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Heldannic Knights -- Historical Timeline

by Bruce Heard

AC 313 Hattians rebel and proclaim the sovereign Kingdom of Hattias. Emperor Alexian II counterattacks and defeats their armies. He re-establishes Thyatian hegemony over the northern part of the Hattian peninsula.

AC 319 Alexian II completes the pacification of southern Hattias. The bravest and most notorious Hattian warriors opposing Imperial Law are sent to the arenas to entertain the crowds. Most are sold as slaves to wealthy Thyatians. The others crowd the grim prisons of Thyatis.

AC 400 - 600 Native Hattians commonly clash with Thyatian interests. Slave and peasant rebellions succeed each other followed with regular repression.

AC 571 Thyatis builds prisons on Ierendi Islands. For the next twenty nine years, Hattian convicts are sent to these festering fiend-holes. During their many years of incarceration, Hattians dream up a secret sect that would one day break the chains of their slavery and overthrow Thyatian power.

AC 600 A massive prison revolt in Ierendi drives out Thyatians from the isles. Many of the prisoners claim to be part of a secret sect, the Storm Soldiers. Over the following decade, some quietly travel back to Hattias. The others remain behind to build families in Ierendi.

AC 650, circa The militant movement called the Storm Soldiers takes root in Hattias and starts growing. The sect forms autonomous clans hiding in the hills of Hattias, in the south at first and gradually further north.

AC 808 An obscure goat herder in the far south of Hattias, in its most desolate hills, has visions of a great warrior princess. Her name is Ledeia. The apparition tells her to take her staff, travel the land of Hattias, and listen to the visions' teachings. Ledeia's quest is to create the Church of Vanya. The young maid is a leper that no one dares to approach. No one listens to her.

AC 818 Bandits attack a village in Hattias. A frail woman wearing a hood steps on the dirt road leading to the village. She stands before the bandits and challenges their leader. When everyone is done laughing, the leader attempts to trample the woman with his horse. She skilfully unhorses him with her staff, and proceeds to bludgeon the bandit to death. She then reveals her disfigured face and orders the bandits to stand down. At the glare in Ledeia's eyes and the sounds of her voice, they obey. Soon, they become her first and most devout followers.

AC 829 The ranks of Ledeia's followers have grown. Their role is mostly to defend the weak and root out the corrupt. More often than not the wealthy Thyatian landowners seem to be paying the price of Ledeia's teachings. Attempts are made to crack down on the church. It is outlawed. The faith and its teachings go underground.

AC 844 The Church of Vanya continues to grow slowly among the more modest layers of Hattian society. The search for Ledeia continues.

AC 849 Landowners, with help from a traitor in the Church of Vanya, capture Ledeia as she performs a wedding ceremony among her followers. A short battle follows during which the landowners' private fighting forces are defeated. But Ledeia is mortally wounded. She enjoins her followers to continue her quest before she dies. She becomes a martyr. In the following years, the faith spreads even faster among Hattians.

AC 875 Thanatos begins to manipulate the Storm Soldiers to become a hate group with little interest in justice but a craving for gratuitous violence against anything Thyatian. The Imperial grip over Hattias is too strong for the Storm Soldiers to succeed with another revolt, so they concentrate on crime and terror instead.

AC 892 Some Storm Soldiers, impressed with the teachings of the Church of Vanya adopt the faith as well. The Church of Vanya harbours an increasing number of current or ex-Storm Soldiers.

AC 913 A part of the Church of Vanya focuses more on its military capability. A struggle over Hattian followers opposes Thanatos and Vanya. Although the Church of Vanya is outgrowing the Storm Soldiers' sect, Thanatos manages to influence the church with some of the crass ideals of his Storm Soldiers. An order of warriors is formed, the Order of Vanya, and the first draft of their Code of Conduct is written. It is very simple and very vague.

AC 941 A priest of Vanya, Klaus Stamhoffer receives dreams from Vanya on the whereabouts of her grave. Knights of the Order of Vanya leave on a Holy Quest.

