Succession Kingdom: History and Rumors
The first parcel of what would become Succession was a land grant to a son of the High Boyer of Boyer Kingdom in 712. Dhovisha, being the youngest of eight, was fairly certain he would never see the crown; instead, the polite and engaging apple of his father's eye was given a deed to land unused by the emperor at that time. The emperor signed off on the agreement and Dhovisha Arasstai set off to create his own legacy. Owning the choicest cut of land in the unclaimed wilds of western central Dregar, Dhovisha set about making his barony with a farming and livestock center (which it remains today). Many generations of his kin followed, taking the surname Dhovisha and tending to the lands. Seacove, already established, ignored the new barony that now belonged to it. One enterprising count formed a trade treaty in 947 that forced an acknowledgment of the former barony's right to collect certain taxes.
The area called Zaj was next, being the entirety of the Backbone Mountains, and granted with the emperor's permission to Ahmet Zaj. Ahmet was both a brave and skilled warrior and a charismatic leader. The Abt (a nomadic tribe) say that this gift was twofold: one, to reward a faithful soldier for service; and two, to remove him from the admiring eyes of the people and prevent a possible coup. Whatever the reason, Zaj has always had the most reliable path through the mountains (starting in Sandstone), and Zaj contains one of the most sought-after restorative towns on Dregar, Lakeside. It is not uncommon to find several dozens of influential people and their families relaxing in the saunas here or taking guarded hikes up the mountainside.
Succession is named for its castle, the first built by Emperor Tavar Diamoniar in 1081 for a woman he only ever admitted to being special friends with. The castle is located in the northernmost portion of the former barony called Emfall, from Lady Marana Emfall's family name. It was meant at the time to be a gift she could pass on to her children (two of whom are rumored to have been bastard children of that emperor), but tragedy struck, and Imira Lef'Chamet added Emfall to her family's influence. With Corsier Road already in place, from the emperor's initiatives of centuries ago, travel was not difficult so spreading that influence wasn't difficult. Corsier Road goes west to Seacove then east to the spot that the Castle was built on and into Sedera.
After Emfall, the final barony was Imira's barony, which was deeded to her just a decade before the fall of the last emperor. Known for her uncanny surgical abilities, Imira was called when the only son of the Count and Countess of Dhovisha fell ill, and the clerics of Aeridin could not heal him. Imira used surgery instead of prayer and was able to give the boy, Hadrag, a long life. Although, servants recorded that he behaved strangely from that point until his death in 1190. For her help, the area around the Sinister Forest was parceled out up to the Moss Crypt, and Imira named it Nehar. However, she used the term liegess rather than barony. Shortly after that, the last ruling Dhovisha passed on, leaving behind no direct descendants. Imira called a meeting and apparently swayed the local leaders that a war of succession would be detrimental, and instead, they put her cousin Pierre in charge as the Count of Zaj. And when the Baron and Baroness of Emfall were found burned along with their family and their stately home, Pierre, being closest, offered to regent the area until a suitable candidate could be found. Messengers to Prantz were supposedly sent, though, no word was received from the emperor. Pierre remained regent until Noel Lef'Chamet took the title Count of Emfall years later. The manor home was rebuilt grander and more ostentatious than ever and the Lef'Chamet family took residence there.
After sliding into control of three liegesses, the Lef'Chamet family began a centuries-long absorption of Succession, starting at the time of the sudden death of the last emperor. Imira had been working toward a kingdom before then, brokering deals, making treaties, and slipping in suggestions. But after the death of the emperor, and with Nehar, Emfall, and Zaj in her pocket, she wasted no time in placing her son and daughter on the throne together. The pair were titled the Liege Lord and Liege Lady and set about the task of running the kingdom the way Imira wanted it run. Ignoring most of the rest of the world, the nobles of Succession took the next several hundred years to cement their dominance and keep the Lef'Chamet line in power.
Most of the history of the Lef'Chamet family is from a series of tomes smuggled out by a discontent butler, Alex Du'Monre, in late 1410. Several journals and diaries of the various rulers were captured as well, giving a detailed look at this complex and dominant family. Madness, power plays, and a definite propensity to live very long lives stand out even on casual reading. The journals were handed over to the rulers of the Sun Kingdom, and research was done by genealogists, historians, and politicians alike. Unfortunately, the collection went missing in 1411, only months after it was made available for research, and the man who stole the history disappeared a scant few days later. Neither has been seen since, and the Liege Lord and Lady of Succession have a bounty on his head of 20,000 true and the same bounty for the recovery of the journals.
The only information that was missing from the stolen stash was the letters and notes of Imira herself. Popular theory for over 300 years had them buried with her as she was very protective of her journals in life. However, after servants and slaves began running away in the mid-1300s claiming Imira was picking them off for experiments; the venerable Liege Lord Luc was convinced to exhume her sarcophagus. Inside, a well-decayed skeleton of a female her apparent size was discovered along with a large number of rotten books and many bits of paper, all unreadable. The family investigated and brought forth a hanger-on who admitted to pulling pranks on the staff, and the matter was closed. Although, slaves still go missing, on occasion; in each case, it is assumed they've run away in an attempt at freedom.
A significant part of the history of this kingdom started early in the 1300s when the dead began to walk. While this kind of abomination has always been a part of the world, in Succession, they have been sighted for centuries around the southern Sinister Forest and Castle Succession. But since the beginning of the last century, the numbers have increased. It is not unusual for a town to be able to identify specific unliving - as they are called around the kingdom. For this reason, every town has a morgue, and pyres are very common. Also, extensive holy rites are available for those that want a burial; this can be difficult with the new restrictions on religion.
After Bloodstone returned to the world, Succession dragged its feet in joining the fight. In a rather sudden turn around, they then jumped into the fray in 1374, allowing King Karem Waylend full access to the lands and whatever armies they could scare up from the populace. After King Waylend's death, Succession kept up the fight until just before the Deep Lord marched through their lands. Claiming almost total depletion of forces, Succession withdrew, allowing the now Lord of Rael an unchallenged path to the glittering diamond called Prantz. Of all the speculation regarding this second abrupt about-face, one cryptic remark stands out. When asked his opinion of the situation, Elrohir of the Mists said, "Looks like Granny made a new friend."
Currently, locals in every town say that Lord Rael now has more than a foothold in Succession. Temples are being reassigned other duties, and worship is being driven into the home. Only Sky clings defiantly to their way of life; although, the town is nervous as a cat hanging over water with Rael on one side and Succession on the other. Sulterio is not (some say not yet) officially the god of Succession, however.
Public display of magical powers is discouraged and in some rather blatant cases, prosecuted. And the increasing intolerance to half-breeds of any kind, which began with the advent of the Lef'Chamets, continues. This makes the kingdom a dangerous place for those few left who share a parentage between more than one race.