- "Perhaps one of the greatest Kings in human history, Harken I Heartan was the definition of warrior. The giant of a man was a fearsome ruler."
- ―About Harken I
Harken I Heartan (TA 5075 - TA 5146), also known as the Stone King and the Smasher of Goblins, was King of Amsnorth from 5129 to 5146. The first son of William III, Harken was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included being the Master of Ships, where he controlled the Royal Fleet. Harken had little much to do as Prince of Amsnorth, but throughout his Mastery of ships, Harken lead assults across many areas surrounded in Goblins, and would be seen charging through their ranks like a bull. Unlike his father, who chose not to enter conflict, Harken lust for it, and through this he gained the title of Destoryer of Monsters. When his father died, Harken was crowned only four weeks later.
He spent much of his reign reforming royal administration and common law. Through an extensive legal inquiry, Harken investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. Increasingly, however, Harken's attention was drawn towards military affairs. After suppressing a minor rebellion in Üswana in 5130–5131, Harken responded to a second rebellion in 5132–5133 with a full-scale war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Harken subjected Üswana to Royalandüs rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with Andüs people. Next, his efforts were directed towards Kolodyyne. Initially invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Harken claimed feudal suzerainty over the Dwavern Kingdom, to force the dwarves into paying a larger income into the crown. This was not well recieved by the dwavern people. In the war that followed, the Dwarves persevered, even though the Andüs seemed victorious at several points. At the same time there were problems at home. In the mid-5130s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, and Harken met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition. These crises were initially averted, but issues remained unsettled. However after the Dwarves purposed to increase their income into the crown, they demanded to have an increased trading route, new lands in the Main Lands, and to get a supply of workers to help built farms and mines throughout the Dwavern Kingdom. Harken refused this offer.
Character and AppearanceEdit
Harken I was a very tall man, and is one of the tallest humans in history. He was temperamental, and this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, and he often instilled fear in his contemporaries. Harken was also built very large, with shoulders as wide as a child, and hands big enough to cover an average man's entire face.
Harken was also very cunning, and a master battle commander, but also highly respected his soldiers, no matter what their rank. He always lead a battle himself, to bring a sense of hope to his army. Harken was also a very loving family man, and care much for his son and wife, Judith Heartan.
Early YearsEditHarken was born at the Rocky Vale on the night of 5075, to King William III Heartan and Eliana Heartan, the daughter to Lord Eric Irnengs. Harken is an ancient Mountain Man name, as was not commonly given among the human race, but William was devoted to the veneration of Hærkan the Conqueror, and decided to name his firstborn son after the legendary settler. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Jamie Irnengs, Barkston Thash and Mikael Wolfbane, who would all help him in his quests across Amsnorth.
There were concerns about Harken's health as a child, and he fell ill many times. Nonetheless, he became an imposing man; at 6 feet 8 inches, he towered over most of his contemporaries, and was highly feared by many smaller men, even more so when they saw him swing a blade. Due to his large size, Harken had almost Orc like strength, and could slash through a thick tree with one swipe.In 5089, Andüs fears Harken's health, and due to several cases of Heartans unable to have children, the Human Royal Government induced Harken's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his fourteen-year-old son and Judith Gonsoveir, the half-sister of Duke Alfred X Gonsoveir. Judith and Harken were married on 5090 in the Abbey of Kirk Pipleton, in Daleigon. As part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 85,000 gold a year. Though the endowments King William III Heartan made were sizeable, they offered Harken little independence. He had already received large portions of lands in Daleigon when he was a child, but Simon Bellhorn, the Duke of the East, had been appointed as royal lieutenant the year before and, consequently, drew its income, so in practice Harken derived neither authority nor revenue from this province.
