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Motive: Specify the motive


Since the quarrel of Feanor and Fingolfin, [...] orc chieftains, High Kings of the Elves, rulers of Men and dwarven lords have fought for crowns and seats of power, too heavy for a single person and too small for two of them.

Forodréd Sigurdrsson was the successor of his father as Lord of the Lossoth, a ruler of the Lossoth of Artheloth, great explorer and leader of the Dalish Revolution of VA 187. Notable, among his achievements, were the first circumnavigation of the world made by the Lossoth, the revolution in the lands of the Northmen against the feudal lords fighting for the leadership over those lands and the rule of the Dalish Republic for the years of his mandate, as well as the peace treaty with the Al-Kazeem Brigades.



Born in VA 162 from the Lord of the Lossoth, Sigurðr Halfdansson, and his elven wife, Forodréd had the best instruction that one could be given in Artheloth: his parents introduced him to a Noldorin swordsmanship teacher, and his father integrated the lessons with more sparring and teachings about the Lossoth culture; on the other side his mother taught him about the world outside the borders of Artheloth, and about the history of Arda.

Year VA 172, Norðurhlið, September.

"Hold your axe tightier, son!" In the gray morning, Sigurðr was crying at a small child in the courtyard of the palace, a wooden hall surrounded by a short wall. It was early, and the cold of the first autumn mornings helped the senses to awake. The child shouted a raging cry, and he tried to hit his father with the wooden axe, wielding it with the two hands. The adult, a 50-year old man with ginger hair and beard, avoided easily the feeble attack, and hit the back of the boy from the side with a wooden stick. "Ouch!" cried Forodréd, closing his eyes. His father stared at him, and their green eyes met. They were the distinctive trait of the House of Erik, as well as the ginger hair, but the boy had gone far beyond that, for his hair was fiery, intensely red. Sigurðr always suspected it was somehow related to his elvish blood.

"Don't lose your control while fighting" - he said - "or any enemy will easily overwhelm you. Hold the axe tightly, but don't run madly at the opponent because of your certainties. Let him do it, and use his attack against him."

Forodréd seemed surprised. "But father, who are my enemies?". The man smiled, and passed a rough hand through the curly hair of the child. The southern Icebay was united, and the whole Forochel was in peace by years. The sea raids had been made way more south, in richer lands, since the discover of Lindon, and the northern shores had been wealthy for a long time. The only enemy that could threaten Artheloth, far in the east, was quiet, and the issues with the Rhudaur hillmen that had killed Sigurðr's brother had been solved long before. Well, the Dùnedain still were very uneasy about them, and the eastern Lossoth sided with them, but on the shores of the ocean those were only tales from afar. "None, my boy, you have none. But time makes things change, and readiness is the key of survival. Come on, let's try again".

They kept sparring. Match after match, Forodréd started fighting better, but Sigurðr knew well that his current skills with the axe were surely too basic and rough. He was wondering how to teach him the Old Way in a proper way. "Father!" - the boy's call catched his attention. He was holding a wooden dagger. "Let me try with this!" he said. "Do you remember what are the differences between the use of a dagger and the ones of an axe?" "Of course! It's all about swiftness and control." "You don't have a lot of control with the axe, son, are you sure about trying that thing?" the man asked. But Forodréd was stuck in his idea. The father readied the attack, adapting his strength to the one of a 10-year old child. But in few istants, he found himself on the ground, with the knife at his neck, and a laughing boy sitting on his chest.

"Wait a second, son, who taught you that?" "Nobody!" He said. "Or well, probably you, with the axe, and I followed my istincts about passing those ideas on a dagger." Sigurðr stood up. The child's move had surprised him, and at a first glance he could tell how confident he was with that weapon. "Let's try another round, then!"

They kept training until the sun was high in the sky. They also changed weapon: seeing how proficient his son was with the knife, Sigurðr wanted to test one last thing. He gave him a wooden spear, and tried some more fights. Then he smiled, and stroked his son's head, just saying "Boy, you need to change trainer!". What he meant with that, remained a mystery for Forodréd.

Blubber candles were burning on the tables. The early night of the Forochel autumn had come, and the wooden walls of the room had got a yellowish light. The intense smell of pine resin permeated the air, with a relaxing and soporific effect on the boy. He knew in that place he was safe.

