History of Griffon's Aerie

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Origins of Vallaria

The ancient homeland of the Vallarians is purported to have been in the region of present-day Zirak-Zan in Zul Kiras, at that time the capital of a thriving human empire. According to legend, long ago (perhaps 2500 to 3000 years ago) many of the human inhabitants were driven out by a swarm of dragons. The legend tells of a terrible final battle fought between the humans and the dragons, and despite a number of mighty feats by human heroes recounted in thrilling detail by the legend, the outmatched humans died by the tens of thousands. Some of survivors fled across the River Thunder to Keulenesta Forest and settled what is now Griffon's Aerie. All this may or may not be true; the fact is, this is what the inhabitants of Griffon's Aerie believe.

Earliest History

ca. 1450-1090 BT. Vallaria was divided into various smaller principalities, usually one in the north, and one or more in the south; the history of this period was later recorded in a book called the Lil. Dragon raids in this era prevented any steps towards the foundation of a strong, centralized state; however, the earliest evidence of writing among Vallarians appears to be from this time. The histories of the minor principalities need not concern us at this time; however, some of the most ancient noble families trace their ancestry to this period. The Larkibi ruled a kingdom in the south along the coast which included the wealthy city of Secca, and even after this family had lost control of the rest of its kingdom it continued to rule that city. According to themselves, the Larkibi were descended from one Larkos, who led his tribe to that area during the migration out of the north. Of perhaps equal antiquity are the Soptibi, who ruled a kingdom in the western part of Vallaria and at one time also ruled Leturia, a land further to the west inhabited by people with tails. Other smaller kingdoms were ruled by the Bengibi, Talatibi, and Madrovibi lineages; it is not entirely clear where these were located.

ca. 1140 BT. The earliest portions of the Lil were put in writing, probably in the kingdom of the Soptibi; this sacred collection of writings contains the precepts by which Vallarian society was governed as well as the land's early history. Among them: The enlightened shall rule over those who are unenlightened.

ca. 1120-580 BT. Apparently a period of decline for the Dragons, since they no longer appear in the historical record as serious opponents of the Vallarian principalities. Attacks upon the Vallarian lands decreased, allowing art and literature to flourish. Some legends allege that the unknown cause of unity among the dragons had broken down, and they began to fight among themselves. The losers were presumably either slain or driven away to seek a new domain elsewhere.

Rise of the Vallarian Empire

1090 BT. Vallaria was first united under Adrovos, founder of the ADROVIBI dynasty. Adrovos attributed his successes not to the declining Dragon power but to his following of the advice of the Lil, which may have gained its sacred status because of him. The Adrovibi castle evolved over time into the capital of Vallaria, and the family owed its prominence to its important role in regional trade. Although historical annals continued to be added to the end of the Lil, these were never considered part of the work proper, which therefore took on its permanent form at this time. The history of the individual kings of the dynasty is as follows:

Adrovibi Dynasty

Adrovos I. the Unifier, or the Great (1090-1038? BT). A warrior-king, he brought about the union of Vallaria by force of arms. Although in reality he was probably rather a nasty character, his position as the first ancestor of all later dynasties until the Griffons meant that he was lauded in story and song. The question mark after the year in which his reign ended is there because Adrovos' death was never actually confirmed -- he simply disappeared.

Svemos I. (1038?-1018 BT), eldest son of Adrovos I. Beginning with Svemos, all Kings of Vallaria were "elected" by the Vallarian Diet, a gathering of all those who owned land which also had to authorize taxes and so forth. However, since it was uncertain whether Adrovos was actually dead, the election was technically only "provisional" until such time as proof could be found one way or another. This quirk was still reflected in the coronation oaths until the Griffon seizure of power.

At the time of Svemos' death in 1018 BT, his elder son (Arakatos) had disappeared, nobody knew whence; and his younger son (Alamaros) was considered too young to rule, and hence Svemos' brother Adrovos II. was elected King instead. However, in order to accept, he had to renounce all right to the succession of his own children to the throne unless the line of his nephew (Alamaros) became extinct. This was intended to prevent a future civil war between rival lineages.

