Kingdom of Fulfwotz
The Kingdom of Fulfwotz, known simply as Fulfwotz and Rexdoma se Fulvux in Thrennexian, was a state in the southern Shire that existed from 58 PRY to 1930 CE. Despite its name suggesting a continuous sole dominion, in reality Fulfwotz progressed through many phases and included multiple entities throughout its 2,000-year lifespan. The unifying distinction between these states was the Ich monarchy, excluding the century following the Revolution of 1681. The Kingdom, despite having been one of the oldest countries in the Shire, was often too preoccupied with internal matters and isolated itself from most other states outside of the Demmatrodine; as a result, it did not rise to global prominence until the late 19th century.
The Kingdom was formed following the collapse and dissolution of the Old Sammichian Empire by Empress Phaxina in 58 PRY. Largely fueled by the Kingdom’s continued enslavement of Demmatrodine Enpeecees, Fulfwotz often conflicted with the ancient Enpeecee superpower, the Ur Dominion. These tensions culminated in the First Fulfo-Urite War, which saw Fulfwotz defeated and living under the Urite yoke for three centuries until its independence was granted. The vengeful Second Fulfo-Urite War saw Fulfwotz topple the dominion and rise to Demmatrodine preeminence. The subsequent period of prosperity diminished with the rise of the Orthodoxy, a religion which would gain an inordinate amount of power in Fulfwotzian society and government. The Orthodoxy, under the zealous Capulaes, would impose the Paxian Solace on the Kingdom and cut it off from the outside world entirely until plague weakened its grip. Prince Nemerses V would unseat and destroy the Orthodoxy in 1456.
Free from Orthodox intellectual repression, the Kingdom entered a renaissance known as the Great Awakening in which art, music, science, literature, architecture, and many other aspects of society flourished. It was also during this period that the writings of Xamichine philosopher Democrecedes were rediscovered, advocating for democracy and the power of the people. The Vara se Populae was formed to fight for the expanded representation of the people in government, its cause strengthened by the Britannian War which brought about the end of the Great Awakening. Conditions in Fulfwotz rapidly deteriorated, resulting in the Revolution of 1681 and the Fulfwotz Civil War. So-called Republicans battled Ich Monarchists until King Tophaeres III was ousted and exiled in 1684. The First Chancelleric Republic was formed for a brief period until it too failed to serve its purpose and was overthrown by revolutionaries. The Second Chancelleric Republic improved upon its predecessor, yet then incited the genocide of millions of Enpeecees in the Summer Genocide. It was reorganized into the Third Chancelleric Republic which propelled Fulfwotz into another period of prosperity. The monarchy was recreated in 1785 through clever Ich political manipulation. The reigns of Queen Amphurna V and Vespania VII restored peoples’ faith in the Ich Dynasty to some degree.
The role of Fulfwotz on an international scale expanded greatly with the ascension of King Phemenses III in 1845 following a heated dynastic struggle. Under Phemenses III, Fulfwotz would usher in a global era of imperialism as the Kingdom became one of the world’s preeminent colonial powers. It was known for its aggressive methods of subjugating smaller countries and indigenous populations. Fulfwotz reached its territorial peak after the coronation of the efficacious King Sammus II, who built upon the policies of his predecessor. King Sammus exerted an unparalleled degree of control over the government, and powerful Fulfwotzian nationalism reached its critical point in the early 20th century. Fulfwotz’s continued imperialism and boldness carried it and the rest of the Shire into the consequential Great War in 1927. The Kingdom led the Overtaker coalition against the anti-imperialist Liberators. Despite initial success, the Liberators eventually began overpowering their Overtaker counterparts, culminating in the 1929 Occupation of Fulfwotz. Its government-in-exile retreated to Niflheim Palace, where King Sammus summoned the Shire Peace Conference to sue for peace and negotiate terms of surrender. The Treaty of Niflheim brought about an end to the deadly conflict, rampant imperialism, and established the Shire United Nations. As the devastated Kingdom went about reconstruction, King Sammus expressed the need for renewal and a departure from Fulfwotz’s prewar reputation. On August 22nd, 1930, he issued the Imperial Reformation Proclamation, dissolving and reorganizing the Kingdom of Fulfwotz into the modern-day New Sammichian Empire.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early History
- 2.2 Post-Urite History
- 2.3 The Great Awakening
- 2.4 Fulfwotz Civil War
- 2.5 First Chancelleric Republic
- 2.6 Second Chancelleric Republic
- 2.7 Third Chancelleric Republic
- 2.8 The New Kingdom of Fulfwotz
- 2.9 Phemensesian Foreign Policy
- 2.10 Reign of Drefnex
- 2.11 Reign of Sammus II
- 2.12 The Great War
- 2.12.1 Outbreak and Causes
- 2.12.2 Declaration of War
- 2.12.3 First Phase (January 1927 - October 1927)
- 2.12.4 Second Phase (October 1927 - June 1928)
- 2.12.5 Third Phase (June 1928 - December 1928)
- 2.12.6 Final Phase (December 1928 - May 1929)
- 2.12.7 New Fulfwotzian Republic
- 2.12.8 Shire Peace Conference & Treaty of Niflheim
- 2.13 Imperial Reformation
"Fulfwotz' is derived from the name of the once-Xamichine province, Fulvux. Fulvux was named for Empress Phaxina of Xamichia, who had conquered said portion of the Demmatrodine. The name is quite unorthodox, breaking from Thrennexian linguistic conventions; for example, the letter Z does not even exist in the Thrennexian language. The explanation behind this anomaly partly lies with the Orthodox church. In 1299, Capulae Crux officially renamed Fulvux (as it was then known) to Fulvox, as Vux was the name of the god Pax's evil counterpart. Afterward, once the Kingdom had been reintegrated with the rest of the Shire with the collapse of the Church, the English-speaking regions of the Shire had begun referring to Fulvox as "Fulfwotz". This bastardization across languages was inadvertently recognized in the Kingdom after King Callithrax made English the official language of the Kingdom in 1579. In order to avoid confusion, Fulfwotz was simply acknowledged as the English translation of the traditional Fulvux.
Following the collapse of Xamichia, the Ich Dynasty remained in Fulfwotz, which had become the most prosperous city and unofficial capital of the empire in its final years. Seeking to retain a degree of power, they assumed leadership over the Kingdom and began an extermination of the "uncivilized" Demmatrodine Enpeecee tribes that would raid Fulfwotzian granaries and pastures. The first known ruler of the Kingdom of Fulfwotz was Queen Phaxina, who had died soon after and was succeeded by her son, King Tyrannax I. It was difficult for the Kingdom to function early on, deprived of the plentiful resources and labor that had been provided under Xamichine rule. While Fulfwotz had been a great city in Xamichia, its infrastructure was strained by the influx of Sammichians who had fled other former Xamichine provinces due to hostility from the indigenous population. The Kingdom needed to build roads and housing to accommodate the growing populace, as well as develop and cultivate more farmland. There were simply not enough workers; to avoid enslaving its own people and inciting popular revolt, in 14 PRY King Tyrannax I began a process of recapturing and enslaving nearby Humans and Enpeecees, who had been freed after Xamichia's collapse. It is believed that the slave population of Fulfwotz increased ten-fold under Tyrannax, and this mass enslavement continued for over a century, angering the developed Enpeecee states in the western Demmatrodine.
First Fulfo-Urite War
Most furious at Fulfwotz's actions was the Ur Dominion, the most powerful nation in the Demmatrodine. It was a federation of Enpeecee states, including Mekjloka-Ur, Levok-Ur, Anmolika-Ur, Jakarat-Ur, and Samark-Ur. Despite numerous diplomatic attempts to end the slaving on behalf of the Urites, Fulfwotz's unchecked aggression continued. Urite forces from Mekjloka intercepted a Fulfwotzian galley transporting slaves kidnapped from Levok, killing the Sammichian sailors and returning the Levokari. When news of the attack reached Fulfwotz, King Nemerses II declared war on the Ur Dominion in 124 CE.
Despite initial success, including razing the city of Jakarat, it soon became apparent that the Fulfwotzians had underestimated the strength of the Ur Dominion; this was likely due to the perceived Sammichian racial superiority over the Enpeecee people. Shocked, and unwilling to accept defeat at the hands of the Urites, Fulfwotz refused to surrender, drawing the war out to a long and bitter conclusion in 128 CE. After Urite soldiers braved the harsh Demmatrodine terrain and managed to arrive at the gates of Fulfwotz, the city was invaded. King Nemerses II was caught attempting to flee the city, and was executed by the occupying Urites, but not before he was forced to surrender.
Despite their hatred of Fulfwotz, the Urites did not destroy it; instead, it was operated as a puppet state, with King Nemerses III as its ceremonial figurehead. In reality, the city was ruled with an iron fist by the Urite Syphogrant Kemman Tet. Humiliated and defeated, Fulfwotz became Fulwojka-Ur, a resentful and submissive client state to the Urites.
Despite the manner in which they conquered the Kingdom, the Urite Enpeecees were fairly benevolent and progressive rulers. Religious tolerance was granted to even Orthodox Sammichians, many of whom had always been ardent supporters of Enpeecee extermination and enslavement. Kemman Tet had directed reconstruction of Fulwojka, repairing buildings and infrastructure damaged in the Fulfo-Urite War. Some Fulwojkari, as they were now known, began to sympathize and appreciate the efforts of their Enpeecee rulers. However, this era of relatively-peaceful cooperation ended with the death of the Syphogrant Kemman Tet in 156.
His son,Tetkjal Tet, became the Urite Syphogrant; the death of his mother in the Fulfwotzian razing of Jakarat in 125 had bestowed upon him a deep and bitter hatred of Fulfwotz and the Sammichian race. While the validity of this claim is disputed, it is alleged that Tetkjal Tet brought Queen Moranene back to Mekjloka, turning her into his personal sex slave. When he was finished with her, he would have her escorted back to Fulfwojka on foot, naked, forcing her to walk through the city to Castle Mugg in front of her own people. Furthermore, Tetkjal also encouraged Enpeecee immigration into Fulwojka-Ur. Prosperous Sammichians were removed from their homes and forced to live in the streets to give priority to the Enpeecee people. This cruel and unrelenting rule of Fulwojka continued with Tetkjal's heirs until the ascension of the Syphogrant Jakor Tet around 450.
Queen Tepistra of Fulwojka realized that war was not the way to escape from Urite control; instead, she resorted to diplomacy. Forging relationships with the heads of other Urite client states, she was preparing to intimidate the Syphogrant into relinquishing control of Fulwojka and other allied states. However, upon meeting Jakor Tet, he allegedly fell in love with her. For the sake of their nations, the two kept their sexual relationship secret, yet Jakor insisted that she allow him to marry her. She agreed under one condition; that he free Fulwojka-Ur. Reluctant, but madly in love, he agreed, and Fulfwotz was granted independence in 460 CE. Queen Tepistra gained the title of Emancipator among her people, and Jakor Tet mysteriously died several months before their ceremony was to take place.
Second Fulfo-Urite War
Despite their new and peacefully-acquired freedom, the Fulfwotzians were instill incredibly bitter over their defeat and treatment at the hands of the Urite Syphogrants. The Enpeecee population of the Kingdom was expelled violently in 462, and stragglers were terrorized and murdered by Sammichians. Aware that the Ur Dominion could reconquer the Kingdom whenever they wanted, Fulfwotz built up its defenses and resolved to act. The Kings and Queens of Fulfwotz maintained close relations with the Syphogrant to deflect suspicion, while garnering the support of the nobility and resentful Urite states. Fulfwotz entered a secret alliance with Anmolika-Ur and Samark-Ur, while securing its eastern border against an attack from Jakarat-Ur which would likely ensue when war broke out; Jakarat was the closest to Fulfwotz, loyal to the Syphogrant, and still angry about the razing of their city in the first war. Castiliae Dux, a fortress in modern-day Frentwood, was constructed to fortify the eastern front and was considered one of the greatest fortresses of its time. In 521, after biding its time for decades, the Kingdom declared war on the Ur Dominion under King Pyrithenes.
As they had predicted, Jakarat-Ur had advanced on the Kingdom, but were held at bay thanks to the defensive capabilities of Castilae Dux. Samark and Anmolika had held up their end of the alliance and attacked Mekjloka, but Samark was soon subdued by the stronger Mekjlokari; legends claim that the governor of Samark, along with his family and advisors, was impaled on a stake and forced to watch his city burn. However, the Anmolikari had put up a fierce resistance to Mekjloka and were met with a Fulfwotzian force; the combined forces of Fulfwotz and Anmolika managed to invade the capital city and capture the Syphogrant Nemok Tet. In 523, the war had ended, and the Urite political dominance of the Demmatrodine had ended as the state collapsed. Fulfwotz gained a significant amount of territory in the interior of the Demmatrodine, along with the area surrounding the now-pacified Jakarat.
Following the collapse of the Ur Dominion, the Kingdom's attempts at expansion and trade with the rest of the Demmatrodine was no longer hampered. The Kingdom opened profitable trade routes with Anmolika, Samark, and Levok, forming a mutually-beneficial relationship between Fulfwotz and the Enpeecee states. Despite their closeness, many Sammichians still viewed Enpeecee people as 'uncivilized', and possessed disdain for the race through their experience with the Urites. However, the Kingdom realized that it was not the right time to assert itself over the other states and continued to partake in friendly relations. This period of peace lasted for little under a century, until the Orthodox faith began to enter the Fulfwotzian mainstream.
Rise of the Orthodoxy
While the Orthodoxy had existed since the time of Xamichia, it had been little more than a pagan cult which worshipped the god Pax. The Pantheon of Xamichine Gods and Goddesses had long been preeminent in Sammichian culture, yet in the late 500's, the Orthodox faith gained popularity among the upper classes and nobility, who wished to distance and distinguish themselves from the growing lower classes. Orthodox beliefs differed from Pantheonic ones in the sense that they were considerably more conservative and strict; the Orthodoxy was also monotheistic in nature, as opposed to the polytheism and wide variety of gods and goddesses in the Xamichine Pantheon. However, people of the lower class remained devoted to the Pantheon. Class and religious conflict emerged, and climaxed in 704 when the Orthodox Capulae Cleisthenes, the leader of the church, convinced King Theses to make the Orthodoxy the state religion of Fulfwotz, along with outlawing the practice of Pantheonic worship.
