Arthsenhaal Blain, known to dwarves (and, later, most of his close friends) as "Ingiof" (literally "thief," at first an insult but later adopted endearingly), and known today as the Blood King, was the charismatic king of New Asgarnia, living in Falador from age 43 until his death almost thirty years later. Fervently loved by his subjects and hated by his enemies, he was the first in at least a hundred years to attempt unification of the borders of the Asgarnian Kingdom, which had, in the times of his father and grandfather, knelt to the iniquities of crime and of division. A devout Saradominist, he was said to have a penchant for making friends out of enemies, including the Kinshra who terrorized his reign for many years before being placated. However, following the drafting of the Four Corners Treaty, King Kire's Varrock had unified nearly the entire eastern continent to take him down, and succeeded with little resistance. The name "Blain" has since come to stand as a synonym for "pox" or "sore," and the man himself has been demonized in most historical texts emerging from the reigns of Emperor Malcolm, King Kire, and others.
A common saying, at least among the once-humble House Blain, is that they were "always climbing." Sir Ceogwa was the first Blain man of true nobility, having been knighted in the capital for valiant service in a great war with Varrock, when the two fought for control over the lands between their borders (known now as Edgeville, with an eponymous capital). Ceogwa dedicated nearly his whole life thenceforth to the protection of the realm, leaving his wife and children on their baron's estate on the southern border of Falador. All his sons found inspiration in knighthood, and the privileges it brought to the otherwise common family. By the time old age had taken the knight, his eldest son, Renhaal, had been squired and knighted, and wished to serve the same house. However, a lord of Sarim, a smaller, independent country emerging from the apathy of Falador's crown, had recently passed without heirs, leaving the low nobility to squabble over the rights of the land, crops, and serfs. Through no lack of cunning, Renhaal made his ascent to true lordhood, owning a large manor and impressive yields as a count of Sarim. His charge was within the plot of Asgarnia known now as Duchy Hwelgar.
Renhaal's first wife, married to House Blain mainly for political reasons, died in childbirth, and her child with her. Though the man did find another, a Miss Gwerion, she was of common stock, which would have brought shame to the nobility. So she was well-fed and well-dressed, and taught everything she would need to know to pass as the daughter of a more important man. Bearing her first and only child, Arthsenhaal, was the final act which ascended her to the place of her husband's finest affections.
Young Arthsenhaal, though not a prodigy by any means, learned the ways of the house with great speed and dexterity. Reading, writing, and swordplay came naturally; he quickly dropped the flute and the lyre, but he demonstrated great skill with maps and his chosen weapon of war, the voulge. When the lad was not learning such trades from his father and even his mother, he was out beyond the bailey, overturning stones and angering the serfs with his pokings-around. In his youth he was obedient and gentle, yet confident and foolhardy. Only when he was given responsibility as a lord, and later a king, would he grow into the thoughtful, calculating mold for which he is now remembered.
When the regents of House Blain had finally grown too old to lead properly, Arthsenhaal took his place at the head of the manor, leaving his parents to retire to the west. They lived out the rest of their days in the country of Rimmington, which was known and would come eventually to be known again as Duchy Findensern.
Politics and the DreamEdit
- "Every rebellion begins in the heart of but a single man. Without such heretics walking among us, all our ambitions would surely have perished long ago beneath the hobnail and the wrathful sword."
- —An excerpt from Arthsenhaal's diary, detailing these days of his life.
Arthsenhaal found that he was well-suited for life in the courts, being always well-dressed and having received several court-dwarves as gifts from impressed hosts. However, he felt disgust toward the people with whom he worked, believing many to be much too petty, more concerned over their reputation than their duties as leaders and citizens. By this time foreign affairs fascinated the lad, especially those of Varrock, and the empire of Asgarnia which once stood, in his eyes, "unrivaled in strength and in beauty." It was through these studies that he began to take interest in House Lorith (Queen Evelyn and her only son and prince, Kire), as well as House Fish (King Arthur of Falador). As little seemed to be done about brigands and goblins on the roads across Hwelgar, count Arthsenhaal quickly began to suspect that rust lied beneath the gilded surface of the crown. That the southern duchies had divided into distinct countries of their own (the Archduchies of Rimmington and Sarim, named after the largest towns therein) several years ago was the first clue the lord followed; and when he learned, at long last, that Arthur Fish was actually a puppet-king to the rival state of Varrock, so outraged was Arthsenhaal that he vowed to clean up the mess—singlehandedly if need be—or die trying. As he would go on to explain, since this king answered to another, neither king was eager to uphold his reponsibilities to the country, each believing these responsibilities belonged to the other.
