Brelon Tondbertling (Etrandish: Brelon Tondbertling ; IPA: [b̥ɾɛlɔn‿tʰɔndbəɹtl̥ɪŋ]) was an Etrandish nobleman, son of Zylf Tondbertling, and one of the participants of the Etrandish Succession War of 718. He was pardoned for his participation in the civil war by King Bryant I of Etrand, and ended up as the Grand Count of Brevia, after all of his father's brothers were either dead or charged with high treason, with their children either being deemed too young to rule the county, or being in exile.
|Birth||14th of Ujeregula, 697 AEKE|
26th of Eregamandil, 767 AEKE|
69 in Artograchian years,
71 in Terran years (at the time of death)
|Grand Count of Brevia|
Brelon remained active in court politics well into the beginning of Cairbré-era, having left the royal court only after the king refused to marry his daughter.
Brelon was born on the 14th of Ujeregula, 697 AEKE, as the oldest son of Zylf Tondbertling and his wife Therlena Kynenling. As his father was an unlanded prince with no prospect of inheriting land it was understood that Brelon, being umpteenth in the line of succession, would be the last from his line to be qualified as a proper noblemen, with his future children more than likely de facto demoted to commoners. History would be otherwise, nevertheless, with such predictions, Brelon was designated to be a soldier - his education would be overwhelmingly martial. He did learn how to read and write, like the rest of nobility, but most focus was on fighting and commanding. As his line was in "danger" of losing their status of royalty - with only his father's oldest brother actually being landed - there was no real rush to arrange a marriage for Brelon. In fact, given how Etrand was at peace and has been stable for a long time, his pessimistic father had doubts that arranging him to be married to a noblewoman would actually result in inheriting land.
So instead of any specific plans, little Brelon was told to focus on his military studies. By the age of 16 - in 714 -, he became Princess Mythela's personal bodyguard, who was 2 years his junior. This would be one of his saving graces later on. This allowed Brelon to personally get to know Ladislaus Londbert - the future King of Etrand -, who at the time, was the financial advisor to Mythela's father King Calder. Supposedly, Brelon befriended Ladislaus at the time, but their short-lived friendship reportedly turned bitter when Ladislaus asked for Mythela's hand and the King responded by de facto exiling him to the North by making him viceroy. Some would say that their friendship began turning sour when he himself also began developing a crush for his cousin, and got jealous of the budding - and forbidden - romance between his cousin and this no-name nobleman whom he previously considered a good friend. After Ladislaus's departure, it is said that Brelon tried to make romantic advances on Mythela, but didn't have the guts to propose keeping the inheritance in the dynasty's hands to her father, after having seen what he does with her daughter's unlanded suitors like Ladislaus.
Hence Brelon remained Mythela's bodyguard for a while, being bitter in his unrequited love for her.
Participation in the Etrandish Succession War of 718
Brelon was just 23 years old when the Succession War broke out. As soon as the king's death, Brelon was taken out of the bodyguard by his father, who was now setting sights at usurping the throne. Brelon was unwilling to move against Mythela, but was persuaded by his father Zylf that if they win the war, Brelon may marry Mythela, and that he may be King one day as well. Energized by such motivations, Brelon got to work, persuading several noblemen to join his and his father's cause.
As the Queen fled to Etrancoast, Zylf's brother Symner took control of Grandfolk and Central Etrand, Zylf took Northern Etrand, and Zylf's brother Kerlon took Southern Etrand. While initially, Symner was the stronger one out there, he was quickly chased out of Grandfolk by the combined forces of Zylf and Kerlon - who agreed to a truce until Symner gets out of the picture - and got killed. The new sitaution was Zylf being the strongest one, but also being the unluckiest one, having to fight a three-front war: on the North against the loyalists and dwarves led by Ladislaus Londbert, on the East against the loyalists in Etrancoast, and on the South against te forces of Kerlon. Brelon was sent to Etrancoast with one-third of Zylf's forces, in order to besiege the Etrancoasti cities of Yrvhaven and Waterburcht and force Queen Mythela to surrender. To this end, Brelon also hired pirates to ravage the coasts and blockade the ports, preventing the loyalists from escaping.
