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King Calder the Unready (Etrandish: Calder; IPA: [kʰɔl̴dəɹ]) was the ruler of Etrand between 688 and 718 AEKE, and the last ruling male member of the Tondbertid dynasty.

Early Life Edit

Calder was born on 667 AEKE, 17th of Rasaalu as the third son of King Bourn I of Etrand and his wife Queen Lynasa, exactly three years after Bourn ascended to the throne. Calder was born as a "replacement child" for his two deceased twin brothers who killed each other in a struggle for the title of successor apparent not even one year after Bourn came to power.

As a "replacement child", a large amount of attention was paid to his upbringing, even for royalty standards. He was kept away from children's toys, he was expected to know how to read and write from the age of four, his perfectionist father had rather unrealistic standards for what his son should be - Calder was expected to become an expert at administration and architecture just at the age of 12, which was clearly impossible - he was beaten by his father for failing. Calder was a stressed child who often wanted to get away from his royal position. This was made even worse by the abuse he apparently got from his parents. In his journals, he would write that his childhood was "living hell", and that from his point of view "even starving peasants have it better". Calder had three younger brothers, Kerlon, Symner and Zylf, the oldest of which - Kerlon - was born ten years after Calder.

The reach of his over-controlling father did not end as he progressed from childhood to teenage - when he was 17 years old, his father arranged his bethoral to Aryna, daughter of Earl Swentibold of Etrancoast, who was just 12 years old at the time. The couple wed three years later.

During the final years of his adulthood before his reign, he turned to drinking to ease his boredom - his over-controlling father refused to give him even a small demesne to rule until he would ascend to the throne, and despite being a prince, his right to leave the palace was limited. All that came to an end in 688.

In 688, King Bourn I of Etrand died at the age of 63 of food poisoning. Before the clerics could get to him and cure him of his ailment, he has already died - the months before, his health was already getting progressively worse. In the last two years of his life, royal apothecaries were already advising him to exchange his habits for healthier ones, but he refused. Chroniclers claim that on his deathbed, he apologized to Calder for mistreating him, but Calder looked at him with a disgusted face and only raised his eyebrows, remaining silent. Rather than waiting for the crowning ceremony, he immediately took his father's crown as soon as he closed his eyes for the last time.

Reign Edit

Rather than waiting for the crowning ceremony that would normally follow the previous king's funeral, Calder assumed throne immediately and flaunted the crown. He even refused to attend his father's funeral. This blatant desecration of his father's memory outraged many of the former king's supporters.

This was made even worse by Calder's ambitions to centralize Etrand and curb the rights of the nobility. Between 688 and 695, the political landscape of Etrand was confusing - the king constantly made threats to take away ancient rights and privileges from the nobility, the nobility responded with threats of rebellion, the king made a compromise to "reconsider his reforms" if the nobles backed down - no reforms were made at all. This was repeated back and forth under those seven years. Another fact of his first seven years of rule was his wife's three miscarriages before finally giving birth to a living daughter - Mythela.

After that, Calder gained more support from the local nobility - he even made a promise that whoever supports him the most will win his daughter's hand, which started a race among the nobles who could lick Calder's behind metaphorically the best. The king began subsidizing the kingdom's agriculture and light industry, and for that end, he borrowed a large deal of gold from Dwarven bankers - that loan would never be paid back by him and would only be gradually paid back by his successor King Bryant.

Gold and silver was also borrowed to bribe dissenting nobles into submission.

Between 695 and 708, Calder was quietly and gradually investing in the economy while reducing autonomy. His vision of a successful economy was one heavily under state control. From his own journals, some of his other, more controversial plans were also discovered - his plans to forcibly settle every nobleman into Grandfolk, seize their estates and keep them on government payroll as a mixture of bureaucrats and mercenary army. His other "crazy plans" included the construction of huge dams in Etrancoast to artificially create large farmlands - he was also planning to take away the autonomy of Etrancoast and Northern Etrand.

Between 708 and 709, King Calder hired Ladislaus Londbert to oversee the taxation in Grandfolk, and in less than one year, he assigned Ladislaus to rule Northern Etrand - Ladislaus however did not really follow Calder's directions, which led to him stripped of his position in 717. Calder then began curbing Northern Etrand's autonomy and banned the public practice of the Dwarven religion with the plans of eventually eradicating the religion altogether by banning private practice later on. He also increases taxes on peasants and nobility alike, enraging both groups - during the time he was alive, it was assumed that he was planning to pay back the Dwarven debt, but he wrote into his own journals that he was never planning to pay back the money, but instead arrest and execute those he took money from.

Death Edit

On 718 AEKE, 10th of Rasaalu, Calder became a victim of a hunting accident. The exact description of the events surrounding his death are unknown, but after his hunting accident, he suffered from internal bleeding which wasn't noticed until it was too late. At the time, his wife was pregnant, so Calder called the leading nobles to him, and forced them to swear loyalty to his would-be son. They all complied, but three days later, King Calder died, and his wife miscarried. His one and only daughter Mythela would be crowned the next ruler of Etrand, but Calder's three younger brothers - Kerlon, Symner and Zylf - refused to recognize Mythela as the new ruler, and so would start the Succession War of 718.

See also Edit


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