This alienated the majority of the Fulfwotzian people, as remaining followers of the Pantheon were often tracked down by the Capulae's agents and forced to convert; if they refused, it is believed that they were subject to torture and abuse until they recanted their religious convictions. Capulae Cleisthenes and his successors had been elevated to positions second only to the monarch; this outraged many people in the Kingdom and incited dissent, brutally suppressed by the Church and monarchy. The supremacy of the Orthodox Church concerned Fulfwotz's Enpeecee neighbors, as Sammichian racial superiority was a tenet of Orthodox beliefs. With the Capulae demonstrating great influence over the King, they realized it would only be a matter of time before the Kingdom began to exercise their power over them and attempt to convert the Enpeecee states by force.
The persecution of Pantheonic worshippers continued under Theses II. In 716, in an effort to finally crush the religion, leaders of the Pantheonic resistance movement were captured and burned at the stake in front of the Orthodox Temple of Virtue. The ensuing uprising against the Orthodox establishment led to the Holy Wars between the Orthodox government and nobility, and the poorer Pantheonic Fulfwotzians -- though covertly armed and supported by the Enpeecee states.
Motivated by and fought in the name of religion, the Holy Wars lasted between 716 and 752. In truth, little is known about the wars, as Capulae Cleisthenes had dissolved the ancient Aggripaedic Order of historians upon his rise to power, and had heavily censored anything of the sort.
What little information that has been recovered from the time suggest a bloody and protracted war which almost saw the collapse of the Kingdom of Fulfwotz. With the kings Theses II, Theses III, and Pontulus the Pious, the monarchy and nobility was locked in bitter conflict with the masses. Pantheonic temples, notably the massive Appoxian Palace (a hallowed temple complex to the god Appox), were razed, often with worshipers trapped inside. Conflict inflamed after the ascension of Capulae Cleisthenes's more radical apprentice, Senecus. Under Capulae Senecus, anyone caught with Pantheonic leanings or paraphernalia would be executed immediately and unsympathetically. These draconian and brutal measures ensured the eventual extinction of the ancient Xamichine Pantheon. In 752, it is believed that there were almost no worshipers left in Fulfwotz; most either fled, were frightened into conversion, or were killed.
With the Pantheon no longer standing in its way, the Orthodox Church was free to draw upon its influence on the Fulfwotzian people. In 789, King Pontulus the Pious granted the Capulae new powers which allowed him to participate in matters of state and levy ecclesiastical taxes on the Kingdom. With an enormous new source of income, the Church was able to construct more religious buildings and fund missionary groups to convert Enpeecee tribes in the Demmatrodine. Such missionaries were banned from the former Urite states; particularly Jakarat. Jakarat was the closest to Fulfwotz, and therefore perceived the Orthodoxy as a much greater threat. With such profound ecclesiastical influence in society, the Church's power in the management of the Kingdom rivaled that of the unusually-submissive monarchy. Without the artistic and passionate spirit the Pantheon fostered, the Kingdom entered an era of bleak repression and religiosity.
After being accused of kidnapping and killing Orthodox missionaries, the Kingdom declared a holy war on its neighbor Jakarat in 844, but the war saw no fighting; the Kingdom was threatened into submission after the states of Anmolika and Levok aligned themselves with Jakarat and made clear their intention to defend it. If the Kingdom had continued with their war, they would be fighting on three fronts with a formidable coalition of Enpeecee states. Tensions in the Demmatrodine spiked, and in 860, Anmolika and Levok merged to form the state of Anmolevok in order to better defend itself from inevitable Fulfwotzian aggression.
With the deterioration of King Pontulus II, the Capulae Acrocedes claimed to have received an invocation from Pax that allowed him to rule in the King's stead. The rightful heir, Princess Nesvina IV, was forced into exile by the patriarchal Church. With Acrocedes at the helm of both the Church and Kingdom, it was not until his death in 932 that the younger brother of Nesvina, Cassiux VII, was able to ascend to the throne. Cassiux, having only been made King 28 years after he should have been crowned, harbored feelings of resentment towards the Church and was the only Fulfwotzian monarch to outright defy the Orthodoxy at its height. He scaled back its powers and denied the Capulae a spot in the royal court. His heir, Prince Anaximus, was kidnapped and groomed by the Church in retaliation, unbeknownst to Cassiux. On his deathbed in 971, Anaximus was revealed after spending nineteen years in forced clerical isolation. He was placed on the throne, and immediately reversed his father's actions to stem the influence of the Orthodoxy. The Orthodoxy soon cut off all contact with the outside world after forcing King Anaximus to recall diplomats from the Enpeecee states and scouts, ushering in the era known as the Paxian Solace, better known as Fulfwotz's 'dark ages'.
The Orthodox Church had invoked the Solace, claiming to act on the wishes of Pax, in order to suppress dissent and influence from the outside world. As such, Fulfwotz remained cut off fromthe rest of the world until the 1400's, nearly four centuries after the Solace was first enacted. There was virtually no technological or scientific advancement during this time, as the Church's highest priority was maintaining the religious status quo. The Kingdom adopted violent anti-intellectual measures, a massive departure from the flourishment encouraged by the establishment in Xamichia at its height.
Books detailing Sammichian history from before the Orthodoxy were burned, labeled as blasphemous material that challenged the omnipresence of Pax. Many volumes were saved, however, by the remaining members of the Aggripaedic Order which had been dissolved and exiled by Capulae Cleisthenes. During the Solace, Fulfwotz fell behind the other kingdoms of the Shire as the Church ruthlessly enforced the status quo and bolstered the stubborn theocracy it led. The Ich monarchs had signed away many of their monarchical rights to the Church, rendering the Capulae far more powerful than the King or Queen. The Solace would cause Fulfwotzian society to stagnate, and little else is known about the era thanks to heavy censorship and book burning; however, it is known that there was a brief respite in the Solace in order to convert the nearby Enpeecee states to the Orthodoxy, culminating in the Capulaeric Inquisition in the late 1200's.
Unlike former attempts at conversions with the Enpeecee states, Capulae Crux I sought not lead them into the light, but "...drag them by their necks." His mandate was approved by King Tyrannax III in 1270 (a largely ceremonial affair, as the Capulae did not need the King's approval), and the Inquisition began. Armies marched on Enpeecee settlements, forcing them to submit to the teachings of the Church.
The Inquisition was noted for its inhuman brutality; men, women, and children alike were executed for resisting. Many more were enslaved and brought back to Fulfwotz for menial labor and to serve in the Orthodox clergy. It is believed that many Enpeecee men were even castrated in order to prohibit Enpeecee reproduction and perpetuate Sammichian racial superiority. It is estimated that over two million Enpeecees throughout the Demmatrodine were systematically executed and enslaved at the hands of the Capulaeric Inquisition. By 1332, Capulae Crux I had died and was succeeded by Menimus II, who was not as eager as his predecessor to continue the Inquisition. It met its end in 1334, but not without first converting or exterminating the majority of the Enpeecee states to the Orthodoxy.
The Orthodoxy had dominated Fulfwotzian society for centuries, and was a pervasive influence within political affairs. Despite the atrocities that had been committed by the Church and the authoritarian theocracy it had established, many Fulfwotzians were still deeply devoted to Pax and the Capulae. They were also highly supportive of the Paxian Solace, which had resumed following the end of the Capulaeric Inquisition. However, this faith and devotion to the Church would be shaken following the outbreak of Kleopintra's Plague.
The plague first arrived in Fulfwotz in 1399, believed to have been carried by rodents from the central Demmatrodine steppe who fled the region following a massive bush fire in 1397. Historians in Fulfwotz recall an influx of rats and mice into the city following the fire, and the first case of the Plague was described in the journal of an apothecary who attempted to treat the symptoms of the infected; buboes, lightened pigmentation, sweating, coughing, and mental instability. As the sickness spread throughout Fulfwotz and the Demmatrodine, the Church was quick to place blame on King Adones IX, who had wed Kleopintra, the Enpeecee daughter of the Anmolevokari Syphogrant Catta Tet. The plague soon left the Demmatrodine with birds migrating from the region in the summer of 1400, quickly spreading amongst the kingdoms of the central Shire.
In the panic following the spread of the plague, the Capulae Vux I ordered the kidnapping of Prince Adones X, who was the son of the King and Kleopintra and the result of an "impure" marriage. Following the disappearance of his son and heir, King Adones IX committed suicide, and hungry mobs stormed Castle Mugg and killed Queen Kleopintra. Over half of the people living in Fulfwotz were taken by the plague, including the Capulae and Prince Adones X, with similar death rates seen across the Shire. The devastation and loss of life from the plague shook people's faith in the Orthodoxy, instead of rekindling religious fervor as it did in other places in the Shire. The younger sister of Adones IX, Vespania IV, ascended to the throne in 1402 after the chaos from the plague subsided and reasserted royal authority. Queen Vespania IV famously despised the Orthodoxy for its treatment of her brother and kidnapping of her nephew. However, she knew banishing the Capulae from the court and scaling back the Church's power would only result in another war that the Kingdom was in no shape to fight. Through careful manipulation, Vespania avoided succumbing to Orthodox influence and sent her children abroad to learn lest they be tutored by the Church's scholars. She formed secret alliances with a number of remaining noble families that would protect her children from the Capulae and his religious police. By her death in 1435, she had laid the groundwork for one of her heirs to topple the religious establishment, and Vespania is largely credited with being the first to engineer the Church's downfall.
The Crisis of Succession
King Matares I, her heir, began to lay out plans to bring down the Church once and for all, but this was halted in 1446 with his son Numex II being brought under the control of the Church. Frightened of what the Church would do to his son were he to challenge its authority, he refused to act. Sensing unease at court, Capulae Crux II sought to bolster clerical presence by grooming Numex and eventually placing him on the throne, ahead of his elder brother Nemerses V. While the Church had retained the power to alter the line of succession since the time of King Pontulus the Pious, it had rarely been used; the Church typically would groom the heir to the throne, or would kidnap them in extreme cases. In 1453, the death of Matares sparked the Crisis of Succession. Queen Medesta conceded rule to her son, and Nemerses V was ready to inherit the throne; yet Capulae Crux II brought Numex out of isolation and attempted to place him in power, without regard for his older brother. Nemerses initially fought the decision, but at the behest of Medesta, left the city with his mother and allowed his younger brother to become King. For the next three years, Nemerses and Medesta garnered favor with many of the leading nobles in Fulfwotz and summoned those families which had secretly aligned themselves with Queen Vespania. They also paid large sums of Aggres stolen from the Royal Treasury to Demmatrodine mercenary armies. In 1456, Fulfwotz attempted to incite a religious revival through the policies of Numex, the common people were angry with the Church for meddling in the line of succession, along with reduced religiosity and exasperation with the Capulae. On July 1st, 1456, Nemerses and Medesta arrived at the gates of the city.
The Great Desecration
The cool-tempered Medesta pleaded with her son to grant them entry and to cooperate peacefully, but he refused, acting under the orders of Capulae Crux II. Seeing as there was no other choice, Nemerses sounded his horn and the gates were opened by the army of Cesus vos Nervae, one of the most powerful nobles in Fulfwotz. In a show of surprising violence and rancor, the army of Nemerses V stormed the city, slaughtering any and all clerics in their path, but careful to avoid common people. Anything symbolizing the Orthodoxy was razed, including churches, shrines, monasteries, and other monuments. Numex was largely helpless but to watch his city burn, as the King relied on the armies of the nobility to defend it -- yet he had alienated most of them and thus forced them to the side of his brother. After two days of destroying the physical presence of the Church, the army diverged into the forces of Medesta and Nemerses; Medesta's forces commenced a siege of Castle Mugg, while those of Nemerses besieged the Temple of Virtue where the Capulae had escaped to.
Numex made the mistake of opening the gates to his mother after several days of siege. He bid entry to only her, both hoping to help each other see their own interpretations of reason. When it became clear to Medesta that her son was too far gone and had been essentially brainwashed by the Church, she murdered him, and then out of despair for having killed her own child, she threw herself from Castle Mugg (this would serve the basis for the famous play of Lloyd Wallace Strokeshaft Medestine Melody). Nemerses, however, was facing great difficulty storming the Temple of Virtue, which in actuality was a well-defended military installation. The whole plan to topple the Church that had been in waiting since the time of his grandmother seemed on the verge of failure. However, he was saved by luck; in the scorching dry Demmatrodine heat of July, a fire started in the temple's courtyard garden, and soon engulfed the entire compound. Almost the entire remaining religious police burned to death inside before Capulae Crux II himself appeared at the gates, and surrendered. According to court historians, as Crux pleaded for mercy, Nemerses broke both of his knees and dragged him back to Castle Mugg tied to his horse. Upon discovering that both his mother and brother were dead, Nemerses took the throne, restored order, outlawed the Orthodoxy, and then tortured the Capulae for days beneath Castle Mugg. He was then strung up in Ich Square for years until his emaciated and largely decomposed corpse simply fell apart out of its bonds. His bones are today on display in the National Museum of Sammichian Antiquity.
The Great Awakening
Finally liberated from the oppressive and anti-intellectual rule of the Orthodoxy, the Kingdom underwent a fantastic transformation. It began a period of artistic, literary, and scientific flourishment unseen in Sammichian society since the days of Xamichia, known as the Great Awakening. This occurred between roughly 1475 and 1650, lasting for almost two centuries. What mainly spearheaded this was the collapse of the Church and the subsequent end of the Paxian Solace; as the Kingdom opened itself up to trade with other nations in the Shire, it realized how far it had fallen behind in terms of technology and art. This, combined with renewed knowledge of the greatness of Xamichia, spurred rapid development in an attempt to catch up to -- and eventually surpass -- its neighbors.
In 1483, Nemerses sought out relations with the Demmatrodine Enpeecee states, which had long steered clear of the volatile Kingdom. Trade boosted development, and alternate sources of sustenance allowed the Fulfwotzian government and people to redirect attention to more sensual and intellectual matters. Shirefolk began flocking to the capital in order to seek royal grants and patronage, which were being distributed generously by the successors of Nemerses. Religion was (and to this day, continues to be) pushed aside, forever tainted by the legacy of the Orthodox Church. In 1502, the famous Fulfwotzian artist Calla painted Woman On The Bridge, one of the most valuable and widely-recognized paintings in the world. Other notable artists include Nesso Vedius, Dendora, Vespa, Arahune Nepa, and Moro.
