The Kingdom of Aurora
Located in the northernmost region of Realmgard beyond the historical borders of the Elven Empire, what is now the Kingdom of Aurora nevertheless has had longstanding contacts with the lands of the Empire throughout its history, established by the efforts of intrepid merchants and travellers.
Inhabited by tribes of Trolls, Wilderlings, and the nomadic Tarandarii people (famous throughout Realmgard for herding and riding reindeer) since earliest times, predating even the rise of the Realmgardic culture, Aurora has seen numerous waves of immigration from elsewhere: refugees fleeing the downfall of the Elven Empire, Hrimfaxi sailors, Midlandic warriors, travellers from the Free Cities, and most significantly, Middelmerish and Gallicantien soldiers offered land in exchange for fighting on behalf of Aurora.
Infamously, Aurora was ruled for nearly a century by an Imperial legion which deserted its post on the Empire’s frontier with the goal of carving out a dominion for themselves. This led to the rise of the so-called Exarchate of the North, an attempt at establishing an Imperial successor state.
The rulers of the Exarchate viewed both the Aurorean natives and Imperial refugees as barbarians and did much to suppress and subjugate them. During the period of the Exarchate, the population of native Auroreans were greatly reduced. Notably, the rule of the Exarchate was so harsh that later Hrimfaxi invaders were actually welcomed as liberators.
For the most part, this view is indeed accurate. The Hrimfaxi newcomers formed alliances and even intermarried with the native Auroreans in their conflict with the Exarchate. Notably, a Hrimfaxi leader named Atli married a Troll chieftain’s beautiful daughter.
Their son, Vintr Half-Troll was famously educated by a refugee Imperial scholar and adopted an Elven-derived form of his named, Hivernus, as his personal name and is subsequently known to history as Hivernus and is viewed as the founder of the royal house of Aurora, due to his role in conquering the Exarchate.
Several centuries later, Aurora would be threatened by the rapidly-expanding conquests of the warlord Auriwandalo, who led a horde consisting of Midlandic, Dwarven, Goblin, and Hrimfaxi warriors, among others.
The sparsely-populated Kingdom of Aurora was incapable withstanding Auriwandalo’s advance and thus appealed for aid to Kingdoms throughout Realmgard. The joint Middelmerish-Marin-Gallicantien force which came to Aurora’s aid was crucial in driving back Auriwandalo. For their efforts on behalf of the Auroreans, many of the soldiers fighting as part of this force were offered a chance to settle in Aurora. That so many accepted the offer has left an indelible mark on Aurorean history and culture.
Though the Middelmerish and Gallicantien influences are keenly felt in modern Aurora, the Kingdom has not completely forgotten the legacy of its earliest inhabitants. Though present-day Auroreans worship the broader Realmgardian pantheon, they continue to worship native Aurorean gods, in particular viewing the Northern Lights (from which the Kingdom derives its name), killer whales, and polar bears as the embodiment of Aurora’s patron deities.
Most famously, the Northern Lights are believed to be the shimmering of the long hair of their beautiful patron goddess.
So, this one was actually really hard to write. I’ve established that Aurora is basically Canada. And, since the history of Canada isn’t all sunshine and roses (as much as we might like to pretend otherwise), I didn’t want Aurora to be all sunshine and roses, either.
I think part of the problem is that Realmgard is something like 60% Western Europe and 40% North American, making it exactly like Canada isn’t feasible given the current state of my worldbuilding. Mostly, though, I keep getting tripped up on the timeline.
All in all, though, I’m happy with it. At least until I can flesh out more of the details and this whole thing becomes obsolete…
You know what to do:
Sign-up for my email newsletter here.