History of Therengia (book)
The History of Therengia
By Dwov Nareg, Scribe to House Theren
Introduction: Therengia has a long and honorable history dating back to the early years of the Empire. It has existed as a force of strength and honor, maintaining the principles and law of the Empire even after its collapse, and long after the rest of the land abandoned the sacred traditions which brought civilization to a war- ravaged land filled with hateful, quarreling peoples. Remember well the glory of the past, and the glory that House Theren shall carry on into the future. To tell of Therengia, one must tell of House Theren; the two are one and the same. Neither can exist without the other.
The History of Therengia
By Dwov Nareg, Scribe to House Theren
Little more than one hundred years into the Empire, the land was still mostly savage. Verek's successors fought savage wars with the hostile tribes outside Imperial borders; as the Empire struggled to expand, the Lords faced constant risk of invasion from the primitives. A Human had just come to take the throne as Emperor; Cale, of House Rardokin. Ibec Theren and Cale Rardokin were close friends, and both had been possibilities as the next Emperor. They had served together as generals in the War of Glory, both acquiring vast new territories for the Empire upon the defeat of the western barbarians. Theren and Rardokin managed to drive the war-crazed tribes northward. Battle ended, both men returned to Throne City for the winter, awaiting the next coronation, which was soon to come.
Grand balls and galas were held to celebrate Cale Rardokin's ascension to the rank of Emperor. All rejoiced, particularly Lord Ibec. As a reward for his loyal services, Emperor Cale sent the Lord of Theren northwestward with this task: "Secure the north, and expand the borders."
Ibec was given an army, and the power of the Emperor was behind him. He marched westward, and took command of the city of Riverhaven. Riverhaven, at that time, was a crucial piece of the Imperial trade route, interacting with Darkstone, Throne City, and even far-off Leth Deriel. But the city had been left in flames as the barbarians fled northward, and Ibec Theren's first duty was to restore it. With supplies from Darkstone and the Imperial coin his army had brought along, Theren repaired the damage to the port. He built an Imperial garrison there, and left a portion of his troops to protect the city. That settled, Ibec Theren continued into the wild and mostly unexplored northlands.
The further north the Imperial army went, the more barbarians they encountered. But the tribes were fleeing; exhausted, famished, frightened. They were unable to stand up to the trained warriors under Theren's command. Each battle resulted in the hordes defeated, fleeing again, weaker than before. It was at the site where the Su Helmas Temple would later be excavated that the army of the savages made their final stand. Though weary from the long march, Theren's troop accounted themselves admirably. The shabby fortifications erected by the barbarians were no match for the Imperial guard. Within a few days of harsh fighting, the enemies to the Empire had lost; the savages scattered. Those who fled southward were crushed by Lord Ibec's rearguard. Lord Ibec bestowed the Mercy of Moliko upon the rest, allowing them their lives.
A day north of Su Helmas, Lord Ibec and his army came upon ideal ground. They began setting up camps, and fortifications to withstand any attack. Rangers were sent to scout out the area and report upon the surrounding geography; patrols set up to give forewarning of danger. In just two short years, from this initial army encampment grew a city, and a mighty keep from which Ibec Theren commanded and protected the Empire's new northern borders. Messengers were sent to Throne City to inform the Emperor Cale of Theren's success in the north.
Thus was born Therengia. An elaborate (and sometimes dangerous) route was set up to connect the northern city to Riverhaven, Therengia's link to the rest of the Empire.
In time, scouts of the Lord Theren made contact with the Gemfire Mountains in the west, and north of those cold peaks an endless expanse of harsh desert. Inhabiting the mountains was a civilization of Dwarves who had journeyed away from their homelands to establish a new city. The Gemfire Dwarves had constructed a strong keep and several sturdy outposts to protect their home. The Dwarves had been left almost entirely isolated; tribes of Humans (gypsies, they would later be called) in the west brought caravans to the city a few times a year to trade. It was the isolation that allowed the Dwarves to protect their valuable resources, however. Deep, rich mines filled with valuable ores, and more importantly, the only safe pass leading into the desert, with all its exotic treasures. The Dwarves were surprised to find from the Therengian messengers that a great Empire now ruled most of the land, including their homeland. Faced with the prospect of war, the Dwarves agreed to join the Empire.
The Dwarves of Gemfire began trading with Therengia, and new wealth flowed into the north as it never had before. The goods from the mines and the desert were transported to Riverhaven, where they were shipped to the rest of the Empire.