Meanwhile, Kerlon and Zylf continued to bicker on and duke it out among themselves, until Ladislaus Londbert arrived with his Dwarves and Osriking Bannermen, taking Steelhelm and making Zylf worry a lot. Paranoid about the recent turn of events, Zylf called for yet another truce with his brother Kerlon, who agreed to temporary unite their forces against Ladislaus - who by that time has adopted the name Bryant. Zylf himself was killed during the Battle of Morshu's Mill, in which Kerlon got captured alive, and imprisoned (later executed for high treason).
The remaining rebels that weren't under Brelon's command became disorganized and fell to Bryant's forces easy, who simply steamrolled southwards from the North, until he finally turned his attention to Etrancoast. 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 - the Grand County of Brevia, which he ended up inheriting after all of his other relatives became disqualified - will be reduced to compensate for the damage the pirates cause. At the end, he had to pay the pirates to stop attacking.
Participation in court politics
Brelon got absolved of the crimes of high treason, and in fact ended up befriending Bryant once again. He inherited the Grand County of Brevia - going from an unlanded nobleman's equally unlanded son to an actual Grand Count virtually overnight - and finally let go of his crush on Mythela, beginning to look for a woman to marry. Even though the de facto king was Bryant, the de jure ruler was still his wife Mythela, who was a Tondbertling like Brelon, which meant that much prestige was attached to the family's name. But even disregarding the amount the family's name resonated within the nobility, Brevia being a rich and prosperous county, Brelon had little - if any - trouble finding a willing family that would give them their daughter's hand. In fact, it was quite the opposite - Brelon was being pressured into hosting a feast that the various noblewomen could use to make their debutanté, so that Brelon could pick one from them.
Having been not just absolved from the crimes of high treason, but also having regained the de facto king's friendship, Brelon became an active participant in court politics, effectively an advisor to King Bryant. As a nobleman of high standing, he also attended all the council meetings and rallied support for the king.
Self-exile from the court
On the 12th of Moribel, 744 AEKE, King Bryant died. Brelon would attend his funeral and would mourn the death of his personal friend for quite some time, but would nevertheless remain politically vigilant: he remained active in the royal court's politics - during the conflict between Cairbré and Eurenic, he stressed the importance of bowing to legitimate authority, which meant that he supported whoever his cousin Mythela supported: in this case, Cairbré. Brelon, however, also had an ulterior motive: he intended to get Cairbré to marry his daughter Aréla, so that the Tondbertid dynasty could wrestle back the uncontested control of the crown, which has fallen into ambigious hands after 718 (with Bryant being the de facto king regent, despite Mythela remaining the de jure queen regent). Cairbré's potential marriage to Brelon's daughter would have been considered both a personal gain - as being the king's father-in-law would have made him effectively the second most powerful man in Artograch - and part of an effort to ease tensions between the Tondbertid dynasty and the regime (as several Tondbertids - except for Brelon - considered Bryant a usurper and considered Cairbré's reign illegitimate).
Much to Brelon's dismay, Cairbré had other things in mind: instead of trying to placate the Tondbertids and make them think they have power over him, he decided to marry the sister of a foreign sovereign, which was meant to symbolize the acceptance of his reign as legitimate by foreign sovereigns. In that way, Cairbré has gotten the rest of the nobility to accept his sovereignty as legitimate, while also hijacking the Tondbertids' attempt at entangling him.
After this, Brelon left the royal court, knowing that from that point on, his political influence would only decline, and that the he could never get as close to the king as he previously could. Brelon returned to his estate and spent the rest of his life being a family man, trying to micromanage his family affairs. It is said that when some of his relatives badmouthed King Cairbré in front of him, he would angrily tell them to shut up and chastise them for disrespecting the king - despite the fact that said king antagonized with him and in many ways dishonored him. Many considered this to be his way of proving his loyalty to the regime and (over)compensating for his participation in the 718 civil war on the "wrong side".
On the 26th of Eregamandil, 767 AEKE, Brelon died. His reasons for death remain obscured form chronicles, but classified letters suggest that Brelon's health was declining rapidly in his last ten years, and that he couldn't even walk without a walking stick. By the last three or four years of his life, he was using a wheelchair. Despite the efforts of apothecaries around him, the decline of his health could only be slowed, not stopped: his legs gradually lost all their power, he began to spontaneously vomit at times, he had difficulty swallowing, and he also started having memory issues in the last years of his life. It is said that before he died, he spontaneously collapsed, and his eyes were still wide open, his hand was still in the air when rigor mortis kicked in. It is assumed that the cause of death was heart attack.