Hildetriel IV The Young (D'Bodon ? circa late 24th Century - ? a.a.H)
Hildetriel IV 'The Young' was a mountain elf King of the Hill of the kingdom of Hebonnor during the Middle Human Age and the early Second Dark Age. He is noted for having challenged the Drow of Negeémiliel for their surface holdings with some success, but suffering unexpected defeat in the end. His reign would be marked by his Hebonnor Mountain elf kingdom becoming a semi vassal of the Negeémi hegemony rather than the military glory he had sought.
- Strikingly Handsome
- Good Use of Subordinates
- Skilled Politician
- Possessed a Kingly Demeanor
- Intelligent, but Unwise
- Blue Hair
- Had a Friendly but Undisciplined Court
"The Light and Order are behind us. We can't lose this battle! The gods is smiling to us! The victory is our" -Hildetriel IV the Young, King of the Hill of the Galaw-Hebonnor Kingdom of the Mountains
Hildetriel came to be the King of the Hill at quite the young age, as his sister -and heir to the throne- Brainne the crazy died in suspicious circumstances.
Wanting to rally support behind his figure and to legitimize himself as a chief and warrior in front of the nobles, he decided to launch a series of raids against Negeémi drow outposts on the surface, as a demonstration of strength.
He Harried the Drow positions, and not finding great resistance, forced them to retreat to their fortified positions, abandoning their surface lands until reinforcements arrived, proving that the Drow had insufficient force on the surface to guard against raids from a surface army. This would cost the Negeémi greatly in lost goods, raided and burned settlements, and effectively a lost harvest of crops in the invaded area, which badly effecting the economy and leading to hunger in the food supply of the capital city of Negeémiliel.
Escalation and SiegesEdit
Initial successes would embolden Hildetriel, and lead to more Hebonnor nobles calling forth their warriors, and Human and Dwarf mercenaries being hired turning a massive raiding campaign into an invasion. The Negeémi forces kept besieged until time, individual nobles withdrawing their forces, attrition and communicative disease had significantly weakened the Hebonnor army. Also, the Drow had finally sent a formidable army against him, leading Hildetriel to retreat for the winter.
Battle of High GadoliniaEdit
However, hoping for a decisive victory, the Negeémi army trailed him in the midst of winter and attacked him unwisely in Hebonnor lands. This led to Hildetriel's greatest military success as he defeated a full scale Negeémi drow army in the field in the Battle of High Gadolinia. This unexpected victory at the end of his campaign led to the king being lionized, and made a further campaign the following year all but inevitable.
The king would be able to easily convince his nobles to gather again in the spring for another full scale invasion. Indeed, a larger force than before, with more hired mercenaries, and an alliance with the Nortunk dwarves who sent a small army to link up with the Hebonnor forces.
The core of Hebonnor horse-elves under his control, or his nobles, had helped bring him his early victories, as the Drow hadn't a full cavalry to bring to bear, and their infantry might generally be considered 'light'. There were usually insufficient forces on the surface to counter cavalry formations, the Drow are not often used to the tactics and strategies of surface warfare as might be imagined.
Speculation: The early success of cavalry might have influenced Hildetriel's later thinking? The Drow becoming always vulnerable to massed horse attacks in his mind?
Heavy Infantry MercenariesEdit
Hildetriel had Galaw Orc, Human, Kanov, and strongest of all, Dwarf mercenaries that increased the professionalism of his army, and stiffened and strengthened his infantry. Not all of these troops could be qualified as heavy infantry, nor were they all reliable in the end.
Head of StateEdit
Hildetriel IV and his court and government might seem unsophisticated, but despite the fractious divisions in his kingdom of power decentralized to often absentee nobles, he proved he could bring them together and keep most of them united under his command despite his youth and some trying circumstances.
He was able to entice mercenary houses, foreign aid, and even arrange an alliance with the Nortunk Dwarfs with his personality and successes.
His government had a daring and talented spy corps with some dwarf heads and advisors, with skilled mountain elf officers and brave operatives. They were capable of navigating the underworld of Kazrrad, to gather valuable information, note the movement of the Drow armies, and even kill and capture several Drow Acolytes while still in the subterranean caverns and tunnels. Indeed, they ran a successful operation for several months.
Hildetriel IV was more aware of Drow actions than he might have seemed.
Battle of CilfachEdit
Despite these considerable successes, and despite the defeat of the previous Negeémi general, in his opening moves in his new campaign of 2428 a.a.H., he came to a catastrophic defeat in a single battle. His large and diverse army would be intercepted by the reorganized Drow army while on the march, while still in Hebonnor territory, before he could link up with the Nortunk dwarfs. He would be finally defeated in the Battle of Cilfach, largely by exaggerating the benefit of his cavalry and the poor arrangement of his infantry forces, being captured by the drow general Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, himself, and the core of his entire army.
He later signed a treaty with Negeémiliel, to remain as the King of the Hill, granting concessions to the Negeémi Drows.
In story, Hildetriel was kept prisoner by the Negeémi Drow for about two years or more until he and many of his surviving nobles were released and/ or ransomed back to their kingdom. In the case of Hildetriel, he was kept until he managed to impregnate the de-facto ruler of the Negeémi drow, Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, the general and Leg of the Spider, who had captured him.
He suffered a great loss of face as a result of his crushing defeat, and would often be suspected of being a puppet ruler.
Speculation: On the other hand, proponents might have looked upon him as if he was a noble, dashing young hero king, who had gained battlefield valor 'fighting the good fight', but would be defeated by 'Drow Treachery'? A captured king, who even in humiliation, managed to capture the heart and affections of the Drow who captured him via his great virility, and secured his own freedom in giving her children?
The children of the king and the Drow General who defeated him, (See: Xylinthia Dahl'Arak, Essai Dahl'Arak), were largely political pawns that each government hoped to find a political way to use against the other.
Hildetriel IV is sometimes seen as the king that allowed the Hebonnor kingdom to fall into decline, albeit, he and his functionaries had their talents in administration. Also, the ongoing relationship with the Negeémi Drow was arguably more beneficial to the kingdom in the following years than the damage done by the defeat in the war.