The Matchmaker Mayhem was a conflict fought in Edenvale in the Utter East during the time of the Bloodforge Wars (648–657 DR), waged between the would-be suitors to Princess Roxanna of Edenvale and the princess herself. Notably, it was largely a series of challenges and contests fought using basal golems mass-produced by bloodforges.[note 1][note 2]
The bloodforges were discovered in the Year of the Dancing Daggers, 648 DR. These ancient devices of war could mass-produce entire armies of golems, eliminating overnight the cost of mustering and maintaining armed forces. Unrestrained, the Five Kingdoms of the Utter East each manufactured great golem armies and marched them against one another, bursting into the Bloodforge Wars.
The then king of Edenvale desired a son to succeed him but had sired only one daughter, Roxanna. Thus, when she came of age, he called for suitors for the princess, plotting to arrange a marriage. The independent and headstrong Roxanna thoroughly rejected this, but pressured by her father's pleading, she proclaimed "I will not be wed in service to the crown, nor traded like some prized cattle. Any man that shall marry me must first defeat me in battle."
Thereafter, Roxanna fought a series of duels against many would-be suitors. These were all contests of arms, and she was victorious each time, humbling her challengers. When one apparent suitor, Bryan the Bold, challenged her to bloodforge battle instead, these contests escalated into full conflict.[note 3]
- Bryan the Bold
- As his army made camp outside Herne's Wood, Bryan issued his quite-serious challenge to Roxanna, declaring that he would invade the kingdom the next day. Roxanna therefore met him in bloodforge battle. Bryan was victorious, so Roxanna angrily and begrudgingly accepted to have him as a suitor.
- However, Bryan offered Roxanna a second chance, with a second bloodforge battle to be fought in the Web Mountains. For a prize, he would hide an expensive dowry in the mountains if she in turn offered the keys to the palace. The first to get the other's prize could do as they wished without further malice. Bryan was successful, seizing Roxanna's keys.
- Despite this, Bryan the Bold now turned strangely shy, declining to enter Edenvale Castle and worrying his lack of noble lineage would bring dishonor on Roxanna if she wed him, a mere vassal. This time, it was Roxanna who made him a proposal: her father was now plotting to marry her off anyway, but she preferred Bryan to any other, and so invited him to take Edenvale Castle and seize her father's crown.
- Finally, Bryan wooed Roxanna, they fell in love and were wed, ruling jointly over Edenvale. They had many children (at least three), which worried neighboring kingdoms.
- Roxanna of Edenvale
- Bryan issued an ultimatum to Roxanna, threatening to invade Edenvale unless she married him. Instead, Roxanna defended her realm in a bloodforge battle outside Edenvale Castle, and was victorious.
- Fearing her presence would draw further assaults on the realm, Roxanna quit Edenvale Castle with a handful of her followers. They ventured deep into the Web Mountains to avoid the suitors. However, Connor the Clever tracked Roxanna down and insisted she honor her challenge and face him in a bloodforge battle, which she won.
- Afterward, Roxanna relocated to a remote forest camp in Herne's Wood, where she intended to remain until her coronation day, without being pestered by suitors. However, she would get no reprieve. The last few hopefuls had banded together and pursued her. From a camp in nearby ruins, they attacked simultaneously so one of their number could win the challenge and the bride. However, Roxanna successfully fended them all off.
- Maintaining her independence and defeating all comers, Roxanna succeeded her father and happily ruled alone as queen. When she got tired of royal service, she abdicated in favor of an adventuring career.
The armies on both sides of the conflict were almost entirely basal golems, mass-produced using bloodforges and transformed into specific units as required. In general, Roxanna favored Arbor Lodge units, with druids, rangers, and nymphs, and Barracks units, with warriors. Bryan, Connor, and the suitors typically used Runestone units, namely wizards, gnomes, stone golems, and wyrms.
- ↑ The name of this conflict is taken from the name of the campaign in the Blood & Magic game; it was not used in in-universe text.
- ↑ The events of Blood & Magic are only dated to "before the Time of Troubles" (1358 DR) in game. It is assumed these are a part of the Bloodforge Wars described in Faces of Deception and dated in The Grand History of the Realms.
- ↑ In the Blood & Magic game, two alternate campaigns are provided, one for Roxanna and one for Bryan. These are mutually exclusive. An official history is unknown.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 94, 95. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Tachyon Studios (November 1996). Designed by Brian Fargo. Blood & Magic. Interplay.