Son of Myracor, Myrwodin (887 b.S.-827 b.S.) was the cruel and devious king of Erpheronia who invaded the kingdom of Caltharia, and forced its ruler, King Artero, to sign the devastating Treaty of Doovens. Myrwodin ruled Erpheronia with a toughness that typified Erpheronian sensibility, and did so with an efficiency that brought certain reforms that improved his kingdom’s military. For many years during the outset of his reign as king, he was ambitious to gain the rich mineral resources in the northern area of Caltharia. However, Myrwodin was tactful enough to wait for an opportunity that would allow him to invade Caltharia without drawing unwanted backlash from the other neighbouring kingdoms of Kyrania and Centorauria. He did not declare war on Caltharia until one of his cousins who served as an Erpheronian herald in Caltharia was killed there by thieves. Myrwodin died after many years of suffering from dementia and severe stomach pain.
king stood just under two peds
in height, and was of a lean, sinewy build. His features were sharp and
chiselled, and until he began to suffer from a serious illness toward the end of
his life, he appeared at least ten years younger than his actual age. Myrwodin
had piercing gray eyes, bright red shoulder-length hair and a light complexion,
typically of most members of his tribe. Though he grew a beard, he kept it
trimmed short at all times. In court or during study, Myrwodin wore fine cloth
tunics with short sleeves of plain design, and held in place with black leather
belts, cloth leggings and tough-soled leather boots.
Myrwodin appreciated finery, so all his clothing was fashioned from the finest materials. He always kept his sheath attached to his belt, and unlike most noblemen this sword was not decorative, but was the weapon he used in combat. When dressed for war, Myrwodin wore a rounded cylindrical helmet with slits for the eyes, and around the nose and mouth. The helmet was adorned with phoenix wings. He wore a full metal breastplate and back-plate connected at the sides, and greaves on his arms and legs. Beneath this, he also wore a fine suit of chain mail, to protect himself at the seams in his armour and increase his flexibility. The front of his armour was embossed with the Erpheronian coat-of-arms a phoenix, placed above a star of fire. He also wore a red cape with the same coat-of-arms embroidered into it.
Personality. Myrwodin was the epitome of a proud Erpheronian, and his personality typified many of the harsher aspects of that tribe. He was a cruel, harsh, and unbending man in many respects. He believed that Erpheronia stood for everything that was right – strict discipline, adherence to laws, and harsh punishment, which contrasted with the less rigid stance of his Caltharian neighbours. He had a strong dislike of any who showed weakness, which further fuelled his hatred for the Caltharians who were, at that time, ruled by Artero “The Weak”. Myrwodin was extremely cunning and excelled in military matters, but he was willing to trust his military advisors, who he believed were finest on the continent. His trust in his advisors’ tactical prowess was strongest in those who used any necessary means to defeat an enemy – Myrwodin viewed cruelty and deception as desirable traits in his military officials.
Myrwodin fathered three children, Erdolomin, Calodin and Thaeloan, from eldest to youngest. Of his three sons, he trusted only Erdolomin, his eldest and eventual heir to the Erpheronian throne, who possessed both physical strength, an ability to command in the presence of the nobility, and an understanding in tactics of war. Despite this, he disapproved of his son’s tolerance of their Caltharian neighbours. Myrwodin had an excellent work ethic – he spent many hours studying everything he could on the art of warfare, geography, history, swordsmanship, riding, and negotiation. In addition, he was a devious opportunist. For many years during his rule, he had sought any reason to invade Caltharia, primarily for a strong desire to own the rich mineral reserves in the northern provinces. However, he knew he could not invade without possibly alarming Kyrania and Centorauria unless he could show good reason. As a result, Myrwodin took advantage of his cousin’s death, a herald who was killed by thieves in Caltharia, to invade that country. He was a fiery man, often prone to dramatic shifts in mood, which was exacerbated by his bouts of dementia and severe stomach pain during the last 13 years of his life.
Biography. Myrwodin's Formative Years (879-869 b.S.). Myrwodin studies warfare and swordfighting in Thevelin (now called Nyermersys), geography and history in Voldar, and diplomacy and negotiation in the City of Jernais.
Myrwodin Ascends the Throne of Erpheronia (867 b.S.). After the death of his father, Myracor, Myrwodin becomes king of Erpheronia. His first act as king was to increase recruitment and toughen standards for lower ranking officers – commissions could only be obtained by passing a series of tests in diplomacy, history, geography, basic mathematics and military tactics.
Erpheronian Authorization of Piracy (854-850 b.S.). A man known simply as Drak is given a commission by Myrwodin to commit piracy against countries thought to be harmful to Erpheronian trade. Initially only a single ship is registered, but by 850 b.S., three other ships are added to this ‘fleet’. These pirates begin to disrupt trade between Caltharia and the more southern kingdoms of Serpheloria and Avennoria.
