As of late, his demeanor has slightly softened, with the help of his brother and uncle. Dalan is the son of Dalan I Karthmere, a man who was famous for being one of the most prolific Karthmeres in martial matters, and most notorious for being the first and only Grand General of the Farrowhalt Freehold, in the 326 AC rebellion. In 346 AC, Dalan participated in the Civil War, following in his father's footsteps by rebelling against the Kingdom of Andoras and Aeganar IV Dragomárus. It was often said that Dalan was the one who dealt the killing blow to Aeganar IV, at just 22 years old, but this has been met with scrutiny and is doubtful at best.
Following his side's victory over the crown and the deposition of House Dragomárus, Dalan and his allies helped ensure the former Eight Kingdoms of Andoras were once more independent. However, with the signing of the Treaty of Dragonspire at the rebellion's conclusion, many new rules were dictated over the paramounts (although they were seen more as mere honor-bound hindrances), and one particular decree prohibited any who followed the treaty to claim themselves a kingdom, as it was a sanction put into place to ensure that no king would ever come to power and rule all Andoras ever again. The treaty, and the events leading up to it (including those in Thyllanor itself) were marked by a sudden influx of Edrossian admiration for their policy and governmental development, a movement that had began as far back as the 180s AC when Tyno Greeves emigrated to Thyllanor and spread the word of con-crownism.
Going against the grain, Dalan set into motion plans to make Thyllanor, his realm, a kingdom, and by 350 AC, he has gathered enough support and manpower to claim a titular title. He is currently trying to legitimize his title and be the first native king on Andoras since before the Dragomárus invasion.
His full official title is The Highlord Dalan Karthmere the Second of the Realm of Thyllanor, Blood of Dalan Karthmere the First, and Born of Viviana Messys.
Dalan was born inside the royal castle in Faercrest to Dalan I Karthmere and Viviana Messys, a courtier of Dalan's and love interest in the early 4th century AC. Already, Dalan had a unique life; his mother was not another noble or a daughter of another house of equal status.
His early life was uneventful; he was taught by scribes how to read and write, taught how to act noble, was taught the basics of literature, mathematics, and history, and had little problems his early life. He had a penchant for causing trouble, even at such a young age; it is said at age 4 he caused a group of farmers' barns to burn down by tipping over an ignited lantern in their yards. He grew up to be a posh, yet composed man, holding himself with the highest of air. He knew fully well he would become like a king later in life, and he surely acted the part.
His father, Dalan I, was not there for his birth; he was at the time one of the main belligerents in the Farmers' Revolution, and later died in that war in 330 AC, directly outside of the walls of Faercrest itself. After his father's dramatic death to the hands of Daemalor Celtheon and the torching of Faercrest by the dragon Vhalax, Dalan was put in charge of an unrestful, chaotic realm at little more than 6 years old in 332 AC after a period of council-ruling (also known as the Interregnum). He had never known a life outside of his own fenced-in field, and politics would take some getting used to.
First years as a ruler
The early years of Thyllanor under Dalan II were largely dominated by his advisors and regents; he had little capacity to focus on the bigger world of politics at age 6 and would have rather played in the field with his younger brother, Adrian, and the other nobles' children. Many rebellions happened during this period, some minor, some major; all of which were eventually crushed before Dalan reached the age of majority. His main advisor at the time, the Overseer Malric Markwell, did most of the work until Dalan was 15. He commanded the council to deal with the revolts, to lower the collection of taxes, and to exempt certain groups from taxes; such as the church of the Five Paragons. He also made pardons and amnesties for prisoners unrightfully accused during Dalan I's life, allowing them to go free, or if they had died as a result of the dungeons, arranged for a small pension to be paid to their family. Markwell has later admitted that he did most of what he did out of service for Thyllanor, but also to restore his family's name following his brother Veddel's betrayal during the Farmers' Revolution.
For a time, it seemed like Thyllanor would actually be a good place to live; the man in charge had a good handle on his practice of power, and was careful not to use it too arbitrarily. Dalan was eventually taught by Malric how to rule properly, and how to relinquish his power once he had gathered too much of it to those less fortunate. Clearly, his words fell on deaf ears to the young Karthmere, but the education that he received as a boy came in handy as a Highlord.Towards the end of Malric's regency, Dalan took advantage of his freedom before becoming the Highlord and began to explore beyond Faercrest under a disguise and a pseudonym, eventually reaching as far north as Frostfall and as far south as Gardoria, before a Thyllanorian convoy on the hunt for Dalan recovered him and returned back to Thyllanor. He felt pent up and isolated from the rest of the world, and wished to see one beyond the realm. He would soon have little time for these escapades, as his fifteenth birthday soon approached and he would become the rightful ruler of the realm.
