Nottingham is the capital of the Queendom of East Mercia, located on the Anglia Isle. It lies on the Isle’s eastern coast, at the confluence of the Rivers Trent and Derwent and on the Trent Estuary. It also functions as the capital of the Marcdom of Nottingham within the Queendom. Its current monarch is King John II, from the founding Fitzwalter family.
Since YE 877, the city has been divided into an Inner Circle and an Outer Circle, separated by the Wall. The Inner Circle is reserved for Nottingham’s wealthiest citizens, while the Outer Circle is home to the majority of the population. The distribution of resources and access to healthcare varies greatly, and the disparity has led to tension between the groups. A third settlement, Greenwood, occupies a former factory site on a cape to the northeast of the city, beyond the Outer Circle.
Nottingham, originally the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Snottingham, was consolidated by the Normans upon their invasion of England in the late 1060s. It was they who established Nottingham Castle, built on Willem the Conqueror’s orders by one of his knights, Guillem Fitzwalter. The Castle would pass to another Norman knight, William Peverel, upon the disgrace of Guillem, who had fallen for an English Hycatha, upsetting the Church-led Norman royal household.
First Age of Hycath (1141 / YE 1 – 238)
The origin of Nottingham in its current shape can be traced back to the final days of the First Hycath War in 1141/YE 1, in which it played a vital role. Empress Matilda I visited there with her allies on their way to fight King Stephen of Blois at the Battle of Lincoln. She recruited Guillem Fitzwalter’s granddaughter, Gabriella, as her general. Gabriella, in her turn, recruited her drill-sergeant and romantic partner, Margareth Loxley, 6th Countess of Huntingdon, along with Margareth’s soldiers, to the cause. Upon Matilda’s victory, England was reorganised into sixteen Marcdoms supporting London, where Matilda ruled as Empress. Nottingham became the primary city of the new Marcdom of East Mercia. Gabriella was named the first Margrave and Nottingham Castle became her official seat.
Second Age of Hycath (YE 238 – 533)
The Nottingham of the present was largely consolidated in the wake of the Hycathic triumph that was the Sacking of the Vatican in YE 238, when it was made the capital of the new Queendom of East Mercia. The 9th Margrave of East Mercia, Mary-Anne Fitzwalter had first been forced to kill Empress Matilda VI of England upon discovering her plot to bring all Europe under her own rule. This precipitated a succession crisis which resulted in the end of centralised rule from London. Consequently, Mary-Anne Fitzwalter became the new Queen of East Mercia.
Queen Mary-Anne, along with the heads of five other prominent Nottingham families, was instrumental in the establishment of Nottingham as an official capital of an independent state. Thus, the Fitzwalters, the Loxleys, the Cliftons, the Blanchards, the Tucks and the Olivers became known as the First Families of Nottingham. Each had a Marcdom created for them within the Queendom, and would establish a family seat therein, whilst also being granted land in Nottingham to build a second residence. It was during this period that the Mary-Anne Tower, then central to the city, was built.
Yet society remained female-dominated and succession remained matrilineal, to the frustration of the Olivers who had a larger proportion of male family members and potential heirs. In the mid 3rd Century – only half a century after the creation of the Queendoms – they staged a coup in Nottingham, but were defeated by the forces of Queen Cecily, 3rd Queen of East Mercia. In consequence, they were banished, remaining the only Founding Family not present in Nottingham to this day. Their lands and titles passed to the Aldridge family.
Acorn Uprising and Age of Equality (YE 531 – 755)
Nottingham would become involved in conflicts much closer to home in the following centuries. Since their banishment, the Olivers had relocated to the Queendom of Rochdale, married into the royal family and renamed its capital Fort Oliver. They were now mounting a rebellion with a view to reconstructing England from the Queendoms and restoring centralised rule with themselves as rulers. To that end, they attempted to conquer the Queendoms of West and East Mercia, attacking their respective capitals of Coventry and Nottingham as well as taking the lives of the Fitzwalter family’s last Hycathic heirs, Queen Alviva and her teenage daughter, Gabriella, in YE 531. Two further years of conflict culminated in the final battle in YE 533, in which King John I – the first male monarch of East Mercia and Alviva’s brother – fighting alongside Eleanor Loxley, emerged victorious. The two would later marry.
