|The Royal Colony of Kingsland|
Kingsland, Northern Stranglethorn
"And when they landed upon those golden beaches, they proudly exclaimed, 'Oh! This is the beautiful land that we seek!' So it was that Kingsland town came to be."
Kingsland is a colonial settlement under the control of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Located in the Northern Stranglethorn, Kingsland is one of the first major Crown colonies to reside in the region besides the small fortification of Fort Livingston in Northern Stranglethorn. The colony is currently continuing to expand and thrive, with plans to complete the settlement fully by winter of 622 in the King's Calendar. Local resources including the cultivation of sugar, indigo, fruits, corn, coffee, tobacco, and the gathering of raw materials such as iron, silver, or gems from the nearby mountains, and the raising of livestock and fishery sustain the colony, with these resources being either traded locally or sent back to the capital in Stormwind City.
The colony is currently garrisoned and defended by the Kingsland Regiment of the King's Royal Colonial Guard.
The history of the colony of Kingsland is one in the making, and has only just recently begun to experience growth in the face of great tumult and conflict with the surrounding powers of the region.
The Pirate King's War
Plans for the colony were proposed as a response to the crushing defeat of the Confederacy of the South Seas at the Battle of Westbrook at the end of the Pirate King's War. With the destruction of the Confederacy's armies that were poised to attack the heartland of the Kingdom of Stormwind, the Stormwind Army was quickly dispatched to defend the borderlands in Westfall and Duskwood. Although the number of troops sent there were a paltry amount meant only to secure these frontier regions from a possible counter-attack, they were able to nonetheless reinforce the provinces and dissuade a second Confederate offensive from ever developing.
In the coming weeks after the Battle of Westbrook, lords and ladies within the House of Nobles voted to pass a new bill that would allow for the Kingdom of Stormwind to call upon interested parties and investors to sponsor an endeavor to explore and colonize portions of the Kingdom's borderlands. Since the Confederacy was considered defeated and routed, the House set their sights on the southern territories of Stranglethorn Vale. The land, consumed by jungles and large mountain ranges, had always been considered unconquerable. However, other developments had allowed for this call for colonization to pass, including the destruction of the Iron Horde on Draenor and the acknowledgement that the war on that alien world had drained the kingdom's coffers substantially. Furthermore, the recent conflict against the Confederacy had confirmed the notion that Stormwind's borders were far too weak, and thus jeopardized the peace of the realm. Explorers and pathfinders, based out of Fort Livingston, had already found a location along the north-western coast of the Cape of Stranglethorn that was suitable for mining and agriculture. Other exotic resources, such as animal pelts and tropical fruits, were also considered as valuable exports from the region.
The Colonial Charter
With blessings from the House of Wrynn, the bill to colonize passed in the House, allowing for the formation of a charter known as the Kingsland Royal Charter of 621 K.C. This charter declared that the colony was to be under the possession of the Kingdom of Stormwind directly, with interested parties and investors staking claims to land and resources that would be divided up among them. The House advocated for a healthy amount of competition to be allowed in the newfound province, so as to encourage growth and continued interest in the colony's progress. A number of small mercantile guilds joined the venture, but the main sponsor of the enterprise was the Honorable Stormwind Trading Company. The Stormwind Trading Company (S.T.C.) was one of the largest trading guilds within the realm, and thus it was given royal permissions to not only lay claim to large tracts of land within Kingsland, but also to have a stake in the governance of the colony. The Company would be allowed to run a guild house from within the colony, along with giving it the right to appoint individuals for election to the colonial government to safeguard both the company's and the colony's economic interests. As a result of these special permissions, the S.T.C. would eventually speak for all other investors and parties on the charter.
Yet, the House was equally weary of giving too much power to private interests. Although it would allow for the companies and guilds to represent themselves within the new government, the House would also install a system of checks-and-balances to deny the merchant class too much power. In order to accomplish this, the position of Lord Governor was created. The Lord Governor was to be an individual that was appointed by the Crown itself, sent to oversee the colony and act on behalf of His Majesty. The House considered electing lords and ladies to govern the colony, but many already had lands and preoccupations within the homeland. Thus, the position of Lord Governor was opened up to the landed gentry, which was generally composed of wealthy aristocrats who were not necessarily of noble peerage. Military officers were also considered as viable alternatives, considering the need for strong, experienced leadership to see the colony through potential conflicts and hardships.
Although the idea was to appoint an individual which had little to no connection to the investors of the colonial endeavor, it was inevitable that parties like the S.T.C. would promote key candidates to be chosen for the position. This back-and-forth between royal and private interests would play a consistent role in the development of the colony. A symbiotic relationship formed among both parties, as the investors, guilds, and companies required patronage and protection from the Crown and the Crown needed the merchants to promote and compete with one another to further develop the colony's infrastructure and economy.
Mobilization and Settlement
With the charter complete, the first expeditions to begin construction of Kingsland began in early spring of 621 K.C. The House and the S.T.C. predicted that the preliminary construction of key facilities, such as housing, administrative buildings, docks, and defenses would be completed by the winter of that same year. Both the Crown and the S.T.C. encouraged eager citizens from the realm to sign up for the voyages, enticing them with initial bounties of coin and promises of rich, prosperous land waiting to be claimed. Estimates for the first wave of colonists was somewhere around one hundred individuals, predominantly composed of men who planned on settling the region first before bringing their families along.
In addition, the S.T.C. proceeded to hire vast quantities of mercenaries in order to protect these initial expeditions, but it was soon realized that military assistance from the Crown would be required in order to guarantee the colonists' safety along the routes. To this end, the Kingdom of Stormwind assigned the First Regiment of Westridge to aide in the endeavor of escorting and aiding the initial colonists on their way south to Stranglethorn. Being near the border with Westfall, the First Regiment could easily and reliably provide the necessary aide required by the colonists who traveled through Westfall to Duskwood. Other routes, including one stemming from Redridge, were also taken by future colonists. Sea routes became quite popular as well, but were difficult to conduct during the height of the monsoon season in March through June.
