History of tir Lhaeraidd

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History of tir Lhaeraidd
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Tir Lhaeraidd became inhabited approximately 800,000 ears ago as attested by the discovery of flint and other stone tools near Medhlan in Varynfwy. The earliest evidence of modern human habitation comes from between 46,000 and 42,000 years ago and came as a result of major archeological excavations at the base of Monnoch, west of Iska. Verifiable continuous human habitation dates from around 28,000 years ago during a brief glacial period, with the largest concentrations of humans having migrated west into Varynfwy and Ogledd. The country has numerous remains and sites dating back to the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age including a number of Henges and burial mounds. Tir Lhaeraidd was populated historically by the various Paithwaidh tribes, after which the eight Diúcachtha take their names. From 92 CE onward the territory was ruled largely by proxy by the Fiorentine Empire.

The end of Fiorentine rule in 388 CE was precipitated by an uprising by a Paithwaidh Teyrnir,Breda, and her sisters who formed a coalition of local tribes in order to break the Fiorentine hegemony. Though successful in removing foreign rule the tribal coalition ultimately collapsed and the Paithwaidh tribes separated. Between 400 and 650 CE the various tribes and clans coalesced into a distinct culture now referred to by scholars as the Proto-Lhaeraidh culture, and eight petty kingdoms formed based on clan loyalties and local warlords. Various minor wars and skirmishes were fought by the Kingdoms from 650 CE on until the end of the Octarchy with the coronation of Alwaen I who inherited through his father's conquests Ffanwy, Varynfwy, Lhaeraen, Gyllnru, and Ogledd; and through his marriage to Myfanwy of Hlaanedd, Hlaanedd and Llanggwyr.

The coronation of Alwaen I on 2 April 899 also became the founding date for tir Lhaeraidd (known by contemporaries as Wyth Tiroedd Lhaeraidd). Alwaen's descendants of the House of Gwallteuraid would continue to rule as Head of State and Government in tir Lhaeraidd until the Constitutional Reforms of 2017 under Bedwyr XVI, forty five generations later. This makes House Gwallteuraid the oldest continuously reigning royal dynasty on Aeia and the last to hold absolute executive authority over their nation in Asura.

During the Middle Ages right up through the Renaissance and into the modern era tir Lhaeraidd was ruled through a peculiar blend of aristocracy and plutocracy, where noble titles were bought, sold, and rented out by the Crown in exchange for tithes and levies. In this manner the Teyrn was able to exercise great power and implement a form of indirect taxation on the nobility who paid for their privileges; they in turn derived their income from raiding (until around 1160 CE), mercantile ventures, rents from serfs, and later through industrial ventures. As a result of the plutocratic way in which the aristocracy was ordered the concepts of aristocracy and absolute monarchy would survive more or less unchallenged until the 21st century.

During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries the Lhaeraidd monarchy experimented with colonial rule by annexing nearby Vrnallia and Crylante, however the lack of vast profit margins combined with the Lhaeraidh aristocracy's cutthroat merchant ideology meant that the Teyrnas never aspired to the vast overseas colonial empires of other Asuran nations. Instead a succession of Teyrns from the 15th century on focused on the establishment of small trading powers and city state colonies around the world; the most notable example being Huangjin which was purchased from the Cantonese of Catai and has operated as an extension of tir Lhaeraidd ever since.

Tir Lhaeraidd served as a flashpoint for the Industrial and Scientific revolutions and managed to successfully ride the waves of rapid modernization throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. A series of commercial and financial policy shifts as well as the evolution of merchant capitalism has allowed tir Lhaeraidd to develop into the second or third largest economy by GDP in the world, and the largest in Asura.

From 1894 until 1899 CE tir Lhaeraidd participated in the Great War, fighting on the side of the Grand Alliance which was ultimately victorious. In 1904 the country declared its neutrality and initiated a program of aggressive internal development and progressive financial policies including extensive international aid plans to help nations which had been left devastated by the War recover their economies. This ideology of trade, finance, and international cooperation ultimately resulted in the formation of WACO in 1984; an organization which would ultimately be comprised of tir Lhaeraidd, Carcossica, Cuirpthe, Crylante, and Navack.

Before 899 CE

A modern depiction of Breda, Warrior Queen and Liberator of the Lhaeraidh.
Human settlement within the geographic region of modern day tir Lhaeraidd began as early as 45,000 years ago as early humans migrated north and west into the fertile grasslands and forests of northern mainland Asura. By the conclusion of the region's prehistoric period the population is believed to have principally belonged to the Paithwaidh cultural family which would evolve into the Lhaeraidh cultural families by around 12,000 BC. The Asuran Conquest of Northern Asura beginning in 85 BCE was followed by a turbulent five hundred year dominion over the region and its native inhabitants during which the Paithwaidh culture was all but extinguished with the influx of foreign cultural ideas; the fall of the Asuran Empire would result in the rise of Ancient Lhaeraidh culture and languages, which also saw a resurgence of many practices of the Paithwaidh peoples. This cultural resurgence also resulted in the political evolution of Dark Ages tir Lhaeraidh, with the people now identifying themselves as a singular culture but with very different nationalities.Tir Lhaeraidd became inhabited approximately 800,000 ears ago as attested by the discovery of flint and other stone tools near Medhlan in Varynfwy. The earliest evidence of modern human habitation comes from between 46,000 and 42,000 years ago and came as a result of major archeological excavations at the base of Monnoch, west of Iska. Verifiable continuous human habitation dates from around 28,000 years ago during a brief glacial period, with the largest concentrations of humans having migrated west into Varynfwy and Ogledd. The country has numerous remains and sites dating back to the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age including a number of Henges and burial mounds. Tir Lhaeraidd was populated historically by the various Paithwaidh tribes, after which the eight Diúcachtha take their names. From 92 CE onward the territory was ruled largely by proxy by the Fiorentine Empire.

The end of Fiorentine rule in 388 CE was precipitated by an uprising by a Paithwaidh Teyrnir,Breda, and her sisters who formed a coalition of local tribes in order to break the Fiorentine hegemony. Though successful in removing foreign rule the tribal coalition ultimately collapsed and the Paithwaidh tribes separated. Between 400 and 650 CE the various tribes and clans coalesced into a distinct culture now referred to by scholars as the Proto-Lhaeraidh culture, and eight petty kingdoms formed based on clan loyalties and local warlords. Various minor wars and skirmishes were fought by the Kingdoms from 650 CE on until the end of the Octarchy with the coronation of Alwaen I who inherited through his father's conquests Ffanwy, Varynfwy, Lhaeraen, Gyllnru, and Ogledd; and through his marriage to Myfanwy of Hlaanedd, Hlaanedd and Llanggwyr.

The coronation of Alwaen I on 2 April 899 also became the founding date for tir Lhaeraidd (known by contemporaries as Wyth Tiroedd Lhaeraidd). Alwaen's descendants of the House of Gwallteuraid would continue to rule as Head of State and Government in tir Lhaeraidd until the Constitutional Reforms of 2017 under Bedwyr XVI, forty five generations later. This makes House Gwallteuraid the oldest continuously reigning royal dynasty on Aeia and the last to hold absolute executive authority over their nation in Asura.

During the Fiorentine Domination of the region from 92 to 388 CE the lands were ruled by a succession of petty kings who held the title of Teyrn, but ruled as client kings to the Fiorentine Empire which dominated Asura at the time. The defeat of the Paithwaidh Tribal Confederation in 87 CE precipitated the Teyrn of Trefteyrnyr's surrender to the Fiorentine, and the Empire was allowed into the country; though trade and agriculture in the region continued to flourish, because the Teyrns retained some nominal authority over the locale few Fiorentine structures exist from this time, though the empire's influence on the architecture and city layout as it evolved are undeniable. Around Trefteyrnyr the Fiorentine built a province which would ultimately become the petty Kingdom of Gwyfwyr; though under the rule of the Empire the region retained its sense of self and its own unique culture.

In 382 CE the Teyrn of Trefteyrnyr passed away leaving his client kingdom to his daughter Breda. However because Fiorentine law at the time excluded daughters from succession and inheritance the Empire refused to recognise her claim to the city or the surrounding lands, and appointed their own Governor, dispatching with him an army. The Fiorentine legions entered Trefteyrnyr and Breda and her sisters were dragged out into the street, raped, and then tortured - much to the disgust of the local inhabitants. After the capture of the city was complete loyalists among the population free Breda and her sisters and smuggled her into the surrounding countryside. Over the next four years Breda and her sisters Maera, and Sinead, built a coalition of Paithwaidh tribes, who now called themselves Lhaeraidh, and with an army claimed to be 100,000 strong marched on Trefteyrnyr. Caught by surprise the army fell and the governor fled to the nearby Fiorentine stronghold of Civas Colonia where he rallied the remnants of his legion.

Over the next two years a series of small battles and skirmishes were fought between Breda's Lhaeraidh army, and the Fiorentine legions, finally climaxing at the Battle of Phen Faol, where the Lhaeraidh crushed the Fiorentine legions decisively, forcing the Fiorentine surrender and withdrawal from Gwyfwyyr and by 400 CE the whole of modern day tir Lhaeriadd. With the end of the Fiorentine Domination in tir Lhaeraidh Breda established her Kingdom of Gwyfwyr in Trefteyrnyr while other tribal chiefs did likewise in the remaining lands, bringing an end to the Classical Period in tir Lhaeraidd.

The early Dark Ages in the region were dominated by neo-tribal and clan orientated groups; the Lhaeraidh were known during this period primarily as land raiders from a pastoral agrarian base. As time passed tribal chiefs and clan elders grew in power and the late Dark Ages population surge along with the adoption of the Lhaera-Gallic alphabet by religious centres resulted in the formation of early proto-feudal monarchies. The old pastoral order and prevalence of raiding against neighbouring tribes and cultures eventually came to an end as the region stabilised and society became increasingly agricultural in nature. By 650 CE eight distinct petty kingdoms, all of common culture and descent had arisen leading to the period known as the Octarchy and the region was referred to collectively as Wyth Tiroedd "the Eight Lands".