"Do you want to speak a bit about history before going to sleep?" The voice of his mother was like a warm hearth in the cold northern night. Forodréd slightly smiled, and nodded his head. The she-elf smiled as well: she knew very well history was one of his favorite subjects. "Well, then" - she said - "what about Gil-Galad?" The stories of the days of old made his eyes sparkle. "Gil-Galad was an elven-king..." the boy began to sing in a child's voice. "Was Gil-Galad really king of all the lands south of the Forest?" he asked. His mother smiled. "No, not of all them, the world was and is way wider. But he gathered between the Ered Luin and the sea the elven-folk from Beleriand, and for some time managed to control also part of the lands east of the mountains, before the darkness wrapped again Middle-earth." Forodréd stayed silent for some seconds. "And now that darkness is back again, right?" he asked. "It's been like this for long already. Ages have passed, and the free folks of Middle-earth started to learn how to live with it" - she answered. Her son stayed silent again for a bit, then replied.

"In a book I've read that Feanor's deeds started all the bad things that happened to the elves in the Elder Days" - he spoke, sadly - "maybe, if he had been calmer, things would have been different." But then, Estel replied, surprisingly defensive about that. "It's true, the Oath and Feanor's wrath caused the flight of the Noldor to Middle-earth, and the _nírnaeth arnediad_ that followed. You should really learn well Sindarin and Quenya, you know? With your interests for the days of old, you'll for sure need them. But, coming back to Feanor's deeds, for how terrible were the things that happened because of him, and even though many question his legacy, I can say that he had no other choice. He had just a too fiery soul to stand still and watch, and Eru had already decided for him that his life had to be short, and that it would have ended in fire, as it started. It's because of Feanor if the Noldor shed uncountable tears, and it's thanks to him if the Eldar can now tell tales about it."

Forodréd looked surprised at the mother. He didn't expect such a reaction, and no book had told him the Elves had such a complicated relationship with their own past. The eyes of the Nolde saw the doubt in her son's eyes, and she smiled. "You'll have some good dreams tonight" she told him, kissing his forehead. Then, after shutting the candles, leaving only the hearth with some burning coals, walked out of the room, as the child closed his eyes.

The next day, Sigurðr didn't come to his room to wake him up. Forodréd thought it was weird, and went downstairs after having dressed up. His mother was cooking some eggs, and when she saw him smiled. "Forodréd! Did you sleep well?" asked. The boy nodded. "Then eat, and go out. Dad has prepared a gift for you." "Where is he now?" "He left for Akrar, king Dormung called the Lords and the Jarls for a meeting. He is sorry for not waking you up" the woman answered. Forodréd understood, and after breakfast ran outside, in the yard. He couldn't wait for his father's surprise.

The sun dazzled him just outside the doorstep, and he protected his eyes. Then he noticed: a figure was standing in front of him, a tall guy, with long black hair. He seemed to wear some sort of chaplet, and when his eyes got used to the outside light he realized he was way taller than any man he knew. "_Mae l'ovannen, tîr nîth!_" A greeting in jovial and respectful tone welcomed him. Forodréd was amazed: no doubt was left in his mind: he was one of the Noldor. Timidly, he replied to his words. The elf then explained. "Your father, the Lord, called me from Mithlond to teach you. I'm Dírhael, your new fencing teacher."

Year VA 174, november, Kaldaross - capital of Artheloth.

The lit hearth warmed the throne room, and the warriors, shieldmaidens, hunters and farmers of Artheloth were eating at the tables in the hall. It was a rest day, because the ceremony had to be hold the same day. When the second course of the meal was over, the King beat the chalice on the armrest of the throne, requesting attention and silence. Then, he called the names of the children that were there. All the 12-year old boys and girls of the month stood up, and Dormung invited them to come near to his seat. He unsheathed his sword, a rich one, of Dùnedain craft, but with Lossoth carvings on the hilt, and runes of ancient magic and belief on the blade. The head of the guard put some gravel and some salt on it, blessing the gift, and one by one the children came near and kissed that small heap on the steel. Then, Dormung placed a driftwood crown on the head of each of them, and to each of them said, with slightly different words, that "they kissed the future of their folk, because Artheloth was a mix of two peoples that belonged both to the earth and the sea, and in the earth and the sea their fate was bound; and the driftwood crown meant that the sea would have given them fame and success, and yet might have been the cause of their end, and they'd have come home as driftwood on the shore, for such was the life they accepted, becoming adults." But when it came to Forodréd's turn, he also said: "Son of the Eldar and of the Men of the North, not only the sea will be part of your life, nor the earth will complete the painting, for the fire of your father's spirit lives in you, as your hair and eyes tell to the Gods in the Lands of Always Light and to the heroes on the top of the Tree of Universe, to the Giants of Minheldolath and to the Hinn Heilagi in Rót Alheimsins. And that fire will be an everlasting flame, that won't burn you away, thanks to the calm and sweetness of your heart."

When the ceremony ended, Forodréd went, timidly, to the king's seat at the table. "Your highness" - he asked - "why did you tell me those things? What do I have of special, except of being the first half-elf of this breed?"

