In the SteamHammer world that I’m working on putting together, a number of things will have changed a great deal in the past 5-600 years since the time of WFB.
One of those changes is that the New World is no longer dominated by the elvenfolk: Naggaroth and the Asur colony of Arnhelm have fallen to invading forces that originated in the Old World. Ulthuan itself has apparently become as lost as our own world’s fabled Atlantis, and nobody has been able to verifiably find the place for the past couple of centuries – a wave of human invasions rocked the annulus-shaped island realm, then in the middle of this a series of cataclysmic earthquakes caused it to sink entirely beneath the waves and took both invaders and Asur with it. That’s not the whole story of course, but that’s what appears in histories and will suffice for now. At any rate, sane seafarers stay far away from the treacherous stretch of ocean where Ulthuan used to be. Things happen there…
The Dark Elf kingdom of Naggaroth fell through combined efforts of the Asur (mostly prior to their own destruction, and the losses they faced in the effort contributed mightily to their own destruction) and a strange warrior brotherhood known as die Drachen-Brüder. This multiracial but mostly human group methodically attacked the economic and military fabric of Naggaroth, espcially focusing on crippling its capacity to operate a functional slave trade, and managed to dismantle the Witch-King’s armies and realm, replacing them and establishing their own domain of Freinorden. By the time that their gunnery shattered the towers of Naggarond itself, Naggaroth was already little more than a broken remnant of its former glory.
From their first city of Kalterhafen, which was built on the ruins of Clar Karond, the Dragon Brethren set up a nation of incredibly diverse peoples consisting of their original Old Worlder human and dwarf composition along with some sympathetic (and later, refugee) Asur, the Dark Elves’ freed slaves drawn from all the world and even those elements of the Druchii that survived the war by surrendering to or joining up with the invaders.
Freinorden’s government began as a fairly straightforward stratocracy in that there was originally no distinction at all between the military and the government – in other words there was no civilian government, only the military heirarchy itself (rather like the later days of the Roman republic). This government was led by a war council over which a supreme head of state presided, but right from the beginning they were careful to delineate the powers and limitations of this government and so it at least initially did its best to promote justice and the public weal. I anticipate that over time this relatively benign military government will likely have degenerated into a dictatorship, and said dictatorship fortunately was overthrown perhaps fifty or a hundred years ago.
But what shall have taken its place? Now of that, I am very curious indeed. Especially given that it is entirely possible for a considerable number of the elves and some other figures (notably a certain Liche and a certain dragon) that were involved in the initial invasion and the creation of the Drachen-Brüder to still be alive.
Perhaps some sort of a republic, but one that has restored a number of the institutions that were set up by the early Drachen-Brüder?
On this I shall have to meditate. Feedback and ideas are very much encouraged.
The current condition of what was once Arnhelm will be addressed another time.