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King Aderic I, first King of Gilneas
King Aderic

Gender:

Male

Race:

Human

Date of Birth:

30 U.A.R.

Nationality:

Gilnean

House:

Greymane

Titles:

First King of Gilneas
The True Wolf
Patriarch of Gilneas

Affiliations:

Kingdom of Gilneas

Status:

Deceased

Family:

Baelic I (Son)
Krennan (Son)
Randolph (Son)
Fiora (Daughter)
Genn Greymane (Descendant)


King Aderic I (30 U.A.R. - 50 F.A.) was the first king of the Kingdom of Gilneas. Born in the era that marked the end of the Empire of Arathor, King Aderic was a leader in the city state that would eventually blossom into what is now known as Gilneas. A shrewd politician and a strong warrior king, King Aderic led a his people against encroaching Lordaeronian invaders in the area of Gilneas near 1,200 years ago following their secession from Strom. Named King of Gilneas by its people, Aderic I was able to unify the people of Gilneas under his banner and set the foundations of the Kingdom.

Aderic's accomplishments are legendary and his story told throughout the ages in Gilneas. Many things have been named after King Aderic, from the Royal Aderic Banquet to the Aderician Calendar. The House of Greymane claims legitimacy in its right to rule by being the purest blood line that can be traced back to the once great king, with the current descendant being King Genn Greymane.

He led the Gilneans through the War of Aderic and its successor, the War of Silverpine.

HistoryEdit

The legendary king Aderic's past is shrouded past his rise in the Gilnean community and eventual crowning as king. What is known is that he was born thirty years before Gilneas seceded to a minor noble family in the area. His father was a warrior of Strom's Empire and his mother a healer, and Aderic was raised in the art of swordplay from a young age to help preserve the great empire.

Life under Arathorian RuleEdit

Aderic was raised in what many scholars believe to be the current site of Pyrewood Village in then frontier Gilneas. At the time, the bustle of the area was lively and Aderic was able to meet with many different people of the Arathorian empire. Gilneas' culture was still developing during this time, though certain aspects that are present in current Gilneas had already taken root. During this time, practice of the Old Ways was common, and some tales say that Aderic was a powerful harvest wizard. Though nothing has come up aside from old folk tales to support this, one thing that has been said time and time again was that Aderic was an excellent warrior.

All tales of Aderic detail him being a large burly man with gold and orange locks that sprawled down his head. With a big bushy beard and an impressive physique, the man was essentially a titan. Historians have found tales of Aderic's exploits as young as eighteen, where Aderic dispatched five bandits with ease without taking any severe sort of injury. Of the many tales of the famed king, another common tale was his fascination with the local wolf population in the area.

It was said that Aderic befriended a large wolf towards the apex of Gilneas' rule under Strom. This wolf has been depicted in many Gilnean epics, and the name commonly used in these stories is Hailwood, perhaps where the Hailwood Marsh in southern Gilneas received it's name.

Aderic's repute as a warrior came from a tale of his younger years. While hunting alongside two of his companions in the southern reaches of Gilneas, the party was beset by one of the ravenous beasts known as the Ettin. One of Aderic's companions was grabbed the minute the beast arrived, his body bitten in half by the gargantuan beast while his other companion fled in terror. Left with only his sword, Aderic used his surroundings to his advantage, using his speed and the cliffs of Gilneas to harm the ettin where steel failed him. He tricked the ettin into crashing into cliff faces several times, and when finally dazed Aderic severed both of it's heads and returned wearing a necklace made of its teeth. Aderic from then on became a warrior of acclaim in Gilneas, known for his quick wit and skilled sword arm.

Lordaeron AggressionEdit

By the time the king had reached his thirtieth autumn, unrest in Gilneas was growing. With the foundation of the new nation of Lordaeron to the north, Strom's internal issues began to take a toll on Gilneas. Seeking to consolidate more land from their former rulers, Lordaeron began to poke it's borders south in order to secure land in case of Strom retaliating from succession. After repeated bullying from Lordaeron, Aderic began to rally men together in order to aid Strom once they arrived to stop Lordaeron. However, the help never came as Strom denied any sort of military aid for Gilneas. Aderic pleaded with Strom's officials to act, yet the answer remained the same.

Tired of the encroachment on their lands, Gilneas seceded from Strom peacefully, sending a tribute to the nation following their split. Aderic sent emissaries to Strom explaining that their secession was only to deal with the Lordaeronian threat, not to disrespect Strom it's self and they wished to maintain strong relations. Seeing this as a way to get rid of, or at least deter, Lordaeron without dirtying their own hands, Strom accepted the offers of peace and sent forth their blessing to the new found kingdom.

