The Era of Unrest
This article describes the The Era of Unrest (473-487), pertaining to the History of Arangoth.
Although they were opposed to King Arlok's rise in the north at first, violence never broke out between the Conciliar South (Transdariania and Arania) and the Royalist North (Inner Arangoth, Ruthmarna, Eastern Arangoth, and Sresar Vale). Sresar Vale initially supported the Council, but when an Aranian Councilor is appointed with no Sresarian counterpart, they instead swore fealty to Arlok. When evidence finally came to light that Queen Alysia had abdicated rather than left temporarily, the Council began negotiations to re-unite the nation. Of course, they were successful and arranged for provincial control over the South, jurisdiction over maritime matters, checks upon Royal Power, and the provision that the King reside in Castle Black at least four months of the year.
Unfortunately, Drache's continued problems began to take their toll upon the Council's prestige. A plague in the Old City forced the Council to take the draconian policy of quarantining the sick inhabitants from the richer portions of the city. A fire, and later the Mist War prompted Councilor Reizeau to enact high taxes and tariffs to aid with rebuilding, to the outrage of the merchant community. The Council was often accused of being slow to act, and somewhat ponderous. Each member had an equal say and an equal vote, and long debates often arose over simple decisions.
The final blow came in 473 when a petitioner approached the Council with an appeal for citizenship. Aridia Vlorress claimed to be a 'Fallen Angel,' just as the former Queen, but had achieved that state after being 'cured' of vampirism. Drache's anti-vampire sentiment, especially among the Royal Guard, Wharfer population, and Chancellory, ensured that 'The Vlorress Affair' would be explosive, but the now three-member Council voted two to one in favour. Mhern-Lathvek retired soon after to Mhernettla and the governing of the Korthai there.
The Chancellery was outraged, and the Lord Chancellor, Thomas L'Char Bourne, retired rather than grant citizenship to an admitted vampire. Instead of turning his title and authority over to the King or Regent, as the laws demanded, however, he empowered a council of his own Magistrates to succeed him. They shared his beliefs and refused to give Vlorress the oath of citizenship. Meeting secretly, the Magistrates' anti-Council sentiment ran high and soon the city was quivering with tension.
Unsure of their support among the usually neutral Royal Guard, Aldenbar rode north to report to Arlok and gain his support against possible treason, sparking fears among the Magistrates he might return with an army. Reizeau, meanwhile, met secretly with Lady Lorla Daranek, the council's founder, who had returned to the city. To his misfortune, he had also ignored Aldenbar's warnings and sent a stiff letter to the Magistrates regarding a presumption of theirs in dealing with foreign correspondance.
The treasonous elements within the Guard and Chancellery chose that night to strike. In what would become known as the 'Night of the Hunted Goose,' the Guard's Wharf-Commander, Tarn Harscorn and the Magistrate Lytia Seward arrested Reizeau in the middle of the Black Dragon Inn on trumped up charges of using the New City Guard to extort merchants. The scene became chaotic, with present Guards and Magistrates on either side of the conflict arriving and arguing. Before his arrest was executed, Reizeau had only the time to declare Daranek, by virtue of her title of Lady Overseer, a full Councilor and in charge of the city. He was then struck unconscious and secreted away to the Wharf by Harscorn, who in the process disobeyed a command from Guard Captain Von Stahl himself.
Harscorn had been newly transferred from the Border Watch, and had brought with him a number of fellow Watchmen; men loyal to him. It was this corps that aided him in fleeing with Reizeau to the Wharf, despite the efforts of his own Captain and the New City guard to stop him. There, the Wharf Guards rose up against the Council and even their Captain, shutting and garrisoning the Iron Gate. The mutineers even stole into the New City to burn the Guard's armoury in retaliation for aerial surveillance of the Wharf.