According to the contemporary historian Gwynn of Dubhaihn Wyth Tiroedd under the Octarchy consisted of Varynfwy, Lhaeraen, Gwyfyr, Ffanwy, Gyllnru, Ogledd, Hlaanedd, and Llanggwyr. Each were reasonably powerful political entities within the context of Wyth Tiroedd, and within the wider context of the period. They represented the western remnant of the broader Paithwaidh culture which had been supplanted elsewhere by the northward and southward migration of other tribal and nomadic peoples from locales such as Lhedwin. Gwynn of Dubhaihn states that the Octarchy began with the reigns of Edwyr (Circa 650 CE - 676 CE) in Varynfwy, and Aethwyn (652 CE - 673 CE) in Gyllnru who established the first of the Lhaeraidh kingdoms. The evolution from tribal and clan based fiefs into a more formalised political system of monarchy came swiftly to the Wyth Tiroedd and according to the Geirfa o Hwice, written by the Venerable Hyld in 922 CE, saw the abandonment of the traditional system of Gavelkind among the tribal chiefs. Under the unified rule of the Wyth Teyrnyr "Eight Kings" tribes were abandoned in favour of more organised societies, while the clans formed the basis of later Houses of Nobility.

While the dates of the beginning of the Octarchy is a hotly debated subject among academics the period's end does have a very specific date given in the works of both Arwyn the Elder (902 CE) and Hyld (922 CE) as the 2nd April 899 when Alwaen of Gwyfyr was crowned Teyrn of the Wyth Tiroedd Lhaeraidd, which would later become simply tir Lhaeraidd. Alwaen I had been the anointed King of Gwyfyr which had, under the rule of his father Cerwyn had conquered Ffanwy, Varynfwy, Lhaeraen, Gyllnru, and Ogledd. The ascension of Alwaen, who was married to Myfanwy of Hlaanedd which had itself conquered Llanggwyr between 876 and 884, resulted in the marital union of all eight thrones of tir Lhaeraidd and formed the modern Teyrnas.

Yr Hen Teyrnas (899-1077 CE)

The period directly following the formation of tir Lhaeraidd is known by scholars a Yr Hen Teyrnas which translates to 'The Old Tyranny' and represents a period of unrestrained feudalism within the Teyrnas. The Wyth Teyrnyrs had varying ranks and forms of nobility as well as wildly varying titles, the result of this was a melting pot period where there were no clearly defined boundaries between the power and status of one lord and the next; some academics today recognise the period as one of almost continuous civil war as the tribal chiefs, powerful freemen, landowners, and nobility fought amongst themselves to carve out their own dominions within the new realm and to define their social and political positions within it.

Alwaen I was a Teyrn content to allow his subjects to fight amongst themselves, inter-tribal warfare was both a fact of life and a tradition during the Octarchy and with the present situation in Asura being what it was there was no cause to change this. According to Arwyn the Elder Teyrn Alwean was "...contented to let his subjects and foemen to fight amongst themselves for the scraps of lesser power and privilege, bestowing favours upon those who proved their strength and striking down they who presumed too much." During his reign Alwaen only took up arms in order to suppress those who tried to challenge his authority, and a series of battles succeeded in establishing the power of the Teyrn as supreme. The most notable conflict of this period was between the Clans Hekwyn and Fwyr whose forces clashed numerous times throughout Alwaen's rule and the rule of his successors Harwyn I and Tyrone I, however this was far from the only clash between the people of tir Lhaeraidd at this time. The Lhaeraidh at this time had no concept of an all powerful king, and most loyalties were of a personal nature rather than to some idea of a country and though the powers of the Teyrn would be defined during this period it was not until its conclusion with the Weeping of Caer Dunn.

During the Yr Hen Teyrnas there were three distinct movements which defined the overall ideologies of the different factions vying for status and power under Alwaen's dominion. The Rhyddfreiniwyr represented the ancient system whereby a town or village was allowed to elect its own leader so long as that leader paid homage to the Teyrn and provided levies in times of war; a movement which was doomed to failure, a thing even acknowledged at the time by Arwyn the Elder and Hyld, because they lacked any unity on a national level. The Benaduryr represented the tribal and clan chiefs who believed that the lands should be divided between the different clans rather than by a hierarchy of nobles. Finally the Bendefigaeth represented the landed aristocracy, a movement which started out small but steadily grew in size as successive Teyrns rewarded faithful servants with lands, titles, and powers over the common folk.

The Rhyddfreiniwyr (not to be confused with rhyddfreiniwr) had no leadership to speak of and existed solely on a local basis where villages continued to elected their elders and pay homage directly to their Teyrn; as a movement they were more or less nonexistent and were more a representation of the ancient status quo rather than a singular force. Alwaen and his successors did not particularly favour this form of governance, since the Rhyddfreiniwyr raised poorer quality levies when war came, and were incapable of orchestrating organised taxation of the land or people; not only that by the people from areas where the Rhyddfreiniwyr held sway tended to show less respect and pay less heed to the Teyrn's commands than those from elsewhere. The last independent Rhyddfreiniwyr stronghold of Hafanpysgotwr was captured and sacked by forces loyal to Merwyn mab Erwyl, a local landowner granted the title of Iarla over the newly established Iarling of Offeirhan. Some of the larger towns and cities were allowed to continue to elect their leaders well into the 12th and 13th centuries, but the Rhyddfreiniwyr ceased to be a significant political or social force within tir Lhaeraidd even before the fall of Hafanpyrgotwr.

Continued violence between noblemen within the Bendefigaeth as well as against the forces of other factions prolonged the Yr Hen Teyrnas; as time passed and feudalism took hold across Asura in general the calls for an established aristocratic order became louder and louder - the problem lay in the fact that while the nobility agreed that an order needed to be established few could agree upon where they should stand within it. Clashes between the Bendefigaeth and the Benaduryr would be the primary source of conflict throughout the period and the Benaduryr increasingly represented a a counterculture within the Teyrnas which threatened the power and authority of the Teyrn. Though the Benaduryr accepted that the Teyrn reigned above the level of their own Chiefs and accepted his power to raise local lords, they fiercely resisted the concept of a largely, powerful landed aristocracy which had temporal power over the clans themselves. In this context it is perhaps unsurprising that the bloodiest battles were fought between the Bendefigaeth and the Benaduryr.

In 1074 the Yr Hen Teyrnas came to an end with the decision by Teyrn Alwaen II to back the Bendefigaeth; tired of the lack of a consensus among his nobles, and by the obstinate attitude of the Benaduryr the Teyrn raised his own levies and called his banners. With an army of between fifty and eighty thousand men the Teyrn issued a royal decree to all of the Bendefigaeth which listed every recognised nobleman in the Teyrnas, along with his titles, holdings, and relative standing within the realm. With such a large army under the Teyrn's command the nobility were cowed into accepting the royal decree. Next Alwaen II summoned the leaders of the Benaduryr to a Clansmeet at Caer Dunn in March 1077; once every clan had arrived with each leader bringing a force of warriors, the Teyrn issued an ultimatum which decreed that the clan leaders themselves, along with the clan elders, would be granted lands and titles of nobility and would abandon the system of clan and tribal politics in favour of the feudal system; any clan which refused would be considered traitor and would be wiped out.

The ultimatum lead to the Weeping of Caer Dunn; of the sixteen clans three elected to challenge the Teyrn by the rite of single combat, agreeing that if the King's champion should win they would submit, five refused to accept the decree outright and the remaining eight agreed to the terms. What followed is broadly debated, even by the historians of the period; Arwyn the Younger claims that the Teyrn struck down the five clan leaders who refused there and then, and this cowed the three who demanded single combat to settle the matter. Ulfraed of Gwladyncyfarfod claims that the Teyrn's men massacred all who challenged the ultimatum, while Owain mab Cerwyn claims that the Teyrn dismissed the five, defeated the champions of the three and then turned on the five clans who refused. What is known for certain is the outcome; all of the historians agree that after the events of the meeting at Caer Dunn the King's army along with ten of the clans assaulted and massacred the five who had refused the ultimatum. Archaeological evidence from the site of the massacre backs up the historical accounts, sealing the Weeping as one of the bloodiest events in tir Lhaeraidd's history.

Immediately following the Weeping of Caer Dunn Alwaen II set about consolidating his position and subjugating the clans whose armies he had slaughtered; the Archddyfarniadmawr followed, a document which set out the rights of every man and woman in the realm according to their station. This document established the systems of serfdom and feudalism in tir Lhaeraidd, while simultaneously enshrining the basic civil rights of the rhyddfreiniwr (freemen) and the bendefigaeth (aristocracy) and bonedd (gentry). Under the Archddyfarniadmawr senior clansmen were raised into either the Bendefigaeth or Bonedd, while a larger proportion were made rhyddfreiniwr; however most ended up as gwerinwyr (peasants). It was the issuing of the Archddyfarniadmawr which is generally accepted as the event which brought an end to the Yr Hen Teyrnas.

Feudal tir Lhaeraidd (1077-1702 CE)

The Archddyfarniadmawr was rapidly and brutally enforced by the Teyrn and the Bendefigaeth, and the formation of the growing bonedd classes gave rise to the adoption of knighthood in tir Lhaeraidd. The concept of knighthood in tir Lhaeraidd was peculiar and unique to the Teyrnas and very different from the institution as practised elsewhere in Asura. Ideals of chivalry were never adopted and the role of knights was entirely different; while they did indeed serve as the military elite in Lhaeraidh society at the time they were also all small land holders, with there being no such thing in tir Lhaeraidd as a landless knight, since knighthood was conditional on holding land. Therefore knights were fewer and fulfilled a vital economic role in times of peace; granted leasehold over small amounts of land either by the Teyrn or members of the Bendefigaeth they were responsible for organising and overseeing the peasantry and enforcing the laws of the land.

