Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 4

Previous: Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 3

Shaelin left Dalleer in the hands of his trusted friend, Bjorn, when he left to reclaim Fangaroot. Bjorn guided the city through the Dragon War and through the Dwarven Civil War. They emerged as a city-state that nominally owed their fealty to King Yentbern in Jord.
Bjorn ruled through a golden age for Dalleer as the metropolis grew and welcomed people of all races. Eventually Bjorn died as one of the most loved rulers in all Cimmeria. The lordship did not pass to his son. Instead , Bjorn willed his position to a wise human friend of his, Ballath. Ballath took the position gladly. Outraged, Bjorn’s living family moved to Jord. Many dwarves followed suit, not wishing to live under the rulership of a human. Ballath wished to keep a hold on the city’s past, so he took the name of Bjorn as a title in a failed attempt to keep the peace. He lead the city well, but it was not what it once was.
When it came time to choose a successor, Ballath also passed over his own children. While they were well trained and ready for leadership, Ballath wanted to follow in the footsteps of Shaelin and Bjorn. When Ballath passed, the scepter of Dalleer went to a philosopher and friend of Ballath’s named Skizofren. This man took up the title of Bjorn.
Skizofren seemed like a wise and just choice during Ballath’s life, but after his friend’s death he began drinking heavily. Some claimed that it was no longer blood that flowed through his veins, but red wine. Skizofren made foolish and insane laws while drunk and he was always drunk. Ballath’s family followed the path of the original Bjorn’s and quit Dalleer. They went downriver and formed a new settlement named Bradel Fields.
Many expected Dalleer to collapse under Skizofren’s rule, but the man proved them wrong. The populace plotted a revolt. Skizofren befriended key members of the revolution during his drunken escapades and stopped the revolt before it began. The actions of a reckless mage opened Dalleer up to interdimensional attack. Skizofren drunkenly led his people through the portal to find a means to close it. An army from the new city of Bradel Fields threatened Daller. Skizofren led the citizens in building catapults and trenches that warded off the attack. He organized crop planting and seemed to miraculously predict which crop’s would survive and where they would thrive. Skizofren’s tenure as the Bjorn seemed blessed by the gods despite his constant drunken state.
Skizofren ruled for close to one hundred years. When his time came he named a unknown young man as his successor. The people honored Skizofren’s request and made the young man the Bjorn. This Bjorn became stark mad when he took the throne. He blundered through problems for Dalleer, but never with the same style and flair as Skizofren. The people of Dalleer were too attached to the ways of Skizofren to remove the man from office. Instead they largely removed power from the Bjorn and gave his advisors discretion in how they led the city. The position of Bjorn became largely ceremonial.
The tradition of each Bjorn naming their successor remained. Every Bjorn since Skizofren has named an insane male human as his successor. The Bjorn is now a figurehead for an unstructured oligarchy that rules Dalleer from behind their puppet.

Bradel Fields
Ballath’s children quit Dalleer when they were passed over for succession. They went down the Black River and settled near the mouth of the river on the Caspian. The eldest daughter, Luwia, named the new settlement Bradel Fields. Luwia ruled as queen of Bradel Fields and named her brothers and sisters as nobles who shared in the power of the state. Their government would not be the tyrannical form that had taken root in Dalleer.
Bradel Fields grew over the years. Many people immigrated from the smaller towns and villages in the area to the safety of the larger city. There were those who were frustrated with the decline in Dalleer politics. They followed in the footsteps of Ballath’s children, coming to Bradel Fields with the wealth and possessions they’d collected in Dalleer. Bradel Fields harvests were plentiful and supported a thriving population.
The rulers of Bradel Fields became famous for respecting the needs and desires of their citizens. An order of mounted knights was formed to protect the villages around the city-state from monstrous attacks. Roads were built to connect people within the city’s sphere of influence. Public works projects were undertaken to improve the city’s safety and commerce. Bradel Fields grew into one of the most influential cities of Eastern Cimmeria.
The leaders of Bradel Fields held on to their grudge towards Dalleer and this inevitably led to war between the two city-states. Neither side gained a commanding upper hand. Arguably, Bradel Fields was the loser as over time support for the royal family diminished. The rulers were never ones to ignore their people’s wishes though. To prevent future wasteful wars, the royal family voluntarily reformed their city from a oligarchic monarchy into a representative republic with votes based on property ownership.

Next: Kingdoms Sprouting Up Part 5

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