End of Regency
Approaching Dalan's 15th birthday, many knew what was about to happen; the Karthmere boy would become the rightful ruler, and Malric Markwell would cease to rule for him. Many in Thyllanor didn't want to see Malric leave the office of regent. He was one of the greatest diplomats in Thyllanor, and it created a lifetime of love for the man and his public image. After Dalan ascended to the throne, he was largely ignored by some, and despised by others.
Dalan ascended to the throne as acting ruler on his 15th birthday, April 16th, 341 AC, being crowned by the local archpentem Iulious Saely. While Dalan had ruled the paramouncy for nine years, he would officially become its sole ruler on this day. Dalan is remembered as looking quite smug during his ascension; he had a constant smirk on his face and forgot some of the parts to the coronation ceremony. Nevertheless, the Church of the Five recognized this as a valid coronation, and Dalan was now sealed into the duty of Highlord of Thyllanor. Dalan, with the help of his former regent and still-overseer Malric Markwell, who, at the time, was approaching his 52nd birthday, crushed any opposition to the Karthmeres early on. Continuing on as Highlord, he eventually became involved in a plot to attack and kill Aeganar IV Dragomárus, and depose the Dragomárus family from the Kingdom of Andoras. Always an opportunist, he agreed to take part in it, believing he would one day sit on the throne himself. He was only 20 when the war against Aeganar broke out, and he was eager to prove himself to the world. Before he could reach this point, however, he had many personal tragedies to deal with -- not the least being orphaned at 15.
Comparison to Nobilis Karthmere
Merely hours and following for months after his coronation, Dalan was being compared to Nobilis Karthmere, his great-great-great-great-great-uncle, widely known as most likely the worst ruler Thyllanor, or even Andoras entirely, has ever experienced; so much so he was assassinated publicly in office after just three years of ruling. He berated those who compared him to Nobilis, even going as far to imprison those who were vehement about it. Dalan was not looking to be made a fool out of or be made an example, so he attempted to enforce this by using his power. This backfired on him, as people protested -- for his actions against protesting itself. This was not helped by the fact that Dalan was a weak ruler early on, and that tensions had been high in Faercrest ever since his father had left the city to burn and leaving himself to die.
Just a day after his coronation and his own birthday, and only a week after his mother's birthday, a series of riots against his rule started in Faercrest, dubbed the Bloodmoon Riot, because that night happened to be a lunar eclipse and a full moon -- this provided an eerie lighting on the city that not only set the mood for the night, but the perfect setting to strike. Foran Hills, a disgruntled bastard noble, led the riots, instigating the peasants to join up in his fight. The riot began during post-coronation festivities, and continued throughout the night until the early morning of the 18th. Foran's issues with Dalan were personal, unlike the peasants he led; Foran, on one hand, was denied legitimization by his father, a member of House Noras, and when he went to Dalan on the matter (Dalan's first granted audience, on the day of his coronation), he was also denied the opportunity, with Dalan saying he had no power to change his father's decision, taking regal affair advice from his uncle, Tyralt. Unhappy with his answer, he stormed out of the palace and loudly proclaimed that Dalan and all of Thyllanor would regret his choice of words. Only eight hours later, Dalan's mother was dead, and Dalan was being driven away from Faercrest to the safer town of Silverholme without his consent, for his own safety.
When the riot finally died down and Foran Hills was captured and brutally executed, Dalan was allowed to return to the city in an official presence, but with nothing to hold to himself, and with the Old-Town District smoldering and damaged. Only two days into his reign, a bad omen sparked and many predicted that Dalan's rule would be even worse than Nobilis's. He was out to prove them wrong, but how?
Dalan's early official reign was marked by a period of depression and unwarranted cruelty. Prisoners who were captured, especially those who were convicted of murder or arson, were fed to cave lions and disemboweled in the same fashion as Foran Hills. He eventually got over the grief, but he never forgot what happened to his mother, and vowed to never let the people of Thyllanor forget what had led to this state of affairs. Between 341 and 344 AC, Dalan was rather forgotten in the general course of events; while Aeganar IV was busy making controversial decisions and demands in the midst of the Tentative Years, Dalan was at home in Faercrest still trying to figure out the reins of leadership. Never officially deigned as the Commander of the Armies of the Thyllanorian Army, Dalan was given the title in 342 AC, while his father had posthumously held it. Managing the crown while growing up beyond his teenage years was never easy, and the idea of ruling an entire region with the power of Thyllanor - especially considering its influence and wealth - got to his head with ease. It took guidance from his uncle to get beyond these years without any major rebellions or riots on the level of the Bloodmoon Riot once more. Several small riots still occurred, not only in Faercrest, and not only against the perceived tyranny of the Karthmeres. It seemed for some time that people were rising up in arms just for the exhilarating rush of defiance.
