revolt of the apes

Denbigh Castle (Castell Dinbych)
Denbighshire, Wales by Marechal Jacques

The modern ruins date back to the Conquest of Wales (1277-1283 CE) by the English King Edward I. The castle was built on top of an earlier Welsh fortress held by Dafydd ap Gruffydd who was brother to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd – the last sovereign Prince of Wales. 

The castle has seen battle on a number of occasions. It was successfully attacked and taken during the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn (1294-1295). It also played small roles in Owain Glyndwr’s uprising (1400-1415), The War of the Roses (1455-1485), and the English Civil War (1642-1651). During the English Civil War the castle came under siege by Parliamentary forces. Afterwards it was slighted so as to prevent its further use. 

A quick summary of some Elder Scrolls lore, by Reezda

This post comes from a packet of lore I made for a Elder-Scrolls-themed D&D campaign I am running. It is just a brief summary of some important lore points focused on the campaign, but Mira and I feel it’s educational enough to post here.

The world of the Elder Scrolls is known as Nirn (also called Mundus). The main continent of importance in Nirn is called Tamriel. Tamriel itself is divided into several provinces: High Rock, Skyrim, Morrowind, Black Marsh, Elsweyr, Valenwood, Summerset Isles, Hammerfell, and Cyrodiil. In addition to Tamriel, there are a few other continents, such as Atmora, Yokuda, Akavir, Pyandonea, and Aldmeris, but they are all inaccessible, for a variety of reasons.

The races of Tamriel are divided into three groups: Men, Mer (elves), and Betmer (beastfolk: Argonians and Khajiit, to name the most popular two). Throughout history, men and mer have been fighting each other, creating deep-seated racial tensions between them. All races of elves come from a race called the Aldmer (old folk). The Aldmer come from the continent of Aldmeris, believed to be to the south of Tamriel. From Aldmeris, the Aldmer are believed to have settled in the Summerset Isles, an archipelago to the west of Tamriel. From there they established a flowering society steeped in magic, worshiping the Aedra: the gods from whom the mer believe they descend (versus the Daedra, whom the mer believe share no connection to Nirn… typically regarded as “demon lords,” though that’s not precisely accurate, since some of them are not particularly melovolent).

However the society of the Aldmer grew fractious. Several groups of mer left the Summerset Isles and headed into mainland Tamriel. Among these groups were the Ayleids. The Ayleids headed into central Tamriel – what would now be called Cyrodiil – and established a civilization of city-states, with the White-Gold Tower and its surrounding city (what would later become the Imperial City) as its center.

While the mer were establishing themselves in Tamriel, men from the continent of Atmora to the north of Tamriel began to flee their homeland as it began to freeze over. The Atmorans began settling in the northern part of Tamriel – what is now Skyrim – where they eventually came into conflict with Falmer (snow elves) – the mer who had settled in that region.

As human tribes established themselves south of Skyrim, they encountered the Ayleids. The Ayleids enslaved some of the people, forcing them to build their new civilization. In the year 242 of the first era, the human slaves revolted, led by a woman named Alessia – later regarded as a saint, who received prophetic visions from the Aedra, supporting her revolt.

During the Alessian Slave Revolt, the Ayleids were severely weakened. The power structure of Cyrodiil shifted, and a new empire rose, led by the human fomer-slaves – the Imperials, though some Ayleids still held power over some regions in Cyrodiil.

However, centuries after the Revolt, the teachings of an Imga (the Imga were a betmer race of ape-men) named Marukh started a religious order within the Alessian Empire: the Alessian Order. This order vilified mer and established a monotheism to replace the polytheistic pantheon of Aedra that was commonly worshiped in the Empire. As the power and influence of the Alessian Order grew, the Ayleids began a long exodus out of what remained of their cities, fleeing to all corners of Tamriel, seeking sanctuary with other races of mer.

Eventually the power of the Alessian Order grew so much that the highest ranking member of the Order: the Arch-Prelate had power that rivaled the Emperor himself. All other forms of worship were outlawed in the Empire. By this point, racism against elves – the Ayleids especially – was at an all-time high. Ayleids were no longer in the province. Their cities fell to ruins.

4th June, Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd

The Calendar Woman for 4th June is Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd (1097-1136)

Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd was the Princess consort of Deheubarth in Wales who became famous for her revolt against the Normans. The youngest daughter of Prince Gruffud ap Cynan of Gwynedd, the young Gwenllian eloped with a visiting Prince, Gruffydd ap Rhys, at the age of 16 and joined him in Deheubarth, South Wales. The Norman invasion of South Wales was putting pressure on her new family and they were often on the move. Gwenllian would travel with her husband in mountain or forest strongholds, joining him on retaliatory strikes against the Norman-held posts in Deheubarth, redistributing their goods and money among the Deheubarth Welsh who had been dispossessed.

In 1136 conflict over the English throne weakened the central authority in England and offered the chance for a revolt, which began in South Wales lead by Hywel ap Maredudd, Lord of Brycheiniog. He was initially successful, inspiring Gwenllian’s husband to meet with her father and secure aid to further the revolt. In his absence, the Nomans led raids in Deheubarth, prompting Gwenllian to raise an army for their defence. The battle, fought near Kidwelly Castle, ended in defeat for Gwenllian – she was captured in battle and beheaded along with two of her sons.

As news of her death spread, others in South Wales were inspired to rise up and overthrow Norman controlled areas of Wales. Her brother’s also took up arms, invading several Norman-controlled regions in her name and for centuries after her death, Welshmen cried out ‘revenge for Gwenllian’ when fighting in battle.