The Kingdom of Leoben, or simply Leoben, was a country on continental Astria. It was founded as a confederation of independent states led by the Anhalt-Leyen family. After it developed a national identity, the nation adopted a monarchy.
During the Blessed Era the ruler of Leoben was a young queen known as Lydia I, of the Anhalt-Leyen dynasty.
Astria, the Unbridled
Prior to the establishment of Leoben as a single state, the lands of Astria were inhabited by and large by many different dynasties and tribes of Humans, though this changed with the arrival of the Elves. In particular, the dynasty of Anhalt owned the shores south of Essel.
The many small wars that ruled most of the lands during this time were not unknown to the people of Anhalt, and they themselves soon became one of the strongest dynasties in the south, largely by preying on smaller territories with lesser military capabilities. Despite successes within Leoben, Essel came to blows with the major Artayev powers to the north, in particular the dynasty of Marczak. In 107 A.E, the Anhalt family under Gotthard Anhalt came to the Bloyh river in the north, just south of the border of what later came to be known as the Kingdom of Artava. There Gotthard met with the regency council of the Duchy of Bloyh.
Anhalt and Leyen
As the two major regional powers, Gotthard intended to align the interests of both sides into one. Five years prior, the Artayev counts under Ludomir of Marczak had reaved and plundered the fertile farmlands to the east of the Nebelwald. Understanding the need for a greater good, Wendelin Leyen, of the Leyen dynasty, arranged an alliance with the Anhalts of Essel through wedlock. Now united, the two powers devised a plan to drive the northern raiders back into the Artayev lands.
Gotthard and Wendelin arranged a spring campaign two years later, vowing to right the wrongs done to the peasantry and to the honour of the people living under their rule. The brief Artayev Spring campaign lasted only a year, but the relative disparity of troops between the two nations meant that the Leobische forces won with ease. Although the army brought back bountiful plunder, Anhalt and Leyen were not satisfied with what they had. Further plans were drawn up to bring the western realms under local control.
Drawing the Borders
The plans set out by Gotthard and Wendelin would never be fully realised, and even after their death, the two nations of Essel and Leyen would never continue towards Astan. Despite this, the two dynasties eventually formed a close bond, and a successor house in 202 A.E was founded. This house, led by the great-great-grandson of Gotthard Anhalt would come to be known as Marian Anhalt-Leyen.
By this time, the Leobische identity had developed to a point where many realms were open to the possibility of co-operation with their own kind, as opposed to the devious Artayevs to the north, or the pompous lords of Auvais to the west. Marian set out a series of laws that brought the former lands of the Leyen family under his direct control. Using the extensive power of his estates, he laid out another series of decrees seperating his own lineage from the nobles of the land, effectively raising the status of his house to a royal pedigree. With the warriors and authority to back up this claim, it would only take him another 30 years to effectively control the entirety of modern Leoben. By 251 A.E, the Kingdom of Leoben had been founded, the first monarchy of its kind in West Astria.
During this period of relative peace, the Leobische sent out many scouts and frontiersmen to the eastern territories, finding land yet unclaimed by the avaricious powers of Artava and Eskaya. During this time, in the year 672 H.E, in they founded the border nation of Halengard north of Akhatai. Although the nation would go on to develop its own distinct cultures and customs, its origins were firmly set in Leoben's territorial ambitions.
Shackled by the West
By the Common Era, Leoben had grown into a strong regional power, capable of holding its own against any external threats. Although ready for a military invasion, the people of Leoben had never developed a strong culture of their own. Although the peasants had a general sense of who they were as a people, as well as a language of their own, the divide between the noble classes and the peasantry had grown greater with age. To the west, the blooming lands of Saint-Astan were the envy of most Astrian nations, and even further west was the domineering Kingdom of Vesryn.
In 1330 C.E, the King Henri I Lafayette of Vesryn had realised the dream of cultural sovereignty over Astria. In Leoben, many were embracing the renaissance of western ideas, rejecting the Leobische customs. In extreme cases, some towns abandoned the flying of the Zwei Löwen, and most nobles were open to the idea of embracing western values. This discontent would lead to the support of the Ostian dissidents in the Ostian War of Independence a few decades later. However, those harbouring hostile attitudes towards the monarchy would not make them known until a few years later.
The Leobische Civil War
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