Lord Brandon Darkoak
Rosefield is a Gilnean town in the northwestern regions of the Ashen Coast that was on the Reach's border with the Bite. Ancestrally the seat of the House of Darkoak and capitol of the viscounty that shared the town's name, the region was reduced to a barony following the rebuilding to better the flow of power in the region. Following the death of the Darkoak family, lordship over the town was passed to their bastard line, the House of Dayne. After the Second Range Rebellion, the House of Darkoak was restored after Lerren's elevation to earl as well as the recognition of Dayne as a bloodline of Darkoak.
During Strom's colonization of the peninsula known as Gilneas, two families by the names of Cobal and Stanton had established themselves and their followers in the northern most regions of the Ashen Coast, the Cobals establishing Cobal's Hold and the Stantons establishing Karnsburg. Rivalry for land and power in the area caused a war to break out amongst the two families that waged on for years. After the near destruction of both family's holds, a fragile truce was made by the marriage of a Cobal son and a Stanton daughter. With Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg left in a poor state, the two united families combined what remained of their people and wealth and established a town within the Blood Fields, which gained its name from being the main site of battle between the two families.
The city of Bannhurst was established on the Blood Fields around 20 U.A.R. and experienced a very lucky start. Shortly after colonization of the area, a large gold mine filled with rich precious minerals was discovered. The discovery of the mine revived the coffers of both families and caused Bannhurst to prosper. The discovery of the mine and the rich natural resources of the Ashen Coast also attracted a large amount of attention, drawing in many families to settle in the Ashen Coast as well, establishing towns such as Keel Harbor, Brandon's Stead, and Rosefield.
Where as towns such as Gregor's Crossing and the like were established due to the influx of residents looking for rich minerals, Rosefield was founded by the local inhabitants of Gilneas who were being either driven out of their home locations by the in coming immigrants. Most of the druidic folk flocked into the Dark Woods during this time. With the Dark Woods becoming home to quite a few displaced clans, one of them decided to set off into the Ashen Coast once more to found their own town rather than fleeing from their homes as the others did. In time, this settlement became Rosefield and the lands prospered due to the druidic magic that would later cause the surrounding regions to be rich for growing crops.
Despite numerous attempts to subjugate the druids, the town remained independent of the Arathorian settlers that had come to Gilneas and remained a power in it's self. It was not until the rallying under king Aderic I that Rosefield fully joined in with their neighbors. Once the kingdom was established, the lead members of the druidic community took up the name of the House of Darkoak and were named viscounts.
War in the Ashen CoastEdit
Following the establishment of the Kingdom of Gilneas, the area of the Ashen Coast experienced a mix of religions. Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg were strong worshipers of the Holy Light, while such towns as Rosefield and Gregor's Crossing, which were mostly agrarian, were strong supporters of the Old Ways and refused to worship the light. To add further religious confusion, worship of the god Deus was adopted in Brandon's Stead and Keel Harbor. With Bannhurst caught in the center, religious tension broke out within the area. As the strongest family in the area, the Cobalstants believed that Bannhurst should be kept to Light worship, seeking to oust Old Ways worship and especially worship of the god Deus.
Chapels to the Light were established in the areas of Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg, and a small cathedral was to be built in Bannhurst. Using stealth tactics and foreign mercenaries, the Cobalstants focused destruction on the towns of Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead in order to cut down on Deus worship, in the eyes of the Cobalstants it was seen as a direct affront to the light and was to be snuffed out. By 600 F.A., the Ashen Coast' dominant religion was becoming Light worship.
In retaliation, an alliance was formed between the two towns by the name of the Ashen Coast Coalition, and rather than pushing for stealthy methods, a direct assault was sieged on Bannhurst in order to severely hurt the Cobalstant's wealth. The assault attracted a large amount of attention to the Ashen Coast by the rest of Gilneas, with other houses silently supporting the Deus worshipers with hopes of displacing the wealthy Cobalstants and establishing some hold in the area.