Dormung smiled. "Young boy" - he answered - "I can't just tell you, but I know you have some more, that's not related to your blood or your heritage. It's just related to you. And one day you'll find that too."

Circumnavigation of the world[]

After some years, the new King of Artheloth, Dormung, organized an expedition, aiming to find new lands and explore the seas and coasts of Middle-earth. Said expedition lasted several years, and granted them incredible moments.

Year VA 175, May, Norðurhlið.

A high-pitched horn rang, announcing that king Dormung's ship had anchored outside of the harbor. When the king and his crew landed, the Lady of Norðurhlið and her guard greeted him with all honors, welcoming them in the city; but then, Estel smiled, and grabbed her son's hands, hugging him. He had been at Dormung's court in the last half year, after his passage to adulthood, and had learnt the style and poise of the high Men of the West. What a marvelous result of three cultures he was, Estel thought.

The King called a meeting in the great hall of Norðurhlið, and when everyone had taken a seat, he spoke. "Friends, Earls and Jarls of Artheloth, proud sons of our land, in some days we'll set sail. This won't be a common raid: we don't know when we'll be back, and we'll travel in warm seas, until our spirits crave home. As every year, we'll go south. I know that you, in Norðurhlið, were used to follow Lord Sigurðr's orders, and follow his ship in battle, and that's why our campaign will start from your beautiful city, the first of Artheloth that opened itself to the West. But this time, you'll follow me. I learnt a lot from your former leader, and I'm not sure I'll be able to have his bright mind in leading such a huge fleet. But I'll follow his steps. We'll go further south than I ever did; and we'll not just pillage, but also explore and come in contact, officially, with new cultures, from the Bay of Belfalas to the Sea of Dawn. Artheloth is small, and our strength is in our navy; that's why we'll rely on it to open not just one city, but our whole nation to the outer world. We won't be alone: the Jarls of Samya and Ranya, in the East Coast of the Icebay, will reach us in two days, for they're far away, and we found an agreement with the Protector Chieftain of the Frozen Coast, in the North; his men will be our allies, even though Artheloth doesn't have any actual dominion on those lands. May the Lord of the Sky send us clean weather and strong winds; may the King of the Waters let our ships roll on his back; may the Lady of Life close the eyes to the wardens of Death, and the Master of Laughter and Wrath lead our axes when the need will arise. If we'll die, our spirits will fly to the Alheimstré, and we'll feast with our ancestors; if we'll live, we'll pay respect to them, and they'll wait for us a bit more. In five days, my lords, Artheloth will set sail to the whole world."

5 days later.

Forodréd was loading the last barrels of food on the King's ship, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned his back, and a welcoming, thin face was smiling at him. "Welcome back, young Lord!" the man jovially greeted him. "Teacher Dírhael!" Surprised, Forodréd shook the elf's hand.

"You don't need to call me teacher anymore, my lord" he answered "Long time passed since the last time I taught you, and I'm sure you're even better now, than you were before. I can't wait to see you in a real enterprise!"

Forodréd was caught off guard for the second time. "Are you... coming with us? In the trip south?" he asked. "Yes, the king clearly asked me to come with you. He said it was... for your protection. But I don't think you'll really need it. In any case, I look forward to your travel with curiosity, so it's fine for me to come. Is it an issue for you?"

A hint of concern leaked from his last words. "No, no not at all!" Forodréd replied "It's a honor for me to have my fencing teacher with me in my first raid. Even though, as the king said, it won't be really a raid." "Yeah, I've heard - the elf replied - that's why I'm so interested in it, and in how you'll approach to this new event."

The king's high pitched horn rang again, and Dormung reached the two. He was followed by a Dùnedain lord, in fine clothes, shining armor and with sharp face traits, and by a rougher Lossoth, that still had a certain poise. "I see you met our special guest, Forodréd! Is it a good reunion?" the king asked, gently. "It is indeed, thanks Your Majesty for the unexpected surprise!" The king smiled and greeted him with a pat on the back, and passed over. The Lossoth lord stared at him, and then smiled. "We finally meet, young boy!" he said. Forodréd looked at the tall man, a bit confused. "Do we know each other, my Lord?" "You probably don't know me - the tall man laughed - but I definitely know you: I'm your father's cousin!" "The Jarl of Folgord?" the boy asked "I had read that between the two lines of our family there wasn't much friendship..." the words unawarely came out of his mouth, and he couldn't stop them. He looked at the man with a mix of awe and gloom. The other visibly noticed that, because he laughed again, and answered "Worry not, son! But your house's books must be outdated: thanks to your father, the scar that divided us is now healed. You can trust me!" he smiled.

