The Drachenwald (note: This is its most common name; in the UA and Solenjord it is known as Skoggaland, or Drageskov/Drakeskog) is the peninsula like area in the north of the Continent, shortly before it tapers off into the Archipelago. Its southern border is marked by three lakes, connected by the River Merimet, which flows into the Seawerk (The channel separating Werkland from the Konigtum, also know as the Split), and for centuries the region has been contested between the Konigtum and the Båtflyktingar. Most of the region is heavily forested, and it was from here that most of the wood for building the dragon-ships that terrorised the Continent and Werkland for so long came from. It is actually probable that the distant ancestors of the Båtflyktingar came from this region, before also settling throughout the Archipelago with time. The majority of the population is ethnically Båtflyktingsk, and worship the gods of the Archipelago, but in the southern regions there are sizeable minorities of Markisch people, especially on the lake-shores. These Markisch people are nominally worshippers of the Three, though in an extremely different manner from the usual Continental style, though there is a community on the western point, which despite being (Mostly) Markisch in customs and language, worships the gods of the Archipelago.
Holy War Period
During the Holy War Period (999 N.A.-circa 1250 N.A.) there were several attempts made by the Konigtum to capture the region. These attempts aimed to hold it, convert the inhabitants, and then use it as a stepping stone to doing the same in the Archipelago. These attempts culminated with a thirty year long occupation of the region from 1203 to 1233. During this occupation, there were frequent massacres of those who refused to convert, and Markisch settlers started crossing the lakes, encouraged by the Hertow of Markland, who was eager to incorporate the region as fully as possible into his territory. However, in 1233, with help from King Harald Svarta of Solenjord, the Båtflyktingar succeeded in pushing the Reichisch armies out of the region. They did not, however, decide to get rid of the Markisch settlers.
There was a growing belief among the Båtflyktingar that the region was semi-sacred, and that if they could convert the Markisch settlers, they too would see this, and would help defend it against more invasions from the Konigtum. And so determined efforts were made by them to convert those who had settled, and in some ways they succeeded. A number of them did convert, and settled on the western point, where their descendants remain today. But the efforts at conversion had another, rather unexpected, effect: They created the second schism in the Faith of the Three. While trying to reconcile their faith with the fact that they had been conquered by heathens, the few theologians who had chosen to cross the lakes and live among the settlers reached the conclusion that the gods of the Archipelago were all aspects of the Three, and were therefore equally worthy of respect, and prayers could be directed to them [Rather like saints in Catholicism, but a bit more god like in power]. The High Priest in Dreiheim, upon hearing of these ideas in 1246 N.A., immediately damned all those who subscribed to them, and in response the settlers [From here on called the Drachisch] chose their own High Priest, declaring him to be their religious head.
The Konigtum maintained its claim to sovereignty over the Drachenwald, occasionally invading and trying to assert control, but was generally thrown out by Båtflyktingar armies, sometimes with Solenjord or even Werkland helping. It became a haven for those trying to escape serfdom in the Konigtum in the 1600s, and one of the conditions for living there was that they had to convert to either the Drachisch faith or to that of the Archipelago. The north and east also came to be heavily populated by Båtflyktingar, due to its access to the east and its higher fertility. Whenever it was invaded by the Konigtum, their first target for persecution was generally the Drachisch, who they saw as traitors, apostates and heretics. The Båtflyktingar were generally treated better, due their being seen as heathens who had not yet seen the light, and naturally resisted change. The Drachisch came to consider themselves as no longer being Reichisch around the 1400s, and the Båtflyktingar, knowing the advantage they had in having a large population that didn't like the Konigtum any more than they did, but that the Werklanders were much more willing to help, never treated them any differently than they did their own people, besides trying to convert them and encouraging them to learn Båtflyktingsk. As a result, the Drachisch, despite maintaining their customs and language, came by the 1600s to think of themselves (And be thought of by others) as an integrated part of the Kingdom.
The Great Occupation
In 1884 N.A., the Konigtum, on a military high point after several major wars in the Southlands, once again invaded the Drachenwald, and succeeded in destroying the Båtflyktingar navy at the Battle of Dragonsound. They occupied the whole peninsula, claiming it as retribution for "Years of threatening behaviour and predatory activity by the Kingdom of the United Archipelago". The UA was forced to sue for peace, but they did not surrender their claim to the Drachenwald. The Konigtum then began trying to eliminate all traces of the Drachisch religion, which rapidly went underground. Estimates of those executed vary from eighty thousand to one million people in a roughly sixty year period of occupation. Many of the Drachisch pretended to be Båtflyktingar, in which they were aided by the rest of the population. Those on the western coast disappeared into the forests, and the Konigtum never managed to find them, despite a lot of searching. Ten years after the peace, the UA began a roughly fifty year long undeclared war with the Konigtum, while slowly rebuilding their navy. They carefully watched the events of the War of Fire, sending observers and modernising their military as much as possible. In 1942 N.A., when a major rebellion in the Konigtum asked for their help in overthrowing the monarchy, they leaped at the chance. They launched a huge amphibious invasion, hitting five points along the north-western coast, and retook the Drachenwald in two months. After the war with the Konigtum was over, the end of sixty years of slow genocide and occupation was celebrated with a month of parties in the UA, and several communities of Drachisch people who had emigrated to escape persecution began returning (Though quite a few remained in their new homes). The people who had settled there during the occupation, under the auspices of the Konigtum, were not happy with the regime change, and nor were their neighbours happy with these visible remnants of the occupation.
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