Some time ago, I received a letter from Istvan the Elder, a scholar and traveller like myself. His version of the history of Idunia differs from mine, and he wished to enlighten me about the true nature of historical events.
Although I disagree with him, I shall show you his letter in full, my friend!
'Dear Fasold, I know what the historians tell of the creation of the kingdom of Idunia. But it is the history written by the victor, written by the conqueror, and you are quite wrong in your facts, dear fellow.
Let me tell you the true version of our history.
It is said we where a cruel people, ruling the people of Idunia with an iron fist. That we where a scourge upon the land. But this was not so. We, the Mountain Barons, where strict rulers, yes, but also just and benevolent. We always treated the people of the lower provinces well, for they are our brothers, you see.
The lower provinces is where we all came from, before we settled the provinces of Ravendal and Sandfell.
We, the people of Ravendal and Sandfell, began to excell in sciences and arts, in the martial ways and the art of governance. But while we prospered, the lower provinces fell into disarray. They began to make war on each other, fighting and warring.
The War of Unification
We could not sit idly by, and watch our brothers destroy themselves. Ultimately, we decided that action was inevitable. It is true that fought and conquered, but only to unite the provinces under one banner, and bring peace to the lands.
We created the first unified kingdom of Idunia, and peace reigned throughout the lands for many years.
But then, the invaders arrived, from the frigid lands to the north. They came in a great horde, and though we stood against them, on the beaches, on the plains and in the forests, their strength of numbers and prowess on the battlefield was just too great.
The invaders where joined by certain families and clans, who desired a return to the times of turmoil and war, where they could plunder and murder with impunity. In the end, we where defeated, driven back to our home provinces, and forced to sign a treaty of peace. A treaty of humiliation, a treaty of bondage.
The leader of the invaders crowned himself king, and the time of the second kingdom of Idunia began.
But then, from our ranks, a new leader emerged. He was called Branimir, a young wizard of great power and intellect. Branimir rallied and unified our people, and began to retake what was ours, reclaim what was lost. He led our armies with great leadership and strategy, and defeated the armies of the invaders at every confrontation.
For a time, it seemed our suffering would come to an end, and all the injustices of the past avenged. When the king of the invaders was slain by the wizard himself, it seemed we had achieved total victory.
The Turn of the Tide
But then, our spies reported the battered armies of Idunia had gained a new leader. A recently returned knight, by the name of Valdemar. Under his leadership, the armies of Idunia where rallied and restored, they regained their strength and fighting spirit, and our successes on the battlefield came to an end.
A superior leader, even to Branimir, the young knight secured victory after victory, driving our forces back, defeating our leaders and champions, until at last, he faced the wizard Branimir in single combat.
Many of us believed this would be a new turning point. That the magics of Branimir would slay the knight in the blink of an eye, and that we had escaped almost certain defeat. But strangely enough, the knight proved immune to the magics of the wizard, and as his sword struck down our great leader, we knew all was lost.
Something had changed in the knight during the war. The furious fighting and hardships must have broken something within him, for his next actions where much unlike his character.
He began to besiege our provinces, even though we offered peace. He burned down our castles and forts, even though we lay down our weapons. He killed many of our remaining leaders, even though we begged him for mercy.
When he was satisfied our provinces would never again pose a threat, he forced us to sign an treaty of peace and submission.
The Third Kingdom
The knight was crowned king by the people of Idunia, and the era of the Third Kingdom began. An era which has lasted until this very day. An era of peace and prosperity for the other provinces, but for us, an era of suffering and despair.
Our lands have been destroyed, our people decimated, our honour lost. A black fog of grief and sadness covers our lands.
But there are whispers. Strange whispers, that our great leader, Branimir, has returned. The people of our provinces have begun to stirr, as old stories are retold, old grievances remembered, old wounds reopened.
Is it true? Has Branimir returned and are we given another chance? A chance to reclaim our honour, regain what was lost, avenge what was done to us?
Only time will tell.