|Earldom of Storm's Crag|
Across the river from the Bite.
Storm's Crag is a region on the southeastern coast of Gilneas, ruled over by Lord Nicholas Graveshire. It borders the Range by way of the Barony of Blacksand. It is a recent addition to the Ashen Coast, but has brought much to the region that was lacking before.
A large portion of Storm’s Crag is a part of the mainland of Gilneas, but there are many islands that line the coast, Greymoon being the biggest of them all. Most of the mainland is a land of rolling, forested hills in the sides and ridges of the Misty Hollow, which rise up to snow-capped mountains; there are many mines and caves within the mountain ranges which bring rare metals, ore, and gemstones. The center of the Viscounty becomes less hilly, and more flat.
There are only a few pieces of land in the Misty Hollow that can be used for farming, and any and all space is used for such. The various rivers and lakes provide those crops with irrigation. The weather shares the gloomy patterns of the rest of Gilneas, and the summer brings more intense coastal storms. The entire region goes through the cycle of four seasons, in which spring and autumn are cool and breezy, while summer is warm and rainy, and the winters are frigid with heavy snowfall.
The trees of the Storm’s Crag vary. Greymoon has primarily towering evergreen trees, nursed and grown tall by druids over the past few years. The Misty Hollow has a greater variety of trees, many with lose their leaves, and just as many that are green and full all year round.
For some parts of Storm’s Crag, history is rather short. Though the Misty Hollow has a long history of fighting with the people of the Fold, it has stayed under the rule of one House: The House of Auber, and its vassals: the Seabrooks, the Waterlows, and the Woodrishes, all baronets.
Poverty has also long struck the region, for there is little farmland for workers to use and sell. Businesses outside of Mistholme, then Aubridstead, and Crescent Landing were few and far inbetween.
The Founding of the March of the Stone Faces (1,630 U.A.R - 0 F.A) Edit
The Earldom of Storm's Crag and the Earldom of the Fold were once united under a single March; the March of the
Stone Faces, ruled over by House Graeves. However, before it was influenced by feudalism, it split from the Wicker ways of society. It was still heavily influenced by pagan beliefs and traditions which carried over to the current day.
Some of the poor folk in Misty Hollow believe that the land was built and cultivated by the Crones, three witches that are advanced in nature magic that surpasses any mortal Gilnean Keeper of the Old Ways or Harvest Witch. Some say they were sprites that came from the sea and made the land rise up from the ocean floor and the old women meticulously crafted the piece of land to be perfect for them to live in. They spoke and consorted with dragons to charge the atmosphere with magic, and eventually learned to become the mists and the seabreeze themselves. The Crones invited mortals to stay in their lands and enjoy them, so long as they respected their boundaries within druidism. To a special few, they taught their ancient magic. However, recorded history tells a more realistic account.
Hundreds of years before the Cataclysm ripped apart Azeroth, a chunk of the mountain ridges and areas in Southern Gilneas had many tribes of people living within it. Each was at war with the others over land and food. Some alliances were made, but they were never guaranteed to withstand the tests of time, some even lasting for only a day.
One tribe consistently won their quarrels and rose up above the rest. Slowly they began subjugating the other tribes and a feudal system formed as they accepted the King of Gilneas as their ultimate ruler. For the leading tribe showing such loyalty and open-mindedness, they were rewarded with control of the land and assumed the position of Viscounts. They named themselves the House of Auber, established by Lord Rendal Auber. Several of the tribe's leaders were promoted to leaders as baronets and ordered them to build keeps and towns around the center of the land they were given; the baronets and their respective Houses were Aneirin of Seabrook, regarded as the second greatest House, Baerwald of Woodrish, and Eadwyn of Waterlow. While the region grew into sophistication, they continued to regard their neighbors in the area now regarded as the Fold to be savage barbarians. It is to note that their old pagan ways were dropped in favor of the Light.
House Seabrook settled on the sea, where their clan inhabited previously and built up their towns quickly. They named the port town Crescent Landing and it brought in the most revenue for the Misty Hollow - and the Aubers - which brought them a very high regard within the viscounty. Because of the loyalty given, Lord Rendal married one of the Seabrook daughters and cemented an alliance which would last centuries.
The Woodrishes were the second most prosperous of the lower houses. Lord Baerwald managed to establish two towns because of the sheer size of his clan before, and those turned into Woodhurst and Lucant. A hefty mining operation was run from the hamlets and they are attributed to discovering not only the beginnings of a massive cave system in the mountains, but also the rare and precious ores, metals, and gemstones that the viscounty still enjoys in the present day.
