Tephron was Helcrani Anactar of Milkengrad (644-637 b.S.) and the first Helcrani King of Centorauria (637-621 b.S.). Tephron is remembered in Centoraurian history as a brave warrior and a wise king. His most admired achievements are the liberation of the Helcrani from the tyrant Arpagar and the inauguration of the assimilation process between the Helcrani and the rest of the Centoraurians which was triggered with the rise of the Helcrani Kings to the Centoraurian throne.
Picture description: The Helcrani Anactar and first Helcrani King of Centorauria, Tephron. Image by Koldar Mondrakken.
Tephron was a fairly tall man. His height was approximately 1,90 peds. He had a
fair complexion and black hair. His eyes were black as coal and
lay under thick eyebrows in the middle of a soldier's
face hardened by numerous battles.
Tephron had always a serious look that combined excellently with his aristocratic appearance. Although he was a very simple and accessible person his looks betrayed his high statute. Even the untamable Centoraurians abided willingly by his rule and never did they dare disobey his orders despite Tephron in general was against punishment.
Character. Tephron in general was a low profile person. He was always calm and never raised his voice. His serenity was notorious as he confronted the most ridiculous demands from his aristocrats and still he persuaded them to obey without giving in to their claims. Tephron was a courageous man. However, he knew - from bitter experience - the importance of proper timing and careful planning. He was a soldier even in his everyday life; he despised luxury and elocutionary speeches. Tephron is also renowned for his courage. From the age of 14 he was present in the battlefields and never did he show a scrap of fear. He was also the one who dared to challenge and kill the ferocious tyrant Arpagar at the height of his power. Tephron was a mild tempered man that had no ambition of power. However, circumstances led him to be the savior and king of his people.
Biography. Tephron was born in 682 b.S. as the second son of Currann, a Helcrani nobleman of the Sostrian Fratra. From his early years he was raised to be a soldier just like his father. He had his first military experience at the age of 14, when Tephron - as a young squire - along with his father, his elder brother and his uncles and cousins, who were also military men, defended their homeland against the Erpheronian invaders. He participated also in the Helcran campaign against Erpheronia that followed. These campaigns were not without mourning for Tephron who lost in the field of battle his brother, one of his uncles and two of his cousins. In 665 b.S. Tephron witnessed also the deaths of his father and of his Anactar under the walls of Voldar. He was also there when Ogygor's enlightened leadership made the Erpheronian general Ileor the Kind spare the Helcrani army. Tephron lived the reign of Ogygor in Milkengrad and deeply admired the wise Anactar and when he rose to power he tried to follow his lead.
Arpagar's Rise. Ogygor died in 651 b.S. However, his sons rivaled for the throne and there was a great uproar among the Helcrani, each pretender gathered troops and a civil war was imminent. At this point, an exile from the Codomman Fratra appeared. His name was Arpagar and he was escorted by the Black Warriors, an army of Ashmari dressed with black cloaks. Arpagar accused Ogygor's sons of treason since they rivaled for the throne and prepared for war when the Centoraurian king should solve the dispute and appeared as a savior from the civil war. Arpagar earned the citizens' support and crushed easily the two young pretenders, on the Kings Plateau. Arpagar with the approval of the Centoraurian king, Agelron the Quick, was proclaimed Anactar upon the Efirhal in a festive atmosphere on the 6th day of Avénni'modía 651 b.S. At the same year, Tephron was absent to the birth of his twin sons Curgan and Cumrann.
