Shieldmeet, 1470: Young Prince Halfred was coronated King of Southold, successor to the late King Edgar II. However, the King's younger brother Edrin, coveted the crown. Halfred’s first action was the signing of the Bywater Pact, formalizing the growing alliance between Southold and Tara.
Alturiak 5, 1475: While King Halfred was visiting Tara, Lord Edrin seized the throne in a bloody coup. Edrin claimed Halfred had betrayed Southold to its ancestral enemy, Tara. Halfred began organizing a force of loyal Southrons, but plans were repeatedly delayed. Lord Edrin's "Reign of Terror" continued in Southold, with many Loyalist executions and guerilla bands opposing him.
Nightal 2, 1476: Loyalist forces landed in strength at Conna, marching to defeat Lord Edrin’s army at Twin Pines, east of Dunthrane. Edrin pleaded his brother's forgiveness, and Halfred relented, despite public calls for execution. He assigned Edrin to the Dukedom of Balar, the poorest of the provinces and one in constant skirmish with Hule, believing here Edrin will be unable to stir trouble.
Tarsakh 22, 1502: The Succession Crisis. King Halfred died at an assassin's hands, and Lord Edrin became regent. He had covertly arranged the assassination and kidnapped Halfred's son, Prince Edmund, with the help of the ambitious Duke Aimar of Andeaver. The situation became critical as Anorien, Sylmarch, and the city-state of Alcester, refused to swear loyalty to Edrin and commenced mobilization for war. A party of adventurers consisting of Thingol of Arden, Fingon of the Galathiene, Balin the Sly of Mistamere, Gareth of Dunthrane (now deceased), and Morgan of Hule (now deceased)--later to be called Thingol & Company--rescued the prince and killed Aimar. However, there was no evidence against Edrin, so Thingol challenged him to a duel. However, Edrin won, and went free back to Balar. Prince Edmund was coronated.
Tarsakh 1, 1503: The heartlands of Arik were plagued by drought, Anorien’s great fields were especially hard hit. This led to decreases in grain and other food stores, and widespread famine resulted.
Ches 20, 1504: Southold strained at the seams. The Dukes of the individual provinces quarreled at an emergency council called by King Edmund. Duke Aimar II and Lord Edrin stomped from the meeting in fury.
Ches 29, 1504: The provinces of Andeaver and Balar declared independence from Southold, and stated that King Edmund's inept rule had brought Southold out of Tyr's favor. Under this pretext, the Rebelling forces prepared for war, aiming to replace King Edmund with Lord Edrin. Edrin had little popular support in any of the provinces, but he ruled with an iron fist, crushing all Loyalist opposition in Balar. The population of Andeaver, on the other hand, supported the popular Duke Aimar's bid for power, throwing the full economic weight of this rich province behind the Rebel effort.
Tarsakh 17, 1504: Thingol & Company, now including Thingol, Fingon, Balin, and newcomers Thorsin of Hule, Gaheris of Dunthrane, and Celebimor of the Green Isles succeeded in preventing entry of the Drow into the war on the Rebel side. They destroyed a scouting outpost of House Everhate outside of Tragidore in Dunador.
Mirtul 29, 1504: Another adventuring company, the Black Banners, out of Woburn succeeded in disrupting a Rebel delegation to the Cortalish Empire. As a result the Cortals believe Edrin is out to get them as well, and so the feared alliance between the two powers was foiled.
Kythorn 5, 1504: King Edmund issued a general call up of the Great Fyrd--all able-bodied men--throughout Southold. The provinces, however, were devastated from the famine and the monster raids that accompanied it, and also feared that their own borders would be violated by the Cortalish Empire to the west and the Videssian Empire to the north, so response was poor. Duke Duncan of Anorien, hardest hit by the famine, sent only a token force. Duke Garthran of Hadlech sent a fair amount of forces, though he retained many fresh troops for defense. Duke Harold of Sylmarch sent no forces, fearing an incursion by the Cortals (who were massing outside Woburn) along the weakly defended border. Surprisingly, independent-minded Alcester sent all her available troops, greatly bolstering the Loyalist cause. King Edmund also dispatched requests for aid to Tara, invoking the Bywater Pact, and to the independent knightly Order of the Stars.
