The Karthic Wars

(537-597/4) The Karthic Wars were a series of four major conflicts spread throughout a period of 60 years, fought between the Iskari Kingdom of Iskandar and a group of Vaas strongholds. Even today, the four Karthic Wars are still a source of bitter resentment by the Vaas toward the Iskari people, and have had long-lasting political ramifications throughout Corwyn.


Long ago, in the fifth century of the Fourth Age, the Vaas peoples were loosely organized into a series of city-states.

The strongest of these was the Kingdom of Karthis, centered around its namesake city, which was ruled by the House of Madrigal; a line of dangerously arrogant Vaas overlords.

The Iron Treaty of 536/4

In 530/4, the Iskari people of Iskandar began sailing east across the Iron Sea and colonizing the western-most coastal areas of mainland Corwyn, a region called the "Eastvale."

At first these colonies were friendly and a profitable trade was established with the city of Pike's Ferry. But, those peaceful times did not last.

In the year 536/4, Lord Cochran Pike entered into a treaty with the Iskari that allowed Iskandar to colonize the Eastvale for mining iron ore. In return for the mining rights, the House of Pike would receive a handsome share of the profits

This agreement was highly controversial, and made Lord Cochran a pariah among his fellow Vaas nobles. King Ethelred Madrigal of Karthis was enraged by the Iskari "invasion," and ordered his soldiers to raid the Iskari settlements and drive the colonists off the continent.


The First War: 537-547/4

King Ethelred Madrigal of Karthis felt strongly that the Iskari colonization was an "invasion," and ordered his soldiers to raid the Iskari settlements and drive the colonists off the continent. He also ordered the destruction of Pike's Ferry for the "betrayal" done by House Pike. Neither of these goals was realistic.

The military raids were sporadic at first, but soon grew in both intensity and violence. In 537/4, the Iskari village of Crecy was attacked. In the ensuing battle, the Iskari Prince Idris Cyrenäe was murdered, along with several hundred other innocent women and children.

King Ilathrin Cyrenäe II of Iskandar became so enraged over the death of his son, he ordered his army to invade the Eastvale and "pacify" the region. Many observers remarked at the time, that King Ethelred had "awoken the dragon."

At this time, the Kingdom of Iskandar was far stronger and wealthier than the combined strength of all the Vaas city-states, but the Vaas foolishly provoked open warfare with them. King Ilathrin II sent an army of 50,000 soldiers across the sea, who were well-trained and well-equipped. By comparison, the entire army of Karthis had a strength of only 10,000 men.

The Treaty of Rheems

The First Karthic War came to its bloody conclusion in 547/4 at the epic battle of Mudd River, where several important events took place.

First the Vaas were decisively defeated by the Iskari, the Karthic army routed, and both King Ethelred and his son Edmure were captured. The same battle also claimed the life of King Ilathrin II, causing the unexpected ascension of Queen Isobel to the Onyx Throne of Iskandar.

Isobel turned out to be extremely capable ruler; within days of being crowned, she took steps to end the war on favorable terms. The Queen shrewdly negotiated the famous Treaty of Rheems, an agreement that should have ensured a lasting peace, albeit on terms quite favorable to the Iskari.

One of those terms included Isobel keeping Prince Edmure as a hostage, and releasing Edmure with his promise to keep the peace; a promise made with his son's life as collateral.

For the next 25 years, Ethelred kept his word, and upon his death in 572, Edmure was returned to Karthis unharmed to take his fathers place. This period of history is known as the "Quiet Times."


The Second War: 572-575/4

Sadly, the peaceful period brought on by the treaty of Rheems, died with King Ethelred, who passed away in the year 572/4. Queen Isobel kept her word and released prince Edmure to return to Karthis and take his father's place.

Isobel did not trust Edmure, and even though she released him, she kept his son Egan as a hostage. Egan had been born in Wyn Falas 12 years earlier, after Edmure's marriage to an Iskari woman he had courted. The Queen believed this arrangement would ensure the peace would be kept.

However, shortly his return to Karthis, the newly-crowned King Edmure declared the Treaty of Rheems void and declared war upon Iskandar.

He further insulted Queen Isobel by denying that Egan was even his true-born son, and was instead an "Iskari Bastard" and meant nothing to him.

This declaration served two purposes; first it informed the Vaas nobles that Edmure was a true rebel, like his father before him. Second, it completely nullified the Iskari advantage of holding his son as a hostage.

Edmure believed that if the Queen should execute Egan, it would only rally the Vaas common-folk and Edmure also correctly believed the Queen had become too attached to the boy to have him killed.

Queen isobel tried to offer peace terms, but Edmure, always a impetuous fool, disregarded Isobel's offer and declared open war. In the year 573/4, He recklessly marched his small, ill-equipped army out and was thoroughly crushed at the Battle of Anders Crossing.

In the aftermath of the battle, Edmure was captured, immediately executed, and his body quietly burned on a pyre along with his fallen soldiers. Within a month of Edmure's death, the Iskari had placed young Egan Madrigal on the throne of Karthis.

The Third War: 580-583/4

The Third Karthic War was triggered by the assassination of King Egan Madrigal; derisively referred to by the Vaas as the "Bastard-King."

Although a kind and benevolent ruler, the young king was despised as an Iskari collaborator. Within six months of the Death of Queen Isobel of Iskandar, the 21-year old ruler of Karthis was murdered and his place on the throne taken by his half-brother Agaron.

As soon as he took the throne of Karthis, King Agaron foolishly declared war upon the Iskari. After a bloody four-year campaign, Agaron was slain and his army crushed at the Battle of Chandros in 583/4.

The Fourth War: 593-597/4

The most important Iskari victory in the final conflict was the capture of Karthis in the year 597/4. Afterward, began the bloody Iskari occupation and the infamous "War of Terror."