War of Monarchical Succession

CE 502-521
The Troubles or The Nineteen-Year Anarchy

“The Troubles” refers to a period of Grunid history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterized by civil war and unsettled government. The Historic Chronicles of the time describe it as a period during which Pelor and his Archons slept.

The period was marked by a succession crisis between the supporters of Stephen and those of his cousin, Dame Matilda, daughter and only heir to the then reigning King Glaive IV. Though Stephen was crowned king, the state of war prevented effective government in Grun for much of his reign. The issue was resolved in 521, only shortly before Stephen’s death, when he signed a treaty which named Dame Matilda’s son Andiron as his heir. Andiron was crowned king upon Stephen’s death in 527, establishing a new dynasty as Kings of Grunidae.

Stephen was a favorite nephew of King Gliave IV of Grun (reigned 463–502), whose only legitimate son died in 491 in the “White Ship” disaster. Gliave then named his daughter Matilda as heir to his throne and forced his barons, including Stephen, to swear allegiance to her several times. No woman had ever ruled Grun in her own right and Matilda’s second husband Geoffrey of Escon did not enjoy a good reputation in Grun as he hailed from Escon, whose rulers were resented by the Grunid for their attempts to control all maritime traffic in the Sea of Starfell. Instead, the Ecumenical Council and Nobility elected Stephen as King.

The resulting civil war and unrest is best described as “messy”.

In early 509, after several military defeats and a brief interlude of calm, Empress Matilda returned from Escon with an army and captured Grun for a period of a year while the main part of Stephen’s forces was dealing with an “unfortunate” uprise in the number of monster incursions. She made attempts to purge those nobles foolish enough to remain and not immediately swear to her their fealty; however she was never crowned by the Church. By the middle of the next year Stephen’s forces broke through once more and recaptured Grun. Mathilda retreated to Escon and launched attacks against the countryside, ultimately separating Grun into two distinct regions, the city of Grun and it’s immediate surroundings (about 5 sq. miles), and everything else in the nation (about 300 sq. miles). During this period, the farming and mining villages were barely protected by either side from monster incursions, and the populace suffered. To this day, the ruins of abandoned ghost-towns dating from this period are still encountered.

CE 521-527
The Troubles End, Mathilda surrenders.

The stalemate continued until 521, when Stephen made a critical military maneuver which completely reversed Mathilda’s hold on the countryside in late autumn, leaving her forces without a supply line from Escon. Stephen called for her surrender, accepting the terms that Andiron must be named Stephen’s rightful heir. Mathilda released her men, and surrendered. She was allowed to reside “in state” in Hegemon Tower, a prisoner in everything but name, until her sudden execution in 525.

King Stephen died unexpectedly in the winter of 527, and Andiron was crowned King of Grun before the end of that year.

For current events see: Present Day.

War of Monarchical Succession

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