The Waterlows were the last of the Baronets, but they were just as important. They were given the charge to cultivate and farm the unforested land. This created a poorer sort of culture, as farm work, though important, never garners much gold. Forsthold remained a crucial part of the Misty Hollows survival, but following the death of Lord Rendal, they were unappreciated.
Under Lord Rendal’s son, Beric Auber, the population of the Misty Hollow boomed. Though they could before, there was a heavy strain of food growth in the area because of the lack of farmland. Imports were not yet as frequent as they are present times, so the Hollow had to rely on itself. Decades passed, and the populace grew, causing a great deal of problems regarding agriculture.
The Destruction of House Graeves Edit
Closer to the year 1,000 F.A, the black wyrm Larelion began plaguing Gilneas. Lord Cynric Graeves joined the Dragonslayer Cohort to fell the beast, however, he was brutally killed. His youngest brother, Rian, and the last son of House Graeves became the Marcher Lord of the Stone Faces at a small age of twenty-one, and the youth was never meant to become a lord.
The boy signed on to avenge his brother's death and he ended up perishing at the fault of the dreaded wyrm. Rian, however, had a mistress who was unknowingly with child. After the last direct heir to House Graeves perished, the Inquisition swooped in to burn the pagans and convert the region to the worship of the Light. The mistress fled from what is now Moonfall to the Final Light's Gambit, at the time, known as Graveshire. She claimed to be a peasant and had no surname. The knights of the Inquisition gave her the name of the town as a surname, as they did with all the peasants who converted without a name; and so, it is not known, but the House of Graveshire is a bastard line of House Graeves. This would prove to be a twist of ironic fate later on.
The Hunger Uprising (1070 - 1085 F.A) (W I P) Edit
Because of the strife in the region, the March was split into two earldoms: The Earldom of the Ixusus and the Earldom of the Fold. (W I P).Lord Beric was past middle aged when the uprisings finally broke out. He had tried to deal with the inevitable by increasing trade deals and pacts, marriage alliances with his vassals to outsiders, and overall doing damage control with the area, but the subtle rumblings of turmoil finally erupted.
The Lord Caedmon of Waterlow marched to Aubridstead and vowed to rebel and stop sending in food to the capital if the Aubers continued to not act. Lord Beric did not listen and sent the baronet running back to his hamlet with a warning. But, the Waterlows and Forsthold were not done with their liege lord.
In silent rebellion, paganism took root once more, and the Caedmon ordered all food being shipped to the city to be halted. No longer would the Aubers take them for granted. The people of Aubridstead starved and eventually the nobles felt it as well. Beric was displeased with the disloyalty.
In return, the viscount gathered his own force, marched to Forsthold and infiltrated the keep that Caedmon called his home. A peace treaty was discussed, but for being disloyal, he took Lord Caedmon’s sister and forced her to wed him; in exchange, more farmland was plotted out near Aubridstead and used to help feed that town alone so Forsthold only needed to supply the other two baronetcies.
The treaty only proved to be a temporary solution. A perpetual dam burst after Beric died and left his lady-wife as Lady-Protector while her son, Hiroc I, was growing. At the time, he only had eleven winters under his belt, but he demanded to be in charge. The boy looked to the Fold and saw a solution within it. He ordered a small unit to begin crossing the mountains and reaping the Earldom’s harvest.
The First War of Wheat (1085 - 1090 F.A) Edit
After many years skirmishes, the Fold mobilized to attack the Misty Hollow. Lord Hiroc I ordered troops specialized for combat in the mountain trails and rolling, forested hills to fight the dragon-worshipping enemy. The main chunk of fighting lasted for two years, made up of guerilla war tactics and quick, precise
strikes on weak points.
The Fold was not able to push into the mountains, ending the first part of the war in a retreat. Borders were tightened and it became difficult to cross over. Keen eyes were kept on those who crossed over and questioned on their purpose in the region. Both sides ended the fighting because of heavy casualties.
The conflict was dubbed the War of Wheat, for it was over the grain for the peasants to make even the most basic of staples: bread.
