Tol of Juramona
|Alias||Tol of Juramona,
Tolandruth, Tolandruth of Juramona, Creekstone, Bane of Tarsis,Son of My Life
|Occupation||Rider of the Horde|
Tol of Juramona (2432 PC - ? PC) was born the son of Bakal and Ita, both were farmers in the Eastern Hundred province, who rose to become a Rider of the Great Horde and the champion of one of the Emperors of Ergoth. Tol also had two sisters named Nira and Zalay. From his lowborn beginnings, Tol later consorted with rulers and nobles, and became the fiercest general in the Ergothian Empire.
He was known as a just and fair man, who treated commoners and nobles alike, and was popular with all those who served with him. He was known to have hated slavery, but also loved to eat apples and other fresh fruits. Tol was described as being short of stature, powerfully built, had long brown hair and dark eyes. He was a skilled warrior who no-one in his time was able to defeat in battle.
Tol grew up in a remote part of the Eastern Hundred where he tended the fields of his father's farm. The quaint peace of the farm was disturbed in 2421 PC, when Pakin and Ackal forces fought each other in the area. Tol came across the wounded Lord Odovar, who he hid in a manure pile, when he realized the unconscious warrior was being hunted by his enemies. Lord Grane, commander of the northern Pakin army, and his men reached the farm and questioned Tol, and on his instructions they followed the tracks of Odovar's horse, who Tol had scared away. Tol then retrieved Odovar and began to lead the lord back to Juramona, where they encountered Odovar's men, led by the warrior Egrin Raemel. The band of soldiers resumed their trip back to Juramona, where they were ambushed by another force of Pakins at the gates. Egrin faced off against a Pakin noble by the name of Vakka Zan, and again Tol proved his worth by knocking Vakka down and saving Egrin's life.
It was the public execution of Vakka Zan that shocked Tol most at his young age, an event that would be seared into his memory for the rest of his life. Following the execution, as he was about to leave Juramona, Egrin offered Tol the chance to become his Shilder (shield-bearer) and promised to teach him the ways of the warrior. Tol agreed as long as his father also complied. On the return to his farm, Tol found that Spannuth Grane held his family hostage, however the dark commander escaped in the night, allowing Egrin and Tol to rescue Tol's family from one of Grane's soldiers. Tol's father Bakal listened to Egrin's offer and gave his permission, and Tol formally became the shilder of Egrin. Tol realized that Spannuth Grane was in truth, the noble Morthur Dermount who was dwelling in Juramona under Marshal Odovar's nose. When Egrin and Tol returned to Juramona, they confronted Morthur, however the Ergothian noble escaped and was branded a traitor to the Ergothian empire.
The Rise of a Shilder
By 2416 PC, Tol had developed into a young man and a fine young shilder, who earned the respect of Egrin and many of the other soldiers of Juramona. On one scouting trip along the Caer River, he discovered a curious Irda artifact, which he later learnt was an Irda nullstone, and on the spur of the moment he decided to keep it, then promptly returned to Caergoth. During the fight in the Great Green between the Ergothian forces and the local tribesmen, Tol defied his orders and led a contingent of shilder into the forest to aid Egrin, Odovar and his beleaguered comrades. Tol's shilders painted themselves to resemble the foresters and infiltrated the enemy lines, as well as uncovering that Morthur Dermount was aiding the tribesmen.
Tol challenged the tribal chieftain Makaralonga to battle and bested the mighty warrior. The young shilder spared his opponent's life and captured him, and the surviving tribesmen immediately turned tail and fled, ending the conflict. On the return to Caergoth, Egrin detailed Tol's accomplishments to Amaltar, the Crown Prince of Ergoth, who rewarded Tol by awarding him the rank of Rider of the Great Horde, even though he was a commoner. On hearing that Makaralonga was to be executed as a prisoner of war, Tol requested that he be allowed to be the executioner and then once he was out of Caergoth, he freed the chieftain. Makaralonga in turned praised Tol for his honor and declared Tol was his son, and then fled back to the Great Green.
Not long after Tol had returned to Juramona, a small delegation of the Dom-Shu arrived in Juramona led by Makaralonga's two daughters Miya and Kiya. The daughters offered themselves to Tol as his new wives and declared that peace would now be binding between the Dom-Shu and the Ergothians. Tol was forced to accept the two women, and requested the command of the foot guards of Juramona, from the new Marshal of the Eastern Hundred, Lord Enkian Tumult. In 2414 PC, Tol was requested to go to Daltigoth, along with Lord Tumult and a hundred soldiers. En route to Daltigoth, the group was ambushed by Morthur Dermount, who used his magic to send everyone to sleep, however Tol was untouched by the magic. The warrior faced off against Morthur and slew him in a duel, after which everyone else was awakened. Lord Tumult gave Morthur's ring to Tol as a reward and the group continued to Daltigoth.
