The territory of Cardu Mar essentially encompassed the duchy of the Lowlands in the West, and a string of duchies running along the eastern cost, from North to South Sermon, Sabdarifa, and Dulcamara. In addition the Djífù islands were more or less tightly connected to Cardu Mar, though nominally independent.
The earliest origins of the Kingdom of Cardu Mar lie in the darkness. With the increasing trade running in east-westerly direction across the isthmus, the kingdom begins to play a role in continental politics during the late 7th and early 8th century, and came to full bloom around the turn of the millennium.
The era of the double kingsEdit
In this time, a unique system of the "double kings" was established: At any point in time, Cardu Mar was ruled by a duumvirate of two of the dukes from two different duchies (with the exception of Djífù, which didn't provide candidates for kings). The term of each duke was six years, after which time he was replaced by the next duke from a different duchy. The timing was chosen so that when one Duke was replaced, the other was actually in mid-term. (Note that this was in no way a democracy, because none of the dukes or kings was elected, but the change of office took place according to a predetermined schedule.)
This system proved to be beneficial for Cardu Mar, because it ensured proper representation of all the constituent duchies, plus political continuity in case one of the rulers died.
The double king rotation was seriously compromised in 1179, when Chrestien Greyhair, duke of Sabdarifa, was king and his co-regent Aldaar IV stepped down. Rather than abiding with the schedule of dukes, which would have put the elderly Fors-Ny-Ka-Koren from Sermon in its place, Chrestien had Fors-Ny-Ka-Koren assassinated and named his cousin Leswiga of Cepa his new co-regent. He also announced that furthermore all the double kings should come from Sabdarifa.
Naturally, this caused a wave of first consternation, then unrest in Cardu Mar, but since there were no enemies from abroad threatening its position, and since Sabdarifa had risen to a prominent position within the circle of duchies, Chrestien's coup was uncontested.
In 1186, Chrestien died, and Leswiga assumed both the royal and the dukedom's throne. (In Sabdarifa she had hiterto only been a viscountess.) Since naturally there could be only one duke or duchess in Sabdrarifa, she did away with the rotational system of double kings completely, and established a traditional monarchy whereby the duke or duchess of Sabdarifa would always automatically be the king of Cardu Mar.
The Long Fall and the Iriot InvasionEdit
Unrest grew within Cardu Mar over the subsequent years, partly because the people of the kingdom felt poorly represented, and partly because a series of poor rulers held the throne. Weak kings presiding over a united kingdom on the other hand meant that the rising guilds of merchants and tradesmen could expand almost at will and exploit all the possibilities the new times had in store for them. If the situation had gone on like this, over time the guilds would probably have established "puppet kings" and would have become the actual rulers of Cardu Mar.
Things came to a head in 1221, when the Long Fall led to a series of disastrous harvests and widespread famine among the populace. The then ruler of Cardu Mar, Caleb Galoot, was an unpopular and incapable regent who did little to improve the situation. Also, he didn't foresee the Iriot Invasion of the following year when the Iriot people, who suffered even harder from the Long Fall, invaded on the land from the North.
At this crucial point in time, Bryonne, duchess of Dulcamara, began to challenge Caleb's claim to the royal throne. She refused to submit her troops to the command of Caleb, who in fall 1222 consequently suffered several disastrous defeats at the hands of the Iriots. It is unclear what Bryonne's actual intentions behind her refusal were, because in the winter 1222/23 she expedited her army to the fortress of Mortemer, where she herself was trapped by heavy snowfall and came under siege of the Iriots.
The siege didn't last long, because one of the guild leaders of Cardu Mar, Zala Beq opened the gates of the fortress and allowed Bryonne along with the better part of her army to be slaughtered.
With the destruction of both armies (which, had they been united, probably would have put the Iriots in check), the invaders were able to overrun the rest of the defenses and establish themselves as the new powers in the region: Cardu Mar was in all but name history.
Alliance of MortemerEdit
It remained like this, with the Iriots (who never had been prepared to establish a new state in the conquered territories) slowly fading away and assimilating in the occupied duchies, until around 1500 when large but short-lived silver finds around Mortemer lead to a resurrection of Cardu Mar as the kingdom of Mortemer.