The Sacatid Line, also known as the House of Sacathar or the Sacathrioni Dynasty, is the regal line of succession within the family Sacathrion. Branches of the bloodline have ruled the Kingdom of Belocharas for over three hundred years, nearly unbroken, since the kingdom’s founding in T.D. 512.
The family name Sacathrion is a shortened form of the patronymic Sacatharion (“Son of Sacathar”). While the family does claim descent from the legendary hero Sacathar, and the kings have used this putative heritage to strengthen their claim to the throne, in truth the surname comes from King Sacatyer I’s father’s name, which was, fortuitously, Sacathar.
Sacatyer son of Sacathar came from a Hakenoi Belochyar family of modest means, his father having been a successful blacksmith, finding his way into the service of Amandric Yerevolos, chieftain of the Malkanoi Belochyar clan. He’d quickly earned the chieftain’s favor, becoming Amandric’s trusted squire by the time Amandric gathered the leaders of the Belochyar and seven other Kintaran nations (plus the Baçu-Kurgins, a nomadic people from the northern Khadagan) to unite in rebellion against the Ganhar Khanate. The Kintaran leaders agreed to form a unified kingdom to defend against any further conquests, unanimously electing Amandric to be their king. Amandric was “crowned” as king of the new nation of Belocharas before the pivotal Battle of the Forks of the Celedoz.
Amandric was killed in the battle, famously having been king for one hour. Sacatyer, then a boy of just fifteen years, took up the king’s sword and led his forces to victory (though the timely arrival of a strong Vacid army from Dearviél had a major impact on the battle’s outcome). After the battle was won, the sons of Amandric declared that Sacatyer, and not they, had earned the right to take up the crown. The coalition leaders all agreed, and Sacatyer, who had been dubbed Sacatyer the Bold by his new subjects, took up his throne in the Belochyar stronghold of Haragrund, which he made the capital of his inchoate kingdom.
From the time of Sacatyer I the Bold, the Sacathrioni have ruled Belocharas for all but three days, this fleeting break occurring in T.D. 740, during the turbulent period known as the Purple Tempest, when an ambitious nobleman named Prashas Alatulion conspired with his sister-lover to seduce the king and steal the throne. The usurpation was put down brutally by Donimund III Ironhand, and Prashas has been expunged from official Belocharan records.
Though a Sacatid king has sat the throne since the time of Sacatyer I, the branch of the family Sacathrion that currently sits the throne does not descend through direct primogeniture from the first regent. There have been numerous power struggles and internecine battles between the members of the House of Sacathar, beginning with King Striboyar, who overthrew his brother, Darandric, the son of Sacatyer II the Vivifier. King Olaister, the son of the deposed Darandric (and born on the day his father was forced from the throne), pressed his claim to the kingship upon the deaths of Striboyar’s son and grandson, who ruled a cumulative nine years. As Olaister was a boy of nine at the time of Donimund I’s death, his claim was made on behalf of his mother, Jenesse, who ruled as de facto queen regent until Olaister came of age.
The struggles of the mid-700s through early 800s would see a number of assassinations, failed usurpations, disputes over the throne, and one Sacathrioni bastard wearing the crown (Donimund II Kingsbane, natural son of King Margamal). After the short-lived and illegitimate reign of the usurper Prashas Alatulion, Donimund III Ironhand, whose claim was based upon being a cousin of the assassinated Berestos I, vowed to return the crown to Belyeric, the direct heir of the usurped King Romandros, when Belyeric came of age. However, when the time came to abdicate, Donimund refused, and Belyeric slew him in wrath. This is often considered the final sword stroke of the period known as the Purple Tempest.
The period of instability following the death of Berestos II Brokensword, particularly the series of short-lived and sonless kings that came into power, saw the crown eventually pass to a hitherto lesser branch of the Sacathrion family. King Sacatyer VI was the second cousin of his predecessor, Belyeric II. Both Sacatyer VI and his brother, Lemulric, saw their reigns cut short by accidents and disease respectively, leaving the youngest brother, Donimund, on the throne. Donimund IV remains king of Belocharas as of T.D. 824.
The Sacatid Kings and Their Reigns
Here follows a brief history of each of the regents of the Sacatid Line and his deeds, from the kingdom’s birth in T.D. 512 until the present (T.D. 824).
Sacatyer I “The Bold”
512 - 545
He was born on 33 Eirenté 497, and was officially coronated on 14 Iochain 512, ten days after the death of Amandric in battle. Despite being only fifteen years old, he was chosen as Amandric’s successor, even by the former king’s sons, for his valor at the Battle of the Forks of the Celedoz, where he avenged Amandric’s death and led a successful counteroffensive that shattered the Ganhar, leading to their withdrawal beyond the Har-Caras.
While the nobles of the various tribes were at first keen to accept Sacatyer as Amandric’s heir, some quickly soured on having such a young and inexperienced king. Sacatyer proved wise beyond his years, appointing Amandric’s sons as his political and military advisers and forming the Council of Nations, which saw each constituent tribe in the kingdom send representatives to Haragrund to speak for their people’s needs. He maintained a strong friendship with the Feacthengead of Dearviél, though he was loath to attempt to incorporate Dearviél into his kingdom, due in part to the logistics of commerce (even though Dearviél can easily be reached from mainland Cildana within a day, provided the wind and tides are favorable), the stark differences in Vacid ruling structures, and a perceived lack of benefit to the kingdom.