AC 945 Klaus Stamhoffer understands that if the church is to pursue its growth and reach Vanya's ideals of warlike glory, it must escape the suffocating control of Imperial Law. It is also an attempt to sever ties with the Storm Soldiers and their corruption. Klaus Stamhoffer plans out the invasion of the Heldann Freeholds.

AC 948 The Thyatian Emperor grants the priests of Vanya the right emigrate from Hattias with their followers.

AC 950, 2nd Quarter Priests of Vanya leave Hattias and land in the Heldann Freeholds, south of Haldisvall. The ruling Haldis clan is defeated and the knights capture their capital city and its vicinity. The capital city is renamed Freiburg (the "Free City", as in freed from the Heldann heathens).

AC 950, 4th Quarter Halvard Gudmunson, last male of the Haldis Clan is born in the forest of Altenwald.

AC 951, 1st Quarter People of the Heldann Freeholds mount a series of inconclusive raids against Hattian positions. The knights remain near Freiburg, unable to advance deeper into the land. Many Hattians are still recovering from the bitter cold, Heldann winter.

AC 951, 3rd Quarter One knight, Argo Tannengrub reaches Freiburg ten years after leaving Hattias on his fateful quest. He has found Vanya's secret grave. Fra Argo receives The Eagle, the highest decoration of the Heldannic Order. He dies a few months later and is buried in Freiburg.

AC 952, 1st Quarter The Order captures the town of Ynvarhöfn (present day Altendorf). Remnants of the Haldis partisans take cover in the Altenwald, the large forested area north of the town. The Province of Altendorf is established, north of the Naga River. Georg Löwenstern is named Landmeister at age 35.

AC 952, 2nd Quarter The Order launches its fleet of war galleys and merchant ships. They set sail toward Davania, to explore an area near Green Bay where Fra Argo placed the location of Vanya's grave. Most ships are destroyed on the way due to storms. Few are seaworthy enough to return to Freiburg, but the grave is located. Later that year, work on fortifications around Vanya's grave begins.

AC 952, 3rd Quarter The Heldannic Order is founded, replacing the original Order of Vanya. Klaus Stamhoffer is voted Hochmeister of the Heldannic Order and the Landmeister of the Province of Freiburg.

AC 953, 1st Quarter Construction of the Fortress of Freiburg begins. Relations between Vanya and Odin, Frey, and Freya sink to their lowest ever. The people of Heldann oppose the knights in a determined, bitter fight using hit and run tactics.

AC 953, 3rd Quarter Vanya's artifact is discovered under her grave. Its powers begin to manifest themselves. The knights use its telekinetic powers to help in the construction of their Holy Citadel.

AC 953, 4th Quarter Haldis partisans raid isolated commanderies near the Altenwald for supplies and revenge, with the support of villagers in Altendorf. As a means of reprisals, Georg Löwenstern has three villagers executed for every knight dead or wounded.

AC 954, 2nd Quarter The first Heldannic Warbird flies and reaches Freiburg later that year. Hochmeister Stamhoffer decides to keep the warbirds' existence a state secret and only use them outside the Known World, away from Alphatia's sight.

AC 954, 3rd Quarter Southeastern hills of Heldann are under Heldannic control and become part of the Province of Freiburg. More than a hundred Haldis partisans are hanged near the border. Heldann refugees flee to Vestland where many join the Royal Army.

AC 955 Vestland politely dodges Heldannic diplomatic overtures and fails to recognise the legitimacy of the Heldannic Order.

AC 956, 1st Quarter Heldannic Knights besiege the town of Torgsdal (present day Hockstein).

AC 956, 4th Quarter One of the worst winters hits the region and takes a heavy toll among Torgsdal's besiegers. Many die of exposure. The siege is abandoned before the end of the year. Antalian sympathisers from Wendar bring supplies to Torgsdal.

AC 957, 2nd Quarter Second siege of Torgsdal. Sappers manage to breach Torgsdal's walls and the knights storm into the town, overwhelming its defenders. Tales of Heldannic brutality against everyone in the city, including foreigners and especially Wendar citizens, reach Wendar.

AC 958, 1st Quarter Wendar coldly ignores Heldannic diplomatic overtures. Torgsdal is renamed after the commander of the Heldannic army - Wilhelm Hockstein. The twenty six year old commander becomes the Landmeister of Hockstein.

