History & Lore
Surviving the perils and fall of the Deranged King of Xeilias in the year 696 of the fourth age, the people were thrown into the turmoil of rebellion and strife as the old regime collapsed. Freeing themselves from the corruption and slavery of the Xeilias, the people found themselves awash with not only widespread crime, but the return of ancient blood-feuds.
New nobility rose in the region. Anointed by blood, wealth, or through their people’s respect, these new nobles quickly found conflict with the remaining Lords of the Xeilian Empire. The once fertile lands and the wealth of the region were squandered.
Amongst the voices calling for cooperation, was Maximilian Seele. The mayor of the prosperous city of Tarkhoum. Respected for his wisdom and integrity, Seele began to draw together any nobles willing listen to his vision of a united kingdom. Drawing people under his leadership as his influence grew, Maximilian Seele extended the reach of Tarkhoum to once more bring the rule of law and order the once proud Duchy of Aravier.
In the ensuing years a powerful warlord of the old Xeillian regime, Phyllain, gathered immense influence and sway throughout the region as a result of his military conquests. While he had garnered significant power, Phyllain was faced with the choice of a seemingly endless conquest, or to unite the handful of powerful nobles across the region and pivot his attention to the external threats.
Choosing to travel the route of diplomacy, Phyllain brought together the major players in the political realms. Working with both the old and new worlds, he began planning for the future; the Kingdom of Alesia. Among those called to Phyllain’s table to help build this new kingdom, was Maximilian Seele. By this time, Maximilian had accumulated sufficient control of Aravier that Phyllain made a proposal: Maximilian would be recognised as Duke of Aravier and allowed to rule the refounded Duchy of Aravier, and in return he recognise Phyllain as King of Alesia and pledge fealty.
The new nobility of Aravier were somewhat wary of the seemingly bloodthirsty nature of Xeilian lords, and they had spent considerable energy and lives in expunging their previous overlords from the Xeillian Empire. While concern was voiced in council, Maximilian saw this as the only plausible means of ensuring the region exited the darkness of the chaos that had engulfed it for many years by that point. Seeing the necessity to commit to the idea of the Kingdom of Alesia, the Lords of Aravier swore fealty to King Phyllain, along with the collected lords and ladies across the region of Alesia.
With the formation of the Kingdom of Alesia, the citizenry were given the strong sense of hope for a lengthy peace. Aravier had sufficient safety for the meantime that it could now focus more fully on the removal of the bandits that had taken advantage of the strife, and the reconstruction of its once vibrant and prosperous industry. Becoming a land of opportunity for the capable, the Duchy of Aravier entered into an age of prosperity for all.
Our story in Keplr does not begin here, however, to learn about how Keplr formed, we must go back a little further…
The County of Keplr was previously known as the County of Apetus, ruled by House Wynters. Two main rivers flowed through the Aravian Plateau to form a lake. Nestled on that lake was the seat of power in Apetus, the town of Faehoum. Faehoum was named by the Kypiq who settled and formed the settlement, it was home to the small tribe of Faedin.
Life in the sleepy town of Faehoum was a quiet one and filled with very little excitement, as little occurred here. The highlight of enjoyment in Faehoum was when merchants/traders came down the river to sell and buy goods from Vornair or neighboring counties on the Aravian Plateau, or when a travelling bard came and shared tales of grandeur and mystery. However while rare, sometimes nobles would come visit the town with their beautiful wagons that irradiated wealth and status guarded by knights in armor that was sleek and shone like the full moon, they often came to town to visit the Count within his manor and speak politics and business.
The quiet settlement was formed in 591 of the 4th Age. Apetus Wynters and his family left the Broadleaf Forest as they wanted to see the world. They traveled from the modern day Duchy of Callambea, through the modern day duchy of Xeilias. Along the way they stopped through many settlements and ended up with a full caravan of people who wanted a fresh start somewhere else. They eventually found themselves upon a lake that was formed from two major rivers flowing from the Alpine Tundra. On this lake the caravan decided that it was the perfect place to call home, they were away from civilization, and could be left to their devices. Thus the hamlet of Faehoum was born, over time it eventually grew much larger, from village to town. On 609 of the 4th age, Apetus Wynters became a count of the County of Apetus in the Aravian Plateau.