In times of war all knights were required to serve in the armies of the Teyrn or their local lord, and were also responsible for raising levies from their land. The system was highly efficient and resulted in large armies consisting mostly of sparsely trained and equipped peasant levies. However prior to the Feudal Period a strong warrior culture had existed in tir Lhaeraidd and even with the disarmament and dismembering of the clans as social, political, and military forces it was impossible to eliminate a separate dedicated warrior class altogether. Early Teyrns of the post Archddyfarniadmawr period relied upon warriors drawn from the former clans as they tended to be the most loyal, effective, and experienced soldiers. The result was that a separate unique warrior class was born which operated parallel to the knights; the members of this class were known as Rhyfelwr, or Gallowglasses.

The Rhyfelwr were full time soldiers in service to the Teyrn and his lords; since members of the Bendefigaeth were not required to raise peasant levies directly but were required to provide troops in times of war all lords maintained at least a nominal force of Rhyfelwr so as to be able to meet their feudal obligations should their knights fail to raise sufficient troops. The Rhyfelwr typically fought on foot, however wealthier lords also maintained cavalry to support their knights; the traditional image of the Rhyfelwr is of a main garbed in leather and mail, armed with a greatsword, broadsword, dirk, and shield however historical records indicate that there were no specific rules regarding the arms and armour a Rhyfelwr could use.

By 1126 CE the Archddyfarniadmawr had established a stable situation in tir Lhaeraidd which prompted a period of relative economic prosperity and led to the foundation of the system of Guilds to manage the key trades practised in the Teyrnas. These guilds consisted of rhyddfreiniwr and owed direct allegiance to the Teyrn, paying taxes to him rather than the local lord; in exchange the Teyrn granted them significant rights such as the issuing of charters of trade as well as control over the trade they represented. The most powerful of the Guilds to rise during this time were the Urdd Gwehydd (weavers), Urdd y Gofaint (blacksmiths), and Urdd coediwryn (woodsemn). Under the guild system the quality of goods was regulated and increased, increasing revenues and also productivity; because the guilds were under the Teyrn's protection and authority a situation was born whereby lords were made to pay the guilds to produce everything that the peasantry could not.

The War of the Maidens (1086-1094 CE)

Historians generally agree that the War of the Maidens began in 1086 when the Lhaeraidh Teyrn, Bedwyr IV, landed a small raiding fleet on the coast of Newrey. The Teyrn had been returning from a series of raids further east and never intended to land in Newrey at all, except that according to Arwyn the Younger in his Llyfr Mawr Hanes "Teyrn Bedwyr was drunk upon the glory and plunder of his latest conquests, and, commanded his men to celebrate; not having the wisdom of his father he did fail to ensure that some remained sober and as a result his fleet did get lost." Upon landing in Newrey, convinced that he was in fact still in the north and east, Bedwyr IV led his force inland, whereupon they happened into the city of Cyningburgh where they set about raiding and pillaging.

It is unclear what precisely happened in the ensuing chaos as historical account differ on the subject; however it is widely accepted that Bedwyr and his men breached the royal holdfast and made off with three Newreyan princesses. According to letters and documents from the time Bedwyr did not realise his mistake, or that the princesses were Newreyan and therefore from his ally, until several weeks later when he finally sobered up and stopped for long enough to actually talk with the attractive young princesses he had been bedding up to that point. Though an immediate effort was made to return the princesses to Newrey along with a series of apologies and offers of recompense, the general condition of the Princesses upon their return (deflowered and pregnant), combined with the fact that the Newreyan Teyrn had already dispatched a fleet to exact revenge, to spark the war.

What followed were a series of tit for tat raids back and forth along the coastlines of tir Lhaeraidd and Newrey which lasted for a further eight years until Bedwyr IV died and was succeeded by his only son, Harwyn, who was his bastard by one of the Princesses. Upon the ascension of Harwyn to the throne, the concerned regency council offered to send three Lhaeraidh princesses to Newrey with a bounty of gold as a bridegift for each in recompense. At this point the war had been a long and bloody one for both sides as Newreyan forces had sacked a number of towns and villages along the coast, while Lhaeraidh raiders continued to do likewise in Newrey.

The Golden Age of Raiding (1080-1160 CE)

With the formalisation of the feudal system in tir Lhaeraidd came a growing sense of national unity; the nobility could no longer simply fight one another for land since landright was given by the Teyrn, and the dissolution of the clans all but eliminated the internecine conflicts between different factions of Lhaeraidh. With fewer opportunities for warfare and raiding within tir Lhaeraidd the nobility now looked abroad with hungry eyes; it was not long before the Teyrn started to issue Anrheithiariadh, documents officially authorising nobles and knights to lead raiding parties abroad. This system had no uniform structure to it, but seems to be one of the earliest examples of state funded privateering on Aeia. Lhaeraidh raiding parties ranged up and down the coast of Asura and even managed to exact tribute from the peoples of modern day Vrnallia.

During this period the main role of the Teyrn was to issue Anrheithiariadh and to punish those who breached their terms, and on an international level it was a source of antagonism. However the nature of the times meant that it was hard to verify who was raiding what, and tir Lhaeraidd used this and various other forms of military and diplomatic obfuscation to avoid war on a larger scale. However by 1150 the patience and attitude of foreign rulers towards tir Lhaeraidd forced the Terynas to reform once again; in place of raiding came the beginnings of a period of trade in which merchants from tir Lhaeraidd managed to stretch a web across the entire continent and even into Arabekh, Majula, and Catai.

The Plutocracy (1150-1596 CE)

The era of raiding sparked the transition from a martial society to an economic one; while the nobility still raised armies to participate in wargames armed conflict was no longer the primary focus of noble or royal attention. The influx of wealth from the Golden Age of Raiding, as short as it had been, had given the wealthier Lhaeraidd a taste of a more stable and comfortable life. Soon the raiding parties reformed themselves into trading organisations and armed trading fleets and convoys soon replaced the raiding parties, exporting Lhaeraidd goods such as dyes, copper, tin, and silver, as well as fine arms and armour freely throughout the known world. Each trading organisation was tied directly to a noble lord and crews were often led by knights or younger sons of the given lord; this made tir Lhaeraidd very distinct from most other Asuran nations at the time in that the nobility were actively engaged in international trade, making them both aristocrats and plutocrats all at once.

Increasing trade revenues resulted in increased demand for Lhaeraidh goods, chief among them fine wool textiles. The guild system in tir Lhaeraidd had resulted in an unprecedented level of quality in even the most basic woven goods, and these goods could now be effectively exported in quantity far and wide. Merchants throughout the Ksaiist Lands in modern day Carcossica were willing to pay high prices for cloth, both plain and decorated. The existence of Vrnallian trading posts along the coast of tir Lhaeraidh also allowed for indirect trade which saw bolts of cloth sold in tir Lhaeraidh being exported by Vrnallian traders north into Glanodel and what would become Lhedwin. Highly profitable trade routes through modern day Cuirpthe and on into Newrey were also established overland, and even after paying the dues to the local lords for safe passage a good profit was ensured.

Lhaeraidh coinage dating from this period has been found as far south as northern Arabekh and along the coast of Kavo, as far east as modern day Tangukuo, and as far north as Glanodel and Navack. There have even been artefacts of Lhaeraidh origin found in the deep interior of Majula. This wide dispersal of coinage minted in tir Lhaeraidd came about not only because of the prevalence of Lhaeraidh traders in this period, but also for two other key reasons; firstly Lhaeraidh coinage was largely uniform and of reliable quality and weight in gold or silver, secondly in 1224 Teyrn Bedwyr VII established the Royal Gold Exchanges in Aurharbwr, Saiad and Neuaddduwiau where merchants and noblemen alike could exchange their foreign gold and silver for reliable Lhaeraidh currency. Thus foreign currency and gold which came into tir Lhaeraidd was more often than not melted down, purified, and reminted as Lhaeraidh coinage.

The turn of the 16th century brought with it radical changes in the nature and position of the nobility; with titles and noble rank being largely defined by monetary investment and contribution to the Crown rather than by birth. In 1502 the Statute of Nobility was issued which totally redefined the nature of the nobility and gentry, noble ranks were subject to payment to the Crown, with higher ranks requiring a higher contribution in order to maintain; meanwhile the Gentry were granted a ranking system of their own which allowed the purchasing of status and prestige with coin. All of this combined with the Teyrn's own land holdings and economic investments to make the Crown exceptionally wealthy, and the concept of personal rule evolved into a system of statehood; the old feudal order gradually faded away as ever more comprehensive systems of taxation were put in place. Suddenly the Crown was receiving money in excess of what it needed in order to function and in 1529 Teyrn Llewellyn II initiated the first program of state funded education in the country's history, investing in eight universities and almost one hundred academies throughout the Teyrnas.

The Transitional Period (1596-1702 CE)

The Teyrn's Army at the Battle of Llangwfwy.
The Transitional Period is considered by most scholars to be the time during which the Feudal system officially started to fade and tir Lhaeraidd moved towards a system of absolute rule and modern statehood. Though tir Lhaeraidd had by now been united as a single country for over six hundred years up to this point it was held together by the strength and authority of the monarchy on a basis of deferred personal loyalty; the realm had a singular name, but ultimately the feudal order allowed for the divergence of lords from the Crown if they so chose. 1596 saw the passage into law, with the consent of the Bendefigaeth, the Articles of State which defined the realm for the first time in a legal document as a single unified and indivisible state under the rule of the Crown. It is this document which is now widely considered to be the basis of the modern constitution.

A major issue with the Articles of State was that they granted the Bendefigaeth with influence and power over national policy as legislators, but ignored the contribution of the Bonedd. Independently wealthy freemen could become members of the Gentry through paying for a minor title, but they could not gain a say in the country's affairs, a situation which sparked discontent and unrest. A direct result of this unrest was the Congress of Aurharbwr, a meeting of the aforementioned groups which eventually led to a series of letters being sent to the Crown demanding additional rights and powers for the Bonedd. When the Crown rejected the demands the Congress began refusing to pay their taxes and dues to the Crown. The whole situation reached a breaking point in 1694 when the Teyrn, Bedwyr IX, mobilized the army in order to collect the taxes by force.

