The History of Plantasia was been one of War, Conquest, Disease, Famine and eventually Peace and Unity. Plantasia started out as a small Kingdom in the middle of the Continent known as Pendalia. There was hundreds of small City States scross the continent each vying for arable land to be able to grow crops to sustain an evergrowing population. From about the year 400 a new more drought resistent grain was cross bred allowing for people to eat more and sustain more people in their cities. This period of growth let to the need to aquire more land and this led to conflict between neightbours. As conflict erupted, more and more weapons were created to gain an edge over the neightbours.
Plantasia like all the countries survivied by plunging into war. All men were drafted into the military and women took over nearly all the roles the men had while they were defending the city or attacking neighbouring cities. Over time the small were conquered and more the successful started to expand. By the year 500 some of the Kingdoms had begun working with each other to secure a peace but as leadership changes especially hereditary ones often do, one generation led to a group of entitled leaders each believing they were destined to rule. Again the continent erupted into a brutal period known as the Sixty Year War. An entire generation knew nothing but killing and death. Arts, Music and culture disappeared in favor of the tools of war. In 560 the wars ground to a halt as countries were tired of the constant fighting. Rather than a peaceful agreement it simply petered out to be fought again another day.
The King of Plantasia Wanden II approached the neighbouring countries who were in a weak position. Short on food, resources and men they were rips to be taken over. The King approached their leaders and called a council. In the Council of Charting in 572 he outlined his proposal of creating Greater Plantasia. He would recognize their royal families, their history and their lineage if they agreed to become vassal states of Plantasia. Clearly showing the military strength of Plantasia and the abundant resources 12 of the 14 other countries signed the The Charter of Charting and overnight Plantasia became the second biggest country on the continent. For 45 years Plantasia consolidated its gains providing schooling, food, technology and support to all the new Duchies as they were called. The former Kings and Grand Dukes become Dukes and Duchesses of Plantasia.
In 614 a neighboring country started causing issues on the border. King Wardis I of Plantasia sent a number of emissaries but they were rebuffed and some even returned beheaded with a warning. The Battle against the HorseLords of Jaren was brutal. It showed the inferiority of Plantasia on horseback and the clear gaps in their military strategy. For 14 years the battle waged with major inroads into Plantasia being achieved by the Jaren for the first four years and then as Plantasia adapted and grew, they were able to push back the Jaren and then turn the tides of battle. Within two years they had recaptured all the lost land and then over the next 8 years they were able to drive deep into the heartland of the Jaren. In the great battle of Jardinay, King Wardis was killed when his small party was surrounded and slaughtered to a man. His son Prince Warrennar took charge and with a vicious counter attack came in with the main army of Plantasia and took out the bulk of the army and then swept in to take the capital of Janfelah. After much negotiations the Dominion of Jaren became the Duchy of Jaren and part of the Kingdom of Plantasia. There was no reprisals, no punitive treatment and in exchange the Horselords began to train the army of Plantasia on their horses, horse management and cavalry strategy.
Over the next 30 years peace ensued across Plantasia and most of Pendalia. There was a period of growing population and a culture of rapid innovation started to develop.
In 658 a great plague swept across the continent. By the end of four years approximately 35% of the population had died. It took another twenty years for the economies to start recovering from the devastation and loss of so many great leaders, artists and key people across the continent. In 678 began a period of rapid growth. A number of great people emerged at this time in History including Stefano the Smith, Angeleto the great artist and Petros the Master Farmer. These and hundreds of others brought new technology, new ideas and the birthing of one of the greatest periods in Plantasia history. For 75 years everything boomed and during that time Plantasia doubled in size as smaller countries realized it was better to be part of a thriving nation versus being potentially gobbled up by other nations also growing at the time.
In 753 everything changed. The two greatest countries in Pendalia, the Kingdom of Plantasia and the Empire of Olanis came to war. Without provocation the Empire marched into Plantasia. With their heavy knights and heavy cavalry they cut a sweeping path and engulfed 20% of Plantasia within the space of two years. During that time the leaders of Plantasia quickly learned what the Olanese were doing and began to raise the strength of armor and training to be able to match them. It took another year to be able to finally match the strength and slow the assault. Gradually over the next five years the tide turned and Plantasia recaptured all the territory it had lost. It took another 15 years to finally get the Olanese to capitulate. When the dust settled the Emperor was deposed and chose to live in exile rather than see his empire ruled by another country. All the Leaders of the various regions were gathered and given an option to either submit to rule by Plantasia or to be also forced into exile with their emperor. Of the 109 leaders, 89 decided to stay and become Dukes and Lords within Plantasia. Only 20 decided to follow their emperor into exile.
