Commonwealth of Kaedrin
The Commonwealth of Kaedrin is a part of the Holy Orenian Empire and is located North of The Cloud Temple, encompassing the territories of Mount St. Catherine, the County of Guise and the Hedgerow Fields. It's current capital city of Owynsburg, which simultaneously serves as the seat of the democratic government of the Commonwealth.
- See also: History of Kaedrin
The modern-day Commonwealth of Kaedrin is the historical successor to a number of previous entities, the governmental systems of all having been drawn upon and refined in order to provide the content for this document. The first Kingdom of Kaedrin, proclaimed at Ard Kerrack in 1414, serves as the genesis point of centuries of Kaedreni culture. Widely understood as ‘not a state with an army, but an army with a state’, the first kingdom was inextricably linked to the Order of the White Rose, from which the sovereign and Grand Master was elected in a pseudo-democratic system among the order’s membership.
The first kingdom was dissolved with the Exodus of 1420, along with the knightly chapter. The Chivays later refocused their efforts towards Imperial ambitions, with the crown of Kaedrin becoming a subsidiary title to successive Orenian monarchs. In the early 16th century under the rule of King Olivier, the Commonwealth of Kaedrin was established on the frontier of the realm. Drawing on the democratic prototype (Though with no military order to speak of), the first Commonwealth was chiefed by a vassal magnate, elected in a ‘free election’ by members of the Kaedreni gentry. This entity persisted until the death of the last magnate, Cantonus Chivay, in 1543 and the absorption of Kaedreni land into the Duchy of Lorraine with the Act of Merger issued by Emperor John I.
The current Commonwealth of Kaedrin has risen from the ashes of the old Republic of Ves, promoted by the House of Helvets who emigrated to the free city, bringing Kaedreni culture and philosophy with them all the while. Technically, the realm is in a state of legal personal union between Kaedrin and Ves, and while the latter does take a secondary role to the former on paper, a great many democratic processes are drawn from both systems in order to form the government of the new Commonwealth - an elective monarchy and quasi-military state unique in its role within the Holy Orenian Empire.
Realm of the White Rose
The first Kingdom of Kaedrin was established as not a state with an army, but an army with a state, the army therein being the infamous Order of the White Rose of yore. This military realm was in many ways a pseudo-democracy, with the kingship tied to the office of Grand Master which was elected from among the institution’s knightly membership.
St. Peter I of the House of Chivay (r. 1414 - 1420)
The first King of Kaedrin, Peter the First rose from Aeldenic mercenary to sovereign of the era’s most indisputably powerful realm in a lifetime. As founder and Grand Master of the Order of the White Rose, Peter’s service (And that of his knight-brothers) to the Emperor in conquering the elven tribes of Malinor led to the formation of the kingdom from the newly settled western frontier. A policy of expansion, colonization and forced conversion followed that would establish Kaedrin in the annals of history as a quasi-military settler state. In 1420, he abdicated his throne with the Exodus, with the gentryman Edmond Brunswick (St. Edmond) becoming elected Grand Master. As he was of too low birth to accede to the throne in proper, the title of King of Kaedrin reverted to William I, who was Holy Orenian Emperor.
Later, around c. 1426, the Emperor would be forced to grant the lands of Kaedrin and the west to the King of the Harrenites, Lachlan Mor Elendil, which would precipitate the Harrenite War. The defeat of the Harrenites in this conflict by Prophet Sigismund and his Karovic heirs would result in their adoption of the style of ‘King of Kaedrin’, until the assassination of Francis the Martyr in 1456.
The Third Empire
The Kingdom of Kaedrin was restored, in part, in 1456, when Peter the First returned thirty-six years after the catastrophic Exodus to claim the title of Holy Orenian Emperor in the chaos that followed King Francis’ assassination in 1456.
