Maethian Coup

The Maethian Coup is the name given to the events leading up to the regicide of Dane Reise, King of Highdunn in 1468 HC led by Dietric Kessel and his subsequent flight to the Maethian Arm, which would become the nation of Maethas. Below is the account of one of the conspirators executed by Eldin Reise, a personal envoy in the employ of Odo of the Roughlands named Martain:

On the Seventieth day of Summer of the year 1468 of Hanna’s Count just before the evening meal Dane Riese III, Baron of Thair, King of Highdunn took an audience with an envoy from the court of Baron Odo of the Roughlands regarding scouting information on the Goblyn presence in the Maethian Arm. With him were his elite guard the King’s Own, commanded by Dietric Kessel, a veteran from the forces to the east and the royal master-at-arms. He met the envoy at the King’s Own barraks where he was housed due to renovations taking place in the guests wing of the Royal Palace. Not long into the meeting King Reise was overpowered and executed by the King’s Own. Kessel himself removed the King’s head with an axe and the body was left on a bunk in the Barraks. The rebel King’s Own then formed up around Kessel and fought their way out of the Palace and fled Thairon, narrowly avoiding the arrival of the Earl of Roan and a large Tresser Veldt army. These are the facts as they happened, as any resident of Highdunn today knows. However the account of the coup begins much sooner, and far fewer know the details. Tomorrow I lose my head by order of King Eldin Riese for my part in his father’s murder. Herein I provide my confession for posterity.

Dietric Kessel had conceived of his plan to kill the King of Highdunn some three seasons before the act of regicide itself. He enlisted me during the King’s yearly visit to Baron Odo’s court, and it was Kessel who conceived of the scouting party that would both place me on the Maethian arm for the two-season period he required and that would have me in audience with the King in the closing days of summer when the bulk of Highdunn’s army would be assisting a force from the Veldt on a routine expedition along the Forest Way, as far from Thairon as possible. Initially I was approached by Anduin Derrowmere, an agent of Kessel. Kessel’s name never arose and I had no way to make any association, but still I am sure that had I refused I would not have lived past that night. Retrospectively however I was not privy to any plan for conquest, or for the assassination of the young Prince Eldin, and it now seems that Kessel had always planned to be forced to flee the city, but then I was told we would hail in a new regime. They paid me in iron, gold would have been suspicious, but the iron was brought to me at the Arm, where I oversaw a scout party constructing an ‘outpost’ we called Doraust. Under the fort, Derrowmere’s men secretly smuggled food and weapons and lumber under cover of night, and my payment was included in this. Iron ore. Enough to make me wealthier than even Odo, my lord and master.

Kessel had the unswerving loyalty of the Kingsown. I’m sure it will be omitted from this account but few men who had met him had any love for Dane Reise. With his most loyal men involved in the plot Kessel arranged a foolproof escape strategy. He planned every movement for that day right down to the hour. Kessel took only the most loyal of the King’s Own into his confidence. Those he was not sure he could trust he planned to try to sway on the day, and if he could not he would kill them. Our network was not large, but Kessel chose such key people, and planned to sew such chaos in Thairon that it need not have been. Derrowmere was not the only bandit-king Kessel employed, but he was certainly chief amongst them. They were scattered in tiny cells all along the route from Thairon into the roughlands, and they would see the conspirators through the intervening area and then take up a position guarding their rear and continuing to flee until the entire operation arrived at Doraust where stockpiles were sufficient for every man expected to be involved, a little under a thousand. The beauty of it being that the King’s money had built the brand new, impenetrable fortress we would flee to.

When the day came I have never been so nervous, but Kessel was ice cold. I had arrived nearly a week and a half before to find that Kessel had employed a servant to arrange for the renovation of the guest wing, so that I would have to be put up in the King’s Own barracks, where I would have ready access to my co-conspirators. This was the first time I had directly met Dietric Kessel. The man was as cold as stone. His plan was meticulous, perfect, and his confidence in it was grim, determined and absolute. I was both in awe and terrified of this demeanour. I tried to question him but Kessel would not speak to me even in absolute private, and I began to think maybe I had been misinformed, maybe this was some trap. Until the moment he struck the King’s head from his shoulders I didn’t truly believe him a traitor. That was the brilliance of the man. We fought our way easily out of the Palace, its guard had no expectation of an attack from within and the King’s Own were ruthlessly efficient, and knew their roles exactly. When we fled the city however an array of the warriors of the church met us by the city’s eastern gate. They were ambushed by the first cell of Derrowmere’s bandits so as the rebels avoided them, but lagging behind the main body of the force and unarmed as I was I was taken. Now, with the promise of a fast death over my head I relate this to a chronicler. May Eldin Riese do what he wills with it, his father’s blood still stains my tunic.