AC 958, 2nd Quarter Six years after it started, construction of the Holy Citadel in Davania is completed. Among the knights, it is called Vanya's Rest.

AC 958, 4th Quarter A warbird under the command of Luftkapitän Franz Eindecker flies through a breach in the Skyshield and reaches outer space. Although breathable air fails to remains on the outside decks, the crew survives the airless void long enough for the warbird to return to safety.

AC 959, 2nd Quarter Heldannic Knights capture a Darokinian caravan on its way from Ethengar to Skolgrim (present day Grauenberg). Priests dressed up as Darokinians enter the city. They open the gates late during the night allowing advance units of the Heldannic army to storm in. It is a blood bath where almost all the Heldannic knights in Skolgrim die fighting the town militia. However, the main body of the Heldannic army arrives in time to exploit their precarious foothold inside the town. They take Skolgrim amidst tales of horrendous butchery lasting into the next morning.

AC 960, 1st Quarter Ethengar, having no centralised government at the time, is unable to consider Heldannic diplomatic overtures. Skolgrim is renamed after the Heldannic army commander, Helga Grauenberg. She becomes the Landmeister of Grauenberg at age 39.

AC 960, 2nd Quarter All the remaining lands of the Heldann Freeholds are under Heldannic occupation, except for the large forest of Altenwald. They are annexed to one of the four Heldannic provinces and referred to as Heldannic Territories. More refugees flee into Norwold as the Order marches further north to establish more definite borders.

AC 961, 4th Quarter Luftkapitän Franz Eindecker flies a new warbird equipped with breathing devices to outer space and begins exploring. The polar entrances to the Hollow World are discovered.

AC 962 Heldannic Knights seize the floating island of Oostdok in the Hollow World and commandeer the gnomes' airships. Johan Goldzig becomes the Landmeister of Oostdok at the age of 32.

AC 963, 2nd Quarter Myoshiman rakasta hail a warbird travelling near Patera, an invisible moon. First contact is established. The existence of the invisible moon is discovered.

AC 963, 3rd Quarter Construction of the Fortress of Freiburg is completed ten years after it was begun. The remains of Tannengrub are exhumed and moved to the Crypt of Heroes underneath the fortress of Freiburg.

AC 964 Heldannic knights seize some land on Patera, outside the Myoshiman Empire. The rakasta emperor is offended and the knights are expelled. Both sides suffer heavy losses.

AC 965, 1st Quarter Construction of Notre Dame of Vanya's Cathedral begins.

AC 965, 2nd Quarter Alphatians discover the Order's secret warbirds, Vanya's Rest, and how to reach outer space. They hold a Heldannic hostage on board one of their ships, the Princess Ark. Hochmeister Stamhoffer orders the Alphatian pirate, Haldemar and his band, to be destroyed by any means and as soon as possible.

AC 966 The Alphatian Empire in Norwold pretends not to notice Heldannic diplomatic overtures. Franz Eindecker, at the age of 42, is assassinated in obscure conditions in Freiburg. His navigator's log is stolen. Franz is buried in the Crypt of Heroes. An investigation begins.

AC 967, 2nd Quarter Ostland and the Heldannic Order sign a treaty of non-aggression.

AC 967, 3rd Quarter Halvard Gudmundson takes over the Haldis partisans at age 17. He forms the Rangers of Altenwald from the native woodsmen.

AC 968, 1st Quarter The warbird Adler lands on Matera, staying for seven days of geological exploration. Finding absolutely nothing of value or interest, although proud to have been the first, the Heldannic Knights make no further forays to the moon.

AC 968, 2nd Quarter Sea raiders pillage coastal towns in the Heldannic Territories. Ostland claims no involvement. The investigation of Franz Eindecker's death reveals the involvement of Landfall thieves.

AC 969, 1st Quarter The Heldannic Order starts building a fleet of war galleys with the intent to defend its coastlines.

AC 969, 2nd Quarter Bounty-hunters apprehend Franz Eindecker's killer in Landfall, and bring him back to Freiburg. During the interrogation, the suspect reveals the involvement of anonymous wizards who left Landfall after they acquired the navigator's log. The suspect is missing from his cell the next morning; a pool of acid is found in the cell. Freiburg suspects Alphatian involvement.