In the city of Daltigoth, Tol found himself wandering into the palace, where he happened on the young lady Valaran. The two struck up a brief conversation, in which she led him back to the kitchen, and promised to meet each other again at the Font of the Blue Phoenix. Again Tol wandered on his own, and stumbled across the Vale of Sorcery. Surprised mages confronted him as to how he had managed to enter, but he did not know himself and offered up Morthur's ring as his only known magical artifact. The mages organized for a spy to watch Tol and allowed him to leave. Valaran and Tol continued to see one another in secret and soon fell in love.
The spy who the mages hired was Crake, an old friend of Tol's from Juramona, however when Crake learnt that Tol possessed a nullstone, he went after the young man himself. On the steps of the Imperial Palace, Crake fought Tol and ultimately fell to the young warrior. Injured, Tol himself fell on the steps, and on awakening, Valaran told him that she was to be wed to Crown Prince Amaltar. Shattered, Tol was then requested to see Crown Prince Amaltar in the palace, where he was awarded the Order of Silver Sabre, for his acts in service to the empire. He was then given command of the Horse Guards, made one of the nobility and also made the personal champion of Amaltar, Crown Prince of Ergoth.
Newly decreed by Crown Amaltar and Emperor Pakin III as Lord Tolandruth (to honor him by naming him after the infamous warrior Tolandruth), the first act of the new lord was to choose ten of the one hundred foot soldiers from Juramona as his personal retainers. To a man they all volunteered, however he first chose his old friend Narren, and then nine others (Frez, Darpo, Tarthan, Allacath, Wellax, Lestan, Fellen, Valvorn and Sanksa). Tol took a house in the canal district which was dubbed Juramona Hall, and his retainers took up residence, along with Egrin, who had been ordered by Crown Prince Amaltar (as a private favor to Valaran, who was acting for Tol) to come to Daltigoth and assume the role of training new guardsman in the Horse Guards.
Tol trained his Horse Guards in several new methods of fighting, and whilst a number of them left and joined Prince Nazramin's Wolves (the younger prince's personal Horde), the remaining Horse Guards came to almost worship Tol. In 2412 PC, fighting between Tarsis and Ergoth had escalated to all out war. With the threat of the monster XimXim devastating the Tarsan forces and threatening Hylo, Tol was commissioned to investigate whether he could find an ally in Hylo or if the monster XimXim was actually real. On the road to Hylo, Tol learnt about a new disease that had stricken Urakan's army, known as the Red Wrack.
Shortly after, Tol's party was ambushed by Bakali and Valvorn was slain, whilst Miya was taken captive. The group quickly found the camp of the bakali, slaying the foul lizardmen and rescuing Miya along with the mage Mandes, who admitted to creating the Red Wrack. Tol then led Mandes and his soldiers to the camp of Lord Urakan, where Mandes cured the army of the Red Wrack. The group continued to the mountains near Hylo, in search of the lair of XimXim, having witnessed the beast firsthand and knew that it truly existed. On finding the lair of the beast, Tol and his soldiers faced the monster and with the aid of his wives and Mandes, finally killed XimXim. However the fight against the beast claimed the lives of a number of Tol's men, including his close friend Narren. The group then continued to Hylo, where Tol's forces joined those of Lord Urakan's.
The strategies of Lord Tolandruth won the day at the Battle of Three Rose Creek over the fearsome General Tylocost, however Urakan was killed by Tarsan mercenaries before Tol bested Tylocost. Following the victory, Tol sent Mandes to Daltigoth to advise the emperor and the Crown Prince of his victories over XimXim and General Tylocost. It wasn't until 2411 PC that his camped army at Hylo received a reply in the form of his retainer Sanksa, who had deserted from camp to tell Tol that Mandes had betrayed him and instead advised the emperor that Urakan had won the victory over Tylocost and that Mandes alone had defeated XimXim. Lord Regobart arrived with his own imperial hordes to assist Tolandruth and his hordes in facing the Tarsans.
After ten years of skirmishing and battles, Tol and Regobart finally led their forces in a crushing victory over the Tarsan army led by Admiral Anovenax. In 2401 PC, the Tarsans declared their surrender, and Tol was invited to the house of Syndic Hanira. Spending an evening with Hanira, magical creatures attempted to kill Tol, however he defeated them quickly and then returned to his forces. He received word that Pakin III, Emperor of Ergoth, had died and that most of the Imperial Hordes (including his) were recalled to the capital.
