One of the most renowned explorers of his time, Marquess Adlebar d’Anderville left his home in Daradain early in 18 SY on his greatest expedition of all time. He and his companions set out to explore the regions north and west of the Nerathan Empire, and possibly learn the fate of expatriate Lord Marshall Caiden (a cousin by blood of the d’Anderville family).
After a series of incredible adventures, the survivors of the d’Anderville expedition reached the area now known as Anderland in 25 SY. They encountered a small group of men fleeing the fledgling realm of Paladanthis – former followers of Lord Caiden.
Rather than return home, d’Anderville and his party elected to settle in the region. Before long, their small colony welcomed the arrival of over two hundred men, women, and children who had been banished from Paladanthis for incorrect theological doctrine. This site, now the city of Andersgate, boasted a population of 756 souls by the winter of 30 SY.
In 36 SY, the aged and dying explorer took the exceptional step of asking his people to grant hereditary rulership to his son, Nyland, as a newly appointed duke. The people formulated a constitution of sorts, granting rulership to the d’Anderville family and acknowledging ducal authority in perpetuity.
The Anderland agreement was, at the time, revolutionary in concept. It represented a written social contract between the people and their leader. As long as the duke upheld his end of the agreement, the people agreed to grant him full power and the hereditary claim. Ever since that remarkable event, the dukes of the d’Anderville family have done their best to honor their commitments to the people of the realm.
In 57 SY, a diplomatic envoy from Paladanthis demanded that Anderland become a vassal state. Duke Talbot (son of Nyland, grandson of Adlebar) refused, but instead suggested a mutual defense alliance. For a time, Paladanthis threatened invasion, but the duke used diplomacy, delay, and guile to keep the theocracy at bay.
In 73 SY, the issue became moot when the growing Kingdom of Maldar annexed the Cadean Marches. A few years later, war broke out between Paladanthis and Maldar. Anderland remained neutral during the conflict, but benefited from an influx of refugees from both realms. The war left both aggressors too weak to threaten each other, let alone invade or attack Anderland.
Although the region remained unstable for the next few centuries, the dukes of Anderland kept their domain out of conflicts, playing the animosities of Paladanthis and Maldar against one another. In the meantime, the realm grew quickly and prospered.
The period from 150 to 950 SY was a lengthy era of relative expansion in Anderland. The population grew at a steady if unremarkable pace, and the economy weathered the good times and the bad. Through this time, Anderland’s main enemies came from the Harrow Hills, the Anvil Mountains, and raiders from the Dominion of Uthnal.
The peace of the region shattered completely in 973 SY when King Leopold XVI of Maldar initiated the Sanguine Terror. Segments of his nation revolted, plunging the county into full-scale war. Paladanthis and the bandit-kings of the Cadean Marches took full advantage of this turbulence, striking deep into Maldaran lands. As the conflict expanded, warriors from Uthnal mounted increasingly bold raids deep into Anderland and Maldar.
The people of Anderland watched and protected their borders during the Maldaran civil war. When a military coup in 981 SY abruptly ended the war, people in the duchy celebrated. Unfortunately, their celebrations ended all too soon.
The newly crowned emperor of Maldar, determined to prevent future attacks and demonstrate Maldar’s might, issued several demands to the Duchy of Anderland. These demands, known as the Maldaran Decrees (sometimes known as the Thirteen Points), promised that Anderland would retain some of its sovereignty, but would become a vassal state to Maldar.
In a move that almost destroyed the Anderland constitution, Duke Lothar d’Anderville agreed to the Thirteen Points with little resistance. At the time, many Anderlanders considered their duke a coward. In truth, his humiliating agreement with the Maldarans likely saved Anderland from a massed invasion.
From that point forward, Anderland became a satellite realm of the Empire of Maldar. The d’Anderville family retained power, but only by the grace and forebearance of the Maldaran Emperor. As part of this agreement, worship of Bane became mandatory for all Anderlander households.
The political balance between Anderland and Maldar changed somewhat during the reign of the previous Anderlander duke. In 1326 SY, the Emperor of Maldar accused a group of Anderlander citizens of treason, including the Duke’s brother. As punishment, the emperor demanded the deaths of the traitors.
Ultimately, Duke Liam d’Anderville refused to execute his citizens. A brief but bitter standoff took place between Anderland and Maldar. The imperials began harassing and arresting Anderlanders; Duke Liam ordered imperial tax collectors arrested in retaliation. The trouble escalated to the point where the emperor dispatched two legions of his infamous Death Titans – elite goliath warriors – into Anderland.
Rather than risk open war that his duchy could not survive, Duke Liam acquiesced to the emperor’s demands and executed the traitors, including his own brother. The emperor demanded the duke also issue a public apology for his failures. The affair left Anderland with its sovereignty, but Duke Liam became a bitter, broken and humiliated man.
In the wake of the standoff, the emperor toyed with the idea of eliminating the d’Anderville house entirely and turning Anderland into a mere puppet state. In the end, he permitted the d’Anderville family to survive and retain power. The current Maldaran Emperor seems unusually interested in Anderland, and has maintained a tighter leash on the Duchy than his predecessors. This scrutiny can only bode ill for the people of Anderland.
Recent Events in Anderland
The most recent event of importance in Anderland took place in 1338 SY. A monstrous creature of primordial power, the Night Dragon known as Nithgaurim, attacked the duchy. It devoured a hundred of the land’s best knights in one battle, and slaughtered six villages in the span of a day.