The rebels legitimacy was stripped away, however, when Magistrate Ketara Lyon's investigation of the charges against Reizeau revealed them as patently false. What is more, Seward's surrendered documents implicated the scheming merchant prince, Resque Maessen, in the extortion plot. Maessen had secretly organized a number of Drache's merchants to support the Chancellery, but they were outraged that Seward's files threatened them and expected them to give false testimony to support her charges. Alienated by Seward's rash behaviour, the coalition of merchants distanced themselves from her actions.
But the Iron Gate was still closed, and for a few tense days it looked like open war might break out at any moment within the city. To make things worse, a pair of vampires began a murdering spree, even while the Guards were occupied with the traitors within their own ranks. And to add further to the confusion, The Raven briefly returned to Drache and issued a plea for peace from Castle Black.
Into the standoff, Aldenbar returned to the city secretly and began inviting people to meet with him at the opulent House of the Silver Swan. He had been appointed as the new Lord Chancellor by the King, and was granted Royal Authority to disband the Council as unable to function, cancel the tax scheme, and appoint a new Sithire (Duke) to govern the South. With these powers, he secured the cooperation of the Guard, Resque's merchant alliance, Lady Councilor Daranek, The Raven, and the remaining Magistrates, who were also alarmed by Seward's treason.
Seeing their support crumble, Seward, Harscorn, and his corps of loyal Watch rangers fled the city and entered into exile. Reizeau was freed, but seeing the Council disbanded and Aldenbar in full authority, declared himself betrayed and bitterly exiled himself to Ethcabar, then to Myst.
During the next four years, Aldenbar continued to work assiduously with the Royal Chancellery and kept his distance from the politics at the Podar ul-Sinetattel. Even so, there were some critics who suspected that the Lord Chancellor was the real power behind the Sithire. When Sithire Folvati abdicated in Rain's Hand of 478, King Arlok named Marcion as her successor. His tenure as Sithire has included dispatching forces to Eastern Arangoth to quell increased Assi raids, and the subjugation of the Cabalos pirates and the subsequent colonization of the Cabalos Islands.
In the Spring of the Year of 483, Drogyoldiiv the Terrifying, a massive magma wyrm awakened from its slumber, and it wasn't long before the ancient beast turned its baleful gaze to the city of Drache. The wyrm's assault on the city was swift and destructive, resulting in no small measure of lost lives and damage to the city's infrastructure, leaving behind a demand of tribute in its wake, lest it raze the capital city to the ground. For over two years the magma wyrm held the region hostage under its siege, ravaging Drache for gold and tribute from its self-made volcanic roost off the coast. Drogyoldiiv finally met its end at the hands of a large group of adventurers, who assaulted the island roost in a concerted effort and were able to slay the terrifying creature to free Drache from its grasp. During this period, the Crownlands of Leptatarna and King Arlok, had offered very little way in support or assistance to rid Transdariania of the magma wyrm, which created a steadily growing rift between the North and South.
One dragon was not the issue, but rather, two dragons. Later in the Spring of the Year 486, The Great Shadow, a massive shadow dragon, seized control of the Arangothian province of Ruthmarna. The current Sithire of Transdariania, Marcion ul-Fenduth Tagran Aldenbar, was kidnapped along with the Ruthmarnan Sithire, serving as suitable hostages to ensure the shadow dragons plans could be carried out within the province without outside influence or aggressors from either the North or South alike. This served to further cut off any aide the North could offer its southern provinces, resulting in that steadily growing rift to turn into outright revolution. These two instances served as the catalyst for the Arangothian Civil War instigated by proclamation of the Interim Council of Drache. By the time the Civil War had concluded, The Great Shadow had absconded from Ruthmarna, along with its fortunes carved from beneath the mountains by its dwarven denizens during its tyrannical reign over the province.
The powerful South Arangothian city of Drache declared itself independent from the Crown, launching into a full blown Civil War, resulting in the fragmentation of the former kingdom and a return to its coalition of Grand Duchies. In the wake of the war, the current coalition of duchies consist of Transdariania, Ruthmarna, Arania, Sresar Vale, Elgaria, Leptatarna and Minkbrantha.