Bamorr-Nudan is a country in the northern Civilized Lands, west of Khaz-Norume. The nation is bordered on the west by Ander; on its east by Khaz-Norume; and to the south by Acturia. The nation is roughly the fourth largest in Ethlon’Kalaya. It is one of the oldest established nations on the continent, predating both Ander and Acturia by nearly three centuries. Despite its area, sizable populace, and varied resources it has historically been only a lesser power in the continent. Currently, the nation is split between three rival pretenders to the throne: King Dynat III, the “King of Nudan”; King Erdyn I, the “King of Bamorr”; and Princess Etina, who seeks to rename the country the “Principality of Valatar”, with herself as head of state. The three rivals have not yet broken into civil war, but with all three claiming the position of head of state, civil war seems inevitable.
Formal Name: The Kingdom of Nudan; The Kingdom of Bamorr, The Principality of Valatar (disputed ownership)
Flag: 3:5 horizontal tricolor of Yellow, White, and Black (disputed, see below)
Seal/Coat of Arms: Quartered yellow-bordered shield bearing the image (moving clockwise from top left) of a warhammer, black field, merchant’s scales, and white field (disputed see below).
Government: Feudal Monarchy (all three)
Ruler: King Dynat III, King Erdyn I, Princess Etina
Capital: Todiba (main power center, not a throne city)
Demographics: Humans 60%, dwarves 23% (non-arctic), orcs (green) 6%, goblins 5%, halflings 4%, other 2%
Bamorr-Nudan was settled in 1431 EY after an expedition left modern-day Ander with orders to found coastal settlements and trade outposts closer to the ancestral homes of the dwarves. Over the course of the next few decades small towns and settlements were established in what was known then as “The Dwarvish Frontier”. The Great Imperial Mountains to the south still housed substantial orc and goblin populations from the decline of the dwarves, and so the early kingdom was plagued with raids and danger from the barbaric humanoids. Only a few short decades later the War of the Magi erupted in Nemius, causing the far-flung colonies of the grand kingdom to fend for themselves as soldiers were recalled rapidly to help defend the throne. The various leaders of the cities and settlements united for mutual protection at first, and over time began working out trade agreements and functioning as one large nation. By the time the war ended in 1651, the people of Bamorr-Nudan no longer considered themselves Nemians. As the rapid influx of war refugees overwhelmed them and spurred on their neighbors to grow and fight, the reality hit them that they might soon face invasion. The peace offered by Nemius was now a thing of the past.
Founding of Bamorr-Nudan
In 1664 the noble Markus Vilhart called together the various mayors and leaders of Bamorr-Nudan’s cities for a council to determine the nation’s creation, organization, and structure. This was no simple feat, for despite their need to organize the various independent settlements had no desire to surrender their freedom and autonomy by swearing fealty to a new lord, close enough to enforce his laws and will upon his subjects. The council was held in the city of Bamorr, but Vilhart himself was from the large port city of Nudan. It was decided that, to honor both the city that hosted this council and the man that made it possible, their new nation would be named in their respective honors. Over the course of the summer the various leaders discussed the founding of their nation. The flag and emblem were chosen to honor the nation’s roots: the hammer represented the dwarven people that were their neighbors and the color black referenced their high, forbidding mountains; the yellow and merchant’s scales represented the nation’s origins in helping foster trade throughout the empire; the white in the center of the flag spoke of their desire for peace being at the heart of all their endeavors. It was agreed the nation would be divided among the 13 leaders present, who would in turn divvy up their territories to those below them according to feudal law. Vilhart was made king, and agreed not to create a noble rank above those 13, nor allow them to sieze land from one another. Each margrave, as they were now known, would be like a king in his own land while still owing fealty and obedience to the king. On the 34th of Low Summer, 1664, Bamorr-Nudan was officially born as a nation.
The Long Peace
The time between the First Imperial War and the founding of the nation is known as “The Long Peace”. The young nation of Bamorr-Nudan still struggled with unity: the king had to move carefully to get the support of the various margraves. With all the land in the kingdom partitioned and unable to legally redistribute it to influence local politics, the king had to use diplomacy and bribery to accomplish his goals. This was not a major problem at first; the king initially had few concerns between brokering deals and overseeing negotiations between nobles and collecting tax revenue. However, as Bamorr-Nudan’s neighbors grew more powerful and began to expand, the very real threat of invasion loomed. The nation was ill-equipped for warfare, and soon the king had to begin amassing an army while ensuring the margraves did not feel threatened by his growing power. King Garrik III drafted the first Royal Army (separate from the king’s personal retinue and local army) in 1971 EY, after negotiations with Ander went disastrously awry. It was not long after that Ander invaded, and shortly after Acturia joined suit.