Kythorn 9, 1504: An attempt to kill Duke Duncan of Bywater was foiled by the timely intervention of Eltan and his Flaming Fist Mercenary Company. The adventurers who would eventually be known as the Bywater Six sounded the alarm, and Eltan’s men swiftly massacred the Videssian assassins within the Ducal Palace.
Kythorn 15, 1504: A band of warriors from Irrudium under Anson Adams arrived in Dunthrane to help the Loyalists, as did a battalion of Taran forces and many knights of the Order of the Stars.
Flamerule 1, 1504: Lord Edrin's forces marched from Kenilworth, as did Duke Aimar's from Montinelle. Minor skirmishes had characterized the "war" so far, but now fully mobilized forces took to the field. Edrin's forces followed the coast, marching due west, while Aimar's seemed to be heading for Tavistock.
Flamerule 15, 1504: An army from the Cortalish Empire invaded Southold and took Woburn. Arch-Lich Vecna proclaimed that he was reclaiming lands that once belonged to the Empire. The Cortalish army remained in Woburn but moved no further into Southold.
Eleasias 3, 1504: A coup attempt in Dunthrane failed. A band of six necromancers, Death's Head, failed to kill King Edmund. They were suspected to be in the employ of Duke Aimar. Thingol and Company were dispatched after them.
Eleasias 12, 1504: A non-aggression pact between Hule and the Rebels was concluded, freeing the defenders of the Great Pass for service at the front. In fact, many Huler volunteers bolster the army, as do Cortals. The southern Rebel army, under Lord Edrin, pushed the Loyalists back in a series of flanking maneuvers and began the siege of Conna. The northern army under Duke Aimar II crossed the Ash River and burned Tavistock to the ground. This travesty of such a diverse and well-loved city was denounced across Arik.
Eleint 19, 1504: The northern army moved south toward Luln and lay siege. Conna fell to the Rebels in the south. Unlike Tavistock, it was not sacked, but used as a harbor for rapid sea resupply. The Loyalist army, under Lord High Marshal Warwick, positioned for a decisive clash near a small forest east of Princethorpe. Ironically enough, it was the same forest where Edrin's forces were defeated in 1476; Twin Pines.
Eleint 28, 1504: The Battle of Twin Pines. The Loyalists held a line of low hills with the forest to their backs. The main Rebel charge came in the center, and mostly consisted of Edrin's weaker forces, including many humanoids and militia. This attack was easily broken by the Loyalists, and Marshal Warwick, sensing victory, commit his reserves, the knights and cavalry that had been waiting behind the defensive line. Count Donruss led the charge, and the Loyalists massacred the routing Rebels. Then, however, they ran into Edrin's seasoned regulars, the hard soldiers who had garrisoned Balar for years. Yet even against such opposition, the Count actually broke through at certain points. At this crucial moment, with the issue still in doubt, nine black riders galloped into the fray on the side of the Rebels. These new terror-inspiring troops were eight death knights under the command of the Lord of Deathknights, the spectral Lord Soth. The result was a rout, shattering the Loyalist cavalry. Viscount Donruss himself fell prey to Soth's sword, as did countless dozens that black day.
The Second Battle of Twin Pines went down in history as a terrible, unprecedented defeat that sent Loyalist morale plummeting. With Warwick pulling his battered forces into the safety of the forest to his rear and heading for Dunthrane, Edrin was jubilant. No organized force stood between Edrin and the Crown City.
Marpenoth 9, 1504: Though the Loyalist army retreated in shambles to Dunthrane, Edrin tried vainly to bypass Princethorpe's walls. In Dunthrane, the King's Court was greatly relieved, but also greatly puzzled; why was Edrin halting the advance to take Princethorpe? Only later was it revealed that he was trying to open a port in Dunador to resupply his forces, for there were few anchorages on this area of the coast. On the other hand, the Loyalists, taking advantage of interior lines and relative naval superiority, found it much easier to resupply their forces, which were reforming in Dunthrane.
