THE RISE AND FALL OF CALIMENDIL, FIFTH KING OF CARDOLAN
‘…they have my loyalty, not my love…’ ~ Calimendil
In the name of all that I hold sacred I, Iliandor, vassal and advisor to the King, have taken it upon myself to give a written account of the life and death of King Calimendil. Yet I do not do so willingly, for it is a grave and tearful undertaking. Indeed, it is only by request of Amariel, the late Calimendil’s widow and rightful ruler of Cardolan, that I have consented to this, for she greatly desired to have the courageous deeds of her husband recorded for posterity. I promised her I would do so and have now completed my book after much trouble and toil. Oh the tears I have shed unearthing old memories that would have been better to remain dormant for the rest of my years! Yet in doing this I have also regained a sense of pride and redemption, for long have I blamed myself for failing to do more to dissuade the king from his path of war and ruin. Alas! What a ruin it was! I, myself was there to witness the King’s own death, as well as his two sons within the vastness of the Ettenmoors. My own death seemed near at hand soon afterwards. Yet by fate or some other contrivance that cannot be explained, I and two others only escaped the horrible tragedy that summer evening of the year 1319.
I have, moreover, dealt with these matters in such a way so as to pay due honor to a remarkably misunderstood man who ascended to the kingship most unexpectedly and with utmost humility. The usurpers who now infest Dol Calantir and sit in idleness as civil war threatens to tear apart Cardolan have succeeded largely in poisoning the legacy that Calimendil has left behind him. The reputation of a fallen king is a thing to be both nurtured and preserved. Yet my king was granted neither love nor loyalty from the greater part of his subjects during his rein on the throne. He was mocked, stabbed and poisoned by his foes and detractors. Yet the great Calimendil endured their attempts to end his life…