The First Great Dynastic Shift
The palace sits in shambles. The Royal Guard has been reduced to the spineless fools that have sworn allegiance to the merciless, vengeful bastard now seated on the throne. The Kingdom of Éirigh is in chaos, incapable of absorbing such brutality after so long peace. Like the kingdom I called home, my body is broken, mere tatters of the stronghold it was just weeks ago.
OverviewThe First Great Dynastic Shift of Éirigh occurred in the year 1475, approximately 17 years prior to Book One of OUTSPOKEN. After generations of the peaceful rule of the Slánaitheoir Royal Family, an unexpected threat rose up from within The Royal Palace of Éirigh itself, and brought a brutal and bloody end to their reign. King Máirtín I, with a handful of allies, murdered the entire Slánaitheoir family in their sleep. In the days that followed, members of The Royal Guard were forced to either pledge their allegiance to the Traitor King Máirtín I, or face their death. After two years of managing uprisings throughout the kingdom, the Traitor King had beaten his opponents into silence, and a timid peace returned to Éirigh with him as its ruler.
BuildupKing Máirtín I was originally one of the great Lairds of the kingdom. The Máirtín family had been seated on their lands since the founding of The Feudal Alliance System, and had grown more and more power hungry and corrupt over the years. When King Slánaitheoir IV learned that Máirtín was extorting his people for wealth, he stripped him of his Lairdship, turning the lands over to Laird Breith Sadach. As a generous King, Slánaitheoir IV allowed Máirtín and his family to live and work in The Royal Palace of Éirigh as gardeners, where they would live out their days in comfort despite their crimes.
Máirtín, however, never forgave King Slánaitheoir IV for stripping him of his nobility, and quickly began gathering allies in a plot to overthrow him. Among these allies were a few powerful Lairds that remained his friend, and a number of knights from The Royal Guard whom he had convinced to join him.
The AttackOn the night of the attack, Máirtín's allies entered the palace disguised as servants. He instructed his wife to create a diversion, breaking a window and screaming in the wing adjacent to the Royal Quarters of the palace to draw away the Royal Guard. The plan worked, and as the guards investigated in the far hall, Máirtín and his men snuck into King Slánaitheoir's chambers, killing the King and Queen as they slept. Next came Crown Prince Finnlay, but finding his chambers empty, they moved on to Young Prince Donán Slánaitheoir. While they spent the night searching for the Crown Prince, he was nowhere to be found.
The AftermathWith the King dead and much of the Royal Guard already on his side, there was little to prevent Máirtín from achieving his goal that night. By the next morning, any members of the Royal Guard that refused to submit had been locked away for execution, and the coronation had been set forcibly for the following day, as Máirtín wanted no room for doubt, suspicion, or refusal. However, the unexpected absence of the Crown Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir on the night of the attack would haunt him for many years to come.
Sir Éalaigh Casey, the Captain of the Royal Guard, appeared outside the Palace gates the morning after the attack, and was immediately arrested. After weeks of interrogation, he refused to break, never speaking a word of the Crown Prince that he had been assigned to protect on the night of the attack. Sir Casey was put to death for refusing to pledge his allegiance to the Traitor King. Máirtín commanded his allies never to speak of the Crown Prince's survival, and announced to the Kingdom that all of the Slánaitheoir Royal Family had died in the attack as he claimed the crown for himself. In secret, his allies continued to search for the Prince, hoping to take care of the last major threat to Máirtín's claim to the throne. Rumors of Prince Finnlay's survival have continued to circulate ever since, becoming a kind of folk lore more than a hope to cling to.
For the year following the attack, many rebellions rose from various Lairds and townships throughout the Kingdom, but all were quickly and cruelly stamped out. Lairds that refused to make their pledge to King Máirtín I were stripped of their titles and lands, and replaced by his strongest allies. Perhaps the greatest shift of the tide in his favor came when Laird Breith Sadach pledged his loyalty to the Traitor King, and Laird Sadach's Order became the primary force squelching any remaining uprisings.
The Kingdom fell into a tepid peace that continued on for 17 years. King Máirtín I was never displaced, and despite rumors that his only son was not the offspring of Queen Máirtín, King Máirtín II became the next King of Éirigh upon his death.
King Tráthúil Slánaitheoir IV
The last Slánaitheoir King to sit on the throne, and father to Prince Finnlay, who was murdered in his sleep during the First Great Dynastic Shift.
Queen Armóin Slánaitheoir
Queen Armóin of Éirigh was known for her skill in arbitration, acting as a true leader and peacemaker for the kingdom. The Deaf Queen was wife of King Slánaitheoir IV, mother to Prince Finnlay, and grandmother to Lady Sinè Sadach.
Sir Éalaigh Casey
Sir Éalaigh Casey was the Captain of the Royal Guard responsible for Prince Finnlay Slánaitheoir's escape during the First Great Dynastic Shift, sacrificing himself for the safety of his Prince and family.