Marpenoth 11, 1504: Thingol and his party returned, having tracked down and killed the necromancer assassins Death’s Head.
Marpenoth 15, 1504: The siege in the north, of Luln, was broken when adventurers killed Marquis Tenkrily, Duke Aimar's field commander. The identity of the assassins was unknown, but many suspected the ranger group known as The Circle, based in Arden. Such a covert operation would have been in keeping with the forest realm's desire to remain officially neutral while secretly assisting the Loyalists. Without their strong-willed leader, the northern Rebel army’s goblinoids fled. The remainder pulled back to Montinelle to regroup and prepare for next year's campaign.
Marpenoth 21, 1504: Lord Edrin, realizing further attack on Princethorpe was fruitless, bypassed it and marched unopposed to the capital, promptly beginning the Siege of Dunthrane. However, the short lull between the disaster at Twin Pines and the siege gave Marshal Warwick time to regroup and prepare the defenses.
Uktar 15, 1504: Lord Edrin's forces made winter quarters around Dunthrane, which survived by its access to the sea and its sturdy walls. Many more troops from Tara arrived by sea and training began for next year's campaign.
Tarsakh 2, 1505: With the arrival of spring, the siege of Dunthrane by Lord Edrin's forces in the south was escalated, while a new army commanded by Duke Aimar II himself recrossed the Ash.
Tarsakh 22, 1505: In a massive attack by Lord Soth's death knights, Dunthrane’s wall was breached in the east. A large portion of the dock quarter burned before the attackers were repelled, as the King’s own elite Housecarls and the archmages Bigby, Gondal, and Mekkarri together took to the field to drive the enemy back. The situation was so desperate that King Edmund issued a last plea for reinforcements from the outer provinces.
Tarsakh 29, 1505: The Flaming Fist Mercenary Company mobilized under Eltan to march south and try to break the siege of Dunthrane. Anorien's militia was fully mobilized for the defense of the province from a feared Videssian incursion, while Duke Duncan led Anorien's knights south alongside Eltan. The Regent of the northern province of Anorien was replaced in a coup by Count Morgan of the “Blacks” noble faction. Rumor had it Morgan planned to cut off Anorien’s aid to the King and declare neutrality in the Civil War.
Mirtul 4, 1505: A small Loyalist army was formed in Luln to thwart Duke Aimar's advances. It was commanded by the famed Thingol & Company, leading a motley force of forest creatures, some of Tyr’s Knights of Justice, some Irrudian forces under Anson Adams, and the militia of Dunador. This force stood poised to stop the hordes of Aimar's army, which has just crossed the Ash at the ruins of Tavistock.
Mirtul 10, 1505: The Videssian Incursion. Seeing Southold distracted with strife, the rogue Videssian general Scipio led his army south to reconquer the ancient colony. They took advantage of the confusion caused by the Blacks’ takeover in Bywater and the fact that most of the military were campaigning in the south. His single rogue legion sailed down the Greyflood in transports, disembarking below Rockburgh-on-the-Marsh and began marching south down the Greyflood Pike.
Mirtul 23, 1505: The Battle of Bywater. The adventurers Elrich, Gunter, Elsinor, Crash, Liet, and Talis led a Southolder army of their own recruiting to stop the Videssian invasion. The Videssians retreated north after their attack was blunted. The treacherous regent in Bywater, Count Morgan was deposed; decapitated after the few remaining Nuadan clerics stormed the Ducal Palace. The adventurers who beat back the Videssians became heroes, dubbed the Bywater Six.
Eleint 1, 1505: With pay in arrears due to lack of funds, and fatigue setting in over a summer of indecisive attrition, mutiny of the mercenary troops in Dunthrane seemed inevitable. The siege bombardments and attacks were at their height as well. This was Southold's darkest hour.