Moving on to 345 AC, Dalan was set to turn 19 in April. He set plans for a large birthday feast set for that of a young adult -- with all of the scantily clad women you could ask for -- and invited several young lords from the region, including Marcus Dermond and Byron Grimolt, whom Dalan had not yet quarreled with on a political scale. Not many attended, given Dalan's reputation, but this was more of an effort to restore it on behalf of Tyralt's intercession.
The feast was a small happy event for all who attended, but it was ruined when unknown assassins came with an attempt on Dalan's life, failing horribly and paying with their lives. This was when Dalan first took a real life, and it did not affect him as much as he thought it would; he expected more, a feeling of guilt or a rush of adrenaline. Instead, killing just felt dull. This would become vital to his performance in the Civil War a year later, where he had been confronted by himself in a swordfight more than once, especially with Aeganar IV; in the fight that would define the rest of the brief war.
Late that year, the Dealing of 345 AC was hosted, and Dalan was invited, but Tyralt went in his stead, instead viewing Dalan as ill-prepared for the diplomatic process. If he had attended the Dealing as his paramouncy's representative, he would have been the youngest participant of a Dealing since Dominic Pavellan (who was 17 years old when he attended) in 300 AC.
Following exponentially declining relations between Aeganar IV and the rest of kingdom, Dalan prepared for war, and his thoughts were answered with the Civil War on April 29th, 346 AC, just two weeks after his 20th birthday. He had put all personal troubles of him behind, and was ready to march in support of what he viewed as one of the most important causes a man could fight for; the overthrowing of tyranny. Some would call it ironic, given many people's stances on him. The critics and naysayers mattered not, as the lions of Thyllanor rose to meet the dragons of the Kingsland.
The Civil War
War was not a new concept to Dalan. He had crushed so many peasant revolts in his time as Highlord, whether it be under a regent or on his own accord, that fighting would be an easy task.
He was right, somewhat.
The soldiers that he faced on the new battlefields -- the rival cities, the ones with the Dragon banner hanging high from the castle's archway -- they were disciplined. They had been trained, arguably more so than any peasant, and Dalan had to strategize. Despite all of Dalan's flaws, one could not argue against the young man's strategy abilities; his temper often led to some of the most controversial formations in warfare, but they were also pure genius. In a fit of anger, Dalan once told his soldiers to hide before he'd return, or he'd kill them himself, thereby successfully creating a guerilla-type ambush. Once Dalan realized he could exploit this, he became one of the most prominent fighters in the war against the Dragomáru and their supporters. His brother was taught some of these maneuvers, who executed them just as well, if not better, than Dalan, and was also an avid experimenter on the field of battle.
The Civil War and Dalan
Main article: The Civil War
Dalan's involvement in the Civil War was light in the beginning of the war -- participating in light skirmishes and sieges. As the war continued on, Dalan realized he could easily overthrow Aeganar and dismantle him, something his father attempted nearly twenty years prior, and make a name for himself in the process as a hero. He began to raise levies far more than previously anticipated, and often led armies himself; something only his father and a few of his ancestors did as a Karthmere before him. His brother, Adrian, also participated in the war, contributing his dirty tactics and sharp mind to prove himself as a decent tactician throughout the conflict. Slowly but surely, the involvement of Dalan was noticed and accepted, as the war, which was locked in a stalemate between the rebels and the Dragomári, began to shift to the offensive side. The kingdom began to buckle -- what was left of it, anyway -- internally and politically, and Aeganar went increasingly mad and angry, reportedly flogging men for even coughing in his presence, citing the reason as 'disturbing His Majesty's peace', increasing the penalty for men who repeated offences, all the way up to a hanging or torturing.It eventually came down to a hazy late autumn night in Dragonspire City in 348 AC, during the death throes of the Dragomári and the Kingdom of Andoras. The Grimolts, Karthmeres, Stones, and Stenwulfs all gathered their armies, and in a final push, assaulted the city of Dragonspire, and reached the Dragonspire proper, pillaging the inside. They killed Aeganar, captured and executed his wife, and took prisoner anyone else left in the castle. Dalan Karthmere and Byron Grimolt would begin their grudges here, as they both openly vied for the throne, even direct moments after the Civil War. One thing that was noticed was that three of Aeganar's children, who had all made public appearances and actively dealt with the affairs of Andoras, were missing, and no one was known to have killed them. The green dragon of Aeganar IV's, Vhalax, was killed and brought to the town square to be made into a trophy, but the young, black dragon of Aeganar's oldest son Taeronys, Serellion, was also missing.
