Stalwart Defenders of Lastwall
Nearly a thousand years ago, Taldor launched the Shining Crusade against Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, who unified the orc tribes of Belkzen and ruled central Avistan for 5 centuries from his doom-shrouded, haunted domain of Ustalav. From all of Taldor's provinces along the Inner Sea crusaders assembled, dedicated to destroying the lich king and his minions. Commandeering the Ustalavic town of Vellumis, the forces of Taldor spent 26 brutal years hacking their way to the lich's capital of Gallowspire. Just outside the rotting city, the Shining Crusade met the forces of the Whispering Tyrant in a final titanic battle, achieving victory when Taldan General Arnisant sacrificed himself to imprison Tar-Baphon beneath his own tower at the evil city's heart.
With the Shining Crusade victorious at last, Taldor decided in 3828 AR to create a permanent presence to watch over the lich's prison in Gallowspire's haunted ruins. The province became Lastwall- a bulwark against one of the greatest evils humanity had ever known. When Cheliax later broke away from Taldor, Lastwall declared it's neutrality, citing the need to maintain its sacred duty free from political concerns. Cheliax quickly agreed while Taldor protested, but the crippled empire lacked the power to prevent its distant province from severing official ties and becoming an independent nation.
Over the last 700 years, Lastwall's focus has shifted somewhat away from Gallowspire and toward the savage hordes of Belkzen. The fiercest action faced by Lastwall's defenders is typically found in the battle-plains on the Belkzen frontier, but patrols still make monthly journeys into the Hungry Mountains to inspect the ruins of Gallowspire. Dismissed by some younger crusaders as merely ceremonial, this mission resonates with veterans as the heart of Lastwall's very reason to exist. Crusader doctrine holds that the troubles with Belkzen are simply the residue of the malice and menace of the Whispering Tyrant, and ensuring the seals on his prison remain inviolate is the uppermost duty of every crusader.
The onslaught of Lastwall's heavy cavalry is legendary. Its impact has broken many an enemy line with the combination of its splendidly trained mounts and riders' skill in maneuvering horses in very close formation, like an onrushing tide of hooves and still. Oftentime, a contingent of heavy cavalry need only appear at a battlefield in order to turn a battle in Lastwall's favor. The last major heavy cavalry charge conducted by Lastwall occurred against the orc Warlord Graukrad in 4695, when 173 knights rode down and routed an orc force estimated at more than 2,000 infantry
Lastwall's people are a hardy folk. Although they live in the shadow of great evils, they are warm and friendly. Yet in recent years, the growing numbers of knights-errant and glory seekers visiting Lastwall has greatly diminished, due in large part to the call to arms in Mendev agains tthe growing hordes of Demons that infest the Worldwound. Many in Lastwall's capital of Vigil grow concerned that they might not have the strength to hold off the orcs of Belkzen for much longer if this trend continues. Can Lastwall survive another onslaught from the hordes of Belkzen again, or will the orcs finally succeed in destroying the stalwart defenders and marching upon the rest of Avistan?
(For more information on the respective nations, check out the wiki in the selection bar on the left :D)