"Done with the greetings, southern sweetie" a deep, rough voice grunted. "Shall we go now?" Forodréd looked past his uncle, and saw a short man, with thin moustache and half-closed eyes, and a frowning expression on the face. "Yes, yes, Protector Chieftain" the Jarl of Folgord answered. "Ah, he is the ruler of the Frozen Coast, Gorki. Our ally. And he's my cousin's son, Forodréd" he replied, tired. The short man greeted the boy hurrily, and pushed his uncle on the ship. "Don't you come, Forodréd?" Dormung asked, watching from the side of the ship. "I'm coming!" he shouted back, and jumped on the admiral of the fleet, followed by Dírhael. The horn rang one last time, and the fleet of Artheloth set sail towards the noon.

The expedition was for sure an impressive attempt for such a young nation. Though, inexperience and external reasons - more specifically, raids by the orcs of Angmar in the Northlands - caused severe damage to Artheloth's mainland, and led to the almost utter destruction of the realm.

Year VA 186, Norðurhlið, summer.

The years-long trip had finally come to an end, and the perils of the sea were already behind. While Artheloth had remained guarded under Cirion and his people's watchful eyes, the expedition had sailed the seas. Long would be the record of everything they had met, but among the remarkable things Artheloth now had established a way safer trade route with Near Harad and Umbar; had founded dozens of small trade emporiums on the coasts of middle earth, expecially of Eriador; had made contact with new civilizations, first of all the Moritauredhil of the southern jungles, a population of Nelyar elves that had settled in the far south of the world; had also made contact with the last men living in Hildorien at the roots of the Orocarni, and had founded the first non-Numenorean colony in the Dark Lands south of Harunnor.

Things had changed during the trip, friendships had broken and others had grown stronger, and Forodréd and King Dormung's hopes were strong as they used to be before the departure. The fleet set anchor in the harbor of Norðurhlið, and Cirion welcomed back the King. Many issues had arisen, first of all the presence of way more orcs than before in the Northlands, and the mere companies of Cirion couldn't have completely stopped them. Forodréd looked around. The land he used to call home lied forgotten and overrun. The group finally landed in what now was the shadow of the Lossoth capital, looking around. "We've had issues lately" Cirion explained "and desperately I tried to send messages to your Majesty and to the Jarl. But orcs now roam all the Northlands, and the only safe place are the ships sailing the Icebay." Forodréd bowed his head, recognizing his fault. It had been a mistake to go away for so long, leaving just a small guard. Artheloth wasn't ready for such an enterprise: the greatest fleet ever seen had for sure been a great achievement, but the people of the kingdom were few, and it had been foolish to let the most important people of the government leave for this trip, having only the faith in a longlasting peace.

But there was no time for these thoughts. As soon as the army set foot, distant, rough horns rang, and screams were heard in the far air. Forodréd tried to look, but before he was able to do anything Dormung, more far-sighted than him, had already spotted the enemy. "Orcs!" he shouted "My men, ready to fight! Reconquer Norðurhlið!"

Suddenly, orcs jumped into the harbor square from the rooves, and the warriors raided their shields to brake the impact. Suddenly, the once filled with life harbor got wrapped in blood and screams. The orcs weren't many, but the surprise attack gave them advantage on the soldiers that, slowly, were still coming down from the ships. However, in the end, after a lot of sacrifices the enemy was pushed back: both Lossoth and Dunedain had still the bright light of the South in their eyes, and experience and new contacts had made them richer and wiser. The orcs were slaughtered, and the city freed, but Forodréd fell on his knees, and cried looking at the blood on the ground: no victory was worth that blood, only spilled because of a species wishing only for the death of humankind and its chiefs, chiefs too weak and distracted to do something proper. No word he spoke, publicly, for the rest of the day, but some could swear to have seen him move suspiciously in the court of his hall. And late, late at night, when all were asleep except for the guards watching the harbor, he gathered his most faithful followers: Dìrhael, master swordsman, was always at his side, and had tried to raise him up when he fell during the battle, and now first swore to follow him. Forodréd, with a dozen men behind his back, in silence left the North, wandering towards the East. What he would have found, who he would have fought, he knew not, but the fall of Artheloth he bore in his heart, foreseeing the ruin of what he had always loved. And he chose to fight for those who would have been alive, and not dead, mummyfied in a far frozen waste.

The Dalish Revolution[]

Left Artheloth, Forodréd and his men endured a travel across the Misty Mountains, the Vales of Anduin and the Greenwood, reaching finally Rhovanion and the dalish city of Bardhaven, where years before his aunt Margrethe had married Sigurd Barding, chancellor of Dale.

