Friday, July 22, 2016

The Conquests of Essad

In the year 505 of the Tenth Age, Essad was wracked by slave uprisings, rebellions, and war. By early 506, Soloth had declared war and the Agricon was flooded with slave-armies from either side. It seemed clear that Hyrek Thur's loose coalition of High Masters would collapse and plunge Essad back into the lawless nightmare from which it had emerged. However, throughout the course of that year the Rex Exactor relied heavily on the rise of a new generation of adventurers in the Slaver-Kingdom. With great acuity, he funded no less than twelve groups of murderers, some of whom wound up killing each other. With the aid of the Dogs in the capital, the Cowled Hunters in the north, the Slavekillers in the littoral, and a number of other lesser-known groups, he managed to retain control of the kingdom.

The rebellion was badly hurt when one of its leaders, a slave named Ajax, was captured and executed on the fighting sand by none other than the Exactor's most famous Dog, Oloz. However, nearing the end of 506, Oloz and the Dogs of the Exactor turned on their master and caused a disaster in Thurayn: destroying the House of Ashad, and bringing the wrath of Vodei upon the entire city. It was flooded with black rain. The Dogs all but vanished, fleeing to Portomagno, Dorlan, to escape the consequences of their treachery.

But the Exactor did not rely on merely those untrustworthy mercenaries. In the time that the adventurers were helping secure political stability in Essad by, for example, rooting out such traitors as Sabius Omm and the Seftere Masters, the Rex Exactor also secured a lasting relationship with the Fire Giants of Pernag.

When the giants came to the field, the slaves could not resist them. The rebellion was ended in a bloody purge, annihilating the old High House of Seftere and securing the undivided loyalty of the other High Masters. In place of the Seftere, the Exactor offered a position of High Mastership to the Solothan wizard Drozon the Red, who had taken up residence in Essad's capital city. Though he was also a member of the ruling council of Kallatha, City of the Wyrm-King, Drozon accepted and used his magical might to back the Essadi armies on the Agricon.

The Solothans crumbled and, through a series of clever maneuvers, the Exactor's agents triumphed on the field. Soloth was quickly humiliated and Kallatha was forced to sign a treaty granting Essad mastership over all former territories of that city. Within months, Solothans were being put in chains to serve Essad. Many former Solothan overlords and overseers joined the Iron Guard out of fear.

After the failed Solothan invasion, Essad lay dormant for several years. In early 509, swollen with new slaves and wizards, the Rex Exactor launched a series of attacks on Teral and Dorlan. The Dorlish Invasion has conquered most of northern Llun, and Teral capitulated prince by prince. Now, Essad controls much of the north in a grand new Slaver-Empire. The Rex Exactor has appointed governors over all of Teral, and Dorlan now suffers an attack on two fronts: from the Teralian March and the mountains of Llun. Essad is poised to conquer most of the Cloud Sea Coast.

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