Timeline


1098
Lemandis Born

1102
Timeas Born

1110
Lemonfall Founded

1115
Iaden born

1115
Lemonfall made into a Barony

1120
Timeas's arest

1124
Andronicus dies, Ospheros becomes Baron

1126
Heptide dies

1130
Lemandis Proposes to Iaden, who refuses

1132
Ospheros and Victor killed. Penymos fatally wounded, supposedly by elves

1133
Penymos dies

1133
Lemandis becomes Baron

1139
Iaden marries Lemandis to become Baronete

1141
Lemandis falls

Andronicus and the Re-Founding of Lemonfall


Andronicus Sangtree was a fifth-generation Asperan whose forbearers immigrated from Ild-Eldir during the years of castatrophe. He was a man whose ambition and natural abilities far exceeded his opportunities, so he went to make his own.

A lifetime vintner, he looked for a place where he could expand his tiny farm and perchance achieve some rank in life. He looked at many maps of the kingdom and visited many places before he discovered the abandoned town of Lemonfall in Gideon Valley. At one time it thrived on its orchards and vineyards, but its inhabitants were all forced to move during Tygar's reformation. Andronicus undertook a journey to look at the place and liked what he saw. He sold everything he had to obtain the leasehold on the abandoned village and buy the tools and supplies he needed to establish a new settlement. He took with him his wife Heptide, his 8-year-old son Timeas, and three score men and women to whom he promised land on generous terms if they would help re-establish the town. Chief among these were three riders Penymos, Ospheros, and Perisas along with their families.

Arrival


When the settlers arrived in 1110 they were dismayed at how little they had to work with. The town was in ruins and surrounded by forest. The only structure remaining was a decrepit meeting hall in which they lived together like peasants. But they were cheered when Andronicus showed them the many vines and orchards that were still growing after all these years. There was a tremendous amount of work to be done and the occasional troll that had to be fought off, but knowing a crop was waiting for them come autumn spurred them on.

That spring and summer was full of back-breaking work for the settlers, but as the harvest approached they had made many improvements on the land and recovered one of the old holding caves for their wine. Their biggest problem then was the lack of hands to bring in the harvest, meaning little profit for the new settlers.

Elves


It was just before the harvest that one of Andronicus' men, Penymos, happened upon a band of elves in the woods. He hid from the elves and told his master about them at the first opportunity. Some of the settlers were distrustful of the strangers, and wanted to drive them away but Andronicus saw opportunity and went directly to the elven encapment with gifts. He was well received and spent the evening drinking and singing with the tribe, who he learned was on their annual migration north.

It is an unfortunate truth that few of the other races trust elves. They are more like the fey than their humanoid cousins, and they are almost always nomadic. As a result, they are often blamed for anything that goes awry in their presence. They are also great lovers of wine, but are unable to produce much of their own because of their nomadic ways.

Few people realize that elves are very friendly to any who shows them curtesy. They took to Andronicus so well that the two parties soon struck a compact: The elves would work the fields, and in return the settlers would give them a small portion of the new wine, plus another portion the next autumn when the elves arrived for the next year's harvest.

Andronicus had a hard time convincing his settlers to trust the elves but their fears were soon allayed. The harvest that year filled every barrel they could muster, and the new wine had a wild and beautiful quality never before tasted in Aspera. The settlement's funding thus assured, a few more families joined the settlement in spring.

When the elves arrived the next autumn Andronicus offered them the very best of the casked wine, making more than good on his promise. The elves, for their part, taught him some of their own vine-lore. In this way the settlement and the yearly influx of elven hands increased. The settlement prospered with friendship between elves and the settlers.

With the advice of his wife and the elves Andronicus took for himself a wide slope of land, much of it yet to be recovered. He divided the remaining land as he saw fit, giving Penymos, Ospheros, and Perisas first choice because of the courage they had shown in the first dangerous days of the settlement. Among the other first settlers some chose orchards, some chose vineyards, while other chose plots of land in the town.

Recruiting


Andronicus and Penymos wintered in Newholy where they could recruit more settlers. They quickly found that their best inducement was the wine, which they called "Wild Gideon". The wine and Andronicus' way with people swelled the town's population. In four years Lemonfall could produce nearly everything it needed, with the exception of grain and cloth which they had to import.

Andronicus determined from the start that he needed a good cooper because obtaining casks so far from where they were needed was too great a hurdle. In three counties he could not find a single cooper willing to move to such a remote area, or even to set up a small operation there. Frustrated, he found himself visiting a cooper named Drystaff, a dwarf with a reputation for great skill and high temper. Andronicus by this time had a reputation in the coopers' guild so there was no need to explain to Drystaff what he wanted. Andronicus said nothing, but poured out a generous measure of wine and let the dwarf drink. Drystaff drained his cup, then asked questions about the wine. Where had it come from? What were the vines like? How was it harvested? He then took another cup and drained it also, then asked more question. This proceedure was repeated until the cask was empty and the dwarf's head lay on the table. Andronicus left him in slumber. The next day Drystaff announced he was moving his entire operation to Lemonfall, thereafter never to cask a wine that wasn't made in Gideon's Valley.

