The Iron Rebellion

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[4000 DA – 0 AT]: The Dragon Age
[0 AT – ~500 AT]: The Age of Man
[422 AT – 620 AT]: The Uplift
[538 AT – 901 AT]: The Unification
[650 AT – 700 AT]: The Orcish Exile
[699 AT – 800 AT]: The Iron Rebellion
[800 AT – 1209 AT]: The Golden Age
[1209 AT – 1212 AT]: The Neverwar
[1212 AT – Present]: Aftermath of the Neverwar

[702 AT – 800 AT]

When the Empire invaded Vokaya in the mid to late 600s, the country was already in turmoil. The unpopular rule of the elected Vokayan King had opened cracks between the once-unified cities of Vokaya, and there was talk among the people of open rebellion. The threat of the Empire helped to delay the inevitable for a good 40 years, but this waned after Duke Conrad Meier of Westerberg retreated from Cascade Valley, taking the entire Imperial invasion force with him. Worse yet, after four years Vokaya had still been unable to reclaim its lost territory, leading to even more lack of faith in the Vokayan leadership. Talos Michaelides Rex, grandson of the first King of Vokaya, had been elected only six years ago in the wake of his father’s death. Both their reigns had been troubled and unpopular, and in 702 AT, he was facing his first Contest to support his claim to the throne.
To make a long story short, he did not do well, and only retained his throne by the barest margin of votes. Many of his supporters among the Consulate and the High Council, however, did not keep their positions, and Michaelides Rex was afraid he would soon be stripped of power or assassinated. His response was, to put it lightly, rash: he forcibly disbanded the High Council, and, with the use of tribal elven mercenaries from the Frozen Wastes and a Listed Company hired from Atur, sought to secure control of Vokaya, not as a constitutional monarchy, but a true autocracy.

This was not much appreciated by the rest of Vokaya.

The Iron Rebellion

In the west, the cities of Obsidian and Lowpeak both held to some of their identity as members of the Iron Dominion of old, having idealised the Dragon Kings. In the two centuries they had been a part of Vokaya they had adopted their conqueror’s ideals in many ways, including their religion and their government. Their military culture and caste system had remained, however, as had their talent for crafts and technology. When Talos dissolved the High Council, Obsidian decided they had enough. They seceded from the Kingdom and elected their own Dragon King, reforming the Iron Dominion. They recalled their forces from Vokaya’s eastern borders, and while the Empire fought the Orcs far to the south to reclaim the Neck, the north was preparing to go to war with itself.

The civil war lasted for 80 years. The Iron Dominion eventually secured control of High Tower and Northhold, and even reclaimed Riverheart from the Empire, before it, too, suffered an internal power struggle and eventually split into three separate warring states. Had the Empire not been at war with the Dunvales Conclave and suppressing Vokayan rebellions in the Steppelands, they might have simply walked into the divided realm and added the entirety of the Far North to the Unification.

The chaos continued until the middle of 783 AT, when an unexpected drought caused a massive famine throughout the Far North. The war-torn land had been soaked in the blood of heroes and patriots for three generations, and under the weight of war-weariness and starvation, the three fragments of the Iron Dominion (called the Iron League by Vokaya, despite the fact that they were not allied) began to crumble under popular uprisings. Vokaya itself, now consisting only of Cascade and Everlight, as well as a chunk of the eastern Everwinter Crest, was bereft of leadership. The current King was one Ambrus Sallas Rex, Talos’ nephew; a weak and impulsive man, Ambrus had done little to earn his position beyond breathing once his father had died. In the summer of 783, Ambus would suddenly be removed from power, and the man to take his place would change the shape of the world.

The Rise of Vadim Serendi

As the stories say, Sallas Rex’s response to the famine was to order men to whip the farmers into producing more food. He ordered it done over the protests of his advisors, both private and those among the Consulate. When he could not be dissuaded from this final outrage, Grand General Vadim Serendi took charge of the Consulate and the Dragon’s Teeth, and led a bloodless coup against his useless “king.” Vadim Serendi Rex installed himself as King, and as his first action, he gathered the most powerful landed nobles living in Cascade and reformed the Vokayan High Council. By tapping into the royal stockpiles and those of the nobility, he managed to arrange the city to be fed for the rest of the year.

Once Vadim Serendi secured Cascade against internal threats, he began to look outward. The Iron League was crippled by civil wars, and the threat of foreign invasion was high. He raised Vokaya’s armies and, being first a Grand General before he was a King, deftly led them to war. He began by reclaiming the Everwinter Crest and the city of Northhold, the defeat of which signed the end of one third of the Iron League, and then turned his attention southward, hoping to secure Vokaya’s southern borders before the Empire returned.

He was too late. By the time he was moving on the southern third of the Iron League, the Empire had already marched upon it from below. Imperial forces conquered Riverheart once again, and began to press both the Iron Dominion (the last third of the Iron League, controlling Obsidian, High Tower, and Lowpeak) and Vokaya itself. Vadim clashed with the Imperial armies in the Great River valleys between the Cascades and the Rampart, in a series of battles that halted the momentum of both forces for two whole years. A number of factors conspired to engineer an Imperial defeat, but primarily some political infighting led the Imperial generals to be removed from the battle lines, leaving less-experienced officers in charge. Vadim took advantage of the disorganization to press his enemy, pushing them out of Riverheart and south into the Steppelands. After securing the city against invasion and instituting a Vokayan regime, he then turned westward, towards the Rampart.

The Iron Dominion had fared much worse against the Empire. The government had almost entirely collapsed under the weight of civil unrest, and the military wasn’t much better off. The Empire had claimed Obsidian with duplicity, and had laid siege to Lowpeak for nearly two years.
Vadim swept in behind the Imperial forces, and secured the passes through the Rampart into the Steppelands. The Empire cut off, he then orchestrated a massive invasion of the remains of the Iron Dominion from both the east, north, and south, crushing the Imperial forces at the same time. Unable to mount an effective defense and the people awed by the heroic King of Vokaya, the Iron Dominion, at long last, willingly submitted to Vokayan rule. After nearly a century of conflict, in 786 AT the Iron Rebellion was ended.

The House Serendi

Rather than try and reclaim the Steppelands from the Empire, Vadim ordered the construction of a series of mighty fortresses on every passage into Vokaya, called the Rampart Line. This act would define Vokaya’s southern border up to the present day. While the Rampart Line would not be completed for nearly sixty years, the Empire was never able to lay claim to even a foot of Vokayan territory for centuries.

With the end of the Iron Rebellion and the construction of the Rampart Line, Vadim Serendi had at long last brought lasting peace to the trouble nation. He was considered by all who knew him to be an honorable and fair man, charismatic and wise in his reign. He would rule Vokaya as King, winning every Contest nearly unanimously for almost forty years before his death at the age of 71. Immediately, his firstborn child Ilya Serendi was elected Queen, and she would rule for the remainder of her own natural life. Thus was created the House Serendi, and the beginning of the Vokayan Golden Age.

The Iron Rebellion

Alsara: Requiem and Revolution Serathen Serathen