Early groups of settlers, including laborers and skilled craftsmen, were on their way to the colony site as early as March of 621 K.C. In order to better organize their efforts in the south, the Crown appointed a provisional government composed of representatives from both the S.T.C. and the royal government itself. The Royal Army also sent aide in the form of pathfinders, composed of rugged men and women known for their cunning and survival skills. At the vanguard of these efforts were the First Regiment, who were to be the first major armed force tasked with defending the colony from outside threats.
Threats to Colonization
As the colonists made their way south, carrying with them wagons and carts full of goods, tools, and supplies, major obstacles already presented themselves. The S.T.C. had planned to take routes through the south-west for the purpose of picking up impoverished families willing to risk their livelihoods on venturing down to the colony, all in the hopes of finding a better life than what already awaited them in Westfall or Duskwood. The highways of Westfall, however, were home to roaming gangs of Defias bandits that made travel through the major roads difficult and perilous. Duskwood was no different, as the darkened roads were infested with wild beasts, the undead, or nearby ogre dens. Furthermore, the aforementioned sea routes towards the Vale were threatened by not only the monsoon rains, but also pirate bands that sailed those waters frequently. The actual process of making it to the Vale, however, was eclipsed by the dangers that awaited the settlers upon their arrival.
In Stranglethorn itself, the many jungle troll tribes that lurked in the bush waited to pounce upon the convoys and forts that now surrounded the site near the north-western coasts of the Vale. Skirmishes were rampant all over the region, as the First Regiment and S.T.C. mercenaries engaged troll war-parties in open conflict. The Bloodscalp posed the biggest threat, with pathfinders scouting further south encountering bands hailing from the Skullsplitter clan. The Gurubashi, being further inland, did not appear prominently at this point. The only "saving grace" the Stormwind colonists had during this time was the fact that the troll tribes were in no way unified, and thus they were fighting a weakened foe who was equally wary of the Kingdom's efforts in the Vale, the Horde's outposts near Grom'gol, and the other troll tribes that frequently competed and fought one another for supremacy. Regardless, the trolls were not the only major threat; disease, including a variety of illnesses carried through animal vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks, plagued the Vale and were potentially deadly to any outsider not readily accustomed to such pathogens.
Through it all, however, construction and defense of the colony carried on throughout late spring and early summer of 621 K.C. Between occasional skirmishes, outbreaks of disease, and heavy monsoon rains, the colony's population rarely rose above one hundred. This small workforce and defensive garrison barely held on to the settlement site, living in make-shift "tent towns" and bringing in supplies through hastily made land routes and earthen docks. Temporary reinforcements were brought in to bolster the ranks of the colonists, but these troops rarely stayed for more than a few weeks before leaving once more to tend to other portions of the King's realm. The Royal Army found it difficult, with resources already spread thin, to provide adequate protection for the colony. In all, the birth of Kingsland could be easily characterized as one founded in turmoil, hard-ship, and great suffering.
The Nangana Canal and Colonial Defense
The first major construction project, beyond the colony's buildings themselves, was the effort to divert the nearby Nangana River. The river flowed down from Lake Nyamanpo in the Kangali Mountains to the east of Kingsland, and engineers knew that they needed the river for both transport and irrigation purposes. Planning began in spring, with construction going on all summer. With the help of manual labor, skilled dwarven craftsmen, and shamans that were in service to the Grand Alliance, the Kingsland colonists managed to make good headway on the project. Monsoon rains slowed down the construction of the canal trench, with flooding and landslides ceasing construction for weeks at a time. Still, the worst obstacle were local threats near the coast, such as the ever-persistent troll tribes and naga parties that had made their way upstream towards the construction sites. It seemed that all the local forces in the Vale were poised to take a crack at the new Stormwind colony, eager to defend previous claims on the land or plunder what booty could be had from the young settlement.
At this point in the colony's history, it was considered necessary that some type of formal defense be organized. Although plans for a militia were in the works, the population within the colony itself was still too small to muster any type of sizable defense. Furthermore, the Stormwind Army could not provide the necessary supplies to host an army in the Vale, so the task of providing an armed force for Kingsland fell upon the S.T.C. The Company had, by now, funded most of the colonization effort, and the Crown was reluctantly granting it yet another right and claim in the colony's future. By now, the House of Nobles was growing increasingly concerned that such concessions were being granted to a private trading guild. Even with the King's blessings and permissions, the S.T.C. was slowly overtaking the Crown's contributions to the Kingsland colony. Regardless, the safety of the colony had to be ensured, or all would be for naught.
After a series of bloody engagements near the Nangana Canal zone, the S.T.C. undertook a massive recruitment campaign back in Stormwind City. Mercenaries were contracted in great quantities, with many being veterans from the previous Orcish Wars and the Alliance-Horde War. Although the S.T.C. already had a prominent mercenary force both by land and at sea, its ranks now soared to new, unthinkable heights. The Board of Masters, who spearheaded the Company, hoped their expenses would be reimbursed through profitable trade once Kingsland was fully constructed. The hopes of the Stormwind government and the S.T.C. now rested on keeping the colony alive at any cost. With aid from both these newly drawn up mercenary bands and the Stormwind Army, the fight to defend Kingsland was escalating with each passing day. Attacks became more frequent as construction continued on the Nangana Canal or the colony proper, with defenses being hastily erected only to be destroyed within a matter of days. Still, despite all this, a slogan began to appear throughout the Board of Masters and the House of Nobles. It was a grim reminder of what was at stake, as nobles and gentry responded to concerns over the colony's potential for success with the simple phrase, "Fight or fall, we can't stop now."
The Midsummer War (June-July 621 K.C.)
By June of 621, the armies of Stormwind had decided to fully commit an entire army regiment to the region so as to further reinforce the colonization efforts of the newfound province. Army Command elected to send the First Regiment of the Elwynn Brigade, due to its previous experience in the region during the Border Conflicts against the New Horde, it's fighting against the South Seas Confederacy, and its most recent endeavors to aid Kingsland's efforts to expand its territories. In early June, the First Regiment quickly made its way south overland, arriving at a hastily constructed fort known locally as Fort Greenwell. It would be from this fort that the regiment would base itself, as it proceeded to tackle the many obstacles and challenges that posed a threat to Kingsland's continued expansion.