Tephron during all this turmoil was absent in Erpheronia, sent by the late Ogygor a couple of months before his death, where - according to the terms of the peace treaty - he was in charge of the Helcrani regiment that trained the Erpheronian cavalrymen. When he was recalled to Milkengrad, in the end of 650 b.S. the tyrant had already shown his true face and reigned in an orgy of death and torture and disgrace. The elves had abandoned the city, and went back to the Goltherlon Forest. The rebellion of Jonnahir the kind and Yaunin of Ahaiwana was already crushed in a bloodshed of no survivors with the tolerance of Ephiagar, the new Centoraurian king and sovereign of Milkengrad, who was unwilling to intervene and prevent the massacre with the excuse, that it was an internal Helcrani matter. The true reason of his behavior was that Arpagar pledged unquestioned allegiance of the undisciplined Helcrani to the Centoraurian King. Tephron didn't participate to the revolt, because he was in an expedition in northern Erpheronia and had no news of home. When he returned to Milkengrad he saw the atrocious monument of Arpagar's victory in the middle of the Hypheralean Square; the sculls that once belonged to Jonnahir and Yaunir placed on top of a pyramid made by the sculls of their comrades in the center of the Hypheralean Square. Those of the Efirhal Helcrani rebels who were lucky not to have a noble origin and were allowed to withdraw in the final battle and their families were mercilessly tortured and disgraced. Arpagar's atrocities froze every thought for a rebellion against the evil Anactar. A few attempts to assassinate him failed as his magic protected him. Tephron understood that the circumstances did not favor another rebellion and decided to leave the army with the excuse of being crippled after a fake fall from his horse. Indeed, Tephron was appointed to the Curonesta where he was responsible for the protocol. And the years passed in terror, pain and shame. Situations that witnessed from a first hand Tephron's sons who spent the first years of their life as hostages in the Curonesta palace in order to ensure their father's loyalty.
Arpagar's Death. On the 23rd day of the month of the Changing Winds of the year 644 b.S. an elven magician clad in white, appeared during an execution on the Kings Plateau, challenged Arpagar and dueled him. His name was Queenezar the White, and had a star with 19 edges as his symbol. His name would never be forgotten in all the Helcrani lands. The fight lasted for several hours and it was ferocious. But at the end only the black magician was standing. However Arpagar was severely weakened.
Tephron had decided to try a hopeless attempt to assassinate the tyrant, even if the price of a possible failure would be not only mean his death but also the death of all his family. He was armed with Helronn's sword, the Lawgiver. This sword was the symbol of the royal power in Milkengrad and had been lost after Ogygor's death. However, the Milken Brownies who had secretly stolen it handed it over to Tephron in order to give him a slight chance of success as the Lawgiver had been created and runed by smiths of all races, and was cooled in blood instead of water. Among others it was said to have been blessed with the ability to destroy evil magic. Tephron seized the opportunity of the duel and approached the twisted king as if he would help him rise. His magic could not harm the bearer of Helronn's sword. Tephron was the one to take Arpagar's head. The last words of the tyrant ever heard were "For thy crimes against the Helcrani I lay justice upon thee". Then he lost his head and with it his magic and his life. The surprised barbarians tried to retaliate, but without their leader they were easy fodder for the outraged Helcrani. They were all killed or sacrificed in Curogane's grave between the Artapherana. Arpagar's body was burned and his ashes were thrown into the sea. Tephron was proclaimed Anactar, the first one of the tragic Sostrian Dynasty, and prepared the war to revenge the Centoraurian king for abandoning them and tolerating so many crimes.
War for Revenge. From the very moment Tephron rose to the throne he spoke for all Helcrani when he demanded revenge from the Centoraurian king who had abandoned them to Arpagar's madness. Indeed, Tephron lead the Helcran army against Centorauria in a savage civil war. The Helcrani over seven years captured one Centorauria stronghold after the other and at last cornered Ephiagar in Thyslan where they laid siege upon him. The vast majority of the Centoraurian folk were supporting the Helcrani rebels. Many Centoraurian noblemen assisted them too. However, the king was not willing to give away his throne without a battle. He gathered every troop he could, local and mercenary, and made his last stand when he was cut off from the sea. In the battle that followed he was killed and his army annihilated. The 23rd day of the Month of the Changing Winds (Méh'avashín) of the year was not only the last day of the war but also the last day a man of pure Centoraurian origin would rule the country. This day the Helcran dynasties were inaugurated and ruled the country from the new capital in Milkengrad.