Karthmere, Stenwulf, Stone and Grimolt alike were all confused about the lack of other Dragomári during the siege. The only two that had made an appearance on the battlefield were Taeronys and Aeganar himself; Aeganar was long dead and Taeronys was nowhere to be seen. Dalan, not one to hypothesize, claimed they had all died and the bodies were misplaced into the White Sea and left it at that. He cared little, and returned home to Thyllanor, now an independent Highlord, and schemed from his throne, occasionally granting a speech and declaring his future plans; which he had few of. He only cared for the earthly pleasures at this point, content to let life's challenges come to him and his independent Paramouncy as they arrived. Tyralt interceded in this, and gave Dalan a purpose for his reign; to reinstate the first kingdom post-Dragomárus era, even though it went against the Treaty of Dragonspire explicitly. Dalan agreed to this, and this is when he began his quest to prove Thyllanor's legitimacy as a reformed 'second age' kingdom.
Tyralt Karthmere's influence, and 'Qytoni Nomen om Thyllitores '
Tyralt KarthmereDalan was heavily influenced by his uncle, Tyralt Karthmere, in the early years of his independent reign, and he had been tutored by him years before. It was burned into Dalan's mind through his own exploits that he should continue to be a Highlord, and yet he should continue to vie for the Throne of Embers.
By the time it was 349 AC, Dalan was tired of Tyralt's constant bickering and agreed to hold a council on the status of kingdomship for Thyllanor. He held an assembly of diplomats, alongside his brother Adrian, and of course, Tyralt. The reasons were posed ahead for Thyllanor to become a kingdom by the pro-kingdomship side, headed by the Karthmeres:
- The Kingdom of Andoras was deposed, meaning no influence from a higher crown
- Highlords will not be vassalized by another Highlord, but they could be by a king's authority
- No other Highlord has established a kingdom; we'll be the first, and dominate the region, perhaps all of Andoras
- The Kingdom of Thyllanor could replace the Kingdom of Andoras completely, perhaps growing even larger than it did
- The kingdom will be ran more or less the same way the realm was; the lower class and merchant class may not notice any physical changes
After the pro-kingdomship diplomats finished their arguments, the con-kingdomship diplomats (many of which supported the con-crownist movement during the Farmers' Revolution) focused on their rebuttal. Malric Markwell was part of the con-kingdomship group. They claimed:
- Forming a kingdom would draw unwanted attention to the Karthmeres and Thyllanor
- Aggressive expansion in the name of conquest is unwarranted nearly everywhere
- It will look bad on us if we have the audacity to form a kingdom; the Karthmeres are already known for their posh, regal attitude
- This land can be obtained through diplomacy, trading, or secession, not just purely warfare
- To back up the point prior, warfare would likely cost more than all three options above
- It goes against the Treaty of Dragonspire, which almost every paramouncy on Andoras agreed to uphold
'Qytoni Nomen om Thyllitores', the Declaration of KingdomsThe Karthmere pride and wit still stuck with Dalan after the debate, no matter how much he had somehow learned during the process. He stuck with his gut and still vied for the Throne of Embers, but his uncle raised a fair point; who better to lead them, then a monarch named King Dalan Karthmere? It inspired him to write a speech, to impress his uncle and vassals, and perhaps further along the course of action towards the Kingdom of Thyllanor becoming a real thing. At once Dalan penned a captivating speech in his study, practicing it for days before finally presenting it before the council and a small group of influential nobles.
The War of Embers
Noticing the sudden lack of protection for the now politically divided Kingsland, Dalan sought to subjugate the powers south of him, and bring them into Thyllanor. However, to the south, Thunder's Shore also had this idea, and the two powers that had been stalwart allies in the Civil War just months prior. The Grimolts, in particular, angered Dalan. He had been at odds with them for two years now, especially Byron himself, and he wanted nothing else than to embarrass them, and to get some land out of it in the process; if he could remove any potential threats from his expansion to the Kingsland, then he would feel all the better for it.
