From LEpedia, the Lands End online encyclopedia.
The Kingdom of Talland is the only region in Biggonia which is still a Kingdom, the other such regions being reduced to Principalities. Being the center of the Empire, it is where the capital of Talland, as well as a large portion of the gdp and population, are situated. Unlike the other regions, it is not divided up into being ruled by separate counts and dukes, instead every single estate is held by the Emperor, though of course power is sometimes delegated to local boroughs. The Capital city of Ivasburg is where the diet convenes to discuss the state of the Empire and pass laws.
It comes from 'Valley Land' in German, back on the old LE map when it was largely covered by mountains.
The current Kingdom of Talland can trace it's origins back to the Grand Duchy of Ivasburg, which was officially made in 513. After the fall of the First Biggonian Empire in 376, the Biggonian region was taken over by Emperor Ivas I of Biggonia. He ruled until 413, when his son, Ivas II took over. Ivas II, however, supposedly had no children. Importantly to note, the lone hero story had been circulating for a while now, earliest records showing it had begun around 200 AD. However, this was not yet a central theme of Biggonian worship. Upon Ivas' death in 454, the remaining 'Empire' fell at last into chaos in the heartlands. Though it was run by the Biggonian migrants, it had at least been a unified force so now banditry ruled the realm. Ivasburg, was sacked 3 seperate times in the span of 10 years and it's population was a sixth of that during 376. This was, until, in 410, a young man entered the city claiming to be the bastard grandson of Ivas II. While there was no actual way to prove this, this also meant the claim could not technically be disproved. Over time, Ivas III, as he came to be known, spread the legend of the lone hero, and it became prominent like it is today. At last, on 1st April, 513, on the first day of the rainy season, Ivas Tallandos III challenged the current duke Appius Claudona to a duel. While he was under no obligation to accept, Ivas' growing popularity left him no choice. It was a quick and easy battle, and the very next day Duke Ivas of Ivasburg was crowned. For the next few decades he would expand Ivasburg's influence, slowly controlling more and more of the Talland region. While he would only come to own about an eighth of the current land area of Talland, it was still an impressive feat to be sure. Ivas III would pass peacefully in 578.
Charles the Great
With Ivas III death, the Tallandos dynasy was now truly on the path to own all of Biggonia. The lone hero story had started in Ivasburg but was now spreading like wildfire across the whole of Talland. While the new Tallandos' claim to fame was still rather shaky, they still crowned the next Grand Duke, Warin I. He was not a good leader, and lost several counties along with bankrupting the countries during his expensive wars. When he breathed his last in 611, the Grand Duchy was in dire straits. And thus the next Grand Duke, Charles the Great, would have to prove his worth in the diplomatic table. He built up alliances, and through a series of marriages and assassination's was able to retake his lost territories. He then turned his attention to the northern realms of Seltsamia, the most prosperous of which, a city called Agaragobh. He assembled the league and declared war in 623. In the battle of Alshkuburi, Ivasburg's heavy armour proved useful in stopping the Seltsamian's composite bows. Their forces were routed and retreated into the city, their Sultan himself being heavily wounded. Charles would then lay siege to the city, completely encircling it and building a 50 foot high siege tower. At the time this was a monumentous effort, and took 6 whole months. When it finally was completed, they believed that this would easily be enough to take the city. Archers on the tower raked the walls, forcing the Agaragobhans to take cover. When it at last docked with the wall, it was supported by ladders attacking nearby. The wet animal skins made it impossible for archers to set fire to the actual tower, until the ramp came down and wood was exposed. A brave individual, who is unknown in name, threw a naffatun into the exposed logs, bringing the whole tower down. This caused the loss of 500 fighting men and importantly the tower. Therefore Charles concocted one last plan. Paying off the Vizier of the city, Hussein Ghidassa, that if he allowed the men into the city then he would become the next Sultan and could marry anyone he wished. Hussein traitorously accepted and then Charles' forces entered in. Over the course of the next seven days, the disease ridden, exhausted and angry army engaged in rape, pillage and murder. This was known as the Soiling of Agaragobha.
