A History EditDwynnen. At one time, the very name might have conjured up images dark nights, deep mists, and stalking horrors. Though it stands now as noble, if backwards, barony in Greater Bretony, its earlier were blood-soaked and terrible.
The earliest inhabitants of Dwynnen can only be assumed to have been one of the myriad groups of Nedic people of the North. The coming of the Aldmer to High Rock, however, shook their civilization to the core. Dwynnen’s people did not escape the oppression by the Aldmer, and like their cousins, were used as slaves and breeding partners for the conquering elves. Dwynnen’s first taste of freedom did not come until Nordic Skyrim surged into High Rock, and freeing its people (now called Bretons) from merish servitude.
It is in the First Era, circa 285, that the earliest record of Dwynnen appears in the annals of history written by the Nords. Here, it is called Dwynn, meaning “blackness” in the ancient Nede tongue of the region. The chronicles tell us that Dwynn is a cursed land where the dead must be burned, not buried. A census taken by the Kingdom of Skyrim fifty years later, in the 335th year of the First Era, shows a population of Dwynn numbering only in the hundreds.
The land that would become Dwynnen sinks back into obscurity by the time the Direnni came back to power in High Rock in the 355th year of the First Era. Speculation by historians assumes that the Direnni ignored the land just as the Nords had, but no written evidence exists to corroborate this opinion.
It isn’t until 1E 480 that Dwynn, now called Dwynnen in the Direnni records, comes back into history. Manuscripts found in the Adamantium Tower, written by Direnni historians, relates the story of Aflin Direnni, a cousin of the main-line of Direnni rulers. His story is one of attempted assassination upon his family and, when he failed, he fled to the wild forests of Dwynnen where he, as the historians say, “submerged himself in the region’s dark aura”. It can only be assumed that this Aflin Direnni was the eventual lich that terrorized Dwynnen in the Third Era.
Local legends relate and interesting tale. Before the Battle of Glenumbra Moor in 482nd year of the First Era, an Alessian detachment heading to the battle was waylaid and forced to march through Dwynnen. The detachment, numbering a thousand men, was subjected to the horrors of the forest. A ragtag group of four hundred survivors staggered into the Alessian camp at Glenumbra Moor, bruised and bloodied, gibbering madly about the monstrosities that lurked in the woods, and about an elven wizard that raised the corpses of their fallen comrades to fight for him. An interesting tale, but no way to determine its authenticity; it certainly keeps with Dwynnen’s historical character, though.
Following the battle of Glenumbra Moor, Dwynnen becomes largely ignored by its neighbors. People living in the vicinity of the blighted land relate tales to their children of Aflin Direnni, the Mad Mage of Dwynnen, using him as a boogeyman to obtain better behavior. Beyond this, however, Dwynnen sleeps for most of Tamrielic history.
It isn’t until late in the Second Era that Dwynnen appears in the records again, this time in Imperial histories. A fortification is ordered to be built in the land, as a waystation for travelers. In the 882nd year of the Second Era, this fort is completed. However, all contact with the fort is lost the following year. Scouts sent to assess the situation never return.
Following this, undead begin to plague the more rural lands of Greater Bretony. Attempts to find the source of the infestation always lead back to Dwynnen. But efforts to cleanse the region result in failure after failure. Finally, Imperial authorities quarantine the entire region and then abandon it. The undead tide recedes in the beginning of the Third Era.
It is in the Third Era, that Dwynnen would emerge from its long period in darkness. Despite being dormant for such a long time, the undead once again begin to menace the rural population of Greater Bretony. A force sent from Phyrgia in the 200th year of the Third Era discovers that the source of these undead is a powerful lich held up in a towering fortress in the heart of the forest. A collection of mercenaries, members of several branches of the Imperial faith, and the Mages Guild attempt to oust the lich from the castle, but their attempts are futile. Their fallen become more soldiers for the lich’s growing army, and the forces are sent reeling back into more civilized lands. All requests for official Imperial aid are ignored.
However, in the 253rd year of the Third Era, a mysterious man emerges into Dwynnen’s history. Othrok was a destitute knight from the northern kingdom of Sharnhelm who, according to his biographers, was fleeing the kingdom due to an outbreak of a disease. In Sun’s Dawn, Othrok found himself in Dwynnen where, guided by Julianos and Kynareth, he was routed the lich and claimed its castle for himself, becoming Dwynnen’s first baron.
