History of Faeland
The history of Faeland has been alternating periods of competition and cooperation between the peoples that occupy the various parts of Faeland Island and the smaller adjacent islands. Uninvited guests (Europeans) have also left deep scars.
Today, the Faelish Isles contain eleven sovereign states united in a confederacy. The Comity of Nations may be further categorized into types of countries. Each of these nations bears its own history, with all having been independent states at one point or another. The history of the formation of the Federated States is relatively recent and straightforward, however the cultural topography remains complex and in some cases volatile.
Originally known as the Federated Republics of Faeland, when the largest country Ríocht Fíl, adopted a monarch, the accepted nomenclature became the Federated States of Faeland.
N.b.- the editors believe this article has become too lengthy. It is suggested that it be cleaned up to better meet standards of organization. Recommended course of action is to create this page a portal to Faelish History linking out to other articles.
- 1 The Classical Period: Prehistory to ca. 300 B.C.E.
- 2 The Revival Period: 400 B.C.E - 400 C.E.
- 3 The "Medieval" Period: ca. 400 - 1512
- 3.1 Pentapolis- Aftermath of Roman Rule
- 3.2 The Midlands, the "Alan Invasion"
- 3.3 The Faelish Kingdoms, High Kingdom of Faeland
- 3.4 Christianity Arrives
- 3.5 The Viking Age
- 3.6 The Vetial Period in the Ferraione Archipelago
- 3.7 The Nantes Crusade
- 4 The Colonial Period: 1512 - 1925
- 5 The Modern Period: Independence
- 6 Recent History
The Classical Period: Prehistory to ca. 300 B.C.E.
A False Start
Main article: City Type pre-A Culture
Around 4,500 BCE, civilization in Faeland first began at the site of modern Althóan and up as far as Lake Clesthen. While the villages were very small, a large flood devastated the region. Miraculously, the peat has preserved a few of the prehistoric villages, along with some of the flood's victims. The evidence confirms that the survivors are in fact the ancestors of the Vhaetalic peoples who settled the river basin that now cradles modern Sânts-Nemhora.
The flood, migration, and eventual resettlement of the Vhaetalic peoples is regarded as the origin of the "Myth of Atlantis" known to Plato through various sources. The fabled "ringed city" was identified as simply being a religious complex on an island in Lake Clesthen. That city's name is lost to history and is now called the future; however we can ascertain many things about it. Primarily that it was not a city in the modern sense. It was for all practical purposes (that can be ascertained) a temple complex. This might explain the enigmatic nature of the myths that arose around it.
Main article: Cielin Hüm
Cielin Hüm ("Sky Grave") is a Neolithic (stone-age) hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a small ridge in north-central Faeland. It is the oldest known human-made religious structure in Faeland, built by the City Type pre-A culture. The site was most likely erected by hunter-gatherers in the 5th millennium BCE (c. 7,500 years ago) and has been under excavation since 1997 by Faelish and Polish archaeologists. As a stone-built complex, it marks the oldest known construction on the island of Faeland. It is widely regarded in academic circles as the source of the Atlantis myth popularized by the Greek philosopher Plato.
The Neolithic Revolution
Main article: Prehistoric Faeland
The original, normal pattern of organization of human life, common among all, was the hunting/gathering band or tribe, a rather perfect stage of production and organization, based on natural cooperation with living "machines" and shared resources. Presented by scholars as appearing from nowhere, the ancient Vhaetalic peoples emerged and built clustered settlements. Why? The defensive nature of these settlements leaves no doubt that war was a great fear to these people, and a constant in daily life. But no evidence of conflict remains.
Then came the development of agriculture and a new stage of development, starting around 4000 BCE.
Sedentary tribes with territory developed into major cultures. They experimented with agriculture and developed local grains and gathered livestock. Naturally their ability to produce food increased dramatically. At first the scale of agricultural production remained on the tribal or village level. The system was not atypical for a community on the defensive: a small fortified town was surrounded by fields held in common, plowed by the locals (sometimes in strips, sometimes in common). At night all residents were safe in the village.
With the increased food production, a change in the social structure came about. The village produced enough food that some men could stay behind to guard stores, women, etc., or even raid neighboring villages or the remaining hunter-gatherer tribes. In time, the villages grew into towns, agricultural work became more complex and entailed a number of different tasks, which required labor specialization and invited the development of a chief or overseer. These overseers would be the primordial soup from which the noble class would arise.
