1208 RE-- The Assasination of Princess Abelone
Date: 1208 RE
Outcome: Success for the Couraine's Pendant
Parties: Couraine's Pendant, Princess Abelone of the Athral Isle
Princess Abelone of the House of Voluspa was the eldest daughter of King Sigmar I, the current Gauntish ruler of Athral Isle. She was granted rulership over Conwarashire, where she followed the rule of her father to the letter, setting up stockades and holding public lashings and executions to keep the population in line. The people who served her called her the Alabaster Banshee, in part for her extremely pale complexion and habit of yelling loudly at anyone who displeased her, but mostly due to the fact that she carried with her a warhammer, carved of alabaster, that she used to smash the heads of those she condemned to public execution. This, unsurprisingly, frightened and angered the local populace. Their displeasure did not concern her however, as she was so consumed by the decadence and wanton power that her position afforded her. She was also an accomplished huntress, often taking daytrips to the countryside for coursing and foxing. An accomplished falconer, she often took her falcon Jens with her. It was on one such hunting expedition that the people of Conwarashire decided to make their move.
A small resistance movement, Couraine’s Pendant, had formed in opposition to the despicable acts that the Princess was performing. It was comprised of several Athral loyalists;1,2 Martin Thatcher, Aaron the Smithy, who provided the weapons for the movement; Bonnie Dunhill, a seamstress and sometimes surgeon for the group; Clem and Cletus Woods, carpenters by trade, built impromptu siege weapons and traps to hinder the Princess, her troops, and her lieutenants;4,5 and the founders of the movement, Eldon and Ciera Gray, a young married couple. They created Couraine’s Pendant after Princess Abelone decreed that would be killed if they bore any children. Ciera had inadvertently slighted the Princess by failing to bow low enough for her pleasure. Couraine's Pendant decided the easiest way to strike at the Princess was to attack her troops in a limited skirmish while her falcon was out, as a distraction to their true motives. They planned to catch the falcon, coat his talons in a poison that would kill almost instantly on contact with skin or flesh, and release him to return to the princess. She had ever shown her strength by refusing a falconry glove.
Couraine's Pendant struck swiftly and well, skirmishing from the treetops all around the Princess's entourage. Rocks, arrows, and sticks battered the soldiers, sending them to confusion. The Gauntish party withdrew into a clearing, forcing the assailants to the ground to engage them. Another part of Couraine’s Pendant spied the falcon and brought him safely and carefully to the ground, beginning the second phase of their attack. The first group harried the princess and her men, sustaining some injuries and inflicting some of their own, giving the other team time to do their work. The falcon group took care to poison only the talons, touching no other portion of the falcon. They had not wish to harm the bird, just its owner – and their plan relied on the falcon’s health.
After sufficient time had passed, a small explosive trap was triggered, and in the ensuing smoke and flame, Couraine’s Pendant withdrew, allowing the princess and her men to regroup. The princess, believing they had deterred the rebels and won the day, demanded they await the return of her beloved falcon. When Jens finally arrived and landed on her outstretched arm, chaos erupted. The princess coughed and gagged, foam and spittle building around her lips. She shook uncontrollably. Her breathing more and more labored, pain contorting her limbs and torso, and her stomach emptied its contents. In moments, the princess screamed and twitched a final time, lying dead on the ground.
Couraine's Pendant claimed responsibility for the assassination of the princess, thinking it a great victory for the citizens of Athral Isle. The King saw this very differently, however, and responded in force. More troops entered Conwarashire and, instead of a member of the royal house, the King sent one of his military captains to govern the area, turning the area to very strict and harsh martial law. The military governor, Captain Marshall Lumley, retained Princess Abelone’s hammer, and wields it to carry out public execution. Before every death he proclaims, “As the princess suffered in death, so might you in the afterlife. May her blessings send you on your way.” Athrals and Gauntish alike have dubbed the weapon The Blessing of Abelone.
Couraine's Pendant was forced to flee Conwarashire to avoid execution, many with the aid of a local fisherman6. This fisherman reportedly changed his name and fled to the mainland, but is wanted by the Gauntish crown. Some members of Couraine’s Pendant fled to the mainland, and some fled to the northern reaches of Athral Isle, hoping to escape further notice.