“Lux lucet in tenebris”
|Category: Inoffensive Centrist Democracy|
Regional Influence: Enforcer
Location: Republic of Conservative Nations
Sometime in the 5th century, a Christian missionary came and portions of the population converted to Christianity. By the 7th century, fully 80% of the populace had forsaken paganism and embraced Christianity. However, the church was slowly corrupted and coopted by Roman Catholicism, and by the 9th century only a small remnant remained true to the Biblical foundations of the Church (they became called the Free Church).
The area was primarily ruled by a mixture of clan leaders and the local Catholic Church hierarchy. There remained some infighting, and corruption was rampant, leading to gross excesses by the clan chieftains and ruling bishops. Catholicism was state-enforced, and those churches that remained separate from the Roman Catholic Church were fiercely persecuted.
In 983, one of the lay-preachers of the Free Church, Peter Waldo, sparked a revival in the Karski Mountains, in which great numbers of the populace converted and left Catholicism. This was met with armed retaliation by the local government. Waldo was elected to lead a revolt in order to restore justice and freedom to the region.
At the head of a small band, Waldo defeated the Bishop's army in several successive battles, and his forces grew. Over the next four years, Waldo and his army fought off numerous larger forces, creating a stronghold in the Karski Mountains.
During the war, the actions of the clan Chiefs and bishops led to great growth for the Free Church throughout the region. In response to a cry for help from a large pocket of besieged Free Churchers, Waldo and his army left the mountains and marched to the sea.
At the Battle of Bruys Bridge, Waldo crushed the enemy army, even though outnumbered 3-1. Waldo settled terms with the conquered leaders, establishing freedom of religion throughout the land.
Two years later, in response to renewed aggression and religious coercion, Waldo again defeated the Bishops on the field of battle.
In 993, Waldo was crowned King of Waldensia, reluctantly taking the throne in order to preserve religious liberty and keep in check the resistant bishops and chieftains. He instituted many reforms, removing political authority from the religious leadership, strengthening individual rights and establishing a weak nobility in replacement of the strong clan-chief system. He put in place a Council of Nobles as a check on unrestrained royal power.
For the duration of his reign, the Free Church continued great growth, as the Catholic Church fell. After his death in 1013, the Free Church became commonly known as the Waldensian Church.
His son, Peter II reigned from 1013 to 1031. In 1023, he established a small colony of Odslig Isle. The barbarian inhabitants were conquered in 1029, and full control was established. Port Vaudois was founded the same year. Harold died while on an exploration of the Nordland, when his ship wrecked in a storm.
His son, Peter II, took the throne at age 17, and reigned for 36 years (1031-1067). During his reign, the province of Nordland was settled. He was succeeded by his son Rolf the Seafarer, who reigned from 1067 to 1084.
Rolf rebuilt the Waldensian Navy, with innovative longships and war-galleys capable of longer sea trips and carrying more crew and cargo than before. He carried out extensive sea journeys, mapping the coastline in detail further south and west than Waldensian ships had ventured previously. Port Vaudois became a major shipping and export center during his rule.
His son Godwin took the throne after Rolf's death from an illness contracted on his last sea journey, and ruled for 25 years (1084-1109).
In 1109, at age 57 and in poor health, Godwin abdicated in favor of his 18-year old grandson, Peter III, as his only son had previously died in an accident.
At the time of Peter III's ascension to the throne of the House of Waldo, 76.7% of the population was Waldensian, 18.7% were Catholic, and 4.6% were pagan.
993-1013: Peter I
1031-1067: Peter II
1067-1084: Rolf the Seafarer
1109-present : Peter III