Mordias IV (モルディアス四世 Morudiasu yonsei) was the 33rd King of Veria in the backstory of TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga. Although he was widely known for being a brave and proud warrior, he also had a reputation for his scheming and cruelty. His death and the subsequent collapse of the Berwick League's forces in 616 VAC ultimately led to the invasion of the Kingdom of Veria and his successor Volcens's flight to the Duchy of Narvia.
Young Adulthood Edit
Mordias was born in roughly 569 VAC, the second son of King Harmel VII of Veria. Despite being only two years younger than his half-brother Arless, the two were complete opposites in terms of ability and temperament. While Arless was frail and bookish, Mordias was a skilled warrior and popular among the citizenry. When Arless became engaged to Princess Artemia of Leia, the dukes of Veria--worried that Leia's conniving King Carloman would have too much of an influence over Arless--requested that the succession pass instead to Mordias. Harmel VII denied their request, trusting Arless as his successor, and the marriage took place in about 582 VAC. Later, Mordias himself married the heiress to the Duchy of Diana. Their son Volcens was born in 587 VAC, and their daughter Sienna ten years later, in 597 VAC.
Around this same time, Bernstol, a knight of Veria, assaulted the Minister of the Interior Padolf for sexually harassing one of the palace's maids. Though Bernstol had his lands as a knight revoked, he was partially pardoned by Mordias, who valued Bernstol's ability as a soldier and did not care for Padolf. Bernstol was allowed to keep his peerage, and he and his soldiers were reassigned to serve directly under Prince Mordias.
Mordias and Arless never quite saw eye-to-eye, and their father Harmel VII recognized this. In hopes of rectifying their relationship, he even arranged that Arless's son Bernard and Mordias's daughter Sienna should be betrothed for when they came of age. Despite their father's efforts, the two half-brothers continued to get along poorly.
Start of the Civil War Edit
In the year 600 VAC, Harmel VII died suddenly. As he was sixty-eight years old, a sudden illness was believed to be the cause of death until one of the king's servants was found dead with an apparent suicide note that read "Prince Arless forced me to poison the king." Arless was immediately arrested under orders from Mordias, and a proclamation was sent out to all lords of Veria to present themselves for the prince’s trial. Arless’s wife and children were to be kept at his manse under house arrest, but these measures were opposed by the Narvian duke and others, so until the truth of the matter was discovered, they were sent off to stay with Artemia’s family in Leia.
Despite King Carloman's furious attempts to clear his son-in-law's name, Mordias was not so eager to defend him, and the attitude at the trials shifted in Mordias's favor. After many days of deliberation, shocking news was finally announced to the anxiously awaiting citizens: Prince Arless had committed suicide. In his suicide note, he confessed to having his father murdered, and he left his inheritance and the care of his wife and children to Mordias.
The lords and princes who had supported Arless (who had been first in line for the Verian throne and high in the succession of the throne of Leia) formed an alliance of ten countries: Leia, Pesil, Ishs, and the seven Northern Lands. They claimed that Arless's note was a forgery by Mordias to usurp the throne, and they instead insisted that Arless's eldest son Bernard be crowned the next king. Mordias's supporters, on the other hand, argued that the note was genuine, and that the son of a murderer had no right to inherit. No agreement could be found, and the argument escalated into a civil war. Mordias and his supporters led the "Western Powers," while Carloman and his supporters led the "Eastern Powers" with Bernard as their figurehead.
False Ceasefire Edit
In the 5th month of 603 VAC, Mordias's knight Bernstol killed King Carloman at the Battle of Sevall River, leaving the leadership of the Eastern Powers to Bernard. In recognition of Bernstol's achievements, Mordias named him the first Margrave of Sinon, a small territory in the southwest of Veria. However, he remained suspicious of Bernstol for his popularity among the people, so he had Margrave Calvan of the neighboring march of Mineva keep tabs on Bernstol's activities.
Mordias, who had correctly gauged the unity of the Eastern Powers as shaken by Carloman’s death, sent an offer of ceasefire to Prince Bernard after the battle. In it, Mordias lamented the misery caused by their bloody war and asked for a diplomatic resolution. Bernard, who had initially agreed to join forces with his grandfather whom he loved and trusted, had seen how the war had devastated their lands in three short years. After seeing how even the innocent were made to suffer, he had since begun to doubt his grandfather’s motives. Mordias’s words touched Bernard’s sense of justice, and he rode out to arrange for peace without delay.
