Grand Sheldomar Timeline Expansion and Revision, Part II
Date: Sun, December 11, 2005
"The apocryphal expansion and revision of the history of the Sheldomar Valley presented as a timeline. The base timeline was created by Sam Weiss (samwise), and expanded by me in consultation with Gary Holian (psmedger), the primary author for the Sheldomar Valley in the LGG.
Like the legendary Chronicle of Secret Times by Uhas of Neheli, the timeline exposes some of the darkest secrets of Keoish history that have only been hinted at previously, as well as others never before revealed. It also delves into the dark hearts of some of the conflicting canon regarding the region, and offers explanations and resolutions for them.
And so on to Part II!"
Grand Sheldomar Timeline Expansion and Revision, Part II
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
This time line grew out of my desire to catalogue the various events in and around Keoland so I could have a better understanding of the history of the entire region. Along the way I noticed a number of trends, made a few connections, and added a few things. The most significant addition was putting real world dates next to the CY dates. This helped me get a better perspective on how long ago various events happened, as the CY dates just didn’t have any real significance for me. Looking at it after, I can see that the Great Council of Niole Dra and the founding of Keoland happened right around the time William the Conqueror was making himself King of England. That means something to historians like me anyway, and may be of use to others.
 (256) 598 Birth of Tavish Vilchar Rhola
At the time of his birth, his family has been gaining power for several generations, maneuvering to take over the House.
 (271) 613 Tavish travels through the Sheldomar
Tavish's talents were recognized early by his House, and he was sent as a minister to the Dwur of the Lortmils, whom the Rhola had long desired to forge closer bonds with, with a long term goal of settling the Pomarj permanently. It was hoped that by distancing him from the capital (of the Rhola) his obvious ambitions could be stayed or squelched.
While there, he struck up a camaraderie with the scion of the lord, the young Olinstaad Corond. Although he was expected to remain close, Tavish and Corond, along with several other companions, found occasion to go off on mercenary adventures typical of would be heroes. It was during these that Tavish learned much of the lands and peoples surrounding Keoland, and it was this knowledge that would both shape and drives his plans for expansion.
 (275) 617 Tavish becomes Duke of Gradsul
Returning to Gradsul on the death of the previous Duke, Tavish surprises everyone by making a bid for control of the family. Even more shocking is that he succeeds, as the allies he made during his travels, particularly among the Rhola living east of the Sheldomar in the foothills of the Lortmils, gives him the support he needs to secure the lead of the family as Duke.
 (281) 623 Olinstaad Corond in Principality of Ulek
Following the death of his father, Olinstaad becomes the High Lord of the Lortmils Dwur. He soon transfers his court to the port of Gryrax, which grows into a thriving city, as other Dwur come to support the court, and mariners from the Duchy of Gradsul move there at the command of his friend Duke Tavish.
 (285) 627 Salinmoor founded as part of the Duchy of Gradsul
Tavish gains control of the Admiralty of Keoland and expands the Duchy along the coast of the Azure Sea as far as the Hool Marsh. He establishes several port towns along the coast, under the eaves of the Dreadwood, intending to use them to support naval operations and expansion south. Despite the dangers of the area, Tavish is determined to gain the forward bases, primarily due to reports of increased activity by raiders from Toli, some as far north as the Hoolmouth.
While essential to his future plans, this causes great concern in the court of Gillum, as the King is violently opposed to any expansion of the borders.
(Footnote 1: The Dukes of Gradsul are almost always the Lord Admirals of Keoland, although on occasion they pass the position along to a brother or cousin if other matters require their attention elsewhere.
Footnote 2: The Dukes of Gradsul are also traditionally the Lord Mayors of the City of Gradsul. In this case though, they very often pass the title along to a close and trusted relative, allowing them to focus on the affairs of the Duchy as a whole.)
 (287) 629 Tavish I Rhola (The Great) [59 years]
As King Gillum’s madness progressed, Tavish quietly extended his influence in the Court of the Land. To the Oeridians, he promised an end to the excesses of the court of Gillum, and the image of impotence it projected beyond the borders. (Several nobles of the Heartlands had been humiliated on travels outside the Kingdom, and they were disgusted by the failure of Gillum to do anything.) To the Neheli, he promised an end to the embarrassment they were suffering from being associated to Gillum. To his own House he promised a return to the expansionist policies of the past, with them being best positioned to gain from the expansions. Lastly he arranged for soldiers from the Duchy of Gradsul to replace several of the garrisons withdrawn by Gillum, increasing his influence among the neighboring allies of Keoland.
When Gillum finally succumbed to his madness, although some at the time suggested he more “succumbed” to those assigned to care for him in his madness, Tavish had nearly universal support in the Court of the Land. Upon his election, Tavish immediately set into motion his plans to expand the Kingdom to what he considered it “natural borders.”
 (288) 630 Partial abolition of prohibitions on magic
During his travels, Tavish had been particularly impressed by the use of skilled arcane casters in the armies of the new Kingdom of Furyondy. His plans to expand the borders of Keoland required a much stronger army. However, long-standing laws restricting the practice of arcane magic kept people with high potential from learning the arts. In one bold move, Tavish did away with many of those laws, and established the National Academy of Wizardry to train those with the ability so they could bolster his armies.
Now ready to begin, Tavish organized and sent out two groups of colonists, one north where,
 (289) 631 Thornward founded in Bissel
and one east where,
 (291) 633 Stoneheim founded in the Pomarj
His plan was to establish the cities, then require the nobles of the Court to agree to annex the land to keep them secure. To encourage their support, he planned to point to the financial benefits both would bring. Thornward would control the Fals Gap, and the massive trade between the Sultanate of Zeif and Kingdom of Furyondy. Stoneheim would control the fabulously wealthy mines of the Drachensgrabs in the Pomarj.
