Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. I’m fleshing out the history of the continent. This time, its the history of the Kingdom of Tyndaria.
The History of Tyndaria
The genesis of the Kingdom of Tyndaria lies within the pre-sundering Kingdom of Occurus, as it was one of the few to survive the event on the island. Precious little is known about the origins or history of the Kingdom, but the information that does exist, it was prosperous and influential within its region.
After the Sundering, Occurus slowly fell into disrepair. The monarchs are rarely mentioned, with internal strife and civil war swiftly breaking out over what was left of its corpse. The Kingdoms of Alora, Eshkin, and Elthrim all emerged from this chaos, but Occurus held on in a small fragment close to the Drimmak Mountains, with some cities stubbornly holding on for centuries until finally conquered by the Tyndarians.
The Battle at Dorians Bridge.
Occurian Noble Tyron Warfire, a young son of Duke Dulath Warfire, left his family estates at Tyndars Grove on the banks of the Sorim River, looking for land and glory. He and his young warrior wife, Elra, crossed the Toldiri Hills and quickly came into conflict with local Killbarans, who were in the midst of conquering the neighboring Kingdom of Keras. Tyron and Elra, along with their contingent of nobles, men at arms, knights, helped the small Kingdom fight off the Killbarans, establishing their freedom.
Sadly, that freedom lasted less than a decade. Killbarans never take kindly to an intrusion into their wars, and soon retaliated in force. Tyron and his vassals fought a number of battles against the Killbarans before being forced into a fighting retreat, culminating in the Battle of Dorian’s bridge, where many brave nobles and soldiers sacrificed themselves to secure the withdrawal. Though he lost the war, Tyron was regarded as a hero. He ensured that the common folk weren’t in the path of the Killbaran army and sacrificed many soldiers for their safety. When his father died, and he became the lord of Tyndars Grove, there was a swell of support to proclaim him the monarch of a new Kingdom, which they called Tyrndall.
Tyron, having accepted the crown, embraced his new life as a king. He gathered a retinue of nobles and knights who embraced the same philosophies, those of nobility, chivalry, and honor and worked on expanding the kingdom. Sometimes, the expansion was through warfare with old Occurians or dark warlords, and other times it was through alliances with the local nobles. In either instance, the Kingdom of Tyndaria grew and became more prosperous through resources, people and military might. Sadly its prosperity and its size were tempting targets for its neighbors.
The Time of Weakness
The first to strike was Elthrim, who in a surprise attack sent its famed ranger corps through the eastern forests to strike at the outlying territories. Tyndaria was taken completely unawares, with multiple cities being razed and much of the east going up in flames. Tyron, aged and infirm, lead in name only and his wife, Elra, being younger, led the counter-attack the following year. The Jodak War lasted 5 years, and though Elra and her knights fought hard and well, they were unable to fight off the Elthrim completely. The war was costly, with Tyrndall losing a section of her eastern holdings, as well as the life of both the King, Queen and dozens of knights. These losses and the Treaty of Yajara lead to the ascension of the first of a series of weak kings, puppets of Occurus, Alora, Eshkin, and Elthrim.
The 80 years that followed the Yajara accords were difficult on Tyrndall. This all changed following the ascension of King Korus Bloodstrike. The new king was obeisant at first, but it quickly became apparent that he was a different type of king. Seeing weaknesses in those who had controlled his kingdom for so long, he quietly gathered his banners and without warning at the tail end of winter, smashed into the unprepared Occurians. Their Kingdom fell swiftly, most of them capitulating when the massive army marched into sight. King Korus eradicated Occurus from the map once and for all, rewarding their machinations with conquest. He then turned his forces and marched to the Border with Elthrim, who had taken the news of a resurgent Tyndaria breaking its treaty with Occurus as cause to once again invade. The Tyndarians met the Elthrim in a number of skirmishes and small battles before luring the Elthrim King into Battle at Tarkana Fields. The battle was a rout for the Elthrim, whose king was slain and suffered numerous noble hostages. The resulting ransoms bankrupted most of Elthrim, which fell to Hrondring Raids, Eshkin predation and finally a complete Tyndarian conquest shortly thereafter.
King Korus elevated Tyndaria to equal the old, great kingdoms that remained, and the three now faced an old and powerful enemy. Killbar was finally reaching out its grasping hands across the Toldiri Hills and testing the borders of its neighbors for weakness.
The Great Alliance
With the crushing defeat of Occurus and Elthrim, Tyndaria returned to prosperity, but also gained might and size in equal proportion, becoming a recognizable force in the region. They forged an alliance with Eshkin and Alora against their greater common enemy, the Killbarans, shouldering the burden of leadership. For two centuries the alliance fought border skirmishes against the Mageocracy, which kept testing both the borders and their alliances, looking for weaknesses both political and military, but finding none. Finally, the Killbarans took their chance as a great plague gripped Eshkin, devastating the country’s population. Taking advantage and invading, the Killbarans conquered swaths of territory. Eshkin desperately called on their allies for aid, but Tyndaria and Alora were unable to conquer their fear of the spreading plague, and Eshkin was left, alone, to fall to the Killbaran spear. It took only a few years for the once-proud nation to be erased.
