The Dragon's Eye
Aspar, Aetolia, and Dast
On the continent of Aspartame before the Great Dragon War, human civilization didn’t amount to much. Known by older races as the sea-folk, humans plied the waves, inhabiting coves and inlets, very rarely venturing inland. Some of the few exceptions to this were the City-States of the Northeast, founded by an enterprising trading people who recognised that the isolated Yolgen Elves would pay great sums of gold for the barest essentials. Founded sometime during the first millenium Y.R., the grandest and oldest of these CIty-States was Aspar. The namesake of the continent and the cradle for human high-society, Aspar is the oldest surviving human community in the land and the trading hub for the entire Northeast. After the Great Dragon War, the magistrates from Aspar sent envoys to the other great cities in the hopes in creating a permanent alliance with their neighbours. This lead to the establishment of the Aspara-Yeorna Concordat, which bound together the disparate City States into an elective monarchy, with its seat at Aspar. In time, the common parlance twisted the name into merely “Aspar”, which eventually became the official name of the kingdom. Persisting in relative peace for most of its existence, the loose collection of cities seemed impervious to ruination, at least until the later millennia.
As the enmity between the massive empires of Farúhn and Yolgen grew, the trading opportunities became scarse. The relatively small nation of Aspar couldn’t be shown to have taken sides, and so restricted the trade of iron and wood. This restriction caused the emergence of private enterprises such as “The Great Asparan Trade Guild” who aimed to circumvent the embargo. The cities of Aspar, who had long relied on the public trade network began to suffer as the coffers of the trade guilds overflowed. By the late sixth Millenium, Aspar was in turmoil. Farúhn had defaulted on debts, city magistrates accused one another of conspiracy, and the election for the new king had dragged on for well over six years. Then, in 5894 Y.R. the barbarian sea-farers known as the Algan first landed in Aspartame. A relatively small force of seven thousand warriors lead by Prince Dast invaded, finding the country divided and weak. Dast decimated the armies of three cities, taking them as his own. Seemingly unstoppable, Dast marched his way in-land, eager to conquer more.
A man from Koret, Loenz, dispairing at the ruination of his country, marched into the grand palace of Aspar with his hired blades and threw out the bickering magistrates. He declared himself king, and devised a strategy to deal with the barbarians. In what would be called the “Campaign of Feints”, Loenz set about creating an opportunity out of the slaughter. Loenz drew Dast deep into the country, offering the cities of Loka and Picen as bait. Loenz only lightly skirmished with Dast at each of the cities before giving them away. Immediately after letting the barbarians take the cities, Loenz besieged them. He cut supply lines, conducted guerilla warfare behind enemy lines, and waited for winter. At the Algan’s most desperate hour, Loenz offered peace, and the establishment of a sovereign state under Dast’s control. Loenz knew that his army would crumble if Algan reinforcements came in the spring. Fortunately, the glory-seeking Prince Dast took the deal, and named his newly established Princedom after himself. The barbarians quickly settled into the life of the former Asparan cities, and soon became indistinguishable from the Aspar themselves. Dast remained independent, but trade has ever remained free.
However, the selfsame magistrates that Loenz cast out of the palace disapproved the actions he had taken during the war, and plotted against him. A region to the Southeast was secretly given the title of Aetolia, documents were changed gradually, and in 5896 Y.R., the republic of Aetolia was founded, with its capital located at Amore. The common folk thought for the most part that this secession was simply a re-zoning for tax purposes. It wasn’t until later in the year when Aetolian currency was minted, that people recognized their new republic. Asides from the change of government system (Into a democracy of sorts that benefitted the magistrates more), the country remained more or less same as Aspar. The war-weary Aspar met the unexpected secession with a peaceful acceptance.
To the North, the Algan invaders carved out a kingdom from Yolgen territory in 6037 Y.R., to which the savage people migrated to from their dying island home deep in the wild Ocean. The kingdom of the Algan sought to unite their boreal country with the rich lands of Dast in the South. However, ever since the abdication of Prince Dast, the former barbarians had settled into the comfortable life of Asparan country. This lead to a mixed loyalty for the principality, caught between ancient blood-ties of the Algan, and the pragmatic commerce of Aetolia and Aspar. The Algan attempted to invade the Yeorna peninsula several times over the next two centuries, always requesting aid from Dast. Aside from secretive trade shipments, the Dastan Princes always resisted the call to arms. The Principality finally declared its allegiance in 6280 Y.R. when it announced an alliance with the Aetolian republic.
The greatest Algan gambit occurred in 6479 Y.R. when the great Algan General Eskal began a coordinated assault from land and sea. In Northern Aspar, the great city of Yeorna was beseiged and the front pushed to beyond Het’s Flame. In Aetolia and Dast, cities were blockaded and troops land, raiding villages and burning countryside. This war prompted the three Asparan nations to form a formal alliance. With help from the Crimson Company and the Great Asparan Trade Guild, the three nation push away the Algan invaders, crushing the Algan resolve for total conquest in the process. Algan maintained a policy of minor raids until the year 6882 Y.R. when the country fell to infighting after King Ordun disappeared in the Islands of Ix.
The final large scale war in Aspar’s history occured in 6579 Y.R. when they formed an alliance with Farúhn during the fourth Farúhn-Yolgen war. With Aspar’s help, Yolgen was pushed back into the Helsan region and a surrender was secured. Mostly a way of ensuring a continuing competition for trade however, the war forever damaged the relations with the Elves.
Today, Aspar continues to be a centre of trade a stability for humanity in Northeast Aspartame.