 (292) 634 Ulek states join the Kingdom
With the founding of Stoneheim presenting a fait accompli to the other demi-human lords of the Lortmils, Olinstaad Corond is able to use his influence to persuade them to enter into a perpetual alliance with Keoland, and to accept seats in the Court of the Land. As part of the final treaty of incorporation, Tavish cedes all land controlled by the Rhola east of the Sheldomar to two of the new provinces created, the Principality and County of Ulek, while convincing the Neheli to cede their estates across the river to the Duchy and County of Ulek. In this he is aided by the long-standing Neheli fascination with the Olve who control the new Duchy of Ulek.
This new alliance is critical in projecting both east into the Pomarj, and north toward the Fals Gap, and leads directly to,
[Sidebar: The politics of this alliance are closely tied to the relationships among the demi-humans of the Uleks, and the radical differences in political activities of demi-humans compared to humans.
Due to the more restricted environments that the various demi-human races prefer, their nations tend to be less distinct geographically. A group of Dwur for example may have settlements spread across the length of an entire mountain range, but exclude hills, valleys, woodlands, and similar lands within its span. They will still be a single nation, ignoring the vast spaces within their lands that not only don’t they inhabit, but that other races inhabit. From this, they have adopted the habit of creating informal to semiformal alliances or understanding with the other races that inhabit those areas within their lands that they do not use.
In this instance, the Lortmils form the focal point of a semiformal alliance of Olve, Dwur, Noniz, and Hobniz stretching from the Pomarj to the Fals Gap, from the Sheldomar River to the Wooly Bay. Each group has its own lands and rulers, but they confer frequently, and often act in accord. As is natural in any such informal alliance, one group eventually comes to dominate. Here is the Olve, and among the Olve, it is the Grey Elves of Celene that dominate their politics. For the most part the Grey Elves have been content to sit and wait, trusting their long lives to carry them beyond any human nation that may arise, with the side effect of also allowing them to outlive any challengers among the other demi-humans as well. This attitude has left most of the other races less than thrilled with the policies and preferences of the Grey Elves time and again, but for the most part tradition keeps them together. Even others among the Olve these attitudes offensive at times, and as a result most of the High Elves of the area left Celene and settled in what later became the Duchy of Ulek. When Keoland was first formed and the Neheli expanded across the Sheldomar into the lowlands below the Lortmils, the High Elves requested action, joined by the Noniz and Hobniz of the area that would later become the County of Ulek. The Grey Elves of Celene declined to act, having little care for the concerns of even their High Elven cousins. This left long standing resentment that Corond of the Dwur was able to tap into when Tavish became King. He demonstrated the benefits of alliance with Keoland to the others, not merely recognition from the humans, but also a voice in their councils, and perhaps more importantly to the demi-humans of the Lortmils, human troops to help guard the passages beneath the Lortmils where the humanoid breeding dens were. The demi-humans had long had to both guard those passages, and send periodic culling raids into them to keep their numbers down. Both were extremely costly in lives to the long-lived, slow-breeding demi-humans. Having humans help appealed to them greatly. Nevertheless, the Grey Elves of Celene opposed the plan, and it was only due to a unanimous stand by Corond and the other representatives of the races living on the western slopes of the Lortmils that they stood up to the Grey Elves and formed their alliance with Keoland.]
[Footnote: Related to the above, the internal politics among the various demi-human races do not always match those of humans. As such, the various titles they use should be taken as human approximations of their actual power and rank among their own people. Corond has perhaps the closest title of Prince, as he is the head of the Dwarven family that has long been first among the Dwur of the Lortmils.]
 (295) 637 Pomarj conquered with the Principality of Ulek
With Keoish garrisons guarding the Lortmils entrances to the Underoerth, large numbers of troops from the Principality of Ulek are made available to lead the way into the Drachensgrab Hills. The few degenerate Suel in the area still manage to hold out for almost three years in their strongholds, but in the end they fall to the armies combining magic resistant Dwur heavy infantry backed with the arcane power of the first graduates of the National Academy of Wizardry.
The region was divided into several Baronies assigned to various mercantile factions among the Rhola that had supported his initial rise to power, although the whole area was made subject to his friend, Prince Corond of Ulek.
 (301) 643 Monmurg founded in Hold of the Sea Princes
With the Pomarj secured and the Fals Gap quiet, Tavish turned his attention south. The Toli had recovered significant power since their last defeat at the hands of Malv the Explorer (Malv III). The new ports established in Salinmoor were keeping them away from the Gradsul, but Tavish wanted to end the problem once and for all. He sent the third colony of his reign south to establish a new city near the old naval base Malv the Explorer had established. From here, he planned to launch the final campaign against the Toli.
These plans were delayed when later that year,
 (301) 643 Brazen Horde invades Ket
A large force of Paynims came off the plains. After conquering Ket, they swarmed past Thornward, and threatened both Veluna and the northern part of Dorlin.
Tavish took advantage of the situation to rally the nobles to support him in pushing the border north to the Fals Gap by appealing to their outrage over the lost revenues from Thornward. He also arranged to deal with longstanding rivals among the Knights of the March. First, he announced the
 (301) 643 formation of the Knights of the Watch
drawn primarily from the ranks of the Knights of the March, and charged with protecting Thornward and the rest of the Kingdom from the Paynims and other threats.