A Brief Treaty (1090 - 1110 F.A) Edit
Lord Hiroc Auber proposed a treaty between the two. The region still needed food to feed the masses. The Earl of the Fold agreed. A strained peace treaty was signed and observed for many years, and a network of trade was set up. In exchange for food, the Misty Hollow sent over rare gems and metals to the earldom. The commonfolk on each side became unhappy to be working with the other side that slaughtered their families, but the Misty Hollow’s people agreed that food was much more important than their pride.
When Hiroc I reached his thirties, he became very ill. It continued for months until finally, he died. His son, Hiroc II took the throne at 15 years of age and quickly blamed the food given to them by the Fold, claiming it to be purposely contaminated to cause such a tragedy. The Fold denied such claims. However, with prejudice against the earldom running high, it did not take much for support for another war to rise within the smallfolk.
Because of the rash accusations, the Fold started to trickle down how much food they were sending down to the Misty Hollow. In return, the Misty Hollow completely cut off its mineral, metals, and gemstone trade to the Fold. What once was enjoyed by the entire region, now only the higher nobility could get their hands on crafted jewelry, and at an inflated price. Meanwhile, the Misty Hollow began working to extend farmland and gather more food from the forests rather than rely on what they had. Rangers were trained to go through the mists and shoot game more often to bring to town. More ranches cropped up as well to raise their own livestock. However, the commoners could not sate their distrust.
This hatred continued to rise and the peasants demanded to be armed to go to war. It took two years, but finally Hiroc II called for a muster from each of the baronetcies. The Waterlows gladly sent portions of their knights and peasants to fight for their liege, however kept some back to continue to work the fields.
House Seabrook sent the most soldiers and knights to Aubridstead to ride into the Fold and capture a foothold. This deeply pleased Hiroc II and he took offered one of the House’s daughters a chance to be his lady-wife, which was accepted gladly.
The Baronetcy of Woodhurst, and its lords, the Woodrishes, did not respond to the muster right away. They took their time formulating a response.
Woodrish Massacre (1109 F.A) Edit
House Woodrish collectively disagreed with their lord about attacking the Fold, believing that they should settle things more peacefully and come up with a permanent solution that would allow the Misty Hollow to rely on itself solely for food. Lord Hiroc II warned them once that their insubordination. However, the words were not heeded.
The Woodrishes pulled all support and trade from the Aubers to show their disdain, which ended in their fiery demise. Hiroc II sent all of his war machines to Lucant, one of House Woodrishes towns, and leveled it completely, killing all innocent civilians and many of the members of House Woodrish.
Whoever did not perish at Lucant, the current Lord Auber sent assassins to slit the throats of those remaining, and House Woodrish became a dead House, and Woodhurst was left with confused civilians, who fled to both Crescent Landing and Forsthold for assistance.
To provide military training, keeps and towers were built for the sole purpose of teaching the art of combat to those who wished to learn, free of charge so long as those who enrolled pledged to serve the Aubers and their respective baronets for a time. The Seabrooks, once again, provided some of the best troops for the cause and were rewarded with more land.
The Second War of Wheat and the Reign of Elderic Auber (1110 - 1140 F.A) Edit
Now without opposition, the Misty Hollow freely attacked the Fold. The two areas fought relentlessly against each other until the Fold launched an attack on Aubridstead to end the war first and leave the Hollow without a leader. Hiroc II was aware of the mistmancers within the Hollow and sought them out to aid in the war effort. The mysterious group agreed, and when the Fold charged into the Misty Hollow and close to Aubridstead, the mists in the night thickened and took on a quality that made it hard for the soldiers and mounts to breathe and slowed them down considerably.
In the night, a Seabrook, Sir Raedric, launched a surprise attack, flanking the Fold forces and sweeping into them from behind. The enemy forces were caught by surprise and Raedric was named a Champion of the Misty Hollow and a war hero, hailed for his efforts.
Repairs were started on Aubridstead and the surrounding woods and towns that were damaged by the attacks. Another Treaty was ordered and for compensation for their crimes against their neighbors, the Fold was to give a portion of its harvests to the Hollow, which they agreed, but the Fold accused Hiroc II and Raedric of vile magic weaving as the mists did not feel normal to them. Still, the Fold complied, rather than stir up another conflict, and a peace finally came upon the two regions.
Hiroc II died in peace at an old age under a Misty Hollow now crawling out of poverty and under the command of his oldest son, Elderic, who maintained the pact between the Misty Hollow and the Fold. Under his command, Aubridstead grew, and he made alliances with trade overlords to make his treasure grow in exchange for special protection for their goods and businesses. This group became known as the Oligarchy, who helped fund all the viscounty’s smaller expenses.
