Bothandal the Crafter
Bothandal the Crafter (743 BLC - 5 BLC), was one of the ancient kings of the Kingdom of Laeryll. He is mostly remembered for establishing the Seven Schools of Magic and introducing the Province Keeper system. Bothandal's death in 5 BLC led to a shared rulership between his daughters Morsyana and Galythiel that became strained and culminated in the War of the Sisters. Bothandal's coat of arms is a pentagram inscribed into a pentagon with excursions at the corners of the pentagram. This symbolizes his Creed of Five Virtues.
Bothandal was born in 743 BLC as the oldest son of Thanyal the Singer and his wife Alythin the Huntress.
The early years (444 BLC to 360 BLC)The early years of Bothandal's rulership saw the arrival of humans on the Northern Arm, who settled in the central coastal areas and started farming and trading from that region. While initially welcomed by the elves, the rapid expansion of human settlements also led to worries. In 360 BLC, elves from Silimanis had a number of clashes with human loggers who were active in their area, and decided to attack human coastal towns. Bothandal, whose leadership was challenged by these autonomous actions, personally visited the area to command the elves to stand down, thereby preventing escalation of the conflict. While Bothandal's response was applauded by some, many factions within the Kingdom considered it too weak. Especially the wood elves of Silimanis were angry that they had to tolerate human expansionism, leading some to talk openly about secession. The idea gained popularity and a political crisis seemed to be underway, in spite of Bothandal's reputation as a just king. In response, Bothandal installed regional rulership in all provinces in 358 BLC by appointing so-called Province Keepers, who had judicial freedom but were still barred from from military decision-making. Also, Bothandal maintained the right to veto any decisions by the new Province Keepers and would continue to travel across the provinces to dispense justice, albeit in line with the desires of the Province Keepers. While this did not satisfy those who were anxious about humans, it did ease tensions.
Establishment of the Seven Schools (360 BLC - 210 BLC)The reorganization also benefited Bothandal personally, as he enjoyed studying magic, but had been kept from practice by the daily grind of governing a multitude of provinces. Just before installing the Province Keepers, in 360 BLC, he had declared a piece of swampland and forest to the to the east of Dathyll as his own. Bothandal moved to this area, thereafter known as Laedor Thilis and started to develop his arcane knowledge and skills, while reshaping the area as a new province. The following years saw him craft wondrous, magical items, which he gifted to the Province Keepers to persuade them of the value of magic. It is in this period that he is named The Crafter. For Bothandal, politics and magic were intertwined: in 346 BLC, Bothandal and the Province Keepers agreed to found academies for the study of magic across the kingdom. These schools were to be in line with the theories of Valgyth the Charmer, who recognized eight types of magic. Not comfortable with the application of black magic, Bothandal insisted on setting up just seven academies througout the kingdom, each with their own formal training and presided by an expert wizard. These Seven Schools of Magic remain active to this day and are strongly co-dependent, thereby tying the provinces together while providing them with well-trained wizards (called True Wizard) who contribute to the kingdom. This co-dependence was always Bothandal's plan. At the time it was unknown, but Bothandal's crafting was made possible because of a magical hotspot within the Thracyll Mountains. Inside Bothandal's Mine, an operation that yielded exotic minerals from the King's Swamp region, magic flows more freely and boosts the skills of any wizards working there. Bothandal kept this a secret, so that wizards would not flock to King's Swamp, but would instead spread out over the Kingdom of Laeryll, strengthening its political union in the process. Only those very close to Bothandal knew about the existence of the mine, and its location was lost after the War of the Sisters. At the same time, the operations in Laedor Thilis led to cooperation between the Kingdom of Laeryll, The Porcupine and the Kingdom of Labar. In 345 BLC, he grants mining privileges to the dwarven Clan Arad and Clan Bordirūn, as well as to the gnome Fiddleflute Estate, Dabblespeck Estate and Fuddy Estate. Due to occassional orc attacks, this economic agreement quickly begets a military component, with royal forces fighting side by side with dwarven clans.
The Nine-Year Purge and The Rise of the Gnomes (210 BLC - 5 BLC)Trade expands under the agreements between the elves, the gnomes and the dwarves, and all sides benefit. The gnomes on the Labarean peninsula receive a wider variety of metals, more cheaply, and their city states begin to prosper and grow. The gnomes improve their infrastructure and Hervik, a small town in those days, develops a small fleet of ships that is used to enable transport along the coast. Bothandal's politics with regards to the gnomes is friendly, although he does frown upon their casual exploitation of natural resources. At the turn of the second century BLC, however, Bothandal has to focus attention on new outbursts of violence between elven communities and humans. In 199 BLC, armed elves block human loggers from access to the Forest of Guharr and demand they stay away. The loggers retreat, but only to return with more and to pillage Svindivyr, an elven village that housed one of the oldest shrines to the Bird Gods. Enraged, counterattacks target human settlements and trade with the humans is halted. Both the Mountain King and the gnome city states insist on normalization, but Kopellds Herell and Drani Dafayr, the Province Keepers from respectively Silimanis and Qosid, want Bothandal to declare war against the humans. Bothandal, who fears losing grip on the provinces, but does not want full-out war, declares that aggression cannot be tolerated, but diplomacy must prevail. Militant factions in Qosid and the area around the Forest of Guharr interpret this as a blessing of their aggression, and continue to target humans. By the end of 198 BLC, a violent conflict between elves and humans is raging, known as The Nine-Year Purge. The gnome city state Galotigoo, which imports fish and meat from the human settlements, decries the elven attacks and, in 195 BLC, the city sends troops and arms to guard human coastal settlements. This lowers the intensity of the conflict, but does not end it. In 189 BLC, Bothandal convinces Herell and Dafayr to halt the conflict, ending the Purge and starting negotiations that would lead to the Treaty of Guharr. By that time, the balance of power on the Northern Arm had shifted. The Kingdom of Labar, grown more prosperous by the years, transformed their military presence among the human towns in Silimanis into a strong trading partnership. It helped to expand the Silimani harbor of Nossed and built infrastructure to connect Nossed, The Mouth and the Labarean peninsula by both land and sea. By 5 BLC, the kingdom of the gnomes was thriving, while the Kingdom of Laeryll started showing cracks.
Death of BothandalAfter the end of the Nine-Year Purge, Bothandal spent his time traveling between Laedor Thilis and Dathyll. Diplomacy began to to tire him and he increasingly left the maintenance of the kingdom -- including managing the difficult relationship between the wood elves and the high elves -- to his wife Sanya the Watcher. Together with his pixie friend Aryxhai, Bothandal instead devoted his life to examining what happened during The Shimmering, the mythological time which led to the creation of high elves. For this, they stayed to themselves for years at a time in Bothandal's Mine. Through this time, Bothandal may not have been occupied with the kingdom, but he remained a father to his daughters Morsyana and Galythiel, who often stayed in Pellvyr when their father stayed in King's Swamp. In 5 BLC, however, Bothandal died in his sleep while staying at the The Citadel of Prydisyrr. He was succeeded by his daughters Galythiel and Morsyana.
Likes & Dislikes
Bothandal loved magic and poetry and was a great admirer of Nesidyn the Bard.
Like Nesidyn the Bard, Bothandal was a follower of Waye and his religious experiences brought him to accept the Pantheon of Twelve.
Bothandal the Crafterspouse
Towards Sanya the Watcher
Sanya the Watcherspouse
Towards Bothandal the Crafter
743 BLC 5 BLC 738 years old
Sanya the Watcher (spouse)
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