One Neran couple that joined the caravan and helped found Faehoum were the parents of Flint Brisingr, who Flint Brisingr eventually left Faehoum to create the modern day settlement of Surda a few miles down the river. Another founding Neran couple were the parents of Bastian Taygen, Bastian later on went up river a few miles to another lake and formed the modern day settlement of Taygenhoum.
The Count of Apetus and mayor of Faehoum was Vanir Wynters, a Kypiq mann of 72 years. As of 671; Vanir Wynters had been ruling the County of Apetus since 619, for just over 50 years. He was a good count, he cared about his people and did the best he could, his father had succumbed to the flu when Vanir was only 20 and he had to quickly take up the mantle at a young age, he tried to do his best by his people, and was loved by everyone in the county for being courteous and just. However in recent years he was starting to become forgetful as his memory was not what it once was, and on numerous occasions had forgotten his only child’s name and what was going on at a particular time. Part of the reason he was still the count was because his only son, Nicolas Wynters, had no desire to replace his father, the Count’s conclave of advisers took up the task of trying to convince Nicolas, but the word got out and started to circulate in the town about how the Count’s son, Nicolas Wynters, had no desire to succeed his father, this caused some widespread panic in the town and the county as a whole, because who was going to succeed the Count if his heir did not? The panic over the rumour was short lived however, because a few months later in that year, The Deranged King of Xeilias began his conquest to become emperor of Elyria…
After a harsh winter in 659 of the 4th age, the crisp air of winter started to fade, the ice and snow finally started to melt, and buds started to sprout across the Mixed Leaf Forest. The first day of spring was always a time of rebirth and celebration of the coming year in Faehoum, but the town had another reason to celebrate; the town tinkerer had just celebrated the birth of their child, Liam Flanni, a Kypiq boy, the first child to be born in the county in four years as the previous years had experienced some famine and plague. Liam would grow up in a loving home, with parents who loved and supported him.
A few years later, shortly after the child's fifth birthday, a new family moved into town, another family of Kypiq, a husband and wife and their four year old daughter named Wyl Agon. They hail from across the Mixed Leaf Forest all the way from the Broadleaf Forest. They were a family of alchemists who had studied at the Kinothian, a prominent Kypiq Alchemy school located in the North's great forest of giant mushrooms. Wyl Agon and Liam Flanni quickly became friends, they both were quite mischievous and always laughing and smiling, they were simply inseparable, wherever one went, you knew the other was not far behind. However the once peaceful life changed when the Deranged King of Xeilias began his conquest in 671 of the 4th Age.
The Deranged King of Xeilias was known as deranged for a reason, he was a power hungry man, filled to the brim with lust for blood and power, but one of his worst qualities was his paranoia as it often made him quite unpredictable and that made him even more dangerous. He was known to put a trusted Xeilian in charge of newly conquered lands and dispose of the lands previous nobility if they could not be convinced to bend the knee. Filled with paranoia, the Deranged King had set his eyes upon the present day Duchy of Aravier. For the most part, the Deranged King’s conquest very rarely had an actual effect on the County of Apetus and its people. But when the forces of the King’s army reached Aravier’s doorsteps looking to install Xeilian puppets, even Apetus Wynters in his not always lucid state alongside the other counties of Aravier knew they had to step up and protect the duchy and their freedom as a whole.
Liam Flanni was only twelve years old when the Deranged King began his conquest in 671, he was still rather young, naive and most of all innocent as he was still a boy. Faehoum was used to a peaceful and quiet life and with the threat of invasion, the tone of the county and town had quickly changed and Liam Flanni did not quite understand what was the casue, he only knew that his parents were working in overdrive trying to tinker and create technology for the Aravian Army. At the same time, the family of Wyl Agon were also working very hard with their alchemy to come up with concoctions to support the army, poison for sword blades, potions to help reduce fatigue etc. The two children were not allowed to play outside as much during this time and instead were to help their parents with their work as it was very important for the safety of the town, county and duchy. During this time the children noticed the towns folk had rarely been seen laughing anymore.
The Duchy of Aravier held out for just under two years, then the regime of the duke fell in the year 673, and was replaced with an Xeilian pawn. Liam and Wyl remembered the army of Xeilias marching into their town, and new banners being placed on the Count’s manor, for the new Duke of Aravier, had little faith in the old fragile Count that was Vanir Wynters and replaced him with someone the new Duke knew he could trust, and more importantly control. The people of Apetus, never saw Vanir Wynters again or his son Nicolas. They recalled hearing that the Count’s son; Nicolas, had made a break for when the armies of Xeilias first marched through the county, he was branded a coward and if he were to ever come back to Apetus, and his hometown of Faehoum, he was not to be welcomed at all.