AC 970 The Alphatian-controlled Kingdom of Helskir ignores Heldannic diplomatic overtures. Instead they accuse the Order of plotting to invade Helskir, judging from the growing Heldannic fleet.

AC 971 Halvard visits Wendar in hopes of getting military support from King Gylharen. He fails, but gets tacit cooperation from the king. Antalian sympathisers and some elves join him and quietly travel to the Altenwald.

AC 972 Halvard and his supporters conduct several raids into open territory. Several large abbeys are raided and put to the torch. The Haldis partisans withdraw to the Altenwald with considerable booty, having outmanoeuvred the Order.

AC 973 Halvard visits Helskir where he spends much of his share of the previous year's booty buying off the Helskir. He earns a secret promise of an intervention from Helskir should he attack Freiburg.

AC 974 Nine years after construction started, Notre Dame of Vanya's Cathedral is completed and stands as a glorious monument to Vanya's Glory and the triumph of Heldannic art and architecture. In awe, a thousand townspeople convert to Vanya's faith in great ceremony.

AC 975, 1st Quarter Native Freeholders from the Altenwald set fire to Notre Dame of Vanya's Cathedral. It is totally destroyed.

AC 975, 2nd Quarter Helskir claims its independence under King Erul Zaar. Helskir becomes a political satellite of Thyatis.

AC 976, 2nd Quarter New taxes are raised to rebuild Notre Dame of Vanya's Cathedral.

AC 976, 4th Quarter An outbreak of vampirism shakes the Province of Grauenberg. All evidence leads to visitors from Glantrian Boldavia. Clerics of the Order hunt down the dangerous undead.

AC 977, 1st Quarter Construction begins to replace Notre Dame of Vanya's Cathedral.

AC 977, 3rd Quarter Rev. Mother Grauenberg reports the undead threat has been eradicated from her province.

AC 977, 4th Quarter Rev. Mother Grauenberg, at age 56, is found dead in her quarters, her life force drained from her body. In all evidence, she was bitten by several vampires. She cannot be revived. After careful precautions, her body is entombed in the Crypt of Heroes underneath the Fortress of Freiburg. The hunt goes on. Helmut Totenfuss becomes the new Landmeister of Grauenberg at the age of 51.

AC 978, 1st Quarter Famine, oppression, and over taxation spark a revolt. Altenwald rangers supporting Haldis partisans ambush and massacre a major Heldannic force near the woods. Altendorf townspeople immediately revolt, followed several days later with the townspeople of Grauenberg and Hockstein. Wilhelm Hockstein dies in combat, at age 46, while Helmut Totenfuss is besieged in his own bastion. Violence spreads through the Heldannic Territories like wildfire. Barricades appear in the streets with mobs defending them. The revolt later degenerates into banditry and wanton destruction.

AC 979, 4th Quarter The revolt is brutally put down. Thousands of native Freeholders are executed as bandits. Many more flee to neighbouring kingdoms. Altendorf townspeople are deported to Davania, and replaced with Hattian settlers. The remains of Wilhelm Hockstein are buried in the Crypt of Heroes under the fortress of Freiburg. Otto Morgenhammer becomes the new Landmeister of Hockstein at age 38.

AC 980, 1st Quarter A ranger fires an arrow of slaying at Stamhoffer during a parade in Freiburg. Clerics fail to revive the old master. The Hochmeister dies at the age of seventy. He is buried in the Crypt of Heroes, underneath the fortress of Freiburg, alongside the illustrious Tannengrub.

AC 980, 2nd Quarter Wulf von Klagendorf is elected new Hochmeister of the Heldannic Order. It is also decided that the Province of Freiburg also needs a separate Landmeister. Utha Scharnheim is elected at the age 41.

AC 980, 4th Quarter The Heldannic Charter is rewritten and voted by the Grand Council. The Order now has three autonomous branches: The Voice, the Heart, and the Hammer. Rev. Mother Maude Erstenlicht is voted Primate of the Heart, at age 49. Rev. Father Max Einaugen becomes the Primate of the Hammer, at age 42.

