Knights of the Longbox
The War of the Gem
In AG 146, The Council of Three, the leaders of the City of Dern, had grown sick of the military domination of King Leo Arthas as well as his lack of support for the city state that was facing a crisis with the mages of the city’s college of wizardry. After requests for aid went unanswered, The Council authorized the church of The Grey Knight to purge the College of Dern, under auspices that the wizards were experimenting with necromancy. Advisors to King Arthas in the Rose Palace in the Capital, concerned with what seemed to be an attack on magic by the Church of the Grey Knight pushed for sanctions against Dern. Arthas ultimately agreed, declaring economic sanctions against Dern and condemning the Church of the Grey Knight.
Arthas installed a military blockade around Dern by Spring 146 but his magical advisers pushed harder for military intervention. Facing a growing revolt in the city from commoners, the surviving mages of the college and the Church of the Grey Knight, who felt they had become a patsy for the Council of Three’s actions, the city’s rulers called to allies for help, asking the cities of Sommerset, Bahnd, Shiverling, and Silverrun to send troops and supplies to help Dern gain protection from what seemed to be the beginning of a siege.
Reports are unclear as to what lead to the first blood to be spilled in the War of the Gem but before Dern could be reinforced by its allies, Arthas’ Royal Guard began a siege of Dern. Running out of allies within the city, the Council went into hiding, leaving guards without support and much of the city fell to rioting and martial law eventually went into effect.
The Alliance in defense of Dern eventually reached battle with the Royal Guard by late spring, mostly fighting a holding action and engaging in small battles upon the flanks of Arthas’ forces but by that time the point was moot. Dern was unable to defend itself and Arthas asked for a treaty.
Arthas offered pardons to the cities that came to Dern’s aid in exchange for formal, reign-long sanctions against Dern by all of Ulther. Fearing reprisal and with many sensing economic opportunity, Dern was left on its own. Thousands fled the city-state for a new home as trading virtually stopped in what was once considered the Gem of Ulthar.
As a result of the war, a burgeoning black market now controls much of the economy of Dern and the city is now renowned as one of the most crime ridden locations in the country. The Council of Three still attempts to exert order, mostly by hiring mercenaries and adventurers to fight back against the black market and other sinister forces within the city.