When night fell, Nithgaurim flew towards the city of Andersgate. Although the Night Dragon devastated portions of the city and damaged the ducal castle, a miracle occurred thanks to the valor and luck of Marquess Caldric (soon to be Duke Caldric) and a band of unlikely heroes. These men and women killed the dragon before it could obliterate the city. Its massive corpse crashed into the nearby bay. Even today, 20 years later, the city of Andersgate and areas of the realm still bear the scars from that horrible and tragic event, an event now known as the Night of Shadows.
History of the Empire of Maldar
Maldar began as a tiny refuge for refugees banished from the Empire of Nerath. The original citizens of this realm belong to House Maldar, a Delgathan noble house. They survived a harsh climate, difficult terrain, and constant attacks by humanoid tribes in their struggle to build a new homeland.
The formation of this realm began with the fall of House Maldar. Shortly after the formation of the Empire of Nerath, this Delgathan noble family attempted to overthrow Delgath’s ruling duke. In 17 SY, Duke Alam d’Maldar launched the coup, determined to break away from Aeddon’s fledgling empire. The d’Maldar coup failed, but this family’s position and status saved them from mass executions.
Aeddon banished the entirety of House Maldar, and ordered the name stricken from all ranks of honor and titles of note. The banishment removed the quarrelsome family from the empire without need for bloodshed. Everyone knew, however, such banishment was a virtual death sentence.
Despite the odds and the challenges, Duke Alam led his followers east and then north in search of a new homeland. After being turned away by the League of Aldermark, the refugees turned north. By 24 SY, the survivors reached the shores of Valeska Lake. Giving thanks for their arrival, the duke declared this unexplored region home for his family and followers.
Although free of the Nerathan Empire, Maldar and his people faced many dangers in those early years. Local tribes of orcs, goblins, and kobolds attempted to destroy the invading humans. Several harsh winters in a row nearly destroyed the colony. Despite the odds, the Maldarans survived and grew stronger. They built walled towns and learned how to fight humanoids to best effect.
As part of its growth, Maldar remained determined to acquire a port along the eastern coast. In 73 SY, Maldar attempted to conquer portions of the Cadean Marches. Maldar formally annexed the Marches, and the realm committed substantial troops to the offensive. By the end of the year, the Maldaran forces had driven out several of the weaker and more vulnerable Brigand Kings. For the next several years, Maldar focused its efforts against the Marches. Despite the distances involved and the enormous expense, the kingdom remained committed to conquering the Marches.
Unfortunately for Maldar, troops from Paladanthis came to the aid of the Marches. Although the Theocracy had long opposed the Brigand Kings, they saw the Maldaran incursion as the more ominious threat. After a series of skirmishes, the Paladanthan knights drove out much of the Maldaran expeditionary force.
Maldar reacted to Paladanthan involvement by declaring war. The direct conflict between Maldar and Paladanthis began early in 79 SY. Overall, the war remained confined to areas within the Cadean Marches, although Maldaran troops briefly besieged Fort Asvoria in 80 SY, and the warriors of Paladanthis conquered Fort Mavra later that same year. A few battles also took place on the Anvil River. Paladanthis established a fort in what is the present-day town known as Bastion.
In spring of 84 SY, the forces of Paladanthis won several victories. They “liberated” the Cadean cities of Haldis and Jadriga from Maldaran control and pushed the Maldaran army back across the Princeps River. Much of their success came because Maldar found itself under heavy attack by an orc horde at the same time.
The orc army, led by the feared warlord Gorgon Wrath, followed the Vilya River out of the mountains. They destroyed the city of Valeska with frightening ease. As winter approached, the daring orc warlord split his army in two; one part marched on Theodosia, while the smaller contingent headed south and west towards Kasimer and Gavril. Warlord Wrath sought to annihilate the Maldaran cities while his enemies were unprepared and hampered by the fierce Maldaran winter.
Although the Maldarans were vulnerable, they refused to go on the defensive. One of their most beloved commanders, General Piotr Bronislaw, pulled off a risky maneuver. He marched his army from Theodosia and, rather than follow the northern coastline of Valeska Lake, instead traversed across the lake’s frozen surface. His army struck the orcs with complete surprise; the orcs never considered an attack from that direction. In a week of bitter fighting, Bronislaw’s army slaughtered the orcs and drove the survivors back towards the mountains. The general returned to Theodosia in triumph with Warlord Wrath as his prisoner.
Although Paladanthis took advantage of events and won a number of battles against Maldar, they suddenly faced their own problems. In the spring of 85 SY, Gothar marauders attacked Paladanthis in large numbers. These fierce sea raiders devastated several communities along the coast and even threatened Crusaris for a time. The Theocracy ended the war and called its troops home.
Since that conflict, Maldar and Paladanthis have maintained suspicious and tense but overall peaceful relations. They fight skirmishes from time to time, especially over the disputed land north of the Anvil Mountains and along the Cadean Marches, but they rarely engage in full-scale warfare. Both nations face too many dangerous enemies for them to risk war with each other. Indeed, on several occasions Maldar and Paladanthis have allied to fight the Uthnal Reavers, humanoid tribes, and Cadean bandits.
For further information regarding Maldar’s history, see the section entitled, “The Might of Maldar” in Chapter IX, “The History of Stormfell” in the World of Stormfell source book. For more information regarding the Sanguine Terror and its aftermath, see the section describing Anderland’s history near the top of the page.