Personality Edit

The second highness may be a brilliant commander, but he wasn't a good king. While the second highness's governing policies weren't bad per se, he didn't have the wisdom or wit of a king. The second highness was a grudge-holding, petty, stubborn, authoritarian, and opportunistic man who always thought he knew best. The man's biggest problem was his self-importance.

The second highness's alpha-strike mentality that got him to gather a force of 300 thousand, only to end up with nothing after a devastating loss, having nowhere to return to apart from The Northlands, resulting in him having to rely on Lorist once more.

Story Edit

His reputation as one of the war gods on Grindia was nothing to scoff at. First, he had used the northbound convoy to pacify the kingdom's trouble-causing nobles. Thereafter he plotted to ruin the relationship between Duke Madras and the second prince and caused them to be on hostile terms to the point that Duke Madras had to cede Yungechandler.

On another front, the second highness schemed against the first prince and gradually chipped away his enemy's forces, ultimately causing his foe to fall into his trap before he invaded the kingdom, forcing the first prince to cede two southwestern provinces for a peace treaty. A few years later when war broke out once more, the second highness crossed Cloudsnap Mountains to circumvent the iron-wall defenses the first prince set up and managed to take over Frederika. It was a battle that greatly alarmed all on the continent.

The Northwestern Province was the hilly coastal area Lorist and the convoy had passed through all those years ago. Neither the second highness nor the first prince paid any attention to it, to go to the Redlis kingdom's capital from there one would have to first cross the wide Morrison river, one would also have to pass through Kanbona. The ideal route for an attack on Frederika was through this very province, which was why the second highness had managed to capture it during his previous invasion.

He could not do the same thing this time around. By the time the second highness had gathered his 300 thousand soldiers, the king of the Redlis kingdom, first prince Krissen Redlis, hadn't just sat by idly, he had gathered up large sums of money and a lot of resources to reinforce the forces stationed in Kanbona. All over the province, there were well-defended citadels with wide moats and tall walls. If the second highness wanted to reach Frederika, he would have to conquer one citadel after another to clear his path to the capital.

The First Prince thought that Auguslo would sustain at least 200 thousand losses in Kanbona, and the remaining 100 thousand soldiers will be exhausted, never being able to conquer the capital. The prince understood the importance of wearing down the 300-thousand-strong army well. He had gathered all the family members of military officials above the rank of Squad Leader in Frederika under the ruse of keeping them safe for that very reason. Everyone knows it was just a ruse, however. If they didn't do enough damage to the second highness' forces, and the city fell, their families would fall with it. It was the prince's plan that this knowledge would motivate the forces defending Kanbona to fight to the death. The prince felt that, even though his move was incredibly cruel, this was the only way his soldiers would be desperate enough to take down three soldiers before falling. The first prince was prepared to sacrifice 70 thousand soldiers to grind away at the second highness's forces as much as possible.

Nobody had expected that the second highness would be even more savage than the first prince, savage to himself and his own forces no less! He personally led his soldiers through Greatsnow Mountain in such horrible weather. Despite losing three-quarters of his troops, he managed to take Frederika in one fell swoop, forcing the first prince to flee the capital.

It was worth noting that the second highness had delivered an impassioned speech just a month earlier at the capital of his own kingdom, pledging to restore the Krissen Empire to its former state. It was also said that he would be busy with the funeral of the third prince, patrolling the front lines and preparing for war. It caused others to think that he would only attack the Redlis kingdom during the 4th or 5th month, as was military convention. Nobody had dared to imagine that the second highness would conquer Frederika just one month later. Such speed shocked and awed many.

The second highness made his way across the Cloudsnap mountain range and scaled Greatsnow Mountain, which was completely suicidal and far too risky. There was a natural barrier in the Bodolger province, between the capital and the northwestern area of Kanbona. The barrier was known as the Cloudsnap mountain range. It was a densely packed collection of tall mountains and dense forests. Additionally, Greatsnow Mountain, situated in the middle of the mountain range, was easily taller than 10 normal mountains combined. Snow piled up on the mountain and didn't melt easily. The terrain was also incredibly hard to scale. It was difficult, if not outright impossible, to cross over. Despite that, the second highness cut through like a dagger flung at a snake.

He only managed to cross the Cloudsnap mountain range thanks to his timing. The Cloudmist Swamp stretches for around 50 kilometers along the bottom of the range. It is said that the swamp is formed from the melted snow that gathers up in the area. If the second highness attempted to cross during summer or fall, it would take him at least two or three months. But during winter, most of Cloudmist Swamp was frozen, allowing the troops to travel into the deeper parts of the mountain range without restraint. After that, they only had to make their way over Greatsnow Mountain to arrive at Bodolger.