Year VA 187, Bardhaven, end of summer.

Forodréd's fellowship had finally got out of the sick tricks and deceits of the woods, and now the wide northern plains laid in front of him. He knew perfectly where to go: his aunt, Margrethe Halfdansdottir, was married to the Stadtholder of Bardhaven, Sigurd Barding, and despite never having met her he knew how dear she was to his father, and of the raids and wars done together. He really was sure the meeting would have been a good one.

After days of marches, the group finally reached the southern gate of Bardhaven, having avoided to cross the river Running because of the strong flow. Forodréd looked up and the city seemed to him silent, and a bad feeling started rising into his stomach. He loudly knocked at the gates, and shouted at the air.

"I am Forodréd Sigurðrsson, Lord of the Lossoth, coming from the lands of Artheloth! Let me meet my aunt and family!"

After a couple of minutes, a guard timidly looked down from the walls.

"Your aunt? Who are you, wanderer? Is it another trick of the beggars to..."

"Cut it off, Brand!" another voice shouted from behind him, and a second head appeared on the battlements. "You said you have family here? Who are you?" he asked.

"As I said" Forodréd answered "I'm the Lord of the Lossoth in Artheloth, or at least I was, since I left a country now just overrun by orcs. I'm the son of Jarl Sigurðr, that the rulers of this land must know well."

"Oh, that Halfdansson, I see!" the second guard replied "I now understand why you're here. If you're the son of the Jarl, then you must be looking for your aunt. She's still alive and strong, a true miracle for a human of that age. But why is an army with you?"

"An army?" Forodréd raised an eyebrow "You call twelve people an army? I don't understand what's going on in this silent city beyond this gate, but for sure you must be desperate to call us 'an army'. We're just the few ones that left Artheloth before its agony had become too hard to bear. Now please, please let us in, for soon night will come and you know well that these lands are roamed by foul creatures."

The man sighed, and reluctantly opened the gate. Forodréd found himself surrounded by a city that sure had held might and richness, but that now seemed a ghostly place. Few people walked on the roads, without paying attention to the others; the markets were almost empty, except for the latest customers, and the torches on the street sides projected small shadows, in the twilight colours of the late hour, from the leaves at the sides of the roads.

The guard called Brand reached the group. "I would like to explain what is happening here" he said, all of a sudden "but if you really are the Stadtholder's nephew, then he and his wife will tell you what's proper. Let me lead you to their palace."

While following their guide, Forodréd had the time to look around. The city must had really been a vivid and lively place in the past, but something had drained it up to this extent. He really couldn't understand. Even in the description his father gave him, it was depicted as a colourful and noisy place, where people seemed to work all time to make it better, and where feasts were held in might and joy. The imposing palace, where the wedding ceremony was held, now seemed just a gray facade, too wide for the necessities of the city.

Brand knocked at the door, and a young woman opened it, looking distrustful at the faces outside. A gentle, old voice shouted from the inside. "Who's there?"

"A man claiming to be your nephew has come to the city, my lady!" Brand answered, stiffening his posture as to make a military salute. Some noises came from the inside, and an old yet tall woman appeared in the corridor. Her gray hair was styled in an elegant bun, that let some fall down on the sides of the face. She intensely fixed her green eyes into Forodréd's same-coloured ones, with a severe expression on the face. Then she smiled. "For sure he is" she replied "I could recognize those eyes and hair colour in the middle of a thick crowd! You for sure are the son of Sigurðr. And your companions are...?"

"They're my faithful friends, aunt, that escaped Artheloth with me. I kindly ask you to help us in finding a place to stay in, because we traveled a lot, and we cannot go back."

Margrethe's expression became more serious. "You'll explain me later what led to this situation of yours, and I'll do the same with ours. But now, the palace is wide, and you all can stay without any problem. We'll meet here in an hour, won't we?"

Forodréd nodded intensely, and settled everything for the accomodations. He cried when he saw the soft bed in his room, and the fine tapestry, for he had never seen something like that, and his last comfortable rest was too far to be remembered. He took his time bathing and cleaning his body from dirt and wounds, and later met his aunt in the living room.

"I just noticed your ears," she said "are you a half-elf?"

"Yes" he answered, with a little smile "My mother is an elf of Lindon, and met my father during a raid he was leading there. You know Lindon, right?"

"Of course, child" she answered "I discovered a lot of things when I arrived here in Bardhaven. At first I was a bit angry at your father, because a part of me felt like I was being sold for a treaty. Though, I learnt a lot here, and I ended up appreciating the dalish culture. The world is way wider than we used to think, isn't it?"

