Court-Martial Convicts Tardalis on Twenty-Four Counts
WROAT -- Colonel Reyva Tardalis drew a sentence of forty years in Dreadhold after a military jury returned convictions on twenty-four of the twenty-six charges levied against him by the crown. The jury found Tardalis guilty of dereliction of duty, inhumane treatment of subordinates, and conduct unbecoming an officer. The jury deadlocked on the two treason charges, either of which would have resulted in public execution of the prisoner.
Tardalis, brought in shackles before Magistrate ir'Aungré on Mol, was calm before the sentence was delivered. But when ir'Aungré instructed the bailiffs to prepare the prisoner for Dreadhold, Tardalis rushed the bench and had to be restrained, first by guards and then with enchantment magic.
Tardalis commanded a Breland regiment on the western front in the mid-980s. But when King Boranel pulled the army back east of the Graywalls, Tardalis refused to retreat. Instead, he constructed a fortress in the Harrkall Valley of what is now Droaam.
Tardalis offered the regiment's protection to settlers who likewise refused to retreat, and his soldiers managed to hold the Harrkall Valley against the hordes of Droaam for almost eight years. The presence of "Tardalis's Regiment" deep within Droaam was a source of pride for the noble families displaced by Breland's retreat, many of whom had been advocating a massive reconquest of the west.
When the Treaty of Thronehold negotiations began in 995, Brelish commandos stormed the Harrkall Valley and took Tardalis and his officer corps into custody. This action ended the ongoing embarrassment of a Brelish military unit that openly refused orders. Some diplomats, however, contend that the raid was also part of a diplomatic effort to bring the Daughters of Sora Kell to the negotiating table at Thronehold -- a conjecture repudiated by the crown.
Upon taking control of the fortress, the commandos found not the orderly encampment depicted in pro-reconquest leaflets, but a community held captive by Tardalis and his soldiers. Detailed reports of the conditions in the Harrkall Valley fortress remain under crown seal, but testimony offered during the court-martial trial alluded to slavery, sadistic punishments, and "unwholesome magical practices."
About the Author
David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.