Traveling from his fief to the town of Sarim, eponymous capital of the country, Arthsenhaal knew that he would never conscript enough peasants, nor arm them well enough, to sack the city, which was a viable option in his angry mind. Instead he sought the aid of those he considered "properly desperate": mercenaries who could not find work, pirates who could not find unarmed ships, and any other man who sought a life of glory. His goal was a small bay nearby, by the name of Janholt, which was much too shallow to let well-armed navy ships pass, yet allowed those of ill repute, with smaller ships, to come and go freely. Sand barges and other obstacles prevented the powerful navies of Asgarnia from ever launching a successful blockade upon this area, and the lord knew he would find suitably "needy" people here. The first man of these was a young one, about 20 years old (nearly two decades less than Arthsenhal), by the name of Roran Seercal. He was a wizard learning ice magic at the Wizards' Tower, having come to Sarim to visit the grave of his father, the man who had sent him to the Tower in the first place. The man had died during Roran's strict apprenticeship, leaving him no time to attend the funeral or burial until nearly two years had passed. Distraught over that conflict of schedule, Roran saw the potential in Arthsenhaal's mission: to separate himself from his unfinished education yet also put it to good use. (Roran's mother, who lived in The Lum, might never have accepted her son back home without the diploma he had promised his father he would get.) As Roran had made the first step into building Arthsenhaal's army, and a circle of his most trusted friends, the lord promised that Roran would receive Blain County as his reward; since Arthsenhaal would either die in his quest or move into the castle, being much too proud to stumble short of either, he had no more use for the land.
The next men to join the crusade upon Falador's throne were Marcus Maligni and Marth Olmmor, two pirates from the area. Marcus, a dark-skinned man native to Sarim, with a large gut and tiny angry eyes, was much like a father to Marth, who was younger and had the fairer flesh of north-men. Roran was sent on many diplomatic journeys with these pirates during the first days of the mission; and, stylizing themselves "We His Three," they would go on to become great friends to each other and to their leader.
The Black SupperEdit
Roran, Marcus and Marth received their first mission once all three had been sworn into the lord's service, stooping to one knee and taking his oath. To the wizard's dismay they were being sent to Lumbridge, to talk not to local lords or mercenaries, but to the king himself, David Purgoo of Lum. After spending some weeks in travel, using a crossbow, favors from village elders along the way, and simple creativity, They His Three arrived upon the castle with a signed, sealed letter printed upon vellum and addressed to the king himself. As they soon learned, Arthsenhaal had meanwhile been continuing to augment his army, though the letter stated he would be arriving soon after his messengers, dressed in the same drab cloak he was wearing when he found Roran. With his hair and fineries hidden well behind this cloak, and his beard scraped free of all its wax, he arrived in the city incognito, looking like any other merchant who had not seen much success of late.
The lord's retinue were not allowed to attend the meeting between the count and the king, but they were briefed afterward on their roles in the plan. King David had won his own throne by conquest many years prior, following a brief rebellion (Lum, belonging to King Blakan, against David's fief of Draynor) and he, once being Blakan's confidant and squire, had easily surprised the man and managed to overwhelm the capital by siege. Arthsenhaal's most important reason for visiting him, however, was the suspicion that Varrock's situation was much like Falador's: the king did not care enough about the old fiefs, and let them sit scattered and weak. Under Arthsenhaal's proposal, if Prince Kire were to be assassinated, leaving Evelyn without a blood-heir, House Blain could rise to kingliness in the west while Arthur Fish could be moved onto the throne of Varrock. Agreeing, King David set about preparing with Arthsenhaal.
After some argument as to how Kire should be killed, it was agreed that he would be poisoned with a chocolate cake, a rare dessert from the isle of Karamja. As both lords were certain the young man would be unable to resist the delicacy, which was especially rare in the north (far from any coasts), they immediately arranged for a barrel of cocoa beans to be delivered to the castle. Meanwhile the nearby fiefs were asked to, on a certain date, begin collecting calves and pigs for slaughter, pluck grapes for pressing, and forage for berries, nuts and roots from the forests, all to embellish the table of the king's feast in return for compensation.
