History of Ustalav

An ancient land, Ustalav bears a history stretching back more than 2,000 years, an epic rife with tragedies and lost glories. What follows chronicles the greatest achievements, darkest deeds, and fearful mysteries that shaped Ustalav into the haunted nation it is today. While many of these dates and events provide context for elements presented in later chapters, some hold the seeds of adventures yet to be had and horrors still waiting to be unleashed.

The Kingdom of Ustalav and Before

2361 — Soividia Ustav unites the Varisian wanderers north of Lake Encarthan, founding the country of Ustalav.
2397 — Varisian settlers take up residence near the former Kellid holy site of Carrion Hill.
3203 — The Whispering Tyrant returns to life and unites the ravenous orc tribes of Belkzen. The wizard Socorro leads an uprising in Carrion Hill, butchering thousands in the name of the Whispering Tyrant.
3204 — Prince Ardurras II, son of King Ardurras Virholt, ventures forth to combat the risen lich and falls at the Tyrant’s hands. His undead-destroying blade, Corpselight, is lost.
3205 — Ustalav is besieged by the monstrous hordes of the Whispering Tyrant. Ustalav’s armies, supported by the church of Pharasma, launch a crusade against the lich. The Pharasmin bishop Prince Adamondais Virholt, bearing the holy mace Raven’s Head, leads the crusaders to Gallowspire. The holy warriors fall to the undead archmage’s magic. The bastard Prince Andriadus Virholt, young master of Virholt county, is royally acknowledged by the crown, but flees his responsibility to directly battle the Tyrant. Andriadus recruits lycanthropic Sczarni in a shadow war against the lich.
3206 — The fractious counties of Ustalav fall to the Whispering Tyrant. King Ardurras, the Last King of Ustalav, is slain at the Battle of Dawnmarsh. The fallen king, reanimated as the grim jongleur called the Shrieking Sovereign, precedes the Tyrant’s legions into Ardis and hangs himself from the Palace Tower.

Rule of the Whispering Tyrant

3206–3800 — Nearly 6 centuries of uncontested rule by the Whispering Tyrant.
3220 — The vampire lord Malyas leads the purge known as the Blood Drought, slaughtering or exiling all vampires within Ustalav who refuse to pay allegiance to the Whispering Tyrant. A small cell of resisting vampires survives in the realm’s southern reaches.
3801 — The Shining Crusade secures a beachhead in Ustalav at the modern-day community of Vauntil.
3827 — The Whispering Tyrant is imprisoned in Gallowspire by the Shining Crusade. Ustalav is returned to its people.

