Chronicles of Vulcanica: Vale Tenebrous
“The Death of Cinderfell has been a long and agonizing process. I have pity on those who still believe that her time has not yet come.”
“Emperor Constantine is as wise and noble a man as you will find in Vulcanica, his people are just and good. If any would challenge Cinderfell, let them first answer to my armies.”
- Lady Nelenna Thrane
Four centuries ago, Cinderfell was the dominant force of Vulcanica. Spanning as far east as Barinfjord (and the former lands of Dren), to as far west as the Iron Hills and the plains of Kahar, never before and never since has so much of Vulcanica lived united under one flag. In fact, many historians and scholars agree that the most peaceful time in Vulcanica’s shared history was shortly before the second century of the Third Age, when Cinderfell’s troubles first began.
In 93 3A, a disguised Jottun that had managed to infiltrate the Emberguard (the former Imperial Guard of Cinderfell) led a coup against Emperor Arsenio I that ended in the Emperor’s death, and the occupation of Utica by the Jottun’s forces. The event caused an uproar all across Vulcanica, and the cities and nations united to recapture Utica and kill the Jottun responsibe, in one of the largest and most bloody battles in Vulcanica’s history—now known as the The Battle of Thrones.
It wasn’t long after, however, that a Demon known as Baphomet managed to complete a ritual that pulled Vulcanica into a second age of darkness. Though her reign (remembered as The Hell Fire) was short-lived before being bucked off by a group of intrepid heroes, the scars she left on Cinderfell were undeniable. By the time Arsenio I’s son—Titus I—regained the throne in 105 3A, he inherited more than his father’s share of problems. At that point, The Soul Plague, the devastation of New Turath, and the secession of the Jewel Cities were merely nails in the coffin.
Cinderfell spent a lot of time and effort trying to bring the Jewel Cities back into the fold, but made a hero’s effort to avoid using warfare—which would be a tremendous strain on their already thin resources—before admitting defeat. Titus I’s formal recognition of the Jewel Cities in 118 3A was a tremendously controversial decision, and it was only a few years later (in 124 3A) that the people of what is now known as Galessa declared their secession as well. Under pressure to not repeat his mistake from before, Titus I did everything in his power to keep Galessa as part of the Empire—including eventually declaring war in 127 3A. Widely regarded as a major blunder, the war with Galessa lasted some 85 years before Julius II, Titus I’s grandson, finally threw in the towel and granted them recognition. By then, Haven, Ashlar, and Hit had all been granted recognized sovereignty by Cinderfell as well.
Today, Cinderfell exists as a shell of its former self, occupying a mere fraction of the land it once held. While many historians cite the Empire’s leaders as having been wise, compassionate, and just, nearly all of today’s leaders agree that the age of Cinderfell has passed, and it is time for the Valentines to step down, and take their place in history.
Cinderfell is known for celebrating the arts and sciences, and placing great value on those who pursue them. Indeed, Cinderfell is responsible for much of today’s modern technology, including ships capable of deep-sea voyages, modern medicine, advanced smelting and forging techniques, gunpowder, and the flintlock mechanism. The Cinderfell way of life is one of constant progress and advancement, and the Cinderfell culture is one of compassion and a desire to improve the lives of others.
Though Cinderfell has traditionally placed minimal emphasis on their military might, engaging in conflict with them is widely agreed to be a poor decision. Not only does Cinderfell have access to much of the technology and advanced tactics that few others do, but Cinderfell has many allies, and even more friendly nations—to attack Cinderfell is to invite the wrath of half of Vulcanica.
If you are from Cinderfell…
- … you might share in the nation’s sense of loss, and feel as though you’re a part of something that is only a fraction of what is once was.
- … you probably are comfortable and familiar with the high technology of Cinderfell, such as firearms or advanced medicine.
- … you almost definitely possess at least a basic knowledge in at least one science or art, and know how to apply it.
National Ability: Dying Embers
You and your countrymen all share a sense of lost pride, and you are determined to use this opportunity to prove to the Alliance and the world that Cinderfell isn’t gone yet.