Only 8000 of the 30 thousand troops survived the journey, as they didn't make sufficient preparations. The second highness had only mobilized his so-called elite troops, but didn't have enough knowledge of the troubles of winter. Had he been better prepared, he wouldn't have had to attack the city with so few soldiers. Only around 4000 soldiers died from the hike across the mountain range. But more than 20 thousand of them perished due to the extreme cold. Less than 8000, able to resist the cold with battleforce, survived. It was still more than enough to defeat the unprepared troops defending the city.

Even so, it's still better than attacking Kanbona's citadels one after another. Had he done so, he would have lost more than 100 thousand troops easily. Considering this, his choice was the wiser, despite the losses he suffered.

He was defeated by the allied noble army in Anderwoff. Back then, he didn't command his troops to wipe out the allied noble army in one go and instead engaged in three to four smaller skirmishes which all ended in the horrible loss of the nobles. However, the nobles of Anderwoff continued to fight to the death even after Anderwoff had been taken. Having been driven to Majik, they continued to struggle against the second highness's forces until they received aid from the Union and the four central duchies which ultimately resulted in their triumph.

The second highness's alpha-strike mentality that got him to gather a force of 300 thousand, only to end up with nothing after a devastating loss, having nowhere to return to apart from The Northlands, resulting in him having to rely on Lorist once more.

When they conquered Frederika, they discovered a secret path leading outside the city, which could be what the first prince used to escape. When Frederika was encircled, His Highness brought the rest of his subordinates through the secret path. Back then, they had 6000 men, but less than 2000 remained because we ran into the first prince, who had gone missing in action.

It led to a small valley in the Cloudsnap Mountains located 50 kilometers from Greatsnow Mountain. His Highness had his men scale across the Cloudsnap Mountains to make it back to the Andinaq kingdom so they could gather their forces and start over. The six thousand men following him were his most loyal and elite.

After leaving Frederika using the secret path, they crossed a small stream to cover their tracks. They traveled about half a day from the river and turned towards the Cloudsnap Mountains when they were about 50 kilometers away from Frederika. On the way there, they passed through a dense forest where we took a short rest. His Highness wouldn't let them rest there for long, though.  He wanted them to find a better spot so they could rest for a few months before they attempted the crossing after the winter. He wanted them to pass over Cloudmist Swamp before it thawed and head for the kingdom from there.

They were surprised to discover from a map they obtained in the palace in Frederika that the valley near Greatsnow Mountain was a noble's dominion, specifically, Baron Krimando's. They later found out that the baron had never shown up at the royal court before, which explains why almost nobody knew of him.

His Highness decided that Baron Krimando's dominion would be the best place for us to rest. If they had someone defend the valley's entrance and prevent anybody from getting in or out, nobody would discover what was going on inside. They headed for the valley and conquered the small castle near it in a night assault. Once they occupied the castle, His Highness instructed someone to advise Baron Krimando to surrender. Bowen Ketty volunteered and marched over proudly to carry out the task. Nobody expected his decapitated head would be hung above the walls of the baron's castle a few minutes later.

They were almost driven crazy by anger, no sane noble would do something as egregious as murdering a messenger. His Highness instantly ordered his men to continue pressing their attack and avenge Knight Bowen. After two months of bloody battles passed, they incurred more than five thousand casualties; even Knight Sisreid died on the walls. Of the 13 gold-ranked knights that left Frederika with His Highness, only Glacia, Ripleid, and Karitoke were left. One of the two blademasters protecting His Highness also perished. The other was heavily injured.

When they finally breached the castle, they got to know from their captives that the baron was actually the first prince's illegitimate son. The valley was the last resort the first prince left for himself should he ever require it. Within the valley were three thousand of the first prince's most elite troops. He had been hiding within ever since he escaped from Frederika and watched as the nobles of Redlis kingdom struggled against the forces of the Andinaq Kingdom, waiting for the opportunity to strike and rebuild his kingdom. He do not think he'd have to use his trump card early to deal with the Second Highness, who were about to lock him within his little dominion.

They killed and killed. His Highness almost broke down as well. They never dreamt of clashing head-on against the first prince there and casualties piled up on both sides. In a fit of rage, His Highness ordered them to kill all the captives and citizens they came across. After all, they were the enemy's families. His Highness also managed to behead the first prince and his illegitimate son personally before he coughed up blood and fainted.