The Immortal Principality of Ustalav
3832 — Ilmhost Vheist initiates a countrywide census and search for surviving noble lines.
3833 — Mother Kavapesta begins preaching upon the shores of Lake Divirmis, spreading a somber vision of Pharasma’s worship known as the Pharasmin Penitence.
3834 — The census ends with the discovery of heirs to the Ordranti and Caliphvaso lines. Andredos Ordranti ascends as the first prince of the newly restored Immortal Principality of Ustalav.
3836 — Sesasgia Caliphvaso refounds the city of Caliphas.
3859 — Orcs begin regular raids on western Ustalav.
3866 — Luvick Siervage, among the eldest of the nation’s vampires and an opponent to the Whispering Tyrant’s rule, relocates his vampiric minions to the ruins beneath the growing city of Caliphas.
3879 — The priestess Kavapesta dies. Her followers begin construction of a cathedral, found the town of Kavapesta nearby, and rename Lake Divirmis in her honor.
3882 — The Monastery of the Veil, a Pharasmin hermitage, is founded in Ulcazar.
3898 — Lepidstadt is founded.
3988 — Aldus Aldon Canter, future count of Vieland, returns from explorations in Osirion and deep Garund. Upon returning home, he begins lecturing on foreign philosophies and mystical paths to magical power. Within the year, Canter and his followers found the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye.
3999 — A mob of angry citizens in Vieland disrupt a midnight orgiastic rite in the monolithic structure called the Spiral Cromlech just moments before the new year. Count Canter is revealed among the captured “witches” and forced to resign his title. His cousin Aubren Immarin becomes the new count.
4028 — Aldus Canter is removed as head of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, allegedly due to ever-increasing erraticism and dementia. The Esoteric Order opens membership to any with the wealth to pay its yearly dues, attracting young nobles from across the country. Canter vanishes later that year.
4042 — Count Andachi of Tamrivena, desperate in the face of mounting orc threats, entreats Zon-Kuthon for aid. The mercenary Kazavon arrives in response.
4043 — General Kazavon drives the orcs from western Ustalav, but founds his own realm amid the conquered orc lands.
4051 — Count Andachi leads an army against the despotic Kazavon. Andachi is defeated and murdered.
4063 — Arcanists affiliated with the Palatine Eye aid the hero Mandraivus in besieging Scarwall. Kazavon falls. Mandraivus is slain by orcs.
4144 — In revenge for the death of her children, which was assisted by the monks’ inaction, Countess Robeskea of Ulcazar has the residents of the Monastery of the Veil quietly slaughtered in the name of Norgorber, then sequesters the library of ancient secrets held there. The new cult of the Reaper of Reputation established in the monastery dedicates itself to keeping and collecting varied secrets, forming the order of assassins known as the Anaphexia.
4213 — Castle Maiserene in Varno falls to a mysterious curse and is renamed Bastardhall.
4249 — The disease known as the Bleak Breath sweeps Kavapesta, killing hundreds. Few flee the city, viewing the plague as a test from Pharasma.
4288 — Numerous blatant vampire attacks in Caliphas lead to a widespread purge of the city’s undead. Hundreds of vampires are killed. The vampires’ leader, Luvick Siervage, orders his followers to go into hiding and adopt subtler practices.
4313 — A black coach from Bastardhall abducts villagers from the surrounding lands.
4399 — The home of Aldus Alton Canter, Canter House, catches fire just moments before the beginning of the new year. The fire reveals a stories-tall monument of black stone hidden within.
4413 — Again the black coach of Bastardhall raids nearby villages. Local heroes besiege the castle and succeed in burning it to the ground.
4422 — Brothers Liron and Cadamon Treyes investigate and destroy the mound structure known as Kalexcourt in Vieland. They found the University of Lepidstadt to house their findings and pass on their research.
4513 — Bastardhall reappears, fully reconstructed. The black coach claims nearly a dozen victims before disappearing.
4521 — Count Ristomaur Tiriac and his fiancé Iltainya Arsbeta are attacked near Corvischior. Iltainya is murdered, and Tiriac beaten near to death. Radaya, a loyal but misguided servant, saves the count by infecting him with vampirism. Overcome by grief at the death of Iltainya, the loss of her corpse, and his own transformation, Tiriac slays the residents of his family home at Korsinoria Palace and goes into isolation.
4536 — Hiding his vampirism, Ristomaur Tiriac reestablishes control of Varno and travels from Ustalav, beginning his search for a cure for his affliction.
4570 — The Sincomakti School of Sciences is founded in Rozenport. The founding professors extol the dual virtues of broad education and guarded ignorance.
4588 — The first victim of the notorious murderer “Dr. D” found bisected in Caliphas. Four more are found nearby, killed in similarly gruesome ways, within the following month.
4606 — The Age of Lost Omens begins with Aroden’s death. The Worldwound opens in Sarkoris.
4611 — The growing Worldwound forces hundreds of Sarkorians to flee their homes. Princess Maraet Ordranti denies her nation’s historic enemies sanctuary, leading to the slaughter of countless innocents along the country’s northern border. Fear of Sarkorians bearing demonic corruption leads the invasion to be called the Demonskin War.
4613 — The black coach emerges from Bastardhall once more. Attempts to again burn the castle end in the slaughter of an entire peasant mob.
4638 — The traveling circus Carnivale Cosmopolis arrives in Ardis and never leaves.
4662 — Following chaos in the neighboring Arch-Duchy of Melcat, worship of the god Razmir is forbidden in Ustalav.
4665 — Prince Valislav grants Aericnein Neska a term of provisional rule over Barstoi.
4669 — Razmiri missionaries claim lands along the undefended southern border of Varno. Count Tiriac openly cedes hundreds of additional acres to the zealots. Disappearances and the discovery of bloodless corpses soon begin in these lands—decreasing elsewhere in Varno—deterring further immigration.
4670 — Weakness and mismanagement lead to upheaval and bloodless rebellion in western Ustalav. The counties of Lozeri, Tamrivena, and Vieland abandon hereditary rule and adopt a cross-county parliamentary democracy, still loyal to the crown, known as the Palatinates.
4674 — The Ustalavic capital is moved from Ardis to Caliphas. Prince Valislav Ordranti dies of a persistent but unnamed illness soon after.
4675 — Prince Aduard III ascends the throne. Mircalla Caliphvaso, long-time consort of the fallen prince, gives birth to a child she claims to be Valislav’s son, naming him Reneis Ordranti. Mircalla disappears. Reneis is adopted by his aunt Countess Carmilla Caliphvaso.
4685 — The heroes Duristan Barlhein and Ailson Kindler slay the vampire Galdyce in Amaans.
4687 — Count Aericnein Neska of Barstoi accuses Count Olomon Venacdahlia of criminally squandering the country’s resources in the fallow yet potentially bountiful Furcina region of the Dragosvet Plains. Troops from Barstoi occupy eastern Ardeal, beginning the War Without Rivals. Appeals from Ardeal for justice and royal censure against Barstoi become mired in political squabbling.
4689 — Taking matters into their own hands, Ardeal’s nobility, with support from residents of Varno, attack Barstoi soldiers. The invaders prove stubborn defenders and fields transform into trenches.
4690 — Dr. Henri Moritz, an outspoken champion of the people, is murdered by his secret creation, a monstrous amalgamation of corpses and monster parts given unnatural life. The terror goes on a rampage, killing numerous famed citizens and members of the ruling council in Lepidstadt. The monster comes to be known as the Beast of Lepidstadt.
4692 — An attempt by Sisandra Livgrace, 16-year-old daughter of Count Birmienon Livgrace, to run away from her boarding at the Karcau Opera leads to her kidnapping by a shadowy abductor. Searchers find her unharmed amid the city’s labyrinthine sewers 3 months later.
4693 — After years of protracted combat, Count Neska recalls his troops and cedes Furcina back to Ardeal, but not before burning and salting hundreds of square miles of farmland. The fire-scarred, trench-riddled land is renamed the Furrows.
4698 — The first murder in Lozeri attributed to the monstrous wolf called the Devil in Gray occurs.
4701 — The Chastel Massacre. The Devil in Gray rampages through Chastel, killing 19 before disappearing.
4702 — The Six-Eye Stones, a collection of ancient Kellid ceremonial idols, are discovered near Kalexcourt but vanish en route to the Sincomakti School of Sciences.
4705 — Over a span of 3 months, 13 people are killed in and around Lepidstadt in what are remembered as the Lampblack Murders. The Beast of Lepidstadt is blamed.
4706 — Count Muralt dies of old age, leaving his title and holdings to his adopted son Conwrest.
4711 — Current year.

History of Ustalav

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