An architectural renaissance occurred in 1533 on the heels of a disaster; on August 12th, a massive fire razed the city, killing hundreds and destroying the ancient wooden buildings that had filled the city since the age of Xamichia. Queen Phenera seized the opportunity to revitalize the capital's architecture by hiring architects from around the Shire. The newly-rebuilt capital was a feat of Awakening-era urban planning; a uniform building style was established with predisposed guidelines to increase building efficiency and stability. This strong and robust design is still used in many parts of the city to this day, and has allowed the city's historic core to remain standing. It is largely centered around 15x15 foot "cubes" structured in various arrangements and topped with gambrel-style roofs, built in sandstone and brick to better prevent future fires. It is referred to as the Classical Fulfwotzian Style around the Shire, and the Pheneran Building Code in the Empire.
With the ascension of King Callithrax the Kind in 1551, the Enpeecee people were vindicated as he issued the Edict of Atonement as his first order as King. The edict paid large sums of Aggres to the neighboring Enpeecee states who had been relentlessly terrorized for centuries by the Orthodox-ruled Kingdom, with events like the Capulaeric Inquisition having claimed the lives of many and causing many more to flee, stunting growth and economic development. It also formally granted the Enpeecee people in Fulfwotz citizenship and protection under the law. However, this would only be a formality as the Enpeecee people would continue to be a target for both commonplace and institutional racism for many years to come. The clause of citizenship was also only extended to those Enpeecees already living in Fulfwotz, and many would still be persecuted by the Kingdom in other parts of the world. Regardless, the Edict of Atonement is one of the few examples in history of a Sammichian dominion, of its own accord, reaching out to make reparations, a remarkable departure from their usual unapologetic nature.
With the discovery of vast deposits of ore and precious stones in the Fulfwotzian-controlled interior of the Demmatrodine, its economy boomed and it quickly became the chief economic power of the continent, and thus the most prominent regional power, replacing the Enpeecee state of Anmolevok. Desperate to regain its former status, Anmolevok and Fulfwotz would become bitter rivals for decades to come. By 1580, the Kingdom was extracting fantastic amounts of gold, iron, diamonds, and rubies. These newfound resources allowed the Kingdom to begin producing luxury goods such as jewelry and furniture, which further promoted a more artistic and decadent environment. The Kingdom soon became extraordinarily wealthy, and would use this prestige to enhance its presence abroad. For much of its history, the Sammichian race remained confined to the Kingdom, due to shared history and culture, as well as certain privileges that were enjoyed thanks to their race or breeding. However, as the state became more powerful, it began encouraging Sammichian dissemination across the Shire to increase its reach. Sammichians flocked to the central Shire, to the cosmopolitan states of Oranjestad and Venezia Nuova in particular. With the great influx of English-speakers from the central Shire into the Kingdom, English became the language of educated society. Since the fall of Xamichia and the extinction of the High Thrennexian (Accra Unthet) language, Vulgar Thrennexian had been spoken. In order to accommodate the elite Fulfwotzians and intellectuals, King Callithrax made English the official language of the Kingdom in 1579 and mandated it to be taught and spoken in Fulfwotz's educational institutions.
The Vara se Populae
During the Awakening, the ancient writings of Xamichine philosophers became popular in Fulfwotzian intellectual circles, reviving millennia-old ideas and theories. The translated publications of the prolific Democrecedes were of a particular importance to the common people. He originally theorized a system of government in which the people were represented and could determine the future of their nation. He was poisoned by agents of the Xamichine Emperor and his writings were seized, yet they managed to be preserved by the Aggripaedic Order who opened their library during the Awakening. People soon became aware of the supposed injustice that was the Ich Dynasty's absolute rule, which resulted in small-scale movements dedicated to promoting representation and democracy. These were percieved as a threat by the monarchy, and leaders were often paid off or quietly assassinated in order to prevent stifling the unadulterated spirit of resurgence and academic progress at the time.
One group, however, found support among the poorer citizens of the Kingdom, who suffered the most in the society's inhumanly-elitist environment. The Vara se Populae, Thrennexian for "Will of the People" and an homage to Democrecedes' titular publication, became a formidable force fighting for change. It was led by the human Leofric Golding, who came to the capital in 1577 and was horrified by the basic rights trampled upon by the ruling dynasty. The situation become incredibly difficult to handle for the monarchy; if they silenced the group, news of this would surely spread among the people, only further inciting anger and disrupting the prosperous atmosphere of the Awakening-era Kingdom. However, if they continued to let the Vara se Populae propagate its agenda, it could spell untold consequences for the future of Fulfwotz. By 1600, the group had an estimated 4,000 members within the capital, who would often petition before the Queen Cephula multiple times a day. In 1676, the Kingdom became embroiled in The Britannian War, which would bring about the end of Fulfwotz's renaissance and usher in great insurrection.
The Britannian War
Main article: The Britannian War
The ascension of King Tophaeres III in 1661 saw the realization of a more hostile foreign policy; the Kingdom, wishing to capitalize on the great innovation occurring within its borders, sought to gain more land in the Demmatrodine, with minor skirmishes between royal forces and the Enpeecee states. Meanwhile, far north of the region, the nation of Britannia, experiencing internal strife and power struggles, had spawned a number of paramilitary factions that were notorious for their raping and pillaging of neighboring settlements to gain an edge over their rivals with food and better equipment. The independent village of Little Wangleton became caught in the middle of such conflict. Little Wangleton was home to the detested Delphic Coven of witches, who were becoming the target of abuse and hatred due to the historic distrust of magic. The Jagercorps faction, in retaliation to multiple Delphic backlashes, the group infiltrated the coven to learn its secrets and in 1670, put the first witch to trial, starting the infamous Shire Witch Trials. Over the next few years, hundreds of witches and nonmagical beings alike would be put to trial and executed by the Jagercorps.
When word of the trials reached Fulfwotx, King Tophaeres III was allegedly sent into a fit of rage, for it had turned out that his daughter and heir, the Princess Praxithea V, had been sent to live with the coven. The royal forces were immediately dispatched to Little Wangleton, where order was reestablished and the village was annexed in 1675. When King Tophaeres found out that his daughter had been executed a year prior, he blamed the Britannian government (which was actually not responsible for the trials). Jagercorps belligerents, disguised in Britannian uniforms, opened fire the next day on Little Wangletonians and the Fulfwotz garrison stationed there, resulting in the Kingdom formally declaring war on Britannia on October 12th.
Under the leadership of General Amicus Hasa, Fulfwotzian forces engaged Britannia and the Jagercorps in a number of battles around Little Wangleton and the major cities of the Britannian state. In 1676, King Tophaeres ordered a siege on the Britannian city of Eastport, quickly capturing the city. Eastport was ransacked by the Fulfwotzians, its citizens massacred, and it was razed in 1677 after a failed Britannian attack on Little Wangleton. General Hasa's army again went on the offensive with the Legion Xamichine (an army comprised of joint Wangletonian and Fulfwotzian soldiers) by pushing into the fertile Riverlands region of Britannia. King Denguus II amassed his forces in the Phobon Valley, intercepting the Fulfwotzians and engaging them in head-on battle. The Second Battle of Phobon was an overwhelming victory for General Hasa and King Tophaeres. The Britannian forces were decimated and scattered, closely pursued by their enemy and forced to burn their own land to stall them.
Despite the fantastic success in the war, domestic matters in the Kingdom were far from well. The war had caused stagnation and was unpopular with intellectual circles who saw the war as being largely the result of dynastic self-interest, as Tophaeres was seeking vengeance for the death of his heir. They were also critical of the extent to which King Tophaeres and General Hasa ensured the destruction of Britannia. The Vara se Populae exploited this discontent and succeeded in kindling the Revolution of 1681.
Revolution of 1681
With a war-weary and unhappy population, increasingly dissatisfied with the absolute power of King Tophaeres III and his predecessors, revolution was inevitable. The Vara se Populae had been anxious to seize the right moment, and its chance had finally come; on October 29th, a protest was staged in the district of Ich Square. Thousands of supporters of the Vara se Populae had gathered to take a stand against the monarchy. Since the period of progress and development during the Awakening had seemingly ended with the war, the monarchy was no longer concerned with disrupting it with the brutal silencing of dissenters. Thus, forces of the King marched into Square, arresting and apprehending colluders. The attempt at ending the protest only fueled further insurrection, and Tophaeres made the fatal mistake of ordering his men to fire upon the crowd of people, killing and wounding upwards of 150. This created martyrs for the democratic movement, and the ranks of the Vara se Populae swelled. The group was able to procure weapons and funding from the state of Anmolevok, who wished to topple the Ich regime.
A month later on November 17th, the Royal Guard Barracks at the end of the bridge to Castle Mugg was set on fire in the early morning hours. Guards, roused from their sleep, fled the building; as they exited, they were ambushed by the Vara se Populae in their vulnerable state. Guards on duty around the city were murdered, and by sunrise, Fulfwotz was in a state of chaos. Guards had been dispatched and were locked in combat with revolutionaries in the streets. By midday, however, Tophaeres managed to mobilize the royal infantry; in retaliation, the Vara se Populae consolidated itself and other democratic movements into the Republican faction. They fled the city in droves to recoup in the Demmatrodine wilderness, making their camp and base of operations at the Anmolevokari village of Demma. On November 20th, the Republicans declared war on the monarchy.
Fulfwotz Civil War
The declaration of war was not taken seriously by King Tophaeres, who did not believe the Republicans had the numbers nor the armaments possible to engage the royal army. In 1680, the royal army could yield as many as 180,000 soldiers (mostly comprised of the armies of the nobility, which largely supported the King out of fear of losing their social standing), compared to the roughly 13,000 Republican soldiers. There was also the matter of the royal forces having the advantage of being on the defensive; there was no possible way a force of 13,000 could take Fulfwotz. The state of Anmolevok gave the Republicans 10,000 men, but it was still not enough to realistically fight a fair war. The Republicans petitioned many nations in the Shire, but given the Kingdom's fearsome reputation following the Britannian War, none were eager to join the Republicans in battle. They had no other choice but to turn inwards, and decided that they would seek to fragment the Kingdom from within.
Republican agents contacted Dresilo Voranus, one of Tophaeres's most esteemed advisors. They promised him a high position in the reformed Republican government, assuming they won the war, if he agreed to misguide the King and plant false intel. Voranus cooperated, and the first battle was fought on the border of the Colerica Desert. It was, as expected, a victory for the Monarchists; however, thanks to routes supplied by Voranus, the Monarchists were led through a narrow pass. They were ambushed by the Republicans, sustaining heavy losses with over 9,000 casualties. The next battle would end in a similar manner, with the Republicans using the geography to their advantage while minimizing casualties. Frustrated, King Tophaeres could not understand how the Republicans were able to consistently ambush his forces, until he realized that all routes that had been given by Voranus had ended in some sort of surprise attack. He sensed the betrayal, yet Dresilo fled the capital to Demma before punishment could be inflicted. He was able to provide valuable information to aid the Republican cause.
Siege of Demma
By 1662, agents of the King had discovered that Demma was where the Republicans had amassed their forces. Tophaeres himself led a campaign of 15,000 soldiers across the Demmatrodine to the town. While scouts had observed the army advancing long before, the town was inexplicably caught off guard with minimal preparations made to greet the offensive army. An attempt at engaging them in battle was made, and managed to occupy a small chunk of the Monarchists; however, the rest easily breached the town, killing indiscriminately. The chain of command was shortened after several leaders, including Dresilo Voranus, were killed in the chaos. The Republicans were forced to make a full retreat, fleeing the pillaged town with the Monarchists in close pursuit. They rode across the Demmatrodine for days, seeking refuge behind the walls of Anmolevok. An estimated 12,000 casualties, largely Republicans and civilians, was recorded. The Kingdom soon turned its attention to Anmolevok after Monarchist scouts discovered that not only was the state supplying the insurgents, but was also protecting them following the siege. Tophaeres had long wished to vanquish Anmolevok, the Kingdom's biggest rival, and now had a valid excuse to do so.
Battle of Anmolevok
In the summer of 1662, the legendary Fulfwotzian commander Oramus Audurae led a 20,000 man attack on the Anmolevokari capital, defended by both Enpeecee and Republican forces. The ancient city (which functioned as the capital of Anmolika before the two states merged) was well-defended and managed to withstand the siege for three months. Morale collapsed for the Monarchists, as their troops waited outside of the city walls in the sweltering Demmatrodine heat with dwindling resources. In order to boost morale on the front lines, King Tophaeres himself visited the siege. Upon surveying the city from a hill, he recalled the similar situation of his predecessor Nemerses V, and his inability to infiltrate the Orthodox Temple of Virtue during the Great Desecration -- until a fire started within. Audurae ordered his men to fire incendiary arrows onto the straw roofs of the city. The straw caught fire with exceptional speed, thanks to the dry summer heat. By evening, half of the city was in flames. Citizens who had abandoned the city's defense struggled to flee the burning capital, with hundreds perishing by the hour. Many leaped over the walls, and large group was able to force their way through the guarded western gates; the Monarchist army was able to breach the city through this opening as the Republicans scattered once again into the Demmatrodine wilderness.
Oramus Audurae laid waste to the last vestige of civilized Enpeecee power on the continent, save for the minor villages filling the countryside. He invaded the Anmolevokari citadel, making way for King Tophaeres III. Tophaeres, seated on the Syphogrant Hekor Tet's throne, forced him to surrender his country to Fulfwotzian control and expel the Republicans in exchange for his life. After doing so, Hekor Tet was killed anyway. However, unbeknownst to Tophaeres, the Republicans (and much of the Anmolevokari soldiers when it was heard that the Syphogrant surrendered) had already fled the city in the chaos. Tophaeres returned to Fulfwotz to continue drafting his war plans, while Audurae was appointed to oversee the process of looting the remaining treasures of the ruined city.
The Republican Pact
With the Republican movement seemingly on its last legs after a streak of failures, the remaining group of roughly 4,000 made plans to abandon their cause and leave the continent for the democratic nations of the central Shire. The great-grandson of Leofric Golding, leader of the Vara se Populae, refused to fall in line with his comrades. Solomon Golding devised a plan to rally his people and gain the support of the Enpeecee people. He drafted the Republican Pact and traveled across the Demmatrodine between Enpeecee villages, having them sign their support. In return, they would be promised representation in the reformed Republican government, should they succeed. His plan was wildly successful, and Republican ranks swelled to 40,000. Enpeecee people had long been overlooked and oppressed by the Sammichian establishment since the ancient supremacy of Xamichia, and remained in that state even after the Edict of Atonement which had largely been forgotten at this point in history. They were eager for political representation for their people, and were more than willing to fight for it; women and children as young as twelve joined the ranks of the Republicans alongside their men. In the spring of 1683, they prepared for the decisive battle of the civil war.