Fearing for their people, the towns of Rosefield and Gregor's Crossing banded together in an alliance of their own named the Rose Pact, laying siege to Bannhurst in order to displace both the Cobalstants and the Ashen Coast Coalition. The three way war in the town led to a severe decline of Bannhurst's prosperity, with the Cathedral's construction site destroyed and the great gold mine of Bannhurst being left unmanned. Unable to reap the benefits of the Ashen Coast, the armies of Greymane marched into the region, occupying the wreckage of Bannhurst and effectively ending the war. By the end of the strife, Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead were left in ruins.
The Cobalstants funded the rebuilding of these two towns, establishing chapels of the Light, while Gregor's Crossing and Rosefield were permitted to continue their practices of the Old ways, and worship of the light was adopted in the area as well. Ultimately, Deus worship was effectively destroyed in the area as most practitioners were either slain or were converted to the ways of the light.
Rise of DayneEdit
During the time of the Marsh Rebellion around 943 F.A., Rosefield secluded it's self to avoid the fighting that was devastating the two regions of the Reach and the Bite. Due to Rosefield's position on the border of the Bite and the Reach, fighting often broke out in the fringes of the area. During one such incident, Ironwood Keep, a fortification within the viscounty, had been taken over by the Cobalstants in order to gain a better ground on the Greyfields. While initially willing to side with Marsh due to this, the holding of Emelia Darkoak, the then lord Willis Darkoak's daughter, as a hostage within the keep kept the Darkoaks from interacting. After a siege from Marsh's forces, Emelia was taken to Marsh's chambers, having believed she was a servant girl. He seduced her, only finding out later on that she was a Darkoak, and imprisoned her for leverage. While a mistake on his part, Harrison Marsh kept Emelia within the dungeons regardless after the revelation of her true status. Following Harrison's death to Hendrick Cobalstant within Bannhurst, Willis rushed to liberate Ironwood Keep and save his daughter. He found that she had given birth to a son, and though he was initially apprehensive over keeping the child, Emelia begged for the child to be raised properly. Named Teryn, the boy was raised under Lord Willis and the family of the Darkoaks as though he were one of their own.
Teryn showed to be a capable warrior and was eventually raised to be Willis' personal guard and a knight. Teryn took to the post with ease, though it was not until he'd fended off a band of bandits from Willis and another minor lord that he was elevated and landed within the seat of Ironwood Keep, ironically the place of his conception and birth, where he would watch over the region for the remainder of his life. Taking the last name of Dayne, the House of Dayne was founded as a cadet branch of the House of Darkoak and would later on become one of their main supporters. It would not be until the Dayne rebellion some time around the Second War that the house fell out of favor of the Darkoaks.
Demise of House CobalstantEdit
Following Marsh's Rebellion, Bannhurst was left mostly untouched, the constant wars in the area having prevented it from becoming a true city of Gilneas once again, the poor management of the town under House Cobalstant stunted its growth further. From the years of the Rebellion onward, House Cobalstant's care for its towns waned and by the time of the First War, Bannhurst was a husk of the city it was once in history.
By the time the Second War began near 1120 F.A., the Cobalstants had all but left the area to rot, having imposed overly high taxes and demands of the people that left most families starving. Led by Galen Hallowfield, the citizens of Bannhurst stormed Cobalstant Manor in a rage, slaughtering the lord Balferd Cobalstant and his family. With no Cobalstants remaining, House Grayblade, a North Ashen Coast family that had been without land for quite sometime, was placed as the head of Bannhurst and given control of Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg as well as their minor holds.
Lord Haverin Grayblade had been a loyal servant of the crown, as had the rest of his family, for generations, and his economic and political savy ways secured crucial contracts for Bannhurst and its holdings. Focusing Cobal's Hold as the mining production town of the area, and Karnsburg as the agrarian center, the two stayed out of competition with each other, allowing both towns to flourish, while Bannhurst resumed its position as commerce capital of the Ashen Coast, having been industrialized to maintain a large holding of factories. The town was brought to the forefront by clever workings of contracts with specialists in the area, such as contracting the people of Rosefield to work in Karnsburg with their agrarian and druidic knowledge, while the hearty people of Brandon's Stead were contracted to work the plentiful mines near Cobal's Hold.
