The Great Dragon War: An Introduction
In the 721st age of the Escha Suilinach Era, according to the Cu Tailtan calendar, an event occurred which impacted the Five United Kingdoms (now The Five Lands) in a number of ways. The most obvious change was that Cu Tailte ceased to be a monarchy. That event is known as The Great Dragon War.
Prior to the war, Cu Tailte and its neighbor to the north, The Dragon Kingdom, had been friends. In fact, many Cu Taitans fulfilled their obligation to give service via a Life Path by becoming Dragon Learners. They lived among the Fire Serpents, collecting knowledge from the Dragons' renowned store. Periodically, the Learners would return to Cu Tailte to share this knowledge with their homeland.
About sixty ages ago, a Dragon shape-shifter named Analainn seduced a Cu Tailtan Faerie,one of the Dragon Learners, to use her magic to help him overthrow the King and put Analainn on the throne. They succeeded in their plan and he proclaimed himself the new Dragon King. Then he married the Faerie and made her his Royal Consort. With her continued help, he got the military on his side then he had prominent--and resistant--members of the court, as well as military leaders, executed. Next, he subdued the populace through merciless attacks on "uncooperative" sectors of the kingdom.
Queen Eithne of Cu Tailte, along with her Councilors and the members of the Rioga Si (Royal Faries) denounced his coup d'etat, refused to acknowledge his sovereignty, and commanded all Dragon Learners to return to Cu Tailte.
In retaliation, Analainn derided Eithne as a mere female incapable of effective governance. Next, the Dragon King began to work on a plan to invade Cu Tailte and seize Eithne's throne in order to increase his territory and power as well as to silence any political opposition.
On Feilae n'Sioga Aer-gid, the feast of The Silver Faeries, Analainn and his Dragon Army attacked Cu Tailte. Eithne and her forces were ready. She had received word of the impending invasion through her network of spies and informants. The principle informant had been Rionach Si Lasair, Analainn's consort and Eithne's distant cousin.
A fierce battle followed but the Cu Tailte forces held their ground.
Then the Queen received news that Analainn had murdered her niece. Anya Gra Capall, Eithne's niece, was the An n'Dan, the Moon's Chosen successor to the throne of Cu Tailte. Upon hearing that Analainn had killed Anya, Eithne knew that his next move would be to kill the Queen, leaving Cu Tailte without a ruler. During the inevitable constitutional chaos, the Dragon King would step into the void and take the throne of Cu Tailte.
Eithne placed the government in the hands of her Council and went out to confront Analainn. During their struggle, Eithne shot the Dragon King with a poison-tipped Blakthorn arrow. In response, he tore her to pieces. The poison, however, incapacitated him to such an extent that he was forced to return to his kingdom. The Dragon forces followed him, effectively ending the Great War.
In the sixty ages since, the Dragons have not returned. When rumors of a new Dragon King, Riordan, reached Cu Tailte, its citizens felt confirmed in their belief that the Queen had succeeded in killing Analainn. She and the sacrifice she made to save Cu Tailte from the Dragon invasion are now legendary. Her name and memory are held in the highest esteem as she is considered both hero and savior.
The Si Comhaer-li (or Faerie Council) has held the government since the day the Queen handed it over to them. This has proven controversial as some Cu Tailtans, especially members of the Rioga Si (Royal Faeries) assert that the Queen had only meant to hand over the government as a temporary emergency measure in a time of war. The Council insists that she did it because she saw that having control of the country vested in only two people put Cu Tailte at risk. Now, under the Si Comhaer-li, the power is shared among eleven Councillors. Still, the Rioga Si continue to look for a way to restore the monarchy while the Council holds more and more tightly to its power through legislation of questionable constitutionality and the increasing suppression of rights and knowledge.
A generation after the War, Ro-ha n’Féilae Gaela , a traditional festival celebrating the moon goddess, was held, much to the protest of the Council. The eleven-day festival culminated, as it always had, with the ceremony to discover the Chosen of the Moon. A four-ages-old faeryling was revealed to be Gaela's choice as the next Queen of Cu Tailte. After a time--and near civil war--the Council managed to exile the faeryling from The Five Lands.
However, the Rioga Si managed, in the following generation, to hold the ritual in secret with only the Unicorns as witnesses. Gaela chose a new faeryling to be the An n'Dan. That faeryling's name was written in The Book of Knowledge, which has been kept secure in the Land of the Unicorns. The faeryling herself doesn't even know she is the Chosen, but she has almost reached seventeen ages old--legal adulthood in Cu Tailte--and the Rioga-Si are eager to enact their plan to place her on the throne and charge the Council with treason.
Of course, if the Si Comhaer-li discover their plan before the Rioga Si succeed, the faerie who is the Chosen of the Moon will find herself charged with treason. And this time, the Council will not exile her. More likely, they will execute her.