Adrovos II. (1018-1003 BT), third son of Adrovos I. He had been his father's favorite, but his was an unremarkable reign except for the fact that his wife was Queen Elmisa, who is credited with having invented the rigid Vallarian court etiquette, later adopted lock stock and barrel by the Griffons. He had given up the right for his own sons to succeed to the throne, but they did obtain the honorific title of Regents of the North after Adrovos' death.

Alamaros I. (1003-978 BT), son of Svemos I, was the founder of the town of Alamarkand, although it was not an important center until much later: in his time it was only a hunting-lodge (kand). On his death a civil war erupted between his five (legitimate) sons for the throne; the eldest, Svemos, defeated and murdered his four brothers in turn. Alamaros also acknowledged one illegitimate son, Vepros, born to the dancer Semilla; he was the ancestor of the important family of the Vepribi. Of Alamaros' twin daughters, Arethusa married the powerful northern nobleman Svalastros, whose descendants were the Svalastribi; and Sermeta married a warrior named Marbos, whose descendants by her were the Marbibi.

Svemos II. the Bloody (978-937 BT), son of Alamaros, got his nickname through the aforementioned execution of his four brothers. He proved to be a sickly king who spent most of his time indoors and he had only one son by his wife, Queen Lorsinda. Disenchanted with her husband, she fled to distant parts and led the life of an adventuress.

Adrovos III. the Accursed (937-910 BT). The only son of Svemos II, he offended some creature (accounts vary as to what sort) who cursed him, declaring that none of his own children would ever produce an heir. He had twelve sons and fifteen daughters, but the curse proved quite effective, and he did not produce a single grandchild, so that the line of his descendants became extinct in 858 BT. His wife, incidentally, was an elfin princess from the Keulenesta Forest.

Adrovos IV. the Childless (910-872 BT), second son of Adrovos III.

Aramos (872-863 BT), fifth son of Adrovos III.

Svemos-Alamaros (863-858 BT), twelfth son of Adrovos III, survived all his siblings; but with his death the royal line died out in the male line.

Civil War

858-790 BT. Civil war in Vallaria following the extinction of the ruling ADROVIBI dynasty; the land was divided into various smaller segments controlled by local magnates or warlords.

The main claimants to the throne at this time were:

  1. The Regents of the North, i.e. the descendants of Adrovos II., who had given up the right for his sons to succeed unless the line of his nephew Alamaros were to die out. They argued, plausibly, that it had died out. At this time, the Regent of the North was Abaros, the great-great-grandson of Adrovos II.
  2. The Vepribi, who were now the only male-line descendants of Svemos I., but their descent was traced through the illegitimate line of Vepros, son of the dancer Semilla.
  3. The Svalastribi, descendants of Alamaros' daughter Arethusa and Svalastros.
  4. The Marbibi, descendants of Alamaros' daughter Sermeta and Marbos. It was not clear which claim here had precedence because nobody knew whether Arethusa or Sermeta had been born first.
  5. The Arakatibi, who claimed (with no evidence whatsoever) to be the descendants of the long-lost son of Svemos I., Arakatos.

It is noteworthy that none of the older lineages (Larkibi, Soptibi, etc.) made any claim on the throne at this time in their own right. Apparently only the line of the Adrovibi was considered at all legitimate. The details of the civil war are extraordinarily complicated, and the accounts of what happened disagree depending on which side the writer favored. Hence we will move ahead.....

Svalastribi Dynasty

790 BT. Vallaria was reunited under the SVALASTRIBI dynasty (descendants of Svalastros), from the area just south of Keulenesta Forest; they established a second capital in their lands in the north in the previously tiny market town called Alamarkand; this is where the royal family spent its winters. Most of their rivals were driven out of Vallaria; among them were the ancestors of the Ursari, alleged to be the descendants of the Marbibi. However, the Vepribi continued to hold out in parts of South Vallaria, where they had many supporters. The history recorded in the Lil ends here, and henceforth official histories were compiled for each King in turn.

