The Rise of Pelayo
An integral territory of the Elven Empire since the early days following the marriage of Melkartite Queen Anath and Elven Emperor Acanthus, the Wandering Coast exerted independence in the first time in centuries as the Empire decline and withdrew to mainland Realmgard.
The newly-proclaimed Empire of Tanith not only ruled over the Wandering Coast and the northern regions of the continent of Arena, it reconquered much of the Realmgardian territory of the ancient Melkartite Kingdom, quickly adding nearly the entirety of the Sea’s Edge to its territory and ultimately surpassing the ancient kingdom in the size of its domains.
Though much of the peninsula would be ruled by Tanith for centuries, the remote, mountainous region of Duradero in north of the Sea’s Edge peninsula would fall under tenuous at best Tanithite control.
Unsurprisingly, it was in the north of the Sea’s Edge that the earliest rebellions against Tanithite dominion would occur. The last remnants of the old Imperial nobility fled into the northern mountains, making use of their intimate knowledge of the difficult terrain and ambush and rout much larger Tanithite armies.
The Tanithite Emperors acknowledged Duradero’s independence and made peace. While celebrated in Pelayan sources as a major victory, many historians note that this decisions was likely motivated by a Tanithite unwillingness to commit the resources to an inevitably long and bitter campaign of pacification of such a small and resource-poor territory.
Following the withdrawal of the Tanithites from the north of the Sea’s Edge, the newly-independent lords of the region acclaimed Leónides the first king of Duradero.
Pelayan histories and genealogies therefore consider Leónides the direct predecessor of all subsequent Pelayan kings due to Duradero eventually growing into the present-day Kingdom of Pelayo.
Leónides immediately set to organising his new kingdom, assigning domains within the kingdom to the other Duraderan nobles and in particular fortifying the borders of his kingdom against potential Tanithite incursions in the future.
With the Theobaldian Empire’s patronage and military support, within the first few decades of existence, the Kingdom of Duradera quickly expanded across most of the north of the Sea’s Edge.
Over the centuries, the expanding Kingdom of Duradera would be divided into other kingdoms of the descendants of Leónides as the Empire of Tanith began its decline. Ultimately, these kingdoms would be re-unified under the rule of the present-day Kingdom of Pelayo, which is understood to consist of the eight kingdoms of the Sea’s Edge able to trace their origin back to the Kingdom of Duradera united under the Pelayan Crown.
The sole exception on the Sea’s Edge is the Kingdom of Torres, originally a Pelayan vassal which was successfully able to exert its independence and establish itself as a kingdom in its own right.
Though it has taken several centuries, the situation on the Sea’s Edge is almost completed reversed from the early days of the Empire of Tanith, with Pelayo now ruling over the vast majority of the Sea’s Edge and Tanith, now known as the Duchy of Tanith, reduced to a remnant of its former holdings at the extreme south of the peninsula.
However, the legacy of the Empire of Tanith continues to be felt across the Sea’s Edge. Both Pelaya and Torres have been deeply influenced by Tanithite art, architecture, and culture. Notably, the Tanith goddess Malketa is widely worshipped all across the peninsula.
So, for what it’s worth, this is Realmgard history basically moving the general direction of the real-life Iberia between post-Rome and the 1600s (which is my basis for where Realmgard’s at in terms of technology and politics).
Pelaya is Spain (incidentally, “Pelayo” is the Spanish form of Pelagius, the first King of Asturias, regarded as the initiator of the Reconquista and the predecessor of all subsequent Spanish monarchs), Torres is Portugal, and Tanith is basically a combination of Moorish and Carthaginian Spain.
Tomorrow will wrap up Week 3 of my 30 days of history and I’ll have the recap posted afterwards.