As mentioned in Part I, the Gifted Wars was a period of time during the formative years of the settlements of the peninsula of Caelon during the early years of the Age of Kings. Before the conflicts started arising between the fledgling settlements and the Torian seat of power in the White Walled City, the country had seen a period of peaceful exploration and reclamation, thanks to the efforts of the First Son, his Ten Saints and the crusaders who vanquished the demons who prowled the land.
Although the earliest conflict in the Gifted Wars happened as part of an uprising against the Torian command, many of the battles that were fought during these three bloody decades were not directly against the Torians at all. Perhaps one of the most famous cases involves a failed betrothal between two of the largest settlements of that time, known now as Ismar and Shalona. This entry shall focus on the events that led up to the first war of Major Houses in the Gifted Wars.
A Marriage to Unite Two Great Houses
When the mostly-intact ruins of the two ancient cities were found less than 30 miles away from one another, there were two houses that were assigned to the lordships of the sites. The House of Moro founded the site now known as Ismar, led by Don Eldrio Moro. Likewise, the House of Alren, led by Don Hannibal Alren, was assigned to the lordship of Shalona in the same breath.
Each of the lords were successful in their own right in growing the new establishments, and by the time each of the settlements were thriving on their own with little, whispers began to spread about a grand alliance between the houses. At the time of the inevitable betrothal of their kin, Magia, daughter of Mago Moro, son of Don Eldrio, to Hannibal II Alren, relations had been overwhelmingly successful between the two Houses.
However, the story goes that Magia, a girl of the age of 13, fell in love with Hanin, the third son of Hannibal II through his first marriage which ended in the death of Hanin’s mother after a riding accident which broke her neck. Hanin, a boy of 15, was much closer in age to Magia at the time of the announcement of betrothal to his father, and was distraught to find that his father, a man in his forties, would steal away the girl he loved.
The Flight of the Lordlings
As many stories of star-crossed lovers go, the two children of the Houses of Moro and Alren were not ordained to be together, though they pled with their parents that it would be so. However, Hannibal II was known at the time as a cold-hearted man who thought little of the needs of others aside from himself. It was even rumored that his first wife, daughter of one of the houses still living in the White Walled City, was thrown from her horse intentionally by his men, in favor of the greater prize of the maiden of Ismar.
A week prior to the ceremony that would formalize the relations between the two cities, the caravan from Ismar carrying Lady Magia and her mother arrived. As night fell on the first day of her arrival, it is said that she met in secret with her young love and the two of them made away from the city together unescorted, never to be seen again.
While it may seem unlikely that two young people would be able to survive alone together in the wilderness, we must remember their heritage. As was the case with all lords of Major Houses assigned to lordship over the reclaimed cities, they trace their heritage back to the First Son and his many wives. Because of this, most lords of this time held command over at least a few of the gifts, the supernatural powers, of the First Son. It was said that both Lady Magia and Hanin possessed early proficiency over their powers as well, and could very possibly have fended for themselves.
Still, the history books tell not further tales of the two lovers who fled, other than to mention their love as the catalyst, if not the cause, of the first major war of the houses.