When word spread to the leaders of the Congress that a Royal Army had been mobilised against them the response was rapid; local freemen militias were raised and the Bonedd started to divert their levies into a Congressional Army in order to meet the threat. There is some scholarly debate as to whether this period should be referred to as a civil war, however since the tensions resulted in just a single battle before peace was secured, most consider it to be simply a period of extraordinary unrest. At Llangwfwy the Congressional Army met the Royal forces and gave battle, after eight hours of fighting in which approximately 32,000 men were killed, the Teyrn agreed to meet with the Congress to discuss an end to the unrest. The Battle of Llangwfwy had resulted in a stalemate, despite the Royal Army's superior training and arms, and this meant that for the Teyrn the writing was on the wall.

The result of the talks between the Teyrn and the Congress was the formation of a bicameral legislative system with the Upper House consisting of the Bendefigaeth, and the lower of the Bonedd; not only that but the agreement effectively brought about the end of the system of serfdom and initiated the process which would lead to a modern wage labour force. Because the Bonedd agreed that the Teyrn's power was supreme and had never challenged the idea of monarchy in tir Lhaeraidd the Teyrn granted them pardons provided they disarm and never raise arms again.

In the years following the Battle of Llangwfwy a series of major social reforms were enacted allowing any man who grew wealthy enough to own property and pay Crown duties to become a member of the Bonedd. With reform however came increased taxation, with the commons required to pay rents on the land they worked, and taxes to the Crown; a system which brought with it unrest. In order to avoid a repeat of 1694 the Teyrn began to force through laws whereby the commons paid taxes to their lord and the lord paid taxes to the crown based upon what was raised in taxes. The Bendefigaeth and Bonedd grudgingly agreed to the tax reforms, provided that the power to set the rates of tax be given over to the bicameral legislature.

Lhaeraidh Ascendancy in Crylante (1557 - 1726 CE)

Upon the death of Magnus VII of the Crylantean Empire a succession crisis erupted in the south Lhedwinnic nation. Having a loose claim to the throne himself the Teyrn, Llewellyn III, claimed the throne and sailed with a small army to Crylante to enforce his claim. With the might of the Lhaeraidh military behind him the other claimants to the Crylantean throne surrendered their claims and Llewellyn III of tir Lhaeraidd was crown Llewellyn I of Crylante. Llewellynic Crylante was ruled in much the same fashion as Crylante had been before, except now Crown Lands were paying revenues to tir Lhaeraidd; having more interest in increasing the size of his domain than actually ruling these additional areas a series of Governors were appointed from among the local aristocracy to manage the affairs of Crylantean territories while the Teyrn was in tir Lhaeraidd.

The status quo was maintained in Crylante more or less intact throughout Llewellyn's reign, with the exception of an influx of Lhaeraidh traders and merchant interests becoming involved in the nation's economy. Essentially Crylante was ruled as a separate nation in most senses, under a Personal Union with tir Lhaeraidd, and maintained its own laws and customs - a system which worked very well so far as most in Crylante were concerned. However as Llewellyn's rule progressed Lhaeraidh merchants became frustrated with the local Governor's priorities and with the trade policies there which favoured the Crylantean merchant classes. Unable to sway Llewellyn the merchants set about influencing his successors.

The Llewellynic System in Crylante was maintained in spite of the Lhaeraidh merchant interests throughout the reigns of Llewellyn IV/II, Alwaen IV/I, and Bedwyr XIII/I; however after the ascension of Alwaen V/II in 1651 the political situation rapidly changed. The increasing power of the merchant classes in tir Lhaeraidd meant that the pressure upon Alwaen to break down the barriers between Crylante and tir Lhaeraidd was huge. Having accumulated several personal debts to merchant guilds and companies as the heir apparent Alwaen sought to placate and pay off his debts by turning Crylante into a commercial asset, and an extension of the Lhaeraidh trading empire.

The resulting Alwaenic Reforms reduced the power of Crylante's Truathi clergy and stripped them of much of their land and wealth; to counterbalance this the power of the secular elite were increased and Alwaen ensured that the merchants treated the Crylantean nobility favourably. A consequence of this policy was rapid land reform in Crylante which came in the face of opposition and dissent from among the lower classes and the Crylantean merchant classes who now found themselves operating in direct competition with those from tir Lhaeraidd.

Under the Alwaenic System Lhaeraidh gentry and second sons were encouraged to move to Crylante to establish Plantations there. The plantation system had previously been adopted in Vrnallia and had proven both effective and profitable as a means of governing the land. These plantations were essentially large agrarian, and later industrial, land holdings with a fortified manor at their centre; ruled by transplanted Lhaeraidh Gentry, and in some cases members of the Crylantean nobility who had willingly converted to the Lhaeraidh religion and adopted Lhaeraidh customs. The long term plan behind these plantations was to transform the Crylantean ruling classes into Lhaeraidh gentry and thereby assimilate and control the Crylantean population.

Locally the Alwaenic System was hugely unpopular especially among the Truathi clergy and the local peasant classes. Not even the abolition of serfdom in 1694 had much of an impact upon the anti-Lhaeraidh sentiment, and the Lhaeraidh Teyrn and his government's reluctance to employ a military force to suppress rebellious movements meant that an anti-Lhaeraidh counterculture was established and flourished throughout the 18th century. The Alwaenic System finally came to an end in 1726 during the reign of Iestyn II/I when, in the face of increased pressure the Crown of Crylante and the Lordship of Vrnallia were merged.

First Navo-Lhaeraidh War (1559 - 1561 CE)

Main article; First Navo-Lhaeraidh War.

Modern re-enactors replicate the Battle of Five Streams.
After the Lhaeraidh annexation of Crylante in 1557 relations between tir Lhaeraidd and Kingdom of Navack began to sour. The Navish king, Odin I had his own claim to the Crylantean throne which in the Navish view had been usurped by a foreign power whose claim was tenuous at best; not only this but the geographic, political, and cultural proximity of Crylante to Navack caused the annexation to be viewed as an occupation by the powers of northern Lhedwin. After nearly two years of rising tensions between tir Lhaeraidd and Navack war finally broke out in 1559 when Navish troops cross the border into Crylante on 17th June. Initial successes from June through to August against the local Crylantean forces loyal to the Lhaeraidh crown gave Navack a strong position in the early months of the war and broke the morale of Crylantean forces, however by mid-September the Teyrn had mobilised his army (Rí-Airm) and navy (Rí-Dúghorm) and deployed elite Lhaeraidh troops to Crylante. Relying now upon troops from tir Lhaeraidd itself, who were available in greater numbers and who were better equipped and organised, the Lhaeraidd counterattack began in force in October 1559.

In a startling reverse at the Battle of Five Streams an outnumbered Lhaeraidh force numbering approximately two thousand men, supported by around five hundred Crylantean conscripts, successfully repulsed an attack by some five thousand Navish troops. At the time the victory was attributed to the tactical brilliance of the Lhaeraidh Commander Sir Áedh O'Brian, 3rd Iarla of Hlandennig, however later historians attribute the victory to the doctrinal differences between tir Lhaeraidd and Navack and the Lhaeraidh army's reliance upon Seiceálaí formations supported by the traditional Fianna skirmish formations. Five Streams sealed the reputation of Lhaeraidh infantry on the contemporary battlefield and of the Lhaeraidh Highlanders in particular, and it also marked the first time Óró sé do bheatha abhaile has been confirmed to have been the combat song of Rí-Airm. Five Streams also signalled the end of the 1559 Campaigning Season as winter set in and made large scale warfare highly impractical.

The war continued at sea throughout the remainder of 1559 with several key but costly Lhaeraidh victories. The Lhaeraidh officer in charge of the naval efforts in the east Admiral Sir Diarmaid O'Braden 1st Baróinéad Wallachta, was a poor strategist who relied more upon sheer numbers than a coherent plan in order to win his engagements, this factored heavily into the high rate of attrition for Lhaeraidh vessels throughout the winter of 1559 in the eastern theatre and would ultimately result in O'Braden's removal from command in March 1560. Despite this strategic mismanagement O'Braden was broadly successful in suppressing Navish naval activity; the fact was that tir Lhaeraidh had a significant advantage in numbers at sea as well as a greater capacity to replenish losses in ships and manpower that even the comparative brilliance of the Navish naval command could not counter. Historians Tobias Cruacht (1994) and Andrew Forsiadh (1998) both concluded that the Navish naval commanders in the east at this time far outstripped the abilities of O'Braden, and were ultimately successful in their objectives; according to Crucht in particular, the Navish commanders realised that a straight victory was not possible and instead aimed to damage as much of the Lhaeraidh fleet as possible rather than destroy it outright.

When the land war continued in February 1560 O'Brian, now promoted thanks to his victory at Five Streams, lead a large force against the Navish forces holding northern Crylante and steadily pushed back the front. Though his ability to chase down and harass retreating Navish forces was hampered by the Lhaeraidh lack of cavalry he was able to use his Fianna and Crylantean irregulars to harass his enemies whenever they stopped to encamp. The campaigning season of 1560 was characterised by the slow but steady removal of Navish forces from northern Crylante and high rates of attrition in the Navish armies. Thanks to the military reforms that had seen the formation of Rí-Airm the Lhaeraidh had a doctrinal, logistical, and tactical advantage to back up their numerical superiority and time and time again the organised Seiceálaí formations confirmed Lhaeraidh infantry dominance on the battlefield. However while O'Brian was as yet undefeated his subordinates were not all so successful. Sir Breandán Nuallán, one of O'Brian's principle subordinates, led the bulk of the Lhaeraidh forces' limited cavalry; Lhaeraidh cavalry doctrine was still relatively primitive and for the most part they were used only as scouts and light cavalry. Nuallán had received orders to move five hundred men north west towards the Navish border as a feint to try and draw Navish forces away from the planned attack on a Navish encampment at the village of Haustven; however seeing a chance at glory and to boost the reputation of the cavalry to match that of the infantry Nuallán ordered an all out assault on what he believed to be an unsuspecting Navish unit holding a large farm and country house called Sailla. In the resulting clash more than three quarters of Nuallán's forces, half of all the Lhaeraidh cavalry in the entire theatre, were wiped out by an organised Navish defence.

