Tome of Dorgoth

The Falcon Conspiracy

The Falcon Conspiracy is an attempt by Kingdom of Laeryll elites to convince King Olyxx III to declare war against the Labarean Empire. It was named after the Falcon Room in the Temple Tree of Prydisyrr, where many of the conspirators met.

Background of the conspiracy

During the War of the Sisters, the Kingdom of Laeryll suffered great losses and in the early tenth century, had not fully recovered demographically, despite pushes for early births. Moreover, the horrors of the war turned to elves reluctant to fight. While the expansionism of the gnomes was cause for worry, many elves felt peace had to be maintained.

This changed when the Labareans started destroying holy sites within Silimanis in the early ninth century, as part of the Magic Ban. These sites often predated the Long Autumn in Qosid and their destruction was an affront to all elves. To make things worse, it became clear that the Empire was also willing to target sites in their “borderlands”, which included territory in Laeryll. Province Keepers petitioned Olyxx III for war, and a peace meeting was held in Hilltower, Silimanis.

The meeting culminated in the Hilltower Treaty, which established boundaries between the Kingdom of Laeryll and the Labarean Empire, and explicitly forbade military actions that transgressed these boundaries. It also stipulated reparations that needed to be paid for the destruction of elven heritage. While the treaty led to peace between the two nations, many elves felt honor could only be restored by reclaiming the holy sites and rebuilding them.

In 900 LC, the Labareans invaded Zhai. This led to a division in Laeryllian politics: hardliners insisting that the Labareans were growing too powerful and softer factions insisting that the Labareans were running into a quagmire in Zhai. After the succesful conquest of Lloridan, a once-elven city, it seemed that the Labareans were proving successful. Moreover, a deep cultural tie between the province Dathyll and Lloridan made the fall of the city hit hard with many elves.

The refugee flow

Immediately after the invasion, the Kingdom of Laeryll declared that all refugees would be welcome in Prydisyrr, which led to a steady flow of humans and elves making their way to Dathyll. The declaration was made by Queen Ceanna, but planned by Valthyx the Evoker, the Orange Dean. He had insisted to the Crown that this would be a peaceful support of Zhai, but was secretly aiming for the influx of magic items and spellbooks that would accompany the refugee flow. Together with Falix Fisibird, aide to hardliner and Province Keeper Illitran Varalei, he set up facilities north of Prydisyrr where confiscated magical items were categorized and stored for future use.

The conspirators

The confiscation of items was organized by factions in the army, but without the oversight of the highest ranks. Lieutenant Llarm Phiwynn controlled the maintenance of order in the refugee camps outside of the city, and had his men collect magical valuables. Moreover, he introduced an entrance fee to the city and camping fees, pressuring the refugees into selling magical wares they brought with them.

Falix Fisibird ran the facilities north together with Valthyx and the wizard Nafindil, as part of the Royal Academy of Evocation. Students were instructed to sort items there, identifying their magical properties and maintaining records.

Attack against the King

On Marat 30, 903 LC, the Festival of Light started in Prydisyrr. As each year, the first evening would see street parties and a special event for the political, magical and cultural elites in the army base. As all Province Keepers had gathered for the event, King Olyxx III decided it would also be a good moment to convene on the crisis in Zhai. So, prior to the party, he and Queen Ceanna met with all Province Keepers and military strategists, in the war room of the barracks tower.

The conspirators knew that General Kalied Ilbaereth would argue strongly against military intervention, arguing that the elves would not be able to hold back the military might of the Empire with their current means. Falix had thought up a plan: if they could somehow make Kalied more aggressive prior to the negotiations, it would be easier to get him to agree to any war plans. Given the king's trust in Kalied, this would surely win over the Crown.

And so it had been done. Falix had instructed Bingverd Flossbottom, one of the more discreet alchemists of the city, to prepare an aggression potion, which he had brought to the army base. There, it was added to Kalied's bottle of water – by spilling the original bottle and calling for a new one, which Falix had replaced in the War Room kitchen – while the case for war was made. The plan worked: Kalied directed his anger against news of blasphemous Labarean soldiers in the Sun Temple of Lloridan and insisted on punishing them. King Olyxx, however, cited Kalied's earlier reservations – the lack of well-trained soldiers, concurrent tensions with Arkos – and Kalied could not respond properly to those.

Afterwards, as the Festival of Light party commenced on the upper floor of the barracks tower, Falix tried to argue against Kalied's reservations, hoping that the general could still persuade Olyxx. Falix got a long way, but then something unexpected happened: unbeknownst to either Falix or Kalied, Bor Durlyne added more aggression potion to Kalied's drink, who drank it and got even angrier at the pacifist attitude of his king. Kalied flew into a rage and made his way to the King's balcony, accusing him of cowardice and threatening to throw him over the balcony. This drew the attention of True Wizard Ballelds, who cast a laughter spell on Kalied, weakening him and allowing the King's guards to take him away and lock him up.

Votes for War

During the meeting, it had become clear how strong the opposition to war with the Labarean Empire was, but also how eager those who wanted to declare war were.

Province Keeper Position
QosidGaf BhytearDoes not want war, knowing it would have to contribute most men. Argues that Zhai is a quagmire for the Labareans
BaraelEribell GauntshynIs not endangered, but Stonehall will contribute if The Porcupine agrees or joins
DathyllDeputy Gostaer FogonUnwilling due to growing threat Arkos Plains. Agrees with Qosid about quagmire
Small Provinces1)Illitran VaraleiStrongly in favor, expects Labarean attack and has seen activity of Blades of Dorgoth in Pothael
ShyfayllAratula ElranRuhukoyrr sees destruction of holy sites as early stages of The Dark Dreamings

Other groups were equally divided.

Person Title Position
Kalied IlbaerethSupreme GeneralNever considered war wise, but finds sacking of Lloridan unacceptable
Gundaryk Herell2)High Priest of UshArgues for diplomacy: demand ceasefire and reparations, draft peace treaty for Zhai and the Empire
TynariHigh Priestess of WayeSays the Kingdom has not been healed from the War of the Sisters and should refrain from physical action
Resting OwlRepresentative of The WatchersProposes a reclaim of Silimanis and the coastal territories, wants to ask The Porcupine, Arkos Plains and the Free Cities for help

Difficulty uncovering the conspiracy

After the attack on the king, it was not immediately clear what happened. First, all suspicion went to magic use, and the barracks were shut down to ensure that nobody could leave. When it became clear that the mania was the consequence of an alchemical potion, suspicions turned to Bingverd Flossbottom and Aendir Billidiru, the two only alchemists present at the party. Bingverd knew that Falix had bought a potion that might have caused the aggression, but Falix had disappeared into a secret hiding room right after the attack.

There was a staggering amount of people who wanted to see Kalied fall from grace with the king. Moreover, the dose given by Bor Durlyne was not part of the conspiracy, but was an assassination attempt given in by the Shekekar. Even further complicating research, no one with diplomatic status can be brought under truth spells.

Still, Ballelds Landidith and Bor Durlyne uncovered a pivotal role for Falix Fisibird, and upon confrontation in the sewers below the barracks, the involvement of Llarm Phywynn also became clear. Fisibird, being aide to Varalei, also brought suspicion onto his master and indicated the involvement of Bingverd Flossbottom.

2)
Gundaryk is the grandson of Kopellds Herell, a key figure in the Nine-Year Purge. Illitran Varalei considers his appeasement philosophy reprehensible.