Riverhaven brought imports, as well. Therengia was littered with ancient ruins, like the Su Helmas Temple, the Desert Sentinel, the ruins within Ker'Leor, and even the old Theren Keep (some years ago, the old and hastily-built keep collapsed; a new keep was built right overtop the old one with Gemfire engineers). Researchers from the Imperial Academy in the south came to study and excavate the ruins and their priceless artifacts. The Gealeranendae College of Magical History was established in the city of Therenborough to aid them in their goals, and soon it became the second greatest school in the Empire, only bested by the Imperial Academy itself.
The Empire prospered. Therengia prospered. But we all know the ending to that story. Corruption began to set in. New Emperors forgot the honor of the past; abandoned the traditions of Verek and Moliko that had made the Empire great in the first place. When that happened, the Empire was doomed.
Therenborough was far from Throne City, and unable to do much in the wars that followed. The capital was lost to the armies of Teiro, and other Imperial provinces began to fall. A warrior appeared from seemingly nowhere to combat the crazed Elven Voice. When it became apparent that the Empire had been destroyed beyond repair, the Baron Jelstad Theren sent troops to aid the young Lanival, determined that it was a far better choice than allowing the warlord to have his way with the chaotic remains of the Imperial lands. The Baron's decision was encouraged by a mysterious advisor known as Shorka. This woman reinforced the northern army with a battalion of S'Kra Mur.
Lanival was victorious, and divided the Imperial lands into five provinces, one of which became modern day Therengia. Seemingly, a new golden age had begun, much like the early years of the Empire. That illusion was shattered as the Dragon Priests emerged in the south and began a new war. Most of the southern lands were lost seemingly overnight; Riverhaven itself fell soon after Zoluren. From there, the Dragon Priests marched northward. East of Therenborough, a small fort was constructed by the Priests. The Baron led his guard to this keep, and battled with the invaders. It soon became a killing field, with countless dead on both sides. In the end, though, the Baron retreated to the Great Keep, beaten and besieged. Eventually, the siege was successful. The Baron and most of those left in the Keep used the hidden tunnels and passageways beneath the city to escape, and they took shelter with the gypsy tribes in Therengia's Borderforts.
Dragon Priest rule was long and painful, for all. When High Priestess Dzree met with her ill-fated demise, uprisings began across the land. A new Ferdahl rebelled in the south. Bards joined with Forest Elves.
Gor'Tog tribes came down from the north to strike at the heart of the Dragon's Empire. House Theren rallied the people of Therengia, and they rose up to destroy the Priest garrisons and monsters, and the Baron Falstad reclaimed his ancestral seat.
Regrettably, this honorable Baron passed away, and his fool of a son took the throne (we shall not speak his name; he has since been condemned by each Baron to rule Therengia). Believing that in its defeat House Theren had been shamed, the boy decided that not enough war had been waged. Pointing to the doctrines of Lanival, he stated that all of Therengia should be under Theren's rule, and marched his army to attack Gemfire. This is the most tragic point in Therengian history.
The Dwarves were enraged by the attack, and open warfare began. The Baron managed to convince the Human tribes to join in the cause, though they did so with great reluctance. Dwarven machines of war struck at the keep, causing extensive damage, particularly to the Northeast Tower. The Baron's guard was not entirely unsuccessful, however. The Dwarven forces were bulky and slow with all their machines, and the Baron's mounted soldiers made numerous strikes against them, fast and deadly.
In one key battle, however, one which would have decided the fate of the war, the gypsies never showed up. The Baron's plans were ruined, and a disgraceful defeat was the result. Furious, and believing the gypsies to have betrayed him to the Dwarves, the Baron attacked their village, killing quite a few. The tribes fled their village and began a wandering which continues to this day, careful to avoid any Barony soldiers. Several of the more militant groups of the tribe became marauders, striking at patrols, trade caravans, and occasionally raiding the city of Therenborough.
Shortly after his defeat to the Dwarves, the Baron hung himself in his chambers. His son, Artosh, became the new Baron, and formed an uneasy peace with the Dwarves, ending the bitter war. The damage had been done, though. Lord Artosh's father had caused the deaths of quite a number of Dwarves -- too many for them to maintain themselves. The Dwarves of Gemfire were forced to retreat southward, to Kwarlog. The Baron's Guard occupied their abandoned city.
Therengia has suffered greatly since those days; its wealth depleted, its keep damaged, its people occasionally embroiled in border disputes with Zoluren. But House Theren has survived and persevered, and the honor of the past makes it strong. The greatness of House Theren will rise again, and preserve it through any danger. Trade with the Merelew and the Musparans has begun restoring the coin of Therengia, and rebuilding has taken place. Peace has been restored with the Dwarves.
All glory to Chadatru.
For the honor of Theren,