The six thousand men were His Highness's best. If they could had brought them back to the Andinaq kingdom, they would have been able to regain control easily. But most of them were incapacitated after the battle, only around two thousand were still alive with varying degrees of injury. By the time His Highness recovered, they received word that the situation was beyond saving. If they returned to the kingdom, their only fate would have been death. That's why they had no choice but to disguise themselves and head to The Northlands to seek Lorist out for help. They hoped that House Norton would be able to aid His Highness in restoring his rightful position on the throne.

When the second highness received the Whitelion Legion's equipment as well as 100 thousand gold Fordes, it showed the relationship between the second highness and House Norton was nothing more than one of a liege and his vassal. The second highness had baited House Norton with the same gear to have their forces exterminate the obstacles that would stop him from gaining power. The equipment's return signified Lorist desire to have nothing further to do with the Andinaq royal family, a sentiment which the second highness undoubtedly noticed.

When Kenmays brought out his request for Sidgler to be made his dominion after the Madras duchy's conquest, the second highness agreed because he felt Sidgler was a rather rural province that didn't have much value apart from Platinum Beach, which was a famed vacation spot. And, given that the province was in Duke Madras's hands, the second highness was more than happy to give it away to instigate the fight between House Kenmays and the duchy since it would cost him nothing.

Baron Shazin wanted the land around Sanderson Hills in Delamock. The location was the border of Winston and wasn't like the rest of Delamock, rife with ripe farmlands. It was rather odd for the baron to want such a place as his territory. Baron Shazin was a man brought up in a military family. He didn’t really understand what it meant to manage a dominion. He was the one with the tightest finances among all four houses. He frequently needed their aid. There were two silver mines and one copper mine in Sanderson Hills. It would help alleviate his financial situation. It wa far better than selling crops, which was why he desires the area. The second highness intended to use those mines to fill the national treasury. However, Kenmays explained to him that Sanderson Hills was under the control of Duke Madras and there are seven citadels there manned by a 40-thousand-man garrison. If he agreed to the baron's request, he would attack and conquer the area regardless of the cost. His Highness could then levy a ten percent tax on the mines' earnings. That was far better than sending his own elite troops to the grinder that was the seven citadels. So, the second highness agreed to Baron Shazin’s demand. Apart from giving him that area, he would also make him a count.

Baron Felim was willing to pledge allegiance to the second highness and attack the duchy on his behalf. All he wanted was his promise to back him up when he attacks Iblia to take Southern. He would also need a legion of troops in Southern to defend against any attack by Duke Fisablen.

Back when House Norton clashed with the second prince and won, their forces swept across The Northlands and took care of all landed nobles apart from our three houses. Currently, there were 17 noble houses living in Firmrock Castle. They are all the old nobles of the Krissen Empire that have some relation with House Norton. But, given that The Northlands was already under the four houses' control, Lorist had been wanting to give them replacement dominions. Kenmays had the second highness agree to enfeoff land in Delamock to the nobles, to gain House Norton’s support. Also letting Lorist have Kobo and the rest of the remaining territory, to further his highness's cause without any hesitation. Kenmays wanted the Nortons' forces that far exceed that of the three other houses. With their involvement, they could decrease their casualties. Second, he wished to have five of the landed nobles his house was rearing given land in Delamock along with those in the care of the Nortons. If he accepted this, he could leave the matter of reclaiming Baron Felim's dominion to House Norton. They would be more than capable of defending against House Fisablen.

Also, Kenmays convinced the second highness to name Lorist the governor of Winston and leave Windbury in his jurisdiction. The second highness refused, but Kenmays convinced him that when they conquered the duchy, there would be nobles that would submit to him. Kenmays also knew some nobles of the Iblia kingdom that were on friendly terms with him. All he had to do was move their dominions to Winston, and leave only Windbury under House Norton's control. If he made sure to support House Felim, one of the Nortons' allies, Kenmays convinced him that he would cause House Norton quite a bit of trouble.

Usually, an oath contract came in three copies. Apart from the liege and vassal's copies, there would be another one for public announcement. The second highness's oath contract came in four copies, one each for him and the four nobles with the final one used for public announcement. During the new year, Kenmays would represent the four houses at the annual celebration in Gildusk and announce the agreement to the nobles currently deprived of dominions by the Nortons and Kenmayses. According to Kenmays, the agreement signaled the return of those nobles to the second highness's rule.

At first, the second highness wanted the smaller noble houses to sign the contract with each of the four houses respectively, but Kenmays mentioned that the act might make others think the second highness was intentionally trying to sabotage the alliance between the four houses. It was imperative that the four houses worked together to conquer the duchy, so all four houses should be involved in a joint signing. Only thusly would all the houses be in the same boat with regards to reputation and casualties.

