Shadows Gather Darkly
Elena Nidala was born in 579 AS the daughter of the King of Burvoy (a realm which is now replaced by Algandy and Chaubrette), however, she did not take to princess pursuits. She had heard the songs of Vallandar, of the goodness of his realm, Logres, and of the peace and prosperity brought by his realm to all those within it. She looked to him as a role model, a guide for how to behave. Princess Nidala attained the rank of knight, rare for a lady to do so, but not completely unheard of. Her mighty sword-arm became, in time, as famous as her beauty. She was raised to uphold the faith of the Selentium Church, and she dedicated her life to walking in the light. Her father, who had no sons, died an old man and Elena, unmarried, became a strong and powerful Queen. She proved too much for her enemies, who were unable to either marry her off or have her killed.
As Queen of Burvoy she began to try and recreate Logres by conquering much of the north-west mainland. Northern Selentium fell to her, followed in quick succession by Kurland, Lalkovnia, Chaubrette, Karameikos, Lamordia, Braeburg and Lavasse. Indeed, her kingdom, which she called Avon-Leigh, was nearly as mighty and large as that Vallandar was supposed to possess. In time she attracted knights and followers and set up her own order of knights, much as her hero had. The Circle included many famous names among them, the most famous being Lady Kateri Shadowborn, her greatest knight. She swept a crusade throughout her land, trying to find and destroy all corruption and evil within and around her lands. She swept through bringing light to the darkness and sending all minions of the Whisperer of Impossible Secrets fleeing for their lives.
In the wake of her great victory and the unification of much of the continent into Avon-Leigh, Elena thought that no evil would trouble her realm and that her subjects lived their loves in peace and love. She naively underestimated the human penchant for self-destruction. In the wake of her victory many of her subjects came “to see the Light,” and they converted to the Selentium faith. Some, however, resisted these gentle, and occasionally not-so, urgings toward “the True Faith.” Angry at being repulsed, zealots approached Elena with venomous lies about the stubborn ones, clinging to their old faith.
Elena, never one to reconsider a course of action once she had deemed it correct, leapt into a new holy war against any who were not firmly allied with the Saviour, ruthlessly crushing unbelievers and the heathens. This period of time was called the First Holy Crusade. In time Elena’s armies crushed the unbelievers. Not satisfied with simply eliminating those who opposed the Selentium Church, she then proceed to annihilate those who were not firm allies and those who were not human. Thus began the Second Crusade, also known as the Non-Human Crusade and the Purge. It was shortly after this ended that her kingdom began to crumble. Her army, spread to thinly, was raided by nomads from the Khanates. Lamordia used these incursions by the Tartars to break away from her kingdom and barbarian hordes from the Mercanian Coast attacked her kingdom repeatedly. Within twelve months of this she disappeared, rumoured to have been killed by her enemies at last, and her kingdom did not last another year after her disappearance.
Much of the current political geography was born from the ashes of Avon-Leigh. Elena Nidala’s home country of Burvoy is now, in fact, a small province of the new country of Algandy. Chaubrette used the opportunity to break away and finely became independent and not just a duchy under another countries dominion. Similarly, many of the eastern central countries splintered into the current mess that exists now.