There was once a time, before your father’s father’s father was born, when the Great Maps contained a unified kingdom in the center of the world. Its name was the Vrazivia Kingdom, and it had been the strongest kingdom in the land, defeating every other contending army that came its way. It was a rather old kingdom, with twenty kings already dead and gone, some great and some evil.
Before this story begins, it is important to know about the two sons of the King of Vrazivia: Prince Augustin, the heir to the throne, and his younger brother Prince Ulric.
As children the two brothers were close and often played together; but as they grew older, the difference in their roles in life became more and more apparent.
Prince Augustin was made to study politics, the rules of the court, and had extra hours of military training; meanwhile, Prince Ulric, considered the “spare”, had much more free time, often being left to wander the palaces. This clear difference in roles began a growing hatred for one another that continued for the rest of their lives.
Prince Ulric was a stubborn, headstrong, and extroverted young boy, with bright blue eyes and brown hair. He easily talked to courtiers and servants, and even charmed visiting royals and emissaries. Meanwhile his brother, the heir, was shy and soft-spoken.
Augustin was skilled in the military arts, and was incredibly gifted when it came to his education, but he was so shy he could barely speak to anyone outside of his family. He also had an immense fear of dirt and sickness, and wore white silk gloves wherever he went in order not to touch anything dirty.
Prince Ulric saw himself as the better King-to-be, believing himself more fit to rule. As they grew older, the difference became clearer.
Prince Augustin inherited his mother’s beautiful blonde hair and striking sky blue eyes. His body was slender and he was tall, and despite his shyness, he was charismatic and could easily hold the attention of anyone speaking to him.
Prince Ulric meanwhile inherited the short stature of his father, the King. With his curly brown hair, round face, and stout body, barely anyone noticed him.
It didn’t help that he had become very aggressive and reckless, and already had a history of hosting late night parties in the castle, much to the dismay of his parents, and the servants that had to clean up afterwards. All eyes were on his seemingly perfect, angelic brother.
Prince Ulric absolutely hated that.
By the time they were in their early 20s, the King had started to weaken. His reign was considered the golden age of the entire kingdom, and the princes could feel the pressure of following up to that.
Everyone began to prepare Augustin for the role of the King, but because of this, no one took notice of his brother’s scheming and evil plans.
One night, Prince Ulric gathered his cronies (most of whom were minor princes and noblemen, all of whom vowed to fight against the heir) and had split them into two groups.
The first, in which he was part, stalked up to Prince Augustin’s chambers and made sure he wouldn’t make a sound. The second went to an older part of the castle, one that had been built from the very first King’s rule, and torched it to the ground.
As this happened, Prince Ulric burned parts of the Augustin’s clothes and both his hands, so that it would appear that it was he who had started the fire. Prince Ulric and his men disappeared into the night as the smoke from the burning tower filled the sky, and the king-to-be moaned in agony over his wounds.
News spread of the arson, and the kingdom’s people were split in two. Prince Ulric managed to spread another story of how his brother wore gloves all the time because he was an arsonist and loved burning things, and was so careless he had often burned himself.
Prince Ulric’s charisma was able to turn Augustin loyalists into skeptics, and suddenly it seemed that the older prince wasn’t as perfect as they thought.
As soon as his hands had healed, Prince Augustin tried to clear his name, stating over and over that it was his brother who had committed the arson.
However, he had no witnesses, while Prince Ulric had his men to back up the plot, each armed with a story that erased any thoughts of them being part of the arson.
The kingdom’s people were split in half: one part was for Prince Augustin, and another for Prince Ulric. As this began to grow into a bigger issue, the dying king called both his sons to his deathbed.
“You two must work as brothers, not as enemies,” the king said in between coughs, holding both his sons’ hands. “The kingdom must not fall.” And with that, the king passed away.
The princes put off their fight to give the king a grand, proper burial. But as soon as forty days passed (in which the kingdom, now without a king, lived in a rather peaceful yet anxious state, like the calm before the storm), Prince Augustin claimed the throne to his own right.
“As the firstborn son, it is my God-given duty to become king,” he announced, his long blonde hair and striking, handsome features nearly swaying even the strongest of skeptics. All of his shyness had disappeared, and he was now very much like a king.
“We cannot have an arsonist on the throne!” Prince Ulric suddenly protested, coming in from the sidelines. The crowd gasped, and Prince Augustin stared at his brother, his face darkened with anger.
They lunged at each other with their swords, but were quickly stopped by their own knights: the kingdom couldn’t risk another royal death. After that day, the princes declared a civil war upon each other, a war that was eventually known in history as the War of the Brothers.
Prince Augustin took his men and his supporters and moved out of Vrazivia, and created his own kingdom several miles away up north, on the hilltop province of Neruvia. Prince Ulric meanwhile took his men and his supporters to the old kingdom of Tridor in the south, where their family had their summer home.
At first, Prince Ulric had the advantage. He had been able to convince other kingdoms to support him, and name him as the one true king of Vrazivia. He had stronger men, most of them twice as big as his brother’s men, and he himself was skilled in battle.
However, Prince Augustin’s background in politics and strategy came into great aid. Though Prince Ulric had convinced a number of allies, Prince Augustin was able to get even more foreign kings and queens to aid him in the battle.
It helped as well that Prince Augustin had married the daughter from another strong kingdom, Princess Lavinia, and in her bridal gift were 500,000 men and up-to-date battle equipment.
Nearly eight months into the war, Prince Augustin and Prince Ulric faced each other in a great battle on the field of Merewin, which was in between their kingdoms.
Prince Augustin was a striking figure in all white and gold, while Prince Ulric looked like a brute in red and black. The princes, with no similarity between them other than their bloodline, fought each other bravely in the battle.
Prince Augustin died of an arrow to the heart, while Prince Ulric was taken off his steed by Augustin loyalists furious at his death, and was dragged through the fields, stabbed and beaten repeatedly.
Prince Augustin was buried as a hero, and Prince Ulric’s body was buried in an unknown grave, his head separated from his body.
And so, the battle between the two princes never reached a proper end. The two kingdoms tried again and again to reunite into one new Vrazivia, but failed each time. The townsfolk of Vrazivia had to choose sides; some left for Neruvia, others left for Tridor. The great castle of Vrazivia, once the greatest architectural marvel of all the land, crumbled into ruins over time.
Now, many decades after the War of the Brothers, news was spreading of another attempt to reunite the two kingdoms. A marriage….