A fission occurred in the increased numbers of people: those who remained engaged in food production, and those who lived off the food surplus. The appearance of the peasantry coupled with an oppressive landed gentry coincided with the appearance of cities. Oppression becomes the organizing mode of society, so that most people worked as peasants, bound to the land in service of an upper class which took various forms in the various cultures.
There has apparently been armed conflict among different tribes and bands of an occasional, skirmishing, or ceremonial sort, with some tribal cultures using war as the chief means of procuring brides (cf. the Rape of the Fholscians). But an agricultural-based culture needed an armed contingent to protect the tilled lands from invasion and/or raiding, or to control the peasantry. Again, in various cultures, these classes evolved with different features and customs, but were structurally very similar.
An ideological monopoly attended the monopoly of force, hence the development of a professional priestly class. The monopoly was incomplete, and in most societies, perhaps all, belief was a two-tiered affair, the upper strata consisting of public ceremonial life, including state-sanctioned and state-sanctioning ceremony, i.e. "religion," and the lower strata consisting of the remnants of pre-state, pre-urban superstition. Even the organized face of religion was largely based on nuministic rituals common to the island. Religion seems to be the common denominator among the Çelathi races. Their languages all developed from a common root, but were already mutually unintelligible. But their gods and mythology were all very similar, and even in their own time they recognized that they worshiped the same deities.
Dawn of Civilization
Archaeologists have excavated remains of village sites and discovered seeds and other signs of agriculture, suggesting that hunter-gatherers first settled down to village-based agriculture and herding in the range of 2500-2000 BCE. The oldest pottery shards recovered thus far date from around 2800 BC.
In most parts of Faeland the people lived in pits with thatch roofs, covered with soil (a textbook example of "Earth sheltering" and a clear example of native Faelish architecture). The oldest surviving architecture are stone tombs and stelae, dating from around 2250 BC. The stelae are carved with religious symbols, including pictures of gods. From these it has been deduced that the early pit-dwellings were constructed out of reverence. The ancient writings tell us that it was considered an affront to the gods to disturb nature in any way more than was necessary. Around 1500 BC mud-brick masonry came in wide use in the Vincennes Basin, a prerequisite for city structures.
The entire archeological record from this point is consistent with the idea that four major cultures co-existed in early historic times.
One culture, the Mixhon, predominated in the Gaól Plain. The Mixhon buried their dead (leaving tombs for archaeologists to find) or in some cases had ritual burials at sea, after which monuments were erected chronicling the event. They had a distinctive form of writing not very different from cuneiform in technique. Archeologists have discovered enough traumatic injuries recorded in the bones found in their burial remains to prove that they were very warlike.
The second culture, the Ceniteq, emerged from the Vincennes Basin. They practiced cremation and organized along tribal lines and practiced vertical transhumance, which prevented the rise of powerful cities.
Ancient historians debate how and whether these five major cultures (Mixhon, Agrion, Cenitek, Pasolan, and Gnaghi) diverged or emerged (indeed there is debate as to whether the Agrion constitute a disctinct group at this time or were simply a branch of the Cenitek), but they all concur that they were preceded by warrior castes who created a martial/political organization under command of a "wolf-leader" (a totemistic princely title common to all of the native peoples). Given that all of these people had access to the sea it is possible that trade was not overland but through maritime contact. This would account for the dearth of evidence of trails across the Rhomine Mountians in this period.
Agriculture at this time needed an organization to protect it from outsiders and for irrigation projects; and that organization, once in control of the agricultural surplus, in turn created forts, palaces, shrines, and eventually cities. It is believed that a section of society was always tied to the land, whereas the warrior clans were highly mobile, accounting for the rapid spread of a common social structure.
The First Cities of the South
In the southwest of Faeland, the Gaól Plain, a narrow strip of flatland in front of the foothills of the Rhomine Mountains. The plain is drained by five major rivers into a bay washed by warm Gulf Stream waters. The floor of the long fertile plain is an admirable spot for agriculture. Here was alluvial soil with plenty of water and a mild, stable climate. These shores can be reached from the open sea by sailing into the relatively sheltered Xhorna Bay.
The region southeast of the Gaól, the Qarna and Bel-Air Plains, is a region of narrow coastal plains and steep hills. The climate here is rainy and the steep land is verdant. It was here and not the Gaól where, around 2900 BCE, the first cities in the southwest were built by a Mixhon race, the Arxi, around the sandy coastlines and set back in the dense forests covering the nearby Arxion Mountains. They were the first Mixhon race that ever built what we can term "cities". They constructed wooden houses around a raised temple-palace complex that always faced the sea. Their rooftops were of thatch and a plaster seal. Stockades of bamboo-like native woods can be detected in some remains.