The Mistmancers shrunk back into their hiding, sticking to their caves in the mountains and beneath the forest floors. They took in the extremely impoverished to refill the recruit ranks, and taught their ways with secrecy in exchange for power. If betrayed, usually terrible things would happen to the perpetrator, and often at random times.
The Northgate Rebellion (1140 F.A) Edit
After years of peace, war broke out over the countryside. The King and his loyalists against the rebel forces, led by Darius Crowley. Lord Elderic had a taste for battle even in advancing years. He sent troops to aid the King’s cause, and even fought on the battlefield himself with the baronet Gerald of Waterlow, and the young Ottokar Seabrook, the heir of the House of Seabrook.
Evacuation of the Misty Hollow (1142 F.A) Edit
Following the rebellion, the worgen launched their attack on Gilneas. Many of them found their way into the Misty Hollow through the various tunnels under the mountains, and began attacking the smaller towns and the commonfolk within them, Forsthold primarily, but Acrine fell victim as well. Worgen hunters began to pop up and they were commissioned by Lord Elderic to eliminate the threat. This was futile, as the beasts learned to maneuver and stealth within the mists.
While the Forsaken remained a problem for the rest of Gilneas, along with orcish raids, the Hollow was fortunate enough to not experience this. Thus, the land remained uncorrupted by the Horde. But, when King Genn Greymane called for an evacuation, Elderic agreed and followed, taking the remaining lords and commonfolk with him. Any who remained risked being bitten and overrun by the worgen.
Some did stay behind and watch over the towns, and the mistmancers stayed within the Hollow, but did not risk being bitten, as the worgen could not find them in mists that dulled all their senses.
The Founding of the Barony of Greymoon (August 1144 - January 1145 F.A) Edit
Greymoon Isle only recently surfaced after the Cataclysm, as a part of the lower peninsula and seafloor that was pushed up from the sea.
A ranger of the Grey Hand spotted the piece of land while scouting and then ran to the order’s second-in-command at that time, Lady Isabella Heart, the former wife of Sir Nicholas Graveshire. She purchased the land and printed a deed, and during Winter’s Veil, presented him with the deed, unsigned, and offered him the land in return for all he had done. The knight signed, but he was unprepared for the responsibility of what was to come.
Managing and building Greymoon, and then learning the ropes of nobility had seemingly sucked out his sense of humor and happiness. As Berenal Grayblade, Adrian Gregor, and Anwen Vaught were assisting him from moving up past a landed knight and officially as a noble, he became a fiercely serious and business-oriented man, for the Barony’s benefit and to his friends’ dismay.
Treaty between the House of Graveshire and the House of Auber (Feburary 1145 - April 1145 F.A) Edit
In the early months of the year 1145 F.A, Lord Graveshire sought out new land to possibly expand with for the Grey Hand. He took to his raven form and searched for weeks until he stumbled upon the mostly-empty Misty Hollow, ravaged by the worgen and in a state of disrepair. Nicholas took to Stormwind and Darnassus to find records of the possible lord - if any - of the land that he could contact. The investigation proved fruitful, as he finally found Lord Elderic in Darnassus and struck a deal with him: Nicholas would help him rebuild the Misty Hollow, and in return, House Auber would be greatly indebt to him. First, Elderic was to help the Grey Hand in defeating a group of rogue Forsaken that had been plaguing the Greymane Wall and a keep on it for months, to which Elderic agreed eager to do. Second, because of its abandoned state, the Misty Hollow was lowered in status to a barony, and Greymoon, now a viscounty due to its tactical location, Nicholas would make Auber a vassal. Some nobles of greater experience could call this a cocky, amatuer move, as the ambition of the Lord Graveshire got in the way of better thinking. However, Lord Auber saw in Nicholas a potential to raise the Hollow up, even past its former glory, so he agreed to it. To seal this agreement, Nicholas offered his sister, Lillian Graveshire to Elderic to marry and finally produce a suitable heir.