Relandos I. the Great (790-778 BT), founder of the royal dynasty of the Svalastribi, was the great-great-grandson of Svalastros and Arethusa. His success over his rivals was due largely to the fact that he married Taritha, the daughter of the candidate put forward by the Arakatibi, thus uniting these two factions; but he was also a skilful militarist.

Arakatos I. (778-749 BT), son of Relandos I.

Relandos II. (749-718 BT), probably the son of Arakatos I.

Arakatos II. (718-707 BT), probably the son of Relandos II. Not much information survives concerning these last-mentioned three kings except their names. Perhaps the next king (Alamaros II.) had a reason for wanting to efface their memory; it is likely that he usurped power from them illegally.

Alamaros II. (707-683 BT), great-grandson of Relandos I. At the beginning of his reign he had to face an uprising in the north (707-704 BT) led by one Tindaros, great-great-great-grandson of Abaros, Regent of the North during the earlier Civil War -- but little is known about this uprising or its results. Alamaros II. seems to have been extraordinarily vain: there are statues of him almost everywhere, although hardly recognizable over a thousand years later. The crown of Vallaria, and later of Griffon's Aerie, was allegedly produced during his reign, and is called the Crown of Alamaros. One of his gilded swords also survives in the armory.

Relandos III the Blind. (683-670 BT), son of Alamaros II.

Arakatos III. (670-668 BT), son of Relandos III. He attempted to create a centralized monarchy and accordingly got most of the prominent noblemen very angry at him.

Arakatos IV. (668-651), son of Alamaros II, who came to power in a coup led by the magnates of the ancient Larkibi lineage, especially the powerful nobleman Perandos "Beng" Talatibi, whose epithet means "the Devil." As a reward for his services, Perandos "Beng" was given vast estates in the central area of Vallaria, which became known as the Talatibitem, a predominantly rural region; his eldest son Alamaros the Lame married Perandos' daughter, while Perandos' son married one of Arakatos' nieces.

Relandos IV. (651-585), grandson of Arakatos IV (and son of Alamaros the Lame). He was the longest-reigning king of the dynasty and was renowned for his wisdom and piety. It was he who founded the city of Randegow (originally Relandogav, Relandos' town), which became the center for trade with Leturia (a friendly kingdom to the northwest). He entered into particularly good relations with Leturia and with the city of Secca. His first wife was Merlitza, a Larkibi of Secca, and his second was Dirniel, a Leturian princess far younger than he.

Arakatos V. (585-558), son of Relandos IV and Queen Merlitza; his queen was from the Bengibi lineage and is said to have been more involved in the running of state affairs than her husband, who is thought to have been quite slow-witted.

Relandos V and the Griffons

558 BT. The Vepribi, descendants of Alamaros through his illegitimate son Vepros, whose mother was the dancer Semilla, had long held out in South Vallaria, where they had undertaken several uprisings; now they succeeded in overthrowing Arakatos V., slaughtering him and all of his family they were able to find. Arakatos' son Relandos fled to the Griffons, who favored his cause, and two years later (556 BT) they restored the dynasty of Svalastribi, enslaving the Vepribi and all who had supported them -- or at least reducing them to a lower status (the historical record is unclear). The name of the Vepribi King was Svemos III (reigned 556-554 BT). It may be at this time that the Svalostribi whose descendants became the Swallowstripe family of the Droll Mummers left Vallaria; i.e. to escape being massacred at the hands of this King Svemos.

Another factor in the invitation of the Griffons at this time is that the Dragon Arpharizaud, a minor figure mentioned in passing in the legends of the ancient dragon attacks, was once again beginning to threaten the region. Rumors from the north alleged that Arpharizaud was teaching the sorcerous arts to orcs, who were raising up undead and burning villages in the dragon's name. The Griffons seemed the only group capable of mounting a successful defense against a dragon-led invasion (which in fact never took place).