Charles' greatness would not end there. Over the course of the next few years Ivasburg saw unprecedeneted growth until it owned a significant portion of Talland. While, again, still less than a third of Talland today, this was huge back then. Therefore, on 9th September 634, Charles was crowned King Charles I of Talland. While this was a bold claim, it was not without precedent. Since the realm's size had caused the wealth and population to be increasingly decentralized and not around Ivasburg, most in the Grand Duchy thought it was time for a change. This is one of the main reasons why Charles is considered to be Charles the Great.
Charles also raised up a very happy family. In 615 at a ball he met a woman named Ricardina, and they both immediately fell in love. They would get married in 617 and they had 4 children together. This further cemented their relationship as it meant that Charles would not have to have a morale obligation to have affairs, though there were certain rumours circulating around the court at the time about Ricardina, as this extract from a letter from the Count of Brabonendorf to the Count of Carenburg states:
"...She throws herself around the court in a most inappropriate and unladylike manner. I should hope she is caught in the act soon enough; it would certainly create some peace..."
Thankfully however, these rumours appear unfounded and most historians today pass it off as merely an untruth. Ricardina would die peacefully in 676, and Charles a year later in 677. His children would inherit by Primogeniture, as had been the tradition in Ivasburg beforehand.
The Domlandian Invasion
The line of Tallandos Kings would continue to reign peacefully and safely, and while there were a couple of scares, none came as close to toppling the fragile balance of power as the Domlandian Caliphate of the 14th century. Believed to have risen under the reign of Emir Omar IX, he, now crowned as Caliph Omar I, rode to war against the Biggonians, their ancient and hated enemies. Talland was his first target, and the easternmost independent duchies and counties were the first to incur his wrath. The reports, compiled by the Chancellor of Talland, by the name of Heinrich Kraus, state the following:
"The Domlandians come wielding bone crushing maces, and on great armoured mounts. Their army is possibly five-score thousand men... I would advise his highness to reconsider the aid to Eastern realms, lest we also fall to them."
Despite Heinrich's reservations, King Ivas VI recognized that if those lands fell his would be next, and thus allowed those Biggonians to flee west into the Kingdom, so that he could better organize the defense. On 21st January, 1337, the Biggonian host departed from Ivasburg, made up of Knights, retainers, men at arms and their allies who had already been routed. Contemporary reports state that over half the army was mounted, though this was likely not the case as this would have required a massively high upkeep. In any case, they were outnumbered by the Domlandians but instead of hiding out in Ivasburg, Ivas VI thought it best to engage on the open field.
The Battle of Carenburg field, as it came to be known, was a complete disaster for Talland forces. Battle was joined on 5th March, and Tallandic forces were eager to engage and thus charged forward. It very quickly, however, became clear that this would not be an easy victory, but instead a massacre. Horse fell upon horse as the cavalry clashed, and then the infantry did. Domlandian numbers and superior ferocity allowed them to gain an edge as they weaved in and out of the frontal Talland charges. Ivas' forces were quickly becoming overwhelmed, and at that point he was mortally struck with a dart, causing his household guard to abandon the field. He would die in his command tent, but the guard, realizing the battle would be lost if they fled, decided to wear his armour and launch a full frontal charge. When the Biggonians saw the banner reappear and charge into battle, their hope was renewed, though that quickly evaporated once they saw it get swamped by Domlandian cavalry, and the standard cast down. Until 1997, both the banner and armour of Ivas VI was on in display in the Domlandian military history museum, though today it has been moved to the Museum of Biggonian resistance, which you can find in Carenburg.
After the battle, Tallandic forces were in complete disarray. Ivas' 6 year old son, Karl, was hastily crowned King Karl I in Ivasburg, before being quickly evacuated to the nearby countryside. The book "Our struggle: My account of the Domlandian Caliphate" (published 1357) states that Tallandic killed and captured numbered 30,000, whereas the Domlandian killed numbered 20,000. Despite much of the Ivasburg garrison and Tallandic army fleeing to Karl, the governor was still confident he could hold out for at least a year, at which point the Domlandian army would be eating each other. However a new terrifying weapon was about to be introduced. The bombard, which had first been brought over by Hansan merchants a few years prior, had already been used, to great effect, by Omar in his conquests of Domlandia. Ivasburg had resisted several sieges in the past but this would be it's greatest test. With this new black powder, the walls crumbled and the city was Domlandian in 3 weeks, with Omar sitting in the throne room and stating "I have avenged my ancestors."
