Etrandish Succession War of 718
|Etrandish Succession War of 718|
|Commanders and leaders|
The Etrandish Succession War of 718 - also known as the Brynatid Succession War, Tondbertid Civil War or Tondbertid Succession Crisis- was a civil war in the Kingdom of Etrand following the death of King Calder I of Etrand. Even though the conflict was won by Mythela, the legitimate heir, daughter of King Calder, her victory ultimately led to the downfall of the Tondbertids, as her husband King Bryant and his descendants ended up founding the new Bryantid dynasty.
While it is universally agreed that the war started with the death of King Calder of Etrand without a son - which led to his three brothers refusing to recognize his daugher Mythela as the true heir - the majority of historians now believe that there was much more to this war than just a succession dispute. Ever since the rule of King Cairbré I of Etrand, Etandish historians have been talking about the so-called "Late Tondbertid Decadence" - King Bourn, Calder's father was too busy doing music, designing buildings and sexually pursuing the palace's maids to be an effective ruler, while his son Calder was an incompetent tyrant who put a wedge between the royal authorities and the country's elite. An addition fact is, that before Calder's birth, Bourn's previous sons killed each other as a result of a fierce debate on who should be Bourn's heir - even before Bourn himself became a king.
As such, historians believe that the civil war of 718 was inevitable, and it was basically the last breath of the decadent and weakened Tondbertid dynasty, which was just begging to be replaced by a new, younger and stronger dynasty after having served as the ruling house of Etrand for almost six centuries. By the late 7th century, the Tondbertid dynasty has grown complacent, it was full of incompetent men - not just Bourn and Calder, but many of their relatives as well - who were more concerned with whatever entertained them than actually running the country. During that period of Late Tondbertid Decadence, Etrand was at it's weakest point, and it is a true miracle that no foreign power realized that and attacked.
Events leading up to the war
On 10th of Rasaalu, 718 AEKE, Calder became a victim of a hunting accident. The exact description of the events surrounding his death are unknown, but after his hunting accident, he suffered from internal bleeding which wasn't noticed until it was too late. At the time, his wife was pregnant, so Calder called the leading nobles to him, and forced them to swear loyalty to his would-be son. They all complied, but three days later, King Calder died, and his wife miscarried. His one and only daughter Mythela would be crowned the next ruler of Etrand, but Calder's three younger brothers - Kerlon, Symner and Zylf - refused to recognize Mythela as the new ruler, and so would start the Succession War.
The three conspiring brothers of the late Calder immediately divided the land among themselves, but Northern Etrand became the domain of another participant of the war - Ladislaus Londbert.
At first, Symner had the upper hand - he acquired Grandfolk. Mythela and her loyalists escaped from the city, and fled to Etrancoast, where the local Earl and his men remained loyal to her. In her absence, Symner had arranged for her to be declared married to her elderly former steward, so that no magnate could come to the aid of the unmarried princess with the motivation of marrying her.
Symner then was driven out of Grandfolk by the combined forces of Zylf and Kerlon, who soon found his head atop a pike. Zylf and Kerlon continued to bicker among each other, but Zylf - despite being the stronger one - had the disadvantage of having to fight a three-front war: with Kerlon, with Bryant, and with the Mythela Loyalists in Etrancoast.
Bryant, using his Dwarven milities and Mercenary Dragons, has managed to capture Steelhelm with little to no bloodshed. Zylf, paranoid about the recent turn of events, has made a truce with Kerlon, and agreed to unite his forces with his against Bryant. At the Battle of Morshu's Mill, the forces of Bryant have won a decisive victory against the forces of Zylf and Kerlon. During the battle, Zylf has decided to betray his brother, but most of his troops refused to act at the proper time, causing Zylf to be slain by Kerlon's forces. At the end of the battle, Kerlon found himself imprisoned too.
Bryant's victory at Battle of Morshu's Mill the did not mean the end of the Succession War - the supporters of Zylf and Kerlon continued the struggle under the leadership of Zylf's son, Brelon. who has besieged Yrvhaven, the capital of Etrancoast, last refugee of Mythela and her loyalists - Pirothea Nelvarryl would smuggle weapons and food into the city to prevent it from being starved out, and Mythela would also be informed by the information sent by Pirothea's spies.
Meanwhile, Bryant has managed to capture Grandfolk, and invalidate Mythela's marriage. After punishing the members of the royal court whom he deemed guilty, he continued his campaign at the East. Brelon, finding himself between two armies, surrendered and kneeled before the princess. As Brelon's siege was a failure, hiring the pirates became useless - nevertheless, the pirates still came and attacked. Bryant decided to absolve Brelon from the crime of high treason, but he would still have to pay for the pirate problem: stop the pirates or his demesne will be reduced to compensate for the damage the pirates cause.
After the war, Bryant restored the rule of the rightful Queen Mythela, who soon became the victorious nobleman's wife, making Bryant the new king. De jure, Bryant would only be a king consort and Mythela would be the queen regant, but de facto, it was the complete opposite: Bryant being the real king regant, and Mythela being a mere queen consort. Still, de jure, Bryant considered his own rule a continuation of Tondbertid rule, and did not declare the beginning of a new dynasty. That would be done by his son, King Cairbré I of Etrand, who retconned his father's rule as the founding of the Bryantid dynasty, posthumously promoting him to the title of founder of the new dynasty.
Even though the war was won by Calder's direct line, the long-term consequence was the loss of the Tondbertid dynasty's long-held honour of being the ruling house of Etrand - they became a mere house of Grand Counts. Even though the Tondbertids are working on slowly-but-surely regaining their former glory via marriages - after all, having been the ruling house for six centuries means a lot of prestige, even if they have been demoted to a House of Grand Counts - the new Bryantid dynasty is making sure they won't have the power to challenge the new order.