Siege of Alestron
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Alliance of Light (story arc).|
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Grand Conspiracy.|
The s'Brydion family were once allies of Lysaer in his efforts to capture and kill Arithon, but became spies for Arithon following the conflicts in Vastmark. Suspicions about their loyalty were not raised until the burning of the Riverton shipyard in Third Age 5654.
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Traitor's Knot.|
Lysaer held these suspicions close for the next 17 years until abandonment by his wife, Princess Ellaine, triggered the need to claim a victory. Denounced publicly as allies of Arithon and co-conspirators in the disappearance of Princess Ellaine, the s'Brydion family and their ancestral home of Alestron became a fixed target for Alliance armies raised across four High Kingdoms. In spite of attempts by Arithon to convince them to abandon Alestron, the s'Brydion brothers chose instead to fight, believing that Alestron would survive as it had since the rebellion.
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Stormed Fortress.|
By autumn in Third Age 5671, the town is surrounded by Lysaer's armies. Lysaer's Lord Seneschal approaches the gate with an ultimatum but is not received. Soon after, the Lord High Justiciar delivers Lysaer's sealed arraignment and is killed by a single arrow shot by Alestron's defenders. In response, Lysaer burns the outlying fields farmsteads around Alestron, killing Keldmar s'Brydion and his troops.
This event triggers an evacuation of the lower town into the Paravian-warded upper keep. The trade precinct is left abandoned but filled with traps by saboteurs under Mearn s'Brydion. On the day the Alliance armies finally stage their ground assault, they are able to claim the lower town without a fight, only to lose men to traps. In retribution for the dead and wounded, Lysaer launches an attack of Light against the upper citadel. It is deflected by the Paravian wards and turned against the army by Duke Bransian, whose men launch trebuchet ammunition through the Light, raining molten fire on the attackers below.
Lysaer pulls his men back to a fixed line opting for the slower, safer action of starving the defenders out. Goaded by Koriathain-compelled nightmares, Lysaer eventually orders a feint at the Sea Gate to cover up troop movements in the abandoned town. Both actions are spotted and routed by Duke Bransian's command. On the day that Arithon finally acts, Lysaer attacks Alestron with Light, destroying the vacant buildings outside the inner citadel and melting the crenels of Wyntok Gate. Arithon awakens Alithiel with his Masterbard's arts and the clarion sound affects combatants on both sides, forcing a reevaluation of human priorities.
|While the untamed grace forged by Alithiel sustained, hostilities calmed, with the blockade in the estuary paralyzed.|
The effect of Alithiel temporarily awakens Lysaer from the curse, and allows him to hear Sulfin Evend's suggestion to defang the siege by sending a majority of troops back to Avenor. They prepare to depart by galley, unaware that Alithiel's effect has a limited range. When Alithiel's song is stopped, Lysaer is drawn back to the battlefield.
In early winter, Feylind sails the Evenstar to Alestron with relief supplies from King Eldir of Havish. Posing as an Alliance supply ship to enter the estuary, the Evenstar is attacked by Lysaer which triggers a thoughtless defense of Shadow from Arithon. This reveals Arithon's presence in the citadel and grants Alestron's defenders sorely needed supplies. Sulfin Evend is able to coax Lysaer back to sanity before the prince overextends himself through his Light attacks, and they organize a more measured attack on Alestron in the aftermath. Under the cover of a winter storm, the Alliance deploys sappers and oared galleys to destroy one-third of the remaining watch turrets. Their attack is accelerated when Koriani interference causes the Evenstar to explode just outside of the Paravian walls, leaving an opening for the Alliance ships to exploit. With a heroic defense by Fionn Areth, Cattrick, and Vhandon, Talvish is able to secure the final gate in time for Sevrand's reinforcements to arrive. Ultimately, the sea quarter falls to the Alliance and the discovery of Fionn Areth's body leads to a ritual burning that placates the troops. Realizing that Arithon has escaped from Alestron, Lysaer and Sulfin Evend convince their men to wait for hunger and thirst to end the siege, rather than rely on more rash attacks.
Lysaer returns to Avenor while Sulfin Evend takes control of the siege. After numerous war councils spent convincing the men to starve the defenders instead of attacking, Kharadmon orders the siege ended under Charter Law, with the terms of truce to be served by Teiren's'Callient in Melhalla. Asandir seals the city with Paravian wards under the standard of the Fellowship, effectively ending s'Brydion rule and preventing either side in the siege from controlling the strategically important fortress. The city remains uninhabited for the centuries that follow.
- © Janny Wurts, Stormed Fortress, p. 331 (UK-Paperback)