The Acorn Uprising marked the end of the Second Age of Hycath, and the make-up of the Anglia Isle was again revised, with some Queendoms merging with others and some choosing to identify as Kingdoms, Republics or other forms of state from then on. East Mercia remained a Queendom, and Nottingham its capital, ruled over by King John I until his death in YE 544. His wife, Queen Eleanor, reigned as regent for little over a decade after her husband’s death. She was a strong influence on her son, King Richard I.
The Change (YE 781 – present)
Nottingham was heavily affected by the Great Torrent of YE 781, losing half of its original city limits and several acres of arable land to the rising waters. It became a coastal city for the first time in its history, sitting astride the new estuary of the River Trent. The Mary-Anne Tower was brought to ruin, and Nottingham Castle, Loxley Manor and the Grand Temple became coastal landmarks.
Conflict with the Promised Land and construction of the Wall (YE 874 – 877)
See also: Promised Land Campaign
King Richard IV and his Council knew that Al-Murooj, the Promised Land, had developed a new cultivar of seed capable of growing on saltwater. They pursued diplomatic relations in the hope of a trade deal. However, this broke down and, in YE 875, Richard led the East Mercian Army – Robyn Loxley among them – to Al-Murooj, parting with the majority of his people in support. Initial attempts to put pressure on the elders of Al-Murooj proved fruitless, and the conflict descended into war by YE 876.
Richard’s niece Marian was installed as regent upon his departure, but soon abdicated and was replaced by his brother John. John was faced with a growing climate of uncertainty and wavering public morale as the years passed with little to no news of the Army and large portions of Nottingham’s finances funding their campaign. John’s response was to announce plans for a Wall separating the more affluent inner city from its outer districts, which he promised would make Nottingham safer and more secure.
The public responded well to this proposition, and plans for the Wall were approved in late YE 876, before the close of the war. News of Richard and Robyn’s apparent demise only strengthened their support, by which time construction had already begun. John, who succeeded his brother as King, saw the project finished by YE 877, at which moment the city was divided into an Inner and an Outer Circle and assumed its present layout.
The Inner Circle is the central and most affluent area of the city, lying between the Wall and the sea and occupying the majority of Nottingham’s coastal districts. It is the city’s administrative heart, with the East Mercia Palace at its centre and Nottingham Castle in a prominent position on the coast. Besides these, both the city’s premier universities, its ports, the Grand Temple, and important heritage sites such as the Immaculate Pillar and the ruins of the Mary-Anne Tower are located here. Hunting House, one of the city residences of the Loxley family, occupies the northeasternmost headland, just south of the Wall’s north-eastern end.
The Outer Circle comprises all districts within the city limits, but outside the Wall. It occupies an area stretching from a few miles west of the River Derwent to the city’s eastern coastline, with Greenwood to the northeast, separated by a coastal inlet. Notable locations in the Outer Circle include: High June’s Square, with High June’s College nearby; the Champions’ and Merchant’s Bridge across the Derwent; and the Hycathic temple.
See also: The Wall
The Wall separates the Inner and Outer Circles, and stretches from the Derwent Estuary to just north of Hunting House, one of the Nottingham residences of the Loxley family. The circuit has been completed underwater as a naval defence installation. Three gates connect the Inner and Outer Circle, whilst important security installations such as the Eye and the barracks of the City Guards are built into the Wall. Also built into the Wall is the Champion’s Arena, a short distance south of the Eye, which is the location both of the competitive sporting of the Championships and the judicially mandated combat of the Gladiator Pits.
See also: Greenwood
Greenwood is a large derelict factory complex which lies outside the city limits, on a cape just north of Nottingham. It has recently become occupied by the outlaws and rebels under Will Scarlett’s leadership, who share the space with a group of exiled Hycathae.