The 1560 Campaigning Season ultimately saw significant Lhaeraidh successes, driving the Navish forces out of all but a few small Crylantean border settlements. In the western naval theatre Vice-Admiral Sir Odran O'Leary managed to secure naval dominance with greater success than O'Braden in the east, however he was unable to fully blockade the key ports of Gardrag or Heide. In the east the Lhaeraidh ruled the waves, but at incredible cost in ships and manpower and O'Braden's replacement, Admiral Sir Medraut Naoise, had succeeded in blockading the major ports along the eastern coast of Navack.

1561 began early with Lhaeraidh forces, now bolstered by reformed and reorganised Crylantean regiments, advancing along a broad front, pushing the Navish out of Crylante altogether. By March O'Brian had entered Anvobar and occupied Kalgnat and Elstrand putting more than fifteen thousand Lhaero-Crylantean troops on the capital city of Berke's doorstep. Further north O'Brian's subordinate Nuallán salvaged his reputation by successfully taking Haarby and laying siege to Elborg; while along the centre of the line Lhaeraidh forces under Crylantean officer Janus Olleger marched towards Nexo. When O'Brian turned his own forces towards Berke in order to besiege the city he was halted by a large force of elite Navish Guard units at the First Battle of Berke, and then again three miles north at the Second Battle of Berke; it would take O'Brian and his army four months to reach the city proper and lay siege with the Navish fighting bitterly all the way and repeatedly repelling flanking advances or attempts to break their lines. Finally in October 1561 as the campaigning season drew to a close O'Brian's forces sat outside Berke and Navish officials were invited to meet in the Crylantean city of Sønderburg.

The Treaty of Sønderburg (1561 CE)

The Treaty of Sønderburg was signed on 8th December 1561 after almost two months of negotiations between the Navish government and Lhaeraidh military officials. Both the Teyrn of tir Lhaeraidd, Llewellyn III/I, and the King of Navack, King Odin I, affixed their seals to the treaty in person. Under the terms of the treaty tir Lhaeraidd and Navack agreed to end hostilities under the stipulation that tir Lhaeraidd would not attempt to expand further into Lhedwinnic territories, however the tir Lhaeraidd is seen as having achieved the upper hand from the treaty in that it forced Navack to renounce any claims to Crylante and Vrnallia, and required the Navish government to pay for the Lhaeraidh costs in the war which had been considerable. In terms of territory the treaty maintained the status quo antebellum albeit with Lhaeraidh occupation of Kalgnat and Elstrand until the reparations had been paid in full. Ultimately the Treaty of Sønderburg would remain in force until 1598 when tir Lhaeraidd annexed Vrnallia, by this time however the reparations had been paid in full and Lhaeraidd troops had not occupied Navish territory since 1565. There seems to be a curious discrepancy in how each side viewed the treaty and its terms which would later precipitate the Second Navo-Lhaeraidh War in 1598; the Lhaeraidh monarch took the view that Vrnallia was not a part of Lhedwin, and saw this view as having been accepted by the Navish when they had renounced their claims as part of the treaty. However the Navish took the view that although they had renounced their own claims to Crylante and Vrnallia these two nations remained a part of the Lhedwinnic subcontinent.

The Vrnallian Plantations (1598 - 1726 CE)

In 1598 Teyrn Alwaen IV/I "the Great" laid claim to the lands of Vrnallia and initiated a policy of plantations, to resettle the territory with Lhaeraidh farmers; through a process of diplomacy certain Vrnallian lords invited the Teyrn's men into Vrnallia and openly supported the plantations in exchange for wealth and recognition of their ancient claims. Despite the support of certain Vrnallian lords and landowners large numbers of Vrnallians violently opposed the plantations policy and raised armies to raid and sack the Lhaeraidh settlements in the southernmost island. The early attacks were met by local militias of ill equipped Lhaeraidh settlers who were equipped and organised in the manner of the traditional Lhaeraidh fianna, rendering them vulnerable to more organised tactics and advanced weaponry. After the plantations near Lakiaš were raised and the settlers slaughtered in 1605 the Teyrn mobilised his own army and led an expedition to Vrnallia to secure the islands in fact as well as name.

Landing near Lakiaš and Dnuhozuš with two forces of 10,000 each, armed with muskets, pikes, and halberds and with dedicated cavalry and artillery in tow the Lhaeraidh forces established a series of fortified encampments along the coast and secured the two cities where they had made landfall. A series of skirmishes between the Vrnallian forces and the Expeditionary Force followed. The Vrnallian forces initially faced were not professional soldiers and lacked training; instead they were local labourers and farmers forced off their land, or otherwise aggrieved at the Lhaeraidh and armed with such weapons as were available. However eventually lords opposing the Lhaeraidh invasion raised armies of their own, and gave battle numerous times between 1606 and 1610.

A stark difference in doctrine, structure, and equipment divided the two forces. The Lhaeraidh armies under Teyrn Alwaen IV/I featured mixed units of pikemen and musketmen, lightly armoured but well drilled, supported by lancers and sword cavalry, as well as early storm troopers armed with broadswords and pistols. By comparison most Vrnallian soldiers still wore leather armour and wielded spears or crossbows and few arquebus; though they fought in formation, much as the Lhaeraidh did, they were unrecognisable as an army in the same way that the Lhaeraidh, in their green or blue uniform kilts and issue breastplates were. In straight open battle Lhaeraidh firepower inevitably carried the day, however victories were not without cost and in 1608 the Teyrn was required to call upon a further 10,000 men so as to recoup some of his losses.

By 1635 the Lhaeraidh had been fighting on and off with various Vrnallian lords and warlords for the better part of forty years, and though the larger part of the enemy had been subjugated and the lords brought to heel insurgent forces remained in the hills. Unable to effectively eliminate the insurgent forces the then Teyrn, Bedwyr VIII, ordered a change in strategy. Known Vrnallian holdouts were surrounded, the plantations fortified and the armies left at major settlements in each island. Under this system many holdouts were forced out of their hiding places through starvation and desperation, unable to live off the land; others were killed attempting to raid the now fortified plantations. Support for the holdouts among the Vrnallian peasantry gradually petered out and in 1640 it was recorded that almost all violence had ended.

The Second Navo-Lhaeraidh War (1609 - 1613 CE)

Main article; Second Navo-Lhaeraidh War

Modern re-enactors in 17th Century Lhaeraidh uniforms.
Occurring after the Lhaeraidh annexation of Vrnallia, during which the Lhaeraidh Teyrn Alwaen IV/I became the feudal overlord of the territory, was the Second Navo-Lhaeraidh War. Precipitated by the Kingdom of Navack who viewed the annexation as a breach of the Treaty of Sønderburg which had been in force for more than thirty years. The Treaty of Sønderburg precluded further Lhaeraidh expansion in Lhedwin; however the Lhaeraidh view at the time was that Vrnallia was not part of the subcontinent, since it was an entirely separate landmass, this view was further reinforced by another clause in the treaty which renounced all Navish claims to the territories which make up modern day Vrnallia. The Navish government however interpreted the clause differently, claiming that Vrnallia was a part of Lhedwin, a claim which would eventually become widely accepted as factual.

The Navish government were enraged by what they viewed as a flagrant breach of the Treaty of Sønderburg and shortly after the annexation of Vrnallia was concluded declared war upon tir Lhaeraidd. During the First Navo-Lhaeraidh War the Rí-Fórsaí Armtha of tir Lhaeraidd had dominated the Navish military on land, and destroyed Navish naval power (albeit at great cost) and as a result the Lhaeraidh government did not view Navack as a credible threat; however the Navish military of the First War were not the same as the contemporary Navish forces. After their crushing defeat at Lhaeraidh hands the Navish military had been reformed and rebuilt almost from the ground up, closing the gap in quality, equipment, and doctrine which had existed during the First War. The Navish navy was brand new, boasting state of the art vessels of modern design, whereas its Lhaeraidh counterpart Rí-Dúghorm still maintained vessels which had been afloat during the First War some thirty or so years prior. The Navish army had also seen significant reform and had benefited from the lessons of the First War; a greater reliance upon firearms and in solid infantry formations, as well as the adoption of a standardised drill had transformed the more traditional Navish army into a modern fighting force. In short the Navish military had learned from its failings and had seen tremendous progress. The Lhaeraidh military on the other hand had simply refined the strategies and technologies which had led to victory in the First War.

As in the First War the conflict began with Navish troops crossing the border into Northern Crylante; however the Crylantean army of the First War had moved forwards to and so the quick successes the Navish had seen in the First War did not materialise. Crylantean resistance was far more organised and sophisticated than it had been previously, and a series of fortified positions had been constructed a few miles south of the border in an effort to contain any future Navish invasions before they could gain a foothold. The Navish suddenly found that they were fighting a brutal, modern war, not against Lhaeraidh troops, but against their professed brothers, the Crylanteans. Unable to break through the line of Crylantean defences on the mainland the Navish strategy shifted and in January of 1610, in the middle of winter, they landed troops in western Crylante aiming to capture the island rather than the portion on the Lhedwinnic mainland. The Crylantean defences in the west were far less organised and fortified and within nine months the Navish forces had succeeded in capturing almost all of the landmass and from October 1610 the Navish were able to land sizeable forces on the mainland, bypassing the line of defences in the north.

The success on land was not mirrored by success at sea however. The Lhaeraidh navy was as large as it had ever been and despite the preponderance of older ships it was still as efficiently run (and much better led) as it had been in the First War. Navish naval units tried time and again to break through to Vrnallia but were each time intercepted and repulsed. The Navish exacted a punishing toll against the older ships of the Lhaeraidh fleet, however when the elite Black Squadron entered the fray the Navish had no answer. The Black Squadron consisted of tir Lhaeraidd's own state of the art ships, heavily armed with cannon, with thick double hulls which made them all but impervious to the smaller calibre guns which the Navish favoured in their sleek new vessels; with their own sleek design these new ships were only marginally slower than their Navish foes. However the Black Squadron could only ever be in one place at a time and the Lhaeraidh Admiralty prioritised the defence of Vrnallia over that of Crylante.