Another Mixhon culture developed from about 2750 BCE called the Loszi; who built hamlets even further upriver in the hills. Over time they absorbed the Arxi. They built ever higher wooden structures and mastered carpentry. Their wood-walled cities were each ruled by a king. Bronze technology diffused across Faeland from south to north, and the Loszi were quick to advance metallurgical technology and were soon producing excellent bronze swords and armament.
The people who lived in the Dheitan Peninsula -to the south of the River Fork to as far north as the right bank of the Serrón River- were the Agrion. They were more rustic, organized into small chiefdoms with only a few small towns, though they had many bronze forges. Many of the Agrion were sheep- and goatherds. Many others were peasants living in small villages growing wheat, beans and orchard fruits. The third major activity was inshore fishing of the expansive Agrion Sea.
The Loszi and the Agrion, as well as many other southwestern Çelathi peoples, worshiped the same pantheon of gods in loosely-associated cults, though almost all of them anchored their worship and calendar on common rituals. Among the more rustic people these rituals were often orgiastic, with wild dancing, worshipers wearing masks imitating the gods, and culminating with the sacrifice of a wolf.
The Loszi, the Agrion and all the other peoples of western Faeland were ruled by a warrior caste called Hlaer. The Hlaer among the Agrion were a particularly spirited and warlike group. They formed martial orders drawn along clan lines who pursued vendettas, and provoked wars with their neighbors for honor and raiding spoils. The Agrion orders initiated frequent raids upon the town-dwelling Loszi, prompting the Loszi kings to further fortify their cities.
Cultures of the Northeast
In northeast Faeland, on the Margoreci Peninsula (a part of the larger Falcatta Peninsula), the Gnaghi people accreted into hamlets and villages. Each city was ruled by a strong warlord called a "Stratavasilos", who commanded a personal army and was installed in his office by a religious caste. The stratavasili wore embroidered xlasa∂ (a decorated cloak approx. 120cm square) denoting their rank, as the climate of the region demanded extra clothing.
The Gnaghi peasants worked under the control of lieutenants who had feudal-type powers and obligations under the Stratavasilos's rule. The Gnaghi developed a written language using ideograms. Their language flowered to over 3,000 known images, and literature, specifically poetry, was a pursuit of all the moneyed classes. The peasants lived in sod houses, while stone was used to build the houses for the stratavasili, nobles, and priests. They developed the manufacture of bronze and pottery; their ceramics fetching high prices in trade to the south. They had a certain Epicurean manner; and decorating every surface they could with endless epic poems. As a culture, they couldn't resist filling every space with stories and legends about the deeds of their local heroes.
Like other Çelathi cultures, endemic warfare afflicted the entire region, and all the settlements engaged in battles with each other, shifting alliances were the order of the day in what is known as the Warring Cities period. Most of the smaller towns were destroyed, and the populations were usually brought to the victorious settlement. By 2750 BCE the entire Gnaghi region was divided into two kingdoms, the Hippian in the north and the Hipparchan in the south, each with an absolute king demanding total obedience from all layers of society in the service of war.
By 2600 BCE these two states' militarism had caused economic collapse. The kings of both cities agreed to a pact: they each exiled their wives and took each other's daughters as wives. Despite the offense to dozens of relatives, the peace was achieved, and the two warring kingdoms had been replaced by the single united kingdom called "Drepani", for the native name of the country. Drepani in its time was the richest kingdom in Faeland with a probable population of around 20,000. The kings maintained two capitals with palaces, forts, and walled gardens approximately one kilometer apart, joined by what we might call today a metropolitan area of suburbs. Drepani rule was harsh, punishing crimes with whipping, maiming, amputation, and death. Warlords celebrated battlefield victories by publicly executing prisoners of war after parades through the public squares. Despite previous follies, this society was still very militarized, with every noble family expected to donate second and third sons to service, and every village expected to contribute men to serve as skirmishers and scouts and food for the soldiers from the cities. Gladiatorial-style combats were extremely popular, with the combatants typically fighting on a raised stage in the middle of the public square for all to see. Peasants were serfs bound to their flocks and under the virtual ownership of the ruling warriors and priests. (Incidentally, the word for the caste in this part of Faeland was phelnc.)
In east-central Faeland, in the Trifluvian Delta, the Pasolan people lived in small autonomous farming villages upriver, and fishing villages along the lower reaches and costlines; each governed by a council of elders, one of men and one of women. They lived in wooden or stone houses with thatched roofs, and were known for their weaving skills (especially the fishing villages as they were practiced with nets). They used stone implements but in time obtained copper and bronze implements from the more civilized people in the south by trading skins, shells, pearls, and timber. They believed -like all Çelathi peoples- in local deities that animated nature, especially plants and animals. These beings were regarded as sources of wisdom.