With Ivasburg being declared to new capital of Domlandia, Karl's regent Kessler the Strong sent messages to noblemen to Talland, Seltsamia, Suddereich and Grenzland, asking for help from any noble or freeman of the realm, to help uphold their ancient alliance as Biggonians, and repel these invaders from their soil. Citing the book "Our Struggle" again, the author wrote that there were 120,000 men in this army, though he/she was prone to embellishments, and due to us not knowing the identity of the author we have little idea if there was motivation behind it. Along the way, several scouts from the Principality of Palmedorf captured a party of gunpowder engineers who were 'offered' a place in the Biggonian army. They of course agreed and set to work on the Fire of Ivasburg, what is now called a monster bombard, and it easily smashed down the rebuilt walls of Ivasburg, for a second time. A replica of the Fire of Ivasburg can be seen in Breachpoint Square, where the square gets it's name from.
After the recapture of Ivasburg, the enormous baggage train was looted, and Caliph Omar was ransomed for the equivalent of 10 billion Biggonian Florins. The ransom was distributed evenly amongst every single one of the troops. When Omar returned home; his subjects rose up in open revolt, for this war had drained their coffers and led to thousands of deaths. The Caliphate collapsed 4 years later, in 1341, when Omar was assassinated. Afterwards, all who had been involved in the defense of Biggonia went their own separate ways and the war passed out of living memory. However, since 1843, it has been a binding force in Biggonia, as an example when they all came together as a people to defend their own independence. The Kessler family would continue to faithfully serve the Tallandos line until the 16th century, and Karl I would go on to rule for another 57 years, before passing in his sleep.
The Biggonian War of 1643
By 1640, the once great Kingdom of Talland was in a sorry state. It's expansion had stagnated for centuries, with uprisings and civil wars dominating the country's politics. The Tallandos lcalled ine had gone extinct three times, only for it to 'reappear' with a secret bastard. By now the King was called Ivas X, and he was not popular. He had not sired an heir, with many believing him to be homosexual, and this caused large worry and resentment amongst the court. His own wife, known as Elmina, also despised him, for his inability to produce an heir made her worried if the nobles would have any interest keeping her around. By now, as well, a new power had begun to rise in not just Talland, but Biggonia as a whole. The Burgher, or middle class, were wealthy lowborns who had risen to great places of prominence through hard work and clever deals. A large group of the nobles feared that this groups growing power would soon cement their place into society, and that their own influence would be drastically reduced.
Many of these tensions came to a head, in 3rd May 1642, when a delegation from Musainon - an Emirate in Domlandia - was allowed into the city. Many of the Burghers feared that Ivas would use foreign troops to take over the city and establish a reign of terror, which led to them forming the first defense meeting of the Burgher's guild in Ivasburg. Though today it has been renamed to the Ivasburg business defense conference, where they instead focus on external threats to one another's businesses, it can trace it's lineage back to this first gathering. Here they agreed that the Domlandians should not under any circumstances be allowed to enter Ivasburg palace, lest they meet with the King. Therefore, they arranged for multiple misfortunes to befall the Domlandians, as well as hiring a massive personal bodyguard. When the Vizier of the Emir himself, who was leading the delegation, died, they immediately turned back. Thus disaster had been supposedly avoided, much to the displeasure of the nobles. It was for this reason, that in 8th August 1642, possibly at the urging of his nobles, Ivas ordered the guild entirely disbanded and for the ringleaders put on trial. Many of them fled to the outer cities of Ivasburg, notably the city of Klantegall, where Elmina's supposed lover was ruling. His name was Dedrick Stark, and he was incredibly popular and a brave military leader. He was also young, only at the age of 27. This was viewed as a safe place to settle down as Dedrick agreed to shelter them. Then, on the 5th November, Elmina herself decided to flee Ivasburg, likely blackmailed to by the rest of the nobles to expose her affair. When she arrived in Klantegall, however, she was well welcomed. The speech she gave is recounted in the book "Fateful Year- 1642"
With Elmina's speech, many of the people of Klantegall determined that they should never be ruled by the trickery of the noble council. However, Dedrick knew that he could not challenge the Tallandic throne directly, and thus discretely ordered a large amount of equipment for upcoming war. The numbers have been recorded in the official accounting reports from 1642:
25,000 6m long pikes
10,000 sets of munitions armour
300 tonnes of gunpowder
Collective price: 20 billion USD
Naturally, this was a huge sum of money, and one that Dedrick Stark nor Klantegall could afford. However, the influx of Burghers caused them to provide a large amount of money for the purchase, as well as the fact that many of them were said weapons distributors. Still, the orders caused enormous debt, and rumour has it that the debt from this single purchase has still not been fully paid off by Klantegall to this day. Such armament and chaos did not go unnoticed, and this caused a large amount of nobles and the King himself to call for Dedrick be declared a traitor. That is why, on 4th March, 1643, seeing his options closing and Spring approaching Dedrick Stark decided to go on the offensive. His army of 40,000 men set off from the city and began to head towards Ivasburg, where it is unknown what is intentions were, but be would probably attempt to order the King to forcibly stand down.
