Gold Coast: History and Background

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Infragris
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Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Infragris » 13 Jul 2014, 20:58

I realize that a lot of things in regards to this region are already fixed in people's minds and finished exterior work, so this is mostly an attempt to give the region some more historical weight, to be used in quests and dialogue. Most things in here are based on actual, if sometimes rather obscure, in-game references, though a lot of it is pure speculation as well. I had a rough draft of this lying around, but was inspired to present it by Worsas' Survival Plan, especially the emphasis on political and story-technical planning. If there is anything here you object to, or if it conflicts with previously made concepts and agreements, do not hesitate to say so. Alternatively, a lot of ideas here could be recycled in later regions if there is no place for them right now.

Some things that might be worth considering: when was the village of Brina Cross founded, and what was its impetus? What economical purpose does it serve today, and how does this effect the lives of the populace? Where would Remanite and Legion fortresses be built and why? Are they still manned and if not, why? Who are the current political players in the Gold Coast, and what are their relations of power with the Countess? Are there feudal levels beneath the Countess (knights, lords, ...), and do they hold farms, estates in the region? On what do they subside (mining, farming, taxes)? What of places of religious importance: chapels for the Imperial Cult and its saints, Daedric shrines, Redguard Ansei worship, Ayleid sanctuaries? How will we conceptualize the border crossing with Valenwood and Hammerfell in terms of border towns, trade roads etc?

THE GOLD COAST
The County of Anvil, also known as the Gold Coast (or the Trident Coast) consists of the entire western seaboard of Cyrodiil. Its name derives from its windswept plains of yellow grass, dotted with wind-worn hills and exotic flora, adapted to the hot, coastal climate of the region. The county lies between the brooding, forbidden jungles of Valenwood to the south and the scorched deserts of Hammerfell to the north.

The people of the Gold Coast have a more cosmopolitan attitude than other Colovians, due to their trade contacts with the nations surrounding the Abecean - Bosmer, Altmer, Redguard, and Breton. Life on the wind-swept edge of Cyrodiil, in contact with foreign influences, has made them more attuned to the harmony and poetry of their world, of life on the waves and the plains - though they hold have the martial, puritan, Colovian frontier-spirit at heart. It is no accident that the Divines Dibella and Kynareth are represented here.

HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST
Early History
Prior to the Alessian Rebellion, the Gold Coast was a precarious borderland between the Ayleid Hegemony and their rival Elven nations in the west. Several Ayleid city-states were founded here: the kingdom-cities of Garlas Agea, Garlas Malatar, and Beldaburo, and the sea-fortresses of Wormusoel and Vabriasel - whose primary duty was defense and control of the coast. These kingdoms were a rural, impoverished frontier, whose main purpose was to guard against Alinor and the Direnni. They had a marginally more tolerant attitidue to the Nedes than most, even accomodating independent human settlements along the coast and the edges of their domain. Little is known of these early human cities, save that they were culturally and geographically distinct from the Nibenese tribes.

After the Alessian Rebellion of 1E 242, the lands of the west were shared out as rewards to Nordic mercenaries. Nordic settlers and tribeless Nedes moved into the region, subjugating or displacing the Ayleid and Colo-Nedic natives. Most Ayleid kings had surrendered after the fall of White-Gold Tower, and were incorporated into the new Empire as Elven enclaves with restricted rights. The exceptions were the off-coast kings of Wormusoel and Vabriasel, who opposed the rule of man for long. Relations with the Colo-Nedic peoples were less friendly: the Nordic chieftains accused them of collaborating with the Elves, plundered their cities and drove them into the northern wasteland.

The Kingdom of the Trident Coast
Several Colovian kingdoms were founded, among them what was then called the Kingdom of the Trident Coast. Due to the inhospitable nature of the northern wastelands and the hostility of the Camoran kingdom in Valenwood, the Trident Coast was the only viable road for the Empire to trade with the west. As such, its rulers could afford to ignore internal Colovian quarrels and wars, and grew rich off their trade monopoly. That is not to say they had it easy: during the First Empire, the coastline was under constant threat of Bosmer, Sload, Alinor, Orc raiders, and the displaced natives in the north. Due to their stalwart defense of the west, their independence, and their impartiality in inter-Colovian conflicts, the early dynasty was very respected by other Colovians. The Shore-Kings did not rule from Anvil (at the time a small fishing village), but from their large ancestral castle to the north [dungeon idea].