Harken had shown independence in political matters as early as 16, when he sided with the Gonsoveir family in Daleigon, in the ongoing conflict between the Gonsoveir and Elendra families. This ran contrary to his father's policy of mediation between the local factions. In the same year of TA 5091, the Human Royal Government made changes to the King's reign, to lower his powers in the Dwavern Kingdom, as the dwarves decided to lower their supplies due to their struggling economy. Harken stood by his political allies and strongly opposed the government, as he believed it was a lie, as the dwarves control ver 40% of Amsnorth's gold mines. Eventually the government failed in attempting to lower the crown's power over the dwarves, however this changed Harken's attitude towards politics and his personal attitude. Harken became very stiff, and would often scowl upon politicians whenever they attempted to change the crown's powers.The motive behind Harkens change of heart could have been purely pragmatic, however when his father refused to get involved in many affairs that could lead to a possible civil war, Harken's behaviour turned into pure insubordination. He made several appointments to advance the cause of the reformers, causing his father to believe that his son was considering a possible dethrone. William did not show his son much affection during this time, however after Harken confronted his father on the matter, he informed his father he would never dream of such things, and that he was only taking on the hard decisions.
Back in Royalandüs, early in 5093, Harken fell out with some of his former allies over financial matters in the Human Royal Government, and other governments throughout Amsnorth, that were lowering their income to the crown, due to economy matters. The next year, King William sent him on a campaign in Üswana against Llykola Thash, with only limited results. This pushed Harken into thinking that a possible rebellion was forming against House Heartan, and Harken believed that due to his father's gentle reign, others were beginning to think the royal family was becoming weak.
CrusadesEditAfter many political problems were settled, Harken decided to travel throughout the lands, he ventured out with a large group of 50 men. Through this time, Harken sailed at sea for seven months, dealing with many pirate issues at sea. He also sailed to the Prisoners' Pay, where he assisted the soldiers in protecting the island from possible assults.
Eager to prove himself as a fighter, Harken moved his ship towards the Dwavern Kingdom, where he spent a further few weeks travelling around the midlands, mainly the Oaklands. Harken assisted the dwarf soldiers in defeating many bandits, clansmen, and goblins that have been roaming around the land.Harken the moved southwards, to the uncharted lands of Dark Territory. That portion which is often remarked as the most dangerous land in Amsnorth. Many of his men abandoned him on the road out of fear, however Harken was lusting to challenge both himself, and what was left of his loyal men. Harken spent almost one year in the Dark Territory, where he explored and examined many unusal things the land offered. Harken was also the first to discover the Vixen Herb, which would later be used by the great, green-elf healers into healing many diseases.
It was during this time when Harken recived news that his father, William III Heartan was deciding on stepping down as king, due to his old age. Harken made his way back to Gran Sarathal, where only a short time later he was crowned King of Amsnorth. William however abandoned his son as king, and left for the Summer of Priest, where he planned to spend the rest of his later years.
- See also: Conquest in Üswana by Harken I
In TA 5130, war was declared. Initial operations were launched under the captaincy of the Human Royal Government. Support for Llykola Thash was weak among his own countrymen. Later that year Harken invaded with a force of 12,500. The campaign never came to a major battle, and Llykola soon realised he had no choice but to surrender. Llykoda was spared an execution by Harken, but his family was forced to repay their crimes, and many of their titles and powers throughout Üswana were lowered greatly.TA 5132, it was an entirely different undertaking. For the Dwarves, this war was over national identity, enjoying wide support, provoked particularly by attempts to impose Andüs law on Dwarf subjects. For Harken, it became a war of conquest rather than simply a punitive expedition, like the former campaign. The war started with a rebellion by the son of Llykola Thash, Dalkola Thash, who was discontented with the reward he had received from Harken years earler for his bravery in defending Phylon from bandit terroists. Llykola and other dwarf highborns soon joined in, and initially the Dwarves experienced military success. The defeats Harken faced were starting to anger him and his nobles, so Harken begun to enter battles himself.
He entered Üswana with a host of 20,000 men, and 400 war equipment. The dwarves met him in open conflict, and at first the dwarves believed that they had the upper hand, until Harken revealed an even larger host moving on Phylon, lead by Harken's cousin, Jamie Irnengs. They took control over the city in a seige, and Jamie slew Llykola Thash. Harken then ambushed the dwarf army as they begun to head back to the city, as they fell into a trap.
After the huge victory, Harken took Dalkola's son, Viktoreen Thash as a squire when he was 3 years old, and raised him within Gran Sarathal, allowing Dalkola Thash to rule Phylon, but completely removed all titles within the city. More rebellions erupted throughout the lands, from different forces, but they were all put down.