By 795 almost the entire continent was under control of the Kingdom of Plantasia. A year later things started to fall apart as the King Wildar the Conqueror died his son King Wildar II took over. Aged 16 and arrogant he started demanding his subjects to heed his every need. Resentment grew as more and more Duchies choked under the yoke of the indignant king. Rebellion started to happen especially amongst the former Olanese Duchies. By 798 the Kingdom was in revolt in 26 locations around the country. His troops were scattered attempting to put down the rebellions. The worse the situation got the more the King began demanding greater tribute and taxes to fund the suppression of the rebellion. When the King was assassinated by one his Dukes, no one wept his death. Next in line to the throne was actually his uncle Phideas. King Phideas was crowned in 800 amidst turmoil and revolution. He vacillated not wanting to offend anybody. Without a strong ruler, corruption was rampant as systems broke apart and Duchies had to fend for themselves. With mounting pressure and an inability to govern, King Phideas the Unwilling went into a monastery to seek spiritual guidance and never returned. Everything collapsed as rumors of his abandonment circulated around the Kingdom.
His sister Lyantra the last in throne to the throne finally had enough. Getting her brother to abdicate she took the throne and was crowned a week later in Charting Cathedral in the year 802. Queen Lyantra was exactly what the crown needed. Wise and benevolent, powerful yet loving. She immediately gave focus to the leaders and within one month 80% of the rebellions in the Duchies ceased. Three months later with support of the military and ensuring access to food for all, the rebellious activities ceased. A year after gaining the throne, she was both loved and idolized across the land. Three years after being crowned she created, The House of the Duchies where the 216 Duchies could now come together twice a year and discuss pressing matters. Queen Lyantra the Beloved ruled for 38 years creating a new unprecented level of prosperity.
From 840 to 980 were known as the Lost Years. Various Kings who took the thrones were neither strong nor weak. Very little was achieved after the great years of Queen Lyantra. The philosophy of innovation and creativity and the reward of entrepreneurship which had been hallmarks of her reign were substituted for an inward looking monarchy enjoying the rewards of peace and prosperity. Hunting Lodges and great banquets, feasts and frivolity. The Kingdom experienced neither famine, pestilence nor plague, it simply existed.
In 980 King Wilmont IV died and his 18 year old son King Willis I took the throne. As a prince Willis had been taught history by the great teacher and philosopher Danises who challenged him to be the greatest king that ever lived. He was taught the ‘Four Keys of Kingship’. Benevolence, Prudence, Opulence and Influence.
Benevolence – It is important to understand that you rule for the sake of the people and the greater the success of the people the greater the success of the realm.
Prudence – One must be prudent, in expending money only for growth and never for waste and self aggrandisement. Lack of prudence can cost the crown.
Opulence – It is important to seek the best of everything. For the crown to be aspirational yet not as the expense of the people. For the people to celebrate the magnificence of the Kingdom.
Influence – To stay connected to the people. To be relevant in their daily lives and that the laws and power are used to better their lives.
King Willis (980-1016) took his teachings to heart. He began programs supporting the growth of the merchant class. He encouraged creativity, innovation and expansion. He began a patron to the arts and encouraged new artistic endeavours. Art expanded at a level never seen before in Plantasia. Fusion became the new style bringing artistic talents from around the Kingdom and blending them into new forms.
His greatest reform was understanding that a country at peace can often become militarily weak and vulnerable from outside threats. The best defence is a strong offence was drilled into him by Danises. He looked back at the two times when Plantasia was strongest militarily. Both were when it was attacked. First by the Horselords of Jaren and later by the Empire of Olanis. In the first they learned about horses and riding and the second about Armor clad knights. With that in mind he brought back a class of warriors lost in history. He re-established Knightly Orders and encouraged men to train themselves in the fighting arts through Chivalry. It was a stroke of genius. The military which had shrunken into a peacetime army had grown soft. Now with new purpose, prestige and wealth men started training and getting into shape. By the time the King died he was known as King Willis the Great and the future of Plantasia was assured.
His son King Willis II (1016-1040) had seen his father rule with wisdom and followed in his foot steps. He brought new educational reforms to Plantasia implementing compulsory education for all children across the realm. He sent scholars out to the far reaches of Plantasia to document the history and culture of the former countries that make up Plantasia. This new material was written down and captured in plays and music bringing about a new Cultural age in Plantasia. He extended opportunities for the remaining sixteen countries on the outskirts of Plantasia to join as vassal states and over the course of his 24 year reign all 16 finally chose to integrate within Greater Plantasia. When he died, aged 64 he was known as King Willis The Teacher.