Sacatyer is remembered mostly for harmonizing the traditions of the various nations of his kingdom; he made the Belochyar language (his mother tongue) the official language of the realm, but did not coerce any of the tribes to abandon their religious beliefs and practices and allowed them to retain broad autonomy over their legal systems. He made the port city of Haragrund into his capital, setting aside a prominent grove of aspen trees as a temple to Vrintashka, the patron goddess of the Hakenoi Belochyar clan, to which some citizens from other clans took insult since the king made no effort to provide space for the worship of the other gods and goddesses. He also began the tradition of giving the king the title “Servant of the Throne of Amandric” for such was the love Sacatyer had borne his former liege and teacher.
He died in his sleep at the relatively young age of forty-eight; upon his death, his surgeons discovered that he had been battling a secret ailment, possibly a form of cancer, for many years. Nonetheless, his 33-year-reign marks the third-longest of any king of Belocharas, after only Olaister and Ovradian.
Sacatyer II “The Vivifier”
545 - 569
He was born on 39 Iochain 515, the oldest of four sons of Sacatyer I and Lyashe Mornos. He was named Amandric at birth, in honor of the first king, but upon his father’s death, he declared that he was unworthy to bear that hallowed name, and thus changed his name in honor of his father.
Sacatyer II was known as a man of deep intellect and boundless curiosity, hence his epithet of Sacatyer the Vivifier. He took to wife Velena of the Kirlanni, whom he considered his equal in wisdom and virtue, and he made her his chief adviser, to the chagrin of his brothers, particularly Donimund, the second son of Sacatyer I, who plotted frequently against him but was foiled by both the cunning of Velena and the staunch loyalty of the nobility and the populace at large. Against his advisers’ counsel, Sacatyer II did not have Donimund executed for treason but instead sent to be trained as a priest, whereby the disgraced brother would have to swear a vow of celibacy, a punishment the king deemed even worse than death for the notoriously philandering Donimund.
Sacatyer II’s most notable action was the annexation of Dearviél into the Kingdom of Belocharas and the establishment of the Feacthengead as the ninth constituent nation of the realm. This nearly resulted in war between the Vacids and Belocharas, but after some initial battles that resulted from miscommunication, Sacatyer entreated the Vacid nobles to willingly join their island to the kingdom. This arrangement initially proved a great boon for both parties, though it would lead to friction under later kings of lesser wisdom.
He died of natural causes at the age of fifty-four.
Darandric “The Pretender”
569 - 572
He was born on 13 Amhrané 534, the firstborn son of Sacatyer II. Alas, he lacked his father’s wisdom, temperance, and general instincts for rule. Many say that he doomed his reign to failure the moment he was shown the Throne of Amandric. Like his father before him, he changed his name upon ascendancy to the throne. But, where Sacatyer II’s name change was an act of humility, Darandric’s was widely viewed as arrogant. He was named Vihithric at birth, but changed his name in honor (or mockery, according to many) of Daran Ravenhelm. Thus was he named Darandric the Pretender by his enemies.
Those enemies were powerful indeed, led by his brother, Striboyar, who conspired against the inept Darandric from the start. Less than three years after his coronation, Darandric was forced from the throne by angry noblemen from many tribes (including the Vacids, whom he’d inadvertently offended by building the fortress of Cara Kotal upon their sacred islet of Laithen Meach). He would sire a son late in life, and die in relative obscurity at the age of sixty.
572 - 587
He was born on 25 Aurhané 535, the second son of Sacatyer II and Velena, and, like his brother Vihithric (who became the briefly serving King Darandric), he lacked his parents’ virtues save his vast intellect, earning him the epithet of Elavadron, “All-Knowing.” He was known as a stern and unbending man, earning him another moniker, Drakhovlos (“Stone-Faced”), from his many opponents—including many who had supported his move to unseat Darandric.
Striboyar perceived enemies all around him, and his nearly fifteen-year reign saw a number of external wars, mostly against the Vuš Kalaiks and Ghorns to the south, the former being a particularly brutal, scorched-earth affair in which the king personally led his men in the burning of villages and temples. At the same time, he led a number of internal purges, and popular uprisings, such as one in Dearviél by Vacids still angry about the ongoing construction of Cara Kotal, were met with unrelenting force.
Despite many assassination attempts, Striboyar died of natural causes at the age of fifty-two.
587 - 595
He was born on 26 Grindané 553, the only son of Striboyar Elavadron. Much of his brief reign was spent trying to win back the allegiance of the nobles who had been alienated under Striboyar, some threatening to leave the kingdom entirely. He proved a skilled diplomat in this endeavor, with gestures such as clearing groves in Haragrund for additional temples and shrines to the gods (an idea first contemplated by Sacatyer II but never brought to pass), with the first being dedicated to Thalian, patron of the Malkanoi Belochyar clan from which Amandric had come.
Gyumnor’s reign saw the completion of Cara Kotal, and the mounting of ballistae on its turrets—the rumor was that the king was deeply superstitious, and did not believe that dragons were extinct, and wanted the fortress, which he considered his royal retreat, to be protected against them. This is probably untrue, but it is known that Gyumnor was versed in lore and somewhat paranoid. The fortress was still a point of contention with the Vacids of Dearviél, but the king managed to maintain good relations with the Vacid nobility (“It is done,” he told the Cathbrand aí-Drochdearthaí of the fortress; “we might as well make use of it.”)
The fortress and its armaments proved to be Gyumnor’s downfall, as he was assassinated by his own son as his royal barge crossed Fryd Ariennes to hunt in the forests north of the river. He was forty-two at his death.
Donimund I “The Dimwitted Dragon”
595 - 596
He was born on 29 Gólwynd 570, the third son of King Gyumnor. Both of his brothers, Sacatyer and Arandric, died of fever while they were very young, so, despite his father’s disdain for him, he was the heir apparent. Donimund had always been impulsive, and he was thought to be dimwitted.
