|Full Name||Ordonïs Sälarna|
|Date of Birth||50 BC|
|Date of Death||N/A|
|Claim to Fame||Prince-General who defeated the Eronidas Invasion|
There are very few instances during the collapse of the Allorn Empire that an Altalar can look back upon with pride or hope, especially as this period became the darkest chapter in Est-Allorn history. However, when an Empire already on its deathbed from both the Cataclysm and centuries of decline was beset by the Eronidas Invasion, Prince-General Ordonïs Sälarna became a light for the Altalar history books when he took up arms and threw back the invaders. Protecting the Altalar for centuries after and teaching them new forms of martial discipline, Sälarna became a bedrock of military culture and moral guidance, allowing the Altalar to recover from the fall of their Empire until it eventually rose again.
Origins and Early Life
Ordonïs Sälarna was born in Tanaar Hyä-Ereya to the Sälarna family that ruled the province, which was once a popular pilgrimage site due to the great Faces of the Gods carved there, but had lost wealth and prestige as the Faith of Estel diminished within the Allorn Empire. As a result, Sälarna grew up in a family and land that was shown little respect by the other Altalar princes and nobles, with his situation worsening when his parents discovered that he was born without being able to perform any Magic. In a time when magical capability was both commonplace and a defining part of Allorn society, an Altalar blue blood that could not perform Magic was a humiliation of its own. Fortunately, they were able to disguise this problem by putting their son through heavy martial training that was commonplace in Hyä-Ereya, learning everything from combat to tactics. Though some whispers circulated about how strange it was that this Prince did not make use of Magic even later in life, these only ever remained whispers, as he was easily able to excuse it with being highly proficient in his home province’s military life.
Sälarna proved to be a prodigy in tactics and combat from a young age, with reports commenting on his strategic mastery during wargames. However, his diplomatic and courtly skills were usually stunted by his uncompromising and stern personality, and being a devout follower of Estel, Sälarna often refused to work or associate with any of the Altalar who were following Void Cults. Tanaar Hyä-Ereya was already looked down upon by most of the other Allorn Principalities as a poor and backwards region, and the Prince’s exemplification of a bygone era did nothing to improve that image. Despite being a Prince of an Allorn Province, his social mobility outside the military was usually stunted by political rivals who were sympathetic to the Void Cults.
Destiny took a turn for Sälarna when the Kathar descended upon the Allorn Empire and ignited the Fifth Void Invasion using their demonic Magic. The Prince was called to help command Allorn armies against the Void demons. He proved his worth in battle after battle, eventually promoted to General and gaining the Allorn honorific of ‘Prince-General Sälarna’ which history would remember him by. It was during a re-assignment of lower command between generals that Sälarna met Prince Luthmär Tölos’tïr, who was assigned as his cavalry commander and who eventually became an informal (yet trusted) second-in-command to the Prince-General. It was when Sälarna was putting down Kathar loyalists in Teled Methen that the Great Battle and Cataclysm occurred within hours of one another, followed closely by the Wildering which annihilated thousands of miles of Allorn urbanization. Sälarna later wrote about seeing an entire city devoured by monstrous wildlife as if the earth itself had pulled forth to swallow it, taking this as a sign of Estel punishing the Altalar for their disobedience.
With the Allorn Empire virtually gone, Sälarna used his army to desperately attempt stabilizing the collapsed Principalities and bring order there, doing so for about two years until he received a letter calling for aid: Talant Mossath-Evaal had fallen to an army of monstrous green invaders, which later became known as the Eronidas, and Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal was now under attack. Sälarna marched forth from Hyä-Ereya with a massive host that was effectively the only pre-Cataclysm army which could stand between the Eronidas hosts and the rest of the former Allorn Empire. They were trained by Sälarna to not rely on Magic and instead on mundane martial combat and tactics. He was joined by other generals and military commanders who sought to take a stand against the Eronidas, and once the army reached the Fanah’tir River which marked a new western theatre, Sälarna assumed command and created a “general staff” composed of the other officers.
Sälarna spent the next year in careful planning, using his army to defend against brutal incursions led by a bloodthirsty Eronidas Anaxon named Reos “the Ripper” Sabatum, while also sending scouts to probe the Eronidas army and learn their weaknesses. He took Eronidas captives and extracted information from them originally by cruel force, but eventually relented to treating them with the same sense of honor that they showed him even in captivity. The Prince-General studied Eronidas tactics each time that the Ripper attempted a brutal strike, learning their weaknesses and realizing how to exploit them. After a year of planning, scouting, and defending, Sälarna gathered his general staff together and put forth a plan with which the Altalar army would smash the invaders once and for all. After receiving a report that the Northern Kingdoms were beginning an offensive against the Eronidas, Sälarna sent Prince Tölos’tïr with an expeditionary force up north, ordering him to cross the Ularen Plains and join the Kingdoms there.