"You aren't really asking me, are you?" Forodréd asked, laughing. Then he became serious again and he replied, but he was visibly enjoying his own memories. "We've had several trips and year-long travels by sea, in the last years. We discovered new lands and peoples, and I saw things that you can't even imagine. Things so far from our homes that are probably unknown even to the rest of the world." A slight shade of complaint veiled his eyes. "But it was a mistake. We were ready for that travel, but Artheloth was not. Too long was the land left unguarded, and when we came back we found it filled in orcs and foul creatures. We endured several battles, but in the end I decided to escape, because those lands weren't defendable anymore."

"Hm" Margrethe grunted "Even if he was an asshole, your father would have fought until his very death, instead of escaping."

"And he did, in the past. He traveled so far and fought so hard that we only found him mummified in a boat that randomly came home after years. I didn't want to die that death. I chose to fight for the living, and I believe here I am given a chance to do so. Or am I not?" He fixed his eyes into Margrethe's ones, deeply searching them, so that she understood perfectly what he was asking.

"The situation is difficult here. After my marriage, my husband gradually lost control over the territory, and local lords started uprising again and fighting one another for the throne of Dale. In this fight, the whole territory between the Celduin and the Redwater has been destroyed, and few cities endure as safe place. Bardhaven is one of them, and yet you saw how the war changed it. Now Sigurd is the mere Stadtholder of Bardhaven, but few miles away from the city walls there are Earls and Lords pillaging the countryside and burning to ashes farms and villages for their wars, and it's like this until the very north of our lands. In Bardhaven the thefts are already way more common than they used to be, and the people hasn't food, and fear to go out in the evening."

Forodréd looked down to his feet. He had left a land submerged by issues, but here he had found another one. Maybe his fate was really following him, and he had to deal with this kind of difficulty at some point. He decided that there was no point in trying to move again, for a land with no problems.

"Oh, how rude of me!" cried, all of a sudden, Margrethe. "We're all going to have dinner together, but I didn't introduce anyone to you." She said something loudly, in a language that Forodréd had never heard before, and that seemed filled with magic and sadness, somehow similar to the Sindarin words his mother had taught him, yet extremely different and distant to everything he had heard that far. A young, gold-haired elf appeared came out of a door, with a face sparkling in curiosity. "This boy came here few months ago" the woman explained "and he is the last member of a long gone family of elves, and a distant relative of my husband. Nurvó Eressë-Aenlas, this is my nephew Forodréd Sigurðrsson."

Year VA 187, Blotmath 17th, Bardhaven.

Sigurd Barding looked uneasy at the Earl of Lordsport on the Redwater, a town not far from there, that sat in front of him at the other side of the ta. He was the most aggressive of the local disputing lords, and despite his town was small he had gathered a consistent army, that was now few miles away from the walls of Bardhaven. His red and blue banners were decorating the carriage that he had used to enter the city, and could be seen from the walls battlements far away in the fields. The Stadtholder couldn't really ignore that he had burnt the countrysides bordering Bardhaven's territory, and that he was probably the biggest threat to the peaceful life of the citizens. Nor, of course, he could ignore the people's judging eyes, aimed towards the palace: they accounted him as responsible for the famine and the higer rates of criminality in the city, and the recent battles and sieges in the surrounding areas had made them angry and eager for revenge. He really wished his family could have helped him, but Forodréd and Nurvó, in the last months, had taken personally care of the issues of the citizens, helping them by raiding outside of the city areas and in the lands across the Celduin. He was pretty sure they now were in the streets, aiding the people, and they were as angry as them for the sudden arrival of that unwanted guest.

He wasn't even really paying attention to what the Earl was saying. Despite him having a higher rank in the previous monarchy's hierarchy, and having been the ruler of the whole dalish territories for some time, he now was way weaker than his opponent, and the demands of the latter were clear: Bardhaven should have become ruled by Lordsport emissaries, no matter whether it needed a violent destitution or a consensual transfer of power. And Sigurd wasn't ready to take that step.

Meanwhile, the noises from outside the window were becoming more intense. Sigurd grunted, deliberately ignoring his interlocutor and the two menacing guards behind him. Not that he wasn't protected, but his single protector wasn't as steady as his opponents. While keeping an eye on them, he stood up, and went near to the window, looking down while the Earl was menacingly quiet. A wide crowd had gathered in the square, and even from up there it was clear that the tension was thickening and sharpening the air. Slowly, yet inexorably, the people were going ever nearer to the Earl's carriage, where the soldiers had raised the shields and readied the swords. Some greengrocers and their customers threw vegetables at the guards, that clanged the swords on the shields as answer, scaring the crowd and slightly pushing them back. Though, they soon started to advance again.

