The great island had been united under the Valhan dynasty for several centuries, ruled from the city of Vondium by the Emperor and the Presidio and divided into the Imperial Provinces and numerous Kovnates.
Vallia became a great trading power, based on the wealth of her fields and mountains – supported by the flow of goods on the Great River and the network of canals – and on her large fleets of galleons, almost unrivalled on the high seas of Kregen.
Situated in the center of Paz the merchant ships of Vallia were known as far afield as the Eye of the World in the west of Turismond and recognised in the ports of Havilfar, Loh and the great city of Zenicce in the east. Only the various maritime nations of Pandahem were her rival, and that island to the south remained split between numerous feuding nations and city-states. Vallia also planted colonies on various coastlines, including Port Tavetus on the east coast of Turismond.
In the reign of the last Valhan Emperor the balance of power had grown precarious between the throne and the powerful aristocracy. Imperial law and justice eroded as the aragorn enslaved the empire’s own citizens to enrich the corrupt nobility. Finally civil war broke out with the assassination of the Emperor and the collapse of imperial authority as a result of the treachery of the Emperor’s own Pallans and fighting between the various factions.
The Time of Troubles rocked the island empire to the core, as ancient rancour with the throne in Vondium led to several large areas creating their own splinter kingdoms, especially in the North West. In addition, long-standing foreign enemies such as Hamal attempted to invade Vallia, taking advantage of the chaos.
After the long decades of peace Vallia had no standing armies other than the mercenaries hired by the Emperor and the nobles. As news of the civil war spread, those sons of Vallia who had gone abroad to serve as paktuns - rather than engage in the farming and trade which had made Vallia rich - returned, some following the banners of the nobles, but many more taking service as soldiers under the banners of the Prescot dynasty based in Vondium where an outlander had wed the surviving daughter of the Valhan Emperor.Hamal and the hordes of the radvakkas from Segesthes were defeated, and the remaining factions were either conquered or acknowledged the authority of Vondium.