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Mearsiean History

General History of Mearsies Heili up to the beginning of the rule of Clair Sherwood

The Mearsieans originally came from Tser ("Old") Mearsies. They were shape-changers. The Mearsieans and others along the Bren river valley had problems with the Chwahir, who badly wanted to expand, especially after the rulers began their magical control of a difficult land in order to wrest the most out of it. Bermund's rulers and people having magic, the Mearsieans having magic, all made them attractive to the Chwahir, who wanted to harness those powers somehow.

With that and the Colendi empire building (and later resistance to same) some of the Mearsieans decided to leave and seek a quieter environment. The legends are rife, especially when one reads the "records" of one of the emigrants, a young man who called himself Rausco; to read his account, the emigrants traveled bravely across a burning desert (there wasn't any desert in the entire Sartoran continent) to be persecuted to the point of having the Royal Shoes flung at their heads when they (quite reasonably, he felt) demanded ships and funds to travel. Possibly the only shoes flung were from Rausco's own family--at any rate somehow the emigrants annexed the best of the king's capital ships by taking the forms of the crew long enough to sail out unmolested, and set out to the west during a storm period when the steady northwest winds were weakened. Their leader was Tesmer Si, and the ship was renamed Flin.

They might have foundered, but they picked up a castaway named Wotfreu on one of the many deserted islands in the seas between Toar and Sartor. He knew something of navigation, and directed them to the southwest, to a land he knew was relatively uninhabited.

The Mearsieans did settle on a pleasant north-facing coast at the very northeastern tip of Toar, and Wotfreu and some of the others used the Flin to sail back for supplies they couldn't make, and for subsequent emigrants. Rausco finesses this, too, but the truth seems to be that the Flin became--at best--a privateer, and despite the king' attempts to recover his flagship, it was used to the advantage of the colony until it was sunk when, under cover of a storm, the crew mutinied. But it had built up a good-sized fleet in the meantime, always bringing back plenty of goods not easily made in a colony.

Meanwhile, others joined the colony, including a renegade mage or two who had not wanted their powers abused elsewhere. Most welcome they were, as many hands make light work; also, the mages were able to form natural protections along the coast to ward attackers, such as fogs, and false islands that mixed with the existing ones to confuse navigators.

But over time the shape-changers' casual use of their powers became a problem, especially when it became clear that the fleet was little more than pirates, the crew using their shape-changing instead of other ruses, in order to gain ill-gotten goods.

Finally there was a confrontation. The Mearsieans realized that if they were to get along, it was time to stop using the shape-changing, at least to get things. But some disagreed: they felt that denying their natural powers just because others didn't have them was a stupid idea. The mages got together, surrounded these, and confined them to clouds, sending them sailing off. These became the Yxubarecs. The word Yxubarec meant banished to the clouds but, like most group sobriquets, it became eventually a term of pride.

Meanwhile, the pirates were being sought--and so were the Mearsieans, which eventually brought an advance guard of Chwahir, who decided the colony would make a nice base for Chwahirsland. Thus began the struggle between the Mearsieans and their neighbors to keep the Chwahir from expanding, and the Chwahir, who badly needed new and unspoiled land, but were frustrated in their attempts to get it.

Around 3700 the Chwahir succeeded in gaining control of the entire coast, so the Mearsieans used a massive stone spell to drop the Chwahir border watchers, and took off. They ran inland, which had been deserted for centuries--everyone southward knew the land was full of ghosts, and so no one north of the Telder River went there.

The Mearsieans discovered two strange things: a lake full of bubbles and beings who looked like rifts in the water. This lake was at the base of an enormous rocky mountain honeycombed with caves. And the second strange thing had been built at the very top of the mountain: an enormous spired castle, made out of gleaming, almost translucent white stone of a type no one had ever seen. The spires were not built in the usual square, and the symmetry seemed instinctive, not quantifiable, what's more, no one ever got an accurate count of the rooms, many of which at the upper levels were furnished in unaccountable styles.

The Mearsieans decided that this castle would make a splendid capital, so they'd refinish it and build a city around it.

Mearsies Heili

It took am ambitious, far-seeing young man named Ende Bennet and his friend Lisian, who later became his wife, to get things organized. They were good to the land, leaving the lake alone, so when the capital grew around the white palace, the magic that helped was probably a gift of the Arusians, a people in the southern mountains who are related to the Geres of the Fereledria.

Two negative things occurred to mar the rule of the first of the Bennets: one, the Chwahir tried to make an incursion, staking out a hold at the eastern coast. The mages used spell-casting of the sort forbidden by the Mage Council (which they did not know about) and raised the entire cpital, in order to preserve the white palace, until it was brought down again in modern times.

The Chwahir established an outpost beneath, temporary at first, as they were confident of being able to conquer the palace. One of the Chwahir kings who'd been directing this latest attempt to gain land adapted their eyes, forcing the pupils to encompass the entire iris--and then coloring the rest of the sclera black because it looked terrifying. This spell, too, was renewed until modern times: it was an easy way to make certain no Chwahir escaped the confines of the Shadowland: the Chwahir did not want to lose people, and the Mearsieans did not want any Chwahir in their land making trouble.

The second occurrence was caused by Ende Bennet himself. Ordinarily a good man, who did a great deal to establish Mearsies Heili in peace and plenty, he experienced a flourish of grand patriotism and decided to expand and bring others under his benign rule. His council assassinated him when he wasn't looking.

The Bennets began reliable records: they reigned for 361 years.

