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Author Topic: Thaelmar "the Explorer King" - long post  (Read 3150 times)
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Trelstahl
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« on: 19 January 2008, 15:59:33 »

Hi everyone,

Grunok - I loved what you had written, and so I stole it.   rolleyes    :P    :D  It seems I'm having trouble seeing forests for all those pretty trees that are quite integral parts of them, but nonetheless when put together are more than the sum of each individual .....  fish There, that ought to shut me up.

I've made some changes here - mostly reduced the size of the Overview as per Grunok and Art's comments, and also changed to the past tense.  Sorry for the mixup - I was trying to get back into the swing of things a little too quickly, perhaps.

Thank you for the comments guys!

Trel.



King Thaelmar “the Explorer King”, 1033 b.S. to 955 b.S.

Overview
Thaelmar ascended to the Erpheronian throne in 980 b.S., but his reign was cut short in 955 b.S. when he was killed in a rock slide while supervising one of his many improvement projects.  Despite his short reign, Thaelmar brought stability to northern Erpheronia through the many political and structural advancements introduced.  While popular with the upper classes, the levies he exacted upon the peasantry led to a certain amount of unpopularity, even causing a minor revolt in Voldar.  This, combined with his love for a Queen who had difficulty producing heirs, led to this undoubtedly important King being somewhat unpopular during his lifetime.

Appearance
Thaelmar stood nearly 1.6 peds in height and was stocky, a gift from his father, Erthis, who was a powerful warrior.  He possessed a rugged complexion and reddish-brown hair, which he kept short.  The Erpheronian King’s most noticeable feature was the mismatched colour of his eyes – one brown and the other green.  He spent much time leading forces against orc attacks north of Thevelin during his mother’s reign, when she was building the Northern Marks, and so became accustomed to wearing full plate mail armour underneath very functional, durable clothing with the bearing the Karovnean Eagle from Erpheronia’s coat-of-arms.  This preference for the practical carried through even after he was crowned king – he wore full plate armour in the field, or a blue and green tabard with the coat-of-arms overtop of a suit of chain mail when he held court in Voldar, and was never without his sword.


Personality
Thaelmar, though both an intellectual like his mother, Queen Caralla, and a strategist, was well-known for his ambition and love of seeking out the unknown.  Throughout his entire life, Thaelmar sought to see as much of his kingdom as possible, and in typical Erpheronian fashion, exploited as much of its resources for the benefit of his kingdom.  His ambition often drove him to take measures that were unpopular with the lower and middle classes, whom he also viewed as a resource that could help him fulfill his goal of building Erpheronia’s status while filling its coffers.  He spent several years leading military expeditions in the north, and so was known as being very hands-on and willing to get his hands dirty.  Ultimately, it was his curiosity and ambition that many felt led to his demise, as he was killed in a rockslide while he was visiting an excavation site at a new mine that had not yet been made safe.


Biography
1033-1019 b.S.  Formative years.  Thaelmar’s mother, Caralla had Thaelmar trained in history, mathematics, the arts and science during the first fourteen years of his life.  Thaelmar became interested in geology as a boy, and learned much about the importance of precious gems and metals used for every day life.

1018 – 1015 b.S.  Thaelmar courts Cathya.  Thaelmar was sent to Jernais to learn more about economics and military strategy.  The man he learned from was the brother of the Duke of Jernais, and the uncle of a beautiful young woman named Cathya.  Though Thaelmar spent only 4 months in Jernais, it was long enough for the two to fall in love.  The coupling was seen as a good omen, as both were well liked by most of the common people of Jernais, Voldar and even Cemphira, where they spent a summer visiting with local landowners.  The pair married three years later in 1015 b.S.

1015-1008 b.S.  Difficulties in marriage.  At the suggestion of Thaelmar’s mother, Queen Caralla, the couple returned to Jernais where they spent the first few years of their marriage.  Caralla was sensitive to the fact that Cathya was close to her family, but she also wanted her ambitious son to develop a sense of the political situation in Jernais.  As well, Caralla felt it would be a good place to begin raising a family.  The couple failed to have a child until 1008 b.S., when Caeth was born, which ended rumours that Cathya was barren and unfit as a Queen.

1004 b.S.  Death of the firstborn: Caeth dies from fever.  The effect on Thaelmar, Cathya and her family was profound and manifested itself in very different ways.  Thaelmar drove himself to work hard at perfecting his weapons' skills, while Cathya’s mother fell into a deep depression and passed away soon after.  Cathya, whose relationship with her father had always been close, was able to keep up her spirits as best she could until he died in 1002 b.S.  Caralla intervened at this point, and forced Thaelmar to focus on his marriage, which was successful.  The two rekindled their relationship once again.