Seeing the Klantegall army reaching the town of Southbridge, the Counts of Brabendorf and Carenburg decided to meet together before stopping him at the bridge. While both of their armies were significantly smaller- combined they likely only had 12,000 men- reinforcements from the capital also meant that combined their numbers had already reached 35,000; though the two armies were split up. After camping in Southbridge from the 26th to 31st, Dedrick thought it best he continue his advance. However, it was at this point he realized both armies were converging on his position. Even though the Klantegall soldiers outnumbered those of the loyalists, it would still be long and costly and it would be certainly pyrrhic. Therefore, in a flash of genius, he decided to launch a full attack towards the army of Carenburg (around 13,000 men) to rout it off the field, before turning his attention towards Brabendorf. He would send Reiter soldiers to slow down and harass the Brabendorf army, but did not leave a rearguard. Though this may have been risky, it definitely paid off as the well rested and confident troops of Klantegall fell upon the soldiers of Carenburg, throwing their ranks into disarray. The new technique of using Zweihanders to squeeze between the enemy pikemen, thus being able to make short work of them. On top of that, his daring cavalry attack in their rear paid off, and soon they were fleeing for the hills. Count Karl of Carenburg was captured and forced to change his allegiance to Klantegall cause, and from then on they became known as the Rebels. Karl would withdraw to Carenburg so that he could reorganize his forces before returning to the fray, and Dedrick then came towards the Brabendorf army. With messengers already bearing news of Carenburg's defeat, the Brabendorf army withdrew back to their city, whereas the reinforcements from Ivas X made all haste to block the road in a holding action, whilst awaiting reinforcements. In all 500 Klantegall soldiers died, and 1,000 were wounded. 1,500 Carenburg soldiers died, with a further 5,000 being taken prisoner. This marked a big defeat for King Ivas and he immediately began raising armies all around him, to defend Ivasburg.
Several Dukes, Counts and Barons all raised up their soldiers to come to the King's side. It took some time for the armies to converge, however, and they only arrived on the 3rd May. This had given time for the rebel army to gather up at Southbridge, however now Dedrick hesitated. He knew his army was inferior to the combined King's forces, however a retreat would be disastrous to both him and Elmina as Klantegall itself would fall under siege. So he merely camped his army outside Southbridge for the whole month, as supplies slowly dwindled.
Important to note, is that 1643 was a particularly hot year, and the large amount of farmers being called up to fight certainly did not help the situation. Food for both sides was starting to get low, as mass foraging occurred. Therefore many merchants from other parts of Biggonia came in to export food to the starving Tallandics. Needless to say, desertion was rife and by now the army from Klantegall had been reduced to 35,000; whereas reports vary wildly for the Royal army. Most say it was around 55,000 however official rosters have largely been destroyed and are unreliable nowadays.
When the Royal army had been fully brought together, they all marched towards Southbridge to defeat Dedrick Stark and drive him away. Ivas X personally led the forces. We know from letters and scout reports that Dedrick was definitely aware of the Royal army's approach, but he for some reason refused to flee. He must have believed that the position at Southbridge was defensible enough, so that is why he built large earthworks surrounding the town. By now the town had been completely deserted or conscripted, as the soldiers often got rowdy and would go around looting sprees. At last the Royal army arrived to Southbridge on the 13th May. Still, Dedrick Stark had received no word from his 'allies' in Carenburg.