While the pirates were dressed up in hose and other fineries to act as Arthsenhaal's housecarls, Roran would be allowed to enter the hall itself during the feast, adding ice to guests' goblets. A boy who called himself "Silver," another character Arthsenhaal had found while They His Three were traveling east, was adept with air magic and quite capable of casting illusions; he was relegated to standing in the courtyard, prepared to create a diversion any time it might have been needed. Meanwhile the lords oversaw preparation of the cake, and the bottle of poison was hidden well in the cellar of the castle.
The guest list specified that a person would Lorith blood should attend the feast, as David was unwilling to negotiate with any king who would hide behind his lords when the time came to reason. Besides minor Lum lords (including Errin Golgwir, later Queen Errin of Falador), the guest list also included scapegoats: Drake Varkan and William von Tristan, lord and lord-regent of Draynor following David's rebellion, who threatened to do the very same to David as revenge for Blakan's fate. The feast, being portrayed as one intended to unite King David with his recalcitrant lord, and strengthen the bond between Lum and Varrock, was eagerly attended.
Immediately the plan lost all chances of being entirely successful. While the caravans of minor Lum lords had arrived in good time, the retinue for House Lorith was noticeably late. When it did finally arrive, it was not Kire or even Evelyn, but a new figure in the family, a young girl named Princess Morgana, who attended. This, coming as a shock to Arthsenhaal and to David, forced them to reconsider whether they would even present the cake toward the end of the evening.
At first the princess had saved the evening by her presence. However, once she let slip (being a rather young, slipshod girl not yet acquainted with hard politics) that she was half-elf in blood, the plan was allowed to commence. The implications of Evelyn's affair with an elven lord would have been so tremendous that nearly anyone at the table, if he knew the secret, could have planned the assassination.
The girl was the first and only person to bite from the cake. She died mere minutes later, leaving the frenzied table to point fingers and accusations amongst themselves. Arthsenhaal and David, as planned, blamed the rebels; while William von Tristan escaped with his life, Drake was put on trial and swiftly executed for two flavors of treason.
Although most of Gielinor would later call this event "The Black Supper," Arthsenhaal referred to it merely as "The Feast," and it lost no gravity among those who had attended and who had heard of its ruthlessness.
King David received political heat regarding the incident for a very short time. As Arthsenhaal predicted, most people assumed the king would never be so bold as to think he could poison a delegate in his own castle and get away with it. The official story was accepted with little backlash.
While Arthsenhaal and Silver had a quick falling-out following the Feast, with the boy leaving to fend for himself to the north, They His Three accompanied their lord back to his manor, where mercenaries were waiting in addition to his ordinary housecarls. It was a small yet well-armed force, just what Arthsenhaal needed to win the throne through politics rather than force.
Following the death of the Varrockian princess, her lineage became humiliatingly public. Queen Evelyn, utterly disgraced, was forced to abdicate the throne, leaving it to her (fully human, yet tragically half-brained) son, King Kire Lorith.
With Varrock in disarray, adjusting to the reign of a ruler much too young and unlearned compared to his mother, the time to win the throne was upon the small force. Travelling north with his housecarls and mercenaries, Arthsenhaal earned easy audience with King Arthur once the man learned that the count had attended the Black Supper. Eager to be free of another king's control, Arthur readily agreed to help Arthsenhaal as well, and they put their agreement to paper, so well-guarded that it has still not been found by archaeologists, explorers or historians to this day. Meanwhile they also set about drafting another paper.
Declaration of IndependenceEdit
The king and count sent their written threat to Varrock by falcon, yet only the upcoming king signed it. As their plan required a good amount of political tact and surprise, Arthur was reluctant to associate himself with the written movement.
The final text sits in Varrock's museum of history, and reads as follows:
- For too long the fair maiden Gielinor has resided in a pitiable state of iniquity. It has slowly crept up, embracing all its neighbors until they are naught but worthless husks resembling their former selves only in tangible form.