A Return to Daltigoth
Tol gathered his companions and made a return to Daltigoth, passing through the Harrow Sky Mountains. During the trek a magical cyclone threatened to destroy the party, however the healer Felryn saved the group by sacrificing himself. Tol led his friends in rescuing a dwarven caravan besieged by brigands in the Harrow Sky Plains and was rewarded for his efforts with a dwarven made sword dubbed " Number Six ". The group eventually made it to the Gulf of Ergoth where they boarded a ship known as the Blue Gull and sought passage to Thorngoth. However during the trip, the Blue Gull was boarded by the pirates of Xanka, King of the Sea. Tol challenged the pirate captain to battle, and slew Xanka. To the other pirate captains and pirates of the Blood Fleet, Tol made the offer of amnesty and positions within the Imperial Navy of Ergoth. Half of the Blood Fleet refused and fleet, whilst the remaining one hundred pirate captains agreed and the entire contingent sailed to Thorngoth. Tol led his party on a small boat into Thorngoth, before the pirates arrived so as not to alarm the soldiers stationed there. A magical storm ravaged the vessel and Frez was lost, before the remaining onboard could struggle to the shore.
At Thorngoth, Tol met with Lord Tremond, Marshal of the Coastal Hundred, an old comrade from years ago, and advised him of his deal with the pirate captains. Tremond agreed to honor the pact and welcomed the pirates into the Imperial Navy. Tol then requested Darpo to remain in Thorngoth and become the admiral of the first fleet of the Imperial Navy. Tol, Miya and Kiya returned to Daltigoth, where he immediately gained an audience with Amaltar, who was preparing to ascend the throne, and who advised he was to take the regal name of Ackal IV.
In the streets of Daltigoth, Tol found himself in the midst of a riot by a gang known as the Skylanders. Desiring an end to the trouble, Tol faced off against the gang leader, who forced him into a fight to death. Tol killed the young man in self-defense and when unmasked discovered it was Pelladrom Tumult, son of Lord Enkian Tumult. Tol also witnessed the mental decline of Amaltar, as he showed the opening signs of madness. In his Daltigoth home, Tol again was the target of assassins, when a magical carpet tried to strangle him. With the aid of his wives, he fought off the carpet and the spell on it was ended.
Tol took part in the coronation ceremony of Amaltar, seeing the Crown Prince become the Emperor of Ergoth. During the celebrations afterwards, Tol encouraged the engineer Elicarno after the young man had challenged Mandes in a contest of his invention against the sorcerer's magic. Mandes fled the city following his loss to Elicarno, however Tol could not celebrate on hearing that Lord Tumult had brought five Imperial Hordes to the gates of Daltigoth. Tol went out to meet with Lord Tumult and learnt that Enkian had been told there was a Pakin plot. Tol told the Warden of the Seascapes that he had been misinformed and left the camp. Shortly thereafter the warden was found murdered and Tol was initially implicated, however witnesses cleared him of the crime soon after. When Tol returned to Daltigoth, Ackal IV admitted to Tol that he always knew of Tol's affair with Valaran, and told him that the affair with the Princess Consort could continue in secret with his blessing.
A messenger arrived in the Emperor's Court and told of the return of the Red Wrack across the land. Tol knew that it was the work of Mandes and rode to put an end to him. The Mist-Maker threw illusions in Tol's path of the death of his friends, where he witnessed the death of Darpo to pirates and the death of Elicarno to a magical creature, as well as the use of magic to drive Amaltar mad, however Tol persisted and reached the lair of Mandes at Mount Axas. Tol confronted Mandes who told him that he could save Amaltar and prevent Nazramin from sitting on the throne, however Tol did not hesitate long with his hated enemy, and killed Mandes for his crimes. The warlord then returned to Daltigoth to find that all of Mandes' predictions and illusions were true, and Prince Nazramin who had orchestrated the downfall of Amaltar with Mandes through the use of a magical image, had assumed the throne. Nazramin told Tol that he had taken Valaran as his new wife, and had many of Tol's former comrades and allies killed, and had Tol thrashed severely and left for dead outside of Daltigoth. He was joined by Miya and Kiya and then left the city.
The Return of Tolandruth
Tol stayed in the Dom-Shu village for the next six years, living in peace with Kiya, Miya and her son Eli. The former Ergothian warlord built his own hut and taught the Dom-Shu several lessons about farming and use of hardwood for fire, and became a boon to the village. In 2395 PC, Tol's old friend Egrin came to the village to seek him out, and tried to convince Tol to return to save the empire, but to no avail. It wasn't until Tol received a vision from Valaran, that he was determined to leave. Before leaving, Miya gave him back the Irda nullstone, which he had given her years earlier and asked to destroy for him. Rather than be angry, he simply took the nullstone and with Egrin and Kiya began the journey to Juramona.
