Encyclopedia Realmgardica: A Brief History of Natalis

The fragmentation of the Empire was sorely felt in its traditional heartland of Natalis, which entered into a long period of decline and disorder. Notably, the region has not been unified under one political order since the Elven Empire fell.

According to the foundation myths propagated by the ruling Emperors themselves, the distant ancestors of the Elves who eventually ruled over most of Realmgard and beyond first came to the continent from the eastern continent as the survivors of the war that devastated their homeland.

The Elven Empire existed in some form for the better part of two millennia and at its zenith controlled nearly the entirety of Realmgard, as well as vast territories across the southern and eastern continents.

Quintus Marcellinus Styracosaurus, an Elf with a red beard wearing Romanesque armour.
Quintus Marcellinus Styracosaurus, a famous war hero from the pinnacle of the Elven Empire’s power.

The decline of the Empire brought about a centuries-long turbulent period of fragmentation and war during which the foundations were laid for most of the current states in Realmgard.

The fragmentation of the Empire was sorely felt in its traditional heartland of Natalis, which entered into a long period of decline and disorder. Notably, the region has not been unified under one political order since the Elven Empire fell.

And though there remains little prospect of a reunification of Natalis, many of its independent states and cities have begun to thrive economically and culturally in recent centuries as they have established extensive trade networks both throughout Realmgard and across continents. Natalis is once again considered a flourishing centre of art, culture, and learning.

The extensive trade routes emanating from the Natalian cities have also fostered and spirit of exploration and adventure throughout Natalis. Many famous explorers, adventurers, and geographers throughout the centuries have come from Natalis, most notably Luca Pertico, generally held to be the farthest-travelled person in Realmgard’s history.

After years travelling across the East, he returned to Realmgard with an account of the East that remains unparalleled in its detail of the peoples, customs, and political situation of the eastern continent.

Realmgardian traveller Luca Pertico, resembling a real-world medieval Italian.

However, this influx of wealth has also allowed the states of Natalis to hire vast mercenary armies to bring to bear against their neighbours as they attempt to expand their spheres of influence in a political situation that remains volatile and fluctuating.

Mercenary captain John Hawthorn, in profile, wearing armour and resting an axe on his shoulder.
John Hawthorn, one of my most famous foreign mercenary captains to have operated in Natalis.
Known to his Natalian contemporaries as
“Giovanni Biancospino.”

These frequent outbreaks of war have allowed many aspiring soldiers from all across Realmgard to make their names on the battlefields of Natalis.

Bordered by both Pelayo and Gallicantu, two of the most powerful and ambitious kingdoms in Realmgard, Natalis is also frequently at the mercy of the whims of the Pelayan and Gallicantien monarchs who frequently intervene in Natalian political matters as a pretext to expand their own dominions in the region.

That the individual cities and states of Natalis lack the manpower to withstand the royal armies of Pelayo and Gallicantu has only further encouraged the Nataliens to hire large mercenary armies to secure their continued independence.

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