Battle of the Capital
The 40,000 Republicans split into two groups; a faction of 5,000, tasked with distracting the Monarchist army, and a faction of 35,000 tasked with taking the city of Fulfwotz. The larger force waited in the foothills of the Alturas-Santos Mountains surrounding the city while the smaller force began raids on Pinecone Village outside of the central valley. A large Monarchist force met them and commenced battle as a progressively higher amount of them were dispatched. The large Republican army, under the command of Solomon Golding, seized their opportunity and descended into the city through the mountains. They unleashed their assault on the city, easily overpowering the unsuspecting Monarchist troops that remained within Fulfwotz. By the following morning, much of the northern part of the capital had been occupied and was under Republican control. It was impossible for the Monarchists fighting in Pinecone Village to reenter the city, as they were also cut off and did not know what was happening within.
The next night, Solomon Golding introduced a second diversion tactic; a group would attempt to storm Oldetown and the bridge leading to Castle Mugg, while his group would row to the castle's island and make use of the secret entrance disclosed to them by the late Dresilo Voranus. His plan was executed successfully, and his squadron assaulted the center of Monarchist power from within. They encountered King Tophaeres III in his chambers, along with his wife Queen Culpa, and his son, Prince Mephistes IX. Realizing he had lost, Tophaeres ordered his men to lay down their weapons. The following morning, Tophaeres was brought before the Fulfwotzian people in Ich Square (where the protest that acted as a catalyst for the Civil War took place), where he and his family was exiled from the Kingdom. For the first time in centuries, the mighty Ich Dynasty was ousted from power.
First Chancelleric Republic
After the end of the Civil War in 1684 and the victory for the Republican Fulfwotzians, they set about creating a democratic government. Many Republican leaders met at the Golding Convent, where plans for the new government were laid out. During the Convent, the Sammichian Chancellery was established as the legislative branch of Fulfwotz. It was originally unicameral, with meetings and sessions being overseen by a Chancellor elected by the Chancellery. Solomon Golding, as a highly-respected figure of the Republican movement, was elected. Representatives were elected from each territory of the Republic.
However, the representation promised to the Enpeecee people in the Republican Pact was not granted; despite their success, the Republicans went back on their word and only allowed Humans and Sammichians to hold office or vote. Many Enpeecees saw this as the ultimate betrayal, as so many of them perished in the fight to topple the monarchy. Exhausted, and wishing to flee further racial persecution, there was a mass Enpeecee exodus in 1686 from the Demmatrodine. Over 200,000 Enpeecees left the continent, most traveling to the central Shire. One large group of Enpeecees ended up establishing the state of Riverwood in the northern Shire. Entire villages were left empty and depopulated by the exodus.
The Enpeecees were largely brushed off by the Republic, which was eager to get legislation under way. There were many flaws in the new government, however. Fulfwotz, as a territory, had far more seats than the rest of the Chancellery combined. The similar beliefs and agendas of the Fulfwotzians resulted in Fulfwotzian policies being passed far more often than policies that would serve the interests of less developed territories of the Republic. There was also much gridlock due to the Chancellor's ability to veto, yet only with full knowledge of the bill and its details; this meant that entire weeks would be spent outlining and drafting a bill, only to have it vetoed at the last second by the Chancellor. Regardless, the Chancellery managed to pass legislation that had been neglected under monarchical rule.
Most controversial was the matter of the Fulfwotzian nobility; many common people viewed the nobility as an extension of the monarchy and wished to see their titles and privileges taken away. However, the Chancellery elected to allow the noble families to keep their status, yet disallowed them from fielding their own armies. The remaining major noble houses (being Vos Nervae, Vos Paxae, Vos Hatrinidae, Vos Petronax, Vos Sparax, Vos Vespae, and Vos Arrax) agreed, relieved that they would still benefit from the Republican system. The common people were outraged that the nobility would continue to reap the benefits of their social status while many starved from the fallout of the Civil War and decreased agricultural productivity following the Enpeecee exodus. As Chancellor, Solomon Golding was able to maintain peace, but the stability of the First Republic buckled after his death while in office in 1697.
The tension was apparent during elections for the new Chancellor, and erupted when the Lord Cassiux vos Hatrinidae was elected. As a nobleman, he was viewed with suspicion and contempt. It was widely felt that the electoral process in the new democracy had either serious flaws or had been tampered with by the nobility to better secure their societal primacy. Most chose to believe the latter, and in February of 1699, the Vos Hatrinidae family estate was razed by an unknown assailant. In retaliation, Lord Chancellor Cassiux vos Hatrinidae lobbied a bill that would allow people to be imprisoned on assumptions of guilt and evidence to be withheld from the convicted persons. Using these despotic new powers, the Lord Chancellor went on a spree of imprisoning political rivals and feigning accidental deaths in prison. After a disagreement, these wrongdoings were brought to light by the Vos Sparax family, and the Republic erupted into chaos.
The New Years' Revolution
Fed up with the abuse of Lord Chancellor Cassiux vos Hatrinidae that was reminiscent of monarchical rule, a mob of angry Fulfwotzians planned an attack on the Republican government, which had been gutted of political enemies of the Lord Chancellor and firmly stood behind him and his policies. On New Years' Eve, 1699, the Lord Chancellor planned a New Years' Ball in the now-defunct St. Flafbenz Cathedral. With so many members of the Chancellery in one place, dissidents took positions on the rooftops of nearby buildings armed with stones and muskets. Once midnight came and the party-goers began celebrating, they opened fire on the windows of the cathedral, slaughtering many of the people inside. Among those killed were the Lord Chancellor, his wife Phelna, Lord Aceres vos Petronax I, and dozens of Chancers. The ensuing mass panic evolved into a full-blown revolution, allowing a Chancer by the name of Varano Tephanus to seize power following the collapse of the fragile First Chancelleric Republic.
Second Chancelleric Republic
By late January of 1700, order had been restored and the Second Chancelleric Republic established. The incumbent Chancellor, Varano Tephanus, believed that the Fulfwotzian nobility could no longer be trusted with the privileges granted to them by the state. In the Act of 1700, the noble families were stripped of their status and were no longer exempt from paying the taxes a regular citizen of their wealth would have to pay. They were helpless to fight back against this decision, as the previous government forbade the nobles from maintaining or raising their own private armies. The Republic was elated with the bill, as they felt it should have been implemented after the initial collapse of the monarchy.
Varano Tephanus also utilized the Chancellery to better the conditions of the Enpeecee population of the Republic, which toiled and starved in small villages across the Demmatrodine. Those Enpeecees left behind following the exodus had almost no food, as most of the farmers had left the region in protest. It it believed that conditions had gotten so poor, that many Enpeecees had resorted to eating dry grass and their fellow villagers who had died from starvation. An estimated 1.2 million perished. In response, Chancellor Varano Tephanus gave generous incentives to farmers who relocated to Enpeecee villages, including tax breaks and land grants. Slowly, the condition of the Enpeecees began to improve, and those who remained were staunchly loyal to Tephanus.
Still seeking to uplift the Enpeecee people, who had been abused by the Sammichians for centuries, he lobbied for the Inclusion Act of 1705, which would permit Enpeecees to finally hold office in the Chancellery and represent themselves. As progressive as it was, the Inclusion Act was met with disdain and resentment from his associates in the Republican government. Fearing he could upset the status quo and embolden the Enpeecees to topple the pro-Sammichian government, Varano Tephanus was falsely accused of treason and sentenced to twenty years in prison. He fled the capital, traveling to the remote Enpeecee villages. He resolved to do the very thing the Republic had feared, and spoke to the Enpeecees of their unfair and brutal treatment.
Believing Tephanus to have fled to the central Shire, the Republic elected a new Chancellor, Nero Amphilae. Amphilae took it upon himself to overturn the progressive reforms of his predecessor, revoking tax breaks given to farmers who had relocated to Enpeecee villages. Productivity dropped, and food once again became scarce in the Demmatrodine countryside. In 1711, Varano Tephanus published his widely-read manifesto, On The Affliction And Condition Of The Enpeecee Peoples under the pseudonym Champion. Having long known that the long-neglected Enpeecee population of the Republic was a powder keg, the establishment was frightened that it may incite a revolt and once again topple the state. It was censored throughout the Republic; however, this only fanned the flames and encouraged readership. When Tephanus was finally caught traveling between the villages of Demma and Husurra by agents of Chancellor Nero Amphilae in 1713, he was executed for his supposed crime of treason and his subsequent attempt to flee. After having made a martyr out of the only man who had ever sympathized with their plight, the furious Enpeecees rose up against the Second Chancelleric Republic.
The Great Enpeecee Revolt
The initial phase of the revolt were relatively peaceful; not wishing to deconstruct the government Tephanus had created, the Demmatrodine Enpeecees staged a series of peaceful protests within their towns, demanding representation and reparations. In response, the Chancellery dispatched troops to put down the protests "by any means necessary". In most towns, the troops simply maintained their presence in order to discourage any violence or excessiveness.
Angry with his fellow Enpeecees for not taking a stronger stance against their treatment and the death of Varano Tephanus, Jeveru Malbas and his band of radicals named the Red Hand incited a riot in the town of Deserta. The republican soldiers were attacked with stones, hatchets, and shrapnel; they were forced to open fire on the Enpeecee crowd that had surrounded them. It is believed that over 60 were killed, and many more wounded. When news of the slaughter spread throughout the Demmatrodine, the peaceful protests soon turned into violent displays of pent-up anger resulting from millennia of slavery and discrimination from their Sammichian lords. Much of the continent had soon erupted into anarchy and chaos, and once Enpeecees living in the capital of Fulfwotz began showing signs of anger, Chancellor Nero Amphilae convinced the Chancellery to grant him emergency powers.
The Summer Genocide
Considering the "savage" Enpeecee people beyond saving, and perceiving them as more of an issue than providing any benefit to the Republic, Amphilae used his new powers to dispatch large squadrons of troops throughout the Demmatrodine villages in the spring of 1714. Several massive detention centers were constructed in the arid wilderness of the central continent. Enpeecees were rounded up and transported to the centers on foot. While their initial intent was only to imprison raucous villagers until the spirit of rebellion had died down, continued disobedience and unrest in the prisons prompted orders from Amphilae to execute them "block by block". The spirit of rebellion soon turned into one of terror and death.
The subsequent genocide, while only lasting for the late spring and through the early fall of 1714, was disturbingly quick and systematic in nature. Cell blocks of up to 500 people were killed at a time, and they would often be refilled by the end of the week as more prisoners were marched from their villages and homes into the detention centers. The genocide was considered one of the best-kept secrets of its time; only Amphilae and his closest group of Chancers were aware of the full extent of the plan. It was kept hidden from the entire population of the Republic, and Venezian laborers had been hired to build the detention centers. The officers working within them were cut off from the rest of the Republic and were under the impression that they were acting under orders from the entire Chancellery. At first, only men were transported to the centers, but the order soon extended to women and children as well. While the precise death toll is unknown, some estimates place it anywhere between two to six million.
In the fall of 1714, the genocide in the Demmatrodine became impossible to hide from the Fulfwotzians and the rest of the Chancellery. Emaciated refugees arrived in the capital, with nowhere else to go in the desolate and largely-inhospitable continent. They spread news of the genocide, to the horror of the Fulfwotzians. In a display of solidarity, Enpeecee families were taken in by Sammichian and Human households. It soon became public knowledge that the Republic was in the process of an extermination of an entire race, and the Chancellery voted to remove Chancellor Nero Amphilae from office for his complicity. He was sentenced to execution, yet he was seized by an angry crowd prior to his execution and beaten to death. In order to distance itself from the crimes of its predecessor, the Third Chancelleric Republic was proclaimed.
Third Chancelleric Republic
As a first order of business, the Chancellery set about granting reparations to the persecuted Enpeecees. Each family was given a sum of $200, their towns were rebuilt, and they were more closely incorporated into the fabric of the Republic. The Chancellery also waived tax collection for the Enpeecee villages for a period of five years.
The Chancellery then resolved to strengthen its system of checks and balances. It underwent a major reorganization; as opposed to the previous structure of one house led by a Chancellor, it became divided into a tricameral body comprised of the Senate, the Chancery, and the Council. The entire Chancellery was presided over by a High Chancellor, whose powers were restricted in order to prevent abuses like those of Lord Chancellor Cassiux vos Hatrinidae and Chancellor Nero Amphilae. Former powers belonging to the Chancellor were now disseminated amongst the new ministries of the Republican government. Election of the High Chancellor was also determined by the people, instead of the Chancellery alone. As progressive as this seemed, and while all races could vote, only the land-owning elite could participate in elections. This meant that Sammichians dominated the voting pool, trailed by Humans. There were virtually no Enpeecees within the voting pool. After all, despite having an extremely diverse population, it was a Sammichian dominion. In early 1715, Chancellor Nessica Camphalus was elected.
In order to strengthen the foundations (literally) of the Republic, High Chancellor Nessica Camphalus initiated the construction of a massive planned capital to the south of Fulfwotz. The city was called Capitolae, after the ancient administrative core of the Xamichine capital of Ceriumuse (Sarrimus). Skilled architects, artisans, and laborers were summoned from across the Shire to partake in the development of what Camphalus proclaimed "the most glorious city that ever was, or ever will be". Development began in the following spring, under the direction of the prolific Caffan architect Evasio Gianbattista. Roads were laid out in uniform, grid-like patterns, as opposed to the sprawling "organized chaos" of the ancient Fulfwotzian streets. Magnificent townhomes and government buildings were constructed, violating the vaunted Pheneran Building Code. In 1718, the High Chancellor's power was solidified with the construction of the High Chancellor's Mansion, a palatial estate of marble and stone. Despite the attempt to create an entirely new capital, both Capitolae and Fulfwotz eventually grew to such an extent that Capitolae was absorbed into Fulfwotz as a borough in 1822.
Despite the Third Chancelleric Republic being a renaissance for Fulfwotzian society after decades of strife, the tenure of Camphalus and her successors did make some largely-unpopular decisions. Most despised was the reinstatement of the nobility. However, upon further examination, the nobility simply regained their status in name only. They still had to pay taxes, could not raise their own militias, and had to remain on good terms with the public after discovering their newly-acquired ability of rising against the established order. Yet, separation from the common people proved most important to the great noble houses, and in return, the families of Vos Paxae, Vos Arrax, Vos Vespae, and Vos Nervae swore their "eternal allegiance" to the Third Republic.
