A history of the Kingdom of Athion

The Kingdom of Athion was founded by King Calric Caralingas through the systematic conquest of the three smaller kingdoms of Sarth, Aden and Tarkh. Nowadays although most people now think of themselves as Athions many of the traditions of these ancient kingdoms still remain. The eastern kingdom of Arden is separated from the rest of Athion by a high Sheer escarpment which offers few paths to the top. The land itself is mountainous, and the society is based around Clans which have lived in the same valley for generations. The Clans are ruled through a concept of Honour in which the power and status depends on the honour and prestige which it had earned. Thus those who governed well, fought hard and performed great deeds earned Honour for themselves and their family. Honour is a powerful currency and it would be unthinkable for an Arden lord to damage his Clan's Honour by breaking a pledged oath.

The southern country of Sarth was ruled from the great port of Salvoyn, which is still the largest city in Athion. Sarth is a rich, fertile and colourful land where the skills of the musician and storyteller are highly prized. It has been ruled for many years by the a matriarchal, with trade monopolies run by families rather than guilds. Tarkh was the northern nation, with its capital at the seasonal port of Nyskilde. The snows which isolate Linrodeth for three or four months of the year last for four, five or even six months here. The people are a dour, practical and traditionally patriarchal folk, and although they also place a high value on Bards, physical prowess is equally important to them and hence warriors are the highest caste in this society. Separating the three Kingdoms is a large expanse of fens, forests and downlands. Having been on the receiving end of invasions by both Tarkh and Sarth, its strongly independent people gave allegiance to neither and by preference traded with the, then small, independent town of Linrodeth.

The amalgamation of the three kingdoms was achieved by Calric, who was in origin a warrior prince of Tarkh. By the age of thirty he had united the tribes and leading them in campaign of unprecedented efficiency he conquered the Arden Heights, Calric earned himself great K'arn by reinstating the defeated Clan chiefs and with the support of Arden he turned his attention to the fertile and prosperous plains of Sarth. However the professional knights and highly disciplined army of Sarth fought his numerically superior forces to a standstill within sight of Salvoyn. Calric was forced to besiege the area, but the tactic could never be entirely successful because of his inability to completely blockade the port. During this period of protracted stalemate, Calric established a new capital at Linrodeth and began construction of the Citadel.

After four years Salvoyn underwent an internal coup which overthrew the old royal line of the Taratorhts and established the Lavyndryn as the ruling family. Their matriarch offered terms for surrender in which trade concessions were retained by the matriarchs, and which also required her eldest daughter to become Calric's queen, after all Salvoyn had assimilated barbaric conquest's in the past. Calric accepted and thus the Carlingas dynasty and the kingdom of Athion was founded. Cadric and Eredain ruled for many years, bringing a much needed stability, and laying the foundations of modern Athion. Guthrum, their only heir, ruled thereafter and his long rule is looked back upon by many as a golden age of justice and prosperity.

As his parents had laid the foundations of a kingdom Guthrum built the identity of the nation, combining as he did the fierce honour of the northern tribes with the sophistication of the Southern families. Eliser, his daughter, carried on the process he had started and although her reign was short, and despite her error in naming Edwin as her heir she is also well remembered. Edwin was crowned in the fifty-fifth year of the kingdom at the age of thirty, and it is with him that the nations problems start. Edwin was an easily dominated and fickle man and It was no surprise when he died that a dispute arose between his heirs Edith and Tristran as to which had been named as his successor. The battles of the succession quickly brought the Kingdom to civil was and within a few years the strong kingdom which had been built up by the Caralingas, had disintegrated into a collection of small baronial holdings.

A generation later, news from the dales of the northeast spoke of Prince Edmund, Judith's youngest son. Like so many of his siblings and cousins, he claimed the crown, and had put together a small army to back him. His early battles ended in defeat, and he was soon reduced to living in the saddle, raiding where he could. The young prince survived, learnt, and began to be successful. The Battle of Dorts Vale established his first domain, at which time he married Emma, an old childhood friend who claimed direct descent from the Taratorhts. Over the following years he relentlessly expanded until Tarkh, and the coastlands of Linrodeth and Sarth were reconquered. Linrodeth, a border city of both Tarn and Sarth, which had been Calric's base throughout the long campaign was chosen as the capital of the new nation, and the existing castle was expanded and rebuilt over the next five years to become the citadel which dominates the city today. Opposition remained in the east and southeast, in the form of a brother and a cousin. But here Edmund's long campaign ground to a halt, defeated at last by the punishing terrain and by the stubborn refusal of the Arden to recognise his kingship. The breakthrough came in the unlikely form of the Sweating Plague, which broke out again in the Arden during the long summers of 113-115. Along with large numbers of the population, it also killed the last remaining members of Edmund's family. In all honour, the Arden Lords could not now refute Edmund's claim to overlordship, and in 116 they renewed their oath of fealty to the Carlingas dynasty. However the kingdom had suffered many years of neglect, war and plague, and the task of rebuilding it is still continuing.

Over the next five years Edmund subdued the rebel barons and placed them under the rulership of Dukes loyal to him. At the Battle of Northmoor in 117 he finally defeat the last challenge to his rulership, and returned to his capital Linrodeth, to begin the task of rebuilding the three kingdoms of Athion.