1004 – 999 b.S. Thaelmar’s first posting: Thevelin.  Thaelmar was given a military posting in the town of Thevelin.  Though he had weapons training, it was here that he learned the art of soldiery.  It was a difficult time for the couple, as his wife Cathya remained behind in Voldar with Queen Caralla.  Though Thaelmar and Cathya were deeply in love, and were able to spend time together during Thaelmar’s occasional visits, rumblings in his mother’s court about Cathya’s inability to carry a child to term began again.  Despite the rumours among the courtiers, and the advice from Caralla’s counsellors that Thaelmar divorce Cathya, the two stayed together.  The town of Thevelin benefited from Thaelmar’s presence and connections with the wealthy of Jernais, some of whom took up residence there and started new bases of operating businesses.

998 – 985 b.S.  Thaelmar’s second posting: Ishmarin.  Thaelmar was stationed in Ishmarin for a time, but this time brought Cathya with him.  Rumours of her inability to conceive began again at the court in Voldar, so she decided, with Queen Caralla’s blessings, to remove herself from the tense atmosphere of Voldar to the more calming mood in Ishmarin.  During this period, Thaelmar spent time with one of the surveyors in the area.  He became fascinated with his childhood interest and sought permission from his mother to lead a survey group into the Warnaka Mountains.  The group discovered a small, but rich source of iron and copper.  The surveyor convinced Thaelmar that the Tandala Highlands might yield an even greater source of heavy metals.

985-980 b.S.  Thaelmar’s third posting: Astran.  The Erpheronian prince was stationed in Astran, but once again decided to leave Cathya behind.  Astran was still considered a frontier – little more than a guardpost with a small walled up community surrounding it, and more dangerous than Ishmarin.  Thaelmar brought the Ishmarin surveyor with him, and together they began surveys in the “safer” areas of the Tandala Highlands.  They found large veins of iron in the south-western portion of the Tandala Highlands, but due to their remoteness, it was difficult to extract anything and transport it. 

980 b.S.  Thaelmar becomes King of Erpheronia. Early in the year, word reached him that Queen Caralla fell ill – he returned to Voldar too late.  Thaelmar’s mother, Queen Caralla passed away, and Thaelmar ascended to the throne.  His coronation was rushed, as his intent was to leave Cathya accountable for affairs of state, but her poor treatment by the nobility, brought on by her inability to produce an heir, convinced Thaelmar to remain and allow others to continue his work in Astran.

979 – 977 b.S.  Building the Eastern Marks.  Thaelmar’s first contribution to bringing stability to eastern Erpheronia was the building of a road between Thevelin (present-day Nyermersys) and Astran.  Coincident with this, mining began in the Tandala Highlands.   Work initially was slow due to lack of access to supplies and labour, however by 977 b.S. as a result of financial incentives offered to merchants, traders and craftsmen to move to Thevelin and Astran, there was much more will by others, along with money, to complete the road and even begin building in Astran, which experienced a rapid rush of growth as people moved into the area.

976 b.S.  Thaelmar’s Heir.  Thaelrin was born late in 976 b.S., which again, amidst rumours of Cathya’s inability to serve as Queen, brought with it new hope to the country.  The birth was celebrated with some temerity by the members of Thaelmar’s court, however, as many recalled Caeth’s early death, and feared the same could happen with young Thaelrin.

975 – 966 b.S.  Troubles in the Tandalas.  Excavation began in the western range of the Tandala Highlands, after initial surveys of the region show that heavy metals (iron, copper) were present in the area.  War broke out with the tribes of orcs in the region.  Previously, the orcs had been the aggressors, moving into Erpheronian territory during the reign of Thaelmar’s mother (Queen Caralla) and grandfather (King Caeth).  This time however, it was Thaelmar who has moved into lands that were traditionally under the orcs’ control.  These wars, though not long-lasting, were brutal and many lives were lost on both sides.