Following Bannhurst's example, Gregor's Crossing industrialized and formed a trade coalition with Bannhurst. Bannhurst would design and create the means for various machinations and Gregor's Crossing would finalize and improve on the designs then export them en mass with split profits going to each town. The coalition provided various sorts of crop harvesters to the rebuilding nation of Stormwind, while also improving on various gun designs.
Under Lord Grayblade, Bannhurst was revitalized in a short amount of years, and Cobalstant Manor was renamed to Grayblade Manor in their honor. As a gift, Galen Hallowfield gave the Lord Grayblade the last remaining Cobalstant Hearthstone, the signet of the ruler of Bannhurst, as a show of good faith from the people to their new leader.
As with many of the lords of the region, the Darkoaks pledged fealty to the Grayblades in hopes they would revitalize the region.
Arrival of the Seventh SkullEdit
Following the end of the Second War and the closing off of Gilneas from the rest of Azeroth, a group of Lordaeronian deserters turned bandits became trapped behind the wall. Originally just harassing small towns such as Emberstone Village, the Seventh Skull sought to grip Gilneas' economy under its fist. Laying siege to several towns across the Ashen Coast, such as Rosefield and Keel Harbor, the Seventh Skull gripped the southern Ashen Coast economy. Seeking to gain full control over the Ashen Coast, the Skull's leader, Sven Lanyda, sent out missives to the Lord Grayblade, telling him to forfeit half of Bannhurst's profits to the Skull as tribute. Denying the man out right, Sven's men infiltrated Grayblade Manor later on in the evening.
In a vicious battle between Lord Haverin and Lady Erleia against their assassins, the Grayblades were slain, having been wounded severely and the manor set ablaze before the family hound took down the final assassin. Through a stroke of luck, the Grayblade children, Berenal Grayblade and Ereden Grayblade had snuck out of the house moments before the assassins arrived. They were whisked away to safety by a family friend by the name of James Lanworth.
The blazing manor acted as a signal as the Seventh Skull ravaged the town, sacking it and slaughtering thousands. Rallying the people of Bannhurst together in the town square James sent the children of Bannhurst away by carriage to Keel Harbor. Unfortunately, several carriages were destroyed and the children within butchered. Rather than submitting to the Skull as they planned, the people of Bannhurst took up arms against the marauders, leading to a bloodbath that would eventually kill both forces completely. Of the thousands that lived in Bannhurst, the only survivors were the adults that drove the carriages to Keel Harbor, led by the town's Runemaster Elderic.
In the aftermath of the attack, Bannhurst was left completely ruined and the Ashen Coast in disarray. Cobal's Hold was given to House Darkoak of Rosefield, and Karnsburg to House Cloverfield, only for the Cloverfields to eventually die of mysterious circumstances, and Karnsburg to go under the Darkoak's lordship. For years after Bannhurst's destruction, noone dared to attempt rebuilding the town, allowing it to wear away down to little more than a ruined husk, and the unity of the Ashen Coast wore away over the years. In the years that followed, House Gregor of Gregor's Crossing and House Greyfield of Brandon's Stead to become extremely wary of the Darkoaks, following the sudden destruction of House Cloverfield and House Grayblade.
During this time, Rosefield moved from being the seat of the Darkoak's power, and a Dayne regent was left behind. Unfortunately, this regent used this as a staging point to later rebel against Greymane. It would later leave Ironwood Keep in disrepair, and only one Dayne remained by the end of it. The house was deemed exiled following this rebellion, the first of several losses that would befall the region.
Death of the Darkoaks and the WorgenEdit
While on a visit to Gilneas City to visit his son and sole heir, Galin Darkoak, Lord Balaforth Darkoak was slain, alongside his son, by Berenal Grayblade, the heir to Bannhurst and true heir to Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg. The man was arrested, though was later released on the grounds that he was framed. With no other heirs to the land, Cobal's Hold, Karnsburg, and the Ruins of Bannhurst once again found themselves under the name of House Grayblade, though it was short lived.
