War of Man
1645 A.E. to 1687 A.E.
Pyndowynn the Seventh King of Tarsal came to the throne in 1645 A.E. He inherited a kingdom in turmoil. Various factions had battled for dominance under Eodrin the Sixth King of Tarsal. The Holy Church of Tassadar the Creator had emerged as the dominant power base at the time of Eodrin’s death. Eodrin died at the Battle of Galbreth’s Pass (in the Ramsden area), fighting against the forces of two rogue barons and their mercenaries from the Northern Warlands.
Pyndowynn inherited the throne at 15 spans old. As the royal prince, he had been well schooled in combat, court etiquette, and the like – in short, he had been prepared for his role as king. Pyndowynn, a religious young man, turned to his most significant power base and staunchest supporters – the Holy Church of the One True God, and specifically the Holy Church of Tassadar the Creator.
Within a season of taking the throne, he issued a royal proclamation called the “Purge of the Sword.” Essentially this was a purge of many of the high ranking members of the Tarsal Office of Guard’s Order of the Sword. Many of the loyal Order of the Shield officers took their place. Most controversial was the elevation of Pyndowynn’s close friend and fellow knight Vance Hildebrand to the position of Marshall of the Guard. Hildebrand was promoted above many older, more senior, and more experienced soldiers.
Pyndowynn also established the Brothers of Justice – a religious militant order headed by Balton Sephon, an Oath Taker of Tassadar.
In 1647 A.E., the Brothers of Justice and the vastly more loyal though undermanned Order of the Sword began extensive offensive operations. After establishing make-shift alliances with many of the warlords of the Northern Warlands, Pyndowynn’s forces attacked and defeated the rebellious barons of northern Tarsal near the Tarsal-Ramsden border.
Following the victory, Pyndowynn reached extensive agreements with many of the warlords that had aided Tarsal during the conflict. Similar agreements were reached with goblinoid hordes that bordered much of the Kingdom of Tarsal. These alliances were pivotal to victories throughout the War of Man.
During the campaign against the barons, Pyndowynn and the clergy of the Holy Church of Tassadar the Creator stressed that the rebellious barons worshiped – or were in collusion with worshipers of – Arn. This served to weaken local support for the barons, as most of their vassals were monotheistic worshipers of Tassadar. This same tactic would be used throughout the War of Man to bolster support for Tarsal, while undermining the position of its adversaries.
By late 1649 A.E., Pyndowynn had restored order to Tarsal. From 1649 A.E. To 1660 A.E., the kingdom was fairly silent. Pyndowynn consolidated his power, while developing a massive war machine. Additionally, extensive alliances and trade pacts were established. The most notable of these pacts was with the dwarves of the Endless Spines. Tarsal began buying raw materials and finished products – especially weapons and armor – in huge quantities.
In 1660 A.E., the Arch-clergy (a council of six, who would later become the Royal Justices and serve as the model for the Trying Council of Six) proclaimed that their study of the Tassadaran led them to understand that Pyndowynn – as the seventh King of Tarsal – was to unite the Seven Children of Tassadar under a single banner. Whether this move was genuine, was initiated by Pyndowynn, or was an effort by the church to regain its favored status is unclear.
When the Arch-clergy of Tarsal announced in 1660 A.E. that Pyndowynn the Seventh King of Tarsal was to unite the ancestral lands of the Children of Tassadar, they were referring to a portion of the Tassadaran that stated the god had seven children. Further, it was said that the descendants of these seven children would settle across the continent of Thetan. Though the Tassadaran never addresses the race of these children, it is clear that Pyndowynn and the Arch-clergy assumed they were human.
The seven children, according to the Tassadaran:
Bragdon: Male; epitomized truth.
Cadmen: Male; twin to Chatham; epitomized valor.
Chatham: Female; twin to Cadmen; epitomized mercy.
Madison: Female; youngest of the children; epitomized honor.
Ramsden: Male; epitomized strength.
Roe: Male; epitomized law.
Tarsal: Male; epitomized justice.
Pyndowynn took the announcement to heart. He immediately set out to find ties to the seven children in each of the major realms. Lands all across the continent of Thetan were eventually declared as the “ancestral lands of the Children of Tassadar.” And as the Seventh King of Tarsal, Pyndowynn claimed rule over them all, calling this realm “Tarsalia.” This proclamation – the Tassadaran Decree – issued on New Light of 1662 A.E. is said to have been the beginning of the War of Man.
During the initial stages of the War of Man, the forces of Tarsalia often skirmished with goblinoid hordes and gnoll packs; they seldom started battles they could not easily win. The result was that a number of gnolls and goblinoids (especially hobgoblins) were forced into service with the Order of the Sword. Hobgoblins thrived and one of the effects is that other hobgoblins were more willing to enter into treaties with Tarsalia once they saw their brethren as honorable soldiers. Goblins were also relatively willing, seeing that the humans often treated them better than hobgoblins did. Tarsalia often enticed goblins into service by promising them freedom.
By late 1662 A.E., the Kingdom of Tarsalia had brought the War of Man to the Barons’ Commonwealth. Tarsalia relied on its own force in conjunction with dwarven allies, mercenaries from the Northern Warlands, and exiles from the Barons’ Revolt (especially from the Aern, Trace, Kerdall, and Ren families), to defeat the Barons’ Commonwealth. The Holy Church of Tassadar the Creator also played an instrumental role, as many commoners of the Barons’ Commonwealth believed in the Tassadaran Decree. By 1664 A.E., Tarsalia had emerged victorious, and by 1667 A.E. the duchies of Tarsal (created from the former kingdom of Tarsal) and Cadmen and Chatham (carved out from the Barons’ Commonwealth) had been created.