- The city of Falador has been forced to watch futilely as this rot spreads from its origins to commandeer every land upon which it arrives. Incessantly Varrock's colonies increase in size and quantity, mimicking the writhing tendrils of a sea-beast grasping at the waters for it foul sustenance. It has become necessary for the daughter to overthrow her abusive mother, throwing aside the golden chains of oppression while standing upon her own foundations. Like the mighty leviathan fleeing from the lowly sickleback, the mother city shall, when too nearly approaching her daughter, be caused to recoil in utter despair.
- As of the date on which this stationary is received, Falador is to be esteemed as an entity entirely separate from the ironclad fist of Varrock. She has been oppressed by her parent nation, and will consequently offer no shelter to any Varrockian so long as the bloodline rules. We, the lords of the former colony of Varrock, therefore, hereby proclaim that Falador's security, and that of the territories of former Asgarnia, shall no longer condone the tyranny with which they are ruled by their neighbor. This right to property and intellect shall be defended with the lives of the patriots.
- Signed, Arthsenhaal Blain, the rightful King of Falador and the New Asgarnia
Of interesting note is use of the word "we" in the text, despite the distinct lack of any signature from House Fish.
Though the castle never received a direct retort from Varrock, it moved quickly as not to lose its chance at true freedom. The young king, with little to no experience in leading, did not foresee that his colony's most fervent leaders had no intention of being threatened into submission. Only when Faladian troops began to besiege Varrockian outposts in the country of Edgeville, and the fortresses of loyal lords from the Asgarnian area, did King Kire finally recognize the threat for what it was, choosing finally to write back for arrangement of negotiations.
Arthsenhaal, coronated at 43 years old, held true to his promise, pursuing the Varrockian crown on Arthur's behalf for several more years. He understood, however, that to do so with Faladian troops, especially conscripts, so soon into his reign would ignite anger among his nobles. The rivalry between Falador and Varrock, after all, had been put to an abrupt end when one king led both de-facto, even if the "colony" was too distant a thought to ever receive proper jurisdiction from either crown.
To fix this, Arthsenhaal approached several factions of the west, seeking their aid. Although he formed a strong bond with the dwarves of the Ice Peak, trading their ores for his lumber to such an extent that they thenceforth called him "King Ingiof" the Conqueror, his most famous and controversial alliance (at least until the accolade of Sir David Azayer) was with orcs of the northern forests, many of which having emigrated from Gu'Tanoth across the West Brim. Their chief, Graador (named after a famous figure in the God Wars), agreed that he would fight on Falador's behalf, to Bandos' glory, in return for shares of Faladian weapons and supplies to augment their own stores. This force acted mainly as raiders and saboteurs, being sent east to scatter settlements loyal to King Kire. The most famous of these attacks took place in Edgeville, owned entirely as a Varrockian hostel at the time, where Arthsenhaal gave them totally free reins. The orcs raped, killed and pillaged at will, and the settlement never recovered entirely from the attack. Nor did they ever come to fully trust House Blain, and perhaps even Falador itself, ever again. This event would go on to take the name "Edgeville Massacre" in recent times, and lives in memory as one of King Ingiof's cruelest acts, occuring barely two years into his rule.
Adding insult to injury, Ingiof was the first king of Falador to openly oppose the White Knights since their conception centuries prior. As he argued, they would sooner serve Saradomin's will than his own, and were much too willing to misinterpret or even fabricate Saradominist edicts in order to justify their own actions. However, as the Kinshra frequently blackmailed and attacked the city in House Blain's earliest royal days, little political consequence emerged from this rivalry. Those White Knights who refused to be assimilated into Falador's standing ranks were instead stripped of their lands and titles, forced to wander Gielinor as knights-errant until they found new masters.
The Empire's Growth Edit
Ingiof's first priority as king, after declaring independence from Varrock, was assuring that independence could be maintained. To do this, Falador needed to establish militaristic superiority, and, if House Lorith was already marching to reclaim its colony, it had a very short time frame in which to do so. As a former Count of Sarim, Ingiof already had many of the ties he needed to appeal to the king of that country, and began to speak to him on the prospects of alliance and assimilation. By his reasoning, with the infantry and cavalry of Faldor joined to the swift ships of Sarim, able to move along the shores at will, each would be greatly more capable of defending the other, and both would prosper in their security. Agreeing with this, the king of Sarim soon knelt as a Duke, and New Asgarnia had thus been born. Many of the empire's neighbors, including Rimmington and most clans of the northern mountains, soon followed suit.