Rise of the Griffons in Vallaria

Relandos V. (554-523 BT), son of Arakatos V., restored to power by the Griffons, who solemnly swore to come to the assistance of his dynasty were it ever again in jeopardy.

Arakatos VI. (523-496 BT), son of Relandos V. His reign saw an uprising in the south led by a disgruntled faction of the Arakatibi which persisted for some years (1031-1060) under the leadership of a member of that lineage called Manutos; this was only put down with Griffon help under Adrovos V. His queen came from the ancient Soptibi lineage.

Alamaros III. (496-479 BT), son of Relandos V. The Manutos rebellion raged through his reign, and he was therefore able to accomplish little.

Adrovos V. (479-433 BT), son of Alamaros III, defeated his elder brother Relandos in a civil war which broke out on their fathers' death, just as Manutos' rebellion had almost been defeated; because of this distraction, the rebellion continued for another nine years until the Griffons came again to the assistance of the dynasty, remembering their earlier oath to Relandos V. From this time on, Griffons were constantly stationed in Vallaria, and a number of them were granted estates there beginning in 420 BT, when this first became legal (until then only humans had been permitted to own land). This meant the inclusion of Griffons in the Vallarian Diet, the kingdom's ancient decision-making body, which elected Kings, had to approve taxation, and so forth. He married a Griffon princess.

Manutos I. (433-409 BT), son of Adrovos V. He was named after the rebel Manutos, who was captured and strangled in the year of his birth (470 BT). Being half-Griffon, he was in fact able to take on both Griffon and human forms; however, he did not himself marry a Griffon, and hence his son did not have this ability; his wife was a Larkibi of Secca.

Relandos VI. (409-396 BT), son of Manutos I. It was later alleged that he was killed by the Griffons, who were upset at his plans to remove them from the Vallarian Diet. However, there seems to be no solid evidence for such an assertion, nor any reason to doubt the official version of his death: that he was gored to death by a wild boar while hunting near Alamarkand. However, it is also true that he had refused to marry the daughter of a prominent Griffon, preferring a human (an elegant daughter of the Talatibi lineage) as his queen. During the reign of Manutos, it is possible that the Griffons had expected the royal line would eventually become dominated by Griffon blood -- and that they were upset at seeing things were not going in this direction.

Arakatos-Relandos (396-363 BT), great-grandson of Adrovos V. His election was the first in which the King was chosen primarily by the vote of the Griffon component of the Diet, and he and his two successors were spineless puppets of the Griffons. In order to assume the throne, he had to give up most of the traditional powers of the monarchy.

Arakatos-Manutos (363-341), commonly called Manutos II., son of Arakatos-Relandos.

Arakatos-Adrovos (341-312 BT), commonly called Adrovos VI. son of Arakatos-Manutos, overthrown by the Griffons. All three of these Kings had virtually no power.

Foundation of Griffon's Aerie

ca. 355 BT. Translation of the Lil into Griffon. In the Griffon language, the word for enlightened is the same as the word for elegant, winged; hence the famous passage became "The winged shall rule over those who are unwinged." This provided the justification for what happened in 312 BT.

312 BT. Coup d'etat in which the Griffons seized control of South Vallaria, renaming it Griffon's Aerie, and driving the Svalastribi and their adherents north. For the next two centuries South Vallaria was ruled by a council of several (between five and eight) Griffon warlords, while the Svalastribi dynasty continued in the north, waging a vain war with them. The Griffon translation of the Lil became the authoritative version in the South. The old human aristocracy did continue after this date in both halves, although Griffon-human intermarriages frequently took place in the South. (Incidentally -- someone who has one Griffon parent can transform himself between Griffon and human forms, while someone who is only a quarter Griffon can no longer do so.)

290 BT. The Griffons conquered the wealthy city of Secca, driving out the Larkibi dynasty which had ruled there since ancient times.

270-250 BT. The Griffons succeeded in subjugating the areas of central Vallaria ruled by the Talatibi family, the so-called "Talatibitem," and the Talatibi, won over to the Griffons, intermarried with them and soon became in essence a Griffon family. In return, the Talatibi remained among the wealthiest landlords of Griffon's Aerie.

