by Etienne Suarven Lorneau, in Dark Ages

History books are contradictory when defining the birthplace of Ainmeal. Some say he was natural from Finach, the Mileth of our days, basing this idea on observations about his youth and on his cult of Danaan, whose presence is strong in the region even today. Other authors, however, insist in placing Ainmeal's birthplace in Suomi, having behind them the ease with which he gained the support of this kingdom during that which was called "Struggle for Loures". There are also those who firmly believe the First Emperor was not natural of any of the kingdoms, due to his affinity to the faery races.

Another point with much argumentation is his exact birth date. The records of Loures for the 2939th year of Danaan report his death in the age of 90, which leads to birth in the 2849nd year of Danaan. It is a very advanced age for the time, which presented an average age of decease of less than 60. This is the reason some say he was not born before Danaan 2865, which is absurd, as he first faced Tenes in 2871. Others take the contrary road and say he was born long before the date in the records, due to his hypothetic faery blood - a rumor that could never be proven.

It is not my intention, in absolute, to point the exact birthplace of Ainmeal. This piece of history I will let remain obscure. I will, however, believe in the records of Loures and assume his birth date was in Danaan 2939. If this is correct, I do not know. But it will only serve as a reference point for my observations, thus being not of great importance. What comes after it is what brought me to the quill and paper.


Ainmeal's youth was spent in the region where today is the busy port of Abel. The conglomerate of small villages that formed the kingdom of Finach proved a fertile ground to this ambitious young man. In the 2868th year of Danaan, by the age of 19, his power and respect in the region awarded him the position of Lord. It is rare, even today, seeing someone gather so much power in the dawn of life. Ainmeal, however, proved himself well prepared for the maintenance of this power, which only grew in the following years.

In Danaan 2871, Ainmeal, now respected in a great part of the ten kingdoms, first rose against the rule of Tenes. The dictator, however, won the first battles against Ainmeal, keeping his rebellion at bay. By Danaan 2874, few of Ainmeal's prestige and wealth remained, and he begun his self-imposed exile in Suomi, which would last until 2878.

Tenes, sure about his control over his kingdom and strong influence in the other nine, committed the mistake, which brought his downfall. In 2883, the construction of Loures was started. The symbol of Tenes's power, however, drained much of his treasury, placing the army and wizards in the background.

In the meanwhile, Ainmeal put all his efforts into regaining, in secrecy, his own power. Temuair's most ironic case of corruption took place. Despite the destruction of many of the records, there is some evidence that Ainmeal's trusted men were infiltrated in the construction of Loures, and from it deviated resources; it would be no surprise, however, judging by the state of Tenes's treasury by the much delayed end. Using Tenes's money, Ainmeal built the army that would put an end to the darkness of the League's rule.

When the leaves became red and started to fall from the trees in the 2897th year of Danaan, the last stone was put in place in Loures. The army of Tenes was not as strong as before, having been working with tighter budgets year after year. The whole League, in fact, was weakened by the construction of the capital. Ainmeal, however, now 48 years old, was stronger than ever, and had much more experience on his shoulders. But all his experience did not prevent him from falling in love with Deliara, a girl of only 17 years. Blessed as he was, the feeling was mutual. Despite all the raised controversy about the difference in their ages, the wedding took place in the same year. The exact place of the union is not clear, but a friend of Ainmeal, in his diary, wrote about it, stating it happened "by the neighborhoods of Finach, where the everlasting flowers protect the lovers". Deliara understood Ainmeal would not have much time for his family life, and accepted it. Her husband made one request: should they have a child while he was out in battle, she would not send him note of it; in fact, she would hide it from the public. He stated it was only for their own safety - having his child kidnapped would bring him to his defeat in the blink of an eye.

It was not until Danaan 2901 that Ainmeal showed Tenes his claws again. Isolated attacks began to be reported all over the ten kingdoms. At first no one related them to Ainmeal, but as the pattern of the attacks was realized, it became clear that the League was facing a superb strategist. First, small military outposts of little apparent relevance were destroyed. Following these events, supply lines were disrupted to the larger outposts in many borders. Until finally open attacks started taking place on major outposts. A general of Tenes was the first to notice why the attacks were following a determined pattern of placement - what once seemed like random targeting had the discreet purpose of driving the civilian population away from the main battlefields, while always leaving a doubt about where the next attacks would occur.

Distracted by these attacks, and having suffered great losses, the League never noticed the large group of well trained men doing what seemed impossible: Ainmeal's army's main faction, in less than one year, but suffering many casualties, crossed the mountains from Finach to the plains of Ardmagh, establishing itself, in by the end of Danaan 2902, in what is today called Piet. This faction was called the "Mountaineers" for its mostly daring act of courage - the mountains had never been crossed by so many at one time.

Not counting with an attack from the North, Loures had left that flank poorly defended. At the same time, protecting the outposts from the surgical destruction was costing Tenes many lives. In the beginning of the 2903rd year of Danaan, Ainmeal made his first direct attack against the capital. The few remaining men in the position would have been enough to take over the poorly defended Loures, but Tenes made use of an unorthodox method to prevent it, having many creatures of Darkness summoned to protect the castle.

Seeing the imminent defeat of the Mountaineers, Ainmeal ordered the fortification of the North Ardmagh Outpost, and sent many more soldiers across the mountains to join them. Tenes sought help from the other kingdoms. Glaic, Feasgar, Suomi and Massai came in his aid. Ainmeal did not stay behind, receiving the help from the other five kingdoms.

A decade of bloodshed followed, with the five kingdoms battling the other five. The attacks from the reinforced Mountaineers against Loures continued, but the capital would not leave his North side open again. On its turn, the capital frequently attacked the outpost in today's Piet, but never succeeded - they just could not find it at all. What none of the generals of Tenes could count with was that the Mountaineers were living underground. Even today part of their installations remain, unfortunately taken by animals of all sorts.

In 2914 Ainmeal, through sneaky attacks followed by framings, and a good dosage of political pressure, put the four allies of Loures against each other. Fighting a battle of two flanks, Massai and Feasgar did not resist long, and were conquered in 2918. The next year, Suomi suffered heavy losses in its battle against Glaic, and began to be attacked by the living and undead armies of Loures. Ainmeal sent Suomi help immediately, what led the kingdom to change its side in the battle. Glaic, mourning losses of its own, had no choice but to withdraw from battle.

The year of 2919 was important for yet another event. Ainmeal's first and only son was born in Finach, and was given the name Aeleon. Deliara, facing the high risks of a pregnancy in her 39th year, nearly did not survive the birth. As requested, however, Ainmeal received no notice of the coming of his son, or the fragile health condition of his wife.

Having only his armies of men and monsters backing his reign, Tenes did not resist for long. In 2920 an enormous fleet arrived in Ardmagh coming from Finach, while more ships brought wizards from Rucesion. Being now attacked from North by the Mountaineers and Southeast by the armies that came in the fleet, and having most of its dark creatures being slaughtered by the wizards, Loures did not stand for long. In the 2921st year of Danaan, Tenes was overthrown.

Ainmeal, now in the 72nd year of his life, was not willing to accept the rule of the kingdom, but the popular pressure would not accept a negative answer; he was crowned the first King of Ardmagh. At the same day Deliara arrived from Finach, carrying 2 years old Aeleon in her arms. The first words spoken by Ainmeal as King were then recorded: "I have a son! See, Loures, my  beautiful child! But in my age... I am the most proud grandfather in Temuair!", followed by general laughter in the throne room.


Etienne Suarven Lorneau