The ensuing conflict between the Kingdom of Stormwind and the various other factions of the region was to be known as the Midsummer War, for it only lasted the two months of the Midsummer season. Standing against the Kingdom were the Bloodscalp and, later, the Skullsplitter troll clans that inhabited the northern and southern regions of the Vale, respectively. Beyond these two, local naga raiders and slavers also continued to pose a threat to trade along the newly built Nangana Canal and the coast. Pirates and marauders plagued the shores too, seeking to plunder and assault unprotected merchant ships heading to and out of the colony. The wild card in the region, the New Horde based in Grom'gol, were at first avoided at all costs so as to not flare up any hostilities during the ongoing ceasefire between the two powers.
By mid-June, the situation in Kingsland had vastly improved. Pirates and buccaneers in the area had been ousted, arrested, or executed for their crimes, driving back any raiders who thought it wise to prey upon the waters of the King's realm. The local citizenry had found aid at the hands of the King's armies, as the troops that now protected the region sought to resolve many of the woes that plagued the settlement. These included issues with polluted drinking water, resolving scuffles or arguments, and foraging for food that was desperately needed for the survival of the colonists.
Furthermore, the troops took to securing new lands had been conquered in the name of the King. To the west, on an island off the coast of the colony itself, a troll settlement had been found that was providing a base of operations for coastal raiders belonging to the Bloodscalp tribe. The First Regiment, alongside a contingent of Royal Navy Marines, landed on the island and proclaimed it as part of the sovereign territories of His Majesty's realm. The island, since then, has been renamed to Light's Haven, so as to commemorate the initial consecration ceremonies carried out by the regiment's prioress, Mother Muriah Laldere. For the not so distant future, the colonial administration had already drawn up plans for a defensive fortification and town to accompany said bastion, known as Fort Stowerling and Westport respectively. At the moment, however, the newly conquered island had to be taken from the local inhabitants. The Bloodscalp made their home in a small village on the far western side of the island known as Tingala. In a matter of two days, troops of the Crown cut a bloody swathe through the isle on their way to the village, proceeding then to plunder and destroy it in the aftermath. The remaining villagers were then taken captive by order of the campaign's commander, Lord Marshal Maxen Montclair.
Lord Maxen had hoped to take the captives as ransom, so that the forces of the Crown and the local Bloodscalp could come to terms on a temporary ceasefire. Unfortunately, the Bloodscalp are typically a stubborn and ferocious warrior peoples, who have little to gain in the way of diplomatic bargaining. During the exchange of captives at the Nangana River back on the mainland, a troll warlord instigated conflict and ambushed the Crown troops. Fortunately for them, the King's soldiers were supported by a contingent of S.T.C. guns and mercenaries, which included a pair of rotary musket guns. These deadly new pieces of artillery fired multiple rounds towards the foe, demanding only that their operator be of swift hand and good stamina so as to quickly crank the firing mechanism. Within minutes, the troll assault was driven back, but this confrontation meant all out war between the Bloodscalp and the forces of Stormwind in the region.
For some time after the encounter on the Nangana, army forces were sent to handle a variety of threats and concerns elsewhere. The Bloodscalp, at least for the time being, had chosen to retreat back into jungle and prepare themselves for the final confrontation between man and troll. During this interim period, for example, the First Regiment operated alongside the mercenaries of the S.T.C. They worked together to oust would-be smugglers and pirates that were plaguing the other local trading guilds and companies, but certain Company practices led to a schism between Army Command and the S.T.C. Not always seeing eye to eye on how to properly execute the King's law or what was best for the colony, the First Regiment tended to drift away from taking part in the machinations of the S.T.C.
Regardless of the mounting tensions between the Crown and the Company, the campaign went on. The war itself culminated in late June, as the First Regiment was tasked with scouting the southern borders of the King's land in the Vale. What they found was an increased Horde presence, but they were not there in the name of conquest. Instead, the Horde had been tracking a Skullsplitter war-band that was slowly creeping ever northward. The Skullsplitter, much like the Bloodscalp, had been a thorn on the Horde's side for years. However, both the Skullsplitter and Bloodscalp rarely ever saw to eye, and thus they had been locked in tribal warfare with one another for decades. Yet, this disturbing turn of events led the Horde to pursue their aggressive neighbors, intent on protecting their northern flank and discovering the truth behind the enemy's movements. They were surprised to find that the Alliance, represented by the Kingdom of Stormwind, had recently begun to settle the region in force. All that was left for either side to do was to send envoys in the hopes of defusing the situation and finding a way to work together in the face of an impending troll invasion. Thus, the First Regiment sent a platoon deep into the jungle, coming into contact with Horde scouts. Just as negotiations were to commence, a naga attack was launched against the borders of Grom'gol.
The fighting was short but brutal, as the Horde quickly called for support from their zeppelins docked at their base camp. After the battle, negotiations were held and the situation was handled. The Horde saw that the Alliance was also in dire straits, and further factional conflict would only serve to weaken both parties so that the troll tribes could come and pick them off like hungry carrion birds. It would take continued fighting alongside the Horde for the Crown's troops to prove their worth to the commanders of Grom'gol, but they finally agreed to aide Kingsland under the guise of mutual interest. The Horde leadership feared an increasingly powerful Alliance presence in the province, but they knew that a combined effort by both armies could pose a much stronger defense against the dangers of the jungle.
This joint alliance would be tested in the final weeks of June and the beginnings of July, as troll armies from both the north and the south made their way towards Kingsland. The Skullsplitter boasted nearly three thousand warriors, while the Bloodscalp brought well over five thousand to the fray. The Horde could only spare five hundred warriors to aide the defense, whilst the First Regiment brought three-quarters of their force from Elwynn, numbering at around one thousand five hundred. Colonial militia, which had mustered hastily in the face of these overwhelming odds, managed to bring the total count of Alliance-Horde forces to around two thousand one hundred. These allied defenders were outnumbered by an army well over twice their own size, but they had strong fortifications and superior tactics on their side. Tribal conflict may have hardened the troll clans, but large-scale warfare had taught both the Alliance and the Horde the art of war. Unsurprisingly, past disagreements with the S.T.C. led to the Company pulling back its troops from the front, choosing instead to focus their defense on the colony and their investments there.