The Battle of Wightmoor is worthy of its own lengthy narrative, but for the sake of brevity, only the basics will be put forth. Nature was on the side of Othrok from the beginning, and an army of animals rose up to fight alongside him. As the skirmishes between Othrok and the lich’s forces grew larger, men from neighboring realms began to join the fight with Othrok as well. These skirmishes culminated in the siege of Wightmoor Castle.
It has been discovered that Wightmoor Castle is the same Imperial Fort built several years previous, but it had grown much larger because of the lich’s attempts to protect itself. Because of the lich’s additions to the structure, as well the magical protections it put on the castle, Wightmoor stands today as one of the greatest fortresses in Western Tamriel.
After becoming the Baron of Dwynnen in the 253rd year of the Third Era, Othrok began to repair the damage on the land caused by the lich. His first order of business was encouraging people to settle in Dwynnen, which he accomplished by offering land for a pittance. His second task was to ensure the protection of his people, and he did this by founding the Order of the Raven.
After setting Dwynnen on the road to prosperity, Othrok and his barony submerge once again into general obscurity to historians and chroniclers. It isn’t until the years of the Camoran Usurper that Othrok once again took Tamriel’s center stage.
In the 267th year of the Third Era, the Camoran Usurper had already conquered Valenwood and Hammerfell, and controlled swathes of south-western Cyrodiil. His army of undead, daedra, and conquered people were an unstoppable force that not even the might of the Septim Empire was capable of stopping. In the summer of the year, the Usurper launched his invasion of High Rock.
High Rock is a land of many feuding nobles that do not trust each other easily, and who always look out for themselves first. The most powerful lords of the Iliac Bay were either unable, or unwilling to begin organizing a defense. Wayrest and Sentinel had rulers in their minorities, and the regency councils cared little except for personal gain. Daggerfall, possibly the oldest city on the Iliac, could not do anything because of internal contention between cousins. The only other lord of great influence, the lord of Reich Gradkeep, was deathly ill. Eight more rulers who could have done something betrayed their people, and made secret alliances with the Usurper to protect their lands.
However, early in the 267th year of the Third Era, the situation with the Usurper could no longer be ignored when word of his barbaric treatment of conquered people spread throughout High Rock. During a meeting between the great lords of Bretony on the Isle of Betony, Othrok of Dwynnen addressed the gathered lords. Chroniclers say that his fierce oratory, and already well-known reputation, allowed his words to penetrate his fellows’ minds. He declared that if the greater lords would do nothing, then he would, and then vowed that the Camoran Usurper would never set foot on High Rock as long as he lived. The lords were skeptical at first, but the baron’s allies Ykalon, Phrygia, and Kambria vowed to support the Baron of Dwynnen.
The Battle of the Firewaves saw the greatest navy ever assembled in Tamriel. Led by the Baron of Dwynnen, the forces of High Rock clashed with the armies of the Camoran Usurper. Many, many people died, but the battle ended in the Usurper’s defeat, and Tamriel saved. After the battle, despite claims in some quarters that he should take up the kingship of all High Rock, Othrok returned to Dwynnen and begat many heirs.
In the current Fourth Era, Dwynnen remains much like it had been for centuries. The current baron, Hoel FitzOthrok of Dwynnen, was involved in defending High Rock during the Oblivion Crisis. Despite Dwynnen’s well-known reputation of independence, Baron Hoel is a vassal of Wayrest. Despite this, Wayrest has little influence over the barony, and the baron’s command is still absolute.
The Baronial Shield
The Order of the Raven
From the UESP: In all modesty, the Order of the Raven is a legendary fighting order. They have the honor of having led the battle against the Camoran Usurper and freed half of Tamriel from his tyranny. They remain the vanguards of the Barony of Dwynnen, protecting the entire region. Given their reputation, they cannot admit any but the greatest warriors, the most loyal servants of the Baron, into their order.
Not since the Knights of the Nine has there been order of chivalrous breathren to equal the illustrious Order of the Raven. But the Order dates back further than the Battle of the Fire Waves, the climatic conflict that finally broke the Camoran Usurper's power.
