History of Tethyr is a book about the lands of Tethyr, how the land was governed, its history and the current state of the land nowadays. This item appears in Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate EE and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. In Baldur's Gate, this book is not for sale, but can be found in bookshelves or containers across the Sword Coast.
|“|| History of Tethyr:
For the past 1500 years, Tethyr had a single, strong royal family ruling with absolute power. When a king died or became incapacitated, his oldest son took the throne. As the family trees of those close to power became more intertwined and complicated, there were the inevitable wars of succession and bickering over which second cousin was the "true" heir to the throne. Civil wars were brief, however, and once the fighting was over the system returned to normal (until the next major dispute in a few hundred years or so).
|“|| The established re-occuring cycle was broken 10 years ago. The current ruling family had been in power for over 350 years, so long that they dropped their family name centuries ago (no one even remembers it now) and simple called themselves Tethyr. King Alemander IV was comfortably ruling from Castle Tethyr, and the country seemed happy enough, but there was a broad current of dissatisfaction among the people of Tethyr. Non-humans were forbidden by law to own land, and since most rights and privileges accorded citizens were based on land ownership, they became second-class citizens as well. Things were especially bad for elves, who were driven deep into the Forest of Tethir by royal armies. Alemander IV took land away from rightful owners and gave it to nobles who promised larger contributions to the royal treasury. These social and economic inequities, coupled with several harsh winters and bad harvests in a row, made the time ripe for a change.
It takes more than a couple of lousy winter to depose a king however, it takes treachery as well. In the case of the fall of House Tethyr it took an ambitious general and an impatient royal heir. Prince Alemander grew tired for the robust Alemander IV to make room for him, so he struck a deal with General Nashram Sharboneth, commander of the king's largest army. While Sharboneth marched his army towards Tethyr, bringing along a sizable group of angry peasants recruited with the promise of land reform, the would-be Alemander V downplayed alarming reports of from the king's spies and advisors, silencing the most persistent permanently through murder or exile. By the time Sharboneth's army arrived and laid siege to Castle Tethyr, it was too late for loyalists to help.
As Sharboneth launched a direct assault on the castle (using the expendable peasants as shock troops), a handful of elite soldiers let in a secret entrance by the prince would eliminate key guards and open the gates. At the same time, the prince (one of the few people allowed to see the king directly) would murder his father. A fire set by the elite troops would destroy evidence of treachery, the general and the prince would emerge from the conflagration and announce a new, joint government.
The plan was executed perfectly, but only up to a point. Sharboneth double-crossed the prince; his men were much too efficient in setting the castle ablaze, and Prince Alemander (along with most of his fellow conpirators) died horribly in the fire. At about the same time, a spy planted on the general's inner staff by the equally duplicious Alemander murdered the general and dissolved his body with a powerful acid before anyone could come to his aid.
To make matters even worse, everyone had underestimated the resentment of the people felt for the royal family. Once Castle Tethyr began to fall, there was no holding back the mob. In one night, the proudest, strongest castle in all the country was reduced to a smoking ruin. Everything of value, fine tapestries, plates and silverware, furniture, jewelry, weapons, clothes, armour, paintings, statues etc.- was either stoles, burned or ripped to apart and stomped into the dust.
As news of the fall of the royal family spread, so did the chaos. In what now is now as the "Ten Black Days of Eleint," anyone known (or even suspected) of blood connection to the royal family was put to the sword. This led to some darkly, humorous moments, as social climbers who had bragged of just a week before of being a sixth cousin twice were removed of a royal aunt tried in vain to convince an angry mob that were "only kidding."
The nobles who were the biggest supporters of the royal family also came under attack, and some baronial keeps fell. Local leaders had adequately distanced themselves from the Tethyr family, or were popular ( or feared/strong enough), survived. These surviving nobles the initial players in the fight to decide the fate of Tethyr.
One thing was certain; any leader or type of government that too closely resembled rule under the Tethyrs would not be accepted. "Royalist" became a dirty word in Tehtyr society. The power struggle continues to this day, and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon.