The Arabel City Militia
A Grand History of the Militia: Dutharr to Amblecrown
Authored by Audatha Telrost of Siamorphe
The Arabel City Militia has a long history in Arabel. It has boasted some of the most renown names in its ranks, including Cyric, Kelemvor and Adon of Sune. Once led by Constable Myrmeen Lahl in 1359, it soon became part of a system of defenses under the Lord-Lady of Arabel, and commanded by Warden Dutharr for many years.
Walter Dutharr was a of a noble family and served as a personal agent for King Azoun V before he joined the Militia as a Commander. He distinguishing himself further as hunter of Zhentarim. During the first Gondegal Rebellion, he served with his close cousin Evender Dutharr in the Purple Dragons. Reaching the rank of Oversword under Baron Thomdar, the Warden of the North, he fought with great distinction against Gondegal. Dutharr's heroism and courage against an overnight assault by Gondegal's rebel army earned him many accolades, and Baron Thomdar would eventually promote him to Warden of the Militia. But victory was not without its cost, and Evender Dutharr was captured and executed by the Lost King. He is noted for long years of service to Arabel, which ended when Lord Brace Skatterhawk, Warden of the North, declared the city under Martial Law during the second Gondegal Rebellion, and when Lord Lhal refused his orders, Lord Skatterhawk ordered Warden Dutharr to arrest the Lord of Arabel, which he refused to do so.
During much of his tenure as Warden of the Militia, Dutharr's Militia were not involved in judgement, but only in law enforcement and prosecution. The role of Judges were handed over to the Knights of the Merciful Sword, centered at the Fortress of Holy Justice, built in 1358. The Militia during this time had fallen into a dark hour due to allegations against their conduct. Lacking the moral high ground and support of the citizenry, they turned to the Paladins of the Merciful Sword for legal representation, and Lord Lhal allowed these judgements to become binding, though this was not strictly law. When Warden Dutharr personally objected to one such ruling, a constitutional crisis developed, resolved only when Lord Lhal signed the Writ of Holy Justice, and the Knights took control of all functions of Judgement and Arbitration in Arabel. Beginning with Abbot Kerian Evenhand, it would persist with High Justice Lady Norah Iba'Pretur in 1363 after his death, and when she perished at the hands of an assassin in 1372, Sir Pers Sane would take up her mantle as Chief Justice. The era of Holy Judgement would come to an end in 1376, when the Knights of the Merciful Sword were, for the most part, extinguished, shortly after the death of Lord Marlirr, Lord High Warden of the North and Warden of the East Marches, in the First Shadovar-Cormyrian War. For a time, Justicar Toman Rogerman would maintain the Shrine of Justice in Arabel. There has been no replacement since his passing. The Merciful Sword still exists in Suzail, maintained at the Temple of Tyr by Lord Justice Harmeen Kennat.
The Militia came under the sway of Darmos Lauthyr after the Civil War, and its ranks began to swell with Tycheans, to the point where it became known as the Tychean Militia. With so many Clerics serving in the Militia, it is said that Darmos came very close to declaring himself Lord of Arabel. The self-promoted "Baron" Darmos would turn traitor, casting his lot and his followers behind the Phoenix Legion, but he was never able to sieze control of Arabel. The Tychean Militia were eventually replaced by the criminally corrupt Sheriffs of Arabel, which was little more than an internal security force led by Sembian loyalists.
When Queen Lhal of the Free State of Arabel was given the Goldfeather Sword, and thus became the rightful heir to Gondegal's legacy, the Sembian remnants of the Phoenix Legion under the self-proclaimed "King" of Eastway, Mergyth Cassiel, who still controlled the Sheriffs, withdrew to East Way Village, which had been renamed Easthaven. There, the Sheriffs would prepare for their eventual return. With the death of Cassiel at the hands of a band of heroic assassins, "Queen" Berlescosa Venieth of the "Queendom" of Easthaven would eventually rise to power. While married to "King" Cordwyn Huntsilver of Flynn, matters were in truth controlled by the Sembian Xzavien Kreswell, who was the Mayor of Easthaven. Having stolen the fabled Staff of Ilmater, Kreswell would enlist the aid of the infamous Devil Dragon to defeat Queen Lhal and her Red Hart supporters, and seize control of Arabel, rising to "Baron" of Easthaven, First man of Queen Venieth of Arabel, and Commissioner of the Sheriffs. When Venieth became sick from a mysterious poison during a hunting trip, Kreswell siezed power and named himself Viceroy of Arabel.