Along with that, he separated the Gran March from Dorlin, and appointed a military commander loyal to himself to rule it. The Knights of the March gradually faded away after this point.
Meanwhile, led by the newly organized Knights of the Watch,
 (302) 644 Bissel territory conquered
the following year by the armies of Tavish, and added to the lands of the Gran March.
(Footnote: With the near elimination of the Knights of the March, the inner circle of the group that had known the most about their mission to deal with the cult of Vecna in the Gran March territory reorganized themselves as a new order known as the Knights of the Malagari. They quickly became known popularly as the Darkwatch, as a comment on their attitudes and activities compared to the more open Knights of the Watch formed at the same time.)
[1713 - 1716] (303 - 306) 645 - 648 Last Toli War
began with an attack by the Toli on Monmurg. The Toli managed to stalemate the naval forces of the Kingdom, and the situation was desperate until Tavish personally led an army through the Hool Marsh and raised the fortress of
 (304) 646 Westkeep
giving him control of the lower Javan, and allowing him to bring supplies to Monmurg by land. The war swiftly turned against the Toli at this point.
At the same time, a group of disaffected nobles founded
 (305) 647 Highport in the Pomarj
What they didn’t know, thanks primarily to the extremely effective efforts of the Silent Ones to eliminate all references to it, was that their new city was built on the ruins of Tyrus.
The campaign against the Toli finally ended with the establishment of the
 (306) 648 Duchy of Monmurg
incorporating all territories south of the Javan River, including Toli which received a new ruling family.
(Footnote: Although it was long suspected that more than a few members of the House of Toli survived to later marry into and dominate the new rulers. However, no concrete evidence of this was ever presented.)
The next ten years were dedicated to settling and expanding control over the new lands in Bissel, the Pomarj, and Monmurg, along with considerable diplomatic efforts directed at the lands beyond the County of Hochoch. Finally, in
 (316) 658 Geoff incorporated
The Count of Hochoch married the daughter of the leading Flan leader in the area, and the entire valley was constituted as the March of Geoff, as both the local Flan and the various Olve and Dwur of the area joined the new province.
And with that, Tavish rested.
Or at least ended his conquests. The borders of the Kingdom were secured to boundaries of mountain ranges. A threat to the Kingdom since its inception was finally eliminated. Great sources of wealth had been added, filling the Royal coffers to overflowing. New lands were available to occupy second sons for several generations. And though no one knew it, the reign of Tavish was not even half over, although already people were calling him “the Great.” Tavish spent the remainder of his reign overseeing the development of the new lands, and setting plans to explore and eventually conquer the vast Amedio Jungle.
However not even Tavish the Great could change the nature of men. As his reign drew on it became increasingly obvious that his son was not up to the task of following him. Tavish the Great had doubled the size of Keoland. His successor would need to be an administrator rather than a conqueror to give the sanction of time and tradition to that expansion. Tavish II rejected that. He wanted to build a reputation as a general as great, or greater, than his father. That Tavish the Great was not actually a general, but rather relied on others to lead his armies in the field just drove Tavish II to think he could surpass his father with battlefield successes.
All of this was readily obvious to the nobles of the Court. Many of them strongly considered rejecting Tavish II and electing a Neheli. Finally Tavish the Great suggested his chief general, Maccabbah Sellark, as a successor. He had arranged a marriage of his sister to Maccabbah, and his nephew showed much promise to succeed his father in the future. But Maccabbah was reluctant to displace Tavish II. His family had served as generals to the Vilchar’s since the time of the migrations, and he was uncomfortable with the thought of life as an administrator. Combined with the bribery, blackmail, and outright intimidation used by Tavish II, Maccabbah got his wish to remain just a soldier for the rest of his life, and the Kingdom got the Blackguard.
 (346) 688 Tavish II (The Blackguard) [49 years]
Once in power, Tavish II began a program to expand the army and prepare to conquer lands beyond the Fals Gap. He replaced a large number of the advisors and councilors of his father, along with many of the administrators. While this was necessary in many cases as those men were quite old, it also alienated them, creating an ever growing list of political adversaries, as well as disrupting the bureaucracy he would need to support a campaign just when he was preparing to begin one.
 (348) 690 Wealsun Proclamation
With his people in positions of power, Tavish II issued this infamous decree. For the most part it was irrelevant - Keoland already encompassed all of the lands defined in the document. All it achieved was the alienation of even more people, who now feared that Tavish II intended to attack the power and privileges of the provincial rulers, making them utterly subservient to the Lion Throne. While Tavish I had in fact managed to do this with an “iron fist in a velvet glove” approach, Tavish II thought he could just command obedience with threats. Again, this reduced the support he would need to execute successful campaigns right when he wanted to begin them.
[1760-1770] (350-360) 692 - 702 Wars with Ket and Veluna
 (355) 697 Devarnish in Veluna taken (by Second Expeditionary Force)
 (355) 697 Treaty of Devarnish with Veluna
With everything in readiness, at least in the mind of Tavish II, he released his armies. Simultaneous invasions were launched to the west and east of the Fals Gap. What is most shocking is that despite the division of effort, despite the chaos still plaguing the bureaucracy, despite the slow pace of reinforcements from nobles and others that he had alienated, and despite Tavish II himself insisting on leading various forces at all the wrong times (he led the First Expeditionary Force that tried to take Devarnish), his armies were successful. While part of this was due to worse problems among the nations invaded, Ket was still recovering from the Brazen Horde and Veluna was having difficulties with Furyondy at the time, most of it was due to Keoland still having a core of highly loyal, highly competent officers, particularly Tavish II’s cousins among the Sellarks. However the creation of this officer corps had been done by Tavish the Great, so even in the midst of his victories, Tavish II found himself standing in the shadow of his father.
