Mertogran (877-822 b.S.) was the rebellious Duke of Cantollio who forced Artero, king of Caltharia, to abdicate the throne during the War for Ancyros (in 833 b.S.) due to what many perceived to be a failure to properly tend his kingdom. Duke Mertogran proclaimed himself king and started immediately to build an army with the objective of regaining back all the lands of northern Caltharia that Artero had ceded to Erpheronia. He invaded Erpheronia, and did manage to recover some of the lands that were lost. However, Mertogran’s army was eventually defeated, and he was killed in 822 b.S. at the Battle of Salazar.
From the few available accounts of Duke Mertogran, he was average in height,
body size and complexion for a
stood approximately one palmspan
under two peds, and is
described as stocky (he likely weighed about two
pygges) with fair skin and
light brown hair. The only outstanding aspect of his appearance, of which note
is made in Caltharian
histories, were his emerald green eyes. It is written that Mertogran, for all
his “plainness”, could walk into a room and quiet a crowd with a look.
Born before the Caltharians’ humiliating defeat in the Age of Awakening, which has since changed the tribe’s entire outlook on life, Mertogran dressed and looked the warrior’s part in public, particularly once he set his sight on the throne of Caltharia. Over a full suit of chainmail armour, he wore a blue tabard embroidered with a curved sword overtop of a circular shield. Mertogran possessed some skill in battle, and always carried a longsword and targ shield – his purpose in doing so was to instil a sense of pride and courage to his followers. He kept his hair cut short, a necessity for cleanliness when out in the field. His appearance greatly contrasted with that of Caltharian men today, and is a reminder of the great changes that took place following their defeat in the War for Ancyros.
Personality. Mertogran was a cautious man, well-spoken, very convincing and excelled at public speaking. His temperament starkly contrasted with that of his father, who was brash, quick to anger and outspoken about many of King Artero' policies on foreign relationships and military investments, which his father rightly claimed had undermined the kingdom’s security. Mertogran is more methodical and diplomatic, and kept his opinions to himself, though he did share some of his father’s sentiments. He felt that foreign trading partners were used as a means to bring spies into the kingdom, and that more should have been spent on maintaining the military. He was 34 years of age when the Declaration of Doovens was signed in 843 b.S. At the time, he wisely did not speak out against Artero and what was happening to his fellow noblemen. Mertogran’s caution likely saved him from charges of treason, which had been levelled at other more rasher Caltharians who vocally opposed the demands of the Erpheronian king. The young Duke watched quietly as the Declaration of Doovens bankrupted the country, to the point that even many of the nobility of Caltharia were no wealthier than peasants.
Despite his caution though, Mertogran had pride in his country and hated seeing the despair that had been thrust upon his countrymen. It was during this time of poverty, that he vowed to reclaim Caltharia for his fellow countrymen. He established an intelligence network of trusted men throughout Caltharia who gathered information on Erpheronian presence and where the enemy was weakest or even non-existent in the country. Beginning with where the Erpheronians did not have a presence in Caltharia, he used his skills as an orator to bring influential nobles to his cause, and with their help began to plan the uprising. Once he had gathered enough information, he quietly set his plan in motion to retake Caltharia.
Biography. Mertogran’s Birth (877 b.S.). Mertogran is born in Carmalad as the first and only son of the Duke of Cantollio.
Formative Years (870 b.S.). Mertogran is sent to school to learn all that is needed to serve as a public servant – writing, history, public speaking, sword-fighting.
First Assignments (861 b.S.). Mertogran completes his schooling at 16 years of age and begins to take on some of the domestic responsibilities (i.e. dealing with low-level disputes in the duchy) of his father, the current Duke of Cantollio.
Response to War with Erpheronia (846 b.S.). A Royal Herald of Erpheronia is slain inside Caltharian borders by a group of marauders and thieves. The King of Erpheronia Myrwodin claims this was a deliberate attack against his land and his pride, and he declares war on Caltharia. Mertogran quickly mobilises his father's forces to join the king’s army. He quickly learns Artero, King of Caltharia, is a dangerous leader – weak-willed, a poor strategist and unable to raise soldiers’ morale. Mertogran is critical in keeping up the morale of his troops – his skills as an orator help to boost the morale of the troops, who keep in the battle for much longer than had been expected. He makes a famous plea at the gates of Doovens, which sees the Caltharians win a minor battle there.
Death of Mertogran's father (843 b.S.). Mertogran fights in the war as one of his father’s lieutenants (his father is Duke of Cantollio, a major duchy in the kingdom, and so has many responsibilities for defence of the country). Mertogran is only wounded in the battle. His father, however, is killed at Twinnean Peak.
Mertogran's Nemesis (843 b.S.). One of Caltharia’s greatest enemies of the time, Colonel Jezla Khizaar is present at the signing of the Declaration of Doovens. His success at the Battle of the Twinnean Peak has cemented his position within the Erpheronian army, and he is promoted. Khizaar gloats over the Caltharians, and denounces their people as weak of will and body. Given his new position as Duke, Mertogran is one of the council members called upon to witness the signing of the Declaration of Doovens. He does not forget Khizaar’s harsh words.