While the young Lord Berenal Grayblade sought out a military life and left minor lords to run the towns in his stead, the Worgen curse swept across Gilneas in the years to come. While the Ashen Coast were mostly unaffected, Bannhurst became the site of hunting parties, seeking out the wolfmen in the ruins. After a large pack of Worgen were found in the ruins, and Gilneas City had been lost, the people of the Ashen Coast destroyed the bridge connecting the Ashen Coast to the rest of Gilneas.
Arrival of the HordeEdit
The final blow to the Ashen Coast was struck by the hands of the Orcish Horde that had arrived near the end of the first invasion of Gilneas. During this time, Rosefield, Cobal's Hold, Karnsburg, and Brandon's Stead were destroyed by the Horde. The people of Gregor's Crossing held fast against the Orcish Horde, and provided an evacuation route for the families fleeing from the Ashen Coast. The town was later abandoned when the evacuation was nearing its end. During this time, the ruins of Bannhurst along with most of the Ashen Coast were the site of battle between the Gilneans and their Night elven allies, and the Orcish Horde that was invading.
By the end of the siege, the Greyfield family was neary wiped out, having been butchered when Brandon's Stead was ransacked. The people of House Gregor and the Lady of House Greyfield followed Lord Berenal Grayblade and lent their men to the banner of The Blades of Greymane. Gregor's Crossing now operates as a militant base in the Ashen Coast, having sustained minimal damage during the assault.
Rosefield was completely sacked during the offensive, leaving the town in shambles and the crop fields on fire.
Recovery, Destruction, RevitalizationEdit
Rosefield was revitalized during the period of Sieglinde Greyfield, where she saw the town rebuilt (despite being under Lord Grayblade at the time). The land produced food for the then struggling Ashen Coast, acting as the main source of crop yield. Ultimately, Rosefield was never brought back into its former spotlight under Lady Greyfield or Lord Grayblade. It was not until the excursion into the Dark Woods that Rosefield was given a proper lord in the form of lord Lerren Dayne, a surviving member of the bastard branch of Darkoak. Though initially his loyalties were skeptical, Lord Dayne preformed admirably under the Ashen Coast. This continued even though he had arrived after Lord Derrik Greyfield had taken command with his sister's disappearance.
Lord Dayne eventually became one of the central voices of the Reach, replacing Dame Maribell Parsons as regent of the Reach as well as growing out the armies of the region. When the Second Range Rebellion struck, Rosefield bore the brunt of betrayal from within. Despite the House of Marshoak's attempts, Lord Damien Marshoak was slaughtered and Rosefield raided. When the town was reclaimed, most of its populace had been relocated to Ironwood Keep or had been killed.
Rosefield was, once again, revitalized under the now Lord Darkoak following the rebellion. As the seat of the Earldom of the Gale, Rosefield was quickly restored and brought forward as a center of Reachman pride and durability.
It is currently lorded over by lord Lerren Darkoak following the destruction of House Darkoak. Though originally a member of the House of Dayne, a bastard branch of the Darkoaks, Lerren was legitimized by Duke Berenal Grayblade after the Dayne line was officially considered a section of Darkoak. It is the center of the Earldom of the Gale and acts as the secondary seat of power within The Reach.
The people of Rosefield are typically fair haired and fair skinned, blonde hair being common which is a rare trait amongst most of Gilneas. The people of Rosefield hold a deep reverence for druidic magic as the original founders were pagan practitioners of the Old Ways. The land it's self is extremely fertile, with high crop yields and very rarely leading to failed harvest. Rosefield's land is found between two river outlets and is typically a friendly and peaceful town. Its status as a border town typically sees it have many travelers from the rest of the Reach and the Bite going through it, bringing in a high amount of commerce.
The town it's self was constructed in a building style outside of the typical Gilnean style due to the odd culture of the region, something that has persisted following it's rebuilding as most of the buildings of Rosefield still stood after the town was raided, but were in ramshackle state.