War of the Pale BrothersEdit
Fiercely loyal to the False Stone during the War of the Pale Brothers, Artavin Dyre, father of current lord Varat, was humiliated in court and stripped of his titles and wealth. Most songs in the realm sing of Artavin's cowardly flight into the Godspires, though most realize he had little choice in the matter, if he was to maintain a shred of dignity with his growing base: priests and court-dwellers loyal to the False Stone. So began House Dyre's hegemony over the Godspires themselves, as fresh, formidable castles were chiseled into the stone and the lowland houses and mountain clans, eclectic hybrids of a smattering of peoples, knelt to the Dyres and their swelling ranks.
HistoryEditArtavin Dyre was the son of a priest. So say even the legitimate Chronicles of the realm. In truth, he was the bastard of a priest. But Dyre had a mind unconquerable, a tongue that could convince men and armies to follow him, and a fierce love for battle against whoever he deemed was impure in the eyes of the Gods. He was the Solemn Age personified at its end. He tried to push back the tide of the turning Age by providing a new model inspired by the old: A warrior class composed of priests themselves. Artavin Dyre, the Warrior-Priest, the Great Rebel. His name has almost been forgotten.
Dyre was legitimized by the Emperor, for whom he rose (in mysterious circumstances) to become the High Castellan. Despite his dubious background, Dyre was given great lands, and many castles, across the realm. This of course alienated many of the rising warrior class, who fought for the Emperor's brother during the Great Treachery. In that war that divided the land, Artavin fought a dozen battles, triumphing o'er superior numbers with luck, ferocity, and the insane loyalty of his men.
But it was not enough. Valiant men can struggle against the turning of the Age, but it turns nonetheless. Lord Dyre and his ilk could no more restore the primacy of the Order of the Moon than they could return the falling stars to the sky. While Artavin campaigned to put down yet another rebel house supporting the Traitor, the capital was seized by his supporters. The Emperor, the last beacon of hope for an Age of priestly and imperial authority, was captured and murdered by the men who had sworn to serve his blood unto death.
Upon returning to the capital, Artavin blinded himself in his anguish. The victorious new Emperor stripped the rebel lord of his lands, his wealth, and his titles, leaving only his life. Lord Dyre knelt so that his men and his sons might not be put to the sword. Lord Dyre's wife, a niece of the Emperor himself, had her name stricken from the records, along with the many loyalist members of the Imperial Family and high-ranking priests of the Order of the Moon that fled, exiled along with Dyre. Many followed him, having nowhere else to go.
Dyre's dwindling army retained a core of a few hundred supporters. As they marched out of the civilized world, the Priest-Lord began to have visions. His supporters said that he had been given a second sight by the gods to replace that which he had lost. A growing coterie of minor nobles and priests cast out by the new order gathered around the polarizing figure of Dyre. They marched into the Godspire Mountains, known for being impassable but for a small, lost pass sometimes taken by pilgrims to worship a great shrine to Shulensi atop Kharadas, the tallest peak in the realm. It was believed by all, as his band of fanatics passed into the deeping walls of the Godspires, that they would never be heard from again.
Some decades later, news came. Artavin Dyre was dead. His son, Varat Dyre, had made peace between the barbaric mountain clans and the lowland houses, and gained the allegiance of both with a combination of force and diplomacy. Furthermore, he had built a great castle into the rock of Kharadas itself, and a winding stair up the mountain to a second fortress higher still. The newly-protected pass began to attract pilgrims, and a steady source of revenue from the shrine for the Priest-Lords of the Godspires.
House Dyre is feared to this day. Feared because it is not an old name. Feared because of their unholy allies, barbaric clans with strange customs. And feared because of their blood. Imperial blood, boiling blood, beneath a mountain that the legends say will one day erupt in fire.