For their pains, the founders obtained modest wealth and good reputation. They built their fine houses along the north-facing slopes looking down on the town, but none was finer than that of Andronicus. His house was built mainly by elves who undertook the effort out of friendship, but the foundation was laid by dwarves, who would not let it be said elves had taken part in such an important project while the dwarves were idle.

A daughter was born to the Sangtree family, Iaden, in 1115.

Divisions


In these early, hectic years there were only a few notes of discord. One was how to divide the land, although nobody could say Andronicus hadn't made good on any of his promises. Another other was on the construction of a permanent campsite for the elves' yearly migration, so that every year they had a good place to live while the harvest was brought in. The third disagreement came when the Lemonfall was declared a Barony.

It was no secret that Ospheros desired the Barony for himself, and thought it his rightful due. After all, Ospheros was descended directly from King Tygar I, a cousin of the Duke of Newholy, and had fought several skirmishes in defense of the town. He did not think that a tradesman descended from Eldir immigrants should hold sway over true Asperans. Ospheros did not make these arguments directly to the crown, but asked the Duke to intervene. The king was not swayed, and gave the barony to the person he felt had been most responsible for the town's success: Andronicus Sangtree.

Andronicus was elevated to Baron in the fifth year of Lemonfall's founding (1115) and he was given ten riders who swore to be his thanes. Among these were his three original riders Penymos, Ospheros, and Perisas, who all swore to their oaths before the Crown, the Duke, and the Baron. No more was said between them of who should be Baron, but some present thought Ospheros' pledge less than sincere.

It was soon after Andronicus' elevation that Timeas was given to Sir Perisas as an apprentice to become a rider.

Victory in Soubous


In the tenth year of Lemonfall (1120) the vintners decided to compete in the grand wine competetion in Soubous, the greatest city in all of As-Perod. Each one packed a selection of their best wines for judging.

Sir Timeas son of Baron Andronicus, represented the Sangtree family. Sir Penymos sent his son Victor. Sir Ospheros sent his son Lemandis. Sir Perisas went as master-at-arms and took his son Bartusas. These notables with some men-at-arms packed their wagons and set off for Maedyn. At the capital they joined a caravan bound for Soubous through the Badlands.

The Badlands is a desert plateau that takes two weeks to cross, moving from one waterhole to the next. The only inhabitants are human and orc nomads who sometimes attack caravans in force, plus the occasional dragon or other dangerous creature.

This particular caravan was not an easy one to assault, as the bandits discovered at great personal cost. In addition to the armed men and nobles already mentioned, there was prince Jemyt son of Duke Endethel of Newholy, his retinue of riders and men-at-arms, and the Magi Seraphina in the caravan.

The raiders attacked the caravan in force, killing Sir Perisas and three men-at-arms in the first moments, and severely wounding Prince Jamyt. It was Timeas who, through cleverness and bold action, rallied the caravan and emerged victorious. The convoy tracked the raiding party back to their camp and plundered it.

After such a long and eventful journey a mere wine tasting seemed anticlimactic. Most of the Gideon Valley vintages were well-received, but it was Sangtree's Wild Gideon that took top honors. The young lords payed a Sender to have the news of their journey, both good and ill, sent home. The party settled in to spend a year in the great city of Soubous before embarking on the long trip home.

The Arrest of Sir Timeas


Sirs Timeas, Victor, and Lemandis had been children together during the founding of Lemonfall and had trained as brothers-at-arms under Sir Perisas whose body they had been forced to burn in the desert. But Timeas and Lemandis had always been rivals and competed for everything, much as their fathers had before them. (Lemandis' father was Sir Ospheros, who coveted the Barony of Lemonfall.) In Soubous they strove against each other for the affections of Princess Saharta, a beautiful girl who was the daughter of the Consort Maccoa.

Sir Timeas seemed to have the upper hand in this latest competition until he was arrested by the Arcane Academy for a serious breach of arcane law. He was caught attempting to use a powerful and forbidden magic item on the Lady in an attempt to coerce her affections. He was arrested and imprisoned in the catacombs under the Academy with only a summary trial.

There were rumors that Sir Lemandis had paid to have Timeas arested so the field would be clear for his courtship of Princess Saharta, but these were soon proved false when Prince Jamyt won permission from the Soubous King to marry her. A few years after that, Sir Timeas died while trying to escape his prison.