Donimund’s coronation was universally opposed by the Belocharan nobility, due both to his character and his treachery in slaying his father. He was, however, the rightful king according to the law of succession set down by Sacatyer I. His reign lasted seven months; his death was officially recorded as a suicide (he jumped from the ramparts of Cara Kotal), but rumors have spread that he was pushed.
She was born on 13 Eirenté 569 to a minor family of the Beresoi clan, and would have lived an unremarkable life had she not been wed to the aging, deposed King Darandric in T.D. 586. She considered this a punishment at first, and feared that she would be nothing more than a consolation prize for an old man in his waning years. But even at the age of fifty-three, Darandric had some vitality left in him, and Jenesse bore him a son, Olaister, in T.D. 587.
When Donimund I died, he left no heir, and the line of succession was unclear. As the mother of the son of King Darandric, Jenesse pressed Olaister’s claim before the nobility, and most of them agreed that Olaister was indeed the rightful heir, and threw their weight behind his claim. Olaister, however, was a boy of nine at the time, so, while he was officially coronated as Servant of the Throne of Amandric, Jenesse would serve as de facto queen regent for the first nine years of his reign, though she is not listed as such in official Belocharan records as the laws of Sacatyer I state that only males may sit the throne.
Much of Jenesse’s reign was spent fending off false claimants and would-be usurpers, mostly from lesser branches of the House of Sacathar. She proved especially adept at this, and displayed wisdom in dealing with her rivals as much as she did severity. Many of the accomplishments that likely took place during her time as regent are unfortunately attributed to Olaister, and of her later life and death nothing is recorded.
Olaister “The Everlasting”
596 - 658
He was born on 20 Gólwynd 587 to the deposed and disgraced King Darandric and his new young wife, Jenesse. He was placed upon the Throne of Amandric at the age of nine for he was determined to have the strongest claim. Though he is listed as the king from 18 Fandrain 596, in truth his mother was the unofficial head of government for the first nine years of his reign.
Olaister’s relationship with Jenesse was complicated, and a chasm formed between them in the king’s sixteenth year, in which he deemed himself ready to take on the king’s duties, citing Sacatyer I’s reign starting at age fifteen. But Jenesse counseled him otherwise, and she had the support of the Royal Guard and many influential nobles. Olaister forced his claim to kingship upon his eighteenth birthday, and here the complexity of his relationship with his mother is displayed. His first action was to order the arrest and execution of all who had harangued her and plotted against her, while at the same time, he had Jenesse banished from Haragrund and sent back to live with her kin, the Beresoi clan, and she was never heard from again.
Olaister inherited his mother’s stern severity in dealing with rivals, but none of her wisdom and restraint. He displayed favoritism for the Belochyar tribe and tended to treat the other constituent nations, especially the neighboring Duchai, the Öreacha, and the Vacids, as conquered peoples. His treatment of the latter was particularly brutal; after a small group of bandits attempted to tear down the fortress of Cara Kotal, which the Vacids still considered sacrilegious, the king not only executed the offenders in exceedingly brutal fashion but ordered an almost scorched-earth campaign of slaughter across Dearviél, all while overseeing the destruction of the Vacids’ Sacred Guilds (though many of these either reformed or fled to the west).
Olaister’s early reign also saw a number of external wars that nearly ended in defeat and decimated the kingdom’s treasuries. He did manage to subdue the Vuš Kalaiks and bring them into the kingdom as a conquered nation, albeit at great cost in men and materiel. In one spectacularly ill-considered campaign, the king attempted to march into the Har-Kizir and conquer the Vraçii tribe. In doing so, Olaister managed to do something that no one had ever done before: he compelled the Vraçii to forge alliances with the Ayunyeri’un and Tichruni’un clans of the Achyanak, their historical enemies, who feared that Belocharan incursions into the mountains would threaten them. The Vracii fortified themselves while hawkriders from the Achyanak picked off the ill-equipped Belocharan armies as they plodded through the mountains, backing them against the toxic waters of the Poison Sea that ensconces the Srehughul plateau. The Belocharan army was utterly demolished, and Olaister suddenly faced a growing rebellion among the nobles from the non-Belochyar tribes, from whose ranks most of the soldiers were drawn.
Chastened by the disastrous wars, Olaister went into exile for a year in T.D. 626, leaving his son, Choneric, as steward of the throne. Choneric brought his newborn son, Ovradian, to most royal functions, and many believe that, in doing so, he instilled within the boy a deep wisdom and instinct for rule.
The latter half of Olaister’s reign was much more peaceful, and saw vastly improved relations between the crown and the constituent nations (except the Vacids). Olaister died of natural causes at the age of seventy-one, having sat the throne for an unprecedented sixty-two years, and is thus remembered as Olaister the Everlasting.
658 - 694
He was born on 4 Eirenté 625, and is universally regarded the most exalted of the kings of Belocharas; a philosopher-king, a peacemaker, a great builder, and a shrewd diplomat; a man who lived up to his name, which means “Trustworthy” in the Belochyar tongue. He was the son of Choneric, heir apparent to King Olaister; Choneric died two years before the king, and thus Ovradian was next in line for the throne. Against his father’s wishes, Choneric had gone to great lengths to educate his son, even sending Ovradian to the great Academy of Barastar Oldstaff in Satranthia. By the time of his coronation, he was said to have been the most knowledgeable man in Belocharas.