During the Marukhati period, the Shore-Kings defended against Sload slave-raids: Several high lighthouse-towers were erected in this period, to serve as lookouts for Sloadic airships - one of these still survives, in the settlement known as Thras-Watch [dungeon/town concept: right now we only have Brina Cross as the "smaller" villages - we should at least have one impoverished three-shack-and-a-weird-landmark fishing village along the coast, I think.] It is said that the crown of the Trident Coast was a great copper helmet, studded with Sload-teeth - an artifact now thought lost [unique artifact].

Of all the Colovian kingdoms, the Trident Coast suffered most form the arrival of the Reguard in 1E 808: large swathes of the north were annexed, and the Redguard founded the outpost of Sutch there. After inital unpleasantness, friendly relations between the Redguard and the other Colovian kingdoms were established, and, with a large, prosperous and sea-faring neigbor to the north, the trade monopoly of the Trident Coast diminished.

The Oloi Dynasty
Disaster struck in the shape of the Thrassian Plague, which practically wiped out the population of the west between 1E 2200 and 1E 2260. The ruling family was decimated, and the crown fell into the hands of the governor of Anvil, Bendu Olo. A gifted ruler, Olo united the nations of the Abecean in a punitive expedition against the Sload. Afterwards, he maintained internal unity between the Colovian Estates in the shape of the Oloi Confederacy, which presented - for the first time - a united front against the Alessian east. Deprived of trade and tribute, the Alessian theocracy collapsed, followed by the particularly destructive War of Righteousness (1E 2321-1E 2321).

The Ayleid client-kingdoms in Colovia dissapeared around this time, either as a result of the Thrassian Plague, growing anti-Elven sentiments, or simply due to dwindling population and emigration to Valenwood.

The kingdom of Anvil profited well from the War of Righteousness, as they were far from the actual center of the war. Though the Confederacy had dissolved after the war, Bendu Olo had managed to restore the pride of the west, and his kingdom, now ruled from the city of Anvil, prospered under the Oloi dynasty. With the old rulers gone and the center of power shifted, the name "Trident Coast" falls into disuse, replaced by the Gold Coast.

The king of Anvil was among the first Colovian monarchs who swore fealty to Reman I in 1E 2703, and Anvil was a key military asset in his conquest of the west. The region of Sutch was retaken, and given to Anvil as a reward for its services. Anvil held a privileged position in the west, especially as the rival kingdom of Kvatch was in disgrace for most of the Second Empire due to a perceived insult against Reman I during his coronation.

The Decline of Anvil
After the end of the Remanite Empire, Anvil was one of the first regions that fell from the Potentates' grasp. Repeated attacks of Redguard, Bosmer, and pirates eroded the kingdom's power, while spiteful Kvatch obstructed aid from the east. By the time of the Interregnum (2E 560), Anvil had once again lost Sutch to the Redguard. The last heir of the Oloi line died, and was succeeded by an Imperial magistrate who derived his power from a purely hypothetical mandate from the Potentates.

The founding of the new Empire under Tiber Septim (2E 852 - 2E 896) did little to improve the station of Anvil: Sutch remained part of Hammerfell under the First Treaty of Stros M'Kai, and Anvil had devolved into a shadow of itself. Tiber installed one of his generals as a Count, but the members of the first dynasty of Anvil counts were more interested in the politics of the Elder Council than their nominal domain. Anvil became a provincial and neglected harbor town, with a questionable claim to historical importance, and accrued a reputation as center of piracy in the Abecean.

In 3E 249, the so-called Camoran Usurper led an army of the undead from Valenwood to the north, demanding the unconditional surrender of all in their path. After a failed attempt at meeting the Usurper in the open field, the Count of Anvil was killed in a pirate coup after his return to the city. During the eighteen years of the Usurper's reign of terror, Anvil stood as a lawless pirate town, safe from the Empire's attention due to the war effort. Imperial supply-lines were continually harassed by Anvil-based pirates - especially by the infamous captain Torradan ap Dugal.

Resurgence
After the Usurper's defeat in 3E 267, the Emperor tasked commodore Fasil Umbranox with bringing the coast to order, in return for the vacant post of count of Anvil. Umbranox destroyed the pirate fleet, and burned the shanty-town of Anvil to the ground, building a new, prosperous city on the ashes. The large political heft of the Umbranox line allowed him to annex the city of Sutch and its environs into the county (much to the displeasure of the Redguards.) The new infrastructure and prestige of this harbor brought in moretrade, and Anvil became once again a fixture in the western sea trade, which it remains to this day - though there are signs that the latest economic boom is slowing.

