Blades in the Darkness
Life in the City,1 Brief History
Life in the City of Cheles’Vaar.
The city is old. The sense of history here is almost overwhelming. Most of the buildings were old when your grandfather was a child. In that time, it has been conquered twice. The first conquest, she experienced in the close of the first century. Engol barbarian tribes pushed south through the mountains, and sacked her gleaming spires. They burned many objects of art and knowledge. The tomes of the Great Library trampled underfoot like so much dust. The barbarians burned and defaced every written work they could lay hand to. A treasury of ages destroyed or melted down for the precious gold and silver it contained. Her citizens terrorized, enslaved and slaughtered, her walls pulled down, her buildings buried in their own rubble. The northerners could take her but they couldn’t hold her. Within ten years, the conquered rose up, and overthrew their masters. Aided by five clans of Engol’s the people of the City fought tooth and nail. Thousands were killed in a bloody, week long purge, an orgy of death and defiance.
The city was rebuilt, on top of the bones of the ruins. It was then discovered that this wasn’t the first time she was rebuilt. Beneath the streets and sewers lay the streets and alleys of an older city. Many of these buried, rubble choked buildings were cannibalized, the cut stones used to raise the new city above. It took twenty years, but Cheles’Vaar was resurrected in ancient, re-used stone and bricks from the mud of the river flats.
As the second century dawned, so dawned a new age of prosperity, an upswing in the coming journey of fortune ahead. The Royal House of Colwyn was established, and the First King of the Iron Throne was crowned. Other than being first, King Oron Colwyn hasn’t been remembered for much. Taxes were payed, walls were re-built, the Guard was recruited, and trade was re- established. Business returned to usual. In 28 YC, however, the wise King Oron met with an unfortunate accident. He was thrown from his horse, and died of his injuries. On the day of his internment, A Holiday was declared to celebrate his life, and since every 22nd of Spring The Festival of the King is held.
King Halar Colwyn was a different sort of man all together. Angered at the lack of respect shown by the petty robber Barons in the surrounding lands, Halar decided to gather the last of the Old Kingdom under his new banner. He attacked and conquered each in turn. The Barons, once loyal subjects of the City, had grown fat and arrogant, living off banditry and untaxed fields. The wreckage left by the rampaging barbarians 30 years before was an opportunity too good to pass up for most. They had each carved little kingdoms for themselves, living by banditry and tribute from the few merchants using the roads.
Halar only had to execute a few Lords before the rest started having second thoughts.. Many surrendered immediately. Some resisted but all were conquered. He recruited the soldiers left in each “kingdom”, and marched on, leaving a garrison of loyal troops behind him.