After the installation of the Xeilian duke, and the Xeilian count, life did not change for the better for the people of Apetus, the duke demanded the people of the duchy to work very hard for very little pay, times were very troubling, people were starving and dying of disease, unable to afford food and medicine. At first the people of Faehoum had a bit of fire left in them, and they were going to try to take up arms with the newly appointed count, but most of the townsfolk were not of military origin and had very little experience in combat plus a majority of the town were Kypiq whom were not the strongest of tribes. They also knew that the duke would just send more men to retake the town, it did not take that long for the will of the people to be broken and their fire pushed down to a mere flame.
Five years later, in the year of 678, a fire broke out in Faehoum, people do not know who started it but it was rumoured to have been started by the Xeilian guards. The fire started in the workshop of Flanni’s, it spread quickly through the western part of the town, the town tavern and the town fishery were lost as well to the fire. Liam Flanni’s parents perished in the fire. By this time most of the townsfolk fire inside were but embers now, but what the Xeilian did not know, was that Liam’s ember in his heart was stoked that day, it went from an ember to a flame. Liam was very fortunate that he still had his dear old friend Wyl at his side, especially in this time of need where she was there for him when he needed it the most.
After the death of Liam’s parents, Wyl and Liam grew even closer, they had already been inseparable since they met, and they both liked each other since a young age but due to the war they knew they should focus on other things, but a beautiful romance blossomed between them, and while it was a time of constant war, sorrow and despair they both felt that as long as they had each other, they could be happy and take on anything.
A few months later in the early months of 679, Liam Flanni and Wyl Agon wed. They had a nice Faedin ceremony where a lot of the town attended as Faehoum always celebrates a new marriage, plus it had helped take the townsfolk’s mind off of the war. The couple were each other’s constant, someone they could truly rely on. As a way to combine the two families they combined their coat of arms together, Liam Flanni’s was a simple blue shield with a sun in the middle, while Wyl Agon’s was a bit more intricate with shapes but one defining feature was a moon, the combined coat of arms was a blue shield with a sun and the moon inside the sun. After the wedding, life continued in the county, and while the life of Liam and Wyl was a trying one, they survived and were happy as long as they had each other. Shortly after the wedding Wyl started showing signs of pregnancy, and the two couldn’t be happier.
As the year of 679 was coming to a close, Wyl gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Once Liam Flanni and Wyl Agon had laid their eyes on him, they loved him with every ounce of their being. They both had thought long and hard on what to name the baby Kypiq boy. They decided that since they both were born in different parts of the world, that they would combine their names to name their child. The baby’s name became Wylliam or William, and his surname became Flanniagon or Flanagan. William Flanagan was what they had decided.
Life went on in Apetus and the world of Elyria, and over the next 15 years the Deranged King had succeeded in expanding his domain to an unfathomable size. Throughout this time the people of Apetus and Faehoum endured and they survived, while life was not amazing, it could be worse they had thought, and as long as they followed the rules of the Xeilian Count, things were relatively peaceful and in some ways back to the way things were before the duchy was taken over. However there were rumours of the Deranged King’s influence and power spreading himself too thin, as the time progressed, the King’s paranoia did not lessen, it instead grew. The possibility of the Deranged King spreading himself too thin spread like a wildfire in the domain of Xeilias and rebellions started to become more common as it gave people hope. This news made its way all the way to Faehoum as well, and while life was relatively peaceful in Faehoum and Apetus as a whole, they would rather not be under Xeilian control, this led to a resistance to form in the county, and Liam Flanni was at center, for he had not forgotten what the Xeilians did to his parents.
Over this time, Liam Flanni’s son has grown a lot, the hardships of the constant war and conquest of the Deranged King has forced William Flanagan to mature at a more accelerated rate, he is now at the ripe age of 15. A child he is no longer. Flanagan had grown up working with his parents and helping them with tinkering and alchemy, they had taught him a lot but he still has much to learn before he can follow in their footsteps. He was also eager to help his parents in the resistance in any way he could. His parents often helped smuggle people out of the settlement and smuggle secret parts and ingredients that they could use in their practice. William Flanagan’s eagerness would be his own downfall, it led Flanagan to get snarky with an Xeilian guard and a small kerfuffle broke out. Due to his disrespect to the Xeilians, the count decided he would be punished and made an example of.