In addition to having larger and more mobile armies, Ingiof wanted them, especially those totally loyal to him (eg. the orcs) to be well equipped. For this he went to the dwarves beneath the mountains, form whom he commissioned large quantities of iron and steel armor for his professional soldiers. While this severely drained the royal treasury, the dwarves were also offered special privileges in Faladian society, including several seats in the council and many positions as court-dwarves throughout the courts.
Falling Out with the LumEdit
With Arthur Fish dead and Falador-Varrock relations held under a very shaky peace, Falador was free for about a year to begin working on its internal problems. First and foremost was reunification of the entire kingdom, a daunting task indeed. King Ingiof, well-known by now as a highly charismatic leader, first approached the lands encompassing Sarim. As he reasoned, Falador needed Sarim's abundant goods and swift-moving trades, while the shores needed knightly protection; an enemy intent on attacking Sarim would, upon marching into the cities, be completely safe from the explosive weapons aboard the navies, as they would be unwilling to fire upon their own people to bring the attackers down. The Kinshra, having lived along the north base of the Icy Peak for a few years by this time, actually gave Ingiof a chance to prove himself right, taunting the Faladian crown with a terrorist attack upon the docks of Sarim. When Faladian forces, including the king himself, crushed this invasion preemptively, Sarim was eager to join the unification known thenceforth as New Asgarnia.
Ingiof's growing borders, predictably, intimidated King Kire; but when King David Purgoo began building his own port and ships, under highly suspicious circumstances, Ingiof began to doubt his friendship with that place, believing that his ally was preparing for a time when he might be asked to sail upon Sarim, in a two-pronged assault: by land and by sea. Sarim's windjammer ships, after all, dwarfed any merchant vessels traversing the Lum Delta (and, in fact, still do), and could blockade the river easily, even if sailing upstream was impossible for the huge ships. It was easy to think King David might feel threatened by this; but while Ingiof took to writing a letter, he had just received one from David himself. They were to meet in Falador castle, where David arrived a few weeks later. He had worn his finest armor to the event, the suit of runed armor which his predecessor, King Blakan, had given to him.
What happened during the meeting was not quite clear until many years later, when Roran Seercal, Arthsenhaal's court wizard, revealed the truth to the world:
- The official narrative says Purgoo threatened my lord's life, or perhaps that of his country. This is true in a loose sense, but a loose interpretation of the word 'threat' is all my lord needed.
- The meeting was destined to go sour, and the moment I saw the king riding in with his runed armor I knew this. So bombastic, so self-important was he; both men were, but he, like my lord, should have seen that peace benefitted them both, and set their egos aside. This did not happen.
- Purgoo did threaten my lord, as he felt threatened by my lord. He did not like that one man could flick his wrist and order the entire navy to the delta, bringing eastern trade to ruin. He had indeed been building the navy specifically to combat Arthsenhaal, and this brought ruin to him in another way. Tensions rose; Purgoo was alone and unarmed, as is expected of anyone who walks through that portcullis, and is not either a guard or an official. Arthsenhaal had with him all his trusted officials. I was one such person. Oddly enough, another was the orcish chief Graador who, I reckon, was strong enough to intimidate yet stupid enough to control. He was Arthsenhaal's weapon, where a sword did no good. It was his mace by which Purgoo died, with his head caved in and spilling out onto the floor of the long table hall.
- 'He does not comply. Do what you will.' When I heard these words I knew they would live with me forever.
- —Roran Seercal, then an old man, on the death of David Purgoo
Arthsenhaal preemptively marched to meet Lum forces at their own border, understanding the consequences of his order fully. East-west relations would never fully recover; indrectly the event led to the construction of the wall surrounding Draynor's capital town, and the widespread distrust of Faladians, especially Blains, in successing leaders along the river.
Russell Groter, a fisherman of Lumbridge and former mayor of Draynor, and well-respected citizen of both those lands, was elected and instated as Purgoo's immediate successor. Whether this decision was made in the light of the known Falador advance is uncertain, but it did have drastic effects on east-west politics. Russell and Arthsenhaal were both present at the Black Supper, and had spoken on good terms some times prior. Nevertheless, the attack marched onward, forcing Russell's hand almost immediately.
