As promised, I’m starting a new month-long Daily Writing Exercise today and plan to write something every day in November.
This month, I’m doing something a little different. I’m going to be focusing on great moments and important people in the history of Realmgard. I figure this will help me hammer out some of the worldbuilding aspects and give Realmgard some background colour I can use going forward.
If you’ve visited the Encyclopedia Realmgardica before, they’ll be that sort of thing, though I haven’t yet decided if I’m actually going to include them in the actual Encyclopedia Realmgardica.
The Flight of the Elves
It is widely said that the history of Realmgard actually begins in the eastern island realm of Archipelago, the ancient homeland of the Elves who laid the foundations of the Elven Empire.
While this does disregard the peoples of Realmgard pre-dating the arrival of the Elves such as the Trolls, the tribes inhabiting the Sea’s Edge Peninsula, and the ancestors of the Gardians, it is nevertheless true that the Elven Empire established the most sophisticated society and largest unified polity seen on the continent up to that point.
Though historians debate the historical details of the story, the mythological accounts say that seven Elven princes sailed west to Realmgard, leading their families and households in seven ships. Given the long-standing mystical significance of the number seven, certain historians hold this detail to be no more than a romantic flourish, though it is generally accepted that the founders of the first Elven settlements in Realmgard did indeed sail from Archipelago.
As with most mythic accounts, the specifics change based on who is telling the story, but the most common account of the Elves’ flight to Realmgard describe how the seven princes were the survivors of the defeated faction in what is known to Relmgard’s historians as the Archipelagic War.
This War is one of Realmgard’s most widely-retold and heavily-romanticised stories.
In brief, the beautiful Archipelagic princess Eos is said to have fallen for Adrastos, the crown prince of a rival kingdom. Her father, King Skliros reacted poorly to Adrastos’ courtship of his daughter, attempting to murder the young prince and subsequently locking Eos in a tower in the heart of his palace.
Horrified by Skliros’ brazen violation of the sacred laws of hospitality, Adrastos’ father King Philoxenos, promptly rallied his vassals and allies and declaring war against Skliros, who rallied his own allies and vassals in defence of his kingdom. Due to the complicated nature of Ancient Archipelagic diplomacy and alliance, the near entirety of Archipelago was soon embroiled in the war, declaring for one side or the other and setting the stage for one of the largest and most decisive confrontations of the age involving thousands of ships and tens of thousands of warriors.
Notably, Eos’ brother Timaeus rebelled against their father and joined Prince Adrastos faction in the war against Skliros.
In one of the most famous episodes of the war, Timaeus was able to rescue his sister from the tower where Skliros had locked her, safely spiriting her to Adrastos’ camp, though at the cost of his own life, being struck down by his own father.
In the end, King Skliros won the war, but at a high price. Though he routed Adrastos’ army, Adrastos and Eos were married and led the flight to Realmgard at the head of the seven refugee ships. Furthermore, it is said that he was cursed by the Archipelagic gods for the heinous crime of slaying his own son, leading to his own death and the downfall of his kingdom shortly after his victory over Adrastos.
So, basically, that was Realmgard’s Trojan War. And that’s deliberate, since my Elves are basically Roman, it follows that their foundation myth would basically be the Aeneid.
I had a lot on my plate today, including a COVID scare (good news: I’m fine), so I didn’t get to flesh this one out as much as I would have liked. Hopefully, going forward, I can add some more illustrations and revisit this one to add some more illustrations to this one specifically.
Again, sorry for the delay. A lot happened today. But, we’ve kicked off with 30 days of Realmgard’s history.
Stay tuned for 29 more. And follow me here to make sure you don’t miss any: