King Alen Elegil of the Midrealm responded by calling a hurried meeting with his advisors. The so-called Washroom Curia (it was widely rumoured at the time to have been held in a public restroom at an event) resulted in the issuing of the infamous "Ban on Regions". Published in the April A.S. XX edition of the Pale, this edict attempted to halt the effort toward creating local regions within the Midrealm by forbidding the use of local regional organizations beyond those Shires and Baronies recognized by the Crown. Combined with a change in Kingdom Law raising the requirements for becoming a Principality dramatically, the practical effect of the Ban was merely to alienate the people of Ealdormere by forbidding even the name "Ealdormere" from open use. The region of Northshield was also affected by the Ban, and as Northshield and Ealdormere were Canadian territories in the Midrealm, this added an additional aspect of resentment.
Tellingly, King Alen did not personally deliver the news to his northern subjects, but instead required then-Crown Prince Palymar of the Two Baronies to bear the edict to them at the next major event where many Ealdormerans would be attending. Unfortunately, the next event was the Feast of the Passing of the Ice Dragon in the East Kingdom. So the Midrealm Crown sent its Crown Prince to a foreign kingdom to tell its own subjects something terribly unpopular. The Crown's decision was much-denounced in the Northlands and, on reflection, not facing the populace at home added insult to injury.
Shortly thereafter, James MacAndrews was stripped of the office of Eoforwic Pursuivant by the Dragon Herald Baron Charles O'Connor; while the reasons given were unrelated to his proposal, in Ealdormere it was widely seen as a punitive act done on the orders of King Alen. Rather than discourage the pro-Principality faction, however, these events only strengthened an underground commitment to greater independence from the Midrealm. A number of poems and songs written during and after "the dismal days of silence" illustrate this point, in particular the popular and well-received "Doom of Ealdormere" by Baron Aedan.
Many of the pro-Principality faction at this time began styling themselves "Wolf's-heads", (a euphemism for "outlaws") and thus it was that the now-common symbolism of the northern wolves entered Ealdormerean art.
While the stringent Principality requirements would be slightly eased by King Alen himself in A.S. XXI, the Ban remained in effect until the 17th Pennsic War in A.S. XXIII (1988). At the Midrealm War Court, King Corwin of the Middle granted a charter making Ealdormere a Crown Principality.
The effect of the Ban on Regions is still felt in many Ealdormerean traditions today. The King and Queen of Ealdormere are sometimes styled "Their Lupine Majesties", a reference to the spirit of the wolf which carried Ealdormere through the years of King Alen's Proscription. Musical, poetic and bardic references to the time of the Ban on Regions abound, and Ealdormereans remain fiercely proud and protective of their independence.
Based on information in the Chronicles of Eoforwic and the Historie of Septentria.
[Captured from Cunnan, September 17, 2020.]