[Footnote: No treaty was ever signed with Ket. The entire nation was conquered and annexed by the Knights of the Watch.]
 (361) 703 Celene expels Keoish Garrisons
 (361) 703 Yeomanry withdraws from Keoland
During the brief lull in fighting in Ket, the new ruler of Celene ordered the expulsion of all Keoish garrisons within the border of that state. This was almost immediately followed by a formal statement from the Freeholder of the Yeoman League that his people were severing their relationship with Keoland. The reasons for both were identical - opposition to the wars of aggression being waged by Tavish II.
Celene had always been a reluctant partner. Indeed, unlike the Uleks, Celene never formally became a member state of Keoland, instead signing a treaty of alliance and cooperation. (More alliance on the part of Keoland and less cooperation on the part of Celene.) They strongly objected to the war against Veluna, and indeed it was their increasing complaints that led to the Treaty of Devarnish being signed while there was still a Veluna left to sign such a treaty, unlike Ket.
For the Yeomanry the reasons were more personal. They had been used as bait repeatedly during the war in Ket, being sent far ahead to draw attacks from the Ketites and Paynims which they would hopefully hold off with their pikes. But time and again, Keoish generals with little concern for the fates of “liege-less commoners” either failed to arrive in time to prevent a slaughter, or failed to arrive at all. And while they also objected to wars against other “civilized” people in Veluna, the actions of the Knights of the Watch toward prisoners and civilian populations in Ket were even worse. However much they may have despised the Baklunish, to see them treated as less than the most vile humanoids nauseated and horrified them.
[Sidebar: Some might wonder at why the campaigns of Tavish the Great didn’t have a similar effect half a century earlier. The simple reason is that his campaigns were not against anyone that any of these people considered civilized. Of his three campaigns, the first was in the Pomarj against the decadent remainders of Firstcomer Houses. The Olve of Celene had no use for such neighbors, and the people of Keoland despised them. The second campaign in Bissel was against the Brazen Horde. While settled Baklunish might be despised because of memories of the Twin Cataclysms, they at least had something that could be acknowledged as a culture. The Brazen Horde was a band of savage nomads, with a penchant for atrocities of their own. Stopping them was a boon. The third campaign, although the most merciless, was also against the worst foes. The Toli were slavers and necromancers. Exterminating them was not a problem for anyone. None of this was true for the wars against Ket and Veluna. As noted above, while Ket was filled with Baklunish despised for the deeds of their ancestors, the actions of several groups in Ket, particularly the Knights of the Watch, went beyond anything the people of Keoland and their demi-human allies were prepared to tolerate. (Which given the culling raids under the Lortmils that the demi-humans undertook is saying a lot.) And Veluna was a civilized state, whose people and culture were too similar to those of Keoland for anyone to feel a war against them was justified according to the standards that had guided the Keoish people for centuries.
And this should not be taken to suggest that the people of Keoland were filled with a noble purpose, incapable of any evil. They were as human as anyone else. What they weren’t were mass murderers or casual vandals. And that is what the campaigns of Tavish II in Ket and Veluna threatened to turn them into.]
 (362) 704 Road from Thornward to Molvar and Lopolla begun
With the domestic situation rapidly deteriorating, Tavish II was forced to delay his planned expeditions further west and concentrate on consolidating his position. This included building a road to connect the newly acquired cities in Ket. Under the Knights of the Watch, labor gangs were gathered and set to work. While they accomplished the task quickly, the losses among the labor gangs were extremely high. This led directly to the,
 (363) 705 Insurrection in Ket
For the next 17 years the people of Ket, supported by the rest of the Baklunish nations, would fight a constant war of attrition against the Keoish forces within their border. Tavish II was unwilling to yield any land, even when it became obvious a position could not be held, and Keoish losses mounted to appalling levels. In response, he ordered the troops to carry out reprisals against the civilian population which the Knights of the Watch led with great enthusiasm. The war would not end until after the death of Tavish II.
And so Tavish II did not rest. For more than 3 decades he sent the best the Sheldomar had to offer to die in Ket, at the same time destroying two generations of Ketites. At the same time he tried everything he could to force the Yeomanry to submit to his demands for more troops. In the face of their refusal, he cut them off, imposing a total blockade and embargo on all goods in and out of the Yeomanry, particularly their troops which provided a significant source of income for the small province. This achieved nothing, as more and more provinces refused to supply troops, and Tavish II was forced to rely on his family to supply the bodies he needed. When he finally died, a bitter old man, convinced that he had been betrayed by those who owed their entire existence to his father, the Court of the Land voted nearly unanimously to elect,
 (395) 737 Nemonhas of Neheli
as the new King. Nemonhas refused to accept, as he was at that time stepping down as Prince of the Neheli to become an anchor of the Silent Tower. This event, known as the Spurning, left the Court in chaos. Resistance to electing another Rhola was great until.
(395) 737 Luschan Sellark IV Rhola (The Duke’s Regency) [19 years]
stepped up and seized control of the Rhola family. He was the great-nephew of Tavish the Great, the son of the general who had taken Devarnish. Despite his family’s loyalty to the Vilchar, and his own service in Ket, he had refused to carry out any of Tavish I’s orders to commit atrocities, and punished any under his command who violated traditional Keoish standards of behavior. With the Court and Rhola family paralyzed, he felt his loyalty demanded more than military service. He married the widow of Tavish II, one of his own cousins, and informed the Court that he would serve as regent for her unborn child. With that announcement, the Court voted him as King, although he declared he would merely serve as regent until a suitable heir could be chosen.
