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The Tethyrian Interregnum, also known as the Alemandrian Interregnum, was a pivotal time in Tethyrian history during the mid-14th century DR when the country was without a ruling body. It officially began with the death of Tethyr's royal family; King Alemander IV, Queen Rhinda, and four of their children all perished in Castle Tethyr as it was set ablaze on Eleint 12 1347 DR. Chaos broke out through the subsequent Ten Black Days of Eleint, and the nearly all of the Tethyrian royal court and the nation's nobility met bloody and horrendous deaths.[1]

In this period of time, when Tethyr was without a true leader, a number of political plots, assassinations and riots destabilized the entire country.[1] It marked the end of the Lions' Dynasty, which had ruled the nation for nearly 400 years.[2]

BackgroundEdit

In 1333 DR, a number of wizards and their mercenary armies invaded Tethyr in an attempt to create a new nation, which they would call "Mulsparkh". Unknown to them, they were sponsored by Calimshan's syl-pasha Rashid yn Yusef el Djenispool[3] and the King of Tethyr, Alemander IV. The two regents acted in concert with the goal of killing the king's brother, the paladin-prince Rythan.[3][4]

Unbeknownst to either ruler, they were both doing the dirty work of the Twisted Rune who wanted revenge against Prince Rythan for killing the lich Jhaniloth Puiral.[3][5][4] Rythan led a small army to meet Mulsparkh's mercenary armies of humanoids and men, armed with the Lion's Sword,[6][4] but they were defeated in the Battle of Nightflames, which claimed the life of the noble prince.[3][4] Successful in their scheme, syl-pasha Rashid and the Rune ceased their covert support of Mulsparkh, whose armies quickly deserted. Troops from Memnon annihilated any who remained and put an end to the short-lived realm.[4]

Now that his brother was dead, King Alemander could rule without any familial interference. He implemented draconian laws that soon inspired dissent in the citizenry.[1] Two of his dukes, the Duke of Dusk and the Duke of Suretmarch revealed themselves to be utter tyrants while others just became much more harsh in their treatment of subordinates. The persecution of the elves that had gone on for the last century intensified[7] and the increasingly greedy crown prince Alemander V was taking advice from minor nobles that contradicted his fathers wishes, in a seemingly petty attempt of antagonization.[1]

Since at least 1340 DR, Rashid plotted with Tethyr's General Nashram Sharboneth to supplant King Alemander and deliver Tethyr into Calishite hands, as the lands existed during the years of the Shoon Imperium. They sought to incite riots against Tethyr's nobility and manipulate crown prince Alemander into starting a coup against the king, with the aim that the forces of Calimshan could cross the border and have its army act as "peacekeepers". Prince Alemander V was easily convinced and began setting up his coup for early in the summer of 1347 DR.[4]

For daring to presume that you might control the Maid of Misrule or her servants, you and yours shall never see yourselves on Tethyr's throne either. That is my voice for Beshaba's will.
— Doommaster Dlatha Faenar, in a letter to Syl-Pasha Rashid el Djenispool[4]

General Sharboneth had been receiving massive monetary resources from Rashid for seven years when he decided to betray both the syl-pasha and the prince, promising land and titles to his officers if they supported him in his own coup to take control.[4] One of the officers remained loyal to Rashid and told him of the double-cross,[7][4] whereupon Rashid convinced a Doommaster of Beshaba named Dlatha Faenar to hex Sharboneth's forces. Beshaba herself was accordingly incensed that Rashid would try and control bad luck, so she plagued Calimshan with misfortune for the duration of the Interregnum so that its forces could never march north.[7][4]

Death of the Royal FamilyEdit

Crown Prince Alemander set his scheme in motion 6 weeks before the "Black Days" by killing four of his fathers seven most loyal councilors. He executed two after accusing them of treason, had another poisoned and had the fourth pushed out of a castle window with planted evidence of affiliation to the Zhentarim in his hand. A fifth councilor, the honorable Duke Alaric Hembreon who simply held the crown prince in contempt, was merely exiled for two years.[1]