Just days into his new position, King Russell requested that he and the invading king meet. He knew that he stood no chance against Faladian might, especially against a preemptive attack of land and a blockade of the delta. (Indeed, Faladian longships were quickly sailing to prevent supply movement anywhere along the waters of the River Lum and its mouth.) The two managed to meet peacefully (the king of Falador noticeably left his orcish general behind), and terms were reached with startling speed: the death of Purgoo would be legally pardoned if the attackers turned round and headed home at the cost of their own crown's supplies. While this did nothing to change Lumyan opinions of the Faladian king, both were widely extolled for setting their pride aside and preventing war.
Upon returning to his nation, Arthsenhaal became the mastermind behind several reforms and events throughout the west, many snowballing in controversy. Most memorable of these occurred in Edgeville, about two years into King Arthsenhaal's reign. Edgeville has always been at the center, literally and metaphorically, of conflict between Falador and Varrock. Even in the days of tribal settlement of Gielinor, when the western "Seacloaks" and eastern "Bloodcloaks" struggled for dominance of the continent, this central territory, attempting to act as a refuge for fugitives and service-dodgers, endured much damage inflicted by both sides.
When Arthsenhaal was coronated, Edgeville, and its neighbor Gunnarsgrunn, were not held officially by Varrock, yet this enemy used them as buffers to shield itself from Falador, and was known to have outposts in both territories. To destroy Varrock's looming threats over Falador once and for all, King Arthsenhaal needed to destroy these outposts, and did so with the aid of orcish refugees living in the northern alpines. the capital of Edgeville is surrounded by scorched earth from these attacks even to this day, and has the highest population of half-orcs (resulting from the massive number of rapes occurring there) of any Gielinorian country.
The White Knights Edit
Almost immediately upon ascending to kingliness, Arthsenhaal demanded sweeping reforms his the nation of Falador, but especially in the capital. Fearing his militaristic and lower social classes more so than his nobility at the time, he required complete integration of Saradomin's White Knights into the standard knights and housecarls which served the city. Rather than serving the church, they would either serve the king directly, or be required to abandon their oaths and step down from knighthood in Falador. Most chose to abandon, but some White Knights went on to serve the city valiantly in duller colors. The order would not be reinstated until long after Arthsenhaal's death, when his successor, Malcolm, brought them back to the political fray as a weapon for his Inquisitions.
The Black Knights Edit
Even from the beginning, Arthsenhaal's reign was plagued with troubles from Falador's second-oldest enemy, the Black Knights. While the king only barely managed to protect Port Sarim (the first fief assimilated into his empire) from a terrorist attack, several attempts were made on his life, even in the capital city. The most famous of these, known as the Bombing of the Bridge, resulted in complete cutoff between the castle and the city it ruled over for nearly a fortnight, as communications and food supplies had to be reassured in other ways. With Falador's castle surrounded by a miasmatic moat, and raised on a small plateau, the bridge is the sole method of walking into it without more extreme methods of entry; starvation was a serious risk to the inhabitants of the castle when the bridge was destroyed.
After three Black Knightly lords had fought and died by Arthsenhaal's hands during his reign, the fourth successor, David Azayer, decided on a different approach, to the chagrin of his officers: gaining entry to the city through flattery and friendship rather than brute force. He succeeded. Azayer himself would go on to become a powerful advisor to the king, while the Black Knights themselves were eventually integrated into the city's defenses as an elite fighting force and secret police. The controversy of this alliance exceeded even that of Falador and the orcs.
Sickness and Rebellion Edit
Many years after Edgeville was razed—about 15 ABR, thirteen years into the Blain Dynasty's reign—a shaky peace was maintained with this nation. While neither the east nor the west owned it, and neither paid much attention to it (Blain received criticism for having damaged it in the first place, while Lorith was scolded for doing nothing to help his supposed allies), Edgeville was churning with discontent toward both, but especially toward Falador. Early into the year, when King Arthsenhaal had fallen ill, an Edgevillian lord named George decided that the time had come to strike back at the heart of his enemy. While the king was bedridden, the army would be less organized, have less morale, and overall be easier to overwhelm, as he was always at the forefront of his own military campaigns. However, with the aid of his Kinshra allies, Falador managed to drive the invaders back, and did not pursue them into their own land.
