A vast empire to the west of Adrila, past the Dimberg mountains. It's built upon the ruins of its predecessors, but ruled more carefully and run quite differently. It has a long history, compared to Adrila, and the events that happened in its past still carry consequences today.
"Long ago, a massive empire, ruled by humans and counting many races among its subjects, held almost one third of the Old World in its grasp. It was a mighty nation, for it held everything west of the Dimberg Peninsula under its grip. This great empire was called Chandeum, ruled by a mighty Emperor, and its mages were the greatest of their time. Not much is known of the time before the Dividing, approximately a thousand years ago, but through much toil has its more recent history become uncovered.
The first certain clue in my possession dates back to 1504. It is a letter from a Captain on Chandeum's eastern borders, where they held away the savages in the Dimberg mountains. In it, the letter speaks of how the surrounding villages and forts have fallen to the barbarians already, and of a 'savage cold coming from the south'. This points well towards the particularly fell winter of 1504, where even Elthern's glimmering spires were covered in ice and snow. Furthermore, the letter is addressed to General Delmios, who, thanks to former excavations, is identified as the high commander of the armies in Eastern Chandeum from the years 1488 to 1521. This indicates that Chandeum suffered invasions that year, and that the invaders were very successful.
Later text, recovered by my two ever useful slaves, speaks of an Emperor, whose greatness was only surpassed by his greed. Valdanus the Conqueror, reigning from 1654 to 1697. He led Chandeum to its peak, where even the Dimberg barbarians, ever wild and true to their savage ways, were forced to hide underground. Chandeum expanded past the Dimberg mountains, several new focus points were raised in the wilds, far to the south, and massive wild beasts were tamed and used for warfare. Even the White Coast fell under Chandeum rule during this era, and Valdanus, while he lived, was considered the greatest Emperor Chandeum had yet seen.
However, in Valdanus' tomb itself, my slaves found that Valdanus' stone cask had been shattered and its contents emptied, many, many years ago. They uncovered clues that led me to the conclusion that Valdanus, after his death, quickly lost his fame and power. Why remains secret to me, but I suspect that his greed led Chandeum to be stretched too far, and his follower, Empress Neldinia, was unable to maintain Chandeum's enormous size. Early scriptures state that Neldinia was trying to reduce Chandeum's strength to make it possible to rule properly, but this made her unpopular with the nobility who had taken lands in the conquered lands. Thus, Neldinia's rule ended quickly with her assassination, lasting only from 1697 to 1703.
Scriptures tell more of the quick decline of Chandeum. From the years 1703 and until 1743, Chandeum's Emperors grew decadent and careless. They handed more and more power over to the nobility, leaving it to them to maintain peace in their respective regions alongside the military. Our grand city-state, Elthern, broke free from Chandeum about that time, as you all know. Several nobles broke free from Chandeum, much thanks to the nobles convincing the garrisons of their lands that they would be better off on their own.
In 1743, Chandeum received a mortal blow it never recovered from. A particularly harsh winter came upon it once again, bringing deadly cold to the southern regions, as well as the higher regions of Chandeum. The Dimberg mountains, in particular, was so cold that year that glaciers covered most of the mountains, leaving the Chandeum forces in today's Adrila cut off from their neighbours. The barbarians residing in the mountains were forced out of their caves and huts by the heavy snowfall, and decided to turn west upon Chandeum, who had conquered them in the past. The barbarians, vengeful and wild as they were, drove deep into Chandeum's eastern regions, and shattered Chandeum control as they pillaged, looted and waged war on Chandeum populace in the region.
In the palace of Chandeum, these news were taken poorly, and the Emperor was slain in public by an arrow. Who shot the arrow is unclear, and will likely forever be. What is more important is that the next seven years saw Chandeum's influence on our continent sink drastically, with rebellions rising up regularly in the western regions, the White Coast becoming an uncontrollable freebooter's haven, and the eastern regions being ravaged by the barbarians.