The Northern Kings of Vallaria

Perandos Blood-fist (312-293 BT) established his capital at Alamarkand and secured an alliance with Arpharizaud with a large bribe of wealth seized from executed enemies, which was probably responsible for preventing a total Griffon takeover at this time. Although he was a Svalastribi, his precise descent and relation to the previous line of kings is uncertain.

Sarpandos I. (293-251 BT), son of Perandos Blood-fist, continued the alliance with Arpharizaud (through continued tribute) and through his second wife, an Elfin princess from Keulenesta Forest, he also maintained ties with the Elves. However, all of his sons were slain in the disastrous Battle of the Pines (270 BT), in which only the intervention of the elves prevented the Griffons from seizing the whole kingdom. In that year the Treaty of Alamarkand established diplomatic relations between the Southern (Griffon) kingdom and the Northern (Svalastribi) kingdom. This was essentially a hundred-year treaty of peace.

Relandos VII. (251-216 BT), son of Relandos Ironhelm, who was (like Sarpandos I.) a son of Perandos Blood-fist but had been killed at the Battle of the Pines. He spent most of his reign establishing a secure line of fortresses along the southern border of his kingdom as a precaution against a Griffon breach of the Treaty of Alamarkand. On his death, the Svalastribi family was replaced by that of the Seporibi, who had been palace guards and were in fact a family of Griffon origin which had however been sympathetic to the humans' cause and had now lost its Griffon characteristics.

Sormintos Seporibi (216-199 BT), husband of Relandos' daughter Sharsinta. He continued the construction of fortresses, which he had largely supervised during the reign of his father-in-law.

Sarpandos II. Seporibi (199-181 BT), son of Sormintos, who again continued to fortify the southern frontier against the Griffons.

Arakatos Seporibi (181-156 BT), half-brother of Sarpandos II (i.e., a son of Sormintos but not of Sharsinta Svalastribi; his mother was from the noble Madrovibi lineage). In his reign the fortifications were continued and the hundred years of the Treaty of Alamarkand elapsed (170 BT); however, the castles were effective and well-maintained, and Arakatos spent large sums of money on a force of mercenary warriors drawn from many distant lands called the Black Helmets. Also renowned was the so-called legion of Wolf Riders.

Evindos Ankibi (156-116 BT), a member of the northern human aristocracy, led a palace coup on the death of Arakatos Seporibi to prevent his infant son from gaining the throne. He and his peers were upset with the large expenditures on the Black Helmets and Wolf Riders; he disbanded the former and greatly decreased the number of the latter. He neglected the fortresses on the southern frontier, believing that the Griffons were no longer a serious threat. Rather, he spent vast sums constructing an enormous palace on the outskirts of Alamarkand. He forced the daughter of Arakatos to marry him and kept her a prisoner there in an elaborate golden cage. (This was later the subject of a Griffon poem used for propagandistic purposes). His historical reputation is mud.

Svemos Ankibi (116-110 BT) was the son of Evindos by an earlier wife and was elected by the degenerate northern human aristocracy because they believed he would be a weak ruler and allow them to do as they pleased. It was at this time that the fortresses on the southern frontier were allowed to fall into disarray, and precautions were thrown to the wind. The memory of him and of his father is spat upon by both human and Griffon historians, who call him "Svemos the Silly."

Neskos

110 BT. North Vallaria was finally conquered by the efforts of the Griffon hero Neskos (in Griffon: Nesoh), who proclaimed himself its King; most copies of the Vallarian-language Lil were burned save for one, written upon golden leaves, which was hidden for safe-keeping in the Eryien Monastery, and for several (unidentified) parchment manuscripts in distant foreign libraries. The adventures of Neskos are described in an epic poem, the Neskiad. He is revered by the Griffons to the present day: there are many popular songs about his deeds, and there are many statues of him about the Aerie. He is the Griffons' national hero. The former king, Svemos Ankibi, married Neskos' sister Blinta and continued in office as a governor, so little was he perceived as a threat.