The steady loss of territory in Crylante finally prompted the Teyrn to mobilise Rí-Airm and deploy them to Crylante; initially it had been believed that the Crylantean forces would be able to hold and defeat the Navish with the help of the fortified line in the north and so the Teyrn had seen no need to commit Lhaeraidh troops to fight. However the landings of 1610 and defeats of early 1611 prompted a change in policy. The Teyrn already had a force of thirty thousand men in Vrnallia fighting against local rebellion and resistance to his rule; deploying further soldiers overseas would be costly and it was only reluctantly that a force of sixty thousand soldiers, including five thousand marines, was deployed. Reluctance though did not equate to a lack of motivation or resolve; as far as Alwaen IV/I was concerned once the troops were deployed the expenditure was unavoidable, so he may as well seek a swift conclusion and mitigate the costs. Landing in the last remaining western port of Neititsnot under the command of the Teyrn the sixty thousand Lhaeraidh troops began a systematic campaign against the Navish forces. In a little over six months the islands of western Crylante had been retaken. Earlier defeats to the Lhaeraidh fleet in the east had cut off any hope of supply or reinforcement to the Navish forces in Crylante, except via the western landmass, with this too now under Lhaeraidh control the Navish forces which had invaded mainland Crylante were now surrounded.

As 1612 began the Navish renewed their offensive with a conscript force of ten thousand marching south in an effort to bludgeon their way through the as yet unbroken line of defences south of the border however the effort proved fruitless. What a force of thirty five thousand well trained and drilled professional soldiers could not achieve in 1609, ten thousand poorly motivated conscripts found impossible. On the third attempt to march south the conscript force was surrounded by Crylantean forces near the site of the Sailla Massacre in the First War; in the resulting battle of the seven thousand conscripts who began the fight for the Navish only eight hundred returned to Navack alive. Once again the Lhaeraidh advantage in manpower and supply was proving to be Navack's downfall; Navack alone could not match the sheer numbers on the Lhaeraidh side. Even at sea with a brand new fleet, with kill ratios of three to one, the Navish could not turn the tide, the Lhaeraidh Teyrn simply had more men, more ships, and more firepower at his disposal and seemingly a ruthless willingness to take advantage of it.

Finally in March 1613 the Navish commander of the main force now trapped and surrounded in Crylante surrendered to the Teyrn, resulting in the capture of the ten thousand or so remaining Navish troops. With ten thousand Navish soldiers and their officers now in captivities the King of Navack sued for peace and agreed to meet Teyrn Alwaen IV/I at Nebligen to agree to peace terms. Though this time the Lhaeraidh had not managed to push back into Navack itself it was clear that with the capture of their main army such an eventuality was inevitable.

The Treaty of Nebligen (1613 CE)

The Treaty of Nebligen was signed of the 4th May 1613 and resulted in the end of the Second Navo-Lhaeraidh War. For the second time a Lhaeraidh Teyrn and a Navish King met to discuss peace terms, and for the second time the treaty was decidedly one sided. The Lhaeraidh not only secured reparations as they had in the First War, and the continued renunciation of claims to Crylante and Vrnallia, they also secured the hand over of a number of the new Navish ships which had cost the Lhaeraidh so dearly in battle. Further Navack was forced to agree to limit the size of its standing army to just twenty thousand men, a humiliating stipulation which was ultimately unenforceable. The only concession given by the Lhaeraidh government was to agree to no further expansion in Lhedwin.

The Kingdom of Crylante and Vrnallia (1726 - 1799 CE)

In 1726, during the reign of Alwaen VI/III, the Kingdom of Crylante and the Lordship of Vrnallia were merged into a single entity within the Lhaeraidh Crown which was referred to as the Kingdom of Crylante and Vrnallia. In truth this political entity existed in name only since both Crylante and Vrnallia were now ruled by the Teyrn's government directly from Neuaddduwaiu. The Kingdom was short lived and existed in a period of rapidly growing Lhedwinnic nationalism; the United Kingdom of Lhedwin had come into existence in northern Lhedwin in 1668 and since then numerous rebel groups had used this as leverage against the Lhaeraidh crown.

The plantation system which had been introduced prior to the Union worked well for tir Lhaeraidd, but it did not foster cultural integration or any sort of friendly dialogue between settlers and the locals, since the fortification of the plantations placed very real divisions between them. The result was that the Vrnallian islands and Crylantean territories became a breeding ground for whispered discontent and resentment towards the Lhaeraidh establishment, which was only checked by the compliance of the Vrnallian and Crylantean nobility and by tir Lhaeraidd's generally liberal policies. Even so this could not prevent an eventual outpouring of nationalist sentiment which began to be expressed in 1791 after a band of notorious Vrnallian bandits were executed, overnight the bandits became martyrs and demands for independence grew.

A series of clashes between nationalist forces supported by a growing number of native lords, and the Lhaeraidh army across the islands ended in 1799 when the Lhaeraidh Teyrn, Eurig I agreed to withdraw from the Kingdom. The plantation system was becoming increasingly unstable and unprofitable, and with rising violence there were no opportunities to change this, and merchants were rapidly withdrawing from the territory as the United Kingdom made ever more pointed demands for the lands to be ceded. Eurig's withdrawal signaled the end of Lhaeraidh rule in Crylante and Vrnallia, and brought into being the two short lived independent nations of Crylante and Vrnallia which were rapidly absorbed into the Lhedwinnic Kingdom.

Early Modern Era (1702-1899 CE)

Lhaeraidh painters such as Arthur Gyldr (1736-1923) depicted an idealized view of rural tir Lhaeraidd at the start of the 18th century.
During the late 18th century and early 19th century, there was considerable social upheaval as a largely agrarian society was transformed by technological advances and increasing mechanisation, which was the Industrial Revolution. Much of the agricultural workforce was uprooted from the countryside and moved into large urban centres of production, as the steam-based production factories could undercut the traditional cottage industries, because of economies of scale and the increased output per worker made possible by the new technologies. The consequent overcrowding into areas with little supporting infrastructure saw dramatic increases in the rate of infant mortality (to the extent that many Sunday schools for pre-working age children (5 or 6) had funeral clubs to pay for each other's funeral arrangements), crime, and social deprivation.

In 1709, a coke-fired blast furnace was established to produce cast iron, replacing charcoal, although continuing to use blast furnaces. The ensuing availability of inexpensive iron was one of the factors leading to the Industrial Revolution. Toward the end of the 18th century, cast iron began to replace wrought iron for certain purposes, because it was cheaper. Carbon content in iron was not implicated as the reason for the differences in properties of wrought iron, cast iron, and steel until the 18th century.

The later works of artists such as O'Hanlon (1752-1827) depict the very rapid changes occurring within tir Lhaeraidd during the industrial revolution.
The basis of the Lhaeraidh Empire was the concept of global trade and merchant capitalism, a theory which emphasised the need for trade in as many locations, with as many clients as possible. By being present and founding trading posts throughout Aeia and by establishing stock markets and financial centres which included banking ventures on a vast scale tir Lhaeraidd was able to play a commanding role in the development of the global economy. Rather than seeking to dominate vast areas of land through direct control the Lhaeraidh instead set out to colonise small areas of land to serve as trade and supply stops, all of which was facilitated by a rapidly growing merchant navy. The Lhaeraidh colonial policy was defined by this theory of trade and wealth generation, rather than control and the production of goods. Through their vast trade network and web of trading posts the Lhaeraidh Empire was formed, the backbone of which was finance.

The Industrial Revolution (1770-1820 CE)

In 1706 the first global insurance brokers was established in Aurharbwr. The Yswiriant a Chyllid Gorfforaeth Aurharbwr, or YCGA, was responsible for ensuring merchant vessels and merchant ventures throughout the world while simultaneously serving as a major investor in other private enterprises. It was the YCGA which served as the principle financier of the Industrial Revolution in tir Lhaeraidd. There were also innovations in marine insurance and legal structuring of firms like the joint stock company. These innovations helped manage risk. For example, ships were financed by shares, with each of 16 merchants, say, holding a 1/16 share. This minimised risk and maximised opportunity for windfall gains. Even more important in this respect was the staples market (staplaufarchnad) itself that helped to manage the risk of price fluctuations. Related instruments were the provision of trade credit to suppliers in order to secure favoured access to raw materials (Lhaeraidh merchants routinely bought up grain harvests in the East Asuran and West Cataianese areas and grape harvests in Cacrossica and Midrasia, important in the wine trade, before they were harvested) and the financing of commodity trade with bills of exchange, which helped bind customers to the merchant.

The explosive growth in capital accumulation directly led to an equally explosive growth in investment in fixed capital for industries related to trade. Technological innovations like the wind-driven sawmill, which significantly increased productivity in ship building, offered opportunities for profitable investment, as did the textile industries (mechanised fulling, new draperies) and other industries that made use of mechanisation on the basis of wind power. This mechanisation was based on yet another invention a type of crankshaft that converted the continuous rotational movement of the wind (windmill) or river (water wheel) into a reciprocating one.

Industrialists and engineers such as the Sagitean émigré Alexander Anders Armstrong drove the industrial revolution in tir Lhaeraidd and became incredibly wealthy in the process.
In a period loosely dated from the 1770s to the 1820s, tir Lhaeraidd experienced an accelerated process of economic change that transformed a largely agrarian economy into one of the world's first industrial economies. This phenomenon is known as the "industrial revolution", since the changes were far-reaching and permanent throughout many areas of tir Lhaeraidd, especially in the developing cities. Economic, institutional, and social changes were fundamental to the emergence of the industrial revolution. The new institutional setup ensured property rights and political safety and thereby supported the evolution of the Bonedd into an economically prosperous middle class. Another factor is the change in marriage patterns through this period. Marrying later allowed young people to acquire more education, thereby building up more human capital in the population. These changes enhanced the already relatively developed labour and financial markets, paving the way for the industrial revolution starting in the mid-18th century.

The kingdom provided the legal and cultural foundations that enabled entrepreneurs to pioneer the industrial revolution. Starting in the later part of the 18th century, there began a transition in parts of tir Lhaeraidd's previously manual labour and draft-animal–based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. Factories pulled thousands from low productivity work in agriculture to high productivity urban jobs.