Flanagan was taken to the gallows in the center of the town for all to see. The guards went to his parents' home and workshop and retrieved Wyl Agon and Liam Flanni. When they arrived at the gallows, Wyl Agon was pleading with the Xeilian not to do it, not to hurt her boy, her only son, saying that he is just a boy, that he didn’t mean to do what he did. The Xeilian’s did come to their senses and concluded that hanging the boy might set a bad example to the rest of the town and make them more likely to cause more issues in the future, especially with the growing number of rebellions in the kingdom but they couldn’t just let this incident go unpunished. In the boys stead, they decided they would instead hang Liam Flanni, the boys father as tribute.
This did not go over well for William Flanagan as he was filled with hatred for what the Xeilians did, but most of all, angry with himself for getting his father killed. He knew that he had to do something, but he had to act carefully as he did not want something to happen to his mother or himself , but he decided to try and follow in his father's footsteps and aid the cause of the resistance. His father had taught him a valuable lesson about being patient, so Flanagan just had to wait for the right time, as rumours of troubles in the Kingdom of Xeilias persisted, whispers of the Deranged King’s power being to sway even further, continuing to spread himself too thin and being paranoid even to his most trustworthy subjects, it was only a matter of time until the time was right to strike.
The time to strike had arrived, and two years(696) passed by, and the Deranged King of Xeilias reign on the continent has finally ended. However, while this was a glorious day to hear, it did not mean everything was going to go back to the way things were. The Deranged King had reigned for 25 years. Many lives were lost and many were born and had only known his occupation. The people were thrown into the turmoil of rebellion and strife as the old regime collapsed, this would later be known as “The War of Chaos” and last 21 years. Xeilians had no idea what to do, some tried to maintain power, others fell to chaos as the death of the Deranged King ignited the spark of rebellion in many people. The Duchy of Araiver was a prime example of being thrown into upheaval, for the Xeilian duke of Aravier and many of its Xeilian counties still tried to maintain power. However the death of the Deranged King had given many Aravians the fire to rebel as well.
In the two years following Liam Flanni’s death, his son William Flanagan bided his time, he was patient like his father taught him and had done a good job of helping the resistance in Faehoum. With the Deranged King dead, Flanagan knew he had to strike soon while the Xeilian Count of Apetus and the rest of the Xeilians were trying to maintain power in the midst of turmoil. While Flanagan was still young, a mann of 17, he had an interesting perspective as he lost a lot to the Xeilians, his father and his paternal grandparents to them, this gave him something to fight for, to make sure that other people do not ever lose as much as he did. His father's leadership skills and patience had rubbed off on him, coupled with the fact he grew up in an empire that focused on conquest, power and the blood of innocents being spilled on numerous occasions had made him mature a lot quicker than normal kids his age.
A full two weeks had passed since the death of Deranged King, Flanagan convinced the townsfolk that they had to strike while the Xeilians were in disarray. Flanagan had assembled all the townsfolk in Faehoum that would listen to him at his and his mother’s workshop. They set up a plan of striking at midnight. When the clock struck midnight, Flanagan led the townsfolk from the western part of town to the Count’s manor. The night sky had provided little light as it was cloudy, but as the townsfolk were almost upon the manor, a clearing appeared in the clouds and only one constellation could be seen, Keplr, a symbol of luck in Elyria. This was seen as a sign from the Ancients or Guardians, and Flanagan and townsfolk felt even more hope and strength for what was to come. What remained of the Xeilian army in Faehoum were overwhelmed by the townsfolk, the Xeilians were simply overrun, while the Xeilians more experienced in combat, the townsfolk has the element of surprise on their hand and by dawn the townsfolk had taken back Faehoum from its captors. They had captured the Xeilian Count and threw him and any remaining Xeilian soldiers into the town jail. This night became known as the Battle of Keplr, as Flanagan had led the battle at midnight under the constellation of Keplr.
While they had succeeded in taking back Faehoum, there were settlements in the county of Apetus that were still under Xeilian occupation. Over the next few months, Flanagan had led the people of Faehoum and helped take back the present day settlements of Terrock, Crossvine Hope, Elkpool and Duskhoum. Once the settlements received reinforcements from the town of Faehoum, they were retaken rather quickly.
