The Fred Memorial Society
|Flag (Historical)||A roaring lion on a red field|
|Flag (Current)||A rising moon over a green and brown background|
Centuries ago, before the rise of Novara, the lands which are now Feodshire, from the fens around Lake Rhestilor to the Elsir Valley, were ruled by the Lion Kings of Rhest. The Kingdom of Rhestilor was a lycanthrope nation, with great hunts through the grasslands and forests preying on human and animal alike.
The great city of Rhest sat upon the shores of Lake Rhestilor, full of huge stone buildings overshadowing the houses where the lycanthrope citizens lived out their daily lives, with the kingdom’s Lion emblem visible everywhere. In addition to the Werelion Kings and Huskarls and Werebear City Watch, the third major faction within the Kingdom was the Druidic Circle.
Eventually, the expansion of the city of Rhest to the point it was causing floods further down the river as grass was removed in place of roads, and over hunting of local wildlife was leading to extinction of wild lions and tigers. The Druidic Circle concluded that the only way to protect the natural world was to raise the waters of Lake Rhestilor, flooding Rhest and eliminating the ruling classes.
Without the centralised rulership of Rhestilor, the Werewolves and Wereboars descended back into tribalism in the Werewood, and the Werebears soon joined them, with most other lycanthrope species in the Aethlian lands becoming incredibly rare, and would eventually be hunted down by the Silver Flame. The High Druid of the Circle fled to the south of the old Kingdom, forming a great stone lair where he lurked, experimenting on returning the species driven to near extinction to their old prominence.
After the poweer vacuum in the Elsir Valley was filled by the Novaran invasion of what is now Albion, and was then reopened by the fall of Novara, a new Kingdom of Rhestilor was formed with its capital in the city of Dubris. While the kingdom was entirely human and in fact estalbished the lycanthrope-hunting Silver Flame, the Kings of Rhestilor appropriated the Lion emblem of the Lion Kings.
Like the rest of the petty kingdoms of Albion, the King was struck down by Arthrus and a Knight of the Round Court, Galahad in Rhestilor, was installed as Earl of Dubris and Feodshrie in his place. Rhestilor was, for a time, dead once more.
When the heirs of Galahad, now the Lords of Dawnhold, came under attack from The Red Hand, an alliance of all the goblinoid tribes of the Wyrmsmoke mountains, the Goblins had an unlikely ally. Thanks to a suicidal hobgoblin monk’s distractions, one of the Wyrmlords of the Red Hand, Ulwai Stormcaller, managed to steal the Phylactery of the Ghostlord, the Lich of the Thornwaste and the druid of the Circle who had left Rhestilor all those years ago.
The band of adventurers recruited into fighting the Red Hand, lead by the future King Murvoth, found the phylactery, held by Wyrmlord Saarvith who was camped in the flooded ruins of Rhest. They then infiltrated the now-occupied Ghostlord’s lair and killed Ulwai, and then located the Ghostlord in his chamber deep within the stone lion. The Ghostlord agreed to end his support to the Red Hand in return for his phylactery, and then freed Murvoth from his weak skeletal body, which had been destroyed twice in battles in the liar. Now reborn as a ghost, Murvoth and his party returned to Brindol, where they fended off the Red Hand’s main fighting force and killed the Wyrmlord Hravek Kharn at its head.
In the aftermath of the battle, Derryck, Huskarl of Thornhold, Count of Vraath Keep and also a werewolf, requested sanctuary for lycanthropes like the Wereboar tribe which had fought with Brindol against the Hand. Lord Jaarmath officially ceased the lycanthrope hunting activities of the Silver Flame, and gave the lycanthrope tribes of the Werewood, such as the surviving ones were, autonomy from the humans of Albion.
However, the Ghostlord did one better. He was now more confident and powerful with his phylactery back and the lycanthrope ghosts of Vraath Keep released and under his command. With Derryck as a negotiator and every lycanthrope in Feodshire outside the walls of Brindol as a bargaining chip, the Treaty of Brindol was signed. The city of Rhest, Lake Rhestilor and the surrounding fields would become an independent state governed by the lycanthropes and owing no alleigance to Albion – New Rhestilor.
Over the next few years as Murvoth rose to power and the Dawnguard marched north to make war with Roun, the lycanthropes rebuilt Rhest. The Ghostlord’s magic caused the water of Lake Rhestilor to fall once again, but the old city was still in ruins even when dry, a particular problem when most of the work force were ghosts. After a few years and a lot of stone shaping magic, the centre of Rhestilor was rebuilt as a City of New Rhestilor, while the rest of the ruins remained outside the walls, often used as pens for what little livestock the hunting society keeps.
The population of New Rhestilor is still quite small, and most of the citizens are unskilled barbarians, so the principality subsists mostly on hunting in the fens to the south of lake Rhestilor and preying on the Lizardfolk tribes on the lake’s shore. Thanks to the Ghostlord’s efforts, lions are being reintroduced in the city and dire lions are even used as mounts by the more experienced hunters. The elite hunters of the city make up the Silver Claw, a group lead by Derryck that is dedicated to wiping out the last few cults of Baphomet, and fighting other demon and devil worshippers as well.
While technically a democracy, the people of New Rhestilor are not politically minded, most seeing the nation just as a safe place to live and not considering settling down and forming a true lycanthrope nation anew. Hence, the Ghostlord serves as Prince Elect of Rhestilor, the head of the council ruling the principality, basically by default. In the future more lycanthropes may settle down and the city may expand to a point where the democracy is actually used and tested, but for now it is a de facto autocracy under its immortal ruler.
The Ghostlord is respected so highly by the lycanthropes not just for gaining them their new safe haven, which Derryck is equally credited for, but also because he brought the Lion’s Heart with him. An ancient artefact of great druicic power, the Heart floats in the centre of Rhestilor, in front of the town hall-cum-palace. The heart gives all lycanthropes a second chance at life, drawing the spirits of those tocuhed by Baphomet to it and rebirthing them as ghosts. The Ghostlord has also created a second ritual in recent years, where using the light of the full moon he can bring a ghost back in to a physical body. He gave this service to King Murvoth when it was first developed as a demonstration of good will and a sign of peace, so the King was no longer bound to his enchanted armour. Now, every month, the Ghostlord returns a few ghosts back to physical life, often some of the ghosts of Vraath Keep as well as some animals and occassionally other creatures engineered by Baphomet such as Minotaurs, which themselves sometimes remain in the city.
Recently, tensions between New Rhestilor and Albion increased when the Ghostlord harboured the fugitive Lucian, the last vestige of Baphomet’s power where the Demon Prince resided, waiting for his cult to make him strong again. The Ghostlord had kept him in the dungeons below his palace, magically warded so that he could never regain his old power, essentially holding the Prince of Wrath to ransom for the freedom of the monstrous races he begot. The lycanthropes were close to winning this freedom when the Dawnguard arrived outside the city, demanding the release of the prisoner for execution on royal orders. As the battle lines were drawn up, King Murvoth himself arrived on the back of the Blue Dracolich Tyrgarun. Having been warned of the King’s coming and seeing certain defeat, Derryck convinced the Ghostlord to slay Lucian in front of the King, repairing the peace and freeing the Lycanthropes. However, the death of the Prince of Wrath has left a gaping hole in the endless power struggle of the Abyss, and whichever Prince gets it next will be even more powerful than his predecessor, and in the meantime the Devils gain a perilous advantage in the Blood War.