Andronicus Fails


The news of their son's death hit Andronicus and Heptide hard, and their good fortune seemed to die with him. A few years later Andronicus fell ill and had to be carried about in a chair and fed by a nurse until he died in the winter of 1124. The king gave the Barony to Ospheros, who proved to be a competent if uncaring steward. Then Heptide died of a fever in 1126, leaving eleven-year-old Iaden and her estate in the care of the aging Sir Penymos and his son Sir Victor. When Iaden turned fifteen Sir Lemandis came courting, although he was twice her age.

Iaden rejected Lemandis as a suiter, and all those that came after him. She was fully capable of running her own affairs, she said, and had little use for a man. She had apparently learned well from the elves and from her parents, because her land flourished and she still casked large quantities of excellent wine every year. With the help of the cooper Drystaff she began to distill some of her wine into spirits, which she put into bottles and called Old Baron. Like Wild Gideon before it, the brandy was an instant success and aged better than the men who courted her. She was respected in the town, and people who wanted advice or any kind of aid often came to her before going to the man they began to call the New Baron.

A series of events nearly undid all she had worked for. Baron Ospheros, with Sirs Lemandis, Penymos, and Victor were checking the borders with their men-at-arms in tow when they were attacked by a volley of elven arrows. The attackers ran away before the party couled respond, but Sir Victor and Baron Ospheros were killed, and Sir Penymos gravely wounded. This was in 1132.

As a Rider and the heir of the late Baron, Lemandis took stewardship of the barony until the crown could appoint a successor. His first act was to find the elves responsible and have them tried. The proof against them was damning, yet all professed their innosence. They were found guilty and executed in the town sqaure, and elves were forbidden to enter the Barony.

The lack of elves hurt the entire territory and Iaden more than most people, not least because she counted them as friends. Much of her harvest withered on the vine that year at the same pace as Sir Penymos, who slowly died of his wounds. Both expired on the first day of winter 1133. Penymos was survived by a wife the three grown children, but he saved his last words for Iaden. They spoke alone for quite some time on the day he died.

Baron and Baronet


The barony was given to Lemandis officially in 1133, and the town of Lemonfall suffered under the indifferent and sometimes capricious management of Baron Lemandis. Valuable shipments were lost, horses went lame, they could never find enough harvesters, and taxes were increased to make up the revenue shortfalls. A few of the officials became corrupt, and began to extract money or favors from the villagers. After six years of increasing harships, everyone turned to Iaden for help.

Iaden's response to her peoples' plea (and she had long thought of them as her people) was to agree to Lemandis' long-standing proposal of marriage. The deal they struck was this: She would govern for him as Baronet. One season out of the year he was required by law to spend in his demense, and during that time she would defer to him in public so long as he defered to her in matters of governance. The rest of the time he could do as he liked so long as it was done away from Lemontree. He would get all of the respect and liesure that could be had from a barony, with none of the responsibilities that suited him so poorly.

They were wed suddenly in 1139, and before the marriage bed had cooled Lemandis was galloping to Newholy while Iaden was riding her horse in the opposite direction, seeking the elves to tell them they were welcome once again in Lemonfall.

This is how things stand in CE 1141: an absentee Baron whom nobody is in any great hurry to see, and an ever-present Baronet whom they love. Baron Lemandis is seen only in spring, when he is required by law to reside in his demense.

Lemandis Falls


Iaden's favorite rider and childhood friend, Avadur, died under mysterious circumstances. She received disturbing news that the sword presented by her husband Lemandis to Avadur in recognition for his heroism may have been linked to his death. Iaden commissioned a group of adventurers to trace the movements of the sword during the time it was in Lemandis' posession.

The search took the party to Lemandis' hunting lodge in the forest, where they discovered several disturbing secrets. For years he had been using a natural planar rift to communicate with demons, and was able to induce them to possess people and objects. They found a journal where he detailed his work, including how he had the sword possessed before giving it to Avadur, who then became a victim of the demon within the sword.

Lemandis was found out, defeated in battle, and turned over to the Academy. Iaden was given the Barony, making her the Baroness of the town her father founded.

The Return of Timeas


Timeas did not die in prison, as had long been believed. Rather, he escaped after several years and wandered in the wilderness, coming into possession of a fabulous treasure along the way. For a few years he has been in Aspera, much changed but putting his enormous wealth to work building businesses and a network of contacts. He still seeks revenge on Prince Jamyt, whom he believes masterminded his imprisonment. Their point of contention wasn't Saharta, as had been supposed, but rather Timeas' relationship with Jamyt's sister, the Princess Jiskira.

Timeas has at least two identities that he uses. On is the Bey Rabbah al Hannah, a fabulously wealthy noble from foreign parts. The other is Harlowe, a merchant in Maedyn. Only a precious few people know that the once-lost Timeas has returned to Aspera.