The Kingdom of Gallicantu
Descended from the original Midlandic tribes that came to control much of the territory of the former Elven Empire, the people of the present-day Kingdom of Gallicantu are distantly related to the people of Middlesbrooke.
In fact, Lambert, the first king of a unified Gallicantu was a direct descendant of Emperor Theobald. Though Gallicantu was never part of the Theobaldian Empire, much of the territory of what would become Gallicantu was initially a tributary of Theobald, allowing his descendants to carve out a kingdom for themselves in later generations.
Since its foundation, Gallicantu has consistently been one of the largest and strongest states in Realmgard and has proven itself remarkably stable in its dynastic succession and territory.
Though Lambert’s unification of Gallicantu earned him titles such as “the Conqueror” (le Conquérant) and “the Founder” (le Fondateur), it is his niece, the warrior-princess Adelheid (generally written as Adelaide in modern sources) who looms largest in poems and dramas — though undeniably a major historical figure, Lambert is often reduced to a secondary character in poetry and chivalric tales which focus on (and often invent) the heroic deeds of Adelheid.
Most famously, it is one of Adelheid’s battles, rather than Lambert’s, that is responsible for the kingdom gaining the name “Gallicantu”, deriving from Elven and meaning something like “by means of the rooster’s call.”
This refers to an episode where an enemy army attempted to launch a pre-dawn ambush against the army led by Adelheid, only to startle a nearby rooster, whose sudden crowing alerted Adelheid to the presence of the enemy, allowing her to rouse her own army and fight off the ambush.
As a result, both the rooster and the rising sun have become emblems of the Kingdom of Gallicantu.
Over time, the Kingdom of Gallicantu expanded from the Realmgardian mainland onto the island chain stretching from just offshore of Gallicantu proper to within sight of Middelmere, incorporating these islands into the Kingdom as the so-called Duchies of the Sea and providing a buffer between the coasts of Gallicantu proper and the pirates who have historically been very active in the northeastern seas of Realmgard.
At the same time, the Duchies of the Sea have also proved to be tempting targets for many of these pirates. Most notably, the islands were frequently raided and invaded by the exiled Hrimfaxi brothers Helgi and Hunding.
An ill-fated expedition against the Gallicantien heartland led to a crushing defeat of the two brothers, who had no choice but to sue for peace with the Gallicantien King. In return for oaths of allegiance to Gallicantu and promises to defend Gallicantu and the Duchies of the Sea from future raids, Helgi, Hunding, and their companions were granted the right to settle and rule the islands as Gallicantien vassals.
In the ensuing generations, the descendants of these Hrimfaxi warriors would adopt Gallicantien language and customs, leading to the rise of a unique new culture in the Duchies of the Sea from among whom would spring numerous famous warriors and adventurers.
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