When the last died, an enterprising woman who called herself Quixeristen Expaut Quirdal took over, claiming to be a relation of the Bennets. It had been so long since they'd had trouble (other than the usual strivings between Mearsiean and Chwahir) no one quite knew what to do and she took the throne--and soon began to waste the crown wherewithal, which had been for the benefit of all.

In the town of Serigan in the agrarian province known as Wesset South, there was a scribe family named Rubinowasand. They met in the back of a relative's candle-making shop to plan how to get rid of the new queen. Candle-makers and scribes are not ordinarily great adventurers, and these were typical of their kind.

After four unsuccessful tries, they infiltrated the castle during a huge party to celebrate her new treaty with the Auknuges of Elchnudaeb, ceding them half her worthless farmland for the money she would make off their cutting down the enormous central forest. (Again, without consulting the Mage Council--though this time it was willful.)

They doused her wine with heavy sleepweed (telling her it was poison), intending to dump her onto a ship and pay the captain to take her far away. But convinced her ambitions were being summarily brought to an end, she called on her mage aid to save herself, and the party was dismayed to find out that she'd gained power through the help of Norsunder. Who came to collect her. Her last act was to appoint her favorite, Sesil, as ruler.

Sesil was permitted to rule, which he did quietly enough--too quietly. When it was discovered that he was sending anyone he didn't like to the Tornacio Islands, which were mostly held by pirates and free traders in those days, he was packed off after them. After that the scribe nerved himself to take the throne, though that meant giving up wearing the same clothes five days in a row, and meant he'd have to have parties. And talk to people he didn't know.

Kensintan Rubinowasand gave the land its first set of official laws, called the Kanis Sel Deris, which established, among other things, that heirship was chosen by merit, and not by birth. His daughter Erdrael, later I, became a famous mage, further protecting the kingdom; it was she who made official contact with the Mage Council, and opened up the kingdom to communication with the rest of the world, in a limited way.

She was followed by a nephew, Irtur Tzwiltav. He tried many ideas, such as elections, but most people turned out only to be interested in the usual methods of choosing the local authorities, whom they knew in person. The government could go on as it had--unless it was bad. Desperate to make Mearsies enlightened, Irtur won a compromise: if four fifths of the people chose to blackball the monarch, that monarch was out. Even then no one expected it would ever work--but, as they assured one another--it looked good to have it on the legal books.

His daughter, Ethalend, took over, with a long and successful rule. There were two more of her family, but the last one did not have offspring--just at a juncture when the Chwahir were making a major push. This was the period when Was Edhe, King of the Chwahir, was young, and very ambitious. His older brother Kwenz (the only member of the family he did not kill, except for a nephew who escaped) was ruler of the Shadowland, and Wan Edhe needed him to gain more land, and conquer more people, who could be enchanted and put to use.

It was into this atmosphere that a young seamstress apprentice stepped. She had already changed her name to Mearsieanne. It would be many centuries before her descendants discovered the history behind the family. Its origins were Morvende from the northern area of Drael called Shaer, near a Selense Redien, which was one of the centers of the Great Morvende Rising centuries ago. The morvende lived in the woods, being called Wood Shaer; when the diaspora occurred after Norsunder tried to wipe them all out, this family fled to the west, keeping their heads low by working as weavers, scribes, tailors. They changed their name to Sherwood, liking the levels of puns, but the origin was lost in the deliberate quest for the safety of obscurity: they kept no records as the kept migrating west then south until they found the land with the white palace, which felt like home, and they settled right in as tailors.

Mearsieanne did well; she was the first to use the spell to prevent aging, and had a son by the Birth Spell, who became Tesmer V. When Mearsieanne abruptly vanished, he took over ruling. He was quiet, studious, and utterly unprepared for an enterprising woman--visiting on a diplomatic trade mission from southern Goerael--named Clevarlineh, who charmed him into making her a queen. But about the time her last daughter was born (they had three, and a son, named for her uncle, a king) she realized that Tesmer was never going to match her ambitions to turn Mearsies Heili, a tiny agrarian kingdom, into a vast, wealthy kingdom, despite its many advantages. And so she left for home.

Her son, unfortunately, had the same ambitions. Denied rank in his mother's country, Doumei tried to bully his father and sisters into making him the heir; he was easily suborned by Wan Edhe of the Chwahir, who badly wanted control of Mearsies Heili, specifically the white palace, which everyone else in the world (once they left the border) believed was made of marble, or sandstone, or something ordinary. Wan Edhe had stumbled on part of the truth, and addicted to cruelty for its own sake, wished to punish the Mearsieans for resisting his plans by turning Mearsieans back on themselves. The eldest daughter, Murael, became a mage and vanished. The second daughter, restless and a wanderer by nature, ran away rather than become heir, and married an Everoneth man, later having a son who was snatched by Doumei, and ever after only known by the disparaging nickname Puddlenose. The Chwahir killed the father, who tried to rescue his son, the mother was also killed, leaving Puddlenose in Chwahir hands until he was mysteriously rescued--by a mage only known to him and Clair as Rosey.

Mearsieanne II, the youngest daughter, had also fallen in love with the adventurer, and went into a decline. Her father's death only added to her sense of self-pity, and she basically drank herself to death, rousing only long enough to produce a daughter before she closed herself off from the world, as the kingdom slowly fell to pieces--the Auknuges, ever ready for expansion, claiming that ancient treaty as an excuse to grab land.

The daughter's name was Clevarlineh, also known as Clair.

Page last modified on July 25, 2017, at 02:43 PM