The Feuerbrand Uprising and Borean Royal Court:
After 200 years of isolation and stagnation under the Abendstern dynasty, all but the most conservative and corrupt nobles of the Kingdom of Borealis understood that in order for the Kingdom to survive and remain a relevant international actor, it must change drastically. This realisation was especially bitter for Lord Constantine Feuerbrand, the Grand Duke of Transborea - he was an old friend of the King, stood godfather to his son and was always loyal to the Crown. But the day came when he realised that future of the country is more important than his life and friendships - when the King, having difficulty gathering taxes to finance the Court and an ongoing conflict with Albion over few remote island territories, has revoked the charter of a free city of Komodia and publicly executed its ruling council.
Free Cities of Far Reach and Transborea were the first to rebel and Lord Feuerbrand has agreed to lend his military expertise and armies to support their revolution. After suffering initial defeat in Battle of Wolf's Run, his forces retreated to the Far Reach, using control over city of Blaustadt and its strategic tunnel under the Moradin's Crown as a bottleneck. He understood that the rebellion stood no chance without an educated and politicised army. Using novel training techniques that focused on usage of crossbow infantry and lightly armoured cavalry, top-notch equipment and finance of the Free Cities, he created the Firestarters – a new model army of the rebellion.
Corrupted and badly financed Borean army wasn't able to keep up with the Firestarters, commanded by Constantine Feuerbrand's strategic genius, as well as his two trusted generals - Lord Kain of the Far Reach and Lord Sforza of Frugia, who secretly supported the rebellion with intelligence. They easily broke the siege of Blaustadt and began slow but steady advancement Southward. They achieved many a glorious victory, yet not all of their history was without blemish. Most infamously, Lord Feuerbrand ordered a week-long sacking of the duchy of Weideland for its deeply-rooted loyalist tendencies – an event which led many idealists to become disillusioned with the rebellion's lofty rhetorics.
The civil war, even though it lasted for 6 years, the majority of fighting happening in southern part of the Great Steppe, was pretty one sided in the end, as most of the loyalist forces were defeated and swore allegiance to the revolutionary cause. In need of a strong leader, after the old king has killed his family and committed suicide upon seeing the Firestarters laying siege to Volgen, the revolutionary council and representatives of all major cults have offered the crown to Lord Feuerbrand, who has grudgingly agreed, becoming Constantine I Feuerbrand.
His rule lasted eleven days - he was killed by a stray arrow (which came, as some witnesses used to say before disappearing without a trace, from among the revolutionary forces) during the final stages of Siege of Volgen. His only daughter - Alicia - became the Queen of Borealis on the day of her 17th birthday. But those who expected the kid to be weak and easily manipulated were terribly wrong. Understanding her weakness, Alicia gathered support of his father's comrades - Lords Kain and Sforza - as well as some unprecedented support from Thessean wizards, and initiated a long chain of harsh and radical reforms. She now rules from the castle in Volgen with 50 hooded advisors she has gather from around the Realm and enjoys almost unanimous support of the Kingdom's population - so high, in fact, that a few Free Cities have voiced their desire to relinquish the royal charter and return under the full crown's protectorate - and Blaustadt has actually done so.