Before reaching their destination, the group ran into Tylocost and a half-elven tracker named Zala. The former general of Tarsis offered his services to Tol, also advising of the destruction of Juramona by large hordes of nomads, and Zala advised that she'd been commissioned by Valaran to locate Tol and bring him back to the empire for her. Amidst the ruins of Juramona, Tol began to gather survivors and build his own force to turn back the nomads. He sent Kiya to Hylo to gain the support of the kender, and Egrin further a field to gain the support of the landed hordes, whilst Tol himself continued to drill and train the survivors into an effective fighting unit. The nomad hordes under the tribal chiefs Mattahoc, Ulur and Tokasin drove their forces against Tol's minor unit. However with Tol, Tylocost and Zala leading the defenders, they were able to stave off the barbarians until Egrin arrived with several of the landed Ergothian hordes and saved Tol's defenders from utter annihilation. Further imperial hordes came to join Tol's forces and his new army shattered the barbarian army and then moved onwards toward Caergoth. En route to the city, Tol's army was boosted further by the arrival of the Army of Hylo, led by Queen Casberry and Kiya.
Once the two forces were joined, Helbin insisted on speaking with Tol and told him news about Valaran, and Tol discovered that Helbin had a magical image of Nazramin that was being used to torture the emperor. The warlord realized that this one of the twin images created by Mandes the Mistmaker, and that the other was used to torture and lead to the demise of Ackal IV. In disgust, Tol released the statue from the torture pins and allowed Helbin to join his army as long as he maintained his good behavior. The unified forces under Lord Tolandruth were now known as the Army of the East, and their numbers were grown even further by the surprise arrival of Syndic Hanira and three hundred of her Tarsan soldiers from the House of Lux. Yet again the Army of the East were attacked by nomad hordes led by Chief Tokasin. However the mighty army under Tol crushed the nomads, and Tokasin took his own life. Unimpeded by nomads any longer, the army continued to the very gates of Caergoth. However a siege turned out to be unnecessary, when captives held within the city, including Chieftain Makaralonga of the Dom-Shu and Miya, escaped with Ergothian forces on their heels. Then several Imperial Hordes stationed around Caergoth defected to the Army of the East, and Tol entered Caergoth. Tol's vanguard forces, along with Miya, Zala and Tylocost entered Caergoth, however Zala was cut down in the fighting, before Governor Wornoth was found and brought to justice.
Tol sent Tylocost to locate Mellamy Zan, daughter of the Pakin Pretender and asked him to safeguard her out of Caergoth, so that she was free of Ackal V's clutches. The Army of the East continued their march and on their way through the Heartland Hundred, was attacked by ten Imperial Hordes. Egrin was gravely wounded, however Tol's forces crushed the Imperial Hordes and continued onwards to Daltigoth. On the outskirts of Daltigoth, Tol was entreated by a messenger who asked that he grant audience to a priest of Corij. Tol agreed, realizing that it more likely was a ploy of Emperor Ackal V. When the priest and his retinue arrived, they quickly attacked, revealing themselves as the Emperor's Wolves, his personal horde. Tol personally dispatched the leader Tathman, and the rest of the Wolves were also killed, however Egrin had been struck again during the fighting and finally died from his wounds. Tol mourned the loss of his mentor and determined to carry on into Daltigoth alone, so that no more of comrades or friends would die. However Kiya insisted on traveling with him and the two entered Daltigoth alone.
Inside the city, the remaining Imperial Hordes informed Tol that they were tired of the unjust rule of Ackal V and they would not stand in his way. Leaving Kiya at the gates of the Inner City, Tol proceeded into the palace alone where he faced Empress Valaran and her son Dalar. His beloved told him that she had poisoned the Emperor and asked him to kill Ackal V. Tol refused to kill a helpless man and left the palace in disgust, seeing what Valaran had become and leaving the Emperor to his fate. He returned to Kiya and the pair rode out of Daltigoth together, never to return.
Along with Kiya and Miya, Tol buried Egrin in Zivilyn's Carpet along with his Irda nullstone. He told his wives that he was tired of politics and fighting, and that he wanted a simple life once more. He was once a humble commoner and so he would be again. With gentle goodbyes to both Miya and Kiya, he wandered through the tall grass and vanished from sight.
Tol continued his later years in obscurity as a commoner, where he had his own farm in Jura Hill country in the Eastern Hundred. He survived through the Successors' Wars and saw the end of it and Pakin IV come to power. Tol lived out his final days as a free man and a peaceful farmer in the lands where he was first raised.