St. Peter I of the House of Chivay (2nd. r. 1456 - 1462)
With the help of his nephew, Robert, and Imperial Fieldmarshal, Vibius Hanseticus de Sola, Peter cowed the quarrelsome nobility of the era, returning to the throne of Kaedrin while serving concurrently as Holy Orenian Emperor. This ushered in the Third Empire, bringing about a new age of human domination over the world with the construction of the cities of Kaldonia, Tempum and finally Petrus. Peter’s reign as Holy Orenian Emperor would reign victorious over the nonhumans who engaged him in war, falling each and every time, with those enemies he had within the Empire cowed by his domineering, charismatic presence. Already a venerable man of 96 by the time of his second ascension, Peter I died in his sleep at the age of 102, having reigned for six golden years.
Robert I of the House of Chivay (r. 1462 - 1467)
It was Peter’s nephew, Robert, who succeeded him to the throne of the Holy Orenian Empire and of Kaedrin. The son of Thomas Chivay and his half-elven bride, Robert’s status as a quadroon of elvish blood proved increasingly unpopular with his subjects, who had spent most of their lifetime fighting an eternal war against mendacious nonhuman polities. This was complicated by rumoured dalliances with pagan rituals in the deep woods of the Crownlands. When he made a humiliating peace with the nonhumans, the proverbial knives came out. Though he was not entirely uncharismatic, Robert did not bear the same imposing presence as his uncle, and after five years of rule was deposed by Vibius Hanseticus, who seized the capital city with the aid of the Duke of Ruska and Richard de Bar.
The Duke of Ruska’s acclamation as Holy Orenian Emperor spelled the functional end of the Kingdom of Kaedrin as a political entity, leading to its absorption to the Imperial Crown. Successive rulers of humanity would continue to use the style, however, as an addendum upon their titles.
The Old Commonwealth
The Savoyard dynasty who ruled the Kingdom of Oren from 1498 to 1526 were descended primarily from St. Lucien, who was one of the founders of the Order of the White Rose. Having been raised on stories of the Order’s glory, in 1518 King Olivier, a known Kaedrenophile, undertook a plan to restore Kaedrin as a subsidiary realm to guard the elven frontier. This realm was ruled by a noble of ducal rank entitled ‘magnate’, who was elected for life from among the local peers, and was known as the Commonwealth of Kaedrin, known to historians as the Old Commonwealth or the Savoyard Commonwealth.
Cantonus Chivay (r. 1518 - 1543)
To aid him in his plan, Olivier recruited one of the last living dynasts of the House of Chivay, Cantonus, as the inaugural Magnate of Kaedrin. With Foltest Helvets (The Count of Hengtfors), Adam de Gleveisen (The Count of Redmark) and later Ingrid de Wett (The Baroness of Wett) as his aristocratic subsidiaries, Cantonus directed the Kaedreni settlers towards loyalty to his royal benefactor in the catastrophic Duke’s War. A competent administrator, an almost omnipotent spymaster yet a most disagreeable man in his personal life, Cantonus developed a deadly rivalry with the commander-in-chief of the royalist forces, Augustus de Sola, which would later be exacerbated when the general was awarded with the former territories of rebellious Adria, which bordered his land. Though Cantonus was an initial supporter of John I, who came to the throne in 1526 with the demise of the Savoyard dynasty, the Emperor’s closeness to Augustus drove him away from court and into bitter obscurity. He died some time in 1543, and John I issued the Act of Merger which awarded the lands of Kaedrin to Augustus, who was by then Duke of Lorraine, thus spelling the end of the old Commonwealth.
The Act of Merger of 1543 merged the lands of the former Commonwealth into the estate of the Dukes of Lorraine, who from that point onward employed the style of Duke of Kaedrin in a form of real union. On paper, Kaedrin persisted under them, however, in practise it was dissolved as a polity, with no serious historians or chroniclers considering the Archduke of Lorraine to have ruled over a contiguous Kaedreni entity in this period. After the end of the Fifth Empire in 1595, most successive emperors claimed the title of King of Kaedrin.
The New Commonwealth
The New Commonwealth was forged in the crucible of the Troubles, established in 1725 by Adrian Helvets, a descendant of the Count of Hengtfors, and the Captain-General of the Caer Bann Company, Richard de Reden, a fearsome condottiero. Rising from the ashes of the old Republic of Ves, to whom Kaedrin had a connection through Lorraine and Adria, this Commonwealth is a legal personal union between the two titles of King of Kaedrin and Grand Duke of Ves. The polity is intentionally modelled off a blend of the Order’s realm of yore, the Old Commonwealth and the Republic. It is a constitutional monarchy as well as a quasi-military state with specific democratic elements.