While some sheriffs have attempted to unseat Kreswell, such as High Sheriff Tomas Bhast, murdered for his efforts, it was through a confusing series of events that he was driven from power, with the support of the Mage's Guild of Arabel, who could no longer support a growing madman and tyrant. The Sheriffs removed their uniforms and donned the new colors of the Arabel City Watch under Nicholas Hogan. Yet their number would very soon play host to another figure that would shape the course of the Militia and Arabel, Kraegus Thune.
Kraegus Thune was accepted by Hogan into the City Watch as an Arbiter, the rank which would become so synonymous to the City Watch and to Kraegus Thune, that it would replace the rank of Private. A judge as well as law enforcer, Thune found a rival in Raghat Jotuman, who was renown in the Old Quarter as a cagefighter, and soon had an army of half-orcs and full-bloods, following his rise to Chosen of Gruumsh. Unable to stomach the army of orcbloods in the city, the City Watch moved against them, only to be surprised by the strength and ferocity of the half-orcs and gangs. With the orcsbloods and gangs decimated, and fully half the City Watch dead, Isador Maleen seized control of the city, declared Martial Law, and named himself First Mage the Magocratic Council, of the Magocracy of Arabel.
Kraegus Thune met with the Magocratic Council.
Where power was once split between various factions, the Mage's Guild and the Stark Wyverns now had a significant advantage over the depleted City Watch. Recognizing the reality of the situation, he advised Commander Hogan to accept a position as the fourth member of the Macocratic Council after Joshua Aldek and Archmage Kanthea. Thune would be promoted to High Arbiter of Arabel, and also become General of the Weave, alongside a former Red Hart, Dame Deidre O'Connell. The City Watch sided with the Magocratic Council when the Red Harts put Arabel to the siege. It was Thune who gave the order for the wards protecting the Old Quarter to be lowered, in favor of protecting the rest of the city from the fiery bombardment of the Red Hart siege train. The rebellious Old Quarter, who had left scars on the City Watch, would be consumed by a horrific inferno.
With the siege over, and the Red Harts fled to Eveningstar, the city resumed some semblance of normalcy, which would be interrupted by the arrival of a Prince of Shade, Melegaunt Tanthul, who would be accompanied by a full Legion of Shadovar soldiers as his Princeguard. A mad follower of Lyss, he encamped himself at the Rift, and sought to discern its secrets. In time, it became clear that he desired to undo Tymora's Sacrifice, and unleash death and madness into the world. Commander Thune, having risen to command of the Militia with the death of Nicholas Hogan, and by this time the effective leader of the city, undertook to unseat him with the aid of a wide alliance of Watchmen, Purple Dragons, War Wizards, and adventurers. Diverting the Sword River into the sewers, much of the Shadovar Legion and their defenses were destroyed, allowing a picked assault force, led by the Royal Queensguard and Constal Chalvier, to enter the ruins and destroy the remains, who died to a man. Prince Melegaunt Tanthul himself perished at the end, precipitating the Second Shadovar-Cormyrian War.
After the death of Kraegus Thune, the City Watch would be leaderless under its junior officers for some time. Following the end of the war and the Viceroyalty of Beldred Truesilver, Anya DeSchurr, now Lord of House DeSchurr, would rise as the Lord Commander of the Wyrmguard and take control of streets. She and the Wyrmguard would protect the city even after it was almost totally destroyed by the Stormhorns Cataclysm, serving with the Governor of Arabel, Lord Malcolm Hardcastle who had refused to abandon Arabel. For many years, the Wyrmguard would protect the city alongside its Lord Commander, until her dissappearance. Leaderless, the Wyrmguard disbanded, and Lord Malcolm Hardcastle, now ruler of a newly built Citadel and granted the Lordship of Arabel, selected one his loyal followers to be the Commander of the Mercenary Guard. Commander Crom would serve for many years as both Commander of the Mercenary Guard and leader of the Agents.