By June 29, Skullsplitter warriors had made it to the southern borders of Kingsland, resting near Lake Iyaz before making the final push north. It would be here that the First Regiment would move to meet them, seeing as how their own forces numbered closer to their's. Thousands of troops were poured into the fray, as the battle of Lake Iyaz raged on. By the day's end, however, the Crown's troops stood victorious. However, a contingent of Horde forces from Grom'gol had managed to break the Skullspitter's reserve towards the rear, rushing through in order to warn the Alliance that the Skullsplitter still had further forces on the way. Having realized that they had only fought the enemy's vanguard, the Alliance forces quickly retreated back north with the Horde reinforcements in tow.
On June 30, the final confrontation began. Thousands of Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter, who had since regrouped from the aftermath of the battle at Lake Iyaz, stormed down the King's Highway on their way to Kingsland. Fort Greenwell was to be the last defensive bastion that stood in the way of the troll invasion, defended by a motley band of soldiers from the First Regiment, the Horde, and colonial militia. The first day was incredibly brutal, as wave after wave of troll warriors charged at the defenses but were ultimately held at bay. On the second day, July 1, the second horde came. The defenses at Fort Greenwell finally fell, as the troops within the fort rallied to the center of the camp and formed a make-shift defense comprised of wagons and crates. Shielding themselves behind this hastily constructed bastion, the Kingdom's troops fought on with the intent of making their stand to the last. Yet, the troll offensive broke. Unable to slay the remaining defenders, the trolls that remained fell back and disappeared into the jungle. Hours later, the uneasy truce between Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter fell apart, and the bloody tribal warfare that had plagued the region for generations began once again.
By the dawn of July 2, Fort Greenwell was a broken and tattered mess. The Horde contingent, numbering only at two hundred after the battle's end, regrouped with the remnants of the First Regiment in Kingsland. Expecting to be laid to siege, the combined Alliance and Horde forces were surprised to see that only a small contingent of vengeful Bloodscalp sought it fit to follow suit. That same Bloodscalp warlord who antagonized the First Regiment on the shores of the Nangana River, whose name is lost to history, led an attack on the colony's walls. Yet, his force was ill-prepared for the harrowing barrage of cannon and rotary guns that lay within. Broken and defeated, the warlord fought to the bitter end, thus marking the end of the conflict. Fires broke out within the colony during the short-lived siege, but these were put out by both the garrison and colonists inside. On July 3, the Midsummer War officially ended and the forces of the First Regiment were sent back to the capital city in Stormwind.
The Dark Times
As Midsummer came to an end, dark omens began to present themselves throughout the whole of Azeroth. A great storm of felfire and suffering was looming on the horizon, as the Burning Legion prepared to invade the land once again. With reports streaming into the Royal Keep about more and more sighting of cultist activity and the chaotic presence of demons lurking about, action had to be taken to safeguard the realm. Commanders were assigned to new fronts, this time much closer than any of them could've imagined. Westfall, Redridge, Duskwood, Elwynn, Stranglethorn, and many more soon became the battlegrounds on which the Legion invasion would be met. Whole armies were redeployed swiftly, with the sight of thousands of armored legions becoming a common sight during those late days of July and early August of 621 K.C.
The safety of Kingsland was, just like every other province in the Kingdom's holdings, considered and debated greatly. Some nobles, fearing that the Royal Army would be overstretching its forces, argued that perhaps it'd be best to evacuate the region and reclaim the colony when it was more suitable. A majority, however, stated that such a move would defeat the sacrifices made by those who defended the settlement during the Midsummer War, and not to mention the loss of thousands upon thousands of gold sovereigns in investments made. A plan for a formal garrison was put into place, with new recruits being drafted from the King's provinces and being placed into the newly formed regiment, named the King's Colonial Guards Regiment. The word "regiment" was perhaps a bit undeserved, however. At most, the King's Colonial Guard in Stranglethorn numbered roughly 200 soldiers in all, with approximately 100 footmen, 50 riflemen, and 50 additional support staff, including menders, messengers, and officers. Still, the Colonial Guards merely scratched the surface on matters concerning the defense and administration of the young colony.
There was still the matter of electing a Lord Governor to take the helm of the colony's day-to-day administration. Ever since initial settlement, governance of the colony fell into the hands of a provisional government comprised mostly of officials from the S.T.C. and the Royal Army. With an increase in population, citizens of the colony yearned for proper leadership to guide them. The voting process began just some weeks prior to reports of the Legion's arrival coming in, in early-to-mid July. A wide range of candidates were considered, including peers of the realm, landed gentry, and army commanders. The selection process was narrowed further away from the nobles of Stormwind, however, as many within the government wanted to make the position of Lord Governor non-hereditary, as the charter demanded. Commanders were desperately needed as well, so the selection boards slowly began to turn their attentions towards members of the gentry: wealthy landowners, especially those with good background and military experience.
As the threat of the Legion threatened to consume the whole of the realm, the selection boards rushed to make a decision. They took in a wide variety of counsel and recommendations on the list of candidates they had thus far, and had finally managed to come to a conclusion. By August of 621, the House declared that the colony's first governor was to be an army sergeant within the First Regiment, named Edrington W. Grunwald.
The First Governor
With a governor now appointed to the colony, Kingsland faced a variety of threats during those first few weeks in August and September of 621 K.C. Lord Governor Grunwald hastily launched efforts to recruit more prospective colonists and guardsmen into the fold, attempting to erect a defense with which to ensure the survival of the fledgling settlement. Even as whole provinces were consumed by felfire, the governor continued to ensure the wheels of economy and trade turned, whilst also pushing for the training of militia and soldiers into a proper fighting force fit to serve the Crown.
Meanwhile in the north, the Legion pressed on through Westfall, with contingents of their troops trickling south into the Vale's dense jungles and mountains. Preliminary reports began to stream in to Kingsland, as militia and guardsmen frantically recounted sightings of whole bands making their way deep into the bush. The Colonial Guard was still horribly inexperienced and the population of Kingsland wasn't faring any better. Although the colony was steadily developing, albeit with some outbreaks of disease and occasional rationing, its population and infrastructure was nowhere near the level it needed to be to properly prosecute a war against a Legion invasion.
