Dragons of Ethior
Nadune of Caer Dorien was born into both privilege and poverty. Since the fall of the Nethar Empire the many regions surrounding the land of Dorien, called Ethior, have been in turmoil. Local warlords, petty nobles and little kings vied for the regions’ mastery. After centuries of unrest a great lord emerged who through battle, diplomacy and backstabbing wagered a forced peace. His name was Thomas Merewood and he became Thomas I, the High King of Northern Ethior, known to many as Thomas Tyrannus. Thomas I’s rule began with the swift punishment of those nobles who opposed him in his Wars of Ascension. Some were killed outright; some saw their lands stripped. Thomas had not come by his throne easy and did not take to forgiveness well. His reign, like the wars that bore it, was brutal and unyielding. From the Morough Dun, the great obsidian palace of the city of Hector in northeastern Ethior, Thomas I keeps the lesser kingdoms and fiefs at bay.
Eight years before this conquest and vengeance was complete- at the height of the Wars of Ascension- Nadune of Caer Dorien was born. Nadune’s mother was a stubborn noble woman, Llyr Dorien, the daughter to the Baron of Dorien, Gwydion III. His father was Arawn Willowgreen, an elf captain who fought and died against the rise of Thomas before Nadune was born. Willowgreen had come to Dorien some years before under the care of his father Tobian, a great sage and ambassador of the elves of Red Lead forest. Arawn was admired by the Baron Gwydion for his honor and prowess, and the closeness to the Dorien family wielded the courtship of Llyr. Arawn, however, fell against Thomas’ forces shortly before his son, the Heir of Dorien, was born.
The Baron Gwydion too had sided politically against Thomas and refused to swear loyalty to him. His youngest son, Aredhel, however was not as stout of heart. Thomas offered the younger Dorien the title of Baron in exchange for his loyalty and for turning on the region’s long ally, Nardil. This he did too easily and the bulk of the Dorien army, tempted by the king’s money, went with him. Thus Dorien turned on Nardil and Thomas took them both, one by bribe and the other by brute, the lancers of Dorien at the army’s fore.
The true Baron, Gwydion III, saw most of his family’s lands and wealth given to his treacherous son Aredhel in the end. The only asset that remained was the family’s ancestral keep, Caer Dorien, perched atop the hills on the borders of the Gauroch plains, north of the town of that bears the family name. The servants and guards had long since departed. With his mother and grandfather, Nadune grew up in long river valleys and the quiet halls of the keep, studying at the foot of the aging Baron.
Although the family was no longer lords of Dorien under the Tyrant King’s law, the people of the village nearby treated them as such all the same. In public the Baron of Dorien was Aredhel, Nadune’s uncle who ruled- at Thomas’ bidding- from the White Castle Turgon in the city of Dorien. But in private the people of the region swore loyalty to Gwydion and his daughter Llyr in the country keep west of the city.
This went on for some twelve years—Lord Aredhel commanding the wealth, lands, and armies of Dorien and his father Gwydion III quietly commanding its people’s love and respect. Though Aredhel knew of his people’s true allegiance he waited, knowing his father would not risk further war by attempting to regain his seat and that in short time his father would leave this world. As it came to pass, Aredhel got his wish just two months before Nadune’s twentieth year. The true Baron, Gwydion III, died in his sleep on midsummer’s day. He was mourned greatly by his people, most of all his grandson and legacy, Nadune.
After Gwydion’s passing Aredhel forcibly moved his older sister Llyr, who was loved as deerly as their father and being older was the rightful heir to Dorien, under his guard at the Castle Turgon, leaving the family keep to ruin. At Turgon, Llyr and Nadune were prisoners among the marble pillars and white stone.
Nadune was discontent to watching his uncle Baron Aredhel rule from the gilded throne of Turgon and, with his mother’s blessing, escaped into the wild. Since that time he has wandered and strove, yearning for the time where he will have the strength to confront his uncle, free his mother, and liberate Dorien from the iron grip of Thomas Tyrannus. Until that day where he may reclaim his heritage and restore his lands, Nadune has vowed to leave his family’s name behind.