Ken Scholes gives us a tiny bit of the history of the world he created for his novel Lamentation.
An Excerpt from The Rise of the Named Lands: A Brief History of the Settlement of the New World and the Establishment of Kin-Clave
By Arch-Scholar Tertius
First, when contemplating the settlement of the New World, it is critical to remember that from the viewpoint of our neighbors to the north and northeast, settlement took place 500 years prior to the arrival of the Androfrancines and their caravans of survivors. In the minds of Gypsies and Marshers alike, they held first claim to this new world. After all, the Wizard King Xhum Y’Zir actually deeded them the lands locked behind Keeper’s Wall just prior to his death choirs marching out into the old world. It is said that Pope Windwir himself once saw the deed while visiting the Marsh King Grunric. He described the Wizard King’s seal upon the golden parchment in great detail in his 242nd letter to Entrolus.
But of course, the arriving survivors did not regard Xhum Y’Zir’s writ as binding. When we Androfrancines arrived (and do not for a moment believe the comfortable mythology that we arrived in peace to an open gate) we took what we wished when we were able and they kept what they could when they were able.
It may surprise you to know that the Marshers were not the imminent threat they are now thought to have been. Certainly, there were many skirmishes during those early decades but the true enmity did not emerge until Pope Windwir’s successor, Remembrance, established an Androfrancine fortress deep in the Marsher Territories, on the heels of Windwir’s forced relocation of Grunric’s people north to free up choice farmlands for newly arrived settlers. This Androfrancine fortress, now known as the Papal Summer Palace, was erected to keep watch over the newly relocated Marshfolk in the event that their perceived madness would spill over into violence. This perhaps is the most important point I can make: In their desire to prevent violence by way of this fortress, the early Androfrancines actually invoked it.
What followed were long years of intense skirmishing and atrocity on both sides, culminating eventually in the First Gypsy War, when Prince Isaak’s Wandering Army marched on Fort Windwir and held it for two years until Retrospect I finally petitioned the settlements of the southern coastline to admit both the Ninefold Forest and the Marshers to the council of kin-clave as full members. With the Forester militia occupying Windwir’s streets, Retrospect I was forced to open the Articles of Kin-Clave for re-negotiation and re-adoption, this time taking input from the first settlers of the new World. Isaak negotiated fair boundaries for himself and his neighbor, and trade agreements that assured his people of the economic strength to hold their territories. But the Marshers refused to participate and to this day live outside the kin-clave that binds the Named Lands together.
Given their experience of these interlopers in their lands, we can not blame them for refusing kinship and maintaining a defensive, sometimes even hostile, posture toward us. Centuries of unrest in the border towns of the Windwir Protectorate — lands that were once Marsher farms and villages — and four major wars is all the evidence needed that tragic mistakes were made in integrating the peoples of the Named Lands and creating the much-celebrated Articles of Kin-Clave.
More forethought could have accomplished the same outcome — a set of guiding principles for surviving together — with far less bloodshed.
This scholar believes Androfrancine willingness to use violence to prevent violence will be the undoing of that noble Order if we do not find a better means of guarding the light entrusted to us by P’Andro Whym.
Copyright © 2009 Ken Scholes