Ovradian swiftly set out to strengthen many of the intertribal relations that had been damaged under Olaister, particularly among the Feacthengead. While he did not have the controversial fortress of Cara Kotal demolished, as the Vacids had wanted, as he believed that it had strategic value as a defensive position in the wider stretch of Fryd Ariennes, he did oversee a reconsecration of the island of Laithen Meach, which was welcomed by the Vacids. He set about many building projects throughout the kingdom, renovating fortresses, expanding cities, building roads and aqueducts, and, perhaps most vitally, making treaty with the high princes of Khodryzh to enact a massive engineering project to make the Celedhar, the road through the Har-Caras that now linked the two kingdoms, safer to traverse, expanding greatly upon work conducted in the years when the Kintaran lands were under Ganhar occupation, thereby facilitating a significant increase in trade and revenue for Belocharas. He also brokered a treaty with the Ghorns that would give Belocharas access to the route around the mountains. Together with the restoration of goodwill with the Vacids of Dearviél, whose fleets of ships were now carrying huge quantities of goods between the kingdom and the realms to the west, trade flourished under Ovradian, and thus he was given the epithet of Silverhands.
While Ovradian is best known for his peacetime actions, he was an equally skilled military commander. In his fifth year on the throne, the Vuš Kalaiks led a campaign into the lands of the Aratanni tribe, which they had long claimed as their own. Their assumption that Ovradian was a weak king and afraid of bloodshed proved disastrous, as the king and his veteran advisers had devised a set of tactics that drew from the Kintaran peoples’ long-running battles with the Khadagani hordes, using lightning strikes to confuse and shock the attackers and feigned retreats to draw them into the hilly regions in the eastern part of the disputed land, where the terrain favored the defenders. The Vuš Kalaiks host was utterly routed, but rather than retaliate, Ovradian brokered a tense truce with the tribe (which would, alas, be undone by his successor).
Sadly, Ovradian’s personal life was marked by tragedy. As a young man, he married Mysálin, the daughter of an influential nobleman of the Ornaznya tribe, and there was great love between them. Like Sacatyer II before him, Ovradian named his queen one of his chief advisers and confidants. In late Nifasté 663, while the king and his family were traveling to arbitrate a council of the northern tribes at Cillavalca, Mysálin took ill, and she died of fever the next month despite the king’s doctors promising that she would survive. Ovradian was overcome with grief, though he continued to discharge his kingly duties admirably. The queen’s passing had left an indelible mark on Ovradian’s firstborn son, Sacatyer, and would inform some of the decisions he made during his own reign.
Ovradian had long been loved and admired by his court even before his ascension. Even after his coronation, he preferred to be called by the diminutive Vradyo (“Little Vrad”) even in the company of his advisers. His reign of just under thirty-six years was second only to his grandfather’s, and his death at the age of sixty-nine was cause for great mourning throughout Belocharas.
694 - 700
He was born on 40 Gólwynd 647, the first son (but fifth child) of Ovradian and Mysálin. Due to his father’s longevity, he did not inherit the Throne of Amandric until his forty-seventh year. The premature death of his mother seemed to linger with him, and seldom was he of a sound mind when making decisions.
Whereas most Belocharan kings had left the constituent nations to continue with their ancestral practices, leastwise as far as they could within the confines of the king’s laws, Sacatyer III was infamously meddlesome, often changing legal codes (of which his understanding could be described at best as poor) merely because it was his right as king. Many saw this tinkering with law and tradition as a return to the ways of Olaister in his early years, in which the king treated his subjects—those outside the Belochyar tribe, at any rate—as secondary citizens who had been conquered and needed to be ruled with an iron fist.
Sacatyer III died in the sixth year of his reign in what is officially recorded as a hunting accident. Considering the number of nobles and councilors he’d enraged, rumors quickly swirled in Haragrund that the king had been assassinated.
700 - 726
He was born on 2 Grindané 666, and may have left the most complicated legacy of any king of the House of Sacathar. He is also the most misnamed of the kings for his name means “Oaken Tall,” and he was a rather diminutive man.
Margamal had been very close to his grandfather, King Ovradian Silverhands, certainly much closer to the great king than had his father been. He idolized Ovradian and attempted to emulate him in his reign. Few would slander Margamal’s actions as king; he swiftly undid some of the unjust legal changes enacted by Sacatyer III, leastwise those that could still be undone, and reformed the Belocharan economy with a fairer system of credit and finance. He also sent his shipwrights to Satranthia to train under the remnants of the Brown Owls, the Vacid guild specializing in that trade who had been driven from the kingdom under Olaister’s purges. This resulted in a massive boost to the kingdom’s fleet of merchant vessels and warships.
His reign was largely peaceful, with the only major disruption coming from the Vuš Kalaiks, who were still resentful of Sacatyer III’s breach of Ovradian’s treaties with them and started a rebellion for their freedom. Given the fertility of the tribe’s land, Margamal could not afford to lose the newly acquired territory, and, like his grandfather before him, put down the rebellion, though Margamal’s campaign was much bloodier as the Vuš Kalaiks had anticipated many of the king’s maneuvers.
For all his accomplishments as a statesman, Margamal’s legacy is marred by his personal life, which is viewed as highly ignoble. He was a notorious philanderer, frequently visiting brothels and siring many children out of wedlock. He was known to have had trysts with several nobles’ wives and daughters, and was prone to drunkenness, gambling, and foul language that many say blasphemed against the gods, including Vrintashka, his clan’s matron. For this, despite his reign of nearly twenty-six years—the fourth-longest of his line—he is given no epithet. He left no trueborn son, and died at the age of sixty, officially of natural causes, though there has been much speculation that his loose lifestyle may have contributed to his demise.