With a less volatile Republic, outside nations were far more willing to cooperate and interact with the country. It was essentially a golden age of diplomacy for Fulfwotz. Countless embassies were established across the Shire, and state visits became common. The Republic became especially close with the Commonwealth of Venezia Nuova and the Enderian Nation, thanks to similar policies and leanings. Fulfwotz became much more involved on an international level; while it had always been the dominant regional power of the Demmatrodine, it was typically far too self-involved and preoccupied with domestic matters to bolster its presence abroad. In 1726, the Enderian Nation and the Third Chancelleric Republic of Fulfwotz issued a joint declaration of friendship, which soon evolved into one of the world's longest-lasting political alliances.
Return of the Ich Dynasty
For the century after their exile, the Ich family traveled across the Shire to their ancestral home, the Pravada se Niphuline, better known as Niflheim Palace. Tophaeres III died in 1692, soon followed by his son and heir, Mephistes IX, who was mauled to death by a polar bear. Culpa soon departed the palace, as a still-observed Xamichine code forbade the sole residence of an Ich who cannot claim blood relation. The deposed queen traveled to Caffa, where she married the widowed merchant prince Lorenzo di Prama. Their marriage would create the Ich cadet branch of Ich-Prama. Meanwhile, the daughter of Mephistes IX, Vulna, the new Ich Dinastiax, took up residence in Niflheim Palace.
Due to the palace's isolation, there was little interaction with the outside world. Fearing retribution from Fulfwotz, the family was actually shunned by many nations of the Shire. With their pride and power diminished, the only thing left intact of the Ich Dynasty's glory was their fortune. Thanks to the family's fervent distrust of their own people, their enormous and ancient fortune was kept in hidden vaults far out of the reach of Fulfwotz. The Iches knew they were helpless to regain their domain without help from other countries, but such a possibility was far out of the realm of reality. It was not until the election of Preva Ich-Prama to the election of High Chancellor of the flourishing Third Republic in 1780 that they saw any true chance of rising once again.
Preva Ich-Prama was a remarkable public speaker and orator. Originally a distinguished lawyer and writer, studying in Venezia Nuova, he decided to run for the office of High Chancellor after declaring the Third Republic "the most perfect nation [he had] ever seen". The Fulfwotzian people were understandably wary of one distantly related to the Ich regime. However, he won the crowd over with his impassioned and nationalist speeches. Sensing an opportunity, Prince Niphulux Ich III contacted Preva in private. Prince Niphulux tried to convince his cousin of a plot to restore the monarchy, but the High Chancellor was resistant to the idea. He valued the republican principles that the Third Chancelleric Republic of Fulfwotz was founded on, and had been raised to despise the days of the Ich regime.
However, just as Preva Ich-Prama was devoted to his principles, Prince Niphulux Ich was devoted to the classic Ich principles of power, cunning, and manipulation. He sought to debase his cousin, warping his mind until he had the capacity for duplicity that his Ich relatives retained for centuries. Niphulux had his most trusted members of the Magistrax Militae fake a carefully-planned execution attempt on the High Chancellor. On Republic Day, 1783, a parade was being held on the Avenue of Victory in Capitolae. After spies and agents of the Prince discovered that the High Chancellor actually had a meeting during the parade, they knew the Preva Ich-Prama in the special High Chancellor's box was really a decoy to boost the excitement and devotion to the Republic of the crowd. During the parade, agents of the Magistrax Militae disguised themselves as the decoy's guards. It was then that they infiltrated the box, assassinating Preva Ich-Prama's decoy.
When the frightened High Chancellor heard about the grisly details of his own murder, he became increasingly paranoid and unhinged. He was not seen in public without at least fifteen body guards encircling him, and often took to holding meetings at night when there would be fewer people roaming the streets of Capitolae. Preva's tragic descent into madness deepened when a political enemy introduced a bill which would further roll back his powers. An unintended series of coincidences resulted in Preva believing he had uncovered a widespread conspiracy to topple him and the Third Republic to instill a dictatorship -- which was not far off the mark, in actuality. However, rather than investigate his uncharacteristically-quiet Ich relatives, he chose to investigate within his own Chancellery. He mandated the arrest of several high-ranking Chancellery officials, including the Chancellor of Summerstone, Claudia Vespinus.
What transpired after his arrests was a self-fulfilling prophecy; the very dissent and threat to his power he feared arose in response to the actions he took to prevent it. His paranoia and willingness to arrest without question was reminiscent of the regime of Lord Chancellor Cassiux vos Hatrinidae. The people of the Third Republic demanded his prisoners be released and relieved of trial, while more organized protests took place in Summerstone of the arrest of Chancellor Vespinus. Sensing his power was slipping, he contacted Prince Niphulux. His Ich relatives had maintained power for almost two millennia, so he knew they must have been doing something right. Niphulux feigned concern, and expressed his readiness to help Preva.
His mind warped by paranoia and presumably an underlying mental illness, Preva Ich-Prama was receptive to his distant relative's malicious advice. Prince Niphulux suggested that Preva petition the Chancellery to grant him emergency powers, under the claim that Niphulux had raised a massive army in the north to reclaim his throne. In January of 1785, the Chancellery granted him emergency powers in exchange for the removal of his ability of arbitrary arrest. At the behest of Niphulux, Preva signed the Advisory Office to the High Chancellor into existence. Niphulux came to Capitolae in order to be closer to the office of Preva Ich-Prama. The Advisory Office existed for only a month before Niphulux was appointed the Republic's first Vice Chancellor, a new title and position within government. His level of involvement in the creation of this office is, without a doubt, very high.
One of the key features of being Vice Chancellor is that they would succeed the High Chancellor in the event of their untimely death. Thus, it was only a matter of weeks before Preva Ich-Prama was found dead in his office with traces of strychnine in his tea. The following day, as the nation mourned, Niphulux Ich III became the High Chancellor of the Third Chancelleric Republic of Fulfwotz. He used the pseudonym of Vuro Ophtellus to hide his heritage from the public.
A realist, and well-aware that the Fulfwotzian people would never accept another absolute monarchy, High Chancellor Ophtellus set about an agenda of incorporating the monarchy into the Chancelleric government. He used his inherited emergency powers to virtually recreate the monarchy by single-handedly passing the Restoration Act of 1785. Stunned, the Chancellery revoked his emergency powers and demanded that he nullify the act. However, Niphulux disobeyed the Republic and placed his daughter, Princess Amphurna V, on the newly-recreated throne.
The Republic was divided on what should happen. Many people did not trust the monarchy and were taught of its evils in school. However, the Republic still believed that the Ich family had gathered a massive army in a secret location which could march on the capital at any time. Niphulux, during his tenure, had also planted information that the family had the backing of entirely-fictitious nations, such as Barcania and Kubek. This essentially led the Chancellery to believe that unseating Amphurna would lead to all-out war with nations whose capabilities were untold. Devoted to the continued prosperity of the Third Republic, the Chancellery ultimately kept Niphulux in power, still unaware of his actual identity.
By no means a stupid man, Niphulux knew the days of his family's absolute rule were over. Instead, he intended to mold the monarchy and the Chancellery together into one of the world's first constitutional monarchies. He intertwined the two almost single-handedly, acting on behalf of both branches of the new government. The monarch would be granted powers such as the declaration of war, the formation of alliances, and the ability to veto a piece of legislation once a year. Meanwhile, matters such as education and economics remained the responsibility of the ministries of the Republican government.
The installation of a monarchy was a widely unpopular move, yet there were still small groups of loyal monarchists in Fulfwotz society who welcomed the Ich Dynasty back with open arms. Angry protesters demanded that the Restoration Act and the subsequent laws be overturned, along with High Chancellor Vuro Ophtellus impeached. Luckily for the Ich Dynasty, Queen Amphurna V was just as intelligent as her father. Remarked as an effective stateswoman and a great beauty, over the course of her reign she was able to win people over to her side. She achieved such popularity by using the Ich family's vast wealth to construct orphanages and shelters in downtrodden areas of Fulfwotz, along with becoming one of the most devoted patrons of the arts. One of the main goals of her reign was to revitalize the city of Fulfwotz, which had been largely neglected as the Republican nerve center of Capitolae prospered to the south. She took up residence in the ancient Castle Mugg, which had not been inhabited since the deposition of Tophaeres and was in a state of extreme decay. The castle was continually renovated and repaired until it had been completely restored in 1802. It is very likely that had it not been for the efforts of Queen Amphurna, the monarchy would not have lasted much longer. Similarly, if High Chancellor Vuro Ophtellus's true identity had been known, there would have never been another monarchy in the first place (in fact, it would not be until 1944 that the private journal of Ophtellus was discovered, along with his heritage). By 1808, when Amphurna abdicated the throne in favor of her daughter Vespania VII, most peoples' faith in the "new monarchy" had been secured.
The New Kingdom of Fulfwotz
Queen Vespania VII, using her legal powers and influence in lawmaking, pushed to rename the Republic to something that denoted her rule. In 1810, the Chancellery voted through legislation which took the Third Chancelleric Republic of Fulfwotz and renamed it to the New Chancelleric Kingdom of Fulfwotz-Capitolae. However, it would simply be referenced to as the Kingdom of Fulfwotz once again.
Like her mother, Vespania VII was careful to ensure that her public image was well-maintained and admirable. In her wedding to Lord Scepares vos Petronax I, the entire nation was invited to attend. In a country that had a population of roughly 11 million at the time, an estimated 1.7 million alone flocked to Fulfwotz for the event. In a symbolic move, the ceremony was held in Capitolae along the city's Avenue of Victory. To many, this showed royal solidarity and union with the Chancellery.
Despite the newfound harmony established between the monarchy and Chancellery, discord was brewing within the legislature. While there had always been disagreements, the subject of the Restoration Act had deeply divided the institution. It was split between supporters of the monarchy, and those who believed that the prosperity experienced under the Third Republic meant that the monarchy was completely frivolous. These two groups arrayed themselves in the Chancellery as the Monarchy Party and the Constitutional Party. This marked the beginning of the first large-scale political parties in Fulfwotzian government. Over the course of the next few years, Queen Vespania VII would use her powers of persuasion and statesmanship to quietly relegate more legislative influence to the office of the monarch, much to the chagrin of the Constitutional Party. In retaliation, Lord Chancer Calphamax vos Vespae I campaigned for the Removal Act of 1814, which would give the Chancellery the ability to impeach the monarch if necessary. The act was passed by the Chancellery, which checked the expansion of Vespania's legal powers.
The Kingdom was sent reeling after the assassination of Queen Vespania VII in 1817 by the anti-monarchical terrorist group the Broken Crown. High Chancellor Cephus von Hammerstein declared one week of mourning. Afterwards, the brilliant Prince Spiricus I ascended to the throne of the Kingdom of Fulfwotz. He made it his life goal to repeal the Removal Act of 1814, which would threaten the monarchy in perpetuity. His impassioned speeches and rallying garnered much support, but led to the continued fracturing of the legislature. The Monarchy Party soon split into the First and Second Monarchy Parties; the second believing in a more progressive approach to the King's rule, with the ability to remove and enthrone rulers as the Chancellery sees fit, with the first valuing the traditional "untouchable" and stable monarchy. Despite his formidable oratory skills and power of persuasion, King Spiricus failed in his attempt to repeal the act. He also failed in producing an heir; modern historians agree that Spiricus was sterile, having attempted conception with fifteen various women to no avail. Upon his death in 1844 in a hunting accident, the Chancellery was presented with a difficult decision; either they could prevent the extinction of the ancient Ich Dynasty of rulers and enthrone the nephew of Spiricus, or they could elect a new pro-Chancellery royal family.
The Dynastic Struggle
Many within the Chancellery believed that the age of the Ich Dynasty was over. It had been ousted from power for its abuses after the Fulfwotz Civil War, and it had taken the monumental efforts of two generations to restore public faith in the family. There were a handful of prominent noble families who supported the Chancellery anyway -- most notably Vos Vespae, Vos Nervae, and Vos Arrax. A lord or lady from one of those great houses could easily be elected and function as the royal family in perpetuity, ushering in a new era of harmony and cooperation between the two branches of Fulfwotzian government. The obvious contender for many was Lord Lexandrus vos Nervae II, a well-known Fulfwotz Chancer and trusted friend of High Chancellor Venia Vespinus. It would be decided that the heads of the three families would participate in an election to become the new royal family.
King Spiricus had no close family; with his parents and only brother both dead, and no children, his closest living relative was his nephew, Prince Phemenses Ich III. A worldly and well-read man, Phemenses was on a year-long expedition through the uncharted northern wilderness of the Shire when his uncle died. He was unreachable, which worked to the Chancellery's advantage; they had an actual excuse to not contact him and place him on the throne. Phemenses remained ignorant of what had happened in the Kingdom until he allegedly met a Fulfwotzian traveler who recounted the events to him. Enraged, Phemenses immediately sailed for Capitolae. By the time he arrived, Lord Lexandrus vos Nervae II had been elected and preparations were underway for his coronation ceremony. He petitioned before the High Chancellor herself to have the decision overturned, claiming his birthright, but Venia Vespinus refused. Despite the apparent injustice, Phemenses found the support of the First Monarchy Party, enemies of the Vos Nervae family, and families loyal to the Ich establishment. Phemenses soon found the Vos Paxae, Vos Sparax, Vos Hatrinidae, and Vos Petronax families rallying behind him in order to prevent the ascension of a potentially-problematic monarch.
After considerable prodding, various Chancellors loyal to the Ich Dynasty formed a coalition was able (albeit barely) to overrule High Chancellor Venia Vespinus on grounds of withheld information, having neglected to inform the majority of the Chancellery that Phemenses was indeed alive and the direct heir to the throne. The matter was put to another vote; the decision to elect Lexandrus vos Nervae II to the throne failed in the Chancery. A motion to put the rightful heir on the throne was then made, which passed in the Chancery and went to the Council for ratification. It received a narrow majority of votes, yet was blocked yet again by the triple-weighted vote of Vespinus.
In response, the pro-Ich coalition called for a second vote, but not before threatening to bring up the issue of whether the High Chancellor's triple-weighted vote was truly constitutional or not. This, combined with suspected blackmail on behalf of the Vos Sparax family, forced Vespinus to reevaluate and instead cast her vote for Phemenses. King Phemenses III was crowned on October 16th, 1845, in a ceremony which the Vos Nervae family and Vespinus refused to attend.