Tephron's Rule. Tephron ruled his people with wisdom and strived for the unity of his kingdom. He did not discriminate between his subjects because of their origin. In fact he was a catalyst to the developing of a Centoraurian national consciousness among the Helcrani. During Tephron's reign the Helcrani embraced the belief that they were also Centoraurian despite their different ethnic origin and not subjects of the Centoraurian king. In fact, several scholars tried to prove that the Helcrani were actually an ancient Centoraurian tribe (and not without royal support).
Tephron, on the other hand, honored many Centoraurian aristocrats with the title of "helcrani". They were not allowed to keep their title and fortune for their support, but they held also honorary offices for their valor and virtue. In a few decades the word "helcrani" would mean both "person deriving from Helcrah" (if it was written with capital "H") and also "Centoraurian aristocrat" (if it was written with a plain "h").
Tephron's reign is remembered for his care for education and poverty. He reorganized the corrupt Centoraurian taxation system favoring the middle classes over the aristocrats. Tephron also introduced a new form of military organization according to the Helcran tradition of the universal recruitment of the citizens and linked the Centoraurian citizenship with the military service. He also introduced many liberal institutions of Centorauria to the conservative Helcrani. Tephron also favored trade, which he thought to be a major wealth source for his country. For this reason he encouraged it and constructed a major war and merchant fleet.
Offensive against the Stratanians. In 628 b.S. Tephron decided to take drastic measures against the Stratanian pirates who had been looting Centoraurian ships in the south. Piracy was a serious income source for them at this time and the pirate leader was appreciated in local hierarchy. For this reason the Stratanian authorities didn't seriously consider Tephron's proposals for cooperation against piracy. The 23 years old prince Curgan led an offensive against the Stratanian pirates. However, he didn't handle the whole operation with the necessary discretion. These military operations resulted in the Stratanians considering the Centoraurian interference a provocation and the conflict soon escalated into war with the direct interference of the Stratanian navy. Curgan however, managed in a series of successful naval battles to destroy the Stratanian fleet, to seize the Stratanian capital for a couple of days when he hunted and captured many pirate leaders. Among them was the supreme leader of the pirates and member of the royal Stratanian council, Tehmen Rut, who passed under trial and was executed in Milkengrad a few months later. These Centoraurian actions, although from a military aspect were a total success and completely eliminated piracy. However, politically it triggered direct hostility against the Centoraurians.
War with the Erpheronians. In 626 b.S. the Erpheronian army invaded Centorauria. They quickly advanced from Cemphiria to Salsair and set the city under siege. Tephron sent his sons Curgan and Cumrann to encircle the enemy. The Erpheronians suffered a defeat under the walls of Salsair, but nevertheless managed to escape to friendly territory. During the next weeks the war evolved around the bridge of Cemphiria where the two armies faced each other but did not decide to engage in battle. The Helcrani launched a series of sabotage operations with great success. Finally, after a year of warfare the two sides decided to sign a peace treaty more favourable for the Centoraurians abandoning futile confrontation. Renevor, the Erpheronian king would remember this conflict for a long time to come.
Tephron's Death. Tephron was scouting the Aurora's trying to find a suitable site to rebuilt the ancient city of Carbug, when he fell off his horse, after it went wild from a snake bite. He died a few days later in 621 b.S. aged 61. The irony is that he had been a cavalry officer for more than 45 years and one of the best riders in Centorauria. After his death his son Cumrann claimed the throne from his brother and heir, Curgan, triggering a civil war that led eventually to the Fall of Milkengrad four years later.
Importance. Tephron was a man accepted totally by his contemporaries, although he lived in hard times. He ruled with wisdom, compassion and vision. Tephron established the foundation for a united and prospering Centoraurian. Although, his city was conquered shortly after his death, his work didn't go to waste. The Centoraurians, united, managed to regain their capital after 37 years of foreign occupation and continued his work. His dream of rebuilding the ancient city of Carbug, stronghold of the first Centoraurian king was never accomplished.
Information provided by Curgan