A Brief History of Condamner’s Spring Coup

Sages and scholars are going to be going over the events that took place in the vile and dreadful land of Condamner that fateful week. Careful study of the scattered and innumerous clues preceding this total upset in the status quo will undoubtedly lead to a deeper understanding of what happened and why. The ruler of Condamner, a monster known to all as Le Duc, had managed to keep an iron grip over his realm for over a thousand years. In that time he had made only enemies out of his neighbors unless they were as wicked and debased as he was, in which case they became at best reluctant business partners. While Le Duc had no true friends among the leaders of neighboring states, there is no more damning indictment of his character than that his downfall did not cause even a ripple of concern among these rulers.

When Le Duc first came to power he did so to keep this frontier of the Third Imperium safe and stable. Le Duc was not a proper warlord, however. He rarely took his people to war and instead preferred to hide them in fortified towns and castles while the enemy swept past his lands. When confronted with overwhelming force Le Duc switched sides and continued going about his business as if nothing were amiss. For a thousand years he repeated this pattern. Loyal to none but himself and sacrificing the very souls of his people rather than suffer the slightest lapse in his standard of living.

There had been a time early on when Le Duc indulged his decadent appetite at the expense of his own people. Had he continued then doubtless his downfall would have occurred far earlier than it did. As it was he turned to his neighbors and took his fearful hunger out on them. He arranged to take prisoners from other countries, would take their beggars and unwanted rabble, or even send out raiding parties to capture foreigners and bring them to Condamner. Some of these would become undead vassals of Le Duc, roaming about the wilderness and into other states to collect even more unfortunate people for Le Duc’s dark intentions. Some of his own people voluntarily joined his ghoulish ranks, enticed as they were to feast at the master’s table. So dreadful was Condamner’s reputation that enemy armies would not even enter, but rather march around the horrible place to more desirable plundering grounds.

Without an army one would think Le Duc was a doomed figure. However, he had a dedicated and fearful police force that insured his governance wasn’t questioned from within. With undead mingled among the ranks of the police he was able to keep a wary eye on everything that happened within his realm. Change wasn’t going to happen under these circumstances and so the people of Condamner had to wait. A rebellion was doomed to fail until Le Duc let down his guard.

It took hundreds of years for this to happen. Spurred on by dedication born of prolonged torment and a thirst for revenge the lesser nobles of Condamner bided their time and kept an eye on who among their peers could be trusted to support a rebellion and who instead would choose loyalty to Le Duc. Police officials were reluctant to show their hand, and outward displays of antagonism among the people towards the undead were punished, and then discouraged, and eventually ignored. Le Duc hadn’t noticed. Ordinary citizens were becoming bolder and more convinced that the rumors of evil were not only true, but that greater devilishness was at work. The Church of Condamner was a gigantic weapon of Le Duc and his primary instrument in keeping the citizenry docile and relatively content and ignorant of the abuses being committed. What Condamner needed was help. None of them could ask for help, for who would listen and trust them?

And this is when the miraculous happened. A nearby country was liberated by a band of intrepid adventurers and for the first time the folk of Condamner saw a possibility that they too could be freed. Waiting was their only strong point and Condamner settled in to await their chance at change. Certain events offered the promise of a change, but nothing materialized. More waiting. They had waited an eon and now every week that passed seemed to drag like a hundred years. The possibility was there, though. If another country could see itself freed from an oppressive tyrant, then it was an option for Condamner as well.

Hope began to dwindle as the months passed. Attempts to subtly reach out for help by those interested in unseating Le Duc were to no avail. Then things took a turn for the worse. As fearsome and miserable as Le Duc was, he was nothing of a nuisance when compared to the Viceroy, a dreadful lich who had assumed the title of “The Green King” and bullied Le Duc into aligning himself and Condamner with this powerful undead wizard. The graves of Condamner were defiled as necromancers under the command of the Green King sought to grow the ranks of an undead army to a truly reckless and terrifying level. Many of the ghouls that slavishly served Le Duc were pressed into service as well, and the whole mad enterprise was sent to fight in some foreign land. Le Duc was careful to lock himself away in his palatial castle near Vuelen until all of this blew over.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned for Le Duc and his new master the Green King. Reports began to circulate that there had been a humiliating defeat, and soon there were fleeing soldiers allied to the Green King entering Condamner with an eye for getting out and away to safety. While these were ostensibly friendly troops sworn to serve the same Green King that Condamner was obliged to pay homage to it became apparent that a significant portion of these soldiers weren’t in any mood to tolerate any undead at all ever again. What began as an angry and impatient slaughter of ghouls on the roads entering into Condamner turned into a full-blown impromptu crusade. These soldiers were Sachsens and had no allegiance to Le Duc, Condamner, or really anyone else. They had had enough and were going to end any and all abuses by anyone inclined towards evil-doing.

That was all the rebellious people of Condamner needed. In one fell swoop they arose and with the help of the Sachsens began to annihilate the undead in their midst. Police chiefs and barons that didn’t go along were dealt with accordingly. Most of those that opposed the uprising were forced into the local churches, which were then set on fire. Other places made liberal use of impaling, and the unfortunate victims were then doused in oil and set alight. One town had an open pit which they filled with oil, pushed the loyalists into, and then set the whole pond on fire. Smoke was everywhere and the stench was nauseating to the extreme. But Condamner was free.

The bulk of the Sachsens continued their trek out of the country because as angry as they were this bit of arson and murder wasn’t what they had signed up for either. But one legion remained to help finish the job. They encircled Le Duc’s palace and proceeded to make it known that one way or another they would collectively end his reign. Uncertainty was the rule of the day.

And then along came the Maelonbourgers. These were the adventurers that the rebellious faction has originally reached out to and now they finally arrived. The newly liberated nobles quickly aligned themselves to the Maelonbourgers and pledged their allegiance and loyalty to this new regime. The Maelonbourgers brought along an even bigger army and the whole of Condamner was soon calmed down enough to allow cleaning up and the resumption of business.

Le Duc was still ensconced in his palace and the only ideas to bring an end to him all involved wrecking the palace or assaulting it to slaughter whoever was inside. This was when the dragons showed up. There was a green dragon, a gold dragon, a silver dragon, a steel dragon, and two deep dragons. In short order they had decided to take down Le Duc on their own and all hell broke loose in the palace. One of them, nobody can say for sure who, was rumored to have devoured Le Duc in one gulp but it might have been that he was incinerated by dragon fire. There was also an awful amount of ice and acidic fog being tossed about. In the end there was precious little to be found of any value that the dragons hadn’t made off with as payment for their help. This process took four full days.

All in all it was a week and a half of chaos in order to turn Condamner from a land ruled by an undead horror to being a land ruled by a paladin who looked more confused than confident. The Spring Coup was a roaring success. This does make a bystander wonder why more rulers in the Wenigzustand aren’t worried that it might happen to them.