On the World of Athera
Third Age Year: 5645, Winter.
Arithon’s escape plan suffers a setback when a rancorous, displaced field captain from Alestron burns his shipyard at Merior, with only one vessel left fit to be salvaged.
Lysaer forges an alliance with the belligerent s’Brydion duke, with intent to rout Arithon with a reduced force.
Third Age Year: 5646
Set on the run with a large-scale war at his heels, Arithon takes refuge in the strategically difficult terrain in Vastmark. There, with a rancorous Dakar in tow, he allies with the nomadic shepherds with intent to recruit their bowmen. Faced by a war host and impossible odds, he takes Lysaer’s wife Talith captive to stall the onset of bloodshed.
Third Age Year: 5647
Talith is ransomed by Lysaer, under auspice of the Fellowship Sorcerers and High King Eldir. Although she is safely returned, the experience leaves an irreparable rift in her marriage.
Lysaer masses his war host, thirty-five thousand strong, and marches on Arithon’s smaller force in Vastmark. Arithon resorts to desperate measures to turn them, including the Massacre at the Havens, in which five hundred of Lysaer’s men are killed outright. The tactic fails, and is followed by the main engagement at Dier Kenton Vale, in which twenty thousand Alliance troops die in one day in a shale slide.
The campaign fails at the onset of winter, with Duke Bransian s’Brydion of Alestron changing sides and forging a covert alliance with Arithon.
Faced with a ruinous defeat, Lysaer decides to create a faith-based following and cast Arithon as evil incarnate.
Arithon escapes to sea to search for the lost Paravian races, who, as Ath’s gift to redeem the world, offer hope he might break the Mistwraith’s curse. He takes two young twins from Merior under his wing: Feylind sails as his navigator, and Fiark is apprenticed with a merchant factor in the town of Innish.
The Prime Matriarch of the Koriani Order casts an augury showing that Arithon will cause her downfall. Since she is aging and has only one flawed candidate in line for her succession, and her death will cause an irreparable loss of the sisterhood’s knowledge, she becomes Arithon’s inveterate enemy.