King Willis III (1040-1056) inherited the throne at the age of 42 and having watched both father and grandfather rule the country he promoted health and vibrancy amongst his people. He expanded the House of Duchies to 316 members and searched for ones to live longer. He travelled the length and breadth of Plantasia and implemented techniques for better road creation and established a nationwide network of quality roads to expand trade. He spent a lot of time with his son Willard mentoring him to take over the throne and with his beloved son William who often sat upon his lap while he held court. One time he was up in the mountains looking at a new ore mine that was being dug when an earthquake hit and everyone was crushed in the ensuing collapse. The country mourned as Good King Willis III passed on.
Rarely has a child been better groomed than King Willard (1056-1073) to take over the throne. Inheriting the prosperous, cultured Kingdom of Plantasia at the age of 33, he was crowned in the beginning of 1056. He had four younger sisters Her Royal Highnesses Devine, Petania, Arelia and Ariadne. These girls stood for rights for women. A year earlier they had secured the rights for women to be knighted and compete in Tourneys. Princess Arelia and Princess Ariadne had both started competing in Tourneys and had proven that women could hold their own and sometimes best men in what was thought a male only sport. They would pave the way for an influx of women competing and leveling the field in one more endeavour. King Willard spent a lot of time with his son Prince William and his daughter Princess Alicia, teaching them the principles of good management. King Willard expanded the House of Duchies to 356. He was able to lower taxes and promote productivity amongst the merchants.
At age of 18, Prince William now a strong, fit young man was schooled in the art of a knight, like his father and grandfather before him. He had a custom set of plate made for him and with his beloved horse Lightning he started training for the Joust. Jousting had been a favorite sport of kings for many years and many a Lord had proven their mettle at the tilt rail. For the next three years William rose up in the ranks and began to excel at the joust. At age 23 he competed at the King’s Tourney where the top 24 knights competed at a number of events including the Joust. He was knocked out in the third round by Lord Farwin ‘The Crusher’ Tarlstream who would end up making it to the finals only to lose it to Lord Macklin ‘Savage’ Jarwood the greatest knight of the age.
King Willard was returning from the House of Duchies in 1073 when he decided to ride ahead of the procession with Prince William to share some information in confidence. As they were galloping through the forests a fox raced across the track, startling the King’s horse and throwing him off. He landed and broke his neck. For an hour Prince William cradled his father as he slowly slipped away.
It was a bittersweet day for King William when aged 25 he was crowned King of Plantasia in a ceremony a week later. His expectations of being King, shattered by the loss of his father he followed the same benevolence he had seen his grandfather and father rule by. With the support of the Lords it took four months for the new king to take complete leadership and for the transition to be truly complete.
It was when he met his true love Krystallina in 1074 that his heart found joy once again. Krystallina of Gattenbrook was the daughter of the Great Lord Kelryn of Gattenbrook. Although there was a eight year age difference it was apparent that true love had taken them both (He was 26, she 18). They were married late in 1074. The Crown Princess was born nine months later and Prince Kenny (as he was called) twelve months after that.
The Royal Brood as the King called the children were both full of energy but also taught manners befitting a future King and possibly Queen. The next five years were the happiest in the King’s life as he watched the Prince and Princess, play, discover and learn. When Queen Krystallina came down with a mysterious illness while pregnant, the King became gravely concerned. Nothing seemed to be able to heal the Queen. Mystics, Healers and Doctors came from all over the realm and each day she seemed to slip in and out of a semi-lucid state. For six months the King held her head each night praying. On April the 17th she gave birth to her third child a son called Willis after his grandfather. It was April 19th, 1080 that she finally slipped away. The saddest day in King William’s life. Her son Willis was sick and given the best nursing available but two weeks later he took his last breath in the arms of his sister. His father watching his daughter cradle her brother could not hold back the tears both for her and his own memory holding his father.
The family all wore black for the next year in respect of the Queen and young Prince. A melancholic air filled the court. From that time on, King William spent time grooming his children for leadership, never knowing when his time would come and making sure that there was a line of succession to make sure that Plantasia would grow and expand for generations to come.
In time the Court returned to normal but life at court never seemed quite as vibrant or as free and innocent as it was before the Queen passed away. The Kingdom continued to flourish with wise and benevolent leadership.