See also their creation myth: The Story of Wolf and Crow
The Rise of the Viriducian Empire and Felicreideam
Main article: Viriducian Empire
The Viriducian Empire was an alliance of three city-states that together dominated central Faeland. These city-states ruled the area in and around Lake Athlóa from c. 975 BCE until they were overwhelmed by migrations during The Washing.
The alliance was formed from the victorious faction in a civil war between the kingdom of Cruachan and its former tributary provinces. Despite the initial conception of the empire as an alliance of three cities, Althóan quickly established itself as the dominant partner. By the time the foreigners arrived in the 400s BCE, the lands of the Alliance were effectively ruled from Althóan, and the other partners in the alliance had assumed subsidiary roles.
The alliance waged wars of conquest and expanded rapidly after its formation. At its height, the alliance controlled an empire that covered most of central Faeland. Althóan rule has been described by scholars as hegemonic and indirect. Rulers of conquered cities were usually left in power as long as they agreed to pay semi-annual tribute to the alliance or provided military support in wars with enemy states.
Main article: Moadh Eehvscu
It was in the 6th cent. BCE when a great oracle emerged. Her/his training as a scribe and writer of Solasorri (lit. "Talk Leaves", i.e. histories) led to a great breadth of learning. Her/his teachings, while deeply rooted in Faelish culture, had profound and deeply revolutionary impact, radically altering Faelish culture and religion. As a direct result of this "ministry" the nature of the family unit itself was completely altered; entire societies were cleft in the wake of multiple Axatut Maxume, and animal sacrifice was largely abandoned for ritual autosacrifice, particularly among the political and social elites.
In his lifetime the Moadh penned several works describing and seeking to rectify Faelish culture including the Book of Ferment, the Book of Boil (sometimes translated as the Book of Froth or Book of Ulcer), the Book of Arrangement, the Book of Rift, the Book of Gualmar, et alia. S/he also set down a philosophical practice of "Torvidak" ("Avenues") by which one could organize life and mind.
The Revival Period: 400 B.C.E - 400 C.E.
See also: Revival Faeland
Main article: The Washing
The Washing refers to the period of diffusion of ancient Celtic culture and -to a limited extent- language in Faeland. It is mainly used to describe the spread of Celtic peoples among the various native cultures of Faeland during late antiquity. The result of the arrival of the Celts was that elements of Celtic civilization in varying degrees fused with local elements.
This gradual semi-Celticization of nearly all of Faeland's native cultures took place beginning in the 5th century BCE. Celtic-influenced place names become common, especially south of the Aemili Mountains. The most pronounced linguistic fusion occurred in central and eastern Faeland. Inhabitants of the coast were able to communicate with Celtic interpreters in the service of the Romans. By the first half of the 1st century BCE the language of the Faels of northern Faeland (across the Aemili Mountains) had also acquired some characteristics of p-celtic.
The political result of these migrations was an island inhabited by tribes woven together in a complex system which was not altogether unified at any point in time. The fundamental unit of Washing-era politics was the clan, which itself consisted of one or more families. Each clan had a council of elders, and initially a chief. The regional ethnic groups were organized into larger alliances called Deins (pr. "danes"). These administrative groupings would coalesce into kingdoms and lesser states by the middle ages as borders and relations stabilized during the period of Roman contact. These entities in turn were the origin of Ríocht Fíl's eventual division into crown vassals, which have remained in place —with slight changes—since the Faelish War of Independence.
The Roman Period
See also: Roman Faeland
Before the Roman “conquest,” urbanization on the island was limited. Rather, large oppida-type trading posts existed along the Continent-facing coast, and a handful of hinterland trading centers/tribal strongholds followed trade paths into the haertland.
During the Gallic Wars, Caesar raised a legion specifically to subdue any threats on the island, but full scale invasion was never possible.
Legend reports that when the Roman emperor Claudius completed his conquest of Britain, it was Caractacus who suggested that the emperor settle his troops on the fertile northern coastal plains of Faeland. Thus followed the brief visit of Claudius to the island (the only emperor to do so besides Hadrian) and the creation of the new Senatorial Gallia Maritima province. While a formal territory of the empire, affective Roman control rarely extended past the principal five military colonies of the northeast. Military operations into the interior were mostly of a preemptive nature, and never secured further bases inland.
