Arkhos is a heavily forested feudal realm, famed for its armoured lords and their magnificent castles. Though the average Arkhosian lives their life as a downtrodden serf, they remain fiercely loyal to whichever noble house they happen to be born under… at least when questioned by outsiders. In times of war the nobility set aside their unending skirmishes and squabbles, forming one of the most enduring armies in Scy’kadia. Elite highborn knights and household soldiers race ahead, whilst waves of fanatical peasant-militia follow in their wake. A united Arkhos is a threat few have ever faced willingly.
The Great Houses
Arkhos is ruled by High King Gloric, who struggles to pull many dozens of bickering noble houses together. Six stand above all others in terms of royal favor and material resources…
|Tyberon||A crowned leopard||Gold on Blue||House Tyberon are renowned as diplomats, having brokered the alliance with Thaedia against the Pharidae. Their serfs are especially loyal.|
|Brock||A giant’s fist above pine trees||Green/Grey on Black||A house in the north of Arkhos, Brock are famed as indomitable warriors and have clashed with Vylkish raiders many times. Their forces emphasize fierce footmen over mounted charges.|
|Hollander||Two moons above a castle||Silver on Purple||Hollander possesses arguably the strongest navy in Arkhos. Their castle has never been assailed. Some believe this is because they are blessed... others believe they are cursed.|
|Furion||A rearing unicorn||White on Green||House Furion stands close to Green Fang Forest. There are more half elves among their serfs than other Great Houses, yet they still distrust magic, and consider themselves wardens against the woodland realm.|
|Sybel||Four spread arrows||Red on White||House Sybel guards the south of Arkhos, frequently skirmishing with Rhuu raiders and Thaedian scouts. They consider themselves crusaders, and as such will test their younger knights by sending them into The Ride or Frael.|
|Dalmont||A bear with a broken spear||Black on Red||Another northern house, Dalmont faces the same Vylkish peril as Brock. Their knightly champions wear furs as a mark of courage.|
Gloric and his household of Tyberon often find themselves caught between Lord Hwindel of Dalmont and Lady Fazail of Brock, both sworn-rivals perpetually seeking to settle old scores. Only time will tell which, if any, Tyberon will support should civil war bloom once again.
Tis No Rebellion!
Though the Arkhosian nobility flatly deny it, discontent among the peasantry sometimes leads to open revolt. Such protests are swiftly put down, yet rebellious farmers and militiamen always seem to reappear.
‘Ware The Witch
Arkhosians are particularly distrustful of spellcraft, deeming it a dangerous and lazy substitute for honest toil. Despite this, some nobles secretly employ mages within their courts. The High King himself is rumored to be patron of a hidden war-wizard school in the capital, Henden.
Note: Records from before The Time Of Founding are notoriously scarce...
1MR – What will one day become Arkhos, is split between competing clans. The iron-clad Arkh clans encroach on ancient Rhuul’s northern most settlements.
19MR – The Durathin and Lourn clans form kingdoms in the north and west respectively. War is declared between them almost immediately.
132MR – The Arkh clans turn their attention from Rhuul to repel a massive orc horde led by warchief Jawbroke Gorechain. Regis Dalmont, who leads the defense, is crowned first High King of Arkh.
148MR – Fearing Arkh’s martial strength, Durathin and Lourn construct castles across the region. The Arkh capture many of these structures and begin to build their own.
206MR – A disease known as Shivering Gloom brings an end to Rhuul, allowing the kingdom of Arkh to expand exponentially.
227MR – Gorgondin attempts to steal Rhuu land from Arkh, unleashing ruinous sorcery. Incensed, Arkh lays siege to Gorgondin, leaving the city a broken demon-infested husk.
252MR – Through political marriages, the rulers of Durathin and Lourn are now all descended from the Arkh. The three kingdoms are consolidated, with only minor bloodshed, under one High King and renamed Arkhos.
265MR – Arkhos attempts to claim swathes of Green Fang Forest. Elven magic hinders the invasion, and many soldiers are lost before battle can be joined. They retreat, placing watch towers on the edge of the forest.
271MR – An exodus of small folk arrives in Arkhos. Tiny hamlets spring up in many cities and towns.
311MR – The Ridden War: Arkhosians enter The Ride intent on procuring strong horses. Local centaurs fight back, forcing a withdrawal, but hundreds of steeds are taken.
343MR – War For The Widow: Arkhos is plunged into seventeen years of civil war, when Queen Olena Sybel is widowed. Her suitors bicker violently until, in 360MR, she declares that she will simply rule alone.
374MR – A mysterious surge of arcane power allows a host of demons to emerge from ruined Gorgondin. The demons spread far and wide. In Arkhos, thousands of knights rally behind The Sanctic Dame, a heroine said to ride into battle with celestials of the Gods as her honor guard. This holy crusade sweeps the demons aside and finally razes Gorgondin to the ground.
436MR – A peasant revolt occurs, led by militia calling themselves The Cockerel Brigade. They manage to overrun the castles of several minor houses before their defeat by House Brock. The cockerel remains a sign of defiance among the peasantry.
474MR – The Pharidae War begins.
583MR – Victorious but exhausted by the war, Arkhosian forces return home.
595MR – Prophets across Scy’kadia receive visions of the Weftyril portals reawakening. Confusion meets these portents, but young knights looking for glory start flocking Weftward.
620MR – Gloric Tyberon becomes High King. His first test is to rescue Lady Terule from rebellious peasants. The rebel leader is revealed as a witch, sparking a brief spate of mage hunts.
621MR – House Lyomand makes an offer to the coastal Vylkish villages with which they trade. In exchange for helping them betray House Brock, the Vylks may keep all spoils while Lyomand keeps all conquered land. When the best knights of Lyomand depart to set up their trap, the Vylks raid Lyomand's towns and castle instead. At the same time, word of the scheme reaches House Brock, which leads to the execution or exile of every Lyomand family member.