First Born Son: Pino Born in the year 57ME
First Born Son: Pino Born in the year 57ME
The Forming of the Council
Though Damien had one of the shortest reins of all the Lagrest kings he by far had one of the most influential. In his short time on the throne he set the standard for how Ruinous is governed today. It was shortly after his ascension to power that he realized the his council's means of operation was flawed. During his father's time each lord knew their role, the Testokes would be in charge of agriculture, The Gafertys in charge of fishing the rivers, and the Nyis fishing the seas. Times were changing though and after his father's revolution of currency his lords looked at things differently. The crown now had finances to handle and although they were living times of peace, there was still a military to maintain.
Council meetings were few and far between, as each lord could only attend but 4 year, as they were consumed with ruling their own lands and governing their own people, and each meeting would only lead to bickering over how to best rule the kingdom. Damien knew that his lords were all wise and all brought a great deal knowledge and wisdom to his council table but he could see that the current system was not working. Their fathers were different men, all with one singular vision and one singular role. Garth Gaferty would never try to educated Benton Testoke on the distribution of crops throughout the kingdom, but they were simpler men. There sons had all been far more educated and now had their own ideals and opinions on how things should be run. Damien felt that if he did not act that his lords may eventually start waring among themselves, and he had no desire to shatter the peace their fathers worked so hard to preserve. So Damien decided that all members of the council now have a title and that title would entail certain responsibilities. To accommodate the three families he would create three positions. First would be the Grandmaster. Grandmaster would handle all internal affairs of the Kingdom. Hunting down bandits, feuds amongst lords, food distribution and responsibilities as such. Grandmaster would act as the King's right hand essentially. Next he created the Master of the Treasury. Master of the Treasury was responsible for all the crown's finances. Taxing the people, investing, spending, and storing the gold. Next was the Commander of the Royal Navy. The Commander of the Royal Navy would handle all of the crown's ships as well as keep track of the other houses navy as well. The last spot would be for the Commander of the Royal Knights. This spot was very unique as it could be the only one not to be held by a noble lord and they would serve as the Commander of the Royal Army, next to the King. The final change he would make to his council was that his council men would be required to live amongst him in the capital. He wanted meetings held weekly, if not daily, and he wanted his advisors much closer to him. This meant that his lords would have one of two choices. Serve on the council and leave their lands in the hands of their wives or sons or to send a representative from their family.
As Grandmaster Damien selected Simon Gaferty, the Lord of Ellison. Simon had opted to take the position and move himself to the capital, as his son Matthew was of age and capable of ruling his lands.
As Master of the Treasury Damien selected Bikken Testoke, Bikken had not wanted to leave Waldwick however and forwent the position to his younger brother Atkins, who he felt was much more qualified to handle gold than he was.
As Commander of the Royal Navy he chose Tully Nyis, who accepted the position leaving his wife to rule Adelphia. This was a pivotal point in Ruinosian history, as it set a president that woman were capable rulers.
Lastly he would need to choose a commander from amongst his Royal Knights. He chose Christopher Castello, his childhood friend. And so the first official Royal Council was formed.
Pino,The Rise of The Castello's, and the Coming of the Pegasus
With the council now reformed things had begun to run much more smoothly. The land was supplying the people of Ruinous with wealth and prosperity. Two years into his rein Damien had been blessed with a son, Pino, and after that had not wished to put his wife through the pain of childbirth again. He was content with his son and heir and the boy Pino had begun growing into a remarkable young man. He was nothing like Damien in his youth, who preferred the horse and sword to the pen and paper. Pino was a thinker and many said that he was brilliant. His curiosity was boundless and he soon surpassed his teachers to the point that he would be left to himself while completing his studies.
Pino was so innovative that he even invented his own sport at the age of 13 known as jousting, where two armored knights ride at one and other with wooden lances and try to knock each other off their horses. The sport quickly became all the rage at tournaments, and the lords began to hold tourneys much more often. The tourneys became a great source of revenue for the crown and for the other lords, and seeing this Atkins Testoke suggested that the council now hold their annual tournament once every three months.
