Abridged History of the 10th Age
“In its final years Teral grew ever more corrupt. Some attribute it to the influence of the Necromancer. While it is true that his cult grew ever more powerful, collecting to itself all of the traditional rites associated with the other gods, the true death of Teral did not come until X375 when the Social War ripped the great families apart. The magical destruction wrought during that conflict has been pointed at repeatedly at signs that the Conclave needs to assert its power over ALL northern mages, and not simply those who will listen.”
The Wars of Teral, Aljana di Silano, 10th Age
Teral was a northern kingdom, located beyond the Vales, that fell in X375. Having moldered for 125 years, it’s major towns and monuments are all in ruins. However, most of the people survived the terror of the Social War which tore it apart, and live amongst or outside ruined cities and towns, maintaining a sedentary farming lifestyle.
Interestingly about Teral, it boasted a large mortuary cult dedicated not to Akem but to Tharos. For this reason many nearby nations, while still engaging in trade, where hesitant to make alliances with Teral. This is one of the major contributing factors to the sorcerous conflict known as the Social War.
The lands of Teral are divided between minor warring noblemen. The population of the old Empire has fallen precipitously with the evaporation of many trade routes and the destruction of towns and urban centers at the hands of outside and interior warbands. The few areas that still have large populations are composed of a generation of refugees huddling behind collapsing walls.
The ancient provincial divisions of the Teralian heartland remain political factors, as five great fortresses (the Arx) were once constructed to be the center of each region from which the military governorship of the land could rule. The Arx remain standing due to careful maintenance by the nobles who came into them. This has led to a hierarchy of power in which the lords of the fortresses, while not commanding a strength nearly as great as an entire province, have a much wider sphere of influence than do the lesser nobles who have come into power on their manses or in small cities or towns.
Teral existed as a political power between the years IX801 and X375. In its various forms, this gives Teral a history of nearly six hundred years. It began as a small kingdom beneath a series of despotic rulers known as the Teralian line; Their name was taken up by their land, forming the core of what would become Teral. During the ninth age the now forgotten reincarnation of the Milean empire and the land of the Teralian kings were at almost constant odds. The Teralians also fought in the War of the Three Wizards which founded Dorlan.
The transformation of Teral into a true empire began some time during the first ten years of the Tenth Age. The histories of the Empire trace its founding to the assassination of the king known as Teralus Maximius. After his death, the kingdom was thrown into a chaos which lasted for several years. It was only the actions of the great magnates of Teral that staved off complete destruction.
Sharing a deep connection with the Dorlish due to their interference in all of the Protectorate’s affairs (and due to a porous border and generally related ethnic peoples and customs), old Teral was founded on some principles similar to those of Dorlinum; namely, wizards and magical research where valued over war-prowess, and sorcerers became patriarchs of most of the powerful Teralian families. Indeed, the Emperor of Teral was almost invariably a mage or attended by a coterie of the same.
These potent families served beneath a Teralian emperor who’s styling was similar to ancient elvish mage-kings rather than any emperor that had ever ruled men. Teral was a flourishing empire in the first century, having overlordship over what is now the Dorlish March and Agstowe. Much of the modern-day Goblin Lands were also under Teralian power, and at the high-water mark of the empire even The Vales were brought under the sway of the throne at Thalon. The empire reached its maximum extent early in the second century – in 115 the Vales surrendered to the Teralian general Archetor the Strider in the Treaty of Magnaville (these names survive as Archet and Michelstadt).
A massive crisis occurred in the third century during which Teral suffered two successive blows: the first was a devaluation of labor from a glut in the slave market made by Essad’s conquest of the northern islands and several small northern kingdoms. This caused the Teralian economy to slowly implode inwards on itself as the cost of labor drove peasants to starvation – it had become cheaper to own slaves. The second crisis was brought on by a pocket of Bleeding Plague that surfaced in the southernmost provinces of Teral, potentially having come from the elvish city of Cathadria.
In response to both of these threats to the empire, Teral joined forces with Protectorate of Dorlinum in a joint war against Essad; this achieved two things – the end of the slave trade (forcing magnates to rely on their peasants and freemen) and the revitalization of Teral through an influx of treasure and booty from captured Essadi territories. This was known as the Second Slave War in Essad and the Treasury War in Teral.
However, after the Treasury War ended in 211 Teral rapidly began to recover. Avarine, a now defunct kingdom forming the core of the Thyrnessan provinces, sought to limit Teral’s recovery. So, in 277 the Avarine kings sent the Knights of Avarine to raze the Greenvale as so-called punishment for Teralian infringement into the Free Regions of Avarine. Ever after Greenvale has been called the Bonevale.
In the 260s the Tharian cult that had existed beneath Teralian overlordship suddenly grew to immense new heights. The imperial dynasty changed hands in 263, passing to Alanus the Fat and his sons who were all lay patrons of the Tharian mortuary cult. Within ten years the cult had become the predominant power in Teral and the Chief Poisontongue superseded even the emperor in importance. In the 280s the nobleman Temulus turned bandit in response to these developments and began the Temulin Rebellion that eventually resulted in the Teralian loss of Agstowe.
With the cult in power, the noble families of central Teral felt that they were losing control, possibly what contributed to the brutal Social War that erupted shortly thereafter in 350. Three or four very powerful sorcerous patriarchs fought in the Social War and the result was the slaughter of the urban population of Thalon and the destruction of the empire in 375; all its former holdings save for the Teralian heartland were freed of its dictates, and even there no central government remained. In the one hundred and twenty five years since, Teral has failed to coalesce into a stable kingdom, leaving the many small warring principalities of its fall scattered across the land.
Teral is divided amongst five major fortresses known as the Arx. Each of these subregions is ruled by a series of petty noblemen and is generally though of as a province (due to the old Empire’s division of its heartland into five general provinces).
Cities and Towns of Teral
|Village||Population: Around 200||Government: Town council||Defenses: Wooden pike wall, stone temple|
|Town||Population: around 2,000||Government: The Malhalm Clan Elders||Defenses: Dwarven defenders of Helden|
|Town||Population: around 5,000-6,000||Government: The Duke of Petrsbridge||Defenses: The Duke of the Bridge and knights of the same, old stone walls|
|Town||Population: around 1,000||Government: Counts of Riverly||Defenses: Riverly militia, wooden palisades|
|Fortress and Town||Population: 8,000||Government: Duke Albartus Hillbridge||Defenses: Hillbridge knights|
|Major Fortress and City||Population: Around 15,000||Government: Prince Auron Thalus||Defenses: Prince of Thalus’ private army, mercenary guardsmen|