965-962 b.S.  Building Astran.  Thaelmar pushed forward with his expansion in the east, not wanting to lose the momentum he has built by finally removing the presence of the orcs immediately north of Astran.  Thaelmar imposed many demands on the Lords of the northern lands to further fortify the region by improving keeps and guardposts.  These demands required some heavy taxation, particularly of the lower and middle classes in Erpheronia.  The original castle keep at Astran was constructed at this time, which incorporated many of the features seen in the current fortress – the “Guardian”

959 b.S.  Protests in Voldar.  Immediately after Thaelmar instituted new property levies on properties owned within the city of Voldar, there was a brief uprising in the city of Voldar.  Though the city guard quickly put down the riots that followed, some of the merchant class were targeted and their businesses destroyed by fire.  One merchant was even killed while trying to protect his property.  Thaelmar had some of the rioters prosecuted and two of the more influential leaders of the uprising were executed for treason.  Some of the tax burden on the less wealthy was eased, which helped to lessen the resentment among the lower class, but Thaelmar was less popular with his people from this time until his death.

959-956 b.S.  Testing the Eastern Marks.  The road between Voldar and Thevelin was completed, as are guard posts between Astran and Thevelin.  This line of stone towers, each of which could house a small contingent of soldiers, also had room to hold supplies for an extended siege, and were placed strategically above aquifers to provide a source of drinking water.  Later in 956 b.S., a small orc incursion occurred at the town of Astran, and was easily repelled.  The orcs attacked as the Erpheronians mining north of Astran began to encroach upon more lands previously held by the orcs.  The orcs attempted to destroy three more guardposts between Astran and Thevelin, but each time they were turned back.  This line of guardposts became known as the Iron Wall.

955 b.S.  Thaelmar’s death.  Thaelmar sent forces north to clear out a significant portion of the region immediately north of Astran.  Surveys were conducted and again the area was found to be rich in iron.  During one of his visits to one of the excavation sites, Thaelmar was killed in a rockslide.  The throne passed to his son, Thaelrin, in 955 b.S.

Importance
Thaelmar’s contributions to the settling of the northern and eastern regions of Erpheronia were numerous.  New settlements were founded and built up in these areas, including the village of Thevelin (later Nyermersys).  As the Erpheronian kingdom increased in size, the Eastern Marks were established with Astran as the central stronghold in the eastern region of the Tandalas. The line of guard posts joined by a road network between Thevelin and Astran formed what has become known in the  northern world as the "Iron Wall".  Thevelin provided protection to the west and along the Teiphra, while Astran guarded the eastern region to almost as far as the Adanian Sea.  This road network allowed for the movement of troops as well as goods between regions, encouraged trade in raw materials (mostly metals from the Warnackas or Tandalas, and grains from the Vale of Kalir) down the Teiphra River to the eastern coast of Erpheronia.  It also provided merchants and craftsmen with security and financial opportunities to entice them to take up residence in Thevelin or Astran as living costs decreased in the north.  With the influx of money into the area, a number of the southern landholders begin to purchase land in the north, so even the areas around Thevelin and Astran become settled.  These northern areas became integral to the supply of commodities and metals to the southern region of Erpheronia.  Furthermore given the intensification of military presence in the north, these northern cities later became a training ground for new soldiers, who could be readily moved and transported to the south if required.
« Last Edit: 29 February 2008, 18:35:47 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged
Grunok the Exile
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« Reply #1 on: 22 January 2008, 14:22:47 »

Hi Trelstahl,

I haven't read this in detail yet, but I would suggest that you might need to cut down the Overview.  Usually the guidelines for an overview are that it should be a selection of the most important points from the rest of the entry.  Therefore there shouldn't be anything in it that is not repeated in more detail somewhere else in the entry. 

I would also remove a lot of the less interesting stuff from this overview - his birth date, his parentage, the exact dates of his reign - and move it to the relevant section(s) of the entry.  This allows the overview to pull the reader in with all the juicy bits. Something like "Thalemar was of the rugged, militaristic mold of Erpheronian royalty.  Always in his armour, he was a very hands-on king and is remembered best for his expansion of the habitable lands of his kingdom to the north and west.  This ambition may have contributed to his untimely demise".

Another point worth looking at could be your tenses.  I notice you have both the present and past tense across your submission here.  Personally I prefer to read historical entries in the past tense, so perhaps you wouldlike to change it so it is all in the past tense.

I will come back and read it in more detail later.  Oh, and this really isn't that long an entry lol  innoc
« Last Edit: 22 January 2008, 14:25:09 by Grunok the Exile » Logged

Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 31 January 2008, 05:51:46 »

Okeydokey, read this entry now as well, Trel, and here we go with comments:

- Seems you took the Overview part from the Erpheronian royal line. Even there it is a bit long, because you tried to get pretty much everything in it. This is a great help if you want to write the actual entry based on that, but I would recommend to reduce the Overview (and perhaps the royal line as well), so that you only have the absolute basics there.