Luschan immediately moved to settle some of the crises caused by Tavish II. And while Celene and the Yeomanry rebuffed him, he was able to negotiate a series of truces with the rebels in Ket, and finally in,
 (400) 742 Retreat from Ket completed.
All the Keoish troops were withdrawn, and a new border established at Thornward.
Further, in an attempt to limit the power of the Knights of the Watch, he separated the land around Thornward in the Fals Gap, and named it the
 (400) 742 March of Bissel
He appointed a loyal officer as it’s first ruler, with strict orders to end all oppression of the Baklunish minorities within its borders.
Luschan appeared on the verge of stabilizing the political situation in Keoland. And the son of Tavish II that he had adopted as Luschan V was proving to be a worthy successor, administering the Duchy of Gradsul in the name of his stepfather. However Luschan IV had previously adopted his brother’s son, and the young Malv was asserting a claim to be his lawful heir. Luschan was faced with a choice between adopted sons, Luschan Vilchar, his namesake and scion of the family his had served for generations, and Malv Sellark, son of his brother and scion of his family. All believed he was preparing a formal announcement naming Luschan V his preferred heir when he died suddenly. Although no foul play was ever proven, suspicion immediately fell upon Malv. Despite this, he was elected King at the next meeting of the Court, and announced that he would reign as.
 (414) 756 Tavish III Rhola (The Boy King) [39 years]
Tavish III quickly proved the wrong choice. He had long despised his adopted father for “surrendering” in Ket, and planned to correct that mistake quickly. His faction was to name,
 (415) 757 Commandant Berlikyn of Gran March as governor of northern marches
which were to consist of the Gran March, Bissel, and Devarnish in Veluna. Oppression within those lands quickly soared to levels not seen even under Tavish II. The Knights of the Watch were given total authority to crush all opposition, and to prepare for the conquest of Veluna and Verbobonc.
At home, Tavish III forced higher and higher taxes and tariffs through the Court, building a war chest to pay for his grandiose military plans. As the taxes rose, compliance fell, forcing him to raise them higher still in order to accumulate the funds he felt he needed. Levies demanded by him shrank, and he was unable to ever accumulate the overwhelming force he felt he needed.
Finally, after twenty years of alienating the people of the Kingdom, his step brother finally decided he had to take action.
 (433) 775 Duke Luschan V of Gradsul disappears in the Amedio
While inspecting the family holdings along the Amedio coast, the ship carrying the Duke was lost with all hands during a violent storm, along with all but one of his escort ships which returned with the news. His nephew, Tavish III’s first son, Luschan VI became Duke of Gradsul.
[Silent Ones Secret: In fact the Duke had not been lost. He faked his death to prepare to stop his half-brother at any cost. The result would be the Keoish Civil War, and event suppressed by order of the Court of the Land, and whose records survive only in the family libraries at Gradsul and Monmurg.]
 (434) 776 Rise of the Sea Princes
Over the next decade, the Jeklea Bay would see a massive rise in piracy, resulting in the loss of numerous ships, both civilian and of the Royal Navy.
[Silent Ones Secret: With Tavish III thinking he was gone, Luschan V was able to communicate with the disaffected factions throughout Keoland, as well as organize the free captains of the Azure Sea. He also began a long term campaign of infiltrating the Royal Navy with his supporters in the hopes he could get the entire navy to declare for him when the time came.]
Thinking he finally had enough forces gathered to begin his conquests, Tavish III had,
 (436) 778 Commandant Berlikyn threaten Veluna
Promising to annex the entire country by the end of the year, this provoked Furyondy to declare an alliance with Veluna, and in the so-called
[1846-1848] (436-438) 778 - 780 Short War
the forces under Berlikyn were crushed.
 (438) 780 Bissel conquered by Furyondy and Veluna, Gran March government changed
The peace stripped Bissel from Keoland, and forced them to allow the Gran March to elect its commandant.
In the south, the pirate forces had gathered sufficient force and declared themselves the,
 (444) 786 Sea Princes
and forming a government as they invade the Duchy of Monmurg.
[Silent Ones Secret: This was actually the formal declaration of civil war on the part of Luschan V. He declared Tavish III deposed as Prince of the Rhola, and stated he would no longer stand by while he destroyed the Kingdom.]
 (445) 787 Sea Princes conquer Port Toli
 (446) 788 Sea Princes conquer Monmurg
seizing the main ports within two years, and beginning a campaign of harrying the coast.
During these battles, the body of a Royal Herald was found in Geoff. He had been sent to request reinforcements during the Short War, and it is believed he was murdered. Tavish III declared war on Geoff and sent an army to Gorna to “punish” the Margrave for his disobedience. This resulted in the,
 (450) 792 War with Geoff, Prince Luschan Sellark VI dies in the Battle of Gorna
The campaign with Geoff was short and bloody, but the worst horror occurred during the Battle of Gorna, when Vargalian, an archmage in the service of Geoff, performed a horrific ritual that destroyed the Keoish army, transforming many of them into sword wraiths. Among the casualties was Prince Luschan Sellark VI, eldest son of Tavish III, named for his uncle.
[Sidebar: Prince Luschan was yet another example of the greatness that seemed to constantly skip a generation in the Vilchar and Sellark families during this time. A brilliant military leader, he is credited with the Short War ending without Furyondy also claiming the Gran March, he was also widely respected in the Court for his ability and manner. Indeed, many had looked to him to end his father’s madness. But Prince Luschan was well aware of the rumors that his father had his grandfather murdered, and he could not bring himself to being a partricide in turn. In the end, he chose his family over the Kingdom.