In a surprise attack, Sälarna led his army over the Fanah’tir River and defeated the Eronidas forces in detail, striking camps while also dividing the enemy forces into smaller divisions which were easily cut down by his larger army. In the midst of the battle, the Prince-General was confronted by Reos “the Ripper” who challenged him to single combat, with Sälarna accepting the challenge. While accounts differ on how long the duel took and how evenly matched the two opponents were, all stories end with Sälarna cutting down the Ripper and forcing the Anaxon’s army to disperse. Sälarna wasted no time with celebrations, immediately turning his army north to join his cavalry commander and the Northern Kingdoms’ forces in their battle against Anaxon Ariston Lipit-Eshtar, who had retreated from the Ularen Plains and took position in western Hyarroc. Sälarna slowly took back Talant Sulleÿ-Fanhaal from the Eronidas before engaging Lipit-Eshtar’s forces at Sullprä-san, taking on the Anaxon in a brutal siege which cost thousands of lives on both sides. Realizing that they were surrounded and at risk of annihilation, Lipit-Eshtar surrendered to Sälarna, who allowed the Eronidas forces to retreat back to more secure places on the condition that they completely disarm. One subordinate general named Kellsius openly called Sälarna a traitor for allowing such an arrangement to happen once it was done, claiming that they could’ve still taken back everything else that had been lost, and he decided to lead his own force to prove it. Kellsius’ army was quickly bogged down trying to siege the Polon of Tiva and became at risk of being encircled and annihilated, with Sälarna going in to save and retrieve Kellsius before stripping him of rank for insubordination.
Once the Eronidas Invasion ended, Sälarna finally had time to focus on what used to be the Allorn Empire and realized that the lands were chaotic and in disarray. While the Eronidas and Kathar were beaten back for the time being, Sälarna knew that peace couldn’t last forever and that he needed to remain a protector for the Altalar people if they were to survive past the end of their empire. The Magic which had been so prevalent in the Allorn armies of the past was vastly weaker and rarer, and so Sälarna used his martial experience to found the Solsanthëa Silverhelm Commandery in his home province of Tanaar Hyä-Ereya, which would teach Altalar commanders in methods of warfare without having to fully rely on Magic. The Prince-General spent the next few centuries roaming the various newly formed Princedoms and aiding wherever he was needed, defending against whatever enemies the Altalar people faced before inevitably coming into conflict with the Regalian Empire during the Elven Wars. While Sälarna did eventually fight alongside the Regalians during the Kathar invasion of Daen, he realized that he had to evolve his tactics if he was to survive in a rapidly changing world. Eventually, the revived Empress Talea Sunvidal emerged from her burial place and reforged the Allorn Empire, with Sälarna receiving a personal offer to join the Empress’ military staff. He now serves as a general of the reforged Allorn Empire, aged but still alive and ready to take on whatever else threatens his people.
As a person, Sälarna was largely shaped by the circumstances of his childhood and the military life that he became famous for, often in ways that made him stand out as an Allorn prince. He is a devout follower of the Pantheon, even in a time when many Altalar were at most paying lip service to the faith, likely having taken many trips to the Faces of the Gods in his home principality of Tanaar Hyä-Ereya. This devotion to Estel also spawned a contempt for everything non-Altalar but especially a hatred for the Kathar, who he watched tear the empire apart with their corrupting Void influence. The Prince-General is famous for his steel-like discipline and resistance to the decadent corruption that gripped the rest of Allorn nobility, often referenced as an example within Altalar revivalism that seeks to move away from the hedonistic stagnation of the late Allorn era. However, one should not mistake Sälarna as a kind or mirthful person, as many around him often spoke of his grim and serious attitude, and that he supposedly never laughed. In addition, his iron discipline also resulted in Sälarna being known for draconian punishments for any Allorn soldiers that stepped out of line or acted with insubordination, drilling them constantly and doing what he could to brutally root out complacency.
Prince-General Sälarna overall has an astounding reputation among Altalar and even some of his enemies, but he also remains a controversial figure in many respects. He famously became a symbol of Altalar prestige and cultural values that Allorn nationalists rally behind, citing him as the pristine example of what an Altalar should strive to be in a post-Wildering world. The Eronidas Polons regard Sälarna as their greatest Altalar enemy, owing him a mixture of resentment and odd respect for having halted their invasion centuries ago. Many Asha outside of Teled Methen hold Sälarna at least somewhat responsible for the continued enslavement of their people in the southern Principalities, as he was the one who kept military order and proved that Magic wasn’t as necessary as maintaining draconian martial force to continue the old Allorn systems, such as slavery. While most Altalar within the modern Allorn Empire still profess respect for the Prince-General, a small faction of dissidents criticize his failure to completely beat back the Regalians during the Elven Wars, even going as far as suggesting that he isn’t a rightful Altalar Prince because of his inability to use Magic. Besides reputation, Sälarna’s most solid legacy was his founding of the Solsanthëa Silverhelm Commandery just a few decades after the Eronidas Invasion, dedicating the Commandery to teaching Altalar the same military tactics that Sälarna had mastered.
While Sälarna did have siblings when growing up, all of them died during the series of apocalyptic events that destroyed the Allorn Empire, with one brother killed in action while serving against the Eronidas Invasion. Sälarna has also never married in the centuries of his existence, seeming wholly uninterested in raising a family of his own and therefore never having children as a result. The only extended family to Sälarna is a cousin currently living in their home province at Tanaar Hyä-Ereya.
- Rumors about a secret relationship between Sälarna and his cavalry commander Tölos’tïr culminated in the creation of a dramatized Ithanian romance novel titled ‘The Prince-General’s Secret,’ which Sälarna himself has denounced as “baseless nonsense.” Despite this, the book gained widespread popularity in Ithania and areas of northern Daendroc.
- Sälarna’s ornate armor, which he wears constantly, is said to be made of Nightsilver and another unknown material which some have named as “Daygold” given its bright appearance. The stark contrast of his uniform is also said to contain magical protections woven into the suit’s very creation from before the Cataclysm, and there are said to be many plots seeking its theft.