Dealing with Pirates (848 b.S.). Caltharian merchant vessels travelling from Veltin are terrorised, but the new Caltharian military advisor, the Duke of Salazar, counsels Artero to build a small fleet of five large, heavily armed ships to help protect his kingdom’s financial interests and remove the pirate threat. Myrwodin quickly loses his pirate ‘fleet’, and begins to rescind trade agreements with the Caltharians. Myrwodin contemplates an invasion but decides against it. He does begin construction of Evergrey Bridge in anticipation of moving large numbers of troops into Caltharia, but under the pretence that this will provide an overland trade route that will circumvent the ‘problems with piracy’.
Erpheronia declares War on Caltharia (846 b.S.). Myrwodin’s cousin, an Erpheronian herald, is killed in Caltharian territory by thieves in the streets of Carmalad. Myrwodin, who for many years has set his sights on the rich mineral deposits in northern Caltharia, interprets the death of the herald as an open offence against his kingdom and declares war on Caltharia.
Battle at the Twinnean Peak (843 b.S.). Despite reaching the battle site late, and thus having to fight uphill during the battle, Myrwodin uses one of his three units of foot soldiers, his light cavalry and archery units to compress the Caltharian army into a narrow pass at the apex of Twinnean Peak. At the same time, he has reserve foot soldiers and three units of heavy cavalry hidden behind a series of ridges along the southern edge of Twinnean Peak. When the battle commences, Myrwodin’s foot soldiers suffer many losses and fall back to a location that draws Artero forward. Myrwodin has his reserve forces attack the left flank of Artero's army, which collapses, and captures the Dukes of Salazar and Thantocha. The Duke of Cantollio is killed during the assault. Then, Myrwodin’s archers and light cavalry, and the heavy cavalry and remaining foot soldiers – led by Jezla Khizaar – box in the remaining Caltharian soldiers, whom they butcher.
Erpheronia and Caltharia sign the Declaration of Doovens (843 b.S.). Myrwodin holds Artero and several dukes hostage, and threatens to invade Carmalad unless Artero signs the Declaration of Doovens. During this meeting, Myrwodin quietly informs Artero that he finds the king’s weakness offensive, and were he a less civilised man, he would break down the castle gates with Artero's head. In this declaration, the Caltharian king is treated no more than a vassal of the Erpheronian king. The declaration also contains the following demands:
The Caltharians have to pay a very large sum in gold and supplies to Erpheronia immediately as well as high taxes every year to come, to compensate for Myrwodin's spending to raise troops, provide equipment and build ships and siege equipment.
Myrwodin bestows Honours on his Men (842
b.S.). For excellent service leading to the defeat of the Caltharians,
Myrwodin promotes a number of key military officials, including Jezla Khizaar
who becomes a Colonel in the
Erpheronian armies. He admires Jezla’s uncompromising attitude and cruelty
toward dealing with enemy soldiers. This is despite the misgivings of his eldest
– and most dependable – son,
Erdolomin, who feels that Khizaar is a brute and a
barbarian and unworthy of such trust.
Myrwodin’s Illness (840 b.S.). Myrwodin begins to show signs of a strange illness – delirium, fevers and intense stomach pain. The illness is not constant, and often subsides for many months during which time he is able to comprehend what is happening around him and still respond.
Myrwodin Responds to Civil War in Caltharia (834 b.S.). Nine years after the signing of the Declaration of Doovens a civil war erupts in Caltharia, as the duke of Cantollio, Mertogran of Carmalad, tries to finally seize the Caltharian throne. Myrwodin is greatly weakened, but instructs his eldest son, Erdolomin, who is now 18, to reinforce the garrisons in the town of Doovens, which at this time are currently under Erpheronian rule.
Myrwodin Prepares to Resume the War with Caltharia (833 b.S.). Myrwodin, still bedridden, but lucid, learns that Artero has been captured and killed, and that the rebel Cantollian duke, Mertogran, has proclaimed himself king. As the Caltharian army increases in size, he instructs his son to reinforce the border patrols at Jernais, complete building the Evergrey Bridge, and station three units of foot soldiers, one archery, and one cavalry unit at the bridge.
Myrwodin Dies Before War Resumes (827 b.S.). Myrwodin passes away at the age of 60, after suffering for 13 years with dementia, and severe pain in his stomach and intestines. It was never determined what caused the illness, though his great grandfather was rumoured to have suffered from similar symptoms. His eldest son, Erdolomin, claims his throne, and eventually defeats the Caltharians, thus completing Myrwodin's plan to conquer his southern neighbours.
Importance. Myrwodin will always be known as the brutally effective ruler of Erpheronia who initiated the War of Ancyros – he possessed great desire to possess the mineral rights in the northern region of Caltharia, but also the foresight to know when to make his war. His cruelty and ability to intimidate the weak-willed king of Caltharia, Artero, led to the signing of the Treaty of Doovens, which devastated Caltharia’s economy for many years and greatly altered its ability to defend itself. Of great importance, though of lesser dramatic interest, Myrwodin improved efficiency and the quality of Erpheronian army officers by formalizing the granting of military commissions through a series of tests. He also was responsible for beginning the construction of Evergrey Bridge, which initially was intended to transport troops into Caltharia, but now is an important part of the trade route that connects Carmalad and Voldar.