All was well in Ruinous until about the year 70ME. For the first time since the days of Stallworth's rein ships came sailing down the Serpent's River, from the same land the raiders came those many years ago. But these men were not raider. They were civilized men. Clad in armor or silken robes. They came from the west beyond the Black Stone Mountains from a land they called Pegasus. They said that they had a King, just like the Ruinousians did, and that their King wanted to come and meet with Damien. Damien was intrigued, so he invited the King of Pegasus to come and stay with him as a guest. The King, James Natale, arrived months later with a caravan of gold and treasures that he offered to Damien as tribute.
He said that his explorers had come to Ruinous years ago and discovered their great culture and society and that the two should be equals and friends. Damien agreed and the two kings sat and talked of their history. James had told a similar tale to that of Damien. That his father and his people had been saved by Guy the Great. That he lead them on a Crusade against the Alsatin, but his ending was slightly different. His people were successful in their eradication of the beast, where as Damien's had failed.
Upon leaving Ruinous James extended and invitation to Damien and his family, so that they may see his homeland. Damien graciously accepted the invitation and said that he would prepare to come within the next three years, as the journey was long and he still had much work to do as king. James left and agreed that they would see each other again in years time.
Years passed and Damien prepaid himself to leave his home for the first time. He would leave the ruling of his Kingdom to the Grandmaster while he was gone. With him he would take his wife and son as well as his Royal Knights and 800 men. As tribute he would offer James near the same amount of gold that he had brought years prior but he would also bring trinkets and tapestries unique to Ruinousian culture. Upon his arrival Damien was treated with the same hospitality that he had give James. Pino had become encompassed in his new surroundings, having many new things to study and to learn. During his stay in Pegasus Pino had read about their entire culture and even learned that there are more lands beyond the two neighboring kingdoms. Explorers from Pegasus had discovered a southern continent, an the concept thrilled Pino. He immediately wanted to visit this place and was sure that his father would not be able to prevent him from doing so. He presented the idea to his father that he would be going for the sake of knowledge and in search of new treasures. Damien was skeptical of the idea of his only heir traveling to lands unknown but told the boy he would consider it after they return home. During their visit to Pegasus Damien was asked to attend a meeting with James, all of his Lords, and high ranking religious officials from their church. In this meeting they told Damien that they felt it was an atrocity that his father allowed the Alsatin to live and that they still remained in the Startelm. Damien told them that the Alsatin have not even been seen in his life time and that even if they did still exist that his people are forbidden from ever entering those woods. James wanted them to mount their armies and finish the work of god, but Damien refused. The discussion eventually became very heated and after Damien told them that he had no intention of breaking his father's pact the heads of church told him that he was a heretic. Damien had already noticed that though they worshiped the same god that the two religions were very different. Preachers in Ruinous had no political power and were just peaceful men of god, but in Pegasus it seemed that their religion played a much greater role in the governing of their kingdom. The High Cardinal, their religious leader, had declared that Damien should be killed on the spot and right there in the meeting a bloody battle ensued. The battle was short lived however, as James had put a stop to it, saying that the Cardinal was out of line and that they should not be treating guest as such. During the battle Ser Christopher Castello was stabbed through the leg, nearly crippling the man. Damien was outraged and would leave Pegasus at once. Upon leaving he told James that the Pegasus were no longer welcome to set foot upon his lands. After returning to Ruinous Damien began to pour his resources in building their defenses, as he now had a great distaste for the Pegasus and did not trust them. He commissioned the construction of a new castle in the south east, bordering the Black Stone Mountains as well as the sea that would lead the pegasus to their land. He gave this Castle to his now incapable Royal Commander Christopher Castello and elevated his title to Lord. Christopher was discharged from the Royal Knights, but given his own army to now command. Damien became obsessed with now building his army, so much though that he began to neglect his family. When Pino again approached him about leaving to explore the Southern Continent he refused the boy and a heated argument ensued. Pino, on his own, had left Ruinous, leaving his father a letter telling him that he was irrational and that he would soon return with treasures from exotic places.
