Obrud Moribrand and the Deposition of King Ghengred, the Slayer of Innocents

January 29, 2020

In the tumultuous year of 1420 AU, the deposition of King Ghengred IV, of the House of Alfwyn, marked the end of a catastrophic episode in Bennvikan history.

King Ghengred was already a naturally paranoid man, and this unfortunate trait was only exasperated when he was crowned king. As so many leaders do, he saw threats everywhere. Some sought to take advantage of this, and none more so than a Congressor named Obrud Moridrand.

Thanks to his openly opulent lifestyle, even by the standards of the Congressors, Obrud was far from popular with the people, who especially those of Kriganheim. This had not bothered him up until an attempt on his life was made in 1419, when his litter was mobbed in the street. Only with the violent intervention of his bodyguards did Obrud escape with his life.

It is reasonable to think that these attackers had been paid by a political rival of Obrud, for he had many, yet he chose to use the incident to advance his position.

Something of a cold war had already existed between Bennvika and Medrodor for some time, with both of them by now long considering the other their natural enemy. So when Obrud claimed in a speech to the Congressate that the attackers had been caught and confessed to working for the Medrodorian crown, the relations between the two countries only worsened. Obrud even publically accused Medrodor of threatening King Ghengred himself, saying that an attack on him was an attack on the king.

Those words earned him the attention of both kings. While he was called to the royal presence of Genghred, King Rika II of Medrodor sent an emissary to Kriganheim, demanding an explanation.

 

Obrud chose to ignore the Medrodorian king's letter, instead showing it to Ghengred. He is known to have pointed out that King Rika learned very quickly of Obrud's actions following the unsuccessful attack, and that Rika must therefore have spies all over Kriganheim, or even the entirity of Bennvika. Later historians and political commentators have even theorised that Obrud may have even staged the attempt on his life himself. By knowing which words to whisper in Ghengred's ear, Obrud wormed his way into every aspect of Bennvikan government, in a matter of months rendering the weak-minded Ghengred unable to make the slightest decision withoutn consulting him, so drawn-in had the king been by Obrud's charisma and energy.

 

In the streets, suspician reigned. People disappeared without immidiate explination, especially foreigners, only for it to be revealed later that they had been arrested by Obrud's men - a fate that invariably led to death under torture or by public execuation. This spate of executions gained King Ghengred the posthumous nickname 'the slayer of innocents', as it was his orders on which the execuations took place.

Things came to a head in 1420, when members of the Congressate met King Ghengred's nephew, Komyans, saying that if he would stake his claim to the throne, they would back his cause. Komyans had no hesitation in agreeing. He knew he would have little difficulty convincing the provincial governors to stand against the upstart Obrud. When he returned to Kriganheim with an army, he discovered that before he had even crossed the River Lavaklan, the people of Kriganheim, hearing of his approach through the rumours spread by travelling traders and fearing the possibility of being taken as the king's allies, had risen up against Obrud and Ghengred. Murdering the former in the street with a hail of thrown stones, and improsoning the latter.

 

Friendless and isolated, Ghengred was exciled at the Ustine Isles, where he died within the year. Meanwhile, Komyans was crowned King Komyans III of Bennvika, and Bennvikan-Medrodorian relations steadily improved.

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