By 697, the County of Apetus was fully liberated from what remained of the Xeilian forces, the people of Apetus realized that they would need someone to lead them. With their previous Count being overthrown nearly 25 years ago, and never seen again, plus the fact that the count’s heir disappeared, they realized House Wynters was out of the question. The people of Apetus were going back and forth on what to do, but a decision was made, William Flanagan, he had led the Battle of Keplr which took back Faehoum and led the people of Apetus to take back the county. He was a natural leader, filled with a considerable amount of wisdom, and he cared about his home and the people that resided deeply. While Flanagan was still rather young, recently turned 18, he was more because he was raised through a horrible regime, he was raised by wise parents who taught him many valuable life lessons and with the right advisors that he could trust, the people of Apetus thought Flanagan could lead them out of the tough times to come. He was a symbol of hope for the county and the mayor of Duskhoum; Khefret Ushoran swore his fealty to Flanagan and the rest of the settlements followed suit.
William Flanagan became the de facto County of Apetus. One of the first acts that Flanagan took was renaming the region, it was known as Apetus for as long as anyone could remember/find in historical records, but the times were changing, the county was no longer being ran by House Wynters, and the county was newly free, so they thought a new name would help give hope to the future that comes, a fresh start. The people of the county proposed the name of Keplr, after the constellation that watched over Faehoum during the Battle of Keplr, a pivotal moment in regaining freedom in Apetus. The people’s proposal of the name Keplr had won.
One issue that still persisted was that the duchy as a whole was still under the fleeting control of a Xeilian Duke, but all hope was not lost, for there were other counties in Aravier they were rising up in the chaos and rebelling. One such case was the neighboring County of Aberon, and specifically the future capital; Surda. Aberon has had good relations with Keplr for many years, as the founder of Aberon and Surda was one of the original founders of Faehoum and over the years before the reign of the Deranged King, they had often traded with each other and when the times were tough, they could rely on each other for aid. During the reign of the Deranged King, a mayor in Aberon; Jameson Brisingr had tried to maintain a face of neutrality, and was willing to cooperate with the Xeilian Count of Aberon. With the liberation of the County of Keplr and a few other counties, hope echoed across the duchy, and the people started to realize that the Xeilian Duke of Aravier’s influence was swaying and he was losing power to rebellion. He knew he had to make a power play, and decided to make an example of someone to try and stop rebellions from occurring, and he had set his eyes on the County of Aberon, as Aberon housed a county of proud people who did not take to kindly to being under occupation. More Xeilian Cavalry were ordered to Aberon, and one early morning, they had set the capital ablaze. The people of Surda had all gathered in the church, for it was one of the few buildings not on fire as it was made of stone, there they resigned to their fate. The mayor, Jameson Brisingr had tried to negotiate peace with the Xeilian forces, and pleaded with them that they should only make an example out of him, but spare his citizens. The Xeilians laughed at his plees and threw him into the church with his people, barred the doors and prepared to set it ablaze. Inside the church, all that was heard was laughter being turned into screams, and the sound of men fighting, and the flames the people anticipated never came. A short time after, there was only silence, then the doors of the church creaked opened and in the doorway stood William Flanagan and his people. Flanagan had caught wind of what the Xeilian duke was planning, and swiftly gathered as many men as he could muster and rushed to help his neighbor. The people were very grateful and praises were given. Jameson Brisingr decided that the time for neutrality was over, it was time to bare fangs. Brisingr was tasked with rebuilding and fortifying his settlement, arming men and women alike and joining William Flanagan’s crusade to help the people of Aravier. Brisingr proved to be a bit zealous in the heat of battle, but a tactical mind in private. He rallied his county together with the help of the people of Keplr, became the de facto count and added a respectable force to the cause.
However, Jameson Brisingr never forgot the debt owed to William Flanagan, and vowed one day, when the rebellion was over, when chaos was no more and peace and prosperity was brought to the land, he proposed offering a member of his family’s hand in marriage one day if the Flanagan’s would accept, in turn strengthening the region as a whole through like minded leadership, alliance and blood.
Count William Flanagan I of the County of Keplr, knew there was a long road ahead to rebuild Keplr to its former glory, the settlements were in disarray still, but for the first time in over 25 years, even amidst the War of Chaos, the county was free, the flames in the people’s hearts were rekindled, and the future no longer looked entirely bleak. So while Flanagan was young, he had garnered the people's trust and admiration, for he had a fire burning inside of him, he was kind and just, and most importantly he had patience, for his father taught him a valuable lesson “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
more to come
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