Westmarch originally grew from the efforts of the great general Rakkis to spread his religion beyond the realms of the east. Seized by the superstitions of the Zakarum faith, he drove his paladins relentlessly across the barbaric western lands, subduing the uncivilized tribes he found there. Ulimately, he became king of them all.
Despite his superstitious views, Rakkis ruled as a just and fair king who was much loved by his people. He was succeeded by his sonKorsikkwho attempted to eradicate thebarbariantribes of thenorth. The line of Rakkis was broken when Korsikk's son,Korelan, died with no heirs.
After Korelan's death, the crown passed toJustinian Ithrough a somewhat convoluted interpretation of Zakarum scripture. Thus began theJustinian dynasty. Seen as usurpers by many, the Justinians suffered nearly constant challenges to their rule. Finally, during the reign ofJustinian III, a full-fledged insurrection broke out in the outlying region of Cartolus.
TheCartolus Insurrectionwas led by a woman known only asTyrra, who claimed to be descended from theSons of Rakkis. This uprising was immediately seen as a war of the common man against the nobles and their Zakarum strictures. During the very height of the conflict, Tyrra seized control of Westmarch and proclaimed herself empress.
Tyrra's newly established rule over Westmarch did nothing to quell the civil war, which continued until she was driven mad and eventually killed by the plague.Cornelius, grandson of Justinian III and slave to the Zakarurn faith, used this opening to crush the rebels once and for all and become the new king.
The Zakarum Church always held an unhealthy sway in Westmarch, even after the ascension of rulers more interested in power than religion. When the true nature of the faith was finally exposed, however, it completely eroded any influence the church had over civil affairs. And rightly so, I might add.
Westmarch is currently ruled byJustinian IV. Originally thought to be a callow youth, Justinian came into his own in the years following his ascension to the throne. Rumors still abound aboutdemonicactivity surrounding his coronation, but I believe those are simply the product of overactive imaginations fueled by the ever-prevalent myths of the Zakarum.
CountessJuliaattempted to put down the Cartolus Insurrection with her own personal guard, in an attempt to impress Justinian III. The effort failed miserably, as her guard was slaughtered and the uprising spread. Only the countess's enchanted cameo enabled her to survive this folly. It did not save her life, however, as King Justinian was so displeased, he had her tortured and then executed.