The Truce of Elanthar

Elanthar is a forested island where the Esu Ankaykari gathered to sign a treaty after the harrowing Ceyth-Janzarian Wars. The Nine Rulers of the Realm agreed to cease all fighting in Askamar, to establish a new Council of the Esu at the court of Garashent, and to uphold the rightof both Esu and Nayusuru to choose whom they wished to follow.

They granted Saroparel the key to Garashent, for they were swayed by her eloquence. However, since they were wary of her authority, it was decided that no new laws could be passed and no Esu could be imprisoned without the unanimous agreement of the Council.

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A Fragile Peace

Over the years it became apparent that such accord was seldom possible, and the governance of the realm became paralyzed by endless quarrels and debates.

Ruzenathra felt that, as the most powerful of the Esu, she should have been chosen to uphold the truce. Daskesurul still schemed to regain his power. Naskremari felt bitter about being made to relinquish the key to Garashent, and equally bitter when Tassedehami relinquished his allegiance to him. Liralian, meanwhile, hoped the truce would provide a new start for the Ankaykari.

Mormariul also wanted a new beginning. She felt ashamed of her actions towards the end of the last war and hoped that she could repair the others’ opinions of her. Mormariul’s mortal lover Hakenar seemed to support her wishes, but it was simply a deception so that he could lure her to Udaris and seize her Anengharen.

When Mormariul was rescued, she was longer the same person. Her heart burned with rage towards the world. In her desperation to regain the loyalty of her mortal subjects, she allowed more ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’ to corrupt nobles who used their power to oppress the weak. Over the next few centuries, Mormariul sought to strengthen her Vanotaquan Empire through conquest, for she was desperate to prove herself a strong ruler.

The Gazuhan Wars

Across the sea, Liralian was also building an empire with the aid of her mortal lover Farauquan. She was determined to see that her Tuyaz-Oan Empire became a land of nobility and justice, and she resolved to use its armies to fight the tyranny of the neighboring kingdoms.

Takanepi told Liralian not to be so foolish, reminding her of what happened when she tried to rule Janakeza. She could not help feeling that he resented her devotion to Farauquan even though their own love had faded.

It was not long before Liralian new empire clashed with Daskesurul’s Ukuzechan Empire. The Tuyaz-Oans also came into conflict with the Vanotaquans who served Mormariul. Finally, when Liralian decided to overthrow the despotic king of Tan Anguha, Mormariul came to his assistance. The result was a war which lasted for years.

Liralian was shocked when she found that her enemy no longer upheld the Treaty of Nenathal which laid down the laws of mundane warfare. She wanted to see Mormariul cast into Garashent for her crimes.

The other Ankaykari were greatly disturbed by rumors of the evils of Vanotaquan society, but Mormariul insisted that she ruled well. Takanepi stood by her, saying that removing her would only plunge Vanotaqua into terrible anarchy, while Saroparel was reluctant to imprison an Esu. Since the Council was not in agreement, Mormariul remained free. Her hatred of Liralian turned truly ugly, while Liralian herself felt betrayed by Takanepi.

The Tan Anguhan War led to the even more savage Gahuzan War. By the time the conflict ended the Gahuzan islands were devastated. Liralian tried once again to have Mormariul imprisoned in Garashent for her crimes against humanity, but although she managed to convince most of the Council of Mormariul’s insanity, Saroparel and Takanepi continued to oppose her.

Saroparel agreed that atrocities had occurred but argued that there was not enough evidence of Mormariul’s involvement to condemn her. She and Takanepi feared the truce would unravel if one of the Nine Rulers of the Realm was incarcerated. They insisted that it was better to negotiate with Mormariul than risk destroying the balance of power.

The Truce Unraveling

Liralian was appalled by Saroparel’s decision. Takanepi might believe that Vanotaqua would be plunged into turmoil by Mormariul’s imprisonment, yet Liralian could not bear to see any human land under the power of an insane Ankaykari tyrant.

Over the years, the animosities among the Esu intensified. Ruzenathra tried to persuade Yazelern to serve her, but he was unmoved by her gracious gestures and diplomatic speeches. Naskremari refused to become her vassal because he still hoped to regain Tassedehami’s allegiance – although he often threatened to support her if Tassedehami ever decided to follow Liralian.

The tensions deepened further when Liralian won the loyalty of Yazelern’s servant Olemnashial and Naskremari’s servant Xessuralen. Now only Ruzenathra ranked above her, while Naskremari’s status plummeted.

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Ruzenathra was enraged that Liralian should now be regarded as her rival. She renewed her attempts to gain Naskremari’s allegiance, reminding him that he was much weaker than her now. However, Tassedehami persuaded him to hold out against her, and Yazelern still refused to even consider becoming her vassal. In frustration, Ruzenathra decided to forge a new weapon so that she might break the truce and conquer the realm.

The Truce of Elanthar had endured for three centuries, but it ended when Ruzenathra created the Scepter of Xathun and attacked Yazelern’s Citadel. Once Zhemshorpel had fallen, she gained Naskremari’s allegiance and went on to conquer the rest of Askamar, founding the Sovereignty of Shekruvaris.

An epic fantasy saga