Eleint 21, 1505: Thingol and his band moved their force to the rocky hills near the Falls of Rauros. Celebimor the druid harried Aimar's troops with his woodland creatures as they marched south on Luln. At the Falls of Rauros, Gaheris led a charge of the Knights of Tyr, causing a rout of the ill-disciplined Rebels. Irrudian troops under Anson Adams, lay in hiding as Aimar's forces passed, blocked the retreat, completing the ambush. The remnants of Aimar's forces retreated to Andeaver, but this time Gaheris (who had assumed command from Thingol, who traveled to Arden under an urgent summons) led the motley Southolder army into Andeaver. The crossing of the Ash represented the first tangible counterattack by Loyalist Southolder forces since the Rout of Eleasias.
Eleasias 5, 1505: The ranger Elsinor, along with Thingol (Ranger Lord Dorian's son), Melian (Dorian's daughter), and an elf named Soteric (the incognito son of King Leafsong of the Galathiene) conducted 200,000 nobles worth of gems into Dunthrane to help finance the war effort. This was a covert mission because Arden tried to maintain a semblance of neutrality. The band slipped in among a major assault in which Mekkarri the archmage was decapitated by Lord Soth, but later resurrected. The smuggled funds shored up royal finances, and perhaps avoided a mutiny by the mercenary troops. At long last, the King’s diplomats convinced the nobles of Sylmarch, bordering the Cortalish Empire, to join the war on the Loyalist side. The troops secretly began training and preparing to march to the capital’s relief for a surprise late fall offensive. There were rumors that the Archlich Vecna, Emperor of the Cortalish Empire, was no longer interested in Southold, having set on some other great, secret project.
Uktar 22, 1505: Rout of Uktar. Just as the weather began getting cold and the besiegers began preparing encampments for another winter, Dunthrane's forces tried to break the siege in a massive sortie. Meanwhile, fresh forces from Sylmarch finally entered the fray alongside General Cordell’s elite mercenaries, the Silver Legion, striking from behind. King Edmund hoped to drive Edrin away before the onset of winter. The attack succeeded and the Balar and Andeaver forces were pushed back to Princethorpe, which still remained in Loyalist hands. The allies had assembled many powerful figures such as Eltan, Cordell, Warwick, and Bigby to take on Soth and his deathknights, but the deathknights did not make an appearance in what came to be known with jubilation as the Rout of Uktar.
Nightal 20, 1505: With winter’s onset, the Loyalists reached Conna, captured earlier by the Rebels. Lord High Marshal Warwick ceased the advance to lay siege to the city. Some saw this as a mistake, insisting that they should continue the drive into Balar. Others saw the retaking of Conna as a politically important act, one which could convince the Rebels to cease fighting. Meanwhile, in the north, Thingol's army drove onward toward Montinelle. However, snows soon halted movement, as both sides prepared winter camps.
Greengrass, 1506: While Southron Loyalist forces prepared to continue assaulting the weakened Rebel forces with the coming of spring, Lord Edrin called for a truce and a great peace negotiation. Talks were held by representatives of the two sides in neutral Minos, but went nowhere.
Midsummer, 1506: After three months of fruitless negotiations wasting prime campaigning season, King Edmund finally broke off talks and resumed the offensive. However, Lord Edrin and Duke Aimar had reinforced their positions and stiffened their morale, using the great funds they plundered from their occupation of much of Dunador to purchase vast Huler mercenary hosts.
Uktar 1, 1506: Winter set in early across Southold, but Southron Loyalists forces had barely moved this year, as the Rebels seemed content to defend fortresses and natural barriers such as rivers, reducing the war to one of siege after siege. Many Southrons were growing tired of the war, demanding a victory.
Ches 20, 1507: Infamous bandit Skarda, an Andeaver native, tried to assassinate King Edmund. While not a Rebel, the bandit had sympathies with his rebellious homeland. Using a mirror gateway, Skarda infiltrated his men into the Royal Hunting Lodge of Blackhill, only foiled by the two adventuring groups the Daring Duo and the Bywater Six, who raised the alarm and helped defend the king.
Mirtul 30, 1507: The main Southron offensive in Andeaver, spearheaded by Baron Thingol’s royal forces on one wing, and forces directly under Count Warwick on the other, succeeded in pushing back the Rebel defenses. Count Thingol began the siege of Montinelle, Andeaver’s capital.
