Way of the Wicked
The Victor upon the Throne
When Markadian I came to power there was great uncertainty of how capable a king he would prove. While he was a great warrior, he had never ruled and there was reason to doubt this young paladin could control this divided land. He soon put those doubts to rest. Markadian I called the Victorious (usually simply The Victor these days) was the sort of ruler that only comes once every thousand years. At the battle of Farholde he dealt the bugbears of the north a savage defeat and scattered them for a generation. He confronted the pirates who had made the western coast of Talingarde their stronghold and burnt them out. It seemed that the Victor was undefeatable upon the field of battle. So fearsome was his reputation that by the later years of his reign, he merely sent a letter to a rebellious warlord in the west that read, “Must we meet on the fields on war?” The warlord relented and became a loyal subject.
By the end of the Victor’s reign, almost all of the island south of the Watch Wall was firmly a part of Talingarde. Only a few parts of the great and trackless forest, the Caer Bryr, remained wild and unmapped. More than a soldier, he also proved a great builder and statesman. He raised the capital Matharyn from a small city into a great metropolis. He reinforced the watch wall, commissioning three new fortresses. He eased tariffs bringing merchants from the mainland to the oft-isolated isle once more. He personally visited the Lands of the Yutak tribesmen in the north and made peace with their great chiefs. And though the paladin spread the religion of Mitra and discouraged devotion to Asmodeushe tolerated the Prince of Nessus’ temples as long as they were discrete. For forty six years the Victor sat upon the throne bringing a golden age to Talingarde. Today, his statues are to be found in almost every town and hamlet throughout the kingdom. He did have his faults though. Like so many great rulers – he was a great soldier and king but a poor father.