The Independence of Ayrlaston

Dveroth had been conquered and the race of men from the northern realm of the Lochlands had claimed the country for themselves. Several notable Houses and leaders were placed into the positions of Baron to maintain stability and control of this new realm, which was a fertile land full of possibilities and potential. Some naysayers would claim years later that the King of Wintermere had purposefully sent his envoy of settlers, including his own cousin, to die across the border just so he would have a reason to invade. Many more say that he would have failed in this foolish endeavour were it not for the contributions of House Valorayne, Morvayne, Orelia and Thorn and especially that of his newest General, Wulfgar the Stoneslayer. But he would claim his new territory regardless and begin to form this new country as a vassal state of the Winter Court.

It would not be long however for the seeds of discord to be planted from the very beginning and continue to grow as the months of vexing demands turned to years of struggle. The Barons of Ayrlaston grew tired and war hungry from the constant strains of their King and their Court to produce and supply vast quantities of crops, resources and the riches of the land to an already burgeoning nation of wealth that was fit to burst under the weight of its greed. Within the space of a hundred years, the Houses of Morvayne and Valorayne from their seats in Frosthaven and Covenraen would form an alliance to wage war on their King. Soon the Houses of Orelia and Thorn would also join followed begrudgingly by the House of Stormsever to see themselves free from the shackles of the Winter Court.

They would meet on the battleground outside Frosthaven on the field of the Ice Barren Wastes, just a few miles from the Dead Gate of the Skyspear Mountains and the Pass of Wulfgar that leads onto the road to the city of Wintermere. The King of the Winter Court, the grandson of the King that waged war on the Dvergar, would meet them here followed by the Houses of Barrowmont, Auldred and Graveson and their hosts though when they saw the sheer size of Ayrlaston’s armies, there was no doubt in his mind that they would not prevail. Seeing this and despairing, the King signed an accord with his former vassals and yielded to them the new kingdom of Ayrlaston before he returned to the Lochlands a disgraced monarch.

Each step of the journey, he was hounded by his advisors for his rash decision and told constantly of his apparent mistakes. There were many demands for him to return to Ayrlaston to see their will done, to trample down the dissenters under the boot of the Court and that they would not tolerate an independent southern kingdom. Whatever was spoken is irrelevant, what is known is that this decision saved the lives of thousands that day, they who had no real desire to spill the blood of their kin. But it was a decision that seal that sealed this Kings fate for he would not live long to see his crown thrive or falter.

Hushed rumours of murderous dissent amongst the Barrowmonts and the Auldreds lingered for a while as they refused to relent. The Winter King would die within the month without an heir to replace him and the rest of his family would also disappear without a trace. After a bitter dispute, the House of Auldred would then ascend to the throne and they refuse to this day to fully recognise the agreement that was signed over two thousand years ago. The Winter Court are said to merely tolerate the existence of Ayrlaston’s independence. It is no secret that were it not for the profitable trade between the two countries then no accord would ever be acknowledged. It is also of no surprising news to any who live within the walls of Wintermere that the Auldred Kings are simply waiting for an excuse to reclaim the lands that were once theirs, by war or by right.

As the country of Ayrlaston is separated by the mighty Silverblade River that divides the country into two, so were the kingdoms forged anew. The House of Morvayne would claim the East Reach as its kingdom upon the throne of Frosthaven to guard against their neighbours to the north and dangers from across the seas to the east. The House of Valorayne would tend the Wester Vales and sit atop a throne of silver with its seat in Covenraen to keep the peace with Sollistar in the south and to watch for any attempts at invasion from old allies from across the Silent Sea and the ancient outposts on Emberfall Island.

It would seem however that enduring within the hearts and minds of men, there lingers a lust for war and a terrible thirst for power for it would not be long before a bloody civil war between the two kingdoms would reforge the land once more.

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