Eleint 12, 1507: Another campaigning year was winding down, but not before the Flaming Fist under Count Warwick defeated, routed, and cut off the retreat of an entire Huler mercenary army. Rebel morale plummeted, but Duke Aimar himself rallied his troops to prevent a rout of Andeaver troops. There was no longer hope of the Loyalists winning the war by Yuletide.
Marpenoth 20, 1507, The Rebel Winter Offensive: As cold weather set in, Lord Edrin led a sally to break the Loyalist besieging forces on the Balar coastline, accompanied by Lord Soth and several of his deathknights. This coincided with a surprise attack on Wyrm’s Gap spearheaded by a group of adventurers known as the Swords of Montinelle, resulting in a lengthy siege of this southernmost city in Anorien. Hordes of goblinoids from the nearby Wyrmsteeth range--under command of a shadowy, dragon-riding warrior known simply as “da boss”--pushed the defenders of Southpass aside on their way to encircling Wyrm’s Gap. Lesser offensives occurred across the Rebel front, including some drow mercenary companies. While not technically winter, this came to be known as the Rebel Winter Offensive of 1507.
Greengrass, 1508: As spring of the new year arrived, decisive reinforcements arrived from Southold’s outer duchies, and Lord High Marshal planned a three-pronged “Victory Offensive.” He would personally lead the main body of Southron royal forces along the coast into Balar, where Edrin’s most formidable forces and defenses lay. Baron Thingol would renew his assault against Andeaver’s capital Montinelle, augmented by many ranger volunteers and provincial forces. Finally, a newly raised force called the Third Bywater Expeditionary Army, under Baron Elrich, would march south from Bywater and raise the siege of Wyrm’s Gap, eventually linking up with Baron Thingol to complete the encirclement of Montinelle.
Kythorn 2, 1508: As the first two prongs of the offensive made slow headway, Baron Elrich’s force caught the besiegers of Wyrm’s Gap by surprise at the Battle of Newbridge. The goblinoid enemy host was fearsome, augmented by the Swords of Montinelle adventurers. However, the famed Bywater Six rode with the Third, and narrowly held the day, at the cost of a sacrificial charge of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Within a week, the siege was broken.
Kythorn 14, 1508: Baron Thingol outflanked the 2nd Andeaver Army at Wroxham, setting them to rout. On the same day, Baron Elrich’s Third burst through the last goblinoid defenses at Southpass, taking the war to Andeaver. His troops poured through the 300 yard pass, despite the tactical difficulty of the Ash River dividing the battlefield. The Bywater Six were again instrumental in slaying some giants and the dragon-riding enemy general “da boss.” Now the way to duchy’s capital of Montinelle was open to both Loyalist armies, which soon began a siege.
Eleasias 7, 1508, The Sack of Montinelle: Baron Thingol, enraged at his unchivalric kidnapping and captivity by the Swords of Montinelle, though he was soon rescued, decided to personally lead a final attack upon Montinelle. The mercenaries of the Silver Legion broke through and held the key breach, with their General, Cordell, personally slaying the Rebel Duke Aimar. This time, the Loyalist forces broke through, albeit with heavy casualties. At the Baron's request, the Loyalists took no prisoners, and lit fires which razed most of Montinelle to the ground. The infamous Sack of Montinelle is one of the bloodiest episodes yet in the relatively civilized Southron Civil War, ranking with the Rebel destruction of Tavistock in their initial offensive. The Baron justified such cruelty claiming that his kidnapping by the Swords of Montinelle was a violation of the laws of chivalry, exempting the city from any protection guaranteed by those laws. Though many in Southold thought him overzealous, none could argue with his success. With this victory in the north, the fate of the Rebels was sealed, only Lord Edrin held on in Balar.
Higharvestide, 1508: The King missed his annual Higharvestide address, fueling speculation he had been slain. Popular unrest at rumors of the king’s death ran rampant across Southold for several days before dispelled, emboldening the few pockets of Rebel resistance one last time.
