Honours Blog #15 – Anbennar Setting Intro

Anbennar is a fantasy setting set in the world of Halann. The world exists within the low fantasy genre, focusing more on a grounded and realistic environment that is influenced by magic and other fantastical elements but not driven by it. In general, think The Witcher or George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire instead of Lord of the Rings or Eragon. The setting will focus on the political machinations or its inhabitants, and the strife and conflict that it will cause.

Anbennar earns its namesake from the elven word for “communion” or “unity”, and has since become a term to refer to The Empire, a once-dominating force of the land ruled by the magic-using magocracy.

The main land of focus is Cannor, the equivalent to our Europe, and is a place where many of the world’s greatest events and wars have and will take place.

The setting will focus on the gunpowder fantasy subgenre, which will explore: “What happens to a fantasy world when we surpass the Middle Ages?”

 

Elvenkind and the Divine Regency

The sky goes black. Ashes cover the known world. Floods occur, volcanoes erupt, empires collapse. It has everything in it as an Omen of the End Times. But it wasn’t.

This was the Day of Ashen Skies. The day that the world shook. The day that the dwindling magics of the world was reborn in new fire.

1000 years after that fateful day, the mysterious elves arrived right in the middle of feudal Cannor. The elves helped the feudal lords fight back against the evil sorcerer King of Castanor (named the War of the Sorcerer King) and won the respect of the human, halfling, gnomish and dwarven inhabitants of the land. (this is essentially your typical war between good vs evil that typical fantasy settings have)

Over its short life in Cannor the elvish culture and language began to dominate the courts of kings and nobility, and such many of the nobility themselves have elven blood within them, becoming what we regard as ‘half-elves’ in normal fantasy setting. In Anbennar being a half-elf means you’re nobility, more often than not.

For a long time the elves had believed in the concept of Divine Regency, in which their history traced back to when the gods had created dragons as their regents on Earth, and after their fall the elves were chosen to succeed them as the new rulers of the world – but with the collapse of their old continent and empire that clearly wasn’t the case.

 

Anbennar and the Magocracy

Along with the elves came a greater understanding of magic and with it the practice of magic was spread to their newly found neighbors. Over time many powerful mages banded together to stop the period of strife known as The Interregnum, when various petty warlords had ruled and squabbled over the land, and created a new Empire in which the various petty lords were to fall under as vassals, or else. And such the Empire of Anbennar was born, and with it a new age of stability.

With the advent of Anbennar came a new thought to the concept of Divine Regency: what if instead of race, it is the ability to wield magic? Dragons wielded magics, and elves too, so what if that was the common denominator? With that the Regent Court rose as the new religion which mixed the concept  of Divine Regency with the Cannorian Pantheon of old.

Eventually many realised that having mages to rule wasn’t a very good thing, as they would often spend more time being mages rather than rulers. The Wars of Rule occurred between the Magisterium, the ruling body of Anbennar, and the various half-elven noble families of the land. Eventually an accord was met: the leadership of Anbennar would be split into two: The Emperor, a noble of magical blood – and The Grand Magister, the magical and religious representative that would guide the Emperor himself.

In the end, Anbennar was no longer an Empire ruled by magical peace, but instead just another squabbling realm full of upstart nobles and dynastic feuds like all-time before.

 

The 1444 Start

In the year 1444 in which the game starts there are two major events that have happened within the world of Anbennar.

 

The Lilac Wars

Simply put, the Lilac Wars was a dynastic war of succession over who would become the next King of Lorent (a powerful kingdom that lies west of The Empire of Anbennar). The war was between the Grand Duchy of Dameria, one of the most powerful imperial duchies of Anbennar and also its Emperor, and the Kingdom of Lorent itself. The war lasted nearly a hundred years and is seen as the “final medieval war” much like its Hundred Years War equivalent in real history.

In the end, the Grand Duchy of Dameria lost its Damerian Emperor and was set upon by both Lorent and its former imperial allies. Dameria was destroyed with its only remnant being the Duchy of Wesdam which had fought against it during the war (as Wesdam had closer ties with Lorentish nobility than Imperial)

A new age beckons, and the greatest power of them all, Dameria has fallen, and many nations will seek to fill the vacuum it has left.

 

The Greentide

In 1424 the Eastern Kingdom of Castellyr (the remnant of Castanor of Sorcerer King fame) was beset upon by the greatest orcish horde the world had ever seen. Orcs emerged from all corners of the Serpentspine Mountains, seemingly done with destroying the remains of the old Dwarven holds that lingered there, and set upon human lands.

With the Lilac Wars in full force the eyes of the world was turned away from the Greentide and Castellyr was destroyed within days; and many fled to the safety of Anbennar to the west, bringing its economy to its knees. It was only until 1444 (our start year! And 1 year after the Lilac Wars) that Corin, an orphaned girl from the advent of the Greentide, rallied the first wave of the Lilac War veteran Marcher Lords and destroyed the Orcish Vanguard that was heading straight into the heart of Anbennar.

While Corin’s victory and sacrifice may have destroyed any semblance of unified orcdom, the entire eastern portion of Cannor still lies in the hands of orcish invaders.

The eastern corpse of Castellyr lies ripe for conquest. Many adventurers flock east for a new life after the Lilac Wars, for fame and fortune, or even just to push back the orcish threat.

This war will be a long and hard one, and will make the 100-year Lilac Wars seem short. The advent of gunpowder approaches: will that turn the tide once and for all?

 

The Balance of Power

Will the orcs unify and conquer the known world? Or will new adventuring factions and kingdoms rise in the ashes of Castellyr? Surely, whatever comes out of the Greentide will surely affect the balance of power against the old nations of Cannor.

Oh, and soon, an unlucky explorer will rediscover the ruined continent of the elves. What mysteries will this new land unlock? And what colonial ambitions will it ignite?

 

 

USPs

  • -Fantasy world focusing on the post-medieval timeframe
  • -Themes include the Divine Regency, which offers obscurity on what the gods have planned for the world and noone really knows who’s actually “in the right”
  • -Other themes include the Technology vs Magic and the Fading of Magic itself as the mundane takes over
  • -Elves are new. Instead of being around since forever, elves in my setting pop-up during medieval times. How will feudal lords react?!
  • -The Greentide is the call to adventure: its a place where your typical adventuring stories can grow, and it offers a common enemy to fight
  • -The Greentide is a game changer: it is the battlefield where guns earn their fame, and it is the battlefield where new empires will grow and shatter the balance of power
  • -The New (but actually old) World: Colonial ambitions can grow as usual, but there is a personal vindication to elves and half-elves to re-explore and re-discover their ancestral lands and figure out what actually happened

 

 

References

High Fantasy – TV Tropes (2017) TV Tropes. Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HighFantasy (Accessed: 26 October 2017).

Low Fantasy – TV Tropes (2017) TV Tropes. Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LowFantasy (Accessed: 26 October 2017).

 

Martin, George R. R. (1996) A Game of Thrones. New York: Bantam Books.

Paolini, C. (2013) Eragon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2007) The Lord of the Rings. London: HarperCollins Publishers.

 

CD Projekt RED (2015) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – PC [Video game]. CD Projekt.

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