History of Duke Aermund's Rule
•35-25 years ago – Ealhmund licks his wounds, too weakened to attempt to retake either the Hurt of spreyheath
•27 years ago – birth of Aermund, Ealhmunds only male child
•25 years ago – Ealhmund cuts his hand on the spines of a large fish he catches on an expedition. The wound become infected by an unhealable rot, and Eahlmund dies a few months later from poisoned blood
•25 years ago – 13 y/a – with a child wearing the ducal crown, nobles of the Thornes quietly pull away from the Beathorne’s rule, fortifying their castles, paying less tribute and then eventually none
•13 years ago -
◦Aermund’s cousin Rupert, believing he sees opportunity, declares himself rightful heir and ruler of Beathorne. Rupert raises a small army and marches on Caer Caimore and lays it to seige. Aermund manages to slip out of the castle through the sewers with a maid and local fisherman. The three make a journey in a fishing boat across the waters to Hythorne, where Aermund’s uncle Haemore was the husband of Goodwife Cuthfred, Hythorne’s ruler. Rupert is unaware of the escape, beseiging the castle while believing Aermund was still inside
◦Although Hythorne had also slipped free of the Beathorne’s rule, Haemore hides Aermund while considering his course of action and seeing which way the siege goes
◦With promises of riches, women, heaven itself, and most importantly land, Aermund secretly recruits 20 latter-born (and thus inheritless) warriors, steals all the provisions they can carry, flees Cuthfred’s castle in the dead of night, and one again in a stolen fishing boat slips back across the sea to Beathorne.
◦Aermund’s men land in Beathorne and strip the nearby farms of any mounts they can lay hands on. By this point it is early winter and snows are falling regularly
◦Aermund and his men began launching a guerrilla campaign against Rupert’s foraging parties, taking as many alive as possible and ensuring none survive to tell Rupert of Aermund’s escape and subsequent return. The captives are offered a choice – swear an oath before The Founder to support and defend Aermund until their last breath, or be killed by exposure. Unsurprisingly, few refuse the oath and Aermund’s small camp grows
◦After a few foraging parties have disappeared, Rupert begins to suspect a monster of some sort is to blame, and leads an expedition out to end the menace.
◦Aermund attacks. From the writings of Rupert’s squire:
◦"The company was on its third day of hunting for the supposed beast, and had been riding since day break. As noon approached a thick snow began falling. Lord Rupert, frustrated with the lack of progress and by the failure to find any evidence of his foraging parties spurred his mount ahead of the group. He had gotten about a stones throw ahead of us when Aermund attacked. Riding almost silently in the thick snow, Aermund seemed to appear from nowhere. Wearing furs and carrying a heavy mace, Aermund charged Rupert at full gallop. Rupert managed to draw his sword and raise his shield, but the rest of the company, distracted and demoralized from the weather, had no time to react. Aermund crashed into Rupert, the two circled twice, their horses throwing up a thick cloud of the new fallen powder as they traded blows. Aermund’s mace shattered Rupert’s shield arm, broke his right leg, cracked his ribs, and dealt him a blow to his helm that sent it flying. By the time we had drawn swords and closed the gap it was all over; Aermund held the dazed Rupert by his hair, half out of the saddle, a knife to his throat. Clad all leopard furs, frost glinting on his cheek fuzz, the effect was almost comical. Almost. But not on Aermund. His eyes were colder than the snow and deadlier than a winter storm. None of us spoke as we dismounted and knelt.”
•12 years ago
◦Aermund solidifies his rule of Caer Caimore and waits out the winter. Shortly after Ealhmund lost the war, orc and goblinoid raids from the coast increased significantly, hitting South Beathorne the hardest. Ealhmund proved unwilling or unable to help, and so Lord Pethey was left to defend the lands on his own, and was one of the first to stop paying tribute and fealty to Ealhmund.
◦Pethey meets with Aermund and offers him a deal – if Aermund helps end the raids, Pethey will support him in his attempt to retake his kingdom.
•12-10 years ago
◦Aermund and Pethey lead a series of swift and fierce raids against the coastal goblinoid tribes, destroying most of the coastal settlements and driving the tribes back into the mountains.
Aermund’s careful leadership at home begins to cultivate deep loyalty from the peasants. He introduces laws, rights, and courts that protect the peasants from the caprice of their liege lords.
•10-5 years ago
◦Aermund and Pethey retake Mystone. Despite the island’s low population, the campaign proves exceedingly difficult; Mystone’s short, steep mountains support dense old-growth rainforest. The coasts are still ruled by human nobles, most of whom are easily conquered or simply reswear their oaths. However, the previous two decades have seen bandits lay claim to the fjords on the western shore. After a fruitless year and a half, Aermund places the campaign in the hands of Gulgug Chess-master, a half-orc a priest from The Order of the Pike, and moves his primary army to retake Fenwatch. Gulgug and his four brothers/retainers – the Tireless Rooks (all half orcs) – pose as pirates interested in capturing Mystone while Aermund is away and setting up shop to raid the local shipping route. Gulgug plays the bandits against one another, hiring them as mercenaries against one another. After almost four long years of such tactics, the bandits are finally broken and Gulgug has the local nobles send in their footsoldiers and mop up.
Mystone’s rulers had always had a reputation for cruelty. Aermund continues to win favor with the peasants by reducing their taxes and executing many of the most vicious nobles.
*MOre detail to be added to the following in the near future:
- 7-5 years ago:
Fenwatch has been taken over by the cult of the Overlord (from hobgoblin deserters). Aermund eventually prevails
5 years ago:
Goodwife Cuthfred swears allegiance to Aermund, but is only in control of the southeastern portion of the island. Aermund spends the next year helping her tend to some monsters in the north western areas.
4 years ago:
Aermund gathers his strength, then invades south Spreythorne
4-3 years ago
Aermund conquers the south and eastern portions of the island, despite heavy resistance from Shadewater’s mercenary troops.
3-1.5 years ago
Aermund lays siege to Shadewater. The siege proves exceedingly difficult because of the ports, his small navy, and blockade runners, but eventually the city falls. Victory comes about primarily from the will of the lower classes – having heard stories of Aermund’s generosity and benevolent rulership, riots increasingly break out against the Shadewater Bears demanding they surrender. The siege, however, is not easy on anyone, and few have good feelings towards anyone regarding it (although obviously everyone’s version of who’s to blame for what is different).
Aermund, having reclaimed half of his kingdom and proven himself to be a remarkable leader, receives the greatest compliment of his reign – the hand of one of Empress Chagay’s own descendant daughters as his bride (Lady Ellys).