A visitor to Nottsland in the early 10th century AN would encounter a charming, sophisticated fiefdom, celebrating the recent completion of its own Queensbridge (an event which occasioned the re-naming of the capital city, from Nottford to Nottsbridge).
The rulers of Nottsland, House Anduval, were exemplars of the nobility: benevolent, prudent, gracious. Proud of their recent prosperity, to be sure—the inclusion of the Queensbridge upon their coat of arms illustrates this—but beloved of the lowborn and their fellow highborn alike.
Two centuries later, none of these things would be true.
The death of King Kieran III Albareen in AN 1144, and the contested claim to legitimacy of his son, seventeen-year-old Kieran IV, resulted in a two-month period of turmoil in Elden Nayor. Nobles throughout the Peninsula vied to control the outcome of the succession. Some Houses (Norris and Wayland chief among them) stood in support of the Albareen. Others clamored for new rulership, citing the difficult decades following the end of the Age of High Sorcery.
Among the most vocal of these latter was Soren Anduval, Duke of Nottsbridge. After securing the support of several of the lesser Houses, he exploited a provision of Elden Nayoran law to attempt a violent coup.
By law, rather than owe fealty to an empty throne, the Paladine (the elite highborn cavalry of Elden Nayor) are bound only to their liege lords during an interregnum. The Duke of Nottsbridge took advantage of this rare situation. He called forth his Paladine, and the Paladine of those Houses sworn to his cause, and set them upon Nayor's Stone.
After a brutal series of battles (several of which, it is rumored, involved the use of magic on one or both sides—a crime punishable by death since AN 957) the Nottsbridge campaign was crushed and Kieran IV Albareen took the throne.
The new monarch's first actions were disastrous for House Anduval. Vast stretches of Nottsland were seized, becoming part of the Duchies of Nayor and Norris. As further punishment for his actions, Duke Soren Anduval was reduced in rank to Earl (the title still held by the lords of Nottsland).
Most damaging, however, was the final punishment proclaimed by the adolescent king: the destruction of the Queensbridge at Nottsbridge. Absent a reliable river crossing, traders, merchants, farmers and other lowborn departed (most to nearby Gilmaran, in the Duchy of Niemarsh). Nottsland was depleted of its most skilled lowborn within a generation, becoming what it is to this day: an ever-diminishing fiefdom of herdsmen and dirt farmers, beset by poverty and lowborn uprisings.
The current Earl of Nottsbridge is Falken Anduval. His well-documented enmity toward the Albareen has served only to worsen his position amongst the Houses of Elden Nayor, despite repeated overtures from King Barnard I Albareen.