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  1. #1
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    Mheallie Bireon was born just before her father, Dallan Bireon, was
    deposed as count of Mhelliviene. The Bireons fled to Alamie in exile, but
    Mheallie eventually returned. While she burned with revenge, she also had
    to support herself. She ended up in the forest camps of Stonecrown Coster,
    an alliance of small independent foresters. The druids had a great deal of
    influence with these small, independent forestry camps, and Cariele was able
    to export a great deal of high quality hard wood while preserving the beauty
    of the land.
    Mheallie spent a few years studying the situation in Cariele and
    planning her revenge. Daenel Cariele, the baron who ousted her father
    retired in favor of his son, Berric. Berric was not baron for too long when
    he began to quarrel with the High Superior of Haelyn`s Bastion of Truth.
    Mheallie schemed to use the guilds as a weapon to pay the house of Cariele
    back
    for what they had done to her family. However, the guilds were not very
    powerful, despite access to very valuable lands. They limited themselves
    from realizing their potential by paying heed to the druids of Aeric.
    Mheallie allied herself with the Stonecrown`s treasurer, a priest of Sarimie
    named Gwillam Fervargon. With Gwilliam`s help, Mheallie usurpted
    control of the Stonecrown Coster and began to subtly change the way it
    operated. When the druids complained she pretended to agree with them, and
    because of her blood power, they never doubted her until it was too late.
    Using the new wealth of the Coster, she was poised to take advantage of the
    split between Berric Cariele and the Bastion of Truth.
    Mheallie convinced Adrian Gladanil to make his own bid for the barony,
    and seek to repair the breech between the barony and the temples of Haelyn.
    Mheallie reasoned at the time that Haelyn`s temples would not interfear with
    her running of the
    guilds the way Aeric`s Oaken Grove was. However, Temias Coumain, of the
    Celestial Jewel of Sarimie, got wind of what was going on in Cariele. He
    sent his lieutenant, there with the chance of a lifetime. Coumain sent Larra
    Nielems to ally herself with the newly agressive guilder and establish her
    own temples by driving out the Oaken Grove.
    Adrian Gladanil, the count of Mountainsedge, and a second cousin once
    removed, approached the Bastion of Truth looking for support for a
    disinvestiture of Berric Cariele. Mheallie had arranged for information to
    fall into the hands of the law priests that Baron Berric planned to declare
    himself archprelate of his own temple devoted to Haelyn, and take the
    Bastion`s temples in Cariele for himself. Frightened by this information,
    the Bastion agreed to invest Adrian Gladanil.
    Mheallie`s spies were able to identify a time when Berric Cariele would
    be traveling, and the desitination he planned to take. She passed this
    information to Adrian, who laid in wait on the route with trusted knights
    and took Berric hostage. Despite
    Berric`s resistance, the law priests of the Bastion of Truth divested Berric
    of his lands and invested them on Adrian Gladanil. Adrian and the Bastion
    decided to exile Berric Cariele, and he fled with his family to Dhoesone. In
    Tradebhein, Berric took refuge with the circles of the Oaken Grove.
    Mheallie Bireon met with Larra Nielems and the two forged an alliance.
    Larra formed the Reformed Church of Sarimie and began to exploit changes in
    attitides in Cariele. Though Larra claimed a reform doctrine, in fact it
    was a ruse to create the
    appearance of division between the Church in Cariele and the Celestial
    Jewel, since some templars might oppose Larra on the basis of opposing the
    expansion of the Celestial Jewel. On the other hand, opponants of the
    Celestial Jewel might welcome a schism. In fact, Larra and Temias Coumain
    remain close allies. With rising wealth in Cariele because of the
    exploitation of
    the new Stonecrown Coster, many people in Cariele were becomming indifferent
    to Aeric, and their appreciation of the new wealth made them ripe for the
    arrival of Larra`s Church of Sarimie. The Oaken Grove did not expect a new
    temple in Cariele, but had thought that the threat to it`s holdings there
    came from Haelyn`s Bastion of Truth. Since the druids knew that the Bastion
    was not prepared for an offensive in Cariele, they considered themselves
    seccure there, and continued to try to put pressure on the guildmaster of
    the Stonecrown Coster in order to return to sustainable forestry. Larra was
    gifted by Brenna
    with great powers of evangelism. She used the new excitement in Cariele to
    oust the Oaken Grove and establish her temples in very short order. By the
    time the Oaken Grove knew what had happened, it was over. The druids
    remained in their
    circles and preached sustainable practice and love of nature, but no one
    listened any more. The druids were never driven from the forest, they were
    just ignored. The high druid of Cariele, Euric Aelis, preached these words,
    after the druids lost power: "No one can serve two masters; for either he
    will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and
    despise the other. You cannot serve nature and money."
    For a time, Haelyn`s Bastion of Truth and the Reformed Church of Sarimie
    left each other alone. Adrian Gladanil, who had gotten the Bastion to back
    him because he appeared to be a supporter of the temple, ultimatly doomed it
    by his support. Adrian relied on the Bastion to help him reform the barony
    and it turned out their advice and assistance was too good. Mheallie Bireon
    found the new power of the state to be an obstacle and began to demand that
    Adrian alter his policies. For some time, Mheallie and Larra squared off
    against Adrian and the Bastion. The stalemate was broken, as it turns out,
    by Berric Cariele.
    The druids of the Oaken Grove were plotting a comeback and plotting the
    return of Berric as their vehicle. The Oaken Grove supplied Berric with gold
    and both proceeded to re-establish their followings in Cariele. Adrian
    Gladanil was caught in
    the middle. Mhaellie was determined to hold at least a portion of the law
    of the realm, and Berric hoped to recapture the whole barony. Adrian was
    assisted by the Bastion of Truth, who proved to to be very skilled at
    defending law holdings. All the while, the Oaken Grove and the Reformed
    Church of Sarimie moved against one another. Mheallie drew two observations
    from this situation. One was that Berric Cariele would continue to pursue
    his claims in Cariele, the second was that he
    should be allowed to continue only so long as he weakened Adrian. For
    several years this conflict was mostly a conflict for the control of
    holdings in Cariele. The Oaken Grove again proved its aggressive posture
    when it stepped up to outright military action. From safe bases in Dhoesone,
    the Oaken grove raised Rjurik troops from Dhoesone and exiled warriors from
    Rjuvik. It quietly laid the groundwork for raising troops from its followers
    in Mhoried, but was unwilling to move to quickly there. The Mhor was
    unlikely to intervene if it were clear that the Oaken Grove would restore
    Berric in Cariele. The Mhor would not take very kindly to Torien`s Watch
    becomming embroiled in a civil war, however.
    This is the one time in the whole conflict when Mheallie was totally
    taken by surprise. She neither anticipated such a move from the Grove, nor
    did her spies uncover such a plot. The Grove had taken the precaution of
    recruiting only Rjurik in an attempt to foil Mheallie`s spies. Three
    companies of Rjurik archers and a mixed company of battle ragers and
    housecarls crossed over into Riverford and moved directly on Caerlinien and
    Cariele Castle, overlooking the city. The Grove had
    anticipated that units of scouts could be raised in Cariele from followers
    of Aeric, but no such rally occurred. Instead, it was the Stonecrown Coster
    who proved capable of mobilizing the foresters to fight the foriegn troops
    brought in by the druids. As
    Caerinlien fell to the invaders, Mheallie and her chief lieutenants slipped
    out of the city disguised as townsfolk, while Larra Nielems took refuge in
    Cariele Castle.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  2. #2
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    Hey, that`s neat-- it goes right into my "use IMC" folder!

    Lee.

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