Sooooo.... Yeah, I wrote a story the other night for this, but did not realize we were going to be so limited for words. I could perhaps bullet point it, but it wouldn't flow nicely. So, for that reason, I am going to post the whole story, and if it is way too long to be considered that is cool. Maybe it will help someone think of a short version, or some new ideas. Oh yeah... I changed the current monarch from King to Queen, because I liked that better.
The recent history of Roawia
During the Fourth Age, man lived happy upon the lands of Roawia - ruled by the great Legsburg Dynasty - and peace was abundant. Then came the Reckoning. Appearing in the South, Bolgist the Black gathered inhuman monstrosities and the most powerful of magiks under his banner of death and enslavement. His march north towards the grand capital of Roan corrupted the very soul of the earth. Army upon army of the then King Henrique fell to the minions of the black.
It was at this point that the king's eldest son Gareef the Falcon discovered Avdaniam - a metal that drank magic like a camel drinks water. This metal, when fashioned into armor or weapon proved to protect the user, or at least diminish the effects of magic. Unfortunately, the metal was only mined in the deserts and badlands of the kingdom which lie to the now conquered south. Lensilot the Dragon, 2nd son of the King marched his army south past the main forces of Bolgist, and into the now occupied badlands. He encountered a resistance, led by the former trader Loreos who had set up small outposts to farm the land Bolgist seemed uninterested in. Loreos was willing to set his many men and large stock of draft horses to the task of procuring the metal in return for a noble title and the benefits it entailed.
Although a source of Avdaniam was found, Roan laid under siege. In the eleventh week, Bolgist opened up the sky and a flood of dark magic poured down into the city. Before the horrified eyes of the Roawian troops, their magnificent capital was melted to obsidian, along King Henrique. As the fight moved north, Avdaniam items began to arrive amongst the brother's armies. Soon battles were won and all the citizens rejoiced. On the last day of the Reckoning, Bolgist was caught and imprisoned within a Avdaniam shell. Thus ended the Forth Age and began the period known as the Hunting Time.
Fearing what great mages could do, the brothers put together a special army headed by the now Duke Loreos. This army hunted down almost every mage of the land and killed them. Those who survived fled to the dark isle or remained in solitary hiding. Meanwhile, the brothers themselves decided to rule Roawia together, With the north belonging to Gareef and the South to Lensilot. Loreos, who felt cheated, as he did most of the dirty work during the Reckoning, demanded his own third of the continent. When the brothers refused, Loreos raised his army once again and marched on Lensilot's kingdom. It was at this point the Gareef died of poison, and his infant son Gareef II ascended the throne. The Regent council decided against helping Lensilot keep his kingdom from Loreos. The lion-hearted troops of Loreos destroyed Lensilot's army in a matter of a few years, and soon marched on the North.
Then came the time know as the Awakening. Merrian, the sister of Lensilot, and daughter of the great king Henrique made an offer to Loreos. She would marry him, allowing legitimacy to his claim of one third the former kingdom of Roawia. Loreos wanted peace, entering his older years he accepted - but, using his army as leverage, he negotiated the entire south of the continent. Lensilot agreed to this, and by marrying his brother's widow, he inherited the throne of the North. Thirty years of happiness followed.
The time of Mourning began with Lensilot's death, the kingdom was divided in half between his first wife's son and his second wife's son. The southeast took his name, or Lenfald, while the Northeast took his brother's; Garheim. And there was again peace, but within five years the Black Plague spread through the continent like wildfire. Once great cities, just starting to recover from the Reckoning and the Hunting Time were depopulated by the thousands. Whole villages were wiped out. Loreos himself had died in the plague. He was soon followed by both of Lensilot's sons. At that point, the two great families - Loreos's line and Henrique's line met at the site of the once capital. The wise and old Merrian, who had claims to every throne decided to recreate Roawia as one nation. She placed Gareef's now adult son on the throne, and the kingdom was whole. However, the three provinces over the last 50 years had grown apart. The lesser nobles squabbled over the reunification and eventual determined that the provinces would form the house of nobles - the ruling body that would support the king (who would have no province of his own, and thus could not raise money on his own). However the nobles were foolish, they were no longer great kingdoms, the plague had taken nearly an eighth of the entire population of the known world. All of the provinces had shrunk significantly, leaving many wilds outsides the reach of their rulers. Thus began the Fifth Age.
Today, The year 257 PR (post reckoning), the factions have recovered in population little. The noble houses are still fighting over who will lead each province, and the queen sits on a tenuous throne. Matilda II, let magic not touch her soul and the light shine on her forever, has no heir. At 37 years of age it is unlikely that one will be produced. Her last husband - Wallance the Red has recently died in a hunting accident and her captain of the guard fell on his own sword. The monarchy is tenuous, and relies on the partisan House of Nobles to maintain the fragile kingdom. This is not an easy task, as those nobles have aligned themselves more with their province than their kingdom.
In the great white Garheim, Falkeert The steady is an elderly Duke that rules the Garhims. His law is just, yet merciless. The decedents of Gareef see it their natural right to keep the beautiful North from becoming too merchant oriented. They shun newer inventions and trends, and tend to be steadfast against change in general. They do love their festivals.
Their great rival to the south, the Lenfels, see life as something worth living. They have been graced with incredible coffers filled with gold, as they not only grow much of the world's food but also almost all of its delicacies. But farming is a task for the lower classes - hunting, the sport of kings, is what the nobles of Lenfald spend most of their life doing. Much of the forests (that are not marked as lumber forests) are off limits to the peasentry and stocked with the most ferocious and cunning game. It is said that a Lenfel is not a man until he has killed his first Bullcat.
The more hated province of Loreos still rules most of the south. Although the Avdaniam deposits have all but dried up, they still hold on to their earned legacy of the Reckoning. Many a bards tale still recount the good old days. In fact, most of society revolves around the past. Those whose ancestors served in the resistance, or were close to Loreos himself find themselves elevated in class. Horse flesh is the main trade of the region now, but there are many creative merchants that will sell you just about anything.
With a Repressive tax rate for those who cannot trace their heritage back to the Resistance, many of the peasents have been forced into hunger. Some of these have taken to the Oldlands to the south - once great parts of Roawia, now mostly forrests and ruins. Within the Oldlands they have created a rebel or outlaw faction. Often praying on each other and outsiders. Small bands of some of these Oldlanders have grouped together for better protection. Also, outside the reaches of the provinces, lay those who still practice the old arts. The kin of those few survivors that made it through the Hunting Time dwell in the shadows here. Magic is nubile and almost forgotten because of the great purge of sorcerers, but it is slowly making a comeback.
Thus is the state of the world as the Fifth Age opens up. How long can Matilda II, let magic not touch her soul and the light shine on her forever, reign? Who will come to power afterwards? Will a new great war open up? Will the land turn back the increasing tide of magic entering into this world? Only time will tell.