Despite its Senatorial status, the province was often under the command of a Prefect, as the only military units were auxiliaries drawn from the colonists and assimilated natives. The need for more men under arms was lessened further when Hadrian visited the island and ordered a second wall (the first being in Britain) constructed, which the tribal warriors found to be an effective deterrent.
Because of the limited intrusion of the Romans, and the fact that they were an effective deterrent to other invasions (the Roman Empire absorbed most migrations until its collapse in the 5th century CE), La Tène culture survived intact longer in the interior of Faeland than anywhere else.
With the collapse of the Western Empire and the relentless Barbarian Invasions, Faeland became a last redoubt for many Gallo-Roman families. The attraction of greater wealth around the Mediterranean led to many a tribe passing over the island in their marches into the empire (with the exception of the so-called "Alans"). While the numbers are difficult to determine, it is known that the population of the walled province increased considerably (estimates range from 30%-50%) during the 5th and 6th centuries.
The "Medieval" Period: ca. 400 - 1512
Main article: Faeland in the Middle Ages
Pentapolis- Aftermath of Roman Rule
Main Article: Pentapolis in the Middle Ages
With Romulus's advent and Syagrius's conquests, the north of Faeland was politically introverted. Though the cities had continued to the lordship of Augustulus, the unifying strength of his presence was tenuous at best, if not plainly nominal. Falcatta had been aloof of the the cities of the Gallic Plain's policies for nearly a decade, and the situation was exacerbated by the loss of a centralizing authority when Romulus died with no heir. Immediately, the duke of Fhužin, Valeris, proclaimed himself a sovereign prince and set about opposing Rhexíl's assumption of Vallo suzerainty which had hitherto fallen most often to Fhužin, if not Falcatta.
Rise of the Villa System
In the former Roman province, the villas of wealthy elites developed into socio-political institutions after the initial collapse of government. Always self-sufficient, villas become de facto manor-like establishments. In that way, something of the old Vallo-Roman system survives, while it did allow for a parallel to the nascent continental feudalism. The phenomenon was most common in the vast Gallic Plain, in areas lacking strong urban centers. Over time, there came about powerful locals with private armies who over time retained rights to keep their land and authority, and bypass normal protocol and speak directly with the city governments. In exchange for their independence, they were made to grant their forces to any endeavor deemed necessary, usually the collection of taxes in kind. These villa-lords were generally very loyal to their respective city, because its grant was the only legitimization of their authority that existed. Typically, if a rival city conquered their land, they were dismissed as local warlords (albeit often replaced with a loyal duplicate).
The Midlands, the "Alan Invasion"
See also: Alan Invasion
Originally a Sarmatian tribe from the Caucasus, the "Alans" known to Faeland were a largely assimilated group of people from Armorica and Brettany who migrated to Faeland under pressure from first Syagrius and then the Franks. Ethnically they were of Gallo-Roman and Alani stock, but their language reflected more of the latter than the former.
Around 370, the Alans were overwhelmed by the Huns. They were divided into several groups, some of whom fled westward. A portion of these western Alans joined the Vandals and the Suebi in their invasion of Roman Gaul. Another group of Alans, led by Goar, crossed the Rhine at the same time, but immediately joined the Romans and settled in Gaul.
In Gaul, the Alans were settled by the Roman Magister Militum Aetius in several areas, notably around Orléans and Valentia. Under Goar's successor Sangiban, the Alans of Orléans played a critical role in repelling the invasion of Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons. After the 5th century, however, the Alans of Gaul were subsumed in the territorial struggles between the Franks and the Visigoths, and ceased to have an independent existence. Flavius Aetius settled large numbers of Alans in and around Armorica in order to quell unrest.
Later, when Syagrius was fighting to keep the Franks at bay in his rump province of Gaul, many "Alan" horsemen from the west were sent to Faeland to settle and send back supplies and horses. Ultimately, Syagrius was assassinated and the Franks assumed control of the territory the Alans had settled.
As Frankish power grew, many Alan-descended people saw Faeland as an opportunity to escape Frankish service. They migrated in great numbers, and with such varied backgrounds that upon settling, most quickly absorbed the local language.
Many of the Alans settled at the confluence of the Rómhhánach and Unser Rivers, where they founded the city of Aln in 523 CE. Shortly thereafter, a Kingdom of Aln (also known as the Kingdom of Faeland) was established. With the relative friendliness of the Latin Coast to the north, The new kingdom sought expansion into the heartland of the island, encountering the local kingdoms and battling them one by one.