The First Imperial War
Garrik III was prepared for war, but not on the scale that Ander was prepared to fight. Anderish heavy cavalry was a devastating and unmatched force on the continent at that time, and Bamorr-Nudan’s army was inexperienced and poorly outfitted. Despite the lopsided nature of their armies, the people of Bamorr-Nudan were able to put up a substantial fight: the Anderish army had tremendous difficulty during sieges, and so the invasion was slowed by desperate fighting on the walls and ramparts of the nation’s major cities. However, after the first several months of war word had reached the Acturians that Ander had invaded, and the Acturians invaded in turn, seizing control of cities and strongholds in the name of protecting the sovereignty of the land. Although their official position was that they were reinforcing the land so that the Royal Army could focus on pushing back the Anderish army, the truth was that Acturia was replacing Anderish nobles and military leaders with puppet rulers that obeyed the whims of the empire. Garrik III found himself unable to fend off the two pronged invasion and went into hiding as Acturian forces laid siege to Nudan. The two rival nations then warred directly and indirectly (via rival factions of the Royal Army led by their puppet generals) while the king went from city to city urging resistance and leading uprisings where he could. After several years of fighting and squabbling both foreign powers had managed to crush resistance to their invasions and replace most of the margraves with their own nobles; those who were not replaced swore fealty and gave up the fight. Garrik III was finally caught and executed in 1994 EY; the margrave who executed him declared himself king, and paid off both nations to allow him to retain the title.
The Years of Strife
For nearly six centuries after the defeat of Garrik III, Ander and Acturia managed to endure a shaky peace in Bamorr-Nudan. The nobles began to slowly regain their autonomy over the generations, and so long as regular tribute flowed from the treasuries of the kingdom to their coffers, both powers were content to allow the nation to rule itself and handle its own affairs. The heavy toll these tributes took on the treasury made improving the nation a difficult matter, but that changed during the rule of Queen Uschi II; she spent the majority of the royal savings on hiring dwarven prospectors to find new sources of wealth within the kingdom’s borders. Her gamble paid off when it was discovered that the rocky hills and small mountains west of the Khaz-Norume range held both precious and nonprecious metals and precious stones. Although not all veins could be accessed or pinpointed, the newfound source of wealth allowed Bamorr-Nudan to compensate for its heavy taxation with trade revenue. Although the nation was still not powerful enough to throw off the shackles of foreign rule, the hope of a truly independent Bamorr-Nudan began to grow in the commoners and nobles alike as the royal coffers swelled. Uschi II was a wise ruler, and prudent in her use of the wealth her reign brought. By the time she passed rule on to her son Erhart XI, the nobility was the most united and loyal to the crown it had ever been, even more so than when the nation was born. Better still, the Royal Army was no longer a poorly armed and trained army of conscripted peasants, but a true military that could pose a real threat to its enemies. The time was at hand for another uprising.
In 130 AF, King Erhart XI called the Second Bamorr Summit, the second meeting in the fabled founding city in the nation’s history. Here, he proposed the nation unite to force out its foreign masters and return to self-rule and take their rightful place as an continental power. His popularity as his mother’s son helped his message which resonated with the oppression-weary nobles. Their subjects were even more eager for freedom and an end to their heavy taxation. After a long year of discussion, planning, and coordinated movement of the Royal Army, they were prepared to overthrow their enemies. Erhart XI stopped the sending of tribute to either nation in 132 AF, and executed or ejected the agents of both powers, replacing them with his relatives or the relatives of other royalist leaders. Both nations responding aggressively, invading by 133 AF and declaring war on the other for inciting the rebellion. While the rebellion went well at first, it was ultimately a lost cause. Initially the royalists managed to force out the Anderish knightly orders and retake the major cities, including Todiba. The Acturian infantry was stalled by fierce fighting in the south, and was frequently engaged in the field before they could reach the cities (the Acturians excelled in siege warfare, unlike the Anderish). Despite their initial victories, once a stalemate had been reached in other fronts both nations turned their attention to Bamorr-Nudan exclusively. Unlike the first invasion centuries ago, both powers were upset over the rebellion and sought to crush it completely. Both Bamorr and Nudan were razed to the ground; Bamorr was razed by Acturia, while Nudan was destroyed by Ander. Anderish soldiers even went so far as to salt the earth of the ruins. In 157 AF Erhart XII, son of the king that had started the rebellion, was captured by the Anderish army and executed for treason. His child, Markus VII was crowned king by the Anderish army, and was placed under the supervision of an Anderish regent to ensure his cooperation. Acturia, not content to allow Ander to rule the nation exclusively, declared Erhart XI’s nephew Elian I the rightful king after he swore fealty to the emperor. Unwilling to return to open war to settle the matter, both nations replaced as many of the margraves with their own puppets and allowed the two kings to coexist, each ruling over the nobles loyal to the same foreign master.