From his window at the second floor of the palace, Sigurd couldn't tell what really started everything, but suddenly screams and cries were heard, and blood was spilled, and some citizens fell, dead or wounded, before the carriage. And so it started: the other guards attacked, stabbing the people with swords and spears, while few of them managed to grab stones and to throw them at their enemies. Then, Sigurd's heart jumped a beat: from the rear of the square, an unmistakable curly redhead and his blonde companion distributed pitchforks and clubs, swords and spears, sickles and axes to the people, and jumped themselves in the middle of the scene: and many soldiers fell, overwhelmed by the raging crowd, that assaulted several times the carriage.

"Forordréd!" Sigurd cried, at half voice, from his room. The Earl stood up and reached him, and when he realized the situation aimed his dagger at Sigurd's throat.

"Open the window and tell them to stop. Summon the town's militia, if you wish to live. And if you wish for your family to live as well." Sigurd could see Margrethe being pushed into the room by another couple of guards.

"Margrethe... you really are a careless bastard, aren't you?"

"Shut up and do as I ordered."

"Don't think that it'll be enough to stop them. You don't know those children, and the people here suffered a lot the consequences of your wars, though for sure less than the poor fellows in the rest of the territory. They won't stop: they'll just kill you all."

Sigurd felt the blade on his throat. He was brave, but not enough to endure that, and not enough to let his wife die for that. He opened the window.

"Please, you all, stop it! They won't cause us harm! The city can survive this, you just have to endure, and things will be eventually solved! If you don't want to do it for yourselves, do it for me at least, and for the peace in the city!" he shouted.

The crowd stopped for a moment, looking up. He didn't know whether they saw the knife at his throat or if they thought he was saying it willingly, but for sure some stones were aimed at the window, and one passed through.

"Curse those yokels" the Earl grunted "once we'll have settled the matter with you, they'll for sure get what they deserve."

"Or maybe you will", Sigurd whispered among his teeth.

He turned his attention again to the situation outside. The clashes were fierce, and many were dying on both sides. But sudden Forodréd screamed something, and bearing a torch he set on fire the carriage. Black smoke rose from it as the last soldiers were horribly burning alive in their armors, that turned white while mixing with the pure air high above the city, and that sight remained deeply impressed in the minds of many. Then, the people turned their attention to the palace. Screaming and raising the pitchforks they charged through the door, and the palace guards let them in. Little to no resistance they found, and the damage to the art masterpieces inside was limited, for they were directly aiming to the room where the Stadtholder, his wife and their servants were being kept captive. Forodréd and Nurvó led them through the corridors, until the door of the meeting hall: they slaughtered the Lordsport guards at the entrance, and broke through it, entering the room. Just a glance was exchanged between the boys, Margrethe and Sigurd: she screamed with all the strength of her Lossoth heritage, freeing herself from the soldier's hands, and rose him up, throwing him through the open window. In a blink of an eye, all the rest followed: civilians and city guards, bourgeoises and workers, and their two leaders, all contributed in throwing the occupants through the windows of the room, in what became later known as "defenestration of the 17th of Blotmath".

What followed those events drastically changed everything had been law and abitude before, and things never could be completely reverted to their original state: the rebellion spreaded quickly, and as first effect the encampment of the Lordsport army was assaulted and raided. The citizens of Bardhaven quickly organized themselves into a popular army, and from the countrysides and the outskirts farmers and workers joined them. Many bore red banners of revolution, others crossed in red the old banners of the kings, but quickly, remembering the fire of the Lordsport carriage in Bardhaven and its smokes reaching the sky, more and more people started bearing white and black insignia, horizontally split, and Forodréd and Nurvó adopted themselves those colors for good luck and as a symbol of the rebellion.

The events of the 17th Blotmath were the sparkle that lit the fire. In all the territory between the Running and the Redwater, bourgeois societies formed in the cities to protest against the lords, workers in the outskirts started to associate and self-organize their activities, and in the countrisides the farmhands forced the farmers into sharecropping. From everywhere, local militias assembled under the banner _of argent and sable_ of the Bardhaven rebels, and many directly went south to reach their army.

City after city, town after town, the Folk's Guard advanced north, freeing the lands from the local lords, initially busy fighting one another and later trapped by the rebellions in their territories. The 26th Foreyule, though, more than one month after the Fire of Bardhaven, the northern lords allied to defeat the rebellious population. They defeated the Guard west of the Great Dalish Crossroads, pushing them back to the east. Forodréd explored the surrounding lands, and he found a small hill nearby a lake, and on top of it he set the camp, and fortified it. The camp managed to endure the siege, and after four sorties the rebel army trapped the royalists in a moat, completely defeating their armies. Then, they started again their march, aiming to the city of Dale, but left some people at the lake hill and in the plain in between, where walls and houses were built around a shell-shaped square; and the new town was named Saene, for the water nearby still echoes of the clanging swords during the battle.