However, the ceasefire offer was simply a machination of Prince Mordias. Bernard and his men were captured on the spot, and after spending two and a half years years captive in Valemtine, he was exiled to the penal colony in Mineva, a royal march in the frontiers of Barmoar. There, Bernard would spend the next twelve years as a prisoner.
Princess Ferianne and King Alecto, the children of Carloman, next succeeded as the heads of the Eastern Powers, and though they continued to lose ground, they put up fierce resistance against the Western Powers. They holed themselves up in Leia Castle, where they held out against multiple sieges until the end of 603 VAC, to Mordias's frustration. In a shocking move, Mordias requested aid from Veria's long-time enemy, the Raze Empire (who had remained neutral in the Civil War so far), in order to help stamp out the remnants of the rebellion. Mordias argued that the Eastern Powers posed a threat to Raze's stability in the border regions near Leia, to which Emperor Cleiman VI agreed. With assistance from the Razite army, Leia Castle fell in the 3rd month of 604 VAC, and King Alecto was defeated. In the following months, the Eastern Powers fell apart completely, and their soldiers were hunted down en masse by the Western Powers and the Raze Empire.
The Apostle's Oracle Edit
In the 5th month of 604 VAC, Veria's Apostle Silpha Brontë awoke to her powers, and she revealed through divine oracle that Harmel VII had not been murdered by Arless, but rather that Arless had falsely confessed to the murder in an attempt to prevent civil strife over the crisis of succession. Harmel VII's assassination had instead been a conspiracy by Pope Urbanus IV of the Church of Raze to spark a war in the Berwick League.
After revealing this to the public, she sent an ultimatum to Mordias to make peace with Bernard's faction. Mordias agreed that in exchange for laying down his arms and releasing Bernard, Silpha would crown Mordias king. Silpha, having no reason to refuse (as Arless had left the succession to Mordias in his final note), agreed, crowning him Mordias IV, the 33rd King of Veria, in the 8th month of 604 VAC.
Despite this agreement, however, Mordias did not stop the war nor release Bernard, so Silpha threatened him with excommunication if he did not make good on his word. As this would also mean effectively stripping Mordias of his crown, Mordias showed remorse, and he begged at the Apostle's feet for her forgiveness. Silpha granted him a pardon, and their relationship seemed to be on the mend, but it was a ruse by Mordias. He leaked false information to the Shining Knights guarding the Apostle of an uprising in the Highland Duchy, and he had the Apostle assassinated in a manner falsely implicating the Raze Empire in the 9th month of 604 VAC.
Though the Apostle was now dead, a survivor from the scene of the assassination, Paramythis, revealed to Denimud (Silpha's husband and leader of the Shining Knights) that Mordias was responsible, and the Shining Knights declared war on Mordias. Mordias proclaimed that Denimud had gone mad, and he sent soldiers to exterminate him and his knights. This conflict, the Shining Rebellion, prolonged the period of civil war for several more years until Denimud's death in 607 VAC. With his death, Veria's long period of civil war finally ended; this era would come to be known as the "Eight Years of Blood," spanning 600 to 607 VAC.
However, the Berwick League was far from at peace. Immediately after the Apostle's assassination in 604 VAC, which had framed the Raze Empire, Mordias had declared war on Raze, calling them traitors and heretics. The assassination and framing were political moves by Mordias to rid himself of the Apostle's interfering and to unite the now-fragmented Berwick League against a common enemy to boost his popularity and cement his position as king.
Final Days Edit
In Mordias's middle-aged years, he began to change. The grudges and conflicts that he had created began to weigh on his mind, and he began to feel remorseful for all the bloodshed he had caused. In the years before his death, turned a blind eye to his wife's and his daughter Sienna's efforts to free the imprisoned Bernard.
In the 4th month of 616 VAC, the long-standing Fort Sakiria on the Pesil-Raze border fell to the Empire, and the Empire began to march into the Berwick League's territory. He gathered some eighty thousand loyal knights in defense of Pesil, but his army was ambushed en route in by General Zephyrus of the Raze Army (really Mordias's nephew Friedrich) at the Battle of Ishs Forest. Mordias and his knights perished, which ultimately lead to the temporary collapse of the Berwick League and the occupation of nearly half of the League's territory. Mordias IV was approximately 47 years old at the time of his death. He was succeeded by his son Volcens, who eventually fled with his court to Navaron in Narvia, where the Berwick League was painstakingly rebuilt.