From Breaking Worlds

It is not expected that any but the most learned of Arginese will know all of this information by heart, but it is widely available in libraries to those who are interested.

There are deliberate gaps left here, allowing for players and refs to further define events in the past if and when necessary. It can be assumed that the realm of Arginet was at least relatively stable during the undefined periods!

The spouse of the monarch is called the Royal Consort. We can’t be doing with the confusion of two different types of queen as we’ve had in the real world; all queens mentioned below were the rulers of Arginet in their own right.

History of Arginet

Early history

Just over a thousand years ago, King Estienne, his advisor and companion Corona the magician, and a variety of adventurers, visionaries and retainers set sail from the mainland. Landing in the south-west of Arginet where the town of Crownhaven would later be built, they journeyed up the River Iseur and founded their capital, Kellewick.

A century of building followed, with the fertile land of Arginet slowly becoming a powerful and prosperous country with regular new influxes of settlers from the mainland. The nobility and royal family grew in stature, and aside from the intrigue and influence trading when Queen Jocosa inherited the crown at only twelve years old, the succession from eldest child to eldest child proceeded without a hitch.

Instability and the Listenese War

The period of instability that characterised the second century began with the Northern Rising in 134, a rebellion of barons from the Lowen and Northlands, aided by several powerful Earth and Fire spirits. Taking advantage of the inexperience of the newly-crowned King Enguerrand I, the uprising met with little resistance at first, but was eventually put down by royal forces two years after it began.

The reigns of the next two monarchs, Guiomar I and Niniane II, were troubled by ongoing war with Listenesse. King Guiomar I somewhat rashly intervened in the Listenese civil war, establishing a protectorate on the eastern mainland. Relations between the new Listenese royal family and the Arginese were strained and finally devolved into outright war in 176. A year later, Guiomar was killed in battle, but any hopes of reconciliation were dashed when his daughter Niniane hired Rathanna mercenaries to defend the protectorate, and carried on the campaign in her father’s name. She met with some initial success, but tax riots and uprisings back home against the great cost of the war put the brakes on her overseas expansion.

Full-scale rebellion broke out in 186, but was crushed when it met the royal armies in battle, with its leader Meg Sharpe executed on the battlefield. A generation of repression followed; Niniane ruled with an iron fist and the interior of Arginet became the lawless domain of bandits and smugglers.

The death of Niniane II in 217 was seen as a chance for peace, and her daughter Melisende I grasped it with both hands. She granted amnesty to bandit leaders and reached out in conciliation to the Listenese King Onfroi. A truce was reached, and a marriage arranged to take place between Melisende and Onfroi’s oldest daughters when they were old enough. Princess Rohesia and Princess Mahaut were wed in 225, and following the deaths of their mother and father respectively ruled Arginet and Listenesse jointly for the rest of their lives.

The personal union was dissolved on the death of Queen Mahaut, as Arginese traditions would not accept Mahaut’s daughter from before the royal marriage as an acceptable heir. Instead, the crown of Arginet passed to Rohesia’s nephew, Uther I. However, relations between Arginet and Listenesse remained strong, and have done up to the present time.

The Twins’ War

Three centuries later in 538 it was Arginet’s turn for civil war, triggered by the deaths a year apart of Queen Guiomar II and her eldest child Queen Gorvenail I. A monarch who died young would typically pass the crown to the next oldest sibling. Unfortunately in Gorvenail’s case, Queen Guiomar’s next children were identical twins, Princes Agravaine and Enguerrand, who due to a difficult and confusing birth had never known which of them was older. Both claimed the throne of course, and soon discovered that the support of individual army companies depended on who was paying the troops. This situation was untenable, and after the third tax rise the generals of the three armies met to seek a solution, initially behind the princes’ backs.

And so it came to pass that the royal family met at the tomb of Queen Guiomar, and a group of evokers led by High Priest Hugh of the Crown Presbyters, with some misgiving, summoned the ancestor spirit of the former Queen in the hope that she could shed some light on the matter.
It is certainly true that her proclamation ended the civil war, although not in the manner anyone expected. On being asked the question of which of her sons was older, the shade of the Queen was said by some to have buried her head in her hands, although this was dismissed as a flight of fancy by others, but it is generally agreed that her statement was thus:

“I don't bloody know, I was barely conscious at the time, but if you two don’t stop it I will come and bang your heads together!”

A tense meeting followed, with the princes reported to be at each others’ throats the whole time, although history only records that they mutually agreed to step aside and pass the crown to their youngest sibling, who enjoyed a long and prosperous reign as Monarch Guidoline I.

The Seeker King

Arginet’s last period of instability came around two and a half centuries ago, when a plague swept the nation, killing first King Uther II then his daughter Queen Niniane III in 769. Her younger brother was recalled from Parmenia, bringing his wife Sapphira with him, and crowned Enguerrand IV. In short order, they established a monotheistic Seeker church and disbanded the major animist orders in Arginet. Enguerrand adopted the Seeker name Elior I and began a crusade on the mainland, causing his already low popularity to plummet further. Eventually, with relations with Listenesse having deteriorated considerably and Na Rathanna openly preparing an invasion force, Elior was assassinated in 787.

Elior was succeeded by his cousin Queen Estelle I, who had managed through shrewd politics to avoid being tainted by association with the former king. Through a good deal of hard work, she restored relations with Listenesse and Na Rathanna. History remembers her most as the founder of the Order of Heavenly Radiance, whose Archpriest still sits on the Royal Council and is ferociously loyal to the Crown.

Since the reign of Estelle I, Arginet remained relatively stable. At least, until this year...