The Pegasus Invade
Some years had passed since Pino left and Damien often regretted the terms on which he and his son had parted ways. He truly believed though that Pino would return and he and his wife were much older now. He was unsure that she could even survive another childbirth and so he put his faith in Pino to rerun one day and carry on his legacy. He had since let his guard down and no longer feared a conflict with the Pegasus as much time had passed since his visit. However this was a critical mistake. In the years between the Pegasus had been building their armies to lengths that Damien had not expected and were mounting an invasion. They came from the sea, not from the river as Damien had expected. They sailed all the way around Ruinous, landing their ships on the coast of Ellison unloading a massive army. Matthew Gaferty, who had been misinformed by scouts on the size of the Pegasus army, rode out to meet them but his forces were beaten back with ease and Matthew lost his life. Ellison had been all but taken and the Pegasus garrisoned men outside the keep in order to starve the reaming forces out. The command of the Gaferty army fell to Matthews younger brother Solomine, as their father Simon was in the capital, and all he could do was try and hold out until aid arrived. But their position was secure as the only way into the lands of Ellison is to cross the Serpent's Bridge. Damien lead a host of ten thousand men to try and aid Solomine, along with all of his lords. However this left their rear unguarded and they fell right into their trap. Unbeknownst to Damien a small fleet continued around to the western coast of Ruinous and landed where is Issaeos now stands, but at the time it was just unsettled land. From there they were able to launch an attack on the Capital City of Stallworth, sacking the city and taking the keep. This created a huge problem for Adelphia as well, because with the capital sacked they were completely cut off from their allies. Fortunately Pegasus did not have the man power to launch an attack on Adelphia as well, so the Nyis were spared. Damien and his army retreated to the Waldwick Virile, the place they would call home for the majority of the war. It was a year and a half into the war when Pino finally returned home. He came on ship from the Souther Continent, not knowing what had been taking place in his homeland, and landed in Adelphia. There he was greeted by Lady Charlotte Nyis who clued him in on the happenings of the war. Outraged by the audacity of the Pegasus, Pino asked Charlotte if he could take what was left of her army and liberate Stallworth. She asked how he planned to do so, warning him of the might the Pegasus army possessed. He said that it would be no problem with the aid of a companion he had brought back from the Souther Continent. The man was called Mikken Nands and Pino claimed that he had powers that could help them. She granted the prince's request and Pino marched a small force of four hundred men to invade Stallworth and take his home back. When he arrived at Stallworth though, he met much less resistance than expected. With Mikken's magic they were able to easily retake the city but it was partially due to the fact the bulk of the forced garrisoned there had left. Pegasus was launching a full scale invasion on the Waldwick Virile in and attempt to end the war. This was Damien's last stand. He lead his men into battle against the Pegasus and it waged for seven days and seven night. At first he tried to meet them in the field of battle, but it was to no avail. Their numbers were to great and Damien was forced to fall back to the Virile after they had failed to stop them from advancing over the Serpents Bridge. When Damien returned the the Virile though it had already been taken by the the army that had come from Stallworth. The war was all but lost and in one final bloody onslaught Damien led his men head on into the Pegasus. It was only after his father had fallen in battle that Pino arrived with his tiny platoon of men. At first the Pegasus though Pino's advance a suicide, such as his father's had been, but they had not known the power Mikken possessed. As a light mage he could create barriers, force fields, and control the very gravity that kept men on the ground. Even to this day no light mage has even shown the raw display of power that Mikken had. He almost single handedly decimated the Pegasus army, and with his magic arrows could not touch him. It did not take long before the Pegasus turned and retreated and the men who had taken the Virile were easily scared into submission. Pino marched his small army, with this mage at it's helm, across the Serpent's Bridge and liberated Fort Ellison, that had held on for nearly two years by now. Solomine Gaferty, who's brother and father were now deceased was comprised almost entirely of bone. He told Pino tales of terror in which the men had even taken to eating one and other due to their starvation. After a few more months of fighting what remained of the Pegasus army, the conflict was finally over, but the price was immense. Pino's rule would begin with much carnage to clean up and the bad taste of his last conversation with his father in his mouth.