With all this being taken into consideration, the Colonial Council immediately called for support from the mainland. However, the Kingdom's response was anything but reassuring. Stormwind informed Kingsland that a majority of the troops at the King's disposal were in a state of disarray for a variety of reasons, namely the following: King Varian Wrynn's death created a temporary vacuum in the chain of command, but this was filled by his son, Prince Anduin Wrynn, after the failed assault on the Broken Shore; the loss of multiple army divisions on the Broken Shore left the Royal Army weakened, with casualties further exacerbated by the invasions on home soil; and expedition efforts sent to explore and establish a foothold on the Broken Isles further drained the royal coffers and available army reserves. No alternatives were available to Lord Governor Grunwald and his Council -- they had to act on their own or fall to the Legion's incursions.
Swiftly, the Governor put into place a series of orders and commands that attempted to remedy the situation in the interim. First and foremost, he knew Kingsland could not sustain an offensive campaign. Thus, he focused solely on defensive strategy. To this end, these new orders aimed to a) create a strong defensive perimeter around the colony of Kingsland, b) keep vital supply lines by land and sea open to the mainland, c) raise the available reserves of the Colonial Guard by enacting forced service of all men and women of fighting age, and d) protect certain individuals from forced conscription, namely the merchant class who directed mercantile efforts which kept the colony supplied with coin and valuable goods including food, armaments, etc. This last clause regarding exceptions to conscription did not sit well with some citizens of the colony, as contingents of discontent colonists took to the streets in anger at the perceived discrimination.
The last thing Kingsland needed in the face of a Legion invasion was division within the ranks, so to speak. Thus, the Governor decreed that colonists conscripted into service would be paid a minimum bounty to cover the costs of their initial supplies and weapons. After all, the citizen's militia was not a paid endeavor -- it was considered to be a colonist's duty to serve in times of peril. However, considering the extended period of deployment, many in the ranks feared that they would be unable to provide a livelihood for their families back in Kingsland. The provision of a wage certainly quelled discontent among a large body of the militia, now turned army reserves, but it now had the adverse effect of rapidly draining the colony's coffers. It seemed as if chaos was already overcoming the colony, even before the Colonial Guard had faced the Legion in battle.
Finally, as summer turned to autumn, Legion forces came into contact with colonial patrols. Skirmishes broke out all throughout the province, as the guardsmen and militia struggled to push back the Legion. Initially, the Guard met with forward elements of the Legion's invasion force and managed to secure minor victories. This quickly changed, however, as the main elements of the Legion's armies arrived in full force. Cultists, deranged with illusions of power, sought to undermine the morale of the colony by persuading locals to join their cause. Resistance led to death, and murders at the hands of these occult doomsayers skyrocketed. By the end of August, twelve colonists had been murdered by infiltrators. Martial law was declared, as the situations spiraled out of control. Strict curfews were enforced, and patrols increased drastically. Yet, just as quickly as the Legion came, they mysteriously began to pull back. Portals began to close, demons ceased to lurk in the jungles, and the skies no longer suffered the acrid stench of sulfur and death. A stroke of good fortune had transpired for Kingsland -- the armies of Stormwind had reorganized over the course of the summer, and finally managed to strike back in Westfall, Duskwood, and, finally, Stranglethorn.
Rebellion in the King's Colony
The casualties, comparatively speaking, were quite high for Kingsland. Twelve murdered in the colony by cultists activity, sixty militia and thirty-two Guardsmen dead or wounded in battle. Disease and famine claimed roughly another forty lives, with the total casualty count in the hundreds. The invasion had cost the colony thousands of gold in property damage, as walls and homes were damaged or burned to the ground by fel fire and sabotage. The Governor personally had difficulty coping with the gargantuan task ahead of him: he had to rebuild in the face of such devastation. Stormwind sent a paltry amount of coin to assist, but both the metropole and the periphery found themselves battered and economically drained. The solution was one everyone feared: taxes.
Governor Grunwald knew that raising taxes would upset a vast majority of the populace, still angry by the call for forced conscription, the repressive state of martial law, and the brutal fighting endured against the Legion. Still, he had little choice. Orders came from Stormwind, and taxmen were arriving by the end of September to demand the Crown's revenue. Begrudgingly, the Lord Governor moved to put into effect a higher tax rate, but he met opposition in the Colonial Council. Merely an advisory body when it came to matters stemming from the homeland, Governor Grunwald listened but could not act on the suggestions made by his councilors. Many stated that the colony was in no position to be taxed, and he was inclined to agree. Still, he attempted to assuage the situation, stating that the taxes were merely a temporary burden in order to stabilize the Kingdom's economy. After all, plans were being made to take the fight to the Legion on the Broken Isles, and Stormwind could not possibly prosecute a war without coin.
Yet, elements within the Council wholeheartedly disagreed with the Governor's outlook. In early October, two councilors, Andreas Leutwein and Rodrick Forsythe, declared their intent to take the matter to the people. Against the Governor's wishes, Leutwein and Forsythe set out to agitate the public, attempting to force the Governor's hand by gathering the support of the colonists. A large body of colonists agreed with the councilors, but the Governor set out to publicly debate the pair in Merchants' Row. Suddenly, a gunshot pierced the air. No one knows who fired, but one thing was certain: the bullet hit Forsythe, killing him as it punctured his abdomen. The Governor and Leutwein rushed to aid the man, but the crowd then fell out of the control of either the Governor or the councilor. Shouts filled the square, as many clamored that foul play had been involved. Those who protested the taxes stated that the Governor had ordered for Forsythe's public assassination; others who remained faithful to the government's promise that the taxes would be temporary argued that the Governor and the Colonial Council would ensure the fair treatment and representation of the colony.