In actuality, the monarch had taken ship to the Isle of Balar, to oversee the final destruction of Lord Edrin’s forces. This was the day the invasion flotilla landed on Balar, quickly overwhelming the few Rebel defenders. At the same time, the last Rebel city on mainland Southold, Eastmarch, fell to the Third Bywater Expeditionary Army.
Marpenoth 5, 1508: The Bywater Six took the last mainland Rebel castle, Wraithstone, via sneak attack. The Huler group known as the Lucky Seven stopped a band of Lord Edrin’s fleeing counselors at the Great Pass, turning them over to Dunthrane for trial. Finally, all resistance on the Isle of Balar ceased, save Lord Edrin’s capital of Harbury, where a great siege raged.
Marpenoth 14, 1508, Fall of Harbury: Rather than waiting for a complete siege to run its course, King Edmund pushed for a swift assault when only a small breach was made in the walls. The first into the citadel was a company of the 12th Royal Foot, its officers all killed in the assault by the assembled ballista and mages just waiting for them to come through. However, one common soldier, Gilgareth Prindle, rallied them and took the breach. By tradition, the officer who leads the so-called “Forlorn Hope” through the breach--a unit which rarely survives--is guaranteed promotion, and Prindle was made a sergeant. Flaming Fist and Silver Legion mercenaries plunged through and fought the last ditch battle with Lord Edrin’s Housecarls at his inner tower, where Fist leader Eltan himself cornered and subdued the pretender. Edrin was clapped in irons and sent to Dunthrane.
While looting and lawlessness continued for weeks until order was restored, the Civil War was for all intents and purposes over.
Marpenoth 28, 1508, Lord Edrin’s Duel: The day for the duel of honor had come. Thousands packed the tourney field outside Dunthrane to see the long-awaited combat. The King’s Champion Count Thingol--promoted from Baron by the King the night before because of his victory at Montinelle--took the field in shining plate armor. On the other side stood the usurper, Lord Edrin, brought here in chains after his capture after the Rebel last stand at the Isle of Balar, but now free and in blackened plate armor. As magic is outlawed in contests of honor, both combatants were magically searched for such items. Then, the King gave the signal, the trumpets blared, and the horses sprang at each other. Several passes were made, and Lord Edrin was faring the worse, when the Rebel noble drew forth a shimmering black sword and galloped at Thingol.
The Phantom Archer, anticipating treachery, had had his mage Fingon prepare for such an eventuality. He ripped the pennant of Southold from his lance, spoke a word, and lo!, before him was a plain longbow and a single arrow. With time for but a single good shot, he took aim and let fly. The arrow sped toward Edrin and to the awe of the assemblage, magically multiplied into five arrows, four of which found their mark. Severely wounded, Edrin continued onward, cursing the Count. Thingol soon felled him with several well placed sword thrusts. He then dismounted, hacked off the usurper’s head, and held it aloft to the cheers of the crowd. The Lord High Wizard Bigby was seen over the body, teleporting in and out to retrieve Edrin's fell sword. Then, the crowd burst onto the field, hacking the body to pieces and many grabbing souvenirs such as teeth, hair, etc. The thief of the Miscreants, Hernando was prominent among these souvenir seekers. With Lord Edrin's death, the last pockets of Rebel resistance ceased, as Southold again knew peace. It was a time for celebration.
Marpenoth 31, 1508, Victory Tournament: On this, Saint Uther’s Day--named for the noted hero of Nuada from the Southron war of independence--the last of the three days of celebration was completed. The tournament honored the long-awaited triumph of the Loyalist armies of Southold over the Rebels. It was the greatest tourney in living memory, with all manner of tests of strength.
At the final ceremony, King Edmund gave his great Victory Address of 1508. All expected him to hail the armies and people for their victory, which he did. What they did not expect, was his declaration of war on the Cortalish Empire, stating that Southold would attack come spring. The Cortals' seizure of Woburn in 1504 was not forgotten, nor were the rumors of some great plot by the Emperor, Arch-Lich Vecna, and Edmund decided he would end the evil of that land once and for all. Southold would yet know war…