Kenmays added that he would like to personally sign the agreement independent of the other houses because he didn't want to be dragged into the same pit with them. He said it would incite Lorist's suspicion and the others by making them think the second highness had some private arrangements or benefits for House Kenmays. If it could come to pass, not only would the alliance be affected, the second highness's plan to reclaim his throne would also be ruined. So, Kenmays said he was willing to get into the same boat as the four houses, even if it meant potentially greater losses for him, so the second highness managed to successfully regain power in the kingdom.

The second highness praised Kenmays's sensible considerations and agreed to follow his suggestion for the four houses to sign the same agreement, with the conditions Kenmays stipulated. When the second highness stamped his finger on all six copies of the contract, Lorist, Felim and Shazin all nodded in acknowledgment. The second highness couldn't be more riled up. He thought the four houses were now at his beck and call. He would use them to wipe out his enemies and conquer the realm.

However, Lorist refused his suggestion to deploy soldiers almost immediately. When the second highness brought up the plan to conquer Delamock, he realized he didn't have any right to command the four houses' forces despite being their liege. Even the second highness' guards reported to the four houses. Apart from gold-ranked knight Ripleid, Glacia and his three silver-ranked knights were back at the Norton dominion recruiting soldiers and guarding the Whitelion Legion's equipment.

The angered second highness brought out the contract and tried his best to find a clause that would allow him to assert some control over Lorist. As he scoured the contract, he realized he had been duped by Kenmays, who had dug him a huge pit into which he had jumped willingly, to say the least.

All the clauses in the contract were ran through the second highness and mandated by him personally. But after re-reading the contract, he hurriedly brought out a map of the empire and realized that even if he could reunite the empire, apart from House Fisablen's Wild Husbandry Province, the entirety of the Iblia kingdom would fall under the jurisdiction of the four houses. If the alliance held, a third of the empire's territory would forever be out of his reach.

Take, for instance, Delamock, which the second highness promised to the landed nobles deprived of their dominions. Most of them were vassals of House Norton, and Delamock would belong to the Nortons in the truest sense after the duchy was eliminated.

The second highness elected Lorist as the governor of Windbury. He had forgotten that Windbury was the capital of Winston, so even if the nobles of Winston were on the second highness's side, a governor like Lorist wasn't. And in the chain of command, any order the second highness had for the nobles of Winston had to go through Windbury first, so Lorist could just intentionally not pass the orders on while he dealt with the nobles himself.

The second highness's regret amplified. He had practically given the whole of Winston to the Nortons. He later discovered another clause that severely disadvantaged him: there was no date for when the Nortons had to help the second highness reclaim his throne. Not only that, the territory promised to the four houses would be in effect right after the duchy's conquest whether the second highness regained his throne or not.

For instance, the second highness had promised Sidgler to Kenmays as his hereditary dominion with the count promoted to duke with the only condition being the conquest of the Madras duchy. Not only that, if the four houses conquered Winston and Windbury, Lorist's term as governor would be effective immediately and Windbury would fall under his control.

The second highness despaired with his realization, especially the one where he didn't stipulate when the four houses had to reclaim his throne. It could happen right after their conquest of Madras, or even 20 years later! The four houses would only have to sustain the second highness in The Northlands in the meantime while they carry out their strategy to suck as many benefits out of him as they could.

Even though the second highness felt rather generous when he was giving away almost all the benefits of conquering the Iblia kingdom to the four houses to ensure their loyalty, he realized that the current situation allowed the four houses enough territory to found their own kingdom after he reunited the empire. He almost wanted to cut his own hands off and wondered how he could be so misguided to put his thumbprint on such a contract.

There were no lieges that dared to go back on their word on an oath contract. After all, it was the most sacred form of agreement there was. It represented the promise of the liege to the gods and their ancestors. The second highness knew the contract was the only document ensuring the four houses' loyalty. If he truly breached it, not only would all his reputation and trustworthiness be gone, the four houses could use it as an excuse to revoke their pledge of allegiance to him and return to being rogue nobles. Not only would he not gain a single thing for which he had bargained with the four houses, he would also gain four mighty enemies.

Relationships Edit

Vassals Edit

  • Duke Kenmays: The second highness had already realized the tricks Kenmays played on him in the contract the previous month and changed his friendly attitude. Kenmays, on the other hand, maintained his polite demeanor as if nothing had happened. The second highness was unable to hate the man no matter how angry he was.
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