Phemensesian Foreign Policy
King Phemenses felt he had a lot to prove to his people about his ability to rule and make the Kingdom powerful. While Fulfwotz had asserted its authority over much of the Demmatrodine, it had very few colonial possessions across the rest of the Shire. Phemenses resolved to put forth a hostile and aggressive foreign policy that extended beyond the historical borders of the Demmatrodine. In 1846, King Phemenses succeeded in lobbying the creation of the Ministry of Colonial Affairs under his own leadership. The ministry was granted sweeping powers; so long as war was not declared on a foreign nation, Phemenses could conquer and annex as he pleased with little interference from the Chancellery. The Ministry was armed with a fleet of five-hundred ships and thousands of men recruited into the newly-formed Colonial Corps.
Emboldened by his new abilities, King Phemenses was eager to test out the ability of his corps. He set his sights on the small island of Epsilon off the coast of Malesius in the southeastern Shire. After a deliberately-insulting offer to join the Kingdom was rebuked by the island's leaders, the Colonial Corps set sail and arrived on the island's shores in late 1846. The primitive islanders were no match for the well-equipped forces of King Phemenses. However, his hostile takeover was halted by Tigo Phenovus, an emissary of the Chancellery assigned to monitor the ministry. Phenovus feared the potential backlash from this perceived slaughter of the indigenous Enpeecees living on Epsilon. Phenovus insisted that if Phemenses must annex the island, he should find a way to do so without bloodshed. The King responded by withdrawing his forces and forming a trade blockade around the island, cutting off virtually all of Epsilon's revenue and trade. Within weeks, Epsilon was forced to capitulate, and thus became the first colonial territory of the unfolding expansionist Kingdom.
The acquisition of Epsilon led to more faith being placed in Phemenses' ability and a heightened degree of independence. Over the course of the next few years, Phemenses subjugated a vast array of territories to the power of the Kingdom. An intelligent man who wanted to ensure that the Kingdom would be able to stay together under his heirs, he reformed the educational systems of the conquered territories with a blatantly pro-Fulfwotz curriculum which aimed to pacify any nationalistic sentiments and effectively "brainwash" future generations into complacency. The Chancellery was thoroughly impressed with the empire-building of their King, and began to eagerly support such imperialist ventures. Lord High Chancellor Meraxes vos Vespae soon directed massive amounts of funding to the Ministry of Colonial Affairs. With a myriad of newly-acquired lands, the Kingdom had successfully initiated the transition from a Demmatrodine regional power to a Shire world power.
Meanwhile, other states in the Shire made note of the Kingdom's rapid conquering of sovereign territories across the world. In response to this, many nations either sought to protect themselves by forming a network of complicated alliances, or emulate such imperialist policies. Most notably, Oranjestad and the Commonwealth of Venezia Nuova began clamoring for land in the central Shire, their massive borders soon brushing against one another and provoking hostilities and forays into other continents. This ushered in the so-called Age of Imperialism for the Shire.
The period of prosperous expansion and cooperation between the monarchy and Chancellery ended with the election of High Chancellor Tigo Phenovus in 1859. Phenovus, who had been the Chancelleric emissary to the Ministry of Colonial Affairs in its infancy, knew that granting Phemenses such immense power was irresponsible in the long run, and had been embittered by his dismissal several years prior. His administration was able to place tighter restrictions on the Ministry, such as reappointing an emissary (coincidentally, Phenovus' son Turo was granted that post), reducing the Ministry's budget, scaling back the size of the Colonial Corps, and requiring that any venture making use of the Colonial Corps or Ministry resources must be voted through by the Chancellery. King Phemenses seethed at these seemingly-petty rules. The infamous October Letters was a series of heated letters exchanged between the King and High Chancellor, littered with personal attacks, threats, and vulgarity. They were published in 1860 by Phenovus, yet his attempt at tarnishing the King's reputation backfired horribly; the majority of the Fulfwotzian public ironically sided with the monarchy, entranced by nationalism and a desire to continue the rampant annexation of foreign lands by the Kingdom. Phenovus' approval ratings plummeted, and in response, he doubled down on his personal agenda against the King and instituted even heavier restrictions.
For several years, the Solurian Empire and the Kingdom of Fulfwotz had been attempting to negotiate a pan-Demmatrodine trade deal, but talks on the Fulfwotzian end had stalled as High Chancellor Phenovus was occupied with his borderline-obsessive attacks on King Phemenses. Agents of the Solurian Empire approached Phemenses in secrecy; the parties met within the War Room of Castle Mugg instead of the Office of the King in Capitolae, a symbolic act which heralded the growing gulf between the King and Chancellery. In exchange for King Phemenses' public sponsoring and lobbying of the trade deal, the Solurian Empire would cede their newly-acquired holdings in the Verdenes. Phemenses agreed, and with his intervention the trade deal was soon signed into effect. As promised, the Verdenes were granted to the Kingdom in 1863, yet the secrecy of the deal hindered the proper incorporation of the territory. As a result, Phemenses resolved to operate it as a private venture, paying out of pocket for resources and manpower. Under Phemenses' personal control, the local Enpeecee population was virtually enslaved, forced to work in the silver mines opened on the islands. After seeing the enormous profit to be had under this systematic exploitation of indigenous populations, similar operations were instituted in other Enpeecee-majority colonies. His ventures became increasingly efficient as he gained experience, laundered funds from the Ministry of Colonial Affairs, and his supremacy was no longer unhindered after HIgh Chancellor Tigo Phenovus failed to get reelected in 1865. The Kingdom's nationalistic devotion to the King led to popular support of a candidate from the First Monarchy Party, Alexander T. Vannemark. Vannemark was more than willing to allow Phemenses to continue his ruthless expansion across the Shire, so long as the King respected the democratic sanctity of the Chancellery.
Reign of Drefnex
With a pro-monarchy High Chancellor, Phemenses was now unimpeded in his conquest. However, tragedy struck when his ship capsized in a storm off the coast of stormy Malesius on May 19th, 1867. King Phemenses was presumed dead; revered amongst the Fulfwotzian people, to this day his reign is considered the "Silver Age" of modern Fulfwotz, eventually eclipsed by the Golden Age instigated by his grandson. Following his death, High Chancellor Vannemark declared three weeks of mourning, emphasizing the fantastic legacy of Phemenses III.
At the end of the three weeks, his son Prince Drefnex was crowned. After the reign of his father, Drefnex had huge expectations from the Fulfwotzian people to live up to; however, only a week into his rule and Drefnex had proved himself to be an ineffectual and inept King. Eager to follow in the footsteps of Phemenses, Drefnex immediately -- and rashly -- sought to conquer the city of Sravasti, one of the few remaining regions of the Demmatrodine not under the direct control of Fulfwotz.
The attack on Sravasti was a humiliating defeat. The Fulfwotzian forces were easily pushed back by the well-trained Sravastari from behind their massive walls. The Colonial Corps resorted to trying to starve them out, but it took an entire year before they simply had no other choice but to retreat in shame. Jaded and discouraged by his failure, Drefnex withdrew to the confines of Castle Mugg, where he indulged in a hedonistic lifestyle as Fulfwotz's hermit King. It was left to his wife, Queen Tryphaena, to maintain the public face of the monarchy and its presence. Much of the Shire breathed a sigh of relief as expansion and nationalism in the Kingdom simmered down, while Oranjestad and Venezia Nuova used the respite as an opportunity to gain an edge over their rival.
Queen Tryphaena ended up being a much more capable leader than her husband, but her legal powers were extremely limited as she was not the Ich blood monarch (the Accraprima Rexina). Matters in the Kingdom entered a lull as the Chancellery legislated and worked on integrating their newly-acquired lands into the fabric of the Kingdom. In 1887, after two decades of virtual silence, King Drefnex announced the birth of his heir; Prince Allexes Vespanius Ich I. Allexes became incredibly popular with the public, especially as he grew and embodied the ruler the Fulfwotzian people craved; imposing, iron-willed, and handsome. Soon, Drefnex and Tryphaena had three more children; Princess Amphurna VI, Prince Matares, and Prince Sammus II.
In 1900, to the shock of the Kingdom, King Drefnex abdicated the throne and eloped with the wealthy Fulfwotzian heiress Cassiopeia Viltvogel. Prince Allexes, 13 years old at the time, still had three years before he could legally inherit the throne by Chancelleric decree. Queen Tryphaena then ruled as Queen Regent in her son's stead. Tragedy befell the Ich family in 1902, when Prince Allexes' party was ambushed by a pack of mountain lions while hunting in the Demmatrodine Shrub Country. Allexes was mauled and carried back to the capital, but soon succumbed to his injuries and died that night. Princess Amphurna VI then became the heir apparent.
The family's grief was only exacerbated by the subsequent disappearance of Amphurna. At the funeral procession of Allexes through Fulfwotz, her carriage somehow became separated from the main route. The absence of Amphurna's carriage was only noticed once the procession made its way back to Castle Mugg. A frantic search for the princess was commenced, with a $100,000 reward in exchange for her safe return. The reward was raised as high as a whopping $800,000 (approximately $19 million today). When she was still not returned after seven months, it became clear something far more sinister was in the works; the belief that the Ich Dynasty was deliberately being targeted was strengthened after a scouting party found a sealed crate (with air holes, however) of what contained raw meat in the area where Prince Allexes had been attacked by mountain lions. It was believed that it had been placed there in order to lure the cats to the area. Demmatrodine mountain lions, which are by nature extremely aggressive and territorial, targeted Allexes and his hunting party when they discovered him in their vicinity.
Prince Matares, now the heir to the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, professed to having a "religious awakening" in the aftermath of his brother's death and sister's disappearance. Only a month after Amphurna's supposed kidnapping did Matares join the clergy of the Orthodox Sammichian Trinity (the less-radical spiritual successor to the Orthodoxy) and subsequently abandon his claim to the throne. Prince Sammus II, only 11 at the time, was then proclaimed the sole heir. The prince, being educated at the Lord Cromerth Boarding School in the central Shire, was brought back to Fulfwotz for his own protection. Queen Tryphaena would rule as Queen Regent for the five years until Sammus was of age to become King.
Tryphaena's reign ended prematurely after a great fire broke out on the upper floors of Castle Mugg on the night of March 1st, 1903; Queen Tryphaena perished, trapped in her chambers and eventually falling victim to the fire. Prince Sammus had been evacuated in time, as his room was closely guarded in order to prevent any would-be assassins from extinguishing the only living heir of the Ich Dynasty. Despite the suspicions that the family was being deliberately targeted, the ultimate cause of the fire was attributed to faulty wiring as the castle was being outfitted with electricity. With the Queen Regent deceased, Prince Sammus II was coronated in a rushed and demure ceremony in the castle's courtyard the following evening.
Reign of Sammus II
The Boy King
Upon being crowned King of Fulfwotz-Capitolae at the age of 11, Sammus was initially taunted and ridiculed as the "Boy King". Much of the monarch's influence was circumvented as foreign powers chose to instead discuss matters with the High Chancellor as opposed to a ruler they presumed to be immature and uninformed. They were not necessarily wrong; Sammus was never intended to become King, having three older siblings. He had not been educated on matters of state and politics that would be expected of the monarch. His contemporaries described Sammus as a secretive and solitary boy, who preferred studying history (the history of Xamichia, in particular) and politics as opposed to mathematics and science.
The sitting High Chancellor, Aliza Nazim Khalifa (the great-great-grandmother of High Chancellor Zeena K. Ritz-Khalifa) decided to take the young King under her wing. He soon abandoned his traditional education in favor of devoting his time to studying the inner workings of Fulfwotzian and international politics. It was common to see the King sitting at the High Chancellor's side during sessions and debates in the Chancellery. By the time the King was 14, he was accompanying Khalifa on trips as she tended to international matters. Aliza Nazim Khalifa, who had become somewhat of a mother figure to Sammus, and while publicly aligned with the Constitutional Party, privately confessed to seeing the value of a monarch to the national identity and unity of the state. She strived to ensure that Sammus would become the leader that his father had failed to be. As the young King became a more prominent figure in the Kingdom, the Fulfwotzian people began to affectionately refer to him as "King Sammich", an amalgamation of his first and last name -- and coincidentally, his race. The clever nickname stuck, and even found itself being used in formal settings in lieu of his actual name.
Consolidation of Power
By the time King Sammus had reached the age of 16, it was time for him to prove himself to be a strong and able leader. Advised by the retired Aliza Nazim Khalifa, Sammus revived the Ministry of Colonial Affairs which sat defunct under the neglectful rule of his father. Sammus' goal was to usher in a Golden Age of Fulfwotz imperialism, one greater than created by Phemenses III. By studying the policies and actions of Phemenses, Sammus recognized that expansion equated to heightened nationalism within the state; and heightened nationalism led to the ultimate prosperity of the state and the authority of the monarch.
In early June of 1907, King Sammus dispatched the Colonial Corps to subjugate the Duchy of Grunesblatt in Malesius. The Duchy, led by the Archduke Wilhelm von Kaiserhof, was small and sparsely-populated; however, it was rich in natural resources that Sammus wished to exploit. When the Colonial Corps made their way through the lush forests surrounding Schloss Kaiserhof at the center of the Duchy, the mentally-unstable Archduke was considerably frightened. He then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. His men simply allowed the Colonial Corps to take the Schloss and incorporate the Duchy into the Kingdom. The Schloss would be renamed Schloss Sammlutz.
Back home,Sammus' fairly-easy success was celebrated as an example of the "awe-inspiring majesty and power of the Ich Dinastiax", compelling men to lay down their arms and surrender on sight. Sammus was eager to continue colonization and expansion, yet the incumbent High Chancellor Telos Navanus did not share the King's enthusiasm. The King's petitions for more funding from the Chancellery were routinely rebuked, as the High Chancellor saw through the victory in the Duchy and knew that had the Archduke not committed suicide, the Colonial Corps would have been severely hampered in their conquest. He also believed that such heedless expansion would inevitably spell dire consequences for the fate of the Kingdom. However, swept up in a renewing wave of nationalism, a candidate from the First Monarchy Party managed to win the election of 1910; the Lord High Chancellor Scepares vos Petronax I, a fervent proponent of King Sammus.
Fulfwotzian Golden Age of Imperialism
One of the first acts of Lord High Chancellor Vos Petronax was the redirecting of funds to the long-neglected Ministry of Colonial Affairs. Vos Petronax was an ardent supporter of imperialism, and was willing to support the King in any way necessary. Countless parades and military displays were organized in order to rally the Fulfwotzian people and intimidate the Kingdom's enemies. Pro-imperial propaganda was put into circulation in the Kingdom's foremost newspapers. The Fulfwotz Sun, the largest newspaper syndication within the Kingdom at the time, was bought out by the government and recreated as today's The Imperial Eyewitness, which still operates as a state-sponsored news agency. It was also rumored that King Sammus and Lord High Chancellor Vos Petronax paid off foreign journalists to write positive pieces about the Kingdom in their own publications.
