements.
The unification of Great Emergalv under King Farian the First (Istvan Aston), and the later reforms of the King-Patriarch brought in the mercenary swordsmen, regardless of breed, under the King. Thus converted to the new faith, they were organized into a true order. They were responsible for driving out the raiders, many of which fled south, to the now-desert land of Shammish Manjiad. Started under the King-Patriarch, the Order of the Shield is a Jovallite hierarchy that oversees all aspects of military life in modern Farianvale.
Faith and Religion in Farianvale Edit
Prior to the unification of the Nard, the settlers from Faria, Sefoyij, Morrotja, Coeron and Northern Maelquin brought with them the gods of their homelands. The Farians brought two sets of faith: antique Jovallism and their traditional ancestor cult. The Velms brought their strict nameless monotheistic divinity. The Morricks shared the old Jovallism of the Farians, albeit with a few minor differences. The Kern, who came later and were immediately subdued, brought almost nothing of historical significance.
Even with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Farianvale, the vassals did not completely submit to the belief system of the Farians. The nobles were the first to conform, but among the common folk, beliefs remained as they were. Until the unification of faith with the crowning of the King-Patriarch, private worship was everywhere, and commoners were left to their own devices in terms of beliefs. The changes brought about by the second unification put an end to all private faith. Monasteries were built, covens introduced in cities, knightly orders centralized and converted to the new faith, and lords and kings were empowered by organized religion.
Since the second unification, the Velms have conformed, but refuse to speak the name of Jovallon openly. According to them, the divine must not be referred to as a person, associated with either gender, and generally treated like a character. It is their belief that a man must admit his true ignorance regarding the nature of the divine, but that he must, in turn, submit to it gladly. It is part of the Velms’ scholarly tradition to question faith, to speculate on the nature of the divine. After all, who can tell if there is one god, or several, or even none? For these reasons, the Velms have taken to the faith as they have everything else: with intellectual optimism and great curiosity.
Because of their shared faith with the Farians, the lords of Morricks had a precedent on which to base their religious orders. Inveterate perfectionists, they beat even the Farians at their own game, and made their province the one in which most commoners share genuine belief in Jovallon. All former beliefs have been dropped rather than adapted. The only remnant of the antique Jovallism is in the traditional Morrickee art form of bronze-plate carving, qhich features detailed depictions of canonical characters (real or imagined) and holy symbols such as the Jovallite Blood-drop and the Straightest Sword.
Hierarchy of Landowners Edit
After the second unification, King Farian the 7th introduced the title of Baron, which he granted to the lords who supported him in reclaiming the throne. Barons were granted the administration of entire regions, and military command over their host of lesser lords, their vassals. This new layer of liege offered more control to the King and less worries over the individul loyalties of petty lords.
With the end of the Seven Years of Shame (7 years of Nagled occupation) and the beginning of the line of Maudisson the Red as kings of Farianvale, various issues over ethnicity took surface. During the occupation and the revolution, resistance movements that had maintained the integrity of the component peoples of Farianvale grew in importance so much that the new King, himself the unifier of the many resistance movements, was forced to grant Barons a new title. In order to preserve the ethnic heritage of the Velms, Morrickees and Kern, who had been instrumental in the liberation of Farianvale, King Farian the 15th (Maudisson John, Knight) divided the realm into four provinces. Because of these changes, the kingdom was saved from ethnic warfare by granting lords more control over their respective regions.
Maudisson the Red established the Earldom of Kingsland, in the east, which himself and his descendants would rule over. These territories reach from the highlands of Highburg and Kingskeep, and cover the eastern maritime coast of Kingsdock, including some farmland along the Great Road. To protect the Earldom, the King organised the surviving knights into a highly mobile expeditionary force and commissioned the construction of a great war fleet. As a result, the Royal Marines and the Privateer Guards came into the light. Kingsland is a strongly military state, with few regional lords and much centralised power. Being the seat of power in the kingdom, Kingsland has many cities and merchant towns to boast, but little agriculture, making it self-sufficient in terms of war, but dependant on the other regions for cereal, produce and cattle.
Morrickee lord Dowskel Li'Nicker earned the Earldom of Morrick in the war. If anything, it is the Morrickees' pride and inflexible patriotism that seems to have allowed the region to escape the complete subjugation by the Nagled invaders. Li'Nicker himself is said to have slain seven hundred nagled warriors, one hundred for each year of shame. Other such feats were recorded, and make the object of Morrickee pride and Farian awe. King Farian the 15th gave Lord Li'Nicker his lands back, with additional power. The Earldom of Morrick is he seat of Jovallism. The territories include the fiefs of Hanston, Castle Marin, and many lesser lordships of the vast northern lands. Along the sea coast, several important ports and fishing towns were rebuilt to work in coordination with -and under the supervision of- the massive navies of Kingsland and Richvale.
Lakeside, the wide strip of farmland in the west, was given to the farian lord Ernst Lazslo, who has been an influential member of the Order of the Shield, and master knight to many young squires in his day. Because his days of warfare were over, he was granted the administration of the lands to the west of the great lake Paron. The Earldom of Lakeside is a rich land of agriculture where produce and livestock abound.
The south of Farianvale is largest portion of land in the kingdom, which he gave to the Velomi lord Anthor Marrel. In addition, he gave Lord Anthor the title of Marshal of the South, protector of the frontier. Of all the lords in Farianvale, Marrel was the only one to whom Maudisson the Red granted leave to build and maintain a war fleet. Because of their strategic maritime location and engineering prowess, the Velms were worthy of the task. The Richvale Navy is responsible for safeguarding the eastern coast and the large Seaside Canal that closes off Farianvale from the rest of the continent.