Chiaroscuro: Chronicles of the High Kingdom
The historical age marked by the end of the Long Crossing to the present day, as marked by Cymrian scholars. There are three major periods within the modern era to date:
The Warring States Period
AF 0 – 19
The period just after the Ritual of the Great Flame that ended the Long Crossing, where the Six Kingdoms struggled for dominance in the power vacuum left by the departure of the shadar-kai. Eventually, the Kingdom of Nordhaelm established dominance under Bryce Gulhaen, the first High King.
The Free Kingdom Period / The Pre-Imperial Period
AF 19 – 305
The period after the Kingdom of Nordhaelm brought the remaining Six Kingdoms under its sway and formally established the High Kingdom of Cymria in AF 19. The proper name for this period is debated, as many Cymrian scholars prefer the Free Kingdom period, while scholars from the Empire prefer the term Pre-Imperial Period. This likely reflects local prejudice. In either case, the period ended when the God Emperor Isthep landed his legions on the High Kingdom’s shores in AF 302 and began a war of conquest that ended with the Treaty of Alnburogh in 305, formally making the High Kingdom a client nation of the Aegean Empire.
The Imperial Period
AF 305 – 378
The period beginning with the signing of the Treaty of Alnburogh in 305 running to the present day. The Imperial Period has been marked by the continuous presence of the Imperial Legions in the High Kingdom, who put down a number of revolts in the early years, often brutally. The last major Cymrian Revolt took place in AF 336, when the 13th Legion destroyed a primal cult of berserkers, druids and shamans, at the Battle of Ghost Ram Dolmen; this despite being outnumbered almost 10 to 1, according to Imperial records. (It should be noted that the number is disputed, although it’s widely acknowledged that the legion was, in fact, outnumbered).
Since that battle, there has been relative peace in the High Kingdom, and even detractors of the Empire acknowledge that its presence has resulted in improved roads and canals, a reliable messenger service, a system of formal schools, access to foreign lands and trade, and an influx of knowledge from races and cultures outside the kingdom. Immigration by non-native races has occurred as well, changing the social makeup of the kingdom, particularly in the capitol, Aulnburogh.