Neskos was born in about 135 BT. He had been involved in a raid upon the Northern Kingdom as a youth (around 118 BT) and had been captured by the humans, who had intended to kill him but were prevailed upon by the pious monks of the Eryien Monastery, who saved his life. It was probably for this reason that Neskos protected this monastery among all others from destruction at the time of the Griffon takeover.

The Neskiad consists of seven "books." It begins with an account of Neskos' youth, when various amazing feats are ascribed to him; the Second Book is an account of the amorous adventures of his adolescence, culminating in his marriage to the stunningly beautiful Simsilla, the daughter of the most powerful warlord of the Griffon Council; then there follow two Books describing the conquest of North Vallaria; and then three describing the civil war of 91 BT (see below). Every Griffon knows the final lines of the epic by heart, lamenting the death of this King in 86 BT:

The air lies stagnant o'er the Aerie green
Awaiting yet again Thy wings to beat
Its mellifluous warmth beneath the Sun:
Return thou, Neskos! lest the fields grow black
And shrivel longing for Thy shadow dear
To fall again across the wide-flung hills.

Neskibi Dynasty

91 BT. Bloody civil war among the Griffons results in the usurpation of the throne of all Vallaria by the aforementioned Neskos, founder of the Griffon Neskibi (in Griffon: Nesohc) dynasty, which ruled for the next five and a half centuries.

86 BT. The death of Neskos. He was buried in a fabulous mausoleum in the capital overlooking the ocean.

The successors of Neskos

Gagos I. (86-51 BT), son of Neskos.

Dyumbos (51-39 BT), son of Gagos. Little is known of the reigns of these two rulers, because the historians of their day were far more concerned with describing the exploits of the great Neskos.

Menglos (39-8 BT), son of Dyumbos. In his reign there was an attempt to improve the lot of humans under the Griffon rule, as Menglos was sympathetic to them and had a human wife. He was assassinated by Griffon extremists while presiding over the trial of a Griffon accused of murdering some humans. This of course sparked a major conflict.

Human Uprising and Aftermath

8-7 BT. In this year there was an uprising of the human population of the Aerie against the Griffons, led by what remained of the old human aristocracy under the command of Lufrinos; however, this was quickly put down at the infamous Battle of Blambor Bridge, and many humans were impaled throughout the kingdom as a warning. In the same year a decree was passed whereby only those with some Griffon ancestry qualified for any protection under the law. All others were relegated to an inferior status and were henceforth legally required to perform services for their Griffon overlords, and were tied to the land, no longer permitted to move about freely. Those of pure Griffon ancestry were henceforth preferred for high public office. Many of the old human aristocracy which had lost their privileged positions at this time fled abroad, particularly to Aslar and Tollor, where they soon rose to something similar to their previous status (and were in all likelihood the ancestors of WolfRider and Sir Ruflin).

Tyatyos the Vindictive (7 BT-16), third son of Dyumbos, was elected by the Diet to succeed after the suppression of the Uprising of Lufrinos. He had the half-human children of his brother Menglos thrown into the palace prison of Alamarkand, the aforementioned Golden Cage, where they were starved to death and eaten by rats. Their skeletons were then coated in lead put on display in the so-called Skeletons' Market in the capital city, where they remain to this day.

Gagos II. the Magnificent (16-67), grandson of Tyatyos. He founded the trading metropolis of Gaggow (Gago-gov, Gagos' town) on the eastern border of his kingdom, and he remodeled the palace in the capital, which has largely kept the form he gave it. Particularly notable is the throne room itself, with the Lil inscribed in its entirety in golden letters on a thin black strip along the top of the walls. He was murdered by the brother of a Griffon noblewoman he had raped, and his body was never recovered, believed to have been thrown into the ocean.

