Unfinished Wars


A Changed World

The Battle of Scion’s Sound and the simultaneous battles at Cragwar and the Silver Wood were the culmination of many conflicts, and some historians have argued that they should be considered the true end of the Last War. The Battle of Scion’s Sound occurred in two parts. On the Island of Thronehold, a battle took place between elements of the Emerald Claw and a disparate alliance of mercenary bands and a host from Thalanis along with nascent elements of the Citadel of Thronehold commanded by ex-Stormlord Jak Conroy. The presence of the Eladrin force was key to the success of the battle as it prevented the Emerald Claw from manning their ships and attacking the relatively lightly manned fleet in the air.

To the north in the Sound itself, a battle occurred around the ruins of the White Arch bridge between Karrnath and Thrane. There, an Emerald Claw dominated fleet out of the Lhazzar Principalities engaged the Karnathi navy, who had blocked the narrows to make up their lack of numbers. Despite being a naval engagement, it became a melee as the ships closed and most of the battle took place between boarding parties. It was at some point in this melee that the young pretender to the throne Kauis III was slain.

While the Karrnathi Navy held the White Arch Bridge, the Karrnathi army crossed the sound in force and intercepted an Aundairian army making its way toward Thaliost from the north, apparently in coordination with the Lhazzar fleet. Thranish boarder patrols joined the Karrnathi army in the battle, which was characterized by a return of traditional Karrn tactics rather than reliance on undead legions. However, Aundairian arcane artillery had come a long way and inflicted many casualties, including King Kaius, who was killed leading a cavalry charge that ultimately disabled the Aundairian siege staffs and turned the tide.

Finally, the Battle of Cragwar settled the conflict between Breland and Aundair as the 21-year-old Halix ir’Wynarn led his small but disciplined army in a surprise assault through the Black Caps and drove the Aundarian occupying forces back across the border.

The chaos in Thrane combined with the battles to wholly upset the political order of Khorvaire, and it was some weeks before a conference could be called. Despite the destruction, all parties agreed that Thronehold was the most appropriate location. A portion of the castle had been relatively untouched and was cleared and set up to host the rulers of all Five Nations as well as the surviving representatives to the Thronehold Tribunal.

This served not only as a peace conference, but as a trial. At the conference, Jak Conroy presented copious evidence of Aundair’s attempts to interfere in other nations and to foment rebellion in Thaliost and outright war in Breland. Alihanna served as a key witness, turning on her former employer apparently for no better reason than that misery loves company. Aundair was heavily sanctioned, though Haydith ir’Wynarn – the newly crowned Queen of Karrnath – urged caution as the people of Aundair were not responsible for Aurela’s crimes. Indeed, when the full weight of the judgment against her was made clear, Queen Aurela seemed to find the nobility inside of her at last and abdicated, insisting that her actions were hers alone. As such, sanctions were focused on the Aundairian Wynarns and all recompense was paid from the royal coffers. With the abdication, Aurela retired to a summer estate and her eldest son Daen ir’Wynarn took the throne.

With the trial over, the Second Thronehold Conference focused on making the peace. Borders were restored to their 996 locations and many of the same provisions from the First Treaty were maintained, including the ban on creation of Karrnathi undead. One major revision, however, was pushed by the representative of the Twelve and supported by Paulo Omaren of Stormreach and Jak Conroy. Research and creation related to the Warforged would no longer be prohibited, but the mass production and selling of warforged to military or paramilitary organizations remained banned. Some claim that Conroy had struck a deal with Merrix d’Cannith to support this in exchange for several arcane airships.

The other major outcome of the Conference was entirely Jak Conroy’s. In a long speech, he argued that the First Treaty of Thronehold had been toothless, and this lack of force had allowed all countries to skirt its prohibitions, and had allowed rogue organizations like the Emerald Claw to grow in power unchecked. All of this could have been prevented, he claimed, if an organization existed to enforce the treaty. Not a law-enforcement group like the Denneith Sentinel Marshals, but an organization sanctioned by Thronehold and empowered to track and if necessary arrest threats to the peace. Despite some hesitancy, the motion was eventually carried and the Citadel of Thronehold was founded with Jak Conroy appointed as its Commander.

Finally, while less earthshaking than some provisions, Droaam and the Skyfall Confederacy were officially recognized by the new treaty and invited to send representatives to the Tribunal, another arrow in the quiver of those wishing to call Second Thronehold the true end of the Last War.

Concluding a narrative of this scope seems impossible, and many volumes could be filled discussing individual aspects of its fallout. Nonetheless, the conflicts surrounding the Rise and Fall of Vol are not disparate, but deeply interconnected and deserve to be viewed as a large tapestry rather than a collection of events. It is also a narrative that speaks to the power of the individual rather than impersonal social and economic forces. The individuals of the Loaded Dice left an indelible mark on Eberron, and without their presence at many different points in the years from 998-1003, it is very likely that full scale war would have begun again, and of course the potential consequences of Erandis Vol’s success cannot be measured. It was personal choices, right or wrong, that created the Eberron of 1004. An orphaned tiefling chose to pick up a sword. A Brelish soldier chose to commit treason. A valenar warrior chose to stay on a bridge. A halfling bard chose to continue on when his own reason for travel had been achieved. An eladrin chose to risk life and limb for a plane not her own. A half-elf sailor chose to throw his reputation into the flames. An inscrutable deva chose a path that risked his very soul. An Aerani spy chose to refuse orders. A young halfling chose to push herself long beyond the point of endurance. All of them could have lived normal lives. All of them chose not to.

SONGSTEEL, P. R. (1087 YK)
Unfinished Wars, vol 4.
Ed. E. Lightbrew.



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