By late 1667 A.E., the armies of the duchies of Tarsal, Cadmen, and Chatham were mustered on the borders of the Astus Republic. Between 1667 A.E. and 1668 A.E., the Astus Republic was absorbed into the Kingdom of Tarsalia. Some of the individual republics fought, but most surrendered with little resistance in order to “preserve the intellectual treasures” of the republics. Immediately after Astus’ integration with Tarsalia, it was renamed to the Duchy of Madison. Within a season of the creation of Madison, a massive hunt – called the Witches’ Unveiling – was launched with the aim of rooting out all witches (practitioners of necromancy). The Witches’ Unveiling was called by the Holy Church of Tassadar the Creator due to the high number of witches in Madison and the historical hatred for witches by the church following the Divine Inquiry of 1113 A.E.
Meanwhile, between 1652 A.E. and 1667 A.E., the Kingdom of Dillon experienced extreme internal turmoil as the Duchy of Blue protested the kingdom’s enslavement practices. The Duchy of Scruggs sided with Blue, while the kingdom’s other duchies sided with the Archduchy of Dillon. In 1667 A.E., skirmishes broke out, leading to a civil war.
By 1668 A.E., the Kingdom of Tarsalia had joined with the Duchies of Blue and Scruggs, insisting that Tassadar did not support slavery. War between the Tarsalia-Blue-Scruggs alliance and their Kingdom of Dillon adversaries lasted for over two years; however, the seemingly limitless resources of Tarsalia eventually forced the Kingdom of Dillon to surrender. By 1670 A.E., the Kingdom of Dillon had been absorbed into Tarsalia, becoming the Duchy of Bragdon. Each of Dillon’s duchies kept their names but were demoted to the status of counties. The slaves of the former kingdom of Dillon were freed, which helped relations between Tarsalia and the elves of the Desert of Regret due to the fact that the slaves consisted of a disproportionately high number of elves.
In 1672 A.E., the Kingdom of Tarsalia claimed the entirety of the region known collectively as the Northern Warlands, renaming them to the Duchy of Ramsden. The economic, cultural, and religious influences from Tarsal and then Tarsalia in eastern Ramsden help pave the way for the Tarsalian claim. There was some resistance, mostly from the warlords most reverent to Arn; however, Tarsalia relied on their goblinoid hordes allies, mercenary groups, and the warlords with whom they had already established alliances to claim many portions of the lands. Despite being claimed by Tarsalia, much of Ramsden remains in warlord control. In fact, most of Tarsalian occupied Ramsden is only nominally under Tarsalian control and is chiefly operated by the same warlords who ruled their lands while they were part of the Northern Warlands.
The decade between 1676 A.E. and 1686 A.E. marked the height of conflict for the War of Man. The theocracy of Magna Ninlan knew that war with Tarsalia was inevitable. As such, it entered into alliances with anyone it could, which primarily meant resistance movements in areas occupied by Tarsalia. During the battle for Magna Ninlan, which began in earnest in 1677 A.E., tensions began to rise between the Tarsalia- dwarven alliance. This was due to the fact that various groups throughout Tarsalia began to default on payment for dwarven goods and resources. In response, some dwarven clans (particularly Clans Nickel and Ferrum) sided with Magna Ninlan as early as 1679 A.E. The theocracy also saw extensive assistance from goblinoid hordes and gnoll packs.
In what marked the downfall of Magna Ninlan, in 1683 A.E. the theocracy threatened to take the Greengrass Lowlands by force due to a desperation for resources. In response, the grasswalkers of the Greengrass Lowlands to turned Tarsalia for help. They entered into a protection pact with Tarsalia by the end of 1683 A.E. Ironically, this protection pact would eventually lead to the assimilation of the Greengrass Lowlands into the Kingdom of Tarsalia in the form of the Dominion of the Low Country.
Without the precious resources of the Greengrass Lowlands and with a disparate group of fickle allies, the theocracy of Magna Ninlan eventually fell to Tarsalia in 1686 A.E. It was subsequently renamed as the Duchy of Roe.
The Kingdom of Tarsalia was officially created on New Light of 1687 A.E. King Pyndowynn signed the Treaty of the Lake of Mists along with the new leaders of each of the duchies. Rebellions continued, but in general, there was little doubt that Tarsalia was in control of its claimed lands. The treaty also stipulated that the Western Marches, Wilder Marches, and the Low Country were Tarsalian dominions, though these claims (with the exception of the Low Country) were more dubious. The dominion of Western Marches, carved out of the untamed lands bordering Bragdon, was created to serve as a buffer between Tarsalia and the Field of Blood. For similar reasons, the dominion of Wilder Marches was claimed from the low-lying grasslands bordering Cadmen in order to protect Tarsalia from the Droch Marshes.
Key Events During the War of Man
Pyndowynn becomes the Seventh King of Tarsal.
Arch-clergy of Tarsal proclaim Pyndowynn is to unite all ancestral lands of the Children of Tassadar.
New Lght 1662 A.E.
Pyndowynn issues Tassadaran Decree, claiming all the ancestral lands of the Children of Tassadar and calling this the Kingdom of Tarsalia.
Tarsalia defeats Barons’ Commonwealth.
Duches of Tarsal, Cadmen, Chatham created; Kingdom of Dillon begins civil war.
Astrus Republic absorbed and renamed Duchy of Madison; Witches Unveiling begins.
Kingdom of Dillon absorbed and renamed Duchy of Bragdon.
Northern Warlands claimed and renamed Duchy of Ramsden.
Greengrass Lowlands enters into protective pact with Tarsalia.
Theocracy of Magna Ninlan absorbed and renamed Duchy of Roe.
Treaty of the Lake of Mists signed; Tarsalia officially created; Pyndowynn is the First King of Tarsalia; Tarsalia claims dominions of the Low Country, Western Marches, and Wilder Marches.