The battle began, on the 15th May, with a preliminary artillery bombardment from the Royal army. However, due to cannon still not being wholly battle winning, Dedrick was not particularly phased. Nonetheless, he still sent a detachment of soldiers, numbering around 5,000 men, to assault the right flank of the Royal army, which he believed had overextended itself. Despite Dedrick's assurance in his own soldier's superior morale, they were outnumbered at around 3:1. After a short engagement, he did not seem to be making much headway, and therefore called a retreat, leaving hundreds dead and dying from both sides strewn across the field. Next, the right flank of the Royal army began marching towards the earthworks on Klantegall's flank. While he sent up several Reiter mercenary units to harass them, they were fast driven back by determined volleys of rifle fire. The Reiter's left the field after this, much to the dismay of the rebels. However, dug in behind ditches and large mounds, there was still a large confidence in apparent victory. This would prove correct, when close range cannon fire tore holes in the attackers, and the pikemen unable to lug their heavy weapons up the hills while remaining in formation. Therefore, they also fell back. A tense stalemate began for 3 days, until at last on the 18th May Dedrick decided to withdraw to Klantegall, angered at the apparent betrayal from Carenburg.
Despite the Battle of Southbridge being immensely anticlimactic, it still holds certain prominence today. The strategic position between Carenburg and Brabendorf, as well as it being the gateway into central Talland, has meant several battles were fought here, such as during the Biggonian civil war (1938-1949). With the Klantegall army falling back yet retaining a large portion of it's strength, King Ivas had no option but to pursue. Several rearguard actions sacrificed small amounts of rebel troops for the bigger picture, and on 1st August, Dedrick Stark had a triumphant return to his city. Thankfully, the royal army was still a good distance behind. Ivas X commenced his siege on 6th October, but to his dismay, the military advisors stated the city could likely not be taken for 2 months, and that was not taking the impending rainy season into account. He therefore withdrew, immensely angered, back to Ivasburg.
At this point, both sides appeared eager to negotiate a peace treaty. Ivas did not want any more destructive civil wars, and Dedrick knew it was unlikely, that due to Carenburg's notorious unreliability, he could not win the war. And so, after several letters of back and forth, they agreed to meet at Southbridge in September 1644, where they had fought only a year earlier. The town was still practically deserted, and the meeting was:
- King Ivas X
- Duke Dedrick Stark
- Queen Elmina
- Archduke Gunther IV of Suddereich (intermediary)
Gunther IV would help oversee the negotiations, since while he had payed close attention to the conflict, he had seemingly not picked a side. The negotiations would progress until the 21st September, where it at last seemed they were reaching an agreement, however the peace treaty would soon be burnt in the upcoming events. Mysteriously, during the talks, a group of armed men appeared to break into the town hall, killing everybody inside. They would destroy all the evidence inside the building as well, meaning the negotiations could not be resumed.
To this day people still debate who these mysterious men were. We'll probably never know, unfortunately. Both sides quickly resumed the conflict, gathering their armies for renewed war. While they were decapitated, people stepped in to fill that vacuum. Hans Heineken, of the famous House Heineken, led the Royal forces for the time being, while they searched for an heir. In Klantegall, a council of Burghers took control. They were each furious at one another for this apparent betrayal, however there was another power which was angry. In the South, the Archduchy of Suddereich had slowly been gathering it's strength, and now took it's chance to strike. Led by Archduke Charles II, who was of the de Palmedorf line, their army of 40,000 struck out against their weakened opponents. At first, they supported the rebels, who were still regathering their strength. On the 4th March 1645, a major victory was won against the Royal army at Ivasburg plain. 3,000 soldiers were killed, with a further 8,000 captured or wounded. After this, the remaining Royalists persuaded the rebels to negotiate a truce so that they could face the bigger threat, but it was all for naught. Thanks to the sweeping reforms made the Suddereich army by Charles' father Gunther, they could defeat the larger army of 50,000 with a smaller number of 30,000, in the decisive Second Battle of Southbridge. Afterward, the Kingdom of Talland was brought into a personal union with the Archduchy of Suddereich. Funnily enough, Charles' grandmother Maria was of the Tallandos line, meaning Charles was fit to be a King of Talland. Thus the line of Palmedorf-Tallandos was founded in Talland, which still continues to this day.
Ivasburg, formally known as Qalea during ancient times, was named after Ivas I, who ransacked the city and ended the ancient Biggonian Empire in 376, beginning his rule. You can still visit the ruins today as they are very interesting and shed some interesting insights into ancient Biggonian culture.
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