Jucata: The New World
Jucata is a warm, tropical region rich in natural resources and arable land. It is a competitive nation, home to a number of prosperous, loosely-affiliated city-states and populated by a proud, capable people. With the impenetrable Barrier Mountains to the north and two great oceans to the East and West, Jucatans are a seafaring bunch by necessity. Trade between the cities on the mainland and the islands in the nearby Sepabi Gulf brought wealth, goods, and the occasional war to each of the great Jucatan cities for many years.
These cities were Naruna, Agaraset, Ilaku, Waleti, Cordelia, and Agad. Their differences and frequent squabbles set the nation of Jucata apart from the countries of the old world. As there was no unifying government to bind them together, competition between the great cities turned into tension and violence from time to time.
This disharmony between the city states had its advantages, as well. Jucatan culture was as varied and fine as its goods, and Jucatan art and architecture was no exception to this. For a student of such things, Jucata was a wonderful place, if a bit hostile toward outsiders in some pockets. That the great cities had to compete with one another for trade and wealth from abroad kept tariffs low and made Jucata a destination for merchants of every kind.
The Halan Invasion
Great Hale is an island nation from far across the eastern sea. It is ruled by King Gareth Hilam, and its people bend knee to the Lady of the Veil, an omnipotent Goddess from an ancient age who commands compassion and the spreading of her truth.
First contact with the Halans was peaceful. Merchants from Hale set up permanent companies in Jucatan cities, missionaries arrived and spread word of the Goddess to all who would listen, and explorers from Great Hale came to map the new world – all were seduced by Jucata’s untamed spirit.
But King Gareth looked to his southern neighbor, the Veil nation of Ramanon, with envious eyes. Ramanon had already claimed the wilds to the north of Jucata, and goods from overseas brought great wealth to the Ramanese treasury. King Gareth longed to make his country an empire.
He turned his sights to Jucata. Before long, there were Halan ships in Naruna’s harbor and Halan marines storming the great city’s streets.
The Halans were technologically advanced and experienced in warfare, but many of their most dependable weapons were useless in Jucata. Horses and cavalry units were not well-suited for the jungle, and while the Halan navy was mighty, the great Jucatan cities had more than enough ships and sailors to thwart the invasion if they worked together.
They failed to do so. The Halan forces proved adept at exploiting the old prejudices of the great cities and turning them against each other, allowing them to divide and conquer the Jucatan territories one at a time. It was a long and bloody war, and after twenty years, the old Jucatan cities were all dominated or destroyed. Jucata was no more – New Jucata, a colony of the Halan empire, had taken its place.
Lord Wilmore, Hero of Naruna
Percival Wilmore was not always ‘Lord’ Wilmore. As the second son in line to inherit the Wilmore title, he stood to gain no land from his father, and had joined the army with the desire to carve a place for himself in the world. After completing his training and getting his commission, he left his young wife behind in order to win glory in Jucata.
He became ‘Iron Percy,’ the Hero of Naruna, by being the first Halan up the ramparts of the fortress there and being lucky enough to survive the honor. Tales of the dashing young officer who’d won the day for Hale began to spread – some of them greatly exaggerated – and before too long, people were calling him a hero. He was promoted twice before the war’s end and his fame had spread to the mother country before his return.
When he came home to the Halan capital city of Brackston, he was offered a position on the King’s closed council, the body of advisors that King Gareth consulted on the matters most important to the crown. It was a job he found difficult. He had no head for politics and intrigue and was hopelessly outmaneuvered by the other advisors, who looked for any excuse to get rid of him. He was young, principled, popular, and incredibly inconvenient to their purposes. They saw to it that he was ‘promoted’ to a high position in the colony, far away from the King’s ear.
Percival, now ‘Lord Wilmore,’ the Governor of New Jucata, did not mind. When plague claimed his darling Claire and left him alone with an infant son, it only strengthened his resolve to leave and return to Jucata, a place he had learned to love.
The Present Day
It has been twenty years since the end of the Conquest War. Lord Wilmore has proven a capable and fair governor. He has seen to it that the King’s subjects in New Jucata enjoy all the amenities of Halan society and has kept tribute payments to the mother country stable throughout his reign as governor. His son, Graham, has grown into a fine young man, and he has been grooming the boy to take his place one day. He has spent his adult life building a future for New Jucata, one where Halan authority is strong, the people are content, and the land is prosperous.
But it is all more fragile than it seems...