King Valden Durethë; "Valden the Conqueror"
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(b:1131/3, d: 33/4) Valden Durethë; commonly known as "Valden the Conqueror," was a powerful Thannish warlord who spent nearly thirty years fighting a series of wars against his fellow Thanns to unite the entire Thannish race under a single banner for the first time in Corwyn's history.

His new nation was called Valdor.

EARLY YEARS


Valden grew up in the city of Tekrit, a cosmopolitan seaport on the coast of the Sea of Ralas and the capital of the small Thannish Barony of Dureth.

As the son of a minor noble, Valden received formal schooling and weapons-training. He soon gained a reputation as both a skilled diplomat and a cunning warrior.

In his childhood studies, Valden learned much of other cultures and became quite worldly. He would later use this knowledge to forge alliances and gain influences while he took control of increasing amounts of Thannish territory.

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THE FIVE GREAT CAMPAIGNS


In the year 1148/3, at the young age of seventeen, Valden's father died and he officially became the Baron of Dureth, and Lord of Tekrit. Ruling the small city did not fit well with Valden's great ambitions; so, beginning in the year 1151/3, he began to expand his power.

Sages tell of the "Five Great Campaigns" that Valden undertook between the years 1151 and 1175/3 to unify and conquer the Thannish peoples.

At that time, the Barony of Dureth was already a great power in the region, but there were many other rival Thannish political strongholds which Valden would have to face to fulfill his dreams of conquest.

First, in 1151/3, Valden faced the Iron Duke of the Rin Falar Freehold in a long and bloody military campaign, before defeating the Duke's army, slaying him in battle, and capturing the city of Rin Falar in the year 1154/3.

In the year 1155/3, he next faced Prince Meraxas of the Sokoro Union and in the year 1158/3 captured the city of Varistan after a long siege. Valden did not execute Meraxas, but instead made the Prince of Sokoro his ally and counsel. The two foes eventually became good friends and allies in the upcoming campaigns.

In the year 1163/3, Valden took on the Principality of Azimar, an important regional power. After a long and grueling campaign, the forces of Azimar were defeated. The Prince of Azimar surrendered in the year 1166/3, and presented himself before Valden to beg for mercy. Not surprisingly, Valden spared the Prince and made the city of Azimar a regional capital.

By the year 1170/3, Valden had also conquered the Oramar Confederacy; a loose alliance of five city-states along the coast of the Gulf of Alesard. These five coastal city-states were enormously wealthy, but were not military powers, and they all wisely submitted without any real fighting.

In his fifth and final campaign; Valden marched his armies far into the eastern Thannish territories. He successfully conquered the Barony of Ghastonne and captured its capitol city of Ashara in the year 1175/3. With that epic victory, Valden finally managed to bring all of the Thannish people under one banner, as a single, united nation.

VALDOR ESTABLISHED


Valden named his newly forged kingdom “Valdor.” The newly forged realm was massive; stretching from the Redpeaks in the south to the Frostcrown Mountains in the east. In fact, it was the largest human kingdom in Corwyn’s history, up to that time, with millions of subjects stretching across thousands of miles.

Unsurprisingly, Valden chose his home city of Kingsport as his capital.

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VALDEN’S CHILDREN


In his youth, Valden Durethë married Queen Anavel and had one son Eldan. Controversy erupted a few years later when the King became involved with a noblewoman from Ashara named Naomi Mallistäer, who became his mistress and bore him a second son named Rhodan.

Despite the scandal, the King loved both his sons and raised his younger bastard son to equal status of prince and made him his second heir.

Unfortunately, sibling rivalry and jealousy between his two sons grew as the years went by. By the time Eldan and Rhodan grew into adulthood, they truly hated each other. The future of Valden’s Thannish Kingdom was in grave doubt.

Years later, the threat of Alokkair was growing in the east and all the peoples of the West were preparing for war. An ailing King Valden was visited by the Council of Sorcerë, who wanted to present the King with a gift of a Melanthir sword.

Valden knew that if he gave the sword to one his two sons as a royal birthright, surely a civil war would result and tear the country apart. In a compromise to save the western alliance; the Saar Council chose to grant two Melanthir swords to the Thannish race.

The Vaas people, who had rejected the Saar's counsel, were thus excluded. Both of Valden's sons were given a sword, and both Eldan and Rhodan promised their dying father to put aside their differences and both went off to war against Alokkair in the War of the Melanthir.

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VALDEN'S LEGACY


Shortly after Alokkair's defeat, King Valden died in the year 33/4. Upon his death, the hatred of the two brothers renewed once again with increased bitterness, and soon open fighting broke out. This bloody conflict came to be called the Twilight War and raged between the years 33-38/4.

After five years of bloody civil war between the two sides, Rhodan was defeated and an agreement was reached which was strongly in Eldan's favor.

The treaty resulted in two separate kingdoms being formed in the year 38 of the Fourth Age. The wealthier, western two-thirds of Valdor became Eldara under King Eldan; the poorer eastern third of Valdor became Rhodara, under King Rhodan.

This short-lived kingdom was the first and largest Thannish kingdom ever to exist on Corwyn. Ironically, it lasted only 70 years.