The introduction of steam power fuelled primarily by coal, wider utilisation of water wheels and powered machinery (mainly in textile manufacturing) underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity. The development of all-metal machine tools in the first two decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing in other industries.

A long run of good harvests, starting in the first half of the 18th century, resulted in an increase in disposable income and a consequent rising demand for manufactured goods, particularly textiles. The invention of the flying shuttle enabled wider cloth to be woven faster, but also created a demand for yarn that could not be fulfilled. Thus, the major technological advances associated with the industrial revolution were concerned with spinning. During this time the Spinning Jenny was invented, a device that could perform the work of a number of spinning wheels. However, while this invention could be operated by hand, the water frame could be powered by a water wheel. Indeed these inventions are credited with the widespread introduction of the factory system in tir Lhaeraidd, and are the first examples of the successful mill owner and industrialist in Lhaeraidh history. The water frame was, however, soon supplanted by the spinning mule (a cross between a water frame and a jenny) and mules were later constructed in iron.

As they were water powered, the first mills were constructed in rural locations by streams or rivers. Workers villages were created around them, such as Melinaunewydd outside Aurharbwr. These spinning mills resulted in the decline of the domestic system, in which spinning with old slow equipment was undertaken in rural cottages.

The steam engine was invented and became a power supply that soon surpassed waterfalls and horsepower. The first practicable steam engine was used for pumping water out of mines. A much more powerful steam engine had a reciprocating engine capable of powering machinery. The first steam-driven textile mills began to appear in the last quarter of the 18th century, and this transformed the industrial revolution into an urban phenomenon, greatly contributing to the appearance and rapid growth of industrial towns. The progress of the textile trade soon outstripped the original supplies of raw materials. By the turn of the 19th century, imported Arabekh and Majulan cotton had replaced wool in the North West, though wool remained the chief textile in elswhere. Textiles have been identified as the catalyst in technological change in this period. The application of steam power stimulated the demand for coal; the demand for machinery and rails stimulated the iron industry; and the demand for transportation to move raw material in and finished products out stimulated the growth of the canal system, and (after 1830) the railway system.

Such an unprecedented degree of economic growth was not sustained by domestic demand alone. The application of technology and the factory system created such levels of mass production and cost efficiency that enabled Lhaeraidh manufacturers to export inexpensive cloth and other items worldwide. In the late 18th century and early 19th century a series of technological advances led to the Industrial Revolution. Tir Lhaeraidd's position as one of the world's pre-eminent traders helped fund research and experimentation. It was also fuelled by a rejection of mercantilism in favour of the predominance of capitalism.

The Industrial Revolution saw a rapid transformation in the Lhaeraidh economy and society. Previously, large industries had to be near forests or rivers for power. The use of coal-fuelled engines allowed them to be placed in large urban centres. These new factories proved far more efficient at producing goods than the cottage industry of a previous era. These manufactured goods were sold around the world, and raw materials and luxury goods were imported to tir Lhaeraidd.

Build-Up to the Great War (1820-1894 CE)

Inside the Brenner munitions factory at Caer Taeryn in 1892.
Owing to its land position in Asura and the continually growing emphasis on trade within tir Lhaeraidd the succeeding monarchs between 1820 and 1890 began fostering closer ties to the neighbouring Midrasian Empire and Carcossica so as to maintain the status quo and provide a form of insurance for their own mercantile empire. Though the Lhaeraidh military was well established and funded few nations considered it to be on a par with those of central and eastern Asura, and even the Lhaeraidh governments of the time significantly underestimated the efficacy of their own military forces. Hoping to secure a wider military pact to provide them the security that they felt was lacking the Lhaeraidh government approached the Midrasians multiple times. The surprising defeat of Midrasia to Veleaz however put a dampener on tir Lhaeraidd's efforts, only to see them renewed in 1887 after the Midrasians renewed their efforts to form a coalition to counter Veleazan colonialism.

Beyond positive relations with Midrasia tir Lhaeraidd had very little interest in starting a war, and though it maintained a powerful and highly mobile force so as to defend its trade posts and Cantonments from native, foreign, or piratical attack, it was not prepared for a war on a large scale. Throughout the 1860s and 1870s in the wake of the Asuran wars concerns at home grew that foreign insecurities and instability could result in an attack on Lhaeraidh soil. Curipthe's alliance with Veleaz served to fuel concerns and prompted massive government investment in a series of defensive forts along the Cuirpthe-Lhaeraidh border, these positions would eventually be further fortified with concrete lined permanent trenches and other defensive position. Recent advances in artillery allowed for mobile, flying batteries to be positioned behind these defences, maximising coverage at comparatively minor expense.

Key developments in automatic weapons by Caolán Gallchobhar resulted in the invention of the Gallchobhar Automatic Rifle, better known by its export name as the RAG 1893, and the refinement of the Maxim design into the Lommán 1894. By 1894 tir Lhaeraidd fielded one of the best equipped and most modern military forces in the world, yet its leaders remained uncertain of its capabilities and feared that foreign powers with more experienced forces would be able to make significant gains against their ultra-modern and largely untested military equipment. Military thinkers of the time still placed an emphasis on cavalry and infantry charges, and this translated into the typical battlefield tactics and organisational structure of the army at the time. Mobile artillery units complemented the idea of a rapidly moving cavalry force, machine guns did not and were relegated to dedicated units trained in static warfare. To their credit the military had the foresight to equip its cavalrymen with carbines and semi-automatic handguns.

The Great War (1895-1899 CE)

Members of the 2nd Bibracte Grenadiers on the Oser Front furing the Great War.
With fifteen hours of the Veleazan government's declaration of war on Midrasia the government of tir Lhaeraidd declared war on Veleaz and started mobilising its forces. When Cuirpthe entered the war it immediately became clear where tir Lhaeraidd's focus would lie in the coming conflict and troops were poured into the eastern border regions to shore up the existing defences which had been built there. The early stages of the war consisted of the manning and fortification of the front lines with barbed wire, mines, and temporary trenches; the Lhaeraidh military command had little desire to be engaged in a war and largely doubted the ability of its forces to successfully enter Cuirpthe; the result was that they never really tried in earnest to do anything more than launch periodic skirmishes over the border while constantly shelling the Oser soldiers and positions whenever they came too close. The pattern of shelling and raiding would continue well into the war, with Lhaeraidh commanders quite willing to allow the Oser forces to attack their lines and be batted off the by the extensively fortified positions they encountered.

Despite the military's general malaise support for the war as well as morale among the general population were high and various popular songs were written during this period that became rallying cries for young men to join the armed forces and fight. The war served as the impetus for considerable cultural development and during the war years the prevalence of popular music grew; with tunes such as Alliance Soldier, Lhaeraidd Soldier, and The Lhaeraidd Brigade being used to bolster confidence and morale, as well as belief in the cause.

Within the wider context of the war tir Lhaeraidd's main contribution was manpower; since Lhaeraidd law allowed citizens to sign on with foreign armies so long as they not raise arms against the Teyrnas thousands of young men flooded into the ranks of other Alliance armies and fought all over the world on almost every front of the war. Since support for the war among the populace was high, but low among the military chiefs, many young men found that the only way to achieve glory and recognition in combat was to sign on with foreign powers; in particular Newrey. The fact that so many young men went off to fight for foreign powers made the Lhaeraidh attitude one of pride, but also led to a culture of sorrow as such men were seldom afforded the same honours or recognition in death as those who fought for the Teyrnas itself. At home this meant increasing unrest as the government refused to support wounded Lhaeraidh who fought abroad, or their families should they die.

Socially the Great War brought about significant change, the number of men going off to fight meant fewer men remained to work in the factories or bring in the harvest, and women increasingly filled the roles of men in the fields of manual labour. The only industries which women were not permitted to work were mining and steel manufacture. The increasing reliance on female manpower to keep the economy going and supply the war effort meant increasing demands for women's rights and equality, and finally in 1898 laws were enacted allowing women to become Bonnedd in their own right and hold seats in parliament. This would spur on a decade of social and legal change which ultimately resulted in the complete legal equality of men and women in 1904.

The Modern Era (1899-Present)

The beginning of the Modern Era in tir Lhaeraidd is generally placed at the conclusion of the Great War, though some scholars place it later in 1905 when the Teyrnas formally declared neutrality in perpetuity.

Economic reforms during the 20th century provoked rapid urban development.
The rise of trade unionism and organised labour in tir Lhaeraidd allowed for a great deal of social progress, the development of the consumer society and rapid growth of disposable income which had come as a result in turn led to an economic resurgence which allowed the Lhaeraidh economy and treasury to recover from the Great War. The national debt was significantly reduced allowing for greater government spending and the expansion of the National Health Service to encompass the entire population. By 1936 all children were required to remain in education until the age of 16, and further education up to the age of 21 was free for all regardless of background. The 1938 Apprenticeships Act tackled youth unemployment and the unskilled labour force, as well as economic inequality, by enabling those young people who had not achieved academically to enter work and attain training in a skill.

Unions pressed forward the importance of apprenticeships as a means of boosting wage expectations, and business owners and industrialists promoted them as they provided both a constant supply of cheap labour and a skilled workforce which allowed for industrial advancement. However by 1946 tensions between trade unions and industrialists had reached a peak, as business owners sought increased automation and a reduction in the skilled workforce, in favour of more advanced manufacturing techniques. The trade unions fought against the change, holding back the Teyrnas' economic and societal progress by almost a decade, as young people continued to be trained in obsolete manufacturing methods to fill skilled roles which were no longer necessary. Eventually the situation reached its climax in 1954 with the declaration of O'Comhghán's War.

Then Chancellor Rhioridh O'Comhghán challenged the trade unions openly and forced through numerous changes in the law weakening the trade union's stranglehold over the workforce. Between 1954 and 1960 a series of vicious strikes and strike breaking actions broke out across tir Lhaeraidd coupled with protests against the government as O'Comhghán's reforms were introduced; government funding for training in the obsolete manufacturing techniques was withdrawn. The initial result was a dip in wages, however as minimum wage laws took effect wages steadily increased. O'Comhghán left office in 1961 and was succeeded by Aedan O'Madwyn. O'Madwyn's policies were more forgiving, focusing on government investment in education, training, and industry so as to expand demand for 'new skill sectors'.