The 4th of Afteryule the Folk's Guard crossed the River Running east of Dale, and a fierce battle was fought under the walls of Dale; but the dalish people, sick of the warring lords' occupation, kicked them from the city, preventing them from fleeing inside the walls, and the ones that had gone in battle were slaughtered there. Then the dalishmen opened the gates of the city, and a joyful crowd greeted the liberation army that was entering the old capital.

Then, the mayor of Dale took the crown of the northern kings, secretly kept in the castle's safe, and came to Forodréd to put it on his head: but he refused, grabbing it in his hand to stop the mayor, and he turned to the people and the partizans gathered in the main square, speaking loudly and clearly.

"Companions, mates, beloved friends in war and now in peace. We have finally achieved our goal, the complete unification of the dalish territories. This is for sure a day to be remembered, after long time: the last unified government of Dale fell a hundred years ago, and since then the northmen tribes have fought endlessly for that throne at the feet of the Mountain. But not again. Now, this bloody thread needs to come to an end. Since the quarrel of Feanor and Fingolfin, from the throne of the Noldor to the dark seat of Morgoth in Angband, to the glittering caves of Menegroth, from the various kingdoms of Men to the realms of the Dwarves, orc chieftains, High Kings of the Elves, rulers of Men and dwarven lords have fought for crowns and seats of power, too heavy for a single person and too small for two of them. And yet, these thrones were able to make people greedier the more they saw how much their rulers struggled, and endless bloody threads now link the first blood spilled in Valinor to our lands."

He took a pause, looking at the square. Everyone's gaze was on him. He kept speaking. "But not again. Let this be: that the people, wise of their enslaved centuries, put an end to the repeating history above their heads, as they did with the wars for the throne of Dale through us. We reject monarchy, meant as subjection to a single overlord. Shall the government be in care of virtuous people, and the citizenship be the core of its interests. Let the nobles and the knights live in their golden palaces of Dale, let them fight for the rule of that mere city. But they shall not involve innocent civilians in their small quarrels. Let Dale be the capital of the nobles and of the past: Saene will be the capital of the people, of the bourgeois, of the future. No King shall rule again these lands, but a Prior, under the control of a Chamber, and its rule will be for a determined amount of time. The kings expanded the borders of this land and left a mess behind their backs: let the people fix their mess and bring peace, prosperity and new art in the Republic. The time of the King has ended. Now come the days of the People!"

The people looked around, uncertain about what to do. They had been gifted the freedom to decide, that they hadn't had for long, and they felt power and responsibility in their hands. Then one of the soldiers from Redwater Ford shouted to the crowd. "Elections! Let's call for elections! Here we'll choose our leader, the leader of the North! Long live the People! Long live the Republic! Yes, this dalish republic, the Republic of Saene, of Dale and of the North!"

Priorate in Dale[]

Forodréd's rule in Dale was for sure full of events, as the first republican government in middle-earth history didn't go unnoticed, and many people started to look at Dale with anger, doubt, fear and hate. Many also tried to exploit his weaknesses to make the frail Republic fall, yet it endured. For further informations on this period, you can check the Dale wiki page.

Post-priorate and voluntary exile[]

After the end of his mandate, Forodréd lived a comely life, and spent his young age traveling through Rhovanion, until disgrace struck the Commonwealth. Due to some unwise diplomatical actions, the Basilinna of Dorwinion Arenelyya Dagothar-Engoria abdicated, and the Emperor of Rhovanion, Valdemar Barding, had no one left opposing him. Hence, he started a process of centralisation of the empire, and of removal of democratical rights. In this atmosphere of veiled dictatorship, not being able to start another Revolution, Forodréd chose to save what he could, and with Arenelyya left for the east, where they settled and married, having two children, Constantine and Anna.

Other informations[]


Forodréd is tall, with copper-red hair and green eyes, common trait to all his family line, while from his mother he heired the thin constitution. During his times in Artheloth he used to dress like a prince of the Dunedain and of the Lossoth, while after moving to the dalish lands he started to adapt himself to the style of those lands.

Influence on the local culture[]

In Artheloth, or in what remains of it, he is remembered less than his father, but still as a valiant young boy and a fearless, romantic explorer. In Dale, he is considered a national hero, as he started the Revolution that unified Dale once again and gave power to the People.


Forodréd had always been calm and reflexive, with a gentle personality, sometimes even shy. This, though, didn't stop him from putting all of himself in causes he believed in, as the restitution of the power in Dale to the people. To achieve such a goal, he often sacrificed his humanity and coldly used violence.