CURRENT ISSUES
  • Trade is Anvil's lifeblood: outside of the cities, population is low and most land lies fallow. The repeated misfortunes of the county, with the Usurper only being the last, have driven many people inland over the centuries, and destroyed roads and bridges. If commerce continues to decrease, Anvil does not have anything to fall back onto.
  • The Sutch situation plays a part in this: currently, Anvil is privileged in terms of taxation and tariffs, making it a preferable choice for sea trade. If Sutch gains independence, its merchants can begin to compete with Anvil on equal footing. This would spell disaster for Anvil's position. Sutch's fight for independence, then, is motivated by more than ideology.
  • Five years ago, Count Corvus Umbranox disappeared, leaving his wife to manage the city in his absence. Though the Countess is well-liked, her political position is weak, and some believe she may be exploited: for example, by manufacturing a long-lost heir to the revered Oloi dynasty.

Worsas
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Worsas » 14 Jul 2014, 08:41

Yesterday I have been too tired and too overwhelmed by that soccers-game to read this to the end. This really reads like a well-written pocket guide article on Anvil and the Gold Coast.

Some things that might be worth considering: when was the village of Brina Cross founded, and what was its impetus?

Maybe right after the defeat of the Camoran Ursuper by the scattered people in the region? It wouldn't appear likely that the village, at least in its current form, has existed for long yet. A recent origin would also explain the architectural match with Anvil.

What economical purpose does it serve today, and how does this effect the lives of the populace?

It is a waypoint between Anvil and the inner province and should probably at least have two inns.

Where would Remanite and Legion fortresses be built and why?

The current legion forts in the region work well for me. If we'll have any reman-era fortresses they should probably be ruins, at least in the Gold Coast. Other than that I can't really say much on this.

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Scamp
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Scamp » 14 Jul 2014, 18:05

Worsas wrote:It is a waypoint between Anvil and the inner province and should probably at least have two inns.


Negative. It has one inn - this is a perfect example of a case where the new structure/organizational process you suggested would've been of use. These things need to be made clear before towns are being worked on.

Not a big deal though, I think - there is another inn not too far away just next to the road.
Image

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Saint_Jiub
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Saint_Jiub » 29 Jul 2014, 16:26

Banner idea for Anvil: A stylized sload's head with a trident running through it.

Also, what was the verdict on sload-trawling? https://www.dropbox.com/s/upgiwyi7ixcjz ... rawler.JPG

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Praedator
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Praedator » 29 Jul 2014, 17:10

Saint_Jiub wrote:Banner idea for Anvil: A stylized sload's head with a trident running through it.

Also, what was the verdict on sload-trawling? https://www.dropbox.com/s/upgiwyi7ixcjz ... rawler.JPG


Why is the sload in backwards? more aerodynamic maybe :P


Also nice read Infragris, well done, I would never be able to write something good like that :)

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Infragris
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Infragris » 01 Aug 2014, 00:05

We could imply Sload trawling in dialogue and quests (the Thieves Guild in Anvil could have an angle here), but I'm not sure if showing one is a good idea. Despite all of this soap exploitation, the Sload are still supposed to be a sinister menace, and showing them in a victimized role might backfire. If I remember correct, TR has big plans with them for Dres. Also, engine limitations might make it look a bit farcical.

You been playing Dishonored, Saint_Jiub?

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Saint_Jiub
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Saint_Jiub » 01 Aug 2014, 05:21

Haha guilty as charged. However, I've always been fascinated, in the abstract sense, by commercial whaling and it just feels really "right" for the Imperials, at least to me. Having it restricted to dialogue would be sufficient for me.

How do we feel about an underground (underwater?) Boethiah cult among the sailors? Obviously they worship Kynareth as the patroness of the sea winds, but the oceans are Molag Bal's domain, populated by his monster-children, the dreugh. As his rival, Boethiah would be a logical patron for those mariners willing to pay his blood toll.

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Infragris
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Re: Gold Coast: History and Background

Postby Infragris » 01 Aug 2014, 12:04

A good idea. We should start planning on the Daedric Princes. I've got a couple of concepts lying around, will finish them and post them in Master Planning.


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