It was about this time that Arthur received an emissary from a Khalikha Khan claiming to rule all the Khalikha clans. Arthur knew the wild horsemen of the Khalikha plains could never be subdued, and dismissed the emissary with a laugh. This one incident has been traced as the root of the whole Khalikha sub-saga about the tragic love affair of Tristan and Isolde.
With the monsters driven from Sur Nova, Arthur then turned his attention to the goblin attacks on Paritan. He knew from history that the goblin homeland of Gernok was somewhere to the east of Sur Nova. Following the trail that led northeast from Sur Nova, he passed through Tranavan Forest and found Gernok.
He also found a dragon barring the way to Gernok. The dragon proved remarkably easy to kill, and contrary to legend, it was his infantry - not Arthur and his knigts - who slew the dragon. Arthur found the dragon's horde afterwards. It was as huge as legend said it was.
Gernok was a harder nut to crack. The goblins had enlisted the aid of minotaurs and cyclopses to help protect their home; however, Arthur prevailed. To prevent the goblins from regaining Gernok, Arthur left a heavy garrison of infantry to guard Gernok. Shortly thereafter the goblin attacks on Paritan stopped.
Up until now Arthur's actions had been dictated by events beyond his control; however, Arthur found the lost Crown of the Westrealm in Gernok. While he did not yet control all the original Westrealm, he could legitimately claim the title of King of Westrealm. He knew that Lucinian IV of Tetrada claimed the title of Emperor of Aragon even though Lucinian IV did not have any of the three relics of the old empire.
The confrontation between Arthur and Lucinian was inevitable. Arthur had the choice of when that confrontation would take place.
We know from the writings of Arthur's closest friend and advisor, Merlin, that Arthur was very uncertain about whether he was ready to confront Lucinian then. The question was resolved when the dwarves of Xafanta asked for Arthur's help in driving the orcs out of Zarnix. Control of Zarnix would enable Arthur to outflank Lucinian in Tetrada.
The battle for Zarnix was fought in two stages, but the dwarves provided help only in the first battle. Arthur had to take Zarnix with only his forces. Like Gernok, Zarnix had to be heavily garrisoned as it was subject to frequent monster attacks. The pass Zarnix controlled was as important to them as it was to Arthur. Because of the distance between Sur Nova and Zarnix, Arthur had to spend the winter in Zarnix.
During that time, several attempts were made to kill him. By pardoning the would-be assassins and following them, Arthur was eventually able to break up a plot by Lucinian IV to kill him.
The winter stay at Zarnix, despite the hardship, had two benefits: Baron Tentala of Tentula offered to become Arthur's vassal if Arthur would subdue the giants of Char that had been attacking Tentula. Bored with being snowed in at Zarnix, Merlin searched the Zarnix archives and found some old records that indicated the long lost Amulet of Aladda was hidden somewhere near Zarnix.
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