The Order of the Raven was founded in 3E 254, the year in wake of the Battle of Wightmoor. Dwynnen's new baron, Othrok, knew that though the lich's power over the region was broken, its undead minions might still prowl the forbidding forests in search of victims. So, the sent out a call for warriors to aid in ridding the land of evil. Despite the fame he had won by freeing Dwynnen, only seven brave (though some would call them foolish) knights answered the lord's summons. Each of them was the paragon of their kind, with the Divine in their hearts, a courteous way, a fierce sword-arm. With these knights before him, he drew from ancient Nord legends of the raven, the bird of death, and named his gathered men such so that they would go out and return the risen dead to rest.
The newly formed Order's fame grew and grew until its members numbered in the hundreds; hundreds of the most fearsome, stalwart warriors to ever grace the land of Tamriel. But it wasn't until 3E 267 that the Order would go from famous to legendary.
The Battle of the Fire Waves was the final conflict fought against the Camoran Usurper, and one which proved the Order of the Raven to the continent of Tamriel. The Order's knights, under their leader and lord, had been fighting skirmishes with the Usurper's vanguard. When it became clear that a massive invasion force would soon attempt to cross the Iliac, the Order went to work in securing allies. Unable to appeal to the great kingdoms of Wayrest or Daggerfall, or the deathly ill lord of Reich Gradkeep, Othrok of Dwynnen banded together with the lords of Ykalon, Phrygia, and Kambria, and gathered the largest navy Tamriel had ever seen, equaled only by Uriel V's invasion fleet of Akavir.
Many brave knights died to the Usurper's fell hordes, and by the end of the battle, the Order had been gutted of its chivalry. But for all the knights that fell, heroes rose as well.
Sir Pernel D'Gant
Sir Raymond of Tulune
Sir Arnulf, the Knight of Alcaire
Sir Henri of White Haven
And many more.
Such was the fame won by the Order at that battle that by the end of 3E 269, not only had the Order of the Raven regained its former numbers, but it had more than doubled.
With the advent of United Bretony, however, many of the knightly orders of Greater Bretony are feeling the strain. Those warriors that are capable of joining are recruited into one of the three army groups, and most new members are foreigners, be they Imperial, Orchish, or Nordic. But still the majority remain Breton, with the Divine in their heart, a courteous way, and a fierce sword-arm.
LONG LIVE THE BLOOD OF OTHROK!
Faction: The Order of the Raven
Hoel FitzOthrok of Dwynnen, Baron of Dwynnen - Head of the Order
Sathmi Giravle - Grandmaster of the Order
Esquivat d'Cler - First Preceptor
Constantius Porteus - First Companion
Knight-Companions of the Order of the Raven - The Knights' Companions of the Order of the Raven are the greatest warrior amongst an order of great warriors. They form the Baron of Dwynnen's Baronial Guard, and never waver from their duty. The requirements to become a member of this illustrious group is greater even than the requirements for entry into the Order itself. One must have served in the Order for a minimum of five years, and have preformed a great service to Dwynnen's baron. Then, one must pass a test put before them by the First Preceptor.
Unlike the knights that make up the majority of the Order, who have a very strict uniform, the Knights' Companions are allowed to use whatever arms and armor they choose. But heavy suits of steel or orchish metal are popular, as are swords and axes along with the traditional lance.
Preceptor Knights of the Order of the Raven - Like most the Order, the Preceptors are fearsome warriors. However, they have put aside their lances to aid in the instruction of new members, and act a priests of Julianos; maintaining the Order's libraries of knowledge. They do not often leave the Chapter Houses, but when they are called to war, they turn out armed in heavy suits of steel armor, and wielding large two-handed weapons. They do not fight mounted anymore.
Knight-Brothers of the Order of the Raven - The standard knight of the Order. Because of the incredibly difficult entry requirements, each Knight-Brother is a fearsome warrior clad head-to-toe is steel and iron plates, painted black. They wield either axes, maces, or swords, and on the charge use their lances.
Knight-Entrants of the Order of the Raven - Trainee knights that have just joined the Order. They are not considered full members, and thus don't have access to the Order's armories or stables. They are capable warriors, but suffer from hot-heads if not watched by a Preceptor. They wear and use a varied assortment of equipment, but chain hauberks of steel enforced with leather tend to be common.
A hand weapon, be it sword, mace, or axe, are very common couple with a shield. They do not use mounts, and fight on foot. They are often lead by Preceptors in combat.