Ardwick the Incontinent, the 21st and final king of the Rhuthstein Dynasty, is most notable for being the man most often credited for single-handedly inciting the collapse of his family's empire, and the deterioration of southern society in it's wake.
Born the second son of Heldwick the Uniter in -792 CE, Ardwick emerged small and sickly, predicted by the palace Clohemolite not to survive his first year. To the great misfortune of a nation, the prediction was to be proven false, though in his long and arduous birthing, he was successful in putting an end to his mother, the Bastard Queen Leru, the only deed of worth for which his subjects would afford him. Bedridden for the majority of his childhood, Ardwick was rarely seen publicly, but letters reportedly written by his bedmaid imply that his disdain for the court, and characteristicly uneven temper where present even then.
As a youth, his more frequent outings from his bedchamber began to reveal his inherent inadequacies. His performance at arms was an embarrassment, and he showed no skill at the binding and summoning of Primal Effigies. His studies fared no better, and he was known to publicly bemoan the hardships he accused his tutors from the Cloistered Mind to impose upon him. If it weren't for his minor talent at the arts, he would have seemed entirely beggared of virtues.
Ascension to the ThroneEdit
It is clear from the private writings of King Heldwick that he intended his second son to hold no position of authority, but as he grew deeper into the onset of etheric malignancy, his true intentions for him become harder to discern. If it had not been for the mortal wounding of the king's first son, Breenwick Boldhilted, in his climactic duel with the Reaver of the Wastes, then Ardwick surely would have faded into obscurity. But as the king's only surviving heir, Ardwick was formally appointed to the throne after his father's disappearance in late -775 CE, only months after his first son's death. His crowning was a relatively small affair in respect to his station, and was largely overshadowed by the continued period of mourning for his father and brother.
Rule as KingEdit
No longer able to hide from official ceremony, Ardwick's manner soon became infamous. He was renowned for his propensity for food and drink, and was known to glut himself ever more fervently in times of trouble, even during the Third Curse of Famishing. His particular liking for black mellon tarts had the effect of increasing his already considerable indigestion, resulting in his legendarily incontinent bowels, for which he gained his namesake. There is recorded funding for thirteen additional privies added to the palace proper during his rule, all of which he spent lavishly on for optimal comfort. To this day, paying a visit to “Ard's room” is a common euphemism for using the water-closet.
In kingly matters he fared poorly, delegating nearly all responsibility to a host of advisers who's decisions he rarely argued. Nobles and officials are noted as finding him “irritable” and of “unsociable nature,” and he was widely known for his excuses not to entertain his guests and patrons. His insult to the Czar-Priest of the Hrutgal was only the most noteworthy, if also the most catastrophic.
Some say that he secretly hated his country, others that he was simply unaware of it crumbling around him, and there are even those who think he was but tragically unable to stop it. There is no doubting though, his hand in it's downfall.
The Secession of the SinderlandsEdit
During the chaos proceeding Ardwick's political disaster with the Czar-Priest in -757 CE, and the ensuing turbulence on the Hrutgal border, growing dissident sentiment in the Sinderlands ignited into full scale revolt. Ardwick was said to have immediately withdrawn even farther into his private sanctum, cutting nearly all contact with the outside world for weeks afterward, only to suddenly emerge and assume direct control of the Rhuthstein armies. During the first half of the campaigns, his command in the Sinderlands wasn’t nearly as ineffective as his rule as king, but that can be attributed to the competency of his generals, and the discipline of the Rhuthstein troops. In time though his complaints of illness and nausea worsened, and his presence could only have served to demoralize his men.
It was not until the disaster at Faergath's Folly that he made is final mistake. During what was perhaps the most vital point in the campaign, Ardwick informed his presiding general, Faergath of Uln, to hold position while he left to relieve himself, and wait for orders upon his return. Following a surprise strike of terrifying proportions, Ardwick returned, some four hours later, to find his army all but routed, his loyal general having followed his orders to his death. It is said that Ardwick the Incontinent has been the only man who was able to loose a nation in the outhouse.
Ardwick is said to have died several days after, in early -755 CE, disemboweled by combatants near present day Rischi. He had fathered no children, for reasons we can only speculate, though at the time it was rumored that he had never consummated his marriage, and without a direct heir, and the loss of it's main fighting force, the empire soon all but ceased to exist. The resulting breakdown of the its society, and the warfare and sectarianism that followed it, ravaged the countryside, and many regional borders that stand even today were decided in the conflicts that followed. It was there, in Ardwick's wake, that we mark the end of the centuries old dynasty Rhuth, miraculously forged by it's eponymous founder, Rhuthwick the Godhead, and of the golden age that accompanied it, for which the south has never truly recovered.
Previously Cited: None.