The Faelish Kingdoms, High Kingdom of Faeland
Main article: Kingdom of Aln
By 1400, the kingdom had largely shifted its way inland, and Aln itself had become a border town. The capital long since having followed the royal court, which was now deep in the interior, at Althóan, and based largely in the Faelish Plain.
Main article: History of Christianity in Faeland
As a backwater territory, the tide of Christianity rose slowly in Faeland, to such a degree that it was largely considered a haven for pagans and heretics alike. The Aroës islands in particular were prized by monks for their remoteness, as was the Dhíall shore. A bishopric was only created in Falcatta in 698 C.E., the island previously having been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Nantes (in France).
The Pentapolis, however, viewed the church as under the control of the barbarian kingdoms of Europe and did little to help the spread of the faith. Because of this, much of the spread of Christianity was undertaken by lay ascetics.
Indeed, the other major political force of medieval Faeland, the Kingdom of Aln (later the medieval Kingdom of Faeland) had only token representation both to and from the Vatican. Christianity did not become widespread outside the Latin Coast until the 17th century.
The Viking Age
Main Article: History of the Norse in Faeland
At the dawn of the Viking Age, northern Faeland remained largely untouched by the migrations that had overrun much of the collapsed Roman Empire.
In fact, it had become such a bastion of Western learning that it had drawn the eye of the Roman Catholic Church, who saw the island as seething with paganism. But before the new Bishop of Falcatta could begin to consolidate control over the island, the first recorded raids of the Norsemen began, sending shockwaves through Faeland.
The Pentapolis was assaulted on numerous occasions, but in large part managed to hold off its assailants (largely due to the innovative "Roman Bridge"). Rebuffed, the Viking marauders often turned to the easy pickings of the Dhíall, densely packed with relatively defenseless monasteries. The attacks forced many of the monks to emigrate to the interior (primarily into the Rumanha).
Viking camps were established along the the Atlantic coast and especially in the Aroës archipelago.
The Vetial Period in the Ferraione Archipelago
During the Viking age, many of the administrative capabilities to the mother cities of the Pentapolis were strained. With little or no intervention or support, the Ferraione Archipelago was largely left to its own devices, and a unique self-governing system developed.
With central administration too far away to be effective, the Justices (iudices) assumed military roles, heard cases, gradually assumed executive power, and —like many offices in Medieval Europe— eventually became hereditary.
The Nantes Crusade
The Nantes Crusade was launched in 1212 to hunt down escaped heretical Cathars of Occitania (the south of modern-day France) who had fled to Faeland. It was a decade-long struggle that had as much to do with the concerns of Brittany to extend its control over Faeland as it did with heresy. The Bishop of Nantes hoped to thwart the Bishop of Falcatta by launching his campaign outside of the domain of the Latin cities, with an aim for Argenteau. In the end, the Cathars largely eluded capture and the crusade itself became dominated by the Saxon mercenaries hired to complete it. Ultimately it was a failure that produced a small swath of territory along the North Face which became a monastic state, ruled by a Germanic aristocracy.
The Colonial Period: 1512 - 1925
As the Age of Exploration began, interest in Faeland was renewed in Europe. Spanish colonialism took the form of Basque and Galician fishermen who established small villages in Ligustino Bay. In responce to which England set up a more formal foothold on the island under the captaincy of Lord Brixton, Duke du Puis, who established a string of fortified ports to service the nascent Royal Navy (the Sea Wall). The imperial rivalry in Faeland escalated as the two powers built fleets to harrass each other's efforts. For Spain, Faeland was a stepping stone to control of the British Isles; for England, Faeland represented a port through which they might equalize their colonial reach with that of Spain, which was already established in the Americas.
Meanwhile, beginning in the 1700s, the introduction of gunpowder, new ideas, the penetration of Christianity inland (mostly used as a political tool by competing lords), and economic rivalry from colonial powers plunged the interior into conflict and the resulting instability weakened the Old Kingdom of Faeland.
France arrived much later, as an attempt to make a place for her shipping at Servon and the Sabatine Bay (see History of the French in Faeland), and managed only very modest success until the War of the Spanish Succession. When Spain surrendered its territory on the island to France, conflict with Britain seemed inevitable. Though fighting was fierce and the French did hold out, the Seven Years War ended with the final ceding of all French territory on the island. Although Great Britain possessed only a few other colonies on the island, the 1763 Treaty of Paris saw Great Britain recognized as the sole authority in Faeland. (See History of the British in Faeland)
Relatively peaceful seas and problems with her American colonies meant that Faeland saw little further development from the British Crown until the end of the 18th century. The British Biscayne Company held near unilateral power at this time. Following the 1783 Treaty of Paris that evicted the British from the 13 colonies, Loyalist expatriates arrived in droves and helped expedite the colonial aspirations of King George III in Faeland. A capital, Georgetown, was founded in 1785 and a governor appointed to the Crown Colony of Faeland. The loyal subjects of the colony had only been made more so by the American Revolution, and incessantly petitioned the throne to be made a proper part of the kingdom.