Sacatyer IV “The Stupid”
He was born on 33 Erydané 700, exactly six months after the coronation of his uncle, King Margamal (per the Darian Calendar). Though an impulsive man who, according to his chief advisers and councilors, “behaved more as if he were aged six than twenty-six,” his claim to the Throne of Amandric was upheld for no direct heir of pure blood was accounted for.
Sacatyer IV proved to be incredibly inept in his decision-making, and was easily swayed by nobles who wished to bend the king’s will to suit their own. For this, his cousin in the second degree, Haudaman, challenged his fitness to be king. Upon hearing this, Sacatyer challenged Haudaman to single combat in which he was slain. Thus began the War for the Hallowed Crown, and, by the reckoning of some, the turbulent period that would come to be known as the Purple Tempest.
He was born on 30 Grindané 698. When he slew the despised Sacatyer IV in ritual combat, he’d expected the nobility to fall behind his claim. However, the act only caused a split in the nobility between those who supported the slain king’s six-year-old son, Valyeric, if only for the sake of continuity, and those loyal to King Haudaman. The latter’s forces did battle with those of the former outside Haragrund, and the king’s forces swiftly dispatched their opponents. But Haudaman had little time to enjoy his victory, and his throne, for as he celebrated his victory, he choked to death on wine poisoned by a third claimant, Donimund, one of the bastard sons of King Margamal. Haudaman’s wife and sons and several of the nobles who supported him were also slain at the feast.
Donimund II “Kingsbane”
726 - 734
He was born on 40 Amhrané 688, the natural son of King Margamal. Due to facial features that some described as “eastern,” many speculated that his mother was from one of the Khadagan, and more than likely a prostitute.
Upon poisoning Haudaman I and his family, Donimund seized the throne by force, using threats and violence to pacify any nobles or tribesmen who sought to unseat him or dispute his claim to the throne. Though, despite the treachery by which he’d come into power, he had many supporters for it was he who had first agitated the nobility against Sacatyer IV. Though his many rivals frequently sought to assassinate him, it was disease that claimed the king’s life. His accomplishments as king were few, and little of his reign beyond the brutality he’d displayed in taking it is written.
Dovandric “The Deceased”
734 - 735
He was born on 19 Erydané 711 to Valyeric Sacathrion, who claimed descent from Sacathar, the youngest son of King Sacatyer I. With no clear line of succession following the death of Donimund II Kingsbane, whose sons were rejected on account of Donimund’s own status as a bastard, the nobles of Belocharas urged the legal authorities to recognize the claim of Dovandric, who was known to the nobility as his father had been an adviser to King Margamal. The nobles believed Dovandric to be weak, and therefore easy to manipulate. This proved true; his habitual laziness was fodder for much gossip around Haragrund and throughout the kingdom at large, and led to him being dubbed Dovandric the Deceased. He named a number of nobles whom he considered friendly as earls of the various regions, which he’d divided up into official provinces. So disinterested in the duties of a king was Dovandric that he even appointed an earl to manage affairs in Haragrund itself while he engaged in decadent behaviors.
The king’s death less than a year into his reign is recorded as an accident. In addition to being slothful, he was notoriously gluttonous, and he is said to have choked to death on one of his lavish feasts.
Berestos I “The Beggar King”
735 - 737
He was born on 21 Nifasté 687—the only regent of the House of Sacathar thus far to be born in the month of Nifasté—and was the uncle of King Dovandric. Already aging at the time of his coronation, his brief reign was marked by ineffectiveness. His advisers and the Belocharan nobility refused to serve him, and he hadn’t the support of the Royal Guard or any significant faction of lords for he was perceived as extremely weak, and did nothing to dispel this perception, often appearing to kowtow before the nobles rather than command them, hence his epithet of Beggar King.
Late in the second year of his reign, he was approached by a nobleman named Aryen Operastes, who plunged a dagger into the king’s chest and claimed the throne for himself, though Aryen would be denied the opportunity to consummate his false claim.
737 - 740
He was born on 29 Aurhané 709, a nephew of Berestos I from a hitherto unheralded branch of the House of Sacathar. He slew the false claimant Aryen Operastes while the former’s knife was still stuck in King Berestos’s chest, claiming that he had avenged the king’s murder and should thus be given the crown. The nobility agreed, even amid whispers that Romandros had in fact contracted Aryen to assassinate Berestos.
Romandros proved to be the most decisive king since Margamal. With the turmoil of the preceding decade presumably behind him, he shifted the crown’s focus to other issues, such as the growing problem of piracy in the west that was ravaging the trade routes to Sordana. The king learned that many of the pirates were on the payroll of Darakhasi viscounts, and he initiated a plan to raise a fleet to sail to Sordana and assault the shores of Darakhast, a nation of which he knew very little. Considering this fallacious plan, many consider it a blessing in disguise that Romandros fell victim to the only successful (albeit brief) usurpation of the throne in the history of Belocharas.
The Usurper (unofficial)
On 39 Nifasté 740, a young nobleman from the Saganoi Belochyar clan named Prashas Alatulion put into action a plan he’d hatched with his sister, Kiraša, who was also his secret lover: a plot to assassinate the king and usurp the throne. Romandros was a known philanderer, though he was much more discreet about his trysts than the late King Margamal had been. With this in mind, Kiraša seduced the king, winning his confidence, then came to his bedchambers one night with a vial of poison, which she poured into his wine. As the gasping king called for his guards, Prashas, a skilled fighter, pounced from the shadows and slew them, then the two usurpers slew three of the king’s children in their beds (his son Belyeric, a boy of eight, was fortuitously not in bed at the time of the strike), and Prashas claimed the throne.
