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The Reclamation Wars, also known as the Tethyrian Civil War,[1] was a series of conflicts that centered around Zaranda Star, the Countess of Morninggold, and her efforts to unite the kingdom of Tethyr during the last years of the Tethyrian Interregnum of the mid-14th century DR.[2]

BackgroundEdit

In the 1364 DR, Zaranda Star purchased County Morninggold and all its noble titles from the Order of the Silver Chalice. She spent two years reinforcing her borders and her castle before going on a mercantile tour of Faerûn, traveling to lands far to the east, such as Unther and Thay.[2] When she returned to Tethyr in 1366 DR,[note 1] she saw that nothing had really changed within the realm. Bandits and robber-barons still ruled in holdings across the plains, some of whom she personally had to fend off on her way to sell her essential yet exotic goods in the city of Zazesspur.[3]

Seeing the people of Tethyr were suffering under the myriad of power-hungry, would-be rulers, Zaranda demonstrated her compassion to the commoners and strength of arms to those who greeted her with hostility. Unfortunately, Zazesspur's Baron Hardisty impounded her goods and chased her and her fellows out of the city. For the next eleven months she lived among the local peasants, teaching them how to defend themselves against those who would abuse them. This brave act of solitude led those in power to believe that she was raising an army and earned her many enemies. Her merchant group, the "Company of the Star" thus became the Star Protective Services mercenary group.[3]

Days of TerrorEdit

In Tarsakh of 1367 DR, Zaranda and her mercenary company traveled to Ithmong and negotiated a contract with the city's ruling council. At the end of the talks, one of the guards within the company proved themself a traitor by drugging Zaranda and kidnapping her back to Zazesspur before anyone knew she was gone. During the four days in the end of Tarsakh and the beginning of Mirtul, which came to be known as the "Days of Terror", Zazesspur was left in utter chaos. Zhentarim slavers were discovered under the city, a darkling army was unleashed onto the streets of the city, Baron Hardisty, a professed priest of Ao, was revealed to be an evil fraud and the children of the city's nobles murdered their parents while under the influence of evil magic.[3]

During the confusion & terror, Zaranda escaped Zazesspur's dungeons with the aid of Shield of Innocence, an orog paladin of Torm she had met and accepted the year before, as well as her friends including Vander Stillhawk. Just before dawn on Mirtul 3, the group ventured into the Underdark and defeated the deepspawn known as The One Below, which was behind all of the mayhem.[3]

When she emerged back into Zazesspur, the citizens of the city declared her as their queen. She would only accepted the adolations under the condition that all of the people of Tethyr would express the same desire and understand that she ruled for the will of the people. The 3rd of Mirtul would come to be known as Crowning Day in Zazesspur.[3]

Tour of TethyrEdit

Zaranda spent the month of Mirtul helping to rebuild Zazesspur and in Kythorn she met with other nobles, Duke Hembreon and the Lords Hhune and Faunce to plan on how to win the support of the rest of Tethyr. By Flamerule, she began her tour of the country. Her first stop was the port city of Velen who greeted her as their queen on the merit of her reputation alone yet that didn't stop her from putting an end to threat of the pirates of the neighboring town of Tulmene. Zaranda had gained the support of the entire coastal region, including the archdruid of Mosstone, by Higharvestide.[3]

Rather than traveling south to Myratma for the winter she took her followers to Ithmong when she heard tell of a new tyrant residing there with his own royal aspirations. Allied with the Company of Eight and with Star Protective Services swelling with new recruits from the coast, Zaranda's laid siege to the city in a short, and nearly bloodless battle.[3] She and her fellows spent the winter within the city, finding the populace exceptionally friendly and welcoming. Her experience during these months led Zaranda to declare the city as Tethyr's new capital and renamed it to Darromar, in an attempt to erase the city's ignoble past.[4]

Battle of MyratmaEdit

The Year of the Banner, 1368 DR, saw ogres and goblins swarm out of the Kuldin Peaks and Forest of Tethir. One half-ogre even managed to organize an army of mercenaries and bandits in an attempt to create a monstrous city at Survale Ford but his efforts were quickly derailed. Zaranda gained the support of Saradush after rescuing their leader, Oon Santele, from kidnappers and was officially recognized by Siamorphe as a rightful ruler, and accepted by the Order of the Silver Chalice. This put an end to any doubts Zaranda had as to whether or not she should be queen.[4]

Zaranda's next target was Myratma but she was long delayed. Once there she and her "Loyalist Army" found the city occupied by Yusef Jhannivvar, a man claiming to be of royal blood who refused to accept Zaranda's rule. He commanded a large force, including many magicians who rained destruction down onto the Loyalist Army. A month-long siege began and Zaranda's losses were staggering. Reinforcements arrived in the form of armies led by men who demanded noble titles in exchange for their help. Unfortunately these men had no tactical experience and their help only led to the deaths of more soldiers. Zaranda and three of her four surviving commanders were captured by Yusef. Two thirds of her army lay dead and that final third fled to Saharkhan to regroup.[5] At the same time, all but one of the council of lords in Zazesspur broke their ties with Zaranda. They had revealed themselves to be traitors; either in an attempt to claim more power for themselves, or because they were secretly allied with prince Yusef for some time.[6]

