The history of the Iliac Bay, if told in its
entirety, would horrify readers more than the most gruesome
legend of the Underking. In comparison to the wars of the
first and second era, our most recent appeal to arms, the
War of Betony pales. The Siege of Orsinium lasted from 1E
950 until 1E 980 without a pause. A thousand years later,
the Thrassian Plague coupled with the War of Righteousness
slayed over half the population of the Iliac Bay. And yet,
the War of Betony fascinates us, and not just because of its
Ironically, Lord Mogref of Betony was seeking
peace when he asked for Daggerfall's protection on the Isle
of Betony. The island had long been independant, but as the
piracy in the Bay increased, Mogref truly realized Betony's
vulnerability. King Lysandus agreed to be Betony's liege,
on advice of many, including his archpriest of Kynareth, Lord
Vanech. While Betony is a prosperous fishing island and well-placed
strategically, the vassalage of Betony was primarily an act
of charity. Lysandus knew that if someone did not help Betony,
it would fall to the pirates, if not to someone worse.
Unfortunately, King Camaron of Sentinel did
not agree. Citing a two hundred year old contract, obliquely
if not illegally written to suggest that Betony was a "traditional
holding" of the Kingdom of Sentinel, Camaron declared
war. The majority of his advisors, being warlords in a traditionally
bellicose country, supported their king in this. The Chief
Counselor, a woman called The Oracle, foresaw death and defeat
in the war, but her wisdom was stifled and she was banished
from court. Camaron should have listened to her.
A few scrimages of the War of Betony went
to Sentinel, but the major battles were all won by Daggerfall.
King Lysandus, his heir Prince Gothryd, and the general of
the army Lord Bridwell were fine leaders and warriors as well,
and the Battle of the Bluffs and the Siege of Craghold both
went to Daggerfall.
The war might have been won with one more
victory, but for an unusual domestic incident in King Lysandus'
court. The king's mother, the dowager queen Nulfaga, had been
uneasy about the war since its beginning, but she now began
to have visions of cataclysm. She saw the death of her beloved
son should the war continue. Ebullient by his success, King
Lysandus refused to listen to her fears until Nulfaga left
court. Lysandus then realized how certain she was about his
impending death. He began to actively negotiate a peace treaty
with Sentinel, using the neutral lordship of Reich Gradkeep
The Treaty of Reich Gradkeep was never to
be. King Camaron was initially civil, as the losing side of
a war is often civil, but when he realized that the proposed
treaty would have included a formal declaration that the kingdoms
of Sentinel and Daggerfall would share Betony, he flew into
a rage. With no thought for the protocol of attacking a neutral
peaceable lordship, Camaron order his army to riot through
Reich Gradkeep. First the halls of the palace, and then the
streets of the capitol ran red with blood. It was only with
the support of the Daggerfall army that the chaos was brought
under relative control. The Sentinel army fled to the Yeorth
Burrowland, and the Daggerfall army chased them as far as
the Ravennian Forest before making camp.
One week later, after each had a chance to
send for reinforcements and plan their strategies, the armies
met in the field that separated them, the flowering meadowland
called Cryngaine Field. In the heat of the clash, an unnatural
fog spread over the field, blinding all combatants. When the
mist finally lifted, King Lysandus' body was found, his throat
pierced by an unmarked arrow.
Daggerfall did not waste any time in mourning;
young prince Gothryd, who had shown great bravery in battle
and was very popular among the troops, was crowned King of
Daggerfall just behind the battle lines, and he ordered the
army onward. Perhaps it was the sight of the brave young warrior
turned king appearing on the battlefield in full regalia that
inspired the Daggerfall army, perhaps the battle would have
turned regardless, Sentinel began to panic. King Gothryd met
King Camaron before the Redguards had retreated, and the two
monarchs fought. Both were excellent warriors, but Gothryd
was a more skillful swordsman, and Camaron fell that day.
Lord Oresme of Sentinel formally surrendered to Daggerfall,
giving up all rights to Betony officially. He later commited
suicide on the ship back to Sentinel.
Peace was a difficult process for the cities
and towns on both sides of the Iliac Bay. As part of the formal
peace treaty, King Gothryd asked for the hand of Princess
Aubk-i, only daughter of the late King Camaron and the Queen
Regent Akorithi. The request was intended to restore friendship
between the kingdoms, and it was partially successful though
many in the royal court of Sentinel viewed the princess as
more a prisoner of war than a bond to Daggerfall.
The only surviving member of the ruling family
of Reich Gradkeep was a sickly infant, so the councilors of
state appealed to Lord Auberon Flyte, a cousin of Lord Graddock,
to rule the lordship in regency. Lord Flyte accepted, and
his strong, almost dictatorial style was just what Reich Gradkeep
needed to restore order after the bloody Treaty of Reich Gradkeep.
His subjects were grateful that when the infant heir died,
they not only elevated his wife Doryanna and him from regents
to rulers, they agreed to rename the lordship in his honor.
Reich Gradkeep became Anticlere, named after his ancestral
The horrors of the War of Betony still live
on, even in Anticlere. Whether Daggerfall and Sentinel will
be able to use the marriage of King Gothryd and Princess Aubk-i
as a symbol of peace rather than discord is something that
only the future can show.
-- 14 Suns Dawn 3E 404
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