Coming into great disrepute, having harboured amongst its ranks notorious murderers and monsters, the Agents would be disbanded by personal order of the King. Lord Victor Eagleguard, who long sought the Crown's permission to reconstitute the ancient Charter of the Arabel City Militia, finally saw his dreams come to fruition. But the death of Salviran Vanderdraak of Bahamut, the preeminant lawman in Arabel, saw the position of Lord Commander fall to Mastian Tomblight, a man with a criminal past and a history of skullduggery. His tenure as Lord Commander of the Arabel City Militia was fortunately brief, and after a brief absence of a Lord Commander, Lord Malveer Hawklin assumed the position.
Lord Hawklin had to defend his Militia from allegations of Torture by the Purple Dragons, which is remarkable because it was reportedly the use of torture by Purple Dragons that helped spark an uprising in Arabel many years before. His tenure was also marked by attempts by the Thayans to infiltrate and control the Militia, and further attempts in the Citadel Council to appoint an Overseer from Lord Hardcastle.
Having lost control of the Militia, Lord Hardcastle did his best to exert whatever control he could. When Lord Hawklin was wounded by an attack from the Stormlord of Talos, Raaz'Hadi, leadership of the Militia became the source of political infighting. A hin Private by the name of Wileon Bertson came into prominence, beating an attempt to elect Lord Lhal into office, he became the first non-human leader of any militia in Cormyr. Lord Commander Bertson accepted an Overseer from Lord Hardcastle, the newly ennobled Lord Francis Galloway, who had distinguished himself in the Purple Dragons in defeating a Balor Lord.
Wileon Bertson joined in an assault upon the undead forces of Clar Banda upon the Island of Vorenthia, but perished in the battle. The returning Paladins of Lathander, part of the Brethren of the Reborn Sun, were ambushed by the Militia on their return to Arabel. Battle weary and exhausted of both supplies and spirits, they were no match for the Militia, who had come under the control of Banites and Hardcastle's surrogates. The Militia would march on Evenignstar, putting the Castle of the Reborn Sun to the sack. Soon after, the Militia itself became split, with the Citadel Militia led by Citadel Warden Miri Greycastle and North Warden Gorstag. This unwieldy arrangement was short-lived however, as Warden Greycastle was murdered by the Chaos Brigade. Implicated in the murder, Lord Galloway and Warden Gorstag were hard put to defend themselves. While Lord Galloway managed to escape indictment, Gorstag was demoted to Sergeant, and the Militia was recombined under Citadel Warden Dorn Amblecrown. Lord Galloway's death removed the last of Lord Hardcastle's senior officers in the Militia, paving the way for his downfall.
At the time of publication, the Arabel City Militia is under the command of Warden Dorn Amblecrown, who had declared Martial Law in Arabel following the arrest of Lord Malcolm Hardcastle and the rise of Lord Myrmeen Lhal to Lord of Arabel and Warden of the North. Several members of the Militia participated in an attack on the Hardcastle Estate, which saw the end of his dreams of a Federated Monarchy. Yet the high death toll of the attack caused a great uproar, with the death of the renown Commander Crom and Sir Kynston Tammarast. Thrown into the Penal Legion for life, they were subsequently pardoned by the new Warden, and promoted.
Bob Brown, the leader of the attack on the Hardcastle Estate, rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He began a campaign of intimidation and harassment of elves, eventually driving many of them out of the Citadel. The non-human population of the city had begun a migration out of the Citadel some time before Hardcastle's fall, but this accelerated after his replacement by Lhal, as security tightened in the Citadel under Martial Law.