Queendom of East Mercia
The Queendom of East Mercia is a country and state of the Anglia Isle, located on the northeast coast and incorporating the Trent Estuary and several small islands. Its capital city is Nottingham. It borders the Queendoms of Yorvikton and West Mercia, and is separated from the Queendom of Chiltern by a region of wasteland left from the Great Torrent of 1921. With a population of 9 million, it is the largest and most populous country of the Isle.
The Queendom is divided into six Duchies, each with its own capital city and each presided over by one of its Founding Families. Its current monarch is King John II, of the founding Fitzwalter family, who rules with the support of the Council, made up of the heads of the other Founding Families.
Outside the major cities and towns of the Queendom, much of the land is rural, except for some small villages.
Origins and Precursors
The Queendom is a successor to the Duchy of East Mercia, created by Matilda Beauclerc, Empress Matilda of England upon her victory in the First Hycath War in 1141. During the ensuing First Age of Hycath, East Mercia was one of sixteen new Duchies supporting the ruling seat of London. Each was under the jurisdiction of a woman, often a Hycatha, who either saw active service in the five-year conflict or had strong links to it. The first Duchess was Gabriella Fitzwalter, a Cyntha from Nottingham who had served as general of the Empress’ army at the Battle of Lincoln, in which King Stephen of Blois was defeated. In keeping with the matrilineal succession of Hycathic England, the Duchy would pass to Gabriella’s daughter, Alviva, upon her death in 1165. It then continued down the female Fitzwalter line. Nottingham would be their seat and the Duchy’s most prominent city even then.
Second Age of Hycath (1378 – 1673)
In the wake of the Sacking of the Vatican in 1378, England had just lost its Empress, Matilda VI. In order to avoid another war of succession, the country was split into eleven Queendoms, each their own jurisdiction independent of the others and with no centralised rule over the whole landmass, renamed the Anglia Isle. East Mercia became one of these Queendoms, with Nottingham its new capital and Mary-Anne Fitzwalter, who had been forced to kill Matilda VI to curb her lust for absolute power, reigning as its first Queen. Decades later, one of the Founding Families of the new incarnation of East Mercia, the Olivers, attempted a coup. Mary-Anne’s own granddaughter, Queen Cecily, stopped the coup and banished the Olivers from the Queendom.
Acorn Uprising and Age of Equality
The Queendom played a large part in the events leading to the Anglia Isle’s Age of Equality in the late 17th Century. The Oliver family, now consolidated in the West of the Anglia Isle with their new city of Fort Oliver, mounted a rebellion. Their intention was to initiate the restoration of England under their centralised rule. They spread through West Mercia and arrived in East Mercia by 1671, where two of the younger Olivers murdered Queen Alviva and her teenage daughter and heir, Gabriella. Thus, the Hycathic royal line of the Queendom was cut short. Jonathan Fitzwalter, brother of the slain Queen, and his partner, Eleanor Loxley, defeated the Olivers at the Battle of Anglia in 1673.
The Acorn Uprising marked the end of the Second Age of Hycath and, consequently, the near-universal practice of referring the states of the Anglia Isle as Queendoms evolved into a more autonomous system, with some states retaining the style of Queendom and others taking a refreshed approach. East Mercia remained a Queendom, though it gained its first King in Jonathan Fitzwalter, who ruled for another eleven years until his death in 1684. Eleanor succeeded him as regent until their son Richard I ascended the throne in 1696.
Second Hycath War (c.1880s – 1890s)
The Hycathae would lose the last vestiges of their political power when they lost the Second Hycath War at the end of the 19th Century. Many left or were banished, heading to the Adrar Plateau in Africa where they founded Al-Murooj, the Promised Land.
The Change (1921 – present)
East Mercia was severely affected by the Great Torrent of 1921, being almost halved in surface area. Parts of the former coastline survived as a series of small islands, and sea tides rendered much of the land infertile. The agrarian elements of the Queendom suffered heavily as a result, and East Mercia passed through a period known as the Long Famine, lasting from the 1940s approximately until the 1980s. The shortages created a hostile climate, and the people of the Queendoms flocked to their major cities for protection, East Mercia being no exception. Villages such as Brackenhurst remain mostly abandoned to this day as a result, with the bulk of the population residing in Nottingham.