To attract more nobles to the island, a Faelandic Parliament was established at Georgetown in 1791, along with a land-rich Duchy extending far into the under-developed highlands of Faeland. As France appeared more and more on the verge of collapse, massive supplies were cached on the island, and it became increasingly important as a base of operations for the Royal Navy.
Immediately following the English-Irish Acts of Union, in 1802 the Faelandic Parliament followed suit, passing a measure that recognized the King of Great Britain as the King of Faeland. In the meantime, the Duke of Faeland was an absentee landlord, and had established many lesser nobles in Georgetown, granting them large estates in the highlands. In 1804 the English Parliament in turn passed an Act of Union, creating a Kingdom of Faeland along the southeast coast, and at once joining it to the crown of the new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Duchy of Faeland continued to exist as an extraterritorial fief of the U.K., but as time went on, it was treated more and more as colonial territory. Large tracts would be stripped from the Duchy to form Crown possessions for one purpose or another.
After the Napoleonic Wars, immigration to Faeland from England slowed to a trickle. But, as the Great Famine swept Ireland, the Irish began to flood the northern shores of Faeland. It was this large Irish population that would help fuel independence from the U.K. in the immediate wake of the Irish War of Independence.
The Modern Period: Independence
Main article: Faelish War of Independence
When tensions in Ireland flared into war in 1919, Faelish independence had hitherto not been a foregone conclusion. In the Pentapolis, there had always been a smoldering resentment of British rule. The United Kingdom, however, had been prudent enough to make a protectorate of the cities and largely stayed out of their affairs. In the Spanish speaking Caudian region, as well, the local people had largely been left with their traditional institutions intact. By this time, the local Fáels of the interior had largely acclimated to colonialism, and at any rate had never been overly abused by the British government to foment rebellion. The British hand had always been strongest in the Kingdom of Faeland, where it ruled a largely English population.
But despite the spread of English across the island, most of the inhabitants were not of English descent. So, when the Irish arrived en masse in the Dhíall, their anti-colonial sentiments spread with them easily all over the island. Particularly among the farms of the Duchy (highlands) and to the docks of Georgetown and other cities of the kingdom.
The I.R.A. had firmly established munitions caches in Dhíall, and, to a limited extent, in the Kingdom. Starting in 1921, partly to assist their Irish brethren, the Dhíall rose in revolt and established a Faelish Republican Army, which made direct for the Kingdom of Faeland, the seat of British authority in Faeland. Initially, the goal was to disrupt British operations and relieve pressure for their comrades back home.
Ironically, most of the fighting in this war of independence was localized to this area, which was by and large tolerant of foreign rule. Further insurrections occurred in Caudia and the Pentapolis, but these were nowhere near as violent and likely gave outlet to radicals by virtue of fortuitous timing. The Dhíall was mostly untouched by the war, though reprisal Royal Navy bombardments did occur. Caudia experienced a mass exodus of British nationals, to the point that the Spanish-speaking population fortified its border and simply waited out the war in a more passive role.
In 1921, with the Anglo-Irish Treaty in place, it was obvious that the British would soon have more forces to commit to battle. The decisive moment arrived in 1924, when the forces of the Pentapolis sallied from their lands and marched to relieve the siege of the F.R.A. forces in Georgetown. Seeing that the situation could only get bloodier, all sides agreed to negotiations.
Peace and Culmination of Talks
In the confusion of rebellion and aftermath, ceasefires and negotiations, several entities had declared themselves independent from the U.K. independently. Rather than negotiate with all of them, the United Kingdom agreed to grant total independence to the polities in federation, with a special condition that the former Kingdom of Faeland be admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations. Faeland rejected this measure in an island wide referendum, and it was decided to abolish the Kingdom (King George V officially abdicated the throne) and allow a "Dominion of Litus" to remain. It would be allowed to join the Commonwealth peacefully, but not recognize the English monarch as King of Faeland, but as Monarch in the Dominion of Litus. March 10, 1925 concluded discussions with the Treaty of London.