Heir ApparentEdit

While all of this was going on in Tethyr, a well-respected scribe in Shadowdale known as Lhaeo was informed by Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun that he was the rightful king of Tethyr, his existence as Alemander IV's second son kept secret by a powerful few after his birth in Silverymoon 33 years earlier. Khelben bullied him into accepting his destiny and when he finally relented, Lhaeo, now known by his birth-name of Haedrak, spent the next 8 months studying swordplay and magic.[4] He was granted a magically-enhanced pseudodragon familiar, Purlakhonthiis, the royal regalia of Tethyr, including the Monarch's Scepter, and several other powerful magic items before his master Elminster bade him farewell.[5]

The wise old sage opened a portal for him to Voonlar where Haedrak began recruiting allies before teleporting to Silverymoon where he and his new companions started planning what to do when they arrived in Tethyr.[5] He travelled to Waterdeep first where he was announce by Khelben and Piergeiron Paladinson as the last true scion of Tethyr before the nobility of the city. Many pledged their support of his cause and an army soon marched behind Haedrak and his allies. His forces arrived by sea and land in Zazesspur in Uktar to find a city divided. Bolstered by Tyrran paladins on a holy crusade to bring justice to Tethyr, Haedrak's army intimidated the splintered council of lords back into cohesion. Some people wanted to back Haedrak's claim to the throne but, trying to avoid more division, Haedrak made a public statement that he was not in Tethyr to claim the throne himself but to support Zaranda Star and encouraged everyone to do the same. He sent his ships, led by Lady Dezlentyr to blockade Myratma and marched his army overland to join up with the last of the Loyalist Army before starting a second siege of the city.[6]

Twelve days into the second siege, prince Yusef, after killing her commanders, ordered Zaranda removed from Myratma, fearing this second army would free her and remove any advantage he had built up.[6] He had a wizardess named Safana teleport her to the ruins of Shoonach, warding the immediate area from monsters, Safana tortured Zaranda for four days until she managed to escape deeper into the ruins while Haedrak gave a ring of teleportation to four elite allies who released all of the captured slaves inside Myratma, causing absolute chaos inside the walls.[7] Haedrak used another ring to teleport himself, his familiar and a centaur named Timoth to wherever Zaranda was located. An ancient mythal disrupted the teleport and the trio were separated. Haedrak found Zaranda first, unconscious and about to be devoured by a hell hound. He killed the beast and healed Zaranda's injuries with potions. The four regrouped and Zaranda led them outside where they could teleport back to the siege line. Zaranda took command of the troops and maintained the siege into the following year.[8]

Siege of MyratmaEdit

Though his strength was weakened by the slave uprising, a lack of supplies, befouled water sources and magically weakened walls, Yusef and his mages managed to keep his foe's main force outside the walls for three months time. News reached Zaranda that unrest in Darromar, Saradush and the Ithal Pass was leading to an increasingly deteriorating state of affairs.[8]

Realizing that she needed to end the siege so that she could restore order to her cities, but unable to do much more, Zaranda was relieved when a storm erupted over the city in Ches 30. She had the druids and clerics of her army cast control lightning spells that struck the walls. A day and a night passed before over a dozen lightning bolts simultaneously struck the city barbican, leveling it and allowing her forces to charge inside. Surprisingly, many slaves had survived the revolt and impeded the army's charge by attempting to escape through the same opening that Zaranda's forces were using to enter. Yusef himself attempted to escape in the guise of a slave, but he was discovered and forced into single combat with Haedrak. Yusef was defeated, but his life was momentarily spared while Haedrak asked Zaranda what she wanted to do with his life. As the Jhannivvar pretender stabbed Haedrak with a hidden dagger, the Queen of Zazesspur shot him in the eye with an arrow, immediately followed by over a dozen more. The pretender to the throne was dead and the war was came to an end.[8]

AftermathEdit

The Tethyrian Interregnum was over. Heralds were sent across Faerûn on griffon-back to announce the return of a noble monarchy to Tethyr along with the royal wedding of Queen Zaranda Star Rhindaun and King-Consort Haedrak Rhindaun. Although many in Tethyr initially believed this was a wedding of political convenience, the two had fallen madly in love with one another.[8] They were married within three months, on Kythorn 30 1369 DR and their coronation was the following month in Flamerule. Thus began the Rhindaun Dynasty,[9] which would continue into the 15th century DR.[10]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels

See AlsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Pages 39-40 of Lands of Intrigue:Tethyr states: "At the end of 1366 DR she embarked...(and on the following page)...Zaranda's return in Tarsakh of the Year of the Wave". Considering the second named year listed occurs two years before 1366 DR, this is believed to be an error.

ReferencesEdit

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