While not officially a war, as neither side declared it such, conflict embroiled between the Karthmeres and Grimolts on December 22nd, 349 AC, while the Karthmeres took over Riverbay, a fishing port vital to the Grimolts' economy in the Duchy of Arborea. This aggression would continue on the Shoremen's northern borders, moving further north each time in the Kingsland until it eventually spilled over into Brackwater territory, resulting in the death of Lord Larys Gallomont during the Skirmish of Prelland, the brother of Evera Gallomont and former Lord of Prelland. After this, the Brackwaters and all of the Wetlands threatened to join the war against Thyllanor, but before any rash decisions were made, Byron called for an armistice in the fighting in order to organize and successfully conduct a peace summit between all three powers to discuss what had happened, and what could be done.
The Tribunal Meeting
A period of white peace was called between the Karthmeres and Grimolts, by way of a tribunal meeting held within Vicarshall, the designated treaty location. Rolland Brackwater was present, as was Byron Grimolt and Evera Gallomont. Several diplomats were there for each side, but went largely unheard and eventually were whisked away by their respective Paramounts. It was at this meeting that the War of Embers was officially declared a war, with tensions rising and pressure from both sides to commit to the process.
Death of Lord Gallomont
They first gathered to discuss the loss of Lord Gallomont, and what amends could be made. The argument shifted from the Gallomont's side of the story, claiming the seeds of unrest had been planted as a result of his death, to Dalan's side, who then argued that war is prone to happening between two factions at any given time, and that war is not clean; that the lands were rightfully theirs; and that he questioned why Lord Gallomont was even involved in the conflict in the first place.
The talks continued, leading up to a discussion about how both the Grimolts and Karthmeres vied for the Throne of Embers, and how a conclusion was soon to be reached. Dalan had a constant smug attitude about the meeting, and often took shots at the other two present. He presented his own side again, saying that this conflict did not stem from hatred of the Grimolts or Gallomonts, and that his family did not desire the Throne of Embers in particular. More specifically they wanted the power and renown that came with the title of Kingdom of Thyllanor. He claimed that in order to secure the de jure lands of Thyllanor, he had to war with the Grimolts and the Brackwaters in order to achieve the land that his father, and the land that was lost generations before him, to get a foothold on the title's legitimacy and possibly leave the world of external politics alone for a while. Most men at the meeting scoffed at the idea, believing that no Karthmere could ever keep his lion's paws out of the grasslands of politics for any given time. Rolland had also accused Dalan of being greedy, as the news of the Karthmeres forming a titular kingdom within Thyllanor had reached several ears throughout Andoras, and some were more critical of it than most; the loyalist paramouncies being the prime suspects in this matter.
Evera had left by then, off to tend to her own lordly matters. She was reportedly grief-stricken at the meeting as it was, and could spend no more time dwelling on her brother's death.
The DragomáriThe meeting turned to discussion of the Dragomári and if they still lived, and Dalan voiced his opinion on this quite vocally to Rolland, already irritated by the feedback he'd received:
This led to a string of insults, and eventually, Rolland attacked Dalan's pride by insulting his mother. This led to Dalan striking out at him, and both Grimolt and Brackwater openly began making sly remarks aimed at his pride and integrity, all the while preparing for a fight. Dalan stormed out, not agreeing to any of the reparations and declaring the meeting over.
Aftermath of the meeting
Dala returned to his villa in Faercrest, fuming with anger at Byron Grimolt and Rolland Brackwater. His council room remained filled with his advisors, pleading with him to not take action against both Grimolt, Brackwater, and their realms. After some time of thought (and some careful intervention from his brother and uncle), no offense was mounted against either house and Thyllanor remained peaceful for the time being. The War of Embers continued as a formal war, yet it was more of a hostile stance rather than a full-on conflict between Grimolt and Karthmere. No paramounty made a move against another, instead waiting for the right moment to strike.
Currently, Dalan is planning to re-institute the Kingdom of Thyllanor, with the help of his brother Adrian and uncle Tyralt. As of late, they've been producing documents and tracing bloodlines, attempting to prove the legitimacy of the kingdom. Of aid in this matter is the mysterious minstrel Merell Cerynai, whose loyalties are fickle but guaranteed with coin.
Another notable topic, subject to both gossip and debate alike, is that Dalan is unmarried. At the age of 24, he has seen his fair share of affairs and what would typically be known as scandals to any other ruler, but no such stigma exists for the lavish Karthmeres -- at least within Thyllanor, anyway. While it is almost unquestioned that he has bastards roaming Andoras, their identities are unknown, and Dalan has personally expressed a wish for keeping the children unlegitimized if one emerges with a claim of birthright in the future.
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Dalan I Karthmere
16th Highlord of Thyllanor
332 AC - Present
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