The rural communities loved Admeth Hadret, considering him the best leader they'd ever had. In Aedyr, the fercönyng rankled against his usurpations of imperial authority, but no longer had the necessary power to truly undo anything that had happened.
Two years later, in 2664 AI, the fercönyng found allies willing to explore the ruins (against the treaty conditions) and plundered them for their artifacts. This was done discretely at first, but they eventually became careless. The agents were discovered and arrested, but there was no evidence pointing back to the fercönyng. Admeth, suspecting the truth, used Glafathan brishalgwin (‘mind hunters’) - the progenitors of modern day ciphers - to investigate the matter further. With this method of interrogation, he discovered a chain of evidence all the way back to the fercönyng. While he investigated, many rural communities suffered retaliatory attacks by Glanfathans.
Armed with this new information, Admeth worked with Galven Medhra (the new leader of the Glanfathans) and the rural communities of the Dyrwood to prevent the fercönyng's agents from entering the ruins. There was a back and forth between the two groups, both sides engaging in various political, economic, and military maneuvers to try and gain the upper hand. The fercönyng was at a disadvantage in this game, though, as he preferred to assert his authority without causing an uprising.
Eventually Admeth had enough. He convinced seven of the nine erls to join him and they severed their allegiance to the fercönyng, declaring themselves independent and decree they would govern themselves, just as the Vailian republics did twenty years prior. Admeth told the people he had tired of policies that made the nobles rich while putting the people of the Dyrwood at risk. He declared himself a duc (again, modeled after the Vailian Republic's governing structure) and called the Dyrwood a ‘free’ palatinate. Thus began The War of Defiance in 2668 AI. The war lasted four years and caused countless casualties, including Admeth himself. The Dyrwoodans, with their Glanfathan allies were able to persevere. Glanfathan astrologers, alongside the Dyrwoodan forces and members of the ad hoc Knights of the Crucible militia, won the Battle of Defiance Bay, which became the last battle of the war and left Dyrwood free from Aedyran imperial rule. Seven of the nine erls of the Dyrwood survived and, unified in purpose, signed treaties with the fercönyng of Aedyr. The war gave the Dyrwood a greater sense of unity between its citizens and their Glanfathan allies. Admeth Hadret was revered by both groups and the Dyrwood enjoyed for the first time a nationwide fellowship of independence, perseverance, and sacrifice. Yenwood and Cwynsrun were dissolved and incorporated into the surrounding erldoms, leaving seven - Helsgate, The Grasp, Tenferths, Norwaech, Coldwater, Ashfall, and Baelreach. New Dunryd was renamed Defiance Bay and would become the seat of power for the new duc in Baelreach. The new duc’s rule began in 2672 AI.
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