Sadly, the divide was not solved. Leutwein, disillusioned at the sight of Forsythe's dead body before him, fled the city with a mob following him. Days later, Leutwein's followers established themselves as a reactionary movement in opposition to what they saw as an incompetent government that had failed to represent them in Stormwind. Therefore, this group called for increased representation, an end to high taxation, and more powers to be given to the Colonial Council. This group named themselves the "Society for Reformation," or shortly the Reform Party or Reformers. The moment the Reformers declared their political stance on the matter, Governor Grunwald immediately declared the Reformers "enemies of His Majesty's society and government. There could be no negotiation with these radical jacobins seeking to disrupt all lawful order within the King's colonies." From then on, the Reformers were pejoratively known as the "Jacobins". Traditional policy regarding such movements, like those that had broken out before in Westfall, dictated that no quarter be given to rebels. And so, Governor Grunwald, already a fervent loyalist and a firm believer of the King's right-to-rule, set out to defeat the Reformers. Believing they could not be reasoned with, he came to the conclusion that the force of arms was the only way to quell this would-be revolt.
Thus began the Jacobin Uprising. Conflict would once more come to Kingsland, as they switched the threat of felfire with that of gunpowder and steel.
The Fighting Continues
By late October, most fighting was relegated to small-scale skirmishes composed of no more than thirty or so troops on either side. These engagements were the first step in the fighting's increasing escalation. Yet, for the most part, the first month of fighting promised both sides a chance at a negotiable peace. Not many soldiers were dying, the civilian population was left relatively unscathed, and the battles themselves were, for the moment, restricted to the jungles around Kingsland Colony. Indeed, rebel leaders had sent word to the Lord Governor that perhaps they could meet and speak about possible political reform. Their liberal agenda, comprised of increased parliamentary representation and broader voting rights for all landowners regardless of their wealth and acreage, was at the crux of their cause for rebellion. If implemented, at least to some token degree, it might mean a swift end to the uprising.
The Lord Governor, however, would have none of it. Governor Grunwald rejected every single proposal for peace. He was still a staunch believer that only the force of arms would resolve the revolt, not through words and diplomacy but through blood and iron. Many within the Governor's cabinet were surprised to see the Governor, generally open minded about such things, to be so determined to fight the rebels. When asked about his decision, he replied very simply that he "wanted to set an example for all those who would try to upset the King's peace again." The Governor wasn't working without precedent either. Although he had not participated in it, he had enlisted in the ranks of the Royal Army shortly after the infamous Westfall Rebellion. His mentors had taught him of their experiences gained during that uprising, and the Governor would implement them here in Kingsland as well.
Beginning in November, the fighting had escalated. Governor Grunwald had mobilized a force of one hundred and fifty guardsmen, with an additional fifty militiamen from the colony itself. Meanwhile, estimates placed the Jacobin force at roughly eighty militants at best, although these numbers were guesses at best. With a retinue two hundred strong, Governor Grunwald personally oversaw the first major engagement of the war. Marching out from Kingsland and heading north, he had received reports that the main rebel camp was to be found on the shores of Lake Ginnalka, near the base of a nearby mountain. With him he not only took troops, but also a pair of cannons to boot. Armed to the teeth, the Governor's men advanced through the brush with great difficulty, eventually arriving at Lake Ginnalka after a day of hard traveling.
The Governor thought to set up for battle near the open shore, where he and his troops would have the greatest advantage. However, it had not even been an hour since their arrival when they first started taking fire. However, this fusillade was not organized by any means. Instead, sporadic musket fire filled the air as bullets whizzed past the formation of guardsmen and militia. The crack of shot came from all over, almost as if they were surrounded. Immediately, the Governor gave the order for the troops to seek refuge in the brush, clearly too exposed. Upon entering the jungle, however, only further death awaited them. More shot, now accompanied by explosions and traps placed sneakily all over the jungle floor. The heavy pack horses were the first to go, followed by the crewmen intended to service the cannons. Thereafter, loud explosions swallowed up entire columns of men. The howling yell followed a bloody charge by the Jacobin rebels, who then charged out of the trees and into the disordered formations. The battle was short and decisive. When the Jacobins saw their work was done, they quickly retreated back towards their base at Lake Ginnalka, while the Governor was left to take in the sight of the slaughter.
All in all, forty royalists were killed on the field. Only twelve Jacobins were put to the sword. Two cannons were left behind in the hasty retreat, now gifted to the Jacobins for them to use. As the royalist column made their way back to Kingsland, Governor Grunwald seethed with rage. He could not expect such a small force to fight traditionally. His eyes rested on the sight of wounded and crying soldiers, hollering for aid and the comfort of their families. As smoke filled the air behind them, the Governor thought of how he could overturn the failures of Lake Ginnalka and keep the initiative on his side.
However, the deed was done. The Jacobins struck the first major blow, and now they had the upper hand.
A Grim Turn
As December arrived, the royalist defeat at the Battle of Lake Ginnalka was still fresh in the minds of most. Lord Governor Grunwald, still reeling from the loss, harnessed grief and anger into action. Immediately, he petitioned for reinforcements from the Crown. Stormwind could only send so much, especially considering the ongoing war against the Burning Legion on the Broken Isles. Instead of more soldiers, weapons and supplies were sent instead. Although not an unwelcome gift, the Governor was displeased with this turn of events. He had the coin and weapons to prosecute the war against the Jacobins, but not the manpower necessary to carry out the bloody business that awaited. Thus, he turned to his next best alternative: mercenaries.
With plenty of profit from a successful farming season and coin from Stormwind, the Governor purchased a company's worth of mercenaries. Numbering at roughly two hundred soldiers, bolstered by a further one hundred and fifty guardsmen and militia from Kingsland Colony, the royalist army could now mobilize against the Jacobin rebels. The Jacobins themselves, still celebrating from their previous victories against the royalists, were prepared to meet the next offensive. During the rest of November, the rebels carried out a series of deadly raids and built numerous defenses around their camps near Lake Ginnalka. The entirety of the northern region had been, for the most part, secured by the forces of the uprising. Governor Grunwald made it his objective to reclaim the province, by any means necessary.
A new decree was released on 6 December, 621 K.C. The Governor took to the public square, presenting himself and his proclamation to all would-be rebels and conspirators against the Crown government.