The Four Corners Treaty Edit
It was not until years later, when news of Kire's marriage and conception reached Falador, that Ingiof decided to retaliate in full for Varrock's manipulation of its neighboring countries. As Kire was not expected to uphold honor, and he was highly incompetent in military affairs while insisting regardless that he be in charge of the defense campaign, victory was swift, and almost guaranteed even from the beginning.
While Ingiof was a brazen and cruel man, he understood that simply murdering Kire could ruin even him, politically and socially. Therefore, he instead wished to conquer Varrock through hegemony. As Ingiof noted, it was fate for Falador to rule over Varrock as a colony and motherland, much as the opposite was true only a few decades prior. Forming a small council, comprising mostly Varrockians but also several Faladian diplomats, Ingiof designed it such that it would limit Kire's power, and make it difficult for him to wantonly pass any law or official decree he pleased.
Furthermore, a treaty, called the Four Corners Treaty, was drafted between Ingiof, and Commander Korl of Varrock, in Falador castle, very shortly following Kire's signature of surrender. Although the original document has long since been lost, it is known to have been a great insult to Varrock, with this being its greatest purpose: a reminder to Kire that he would never succeed against Falador, when the two stood alone.
Imprisonment of Kharidian Diplomats Edit
Almost immediately, seeking revenge, King Kire sought the aid of Varrock's longest-lived alliance, al-Kharid. At this time, Emperor Cuthus had already abdicated, leaving the barren throne to Emir Saisan, who answered Kire's call eagerly. A spy, named Dastan, was sent to Falador, disguised as a diplomat and bearer of alliance. Knowing Ingiof's reputation for making loyal friends of former enemies, with his great charisma and power, Dastan easily succeeded in learning that Falador was ready and entirely willing to crush Kharid if it aided Varrock. With enough propaganda, Saisan twisted this to mean that Falador was preparing to invade, which, in fact, was not the case.
When Ingiof discovered of Dastan's role in eastern stirrings, the spy and his retainers were locked up in the dungeon the very day they returned to his city, seeking more information. They would have died there, if not for some well-placed bribes toward the jailer and several guards. With these, Dastan was allowed to walk, and the guards involved posed it as an escape, damaging the hinges and the lock of the cell door. This was not discovered to be the truth until long after Ingiof had died.
The Misthalin Union Edit
With Varrock so weak following its utter defeat, and Kharid holding such vast militaristic disadvantages in the hills, mountains, and forests of the western mainland, the coalition between them was still doomed to fail, especially when considering the high morale rampant in Falador due to its victory. Thus, another king, Marcus Demetrias of Lumbridge, was coerced to join it. Marcus, terribly afraid of the west's strength, had ordered that a massive wall be built around the city of Draynor, a project which took nearly a decade to complete, merely so Ingiof could not march in without resistance. With the help of William von Tristan, most of the continent (but, of course, not the paranoid Ingiof or his closest advisers) were entirely convinced that this was merely an economic coalition. And, obviously, it turned out to be an utter lie, for which they all continue to be condemned even after death.
Ingiof saw the power of the eastern coalition, and, truthfully, feared it. He dared not march past his borders purely out of goodwill, in the hope that they, seeing he was not a threat, would turn their thoughts inward like their "economic" unity implied.
Nonetheless, at exactly the age of 70, Ingiof was forced to march outside of his city, wearing his battered armor. As resistance meant that nearly all of Gielinor would be swept up in a world war: west against east. And too many would suffer, especially if stalemate was reached.
Ensuring that his family would be safe, Ingiof ordered that his son Weardsten, 5 years old at the time, and his wife Errin be smuggled to her brother's farm in Lumbridge, where the boy would grow up peacefully, never to fully comprehend his roots. Then, with this task completed, Ingiof met the invaders waiting just outside his capital, knowing that he had to die. As he had ordered all but his most loyal vassals to stay in their castles and let the armies pass, Korl arrived at Falador with little resistance.
Ingiof had given all his men (those who had not yet deserted) the choice to leave, going so far as to order the ones who he knew had families to retreat. The men who stayed with him, therefore, were only the most loyal. These were guaranteed an honorable death and a seat in Valhalla.