Karos I. the Proud (67-126), grandson of Gagos II, conquered a large part of the state of Leturia to the northwest during a war of 82-88, home to a race of people with tails which kept human slaves and had their own translation of the Lil with the word "tailish" instead of "enlightened" or "feathered." Following these conquests he invaded Elvendeep to the east and won some victories until confronted by an Arangothian army sent in defense of the old regime. Karos was paralyzed from the neck down by a serious injury sustained in 92, and from that time on was never seen in public; rather the kingdom was governed by the high nobility for the next thirty-four years. Indeed, it is unclear whether he died in 126, or whether the elite that ruled in his name had simply suppressed the word of his death for that long.

Pempos I. the Haughty (126-147), son of Karos I. He built the fabulous covered market at Gaggow, which survives to this day, and instituted its annual fair which draws merchants from distant lands. His statue is prominently displayed there but is usually covered by a thick layer of pigeons' dung. He was known for his arrogance and cruelty, of which Aerie folklore records many examples.

Gagos III. the Red (147-184), son of Pempos. In the early years of his reign (1678-1680) the Leturians recaptured the lands taken by his grandfather Karos the Proud and invaded as far as Alamarkand and Randegow, which they burned almost entirely to the ground, only stone buildings surviving. The human population also rose up and joined the Leturian invaders, but soon became disillusioned, learning to their dismay that the Leturians were yet harsher masters than the Griffons. Therefore in 162 the humans rose up and overthrew the Leturians in a bloody revolution, inviting the Griffons back as the only force which could protect them against Leturian reprisals.

Seccan Independence

Karos II. the Tall (184-201), son of Gagos III. In his reign (190) the city of Secca, to the southwest of Griffon's Aerie, which had been part of Vallaria in the distant past, declared its independence and, with the help of a contingent of sympathetic Griffons, managed to establish itself as an independent principality or city-state. Secca had a long tradition of trade with Leturia, and the merchants of Secca had therefore disapproved of the hostilities between Griffon's Aerie and the Leturians since the 90s -- which had impaired trade. This was the principal motive behind the uprising. Secca was ruled by a Council of Merchants until 217, when the dictator Yemzan seized power in a military coup.

Limbros I. the Goldenhaired (201-242), son of Karos II. He led a new invasion of Leturia which resulted in an unresolved state of war from 230 onwards into the reign of his son.

Peace With Leturia

Sintos the Black (242-261), son of Limbros, finally secured a peace with Leturia in 244. He then married Yelswin, the only daughter of Yemzan, dictator of Secca, and on Yemzan's death (250) declared himself master of Secca by inheritance. The Seccans agreed to this because the main reason for their earlier rebellion (the hostilities between Griffon's Aerie and Leturia) was gone. However, Secca has maintained its Council of Merchants and an entirely separate administration, and it has the right separately to approve taxation or the sending of troops to the Griffons' army -- though in the interest of good relations it has generally been generous in this regard.

Pempos II. the Drunkard (261-274), son of Sintos. His name says it all; he died after a night of drunken revelry when he stumbled into the ocean off a dock and drowned.

Limbros II. the Fat (274-309), second son of Sintos, married a Leturian princess named Nucemail, who, given the matrilineal succession in Leturia, succeeded to that throne in 288. Consequently the lands of Griffon's Aerie and Leturia were united in this couple for a number of years, although they maintained separate administrations and separate Diets. This was a golden age for trade.

Karos III. the Pious (309-346), son of Limbros II, succeeded only to the throne Griffon's Aerie, while his mother Nucemail continued as Queen of Leturia. Good relations between the Leturians and Griffon's Aerie continued and were formalized in a treaty of 311, which stated that if either land were attacked by another power, the other would send troops to help defend it. This treaty remains in force to the present day. Karos III was a very serious Griffon and had no tolerance for unseemly merriment (perhaps taking very seriously the example of his uncle King Pempos). Stricter-than-usual Morality Laws were in effect from 319 to the time of his death, when the Diet insisted upon their repeal as a precondition for crowning his son Enos. Karos III. was buried in an unmarked grave, as he had specified. Unfriendly historians have called him Karos the Dull.

