The Foundling Saga, Part One: Return to Titan

Paul Gresty

"War has come to the Old World."
These were the words spoken by King Constain of Gallantaria, on the first day of the month of Close, in the year 175AC - the day that tens of thousands of soldiers from neighbouring Brice spilled across the Border River and began to slaughter any Gallantarian in the path of their inexorable march on the country's capital city, Royal Lendle.
It would be convenient for scholars to be able to look back on this day and identify one clear inciting incident that started this war, one slight or trespass committed by Gallantaria that provoked its neighbour in the east. But in truth, many factors paved the road to this invasion. Gallantaria's economy was strong, and growing stronger still; several nations in the Old World watched the country with envy and suspicion, and began to wonder if they could stand against its impressive armies, should King Constain ever turn his thoughts to conquest. This fear, whether justified or not, was certainly one motive for Brice's sudden violence. Another was the pugilistic mindset of Brice itself. Brice was a nation of fighters. King Neruun of Brice, and the councillors with whom he shared his power, had long considered defence of the citizenry the country's top priority - even when the cost of a strong army to maintain such a defence was the standard of living of those very same citizens. Of course Neruun's definition of defence was broad, encompassing pre-emptive strikes against those neighbours he distrusted, or appropriation of resources from those too weak to defend them. In Gallantaria, he saw a rich target; this too was a motive for this invasion. Perhaps most importantly of all, Neruun simply knew the nature of the subjects under his rule - the aggressive Bricians must always turn their anger on an external threat, lest they choose to vent their resentment on their own leaders. Brice was eternally squabbling across one or another of its borders. It was only a matter of time before Gallantaria drew that nation's ire.
This is the story of the War of the Four Kingdoms, which began with intrusion and murder and a grab for wealth, but which would soon threaten to tear apart each one of the countries concerned. More importantly, it is the story of the turmoil wreaked on one Gallantarian family, and of an individual who would play a decisive role in the brutal events to come.
The Foundling Saga begins here.