Sure of his peoples' support and his own ability, Sammus was willing to engage in far more risky political maneuvers. Eyeing the holdings of Enpecacia, a minor Enpeecee-majority nation, King Sammus instigated the country to declare war through public denunciations and the calculated planting of spies within Enpecacia's government. Operation Anapulka in 1911 saw the Fulfwotzian infiltration of confidential files of Enpecacia's defense and state ministries. Over 4,000 files were reported missing and thousands more duplicated. However, it is largely believed that the information was not the purpose of the raid, and it was simply a front to coerce the country into declaring war. On October 12th, 1911, Enpecacia was forced to sign a declaration of war on the Kingdom. Prior to the declaration, the solitary nation pleaded with the larger nations of the Shire to join their side. They were turned away, by countries either too occupied with building their own empires or those unwilling to enter a conflict with the Kingdom.
The aptly-named Two Month War led to the rapid collapse of Enpecacia, and the subsequent absorption of the nation's holdings by the Kingdom of Fulfwotz in December of 1911. Now the Chancellery was far more confident in Sammus's ability as an expansionist ruler, and were more willing to finance his ventures. By 1914, the Chancellery was injecting more than $10 million into the Ministry of Colonial Affairs annually (approximately $245 million in 2017) which almost totaled a fifth of the Kingdom's entire budget. With such vast financial resources and a cooperative High Chancellor, Sammus was able to turn from annexing territories by raw force to negotiating trade deals and purchases.
Between the years of 1910 and 1920, there were over forty individual instances of major territorial acquisitions; yet as the Kingdom's borders grew, its number of enemies grew as well. Smaller nations around the world lived in fear of finding themselves under the scope of the Kingdom, for it was commonly said that once the Kingdom laid its eyes upon you, its gaze was inescapable. If you refused a deal from Fulfwotz, then it would only be a matter of time before it would occupy your lands with military force instead. The result of this was a fear-induced immediate surrender from many small and unprotected city-states when the Kingdom would approach them. Countries such as Knavobuki and Athitica, as well as coalitions of many minor nations, resented this ruthless bullying and in an attempt to dissuade Fulfwotzian encroachment formed alliances with each other. This polarization would ultimately set the stage for the Great War a decade later.
The Eve Of War
Life in the capital of Fulfwotz on the eve of war was a sight to behold; the epicenter of one of the world's foremost powers, it attracted people from across the Shire to live and work within the Kingdom. Its diversity was virtually unheard of at that point in time in the Shire. Sammichians, Humans, and Enpeecees intermingled (to varying degrees, at least), while food, language, customs, and garb from its myriad of territories could be found converging around Enderfulf Bay. Its port was among the busiest in the world, having become the Shire's preeminent manufacturing hub after decades of industrializing. Many of the wealthiest families in the Shire had risen from Fulfwotz society, such as the Viltvogels and Krugerrands.
Despite a widening disparity between rich and poor, King Sammus was enjoying the beginnings of a personality cult, His peoples' nationalistic fervor instigated by his aggressive conquests easily masked any persisting social or political issues, which was the intention of Sammus. When Lord High Chancellor Scepares vos Petronax I secured reelection in 1916, he and Sammus drew up plans for a second phase of the Kingdom's worldly ambitions; forays into the continent of Malesius in order to gain control of its entirety, as the Kingdom had historically achieved with the Demmatrodine. In 1922, Lord Scepares vos Petronax I retired from politics after contracting tuberculosis while visiting Floffwym. However, his son Tryphaenus followed in his footsteps after extensive grooming on part of Scepares and secured election that same year. Having been profoundly influenced by his father, Tryphaenus vos Petronax II upheld his legacy -- which included unwavering support for King Sammus.
The Great War
Outbreak and Causes
The initial causes of the Great War can be traced back as far as the reign of King Phemenses throughout the mid-1800's. His bold foreign policy instigated the creation of a network of complicated and vast alliances between the smaller nations and city-states of the Shire, while larger countries in direct competition with the Kingdom adopted similar imperialist doctrines. This resulted in a polarization between the so-called conquered and conquerors. This polarization of the Shire's nations only intensified under King Sammus, whose method of expansion, while not as outwardly aggressive as Phemenses, was far more calculating and effective. By the time war had broken out in 1927, there was a network of alliances so great that a war contained to two combatants had the potential of involving the majority of the Shire's nations.
Another primary cause of the war was the dangerous level of nationalism pulsing through the Kingdom's population, united under the vaunted King Sammus and his imperial ideology. They were willing to follow him in any venture he pursued, and he knew this. Their devotion to him would ultimately lead he and Lord High Chancellor Tryphaenus vos Petronax II into overstepping their bounds and overestimating their Kingdom's strength. While the Kingdom's completion of its legendary conquest of the Demmatrodine was somewhat expected, many countries could not tolerate its attempted entrance into Malesius.
The final and decisive "trigger" of the war deals directly with the said entrance into Malesius. The preeminent western nation of the Demmatrodine's eastern sister was the city-state of Dolftine. Laying at the western tip of the continent and lording over its neighbors, the prosperous city was the primary trading hub between Malesian and Demmatrodine countries. By 1927, Dolftine was among the wealthiest city-states in the Shire. It was also stable and well-organized, under the rule of Prince Sanverth of the Perphine Lineage, one of the few remaining ancient dynasties. Coincidentally, the Perphine Lineage claimed descendency from a human offshoot of the Xamichine Telsid Dynasty.
King Sammus believed that the subjugation of Malesius began once Dolftine was acquired. Another motive for its invasion of the city was in order to lessen trading dues and costs between the two continents, which Dolftine had increased exponentially in light of Fulfwotz's rampant imperialism.
Declaration of War
On November 26th, 1926, with the approval of the High Chancellor and Defense Ministry, King Sammus ordered the terrestrial invasion of Dolftine. The Colonial Corps arrived at the city's walls the next morning. While the city was caught off guard, it had been bolstering its defenses in preparation for the likely Fulfwotzian invasion. Lord Sanverth had invested heavily in some of the most advanced defensive tools available at the time; the natural geography of Dolftine also proved very valuable, a testament to its longevity. The ancient trees of the Halstaph Forest ringed the city for miles, preventing any tanks or heavy artillery from reaching its walls. Its port was incredibly well-protected, and filled with jagged rocks that could tear hulls to shreds if a Dolftine escort did not guide ships through shipping lanes. The effectiveness of the Dolftine soldiers themselves was tremendous, some having been trained for fighting their entire lives.
All of these factors severely hindered Fulfwotz's attempt at occupation. Upon their arrival, it was a long march through the forest, and most soldiers were exhausted by the time they reached the city. The naval unit of ten ships was ill-prepared for the treacherous sea near Dolftine, as they had been provided false intel on the whereabouts of reliable shipping lanes. Only 2 ships survived the passage and surrendered upon their arrival. The terrestrial unit engaged in direct battle with Dolftine's forces, but was easily overpowered. Of the 4,000 troops sent, over 1,300 were killed before they surrendered as well. Approximately 650 were taken prisoner, while the rest fled.
When news of the humiliating defeat reached Fulfwotz several days later, the nation was outraged. In order to save face, King Sammus was forced to take drastic action. He had been planning on dispatching a much larger force, aided by air support, yet his course changed when Dolftine publicly denounced the Kingdom of Fulfwotz on December 4th, 1926. The city-state threatened war if the Kingdom ever entered its borders again. The Fulfwotzians, swept up in their nationalistic fervor, urged war. If King Sammus was to bring the Kingdom into a state of war, he would then be capable of utilizing the far superior resources of the Defense Ministry and the Royal Armed Forces in order to subjugate Dolftine. In the War Room of Castle Mugg, on the cold morning of December 10th, King Sammus signed the declaration of war, the fateful document which would forever change the face of the Shire.
Fulfwotz's preemptive declaration of war upon Dolftine prompted an almost immediate (and unprecedented) international reaction. Knavobuki was the first to accuse Fulfwotz of a legacy tainted by ruthless imperialism, and in conjunction with Lord Sanverth, summoned the 1926 Liberty Conference at Dolftine. Nations in attendance included Dolftine, Knavobuki, Equos, Athitica, and Gaya. Together, they signed the Libertatum Accords on December 26th, which bound them into a coalition designed to intimidate Fulfwotz into standing down.
Contrary to their intent, however, this decision may have only pushed the Shire closer to all-out war. In response, the belligerent Kingdom called the Imperial Summit at Niflheim Palace only several days later. Oranjestad, the Venezian Commonwealth, and Vaelthranni Compact were in attendance and signatories of the Trans-shire Pact, which bound these like-minded countries into an opposing coalition. This drastic and unforeseen development shocked the world, and the would-be Liberators discovered they were not just dealing with a country overstepping its territorial bounds, but a brash and indignant animal that needed to be caged. On January 9th, 1927, the "Liberators" (as they began to be called) declared war on the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, dragging a multitude of decades-old alliances and pacts out of the woodwork in order to fight the "Overtaker" nations. These Overtakers followed suit, bringing their own alliances with them. In the span of two months, tensions in the Shire had managed to boil over and polarize the world between the anti-imperialist Liberators and the conservative Overtakers.
First Phase (January 1927 - October 1927)
In general, the Shire was eager for war. Many citizens on both sides cheered and rallied behind their governments. One side believed they were finally going to bring an end to unchecked conquering and oppression of smaller states around the world by the "Axis of Evil". The other side believed they would put down those who sought to limit and bring an end to their nation's hard-won prosperity. Recruitment centers across the Shire saw lines out the door; in the Kingdom of Fulfwotz, January of 1927 alone saw over 850,000 new recruits. The general consensus that the war was a battle of morals and ideology above all also intensified nations' support for the conflict.
Throughout the first phase of the Great War, Fulfwotz and its Overtaker allies enjoyed victories at battles such as Honeywell Fields and Starlight Crossing. High Chancellor Tryphaenus vos Petronax vigorously encouraged the war effort, speaking regularly within the Chancellery and establishing the Ministry of Information in March of 1927. The Ministry of Information was originally tasked with producing propaganda and swaying public opinion, but its role was magnified when various departments within the Ministry took charge of collecting intelligence and engaging in wartime espionage. After the war, the Ministry of Information would become the modern-day Imperial Intelligence Agency.
Early on in the war, Fulfwotz was established as the nerve center of the Overtaker coalition. Overtaker High Command was established in King Sammus's requisitioned Capitoline Palace, filled with foreign ambassadors and some of the Shire's most esteemed generals. While High Chancellor Vos Petronax was the face of the war in Fulfwotz, it is now believed that King Sammus was the brains behind it, issuing orders and strategizing from Castle Mugg. He did not make many public appearances during the war out of fear of assassination attempts by foreign Liberator powers.
The first phase of the war made it all too clear that the Great War was like none other fought in Shire history. It was the first in which heavy artillery was used, the first in which tanks were deployed, the first in which chemical weaponry was used, and the first which saw such insurmountably vast casualties in single battles. Medics tasked with recovering bodies from the battlefields described the ground almost completely obscured by the corpses of both Liberator and Overtaker soldiers, and the trenches festering with rats and disease.
Overtaker success in the Great War continued for the better part of a year until October, when the Liberator coalition armed an Enpeecee uprising in the Fulfwotzian city-state of Yeelingbat. Yeelingbat was a significant manufacturing center for Overtaker munitions, but also highly restless and striving for self-determination. The Liberators supported the Darmajoru, a militant anti-Fulfwotz organization. Well-equipped and enfranchised, the Darmajoru staged an uprising on October 2nd, 1927. Fulfwotz was forced to spread its forces thin in order to fight multiple battles as well as quell the Yeelingbat Rebellion. In the end, it was all for naught as the Darmajoru succeeded in seizing power and repelling Fulfwotzian forces; not only did the Kingdom waste the valuable manpower on attempting to regain control of the city, but they also lost an important wartime asset to the Liberators. The Yeelingbat Rebellion dealt a major blow to Overtaker morale and marked a major turning point in the war. The changing tide led to the distinction between the first and second phases of the Great War.
Second Phase (October 1927 - June 1928)
With the second phase of the war, the Liberators gained an upper hand over their opponents as they refined their tactics, became more organized, and earned more allies. Their cause was strengthened after the Battle of Dolftine, which saw the Overtakers succeed in shelling the city beyond repair. The Liberator nations now felt that they owed victory to the Dolftinites who had lost their city and home. Sensing the growing shift in favor of the Liberator coalition, a handful of smaller Overtaker powers switched sides. The nation of Baba was the most notable among these countries; originally highly supportive of imperialist ideals, they feared being on the losing side and chose to fight alongside their former enemy.
Fulfwotz was furious -- after losing Yeelingbat to the Liberators, they would not tolerate losing such an important ally once more. In November of 1927, a coalition of Overtaker forces led by Fulfwotz were dispatched to the country. At the Battle of Baba, Fulfwotz laid waste to the grand capital and installed Sultan Azra si Saman, a pro-Overtaker dictator whose despotic regime continues to this day under his son Azra II. Under the leadership of the Sultan, Baba would continue to lend assistance to and support the Overtaker cause. Sultan Azra si Saman would also instigate the later 1933 genocide of the Qolfa ethnic group.
On February 12th, 1928, the Overtakers met another significant setback with the sudden death of High Chancellor Tryphaenus vos Petronax. No foul play was suspected; he had suffered from a stroke in his sleep. He had not appointed a Vice Chancellor, and during wartime, it was impossible to arrange nationwide reelections. As a result, King Sammus assumed the role as interim High Chancellor. The burden of not only issuing strategies and commands but also being the public face of the war effort fell entirely on him. His public appearances became more common, and he quickly became the favored target of most anti-Overtaker sentiment and propaganda. He was largely singled out as being solely responsible for the war, which was growing more and more deadly by the day. In hopes of revitalizing Overtaker vigor and once again gaining an upper hand over the Liberators, King Sammus issued a series of so-called Blood Directives in conjunction with other Overtaker leaders in April of 1928. They were called so because of their ferocious nature, resulting in far more casualties per battle (as well as more battles) than ever seen before. The Blood Directives not only advised new brutal tactics for terrestrial forces, but also authorized largely-experimental aerial warfare on opposing population centers. The Blood Directives heightened not only military casualties, but civilian ones as well.
Third Phase (June 1928 - December 1928)
The third phase of the war was by far the most deadly period of the Great War, with over 14 million combined civilian and military deaths alone. The war was headed off by the Battle of the Verdenes, largely considered to have been one of the most disastrous battles of the Great War.