AC 981, 1st Quarter The Order stations massive numbers of troops near the Vestland border and initiates new diplomatic overtures toward Norrvik.

AC 981, 2nd Quarter The good Kingdom of Vestland signs a treaty of goodwill with their northern neighbour recognising the legitimacy of the Heldannic Order as a nation, and defining trade agreements. Heldannic troops return to Freiburg.

AC 981, 4th Quarter Halvard Gudmundson marries Elsa Ragnisdottir.

AC 982, 4th Quarter Wulf von Klagendorf summons a the Grand Council of Priests and proposes a series of reforms. Arguments flare up. The Code of Conduct is rewritten and accepted with a very narrow voting margin.

AC 983, 1st Quarter Darokin and Minrothad emissaries sign trade agreements with the Heldannic Order, de facto recognising Heldannic Territories as a lawful and legitimate nation.

AC 983, 2nd Quarter Rangers of Altenwald raid the town of Altendorf. Spies among the Haldis partisans warned Georg Löwenstern of the coming attack. Knights are waiting in ambush and slaughter many of the Haldis partisans. Remnants retreat back into the forest.

AC 984, 1st Quarter Under pressure from senators and pro-Hattian politicians, Thyatis recognises the Heldannic Order and normalises relations.

AC 984, 3rd Quarter Heldannic Order hires a troop of Renardois lupins from the Savage Coast. Their curse is treated and the lupin mercenaries swear loyalty to their new overlords.

AC 985, 1st Quarter Heldannic infantry probes the Altenwald to destroy Haldis camps, led by spies and Renardois lupins. Several camps are destroyed. Altenwald rangers rally and ambush the Heldannic raiders. Thanks to their lupin guides, a handful Heldannic knights escape and report back to Freiburg.

AC 985, 4th Quarter Before the end of the year, all other nations of the Known World, except Ethengar, Glantri, and Alphatia formerly recognise the Heldannic Order. Relations with Wendar remain frosty and distant. Ethengar and Glantri display suspicion of the clerical order. Alphatians are downright hostile.

AC 986, 3rd Quarter Ten years after beginning reconstruction, Notre Dame of Vanya Cathedral is completed, with adequate defences added.

AC 986, 4th Quarter Wulf von Klagendorf pushes through new amendments to the Code of Conduct. The first three amendments are voted.

AC 987 The Order founds the Heldannic Colony of Stonehaven on the Hollow World mainland, using Oostdok airships to patrol the area and allow troops to settle in. Gnomes are used as construction workers.

AC 988 Halvard, leader of the Haldis partisans, leaves the Heldannic Territories to the relative safety of Norwold. The Order posts rewards for Halvard's head. Halvard begins a campaign to rally Heldann refugees and Norwold natives to his cause.

AC 989 Norwold recruits secretly travel to the Altenwald to form a new army. The Heldannic Hammer captures enough rebels to get wind of Halvard's plans.

AC 990 The Heldannic Order launches a raid into Norwold as a pre-emptive strike against Halvard's forces. No evidence of an army is found and the raid fails miserably among Alphatian protests and demands for reparations. Wulf von Klagendorf responds in diplomatic terms amounting to an obscene gesture. The knights withdraw to the Heldannic Territories.

AC 991, 2nd Quarter Fredek Halvardson, son of Halvard Gudmunson and Elsa Ragnisdottir is born in the forest of Altenwald.

AC 991, 4th Quarter Halvard's army has successfully regrouped inside the Altenwald. It begins a series of armed reconnaissance missions in the open. Altendorf is briefly captured. Halvard withdraws to the Altenwald with a few hundred Hattian settlers kept as hostages. Georg Löwenstern dies of a stroke moment before his capture, at the age of 74. His body's ashes are scattered in the Altenwald. A statue of Georg is erected in an alcove in the Crypt of Heroes in Freiburg. Fritz Hauerfang, a young knight of 18 years, saves the day by retaking Altendorf with remnants of Georg's garrison. He becomes the new Landmeister of Altendorf.