With him at Gorna was the young half-elven Baron of the Axewood, Anladon. The two had long been friends, and the rebellion of the Uleks only seemed to drive them closer, perhaps because of what it meant for Anladon. Because of it, he declared the Axewood would remain with the Kingdom and not with the Duchy of Ulek, effectively choosing the Kingdom over his family. The consequences for both men, and the Kingdom, of their choices remain to this day. They were in many respects the most tragic figures in the grand tragedy of the fall of the empire of Tavish the Great.]
[Silent Ones Secret: While the Margrave had originally intended to merely remain neutral, the invasion ordered by Tavish III led him to formally declare in support of Luschan V. The Civil War was spreading quickly, and Tavish III was losing.]
[Silent Ones Secret: The magics unleashed by Vargalian, while vile necromancies originally created by Vecna, were not the direct cause of the creation of the sword wraiths. As Prince Luschan was dying, the unnatural forces tearing his body apart, he cried out for vengeance on those who had slaughtered his men in so vile and unholy a manner. Unfortunately, he forgot that such cries are not always answered by those you want to have answer them. Hextor heard him, and granted his dying wish, transforming him and many of the men into the horrific sword wraiths that plague the Stark Mounds to this day. Although Hextor had sent such abominations to the Oerth in other times and places, this was the greatest incident of their creation ever, so much so that sword wraiths are often known as Stark Mounds Spirits.
One of the few survivors of this incident was the Prince’s friend Anladon, who not only stood witness to his death, but also his damnation, sowing the seeds to extend the tragedy even further.]
Following the death of Prince Luschan, Prince Tavish IV became his father’s spokesman at the Court. And despite his father’s failures there, he quickly impresses its members with his sincerity and dedication. His father spends his last remaining bit of political capital, calling in all his outstanding favors, to support his son.
With the Kingdom collapsing around him, Tavish III settled on a desperate gamble. He would recreate the march of Tavish I through the Hool Marsh and seize Westkeep, opening the way into the Duchy of Monmurg. The forced march was a disaster, the battle worse as,
 (453) 795 Tavish III dies in the Siege of Westkeep (The Debacle)
 (453) 795 Tavish IV Rhola (The Weary) [35 years]
With the death of his father, Tavish IV was forced to assume control of his family. And although the Court would have preferred almost anyone else, indeed the Neheli had been plotting just with the Heartlands nobles since the Short War, gave in to one last concession to tradition, as well as keeping their last promises to Tavish III.
Still, the Court had little intention of supporting Tavish IV. He was expected to end the fighting and then get out of the way as quickly as possible. As it was, Tavish IV had no intention of sending more people to die. Negotiating as best he could in an environment of constant war, and with no support from the Court, he stood by as both the
 (460) 802 Yeomanry leaves the Kingdom
 (461) 803 Ulek states leave the Kingdom
The Yeomanry had been in a technical state of rebellion for a century, the Uleks since the Short War. For both, Tavish IV simply recognized the separation, the Court acknowledging it with a formal declaration of separation and an end to obligations of those nations to the Charter of Niole. This was a particularly bitter ending for Prince Olinstaad Corond of Ulek, but even he had to face the inevitability when they made it clear they were not interested in supporting Tavish IV in any extended discussions. However, even the Court required Tavish IV to negotiate a,
 (461) 803 Treaty with the Yeomanry establishes the Javan as the border between the two nations
The remnants of the County of Eor remained part of Keoland.
Following this, the
 (463) 805 Pomarj leaves the Principality of Ulek
With the separation of the Uleks final, the various human nobles of those states gathered to discuss their status. They had given fealty to them when those demi-human rulers had been part of Keoland. Now that connection was broken, and some felt they should either rejoin Keoland or forge an independent path. In the County of Ulek a scion of House Rhola was now Count Palatine. In the Duchy, the Neheli there were satisfied to live and intermarry with their Elven overlords. But in the Principality of Ulek the nobles were more inclined to separate. At one point, it seemed that those living between the Sheldomar and the foothills of the Lortmils would choose to separate as well. In the end, only those of the Pomarj declared their independence, renouncing any loyalty to Prince Corond. For his part, Prince Corond accepted it, knowing that their oaths had been given in a different time, and while he regretted the lost tithes they provided, his personal sense of honor required him to let them renounce their oaths as he had renounced his to Keoland.
[1870s] (460s) 800s Hool Marsh border forts built (Bale Keep)
With the other borders secured, Tavish tried to end the Civil War by building a series of forts from the Javan to the Azure Sea, hoping to prevent infiltration from the south. They were never completed when finally, just over ten years after the death of his father,
 (464) 806 Battle of Jetsom Island, the “Sea Prince” sunk
the Admiral of the Royal Navy reported the death of their leader in the final encounter of the battle.
At this time the Court ordered a final peace negotiated with Geoff. That province was to return to the Court, and the Court accepted that its ruler would be acknowledged as Grand Duke because of the family connections to the Rhola.
[Silent Ones Secret: With that, the Keoish Civil War came to an informal end. Although he heir of Luschan V was never formally recognized as the independent ruler of the Duchy of Monmurg which came to be known as the Hold of the Sea Princes, the Court acted as though it had never been part of the Kingdom, and the family of the Monmurg Rhola was stricken from all Keoish histories.]
Having presided over the final collapse of the great nation built by Tavish the Great, Tavish IV was left with little to do but wait. What was left of the Kingdom was in shambles, its wealth drained away in futile battles outside its borders or against itself. No one in the Court was interested in anything but rebuilding, and Tavish IV was well aware of this. Further, he would bear the guilt of ordering the death of his uncle for the rest of his life. He refused to marry, leaving no heir, and passing the line of the Sellarks to a cousin on his death.