Aderic was crowned King of Gilneas and rallied his people against the encroaching Lordaeronian invaders. Aderic led his men to victory after victory, stories detailing blood baths that would end with Aderic and his wolf coated in the blood of their foes, earning him the title The True Wolf, as he showed more ferocity than his canine companion. Aderic's followers followed in his footsteps, taming the feral wolves of Gilneas to use against their foes, eventually leading to shock tactics by legions of warriors charging in alongside their wolvine companions.

Men from across the peninsula heeded the king's call, from the Ashen Coast with the families of the Cobals and Stantons, to the coasts where the fishers of what would become Tempest's Reach answered, to the marshes of the south where the earliest of druids made their home. Aderic promised those who would serve under his banner would be richly rewarded, land would be distributed to all and the blessings of the Old Ways and all religions would be spread throughout Gilneas if they answered his call. These promises led to many taking up his banners in hopes that they would come true.

By the mountains of what is now the Sepulcher, Aderic led a daring strike that crippled the armies of Lordaeron. Aderic personally led a large legion of foot soldiers through the main pass to meet Lordaeron's armies head on while a second group of druids and soldiers with wolves rounded about the mountains to strike down at them. The attack was a success, as the Lordaeronians were surrounded and slaughtered.

Unable to hold back the onslaught of druids, wolves and warriors. The warriors of Lordaeron retreated past the mountains of Tirisfal, where Gilneas claimed the entirety of Silverpine as their own. A forced peace was made between Gilneas and Lordaeron in order to end the war and Gilneas looked inward to settle its self as a new kingdom.

AftermathEdit

Aderic, now King Aderic I, took up leadership of the nation and led it to a prosperous age. The nation remained to it's self for the most part following the war with Lordaeron, dominating Silverpine Forest and the Gilnean peninsula. As promised, families that aided him were richly rewarded, as many soon found themselves in higher positions of power, such as the House of Cobalstant or the House of Grayblade that were granted lands and riches for their dedicated service and that of their men. As Aderic promised to the people, he also ordered religious tolerance within the nation. The Keepers of the Old Ways originally believed this to be beneficial to the ways of druidism, but the spread of the doctrines of the light began to slowly displace them.

Aderic ordered the construction of a central seat of power in Gilneas, placed in the very heart of the Gilnean Peninsula. A massive production process began, and the foundations for the expansion of Gilneas City, which at the time had been a larger than average town, was made. During this time, King Aderic took a wife from one of the major families who lent the most support during his campaign, a family of pagan and native blood that would appease the populace that was not from Arathor lands. Originally this was to ensure that loyalties would remain where they were, but the king grew to love his wife, and they produced many heirs during this time.

Aderic maintained a healthy relation with the still declining empire of Arathor, as trade was set up across the unsettled lands of Hillsbrad. Seen as the frontier for Gilnean expansion, Gilneans slowly began to reach out into the area, but were more focused on the development of their central areas such as the peninsula and Silverpine Forest. Aderic also ordered the creation of a large standing army in case of the return of Lordaeron. This army would patrol the lands of Gilneas for thirty years peacefully until the return of Lordaeron.

War with LordaeronEdit

As Gilneas continued to expand it's borders in the decades after their independence from Strom, tensions began to revive with their neighbor of Lordaeron. Lordaeron had branched out far across the east, dominating most of the mountains north of the Hinterlands and Alterac, claiming the lush fertile greenland as their own. Now bordering with the elves of the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas, Lordaeron had run out of areas to expand. Once more they set their eyes on the lands of Gilneas, as well as the unused lands of Hillsbrad. During the thirty years of peace between their nations, Lordaeron had been amassing a large army of well trained soldiers in some of the finest weapons and armor that could be crafted at the time. Once Lordaeron had reached its border limits, it wasn't long before they invaded the nation of Gilneas for the second time.

War broke out between the two nations when King Aderic was in his sixties, the aged king was caught off guard when the armies of Lordaeron marched into northern Silverpine and occupied large settlements across the border. Gilneas' army was large, but the armies of Lordaeron were larger. The Gilneans were slaughtered as the armies of Lordaeron butchered their way through Northern Silverpine into the south, the once brave Keepers had dwindled in the thirty years of peace and the order was unable to provide the massive boon it once did. The hounds of the armies were fierce but unable to turn the tides of the over whelming numbers of Lordaeron, even with soldiers fighting beside them. Gilneas was losing.

King Aderic, having no other option, turned to Strom who offered military aid. By the time the armies of Lordaeron had reached Central Silverpine, the armies of Strom had arrived to reinforce the Gilneans and the tides seemed turned. However, Lordaeron had allies of their own, the Kingdom of Kul Tiras had allied with Lordaeron in this time, resulting in a war of alliances. King Aderic focused mainly on the war with Lordaeron, as the rocky reefs of Gilneas protected them from naval invasions by Kul Tiras. However, the merchant nation provided a great boon in supplies to Lordaeron, allowing them to survive protracted sieges by the Gilneas-Strom alliance. Kul Tiras also began to run harassment on the shores of Gilneas and Strom, preventing naval trade as well as establishing one of the first foot holds of the Lordaeron-Kul tiras alliance in the plains of Hillsbrad.