While some nobles protested, others were willing to cede the throne to the usurpers in light of the weakness of the preceding kings. For three days, Prashas sat the throne. But his reign was cut short by the arrival of Donimund son of Vadomund, the king’s cousin and a highly skilled warrior. Donimund gained the epithet of Ironhand for it was said that he killed the usurpers by beating them to death with his bare hands: first Kiraša as Prashas was made to watch, then the false king himself.
The reign of Prashas is not recorded in the official annals of the Kingdom of Belocharas, as it is considered illegitimate. The false king and his co-conspirator were not buried; their corpses were tossed into the river Celedoz and carried out to sea.
Donimund III “Ironhand”
740 - 754
He was born on 6 Golwynd 716. Upon his coronation, he swore an oath to the young Belyeric son of Romandros, rightful heir to the Throne of Amandric, that he would serve only until Belyeric came of age, then humbly vacate the throne. Many nobles witnessed this oath and were impressed.
Donimund’s first order of business was to consummate his revenge upon the usurper Prashas Alatulion by ordering his entire family slaughtered and their lands either burned or given over to the king’s own relations. This would set the tone for the remainder of Donimund’s reign for he ruled like a warrior, often sending royal troops to pacify quarrelsome nobles or to strongarm villages who were late to pay their quotas or short in their dues to the crown. He was concerned mostly with internal affairs for he did not trust any of the tribes’ loyalty to the crown, even his own Belochyar’s.
Upon his eighteenth birthday, Belyeric pressed his claim as heir of Romandros, but, contrary to his promise, Donimund refused to abdicate. Enraged, Belyeric challenged the king to single combat, but he was a poor fighter, and instead chose a champion from among the Royal Guard to represent him. Donimund made short work of the champion, and Belyeric was sent into exile for the next six years. He fled to the Har-Kulos mountains, where dwelt many Vihichai hill tribes, officially sworn to the crown but in truth their own masters. There Belyeric honed his skills in battle, and, in the autumn of T.D. 754, he returned to Haragrund to press his claim once more—and this time, he was his own champion in his combat against the deceitful king. After a long and exhausting fight, Belyeric slew Donimund Ironhand and took back the crown that had been promised to him.
754 - 775
He was born on 8 Iochain 731. As a child, he was fond of wandering the citadel grounds of Haragrund on many a sleepless night, much to the chagrin of his father, and it was because of this habit that he narrowly escaped the dagger of the usurper Prashas Alatulion. He was whisked to the safety of the Royal Guard’s chambers by one of the guardsmen who was alerted to what was happening.
Despite being one of the longest-serving monarchs in Belocharan history, Belyeric’s reign was largely noneventful. He presided over a period of peace within the realm, which had seen its share of turmoil and had entered into a long period of rebuilding. Belyeric focused most of his external efforts on renewing trade with the west and establishing greater ties in eastern Cildana, specifically with the Hósóta Ha’oha. He was the first Kintaran leader to set foot on that island kingdom, and wrote of his travels in verse for he was a gifted poet; that account became must-hear material for the traveling bards who recited it throughout Belocharas.
The peace of Belyeric’s reign was cut short in his twentieth year, when Istrilad raiders began pillaging the coasts of Belocharas. The king sailed an army into the Winterborn lands and took the fight to the Istrilads; the Belochyar host achieved great success, repelling any further assaults, but that victory came at a dreadful cost for the king himself was among the slain.
He was born on 20 Eirenté 750, the firstborn son of Belyeric I and Ziara Keletes of the Saganoi clan. His coronation ceremony was a muted affair in the aftermath of King Belyeric’s fall in battle; all the more tears fell for Sideric himself did not survive the night, drifting to sleep shortly after the crown was placed upon his head and never waking. His death at such a young age was a mystery, and though it is officially listed as a natural death, many suspected the sinister workings of his brother, Sacatyer, whose meddling in the dark arts caused much disconcertment throughout the realm.
Sacatyer V “Darkflame”
775 - 778
He was born on 26 Fandrain 752, the second son of King Belyeric I, and from a young age he was considered to have a very strange demeanor, ever fascinated with death and magic. This led to him secretly consulting with sorcerers and warlocks, practicing various forms of necromancy, and thus he was derisively called Darkflame.
When his brother, Sideric, died mysteriously at his own coronation, many suspected that Sacatyer Darkflame had worked some kind of black magic on the king, either himself or through one of his warlock companions. No noble spoke openly of this, however, for such was their fear that Darkflame would cast a spell upon them as well. Little is written of Darkflame’s deeds upon the throne; he seems to have been a recluse, meddling in the forbidden arts behind closed doors while the nobility and the Council of the Nine Nations managed affairs as they would.
In T.D. 778, a catastrophic famine swept across western Cildana. Many Belocharan citizens starved to death, or were killed by bandits who pillaged their farms and storehouses. Nobles and commoners alike directed their anger at the king, now openly speculating that it was Darkflame’s sorcery that brought about the famine as punishment from the gods. When an enraged mob stormed the citadel grounds, the Royal Guard withdrew without a fight for such was their disdain for the king. Darkflame was dragged into the city and stoned to death by the people, his body dismembered and burned.
Malagor “The Merciless”
778 - 789
He was born on 37 Grindané 747, and was the youngest brother of Belyeric I. Despite being sixteen years younger than Belyeric, he was very close to his brother, to whom he looked as a mentor. Belyeric’s death in battle saddened and angered him greatly, which would come to define his actions when he became king.