Not long after the agreement, Nicholas had broken off his engagement with a woman he fell in love with, but had second thoughts as he realized she was a warlock, and proud of being such. Knowing he could not change her, and that it might cause unrest in his lands, he met with her a week before their wedding and broke it off. Shortly after, he began to court and, soon after, married Anwen Vaught and secured a political alliance with Ardeiria, completely supporting her endeavors within the earldom until her brother Arwel Vaught resurfaced and claimed his throne. While Nicholas was gone, Elderic became busy in doing his research on his liege. On record, the Lord of Greymoon was recorded as base-born, for his ancient noble bloodlines have been erased from Gilnean history. Auber felt slighted by this. “A old and great House that served the line of kings directly should not be under the boot of a base-born commoner.”
The Assault of Fairwind Port (April 1145 F.A) Edit
After a grand victory over the Forsaken, Nicholas invited Auber, his vassals, the Seabrooks, to the keep in Fairwind where the Grey Hand ran its operations. The night unfolded with joy until Nicholas, and the Seneschal of the Grey Hand gave thanks to Lord Auber, and in turn, Auber gave thanks as well. It served as a cue. The Misty Hollow’s ships blockaded the port and open fired. While Fairwind counter attack, it was not nearly enough. Grey Hand’s keep was leveled to the ground, burying both Nicholas and his second-in-Command, having to be dug out. The town proper was raided during the attack. Houses and buildings burnts to the ground, innocents murdered, one being Nicholas’ oldest son, Allister.
Auber kept a blockade on the port and troops in Fairwind, but those who managed to escape them retreated to Moonfall, to House Graveshire’s castle. Fortune would befall the House, as Lady Anwen, pregnant with its heirs, was not at the attack. Lillian was promoted to second-in-command of the Grey Hand, as she knew the Misty Hollow the most of anyone, and vowed to bring her husband-to-be to justice.
Auber’s Rebellion (April 1145 - August 1145 F.A) Edit
Lillian and the Grey Hand got to work, first clearing out the blockade that prevented them from doing further advancements, and then, with the help of House Seabrook, the Grey Hand snuck into Crescent Landing and disabled its trade and traveled up through the Misty Hollow to disable lumber and mining operations. Lady Lillian insisted that they do not kill innocent people because they would be no better than Lord Auber.
Battles were fought in the forests and through the mists of the Hollow, but they eventually ended at Aubridstead, where it brought it under siege with what the House of Graveshire had to spare for machines of war. Not many buildings besides the gates fell, but many soldiers of House Auber fell until the Grey Hand infiltrated the castle.
Auber was found waiting for his end to come, and did not fight when he was arrested and brought back to Greymoon. He was stored in the darkest cell of the Moonfall, several stories below the ground, where Nicholas tortured the traitor, unknown to the public, for killing his son and his innocent people in Fairwind. The next day, he and another noble house not from the region but were traitors of the Grey Hand as well for assisting him, were executed. Both given their sentences by Lady Anwen, while the execution was carried out by a close friend and highly regarded soldier in the Grey Hand, William Silverwood. Nobles from the Ashen Coast were invited to watch, namely the Duke and Sir Alverdo Blackmoore.
A time of peace was marked by the births of Aderyn Graveshire I and Anrek Graveshire, the latter who died shortly after being born, nearly taking his mother with him, due to wounds she sustained in the First Range Rebellion, blamed on Oliver Gregor. Aderyn, though weak at birth, was named the heir to the House of Graveshire.
To compensate for the crimes of House Auber, Nicholas was given charge of the Misty Hollow and allowed to rule its people. To mark the change in leadership and to spit on the treachery, Aubridstead was renamed to Mistholme.
Reconstruction and Joining the Ashen Coast (1145 F.A - Present) Edit
The House of Graveshire and the House of Seabrook have since allied after Auber's rebellion. Together, they have begun pouring funds into rebuilding that which was damaged, but never forgetting lessons learned during the war. Because of Lillian Graveshire and her work to help the poor in the Misty Hollow, not everyone dislikes the new Earl of Storm's Crag, although their Lady-Protector, Anwen Vaught, was not in favour either. The people regard Lillian and Riley Seabrook to be the matrons on the region and depend on them for their needs.
During this time, Fairwind Port was also being built and reinforced, with strong ramparts, artillery, and a bigger naval force. It may not be the biggest in the Ashen Coast, but in conjunction with Crescent Landing, the navy of Storm's Crag is still a force to be reckoned with.
The Salte Spires are still a rogue faction during the rebuilding and it is unknown what is there still.
Ejection of the Grey Hand, A Time of Skirmishes, and Mistmancer Unrest (1146 F.A - Present) Edit
(Work in progress).