Fomenting Civil War in Caltharia (834 b.S.). Nine years after the signing of the Declaration of Doovens a civil War erupts in Caltharia. Supported by most of the other Dukes in the land, the Duke of Cantollio, Mertogran of Carmalad, tries to finally seize the throne. Everywhere in the kingdom, rebels capture Artero's magistrates and tax collectors, as his meagre army, the Royal Guard, is now stationed in the capital of Caltharia. In Frozen River the rebels lay a siege to the palace and demand that Artero abdicates. The Royal Guard is so small, it can only defend the palace itself, so the rebels rampage unchecked upon Carmalad, and hold a siege for two months.
Mertogran seizes power in Caltharia (833 b.S.). Artero is captured and Mertogran has him killed, labelling him a traitor to the country of Caltharia. Duke Mertogran proclaims himself king and sets events in motion to regain Ancyros, the land lost to Erpheronia. Mertogran assembles his new government from among the nobles who fought with him during the uprising. He starts to build an army, collecting all forces the Dukes throughout the land can provide, which violates the treaty with Erpheronia. This causes reinforced border patrols in Erpheronia, who finish building Evergrey Bridge. Also during this time, Mertogran has been closely following the Erpheronians’ progress, and his spies have collected a great deal of intelligence with their border patrols. He also learns the design of the Evergrey Bridge, the area and reinforcements around the bridge, and the size of the Erpheronians force guarding the bridge.
Mertogran invades Erpheronia (823 b.S.). Ten years after claiming the Caltharian throne, Mertogran’s army swells to over fifty thousand and he moves his forces northward. The Caltharian army crosses the Erpheronian border north of Carmalad in a surprise attack, led by Mertogran and his military consul. Although the stationed Erpheronian troops defend themselves well, they are overwhelmed by sheer numbers and slain. Mertogran advances his forces north and west of Doovens to Evergrey Bridge, which currently stands in the province of Enthronia, but prior to Thar’s ascension, the bridge that allows travel over the swift flowing Cylian River was the border between Erpheronia and Caltharia. The self-proclaimed king of Caltharia begins his campaign with a quick early morning raid of the Erpheronian forces at Doovens. The Caltharians are victorious, as Mertogran heeds the consul of his ‘master-at-arms’, a fellow Duke with some wartime experience in the previous wars with the Erpheronians, who recommends night raids in territory the Caltharians know well. Mertogran pushes the army quickly northward and they take the Evergrey Bridge. He is counselled to pull his forces back to reinforce the bridge, however Mertogran feels it is best to keep the army moving, especially with their recent successes.
Lapses in Judgement (823 b.S.). At this point, Mertogran ignored the advice of his military consul, and sent a portion of his army up the Cylian River. This Caltharian force moves northward to the towns of Acht and and Holm, but due to poor preparation this time and lack of Mertogran’s leadership, the Caltharians suffer severe casualties during the battles. Cut off from the main Caltharian force, they must flee northward, and wander into Silvershire. The soldiers plead for sanctuary with the halflings. The Caltharians left alive are taken in.
Mertogran first takes the remainder of his army west to the Twinnean Peak and Goltherlon, where his army wins two decisive battles at newly established “border camps”, which the Erpheronians built after Mertogran seized power. News reaches Mertogran that Erpheronian forces led by Colonel Jezla Khizaar are massing north of Veltin. Mertogran quickly changes direction and brings his army eastward to intercept the Erpheronians.
Mertogran's Demise (822 b.S., Awakening Earth). Mertogran takes the remainder of his forces eastward to claim Salazar. This land, previously in Caltharian territory, is now a strong point for Khizaar’s army. Mertogran, however, feels that his army has the advantage of knowing the territory. Given that Salazar is of military importance since it is so close to the ocean, Mertogran orders an all-out attack. His lack of military experience shows in this battle, which Khizaar wins with a smaller force by defending at a natural series of steep ridges that collapse the Caltharian lines to half their potential, preventing Mertogran from using greater numbers. Mertogran is killed in 822 b.S. at the Battle of Salazar.
Consequences of Failure (822 b.S.). After losing again to the mighty Erpheronians, the Caltharians are forced to sign yet another ultimatum - the Treaty of Veltin. This one is harsher, and less merciful than the Declaration of Doovens. In the Treaty of Veltin the demands of the Declaration of Doovens are renewed and even more Caltharian lands are taken over by Erpheronia, among them Thantocha, north-east of the Ancythrian Sea with the important city of Doovens. The treaty also restricts the size of the Caltharian army, the equipment their soldiers can legally use, and who can command the army.
Importance. Despite his preparations, zeal and passion for Caltharia, Mertogran was unable to defeat the Erpheronians and reclaim the lost lands of Ancyros. This failure marked the end of the militaristic society that had once been very influential in Caltharia. Caltharians are now renown for their skills in woodworking and dying of various cloths. Since their military might was much diminished, Caltharians have used their skills to generate wealth and thereby secure their place in Santharia. Another outcome of Mertogran’s failure to win the War for Ancyros was the signing of the Treaty of Veltin, which reinstated the demands of the Declaration of Doovens. In addition, more Caltharian lands were ceded to Erpheronia, including the lands of Thantocha, northeast of the Ancythrian Sea, with the town of Doovens. The final outcome of the War for Ancyros and Mertogran’s daring invasion of Erpheronia was the massacre of many halflings and Caltharians in the Silvershire (see Massacre of Silvershire), and more importantly the flight of many halflings into the Silvermarshes. The halflings who were able to escape the Erpheronian army and adapt to the harsh conditions in the Silvermarshes eventually encountered a group of orcish refugees fleeing from humans at the beginning of SW III. The halflings and the orcs were able to co-exist peacefully and eventually mingled to form the mullog race.