In 1750, as the cold spread across our lands, Chandeum's farms and fields suffered from a terrible harvest. The armies that remained in Chandeum's control received no supplies, the civilians in the cities were unable to work, and as hunger led to a decline in health, so too did sicknesses grow more common, and in the end terrible plagues and diseases spread. Chandeum's time was over as the last Emperor of Chandeum died from the plague, leaving much of our lands in turmoil. This brief overview speaks much of Chandeum's last age, shortened down for your convenience. The full version can be found in the Grand Library, carefully pieced together and written down, if you seek to study Chandeum further. Truly, its fall is a lesson for all to learn."
- A letter from Master Galeron to Lord Magistrate Thambarus of Elthern.
Ivellea, raised upon the ruins of the fallen Chandeum, bears many similarities to its predecessor. Ivellea is a notable power in the Old World, and is also the largest nation in the Old World. With Chandeum's end in 1750, Ivellea rose up the next spring, word of the new nation quickly spreading through the land. While the White Coast, along with the city-state Elthern and the lands between, were beyond Ivellea's grasp, the regions further south were well within the young nation's reach, and gladly joined the ambitious group at Ivellea's center. Ivellea formed near Chandeum's old capital, and by virtue of offering a more peaceful life for its citizens, it quickly gained supporters and allies throughout the ruins of Chandeum. During autumn 1760, Ivellea's eastern armies were shoving the barbarians out of what is today Ivellea's most fertile lands. Once these lands were secured, Ivellea halted its expansion to better solidify matters of state.
At the grand rally of Damthern in spring 1761, people from all over the land came to partake. The new Damthern, still being rebuilt after old Damthern was left in ruin by a massive rebellion in 1747, could only house so many, and so a grand camp formed a ring around the city. Never since have the roads to Damthern been so populated, and gathering sufficient supplies became a difficult task. Regardless of this, the seven most influential people in Ivellea - namely Captain Senrick, who began the Ivellean rise; Archmage Arelonn, one of the few remaining Chandeum councilors of state, and five lords who each had taken control of their land when Chandeum's strength declined - laid plans and made several votes over important matters. These seven were determined to set Ivellea's course in the future.
The rally lasted several weeks, and with the supply issue being as it was, Captain Senrick issued the command that in order to get food, citizens had to help rebuild the capital. Many citizens decided to aid in the labor, while others chose to leave for home. The capital started to take shape in a similar way to Ivellea; with the base structure already laid out, the buildings that rose were ones of magnificence, and Damthern eventually became a city rivalling Elthern in its splendor. As with all mighty cities, Damthern too had its fortifications; tall and strong walls built for easy access for its defenders, but difficult access for any attackers.
It would take fifty years before Ivellea saw a major change again. Under Captain Senrick's wise rule, the country prospered, but eventually Senrick grew old. Arelonn, younger than Senrick and certainly aging quite a bit slower than the Captain, voiced his concerns. Senrick's follower should be from the people, not from a line of kings, and the young nation Ivellea had many wise scholars within its borders. In order to select Senrick's successor, the first Emperor, these scholars should form a council and constantly seek and teach good rulers. Senrick, old as he was at the time, agreed to the decision. Only a month later, Arelonn had selected the wisest scholars in Ivellea, and these wise men were granted quarter in Damthern's palace. From the year 1811 and even now, the Ivellean council remains a strong presence.
Not all of Ivellea's developments were good, however; Senrick's death in 1814 was a blow to the people's spirit, as he was a symbol of their freedom. His successor, chosen by the Council as agreed, was a good man, until he came to power. But unlike Senrick, whose ideals were for the good of the people, Emperor Garthan was pragmatic and, despite his well intentions, was never liked much by the common people. He wrote many laws to prevent Ivellea breaking apart, and on a grand scale, these laws were excellent. For the common man, however, they were not so good. Additionally, the magical focus in Damthern was made bigger. The wiser and well schooled said that it grew in power as well, interfering with a far greater area and also restructuring Ivellea's old focus network, with itself at the center. The reasons for this were never revealed, and people slowly came to accept it.
As the years passed by, Ivellea cemented its position as a stable nation on a chaotic continent. Its emperors seemed to follow Garthan's example as pragmatic rulers with the country's stability and peace as its first priority, with some exceptions. The people grew to accept it, as it was, after all, better than Chandeum's massive taxes needed to maintain its enormous armies, or the chaos that reigned in other regions, such as current day Adrila.
-Ivellea's magical focus point network