 (477) 819 Bissel made Palatinate by Furyondy
In an almost completely ignored footnote to the end of the Tavish Imperial Age, the King of Furyondy granted palatinate status to the March of Bissel that had been seized from Keoland after the Short War. Kimbertos would later cite this as voiding the revocation of Bissel’s rights and responsibilities to the Charter of Niole Dra, opening the way for Keoland to intervene in Bissel after the withdrawal of Ket, as well as for Bissel to send a representative to the Court.
 (488) 830 Nyhan V Neheli (The Listless) [22 years]
With the death of Tavish IV the Court met, and as expected, the Prince of the Neheli became the next King. Although Nyhan’s election was greeted with great expectation, he seemed to change almost immediately after taking the throne. Where once he had been almost flamboyant in his personal life, he soon earned the sobriquet of the Listless, as he seemed barely awake during meetings of the Court, never suggesting the projects to rebuild the Kingdom he had discussed before his elevation.
[Sidebar: The cause of this remains unknown to this day. Many suggest it was deliberate, an affectation to cover for the dramatic change in policy. Others suggest it was related to a disease sweeping through the Neheli that was not apparent until many years later. A plague, magical in origin, but tied to the Neheli because of their rumored intermarriage, drug use, and magical experimentation, spread throughout Dorlin and the surrounding provinces. For over half a century this plague would tear through the Neheli, devastating the family, and leading to the rise of Kimbertos. While Nyhan likely had a mild case of this plague, it would not explain the full scope of his change in behavior.]
[Sidebar: The primary symptoms of the plague were an extreme lethargy that has caused a number of wags to call the short dynasty between the Tavishes and Kimbertos the “Napping”.]
Two major series of events dominated the reign of Nyhan IV. The first was internal to Keoland, and focused in the south. The second was a series of wars on the peripheries.
 (490) 832 House of Secunforth appointed rulers of the Hool March
One of the few accomplishments of Nyhan before he succumbed to the plague was the appointment of a cousin to rule the southern border of the Kingdom. Comprising both the remnants of the County of Eor and the lands Tavish the Great annexed along the coast, it was called the Hool March.
Unfortunately, the arrival of the new court was followed by,
 (496) 838 Plague in Salinmoor
A virulent plague swept through the region, bringing sleeplessness and nightmares in cycles to those unfortunate enough to be affected, until they were overwhelmed with madness, and ran wild, killing until they were brought down by their friends or family.
[Silent Ones Secret: Known to virtually none, this was in fact the plague sweeping through the Neheli to the north. It mutated in the south, and began affecting everyone. The Secunforths, and a few allies, have suppressed any suggestion of such a connection, and anyone who suggests it, let alone knows it, would be well advised to move beyond their reach as quickly as possible.]
 (498) 840 County of Eor overrun by the forces of Sakatha
With the devastation caused by the plague throughout the coastal portions of the Hool March, the inland portions were helpless before the onslaught of the reptilian minions of Sakatha.
[1911-1912] (501-2) 843 - 844 Witch hunts in Salinmoor
With the entire region teetering on the verge of collapse, the Dreadwalkers emerged from the depths of the Dreadwood to stabilize the area. Using the cover of witch hunts, they systematically eliminated any and all carriers of the plague, as well as sending a team to end the threat of Sakatha to the west.
With the end of both, some vague semblance of stability returned to the area. However, it also marked the functional end of the Hool March. Although the Secunforths continue to claim the title to this day, they sit in the Court only as Viscounts of Salinmoor.
With the withdrawal of Keoish armies from the frontiers, and the paralysis of the Court due to the plague affecting the Neheli, the borders soon erupted in war.
The first began in the new Grand Duchy of Geoff,
[1907-1914] (497-504) 839 - 846 Civil War in Geoff
which began when Count Granus of Pregmere appeared at Gorna with an army of mercenaries. While Count Granus could easily afford such a force, as his county was exceptionally wealthy, he was able to gather it and move it in such secrecy due to the collusion of the Knights of the Watch and several nobles of the Gran March. The order held a grudge stemming from their defeat during the Short War, which many blamed on the failure of reinforcements to arrive from Geoff. Count Granus was the perfect stalking horse for them to gain revenge for what they considered a wrong.
Grand Duke Rohan III was slain early on, whereupon three other Counts of Geoff declared themselves candidates for his seat, and it took seven long years for Count Granus to subdue them. In the end, it was his son who took the vacant title as Grand Duke Rohan IV, and who undertook the long and difficult task of rebuilding the nation.
[Silent Ones Secret 1: The true secret sponsor of the war remains known to only one person to this day, the members of the order having long since disposed of any records for their own protection. It was in fact the Darkwatch who pulled the strings of the Knights of the Watch and Count Granus, sending them after the patron and protector of the Archmage Vargalian, the man who had unleashed unspeakable magics once wielded by Vecna, leaving the sword wraiths that haunt the Stark Mounds to this day. While the civil war played out in Geoff, the Darkwatch dealt with the man they considered an abomination against all the civilized people of the Sheldomar.]