At age 70, Ingiof was knocked off his horse with a warhammer, and died from a spear shoved into his left eye. That very week, his successor, Malcolm I the Cruel, was chosen among Varrock's finest, and he ruled for twelve years before abdicating.
After Death Edit
Before his final march, Ingiof's audience had been requested by a particular mage, one he recognized from days long past. Though the mage never gave the king his name, they knew each other well, and trusted each other's words, especially since neither had anything left to lose.
The mage, whose illusions the king had implemented at the Black Supper as a diversion, had left Ingiof's charge to pursue darker magics, and, as he reported, succeeded at mastering them further than any other man before him. As Ingiof quickly learned, this did not mean that the mage had completely mastered the dark art.
Ingiof was offered a chance at immortal life, and, deciding that he wished to see his son reclaim House Blain's rightful land, immediately accepted. But the deal was not as he expected; while the king's body was doomed to die regardless, his spirit would be locked into a particular enchanted gem, which could then be encrusted into any item. He who held this item could then contact the spirit.
Ingiof spent ten years trapped in his own estoc, slowly going mad, until at last the young Weardsten discovered it in his house, locked in a chest, one of but a few heirlooms Errin brought to Lumbridge to remind her of her past life, and that which she had lost. The sword was kept in the chapel of Falador Castle, where anyone who knew of the ghost's presence could go to it for counsel; but when Alden Branshaw, king of Lumbridge, was allowed to lend it, he irreversibly damaged the sword, forcing Weardsten to transplant the enchanted gem into a signet-ring which never leaves his hand.
Ingiof's death had such impact upon the world of Gielinor that a new calendar system was put in place soon after his death: BDI and ADI, "Before" and "After the Death of Ingiof." Ironically, while fewer people died during Malcolm's reign, he is widely considered the cruelest king of Falador, even more so than Ingiof.
His empire quickly crumbled under Malcolm, who reestablished some pieces and left others to the wayside; the personality of Ingiof himself, who had set a standard for charisma, warriorhood, and pragmatism in Faladian royalty, has been difficult to match and nearly impossible to exceed. He loved court life, and had a special way with earning favor, even amongst those who claimed to hate him, when given enough time with them. However, he was very practical, and merciless to those who could not be persuaded peacefully. Because of this pragmatism, in which allies were treated favorably over seemingly subhuman enemies, Ingiof has gone down in history as one of the cruelest kings ever to rule.
During his reign, Falador and its vassals thrived, though often at the expense of enemy states. Although Malcolm trampled this prosperity, and Blair could do little in the aftermath of Malcolm's Inquisitions, the stage had been set for the estranged prince of Falador, Weardsten, to reclaim the throne for the Blain Dynasty. This happened 16 years after Ingiof's death.
Quotes by Arthsenhaal Edit
- "The killers, the rapists, the heretics, yea, they and I all share the same breed, for we are the men who the world has forsaken. I am simply one who realizes our power, and will work to muster all this strength behind the thrust of one tremendous spear. If each of us is the pass of a stone upon the edge of this spear, then only through unity and camaraderie will we hone it to a dangerous edge."
- "An infant sustained on the sweetened milk of lies builds no tolerance for the sour taste of truth, and will hate those who feast upon it."
- "If the people held love, rather than mere obedience, to their lips as they spoke of their leader, they would be the strongest force for change in all the land."
- "Those who have suffered most, and who have the least to lose, are the same men in whom we can seek dependable, unwavering leadership."
Quotes About Arthsenhaal Edit
- "Better a bastard than a Blain!"
- -Common saying.
- "Arthsenhaal was the king Asgarnia needed. Weardsten is the one she deserves."
- -Sir Keldric Earei. '
- "He is a deamon who, in the light, claims to protect all Asgarnians, but in the dark has no issue with killing her children. Like all tyrants in the west his time will come, and so too will ours if we decide to kneel to him now."
- -Kinshra Lord Esparda after hearing of Arthsenhaal's coronation.
- "It was an honor to perish beside him."
- -Archduke David Azayer, former lord of the kinshra and first sword of falador.
- "Arthsenhaal was a great man. He went from someone I would have never heard of to the ruler of an entire nation. He is also a warmonger though. He is not just a symbol of hope. He is a symbol of chaos."
- -King Alden Branshaw