Trouble with DwarvesEditHarken became even more wary of the dwarves in the Dwavern Kingdom, his spies informed him that [[Kolodyyne|Kolodyyne's]] enconomy was becoming an issue. Harken who having delt with their problems years before, decided to act quickly. Fearing that some countries around the world, like Üswana, are fighting for independence. While the kingdom does have control over their government and law, Harken wanted more gold from them. The dwarves are the ritchest race in Amsnorth, and Harken knew that their schemes in attemping to fool him were unsuccsessful.
In order to maintain power, a political despute took place around the kingdoms. Harken using his skills fought back against the Dwavern Kingdom, and even threatened war if they should proceed with their efforts. This put a very serious strain on both the Dwavern Domain and the Human Royal Government. The king then moved a great deal of forces into the kingdom, spreading them in and around cities, towns and villages. This was to maintain control over them due to their small number in soldiers. Harken I Heartan was met with much hate from the dwavern people, however he cared little about it, and forced them to hand out slighly more tax.
Government and LawEdit
Character as KingEditHarken had a reputation for a fierce temper, and he could be intimidating; one story tells of how the Lord of the Great Valour Islands, wishing to confront Harken over the high level of taxation, fell down and died once he was in the King's presence. When Ser James Cavett demanded an earldom for his favourite lord, the King erupted in anger and supposedly tore out handfuls of his hair. Some of his contemporaries considered Harken frightening, particularly in his early days, others described him as a leopard, an animal regarded as particularly powerful and unpredictable.
Despite these frightening character traits, however, Harken's contemporaries considered him an able, even an ideal, king. Though not loved by all his subjects, he was feared and respected. He met contemporary expectations of kingship in his role as an able, determined soldier and in his embodiment of shared chivalric ideals. In religious observance he also fulfilled the expectations of his age: he attended the Sept regularly and gave alms generously.
Harken took a keen interest in the stories of King Nark III Heartan, which were highly popular in Main Lands during his reign. Harken loved his ancestor mainly for his courage and sheer power of will. Nark III who had went up against Azugon at a very old age, gave such a fight that the dark lord honoured his name thousands of years after. Harken along with hundreds of explorers hunted across Amsnorth for Nark's crown, and eventually found bits of them scattered across the Burnt Islands.
Changing the LawEditSoon after assuming the throne, Harken set about restoring order and re-establishing royal authority after the weak reign of his father. To accomplish this, he immediately ordered an extensive change of administrative personnel. The most important of these was the appointment of Stanleigh Eppingham as Senate Chancellor, a man who would remain in the post for years as one of the King's closest associates. Harken then replaced most local officials, such as the escheators and sheriffs. This last measure was done in preparation for an extensive inquest covering all of Amsnorth, that would hear complaints about abuse of power by royal officers.
This caused great consternation among the aristocracy, who insisted that long use in itself constituted license. A compromise was eventually reached in TA 5140, whereby a liberty wasconsidered legitimate as long as it could be shown to have been exercised since the coronation of King Robert I. Royal gains from the Governments warranto proceedings were insignificant; few liberties were returned to the King. Harken had nevertheless won a significant victory, in clearly establishing the principle that all liberties essentially emanated from the crown
Later years and deathEdit
When Harken passed his late 60s, he begun to become less and less active, many suspected that he was falling ill. Which was true in some way, as his body started to slowly weaken with age and time. Harken still managed to keep order and control during these times, and would always force himself to meetings throughout the world.
However, when he got even older, Harken fell gravely sick, and coughed up blood very often. This put him in bed for a long time, where he would send his most trusted allies to rule in his stead. His son, Nark V Heartan, who was studying in Wizardear, came back to see his father, and sat by his side for weeks and weeks. Harken's final wish before he died, was that his son continue with his legacy. He was laid to rest in the Kings' Mountain, next to legends such as, Alton I Heartan and Nark III Heartan.
|King of Amsnorth|
| Preceded by|
William III Heartan
|Harken I Heartan|| Succeeded by|
Nark V Heartan