[Silent Ones Secret 2: The devastation unleashed on Geoff in pursuit of one man had a strong effect on one man. Or rather, one half-elf. Anladon of Neheli had been at Gorna with Prince Luschan, and knew firsthand the horror that Vargalian had unleashed. But he balked at tearing Geoff apart with civil war in order to bring just one man to justice. He led the force that avenged his friend, but afterwards turned his back on the Darkwatch, telling them he would have nothing further to do with them, and making it clear that any action against him or his Duchy would result in his publishing a full and thorough account of their involvement in the civil war. As well, despite a deep rift, his uncle Duke Grenowin of Ulek made it abundantly clear to the leaders of the order that he would avenge any injury done to his kinsman by them.]
[1908-1920] (498-510) 840 - 852 Hateful Wars
The second major conflict spawned by the collapse of Tavish the Great’s empire began when the consort of the Queen of Celene was slain by a band of humanoids from the lands beneath the Lortmils. For centuries the demi-humans had kept them under control at great cost. For perhaps a century the stalwart armies of Keoland had aided them in that task. When they were expelled, first by Celene, later by the Uleks, several gaps in the defenses appeared. This was most extreme in Celene, where the Fey Court of Yolande was more interested in planning festivals than guard schedules. In many ways it was her own culpability in his death that drove Yolande in her rage. The result was the Hateful Wars.
While before the demi-humans of the Lortmils had been satisfied with periodic raids to reduce the numbers of the prolific humanoids, now Yolande demanded their utter extermination. The Dwur, led by Prince Corond, felt a religious duty to aid, despite the Prince’s lingering disgust with Yolande. The other Ulek states also provided aid, more out of respect for the Prince than obligation to the Queen, or fear of her threats to any who did not help. During the war, Prince Corond would send repeated requests to Nyhan for aid and assistance, citing the ties between their people, and noting that the Kingdom would benefit from suppressing the humanoids as much as the people of the Lortmils. When Nyhan bothered to reply, he merely said that the Uleks had chosen a separate path, and Keoland was honoring their choice.
For thirteen years the tunnels below the Lortmils were drowned in blood as the demi-human armies cleansed the orc and goblin dens one at a time. Finally, in 510 CY, the surviving humanoids broke out and fled for the Suss Forest, preferring a marginal life or death at the hands of the lurking terrors of that place to sure extermination beneath the mountains. Three years later they would return.
 (499) 841 Bissel invaded by Ket, Thornward besieged
With the triumph of the True Faith in Ket, fanatics from that land were organized and began raiding into Bissel and beyond the Fals Gap into Veluna. They managed to besiege Thornward for a year at the end of the 5th century, but limited themselves to raids for the eight decades after until the Necromancer Insurrection of Evard. During that time Bissel survived through large subsidies from Keoland, Furyondy, and Veluna, as well as support from the increasingly influential, intolerant, and fanatically anti-Baklunish Knights of the Watch.
 (510) 852 Senestal III Neheli (The Dilettante) [29 years]
As the Hateful War wound down, so did the life of Nyhan IV. His son was elected as a matter of course, and began a notably irrelevant reign. Senestal earned his sobriquet of the Dilettante honestly, losing himself in the pleasures of the court, and ignoring any duties of rulership. As perhaps a single accomplishment, he rebuilt the court to satisfy his desires, turning it into a center of culture and entertainment, restoring its glory and beauty.
It was during the reign of Senestal that the Sea Princes would grow significantly in power, nearly eclipsing Keoland as the primary sailors of the Azure Sea.
 (513) 855 Pomarj conquered by orcs and goblins from the Lortmils
After regrouping in the Suss Forest for three years, the survivors of the Hateful Wars emerge and swarm through the Pomarj. Aided by traitors among the humans, they overrun it rapidly, slaughtering commoners and nobles alike. A relief force organized by Prince Corond of Ulek was unable to do more than help refugees escape. As he had during the Hateful Wars, Prince Corond sent a message to Senestal, asking aid from Keoland, this time in protecting their fellow humans and countrymen from the humanoid hordes that had overrun Highport. Trevelyan replied that any who really wished to leave his court to help were free to do as they pleased, but he was occupied by other “affairs of state.”
 (539) 881 Trevlyan III Neheli (The Afflicted) [25 years]
Senestal’s children were all incapacitated by the plague affecting the Neheli. The family had to scramble to put forward Trevlyan, a cousin, after his death. Unfortunately Trevlyan was struck by a full-blown case of the plague shortly after his coronation. And while his grandfather may have played a part in his inaction, Trevlyan was incapable of even that, and another quarter century passed as the power and prestige of the Lion Throne decayed.
Trevlyan left no children. His heir, and closest living relative, was Cedrian, a second cousin, not yet of age. In three quarters of a century from the death of Tavish IV, the Neheli were spent. Ravaged by disease, their prestige gone from two lost plague-lost reigns and one decadent, they had no political capital when the Court met after the funeral of Trevlyan. The Rhola were better off, having rebuilt much of their prestige and power, and refilled their coffers several times over since the days of Tavish IV. But Duke Malv had died a mere three years ago, and the new Duke, Luschan VIII, made many fear another King on the throne for fifty years. Into this logjam the little known Baron of Sayre, with the support of the Margrave of Mandismoor, presented a compromise candidate, and after two nearly two seasons, the Court proclaimed the new King.
[Sidebar: The compromise originated with the then unknown Lashton of Greyhill, a wizard of not inconsiderable power and political acumen, but with no standing, and a desire for yet more power. He set to influencing the nobles of the Lords Faction, beginning with the Baron of Sayre, the northern neighbor of Greyhill. With him as a sponsor, he was able to convince the Margrave of Mandismoor, and then all of the nobles of the Lords Faction, all while remaining behind the scenes.]
The Sheldomar Timeline is continued in the Part III, expected to post 12 January 2006.
For further reading, see The Sheldomar Timeline Part I HERE.