Even before the execution of Darkflame, there were many voices calling for Malagor to take the throne from his nephew. Malagor initially resisted, as the rightful heir should have been King Sideric’s son, Berestos. But when famine swept across Belocharas, many nobles began plotting with Malagor to overthrow Darkflame, which they may well have done had the common folk not gotten to him first.
Malagor was a firm believer in order and the rule of law, and he saw the lawlessness that accompanied the famine as a blight upon the kingdom’s soul. He was known for enacting the law to its fullest, doling out draconian punishments for even seemingly minor offenses. Thieves routinely had their hands amputated; those accused of rape found themselves castrated. Rather than hanging or beheading murderers, as was tradition, Malagor had them drowned in boiling water. Thus he came to be known as Malagor the Merciless.
Whether due solely to his cruelty or to the other measures he enacted to help ease the burden of the famine, such as speeding the transfer of healthy harvests to the parts of the kingdom hit hardest and sending hardier crops to grow in places where others were blighted, looting and other crimes had almost ceased to exist under Malagor’s rule. Despite his reputation, he had proven to be an adept diplomat and wise planner. His reign did see yet more violence flare up in the Vuš Kalaiks territories, which the king put down with speed and violence that shocked even his advisers, but his reign was otherwise marked by sound relations with other internal factions and neighboring realms.
Like Margamal before him, Malagor’s legacy is complex, and varies between the constituent nations of Belocharas. His efforts to ease the suffering of the Aratanni and Ornaznya nations, who were hit hardest by the famine, earned him great reverence there, and he is remembered especially fondly by the Feacthengead of Dearviél for he had overseen nearly the full restoration of the tribe’s autonomy not enjoyed since Ovradian, and he contracted the Vacids’ shipwrights to build a fleet of merchant ships, giving a great jolt to the Vacids’ fortunes. Among the Belochyar, however, he is viewed in a decidedly more negative light for many Belochyar felt that he was unduly harsh toward them, as if to disprove any notions of favoritism among the other nations.
Malagor is remembered universally as a stern, humorless, even heartless man who held to the letter of the law as if it were written in stone. What none deny, however, is that he was a man of honor; like Donimund Ironhand before him, he swore an oath to abdicate once the rightful heir to the Throne of Amandric came of age. Unlike Ironhand, however, Malagor kept his promise. In light of Berestos II’s actions, many lament Malagor’s choice, and Malagor himself is said to have regretted stepping down. But the king was true to his oath.
Berestos II “Brokensword”
789 - 802
He was born on 36 Aurhané 771, the only son of King Sideric. As a young man, he studied the lives of the kings who preceded him, Olaister the Everlasting in particular. He also learned much from his predecessor, but where Malagor was considered stern but fair, Berestos is largely remembered as an iron-fisted tyrant, especially among the Feacthengead for he undid most of the preferential policies enacted under Malagor. Furthering his sour reputation in Dearviél, he gave his four earls there broad authority, which they frequently abused, earning a reputation more as thieves who plundered the landholds of the cathbrainead and threatened violent retaliation in response to any protest than provincial governors. His reign s seen as the catalyst for the nearly constant friction between the Vacids and the crown over the next thirty years.
Berestos II’s reputation was little better on the mainland. He treated nobles who questioned his edicts or attempted to counsel him contrary to his initial decisions as traitors, ordering them beheaded. Petitioners were seen as an annoyance, and were usually harassed away by the Royal Guards. This had a devastating effect on the tribes who were still reeling from the famine. Whereas Malagor’s policies had been very effective at mitigating the famine’s effects, Berestos felt that these actions were not the crown’s duties and that the tribes should be left to fend for themselves.
His epithet of Brokensword was gained before he was coronated; according to the king himself, it comes from a battle in which his sword’s blade broke and he was forced to slay his opponents with the shards. But his known accomplishments in battle were few, and most believe the epithet was in fact meant as a mockery of his sexual impotence. Many believe that this, as well as his diminutive stature (just as Margamal, his height belied his name, which means “Towering”—the Belochyar word berest, “tower,” comes from beres, “birch,” as the tribe’s first watchtowers were platforms built into birch trees), contributed to his insecurity, which in turn fueled his tyrannical rule.
The circumstances surrounding Berestos II’s death are the subject of much rumor, as he was found dead in his bed, and thus his death is listed in the annals of the kings as natural. However, he was a mere thirty-one years old and in good health. No evidence of poison was ever discovered, and thus his death remains a mystery. Few in Belocharas mourned the end of his thirteen-year rule.
Manargos “Lord of the Roaches”
802 - 803
He was born on 22 Iochain 774, the younger brother of Berestos II. Since the impotent Berestos died sonless, he was the rightful heir to the throne. He was loved by commoners, with whom he frequently consorted and who saw him as their advocate, and equally despised by the nobility, who dubbed him Lord of the Roaches, whom he frequently scorned for their largesse. His attempts to reform Belocharas met with much resistance from the nobles. Seven months into his reign, he was assassinated by Varshan son of Malagor, inciting the War for the Soiled Crown.
He was born on 3 Aurhané 768, the third son of King Malagor the Merciless. He conspired with his older brother, Varshan, to have the deeply unpopular Manargos executed, with the stated intention of placing Malagor’s eldest son, Grundric, upon the Throne of Amandric. But after the death of Manargos, Haudaman slew Grundric and Varshan and seized the throne for himself. This resulted in a brief but bloody civil war between factions loyal to Grundric, Varshan, and Haudaman (as well as a fourth, mostly made up of commoners and disgruntled soldiers, who invoked the name of the slain Manargos), which would come to be known as the War for the Soiled Crown (since Haudaman had “soiled” it with his treachery).
