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1197 RE-- Prince Auberic's Rebellion

Date: 1107
Outcome: defeat for the Insurgents
Belligerents: Prince Auberic's Insurgents vs. the Gauntish Crown on Athral Isle.
Auberic's Commanders: Prince Auberic, Emma Trowbridge (Prince Auberic's lover), "Earl" Yorin Genet
Gauntish Crown Commanders: General Biele Iriskord, Haubren Blackshield, Sir Damon Vrit
Strength: Auberic: 500 Athral loyalists, 150 Hulder mercenaries.
               Gauntish Crown: 2000 warriors and Athral noble forces loyal to Sigmar.
Casualties: Auberic: Near-total party wipe.
               Gauntish Crown: 300 warriors.

Upon King Adrith Couraine's death, his cousin, Prince Auberic, fled to the Free City of the Hulder with his closest advisers, among them his lover, Emma Trowbridge, a trusted friend2, and others. He spent the next several years attempting to raise a force there with which to re-take the Athral Isle from the Gauntish, spending everything hep had on hiring mercenaries and sending agents to foment rebellion amongst the population, remind them that a legitimate Heir of the Blood still lived, and encouraging them not to give up hope in the face of the Gauntish Invader. He had very little indication of how his efforts were being received in the Athral Isle-- frequently, his agents did not return. In the Spring of 1197, one of his agents3, returned with the news that he had a force of some thousand ready subjects in Conwarashire, just waiting for him to give the word. Heartened, he brought his army across the sea and marched directly for Conwarashire.

This, unfortunately, was a complete and total trap. His agent3 had been suborned by the Gauntish to reveal the rebellion, so that they could be crushed finally by Sigmar's Axe-hand, the great General Biele Iriskord. With her stood other Gauntish warriors of renown-- Haubren Blackshield, of the Dane's Bulwark, Bjundire the Great Bear of Hollisttor, to name some of the most noted. Of the 2000, 500 were Athral by birth, led by Sir Damon Vrit, the captain of Conwarashire before Captain Marshall Lumley, also present, and then a Lieutenant. Sir Damon wished to smash the rebels as they gathered, awaiting their prince, then making an example of him once they arrived, but under orders from Princess Abelone, the General preferred to wait and meet the Athrals openly, so that all of the Isle could see how they were militarily outmatched by their Occupiers, and how little any armed rising would matter to them. Thus were Prince Auberic's forces allowed to muster unmolested, and were the next day greeted by the arrayed and mighty forces of their enemy the next day.

In spite of the formidable force arrayed before him, Prince Auberic commanded his men to meet the Gauntish in pitched battle in the open field. Prince Auberic's speech before the battle was written down by a common scribe4, who had taken up arms for the Prince's cause. This famous speech is still a source of hope and pride for the Athral rebels. In it, the Prince granted titles-- largely Earldoms and Counties-- to a number of those who had served and aided him in his return from the Hulder, including his lover, his friend, a young rebel called Graham Shepard, and others. He granted one of these, the new-made Earl Yorik Genet, the right to lead the first charge against General Iriskord, and rode himself at the side of his lover in the next charge, shouting "Rise Culica!" as he did so.

This order proved fortunate for the Prince, as Sir Genet and a large number of his men were nearly immediately killed by the roaring Gauntish hoarde. From that point, the battle was harsh and near-constant, neither side willing to quit the field without the defeat of the other. Auberic fought like a lion; the tale of his exploits and those of the other valiants having been written by the aforementioned scribe4. Auberic shortly found himself in hand-to-hand with General Iriskord, who had sought him out directly, longing to bring his head to her king herself. In the course of the fray, her enchanted axe hewed into his side, bringing him low, but he was caught up and revived swiftly by his friend's2 uncanny magics. Both the Prince and his friend2 would have met a swift and untimely end, but the General's axe was intercepted by the sword of Graham Shepard, and he broached her armor before being driven back by her comrades.

In the meantime, Emma Trowbridge, through a combination of battle-skill and deadly ritual magic, bested Haubren Blackshield on the field in a brutal and famous engagement. She thus drew the attention of The Great Bear of Hollisttor, who charged her directly. The charge of the Great Bear was stopped by an arrow from a daring archer, Eamon Shepherd, which lodged in her throat. The Bear ripped free the arrow and kept coming to-wards Trowbridge, but was dropped shortly. It is known, however, that the Bear lived, and swore eternal enmity to-wards the archer who stopped her charge, and towards the Ritualist who slew her Comrade, the Blackshield.

In spite of these feats and the bravery of the Athrals, their cause was clearly a hopeless one from the first. As the sun approached setting, the Athral lines broke for good, the remaining forces intending to retreat tactically protecting their prince. The Gauntish did not allow this, however, harrying the Athrals into the wood and circling the Prince and his party. Auberic, daring to the last, shouted, "Flee!" and broke from his protectors, plunging back directly into the Gauntish line, that the rest might escape. It is not widely known who lived past the battle, but those who survived and were there still cling to the titles they were given by the prince that day, as coming rightfully from their true king. As for the Traitor3, he watched with no expression this last, valiant act of Prince Auberic, and then as said Prince was brought low and taken captive by the jeering Gauntish. Standing with the Sigmarist Athral Nobles, he shifted slightly, then plunged a dagger into the back of Sir Damon Vrit, killing him instantly. The traitor fled into the new-fallen night, though, like the rest of the known supporters of Auberic and the Couraine line, he is considered a wanted criminal by Sigmar's establishment.

After the Prince's capture, King Sigmar took posession of him and hung him in a cage from the walls of Exendun till he died of starvation. The body remained there for another week or so, then disappeared. About a month later, after a particularly scathing performance of the Gloating Men, Princess Abelone sponsored a play, featuring a terribly malformed Homunculus6 who seemed to very clearly possess many of the features of the late Prince. This Homunculus was kept and displayed around the country, forced to perform farces mocking the former Athral monarchy up until Abelone's assassination.