During this time, Arathor and Gilneas secured the allegiance of the Kingdom of Alterac who swore to maintain the passes in the Alterac Mountains to prevent invasion by way of the Lordaeron heartlands. Armed with weapons and supplies by their new allies, Alterac set off to keep these areas secure. Both sides attempted to secure the allegiance of the Magocracy of Dalaran to no avail, as the kingdom refused to aid either side of the conflict, and neither side dared attempt at threatening the mages lest they tempt their hand.

While the Gilnean-Strom alliance was able to successfully begin to repel the Lordaeronian invaders from Silverpine, Lordaeron had one final trick up it's sleeve. Withdrawing half of it's army from the area, Lordaeron moved its army through the central portions of Lordaeron along with militia forces to move through the Alterac Mountains. There, Lordaeron met with Alteraci forces who were sworn to keep Lordaeron from passing. The Alteracis were well equipped, but terribly outnumbered. They were then presented with an ultimatum, allow Lordaeron to pass through the mountains into Hillsbrad undisturbed and be left alone, or be destroyed. Alterac broke it's oath to Gilneas and Strom and allowed Lordaeron through without disruption.

Now free to attack Hillsbrad, the Lordaeronians met up with the Tirassians who had set up along the shores of Hillsbrad. Lordaeron began to rampage and harass across the foothills, preventing Arathor from sending any more reinforcements to Gilneas by taking control of Thoradin's Wall, and then marching through the mountains of Southpoint. It was here that the war neared its end. Taken by surprise by the sudden arrival of Lordaeronians in the south, Gilneas' peninsula was swarmed with soldiers while their armies were away in the northern reaches of Silverpine. Word was sent out but the armies had arrived too late, as Lordaeron occupied most of the southern portion of Gilneas. During the siege, Aderic lost two of his sons who were acting as commanders. Gilneas had lost.

Unable to stop the Lordaeronian and Kul Tiran forces from rampaging across Gilneas, Aderic surrendered to the two nations and peace was brought about at a hefty price. Silverpine Forest and Hillsbrad Foothills were annexed into the Kingdom of Lordaeron, and Gilneas was left with the peninsula. Many were outraged by this, refusing to leave their lands and remained within the now Lordaeronian controlled Silverpine, causing a clash of Lordaeronian and Gilnean culture in the area.

Despite this loss, Aderic was still seen as a leader amongst his people, and he was able to keep the nation together throughout this tough time.

Later YearsEdit

Past the war with Lordaeron, Aderic's life was mostly quiet. Aderic died in his seventies, after having ruled Gilneas for nearly fifty years. He was buried in the graveyard that would later become Aderic's Repose and his death was a ceremony observed by all of Gilneas.

Following his death, his son Baelic was left in charge of the Gilnean people. While not an incompetent ruler, he was unable to inspire the same amount of fervor and life into the Gilnean populace that his father was, and his own twin sons caused issues for succession following him. The House of Greymane was founded by one of Baelic's sons, claiming they had the purest blood line and right to rule over Baelic's other son. A short civil war was fought that ended when the Greymanes over powered their kin and forced them to bend knee, thus beginning the Greymane dynasty.

Border disputes with the Kingdom of Lordaeron would eventually result in numerous wars and battles between the two kingdoms long after Aderic's death, and his descendants would continue to inspire the same sort of Gilnean pride he capitalized on in order to drive the kingdom to its beginnings.

LegacyEdit

Aderic has left behind a sizable legacy and impact on the Gilnean people. His acceptance of all willing to serve him led to the diverse culture of Gilneas that accepted magical arts readily, akin to that of the Magocracy of Dalaran. His famed wolf companion led to many Gilneans domesticating hounds which resulted in the famed mastiff breeds of Gilneas, as well as various pieces of Gilnean culture being inspired by the wolf. Aderic's stories inspire a large amount of Gilnean pride, as it showed that Gilneans over came adversity and desperate situations in order to rise to a separate nation on their own, without the aid of outsiders.

When Gilneas was invaded by the Forsaken and the New Horde, the spirits of Gilnean ancestors that had been disrupted by the invasion became hostile towards the still living denizens of Gilneas. By placing an offering at Aderic's tomb, the great spirit of the great patriarch blessed his people and calmed the souls of the fallen. Genn Greymane also used this as an opportunity to lay his son Liam Greymane to rest for his sacrifice against Sylvanas Windrunner in Gilneas City. The Gilneans prayed to their ancestors, thanking them for taking in Liam's soul to the hallowed ground before leaving.

Ruler of Gilneas (0 F.A. - 50 F.A.)
Preceded by
None
Aderic I Succeeded by
Baelic I

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