AC 992 Halvard launches a surprise assault on Hockstein and with the help of Alphatian wizards liberates the city. Halvard calls for a new mass revolt, but many of the native Freeholders, fearing the knights, fail to show up. Since the revolt of AC 978, many key Freehold clans and families have been decimated, run out of the country, converted to Vanya's faith, bought out, or coerced into submission. Most large families have been forced to provide some of their younger members to serve the Order and receive Heldannic indoctrination (they also are hostages of the knights, which helps the Order control their families).

AC 993 Alphatian wizards teleport to Freiburg and wreak havoc on the warbirds and the surface fleet. The docks, warehouses, and the entire Freiburg fleet are engulfed in flames when the Alphatians depart. The illustrious "Adler" is among the destroyed skyships. On this signal, Halvard crosses the Naga River and launches his invasion of the Province of Freiburg with such audacity that the knights retreat to the capital. Halvard's army includes Freehold loyalists, volunteers from Wendar, and many Norwold warriors. He assaults the Great Fortress of Freiburg but fails as the Helskir fleet fails to show up at all. Halvard is captured and his army routed. Haldis partisans offer to trade their Hattian hostages with Halvard. The Order refuses, tortures Halvard for information, and then executes him in public. Halvard dies at the age of 43. Hattians in the Altenwald are put to the sword. The Order blames the Haldis partisans for this shameful and evil massacre of innocent civilians. An even more brutal repression follows. Halvard's followers not yet captured flee to Ethengar with their families, into Uighur territory.

AC 994 The tribal chief of the Uighur complains to Moglai Khan about massive encroachment of Heldann settlers on his lands. Moglai Khan leads a major raid into the Heldannic Territories. The Heldann settlers are massacred. Their mutilated corpses are dragged back to Hayavik, a village near Grauenberg. Hayavik is razed and Moglai Khan withdraws to Ethengar before the Grauenberg garrison can engage his army.

AC 995, 1st Quarter Elsa Ragnisdottir dies of despair in Vestland. Her four-year-old son, Fredek Halvardson remains in the care of a herdsman loyal to the old Haldis regime. His identity and existence remain unknown to the Order. King Erul Zaar of Helskir officially recognises the legitimacy of the Heldannic Order.

AC 995, 4th Quarter Wulf von Klagendorf supports further alterations of the Code of Conduct. The Grand Council votes the next two amendments.

AC 996 Construction of Stonehaven is completed in the Hollow World. Anna von Hendriks is elected Landmeister of Stonehaven, at the age of 24. Forty six years after the initial invasion, organised resistance of the Freeholders to the Heldannic Order has waned. Old Freehold values have wilted away under the brutal Heldannic repression. Conversion efforts are accelerated.

AC 996, 4th Quarter Thanatos takes on the appearance of Heinrich Oesterhaus, who just died. Heinrich was the master of the Hattian Storm Soldiers. The Immortal manipulates the Storm Soldiers himself, for his own amusement.

AC 997 A punitive raid into Ethengar fails as the Uighur clans ride to safety, away from the invading knights. The knights set fire to the high grasses, and withdraw to the Heldannic Territories after reports of a large Ethengarian army on the move.

AC 998, 1st Quarter The Order begins the construction of fortified commanderies in the hills along the Ethengarian border. Grauenberg's fortifications are reinforced.

AC 998, 2nd Quarter Max Einaugen, Primate of the Hammer dies at the age of 60. He is replaced with Konrad Blutfelden, age 49.

AC 999, 1st Quarter The Heldannic Order establishes ties with the Kingdom of Eusdria on the Savage Coast.

AC 999, 2nd Quarter Johan Goldzig, Landmeister of Oostdok dies of old age. His remains are entombed at the Crypt of Heroes underneath the Great Fortress of Freiburg. Karl Hundkopf becomes the new Landmeister at the age of 31.

AC 999, 4th Quarter The Grand Council proposes more changes to the Code of Conduct. The next two amendments are voted.

AC 1000 A strange, yet unknown skyship is sighted on the Savage Coast. It appears to be under the command to the Alphatian pirate Haldemar, thought to have disappeared in outer space some 35 years earlier. Several warbirds give chase. Two are destroyed, others are damaged in combat. The Alphatian pirates escape.