Enos the Illustrious (346-364), son of Karos III. (He was Prince Eno's namesake). He was more illustrious as a swordsman than in any other way -- but this made him very popular, especially in contrast with his dour father. He was by far the most handsome of recent Kings of Griffon's Aerie, an accomplished musician and dancer, a poet, and much more. He was slain in a duel with the husband of a Griffon noblewoman to whom he had made advances; according to legend, he had been drunk during the duel, and could never ordinarily have been bested.

Gagos IV the Enlightened (364-402), son of Enos. He invited military engineers from far-off lands to update his army and made it the envy of all surrounding lands. It is to him that the Griffons' military superiority for many years has been due. He also favored the establishment of centers of learning and founded the University of Randegow by means of a generous monetary endowment -- although the main subject studied there is the interpretation of the Lil, and it is really only a theological academy.

Limbros III. the Sublime (402-432), son of Gagos IV. He built covered markets at Alamarkand, Randegow, and other important centers. It was late in his reign (429) that the human Sintos Sapribi was appointed chief of the Royal Guard. This happened after Sintos, formerly a humble farmer, thwarted an attempt by the previous chief of the Royal Guard to assassinate Limbros and replace him with Limbros' disloyal brother Gagos. Sintos was given great honors and married to the Griffon princess Amrinitza, daughter of Prince Pempos, the youngest son of King Enos the Illustrious. However, Sintos maintained his ties with his former friends, such as the farmer Birtokos of Snipbury, who became chief provider of agricultural goods to the court of King Karos and later married (439) Sintos' daughter Treska Sapribi.

Recent History

432. The beginning of the reign of King Karos IV (deposed 443, restored 466), grandson of Limbros III.

441. Dallamos is born (brother of Piskos), son of Birtokos and his half-Griffon wife Treska (whose mother was a pure-Griffon granddaughter of King Enos the Illustrious and whose father was Sintos Sapribi, chief of the Royal Guard). He was the provider of agricultural goods to the court of King Karos.

443. In this year, Rewop subdued Griffon's Aerie, seizing its King Karos and his wife Bella and taking them into custody, thereby throwing the Griffon order into a state of chaos. Direct rule as yet extends only to the capital and its immediate environs.

19th of Sun's Dawn, 444. Piskos is born (son of Birtokos and Treska) in Snipbury. This same year, Prince Eno was born, son of Karos and Bella , in Rewop's castle.

24th of Evening Star, 446. Narda is born (daughter of Argus) near the Eryien Monastery.

447. Rewop's power expands to incorporate the southern part of Griffon's Aerie, including the small town of Snipbury. Treska Sapribi, wife of Birtokos, was abducted by Rewop but killed herself.

452. Rewop finally destroys the semi-independent northern principality of Griffon's Aerie (in which Alamarkand, the Eryien Monastery -- and later the Broken Carriage -- were located) and his power comes to border the Forest of Keulenesta, where border skirmishes continue for the next 14 years.

ca. 457. The robber-chief Walimengro, of Gypsy origin, becomes a force to be reckoned with in the south around Snipbury.

461. Marriage of Piskos' brother Dallamos.

Sun's Dusk, 466. End of Rewop's rule over Griffon's Aerie. The Griffons destroyed the Eryien Monastery, but not before the monk Aldisos had given the surviving human-language copy of the Lil to Argus, father of the shepherdess Narda whom he had taught to read, with instructions to give it to her on her twentieth birthday. (However, come her twentieth birthday, she had fled Griffon's Aerie with Piskos, who had killed the master of the pub where she worked). Karos, released from Rewop's control, returned to the capital, but he has been kept a virtual prisoner by the Griffon nobles who effectively ruled the kingdom during his absence.

Evening Star, 466. Prince Eno, who planned to marry the Gypsy Sara Jade Swallowstripe, was killed by bandits in the north of Griffon's Aerie. Jade and some of her associates dutifully returned the body to King Karos, but he, believing they were responsible for his death, ordered her execution. She escaped, however, and the Griffon bands sent out in pursuit of her committed various atrocities which have made them very unpopular in the world at large.