Haudaman’s supporters won a pyrrhic victory, but the king died of fever a month after his coronation. His son, Coreger, claimed the Throne of Amandric, but his claim was deemed illegitimate by the nobility, and the crown passed to Bolderic son of Grundric.
Bolderic “The Lost”
803 - 805
He was born on 14 Fandrain 785, the son of Grundric and grandson of Malagor the Merciless. He led the forces under his slain father’s banner in the War for the Soiled Crown, and had made great gains against Haudaman II’s host before being gravely wounded, after which his forces lost their cohesion and were defeated.
Bolderic never fully recovered from his wounds. The pain affected him greatly, as did the potions given to him to cope with them, and the once jovial young man had become embittered and paranoid, qualities reflected in his rule. His tax policies throughout the kingdom were especially onerous—as much as thrice those levied by Belyeric II. This was done to fund a massive invasion of the Kingdom of the Ghorns, whose lands the House of Sacathar had long coveted for its strategic position and ease of access to the southern trade routes, which enabled faster and less perilous travel into the east. Bolderic conscripted as many warriors as he could from throughout the kingdom, including mercenaries from the Winterborn clans and the Khadagan. His war was an utter disaster, with the king failing to adapt to the defenders’ tactics.
King Bolderic never returned from the war, though his body was never recovered, either by the king’s men or the Ghorns. He was declared missing, and the throne was vacant for a year, during which time the Council of the Nine Nations made most of the kingdom’s policy, including a full withdrawal from the Ghornic lands. Thus the king became known as Bolderic the Lost.
Belyeric II “Brighteyes”
805 - 806
He was born on 28 Erydané 786, the younger brother of King Bolderic. His coronation came one year after the disappearance of his predecessor, at which time the Belocharan nobility declared Bolderic legally dead. Bolderic’s younger brother, Belyeric, a handsome and charismatic statesman, was given the throne. He was known for his stark sky-blue eyes, hence his epithet of Brighteyes.
During the interregnum, Haragrund came under many raids from Vacids who saw the opportunity to reclaim some of the quotas that they felt were unjustly collected by Bolderic. These raids were largely ineffectual, with some plundering but no loss of life on either side (though there were some unjust reprisals against Belochyar and Kirlanni citizens living in Dearviél), but were enough to compel the newly crowned Belyeric II to take revenge on the Vacids. He sailed an army to Dearviél, believing that the Vacid lords’ internal squabbles would prevent them from mounting a cohesive defense and counting on the loyalty of Prangwe Inamhra, the Golden Owl. But the Vacids, including battle-hardened veterans of Bolderic’s war with the Ghorns, defeated the king’s host, albeit after much destruction of the Vacid landholds in eastern Wyrduil, and the royal host was routed, and Belyeric himself was among the slain.
806 - 810
He was born on 27 Aurhané 784 to Haladric, cousin in the second degree to Malagor the Merciless. By this time, the line of succession had become muddied, and no one knew who the rightful heir to Amandric’s Throne was, so Sacatyer was crowned due to his distance from the ineffective kings who had preceded him.
Sacatyer VI did not want to repeat Belyeric II’s mistake of launching an assault on Dearviél, but he did raise taxes and quotas on the Vacids to crippling levels in retaliation for their “murder,” in the king’s own words, of Belyeric. This would prove disastrous when famine struck the island during his successors’ reigns.
His most controversial edict was banning the study of the sciences throughout his kingdom. This may have been because he was a deeply religious man and he deemed the study of the physical world blasphemous, though others contend that his objection was due to fear that his subjects, particularly those outside the Belochyar tribe, would begin to question the king’s authority if they were overly educated.
Despite his outward piety, Sacatyer was known as a man of vice, which led to his untimely death. He was found strangled with his own belt; his paramour claimed that such were the king’s proclivities and that his death was an accident. The woman was executed for assassinating the king nonetheless.
810 - 815
He was born on 24 Iochain 787, the brother of Sacatyer VI. His policies were largely a continuation of his predecessor’s, and he was said to have little interest in ruling. Hostilities with the Vuš Kalaiks, which began in the last year of Sacatyer VI’s reign, intensified under Lemulric, with the fighting resulting in a tense stalemate at the end of Lemulric’s reign.
In the last days of Lemulric’s reign, a waiflike traveler arrived in Haragrund, beseeching the king’s hospitality. Lemulric sent the wanderer away, laughing at him. Lemulric took ill soon after, and a sickness quickly spread through Haragrund, and then throughout the kingdom at large. Many contend that the wanderer was in fact King Bolderic, and he set a curse upon the kingdom upon Lemulric’s spurning.
Lemulric died days after falling ill, and the throne passed to the youngest of his brothers, Donimund.
815 - present
He was born on 6 Eirenté 789, the younger brother of Kings Sacatyer VI and Lemulric I. An intellectual rather than a leader, he was thought ill-equipped to rule Belocharas, but his early actions displayed a shrewdness with diplomacy—he brokered an end to the hostilities with the Vuš Kalaiks, though violence has occasionally flared since—and an ability to manage his nobles. He remains king as of the latter months of T.D. 824, late into his ninth year of rule. Though the events and policies of his predecessors has presented many challenges, and recent events such as a devastating famine in Dearviél have strained the kingdom’s resources, Donimund IV remains extremely popular among the mainland nobility and populace alike.
His queen is Varanel of the Malkanoi Belochyar family Rendelion, and he has three children, two sons and a daughter. Some information on his recent actions can be learned from the volume entitled Owl Totem.