The Post-War Years (1899-1912 CE)

The post-war situation in tir Lhaeraidd was tense. Incredibly high casualties during the Great War had left the population demoralised and depressed; the clamour for change steadily grew as workers demanded improved working conditions and started to form unions. Demands for political change took the form of Working Men's and Veteran's Associations, who pressed for the abolition of the ancient laws restricting high government office to members of the aristocracy. A decade of intermittent strikes and protests by the working classes followed, punctuated by the rise of the Woman's Association and demands for women's rights. The government response was increasingly liberal, having witnessed the communist revolutions which had come in the wake of the Great War the establishment feared that the monarchy may be under threat.

Labour strikes and walkouts became a common sight during the early 20th century.
In this atmosphere of uncertainty and instability the government took measures to protect itself, not by combating the demands for change, but through processes of gradual reform. Because wealth and plutocracy existed within tir Lhaeraidd before the war the attitude of the aristocracy was very different to that seen in other nations; with less to lose from the reduction of their ancient privileges they were more willing to accept changes. In 1904 a series of laws ensured complete legal equality of men and women, a rare example of legislative foresight which arguably has not yet been caught up with by society itself. In 1903 the Trade Unions Act legalised unions and set out the basic rights of workers, including the minimum wage, pensions, and safety requirements.

The rise of trade unionism resulted in major economic and social change within tir Lhaeraidd, most significantly the adoption by many companies of the 'living wage' which not only increased the value of Lhaeraidh goods but also brought about the concept of disposable income and ultimately the beginning of the consumer society. With the series of laws which followed the Trade Unions Act on 1903 came increasing quality of life for the working classes, and in 1910 the first National Health Act was entered into law which established free government run paediatric clinics and hospitals. Additionally in 1910 a second law, the National Education Act made basic education up to the age of fourteen mandatory for all children and between 1910 and 1912 hundreds of schools were opened which adhered to a national curriculum.

In 1906 under public pressure by veteran's and soldier's widows associations the 14th May was declared a national holiday with the official name of Remembrance Day, however the holiday is now more commonly referred to as Dubhán's Day in honour of tir Lhaeraidd's greatest hero of the Great War. The day was declared to be one of national remembrance and mourning for all those who died during the Great War, and the date of 14th May was chosen because it was the date of Dubhán's last stand in Erika. Since 1923 representatives from Cuirpthe have been invited to attend the Dubhán's Day commemorations in Neuaddduwiau, making it a day of international commemoration for the lost. Notably 1912 saw the construction and consecration of the Llwynmilwr, a forty square kilometre grove on the famed 'Plains of Royal Leath' as a national centre of remembrance, where the names of tir Lhaeraidd's honoured military dead have been inscribed in stone ever since.

The O'Callaghan Plan (1912-1932)

Chancellor Aledh O'Callaghan, father of the O'Callaghan Plan.
The O'Callaghan Plan (Officially the Asuran Economic Recovery Program) was a Lhaeraidh initiative begun in 1912 with the aim of assisting in the economic reconstruction of the defeated powers and remnant states following the Great War. During the course of the program tir Lhaeraidd gave approximately $2 billion ($20 billion in current estimates) NSD per year to nations throughout Northern Asura, in particular Glanodel. The plan lasted for twenty years. The publicly stated goal of tir Lhaeraidd was to assist in the recovery of war-ravaged economies and to break down trade barriers, however the declassification of government documents in 1998 revealed that it was also intended as a means of preventing the spread of communist and fascist ideology. The O'Callaghan Plan required a lessening of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, labour union membership, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

The Plan aid was divided amongst the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for general Asuran revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed towards the former Lhedwinic nations, with less for those further south and east. The largest recipient of O'Callaghan Plan money (per capita) was Glanodel, followed by Vrnallia and Crylante. Many Asuran countries received Plan benefits.

Since 1960

As the living and minimum wages increased and consumer society evolved tir Lhaeraidd underwent a period of significant social and cultural change throughout the 1960s. Social liberalism started to overtake the existing conservatism, with new mediums of art and music becoming popular; the widespread introduction of easily affordable mass produced records enabled Lhaeraidh artists to grow in influence. Genres such as Rock and Roll, Psychedelia, and Pop established the music industry as a multi-million Aurarian business sector, and by 1966 nearly every home had a record player and radio. The widespread introduction of television in the previous decade allowed for the vast expansion of mass media during the 60s as broadcasting techniques and technologies advanced; live news broadcasting from around the world became possible and global awareness became commonplace.

From 1972 onward tir Lhaeraidd became a major consumer, importing goods from all over the world to satisfy the domestic demand for market diversity. The evolution of consumerism led to an evolution in economic policy and successive governments started to pursue open market policies which focused upon and allowed for economic diversity; it was no longer sufficient to have a single brand or manufacturer for a given item, as the consumers demanded additional variety. Government investment in startup businesses, new technologies, and new market concepts make tir Lhaeraidd a key modern financial and commercial hub, attracting businesses and entrepreneurs on a global level. The statistical results of this period are clear, by the end of 1979 seven out of ten families own one or more cars, nine out of ten owned a television, and almost everyone home featured central heating and internal plumbing.

The provision of household amenities rapidly improved both in terms of availability and reliability from 1960 onward, as the government converted its localised providers for fuel, water, sanitation, and electricity into national organisations. From 1962 on every home in the country was connected to the national infrastructural grid. The number of houses with a fixed bath, or shower, rose sharply and the ability of homeowners to afford home improvements significantly increased. Between 1968 and 1980 DIY and home improvement became major pastimes and huge economic sectors, with modernity and technology now being considered necessities not only by the public but by the government who began to extend social credit and investment schemes to those home owners unable to afford basic improvements.

The West Asuran Concordat (1984-1985)

Main Article: West Asuran Concordat


Constituional Reforms (2017 CE)

On 22 December 2016 Teyrn Bedwyr XVI put his seal on a revolutionary document which was unprecedented in tir Lhaeraidd's political history; the document, which started out as an Executive Proposal by the Teyrn himself to Parliament, grants official and full approval for government reforms which were to be led by the lower house of Parliament the Bonedd. While the document contained an opt out clause which the Teyrn could have used had the proposed reforms not been satisfactory. No legally binding document of this nature had ever gained Parliamentary approval in the entire history of the Teyrnas, much less the seal of the Teyrn.

The stated aim of the document was to 'gradually introduce a more democratic and modern system of governance, such that the Teyrn may take a secondary role in political life.' What this essentially meant was that the sole purpose of the Bonedd from that point on was to draft a series of new statutes which would establish a democratic Parliament, and ultimately a democratic executive office. Within a matter of months tir Lhaeraidd would see its first ever elections. Parliament had discussed the subject on numerous occasions with the Bonedd even passing a series of conjectural motions agreeing to the basis of a Lhaeraidh democracy even before the Teyrn's proposal entered into law.

In line with the Conjectural Procedures of 2012, 2013, and 2015 the Bonedd sought to hammer out the specifics of a proposal which would result in the abolition of the upper house of Parliament as it presently existed, the Bonedd would then occupy that position with a new lower house replacing them in turn. The Conjectural Procedures of 2013 established a consensus that any democratic system would have to operate on a constituent basis, meaning that the country would be divided into electoral districts along the lines of the old counties, with each county given a number of seats based on its population as a proportion of tir Lhaeraidd's total. Within each constituency the people would then vote upon candidates using a preferential voting system (where a constituency has more than one seat) or a system of plurality (where only one seat exists.)

After three months of continuous debate and work among policy makers and politicians the process of hammering out the documents and terms of the government reform in tir Lhaeraidd was complete. On 11 April 2017 the Bonedd presented he finalised document to the Teyrn for his approval, and within hours the Teyrn gave his assent in a momentous point in Lhaeraidh history, signing the document and affixing his seal to it rendering into law the changes therein which converted Asura's last absolute monarchy into a modern Parliamentary Democracy with a constitutional monarch as its figurehead. The document officially came into force on 17 April 2017, triggering a general election, the first in tir Lhaeraidd's eleven hundred year history.

The reforms agreed to introduced a constitutional framework which leans heavily on the ancient Lhaeraidh concepts of personal freedom and economic liberty. The country was divided into Electoral Constituencies which were based around the boundaries of tir Lhaeraidd's traditional counties; each county became entitled to a number of representatives proportionate to its population relative to the number of seats available and the total population of the Teyrnas, a system which means on average each Member of Parliament (Aelod Seneddol) represents around 125,000 citizens, forming a legislative chamber of 800 representatives.

The Upper House of the legislative became the Bonedd, an assemblage of tir Lhaeraidd's gentry. Membership is based upon paying an annual tithe to the government and anyone capable of paying the tithe can be a member; however the reforms placed strict rules in place. Companies and corporations can only provide funds for a single member's tithe, while charities may fund two. Private citizens may pay their own tithe but members of the Bonedd cannot provide funds to pay for the tithe of another member. Additionally the proportion of Bonedd members belonging to each political party or who have their tithe funded in part by such a party may not exceed 50 per party.

With the announcement that the first General Election in Lhaeraidh history would be held on 17 April 2017 the major political parties rushed to make their status official on the electoral register. The civil service's Electoral Monitoring Department was inundated with hundreds of applications for political party status on 11 April, all of which were processed thanks to the department's huge temporary staff. Most applications were approved with only a few which did not meet transparency and anti-corruption standards being rejected. The resulting rush to the campaign podium has left little time for the general public to take stock and look at each party in detail, which prompted the Teyrn's Office's to publish a list on its website which gives the names of every party and a short description of what they stand for.

In total 213 political parties formed which had more than twenty members, with smaller parties being excluded from official statistics, even though they retained the same rights and protections as their larger counterparts. Many of these political parties represented local concerns and agendas and were either formally or nominally aligned with one or other of the four major parties.