"On this day, let it be known that I, Lord Governor Edrington Wilhelm Grunwald of His Majesty's Lawful Government, decree a bounty for the capture or execution of any Jacobin rebel or those who assist the rebels in their unlawful cause. Information regarding the whereabouts of rebel groups or camps shall be rewarded handsomely. I encourage all you sons and daughters of Stormwind to enlist into His Majesty's armies, for a fair enlistment bounty and honorable service awaits you. We shall leave not one Jacobin left to roam free in this province! These lands are the King's lands, and we shall defend His sovereign right to rule to the last!"
The call for total war was made. Within weeks, bands of royalist troops and Crown mercenaries roamed the jungles in search of any and all rebels. The Governor adjusted his tactics, encouraging his armies to fight as the enemy did: in the bush, hiding until it was the right moment to strike. With training and resources, the royalist troops found they too could outwit their enemies. Although initial losses were suffered during the December campaign, the tables soon turned as other tactics were implemented. Known homes of rebel conspirators were found and ransacked, entire families arrested or outright executed for their collaboration with the Jacobin cause. Penalties for spreading Reformist pamphlets or literature was raised from a few weeks in prison to years and, finally, public execution. Rebel fighters were branded criminals, denied the same rights that would be given to enemy combatants. If captured, imprisonment, forced labor, or summary execution awaited.
By year's end, the mercenary companies and new tactics implemented by the royalist forces were working. The Jacobin rebellion quickly began to lose the initiative, and the Governor's army was quickly encircling Lake Ginnalka. A week before Winter's Veil Day, on 18 December, a messenger was received at the royalist army camp just outside of the Jacobin positions at the lake. The messenger brought word that the leader of the rebel cause, Andreas Leutwein, wished to negotiate peace. Over the course of the month, the casualties incurred by the rebels were staggering. The cost of property and life was immense for both sides. Yet, the Governor simply stood from his seat, ordering that the messenger be executed and that his horse be guided back to the rebel camp. The ghostly sight of a lone steed without its rider penetrated the morning fog that rolled through the jungle floor. The reply was clear: there would be no negotiations, no surrender. The death knell of the Jacobin Uprising had been sounded.
The final assault on Lake Ginnalka took place on Winter's Veil Eve on 24 December. Mercenaries and guardsmen flying royalist colors assaulted the camps around the lake, seldom taking prisoners and instead leaving behind a trail of corpses and ruined tents and huts. The encirclement was complete, a small band of survivors had been trapped near the base of the mountain. Leutwein himself, wounded during the fighting, made one final appeal for peace. Governor Grunwald refused it, instead ordering his troops that Leutwein was to be taken alive, along with the rest of his officers if possible. As the battle concluded, Leutwein had committed suicide so as to avoid capture. A band of five officers, however, had held on to the last. They were quickly placed in shackles and marched back with the remainder of the troops that headed back to Kingsland, hauling war booty and other prisoners in their wake.
A momentary pause was given on Winter's Veil Day, 25 December. Early in the morning of 26 December, after Winter's Veil had ended, Governor Grunwald ordered that all prisoners be escorted to the public square at Merchants Row. A crowd began to gather on the fateful morning, muttering and wondering what was to be of the surviving rebels. The Governor himself emerged from the governor's house, his eyes weary and his countenance grim. Moments later, he gave a short speech regarding the final victory over the rebellion. With that, the executions began. Twenty one rebels and collaborators were executed on that day, the streets running red with blood. The bodies were buried in unmarked graves so as to try and bury the memory of the rebellion.
The Jacobin Uprising only lasted three months, but the suffering had been immense. Families were destroyed, lands were lost, and the power of the royalist government secured through bloody reprisals. Newspapers published both in Kingsland and abroad remarked that the closing month of the uprising was known as Bloody Winter's Veil, with one pamphlet quoting that the final executions on 26 December were "the Governor's gift to His Majesty for the new year." With the arrival of the new year, 622 promised to be a quiet year. The citizens of Kingsland simply went about their business, knowing that any voicing of opposition would be met with strict reprisals by the Crown government. On 1 January, so as to greet the new year, Governor Grunwald put into law the Solidarity Act. The act required that all citizens report any subversive activities to the Royal Colonial Guard or other royal authorities, with failure to do so punishable with life imprisonment, exile, or execution. A standing militia of no less that one hundred soldiers be kept on watch. The Royal Colonial Guard was expanded to include two hundred soldiers, with the previous mercenary forces being given property to create a company house within the walls of Kingsland. A government contract was extended to these sell-swords, who now swore an unofficial alliance with their royalist benefactors.
What awaited the remainder of the year was unknown, but one thing was certain: Kingsland Colony's rule would be one governed by an iron fist.
Kingsland is geographically situated near a large bay known as Bridenbrad Bay, named after St. Bridenbrad, protected by a small barrier island to the west, known as Light's Haven Isle. Further inland, large tropical forests surround the settlement's territories, with the immediate area around the colony itself dominated by a natural clearing. Large tracts of forest have also been cut down through a process known as slash-and-burn, where in the remains of the felled trees are burned and land cleared out for subsistence agriculture or the cultivation of cash-crops. Beyond the large tropical forests are nearby mountain ranges, most of which hold amounts of iron, tin, gems, and to a lesser extent, silver. Rumors exist that deeper inland rest mountains filled with gold, but pathfinders have not made it this far into the heartland of the province. Wooded hills are also present near the coast, suitable for corn and tobacco cultivation should they be cleared and properly irrigated. Possible waterways suitable for irrigation include the nearby Nangana River, which flows out from a freshwater lake further east known as Lake Nyamanpo, situated on the heights of the Kangali Mountains.
In terms of territorial landmass, the colony of Kingsland has claimed approximately seventy square kilometers of land. Most of this land is comprised of coastal beaches, but there is also a substantial amount of claimed territory heading inland from the colony itself. By strict definition, however, most of this land is still untouched jungle. Colonists thus far have only put to use a mere fraction of the total claimed landmass, with only twenty square kilometers in active use or under planning for future development. Kingsland also claims the waters immediately off the coast of the colony, with no exact measurement as to where the Great Sea begins and Kingsland's waters end. Supposedly, in order to provide some unit of measurement concerning the control of the sea near the settlement, colonial officials have stated that "the range of the King's seas shall extend as far out as His cannon will allow." It is therefore assumed that if a ship is within range of the colony's fort, Fort Stowerling, then it has entered the sovereign waters of the Kingdom of Stormwind.