Following British evacuation, the pressing issue for Faeland concerned unification. Having just ousted a foreign ruler, no one state would submit to the other. Summit after summit was held in Madrid, Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Washington D.C., as the leaders sought aid in finding a workable compromise. In the meantime, the various provisional governments coagulated and solidified into proper nation-states. The major exception was Litus, whose Anglo-Saxon population was convulsing under harsh treatment from the remaining Dhíalleen guerrillas. Georgetown was continually rocked by terrorist attacks from one side or the other.
Having formed a Provisional Alliance for the duration of the unification talks, all of the states swore non-aggression and mutual defense pacts with one another. The Alliance threatened to breakdown in 1933 when, in an effort to curb attacks in its own cities, the Pentapolis occupied northern Litus, threatening to forcibly evict all Dhíalleen in the country.
Main article: Faelish Civil War
As the opposing sides in Litus battled each other, some had based themselves in the occupied cities of the northeast, eventually the attacks spread there. At another summit in New York, it was decided that the Dhíalleen Irish had a definite homeland in the Dhíall, and should return or peaceably take up residence in Litus. A coalition force entered the Dominion and held new elections. Knowing that the returns would be favorable to the Anglo-Saxons (only residents could vote), a large proportion of the Dhíalleen migrated back to their pre-war homes.
In 1935 a constitution was ratified by all the member countries creating the Federated Republics of Faeland.
The Modern Period: 1935 to the Present
Pre-War Years and W.W.II
Main article: Faeland in World War II
Only a year after Faeland's independence, civil war erupted in Spain. Valaduria, with strong ties to the country, was naturally inclined to participate. A weak federal Faeland could do little to stop regular and irregular troops from going off to fight the Francoist forces, and many Caudian units (along with a lesser amount of other Faels) went off to help the Republican cause, fighting mostly from Basque Country or from safe-houses in Gascony. Franco saw fit to send covert units to Valaduria to disrupt this effort. In fact, there was much violence in Valaduria over the matter as the Caudian governments' sympathy for the Republican cause led to non-interference when Nationalist sympathizers were accosted. (See Faeland in the Spanish Civil War)
As well as the Caudians, some Irish Faels went to Spain specifically to fight the Blueshirts. When they were sent home by Franco, the Irish Faels sought out their Caudian comrades and assisted them in their fight.
Faeland is a neutral country, and as such did not wish to participate in World War II. Nazi Germany however saw the island as a potential threat and repeatedly bombed and attacked the shore, seeking to establish safe ports for u-boats. Despite official neutrality, various naval units were raised, trained, and volunteered for service with the allies with support from the Fáelish government. A major theater of the Battle of the Atlantic developed along Faeland's eastern and southern coasts. Some members of the Directory sought to provide bases for the Allies, but it was feared this would lead to more intense bombing from the Germans, who were focused on the fight for British skies. Nevertheless, the western approaches were heavily patrolled and the far coast was a safe haven for many convoys during the war.
Despite official neutrality, many Faels had ties to the Continent, including a large Jewish population. With Allied help, an independent decoy invasion was planned to attack Brittany, but the attempt was deemed suicidal due to the distance between the coasts. Nevertheless, after the D-Day landings, irregular Faelish units sailed to the Breton shores and sought out Allied troops and French Resistance, providing aid where they could.
Main article: Second Faelish Civil War
Of all the Member States organized after the treaty and subsequent unification, the Republic of Faeland, known colloquially as the Midlands or Highlands, was the least stable. An historic precedent for a monarch existed, and the nobility had survived as a stratum of colonial society, and the imposed republican system of government rankled with the local people. Beginning with a simple reform movement to create a stronger national government, Dean Macdowell founded the Royal Faelish Party in 1951. He gained ground on his "Re-Establishment" platform, calling for a resurrection of the Kingdom of Faeland. (This would be the third such styled kingdom. The first being the native, ancient kingdom (the Kingdom of Aln), the second being the British creation which was abolished during the war of independence.) His party won a controlling majority of the Chamber of Deputies in 1952, and his subsequent election to the Presidency ensured that the Royal Party's legislative plan would move though.
In the course of little more than a year, laws were passed reinstating the peerage and royal crown, and the creation of a central parliament for the Faelish people. In 1955, the government officially acknowledged the King and declared the Republic of Faeland defunct.
With the creation in 1955 of the Ríocht Fíl (Kingdom of Faeland) in the highlands of colonial Duchy territory, the name of the country was modified to the Federated States of Faeland. This however is only a description, as the only name used in the constitution is “Fáel.”
In modern times Faeland had been at the forefront of social development in the Atlantic, as well as taking the lead in more ecological energy production and consumption. With the outbreak of the Boor Wars, however, that lead has slipped away.