The prince began the coup proper at midnight on Eleint 12 1347 DR. He and General Sharboneth stormed Castle Tethyr with their army and a host of riotous commoners, taking the inhabitants by surprise, asleep as they were after a night of revelry in honor of visiting nobles. No one knew all of the details surrounding the events inside the castle but when General Sharboneth betrayed prince Alemander, chaos ensued.[1] A combination of the efforts of the Calishite agitators and the citizenry's anger at their treatment by the nobility, coupled with the powers of the Beshaban high priestess Dlatha Faenar,[7] led to Castle Tethyr being burned to the ground over the next 7 hours. King Alemander IV, Queen Rhinda and Prince Alemander V died in the flames. None of the regents' other children nor any of the other nobility or royalty inside the castle survived.[1]

Ten Black Days of EleintEdit

With no ruler, Tethyrians continued their riotous behavior, directed the nobles who the viewed as having mistreated them over the last 13 years. In 1347 DR, the Eleint 12th through the 22nd was a tenday of pure chaos in Tethyr. Mobs of peasants roamed the countryside, hunting down and murdering nobles as well as anyone with a connection to them.[1] When all was said and done, nearly 150 lesser and landed nobles had lost their lives, along with 500-plus extended family members and over 1700 commoners.[7]

Among the few survivors was the honorable Duke Morkann, whose duchy would secede during the king-less years and form the kingdom of Erlkazar.[8]

Interregnum yearsEdit

The fallout left by the Black Days heralded mass emigrations, disease, numerous monster attacks and, of course, near constant warring among the various factions that emerged to try and fill the power vacuum. Over the next twenty years nearly a thousand individuals attempted to claim parts, if not all of Tethyr, for themselves. Northern nobles, wealthy merchants, mercenaries and adventurers were allowed to purchase land and titles in exchange for defending them from more despotic would-be rulers and roaming bands of monsters.[8]

In 1356 DR, any missing persons and mysterious deaths were often blamed on the fiendish battles that centered around Dragonspear Castle in the Western Heartlands.[8]

The near constant fighting was only interrupted by events that impacted all of Faerûn such as the Time of Troubles. During the Avatar Crisis, armies allegedly led by the Red Knight were very effective at putting down a growing monster horde in the Forest of Tethir. The invasion of the Tuigan Horde saw many mercenaries leave the nation to join the wealthier army of Cormyr,providing a little peace for the peasantry of Tethyr. The discovery of Maztica caused most of the warring factions to put aside their conflicts and rush to build boats so that they could plunder the riches of the New World. None of these expeditions actually made it to New Amn however and all the effort and manpower put into them was wasted.[9]

Goodly adventuring companies and the elves of Tethir played major roles in restoring a modicum of peace and justice to the land. The Company of Eight played the biggest role, it was they who successfully ended the siege on the Duke of Dusk's castle, they who stopped the evil Duke Nivedann Illehhune and his son from claiming the crown of Tethyr. Others, such as the Knights of the Unicorn, Lathander's Lanterns, the Magis Mir, the Treantborn, Sune's Smile and the Knights Kuldar all strived to do what they could to solve the worst of Tethyr's problems.[8]

By the 1362 DR, the purchase of titles and holdings was once again possible in the lands of Tethyr. However their protection could not be secured by any governing body, and individual landowners were responsible for the safety of their lands. By this time, life in cities such as Zazesspur, Myratma and Saradush began to return to somewhat normalcy whereas Ithmong and the outlying settlements were still plagued by dissent and conflict.[8]

In the Year of the Helm, the Chaos Curse killed nearly all the scholars within the Edificant Library[10] while the monastery itself was destroyed in a months-long siege by the forces of Talona.[9]

In 1364 DR, the mercenary Bunlap ran a logging operation in the eastern part of Forest of Tethir, during which his loggers enslaved and killed many elves. His crimes were stopped by the Harper agent Arilyn Moonblade of Evereska,[note 1] in an series of battles that came to be known as the Tethir Conflicts. These conflicts drew the attention and ire of the elves of Evermeet,[9] which had become the de facto authority for Faerûnian elves during the Retreat.[8] A stern letter from Queen Amlaruil Moonflower of Evermeet effectively ended Tethyr's persecution of the elves of the Wealdath.[9]

AftermathEdit

The Interregnum lasted until the end of the Reclamation Wars, a series of conflicts that culminated with the coronation of Zaranda Star as the Queen of Tethyr. She ushered in a new era of royal leadership within the realm, from the new capital city of Darromar. The Year of the Gauntlet would see some lasting peace come over Tethyr for the first time in over 20 years.[11]

AppendixEdit

See AlsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Although her name was not listed in Lands of Intrigue:Tethyr, the description clearly describes Arilyn Moonblade.

ReferencesEdit