The climate of the region is typically humid and hot. Cool winds only come during the winter months, but these are mostly found at higher elevations or near the coastal lowlands. The Cape of Stranglethorn is also prone to experiencing frequent monsoon rains, changing between the summer and winter seasons. The summer monsoon rains, beginning in March and ending in June, are usually the strongest with storms driving deep inland from the sea. There are also lesser tropical storms that occur in the area sporadically throughout the year.
As of recent, the population of Kingsland has experienced a steady rise due to the arrival of new colonists and soldiers. Ever since the end of the Midsummer War in July of 621, the Kingdom of Stormwind was sped up the colonization effort, encouraging new waves of pioneers and settlers to live in the region. Although major army forces had been pulled out after the end of the conflict, the creation of the King's Colonial Guard led to new garrisons being placed within the colonial territory. In the following month of July, the colony's population went from a paltry one hundred and fifty to roughly five hundred. Future estimates predict that the population will continue to increase, as new infrastructure is established and more land is claimed for agriculture and mining.
Furthermore, the arrival of the Burning Legion on Azeroth has led to some city dwellers and citizens in Westfall to seek refuge elsewhere, with some finding the frontiers to be a suitably far-flung and withdrawn enough location. If the walls of Stormwind City could not hold back the tide of demonic infiltrators and servants of the Legion, then perhaps the thick jungles and hostile borderlands of the Vale could.
With the growing population of Kingsland settling in to commit to their work, the nearby lands around the colony have been chosen to sustain an economy based around agriculture and mining. Agricultural goods that are not readily available in Stormwind's home provinces, such as sugar, rice, coffee, and fruits are all farmed and sent back to the capital for production and sale. Nearby mountain ranges have also been scouted, with numerous veins of silver, iron, and precious gems being found within proximity of the settlement. Finally, fishery also serves as a likely source of trade, with the western coasts promising a wide variety of marine life for consumption and processing.
One of the first concerns tackled by the Kingdom of Stormwind was the foundation of a government that would be loyal to the Crown directly, but also capable of maintaining some sense of autonomy in managing local affairs. Although the distance from Stormwind City to Kingsland is not incredibly long, it is distant enough for the colony to be outside of the Crown's geographic sphere of influence. Orders and commands from the capital would take roughly three weeks or more to arrive to Kingsland overland, and the sea routes, although faster, were not always inherently safe. With this said, the Charter of 621 K.C. guaranteed Kingsland a degree of local powers over the day-to-day governance of the colony. All other major decisions were to be made through the House of Nobles in Stormwind City.
Early on, a formal government could not be readily established. Although there were potential candidates for the positions that needed to be filled, the colony's infrastructure was simply not ready to receive any representatives of the Crown or host a permanent populations. Still, the Crown needed some form of law and order to be enforced while the colony was still under construction. Therefore, a provisional government was announced in April of 621 K.C. Kingsland was still nothing more than a small village composed of tents, dirt roads, and a make-shift wooden dock. The provisional government was composed of multiple parties, each with a stake in the construction of the colony. However, it was all spearheaded by Stormwind's military, with an appointed commander overseeing construction and defense of Kingsland. Moreover, the interests of the laborers and merchants that toiled away daily were entrusted to the army, who protected the workforce from dangers within and without. Whether it had been troll war parties or brutish overseers, the Stormwind Army took initial control of most major operations, albeit with some civilian counsel from both the Crown government and the colonists who were making their way to Stranglethorn.
Plans, however, were drawn up to eventually implement the colonial government outlined in the Kingsland Charter. A representative and leader for the colony was to be appointed, along with a council of some sort to voice the interests of the local people and private investors. Thus, the government of Kingsland would be led primarily by His Majesty, who would appoint a Lord Governor. The Lord Governor would act on behalf of the Kingdom, returning to Stormwind City when needed to attend gatherings of the House of Nobles and report the progress of the colony. The Lord Governor is inherently a member of the gentry, but not necessarily a noble. This said, the Lord Governor does not directly vote on matters of the realm, being far removed from it physically. However, the Lord Governor ensures that the interests of the colony and its people are voiced to the Crown's government in the capital.
Beneath the Lord Governor is the Colonial Council, which is run by a small group of landowners, investors, and key members of the community. These include members of the clergy, local business owners, leaders of the militia, and other such influential individuals. The Council, under the Charter's laws, can regulate prices within the colony, handle local disputes, and other such activities. The Lord Governor holds the exclusive right to call upon the citizens' militia, guaranteeing that any armed force within the colony is in the hands of one loyal to the Crown. In addition, with the creation of the Royal Colonial Guard, the Lord Governor holds command over their local garrison, whilst also able to entrust leadership of these troops to their Lt. Governor in times of crisis. All in all, the Council ensures that the Lord Governor also keeps the interests of the colonists in mind as they go about their daily business in Kingsland or their sessions in the House back in Stormwind City.
This section is comprised both from In-Character (IC) and Out-of-Character facts and information about the colony of Kingsland and the story surrounding it.
- The name "Kingsland" is based, unimaginatively so, on a combination of the title of king and the king's lands. Hence, Kingsland is supposed to be an extension of the king of Stormwind's holdings.
- The Kingsland Regiment of the Royal Colonial Guard is based within the walls of Kingsland itself.
- The colony of Kingsland adopts a variety of concepts from the colonial past of multiple nations in the real world. For example, Kingsland's creator, Edrington, is a historian specializing in Puerto Rican history. Thus, he based many key ideas for the in-game colony on Puerto Rico's colonial past under Spanish rule (i.e. 1400s and 1500s).
- Kingsland also takes inspiration heavily from England's colonies in the New World during the 1500s and 1600s, along with concepts derived from neo-imperialism in the late 1800s.
- Kingsland's most important trade goods of corn, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and coffee are a reference to the board game Puerto Rico made by Andreas Seyfarth. In the game, players must trade with these goods frequently in order to gain money and capital to win.
- OOCly, the proxy used by <The Royal Colonial Guard> is Theramore Isle, located in Dustwallow Marsh in Kalimdor.