WAR AND FAMINE
The beginning of the Modern Age is marked by the end of what is now known as the God War during the Age of Renewal. The Andarians managed to overcome the rogue god Myrrdin and his dark armies, but their fledgling civilization was left in ruins. Cities had been reduced to cinders. The places of power at the ley nodes were shells of their former glory. Across the land wives buried husbands and children looked upon a future without hope.
Meanwhile, across the vast western ocean, a similar struggle was underway. A great famine gripped the kingdom of Sulucia. For years, crops failed seemingly without cause. Every harvest season brought new despair. With little hope of an end to the famine, the leaders proposed a bold solution: they would leave the land that had betrayed them. The priests announced that their goddess Brenwynn would lead the people to safety and a new life across the sea.
And so the Sulicians set out on a fleet of hundreds of ships, casting their fates to the eastern currents. Many of them, already sick and weak from lack of food, died on the voyage. But many more held on to hope and to life, encouraged by the glimpses of a raven leading them across the turbulent sea. After more than three months, they arrived on the shores of Andaria.
With so many lost in the war, most Andarians welcomed these newcomers. Together the native Andarians and the Sulicians worked to replant and rebuild. The land prospered once again. The leaders of both cultures developed a new government of landed noble houses under the authority of the king. In time, through intermarriage and intermingling, the distinction between a native Andarian and a Sulician refugee became difficult to define. They were simply Andarians.
THE NEW ANDARIA
The old ways faded. Worship of the old gods diminished as the priests of Brenwynn gained greater influence on both culture and government. The Council of Twelve was formed to advise the king on spiritual matters, and the faithful established centers of worship across Andaria. Brenwynn had rewarded the faith of her people in their voyage to this new land, while the old gods had forsaken the Andarians and failed to intercede in the war against their rogue brother. A few native Andarians stubbornly clung to tradition, but most adopted this new faith.
During this time the Andarians established trade with the growing empire of Kotan to the east and Nytar to the northwest. Relations with the elves of Fellborne and the dwarves of Stonehold were almost uniformly positive and mutually beneficial. Gold flowed into the coffers of Andarian nobles, but some benefited more than others.
THE WAR FOR SUCCESSION
The death of a young king without heir brought Andaria once again into war, but this time the war was from within. The noble houses, jockeying for political position, assembled their armies. Old tensions erupted in the clash of steel and flesh. Eventually, as armies fell and alliances merged and shifted, all of the houses swore fealty to one of two powerful houses, and the battle lines were drawn anew. The War for Succession raged, killing thousands, and plunging the kingdom into despair.
After years of this, the Council of Twelve announced that their goddess had called for an end to the conflict. They prophesied her appearance on the harvest moon.
Indeed, Brenwynn did appear to the rulers of each of the two warring houses, demanding that the conflict be resolved. She dictated that each house would select 100 of its warriors and send them to Pellion field at the heart of the kingdom. The Trial by Battle was fought, and the victorious army won the right of ascension for their leader.
Thus was the king crowned, and the Covenant of the 100 became the law of the land. This document, signed by the leader of each house, granted ultimate authority to the Council at the bidding of the goddess Brenwynn. No house could muster any force of more than 100 men. All disputes between nobles would be settled by a trial of battle, regulated by the Council and their representatives. The result of the battle would determine the divine will of Brenwynn. No longer would the nobility run roughshod over the land and its people for the sake of political advantage.
The Council established the Andarian Militia for common defense and enforcement of the Covenant. They granted the mystical seers of Brenwynn, the Augurs, absolute authority to regulate disputes and punish those who did not abide by the Covenant.
Peace returned to Andaria, and the people lived in relative comfort and prosperity for the next century.
THE WINDS OF CHANGE
Today, tensions among the houses are rising. The aging king is soon to pass, leaving his throne to a son whom few respect. The kingdom is embroiled in disputes, scheming, and the clash of faith and magic. Meanwhile, at the fringes of the kingdom, various threats are mounting. The wolf-like Varou have made fresh incursions along the southern borders, and some say that the Varou clans are united for the first time in memory. The Orcs constantly harass shipping in the northern waters and occasionally conduct raids ashore. The dwarves of Stonehold have cut off the supply of the much-prized metal adamantine until the Andarian government agrees to the terms of an exorbitant new trade agreement, and the elves of Fellborne refuse to deliver trade goods through Stonehold until the dispute is resolved
The future of Andaria is more uncertain than ever.