The Time of the Broken Crown
For centuries after the second war, independence was never on the minds of nobles or rulers of the nation. Both Acturia and Ander had razed the two most famous cities and made laws requiring the flag to be flown beneath their own standards, reinforcing the subjugation of the nation. Both Ander and Acturia were more active in the rule of the nation, forcing the monarch loyal to them to submit their heirs for approval before they could have a coronation, replacing them if they felt the heir was not loyal enough. The peace was shaky but better than the time that had preceded the Third Imperial War, as both nations found themselves less greedy and more occupied by other matters, and certain in their authority over their holdings. The two kings of Bamorr-Nudan each strugged to force their rivals to lose loyal margraves, the ultimate goal being to regain sole control of the throne. At the end of the 6th century AF, Ander found itself suffering from tremendous debt. Disastrous losses at home and in the recently discovered Kerish Isles had left the High King with immense loans and few options for repaying them. Pushed to the point of desperation, the High King forced several of the Acturian-backed nobles out of power and aided the king loyal to him, King Velhan VII, in killing his rival and seizing the throne for himself. His goal was to collect all the tribute coming from the nation for himself, along with securing the semi-lucrative mines and trade routes of the nation. This sparked the Fifth Imperial War, a conflict that would last for nearly two centuries. For most of the war, Bamorr-Nudan was without a ruler as no noble would be crowned for years or even decades on end, only to go through several pretenders in a matter of months of years. Both nations fought with a blatant disregard for the safety and welfare of the the land; over the course of the decades the war resulted in some of the largest cities being razed to the ground, with refugees pouring into what cities remained or even to other countries altogether, desperate to find peace and security. The war ended in a bloody stalemate for Acturia and Ander, both sides once again backing their own claimants to the throne. Both kings faced an uphill battle as few nobles beneath them concerned themselves with their decrees, and largely looked to their own affairs. At the same time, royal debts were massive and the nation was practically in ruins.
The Last Gasp of Freedom
After nearly 150 years of reconstruction, the people of Bamorr-Nudan were largely tired of warfare and prepared to consider abandoning any semblance of freedom. The fight for independence had brought nothing but agony and ruin upon them. It took the most powerful dynasty in the nation’s history to change this: King Morgann IV was the Acturian-backed monarch in 911 AF, though he longed to finally end the centuries-long occupation of his homeland. He managed to bribe his rival for the throne into complacency and went about encouraging nationalism and pride in the commoners. His reign was spent cleaning his court of corrupt officials and lackeys who were loyal to the empire rather than him. His artful work was completed without the Empire being any the wiser. The lands he gave to his son [[Rulers of Bamorr-Nudan|Dynat I]] were secure, stable, and relatively free of traitors. However, his son had learned well his father’s methods of inspiring the commoners and sniffing out treachery. Dynat I took his father’s reforms to greater heights: he rebuilt the Royal Army for the first time since the Fifth Imperial War, refused to fly the Acturian banner above the royal standard, arranged for the removal of Anderish-backed nobles for independence minded ones, and even managed to aid in the murder of his rival for the throne, ensuring the heir that succeeded him was subdued and unwilling to cross his dynasty. Dynat II took the throne in 962 and was intent on fulfilling his father’s and grandfather’s dreams. In 969 he finished the rearming and restructuring of the royal army and forced his rival pretender to renounce his claim to the throne and swear fealty as a margrave. Shortly after he summoned the remaining 12 margraves and forced them to obey him, then led the united army in arms against both nations.
For once the nation appeared to be on the brink of victory, but treachery from within was the downfall of the great king; Dynat II, or “Dynat the Patriot” was struggling to slowly but surely force out both foreign powers when one of his margraves betrayed him to the Acturians in exchange for backing as the new king. Dynat II was slain along with most of his family, though his daughter escaped. Finally, both nations had grown weary of the independence movement. It was agreed secretly to move towards splitting the nation in two, so both halves could eventually be absorbed and subjugated for good. Acturia backed Erdyn I, who declared his portion of the nation “Bamorr”; Ander meanwhile installed Dynat III, whose lands became the kingdom “Nudan”. Although both officially claimed to be the rightful ruler of the united kingdom, they were beginning to move towards living as two separate nations. Both nations unfurled new banners, designed a new coat-of-arms, and forbade the flying of the old yellow-white-black standard.
The Age of Three Crowns
Both Erdyn I and Dynat III plan to eventually split the nation between them and allow their holdings, in time, to be absorbed by their respective foreign patrons. This might have already occurred were it not for Princess Etina; she returned from hiding in 975 AF and has already begun rallying supporters and finding sympathetic magraves to back her. She wishes to see the nation reborn as a true united country. Despite her plans for the nation to take on a new name and coat of arms, she still uses the old standard. The old flag reminds people of her father’s crusade and has become a symbol for defiant and continuous rejection of foreign rule. With her unwillingness to recognize the legitimacy of either king, and her rivals’ collective inability to eliminate her as a threat and source of irritation, she may well be the spark that finally starts a true civil war in Bamorr-Nudan rather than the short lived infighting that has historically only preceded another revolt.