Conflict with the Promised Land (2014 – 2017)
East Mercia’s severe losses from the Great Torrent put it in a position needing to negotiate a deal with Al-Murooj, the Promised Land, whose scientific minds had developed a seed capable of growing on saltwater. With this seed, the Queendom would be able to replenish its meagre food supply. Unfortunately, the negotiations came to nothing and, by 2015, King Richard IV had secured the public support to take the East Mercian Army to Al-Murooj, installing his niece, Marian Fitzwalter, as regent upon his departure.
Initial attempts to put pressure on the city’s elders were met with their firm resistance, so King Richard was compelled to escalate the conflict into all-out war in 2016. Back in East Mercia, the lack of clear information and the drain on financial resources caused tension. The growing strain on public morale was being exploited by political agitators such as Will Scarlett. Also, Marian had now abdicated and Richard’s brother, John Fitzwalter, had assumed the position of regent. His solution to the increasing tension was to appeal to the people’s need for security by splitting Nottingham into Inner and Outer Circles, and constructing a Wall to separate them. The plans were supported by the majority, and support only increased with the news, brought by returning survivors, that King Richard and several of his army, including champion archer Robyn Loxley, had been killed or been taken hostage. John, now King of East Mercia, saw the project through to completion by 2017.
Duchies of East Mercia
Nottingham is the central Duchy of the Queendom, both geographically and politically; it is largely centred on the city of Nottingham, which functions as its Duchy capital as much as the Queendom’s capital. It is the seat of the Fitzwalters, who have their seat at East Mercia Palace, whilst maintaining Nottingham Castle as a private residence. The Duchy lost approximately two thirds of its land to the Great Torrent, with Nottingham becoming a coastal city. A few small islands remain from the lost land.
The Duchy of Huntingdon is located in the northwest of the Queendom and belongs to the Loxley family, whose head – currently Robyn Loxley – serves as Warden of the Guards. They maintain the Loxley Estate, on which sits their seat, Huntingdon Hall, located close to the capital, Loxton. Huntingdon gained the East Mercian allocation of lands confiscated from the Olivers in the 17th Century, expanding its area northwest to Manchester. Although this and Loxton were affected by the Great Torrent, with Loxton also becoming a coastal city, the Duchy of Huntingdon remains one of the Duchies to have best survived the Change.
Located in the south of the Queendom, Guthlaxton is the Duchy of the Tuck family, whose head – currently Carol Tuck – serves as Warden of Society. Their seat is Guthlaxton Heights, located by the River Soar north of the capital, Tuckenham. Guthlaxton’s losses from the Great Torrent are mainly concentrated around the Trent and Soar rivers, widened and turned into estuaries. A portion of the northern border and central region of the Duchy were lost.
Lindsey is the northeasternmost Duchy of the Queendom and property of the Clifton family, who gave their name to its capital city of Lincoln. Their family seat is Lindsey Castle, and their head – currently Charles Clifton – serves as Warden of the Peace. This Duchy was most severely affected of all by the Great Torrent, becoming detached from the mainland and left as a series of islands across the Trent Estuary from Nottingham and Loxton.
Located in the southeast, Witham is the Duchy of the Barton family, who created the capital of Bartonbury. They maintain Witham Park as their family seat, and their head – currently George Barton – serves as Warden of the Lands. As the other eastern Duchy, Witham lost many acres of its land to the Great Torrent, being reduced to a small mainland area bordering on Guthlaxton and a smaller island in the north approaching the islands of Lindsey.
The mid-western Duchy of Morleston belongs to the Aldridge family, who based the name of the capital, Alderbridge, on their own. They maintain Morleston Grange as an official seat, and their head – currently Deborah Aldridge – serves as Warden of the Treasury. Morleston was the Duchy least affected by the Great Torrent, with most of its land loss to the south as a consequence of the widening of the Trent, and a small reduction in its western coastline.