All the while, as the Eshkin died of plague and war, to the north in Alora other events complicated the situation for Tyndaria. The Queen of Alora, who had always been a stout ally, though not always one of action, died suddenly. Her young heir was powerless, and the appointed Regent was a foul and greedy man who squandered away the resources and influence of Alora to feed his desires. It was not a quick death, for Alora, and over decades lords and knights abandoned the monarchy to establish their own small independent cities, and self-reliant manors. The Last Queen of Alora, Lushiina, powerful in name only, married King Harik Griffonsbane, combining the two kingdoms. Many Alorans became Tyndarians in name only, and the Tyndarian Kings and Queens never really enforced their rule heavily, though the Marches with Killbar would become contested territory with a heavy military presence.
The collapse of Alora paved the way for Killbar to take northern territory they had never dared to dream of, as well as the Eshkin land it had conquered earlier. The resulting wars between Tyndaria and Killbar cost the lives of thousands, and when the dust finally settled 250 years later, much of the territory had repeatedly changed hands. Great armies had marched over the territory again and again, and battles had been fought on nearly every open field, leaving behind years of scars. Each country was convinced it would emerge victorious over the other to make it all worth it. In the end, it was Moduru who would decide the winner, razing the city of Killbar to the ground, casting down the entire republic.
The War of the Beards
While the conflict with Killbar was ever-present, there were other conflicts that popped up throughout Tyrndall simultaneously. The War of the Beards is one of the least understood, especially for its outsized impact. The origins of the war are shrouded in mystery, but somehow Duke Arkan the Majestic and Yarin Stonebeard set their forces against one another and continued to fight a war in southern Tyrndall for a number of years. The conflict even continued after both Kingdoms demanded a cessation. In Tyrndall, it was poorly timed for a strong retaliation as the Killbarans had just kicked off an invasion to the north leaving the Queen little resources to spare containing a braggart duke. Thankfully, the problem was solved on its own when Duke Arkan was killed in battle a few years in. The war strained relations with the Drimm, but thankfully not enough to fracture the fairly weak alliance they held. The War of the Beards is the only known large scale conflict between Drimmak and Tyrndall, standing out as an anomaly on a rather peaceful border.
The Hrondring Invasion
To the west, Tyndaria and Killbar had fought for years in the Toldiri hills, using the home of the Hrondring as an extended battlefield. Tyndaria had been on reasonable terms with the Hrondring for most of their existence, but their general apathy toward any consequences suffered by the Hrondring during the conflicts with Killbar strained the relationship with the nomadic tribes. In 415 AR Chieftain Manaba, who had lost both of her children to a Tyndarian raid, gathered a host of likeminded chiefs and swept down from the hills into western Tyndaria. There, they were unstoppable for years, terrorizing the western duchies and independent cities. The horde sacked Darkthunder castle, long the seat of the local Dukes who ruled the Toldiri hills, plundered the Plains of Alora and the forests of Tyrndall before being finally being pushed back in 423 AR, following the death of Manaba. The horde achieved their goals, however, and none of the Hrondring lands were claimed by Tyndarians, though they now were considered only a disposable buffer between themselves and the Killbarans.
Following the events of Modurus first war, the Thraxian sack and Occupation of Tyrndall and the death of King Tor Banefiend, Tyndaria was set on a path from which it would never recover. King Tor’s children had been assassinated, and he had named his bodyguard and confidant, a demi-golem named Wanderer, his heir. When he died, Wanderer took the throne as expected, but there was rebellion from a number of the Noble Houses. Wanderer was an outsider who derived no lineage through Tyndarian families. These initial rebellions proved unsuccessful, with Wanderer and his army bringing most of the breakaway Kingdoms under their sway in a relatively short time. The Silentknife Duchy, however, succeeded in breaking away permanently, once Wanderer withdrew his troops.
The Silentknife Rebellion would likely have been the end, with the Duchy being the only successful separation, but just a short time after the withdraw from Silentknife, King Wanderer, his wife Messena, and their twin children disappeared in the dark of night without a trace. Wanderer’s generals, Davis and Grady, took it upon themselves to administer the Kingdom in his absence and were absolutely incompetent. In the years that followed Tyndaria shattered, and the once united kingdom separated into 11. What was once Tyndaria is now (incorrectly) referred to as “The Ten Kingdoms.” This state was exacerbated when, amazingly, Wanderer returned, alone, and much harsher than he had ever been. War is constant between the kingdoms, and Wanderer is sure to seek any opportunities to reabsorb the smaller kingdoms and return Tyndaria to its former glory.