Old Kingdom

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Article on Old Western Kingdom History donated by Mortimer's Library. Note: This was originally written as in-game information, so its accuracy is unverified. Parts of it are also out of date based on map changes and later game information. Article should be updated to rectify these problems and this warning removed.

The original Western Kingdom was established some 1200 years after the fateful events at Panjari plunged the western part of the Alusian continent into an age of darkness.

Northern tribes under a paramount chief Ulric "the Wolf" over-ran the fertile and densely populated, but militarily weak and disorganised south-lands. Ulric proved to be as good a politician as he was a general, and welded the feuding lands that he had captured into a great kingdom.

Part of the stability of the kingdom came from Ulric's own longevity. He was probably in his mid twenties when the kingdom was established (though he is said to have never known his exact age) and ruled for sixty four years, outliving most of his own children. When he died the crown passed to his grandson, Magnus Ulrich.

The Western Kingdom grew and prospered for nearly 500 years. In 494 the last Western King, Sigismund the Pious led a great crusade south, across the Sea of Grass, through the Superstition Mountains, and into Knega. Little is known of subsequent events except that the King, his retinue, and a large part of the chivalry of the West vanished in those mountains, and were never seen again.

Sigismund left behind seven sons and a daughter. Sigismund's Queen, Jacqueline de Bowcourt had died giving birth to her youngest son, Drachen, and the eldest son, Frederick Albert, was only twelve. The dead Queen's uncle, Fulk, Count of Foxcourt, was appointed regent. The disappearance of the King and so many nobles had left the kingdom in turmoil, and Fulk wasted no time in turning the situation to his advantage. He began by selling vacant titles and peerages, pocketing the money on behalf of the young, and as yet uncrowned, Frederick. The real trouble began when he started selling titles to which their were surviving legitimate heirs.

Disputes multiplied, private wars started, and with no strong central authority to stifle them, flared into major confrontations that threatened the entire Kingdom. In 499 Fulk announced that he was entering voluntary exile in the Lunar Empire, and escaped the capital with a great treasure in gold and jewels. Fulk was caught and killed by assassins as he journeyed through the Sea of Grass, but no trace of the treasure was found.

Frederick Albert, now 17, attempted to claim his throne, but found himself opposed by three of his younger brothers, Aladar, Calder, and Branden; backed by powerful northern families. The crown of the Western Kings had gone missing along with other state treasures believed to have been stolen by Fulk, and the Northern Confederation claimed that without it Frederick could not become the true king. The southern families backed Frederick, and as the political situation deteriorated, and both factions prepared for what would have been a destructive civil war, a deperate compromise was reached. In order to avert the war, Sigismund's kingdom was divided into eight parts, with areas being granted to each of the children. The rulers of each of these Palatinates were to meet once every ten years and elect from their number a Western King, with the first election being made once the Western Crown was located, or a suitable substitute agreed upon.

Frederick Albert claimed for himself a large central part of the kingdom including the royal capital Aquila, and named his Duchy for it. The remainder of the kingdom was broken up and granted to the other sons. In addition, the Marquisate of Bowcourt, although not created in the break up, was granted to Sigismund's sole daughter Eleanor.

The Electors and their areas were:

Although never officially dissolved, the Council of Electors never met, and no Western King was ever elected. The kingdom collapsed, and the sons of Sigismund, now styling themselves Dukes, ruled their areas as sovereigns. Later, torn by internal struggles, several of the areas disintegrated further into independant Baronies and fiefs.