In June of 1928, the Liberators were feeling the effect of Overtaker Blood Directives, and desperate for a morale boost, their generals planned the capture of tropical Sammichian Verdenesia. The island chain was left fairly defenseless as the Kingdom focused on defending larger and more central holdings. It was expected to be an easy battle, not fought for strategic reasons but purely to claim a victory and revitalize their people. However, on June 2nd, plans for the battle were intercepted by Oranjestad intelligence and passed to the Kingdom. Fulfwotz acted swiftly, placing a garrison of over 30,000 troops to defend the Verdenes.
On the morning of June 8th, Liberator forces stormed the beaches of Koha Nu, Lavfe Nu, and Kaava. They were ambushed by the Fulfwotzian garrison, some soldiers being shot as soon as their boots touched the sand. Heavy downpour made the battle even more treacherous, reducing visibility and making the sea hazardous to vessels. Neither side wished to withdraw from the islands defeated; more troops were continuously dispatched to the Verdenes to engage in some of the bloodiest fighting the war had seen. The entire island of Lavfe Nu was depopulated, as civilians caught in the middle either fled or perished. Not willing to sacrifice more troops for an ultimately-pointless conquest, the Liberators attempted to withdraw from the islands, yet the Fulfwotzians would not allow them to depart. Unlucky stragglers were hunted down and picked off. The Battle of the Verdenes exemplifies a Pyrrhic victory; while the Overtakers had repelled the Liberator invasion, hundreds of thousands of both soldiers and civilians died in the process, and the infrastructure of the Verdenes was damaged beyond repair. The effects of the week-long battle are still present in the Verdenes to this day.
While the Liberators had initially denounced the use of aerial raids in war, citing the loss of civilian life and widespread destruction, the Battle of the Verdenes convinced them to scrap their prior convictions and stoop to the level of the Overtakers. The first Liberator air raids began in late June, mainly targeting Fulfwotz, Oranjestad, and Venezia Nuova. Fulfwotz was subject to dozens of large-scale aerial bombings; portions of the city were almost entirely reduced to rubble. Historic landmarks including the Vontelbaum Opera House, the Capitoline Palace, the Grand Hotel Movay, and Kovacs Department Store were all but obliterated. Air raids were a regular occurrence for months, on both Liberator and OVertaker cities. King Sammus refused to evacuate the city despite the destruction of the Capitoline Palace. Instead, he took what could be salvaged from the wreckage and returned to Castle Mugg. Even after one air raid resulted in the partial bombing of the castle's northern wing, Sammus continued to remain in Fulfwotz for his people. Amidst the bombings, however, he took his brother Matares out of the Orthodox clergy and sent him to live at the Ichs' secluded summer palace, the Villa se Vespania. Over 41,000 civilians are believed to have fallen victim to strategic bombing in Fulfwotz alone.
The latter half of the third phase saw sustained Liberator victories. The Commonwealth of Venezia Nuova proved very problematic, however; its strategic location straddling the continents of the Oldeshire and Malesius allowed it to fight battles on both fronts and established a strong Overtaker presence on Malesius. General Nigel Lammock of Athitica was instrumental in orchestrating a decisive Liberator push to occupy the city of Venezia Nuova. Plans were drawn up for the invasion, which wss to occur in early December; yet, the Liberators made the mistake of abating their bombings of the city, which aroused suspicion in the Venezians. They recalled troops to the city in order to bolster their defensive capabilities in anticipation of a terrestrial attack. General Nigel Lammock was forced to delay the invasion and take into account the now-increased ability of Venezia Nuova to repel invaders. It was important that the Liberator army acted swiftly and seized the first possible opportunity to commence their plans; this just so happened to land on Christmas Eve. There was initial resistance to shed such blood on Christmas, but continued Overtaker bombings convinced General Lammock that every day they waited, more civilians died.
Liberator warships arrived at Venezia Nuova on the morning of Christmas Eve, soon mounting a full-blown terrestrial invasion. Both sides were evenly matched, while the Liberators had the element of surprise. Although Venezia Nuova had been anticipating such an attack, it had let its guard down as it did not expect their enemies to invade on Christmas Eve. The battle was incredibly bloody, hence its nickname -- the Red Christmas. The battle ended the night of Christmas Day with the bombing of a chemical weaponry plant in the city's industrial district; toxic fumes choked the city's industrial district, killing thousands of civilians, ceasing wartime production for the Venezian Commonwealth, and rendering it unable to continue fighting in the Great War. The Commonwealth had formed a considerable portion of Overtaker strength, and now left the coalition vulnerable.
Final Phase (December 1928 - May 1929)
After the defeat of the Venezian Commonwealth, many Overtaker nations had second thoughts, urging Overtaker High Command to stand down and surrender; yet, Fulfwotz remained indignant. The Liberators would never agree to the terms King Sammus would lay down for s peace treaty, and he refused to be remembered as the ruler who incited the largest war in the Shire's history -- and then lost it. The Dupuy Telegram, sent to King Sammus in early January of 1929, implored him to surrender with somewhat-favorable terms. Relenting, Sammus submitted the terms of the Dupuy Telegram to the Chancellery Council to deliberate upon. The Council ended up voting to continue the war, a desire that most elite Fulfwotzians shared.
When news reached the Liberators, they then drew up plans for the occupation of Fulfwotz. Operation Strongarm was arguably the most complex military operation of the Great War. The plan involved four separate forces invading Fulfwotz from all fronts; the naval unit blockading the city since the onset of the war would close in as two massive terrestrial forces would push into the city. One division would invade from the east, through the Colerica Desert and the Alturas-Santos mountains encircling the capital. The other would encroach on the city from the south, invading Capitolae and hopefully unseating the Fulfwotzian government. Additionally, an aerial unit would continually bombard the city in order to cause a distraction and subsequent chaos. By February 2nd, an immense portion of the Liberator army had taken their positions, and Operation Strongarm was commenced. Once reports of the attack reached Castle Mugg, King Sammus and a handful of key Chancellors were evacuated to New Enderton, where they then departed the Demmatrodine for the sanctuary of Niflheim Palace. All other royal Ich residences had been requisitioned by both Liberators and Overtakers alike, most being used as hospitals.
Having to compensate for and fill the void left by the Venezian Commonwealth, Fulfwotz was not as well-defended as it should have been, relying far too heavily upon the Demmatrodine's natural geography to repel invaders. Within the next day, Capitolae had been completely occupied by Liberator forces, the Fulfwotzian government toppled. Upon hearing that the Kingdom had fallen, its military surrendered the rest of the city on February 6th after five days of gruesome fighting and tens of thousands of military and civilian deaths alike.
A provisional government was installed under the leadership of Knavobukian Lord Matthias Maltese, a prominent Liberator commander. The New Fulfwotzian Republic was formed on March 11th, 1929, from the ruins of a devastated country.
New Fulfwotzian Republic
The NFR was not so much of a republic as it was a Liberator puppet state. It was essentially a military dictatorship overseen by Lord Maltese and, nominally, Liberator Central Command. The LCC was still fighting a war, so rule of the NFR was largely left in the hands of Lord Maltese. Having lost two of his sons in the war, Lord Maltese possessed an intense hatred for the Overtakers, Fulfwotz, and King Sammus in particular. Soon after he was placed in power, he put the city's noble families under house arrest within their estates. He prioritized the subjugation of Fulfwotzians over the city's reconstruction and clearing of rubble, leaving it in ruins for the entirety of his tenure. Lord Maltese was also infamous for turning a blind eye to his soldiers' harassment and torment of civilians. Similar to himself, the occupying Liberator soldiers lost family members in the war as well, a war they felt was entirely the result of Overtaker provocation. They projected this anger onto Fulfwotzian civilians in the form of beatings, looting, arson, rape, and executions. The Massacre of March 23rd was the public execution of 34 civilians falsely accused of aiding the Fulfwotzian government-in-exile. The charges were soon deemed unfounded, yet those involved in the executions went unpunished. On the night of April 1st, an unknown -- yet likely Liberator -- group razed the King's National Art Gallery. Fortunately, much of the priceless artwork and artifacts of Fulfwotz's museums had been stashed in a series of bunkers hidden in the remote Demmatrodine wilderness.
Meanwhile, as the nerve center of Overtaker power had been eliminated, the coalition became disorganized and began to collapse. Not only did they face repeated defeat at the hands of the Liberators, but many Overtaker countries were crumbling from within; emboldened by the war, repressed colonies rose up and declared their independence, their former overlords unable to spare the manpower needed to quell revolt. Many smaller nations jumped ship, hurriedly signing peace treaties with the Liberators and withdrawing from the war. Sensing the impending destruction of the coalition, as well as hearing news of Lord Maltese's despotic regime in the NFR, King Sammus made the executive decision to sue for peace. On May 20th, 1929, King Sammus issued the Letter of Acquiescence, in which he declared his intent to surrender, and summoned all Liberator and Overtaker powers to Niflheim Palace to draw up peace terms.
Shire Peace Conference & Treaty of Niflheim
The Shire Peace Conference began on May 24th, 1929, and was host to some of the world's most powerful leaders at the time. There was intense hatred possessed by countries of either coalition, yet the unifying distinction was an overwhelming desire to bring the war to an end. Laurelian and the Solurian Empire, both two of the most prominent neutral powers during the conflict, were present as mediators. Despite the goal of creating a fair and neutral treaty, the Liberators surely had the upper hand in negotiations, having won the actual war. Many believed that Oranjestad, the Venezian Commonwealth, and especially the Kingdom of Fulfwotz deserved to be punished for their role in the war and sought revenge for the death and destruction they had been subjected to. The Laurelii Mathaana Neritheira was instrumental in ensuring that such shortsightedness, which would inevitably lead to another war, did not make it onto paper.
One of the most controversial matters of the conference was the future of Fulfwotz, and King Sammus specifically. Many perceived the Kingdom to be the primary aggressor of the war, a somewhat unjust accusation that was largely the result of Liberator propaganda. Truthfully, it was the Liberators who formed their coalition first; they were also the first to declare war, forcing Fulfwotz to take action. In reality, there was no way for Fulfwotz to know that what was initially a minor dispute between two countries would erupt into a worldwide conflict. This fact was largely overlooked during the conference as the Kingdom was repeatedly (and continued to be for many years) villainized. There was a great deal of support for the continuation of the NFR, with Lord Maltese presiding over a representative body. King Sammus would be forced to abdicate and become a common citizen of the NFR, with his properties and the Ich dynastic fortune seized by the government as recompense. Despite this, the fact that King Sammus was in attendance representing the Kingdom of Fulfwotz (or NFR), he had summoned the peace conference, and other nations had recognized his authority by attending it, he had already established himself as the leader of postwar Fulfwotz. The horrors of occupied Fulfwotz had also convinced many Liberators that the NFR and Lord Maltese was detrimental to future world peace.
After two weeks of negotiations, the Treaty of Niflheim was signed by over 47 states, and the war officially ended on June 6th, 1929. The primary terms of the treaty included:
- All Overtaker powers must make available for colonies acquired after 1880 a path to self-determination
- Overtaker nations will pay an indemnity totaling $18 billion
- No nation is permitted to assume control over another sovereign nation without its prior consent
- Liberator nations will contribute $2 billion in reparations to Fulfwotzians terrorized by Liberator troops as well as to aid in the reconstruction of Fulfwotz neglected by Lord Maltese
- The NFR will be restored to the Kingdom of Fulfwotz
- Lord Matthias Maltese will be put on trial in Knavobuki for gross negligence and war crimes
- The Kingdom of Fulfwotz will shut down the Ministry of Colonial Affairs and disband the Colonial Corps
- An international organization known as the Shire United Nations will be created to help resolve conflict through diplomacy and unite the nations of the Shire
The Shire United Nations was a landmark achievement in international unity and cooperation. Proposed by Mathaana Neritheira, the plan was initially shot down by many nations at the peace conference. Many viewed it not as a neutral organization but rather a tool that would enable disgraced Overtaker countries to continue lording over world affairs through diplomacy. Fulfwotz was one of several signatories of the proposal, which only deepened general distrust of the Shire United Nations. As a result of its early support for the organization, the Kingdom would then occupy a permanent seat on its Security Council.
After the peace conference and the signing of the Treaty of Niflheim, King Sammus returned to Fulfwotz to initiate the process of reconstruction. The country was devastated; millions died and the destruction was almost incalculable. In July, still functioning as the autocratic ruler of the Kingdom as the Chancellery was in shambles, Sammus issued the Renewal Programs. These programs directed massive amounts of funding from now-defunct government operations, the Ich dynastic fortune, and foreign loans all to speed up and aid reconstruction. They also provided employment for many Fulfwotzians who had lost their jobs as a result of the conflict.The Renewal Programs was such a well-received piece of legislation that it alone convinced some territories to remain with the Kingdom, so that they may benefit from its provisions rather than being forced to handle reconstruction on their own. It is thanks to the programs that the Kingdom was so quickly able to get back on its feet as opposed to smaller countries, some of which felt the effects of the war for decades.
By August of 1930, Sammus was beginning to feel the pressure from his people and fellow Security Council members to restore democracy and facilitate the recreation of the Chancellery. Despite this, he was determined to pass one final world-changing piece of legislation before he gave up absolute power; on August 22nd, 1930, the Imperial Reformation Proclamation declared the reshaping of the Kingdom of Fulfwotz into the modern-day New Sammichian Empire. King Sammus crowned himself Emperor, citing a desire to depart from the Kingdom's prewar reputation and usher in a new era in Fulfwotzian history. King Sammus would be the first Sammichian monarch to call himself Emperor after nearly two millennia.
The decision was rebuked by many former Liberator-aligned nations, denouncing Fulfwotz for not learning from its mistakes and accepting the defeat of imperialism. Many refused to recognize the New Sammichian Empire. The Anti-Imperial Petition was drawn up in September of 1930, among its signatories Knavobuki, Athitica, Equos, Riverwood, and even Laurelian, in an unprecedented show of sentiment. Upon its delivery to Fulfwotz, Emperor Sammus allegedly tore it to shreds and threw it from the window of his office, occupied with rebuilding and restructuring his government. Despite his dismissive response, Emperor Sammus would then reaffirm the Shire that the New Sammichian Empire had no intent of violating the terms of the Treaty of Niflheim, Especially after the election of High Chancellor Kingston Cavalier in 1931, recognition was slowly granted. To this day, Riverwood has yet to formally recognize the NSE as a sovereign nation.