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Varin's War

Spolier Alert

This article contains SPOILERS for the Blades duology (Curse of Blades and King of Blades). Links to these stories can be found on the Stories page - all can be read for free. The books themselves do get deeper into events than this overview does.

The Conflict


Varin, earl of the city of Arren in the country of Phelin, having been indoctrinated on the idea that the earls of Arren had been slighted by the crown, began to build up a plan to get revenge on behalf of his forefathers. For generations, the city of Arren had been run completely counter to the rest of the country as an act of defiance, and the Grand Kings had permitted this, within reason. No earls before Varin had dared to become excessively violent or outspoken against the crown, and so the threat growing from within Arren was not recognized until it was almost too late.

Emperor Kemale of Dyrai, having decided that Phelin would present a good means of securing land and resources not available in the island nation of Dyrai, heard of the conflict between the earls of Arren and the crown. He found Varin a willing pawn, allowing him to do Kemale's bidding from inside Phelin while Kemale continued to plan his attack for when Phelin was secured by Varin.


In the years leading up to the conflict, Kemale began to supply Varin with magical artifacts and instructions for building an army, using blood magic to bind soldiers even through death.

The first attempted move of Varin was to assassinate Crown Prince Wildas, heir to the throne of the Grand King of Phelin. This attempt did not go to plan, as the assassin, Coulta, rescued the prince instead. The Grand King and his court were therefore alerted to the increased threat from Arren, though it was only thought to be a civil war against a disgruntled earl with little resources. Only after a later attempted assassination of the Grand King himself did it become clear that Varin was getting support from Dyrai.


Two large-scale battles took place during this short war, and both were centered around Ryal, on a barren stretch of land between the city and the farmlands beyond. During the second phase of the war, there was also a separate Siege of Algoma City in the neighboring nation of Algoma.

The Engagement

During the battle at Ryal during the first phase of the war, Varin attacked with a large army of soldiers whose minds were under his control due to his use of binding blood magic granted to him by Kemale. During this battle he captured Grand King Deandre and Crown Prince Wildas. He was able to assassinate Deandre, but before he could do the same to Wildas, he was killed by Coulta, Wildas's husband and former assassin for Varin.

After Varin's death, the main threat to Phelin became Emperor Kemale himself. In the lead up to the next battle, Kemale made many attempts to weaken Phelin and its allies, but Phelin was still prepared to meet the army of necromancers that attempted to invade. In the end, Kemale was killed by the combined efforts of Coulta and Former Second King Shelton, Wielder of the Violet Power. Additional aid from Algoma, Nairiume, and the Shifters of Algoma ensured victory over Kemale's remaining forces.


The threat from Dyrai was ended for the time being.


With the Emperor of Dyrai dead, Dyrai fell into chaos while other powerful necromancers fought to acquire control of the country. The alliance between Phelin and Algoma was strengthened, and Algoma was able to form a trading alliance with Nairiume.

Historical Significance

The loss of three national leaders, Grand King Deandre of Phelin, Queen Cyra of Algoma (during the Siege of Algoma City), and Emperor Kemale of Dyrai, has resulted in this conflict being a deeply significant one culturally.

Included Conflicts
Battlefield Type
Start Date
Ending Date
Conflict Result
Victory for Phelin

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