Adrian I of the House of Helvets (r. 1725–present)
Born under the name of Helton Hadrian Helvets, Adrian I of Kaedrin began his life as an exiled noble from an old, prestigious yet impoverished Kaedreni house. As a young adult he owned and operated a successful winery, however, with the War of Two Emperors it fell on hard times and so he emigrated to the Republic of Ves. Forging an alliance with the condottiero Richard de Reden and his Caer Bann Company of Kaedreni mercenaries, Adrian subverted the decaying republic and became undisputed sovereign of the territory, establishing in its wake the restored Commonwealth - a constitutional monarchy based on old Kaedreni principles. For four years, he enjoyed indisputable success as the foremost power in the Empire, however a controversial officer’s purge in 1729 amid rumours of a coup led to Count de Reden’s resignation and the slow diminishment of the realm in the ensuing decade. In 1740, Richard de Reden was finally returned to the office of Governor-General with the king surrendering the royal prerogative to him under the terms of the Constitution.
Culture and Society
Many cultures and ethnicities left their mark on the Red City throughout its numerous leadership changes, from Illatian Patrician families to Qalasheen immigrants, however the majority of its current population is Kaedreni.
The Church of the Canon is the official religion of the Commonwealth, and Prophet Owyn is its patron Prophet. A modern testimony to Kaedreni religious life is the Monastery of Saint Robert, which hosts numerous community services tied to daily life in the Commonwealth, such as the Jolly Boar Inn, the Library of Ves and the Almshouse.
House of Electors
The House of Electors serves as the upper house of the Diet of Kaedrin, the legislature of the Commonwealth. All peers who hold a hereditary peerage from baron through to duke are entitled to a life-long seat within the House of Electors, who elect the king from those candidates eligible under the Constitution.
Unlike most other human realms, all land in the Commonwealth of Kaedrin is under the direct administrative control of the Crown, and by extension, the office of the Governor-General. Accordingly, these peers do not maintain political control over the land attached to their titles, bearing the nomenclature alone as a courtesy. This does not mean these titles are simply titular, as technically, the land to which they appertain exists.
House of Commons
The House of Commons serves as the lower house of the Diet of Kaedrin, the legislature of the Commonwealth, and is comprised of elected membership from the various other estates of the realm. However, the House of Commons has been in a state of formal dissolution since 1740 with the increasing militarization of the realm.
The 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers of the Imperial State Army, known colloquially as the Commonwealth Grenadiers or simply as the Grenadiers, serve as the standing military of the Commonwealth of Kaedrin and a division of the Holy Orenian Empire’s armed forces.
In the year 1743, by the initiative of Governor-General Richard de Reden, the remnants of the former Royal Army along with the 'PFI' peasant militia were combined in an act of merger that established the 2nd Regiment. The men of Kaedrin, historically known for their steadfastness and sturdiness, were informally dubbed ‘the Grenadiers’ as a unit of specialized shock troops in the service of the Empire. In a natural evolution from the Kaedreni siege engineers of yore, these soldiers, recruited from both the rural highlands of the outer Commonwealth and the metropolitan township of Ves, serve and defend their country in a myriad of different assault operations.
The military ensign of the 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers is the flag of the Commonwealth, in the top left-hand corner, flown atop a field of white. The 2nd Regiment maintains both mounted soldiers and infantry amid its ranks.
In line with classical Kaedreni principles, the hardy men of the Commonwealth Grenadiers are inculcated with the principles of human unity and supremacy over perfidious nonhumans, gypsies and pagans. This is best summarized by the unofficial words of the Commonwealth as a whole, the maxim of St Peter, who declared ‘one God, one country and one law’ for humanity.
All members of the officer corps of the 2nd Regiment above the rank of ensign are expected to wear their hair in the Kaedreni fashion, powdered, curled and tied in a queue, and wear the tricorne as the symbol of their rank.