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The House of Blackwell

Main article: Blackwell

The village was founded sometime before Cove gained its independence from Vesper, growing up adjacent to a plantation owned by George Blackwell, from whom the village takes its name. As members of the lesser nobility, the Blackwell family was in a constant struggle with the family holding the County title, the Falconbergs. However, the Blackwells were never able to displace their rivals, and their village suffered the neglect of the Count as a result. So it was that when the rebel Baron of Cove began his conquest of Altmere, the village - and house - of Blackwell readily pledged their support and drove the royalists from the region.

In the years that followed, Blackwell was heavily fortified for use as a bastion against royalist invasion via nearby Britain. A large detachment of Covian soldiers was quartered in the village, and Covian engineers constructed a small harbor through which to import supplies. However, Cove proved unable to provide peace, and Blackwell was dragged into many wars against Royalists, Vesperians, and Guardian-spawn alike. During these wars, Blackwell was repeatedly besieged, twice captured and recaptured, and burnt to the ground on at least one occasion.

The Great Altmere Revolt

Following the Border War, during which a Covian-Vesperian Alliance was beaten back from neighboring Minoc, then subjected to an all-out invasion of Altmere Province, Blackwell was briefly ceded back to the Royalists. Though the Britain-based government fell into chaos soon after, and the village reverted to de facto Covian control, the experience seriously undermined the villagers' faith in Cove's ability to defend them. Combining with drought, increased taxation, and the forcible confiscation of a large portion of the village's crops to prevent starvation in the cities, these factors all contributed greatly to the upheaval that later became known as the Great Altmere Revolt.

A group of rebels calling themselves the Altmerian Liberation Front staged a series of ambushes against Covian patrols, provoking a heavy-handed response by the Covian Army. The destruction of several homesteads belonging to suspected rebels was met with a drastic increase in ALF recruitment, and a series of similar incidents gradually worked the peasants into a frenzy. By the time a general order to cease retribution attacks was put out, there was already a sizable rebel force present in Altmere, and only very large patrols could pass through the province safely.

Just as it seemed that Altmere's demand of independence would have to be met, disaster struck for the rebels. Acting on rumors that the rebellion's leader, Redmond Carleton, had established his winter camp at Blackwell, the Covian Army launched a surprise raid on the village. Though the rebels fought a determined defense, they were slaughtered, and only the intervention of the local clergy prevented the Covian commander from burning the village as an example to others. Redmond Carleton was captured, and spent the rest of his life in a Covian cell, escaping execution for fear that he would be seen as a martyr, and awake a new revolt with his death.

The Great Combine

Long after the Border War, Cove found itself threatened by the resurgence of Vesperian power following their Civil War (in which Cove interfered heavily). Their military strength augmented by the legalization and proliferation of dark, vile magics, the Vesperian 'Army of the Republic' attempted a surprise assault on the Yewish fortress of Stonekeep, hoping to deal a deadly first blow that would allow them to re-occupy Minoc unopposed. By chance, a Covian battalion was en route to Stonekeep that same day, journeying there to exchange prisoners. Arriving midway into the Vesperian assault, the Covians launched themselves into the fray on the side of the Yewish, taking the Vesperians by surprise and forcing them to abandon their attack and retreat through hastily summoned moongates.

The war that followed, known by the Vesperians as the “War of the Great Combine,” saw several battles fought in and around Blackwell due to its strategic location at the mouth of the Bay of Cove. As the war devolved into a stalemate, many of Blackwell's sons and daughters were drafted into the Covian Army and sent to fight on one of the war's many fronts. Ultimately, the war ended in stalemate, but not before Blackwell had been badly mauled by Vesperian raids and several battles in close proximity.

The Yewish Plague

80 Years before present, up to present day

The winter following the War of the Great Combine was a harsh one, especially for the Yewish. It was during the coldest and darkest months that the first reports of the Plague surfaced, followed immediately by a sudden, sharp increase in attacks by undead. Most disturbingly, it was discovered that the victims of the plague were rising as undead. These Plague Zombies grew in number rapidly as their victims joined the hordes of shambling undead. The plague quickly spread beyond Yew's borders, even as the Covian authorities attempted to seal the border. The Avatarian Church responded by mounting a crusade, but long years of dwindling support from the peasantry doomed it to failure, and the Templars were all but wiped out.

With the plague spreading rapidly, and its victims almost universally rising as undead and joining the encroaching hordes, it was not long before the governments and armies of the great nations - Yew, Cove, Vesper, even Britannia itself - began to collapse and withdraw from the countryside, attempting to defend as many people as they could with their limited resources. Though the worst of the plague's effects eventually subsided, as the shambling hordes rotted and disintegrated, it never truly ended - the next eighty years saw no fewer than five further outbreaks, each destroying what little progress towards recovery was made after the previous ones.

Modern Day

Today, there are few alive who remember the Great Plague that set the downward spiral into chaos and darkness into motion, though many can remember one of the smaller, secondary outbreaks that have happened since. Everyone can name a long list of friends and relatives either claimed by the plague or slain by one of the many new threats that have arisen since the Covian Army abandoned the countryside: orcs, bandits, lizardmen, ratmen, and a variety of other savage beasts now roam freely, making it exceedingly dangerous to venture beyond the edges of the village. This also means that news of the outside world is very rare, and when it does come it is rarely good. The people of Blackwell are isolated and abandoned, both the Lord of the village and its Covian Army garrison having long since abandoned it for the relative safety of Cove itself.

setting.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/24 05:25 by egbert