History of Rogalia

Rogalia emerged from the Age of Witchkings in a much more structured position than other countries. During the Rule of the Witchkings it was Adrasteia, the Vampire Queen who held Rogalia, while her Vampire Counts reigned over the human population. Each Vampire Count or Countess had a province handed to him or her by the Queen, and quarreling amongst one another was forbidden. The Vampire Counts took their taxes from their peasants in the form of blood rather than coin or commodities. In that time, Nobleman and vampire were synonymous terms, and the vampires had armies of their Spawn as well as other monsters under their control. The humans, not required directly as in other countries for food production or war, served partially as a kind of cattle to keep the noblemen fed and become selected as Spawn when the need arose. Very few scholars are quick to admit, however, that as the Age of Witchkings lasted for nearly a century, by necessity the humans were not merely blood slaves.

In order to protect their existence, the noblemen had to manage their human factors carefully. While they themselves did not require bread or beer, the humans that fed them did. They also required clothing, settlements, and protection from the attacks of the minions of other Witchkings. And of course, the vampires themselves were once human as well, and many preferred to maintain a relationship with other humans to a point. The noblemen needed people to protect them while they slept through the day from attacks and other subversion, and furthermore to actually run their fiefs in the daylight hours. All of this interconnection actually meant that vampire rule was not actually so dissimilar from the feudal rulerships of the Lion Age. Some Counts even earned the genuine loyalty and trust of their people, though these reclusive lords were rarely seen very often with their peasants, to remind them as infrequently as possible of the inhuman nature of their master.

More often, the noblemen were hated and feared, but the peasants could do little to resist. Vampires are truly immortal, and no act in the world can slay one forever. This changed when the Ordo Croix arrived, and at their head, St. Aren Kauspyre, Heaven’s Chosen. No one knew how, but the leader of the Ordo Croix had the power to slay vampires forever, and demonstrated it when he destroyed the Count of House Sanguinius, Sebastian. The peasant revolt was immediate and fierce, the entire county rising up with torch and rake against the remains of House Sanguinius, but they were put down at once by the beasts that served the Count, and his vampire sons and daughters took his place. Word spread, however, and acts of sabotage and insurrection began to occur more frequently, and with coordination from Ordo Croix agents in the area. When a Count was weak because of their meddling or because of an attack by the forces of Andrugal, the Sovereign Usurper or Sulterok, the Burning Prince, Ordo Croix would signal for the peasants to revolt against their Counts to give them time to make an attack on the castle itself, and bring St. Aren Kauspyre in to perform the execution.

It eventually became clear that this strategy could not bring the war for Rogalia to a close. Queen Adrasteia seemed capable of replacing her subordinates at least as quickly as Ordo Croix could arrange their ruin, and it seemed that only destroying the Red Queen herself would rid the land of her kind.

A conspiracy to sow agents of Ordo Croix into Queen Adrasteia’s court was made. Over the next 10 years, loyal subjects were discredited or killed and replaced with agents of the Ordo Croix (giving up their humanity to aid mankind) or dissenters and malcontents. The machination led to a horrible night of rebellion where Queen Adrasteia was torn limb from limb and consumed in her entirety by her own courtiers. From then, the grip of the vampire nobility was broken. Alone and besieged on all sides by enemies, the vampire nobility was strangled out by infighting amongst each other and the culture of vampire hunting that swept Rogalia.

The first of the new Rogalian Counts was Adam the Greathammer, the first man to lead a revolt against his vampire master and hold the territory from even other vampire lords. From there, others followed, and the remaining vampires were either destroyed or driven into hiding. The first generation of human Counts of Rogalia had been born, and the country began to largely stabilize under human rule. Early alliances formed to help route out the last of the Vampire Counts, already landed human lords installing their relatives or favorites into available domains. As the counties began to be settled under human rulership, the first great crisis arose.

Famine wracked the land in the winters after the human rulers began to settle. The new gentry were not prepared for the logistics of running the country and had no trade arrangements with one another, so without the infrastructure provided by the Vampire counts, shortages began to be the norm and conquest amongst the various counties began in the spring. As the seasons changed and militarism set in, the counties that had survived the year without having to kneel to another lord made a partial recovery due to an unusually bountiful harvest that year. The atmosphere, however, of the Rogalian countryside was set. Each county was on its own and should treat the others with hostility. This state of affairs persisted for decades.

When the Emperor arrived, he found the region completely militarized, with each individual section blocked out like fortresses. By this time, Victor von Herkheist was gray, but still potent, and Templar missionaries had already been preaching in the area to prepare for his coming. He sent messages to each Count inviting them to a small coastal fishing town called Archa, and proceeded to move his army through the region under a peace banner. Understanding that such an entrenched Rogalia would take years to conquer, likely a longer campaign he still had in him with Sha’ra and Njordr still left on the horizon, he decided on a diplomatic option. The Emperor’s army was vast and imposing, and would have been a hard battle for any three counts to match, but the Emperor did not attack any settlements, simply moving through the various counties in his path until reaching Archa. Once there, he awaited the counts.

Almost all of the counts were in attendance, and Von Herkheist explained the situation and his mission of creating the Throne. He promised relative autonomy to Rogalia, and pointed out that since the country was not unified, it could not resist his conquest. He explained that just as humanity had risen up here to overthrow its vampire oppressors, humanity would rise up everywhere and overthrow the darkness of the world. The meeting resulted in the signing of the Pactum Domini, which, amongst other things, created Rogalia as an official country, and ceded that country to the Emperor. The town became renamed to Port Melandir, and became the site of a Parliament of ruling Lords Temporal and Spiritual, which then would meet periodically to discuss the issues of the land and agreed to be bound by the decisions of the other lords.

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