- Also we seems to have the tenses problem in every entry: The complete entry itself should be in past tense - we only use present tense in the history tables and in the royal lines! If you fix that you don't need to mark every change (as you did last time if I remember correctly), just correct it.

You also start e.g. the Appearance section with "Thaelmar stands nearly...", then continue with the past tense, so in short: I recommend to go through it again and check the tenses carefully.

- A few misspellings/problems here:
Quote
"...whom he also viewed as a resource that could help him fulfill his goal of building Erpheronia’s status ..."

The pair marries three years later in 1015 b.S.

- The way Thaelmar dies is classic for an explorer like him... *hehe* It's great to see a leader get his hands dirty and eventually succumbing to that unusual fate! In general the idea of Thaelmar being more "down to earth" than other kings is a nice one, especially that he already had accomplished interesting finds before he becomes king make him quite likeable.

- I also like that backstory with Cathya, the problems with conceiving and the troubles she and Thaelmar have to go through because of that.

- Question: You mention "Caeth II." as Thaelmar's son. Well, the first one was Caeth "the Child-King", and I assume the II. comes from that. However, it isn't necessary to use II. here, because only if that child had become king the II. would have been justified. Otherwise just refer to him as "Caeth".

- The attempt to try to expand Erpheronia somewhat by fighting the orcs north is also a new approach. Or let's say: The attempt to pro-active defend the territory fits very well to an Erpheronian, and this just fits in perfectly here :)

- The idea with the "property levies on properties owned within the city of Voldar" is another cool thing! Securing the north, wars up north with the orcs, a bit of rioting within the borders, even the mentioning of the "Iron Wall" due to the new defense system are the ingredients of a fine solid king's entry - that's how I like it :D

- So: Yay again! A different king this time compared to others we had before, nevertheless an interesting one - I like the entry very much, Trel!  grin  thumbup
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Trelstahl
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« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2008, 11:07:31 »

Thanks for the comments Grunok and Art!

I have made the verb tense changes and spelling corrections.  I also shorted the Overview.  However, when I read it again, it still looks a little long   shocked

Hmm... if you think the Overview is okay, I'll leave it alone.  Otherwise, I may still make some edits.

Trel.

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Grunok the Exile
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« Reply #4 on: 05 February 2008, 11:49:14 »

Yay, you came back!  I thought I might have scared you off   noidea  It still looks a little long to me, Trel, so I have taken the liberty below of adjusting it to what I would imagine would make a better overview. 

Basically for overviews you need to make sure you don't get too caught up in the detail: that is for the relevant sections in the entry.  You just want to give a teaser of what he was all about.  It's for people who want to know who he was, but don't care for the detail.


Overview
Thaelmar ascended to the Erpheronian throne in 980 b.S., but his reign was cut short in 955 b.S. when he was killed in a rock slide while supervising one of his many improvement projects.  Despite his short reign, Thaelmar brought stability to northern Erpheronia through the many political and structural advancements introduced.  While popular with the upper classes, the levies he exacted upon the peasantry led to a certain amount of unpopularity, even causing a minor revolt in Voldar.  This, combined with his love for a Queen who had difficulty producing heirs, led to this undoubtedly important King being somewhat unpopular during his lifetime.


You might also consider putting the years in context in the overviews of these entries: say something like "He was Thar's great grandfather", or "He lived in the age where"... um, well, I'm not too sharp on Erpheronian history, I'm afraid, but something which gives an idea of where it fits in in the overall scheme of things.  But remember - no detail!  I'm watching you!  lol
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« Reply #5 on: 06 February 2008, 06:31:23 »

I see Grun's wish was your command, so the Overview should now fit as well - and the entry itself didn't need much revision regarding the content, it was just mainly the tenses problem. As for the latter you should have that in mind next time, because I remember it wasn't the first time we had tenses problems ;)

Anyway, ready to be marked for integration I'd say! Wonderful job, Trel, and congrats that you made it to the Newcomer of the Year in our Santharian Awards thumbup
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« Reply #6 on: 06 February 2008, 10:50:19 »

Thanks guys.  I'm still shaking my head over all the silly grammatical mistakes I've made.  Sheesh!!

I'm going to start working on another entry soon, but first I'd like to get back to the Erpheronian Timeline, and make good on my promise to get some more of that done.

Art - thank you for your kind words.  There are a lot of fantastic 'newcomers' (well, they're not newcomers anymore I guess) working on the site, who work on a lot of really original entries!!   thumbup

Grunok - thanks again for helping me out with the entry.  Sometimes I think I need to be hit over the head to get things finished! :)
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